Tag: "Steve Smith"

Thursday, July 31, 2014

| July 31, 2014

journalbroadcastgroupJournal Communications Announces Merger of Broadcast Operations with E.W. Scripps.  In a surprise move – at least as far as the public is concerned – Journal Communications announced late Wednesday (7/30) that it has struck a deal with Cincinnati-based E.W. Scripps to merge the two companies’ broadcast operations into one company and to spin off their respective print businesses and merge them into a separate company that will also be publicly traded.  The Journal Broadcast Group will go away and the broadcast operations will continue under the Scripps banner.  The newspaper and print businesses will operate under the Journal Media Group banner.  This means an exit for Scripps from the print business.  In a video message, Journalsmithsteve Communications chairman and CEO Steve Smith states, “These two independent companies will build upon the strong local brands Journal and Scripps have built over the years.”  The newspaper company – with 14 dailies and affiliated digital media – will be headquartered in Milwaukee.  Scripps owns only TV stations and, after the merger is complete, the new group will be the fifth largest television group in the country – with 34 TV stations in 24 markets – with Journal’s radio assets also in that group.  Journal operates 35 radio stations in eight markets.  WXYZ-TV, Detroit reports that Scripps CEO Richard Boehne states the companies will gain about $35 million in “combined transaction synergies” but he said it would be months before it would be known if there would be staff reductions or requests for employees to relocate.  The deal, pending regulatory approval, is expected to close in 2015.  Since Scripps owns no radio assets, there are no duplicative positions there but the question to be asked is how dedicated to the radio business will E.W. Scripps be?  Will it ultimately put them up for sale?  Only time will tell.

cnn newsource logoCumulus Strikes Deal with CNN for Radio News Product.  The product will not be branded CNN but will allow stations to make the content that comes from CNN Newsource their own.  A statement from Cumulus Media today about the news service to be made available via Westwood One, says, this new service will offer radio stations nationwide access to broadcast, breaking news, wire service and digital content provided by CNN for use on the air and on their websites.  Westwood One owns the patented STORQ technology that Cumulus says provides a local feel to syndicated content.  “The addition of this new service will for the first timewestwood one NEW enable local radio stations to broadcast the latest national and international news acquired by CNN but branded with their own call letters and station slogans.”  Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey says, “Our affiliates and advertising partners know they can count on us for news and information products that reflect how people today consume content through various platforms, and this exclusive access to CNN’s newsgathering will ensure we can provide stations nationwide an unmatched array of news formats.”  Dickey described the service to the New York Post calling it a “differentiated product.  For some who want hard news, this isn’t the service, but there are fewer of those types of stations across the country.  The emphasis is more on shorter stories, less hard news and ‘give it to me when I want it.’”  Cumulus Media’s Westwood One reps other news services – including ABC, NBC, CBS and CNBC Business Radio.  CNN shut down the CNN Radio division two years ago.

weei logoFox TV and Entercom Mend Fences – and Restore $$ — After Minihane Comments.  Some industry insiders were critical of Fox TV’s dropping advertising on Entercom-owned stations after WEEI-FM, Boston’s Kirk Minihane made controversial comments about Fox TV reporter Erin Andrews – charging Fox with pulling the boycott strategy.  However it appears the move by Entercom CEO David Field to apologize and to suspend Minihane for a week placated Fox and, according to a story by Chad Finn in the Boston Globe, the company will resume its advertising of its TV shows and movies on Entercom stations which is reportedly in the neighborhood of $1 million per year.  Fox Sports SVP of media relations Lou D’Ermilio stated, “We appreciate Entercom’s recognition and response to the inappropriate comments made by the WEEI host.  It is our sincere hope both organizations can now move forward.”  Finn reports Entercom Boston VP and market manager Phil Zachary commented, “On our end, we consider the matter 100 percent resolved.”  Read the whole story here.

2014 NYC logo 150Talkers New York 2014 Videos Being Posted.  Up Today: “The Talk Rumble.” Today (7/31) marks the 13th consecutive business day of TALKERS magazine’s video posting of speeches, sessions and presentations made during last month’s 17th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention – Talkers New York 2014.  The presentation of these informative and historic recordings is sponsored by WYD Media Sales, LLC., the rep firm recently launched by Ron Hartenbaum and headed by John Murphy, that specializes in the advertising sales of spoken-word media on all popular platforms.  The worldwide showing of these very special videos continues today with a Talkers Conference tradition – “The Talk Rumble.”  Moderated by the dynamic multi-media talk star Lionel of LionelMedia.com with a special introduction by syndicated icon, Dr. Joy Browne of Radio America, the freewheeling debate of today’s hottest talk radio issues features: Bubba the Love Sponge, Bubba Radio Network; Alan Colmes, Fox News Radio/FNC; Mike Gallagher, Salem Radio Network; Thom Hartmann, WYD Media; Joyce Kaufman, WFTL, Ft. Lauderdale; Kevin McCullough, XtreMEDIA; and David Webb, Sirius/XM Satellite Radio. To view this spoken word extravaganza, please click here. The Talkers New York 2014 conference videos were recorded by Art Vuolo.

neerrichardQuestions About Political Correctness.  WFAN, New York sports talk host Richard Neer writes in an opinion piece published today at Talkers.com, that although he believes we should all avoid words or phrases that are likely to offend, he fears that “a ‘gotcha’ mentality is running amok, looking to punish anyone who has the temerity to take an unpopular stand.”  Neer points to two recent cases – one involving Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, the other Stephen A. Smith’s current suspension from ESPN – in which both men went to great lengths to clarify statements that many people would, upon hearing the clarification, not find offensive.  Still, the controversy continued and in Smith’s case, he was suspended.  Read Neer’s insightful piece here.

kinglarryLarry King Says Piers Morgan Failed Because He Was ‘Pompous.’  Appearing on Cumulus Media’s classic rock WGRF, Buffalo on the “Norton in the Morning” show via Envision Networks’ Guest Services booking service, radio and TV legend Larry King – promoting his “Larry King Now” daily interview show that appears on Ora.tv and Hulu.com – told the show’s listeners that Piers Morgan had a toughmorganpiers transition to replace him as host of the CNN interview show.  “Any person who has been on for 25 years in one place and you have an audience who is used to you…it’s very hard to step into those shoes no matter who it is.” Speaking about Morgan, King said, “Personally, I like him fine, but it was all about him.  It was the opposite of the way I interview. He was the opposite.  So now they not only had someone who was British, different, but then he would use the word ‘I’ every other word…He became, I thought a bit, in my opinion, pompous, but that’s the way I looked at it.  So I had trouble watching Piers Morgan’s show, and I guess a lot of other people did too.”

lebronadDan Le Batard Denied LeBron James Ad by Cleveland Plain Dealer.  It’s hard to say how far along ESPN and WAXY, Miami sports talk host Dan Le Batard was in actually trying to place an ad in the Cleveland Plain Dealer to get a dig in at LeBron James, but the paper forestalled any such plan by saying it would not accept the ad, according to a report in the Washington Post.   The paper reports Le Batard was discussing the Miami Heat fans’ reaction to James’ departure for Cleveland and he suggested taking out an ad similar to the mock-up you see here that would razz James for not thanking Miami fans after his four-year stint with the Heat.  Le Batard jokingly suggested a Kickstarter campaign to raise the money for the ad.  Still, for Le Batard’s part, he got a fair amount of national press over the bit.

Odds & Sods.  The nationally syndicated Leslie Marshall show – produced by WYM Media – permanently shifts its live broadcast time to 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET…..Red Rock Radio Corp. is flipping two stations – standards WXCE, Amery, Wisconsin and standards WHSM-AM, Hayward, Wisconsin – to sports talk using NBC Sports Radio effective August 4.

Obama Impeachment Chatter/House Obama Suit Vote, Ebola Outbreak Scare, Gaza Strip Violence, Flight 17 Probe/Russia’s Ukraine Aggression, Lerner’s Anti-GOP Emails, and Stephen A. Smith Suspension Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/30).  The controversy over possible impeachment of President Obama and the Dem’s purported use of the threat in fundraisers combined with the U.S. House’s vote to sue the president for unconstitutional actions; the Ebola outbreak scare; Israel’s continuing attack on Hamas in the Gaza Strip; the investigation into the downing of Flight 17 and the complications due to Ukrainian instability and Russia’s involvement; the flap over IRS staffer Lois Lerner’s anti-GOP emails; and ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith’s suspension for his comments on the Ray Rice suspension were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, March 8, 2013

| March 8, 2013

journalbroadcastgroupJournal Broadcast Group 2012 Q4 Revenue Up 53% on Strong Political; Radio Up 15%.  Journal Communications chairman and CEO Steve Smith reports the Broadcast Group’s fourth quarter of 2012 was up an amazing 53% due to a very good quarter of political advertising.  He says that same-station revenue – excluding political – was up 4%.  Journal owns TV stations so when that was broken down, radio was up 15% for the quarter compared to the same period a year ago.  President and CFO Andre Fernandez went a little more in depth about radio during the conference call.  “On radio, revenue increased nearly 15% in Q4, but only 1.5% on a same-station basis excluding political and the extra week.  And that was driven by a 4% gain in local and helped by such categories as auto, up over 20%.  Political revenue was a more modest $700,000 in radio for the quarter and $1.7 million for the full year.  Looking ahead to the first quarter for radio, total revenue is pacing up in the mid-single digits, though in the low single digits on a same-station basis.”

nbcsportsradio logoNBC Sports Radio Moves Erik Kuselias to AM Drive; Jon Stashower to Evenings.  As the NBC Sports-Dial Global co-operative sports radio network project prepares to go full time on April 1, NBCkuseliaserik Sports Radio announces that current evening host Erik Kuselias will be the AM drive host airing from 6:00 am to 9:00 am and weekend sports talk personality Jon Stashower will move to the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm slot.  Kuselias has been in the evening slot for the network since its soft debut in September of stashowerjonlast year.  Rob “Stats” Guerrera will serve as Kuselias’ producer.  Kuselias states, “I’m thrilled to be in the prime spot for NBC Sports Radio’s first daily lineup. We believe this is the smartest and most fun sports radio program in the nation, and we look forward to the exciting opportunities that lie ahead.  Additionally, NBC Sports and Dial Global Sports allow us to have an unparalleled guest list, which will help us rejuvenate mornings for those looking for a fresh approach.”  As for the evening show, Jon Stashower says, “In sports, so much happens at night.  It’s when the games are played and so many of the stories break.  I’m really looking forward to being on every night to break down all that’s going on.”

2013hh logo 3 inchesHeavy Hundred to be Revealed at 12:00 noon ET on Tuesday, March 12.  The highly anticipated 2013 installment of annual TALKERS magazine feature, “The 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America,” — also known as the “Heavy Hundred” — will be posted at Talkers.com this coming Tuesday at 12:00 noon ET.  This marks the 19th edition of the feature (which launched in April of 1995 as the “Talkers 25″ and was expanded to 100 in 1996).  In announcing the date, TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey states, “It is never an easy task for the TALKERS editorial board to arrive at a final list considering all the many factors taken into consideration, not to mention the pressure and consequences attached to the endeavor.  This year, however, has been especially challenging due to all the changes that have taken place in the composition of the industry during the past year and we needed an extra week to make last minute adjustments.  You wouldn’t believe all the screaming matches that take place in our conference room during this process every year.  It would make an amazing reality TV show.”

spanglertimothyKRLA, Los Angeles Debuts “The Bigger Picture with Timothy Spangler.”  Salem Communications’ KRLA, Los Angeles “AM 870 The Answer” brings a new program to its Sunday evening schedule as “The Bigger Picture” hosted by Timothy Spangler is airing in the 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight slot.  The station calls it a show with “its focus on the unusual and humorous aspects of international affairs and global events…it brings the attitude and sensitivities of ‘The Daily Show,’ ‘The Colbert Report,’ and ‘Tosh 2.0’ to talk radio for a younger generation of listeners.”  Spangler is an accomplished young man having studied applied mathematics at UCLA and law at Vanderbilt University, he earned his PhD in law at the London School of Economics.  He is admitted to practice as an attorney in California and New York, as well as a solicitor in England and Wales.  He writes an award-winning syndicated foreign affairs column that appears each week in the Orange County Register and the Jerusalem Post, as well as other newspapers across the US.  He is currently an adjunct professor of law at UCLA School of Law.  He also serves as a visiting lecturer at the University College, London’s Faculty of Law and a senior fellow at the University of Melbourne School of Law.

herskovitzal2013 “Hersky” Awards for Achievement in Talk Radio Advertising and Sales Announced Today.  Each year, TALKERS magazine’s resident radio advertising and sales maven, Al Herskovitz, presents the “Hersky Awards” recognizing outstanding achievement in the field of talk radio advertising and sales.  This years presentations are made for the following categories: Best Live Read,  Best Humor, Best Produced,  Best Website Presentation of Sales by a Rep, Best Website Presentation of Sales by a Radio Station, Best Jingle, and Nosey (which means Most Stinky).  To read Al Herskovitz’s presentation of this year’s Herskys, click here.

RamseyVegasKXNTOn the Road with Dave Ramsey.  Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey has been on the road recently visiting markets including Kansas City and Las Vegas.  In Las Vegas he presented his intimate “Building Your Legacy” live event before a sold-out crowd.  At this event Ramsey’s daughter, Rachel Cruze, joined him on stage.  Local affiliate KXNT helped promote the event.  Ramsey (center) is pictured here with KXNT program director Andrew Paul (left) and SVP/GM Jerry McKenna (right).  Paul says, “Our listeners were thrilled to have the opportunity to meet and hear Dave.  He is such a dynamic speaker.  He motivated and inspired everyone.  We are so grateful and proud that Las Vegas was a stop on the ‘Building Your Legacy’ tour.”  Ramsey also visited Kansas City recently hosting his “EntreLeadership 1 Day” event there before a packed house at Folley Theater.  Ramsey, along with speaker Jon Acuff, spoke about how to run a business using the same common sense principles that Ramsey practices in his own company of more than 300 employees.  Affiliate KCMO took part in the event.

valentinephilOdds & Sods.  Nashville-based syndicated talk show host Phil Valentine tells TALKERS magazine his program was the top-cuming talk show in the Nashville market during the Fall 2012 Arbitron survey.  Phil says his show had “more listeners than Limbaugh and Hannity combined and almost four times the listeners of Beck!”  The 12-plus DMA weekly cume for his program was 144,800…..CBS Radio Philadelphia announces all-news KYW reporter Mark Abrams will report live from Vatican City as the Cardinals of the Catholic Church prepare to elect Pope Benedict XVI’s successor.  The station reports Abrams has arranged interviews in Rome with a number of Catholic Church officials and clergy from the Delawaregreshamtom Valley.  His reports will begin this weekend on KYW Newsradio, and can be heard hourly throughout the conclave…..“Gun Talk Radio” host Tom Gresham reports that he delivered 16,630 new “Lifetime Members” to the National Rifle Association.  Gresham announced a special $300 Lifetime Membership deal with the NRA on his program during the second week in January with a special direct phone number.  The deal ended the last day of February.  He tells TALKERS, “It’s incredible that we were able to send the NRA almost five million dollars in only seven weeks.”…..Digital audio aggregator TuneIn announces the continuance of its relationship with Performance Racing Network.  With this alliance, TuneIn now carries the excitement of every NASCAR race.  Listeners can hear live coverage of all 36 races of the Sprint Cup Series, including the Coca-Cola 600, the Brickyard 400, and the Bank of America 500.

bfoa logoBroadcasters Foundation of America Announces Ward L. Quaal Recipients.  The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces the recipients of the 2013 Ward L. Quaal Leadership Awards that will be presented at the BFoA’s annual breakfast on April 10 at the Wynn Hotel during the National Association of Broadcasters Show in Las Vegas.  The six honorees this year are: Skip Finley, radio executive, managing partner, Noepe Communications; Alan Frank, president/CEO, Post-Newsweek Stations, retired; David Kennedy, former president/CEO, Susquehanna Media Co.; Mike McKinnon, president/CEO McKinnon Broadcasting; Charles Osgood, TV news anchor, radio and TV personality; and Bob Schmidt, president/CEO Eagle Communications, retired.  The Leadership Awards are given annually in recognition of career contributions to the broadcast industry and the community at large, and are named in honor of iconic broadcaster Ward L. Quaal.  The breakfast, which is complimentary to all, is sponsored by the National Association of Media Brokers, Arbitron, Frank N. Magid Associates, the Television Bureau of Advertising, Marketron and the National Association of Broadcasters.

Sequestration Battle Remains Top News/Talk Story for Week of March 4 – 8.  Even with a number of major international stories breaking during the week, the battle over the sequester stayed atop the Talkers TenTM for the third straight week as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio.  At #2 this week was North Korea’s nuclear threats.  Coming in at #3 was Iran’s nuclear program followed by the death of Hugo Chavez at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on American news/talk radio during the week and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.