Tag: "suing"

Thursday, May 3, 2018

| May 3, 2018

Jamie Allman Sues Entercom and Emmis Over Firing.  Former KFTK-FM, St. Louis morning talk show host Jamie Allman has filed suit against both Entercom and Emmis over his dismissal from the station in the aftermath of his social media comment about Parkland, Florida student David Hogg.  If you recall, Allman’s Tweet about the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student – whose anti-gun stance Allman was attacking – included the phrase “I’ve been hanging out getting ready to ram a hot poker up David Hogg’s ass tomorrow.” Allman’s television show on Sinclair Broadcast Group’s KDNL-TV was canceled immediately and he was let go from KFTK-FM several days later.  In his suit, Allman contends that immediately after the incident, he was assured by management that it was not serious enough that the company PR department couldn’t handle it.  However, six days later he was summoned to a meeting and let go.  Allman is suing both companies because Emmis owned the station at the time but Entercom was operating it under an LMA in anticipation of owning it (that sale recently closed).  His breach of contract suit centers on the contention that the Tweet does not rise to the level of an offense for which he could be fired “for cause.”  He is seeking either reinstatement of his job or payment of his salary through 2020 (the term of his contract), waiver of the non-compete clause if he’s not reinstated, plus damages of $25,000.

USTN Announces Partnership with Entercom. Today’s announcement isn’t long on details but reports that United States Traffic Network – recently sold to Fair and Equal LLC by Global Traffic Network — has entered into an agreement with Entercom Communications that includes an “equity position” for Entercom in USTN.  Fair and Equal LLC is led by USTN president Ivan Shulman.  He says, “We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Entercom and look forward to their new role as an equity-holder as we continue to build out the new face of U.S. Traffic Network.  Involving media groups at an equity level is an unprecedented move in the industry and we couldn’t be more excited about our prospects for the future.  As one of the largest radio companies in the United States, Entercom is and will remain an invaluable part of our company and this partnership is just the first step in revolutionizing the broadcast traffic industry.”  USTN says Entercom is the “first of many media groups with respect to which USTN intends to partner.”  Entercom president and CEO David Field comments, “We are pleased to announce our new partnership with USTN. Their new management team has moved quickly to fix their issues and establish a solid business model following the company’s separation from its former corporate parent.  We look forward to participating in their future growth as they capitalize on the significant opportunities in this attractive market segment.”

Wisconsin Broadcaster Settles Debt Issues, Seeks Bankruptcy Exit.  According to the La Crosse Tribune, Mississippi Valley Broadcasters is filing a petition with the bankruptcy court to allow subsidiary La Crosse Media Group – operator of news/talk WLFN, adult contemporary WXLR-FM, classic hits KQEG-FM, classic rock WKBH-FM, and country WQCC-FM – to exit bankruptcy as it has come to agreements with creditors.  The station group was put up for sale but, according to the piece, none of the offers contained enough cash to pay off the debts.  The company reports that the cluster is profitable. The primary creditors agree that bankruptcy would not provide any substantive benefit to unsecured creditors. See the story here.

TALKERS News Notes. A series of moves at Capitol Broadcasting’s stations in the Raleigh-Durham market changes the frequencies of two of its sports talk stations and adds a new music-formatted station to the market.  Capitol had been – in addition to sports talk WCMC-FM “99.9 The Fan” – airing sports talk on WDNC-AM and its two translators as “Buzz Sports Radio” as well as on WCLY-AM, its translator and WCMC-HD3 as “95.7 The Ticket.”  Now, “Buzz Sports Radio” is available via WCMC-HD2, W243DK, and W257CS while “95.7 The Ticket” moves to WDNC-AM and WCMC-HD3 as “620 The Ticket.”  The new music format that appears to be a hybrid of Americana, country, R&B, folk, and rock airs on WCLY-AM and W239CK as “That Station 95.7.”  Capitol is currently running a contest and will award $1,000 to the listener who comes up with the best name for the station to give to the charity of his or her choice…..Saga Communications drops the sports talk on Asheville, North Carolina signals WOXL-HD3 and W247BV. They are now simulcasting oldies as “Pure Oldies 97.3.”  Saga still operates sports talk WISE-AM/WYSE-AM/W275CP as “WISE Sports Radio” on 102.9 FM and 1310 AM in the Asheville market…..Katz Media Group recently raised more than $34,000 for the Broadcasters Foundation of America during its 9thannual two-week, company-wide membership drive.  The Katz Membership Drive was initiated in 2010 by Stu Olds, the former CEO of Katz Media Group. The drive has continued annually, raising more than $300,000 since its inception.  All money raised during the drive goes to the Stu Olds Memorial Fund, which was established following the beloved industry leader’s passing in 2011.   BFoA president Jim Thompson says, “Katz Media Group has been a longtime champion of the Broadcasters Foundation.  We are extremely grateful to the Katz family for their belief in ‘giving back’ and continuing this charitable tradition.  Their annual donation makes a huge impact for our colleagues in need.”

Trump-Russia Investigation, Stormy Daniels Case, Kanye West Comments, North-South Korea Talks, Mexico Border Security/Caravan Asylum Seekers, Trump Doctor Story, Iowa Abortion Law, Southwest Plane Window Incident, MLB Action, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/2).  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents whether President Trump will be subpoenaed; porn star Stormy Daniels’ suit against President Trump and Rudy Giuliani’s statement that President Trump reimbursed attorney Michael Cohen for the $130,000 hush payment; Kanye West’s controversial comments about slavery and his support of President Trump; the peace talks between North and South Korea; security at the U.S.-Mexico border and the status of the caravan of asylum seekers; former Trump doctor Harold Bornstein’s statement that the president’s bodyguard and lawyer raided his office and that the president dictated his own health status report; Iowa passes restrictive abortion law; a second Southwest Airlines plane suffers a window break while in flight; Major League Baseball action, and the NBA playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Rock radio pro “Uncle Joe” Benson is assuming the hosting duties at Townsquare Media’s syndicated evening program “Ultimate Classic Rock.”  The former KSWD, Los Angeles midday host and former star of Westwood One’s “Off the Record” program takes over for Zach Martin, who’s been hosting the show since it debuted in 2015.  Townsquare SVP of programming Kurt Johnson says, “Joe’s name is synonymous with great rock radio. We’re excited to have him crack the mic nightly on the 50+ national affiliates of ‘Ultimate Classic Rock,’ and to share commentary, stories, interviews and videos with our audience on UltimateClassicRock.com.”…..On-air pro Jenn Marino is joining Entercom to be part of the company’s new alternative outlet KVIL, Dallas “ALT 103.7.”  In a statement, the company says Marino will “lead morning drive as well as all three prime dayparts.  She is the first on-air host to join KVIL since its commercial-free launch as an alternative station.”  Entercom Dallas SVP and market manager Brian Purdy says, “We have an opportunity to build a powerful brand with ‘ALT 103.7’ and it begins with identifying incredibly talented people.  Jenn is passionate about radio and driven to win and we’re looking forward to having her energy and drive on-air.”  Marino was most recently co-host of Premiere Networks’ “Sixx Sense with Nikki Sixx.”…..Connoisseur Media promotes air personality Kara Reifert to co-host of the WKJY, Hempstead, New York “K-98.3” morning program, the “K-98.3 Morning Crew with Steve Harper.”  Jon Daniels programs the Long Island adult contemporary station and he says, “Kara has been a member of the ‘K-98.3’ family for many years and, in addition to being a familiar, friendly voice, is someone who we feel Long Islanders can really relate to.”…..Cumulus Media’s hot AC WPLJ, New York presents the “95.5 PLJ Pepsi Summer Kick Off” on Friday, May 25 at Jenkinson’s Pavilion in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey. During the “Todd & Jayde in the Morning” show, listeners will be treated to live performances from Jason Mraz, Echosmith, MAX, and John Splithoff…..Hubbard Radio Seattle’s new country KNUC “98.9 The Bull” partners with Super Late Model division race car driver Molly Helmuth of Molly Helmuth Racing (pictured below).  KNUC program director Lisa Adams says, “The ‘New 98.9 The Bull’ is fast-paced by nature and partnering with Molly Helmuth Racing only solidifies that.  She is one of the few up-and-coming female superstars in the sport and we can’t wait to see our name and image flying down the track with her.  What goes better together than NASCAR and country music?  Nothing!”

Friday, December 2, 2016

| December 2, 2016

Art Bell and Wife Suing Michael Savage and WW1 for Defamation.  In a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California, radio talk host Art Bell and his wife Airyn Ruiz Bell are suingsavagemichael Michael Savage, Westwood One and parent company Cumulus Media for defamation, defamation per se, false light invasion of privacy, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligent infliction of emotional distress.  The Bells are seeking damages “in the amount to be proven at trial.”  The bellartcomplaint stems from a September “Savage Nation” broadcast in which Savage said, “I generally avoid gun questions. I know this from the first day in radio. I learned you never do certain topics where you can destroy your show. Third rail… You say UFOs, you wind up in the Philippines with a 10-year-old hooker and you are off the radio after a number of years. You can’t do UFOs. That’s an in joke, by the way, for people who understand the business. There are other topics you can’t do…”  The Bells argue that to anyone who knows the business, it was obvious Savage was referring to Art Bell and further, that the “10-year-old hooker” remark refers to his wife, Philippines national Airyn Ruiz Bell.  The Bells say they petitioned Westwood One for a retraction but their request was not honored.

WEEI, Boston Names New Leadership Team.  The Entercom sports talker announces its new programmingzarbanojoe management team.  It is promoting assistant program director Joe Zarbano to PD, taking over for Kevin Graham, who announced his exit from the station back in June.  This comes after a six-month search that resulted in the station promoting from its “in-house talent bench.”  In addition to Zarbano’s kichenbenpromotion, senior producer Ben Kichen rises to executive producer.  He’s been lead producer for both the Glenn Ordway and “Dale & Holley” programs.  He also produces Kirk Minihane’s “Enough About Me” podcast and hosts “Soccercast” for WEEI.com.  Carlson Mozdiez, currently director of integrated marketing strategies for Entercom Boston, assumes the director of operations role for the cluster with special emphasis on the company’s WEEI.com digital platform.  Entercom New England VP/marketmozdiezcarlson manager Phil Zachary says the search was necessarily long and intensive.  “With its massive broadcast reach and associated digital assets, the WEEI brand is arguably among the most influential and complex in all of broadcasting.  Many of our outside candidates simply couldn’t get their arms around all of it.  As each month passed, it became clear to me that we had the talent right here in Ben, Carlson and Joe.  Plus they each have that inimitable DNA of the true Boston sports fan.”

Brandys Promoted to Baltimore SVP/Market Manager for CBS RADIO.  From her most recent position as VP, director of sales, Tracy Brandys is elevated to senior vice president, market manager and director of sales for CBS RADIO’s Baltimore stations, including sports talk duo WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan,” WJZ-AM “CBS Sportsbrandystracy Radio 1300,” adult contemporary WLIF “Today’s 101.9,” CHR WWMX “Mix 106.5,” as well as the CBS RADIO Up Close Performance Studio that hosts local and national sports figures and musicians.  She replaces former Baltimore market manager Bob Philips who was recently named chief revenue officer for CBS RADIO.  Company COO Scott Herman says, “Tracy’s years of sales and management experience, coupled with her intimate knowledge of our Baltimore stations and the overall market, made her the natural choice to take on this important role.  Throughout her tenure with CBS RADIO Tracy has proven to be a powerhouse salesperson who has led and grown our revenue and market share in Baltimore and has been a trusted leader to our valued employees.  We are delighted to reward her accomplishments with this well-deserved promotion.”

The News Media Alliance and National Association of Broadcasters Seeking Review of FCC’s Cross Ownership Rules.  The News Media Alliance is going straight to President-Elect Donald Trump with a white paper that lays out its case for abandoning the 1975 rule that makes cross-ownership of electronic and print medianewsmediaalliance illegal and the National Association of Broadcasters is petitioning the FCC for nab-logoreconsideration of the 2014 Quadrennial Regulatory Review’s conclusion to maintain the ban (as well as other policies).  Regular TALKERS readers are aware of the argument that the current state of media looks nothing like it did in 1975 and current regulations should reflect the current business conditions.  News Media Alliance president and CEO David Chavern states, “While news organizations are innovating and adapting to a vastly different media landscape, antiquated government regulations and imbalanced policies are unnecessarily hindering investment and growth at news media companies.  We encourage the new administration to revisit these regulations and policies as it charts a new course for our nation’s economic growth.”

Al Peterson to Cease Publication of NTS MediaOnline in New Year.  After 10 years serving the spoken-word radio business, radio pro Al Peterson is announcing he’ll stop publishing his NTS MediaOnline Today andpetersonal NTS MediaOnline Monthly come January.  In a press release, Peterson says, “After serving as the News/Talk/Sports editor for 10 years at the top industry newspaper Radio & Records, to then creating NTS MediaOnline and building it into a reliable hub for news, information and conversation about talk radio for the last decade, it just feels right to start a new chapter in my life – one where I’m not waking before sunrise to a blank page and a daily deadline.”  Working with Peterson during the last 10 years (and before that with R&R) has been his sales and marketing partner Brooke Williams.  The statement says Peterson plans to enjoy more time with his family and pursue other interests outside the industry.

siriusxmsmallReport: Pandora and SiriusXM Talking Acquisition.  According to CNBC, digital music pure play Pandora is talking with SiriusXM about being acquired by the satellite radio company.  The report indicates that the talks arepandoralogo very preliminary but that this shows a change of heart after Pandora dismissed an informal offer of $15 per share from SiriusXM parent Liberty Media back in July.  Liberty CEO Greg Maffei is quoted saying, “We think that the free space, whether it be commercial, terrestrial radio or Pandora, is still a very attractive space.  And we talked about how we’d like to find a way to participate.  I think the streaming business, which Pandora seems to have doubled down on, is a very unattractive business.  So there are parts of Pandora that could be attractive.  And there’s parts that we’d have questions about.”  Read the CNBC piece here.

talkersten-logoTrump Cabinet Nominees Top News/Talk Story for Week of November 28 – December 2.  The growing list of cabinet nominees for the Trump Administration was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the election recount tied with Donald Trump’s claims of voter fraud.  Coming in at #3 was the Trump-Carrier deal, followed by Trump’s flag burning comments at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Odds & Sods.  News/talk WHBY, Appleton, Wisconsin is broadcasting in FM as well now with the addition of translator W287AU at 103.5.  Woodward Radio Group brand manager Justin Hull states, “We are thrilled to be taking WHBY to the FM side of the dial.  The new frequency, along with our revamped website and app, gives listeners another way to experience WHBY in all aspects.”…..Midway Broadcasting Corporation, the parent company of WVON, Chicago is hosting its 26th Annual Seniors Breakfast tomorrow (12/3) at the House of Hope.  Seniors will enjoy a hot breakfast and live entertainment from three-time Grammy nominee Billy Branch and the Sons of Blues and Christmas carols from musical artist Uneqka…..Both satellite radio broadcaster SiriusXM and digital platform TuneIn will be broadcasting live from the Baseball Winter Meetings starting this Sunday, December 4, through Thursday, December 8.

gracies-logoSix Days Left for Gracies Early Bird Deadline.  The deadline for early bird entries for the 2017 Gracie Awards is Thursday, December 8.  The annual awards, presented by the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation, recognize “exemplary programming created by, for and about women in all facets of media and entertainment, as well as individual achievement.”  All submissions must have been released, posted or aired between December 1, 2015 and December 31, 2016.  Please note, this is a change from previous years’ timeline for eligibility.  The final deadline for submissions is January 12, 2017 at 11:59 pm ET.  See how to register submissions here.

bernadettestudio16The Yappy Tour Rolls Through WABC, New York.  The recently published book, Yappy Days: Behind the Scenes with Newsers, Schmoozers, Boozers and Losers (AuthorHouse/Talkers Books), by veteran talk radio producer Bernadettehamburgjoan Duncan (left), continues to burn up the airwaves.  The coast-to-coast book tour rolled through New York City yesterday (12/1) as the author was interviewed by the legendary talk radio grand dame Joan Hamburg for her Saturday show (12/3) on the legendary WABC.  Duncan tells TALKERS, “It was one of the highlights of my career being interviewed by the great Joan Hamburg.  Not only is she one of my personal idols, but I can safely describe her as one of the best radio talkers of any era and a national treasure.  Being on her show and the airwaves of WABC is deeply gratifying to me and hopefully to the thousands of radio enthusiasts who have been giving this book such wonderfulbernadettebooksmall support.”  Yappy Days recounts Duncan’s 26-year career as a producer of radio talk shows working with such big-name talents as Larry KingSally Jessy RaphaelLou DobbsTom SnyderGil GrossCharles Osgood and many more during modern talk radio’s pre- and post-9/11 “golden era.”  Plus, she tells stories about behind-the-scenes encounters with hundreds of guests from the worlds of show business, politics, media, business and literature.  The interview is already posted as a podcast on the WABC website and can be heard by clicking here.   Due to the strong response by hosts across the nation to the subject and Duncan’s lively air presence, the national “Yappy Tour” will continue to roll on through the first quarter of 2017.  Duncan has already appeared on more than 40 local and syndicated programs.  Hosts and shows interested in booking Bernadette Duncan can do so by calling Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.