Tag: "SummitMedia"

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

| June 26, 2013

npg logoClear Channel Faces Suit by Photo Company Alleging Illegal Use.  National Photo Group LLC has filed a complaint in United States District Court Western District of Texas alleging Clear Channel radio stations infringed on its copyrights by using pictures of various celebrities on the websites of some of its radio stations.  The complaint names 11 CC radio stations and alleges photos of celebrities including Jason Aldean, Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore, Drew Barrymore and others were used without permission and with knowledge that the photos were copyrighted.  NPG is seeking $150,000 per infringement plus legal fees and any other relief the Court deems just and proper.

marrtomlgWCBM, Baltimore Extends Talk Host Tom Marr’s Contract Through 2017.  Baltimore talk radio institution Tom Marr will be heard on WCBM through 2017 as the station’s vice president, Nick Mangione. Jr., announces the station extends his no-cut contract for another four years.  The official announcement was made June 24 by WCBM program director and operations manager Sean Casey at the start of Marr’s show that day.  Mangione, Jr. states, “I am delighted we have reached the agreement on the extension. To quote my late father, Tom is still at the top of his game both as a broadcaster in general and talk show host in particular.  We are delighted he will be on the air until 2017 with WCBM and he just may decide to stay longer.  There will always be room for him in the WCBM family.  Tom has a good sense for the business.  As an example, he is the first one to suggest that we add both Sean Hannity and Mark Levin to our lineup.  Tom has a large following within the reach of our 50 thousand watt transmitter and is building a solid national and international following on WCBM’s worldwide reach via the internet.”  Marr, who began his career as a high school sports broadcaster on WWDC-AM, Washington, DC in 1960, says, “I am deeply honored that Nick and the Mangione Family Enterprises agreed to the extension.  I look forward to the challenges ahead for talk radio and its increasing role in the media especially in view of our relationship with the digital world.”

brienjenWBZ-AM, Boston Names Jen Brien Overnight Talk Host.  After the retirement of Steve LeVeille last year, the station has been featuring a number of talk radio personalities in the overnight slot.  Now, program director Peter Casey announces Jennifer “Jen” Brien is named to the permanent position.  The station says the program “will be a mix of pop culture, current events, politics, and the comings and goings of people in New England.”  In addition to WBZ-AM’s monster signal that penetrates the entire East Coast at that time of night, the show can be heard on CBS Radio’s Radio.com.  Brien joined WBZ from Entercom’s crosstown news/talk WRKO where she hosted a daily program.  She has also hosted shows on WPRO and WHJJ in Providence, and WCOD and WXTK on Cape Cod.  Before beginning her career in radio, Brien spent more than five years as a soldier in the United States Army where she was selected for the prestigious “Soldier of the Year” award.

bennettalexSiriusXM Cancels Long-Running Alex Bennett Show.  One of modern talk radio’s true pioneers, Alex Bennett, has reportedly been let go “without cause” from SiriusXM Satellite Radio‘s “Sirius Left” channel where he was doing the daily 7:00 am to 10:00 am program.  Bennett has been with Sirius for almost a decade and, according to insiders close to the host, was caught by surprise and is “distraught” over what transpired.  Bennett has had a colorful, unique on-air career that goes back to the late-1960s when he was the lone talk show host on the old WMCA, New York when it was still the “Home of the Good Guys.”  He subsequently went on to do both rock music and talk broadcasting serving as one of the original prototypes for the pop culture-oriented (some call it “shock jock”) and “progressive” genres of modern day talk radio.  Between WMCA and Sirius, he served in ground-breaking stints at such great stations as WPLJ in New York and KMEL, KITS (“Live 105″) and KQAK (“The Quake”) in San Francisco.  At press time, it is not clear if this was a cost-cutting move on the part of Sirius or indicative of a re-direction in programming.  Bennett is still on the air and is reportedly doing his final program for the satellite radio service this Friday.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “In my opinion Alex Bennett is one of the most important talents ever to grace a microphone during my lifetime.  His show on WMCA — in which he did extremely progressive talk about the issues of the day such as the Vietnam War – was on a station that was otherwise a hip music station.  In the midst of all the fun, cool hipness of the rock ‘n’ roll and the zany DJs of that fabulous station, Bennett was fearlessly talking to the kids about extremely important controversial issues.  That show served as the original inspiration for me to launch an issues-oriented talk show (“Harrison’s Mic”) five years later on rocker KMET in Los Angeles and my own talk career that paralleled my music radio work.  If I had not heard Alex Bennett in 1969, there might not have ever been a TALKERS magazine.”

cookehollandHOLLAND COOKE: The Future of AM/FM in the Car.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke reports from the Consumer Electronic Association’s Connected Car Conference in New York City and her says that the bottom line after “four-and-a-half-hours of thoughtful discussion, research, and prognostication by automotive, electronics, and media thinkers:  Whatever the dashboard is about to morph into matters less to AM/FM radio than what’s already happened.”  Cooke writes that people who matter have already connected their media to the car speakers and offers some thoughts about what radio programmers can do to stand out from the digital competition.  Read his analysis here.

wznn logoSummitMedia to Pull the Plug on Sports Talk In Birmingham.  SummitMedia announces it will drop the sports talk format on WZNN, Birmingham “97.3 The Zone” and flip to a different – most likely music – format.  SummitMedia EVP and COO David DuBose tells the Birmingham News, “We have been evaluating the sportsfinebaumpaul format in light of multiple factors, including [Paul] Finebaum‘s placement.  After nearly two years, it became clear the market did not support two competing sports stations.  “Therefore, we have determined we should focus on other format opportunities.”  SummitMedia purchased the Birmingham cluster from Cox Media Group earlier this year.  The station was flipped to sports in August of 2011 when Cox had its eye on building the station around mega-successful Southeast sports personality Paul Finebaum by bringing him over from Cumulus Media’s crosstown sports WJOX.  Finebaum, who’d had legal squabbles with WJOX and wanted out of that relationship, ended up working out his contract there, sat out a non-compete and will begin a new sports talk radio venture with ESPN based out of Charlotte.  It’s believed he will return to WJOX via ESPN syndication when the new program debuts later this summer.

mynorthwest logoBonneville Seattle Brings Unique Talk to MyNorthwest.comThe Bonneville Seattle cluster that includes news/talk KIRO-FM, sports KIRO-AM and talk KTTH is beginning a series of unique audio programs to the web venture it calls MyNorthwest.com.  Dubbed “MyNorthwest Chats,” the weekly, one-hour programs will stream on Wednesday’s from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm beginning with today’s chat featuring nationally acclaimed restaurateur Tom DouglasMyNorthwest.com editor Stephanie Klein says, “We’re excited to have the opportunity to connect our readers directly to the experts and start an inspiring dialogue that makes an impact.  We want the conversation to spark a chain of discussion in our readers’ lives.”  Other chats lined up for July include talk show host Michael Medved and Seattle Mariners insider Shannon Drayer.

ryderturiProgramming Changes at WGN, Chicago; Turi Ryder to Exit.  Chicago radio pro Turi Ryder has been in the late night slot at Tribune’s WGN, Chicago since the beginning of this year but now the company says it’s going in a different direction and will end her program.  Ryder will get a chance to say goodbye to her WGN listeners as she’ll work this evening and Thursday before wrapping things up there.  The station has not announced what will air in the time slot.  Ryder also hosts “America Weekend” for Envision Radio Networks.

wproCumulus Media’s WPRO-AM, Providence Tackles Immigration Issue with Live Debate.  News/talk WPRO-AM’s Tara Granahan is moderating a debate that will take place today at the Providence Marriott from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm called, “Green Light on Green Cards,” featuring a panel of experts from each side of the illegal immigration issue.  The granahantaradiscussion will be streamed live online at the station’s 630wpro.com and will be the center piece of a “WPRO Special Report” scheduled to air during the “WPRO Morning News with Gene Valicenti” the week of July 1.  The debate features two immigration lawyers, a state representative, a member of the local clergy and the head of an illegal immigration enforcement organization.  The stations states, “The debate will address the issues that have emerged from illegal immigration including; licenses for illegal immigrants, how immigration effects the Rhode Island economy, and potential solutions moving forward.”

telesouth logoTeleSouth Communications to Buy WOSM, Ocean Springs, Mississippi.  TeleSouth operates the Mississippi talk radio network known as “SuperTalk Mississippi” and the purchase of WOSM, Ocean Springs (103.1 FM) – between Biloxi and Pascagoula on the Gulf Coast – will be added to that network.  The company states, “The addition of WOSM to the network will give coast listeners the best choice in Mississippi programming with ‘The Gallo Radio Show,’ ‘The JT Show’ and ‘Head to Head with Matt Wyatt and Richard Cross,’ all homegrown programs that keep a watch on state government, entertainment, sports, unique happenings in Mississippi, with a local take on national issues.”  In addition to Mississippi-based programs, ‘SuperTalk’ is also home to Cumulus Media NetworksMike Huckabee and Compass Media NetworksLars Larson and Todd Schnitt.  WOSM is owned and operated by Charles Cooper and airs Christian programming.  TeleSouth CEO Steve Davenport states, “We are excited about growing the ‘SuperTalk Network’ with the addition of WOSM.  Mr. Cooper has worked hard for years building an audience loyal to traditional family values.  We are confident that WOSM listeners will hear those values in the programs featured each day on ‘SuperTalk.’”  Long-time coast talk show host and programmer Kipp Greggory will serve as general manager of WOSM.

rutherforddaveCHQR, Calgary Talk Host Dave Rutherford to End Daily Show.  Canadian talk show host Dave Rutherford will wrap a 21-year career hosting a daily talk show at CHQR, Calgary after his last show on July 26.  The conservative personality and pedigreed newsman tells the Edmonton Journal he believes the broadcast news industry is dumbing down and there may be no place for a broadcaster like him.  “I don’t think there’s the desire to ask the next question, maybe to ask any questions.  But I sense that the whole industry, the broadcast news business, television and radio, is dumbing down.”

cnnradioThe End of the Line for CNN Radio.  The service was a shell of its former self after Dial Global ended its distribution of the news product and replaced it with NBC News Radio last year, effectively becoming a digital-only product.  Now, CNN states that after completing “a review of its radio business,” it “has made the decision to cease production of CNN Radio podcasts, effective immediately.”  CNN has indicated that some of the staff will be relocated to positions elsewhere in the company.

huntallenAllen Hunt to End WSB, Atlanta Program.  Christian broadcaster Allen Hunt announces he’ll end his Sunday evening program that has aired on WSB, Atlanta since its inception after the June 30 broadcast.  Hunt says he was approached by Cox Media to move the time of his program and he decided that due to his busy schedule with the Dynamic Catholic Institute and the requested change, he decided it would be better to end the show.  Hunt built the program at WSB and, for a couple of years, put the show into national syndication.

mohrbillboardThe Roving Jay Mohr Billboard.  Fox Sports Radio Network nationally syndicated host Jay Mohr’s flagship station, “AM570 FOX Sports LA” (KLAC, Los Angeles) surprised Mohr with a mobile billboard promoting his program.  While Mohr was on the air, the billboard stopped by the studio during its route through Los Angeles and the show crew seized the opportunity for a quick photo-op.  Pictured here (from l-r) are: intern Ben Haley, technical producer John Ramos, social media producer Matty Cox, assistant producer Justin Frosburg, Mohr, update anchor “Diamond” Dan Beyer, associate producer Mike Lingard and executive producer Greg “Hong Kong” Toohey.

Former KMOX, St. Louis Personality Bruce Bradley Dies.  Bruce Bradley was a personality on CBS Radio’s KMOX, St. Louis from 1986 to 1992.  The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports he passed away on Saturday, June 22 in Lake St. Louis at age 79.  Prior to his career in St. Louis, Bradley also worked in the New York, Philadelphia and Boston markets.

President Obama’s Global Warming Policy, SCOTUS Gay Marriage Rulings, George Zimmerman Trial, Paula Deen Freefall, and Texas Anti-Abortion Bill Fails Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/25).  President Obama’s policy to bypass Congress to enact greenhouse gas emissions regulations; the Supreme Court’s rulings on gay marriage issues; the trial of George Zimmerman in the death of Trayvon Martin; the demise of Paula Deen’s media career in the wake of allegations of racist language; and the failure of anti-abortion legislation in Texas were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

| June 11, 2013

lex&terryLex Staley Apologizes After On-Air Comment Angers LGBT Community.  While discussing a news story in which a 16-year-old boy shot a transsexual after a sexual encounter, Lex Staley quipped, “I don’t blame him.  I would have shot his ass, too!”  The comment received attention – enough to get the United Stations Radio Networks-produced “Lex & Terry” program removed from the Clear Channel-operated “Extreme Talk” channel on SiriusXM.  Staley has apologized, issuing the following statement via his agent: “I want to reach out the best way I can to the transgendered community.  I deeply apologize for an insensitive remark concerning a news story being discussed on my radio show where a 16-year-old boy shot a transgendered person after they had intimate contact.  Please know that my off-the-cuff remark was not intended to offend or hurt anyone, but after listening to the audio I understand why the comment caused hurt and anger.  I had originally hoped to explain the context of what I said, but quite honestly, what I said was just plain wrong and there is no context in which my statement is acceptable and I take responsibility for it.  I would like to clarify two things: One is that I work every day on a very liberal program.  We are an advice show that has helped the LGBT members of our audience for the past 21 years.  We have consistently supported LGBT equality rights on our show, well before it was popular to do so.  Secondly, as a father of a young daughter, I am always distressed when I hear of adults having inappropriate contact with minors.  But instead of properly expressing my distress in this situation I made a stupid comment that had no place and failed to express what I was actually thinking.  I deeply regret the insensitive and hurtful remark I made. My on-air partner and I will be devoting a segment on an upcoming show to discuss the serious issue of discrimination in the LGBT community.  We’re all human and deserve to be treated with respect and dignity – as members of the media, we embrace our responsibility to use our platform to help our greater community.”

schnitttoddTodd Schnitt Sues to Get Legal Fees Back in from Fired Attorney.  The key decision in this case will probably not be made until September when Circuit Judge Charles Bergmann will decide if Todd Schnitt’s case against former attorney Philip Campbell goes to trial or arbitration.  Regular TALKERS readers are aware that WFLA, Tampa-based Compass Media Networks talk host Todd Schnitt sued WHPT, Tampa-based talk host Bubba the Love Sponge for defamation earlier this year.  The case was eventually settled after a high-profile – and dramatic – trial.  During that trial, Schnitt attorney Campbell was arrested on DUI charges after leaving a restaurant with a paralegal from the firm Adams & Diaco representing Bubba the Love Sponge, though Campbell did not know her employment status.  Schnitt eventually fired Campbell after paying his firm $1 million for services rendered.  But the firm says Schnitt owes another $1 million.  Schnitt is suing not only to contest the additional $1 million but to recoup the initial sum asserting legal malpractice.  According to the Tampa Bay Times, Campbell’s firm says the case must go to arbitration based on a clause in their contract but Schnitt’s new attorney – Wil Florin – says that’s not so.  Regarding allegations Adams & Diaco sent the paralegal there to “set up” Campbell for the DUI, state investigators are looking into that but the firm has released information to the press with the goal of showing there was no “set-up.”

beckglennGlenn Beck Freedom of Speech Acceptance Address Now on TalkersTV.  Premiere Networks and TheBlaze talk star Glenn Beck received the 2013 Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech at the recent Talkers New York 2013 convention this past Thursday (6/6).  See the entire speech by clicking the TalkersTV box at the top of the column on the right hand side of this page.

millerchrisHow to Tweet Effectively.  Digital radio consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller advises his clients, “When it comes to social media, either you’re building your brand, or spinning your wheels.”  He says, “Twitter has turned into a huge wheel-spinning exercise for many businesses!”  In a column posted today (6/11) titled “How I Tweet,” Miller shares what he has found works for him. He suggests 1) not waiting to be followed; 2) choosing wisely when it comes to following others; 3) being yourself and writing in a natural, personable voice; 4) don’t sell – share; 5) treat your subjects the way you treat your power rotation; 6) re-tweet effectively, and 7) don’t forget to respond.  Read Chris Miller’s entire column here.

beasleyBeasley Announces Ruben Perez New Promotions and Non-Traditional Revenue Director for Fort Myers Cluster.  Ruben Perez moves from Beasley Broadcasting’s hip hop WPOW, Miami “Power 96” to the company’s five station Fort Myers cluster that includes AC WJPT “Sunny 106,” CHR WXKB “B103.9,” talk WRXK “96 K-Rock,” rock WJBX “99X,” and sports talk WWCN.  The company says Perez will be “responsible for the coordination and execution of all promotions for the stations in the Fort Myers-Naples market.  Additionally, he is charged with creating and implementing large-scale community events such as festivals and concerts that bring awareness to – and non-traditional revenue for – Beasley’s SW Florida cluster.”   Vice president and market manager Brad Beasley states, “Ruben brings a wealth of radio knowledge and experience to our Southwest Florida team.  We believe his abilities to generate large-scale events and brands will greatly benefit both our listeners and advertisers.”

dubosedavidDavid DuBose Sues Cox Media Group for Breach of Contract.  In a suit filed in United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama Southern Division, former Cox Media Group Birmingham market manager David DuBose (now serving with SummitMedia at the same group of stations) is alleging the company is in breach of contract after failing to pay agreed-to compensation for work done outside the bounds of his normal duties in improving the signals of Cox-owned stations to improve their value as well as a “special retention bonus” for remaining with the company through the sale to SummitMedia.  In the complaint, DuBose also alleges Cox Media Group used “inflated and unrealistic figures” in the revenue reports for the Birmingham stations and stations outside that metro “for the purpose of enhancing the sale price of those stations.”  In the complaint he also notes that former Cox chief Bob Neil stated the enhancement of the signals improved the value of the company’s station portfolio by some $200 million.  DuBose is not seeking a specific damage amount in the complaint.

clovissamOdds & Sods.  KSCJ, Sioux City talk show host Sam Clovis throws his hat into the ring for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Tom Harkin who has announced he will not run for re-election in 2014.  No word when Clovis plans to end his radio program…..CBS Radio Minneapolis market manager Mick Anselmo and the late Eleanor Mondale are being inducted into the Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame at the Pavek Museum.  Mondale, who was a personality on news/talk WCCO, died in 2011 at age 51 after a battle with brain cancer…..Clear Channel-operated Total Traffic Network (TTN), is named the 2013 Telematics Update Award winner for Best Navigation Solution.  The Telematics Update Awards recognize the leading players in the telematics space during Telematics Detroit, the world’s largest and most influential business focused conference and exhibition for the entire telematics ecosystem…..SiriusXM talk show host Joe Madison is elected to the board of governors for the American Red Cross…..Hubbard Broadcasting’s WTOP, Washington picks up eight Chesapeake Associated Press awards including for Outstanding Website, Outstanding Spot News and Outstanding Newscast.

angaudio logoAnG Services Launches Imaging Production Service.  Las Vegas-based AnG Services Inc. announces the launch of its new brand, angaudio.com, that offers “top-notch creative radio imaging production services from copywriting, sweepers and promos to radio imaging demos for voice talent at prices that consider the client experience.”  AnG Services CEO G.A. Simon states, “There are many imaging companies out there whose customer service is deplorable.  A lot of these other guys don’t even pick up their phone when you call.  We feel that creative imaging cannot be produced from a template.  There has to be open communication between the creatives and the program director to fit the vision for the station’s brand.”  The company says that it offers cutting-edge creative from copywriters and producers in New York, Las Vegas and Orlando with one focal point: customer satisfaction.  “We are working towards creating a support system for stations that otherwise cannot have internal creative services, or for those in need of support,” says Simon.

sladeawardScott Slade Honored by Fisher House Foundation.  WSB, Atlanta morning host Scott Slade was recently honored by Fisher House Foundation for his work hosting the organization’s Memorial Day special, “A Grateful Nation.”  The three-hour salute to the military and their families raised awareness and funds for Fisher House, which builds comfort homes at military and VA hospitals where the families of wounded warriors and vets can stay at no cost while their loved ones recover.  The show aired on 145 news/talk stations, Sirius/XM and Glenn Beck‘s TheBlaze.

ccrane radioC.Crane Radio “Talkers New York 2013″ Raffle Winners Named.  The winners of cool radios at “Talkers New York 2013″ from C. Crane Company – one of the nation’s most respected manufacturers and distributors of radio receivers – have been pulled out of the jar.  They are Peter Tripi of Premiere Networks who won a CC Radio-2 AM/FM/Weather and 2-Meter Ham Band Radio; Michelle Jerson of MichelleJerson.com who won a CC WiFi Internet Radio; John Boltz of Saratoga Public Affairs who won c CC Pocket AM/FM/Weather Radio; and “Diamond Joe” Covais of TalkSuperStation.com who won a CC Solar Observer AM/FM/Weather Emergency Radio.  C. Crane Company is a long time friend of and advertiser on talk radio around the country and served as an exhibitor at the TALKERS event this past Thursday (6/6).  Congratulations to the winners.

NSA Data Collection Case, George Zimmerman Trial Begins, Morning-After Pill Policy, Turkish Unrest, and Tebow Signs with Patriots Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/10).  The expanding case of the National Security Administration’s massive data collection project and the status of source Edward Snowdon; the beginning of the trial of George Zimmerman, charged with the death of Trayvon Martin; the Obama Administration’s approval of the morning-after pill for girls under 17; the ongoing unrest in Turkey; and the signing by the New England Patriots of controversial player Tim Tebow were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

| May 22, 2013

techsurvey9Jacobs Media’s TechSurvey9: News/Talk Breakout.  Consulting firm Jacobs Media held a webinar yesterday in which it broke out data relative to the news/talk format from its all-radio TechSurvey9.  A key point for talk radio programmers comes from the answers to the question, “Why are you listening to less AM/FM radio than in the past?”  The study indicates 49% said it was because they are not enjoying the programming.  The next most common response was because of a lifestyle change.  After that, the responses were: 17%, too many commercials; 10% listening to SiriusXM; and 9% listening to internet radio.  Some of the key points from the study indicating unique attributes of regular users of news/talk radio:

  • They are big users of email – especially for building a relationship with their favorite news/talk station.  They are less likely to connect with the station via Facebook or Twitter.
  • 74% report their primary reason for listening to AM/FM radio is for news, traffic and weather information and 42% cited the need to find out what’s going on locally – much higher than users of other radio formats.
  • News/talk users are #2 in owning a car with a digital dashboard (compared to other format fans) with 13% reporting they own one.
  • Social media use for news/talk fans indicates they are far more likely to be on LinkedIn – likely due to the “professional” status of many listeners.  They are least likely of all format fans to “like” a Facebook page and are not especially frequent users of Twitter compared to other format P1s (although use of Twitter increased 17% over the 2012 survey).
  • 65% of news/talk listeners downloaded digital radio apps and, compared to users of other radio formats, were more likely to download your station’s app and the TuneIn app.
  • Compared to the same study period one year ago, news/talk fans’ use of internet radio rose 15%; saw a 36% increase in the use of tablet devices; and a 19% increase in the use of the digital dashboard.

finebaumpaulPaul Finebaum to Join ESPN August 1.  The formerly Birmingham, Alabama-based sports journalist and talk show host will change his home base to Charlotte for his new gig with ESPN. Paul Finebaum, who had a tumultuous last two years with Cumulus Media at WJOX in Birmingham, will not be moving to SummitMedia’s crosstown WZNN “97.3 The Zone” as many industry watchers had suspected.  Instead, Finebaum will take his radio program to ESPN where it will air on ESPN Audio and the ESPN-owned SEC Network, destined to debut in August of 2014.  According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Finebaum will also make 100 appearances on ESPN’s cable TV channels.  After entering into a couple of legal battles with former long-time employer Cumulus Media over the course of several years, Finebaum agreed to work out his contract and exit radio in order to sit out his non-compete and start fresh somewhere else.  He left WJOX in January of this year.

clearchannelClear Channel Announces Bid to Push Back Debt with Bond Exchange.  Clear Channel Communications announces it is seeking to push off some debt until 2021 via a $2.1 billion bond exchange.  The company is offering to swap $796.3 million of 10.75% notes due in 2016 and $1.28 billion of 11% payment-in-kind notes due in 2016 for the new debt that would come up in 2021.  The notes will pay 12% in cash and 2% through the issuance of payment-in-kind notes.   Bloomberg’s Mary Childs reports, “Free cash flow at the San Antonio-based broadcaster hasn’t exceeded $340.9 million in any year since its 2008 buyout by Bain Capital Partners LLC and Thomas H. Lee Partners LP.  Credit-default swaps tied to the bonds of the company, which owes about $20.8 billion total, are at about the lowest in two years, a sign investors are open to refinancing, Bloomberg data show.”

coxenterprises logoCox Enterprises Announces $1 Million Donation to Oklahoma Tornado Relief.  The parent company of Cox Media GroupCox Enterprises – announces that in partnership with the James L. Cox Foundation it is donating $1 million in support of relief and recovery efforts.  “Cox Enterprises is committed to supporting the victims of this terrible storm,” says Jim Kennedy, chairman of Cox Enterprises. “As a company that operates multiple businesses in Oklahoma, we are committed to helping our employees and the communities we serve recover from this disaster. In providing this assistance, we also encourage others to support the local relief and recovery efforts.”  Cox Enterprises operates multiple companies in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, including: Cox Communications, Total Resource Auctions – Oklahoma City, Total Resource Auctions – Tulsa, news/talk KRMG, Fox23, My41, country KWEN, Tulsa “K95,” hot AC KRAV, Tulsa “Mix 96” and rock KJSR, Tulsa “Rock 103.”  “In this difficult time of recovery and rebuilding, our hearts go out to the families affected by the tornadoes,” states Percy Kirk, senior vice president and general manager, Cox Communications Oklahoma. “This gift is a symbol of our commitment to our community and it is our hope that it will provide comfort and relief to many.”  In addition to the cash donation and in-kind public service announcements, Cox’s local media properties in Tulsa are hosting a series of community fundraisers.

kdkafmlogoCBS Radio’s KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh Hosts Remote Auditions for Sports Talk Host.  CBS Radio Pittsburgh sports talk outlet “Sports Radio 93.7 The Fan” is hosting open auditions for a weekend sports talk show on the station.  The open auditions rounds begin this weekend and will take place at five different locations over the next four weeks.  The company states, “Participants will be judged by station personnel on their ability to rant on a random sports topic.  Ten entrants from the open auditions will be selected to move on to the semifinal round to be held at the Tilted Kilt in the North Shore on Monday, June 24.  From there, the top four entrants will move on to the Finals at Sidelines Bar and Grill in Sewickley to be judged during a live broadcast with Andrew Fillipponi on KDKA-FM on Thursday, June 27 from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm.  Program director Ryan Maguire says, “We’re looking for the next great Pittsburgh sports talk show host – someone who can grow into a superstar.  We’re eager to see which member of this passionate fan base can take advantage of this very rare opportunity.”

fontlinesoffreedom logo‘Frontlines of Freedom’ Returns to WOOD, Grand Rapids for Flagship Station.  The Talk Media Network-syndicated program dedicated to all things military and hosted by retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Denny Gillem returns to its original flagship station WOOD, Grand Rapids.  Talk Media Network’s Josh Leng reports that the weekend “Frontlines of Freedom” program will air live from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm on WOOD beginning June 1.  Gillem says of the move, “Six years ago my co-founder and I created ‘Frontlines of Freedom’ on WOOD radio.  June 1 is the show’s six-year anniversary.  It’s a great honor to be returning to our roots at the finest station in West Michigan.”  The program began in 2006 as a special Memorial Day show called, “A Colonel’s Salute to Veterans” that won a Michigan Broadcasters Association award.  One year later the weekly program was founded at WOOD.  Phil Tower, director of news & content programming at Clear Channel’s WOOD, states, “Few persons are held in such high regard as the men and women of our military, so it’s a natural fit to welcome ‘Frontlines of Freedom’ back to our WOOD radio lineup.”

stilestonyTony Stiles to Join The Next News Network.  Talk radio personality Tony Stiles, host of his eponymous program heard Saturdays on NRG Media’s KOIL, Omaha “The Mighty 1290,” announces he’s accepted the news anchor position at Chicago-based internet news network The Next News Network.  Stiles states, “I am honored that after only seven months on the air in Omaha, that my show, ideas and personality has resonated nationally through a loyal audience by word-of-mouth, radio and internet access.  This coming Friday night I will continue my role of frequent anchor until I assume the daily desk in early summer.”  The Next News Network founder Gary Franchi says, “As the founder of Next News Network, I became aware of Tony’s ability to attract an audience as I followed his rapid growth and heard his show.  Tony is a perfect fit for our 24/7 internet newscast which, like Tony, is the first of its kind.”

stigallchrisCBS News Reporter Tells WPHT, Philadelphia’s Chris Stigall Her Work and Personal Computers Compromised.  In a story that has since gone viral after being picked up by numerous consumer news outlets, with the allegations the DOJ has been investigating AP and Fox News reporters as the backdrop, CBS News investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson told WPHT, Philadelphia AM drive host Chris Stigall her work and personal computers are being analyzed as part of an investigation.  Attkisson said she could not point the finger at the DOJ but the speculation is that it’s a possibility.  Attkisson has been reporting on the Benghazi attacks story.

sportsusaSports USA Announces College Football Schedule.  Sports USA unveils its 2013 schedule of college football contests saying it “consists of 18 games featuring the best teams in college football.  Defending national champion Alabama, unbeaten Ohio State, Texas A&M, (with Heisman Trophy winning QB Johnny Manziel) Michigan, Florida, and LSU will be among the teams featured this year.”  Sports USA president Bob Moore says, “We are pleased to provide these incredible matchups to our nearly 400 affiliates nationwide.  Additionally, we are providing a sideline reporter for each game.”  The season kicks off with USC at Hawaii on August 29 and wraps up with the Independence Bowl on December 31.  Other key match-ups include Florida at LSU on October 12, Michigan versus Michigan State on November 2 and Alabama at Auburn on November 30.

delaneykateOdds & Sods.  “America Tonight” nationally syndicated talk show host Kate Delaney is doing some fill-in work this weekend for NBC Sports Radio Network.  Delaney, who earlier in her career worked at WFAN, New York, will sit in from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET on May 26 and from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm on May 27…..CBS Radio’s KNX, Los Angelesknx logo continues its “KNX on Your Corner” remote broadcast series on June 7 as it takes a comprehensive look at the Orange County city of Fullerton.  During the live broadcast from 5:00 am to 7:00 pm, community leaders including Mayor Bruce Whitaker, council members, Chief of Police Dan Hughes and other special guests will be interviewed.  Additionally, a special series by KNX investigative reporter Charles Feldman will look at the double-barreled impact on the city of the “Great Recession” and the high-profile fatal beating of a homeless man, Kelly Thomas, by members of the Fullerton Police Department nearly two years ago.

espnESPN to Begin Mega-Layoffs.  At this point the company’s only public statement has been, “We are implementing changes across the company to enhance our continued growth while smartly managing costs.  While difficult, we are confident that it will make us more competitive, innovative and productive.”  It’s unclear how many ESPN Audio staffers will be affected but the company, which employs about 4,000 in the United States and another 3,000 in other parts of the world, could be in the hundreds according to some reports.  ESPN is a huge source of revenue for principle parent Disney (20% is owned by Hearst) but some industry watchers speculate that ESPN’s increasing costs in acquiring precious play-by-play contracts – especially considering new entrants into the field including CBS Sports Network and Fox Sports 1 – is forcing it to be more cost-conscious.

walshprotestIRS Protest Led by WIND, Chicago’s Joe Walsh.  Former Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh is pictured here (with megaphone) on the street outside the Dearborn Street offices of the Internal Revenue Service in Chicago protesting the agency’s targeting of conservative and religious groups.  The rally was organized and led by Walsh, who hosts his own evening talk show on Salem Communications’ WIND, Chicago, “AM 560 The Answer.”  Walsh states, “It’s time to send a message that our First Amendment rights will not be denied by an out-of-control administration.”  Dozens of protesters joined Walsh during the lunchtime gathering.

IRS Targets Conservatives, DOJ Fox News Investigation, Oklahoma Tornado Aftermath, Benghazi Attacks Case, and Anthony Weiner to Run for NYC Mayor Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/21).  The IRS’ targeting of conservative groups; the investigation by the Department of Justice into Fox News Channel reporters; the aftermath of the deadly Oklahoma tornado; the ongoing scrutiny of the Benghazi attack and disgraced former NY Congressman Anthony Weiner’s bid for mayor of New York were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, April 29, 2013

| April 29, 2013

fccnewFCC Approves Sale of Cox Media Group Stations to SummitMedia and Connoisseur.  Late last summer Cox Media Group announced it was putting stations in six markets on the block as part of a realignment of its business strategy that has it focusing on its larger market stations and operations that dovetail with its other media properties.  Now that these two deals have received FCC approval, it shouldn’t be long before they close.  SummitMedia will pay $66.25 million for radio properties in five markets: Birmingham (WAGG-AM, WBHJ-FM, WBHK-FM, WENN-AM, WZZK-FM, WZNN-FM, WBPT-FM, and CMG’s contract rights for WALJ-FM); Greenville, South Carolina (WJMZ-FM, WHZT-FM); Hawaii (KRTR-AM/FM, KPHW-FM, KCCN-FM, KINE-FM, KKNE-AM); Louisville (WRKA-FM, WVEZ-FM, WSFR-FM, WQNU-FM); and Richmond (WHTI-FM, WKHK-FM, WKLR-FM, WURV-FM).  Connoisseur will pay $40 million for the Southern Connecticut stations that include: WPLR-FM, WEZN-FM, WFOX-FM, and contract rights for WYBC-FM.

millerchrisThe Key to Using Facebook for Marketing: Turn Promotion into Content.  There’s something that makes Facebook different from all other social media sites, and in a new article posted today (4/29) noted digital radio consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller explains how you can use it to your advantage.  Facebook has a vested interest in showing its users the best content.  They’re also clearly suspicious about what most businesses and brands are posting, because they limit us from the start, showing our posts to 10-15% of our followers. According to Miller, most brands don’t do a very good job in social media.  They’re stuck in an old model of pumping out marketing messages, and that’s what they do on Facebook.  You, as an individual, didn’t get on social media to be advertised to!  Neither did your followers.  When you cut and paste your promo liners to Facebook, or try and write to your followers like you talk to your listeners, you’re confirming Mark Zuckerberg’s view that it’s in his interest to block your fans from reading your hype.  Your promos cut down on his users’ time-spent-engaging.  So here’s the secret.  Turn your promotion into content.  To read Chris Miller’s entire article, click here.

rosettiangelaTwo Promotions at Capital Broadcasting’s “Talk 1300 AM” Albany.  Capital Broadcasting president Paulfinnigankate Vandenburgh announces two promotions at the company’s WGDJ, Albany “Talk 1300 AM.”  Angela Rosetti, who has been with the station since it went on the air, becomes operations manager.  At the same time, Kate Finnigan returns to the station and takes on the role of sales manager.  Rosetti is a Siena College graduate and Delmar native.  Finnigan is also a native of the Capital Region having grown up in Glenmont.

wgnlogoOdds & Sods.  Tribune’s WGN, Chicago teams with CME Group to produce “The Markets” podcasts featuring station agribusiness director Orion Samuelson.  Utilizing Samuelson’s expertise, the online podcasts place an emphasis on the agricultural impact on the NYSE, Dow, S&P, Ag markets, commodity prices and weather.  Samuelson provides recaps on the week’s activity and special guest interviews from agricultural professionals.  A full list of “The Markets” podcasts are available at the station’s website and new segments are updated every Friday at 4:00 pm…..Entercom’s KGMZ, San Francisco works out a deal with Compass Media Networks to become the flagship station for Oakland Raiders football.  The package includes pre-game and post-game shows, locker room reaction, and listener phone calls, as well as weekly call-in shows with head coach Dennis Allen and Raiders players.

hoffmanronaldDr. Ronald Hoffman Signs with Media Management Group.  Dr. Ronald Hoffman joins the client roster at Media Management Group.  Dr. Hoffman is a clinician, author, lecturer, media spokesperson and an acknowledged leader in the field of complementary medicine.  His nationally syndicated radio program “Health Talk” is described as “a compelling balance of relatable treatments of complex medical topics and a common sense approach to health issues.”  Media Management Group CEO Jeff Schwartz says, “Dr. Hoffman is a highly respected physician and a great talent, and he has built an impressive media platform.  We’re looking forward to working with him to take everything to the next level.”

pattizstaplescenterNorm Pattiz Representing at the Staples Center.  That’s Courtside Entertainment Group CEO Norm Pattiz pictured at Friday evening’s Lakers-Spurs game at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.  Although the Lakers were swept out of the playoffs on Sunday by San Antonio, Lakers diehard Pattiz was there in his usual courtside seat to offer helpful advice.  On Friday, he was looking good in his brand-new PodcastOne.com t-shirt.  PodcastOne.com is the latest endeavor from the Westwood One founder’s Launchpad Digital Media, which gives people free, easy access to all the best podcasts anytime, anywhere.  On Friday, Launchpad celebrated the launch of the new PodcastOne.com mobile app.  The only free app for Apple and Android that lets consumers access, discover and enjoy all the best podcasts with a simple tap.  Check it out at www.podcastone.com.

obrienbarryBarry O’ Brien Kicks Off New Career in the Palm Beaches.  Many of you know longtime radio industry figure Barry O’ Brien from his two decades of service to the business as VP of sales at the late and legendary trade publication Radio & Records (R&R).  For the last several years Barry has been living happily in semi-retirement in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida where he reportedly has been enjoying the warmth, sunshine and pleasant lifestyle.  Well, it seems the itch to get back into sales has prompted him to get off the lounger back into the action of “sellin’ & buyin’ with Barry O’ Brien.”  Barry tells TALKERS he has launched yet another chapter to his long and colorful career in sales, hooking up with a leading realtor in the region, Keller Williams of the Palm Beaches, where he is now a sales rep.  Anyone in the business looking to buy a property in beautiful Palm Beach County should contact Barry who says, “I have bought and sold so many houses and condos in my life, it is time to share this experience in helping others.”  To reach Barry call 561-320-1057 or email barry@barryobrien.com.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

| March 27, 2013

pittmanbobBob Pittman to Take Over Chairman of the Board Role at Clear Channel.  CC Media Holdings, Inc., in an SEC filing announcing the annual meeting of stockholders on May 17, moves to replace Mark Mays as chairman of the board with current board of directors member and company CEO Bob Pittman.  The filing states, “We believe that having the chief executive officer also serve as our chairman of the board provides us with a clear leadership structure.  As our chairman and chief executive officer, Mr. Pittman will continue to provide our board with insight into our operations and help facilitate the flow of information between management and the board.  Subject to his re-election as a director, Mr. Mays will remain a member of our board and we will continue to benefit from his experience as our previous chief executive officer.”

browns helmetGood Karma’s WKNR and CBS Radio’s WKRK Team Up to Grab Cleveland Browns Football from Clear Channel.  The Cleveland Plain Dealer is reporting that Cleveland Browns football – for years heard onwknrlogo Clear Channel’s rock WMMS and news/talk WTAM – will air on WKNR “ESPN Cleveland” and WKRK “92.3 The Fan” beginning this fall.  Obviously, the unusual aspect of this is WKNR is owned by Craig Karmazin’s Good Karma and WKRK is CBS Radio’s sports outlet in Cleveland – both stations competing for the same listeners.  According to the piece, games will also air on CBS’ classic rock WNCX.  The Plain Dealer reports thatwkrklogo CC, CBS and Good Karma were all bidding for the rights when the latter two decided to work together.  Here’s how it is supposed to happen in the fall: a Rob Chudzinski coach’s show will air (on which station it’s not yet known) and the “Cleveland Browns Daily Show” on WKNR will expand from one hour to two.  Game days will see WKNR broadcast a four-hour pre-game show and WKRK will broadcast a two-hour post-game program.  It is expected that the booth team of Jim Donovan and Doug Dieken will remain in place.

kramerweezieEntercom Ups Weezie Kramer to Station Group President.  Weezie Kramer has been with Entercom as a regional president since 2005.  Now, the company promotes her to station group president putting her in charge of all 121 Entercom radio stations.   In this post she will supervise  Entercom regional presidents Michael Doyle and Deborah Kane and chair the company’s operating committee.  She’ll also continue to be in charge of a number of the company’s 23 markets and report directly to Entercom president and CEO David Field, who says, “For years we have operated with three wonderfully talented regional presidents, but the time has come to align our station group under a single operational leader to drive stronger organizational cohesiveness and effectiveness. In elevating Weezie to this role, we will enhance our coordination and clarity and drive faster decision-making. She will continue to work closely with Deborah Kane and Michael Doyle, providing an outstanding leadership team for our markets.”

stephandougDoug Stephan’s “Good Day Crowdfunding Show” to Put Entrepreneurs in Front of Giant Audience.  Doug Stephan’s nationally syndicated morning radio program – now in its 25th year – is inviting entrepreneurs to the largest crowdfunding pitchfest ever.  In a statement, Doug Stephan says, “‘The Good Day Crowdfunding Show’ brings the buzz of a broadcast radio reality series and pits crowdfunders in a contest judged by crowdsourcing industry thought leaders. hayesmike Entrepreneurs and businesses interested in raising capital, social lending and fundraising websites for their products, charity projects and creative ideas are invited to ‘pitch the experts’ on the first crowdfunding radio reality series.”  Good Day Crowdfunding has launched its own pre-launch to build community where crowdfunders can engage at http://GoodDayCrowdfunding.com.  Inside the community is a unique incubator project, Startup America Crowdfunding, where participants are guided from start to finish through successful money-raising campaigns.  The release continues, “As part of the project, creators of the best ideas will get a shot on the ‘Good Day Crowdfunding Show,’ to pitch their idea to millions in a fast-paced reality format.  The incentive is simple: The better the idea, the more promotion and airtime to over 3 million daily listeners across the US and online.”  The addition of the crowdfunding segment to Stephan’s program comes as the program begins working with Mike Hayes, current host of “StartUp America News” and an expert in entrepreneurship.  Hayes states, “This new reality based radio program is the ‘American Idol’ of crowdfunding.  Our intention is to help boost the impact of crowdfunding on America’s economy by creating and supporting crowdfunding success stories across any available platform.  We want to enable anyone, anywhere to follow, and fund their dream projects.”  Others joining Good Day for this project include: PR expert Ronjini Mukopadhyay, who has been central to several highly successful crowdfunding campaigns including StickNFind; entrepreneur Danny Kastner, a contestant on ‘The Apprentice’ and developer of Crowdjammer, a crowdfunding community solution designed to drive campaign backers to any crowdfunding project; and social impact marketer Robin Eschler, host of “Socially Conscious Investing” online radio and a pro in social lending, impact investing and online marketing.

cookehollandDentists are Prime Prospects for Radio Advertising.  Have you noticed when you visit your friendly family dentist lately that the office has likely evolved from projecting a serious “professional” environment to more “commercial” one with signs promoting elective cosmetic procedures (such as teeth whitening), electric toothbrush sales, awards programs for recruiting new patients and “like us on Facebook” display cards? The fact is, dentistry has changed over the years and today’s young crop of dentists find themselves in a business that requires far more media promotion than their cavity-filling forebears ever thought about (or would consider appropriate).  In a helpful article posted today (3/27) noted radio consultant and TALKERS columnist Holland Cooke sinks his canines into a potentially lucrative sales lead category.  Read it here.

madisonjoeWashington-Based Talker Joe Madison Exits WOL, Washington.  Talk radio personality Joe Madison’s program has been based at SiriusXM for several years and the show was carried by Radio One’s WOL, Washington after the latter had served as Madison’s base for more than a decade.  Now, Madison’s program is off WOL and solely available on SiriusXM’s “The Power” channel.  Radio One doesn’t appear to have a permanent AM drive replacement for Madison yet as midday host Ron Thompson has been sitting in.

finebaumpaulBirmingham Sports Media Personality Paul Finebaum Inks Book Deal.  Former WJOX, Birmingham sports talk host Paul Finebaum has signed a deal with Harper Collins that, according to SBNation.com, will tell the story of his radio show and its effect on the SEC.  Finebuam tells Al.com, “Primarily, it’s about the culture of the show and how the culture of the show interacts with the SEC.  But it does quickly go through my career and how we got to this point.  There will be commentary on why the SEC is better than everyone else.  It will certainly talk about the dominance of not only Alabama, but the conference.  The radio show will be woven in and out of the book, featuring little vignettes on the callers.”  Harper Collins plans to officially announced the deal this week.  Finebaum’s regionally syndicated radio show – now off the air after he left Cumulus Media’s WJOX and is sitting out a non-compete period – was also heard on SiriusXM.  It is expected that once the non-compete period elapses in late April, Finebaum will cross the street and base his program from WZNN, Birmingham “ESPN 97.3 The Zone” which is in the process of being sold by Cox Media Group to SummitMedia.

biakelseyBIA/Kelsey Sees Radio Station Online Growth Rising at Faster Pace.  The media advisory firm reports that, according to its first 2013 Investing in Radio Market Report, “Radio industry over-the-air revenues inched slightly upwards in 2012, increasing to $14.3 billion, a 1.5% change fratrikmarkfrom the year before.”  The company goes on to say that the “slight change is due in large part to the sluggish overall economy for 2012 and the increased competition radio faces in the local media market.”  It notes “station revenue mix will continue to shift somewhat and income from online advertising is expected to rise at a rate of about 10.8% annually over the next five years versus 2.5% from over-the-air.”  For 2013, BIA/Kelsey forecasts over-the-air radio revenues should see 2.3%, or $14.7 billion, again due to the slightly stronger economy.  BIA/Kelsey forecasts radio’s online revenue growth will reach $818 million by 2017, while the industry’s combined total revenue will reach $17 billion by 2017.   Vice president and chief economist Mark Fratrik states, “As the digital marketplace continues to rise in all sectors of advertising, radio is improving its listener engagement online and benefitting from the value of its web and mobile assets.  Overall, the industry is still recognized as an important part of the media mix as it continues to meander around, rising slightly with the rate of inflation but not keeping up with the economy.”

narvaezmonicaArbitron Names Monica Narvaez Hispanic Broadcaster Account Specialist.  In a role newly created, Arbitron Inc. appoints Monica Narvaez Hispanic broadcaster account specialist.  The company reports her duties will include: promoting the power of Spanish-language radio; generating solutions to help address Hispanic radio group needs; and developing programs for Spanish radio group training initiatives.  Narvaez has been with Arbitron for 10 years.  Prior to joining Arbitron she served with Nielsen as a web trainer, working with TV station research directors and sales executives using Scarborough Research.

millerdennisOdds & Sods.  Dial Global’s Dennis Miller interviews former Massachusetts Governor and former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on his nationally syndicated show today (3/27)…..Legendary actor and CRN Digital Talk Radio personality Robert Conrad says he is doing fine despite rumors on the internet this week that he has passed away.  Conrad, who hosts his own show on the network on Thursdays from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm PT, says, “I’m feeling well and in good health so I’m very surprised to hear that I’ve passed away, I must’ve missed that memo.”  The CRN studios received numerous calls from his listeners about the report…..Current.org reports that University of Alabama Birmingham-owned non-commercial WBHM, Birmingham news director Tanya Ott is moving to Georgia to take on the vice president/radio for Georgia Public Broadcasting.

waxylogoThe FCC Approves Move of WAXY-FM, Miami Signal.  Lincoln Financial Media’s acquisition of CBS Radio’s former AC WEAT, West Palm Beach was executed with the intent of bringing the now-WAXY sports talk FM simulcast signal closer to the Miami market.  After Clear Channel objected to the move, the FCC overruled that objection and LFM gets the okay to move the signal to its new city of license Miramar.  The 104.3 signal has been simulcasting WAXY since LFM took control.

njba logoNew Jersey Broadcasters Association Backs FM in Smart Phones.  The New Jersey Broadcasters Association passed a resolution on Tuesday, March 26 at its board meeting in support of the Sprint FM Chip proposal, reaffirming the absolute need to enable all cell phones within the United States to include (and activate) FM receiver capabilities in smartphones and other consumer electronic  devices.   NJBA president Paul Rotella states, “This is a rotellapaulmatter of vital importance to inform and protect our citizens especially in times of natural disaster, severe weather or other emergencies that require the unequalled power of radio to reach the public.”  The NJBA believes that because of the strength of broadcast and the power of the airwaves, local radio and TV stations are often the only available communications medium during disaster situations.  Rotella continues, “New Jersey Broadcasters see the value of making radio receivers available and installed in all telecommunications devices owned and used by the public, foremost of those is the ‘smart phone’ and, therefore, the New Jersey Broadcasters Association supports the agreement with Sprint to produce and sell over 30 million smart phones in three years with fully functional FM radio receivers as part of their ‘smart Phones’ and service for same.”

SCOTUS Gay Marriage Arguments, Costs of ObamaCare, North Korea Threats, Euro Zone Jitters, Dow Continues to Soar, and Amanda Knox Re-Trial Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/26).  The debate over the legality of gay marriage as the Supreme Court hears arguments; the costs of the Affordable Care Act; North Korea’s military threats; uncertainty in the euro zone after the Cyprus affair; the still-soaring Dow; and the Italian court’s ruling to re-try Amanda Knox were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

| March 5, 2013

cbsradio logoLes Moonves Still Says CBS Likes Radio.  If CBS is interested in selling its radio properties, CBS president and CEO Les Moonves isn’t spilling the beans.  CBS presented at Deutsche Bank’s DbAccess 21st Annual moonveslesMedia and Telecom Conference yesterday and when asked by Deutsche Bank’s Douglas Mitchelson about the flat performance of radio in general, Moonves said the company still likes radio for its cash.  “We like radio.  Once again, low-single digit growth, revenue, OIBDA.  It’s still a very great cash business with great margins.  We still like running it.  We have no intent to sell it as many people are watching terrestrial radio today as watching 10 years ago, even with all these things going on with satellite and everything else.  It is what it is.  We like the business, it produces cash every year.  We like having the amount of cash we have, where our balance sheet is certainly in great shape, partially because of radio.”

wjox logoCumulus-Cox Suit Over Birmingham Sports Programmer Settle; PD Returns to WJOX.  The battle between sports talkers WJOX – owned by Cumulus Media – and crosstown start-up WZNN – owned by Cox Media Group but soon to be officially acquired by SummitMedia along with Cox’s other Birmingham stations – has been a hotbed of legal action over the past couple of years.  But as the closing by SummitMedia on WZNN “97.3 The Zone” nears, one battle appears to have been settled.  Programmer Ryan Haney – who jumped from WJOX to WZNN back in late January only to have his move challenged in court by Cumulus – returns to WJOX.  The Birmingham News reports neither side is commenting on any such deal.  Haney’s contract had expired more than two years ago but he’d been working as an at-will employee.  He left WJOX the same day popular sports talk personality Paul Finebaum left at the expiration of his contract.  Finebaum is not working in the business as he is expected to join WZNN after his non-compete expires.

cookehollandSo, You Want to be Syndicated?  Noted radio consultant and TALKERS columnist Holland Cooke says, “I can help you…but first, can I talk you out of it?  Even though being syndicated seems to be the dream of most local or even wannabe radio talk show hosts, having your show run on a string of stations around the country is a goal that 1) is extremely difficult to attain; and 2) might not be worth the effort at this point in the industry’s evolution.  Read Holland Cooke’s fascinating, eye-opening explanation of what you will be facing, in addition to suggesting workable and realistic alternatives, in a blunt, informative article by clicking here.

greggcherriKYW, Philadelphia Promotes Cherri Gregg to Community Affairs Reporter.  CBS Radio all-news KYW, Philadelphia ups reporter Cherri Gregg to community affairs reporter.  In this new role, Gregg will be shedding light on the numerous issues, neighborhoods and area leaders affecting community life in the Delaware Valley across a variety of time periods for the station.  Gregg joined KYW in 2011 as a general assignment reporter while completing a Masters in Journalism at Temple University.  She came to the station from the legal field where she had practiced for eight years at two Am-Law 100 law firms.  The company says that although she enjoyed the practice of law, her true passion is reporting on stories that matter to the community.  In January 2010, she quit her job at a top Philadelphia law firm to pursue her passion full time.  Director of news and programming Steve Butler states, “Cherri has been a terrific addition to the KYW Newsradio staff and we’re pleased she will be focusing on developing stories from the grass roots,  Covering all aspects of the Delaware Valley community is job-one for our staff, and we’re glad to have her continue that Newsradio legacy.”

granatopendergastKGOW, Houston Shuffles Lineup; Granato and Pendergast to PM Drive.  The lineup at Gow Broadcasting’s KGOW, Houston will feature Yahoo! Sports Radio morning personality Steve Czaban and current AM drivers John Granato and Sean Pendergast will move to the PM drive slot beginning Monday, March 11.  The Houston Chronicle reports Adam Clanton and John Wessling – the afternoon drive team since last August have exited the station.  In the Chronicle piece, owner David Gow addresses the station’s recent poor ratings which have failed to have the station appear in the most recent survey.  “We look forward to our ratings coming back up with this lineup.  We’ve been frustrated with the Arbitron results for a period of months. But the driving factor is the chance to put together this new lineup that will roll out on Monday.”  Czaban will be followed by DIRECTV/Fox Sports Radio’s Dan Patrick with John Harris hosting the 11:00 am to 3:00 pm program.

sportsusaOdds & Sods.  Sports USA is presenting exclusive national terrestrial radio coverage of all three legs of horse racing’s Triple Crown.  The company is partnering with Mike Penna’s Horse Racing Radio Network for the events.  Each two-hour broadcast will begin at 5:00 pm ET and will feature the live call of each race from the track announcer along with live trackside reports…..ESPN Radio’s Championship Week coverage begins with the inaugural “Greenberg & Greenberg in the Morning” show this Friday, March 8 from 6:00 am to 10:00 am ET where Mike Greenberg will be joined by former Virginia Tech men’s head basketball coach Seth Greenberg for a hoops-heavy, four-hour broadcast.  The network is also airing the Big 12 Semifinals and Championship as well as every game of the ACC Tournament……SiriusXM teams former NFL QB Rich Gannon with Bruce Murray for “The SiriusXM Blitz” program that airs weekdays from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm ET on its NFL Radio channel.

elswickcapitolA Capitol Idea.  KARN-FM, Little Rock afternoon drive host and program director Dave Elswick is hosting live broadcasts twice per week from the Arkansas State Capitol in order to keep his listeners up-to-date on the latest state political news (and, of course, Dave’s opinions concerning said news!).  Pictured here at a recent broadcast from the capitol building are (from l-r): guest host Laurie Lee, Elswick, Saline County Clerk Dennis Milligan, and Arkansas Tea Party activist David Crowe.

Sequestration Issue, North Korea Threats/Dennis Rodman Remarks, Iran Nuclear Build-Up, Surging Dow, and Jeb Bush in 2016 Rumors Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/4).  The ongoing sequestration issue; North Korea’s threats against South Korea and Dennis Rodman’s cozying up to Kim Jong-Un; Iran’s nuclear build-up; the surging Dow Jones industrial average; and Jeb Bush’s not ruling out a run for president in 2016 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, February 15, 2013

| February 15, 2013

nms2013logoSean Hannity to Host Breakfast Social and Deliver Morning Kick-Off Address at TALKERS New York 2013.  In what has become an annual tradition at the national TALKERS conference, Premiere Networks and Fox News Channel talk superstar hannityseanSean Hannity will again host a major networking event and deliver the morning kick-off address at the annual TALKERS conference.  In making the announcement TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “We all get to see a side of Sean that he saves for his colleagues in the industry – one of the most knowledgeable, articulate, and charismatic experts on the nuts and bolts of the business of spoken-word radio.  When Sean shows up at this event and addresses the industry on the state of ratings, research, advertising, affiliate relations and all the behind-the-scenes issues with which we as an industry are concerned, the left-versus-right paradigm that so dominates our airwaves disappears and it becomes apparent just what a broadcast industry statesman we have within our ranks.  He is a tremendous asset to this important gathering as well as the business of radio and television.”  Hannity will be one of a stellar lineup of industry luminaries being scheduled to speak at the event with more details of the roster and agenda to be announced next week.  Registrations for the 16th annual TALKERS New York City Conference are on sale now!  Save the date:  Thursday, June 6, 2013.  Formerly called “The New Media Seminar” the event – now simply titled “TALKERS New York 2013” – will again take place at the comfortable and modern Concierge Conference Center on Manhattan’s East Side.  It will be a power-packed, full day of special addresses, panels, presentations, and social networking opportunities tackling the key issues facing talk radio and its relationship with the new talk media (internet, satellite, cable TV) as well as existential general radio industry issues including music radio and the changing role of the disc jockey.  According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “This will be a TALKERS conference for the new era.  Our presentation this year will be so fresh and vital to the survival and ‘thrival’ of the business that we actually are moving beyond the title ‘New Media Seminar.’  It is not to be missed.”  As indicated, registrations are now on sale. A full registration entitling the attendee to all presentation and food events is $199.  Due to the pressures of limited space and seating, there are no partial registrations.  This event is traditionally a rapid sellout.  IMPORTANT: Registration will be limited to members of the working media only and can only be taken over the phone.  For registration and sponsorship information call 413-565-5413.  Stay tuned for specific agenda details right here at Talkers.com.

coxmediagroupThe Price Tag for Cox Media’s Stations Going to SummitMedia: $66.25 million; Connoisseur to Pay $40 million.  The paperwork for the deal between Cox Media Group and the two buyers of its properties in six markets is being filed and now we know the price tags.  SummitMedia will pay $66. 25 million for the former’s radio properties in five markets.  The stations SummitMedia is in the process of acquiring are: Birmingham (WAGG-AM, WBHJ-FM, WBHK-FM, WENN-AM, WZZK-FM, WZNN-FM, WBPT-FM, and CMG’s contract rights for WALJ-FM); Greenville, South Carolina (WJMZ-FM, WHZT-FM); Hawaii (KRTR-AM/FM, KPHW-FM, KCCN-FM, KINE-FM, KKNE-AM); Louisville (WRKA-FM, WVEZ-FM, WSFR-FM, WQNU-FM); and Richmond (WHTI-FM, WKHK-FM, WKLR-FM, WURV-FM).  Connoisseur will pay $40 million for the Southern Connecticut stations that include: WPLR-FM, WEZN-FM, WFOX-FM, and contract rights for WYBC-FM.

rabRAB: Radio Up 4% in 2012 Q4.  According to a report by the Radio Advertising Bureau, radio ended 2012 on a high note with Q4 revenue up 4% over 2011 comps, to $4.34 billion.  The report notes this was the highest growth recorded over the past eight quarters and since the strong rebound gains registeredRABKaplan chart throughout 2010.  Full-year spending was up for the third consecutive year and totaled $16.482 billion (an increase of 1% over 2011).  RAB president and CEO Erica Farber says, “The resurgent automotive industry and the closely-contested presidential political race provided the main impetus for 2012’s positive spot performance.  Our medium also enjoyed strong increases in Q4 spending by advertisers in the key communications and financial services categories.”  The chart here shows comparisons of spot, digital and off-air.

cbsradioCBS Radio Reports 2012 Q4 Revenue Up 1%.  Most of the talk during the CBS conference call yesterday was about television.  Not surprising since that’s where CBS is performing extremely well.  The talk of CBS possibly selling its radio division did not come up as it has so often in the past.  In fact, CEO Les Moonves’ only mention of radio during the call was in connecting the new CBS Sports Radio Network to Super Bowl programming when he said, “The Super Bowl was also very good for us in radio, where we debuted our CBS Sports Radio network just a few weeks before the game.  When we announced this venture last year, we had less than 100 affiliates. Now we’re already at 250.  The Super Bowl was a tremendous launching pad for this franchise, and we look forward to good things to come.”

knstlogoClear Channel Breaks Up AM/FM Simulcast of News/Talk KNST, Tucson.  It looks like Clear Channel is going to leave news/talk on FM in Tucson to Journal’s crosstown KQTH “104.1 The Truth.”  A new country format debuted on KNST FM – “Wild Country 97.1” – ending the AM/FM simulcast of the news/talk format that’s been in effect since November of 2011.  News/talk remains the format on the AM 790 frequency.

ballentinewarrenAttorney and Talk Radio Personality Warren Ballentine Pleads Not Guilty in Bank Fraud Case.  Lawyer and former Syndication One talk radio personality Warren Ballentine pleaded “not guilty” in U.S. District Court of Northern Illinois.  He faces multiple charges of fraud after begin charged by a federal grand jury with two counts of bank fraud, two counts of making false statements to lenders, and one count each of mail fraud and wire fraud.  The indictment is seeking a forfeiture of some $9,775,000.  Ballentine hosted a nationally syndicated midday program distributed by Syndication One but the program was cancelled after the news of his indictment went public.

tantarosandreaTRN’s Andrea Tantaros Picking Up Affiliates at Steady Clip.  On the heels of her positive write-up in the New York Observer, Fox News Channel and Talk Radio Network personality Andrea Tantaros is adding new affiliates and getting praise from existing affiliate PDs, reports TRN CEO Mark Masters.  Yesterday, TALKERS reported the Observer story that profiled Tantaros as one of the cast members of FNC’s “The Five” and host of her own syndicated talk radio program.  Tantaros filled the slot left vacant by the departure of Laura Ingraham from the TRN lineup and programmers, including KENZ, Reno’s Sean Patrick are pleased with her performance.  Patrick says, “Andrea Tantaros is a fabulous addition to our lineup.  She is the breath of fresh air that conservative talk radio has been lacking, a female perspective that is conversational.  She is a rising star in the format and we are proud to have her on our station.”  Buckley Radio of Connecticut VP/GM Eric Fahnoe states, “We’re thrilled with the lively and engaging perspective that the Andrea Tantaros show brings to ‘The Talk of Connecticut’ station lineup.  Andrea’s fresh presentation addresses contemporary issues and perfectly aligns with the direction we wanted to take our programming in 2013!”

webbhuckabeeThis Year, Jerusalem. The Middle East is a non-stop, hot-spot of political, ethnic and social intrigue replete with complex nuances often lost in the day-to-day mainstream press - making it a valuable destination for talk show hosts to do first-hand, fact-finding missions and live broadcasts with a parade of fascinating interviews.  In the past decade, America’s Voices in Israel, with advice from TALKERS magazine, has sponsored dozens of radio talk show hosts representing a spectrum of political perspectives on such trips to the Holy Land.  SiriusXM Patriot Channel host David Webb is broadcasting fromwebbTALKERS Israel this week on one such journey where he met up with Fox News Channel and Cumulus Radio host Mike Huckabee in Jerusalem in addition to interviewing numerous leaders of government, industry, health, arts and science. Webb (right) and Huckabee (left) are pictured above previewing the upcoming U.S. presidential visit to Israel in March.  Webb is also pictured (at right) in the radio broadcasting studio of the Jerusalem Post holding an old copy of TALKERS magazine on display featuring a cover shot of TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and syndicated host Doug Stephan meeting with Israel’s current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

brownscottOdds & Sods.  Former Massachusetts Republican Senator Scott Brown is the newest contributor to join Fox News Channel.  Brown served the final two years of the term of the late Ted Kennedy before losing a re-election bid to Elizabeth Warren.  Fox EVP of programming Bill Shine says, “Senator Brown’s dedication to out-of-the box thinking on key issues makes him an important voice in the country and we are looking forward to his contributions across all Fox News platforms.”…..Two daytime TV talk shows have bitten the dust within the last week.  “The Ricki Lake Show” was canceled by Twentieth Television and just yesterday the Los Angeles Times reported “The Jeff Probst Show” is being canceled at the end of its second season.

State of the Union Address Top News/Talk Story for Week of February 11.  According to the ongoing research from TALKERS, the president’s State of the Union address was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio, landing atop the Talkers TenTM for the week of February 11-15.  Following at #2 was the Christopher Dorner case.  At #3 was the sequester deadline tied with deficit reduction and the Chuck Hagel and Jack Lew hearings were tied 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 published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.