Tag: "Talk Host"

Thursday, October 25, 2018

| October 25, 2018

Talk Host Lars Larson at Center of Gun Rights Issue in Portland.  According to a piece on Campus Reform’s website, KXL, Portland-based radio talk show host Lars Larson was required by the administration of Portland State University to promise not to bring his permitted gun (legal in Oregon) to a Second Amendment event on the campus being sponsored by the PSU College Republicans.  Larson was vocally critical of the school for making the request and for threatening the College Republicans if they invited Larson knowing he would bring his conceal carry weapon.  Ultimately, the group cancelled the event.  Larson is quoted saying he fought the school’s request for obvious reasons.  “It would be the height of hypocrisy, for me to say ‘I’m going to go talk to these kids about the importance of their Second Amendment rights,’ while voluntarily forfeiting mine.”  Larson also tells Campus Reform he plans to do a broadcast from the school.  “Later this week, my producer and I will walk up, sit down in the student union, and I’m gonna do five or 10 minutes on a Facebook Live stream, explaining the entire background.  I cannot speak to the students unless I give up my civil rights, I cannot do the broadcast that I wanted to do, and the students have been threatened.”

Nielsen Reports Q3 Financials; Net Income Down 32.4%. Ratings and consumer research giant Nielsen Holdings plc releases financial data for the third quarter of 2018 and reports revenue of $1.6 billion, down 2.5%, or 0.6% on a constant currency basis, compared to the third quarter of 2017.  Free cash flow for the third quarter of 2018 decreased to $266 million, compared to $425 million in the third quarter of 2017.  The company’s audio ratings service falls under its Watch segment and for the third quarter, Audio revenue dipped 1.6%, from $127 million in 2017 to $125 million in Q3 of 2018.  However, the company reports “Audience Measurement of Video and Text revenues increased 4.7%, or 5.2% on a constant currency basis, due to continued client adoption of our Total Audience Measurement system and our ongoing investments, including Gracenote.”  Nielsen executive chairman Jim Attwood says, “The third quarter revenue and earnings are consistent with our updated 2018 guidance despite a number of near-term challenges in our markets.  We have a number of key initiatives and actions that we are pursuing to improve our future outlook.  Together with the board of directors, we are aligned on a set of operational priorities to drive the business forward. In addition, the board of directors, with the assistance of our advisors and management team, is focused on the expanded strategic review that we announced in September, which includes a broad review of strategic alternatives for Nielsen and its businesses.”

SiriusXM’s Jim Meyer on Pandora Acquisition. During yesterday’s third quarter investor conference call, SiriusXM chief executive officer Jim Meyer talked about the company’s bid to acquire streaming pure play Pandora. He said the two platforms have the ability to cross-promote.  He adds that the goal, obviously, is not to convince paying SiriusXM subscribers to leave for a cheaper or free version of Pandora.  “At SiriusXM, we are running about 23 million trials in new and used cars this year.  And the truth, as the flip side of our conversion statistics will tell you, is that most people don’t want to pay for radio at the end of the day.  I feel there is a strong opportunity if we can link non-converters back to a Pandora or maybe a Pandora with a bit more content in a way that makes our combined business bigger, better, and more profitable. There are many ways we believe that one plus one will exceed two very quickly and we plan to give you additional color on that over the next few months.”  The company is still waiting for anti-trust approval from the FTC and Justice Department before meetings with Pandora can affect any change there, but it is downplaying the synergies that might be realized from a combined operation. Meyer adds, “Last week, while I was out in Oakland for a Pandora board meeting, I had the privilege of speaking with a large group of Pandora’s talented employees.  It was fantastic to talk about our shared future, what we can do with all of our financial resources, vast troves of data, unmatched content, enormous user bases, and some of the most talented people in radio and technology.  I am confident that together, these two companies will be even stronger.”

TALKERS News Notes. Detroit’s “910 AM Superstation” – Kevin Adell -owned WFDF – brings local media personality Charlie LeDuff aboard to host a weekly, one-hour program airing Mondays at 4:00 pm, titled, “No BS News Hour.”  LeDuff is a former Detroit News and WJBK-TV, Detroit reporter.  The weekly show is being designed as a companion to LeDuff’s Michigan-focused podcast of the same title.  LeDuff says, “If you suffer from insomnia, I recommend you watch the news.  If you want the news, I recommend you tune into the ‘No BS News Hour.’ Original reporting, nowhere else.”…..The “Motley Fool Money” with host Chris Hill adds new affiliates news/talk KGVO-AM/FM and KMPT-AM “Montana’s Progressive Talk” in Missoula for the weekly program. Hill tells TALKERS magazine that the addition of the Townsquare Media stations puts the program at the 52-affiliate mark…..SiriusXM is adding “The Dan Abrams Show: Where Politics Meets The Law” to its P.O.T.U.S. channel programming, effective October 29.  The ABC News chief legal analyst will host a show that will “analyze the biggest news stories of the day from a legal perspective.”  Abrams says, “The legal side of news stories is more important and prominent than ever. I’m thrilled to have this opportunity on SiriusXM to really dig in and separate the legal realities from the wishful spin for listeners and people calling in to the show.”…..New York Public Radio names longtime Viacom executive Depelsha McGruder chief operating officer.  McGruder was most recently senior vice president of programming for BET Networks.  NYPR operates not only public radio news/talk WNYC-AM/FM, but WNYC Studios and New Jersey Public Radio, as well…..Legendary college basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski is hosting the premiere episode of the 14th season of his SiriusXM talk show, “Basketball and Beyond with Coach K,” tonight at 6:00 pm ET.

SRN’s Larry Elder to Attend Meeting of Young Black Conservatives at Trump White House. According to a report in the New York Post, President Trump will entertain a group of hundreds of young, black conservatives gathered for the Young Black Leadership Summit, an event produced by Turning Point USA.  Also attending this evening’s kick-off of the conference will be Salem Radio Network talk show host Larry Elder and actress-turned-conservative-pundit Stacey DashDonald Trump Jr. will also speak to the group this evening, as will HUD Director Ben Carson.

Pipe Bombs Sent to Top Democrats and CNN; Financial Markets Activity, Midterm Elections, Migrant Caravan, Mega Millions Jackpot, Khashoggi Murder Aftermath, Halloween ‘Blackface’ Issue, NFL Action, and World Series Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/24). The news of pipe bombs sent to CNN and top Democrats including the Obamas and the Clintons; the Dow loses 600 points and the activity in other world financial markets; the November midterm elections and the battle for control of the House and the Senate; the migrant caravan making its way through Mexico to the U.S. border; one winning ticket in South Carolina is sold for the $1.6 billion Mega Millions lottery; the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and U.S.-Saudi relations; the issue of schools warning students not to dress in blackface for Halloween; the week’s NFL action; and the World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Boston Red Sox 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. Seattle CHR KBKS-FM “106.1 KISS FM” is stunting in preparation for a format change.  The stunt began on Wednesday with jockless programming peppered with mysteriously worded sweepers teasing the change.  The status of the air staff with owner iHeartMedia is not known but numerous reports indicate AM drive personality Bender has exited…..Entercom hot AC KHMX “Mix 96.5” promotes afternoon drive personality Jason Cage music director, effective immediately.  He’ll continue hosting his 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm program.  Entercom Houston SVP and market manager Sarah Frazier says, “Jason has proven to be a very valuable contributor to the overall sound and feel of KHMX and has helped to lead culture here at Entercom Houston.  We are excited to elevate him to the role of music director.”…..As a result of the flip of SummitMedia’s WJSR, Richmond from classic hits to adult hits as “Jack FM,” morning show team Bill Bevins and Shelly Perkins exits after a four-year stint.

Monday, October 22, 2018

| October 22, 2018

Jim Villanucci Returns to Albuquerque Air on ‘ESPN 101.7 The Team.’ Former longtime KKOB-AM, Albuquerque talk show host Jim Villanucci returns to the air in the market on Team Broadcasting’s sports talk KQTM-FM “ESPN Radio 101.7 The Team” today from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  Villanucci left KKOB in 2013 after 14 years on the air there.  After exiting KKOB, he hosted shows at KXNT, Las Vegas and KXL, Portland.  Team Broadcasting president Joe O’Neill says, “The range of this show is as unlimited as Jim’s talent.  Of course, there will be sports but Jim will jump into current events, pop culture, and anything a listener – or Jim – wants to talk about.”  Villanucci’s show fills the slot left by the recent retirement of Bob Brown, host of “The Locker Room.”  O’Neill adds, “This is an exciting and dynamic addition to our station.  We are fortunate to have a person with Jim’s talent, intellect, and humor who also is familiar with the Albuquerque and New Mexico culture.  I’m certain that Jim’s thousands of fans share our excitement.” Villanucci says, “It’s great to be back in New Mexico.  I’m humbled by this opportunity.  I’m excited to catch up with the audience I gained over my 14 years of radio here.  Trust me, the best is yet to come.”

Hofstra University Communications Students Spend Day at iHeartMedia New York. On Friday (10/19), a group of students from The Lawrence Herbert School of Communication at Hofstra University spent the day with industry professionals at iHeartMedia’s New York station group.  The group included members of the two-time NAB Marconi Radio Award-winning college station WRHU “88.7 FM Radio Hofstra University” as well as students enrolled in the Department of Radio, TV, Film’s “Radio Industry in the Digital Age” course. The students toured the iHeartMedia studios and met with vice president of digital operations Tony Molaee, digital content coordinator Allie Gold, WLTW local sales manager Hetal Raythattha, senior account manager Jody Berger Wenig, WAXQ program director Eric Wellman, WKTU program director Rob Miller, iHeartRadio associate producer Mark Wiener; WHTZ “Z100” personalities Maxwell, Brady, and Shelly Rome, WWPR jock DJ Whutever, WOR talk host Mark Simone, promotions director Danielle Dellilo, The Weiss Agency EVP Heather Cohen, and iHeartMedia Markets Group division president Scott Hopeck.  (Berger Wenig, Wiener, DJ Whutever, Dellilo, and Cohen are all Hofstra alumni.)  The visit also included a performance by current Herbert School student Jenna Rose at the iHeartRadio Dunkin’ Donuts Iced Coffee Lounge.  Pictured above are (from l-r): Adria Marlowe, associate dean, The Lawrence Herbert School of Communication; Wiener; Hopeck; Cohen; Mark Lukasiewicz, Dean, The Lawrence Herbert School of Communication; John Mullen, Director of Operations, and Dellilo.

Inaugural iHeartRadio Podcast Awards Takes Place on January 18. This first-ever iHeartRadio Podcast Awards will take place on Friday, January 18 at the iHeartRadio Theater in Los Angeles and will be hosted by “Stuff You Missed in History Class” co-host Holly Frey, “Breakfast Club” cast member Charlamagne Tha God, morning personality Bobby Bones, and syndicated host Mario Lopez.  The panel of judges will include industry leaders from Gimlet, iHeartMedia, NPR, Parcast, PRX, Tenderfoot TV, Wondery, and others.  iHeartMedia podcasting division president Conal Byrne states, “Podcasting has roared onto the audio scene creating the most excitement since the advent of streaming music services.  The iHeartRadio Podcast Awards will provide a forum to celebrate the high-caliber, creative content that has made podcasting a major new audio category – and that truly reflects America’s favorite podcasts, voted by the listeners themselves.  We look forward to hosting this transformative, annual event and encouraging everyone in the podcasting industry to push the envelope and inspire even more creators in this space.”  Voting by listeners will decide 17 of the 22 categories with the panel of judges to select the winners in the following five categories: Podcast of the Year, Breakout Podcast, Best Branded Podcast, Best Social Impact from Podcast/Host and Podcast Innovator Award.

Sean Spicer-Katie Pavlich Podcast Launches Today on Radio.com. This podcast is a continuation of the pilot episodes launched by the duo in June.  Former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer and political commentator Katie Pavlich are debuting the “Everything’s Going to be All Right” podcast today on Entercom’s Radio.com platform.  The 12-episode weekly podcast will feature Spicer and Pavlich discussing the latest political news and issues surrounding the country as Americans prepare to head to the polls in three weeks. The program is being produced by Entercom program director Joe Zarbano.  Entercom SVP and general manager Pam Russo says, “We are excited to welcome Sean and Katie back to Radio.com and hear their informative take on current events.  Their intimate knowledge of today’s political landscape and expertise will provide listeners with a timely and diverse perspective.”

TALKERS News Notes. When the 2018 World Series gets underway tomorrow night in Boston, ESPN Radio will be broadcasting the game between the AL champion Red Sox and the NL champion Dodgers with Dan Shulman and Chris Singleton calling every pitch and on-field reports coming from Buster OlneyMarc Kestecher will lead into each broadcast with 60-minutes of pre-game coverage that will include reports from Tim Kurkjian and Olney.  ESPN Deportes Radio is presenting coverage in Spanish with Orlando “El Duque” Hernández, Renato Bermudez, and José Francisco Rivera…..This Wednesday (10/24), Federal Emergency Management Agency, in coordination with iHeartMedia, is hosting the unveiling of the modernization project of iHeartMedia’s WLW-AM, Cincinnati “NewsRadio 700.”  WLW is one of 77 stations across the country that serve as National Public Warning System (NPWS) Primary Entry Point (PEP) stations, participating with FEMA to provide emergency alert and warning information to the public before, during, and after incidents and disasters.  As directed by Congress in the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) Modernization Act of 2015, FEMA, which manages IPAWS, launched an effort to upgrade PEP stations.  These stations are designed and hardened to withstand various natural and man-made events to ensure continuity of operations.  WLW-AM is the second station in the country to complete the upgrade, which includes increased sheltering capabilities, expanded broadcast capacity, and sustainable power generation for all types of hazardous events.

BFoA’s 2019 Golden Mike Award Goes to Perry A. Sook.  The president and chief executive officer of Nexstar, Perry A. Sook, will receive the 2019 Golden Mike Award from the Broadcasters Foundation of America at a ceremony at the Plaza Hotel in New York City on Wednesday, March 6, 2019.  Upon learning of this honor, Sook said, “There is no greater testament to broadcasters’ commitment to public service than in times of emergency.  From hurricanes to wildfires, news teams across the country consistently brave extremely dangerous conditions to deliver lifesaving news coverage and information to local communities.  Many of us at Nexstar have experienced firsthand the devastating effects and extensive damage caused by severe weather and other unforeseen events.  That is why we are proud to support the important work of the Broadcasters Foundation in providing both one-time emergency aid and ongoing monthly grants to help our colleagues most in need.  I would like to thank Dan Mason and the Broadcasters Foundation for this prestigious Golden Mike Award and the more than 9,000 Nexstar employees who share in this great honor for the work they do each day to make a positive difference in their local communities.”  BFoA chairman Dan Mason says, “Perry has led the growth of Nexstar with vision and resolve that has benefited the entire television industry.  As a member of our Board, he has championed our mission of helping broadcasters in acute need and spread the word about the assistance we can provide. He is admired among his colleagues, and it is a privilege to honor him.”

Legal Gender Definition Issue, U.S. to Exit Nukes Treaty, Trump-Russia Investigation, Migrant Caravan, the Khashoggi Death Case, Midterm Elections, New Halloween Film, NFL Action, and MLB Playoffs-World Series Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The Trump Administration’s plan to create a legal gender definition based on a person’s genitalia at birth; the U.S. plan to leave the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia; the Robert Mueller-led Trump-Russia investigation probes Roger Stone’s Wikileaks contacts; the growing Honduran migrant caravan enters Mexico; the aftermath of the slaying of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi; the November midterm elections and the battle to control the House and Senate; the latest Halloween installment rules the weekend box office; the weekend’s NFL action; and the MLB playoffs and the World Series were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Twin Cities CHR KDWB, owner iHeartMedia extends its deal with morning show host Dave Ryan (center) and co-hosts Steve-O (right) and Falen (left). Ryan celebrated his 25th anniversary as morning host of the station back in June and iHeartMedia says this deal will keep the “Dave Ryan in the Morning Show” on air as “one of the most popular shows in the Twin Cities.” Ryan will also continue his role as a talent mentor for iHeartMedia where he is “helping to develop the next generation of on-air talent and personalities.”  KDWB program director Rich Davis adds, “Dave Ryan is a Twin Cities institution and I’m so glad he will continue to anchor mornings for KDWB.  He’s a true talent whose hard work, entertaining topics, and views on pop culture have kept him beloved by listeners and fans and at the top of the ratings for so many years.”…..At Townsquare Media’s country KAWO-FM, Boise, brand manager Rich Summers exits the station after four years.  Operations manager Jeff Connell is handling programming duties while Summers’ replacement is sought.

Monday, November 6, 2017

| November 6, 2017

iHeartMedia Puts Three Stations in Divestiture Trust.  The deal that iHeartMedia struck with Entercom to swap stations in the Seattle and Boston markets is forcing iHM to put three stations in the newly created Ocean Station Trust LLC in order to comply with ownership caps.  Those stations are: alt rocker KFOO, Centralia, Washington (Tacoma market); rhythmic CHR KUBE, Eatonville, Washington (Tacoma market); and news/talk WKOX, Everett, Massachusetts (Boston market).

iHM Will Not Assume WBZ-AM, Boston’s SAG-AFTRA Contracts.  This is not the news that union staffers at CBS RADIO’s all-news WBZ-AM, Boston want to hear as they prepare to become part of the iHeartMedia family, under an LMA until the deal closes (probably in January).  That LMA could happen as soon as the 17th of this month.  According to a piece in the Boston Globe, SAG-AFTRA has received notice from iHeartMedia that not only will staffers at WBZ-AM have to interview for their current jobs, but iHM says it will not assume the two collective bargaining agreements between SAG-AFTRA and CBS RADIO.  SAG-AFTRA’s Boston-based official Tom Higgins tells the paper that iHM officials who visited the station said they want a “seamless” transition, but says that contract issue “doesn’t sound like seamless.”  Higgins says the union plans to meet with iHeartMedia officials this week. Read the Globe piece here.

Salem Names Ed Martin Afternoon Host at ‘The Answer’ in St. Louis.  He’s the co-author of The Conservative Case for Trump (Regnery 2016) and the former Missouri Republican Party chairman.  Salem reports that Ed Martin will assume the 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm show on KXFN-AM/K287BY “1380 AM and 105.3 FM The Answer” next Monday (11/13).  It’ll be called “The Ed Martin Movement” and Salem St. LouisVP/GM Greg Lhamon states, “We looked at a lot of options for afternoons, but no other talk host had their finger on the pulse of national, statewide, and local politics like Ed Martin.  He’s smart and savvy and will force politicians to stay on their toes.  And as a CNN political contributor, he brings a global perspective to talk radio that is sorely missing in St. Louis.”  The press release also states: “Formally trained as a lawyer and ethicist, Ed is the hand-picked successor of Phyllis Schlafly as head of her ‘Eagles.'”

Bill Handel Records Apology to Rep. Wilson.  Under fire for referring to U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson (in connection with the TrumpMyesia Johnson story) as a “cheap, sleazy Democrat whore” on his KFI, Los Angeles morning radio show, Bill Handel recorded an apology that has aired on the station.  But lead critic Janmyne Cannick – a self-described commentator – says it’s too little, too late.  In a story published by LA Weekly, Cannick – who’s been leading the efforts to see Handel punished for his use of the word “whore” in connection with Wilson – tells the paper, “If KFI can suspend afternoon drive hosts John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou (John and Ken) for one-week following their calling Whitney Houston a ‘crack ho,’ then Bill Handel – KFI’s prized morning drive host who called a sitting member of Congress a ‘cheap, sleazy, Democrat whore’ on live air – should get nothing less.”  Read the LA Weekly piece here.

‘Florida Sports Talk’ Duo Re-Brand as ‘Gainesville Ocala All Talk.’  The sports talk multi-cast that Florida Sportstalk LLC is operating in the Gainesville-Ocala market is re-branding and will take on a more “talk radio” approach.  The stations that made up “Florida Sports Talk” are” WMOP, Ocala; WGGG, Gainesville; translator W221DX at 92.1 FM; and WGOT-LP, Gainesville.  The station is now called Gainesville Ocala All Talk “The GOAT FM.”  On its Facebook page, the company says the change is being made “in response to [the stations’] growing voice in the region pertaining to news and social events and based on the feedback from followers and the fan base…[to assure that] our branding more accurately reflects our voice, impact, and prominence in the communities we serve.”  Former WSKY, Ocala talk host Chip Morris is being added to the programming lineup for morning drive.  Stations OM Don DePew Jr. comments, “We were thrilled to see our voice and impact grow as we provided a voice of calm and grace through recent social issues that crossed from sports to everyday life.  Our adjustment in brand to this new reality is a step forward in this regard.  We are further excited to have Chip Morris bring his experience and influence in our region to our team.  We look forward to the days ahead as we bring Gainesville Ocala All Talk to you, our listeners.”

iHeartMedia Promotes Ashlock and Adkins.  Executives Greg Ashlock and Hartley Adkins have been promoted by iHeartMedia in what the company calls “the next step in the evolution of the iHeartMedia Markets Group.”  Ashlock, who has been president of iHeartMedia Markets Group West Division, is upped to president of the iHeartMedia Markets Group.  Adkins, who most recently served as president of Northeast Division and Corporate Operations for the iHeartMedia Markets Group, is now president of Integrated Revenue Strategy.  Ashlock is now managing the entire iHeartMedia Markets Group, including the company’s more than 850 radio stations in over 150 markets.  The company says the consolidation under one leader will allow iHeartMedia to move quicker, be more responsive, communicate more clearly and best serve both listeners and advertisers based on each market’s unique needs.  In his newly created role, Adkins will join the corporate group in New York and will be responsible for working with group heads and other corporate leaders to help develop innovative revenue initiatives that scale across multiple platforms, as well as new strategic solutions specifically for the Markets Group that utilize the unique assets of iHeartMedia.

Beasley Broadcasting Group Reports Q3 Net Revenue.  The company says that its net revenue for the third quarter of 2017 at its legacy stations was “comparable to the net revenue for the same period in 2016” – so we can read that as “flat.”  However, Beasley’s acquisition of the Greater Media stations that took place in November of last year boosts the company’s revenue figures.  Third quarter net revenue jumped from $27.7 million in 2016 to $58.9 million in 2017 because of the 21 new stations in the Boston, Charlotte, Detroit, Charlotte, Philadelphia and New Jersey markets (it also takes into account the stations it sold to Entercom and CMG Coastal Carolina).

Traffic Pioneer Rod Carson Dies at 75.  Longtime KYW, Philadelphia traffic reporter and Shadow Traffic co-founder Rod Carson died over the weekend at his home in Pennsylvania at the age of 75.  CBS Philadelphia reports that “before getting into traffic reporting, [Carson] was one of the ‘Wibbage Good Guys’ on the former WIBG, and also did the ‘Rock and Roll Roots’ show on WMMR.”  Carson marked his 50th year in radio in 2007.

National Radio Hall of Fame Class of 2017. Pictured above at the November 2 induction ceremony for the National Radio Hall of Fame at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago are (from l-r): NRHoF chairman Kraig Kitchin, inductees John Records Landecker, Joseph Field, Bobby Bones, Tom Barnard, Bill Handel and MBC founder Bruce Dumont.  Not pictured is inductee Sean Hannity, who did not travel to Chicago for the ceremony.

Donna Brazile Hillary Criticism, Mueller Investigation-Possible Michael Flynn Indictment, Trump in Japan, GOP Tax Reform Plan, Kevin Spacey Sexual Assault Investigation, Texas Church Slayings, Saudi Purge, Rand Paul Assault, Kaepernick Collusion Suit, NFL Attendance-Protests Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  Former interim DNC chair Donna Brazile’s criticisms of the Hillary Clinton campaign in her new book; the Robert Mueller investigation and the possibility of charges against former National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn; President Trump’s trip to Japan and statements about strong rhetoric regarding North Korea; the details of the Republican tax reform plan; the UK authorities’ investigation of sexual assault charges against actor Kevin Spacey; the Sunday slaying of 26 at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas; Saudi Arabia arrests 15 ministers and princes in anti-corruption efforts; Senator Rand Paul suffers cracked ribs in assault at his home; Colin Kaepernick’s collusion suit against the NFL; the NFL anthem protests, declining game attendance, and Sunday’s action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Wendell Potter is this Week’s Guest on the Harrison Podcast.  Former health insurance spin doctor Wendell Potter, who upon experiencing a “crisis of conscience” in 2008 became one of that industry’s most outspoken critics, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”  In June 2009, Potter made national headlines with his scorching testimony before the Senate panel on health care reform. The former senior VP and head of PR at Cigna testified that health insurers make promises they have no intention of keeping, flout regulations designed to protect consumers, and skew political debate with multibillion-dollar PR campaigns to mislead the press and public.  Potter was a former journalist who walked away from a six-figure salary and two decades as an insurance executive because he could no longer abide the routine practices of an industry where he believes “the needs of sick and suffering Americans take a backseat to the bottom line.”  Since then, Potter has been active as an author and consumer advocate warning Americans of the danger inherent in corporate big money corrupting the nation’s democratic process.  Now, he is launching a non-profit, reader/listener/viewer funded, Philadelphia-based news organization called Tarbell (www.Tarbell.org) that will focus on non-partisan, investigative journalism.  Can such a venture succeed in today’s money-driven, politically polarized society where the quest for victory regularly obscures the search for truth?  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air radio pro Brian Peck is named midday personality at CBS RADIO’s adult hits WJMK “K-Hits.”  CBS RADIO Chicago has appointed Brian Peck to host middays at WJMK, 104.3 “K-Hits.” The opening became available when current midday jock Jeffrey T. Mason moved to afternoons with Gary Spears’ exit and relocation to Florida.  WJMK program director Greg Solk states, “Adding Brian to ‘K-Hits’ gives us a unique opportunity to re-set our on-air lineup with three veteran Chicago voices, all perfectly suited for their dayparts.”  The company says Peck joins “K-Hits” with a history of entertaining Chicago radio fans since 1992 when he co-hosted mornings with former MTV veejay Mark Goodman.  Other Chicago radio stops have included WSHE and WTMX…..Next Wednesday (11/15), Envision Networks is announcing another session of “Coffee With Envision Webinar: Program A Winning Morning Show.”  The free webinar takes place at 1:00 pm ET.  Envision president and CEO Danno Wolkoff states, “Mike Marino and Jason Hillery are experts at producing a winning morning show.  They consult, program, manage and write prep for radio talent daily so Mike and Jason literally wrote the playbook for morning shows to follow.”  Early registration is encouraged as space is limited.  Stations can register for the webinar by clicking here…..Gen Media Partners appoints radio executive Chuck Bortnick to the newly created position of SVP, integrated platforms.   Bortnick’s previous experience includes serving as COO of Westwood One; COO and president of Metro Networks; and regional vice president for Cumulus Media.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

| March 23, 2017

Bubba the Love Sponge Files Countersuit Against Nielsen.  This is not the first counterclaim filed by Bubba the Love Sponge, a.k.a. Bubba Clem, against Nielsen Audio – several others were rejected by Judge James D. Whittemore.  Nielsen is suing Clem claiming his attempts at distorting the PPM ratings in the Tampa market caused it damages.  In this counterclaim, filed yesterday in U.S. District Court in Tampa, Bubba Clem alleges that Nielsen conspired with Cox Media (owner of WHPT, Tampa and his former employer) to get him off Beasley Broadcast Group’s Tampa station WBRN, a competitor of WHPT.  Clem alleges that “Nielsen’s motivation for participating in the conspiracy with Cox was three-fold: (i) to appease Cox, one of its largest customers, by using its monopoly power to interfere with Clem’s contractual relationship with Beasley to get Clem fired by suppressing WBRN’s ratings and thus artificially increasing WHPT’s share in the Tampa Market; (ii) to encourage Cox to enter into new contracts to purchase expensive products and services from Nielsen; and (iii) to conceal the fraudulent conduct committed by its own employees and the other serious flaws in its ratings methodology caused by, among other things, Nielsen’s failure to maintain and/or implement and/or fairly apply its own quality control procedures.”  Clem further alleges that Nielsen conducted a “sting” operation, by installing a PPM panelist who would appear friendly to Clem to entice Clem into asking said panelist to engage in heavy listening to his show, thereby violating Nielsen’s rules.  Clem is seeking damages in an amount to be determined at trial.

Denver Talk Host Steve Curtis Charged with Voter Fraud, Forgery.  According to a report in the Denver Post, talk show host Steve Curtis has been charged with voter fraud and forgery after he allegedly used his ex-wife’s mail-in ballot to vote during the 2016 general election.  Kelly Curtis contacted the Weld County clerk and recorder to determine what steps she needed to take to vote and, to her surprise, was told she’d already voted.  That started the investigation that led to the charges against Steve Curtis, who hosts two shows on KLZ, Denver – the 6:00 am to 7:00 am hour and the 11:00 am to 12:00 noon hour.  Curtis’ information is still on the KLZ website and it’s unclear if he’s still with the station or whether the programs he hosts are brokered.  The irony in this whole story is that Curtis – a one-time chair of the Colorado Republican Party – has, echoing President Trump’s comments about voter fraud, stated on his program that almost every case of voter fraud he can remember was perpetrated by Democrats.  KDVR-TV, Denver broke the story.

Steve Corbett Exits WILK-AM/FM, Wilkes-Barre.  According to a report in the Standard-Speaker of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, afternoon drive talk show host Steve Corbett has exited the Entercom news/talk station.  The paper says no reason has been given for Corbett’s departure but prints the contents of a staff email from general manager Ryan Flynn that states: “Effective immediately, Steve Corbett will not be returning to WILK.  Steve will be shifting his focus to work on some other projects outside our company.  We appreciate the work Steve has done on WILK and we wish him well in his future endeavors.”  Sixty-year-old Corbett worked for years in the Northeastern PA region as a journalist, accruing numerous awards.  He’d been hosting a show on WILK for the past 10 years.

Dave Ramsey’s Smart Money Tour Stops in Greenville, South Carolina.  Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey brought his Smart Money live event to Greenville’s Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium on Wednesday (3/22).  Ramsey and fellow best-selling author Chris Hogan shared with attendees information about how to win with money, get out of debt and invest for the future.  Ramsey combined forces with Entercom’s local affiliate WYRD-FM “106.3 WORD” to promote the event.  Entercom Upstate general sales manager Devon van der Merwe says, “At ‘106.3 WORD,’ we pride ourselves on being the leader in Upstate talk and part of that magic is our local personalities and content backed by some big, national names like Dave Ramsey.  Dave has become a household staple with our listeners every week with his real stories and life lessons on how to be financially responsible.  The last visit Dave made was in 2013, so this stop in his Smart Money tour is highly anticipated by listeners and clients alike.”  Ramsey (fifth from the left) and Hogan (fourth from the right) are pictured above with some of the WYRD-FM staff.

Schmaeling to Assume EVP/CFO Role at Entercom.  Effective April 18, Richard J. Schmaeling takes over as executive vice president and chief financial officer for Entercom Communications.  He succeeds 18-year Entercom executive Steve Fisher, who is stepping down on April 30 but will remain with the company to assist in the integration of the CBS RADIO merger.  Schmaeling was most recently CFO at Travel Leaders Group, but his experience in media includes time spent with Lin Media – operator of TV and digital media properties in 23 markets.  Entercom president and CEO David Field comments, “Rich is a proven leader with an excellent track record and outstanding reputation as a public company CFO.  His breadth of experience and hands-on leadership of successful integrations for the LIN Media/Media General and News Corp/Dow Jones mergers make him an ideal choice as we join forces with CBS RADIO and position ourselves for a dynamic future.  I am thrilled to welcome Rich to Entercom.”

Westwood One Ups Wildman to EVP, Strategic Partnerships.  After five months with the company, Westwood One is promoting Mark Wildman to EVP, strategic partnerships.  The company says that in this newly expanded role, “Wildman will lead the company’s rapidly evolving new business development initiatives for both the network and spot sales.  Wildman will be working with brand partners on strategic marketing solutions that leverage Westwood One’s robust portfolio of multimedia assets, award-winning content, digital audio, insights, and experiential opportunities.”  Wildman is based in New York City and reports directly to WW1 president of sales Steve Shaw, who comments, “In just a few short months, Mark has proven his commitment and his value as a motivating sales leader and creative problem solver.  He brings a unique vision, skill set, and a tremendous depth of experience to our senior agency and client partners.  I’m excited to have him spearhead our strategic alliances.”

Lew Dickey Exits Cumulus Board; Designates John Dickey as Replacement.  Founder and former Cumulus Media CEO Lew Dickey resigned from his position as vice chairman of the board of directors for the company and used his allotted replacement designation to fill the seat with his brother John Dickey.  The reason given by Lew Dickey for leaving the board was to pursue other professional interests.

Cumulus Surrenders License for WGPC, Albany.  The sports talk outlet’s transmitter tower was demolished during a January storm and it appears that Cumulus Media decided spending cash to fix it was not cost effective, so the company has given the license back to the FCC.  Albany news outlet WALB-TV reports that WGPC was the first commercial radio station to serve the market, signing on in 1933.

TALKERS News Notes.  A new morning show is being launched by Talk Stream Live with affiliate relations assistance from Genesis Communications Network.  News/talk personality Matt Ray is hosting “America’s 1st News,” which debuted on Monday (3/20), airing live weekdays from 6:00 am to 9:00 am ET…..ABC NewsAmna Nawaz is hosting new podcast titled, “Uncomfortable.”  ABC says the show “goes one-on-one with influential voices in America to tackle issues dividing the nation – race, gender, economics, religion.”  Nawaz says, “We hear a lot about how our country is divided, about how far apart we are on some of the big issues that define us, as Americans.  But our divisions don’t go away if we ignore them.  On ‘Uncomfortable,’ it’s about taking a cold, hard look at where we are, as a country, and figuring out how we move forward.”…..Chicago Public Media announces that vice president of content and programming Ben Calhoun is leaving his position, effective next month.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Calhoun is expected to return to the staff of “This American Life.”  He was there for five years as a producer and reporter prior to moving up and eventually leading CPM’s programming for the public radio magazine show…..Westwood One and the NCAA are broadcasting the 2017 NCAA Men’s Final Four in Spanish.  This is a collaboration between Westwood One and ESPN Deportes Radio.  Calling games will be Rafael Hernández Brito (play-by-play), Greivis Vásquez (analyst), and Clemson Smith Muñiz (pregame/halftime host)…..KLGR, Redwood Falls, Minnesota farm director Dustin Hoffman is being honored by the National Association of Farm Broadcasting with The Doan award.  The Doan award recognizes excellence in reporting skill, thoroughness, and attention to audience interest.  Hoffmann has been with Alpha Media’s KLGR since February of 2010…..The Association of Health Care Journalists awards KQED, San Francisco health reporter April Dembosky its top reporter prize as part of this year’s Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism.  Dembosky received the first place prize in the Beat Reporting category for her “2016 body of work.”

Cool Radio News Gig.  WTMJ Radio is seeking a news anchor/reporter to join its award-winning news team.  The news anchor/reporter would play a large role on “Wisconsin’s Morning News.”  The position also includes interaction with show hosts, live interviews, outside appearances, traffic reporting, online story creation and a visible role representing the station. Responsible for producing several newscasts during morning drive time and into the midday, writing multiple scripts for on-air and online, pulling interview bytes for use in newscasts and identifying/assigning stories.  Becoming part of the Milwaukee community, creating relationships with city leaders, law enforcement, state lawmakers, community advocates, business leaders, etc., are all critical aspects of the position.  Must be comfortable in front of a camera (for digital platforms) and be able to perform multiple tasks while bringing a credible voice to Wisconsin’s Radio Station, WTMJ.  Must have strong written and editorial judgement, excellent on-air presentation and reportorial skills; excellent written and verbal communication skills required, solid understanding of producing local enterprise content, proficient use of the digital platform, high work ethics and standards; ability to meet deadlines and detail orientation; knowledge of newsroom computers required along with familiarity of areas across southeast Wisconsin.  Must have a valid driver’s license, clean driving record and proof of insurability. College degree preferred.  Minimum 2 to 4 years of prior broadcast experience required. EOE. Apply here.

 

 

KXQQ, Las Vegas Names Hernandez Midday Host.  Urban contemporary KXQQ, Las Vegas “Q100.5” names Natalia Hernandez its new midday personality.  Hernandez slides over to “Q100.5” from her on-air role at sister CHR KLUC.  Speaking about her new gig, Hernandez says, “Fourteen years ago I got my first radio gig at CBS RADIO in West Palm Beach and I’m so happy to be back with the company it all started with.  My career has come full circle and I have to thank our OM/PD JB King for believing in me for the midday opportunity at ‘Q100.5.’” I’ve already learned so much and am excited to keep growing with him.”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At next weekend’s ACM Awards in Las Vegas, Cumulus Media and Westwood One will present an all-star lineup at “Westwood One Backstage at the ACM Awards,” a two-day, exclusive showcase of brand activations and backstage audio and video coverage.  “Westwood One Backstage at the ACM Awards” will feature exclusive private backstage performances from Curb Records superstars Lee Brice, Mo Pitney, and Jerrod Niemann plus Valory Music’s Delta Rae and Broken Bow recording artist Walker McGuire.  Cumulus Media EVP corporate marketing and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes says, “Seldom do you have this many superstars assembled in one location.  We are honored to have country music’s most popular artists perform exclusively for us.  It makes our backstage live experience even more special for our affiliates, brand partners and guests.”…..The nationally syndicated rock radio show “IN THE STUDIO with Redbeard: The Stories Behind History’s Greatest Rock Bands” is celebrating 1,500 consecutive weeks of broadcast radio syndication.  It all started in June of 1988 when Dallas radio personality and music journalist Redbeard, in conjunction with Bullet Productions, launched the show to mainstream and classic rock radio.  For this week’s 1,500th episode, Redbeard is airing an encore presentation of his 1990 interview with Paul McCartney about his 1989 comeback album Flowers In The Dirt which is being reissued this month in multiple deluxe forms with additional music and extras…..Jerry Lee-owned hot AC WBEB-FM, Philadelphia “101.1 More FM” was recently honored with five Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters Awards for Excellence in Broadcasting.  They include: Outstanding Radio Promotional Announcements/Contest, Outstanding Radio Public Service Announcement/Campaign, Outstanding Radio Public Affairs Program/Program Series, Outstanding Radio Commercial, and Outstanding Radio: Judges’ Merit Award…..Cox Media Group’s urban contemporary WALR, Atlanta, “KISS 104.1” announces the lineup for the 22nd Annual Flashback Festival that takes place August 12 at Lakewood Amphitheatre.  Acts will include: The Isley Brothers, Keith Sweat, Kid ‘n Play and Evelyn “Champagne” King.  Vice president of programming Tony Kidd says, “This year’s Flashback Festival looks to bring together lovers of old school R&B and hip hop for another great time.  I look forward to seeing all the ‘KISS 104.1’ family and enjoying the tailgate prior to the show.”

 

 

Round Three of February PPM Data Released. The third of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s February 2017 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Columbus. Nielsen Audio’s February 2017 PPM survey period covered February 2 – March 1.  View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Portland – Over and above dialing up a +.8 to 4.0 (6+) – enabling it to jump from #14 to #11 – Entercom classic rock KGON closes out eighth straight sweeps without a gain that resulted in a combined -1.7 since June (4.9 – 4.3 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.2, 6+). At this time last month, the market’s top two finishers accounted for a combined 16.5 (6+). While they keep their #1 and #2 rankings, respectively, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KKCW “K-103” is off by nine-tenths to 7.7 (6+) and Oregon Public Broadcasting’s KOPB erodes by one full-share (7.9 – 6.9, 6+), thus lowering that (6+) total to 14.6. Despite a roughly 50% drop-off since “Holiday” 2016 (15.3 – 8.6 – 7.7, combined -7.6, 6+), “K-103” is #1 for the 33rd time in the last 35 ratings periods. KOPB completely surrenders January’s +1.0, after a -.7 in “Holiday” 2016 (7.6 – 6.9 – 7.9, #2, 6+). Declining by -1.3 (6+) in “Holiday” 2016, iHeartMedia-owned KLTH “106.7 The Eagle – Portland’s Classic Hits Station” recaptured all but three-tenths of that loss in January (5.6 – 4.3 – 5.3, +1.0, 6+) and tacks on an additional +1.1 in February (6.4, fourth to third, 6+). This represents the strongest 6+-showing for “The Eagle” in just over one year (7.0, 6+, January 2016). Down seven-tenths since September (5.8 – 5.2 – 5.1, 6+), KLTH was +.5 in December. Stuck on 5.3 (6+) in “Holiday” 2016 and January 2017 after reaching 6.1 in December 2016, Entercom hot AC KRSK “105.1 The Buzz – Today’s Best Mix” busts out a full-share increase to 6.3 (6+) – yet – must settle for a move to #5 from a tie at #4. In addition to the aforementioned “Eagle,” also one-tenth ahead of “The Buzz” is sibling KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf – Great Country for the Great Northwest,” which registers its fourth straight gain for a combined +1.7 (4.7 – 4.8 – 5.1 – 5.8 – 6.4, 6+); “The Wolf” ranked third in January as well. While flat at 4.2 (6+), Alpha Media’s KUPL “98.7 The Bull – #1 For New Country” manages to inch up from tenth to ninth. A +.9 in January ended three straight decreases for “The Bull” that resulted in a combined -1.8 (5.1 – 4.9 – 4.6 – 3.3, 6+).

2) Charlotte – In the period between October 2016 and January 2017, Radio One gospel WPZS’ 6+ trending was 3.5 – 2.9 – 3.5 – 2.8 – 2.9. A February gain of nine-tenths to 3.8 (6+), however, lifts “Praise 100.9 – Charlotte’s Inspiration Station” from #16 to #12. This is the best 6+-stat for “Praise” since July 2015’s 3.9. Following four straight negative trends for a combined -1.5 (5.1 – 5.0 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 3.6, 6+), iHeartMedia adult hits WLKO “102.9 The Lake – We Play Anything” posts a one-half share gain to 4.1 (6+) and returns to the top ten (#11 to #10). Classic rock sibling WRFX “99.7 The Fox” adds one-tenth (7.2 – 7.3, 6+) to repeat at #1. January’s +.8 (6+) halted a string of three straight downward moves by “The Fox” that yielded a -1.5 (7.9 – 7.3 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). Owing to a -.1 to 2.2 (6+), Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WRCM “K-LOVE” (unchanged at #17) has its consecutive string of increases halted at three (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 2.3, 6+). Faltering by seven-tenths each are Beasley Media Group urban AC WBAV “V-101.9” (5.6 – 4.9, fourth to seventh, 6+); Entercom hot AC WLNK “107.9 The Link – Charlotte’s Best Mix” (4.8 – 4.1, eighth to tenth, 6+); and Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian WLXK “K-LOVE” (1.2 – .5, #19 to #20, 6+). Prior to January’s +.8, “The Link” had trended 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.0 (6+). Rebounding from December’s loss of one-half share (2.7 – 2.2, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WEND “106.5 The End – Charlotte’s New Rock Alternative” added six-tenths in “Holiday” 2016 but surrenders the one-half share it gained in January (2.2 – 2.8 – 3.3 – 2.8, 6+), moving from #15 to #16. Down by one-half share as well – after sputtering by seven-tenths in January – is Beasley Media Group’s WSOC “Country’s Hottest Hits” (7.0 – 6.3 – 5.8, 6+), which drops from second to third. Leapfrogging WSOC is its format rival – iHeartMedia’s WKKT “96.9 The Kat” (5.7 – 5.9, +.2, third to second, 6+) – which was +1.7 in January and -1.2 in “Holiday” 2016. It is quite a comeback indeed for “The Kat,” given that, in “Holiday” 2016, it trailed “Country’s Hottest Hits” by three full-shares (7.0 to 4.0, 6+). For the second successive month, Radio One urban contemporary WQNC “92.7 The Block” (2.2, #17, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) is unlisted.

3) Pittsburgh – After improving by six-tenths in January, iHeartMedia CHR WKST “Kiss 96.1 – Pittsburgh’s #1 Hit Music Station” tacks on a full-share (6.7 – 7.3 – 8.3, 6+), climbing from fourth to third. It is the first time that “Kiss” reaches the eight-share level (6+) since July 2015 (8.0, 6+). A one-half share increase by WBZZ “Star 100.7 Plays The Hits” ended three straight dips that produced a -1.0 (4.6 – 4.5 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+). Now, the CBS Radio hot AC dials up a +.9 to 5.0, its best 6+-stat since February 2016’s 5.3, to jump from ninth to seventh. As co-owned WDSY “Pittsburgh’s Country Y-108” improves by seven-tenths (3.8 – 4.5, 6+) to inch up from tenth to eighth, iHeartMedia’s WPGB “Big 104.7 Pittsburgh’s #1 for New Country” drops one-half share (4.5 – 4.0, 6+) and slips from eighth to tenth. Up three-tenths (10.0 – 10.3, 6+), WPGB’s rock sibling WDVE (+1.6 in January) repeats at #1. On top in October 2016, November, and December, WDVE plummeted by two full-shares in “Holiday” 2016, dropping to third, but returned to #1 in January. Right on the heels of January’s +1.2, CBS Radio’s KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” returns all of it plus one-tenth (4.5 – 5.7 – 4.4, -1.3, 6+) to drop from sixth to ninth. By gaining four-tenths in “Holiday” 2016, “The Fan” halted three consecutive declines that accounted for a cumulative -3.5 (7.6 – 6.5 – 4.7 – 4.1, 6+). After surrendering a -5.1 in January, Renda Broadcasting adult contemporary WSHH “Wish 99.7” forfeits another eight-tenths (12.4 – 7.3 – 6.5, 6+) as it segues from fourth to fifth. “Wish” was a combined +5.7 in December and “Holiday” 2016 leading to 12.4, its strongest 6+-stat since it returned to print in April 2016. For the ninth straight ratings period, iHeartMedia alternative WXDX “The X at 105.9” (3.7 – 3.3, -.4, 6+) is at #11. In 2.1 – 2.9 range the past 18 sweeps, Steel City Media hot AC WLTJ “Q-92.9” (unchanged at #12) gains one-tenth to reach the three-share level (2.9 – 3.0, 6+).

4) Sacramento – Several unusual occurrences take place in California’s capital city, most notably CBS Radio adult contemporary KYMX “Mix 96” overcoming January’s -4.8 with a full-share increase to retake the lead (13.0 – 8.2 – 9.2, second to first, 6+). “Mix” ranked third for five straight sweeps before reaching #1 in “Holiday” 2016. A combined +2.4 in November and December, “Mix” was +5.2 in “Holiday” 2016. Those market outlets displaying gains of seven-tenths each are hot AC cluster-mate KZZO (3.6 – 4.3, ninth to fifth, 6+) as well as co-owned rhythmic CHR KSFM (3.0, #16 to #13, 6+); and iHeartMedia adult hits KQJK “93.7 Jack FM” (2.5 – 3.2, #13 to #11, 6+). Before February’s +.7, KSFM was a combined -.8 as a result of four consecutive down or flat trends (3.1 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.3, 6+). By notching a +.4 in January, “Jack” ended six consecutive sweeps without an increase for a -1.2 (3.3 – 3.3 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.6 – 2.1, 6+). In 2.2 – 2.9 territory (6+) the past 13 ratings periods, Entravision rhythmic CHR KHHM “Hot 103.5” (#12 to #11) registers a six-tenths spike to 3.2, its best 6+-showing in just over one year (3.5, January 2016). Improving by six-tenths as well is Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLVB “K-LOVE,” which zooms into the top twenty (#21 to #15) with its fourth successive up-trend (1.2 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 2.5, 6+) that has more than doubled its 6+-share for a +1.3. Off by one-half share are iHeartMedia news-talk hybrid KFBK (8.7 – 8.2, first to second, 6+) and Entercom’s KRXQ “98 Rock” (fifth to seventh, 6+). Having finished six straight times in the runner-up slot, KFBK reached #1 in January. Its recent (6+) fluctuations include +.8 (August 2016); -1.4 (September 2016); +1.2 (October 2016); -.7 (November 2016) +.7 (December 2016); +.8 (January 2017); and -.5 (February 2017). This marks the fourth consecutive decline for “98 Rock” for a collective -1.7 (5.8 – 5.1 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.1, 6+). One development with considerably more far-reaching implications than monthly ups and downs happened just after the February 2017 ratings period began. Entercom returned the license of KDND “The End” and transported the CHR format on 107.9 to the frequency of what was hot AC KUDL “Star 106.5.” Thus, KUDL – as hot AC “Star” – goes out with a 2.4 (January 2017, #15, 6+), while the former KDND (4.5, January 2017, #6) now on its new frequency as CHR KUDL is eighth in February 2017 (3.8, 6+).

5) San Antonio – Off by seven-tenths in January, Cox Media Group hot AC KSMG not only recaptures all of it plus one-tenth for good measure (3.8 – 4.6, +.8, 6+), “Magic 105.3 Today’s Best Music” returns to the top ten (#12 to #7). Its 6+ September through “Holiday” 2016 trends were 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.5 – 4.5. Even though the net loss was only four-tenths, co-owned KISS had nonetheless been without an increase in each of the last four ratings periods (5.8 – 5.7 – 5.7 – 5.4 – 5.4, 6+) until February when “99.5 KISS Rocks San Antonio” breaks out a +.6 to 6.0 (6+), advancing from fifth to third. It is the first time that KISS has reached the 6-share level since December 2015 (6.2). When Univision Radio rhythmic CHR KBBT “98.5 The Beat” dropped four-tenths in January, it snapped at three its string of consecutive gains which netted a combined +1.2 (4.0 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 5.2, 6+). “The Beat” though dials up a one-half share increase (4.8 – 5.3, 6+) and progresses from seventh to fifth. The market’s CHR battle tightens as iHeartMedia’s KXXM “Mix 96.1 – San Antonio’s #1 Hit Music Station” drops two-tenths (#10 to #12, 6+), while Alpha Media-owned KTFM “Energy 94.1 Sounds Like San Antonio” adds two-tenths (steady at #13, 6+). “Mix” is down or flat for the sixth straight time for a -.5 (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 3.9, 6+), while “Energy” notches its fourth consecutive gain for a +.9 (2.6 – 2.8 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 3.5, 6+). Relinquishing all but two-tenths of January’s +1.2, Univision Radio regional Mexican KROM “Estereo Latino 92.9” (6.2 – 7.4 – 6.4, -1.0, first to second, 6+), swaps places with Cox Media Group-owned KONO-FM “101.1 San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” (6.9 – 7.0, +.1, second to first). Stuck on 5.2 (6+) in November and December, “Estereo Latino 92.9” improved by a combined +2.2 in “Holiday” 2016 and January (6.2 – 7.4, 6+) to progress from the runner-up slot to #1. Prior to February, KONO-FM’s most recent (6+) fluctuations are October 2016’s -1.0; November’s +.9; December’s -1.1; “Holiday” 2016’s -1.3; and January’s +1.1. “San Antonio’s Greatest Hits” departed the top spot in October after nine straight sweeps there. The rollercoaster ride continues for iHeartMedia-owned KAJA, which has been -1.4 (“Holiday” 2016); +1.6 (January 2017); and now -1.2 in February (5.4 – 4.0 – 5.6 – 4.4, 6+), with “KJ-97 – San Antonio’s #1 Country Station” drifting from fourth to eighth. Despite a +.1 (5.7 – 5.8, 6+) Cox Media Group’s similarly-formatted KCYY “Y-100 – San Antonio’s New Country Leader” slips from third to fourth. Even so, the one-tenth (6+) advantage that “Y-100” had over “KJ-97” in January widens to 1.4. Having skidded from first in “Holiday” 2016 to sixth in January as a result of a -6.6, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KQXT “Q-101.9 – San Antonio’s Best Variety” erodes by another full-share (5.2 – 4.2, 6+) and tumbles to tenth. Following a December gain of +1.5 to 4.8 (6+), KQXT added +5.5 to 10.3 (6+). This is the lowest 6+-stat since last March (also 4.2) for “Q-101.9,” whose HD3 channel drops one-half share (1.9 – 1.4, #19 to #22, 6+), as does Univision Radio’s urban-rhythmic oldies KMYO “Yo! 95.1” (3.1 – 2.6, #15 to #17, 6+).

6) Cincinnati – Following three consecutive negative trends that accounted for a -3.2 (8.5 – 7.9 – 6.3 – 5.3, 6+) Hubbard Radio country outlet WUBE answered in January with a +1.5 and “B-105” adds another eight-tenths in February (6.8 – 7.6, 6+) to carry on at #3. Down by a cumulative -1.2 via three straight decreases (4.1 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 2.9, 6+), Cincinnati Public Radio’s WVXU bounces back with a +.7 to 3.6 (#13 to #12, 6+). Within 3.3 – 3.6 range (6+) in each of the last five sweeps, Radio One’s WOSL “100.3 R&B + Old School” posts a +.6 to 3.9 (6+) and enters the top ten (#12 to #10). A combined -1.7 since December 2016 (5.4 – 4.1 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WKFS notches a one-half share increase to 4.2 (6+), enabling “Kiss 107 – Cincinnati’s #1 Hit Music Station” to crack the top ten (#11 to #9). Prior to the “Holiday” 2016 sweep, Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies outlet WGRR occupied the top spot for four straight months. Powered by a +.8 in January – ending four successive down or flat sweeps that produced a -1.6 (9.8 – 9.8 – 9.6 – 8.8 – 8.2, 6+) – WGRR marched from second to first. It repeats there in February, gaining two-tenths to 9.2 (6+). Forfeiting the one-half share that it picked up in January (3.9 – 4.4 – 3.9, 6+), Radio One urban contemporary WIZF “101.1 The Wiz” shifts from eighth to tenth. Not only is iHeartMedia’s WEBN a collective -2.2 as a result of six straight declines (5.8 – 5.4 – 5.3 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 3.8 – 3.6, 6+), it departs the top ten (#10 to #12). One of the longest consecutive strings without a decrease (ten in a row!) comes to an end as Radio One’s urban-rhythmic oldies WDBZ “Soul 101.5” (#17 to #18) falters by three tenths to 1.4 (6+), halting a streak that started in April 2016 and netted a +1.5 (.2 – .3 – .4 – .5 – .5 – .5 – .7 – .8 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.7, 6+).

7) Cleveland – The market’s largest January 2017 – February 2017 (6+) jump belongs to Moody Bible Institute’s WCRF “Moody Radio Cleveland,” which improves by +1.4 (.9 – 2.3, #14, 6+). The religious outlet had not reached a one-share (6+) since October 2014 (1.0, 6+). Owing to a one-half share increase (5.9 – 6.4, 6+), CBS Radio hot AC WQAL “Q-104 Plays the Hits” climbs from seventh to sixth. Albeit down two-tenths after January’s -1.3 (9.8 – 8.5 – 8.3, 6+), iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WMJI repeats at #1. Prior to December’s +.1, “Cleveland’s Greatest Hits” was off by nearly three full-shares in three straight downward trends (11.5 – 10.8 – 9.6 – 8.6, 6+) and slipped to #2. September’s -.7 ended five straight gains for a cumulative +1.2 (10.3 – 10.7 – 10.9 – 11.3 – 11.4 – 11.5, 6+) and marked the first time in the previous 17 ratings periods that WMJI was not in double-digits (6+). It exited the top spot after ten successive sweeps there; WMJI was +1.1 in “Holiday” 2016. Consistently posting a 6+-share between 5.0 – 5.9 the past six sweeps, CHR sibling WAKS “96.5 Kiss FM – Cleveland’s #1 Hit Music Station” flounders by eight-tenths to 4.6, as it exits the top ten (#10 to #11). Right behind it – and making it a solid year that it’s been at #12 – is CBS Radio-owned WKRK “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” (4.2 – 4.0, -.2, 6+). Although it remains unchanged at #13, Ideastream’s WCPN drops two-tenths to 3.6 (6+), thus curtailing eight consecutive up or flat trends that netted a combined +1.8 (2.0 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.8, 6+).

8) Salt Lake City – Separated by two-tenths in January, the margin between country rivals KSOP “Z-104 Utah’s #1 Country” (4.1 – 4.0, -.1, flat at #9, 6+) and Cumulus Media-owned KUBL “K-Bull 93” (4.3 – 4.4, +.1, steady at #8, 6+) increases to four-tenths. In advance of January’s +1.0, “K-Bull 93” had faltered for five consecutive months and was a combined -2.2 since August (5.5 – 5.2 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 3.8 – 3.3, 6+). Co-owned KBER “Utah’s Rock Station” (#17 to #16) is up or flat for the fourth straight time (1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.5, 6+). Absolutely wild fluctuations continue for KSL, whose “Holiday” 2016 – January 2017 – February 2017 stats are 6.8 – 8.9 – 6.8 (6+). The station’s six most recent (6+) fluctuations are +2.0 (October 2016), -.9 (November), +1.1 (December), -1.5 (“Holiday” 2016); +2.1 (January 2017); and now -2.1 (February 2017), yielding a +.7 since October. Transitioning to the runner-up slot, the Bonneville talker yields first-place to adult contemporary sibling KSFI “FM 100.3 – Better Music Better Work Day” (8.3 – 8.0, -.3, 6+). Following three straight sweeps at #1, “FM 100” shifted to #2, having dropped 12.3 shares in January (20.6 – 8.3, 6+). Until January’s -12.3, “FM 100.3” didn’t have a decrease since April (5.3 – 5.7 – 6.2 – 6.3 – 6.7 – 7.0 – 7.3 – 7.3 – 11.4 – 20.6, 6+), nearly quadrupling its 6+-stat since then with a staggering +15.3 shares. Off by one-half share in “Holiday” 2016, iHeartMedia hot AC KJMY rebounded with a +.6 in January but “My 99.5” returns all of it in February (2.3 – 2.9 – 2.3, 6+), spiraling from #14 to #18. Locked on 2.5 (6+) in October and November and then on 2.1 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2016, Brigham Young University classical KBYU recorded a full-share gain to 3.1 (6+) in January only to forfeit half of it (2.6, 6+), dropping from #12 to #15. Unlisted in January 2017, University of Utah’s KUER “90.1 NPR Utah” (3.3, #9, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) returns in February with a 3.7 (#10, 6+).

9) Las Vegas – Having eroded by approximately 54% in five successive down or flat sweeps (5.4 – 3.6 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.5, 6+), Faith Communications contemporary Christian KSOS “Radio For Life” makes a serious dent in that collective -2.9 with a +1.2 to 3.7 (6+) and rockets from #17 to #10. After gaining six-tenths in January, CBS Radioowned KLUC tacks on nine-tenths (3.7 – 4.3 – 5.2, 6+), leaping from seventh to third. The last time “Las Vegas’ #1 Hit Music Station” hit the five-share level was August 2016 (5.0, 6+). Up one-tenth (6.7 – 6.8, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KSNE “Sunny 106.5” continues at #1 for the fourth consecutive sweep. Five consecutive up or flat trends generated a +8.3 for KSNE (6.4 – 7.0 – 7.0 – 8.1 – 14.0, 6+), before January’s -.7.3 to 6.7 (6+). Following three straight downward trends (8.1 – 7.4 – 6.0 – 5.7, 6+), “Sunny” was +.7 in September and +.6 in October, climbing to first – where it had been for 22 straight monthlies. Notwithstanding it is unchanged at #13, adult hits sibling KYMT “93.1 The Mountain – We Play Everything” shows an improvement for the sixth consecutive time more than doubling its 6+-share (1.4 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 3.1 – 3.2, 6+).  Without an increase in four straight sweeps (4.5 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 3.8, 6+), Univision Radio regional Mexican KISF displayed a +1.2 in January but relinquishes all of it plus four-tenths (5.0 – 3.4, -1.6, 6+), freefalling from the top ten (#6 to #11). In second-place the last three sweeps, KKLZ drops nine-tenths to 4.9 (6+) and shifts to fourth. The Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies outlet rebounded from a -1.8 in “Holiday” 2016 with a +1.0 in January (6.6 – 4.8 – 5.8, 6+). Before advancing to #1 in July 2016 – and remaining there in August and September – KKLZ was in the runner-up slot for six straight months; 7.4 in August was its best 6+-showing in over four years (7.5, July 2012). In back-to-back survey periods, Lotus Communications’ Spanish adult hits KWID falters by six-tenths (4.5 – 3.9 – 3.3, 6+) as it leaves the top ten (#9 to #12). Surrendering all but two-tenths of the +.7 it dialed up in January (4.4 – 5.1 – 4.6, -.5, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KWNR “95.5 The Bull – New Country for Las Vegas” stumbles from fourth to seventh.

10) Kansas City –When Steel City Media-owned KFKF entered the December 2016 sweep, it did so with four consecutive up or flat trends that accounted for a +1.1 (3.8 – 3.8 – 4.2 – 4.7 – 4.9, 6+). “Country 94.1,” however, was a combined -1.3 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (4.9 – 4.3- 3.6, 6+), before posting a +.5 in January and a +1.2 in February (3.6 – 4.1 – 5.3, 6+), rocketing from ninth to third. This is the best 6+-stat for KFKF since April 2015 (5.3 as well). In fact, it’s a clean sweep for the country format here as co-owned KBEQ “Q-104 – #1 For New Country” (4.1 – 4.4, steady at #9, 6+) and Entercom’s WDAF “106.5 The Wolf” (3.6 – 3.9, #14 to #12, 6+) are each up by three-tenths. A gain of one-half share (3.8 – 4.3, 6+) propels cluster-mate KQRC “98.9 The Rock” into the top ten (#13 to #10). Unchanged at #4, talk sibling KMBZ-FM is without a decrease for the fifth straight time for a cumulative +1.2 (3.9 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.3 – 5.1 – 5.1, 6+). Even though it drops a combined seven-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (9.0 – 8.5 – 8.3, 6+), Cumulus Media classic rocker KCFX “The Fox” repeats at #1. On top from May through September and then in December, “The Fox” had five straight up-trends prior to January’s -.5 for a cumulative +1.8 (7.2 – 7.3 – 7.6 – 7.7 – 8.9 – 9.0, 6+). By dropping two-tenths in August, it closed four successive up or flat monthlies yielding a +1.5 (5.9 – 6.4 – 6.8 – 7.4 – 7.4, 6+). In addition to shifting from third to sixth as a result of a -1.1 (6. 0 – 4.9, 6+), Entercom hot AC KZPT “99.7 The Point” drops below a five-share (6+) for the first time in more than two years (4.9, 6+, “Holiday” 2014). Regressing by one-half share each are Cumulus Media classic hits-oldies KCMO “Kansas City’s Greatest Hits” (7.8 – 7.3, flat at #2, 6+); Steel City Media adult contemporary KCKC “KC-102.1 – Today’s Best Variety” (4.4 – 3.9, #7 to #12, 6+); and Union Broadcasting’s WHB “Sports Radio 810” (3.4 – 2.9, #15 to #16, 6+). Before a loss of three-tenths in November 2016, KCMO-FM registered four straight progressive trends (5.3 – 6.0 – 7.0 – 7.2 – 8.1, 6+) for a collective +1.8. In January, “KC-102.1” spiraled by -2.6 (7.0 – 4.4, 6+), while WHB gained seven-tenths.

11) Orlando – As it progresses from third to second, iHeartMedia CHR WXXL “XL-106.7” is a combined +1.8 in back-to-back survey periods, (7.2 – 8.0 – 9.0, 6+), thus erasing the -1.7 (8.9 – 7.2, 6+) from “Holiday” 2016. In the Cox Media Group cluster, rhythmic CHR WPYO “Power 95.3” improves by six-tenths to 4.3 (tenth to ninth, 6+), while WCFB’s HD2 channel wipes out January’s six-tenths’ loss with a gain of seven-tenths (1.6 – 1.0 – 1.7, #18 to #16, 6+); the last three “Power” trends were 3.6 – 3.8 – 3.7 (6+). Off by nine-tenths each are those stations’ siblings – WMMO “98.9 Orlando’s Classic Hits” (7.5 – 6.6, unchanged at #4, 6+) and talk WDBO-FM (5.1 – 4.2, #10, 6+). In January, WMMO dialed up a +1.4 following a -.6 in “Holiday” 2016 (6.7 – 6.1 – 7.5, 6+). Without a decrease from September through December (5.0 – 5.0 – 5.3 – 5.3, 6+), WDBO-FM lost nine-tenths in “Holiday” 2016 but was +.7 in January. Although it repeats at #1, iHeartMedia Spanish tropical WRUM sputters by eight-tenths to 11.7 from January’s 12.5, the highest 6+-share in the PPM-history of “Rumba 100.3,” which had been on top in October, November and December. WRUM was a combined +2.5 in November and December as it reached 12.1 (6+). Slipping from second to third (7.0, 6+), co-owned adult contemporary WMGF “Magic 107.7” has posted wild fluctuations in the past 18 months or so, including +.5 (October 2015); -1.0 (November 2015); +1.6 (December 2015); +5.2 (“Holiday” 2015); -4.7 (January 2016); -1.2 (February); +1.3 (March); +.7 (April); +.6 (May); -.8 (June); -1.1 (July); -.4 (August); +.7 (September); -.5 (October) +.9 (November); +2.1 (December); +5.6 (“Holiday” 2016); -7.6 (January 2017) and -1.5 (February). After six straight sweeps finishing in third-place, “Magic” progressed to the runner-up slot in December; #1 in “Holiday” 2016; #2 in January 2017; and now back to #3. Public WMFE, which was +.6 in January, is in 2.0 – 2.9 range for the 29th straight time (2.9 – 2.8, -.1, flat at #14, 6+). This is the second consecutive month that JVC Media’s country WOTW “103.1 The Wolf” (1.4, #17, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) is unlisted.

12) Columbus – With a combined improvement of two full-shares over the January and February sweeps (7.8 – 9.1 – 9.8, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WNCI “97.9 Columbus’ Hit Music” marches from second to first. Before the January ratings period, WNCI was down or flat in each of the previous six surveys for a collective -4.4 (12.2 – 12.1 -11.1 – 9.8 – 9.4 – 9.4 – 7.8, 6+). In calendar year 2016, “Columbus’ Hit Music” was on top in January, February, March, August, September, and December. It dislodges (and trades places with) country sibling WCOL, which surrenders approximately half of January’s robust +2.2 (10.5 – 9.3, -1.2, first to second, 6+). Frozen on 3.8 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2016, co-owned urban contemporary WZCB “106.7 The Beat” fell to 3.5 in January but – like WNCI – gains seven-tenths (to 4.2, 6+) and cracks the top ten (#11 to #7). On the other hand, Radiohio‘s WBNS-FM “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” regresses by seven-tenths and is a combined -3.8 in three straight downtrends (7.7 – 5.9 – 4.6 – 3.9, 6+), sinking from sixth to ninth. Immediately prior to these declines, “Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan” put together six straight monthlies without a loss netting in excess of four full-shares and more than doubling its 6+-stat since June (3.6 – 3.7 – 4.0 – 5.1 – 6.9 – 7.7 – 7.7, 6+). Up in three consecutive ratings periods for a net +2.2 (5.3 – 5.5 – 6.3 – 7.5, 6+), Saga Communications’ WLVQ regressed by half that margin (-1.1) in “Holiday” 2016. “Iconic Rock Q-FM 96” bounced back in January with a +1.5; falters by one-half share in February (6.4 – 7.9 – 7.4, 6+); but carries on in third-place. As was the case in January, Radio One gospel WJYD “Joy 107.1” (1.0, #15, “Holiday” 2016, 6+) does not appear in Columbus’ February ratings report.

Monday, February 20, 2017

| February 20, 2017

It’s Official: Grayson to Host Midday Show at KTRS, St. Louis.  Last week, TALKERS reported that St. Louis talk show host Jon Grayson had exited CBS RADIO’s KMOX and was rumored to be headed across the street to news/talk KTRS “The Big 550.”  That has been confirmed to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Joe Holleman.  He reports that Grayson will indeed assume hosting duties for the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon slot at the station.  Grayson had been with KMOX for the past 16 years.  He’d been handling the overnight show.  That program had also been syndicated nationally via Westwood One but the syndicator ended the national program deal in December of last year.  KTRS general manager Mark Dorsey tells the Post-Dispatch, “We’re excited to have a talent of Jon’s caliber joining our on-air team at KTRS.  His personality and wit are a great fit for what our listeners have come to expect.”  Previously heard in the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon slot at KTRS were Martin Kilcoyne and Randi Naughton.  Kilcoyne recently jumped to market sports talker KFNS.

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of sports talk radio stations based on the Nielsen Audio Holiday 2016 PPM survey.  Although the ratings period (December 1 through January 4) is one in which much of the industry attention is given to the stations that go all-Christmas music, it’s a time when the NFL season is in its final month as the playoffs approach, college football fans are looking forward to the playoffs and the NBA and NHL seasons are in full swing.  In this report, you can see how subscribing stations performed (6+) compared to the December survey, how they fared comparing Holiday 2015 to Holiday 2016, plus see how stations ranked in their respective markets.  See it all here.

Trump Press Conference, Travel Ban Redux, U.S.-Russia Relations, Pence Attends Munich Security Conference, ‘Day without Immigrants’ Protest, Maher Hosts Milo Yiannopoulos, Poll Indicates Americans Bullish on the Economy, Threats to Cut Federal Arts Funding, and NBA All-Star Game Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  President Donald Trump’s Thursday press conference; the Trump Administration’s plans to issue a second, revamped travel order affecting seven predominantly Muslim nations; the relations between the U.S. and Russia in the aftermath of allegations the Trump campaign had been in contact with Russian officials and businessmen; Vice President Mike Pence attends the weekend conference in Munich assuring Europe the U.S. supports NATO; Thursday’s “Day without Immigrants” protest and its aftermath; the flap over Bill Maher’s hosting Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos on his HBO “Real Time” show; the results of a Harvard-Harris poll indicating a majority of Americans are very positive about the American economy; the threats by the Trump Administration to cut funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, National Endowment for the Arts and others from the federal budget; and the NBA All-Star game were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At the Long Island operations of Connoisseur Media, there are three personnel moves to report.  First, Christina Kay is promoted to the afternoon drive show on hot AC WALK.  Kay has been with the company the past six years, most recently as production assistant and “go-to” fill-in host for the company’s five Long Island signals.  Program director Tommy Conway says, “Christina’s commitment to the WALK brand has been stamped and certified a hundred times over.  She brings loads of star power, hard work and an infectious smile.  Our audience loves her and so do we.”  Second, the company promotes Joe Varecha to marketing director, in which he’ll oversee marketing strategy for Connoisseur Media Long Island.  He’s an eight-year company staffer who began as an intern.  Finally, Michael Keeney – who also started as an intern in the promotions department eight years ago – is promoted to promotions director…..Adams Radio Group promotes Kevin Musselman to vice president and general manager for its Fort Wayne, Indiana station group, consisting of classic rock WXKE, country WBTU “US 93.3,” CHR WJFX “HOT 107.9,” adult contemporary WWFW “Sunny 103.9,” sports talk WGL-AM, news/talk W277AK “The Patriot,” and oldies WLYV-AM.  Adams president and CEO Ron Stone states, “Kevin is a perfect fit for the GM role.  He has been with Adams from the day we acquired the market and has built an amazing sales organization.  It’s a big job overseeing nine frequencies in one market and I am confident Kevin is the leader we need.”…..Townsquare Media brings Bill Fox aboard country WOKQ, Portsmouth, New Hampshire to co-host the morning drive show with Kira Lew.  The move allows operations manager and brand manager JC Coffey to move back to the afternoon drive daypart.  Fox was most recently host of adult contemporary WYJB, Albany’s “The B95.5 Breakfast Club.”…..Station personality Chelsea Alayne is promoted to program director and afternoon drive host at Community Broadcasters’ CHR WECQ, Fort Walton Beach “Q92.”  She takes over for Sean Mack, who recently exited to join Entercom’s hot AC KAMX, Austin.

Monday, December 19, 2016

| December 19, 2016

Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano to Host Late Mornings at WLS-AM, Chicago.  A little more than a week after the Jonathon Brandmeier show was cancelled, Cumulus Media announces that it is bringing well-known Windy City broadcasters Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano aboard to host the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon program on WLS-AM.  The husband-and-wife team most recently worked on radio at Tribune’s crosstown WGN,sirottmurciano handling the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show.  Cumulus Chicago VP/market manager Peter Bowen states, “Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano are deeply rooted in Chicago and are well known to the community. With their addition, WLS is more local and more relevant to Chicago listeners and advertisers.”  At the same time, the station announces its new program lineup starting in January: Big John and Ray, 6:00 am to 10:00 am; Sirott and Murciano, 10:00 am to 12:00 noon; Rush Limbaugh, 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm; Steve Dahl, 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm; Mark Levin, 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight.  The host of the 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm show is still to-be-announced.

cookehollandAircheck D.I.Y.  Media consultant Holland Cooke writes today that, due to numerous changes in the radio business, talk radio personalities don’t huddle for aircheck meetings with program directors like they used to. Because of this, talk hosts are often missing a valuable tool for improvement.  If you’re a young programmer with some talk talent to coach, or a music PD who isn’t used to coaching talk talent, Cooke offers this handy primer on airchecking talk radio personalities.   Read more here.

wainwrightmarkWainwright: Make it Part of the Show.  WSYR, Syracuse morning show host Mark Wainwright tells TALKERS magazine that after viewing a recent Talkers TV video from consultant Holland Cooke titled, “Making Money with Endorsement Spots,” he felt compelled to share some of his experiences and strategies for endorsement spots.  Wainwright says his overarching belief about the effectiveness of live endorsements is that they must become part of the show in order to achieve their maximum effect.  Read more here.

WMAL, Washington’s Larry O’Connor Joins The Weekly Standard.  In a memo to the staff, The Weekly Standard editor-in-chief Steve Hayes announces that WMAL, Washington oconnorlarrypersonality Larry O’ Connor is joining the organization as online editor. Hayes calls O’Connor’s arrival at TWS “part of an aggressive expansion of the TWS online presence.”  Hayes goes on to say, “As you might expect, Larry has a very good ear for the kinds of issues that resonate with grassroots conservatives and we’re eager for his input as we continue to improve and expand the digital side of the magazine.”  His previous work in digital media includes time at Hotair.com and Independent Journal Review.  Earlier this fall, it was announced that O’Connor is leaving the “Mornings on the Mall” AM drive show to take over the afternoon drive daypart (3:00 pm to 6:00 pm).

WTMJ, Milwaukee’s Charlie Sykes Pens NYT Op-Ed Piece ‘Where the Right Went Wrong.’  Longtimesykescharlie Milwaukee conservative talk personality Charlie Sykes is stepping down from his role as a talk show host on E.W. Scripps’ WTMJ at the end of this month.  It’s no secret in the industry that Sykes – along with other Wisconsin talk radio hosts – has been a vocal opponent of President-Elect Donald Trump.  In an opinion piece published in The New York Times over the weekend, Sykes lays out why he believes Trump won the election, how the conservative media helped him win and, as the title implies, where he thinks the conservative movement has gone wrong.  Read it here.

John Ziegler Ends Syndicated Sunday Night Radio Talk Show.  Conservative media personality John Ziegler announces he’s ending the live Sunday night broadcasts of his talk show, originally called the “John & Leah zieglerjohnShow” that featured co-host Leah Brandon for most of its run (though he hopes to continue it as a podcast).  Ziegler, a strong opponent of President-Elect Donald Trump, gives shared credit for his decision to shutter the show to Trump’s ascension to the Oval Office, some bad business moves for which he accepts the blame, and the state of the talk radio business.  Ziegler also writes for Mediaite and he lays out his decision for leaving AM/FM radio in a piece in the publication here.

Odds & Sods.  News/talk WOWO, Fort Wayne – with the help of two local co-sponsors – helped raise $343,808 for Community Harvest Food Bank and Super Shot during its recent two-day radiothon.  Program director Ryanwowopennypitch16 Wrecker says, “The generosity was overwhelming this year.”  The Penny Pitch Radiothon raised $171,094 but Brigadoon Fitness and King of Carts matched that to double the total raised.  Community Harvest Food Bank’s Hope for Heroes program focuses on providing groceries at no cost to veterans and military families in need.  Super Shot helps provide vaccinations for low-income, uninsured, under-insured and Medicaid eligible people.  The WOWO staff is pictured at right around the phone bank…..The Salem Media Group Minneapolis cluster – news/talk WWTC “AM 1280 The Patriot,” Christian talk KKMS “AM 980 The Mission,” business talk KYCR “Business Radio 1440,” talk KDIZ “Wellness Radio 1570,” and stream theFishTwinCities.com are presenting a “Crisis & Security Summit” on Thursday, January 26.  It’s a free, informational event that will feature experts discussing topics such as IT security, personal safety, community preparedness, and child protection.  Salem Minneapolis GM Nic Anderson comments, “In this day and age, we must plan ahead, be informed, and ensure personal and community safety from all angles.  We at Salem feel a sense of duty to our local churches and schools.”

Trump Cabinet Nominations, Today’s Electoral College Vote, Allegations of Russian Hacking, ‘Fake News’ Controversy, China Nabs U.S. Submersible Drone, Rogue One Opening Weekend, Cold Snap, and NFL Action Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The transitioning of the Trump Administration and President-Elect Donald Trump’s nominees for cabinet posts; today’s electoral college vote and the numerous pleas from celebrities to not vote for Trump; the allegations that Russia is responsible for hacking the DNC’s servers in order to influence the election; the hot topic of “fake news” and its role in politics; China’s intercepting of a U.S. drone submarine and tensions between China and the U.S. over China’s military build-up in the South China Sea; the opening weekend of the new Star Wars film Rogue One; the bitter cold weather affecting parts of the country; and National Football League action were some of the top stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Monday, October 17, 2016

| October 17, 2016

Wisconsin Talk Host Walks Off Morning Show Citing ‘Hurricane of Hate.’  Longtime Eau Claire, Wisconsin talk host John Murphy walked off his morning drive program in the middle of the show on Thursday (10/13), saying he’s tired of the “political venom” from callers to the program.  Murphy did return to Mid-Westmurphyjohnwayy Family Marketing’s sports-information formatted simulcast WAYY/W286CK in Eau Claire to host a new, non-political show airing from 7:00 am to 10:00 am, appropriately called, “The No Politics Zone.”  The Eau Claire Leader-Telegram reports that Murphy says even rules about no discussion of political races didn’t seem to work – and may not for the new show either.  “We found that no matter what topic we brought up, people used that opportunity to weasel their political opinions in.”  Murphy had been hosting the “WAYY Morning Show” that served as a forum for listeners on local, state and national issues for the past 14 years. Murphy co-hosts the new show with current station personalities Luc Anthony and Dan Kasper.

talkradiodebatecspan16Hillsdale College/TALKERS Magazine Presidential Election Talk Radio Debate in DC Aired Live on C-SPAN2; Available on Talkers TV Now.  The Hillsdale College/TALKERS magazine Presidential Election Talk Radio Debate that took place in Washington, DC this past Friday (10/14) was aired live on C-SPAN2.  For those who wish to see the event, the video is now posted on Talkers TV.  The debate was moderated by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and the panel of participants included: (in alphabetical order): Thom Hartmann, syndicated host, WYD MediaHugh Hewitt, syndicated host, Salem Radio NetworkJoyce Kaufman, afternoon host, WFTL, Ft. Lauderdale/Miami; Joe Madison, morning host, SiriusXM “Urban View” channel; Larry O’ Connor, morning co-host, WMAL, Washington, DC; and Chris Stigall, morning host WPHT, Philadelphia.  Also appearing on the program were Matthew J. Spaulding, associate VP, Hillsdale College and Vince Benedetto, CEO, Bold Gold Media Group.  The event took place at Hillsdale’s Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship at 227 Massachusetts Avenue, NE, Washington, DC.  To view the entire debate, please click here or click on the Talkers TV box located at top of the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Ed Levine’s Galaxy Communications to Buy Western Massachusetts Radio Group.  Syracuse, New York-Based Galaxy Communications announces it has signed a definitive agreement to buy the six-station radio group operating as Berkshires Media Group from parent company Gamma Broadcasting for an undisclosed sum.  galaxycommunicationsThe stations are: hot AC WBEC-FM, Pittsfield; news/talk WBEC-AM, Pittsfield-AM; classic hits WUPE-AM/FM, North Adams; AC WSBS-AM, Great Barrington; and AC WNAW-AM, North Adams.  Levine says, “These six radio stations do a tremendous job of serving their communities with great local radio. They have thrived under the ownership of Gamma Broadcasting, which has done a wonderful job. I look forward to working with market manager Peter Barry and the entire staff of radio professionals.”  Gamma president Bruce Danziger adds, “We feel confident placing our terrific stations and people in Ed Levine’s capable hands.  This is a special group, led by Peter, and we know Ed’s oversight will continue to bring good results for our people and the community.”

emmisJeff Smulyan’s Go-Private Bid Fails.  The CEO of Emmis Communications extended this offer deadline three times, but that still wasn’t enough for the special committee of independent directors and his $4.10 per share offer to take the company private failed.  As the Indianapolis Business Journal smulyanjeffreports, this was the third time over the last 10 years that Jeff Smulyan had bid to take the company private.  Emmis stock closed at $3.99 on Friday (10/14).  The IBJ also notes that Smulyan’s offer represented a 25% premium to Emmis’ average closing share price over the 90 days prior to the announcement of the deal, but investors obviously felt the offer was way too low.  Smulyan appears to be finished trying to take the company private and writes to shareholders that he looks “forward to continuing to work with you as we move Emmis forward as a public company.”

CBS to Break Out Radio Performance During Quarterly Reports.  As the company states, this is in advance of its separating the CBS RADIO segment from the rest of the company and the expected initial public offering for cbsradiothe new radio company.  The company explains that “beginning with the filing of the Company’s Form 10-Q for the third quarter of 2016, the Company’s previously reported operating segment, Local Broadcasting, will be separated into the following two operating segments: (1) Local Media and (2) Radio.  In connection with this new segment presentation, the presentation of intercompany revenues has been revised, including station affiliation fees paid by Local Media to the CBS Television Network. The following financial information reflects the new segment and intercompany presentations for all periods presented.”  What we’re seeing in the report is that although radio segment revenue has been down slightly over the last six quarters, station operating income has improved.

Odds & Sods.  The Beasley sports talker in Charlotte – WFNZ “610 the Fan” – has been simulcasting on the FM band via translator W273DA at 102.5 leased from the Educational Media Foundation.  Now, Beasley files to buy the translator for $150,000…..…..Jay Morris is exiting his brand manager role with Midwest Communications’ Kalamazoo station group where he programmed alternative WZOX, news/talk WKZO, and sports talk WQLR for a gig outside of the radio biz.  Cluster director of operations and programming Steve Mills assumes PD duties on an interim basis…..Amani Abraham transitions from the anchor/reporter role at Rubber City Radio’s country WQMX and news/talk WAKR in Akron to WKYC-TV, Cleveland to serve as a reporter.

The Presidential Race, WikiLeaks Clinton Doc Dump, ‘SNL’ Election Skits, Battle Against ISIS in Mosul, Kaepernick Starts vs Bills/Anthem Protests, MLB Playoffs, and Sunday’s NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; the dump of emails between Hillary Clinton and her staff by WikiLeaks; Donald Trump’s displeasure of the portrayal of him in “SNL” skits; action in the battle against Islamic State in the Iraqi city of Mosul; the National Anthem protests and counter-protests against Colin Kaepernick prior to his start in Buffalo; the weekend’s MLB playoff action and Sunday’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Friday, October 14, 2016

| October 14, 2016

hillsdalelogouseHillsdale College/TALKERS Magazine Presidential Election Talk Radio Debate in DC Aired Live on CSPAN2; Available on Talkers TV Soon.  The Hillsdale College/TALKERS magazine Presidential Election Talk Radio Debate that took place in Washington, DC earlier today was aired live on CSPAN2.  For those who wish to see the event, the video will be featured on Talkers TV in the coming weeks.  The debate was moderated by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and the panel of participants included: (in alphabetical order): Thom Hartmann, syndicated host, WYD Media; Hugh Hewitt, syndicated host, Salem Radio Network; Joyce Kaufman, afternoon host, WFTL, Ft. Lauderdale/Miami; Joe Madison, morning host, SiriusXM “Urban View” channel; Larry O’ Connor, morning co-host, WMAL, Washington, DC; and Chris Stigall, morning host WPHT, Philadelphia.  The event took place at Hillsdale’s Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship at 227 Massachusetts Avenue, NE, Washington, DC.

Alpha Media Sells Salina-Manhattan, Kansas Cluster to Rocking M Radio.  This divestiture of stations is the first on record for Alpha Media, as far as TALKERS can tell.   The company is selling its stations in the Salinaalphamedia and Manhattan, Kansas markets to local operator Rocking M Radio for an undisclosed price.  The five stations in the deal are: news/talk KSAL-AM, Salina; classic hits KSAL-rockinmmediaFM, Salina; standards KABI-AM, Abilene; country KYEZ-FM, Salina; and adult contemporary KBLS-FM, North Fort Riley.  Alpha Media CEO/president Bob Proffitt comments, “We’re happy for our employees in Salina to be joining such a great company. Rocking M Media is a strong force in Kansas radio and media.”  Because Rocking M already owns three signals in the market, it goes over the FCC cap and is announcing that it will spin KBLS-FM to Manhattan Broadcasting Company for an undisclosed sum.

emmisEmmis Finds Buyer for Texas Monthly.  Just two days after Emmis Communications’ announcement that it found buyers for its stations in Terre Haute, Indiana, the company reports it has signed a deal with Genesis Park to sell the assets of Texas Monthly for $25 million, subject to working capital adjustments.  The press release indicates that “Genesis Park is a regional private equity firm that has built successful communications and technology businesses in Texas for many years.  Examples includetexasmonthly CapRock Services, Alpheus Communications and Vivante GMP.”  It was founded by Paul Hobby.  Emmis chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan states, “Texas Monthly has been a member of the Emmis family for 18 years, so today is bittersweet.  We want to thank all of our employees for their dedication and hard work.  This transaction allows us not only to de-lever our balance sheet, but puts TM in the capable hands of one of Texas’ great families, the Hobbys.” Emmis is still exploring opportunities to sell four other publications and New York radio signal WLIB-AM.

talkersten-logoThe Presidential Race and Related Stories at Top of Talkers TenTM for Week of October 10-14.  The presidential race was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week.  At #2 was the Donald Trump hot-mic incident followed by the Wikileaks Hillary Clinton document dump at #3.  Coming in at #4 was the Fox News report that FBI and CIA staffers questioned James Comey’s decision not to indict Hillary Clinton over the private email server matter.  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.  Chicago sports talk personality Terry Boers will be back on CBS RADIO’s WSCR “The Score” onboersterry October 24.  Boers – the longtime on-air partner of Dan Bernstein – has been off the radio since June dealing with an undisclosed health issue…..After CBS RADIO elected not to re-up its deals with the NHL’s Washington Capitals and the NBA’s Washington Wizards, Hubbard Radio signs up its WFED, Washington “Federal News Radio” to serve as the flagship station for the teams…..Speaking of hockey, with the start of the NHL season, fans can hear hockey action via TuneIn’s NHL radio station all season long with no subscription fee.

WBT, Charlotte Seeks Talk Host and Digital Content Editor.  Charlotte’s heritage news/talker WBT-AM/FM is seeking a talk show host and management has clear ideas about what it wants and what it doesn’t want.  Here’s what the station says: “Charlotte’s News Talk 1110 and 99.3 WBT is looking for personalities that can lead a wbtlogoconversation while being entertaining.  Be serious when needed.  Embrace the Carolina lifestyle.  Someone who is not angry at the world.  If you want to talk politics for 3 hours a day please don’t waste your time applying for this role.  If you have to lean on guests to get through 3 hours a day we don’t want you.  If you get your show prep from Drudge you won’t fit in.  This is the perfect opportunity for you if you’re stuck on a cookie-cutter talk station or if you’re a music personality looking to extend your career.  Show us what you got. Email your resume and a short aircheck to hired@wbt.com now.  No phone calls please.  Simultaneously, the station is also seeking a digital content editor.  It says: “What do you get when you mix part writer, editor, news and political junky, student of social media and add a dash of video creator?  The making of News Talk 1110 & 99.3 WBT’s newest Digital Content Editor.  Our new team member will be a self-starter that creates, aggregates and maintains content, including text, video, photos and graphics, driving traffic and conversations to our news-talk radio station website, social and mobile efforts and builds communities. Writing and editing succinct, fact-filled content in a compelling and active tone for wbt.com are at the core of this positions duties.”  Also apply for that position at hired@wbt.com.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

| October 12, 2016

Cumulus Shareholders Approve Reverse Stock Split.  The vote among Cumulus Media shareholders took place today and becomes effective at 5:00 pm ET.  This move consists of a 1-for-8 reverse split – eight shares cumulus-logoof the company’s Class A common stock will be converted into one share – to increase the price of each share.  There will be no fractional shares issued; they will be rounded up to whole shares.  This obviously results in a reduction of the number of authorized shares of common stock.  Cumulus Media’s stock has been trading for less than $ 0.75 per share for most of the past year.

Charlie Sykes’ Exit from WTMJ, Milwaukee Presents Options for New Show.  In a piece published in the Milwaukee Business Journal, WTMJ VP/GM Tom Langmyer says that the station will not be limiting its search Radio 620 WTMJ - WRS (662c)for a replacement for talk host Charlie Sykes to a “political host.”  Sykes’ national profile has grown over the last year due to his refusal to support the candidacy of Donald Trump for president.  As a conservative media icon in the state – Sykes founded the conservative media site RightWisconsin.com – his approach to his radio program has also been politically focused.  Langmyer has already announced that Jeff Wagner’s program will move into the 8:30 am to 12:00 noon slot currently occupied by Sykes, leaving the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm daypart the one to be filled.  Referring to the station’s programming philosophy, Langmyer says, “Over the last couple of years, (we have) focused on a more inclusive feel.  We have definitely broadened our scope and appeal to what WTMJ means to the community overall.”  You can read the entire piece here.

Evening Personality Joe DeCamara Exits WPEN-FM, Philadelphia.  Both Crossing Broad and Philly.com are reporting that evening sports talk host Joe DeCamara has exited Greater Media’s WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” where he’s been host of the 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm show since April of 2015.  DeCamara first joined thewpen-fm station in 2005.  WPEN-FM, along with the other Greater Media signals in Philly, is in the process of being acquired by Beasley Broadcast Group.  Just last month, Jon Marks exited the WPEN-FM morning program hosted by Anthony Gargano.  Three other staffers were let go at the time the Greater Media-Beasley deal was announced.  There’s no word from Greater Media about its plans for replacing DeCamara.  Staffer Matt Lombardo hosted the show last night (10/11).

oshaughnessywilliamWilliam O’Shaughnessy Goes to Bat for Billy Bush.  New York broadcaster William O’Shaughnessy pens an opinion piece addressing the character of embattled NBC-TV personality Billy Bush.  O’Shaughnessy says, in so many words, what a shame it would be for Bush to lose his position with NBC due do his role in the Donald Trump hot-mic case that’s plaguing the Republican nominee.  Read it here.

londoncallingimageNew Episode of International Talk Show ‘London Calling with Graham Mack’ Posted Today.   Episode 4 of the exciting new TalkersRadio weekly program “London Calling” is posted today (10/12).  The experimental show that swaps news, views and information between the US and Great Britain, hosted by award-winning English talk host Graham Mack, features a conversation with an icon of British broadcasting who happens to be an American, Paul Gambaccini.  Mack talks about a possible fist fight in the European Parliament and he hears from a listener named Linda Lee King in California who discovered the show via an interview Mack did on Chicago radio, plus Michael Harrison checks in from Massachusetts to discuss Brexit.  To hear the show in its entirety please go directly to TalkersRadio by clicking here.

Odds & Sods. At iHeartMedia’s Tampa sports talker WDAE, the local morning drive program co-hosted by Tampa Bay Times writers Rick Stroud and Tom Jones is cancelled in favor of ESPN Radio’s “Mike & Mike” show…..WTMJ, Milwaukee is once again producing a holiday radio show.  This year, the Scripps-owned station is doing “It’s a Wonderful Life,” featuring radio personalities Charlie Sykes, Jeff Wagner, Gene Mueller, Greg Matzek, Wayne Larrivee and a cast of other WTMJ hosts and local voices.  It will take place live at Milwaukee’s Turner Hall on November 29 and be replayed on the radio throughout the holiday season.

The Presidential Race/Debate and Trump Hot-Mic Aftermath, Clinton Wikileaks Docs, Syria Civil War/Russian Military Involvement, Hurricane Matthew Destruction, Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 Crisis, MLB Playoffs, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/11).  The presidential race, including the Sunday evening debate and the “Access Hollywood” hot-mic issue; the Wikileaks release of revealing emails between Hillary Clinton and John Podesta; the civil conflict in Syria and the Russian military’s role in recent deadly attacks on civilians; the destruction in the Carolinas from Hurricane Matthew; the problems facing Samsung due to the exploding Galaxy Note 7 phone; the Major League Baseball playoffs; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

| April 5, 2016

iheartmedia logo smalliHeartMedia and Creditors Still at Odds Over Asset Shift.  According to a report from Bloomberg, iHeartMedia and a number of its creditors have broken off talks to try to resolve the rancor over iHeartMedia’s shift of 100 million shares of Clear Channel Outdoor to a new subsidiary called Broader Media.  Creditors including D. E. Shaw, Canyon Capital, Franklin Advisers and Franklin Mutual sued iHeartMedia over the move claiming that it violates the debt covenants.  iHeartMedia argues that’s not the case and the move is designed to allow the company to deal more effectively with its $20 billion in debt.  iHeartMedia told a Texas judge that if the creditors’ bond defaults are allowed to proceed, it would cause as much as $15 billion of the company’s debt to come due quickly and that would force the company into bankruptcy protection.  The creditors argue that is not what they are trying to accomplish.  iHeartMedia SVP and treasurer Brian Coleman says the company’s maneuvers are part of its Project Indigo, a long-term strategy designed to allow it to study ways to deal with its debt.

The Panama Papers, The Presidential Race/Wisconsin Primary, Iran Arms Shipment Case, North Korean Nuke Threats, Tennessee Bible Bill, and NCAA Championship Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/4).  The so-called “Panama Papers” that reportedly link numerous world leaders to schemes to hide wealth in off-shore accounts; the activities of the candidates for president and today’s Wisconsin primary; the capture of illegal arms being shipped by Iran; the threats of nuclear attacks by North Korea; the controversial Tennessee bill that makes the Bible the official state book; and Monday evening’s NCAA Men’s Basketball championship were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

zaneericEric Zane Lands at Sports WBBL, Grand Rapids.  After exiting the nationally syndicated “Free Beer and Hot Wings” show based at Townsquare Media’s rock WGRD, Grand Rapids, Eric Zane has landed the morning show gig at Cumulus Media’s crosstown sports talk WBBL, effective April 7.  Zane officially left the show in mid-February after being absent from the program without explanation.  It appears Zane’s departure was the result of a contract dispute.  Now, he’ll compete in the Grand Rapids market directly with his former co-hosts Gregg “Free Beer” Daniels and Chris “Hot Wings” Michels.  The “Free Beer and Hot Wings” show is syndicated nationally by Compass Media Networks.

altitude sportsLineup at ‘Altitude Sports’ in Denver to Launch on Friday.  The newest sports talk radio station in the Denver market will officially launch on Friday, April 8 – the home opener day for the Colorado Rockies.  Much of the news about Stan Kroenke-owned KRWZ, Denver (recently purchased from Entercom) is not really news as it’s been rumored and reported in the Denver media for some time.  Here’s the lineup: Josh Dover hosts “The Morning Lineup” from 6:00 am to 7:00 am; the morning show will feature Tom Helmer, Lauren Gardner (an Altitude TV reporter), and former Denver Nuggets star Scott Hastings.  Middays will be hosted by Vic Lombardi and Kyle Keefe.  The station will also carry play-by-play of the NBA’s Nuggets, the NHL’s Avalanche; the MLS’ Colorado Rapids; and the National Lacrosse League’s Colorado Mammoth.

Odds & Sods.  There’s been a morning show and midday program re-build at CBS RADIO’s KHTK, Sacramento.  Carmichael Dave is now joined by Kayte Christensen and former midday host Nate Goodyear.  In middays, Jason Ross is partnered up with newcomers Ken Rudolph and Damien BarlingJay Johnson joins the station as executive producer…..Long Nine Inc.-owned news/talk WMAY, Springfield, Illinois adds an FM translator to its broadcast with the addition of W234CC, Sherman, Illinois at 94.7 FM.

granttoniDr. Toni Grant Dead at 72.  The cause of death is unknown at this time, but the Los Angeles Times is reporting that former radio talk show host and psychologist Dr. Toni Grant died in Beverly Hills on March 27.  Grant’s radio career was launched on KABC, Los Angeles in 1975 in the overnight daypart.  Her show eventually moved across town to KFI.  It went into syndication and at its height was heard on some 180 affiliates.  She was off the air from 1990 to 1997 when she re-entered the business.  She last worked on air at KABC in 2001.  Read the Times’ obit here.

kfivCool Job Opportunity.  “PowerTalk 1360 and 1280” is searching for a local talk show host for afternoon drive in California’s Central Valley.  Applicants must have spoken-word experience. General necessities include a passionate, opinionated, outspoken, larger-than-life personality with decidedly conservative values, obsession for news, politics, pop culture, and sports.  The ideal candidate will bring an intuitive understanding of the unique values, morals and issues of the California Central Valley and be in sync with those values and perspectives.  You must have the ability to speak to the audience as one of them; put a voice to their thoughts and beliefs…much more important than professional polish or experience.  In a perfect world you have spent time working in the Central Valley but you don’t have to presently live in the Modesto/Stockton area.  You will fully embrace the role of a LOCAL personality: specifically address and engage the LOCAL community issues, organizations, and interests, capitalize on endorsement opportunities, serve as station ambassador, be visible at all community functions, spearhead station and cluster community outreach. You must understand and dedicate your performance to the bottom line: your goals are ratings and unique visitors.  See required skills and submit resume and demo here.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

| January 28, 2016

ciancibuddyWPRO-AM, Providence Talk Host Buddy Cianci Dead at 74.  The colorful former Providence mayor who turned his political experience into a talk radio career in the city has died, according to WPRI-TV, Providence.  Buddy Cianci – diagnosed with colon cancer in 2014 – died at Providence’s Miriam Hospital early today (1/28).  Cianci hosted the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm program on Cumulus Media’s WPRO-AM.  He was with the station for most of the past 10 years, taking a required break from his radio gig to again run for mayor in 2014 and returning after his defeat in the election.  His first foray into talk radio took place between his two stints as mayor at iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talker WHJJ.  WRKO, Boston-based, independently syndicated talk radio star Howie Carr issued the following statement regarding Cianci’s death: “Buddy Cianci was the antithesis of political correctness, which is why his passing is such a great loss for Providence, the state of Rhode Island, and talk radio.  They’re not making them like Buddy anymore.  He was one of a kind, sui generis.”

landrethjackTalk Programmer Jack Landreth Exits KMBZ, Kansas City PD Post.  Talk radio pro Jack Landreth leaves the program director position at Entercom’s Kansas City talk duo KMBZ-FM and KMBZ-AM “Talk980.”  Landreth arrived in KC in January of 2012 after programming such news/talk outlets as KXNT, Las Vegas and KTSA, San Antonio.  He writes in a memo to his staff, “I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished over the last four years as a team.  Record ratings in our target demos have shattered all we thought we could do.”  He can be emailed at: Jack.Landreth@me.com.

Odds & Sods.  Cumulus Media’s news/talk WABC, New York adds “The Frommer Travel Show” to its Saturday programming schedule.  The show, featuring Frommer Media co-president and editorial director Pauline Frommer and Frommers.com editor-in-chief Jason Cochran, will be locally produced and air from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm…..The weekly “Motley Fool Money” radio program with host Chris Hill adds new affiliate KVBR, Brainerd, Minnesota “Brainerd Business Radio” beginning this weekend…..CBS RADIO’s Pittsburgh station group is presenting its eat.drink.WESTMORELAND event this Saturday (1/30).  Attendees get to enjoy samples from more than a dozen of Westmoreland County’s finest restaurants plus new products, wines, beers and more.  News/talk KDKA-AM afternoon drive co-host Robert Mangino is serving as emcee.

Presidential Race/Trump to Skip GOP Debate, Low Oil Prices/Financial Markets Volatility, European Immigrant Issues, Joseph Fiennes-Michael Jackson Flap, Oregon Militia Standoff, and Run-Up to Super Bowl 50 Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/27).  The activities of the candidates for president, highlighted by Donald Trump’s refusal to participate in tonight’s Fox News Channel debate; low oil prices and the tumultuous world financial markets; the immigrant problems facing some European nations; the controversy over white actor Joseph Fiennes being cast in a film about Michael Jackson; the deadly turn of events in the Oregon Wildlife Preserve militia standoff; and the run-up to Super Bowl 50 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

wgnBhawksCochran16WGN, Chicago Extends Blackhawks Broadcast Deal for Five More Years.  Chicago news/talker WGN and the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks announce the signing of a five-year contract extension to keep Blackhawks play-by-play on the Tribune station through the 2023-24 season. The Blackhawks have been heard on WGN since the 2008-09 campaign.  WGN president and general manager Jimmy de Castro states, “Many, myself included, believe that WGN Radio and the Chicago Blackhawks have the best partnership in sports.  This renewal is testament to that.  It’s an honor to formally extend this relationship and we look forward to celebrating many more Blackhawks wins with our WGN Radio listeners.”  Pictured here are (from l-r): sports director Dave Eanet, producer Ross Cochran, news anchor Andrea Darlas, director of sales Jeff Hill, director of marketing Jackie Paulus, programming director Todd Manley, morning show host Steve Cochran, and de Castro.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

| January 19, 2016

pughdaveCBS RADIO Names Dave Pugh Phoenix Market Manager.  His exact title is senior vice president/market manager and director of sales of CBS RADIO Phoenix, and Dave Pugh takes over for Tim Pohlman who recently was moved to the same post at CBS RADIO Chicago.  CBS RADIO chief operating officer Scott Herman states, “Dave has an established track record of driving revenue, developing sales strategies and cultivating client relationships, which is evident through his impressive career and outstanding reputation.  His leadership skills, along with his extensive knowledge of digital will greatly benefit our Phoenix stations.  We are thrilled to have Dave join the CBS RADIO team in this key position.”  Pugh most recently was RVP for San Francisco-based Veritone Media.  He also served with iHeartMedia in the San Francisco, Washington, DC, and Detroit markets.

obeidallahdeanFast-Approaching Primaries Bring Talk Radio Role into Spotlight.  There are differing opinions on how large of a role talk radio plays in the election process – especially during the primaries when candidates are trying to appeal to a party’s base.  Regardless, of one’s opinion on that, there’s little doubt that talk radio personalities command a lot of attention – and a lot of blame – from the mainstream press during this period.  An example of that is writer and SiriusXM talk host Deanbeckglenn Obeidallah’s opinion piece published by CNN.com, titled “Why Glenn Beck Fears Donald Trump,” in which he uses Beck’s dislike of Trump as a candidate to support his feeling that Trump is so potentially harmful that even Glenn Beck doesn’t want him to be the GOP nominee.  It’s interesting that Obeidallah writes in his piece, “This may be the first and possibly the last time that I agree with Beck.”  This is illustrative of the extreme polarity in today’s political discourse in the media in America.  Obeidallah’s comment – while probably intended to be hyperbole – implies that if a media personality is on the other side of the political fence from him, there can’t possibly be anything upon which they agree.  However, the reality is probably that the majority of American voters don’t feel this impenetrable divide.  Yet, the media dialogue suggests a very different tone – one that it may feel in Washington, DC and then project onto the electorate.  Read Obeidallah’s piece here.

wwtcSalem’s AM 1280 The Patriot to Celebrate 15 Years with Live Event.  The Twin Cities news/talker WWTC “AM 1280 The Patriot” will celebrate its 15th birthday in March and Salem Media is throwing a “Birthday Bash” open to listeners on Monday, March 21 at Orchestra Hall from 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm.  The event is being sponsored by Lifestyle Financial & Tax and the station is selling VIP dinner tickets so fans can participate in a meet-and-greet with station hosts Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, Michael Medved and Hugh Hewitt.   Station GM Nic Anderson comments, “We are excited to have our entire 8:00 am to 8:00 pm daily lineup in town for what will be a great evening in celebration of the station’s 15th birthday.”

Odds & Sods. The WSB-AM, Atlanta-based Herman Cain show is now being syndicated by WYM Mediacainherman Management.  Cain’s program had been syndicated in the past by Westwood One…..The Shelton, Washington news/talk simulcast KMAS and K277CZ undergoes a brand change as owner Olympic Broadcasting teams up with local broadband provider iFIBER Communications to operate the station.  The new brand is “iFiberOne NewsRadio.”

Presidential Race, Sinking Oil Prices/Tumultuous Financial Markets, Flint Water Scandal, Battle Against Islamic State, Sean Penn’s ‘El Chapo’ Interview, Oscars Boycott, Martin Luther King Holiday, the NFL Playoffs, and Glenn Frey Passes Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/18).  The activities of the candidates for president; plummeting oil prices and the volatility of the world’s financial markets; the scandal involving high levels of lead in Flint, Michigan’s water supply and local officials’ awareness and denial of it; the battle against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria; the Rolling Stone-published interview of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman by actor Sean Penn and Penn’s appearance on “60 Minutes”; the Spike Lee and Jada Pinkett Smith-led boycott of the Academy Awards for its lack of black nominees; Monday’s Martin Luther King Jr. holiday; the weekend’s NFL playoffs; and the death of Eagles founding member Glenn Frey were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

| January 13, 2016

savagemichaelSupreme Court Denies TRN’s Appeal of Savage Decision.  This is a case that goes all the way back to talk host Michael Savage’s 2010 suit to be freed of his contract with Talk Radio Network, claiming the company did not properly execute the right-to-match provision in that contract.  Savage won in arbitration in 2012 and was victorious at the Appeals Court level before TRN took the case all the waytrn logo to the Supreme Court.  On Monday (1/11), the Supreme Court denied TRN’s petition to hear the case, leaving the Appeals Court’s decision stand.  Savage, who’s been working for Westwood One since October of 2012, was awarded $863,454, plus other monies owed him by TRN, plus ownership of his archives by the arbitration panel.  Speaking to WND.com, Savage states, “After many, many years and over a million dollars of legal fees, justice has prevailed.  TRN has never paid me one dime of the money they were supposed to pay me.”

iheartmedia logo smalliHeartMedia Re-Organizes Senior Executive Structure; Four Promoted to Division President.  Saying that these structural changes will “push both decision-making and resources closer to the markets, with every market now better aligned to deliver more focused resources closer to their listeners and advertisers,” iHeartMedia announces the elevation of four EVPs of operations to division president titles, overseeing four new geographical regions.  New division presidents are: Hartley Adkins, president of the Northeast Division and Corporate Operations will also oversee multi-cultural and strategic initiatives and communication for the Regions, working closely with Corporate teams; Greg Ashlock, president of the West Division, will also serve as the senior business leader representing the company in the Western U.S. across all divisions; Matt Martin, president of the Central Division, will also continue to oversee the company’s Sales Operations Center as well as direct and develop the company’s internal training programs; and Tom McConnell, president of the Midwest/Southeast Division, will also continue to work with the Regions on operational needs.  iHeartMedia says the new structure replaces its Major and Regional Market groups organization.  Now, the company will be comprised of four geographic Divisions, each led by a new Division President.  The Divisions are strategically organized into 36 Regions that will address the needs of both listeners and advertisers based on geography.  Chairman and CEO Bob Pittman states, “The new structure under the leadership of Hartley, Greg, Matt and Tom adds nimbleness and new resources for our markets and stations.  We are taking advantage of our size and unparalleled assets to empower our people and our markets by giving them better access to all our cutting-edge resources, from digital to data, our programmatic automated ad buying system, research and technology and more, letting them take advantage of the big investments we’ve made and use them to benefit their listeners and advertising partners in their region.”

kfi logoKFI, Los Angeles Tweaks Show Times; Bill Carroll Not Being Replaced.  With the recent departure of midday personality Bill Carroll (announced last week), iHeartMedia’s Los Angeles talk outlet is shifting the show times to cover his three-hour show.  Bill Handel hosts mornings from 6:00 am to 10:00 am; duo Gary Hoffman and Shannon Farren air from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm; afternooners John & Ken are on from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm; and evening host Tim Conway Jr. now hosts the 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm show.

ramseyChicago16Ramsey Sells Out in the Windy City.  The 2016 edition of nationally syndicated talk radio star Dave Ramsey’s Smart Money tour began with a sold out crowd in Chicago on Tuesday (1/12) at Willow Creek Community Church.  Ramsey’s event focused on “how to win with money, get out of debt and invest for the future.”  Financial expert and speaker Chris Hogan joined Ramsey on stage.  The event was a part of Hogan’s Retire Inspired book tour, which launched in New York on January 11.  Ramsey combined forces with local affiliate WIND, Chicago “AM 560 The Answer” to promote the Chicago appearance.  Station GM Jeff Reisman says, “WIND was thrilled to have Dave and Chris Hogan share their financial wisdom to more than 4,500 attendees.  Dave’s daily radio program provides practical and actionable financial advice so people can stop living paycheck to paycheck and provides sponsors with an established and highly credible forum for their commercial message.”  Pictured here with Ramsey are Salem Chicago director of sales Michael Mann (left) and Reisman (right).

arichanceKRDZDavid Chancellor Teams with Air Temkin on ‘ESPN San Antonio.’  Market sports broadcasting pro David Chancellor is joining Ari Temkin as co-host of the midday show “The Hardline with Ari and Chance” on KZDC “ESPN San Antonio,” airing daily from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm.  Chancellor is an award-winning sports anchor for WOAI-TV “News 4 San Antonio.”  Alpha Media San Antonio station manager Bob Brown comments, “David has had a periodic presence on ‘ESPN San Antonio’ for some time and we realized a long time ago that he’s a TV guy who really gets radio.  We couldn’t be more pleased to have David join us full time as the co-host of the new, three-hour version of ‘The Hardline with Ari and Chance.’”

stigallFOX16O’Reilly Brings in Philly Perspective in Cop Shooting Case.  Covering the shooting of Philadelphia police officer Jesse Hartnett by alleged gunman Edward Archer – a suspect who has told police he shot Hartnett “in the name of Islam” – Fox News Channel personality Bill O’Reilly welcomed WPHT, Philadelphia morning drive personality Chris Stigall (pictured) to his show for the latest details and a local perspective.

Odds & Sods.  Chicago Cubs radio play-by-play voice Pat Hughes has been honored as the 2015 Illinois Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association…..At Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton, “New Jersey 101.5,” Fred Bennett exits the president and chief revenue officer role.  Taking over for Bennett is Ron DeCastro who was most recently with CBS RADIO serving as general sales manager for CHR WBMP, New York “92.3 AMP Radio.”

Presidential Race, State of the Union Address, Sean Penn ‘El Chapo’ Trip, Battle Against Islamic State/Istanbul Bombing, Sinking Oil Prices/World Financial Markets, Record Powerball Jackpot, and NFL Playoffs/Alabama Wins College Football Championship Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/12).  The activities of the candidates for president; the build-up to President Obama’s final State of the Union speech last night; the controversy surrounding actor Sean Penn’s trip to Mexico to interview drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman; the fight against Islamic State and the terror bombing in Istanbul; plummeting oil prices and its effect on the world’s financial markets; the $1.5 billion record Powerball jackpot; and the NFL playoffs and Alabama’s victory of Clemson in the College Football Championship game were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

harrisonMHCNN16Michael Harrison:  Trump’s a “Shock Jock” That’s Now Running for President.  TALKERS publisher/founder Michael Harrison was invited to comment on the Donald Trump presidential candidacy yesterday (1/10) on the CNN media analysis program, “Reliable Sources.”  The premise of the segment was to discuss whether or not it was conservative talk radio that specifically set the stage for Trump’s surprisingly successful showing in the polls because the medium taps into the anger and frustration felt by a large number of Americans about the state of the country and the politicians in Washington, DC.  The insinuation was that conservative talk radio was stoking the aforementioned anger thus providing what program host Brian Stelter described as “fertilizer” for the early stages of Trump’s campaign.  Harrison disagreed that talk radio’s early coverage of Trump’s candidacy gave him the boost that launched his domination of the GOP field or that talk radio was fueling anger in the first place.  According to Harrison, the anger and frustration of American citizens has been building for a very long time now and that it isn’t just the far right that is angry, stating a case could be made that Bernie Sanders (popular among progressive hosts) appeals to a broad, angry segment of the left.  Harrison said it was a wide variety of factors that led to Trump’s success in the polls and that talk radio is but “one of many media” that are playing into it.  Harrison described the media, including talk radio, as basically serving its own “strategic” interests, thus giving tremendous coverage to Trump to capitalize on his proven appeal as a ratings attraction.  Harrison said, “Donald Trump is responsible for Donald Trump’s success and if any media can be credited with fueling it, you must credit NBC’s “The Apprentice.”  Speaking off-air, Harrison states, “The original premise of the segment was that conservative talk radio was one of the seminal causes of not just widespread anger in America – but hate as well – and that Trump is now feeding off of that… a suggestion that I cannot get behind whatsoever.”  Harrison adds, “Trump has all the skills of the great so-called ‘shock jocks’ who have been stirring up controversy for years.  He’s a talented blend of Howard Stern, Don Imus, and Rush Limbaugh all rolled into one extraordinary attraction.  Does that make a great talk media entertainer?  Yes.  Does that make a great provocateur?  Yes.  Does that make a great stimulator of important conversation?  Yes.  Does that drive great ratings in a fragmented media marketplace?  Yes.  Does that make a great president?  God help us if we actually have the chance to find out.”

Right Said Fred: Remembering Fred Thompson

| November 2, 2015

By Mike Kinosian,
Managing Editor
TALKERS

 

kinosianlgNASHVILLE — In 2004, Fred Thompson was diagnosed with NHL (non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma); yesterday, (11/1), he died from a recurrence of lymphoma at the age of 73.

At an imposing height of six feet six inches, Thompson commanded instant respect – yet was also the very definition of an affable gentleman. Sheffield, Alabama-born Fred Dalton Thompson distinguished himself by representing The Volunteer State of Tennessee in the United States Senate from December 1994 – January 2003.

Approximately two-dozen movie credits, as well as his portrayal of District Attorney Arthur Branch on NBC-TV’s “Law & Order: Trial by Jury,” saturated his remarkably robust resume.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

| July 29, 2015

benztimBenz To Depart WEEI-FM. Revealing on Twitter that he “underestimated the difficulties that go along with working a job in one city while trying to maintain a home and marriage in another,” Entercom sports WEEI-FM, Boston mid-day “MFB” co-host Tim Benz will return to Pittsburgh early next month. Boston-born Benz joined WEEI-FM approximately 14 months ago fromWEEI-FM iHeartMedia Pittsburgh. In addition to being sports director of that company’s six-station “Steel City” cluster, Benz did morning drive on alternative WXDX “The X.” According to Benz, Boston was “every bit the city” he wanted to experience; however, he notes that it is best for him “personally and professionally” to be back in Pittsburgh with his wife Kate. No details were released about his new assignment in Pittsburgh, where the two sports outlets are iHeartMedia’s WBGG “970 ESPN” and KDKA-FM “The Fan,” owned by CBS Radio – the parent of WEEI-FM format rival WBZ-FM “The Sports Hub.” Benz – who angered many locals by remaining partial to the Pittsburgh Steelers – will do his final “MFB” show tomorrow (Thursday, 7/30). The other members of “MFB” are former Boston Red Sox super-sub Lou Merloni, and ex- New England Patriots tight end Christian Fauria. Benz’ father is Dr. Edward Benz Jr., the president and chief executive officer of Boston’s renowned Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

bouvardpierreWW1’s Bouvard: What If Brand Advertising Were Based on ‘Cost Per Awareness?’  In the current edition of his regular blog post, Westwood One chief marketing officer Pierre Bouvard uses recent data from an Ipsos study of the media campaign for the July 15 Amazon Prime Day Sales event to illustrate the effectiveness of radio versus TV and online in this campaign.  Bouvard notes (aswestwood one NEW TALKERS published last week) that Ipsos reports “radio advertising was the most effective at converting awareness into Prime Day purchases when compared to TV and online.  Of those exposed to radio ads, 52% made a purchase versus TV (39%) and online (48%).”  He goes on to say that, contrary to what one might expect, radio did a better job of targeting 18-34s than TV or online.  But what Bouvard really gets at is how much was spent by Amazon on each medium and he posits that if brand advertising were sold on cost-per-awareness basis, radio would have come out on top in this case.  Here’s why: Amazon spent $6 million on TV for a 34% ad recall (among 18-34s), resulting in a $177,000 cost-per-awareness point, while it spent $1.4 million on the radio campaign for a 14% ad recall that results in just $100,000 for each cost-per-awareness point.  Read Bouvard’s entire piece here.

Odds & Sods.  Radio consultant Kipper McGee’s new book, Brandwidth: How Big Broadcasting Missed thebrandwidth cover Mediamorphosis, is out and ready for shipment.  McGee describes the book saying he “reveals the common traits of the biggest failures and offers powerful takeaways for ANY brand planning to thrive in the ever-changing digital world order.”…..Former North Carolina State tight end and NFL player Mark Thomas is leaving sports talk WCMC, Raleigh “99.9 FM The Fan” after almost eight years to join the marketing and ad firm Krash Creative.  Thomas hosts the Mark and Mike show with Mike Maniscalco…..The NHL’s Florida Panthers radio play-by-play broadcasts will continue to be heard on flagship WQAM, Miami after CBS RADIO reached an agreement to extend their deal.  “Red Deer” Randy Moller will continue to call the action from the booth.  As part of the partnership, WQAM will air a 30-minute pregame show and a 15-minute postgame show.  The station will also broadcast weekly updates, and exclusive interviews with Panthers head coach Gerard Gallant, Panthers players and other hockey personalities.  A 60-minute “Panthers Insider” program hosted by Moller will air on Saturday mornings.  The Panthers will also receive comprehensive promotion on CBS RADIO stations country WKIS and hip hop WPOW…..Greater Media sports talker WPEN-FM, Philadelphia “97.5 The Fanatic” will be the radio outlet for the Arena Football League’s 2015 East Division Champion Philadelphia Soul as it enters the playoff round of competition.  The station’s Joe DeCamara and Soul general manager Tom Goodhines will provide color commentary…..Univision takes over Spanish-language broadcasts of Chicago Bears games from SBS as its WVIX and WVIV simulcast and WRTO-AM have acquired the rights in a new multi-year deal.  Hector Lozano and Omar Ramos will be in the booth for play-by-play duties.

trevigneandreFormer WWL and WRNO, New Orleans Host Andre Trevigne Dead at 66.  Longtime New Orleans TV and radio personality Andre Trevigne got her start in radio in Chicago but rose to prominence after moving back to her hometown of New Orleans and shifting from radio to television.  She worked at WWL-TV where she partnered with Eric Paulsen to co-host that station’s morning news program.  She went back to radio as a talk show host at WWL-AM in 1999 and stayed there through 2004.  She hosted a radio talk show on WRNO from 2006 through 2009.  Trevigne died in hospice after a long illness.

kmoxcleanup15KMOX, St. Louis’ Charlie Brennan Spearheads Ferguson Clean-Up.  As the one-year anniversary of the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri approaches, KMOX, St. Louis mid-morning personality Charlie Brennan came up with the idea of a community clean-up to help the community bounce back.  Almost 400 volunteers turned out for a massive clean-up of West Florissant, the street that became ground zero for the protests, looting and fighting that would occupy the area for weeks.  Pictured here is Brennan (standing) broadcasting from the station’s remote base during the clean-up.

2016 Presidential Candidates-Trump Criticisms, Obama’s ‘Could Win Third Term’ Comment, Planned Parenthood Videos Scandal, Bill Cosby Rape Allegations, Minnesota Dentist Lion Hunt Controversy, Iran Nuclear Deal, Immigration Policy-Syrian Refugee Influx, Tom Brady Suspension Upheld Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/28). The activities of the candidates for president in 2016 and the intense scrutiny of Donald Trump; President Obama’s statement that if he could run again, he’d win; the ongoing controversy over the videos showing Planned Parenthood doctors haggling over the price for body parts from aborted fetuses; the ballooning allegations of rape against Bill Cosby; the case of a Minnesota dentist who paid to kill and African lion; the uncertain state of the nuclear deal with Iran; ongoing debate over America’s immigration policy and concerns over an influx of Syrian refugees; and the upholding of the four-game suspension of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

| May 21, 2015

lettermandavid wideEnd of Letterman Show Reveals Late Night Giant’s Impact on News/Talk Personalities.  Late night TV talk legend David Letterman’s retirement from the business after an astonishing run on both NBC and CBS gave talk radio hosts the opportunity to not only address the cultural phenomenon that his program was but to express their admiration for Letterman’s broadcasting skills, creativity and groundbreaking humor and admit to being influenced by him.  Yesterday (5/20), TALKERS magazine published a heartfelt and deeply personal piece by WPHT, Philadelphia morning drive host Chris Stigall.  If you missed it, read that here.joycebrian  TALKERS editors are hearing from other hosts who’ve been thinking about how Letterman influenced their careers.  WGOW, Chattanooga midday host Brian Joyce says he hosted comics Rob Schneider and Brian Kiley to talk about Letterman’s show and his impact.  “Rob made his network debut on Letterman’s show back in 1987 when he was 23 years old.  Kiley is a stand-up comedian and writer who has appeared on Letterman’s show six times and has been nominated for 16 Emmy Awards as Conan O’Brien’s head monologue harrisonmichael5-15writer.  They discussed their feelings about Letterman and his legacy, plus their overall thoughts on the state of late night TV, plus media in general.”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “Although Johnny Carson remains THE cultural icon of late night television talk/variety shows, and Steve Allen and Jack Parr certainly cast their significant influence upon several generations of late night TV talkers, no singular practitioner of the genre has influenced the modern era of both radio and television talk show hosts as much as David Letterman.  You see his fingerprints all over the style and constructs of so many of today’s radio gabbers covering the spectrum of pop culture, political and even sports talk programs.  David Letterman’s contribution to the basic attitude of talk programming has been nothing short of profound.”

JohnandLeahShow logoThe John and Leah Show to Air on WNIR-FM, Akron.  The Akron heritage FM talk outlet will be the weekend home to the Envision Networks-syndicated “John and Leah Show” featuring John Ziegler and Leah Brandon.  The Media-Com talk station will air the program live on Sunday evenings at 10:00 pm ET.  WNIR-FM station manager Bill Klaus says, “It’s good to have a live weekend program, instead of taped replays of programs earlier in the week.  We love having a male and female host anchoring our Sunday nights.”  Envision Networks says, “Hosts John Ziegler and Leah Brandon bring you the final word on the week’s events and first thoughts on the week to come.  The hosts provide an informative, compelling and entertaining take on the news of the week as well as their own crazy lives.  The John and Leah Show is always interesting with unpredictable conversations.”

schoenbergertoddTodd Schoenberger Named Afternoon Host at WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.  Effective June 1, retired hedge fund manager and national media personality, Todd Schoenberger begins hosting the afternoon drive program on Resort Broadcasting’s WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware “92.7FM The Talk of Delmarva.”  The company says that it “boasts a deep and seasoned lineup of veteran hosts and award-winning shows, from Mike Bradley to Jim Rash to Rush Limbaugh.  The addition of Toddwgmd logo Schoenberger is expected to only further validate WGMD as the finest and most credible news/talk radio station in Delmarva and points west of the Chesapeake Bay.”  Director of broadcast operations, engineering and programming Walt Palmer comments, “Todd’s background as a frequent guest and expert on major national networks, such as FOX News, CNBC, CNN and Bloomberg, exemplifies the station to a level unmatched by our competitors.  WGMD continues to be the clear station-of-choice for radio and on-line listeners.”  Schoenberger was most recently founder and managing partner for LandColt Capital LP.  He is also a published freelance writer and has authored numerous articles for The Washington Times, The Baltimore Sun, CNBC.com and FOXBusiness.com.

nyfest smallNew York Festivals World’s Best Radio Programs Finalists Announced.  The winners of the 2015 New York Festivals World’s Best Radio Programs competition will be announced on June 22 as the awards ceremony at the Manhattan Penthouse.  For the 33-year-old competition, The Grand Jury selected 289 finalists from entries submitted from over 30 countries worldwide. Entries were judged on production values, organization, presentation of information, creativity, and use of the medium.  All finalists proceed to the medal round to determine Gold, Silver, and Bronze trophies.  From the United States, finalists include programs created by public radio-affiliated companies as well as commercial broadcasters including ESPN and SiriusXM.  The latter is a finalist in four categories and ESPN is a finalist in six categories.

wgnplus logoWGN Plus to Carry ‘Jones and Mike’ Show.  The Chicago-based program “Jones and Mike,” with hosts Brian Jones and Mike Noonan, is being aired on Tribune Media’s “digital content incubator” WGN Plus where it will be available via WGNPlus.com and the WGN Plus app in thejonesbrian chicago Apple and Google Play stores.  WGN Radio vice president of content and programming Todd Manley comments, “WGNplus is a place for us to take risks and get behind innovative talent. Jones and Mike fit noonanmikethat mold perfectly.”  Brian Jones says, “When we set out to create this show we wanted to bring it to the biggest possible audience of 35-to-54-year-old people interested in hearing lifestyle talk.  WGN Plus has a valuable audience and we’re very happy to be associated with a blue-chip brand like WGN!”  The “Jones and Mike” show is a production of Revolutionary Media Group and is heard on local AM signal WCGO, Evanston on weekends.

Odds & Sods.  The news/talk format produced by Forever Broadcasting in the State College, Pennsylvania market leaves WRSC-FM and will move to the company’s WRSC-AM, bumping the sports talk format off the air.  Replacing news/talk on the FM is a classic hits format branded “Happy 103.”…..ESPN Audio is debuting the “Golf” podcast with ESPN.com golf writers Michael Collins and Jason Sobel.  New podcasts will arrive bi-weekly and will be about 30 minutes in length.  The first episode, May 7, featured Jacksonville Jaguars kicker Joshbowermike Scobee…..Talk show pro Michael Bower is back in the fill-in business from his ISDN-compatible home studio after Memorial Day.  Bower tells TALKERS magazine he’s done fill-in work for such notable signals as KNXT, Vegas; KKFN, Denver; KSFO and KGO, San Francisco; KIRO-FM, Seattle; and KTAR-FM, Phoenix.

New York Sports Talkers Donate ‘Fantasy Packages’ to Fairfield University.  The sports radio fantasy packages consist of time at the various studios watching the shows produced plus meet-and-greets with the hosts and key personnel and benefit Fairfield University Sports Performance which aids varsity student athletics.  CBS RADIO’s Mike Francesa, ESPN’s Michael Kay and SiriusXM’s Chris “Mad Dog” Russo are each contributing a package to the online auction that runs through May 31.

2016 Presidential Prospects, Rand Paul Filibuster, Declassified Bin Laden Information, ISIS Takes Ramadi and Palmyra, Iran Nuclear Program Talks, David Letterman Wraps CBS Late Show, and ‘Deflategate’ Controversy Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/20).  The potential candidates for president in 2016; Kentucky Senator – and presidential candidate – Rand Paul’s filibuster over the renewal of the Patriot Act over the mass surveillance of Americans’ telephone records; the release of information gathered at the site of the death of Osama bin Laden; ISIS takes control of the Iraqi city of Ramadi and the Syrian city of Palmyra; the Iran nuclear talks take a turn as the ayatollah refuses to agree to inspections and meeting with its scientists; David Letterman broadcasts his last late night talk show; and the ongoing  controversy over the NFL’s “Deflategate” issue were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

| December 16, 2014

deacesteveNEW14USA Radio Network Inks Talk Host Steve Deace.  The conservative talk star from the Midwest signs a new deal with USA Radio Networks that moves him from his most recent evening daypart (9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight ET distributed by GCN) to afternoon drive in the East.  Steve Deace is currently heard in 44 markets.  USA Radio Networks chief content officer Tim Maranville comments, “We believe that Steve can help our affiliate stations gain market share in afternoon drive.  He’s not just another conservative mouthpiece.  HeusaRadioNetworks connects with the listener because he reflects their on-going frustration with Washington and political media.”  The company says Deace (pronounced “Dace”) is “considered by many to be one of the best talents from the limited stock of today’s young talkers.  He is widely respected as a political columnist, commentator and author.” Deace authored his most recent book, Rules for Patriots: How Conservatives Can Win Again (2014 Post Hill Press), and regularly appears on such media platforms as Newsweek, Time, The New York Times, The Washington Times, Fox News and MSNBCSam Hassell, CEO of Cross Platform Media Group (operator of USA) adds, “Steve is a significant addition to our lineup and reflects the aggressive growth plan of USA Radio Networks.”

tomasejohnBoston’s Sports Talk WEEI Adds Tomase.  In a little over two weeks (on January 1), Boston Herald Red Sox columnist John Tomase will join Entercom’s WEEI.com as senior sportswriter/columnist. WEEI.com editor Rob Bradford remarks that, “In bringing John aboard, we feel WEEI and WEEI.com are welcoming one of the best columnists in the country to our family.  I am excited to once again work with John, who I have always viewed as one of the most talented journalists on the New England sports scene.”  Tomaseweei logo comments, “The world of journalism is changing.  It is no longer enough to work on just one platform.  The WEEI brand is recognized beyond the borders of New England, not just for its award-winning programming, but for the quality of its reporting, which is a tribute to Rob and his team.  I am looking forward to continuing what they started while stirring the passions of the best sports fans in the world.” Tomase – who will be a frequent on-air contributor for WEEI-FM “Sports Radio 93.7” as well as the website’s senior sportswriter/columnist – has been with the Herald since 2005.  He will succeed Alex Speier, who will depart at year’s end to become a Boston Globe feature writer.

quigleyalexTribune Media Eliminates Alex Quigley’s OM Post at WGN, Chicago.  He’ll continue to work on air as Ben Finfer’s co-host on sports talk WGWG-LP, Chicago on the “Quigs & Finfer” show, but when that show wraps on December 31 and the sports format ends, Quigley’s employment with Tribune Media ends.  Chicagoland Radio and Media reports that, according to a memo sent to the staff by WGN VP of content and programming Todd Manley, Manley will assume the OM duties.  Quigley wrote a positive note on his Facebook page saying, in part, “I’d like to thank Daniel Zampillo and the late Kevin Metheny for allowing me to get my foot in the door of one of America’s greatest radio stations.  I’d like to thank Tom Langmyer and Bill White for trusting me and giving me further opportunity to learn and grow, and Jimmy [de Castro] & Todd for the experiences of the last 18 months.”  Chicagoland Radio and Media reports that Quigley joined WGN in 2010 as a part-time host.  He moved up to assistant PD before being upped to OM.

Odds & Sods.  At the Salem Communications Twin Cities cluster, Mike Murphy is named sales manager.  The group includes Christian talk KKMS, news/talk WWTC “The Patriot,” business news KYCR “Business 1570,” and streaming Christian contemporary station “The Fish Twin Cities.”  Murphy assumes the sales manager duties from Nic Anderson who’s been serving as general manager as well.  Anderson continues in the GM role…..More downsizing atpatrickmatt iHeartMedia as Ben Kruse exits the morning show on news/talk KTLK, Minneapolis.  Now co-hosting the morning show with Jack Tomczak is PD Andrew Lee…..Houston-based talk host Matt Patrick is filling in for Bill Cunningham on his Premiere Networks-syndicated weekend show on December 28.  Patrick tells TALKERS this is the fourth year in a row he’s hosting the program’s “Year in Review” show.  Patrick is heard on iHeartMedia’s KTRH and KPRC in Houston and on KFXR in Dallas…..At its Northwoods cluster, NRG Media names Shane Sparks market manager for the six stations serving the Rhinelander and Minoqua, Wisconsin markets including: country WHDG, adult hits WRHN, classic country simulcast WOBT-AM/FM, classic rock WRLO, news/talk WLKD, and classic hits WMQA.

starnesxmas logoFox News Announces Todd Starnes Christmas Special.  Special holiday programming from Fox News Radio is available this season in the form of “The Todd Starnes All-American Christmas,” airing on Christmas Eve at 7:00 pm ET and Christmas Day at 7:00 am and 7:00 pm ET.  The show is hosted by Fox News Channel contributor Todd Starnes.  It’s a two-hour program featuring special guests: Governor Mike Huckabee, “Duck Dynasty” star Al Robertson, GRAMMY winner Chris Tomlin, New York Times best-selling author Karen Kingsbury, Governor Sarah Palin and musical artists Ellie Holcomb and Kyle Kupecky.  Starnes will also be joined by a 300-voice choir and orchestra – taped live at Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis.  FNR calls it a “family-friendly Christmas special” that will also feature “The World’s Largest Christmas Carol Sing-a-long.”  It’s airing on Fox News Radio affiliate stations, FoxNewsRadio.com, ToddStarnes.com and others.

nolanmikeSignoff Alert: Mike Nolan. It is not often that a traffic reporter’s exit warrants significant attention, but such is certainly the case with Mike Nolan.  For the last 28 years, Nolan has guided harried Los Angeles motorists through his traffic updates on iHeartMedia adult contemporary KOST “Coast 103.5” and co-owned talker KFI; however, as he writes on his Facebook page, “I have been privileged to be on the radio for 41 years [but] now it is time to begin the next chapter.”  In all but seven of those 41 years, Nolan has done both morning and afternoon drive, “giving people as much information as I could about the traffic on their drive” and he calls KOST and KFI “two of the greatest radio stations in the country.”  The list of “incredible people” he has worked with “is long and distinguished,” and Nolan explains, “The career I have had is far greater than anything I could have imagined.”  Numerous Los Angeles broadcasters are commenting in social media, including former KOST (and later cross-town KTWV) morning talent Kim Amidon, who writes, “Mike, you have always been a pro – the best at what you do – and for most of those years doing it while flying your plane.  It was great to work with you and party with you.  I wish you the best in this new journey.”  Now at KTWV “The Wave,” Bryan Simmons did afternoon drive on KOST andkfi logo points out, “For most of your career, you were in the air, the place you should always have been, in the pilot seat.  I was privileged to work with you for most of your time at KOST and it was a pleasure – job well done partner.”  Similar to Nolan, Rhonda Kramer is also an exceptionally well-known Los Angeles traffic reporter and she notes, “It is hard to believe you are hanging up the traffic wings.  You have always been a great traffic reporter, pilot, and I have been lucky to call you my friend for all of your years in Los Angeles.  Enjoy your quality time – you deserve it.”  Another of Nolan’s colleagues – Jorge Jarrin – reflects on the 25 years he (Jarrin) spent doing airborne traffic reports.  “One of the most special aspects of my career was the warm camaraderie we developed. It was often one of the things I missed most once I was grounded for good.  You are a true friend both on and off the air.  I will miss your voice and accurate information, but I rejoice in your ability to move into the next chapter in your life.  You have accomplished much my friend; survived; and are loved by many.”  Veteran talk host Tom Leykis knew Nolan in Phoenix (at KOY) and “had the pleasure” of working with him at KFI.  “I have often told people that you and Mark Denis were the lynchpins of the station before KFI flipped to talk in 1988 – and you still are that.”  Talk radio consultant Valerie Geller laments, “This doesn’t seem possible to me.  I cannot imagine driving in Los Angeles without you.” Former KFI talk host Michael Castner – now doing morning drive on Portland’s KEX – recalls that one of his “most exciting moments” at KFI was “the first time I introduced you – an honor to work with a true Los Angeles radio legend.”  Noted programmer John Rook describes Nolan as “classy, professional, and dependable.  Happy retirement – I will miss hearing you each day.”  Longtime local newscaster Mark Austin Thomas writes, “It was an honor and a joy to work with you and a pleasure to listen to someone who was such a pro who loved his work – wishing you happiness and fulfillment in your next chapter.”  Sports update talent Karen Kay states, “You are the best of the best.  What an honor to know you and to be able to say I am one of your biggest fans.” Nolan’s last on-air date is this Friday (12/19); he will spend the morning reminiscing with KFI wakeup talent Bill Handel.

wtma logoCool Job Opportunity.  WTMA is Charleston, South Carolina’s heritage news/talk station, and Cumulus has an immediate, rare opening for a full-time morning drive host.  Qualified candidates should be able build a timely, topical and compelling show that targets the 25-54 demographic, with an emphasis on local current events, news topics, and politics.  A minimum of two years’ hosting your own successful talk show is required.  Submit your resume and aircheck to program director John Quincy here: http://www.cumulus.com/careers/.

Sydney Café Hostage Case, Taliban School Attack, Bill Cosby’s Wife Defends Him, Police Killings Aftermath, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Sony Pictures Hack, Plummeting Oil Prices/Financial Markets Activities, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/15).  The deadly hostage taking at a Sydney café by a self-styled “Muslim cleric”; the murder of some 126 school children in Pakistan by the Taliban; Bill Cosby’s wife Camille speaks out publicly defending her husband accused of raping numerous women; the aftermath of the recent high-profile killings of young blacks by police; the potential candidates for president in the 2016 election; the continuing fallout from the hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment; the sinking price of oil, its effect at the pumps and on the financial markets; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

| June 24, 2014

shawsteveSteve Shaw Named Westwood One President.  Moving up from his post as SVP of Cumulus national sales is Steve Shaw who takes on the president role at the company’s Westwood One syndication and sales unit.  The company says Shaw will “expand his role as head of national spot sales for Cumulus’ owned-and-operated stations to include all national and digital sales for WestwoodOne, effective immediately.  In this new role he’ll oversee Westwood One Networks, Westwood One Sports, and Westwood One Digital, including Rdio and Cumulus National Sales, which will be renamed Westwood One Media Group.  Shaw waswestwoodone logo previously president of Katz Radio Group and president of Cox Digital Solutions.  Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey says, “Steve will drive the integration of our large stable of national media assets and advertising products under the Westwood One brand.  His track record of success in both broadcast radio and digital media will be instrumental as Cumulus and Westwood One combine to provide a compelling new set of ad packages designed to meet the rapidly evolving needs of our advertisers.”  Shaw comments, “Westwood One brings to listeners and advertisers an incredibly powerful combination of great content across a multitude of distribution channels.  With many of the most established brands in sports, talk, news and entertainment, as well as emerging new brands including NASH and Rdio, the opportunities are significant.  I am very excited to be working with the Westwood One team to create unique and effective solutions for our agency and client partners.”

caltamikeWHPT, Tampa’s Mike Calta Re-Ups with Cox Hot Talker.  Afternoon drive personality Mike Calta signs a contract renewal with Cox Media Group’s hot talk WHPT, Tampa “102.5 The Bone.”  The station says the “#1 afternoon drive talk show host” continues in his role as host of the 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm show.  Thewhptlogo station’s director of branding and programming, John Brennan, comments, “Mike Calta has earned his place among the elite in radio.  I’m honored that he will continue his dominance for several more years as part of The Bone’s team.  This announcement shows CMG’s commitment to providing its communities with the most compelling content and personalities.”  Calta says, “I’m excited to continue my radio career for the next five years right where it started 20 years ago in Tampa Bay.  CMG has been a great company to work for and I look forward to growing the Mike Calta show with them.”  Calta changed his air name from the high school nickname “Cowhead” that he used for years to his given name earlier this year.

henckmitchMadison Talk Host Mitch Henck Out at WIBA-AM.  Telling the Wisconsin State Journal he “probably milked (the radio job) as long as you could,” mid-morning talk host Mitch Henck says he was ousted by Clear Channel from news/talk WIBA-AM, Madison in a budget-related move.  The host of the 8:00 am to 11:00 am “Outside the Box” program says the ratings were not a problem and that it was “a corporate thing.”  Henck tells the paper he was neither right nor left in his approach to talk radio and he’s probably a “throwback.”  He also says he’s not bitter about the exit and will focus on other interests including his night club act called The Big Show in which he performs songs from the 1950s and 1960s.

cbslogoCBS RADIO Executes Cross Platform Sales Promotion in NYC.  This promotion ties in the popularity of golf among a certain demographic, that demo’s passion for luxury cars and a popular sports talk personality.  CBS’ radio, TV and digital platforms are executing a promotion involving the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut Lexus dealers and the Metropolitan Golf Association (MGA) called the “Lexus Perfect Drive” that features WFAN morning drive personality Craig Carton.  It was developed in collaboration with CBS Altitude Group and Team One, the ad agency for Lexus, to create excitement in the golf community through an engaging promotion implemented via original audio and video while also driving consumercartoncraig awareness of the Lexus brand.  Vignettes broadcast on sports talk WFAN-AM/FM, all-news WCBS-AM and classic hits WCBS-FM, plus WCBS-TV and featured on www.cbsnewyork.com offer an insider’s view into an array of renowned golf courses, and in-depth conversations with each club’s head pro as they reveal tips on what it takes to make par on the course’s most challenging hole.  A different course will be highlighted each week of the 12-week campaign.  During the promotion Lexus enthusiasts can visit one of 21 tri-state area dealerships where they can test drive a featured automobile or enter to win a VIP experience at a local golf club.  One grand prize winner will receive a trip to a famed golf resort in Ireland.  Altitude Group EVP Rich Lobel states, “We had a great time working with Team One and Lexus to create a campaign that highlights their pursuit of perfection and comes to life on a very local level.  Craig is a known golf enthusiast with a distinctive ability to speak to sports fans and champion results for clients.  He will be a great ambassador for Lexus as we execute this program.”

valentineboatTalk Host Phil Valentine to Take Listeners on ‘The Great Loop.’  Nationally syndicated talk show host Phil Valentine is taking his listeners with him as he brings his newly purchased boat – a 1968 57-foot Chris Craft Constellation – home to Tennessee from Fort Pierce, Florida.  He’s calling it Great American Vacation: Cruising the Great Loop and he’ll broadcast daily from the master stateroom of the boat he travels part of what’s called The Great Loop, also known as the Great Circle Route.  That route runs from Chicago and the Great Lakes down to the Tennessee River then down to Mobile and the Gulf of Mexico through the Tennessee-Tombigbee valentinephilWaterway.  From there it hugs the coast of the Panhandle down past Tampa then either across Florida via the Okeechobee Waterway or down around the tip of Florida then back up the East Coast to New York, up the Hudson then the Erie Canal and back into the Great Lakes. The entire loop is about 6,000 miles.  Valentine plans to traverse approximately a quarter of the loop from Fort Pierce to Mobile then up to Tennessee.  The Fort Pierce to Mobile leg will take approximately 8 to 10 days.  The last leg to the Tennessee River will take another 4 days.  The Westwood One personality says, “I’ve been looking for this particular boat for about eight years.  I’ve dreamed of doing at least part of the loop and the part we’re doing is probably the most scenic in the country.  The great news is our entire audience can vicariously join us for the ride.”  Valentine has hired a captain and first mate to navigate the trip.  Updates along with pictures and videos are being posted daily at http://CruisingTheGreatLoop.blogspot.com.

wgwg logo‘The Game 87.7’ Partners with Comcast SportsNet Chicago.  The late morning sports talk show “Kap & Haugh,” heard daily on WGN Radio’s sports talk sister WGWG-LP “The Game 87.7,” will be seen on Comcast SportsNet Chicago beginning July 21.  Tribune’s WGN Radio announces the show featuring David Kaplan and David Haugh will be simulcast live from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon and the deal will also include a one-hour “best-of” show that will air weeknights from 11:00 pm to 12:00 midnight.  WGN and WGWG-LP president and general manager Jimmy de Castro states, “It’s been our focus to deliver sports talk like no one else.  Combining the ‘Kap & Haugh’ radio broadcast with the TV powerhouse Comcast SportsNet is another piece that fits in our puzzle to bring a complete media experience to the Chicago sports fan.”

kantar media logoKantar Media Reports U.S. Ad Spend for Q1 2014 Up; Radio Categories Dip.  The Sochi Olympics were a boon for U.S. ad spend in the first quarter of 2014 but television was the beneficiary of that.  However, even without the Olympics money, the U.S. ad spend was up just under 4% compared to the same period a year ago.  As for radio, national spot was the only category – at a jump of 6.7% — was the only one to see an increase from last year.  Local spot, network radio and Hispanic spot were all down with local radio dipping 4.7% compared to the same period a year ago.  Kantar reports that both local radio and Hispanic local radio saw declines attributable to lower spending from the retail, auto dealer and restaurant categories.  See the press statement here.

herskovitzalHolding Hands at the Talkers Conference.  Sales maven Al Herskovitz writes that the recent Talkers New York 2014 conference provided the opportunity to meet in person with fellow talk radio sales people and compare notes about the current state of business.  He says that during chats in the hallways, one topic kept coming up: the art of servicing the client after the sale has been made.  Heskovitz writes that, aside from the ever-present medium and large market concerns about the inclusion of a digital component in marketing proposals, “every group member agreed there are steps that now must be taken to keep the nervous advertiser as comfortable as possible during the run of the spots.”  Read Herskovitz’s suggestions for reminding your clients how important your vehicle is for getting their message to consumers here.

dukesmichaelOdds & Sods.  Whether the current spate of Clear Channel layoffs is a company-wide trend or just coincidence is not known for certain, but longtime WKBN, Youngstown, Ohio news director Jim Michaels has been let go after a 30-year career with the station, and according to WFMJ-TV, he was the last person left in the station’s news department…..Alaska talk show host Michael Dukes will become the new morning show host at Ohana Media Group’s KBYR, Anchorage in September.  Currently he is host at Last Frontier Mediactive-owned KFAR, Fairbanks…..Talk show host Mark Wainwright will be sitting in for WSYR, Syracuse morning host Joe Galuski from June 30 through July 3.  Wainwright says he’s available for fill-in work an can be reached at thatvoice@verizon.net…..Speaking of fill-ins, Clear Channel talk personality Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo – WOAI, KPRC and KHOW – is being heard this week in the Crescent City as his show is airing in the afternoon drive slot where WRNO’s John Osterlind is on vacation.

brownejoygymDr. Joy Browne Works to Support Cancer Survivors and Their Families.  Nationally syndicated (Radio America) relationships host, Dr. Joy Browne – a past recipient of the TALKERS “Humanitarian of the Year Award” – continues her charitable ways.  Immediately following her appearance at Talkers New York 2014, the perennial Heavy Hundred radio star participated in the second annual Manhattan Relay for Life presented between 6:00 pm and 6:00 am at Pier 36 (6/21-22) presented by the American Cancer Society in support of cancer survivors and their families.  She is pictured here at Basketball City with the emcee of the event, Lehi Dowell.

WFANChristiesoftballChris Christie Steps to the Plate for Boomer Esiason Foundation.  New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is pictured here at the plate at Yankee Stadium taking part in the fourth annual Bombers Boomer Broadway Softball Classic on Monday, June 23.  Christie is a regular guest on WFAN, New York’s Boomer & Carton morning show and he joined Boomer Esiason’s team for the charity softball game.  Team Boomer, which consisted of WFAN personalities and Esiason’s noteworthy friends including Christie, played an exciting matchup against a host of Wounded Warriors and New York Yankees alumni, benefitting the Boomer Esiason Foundation.  WFAN reports that in the 7th inning, with the bases loaded, the Governor’s fielding at third base contributed to leading his team to a 7-6 victory.  Photo by Christian Conte/CBSNewYork.com.

Hillary Clinton Wealth Claims/Health Rumors, Iraq Turmoil-U.S. Assistance, Illegal Immigrant Influx, IRS Scandal, More VA Hospitals Allegations, Klein Clintons-Obamas Book, and World Cup Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/23).  Ongoing claims by Hillary Clinton that she and Bill are not rich plus reports that she’s not in good health; the ISIS-perpetrated violence in Iraq and U.S. assistant to the Iraqi Army; controversy over the massive influx of illegals crossing the U.S. border in the Southwest; more testimony from IRS officials about the missing Lois Lerner emails; new allegations of mistreatment of patients at VA hospitals; the new Ed Klein book Blood Feud about the relationship between the Clintons and the Obamas; and World Cup action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research about TALKERS.

2014 NYC logo 150Talkers New York 2014 a Tremendous Success.  Aside from the impressive numbers (60-plus speakers, hundreds of registrants, early sellout, 29 sponsors), the 17th annual installment of the longest-running, most-important national convention in the talk media industry was a crowd-pleaser in terms of issues addressed, solutions proposed, and connections made.  Talkers New York 2014 has received praise not only for its agenda’s precision and well-balanced representation of the industry’s diversity — but the spectacular (India House) venue’s food, comfort and elegance as well.  It was a power-packed day (6/20) without a second of downtime. From the opening “Breakfast with Hannity” networking social to the final “Farewell Cocktail Reception,” it stands out as what TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison describes as “one of the really good ones.”  In the words of Journal Broadcast Group’s VP/news/talk programming Tom Langmyer, “This is an incredible venue and the discussions are truly enlightening and powerful.  Not only is the event informative, but also very inspiring.  This is the juice we all need – and I am even more optimistic about the future of talk and the personal connection we can provide – across ALL platforms.”  Consultant/programmer Greg Moceri, CEO of Moceri Media adds, “Just amazing to me how many of us in the biz all these years feel this is a ‘can’t miss’ event every year.”  Courtside Entertainment/PodcastOne CEO Norm Pattiz describes Talkers New York 2014 as “a high-energy, super-pro, first-class conference.”  Radio and WPIX-TV, New York commentator Lionel says, “It just might have been the most fruitful and beneficial to date, if that’s even possible.”  Salem syndicated personality Mike Gallagher called it, “another wonderful gathering.”  Kraig T. Kitchin, CEO of Sound Mind, LLC says, “A great environment for conversation, for interaction, and for shared ideas.  I had a great time!  I learned a lot – more than I anticipated.  The camaraderie was very evident, industry-wide, and that was a true blessing.”  Among the major issues addressed were the challenges facing radio (of all formats, including talk) in the 21st century digital age including the arenas of programming, sales, technology, audience measurement and economics.  The very role and pertinence of radio in this new era was held up to the spotlight of scrutiny in terms of generational changes and expectations.  The result in a nutshell: unbridled (but absolutely realistic) optimism!  The two words that came up time and again throughout the day were “community” and “passion.”  Perhaps, the general sentiment of the conference is best summed up by WAQY, Springfield, MA “Rock 102” morning show co-host Mike “Bax” Baxendale who wrote, “These seminars have always made me want to become a greater broadcaster.  For that I am deeply grateful.”  In the words of TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “The hours and hours of valuable content generated by this event are going to keep our editorial and audio/video production departments busy for weeks as we break it all out and organize it for presentation in the form of stories, news and video packaging.”  Look for multi-media coverage of the event right here at Talkers.com in the days and weeks ahead.  In the meantime, the staff and management of TALKERS want to express deep gratitude to the hundreds of individuals and companies who supported this event so solidly as registrants, speakers and sponsors.  We are humbled by your precious friendship and confidence.

#1. Hannity Speech

Sean Hannity makes point during morning keynote.

 

 

 

 

 

1bHannity

Sean Hannity addresses standing room crowd.

 

 

 

 

 

1cHannity

Phil Boyce (l) and Greg Moceri (c) interviewed by
Sean Hannity (r).

 

 

 

 

2Francesa

Mike Francesa delivers sports talk keynote.

 

 

 

 

 

3Pattiz

Norm Pattiz accepting Lifetime Achievement Award.

 

 

 

 

 

4Hartmann

Thom Hartmann accepting Freedom of Speech Award.

 

 

 

 

 

5Julie

Julie Talbott accepting Woman of the Year Award.

 

 

 

 

 

6CaroleJoyce

Carole Marks presenting Joyce Kaufman with
Humanitarian of the Year Award.

 

 

 

 

 

 

7JimBo

Jim Bohannon emceeing the Awards Ceremony.
Not pictured, Kenneth Chandler, introducer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

8DelColliano

Jerry Del Colliano delivering special address.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9Erica

Erica Farber moderating “State of Radio Advertising
and Sales” panel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

10Salespanel

“State of Radio Advertising and Sales” panel. (l-r):
Ron Furman, Julie Talbott, Joe Puglise, Kraig Kitchin.
Not pictured:  Dr. Asa Andrew, introducer.

 

 

 

 

11BigPicture

“Radio: The Big Picture Panel” (l-r): Tom Langmyer,
Mike McVay, Sam Kimball, Steve Goldstein, Tom Leykis.
Not pictured:  Michael Harrison, moderator;
Dana Loesch, introducer.

 

 

12LocalRadio

“The State of Local Talk Radio” panel. (l-r): Jerry Crowley,
Larry Young, McGraw Milhaven, Mike “Bax” Baxendale,
Lee Harris.  Not pictured:  David Bernstein, moderator;
Ethan Bearman, introducer.

 

 

 

13Programming1

“The State of Talk Radio Programming” panel.  (l-r):

Bill Hess, Craig Schwalb, Gabe Hobbs.  Not pictured:
Kevin Casey, moderator; Phil Boyce, panelist.

 

 

 

14Bloom

“The State of Talk Radio Programming” panel,  Andy Bloom.

 

 

 

 

 

15Managing

“Developing and Managing a Talk Show Hosting Career”
panel. (l-r): Ron Hartenbaum, Tom Becka, Martha Zoller.
Not pictured:  Mike Kinosian, moderator.

 

 

 

 

16Managing2

“Developing and Managing a Talk Show Hosting Career”
panel.  (l-r): Tom Marr, Joe Piscopo.

 

 

 

 

17Rumble

“The Talk Rumble” (l-r):  Mike Gallagher, Bubba the
Love Sponge, Joyce Kaufman, David Webb,
Kevin McCullough, Alan Colmes, Thom Hartmann.
Not pictured:  Lionel, moderator; Dr. Joy Browne, introducer.

 

 

 

18Price

Howard B. Price delivering special address.

Friday, May 9, 2014

| May 9, 2014

cbsradioCBS RADIO Revenue Up 2%.  When CBS Corp. announces its financial numbers, the focus is generally on television, its bread and butter.  The corporation as a whole was down for the first quarter of 2014 – revenue dipped 2.27% compared to the same quarter a year ago on revenue of $3.86 billion – mostly as a result of CBS TV having had the 2013 Super Bowl and having two less NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship tournament games this year.  Underneath it all, radio – part of the Local Broadcasting division that includes CBS TV O&O stations – was up 2% compared to the first quarter of 2013.  During yesterday’s conference call with investors, CEO Les Moonves said the radio division “had a good quarter with steady revenue growth in each month along the way and another strong performance by our CBS Sports Radio Network.”

entercomEntercom Q1 2014 Net Revenue Flat.  Revenue for the first quarter of 2014 was flat at $78.2 million compared to the same quarter in 2013 for Entercom Communications Corp.  In a statement by CEO David Field, he says, “I am pleased to report that free cash flow increased 19% for the quarter.  First quarter revenue was up excluding the effect of our non-renewal of Boston Celtics radio broadcasts, despite the unusually challenging winter weather that impacted many of our markets.  We are increasingly enthusiastic about the radio industry’s future growth outlook based on a number of recent developments, most notably the release of the Nielsen Catalina study which showed radio generating outstanding ROI results across 10 major national brands, significantly outperforming other competitive media.”

parksdarrylDarryl Parks Named SVP of Simply Money Media.  The Cincinnati-based financial advice firm Simply Money airs an hour-long talk radio show on Clear Channel’s WKRC, Cincinnati nightly from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm and when Darryl Parks was still the PD there, he was instrumental in improving the quality of the show, writes the Cincinnati Enquirer’s John Kiesewetter.  Now, months after Parks’ VP of news talk operations position was eliminated by CC, Parks joins the financial firm founded by Nathan Bachrach and Ed Finke.  Bachrach tells the paper Parks’ role is to “help us craft our message and work with all of our media partners – CNBC, The Enquirer, Fox 19 and Clear Channel.”  Parks says, “While I had success doing radio in Cincinnati and other markets, future success will be defined by having expertise across all media.  Simply Money Media allows me to use my skills in audio, but also the skills I had in television, digital and print.”  Read Kiesewetter’s piece here.

edisonresearchEdison-Triton ‘Moms & Media 2014’ Spotlights Mobile Usage.  The “Moms & Media 2014” data presented at the Thursday, May 8 webinar by Edison Research and Triton Digital was culled from the larger “Infinite Dial 2014” study presented by the firms in March.  Much of what was presented was not surprising – but it put some hard numbers on what savvy media industry players already suspect.  Primarily, it’s that “moms” – defined as a woman having a child under 18 living in her household – are very attached to their mobile devices and are relying on them more and more.  Some stats: the majority of moms (59%) are 35+; 60% are employed either full or part time; and 69% own a smartphone (compared to 36% of moms who owned a smartphone in 2011).  Some relevant stats for radio operators include: 30% of moms have ever listened to online radio (including AM/FM streams) using a smartphone through a car audio system; 56% have listened to online audio in the past month; and they averaged 12 hours and 4 minutes listening to online radio during the week previous to the study.  Check out the slide presentation here.

misw logoGender Analysis Study Released.  The Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio Group (MIW) provides the data that is based on information from well over 11,000 AM and FM stations.  According to the study, roughly 18% of those 11,000+ facilities had women general managers this past year, basically flat from 2012 (17.8% – 17.7%).  By way of further comparison, it was 14.9% in 2004. Breaking it out by market size, 17.7% of managers in top 100 markets (virtually mirroring the entire sample) were female in 2013, versus 16.8% in 2012. Spokesperson Kay Olin notes that, “The MIWs have been analyzing and publishing gender numbers for the past 14 years.  It is important to track the upward growth and impact of women’s leadership in radio.  It is always encouraging to see the number of management opportunities grow.  We all can make a difference through mentoring and nurturing future leadership.”  For whatever reason, it is still easier to find female general managers than it is to locate women program directors.  Figures from the past few years regarding women PDs remain fairly consistent – in the one in 10 range.  The most recent numbers show females program 11% of all stations in the country; eight years ago, it was 10.7%.  There is actually a bit of a year-to-year decline though when the numbers are separated in the top 100 markets only.  Women in metros of that size could be found occupying programming chairs in 11% of cases in 2013, off from 11.8% in 2012.

quarmjuliegalleyMcGavren Guild Names Quarm Dallas Region VP/DOS.  Former Katz Radio Group senior account executive Julie Galley Quarm is appointed vice president/director of sales for McGavren Guild‘s Dallas office and will oversee all sales for the independent media rep firm’s clients in that part of the Lone Star State.  President/chief executive officer Kevin Garrity declares, “This is a major hire for McGavren Guild and Genesis Media Holdings as we continue to build one of the strongest teams in radio sales.  Julie is a very talented executive with great relationships and a stellar track record of developing new business.  She will play an integral role in helping our client stations grow their revenue and share.”  Quarm comments that, “Under the strong leadership of Kevin Garrity, McGavren Guild is a terrific company with a very bright future.  It was an easy decision for me to be a part of the team that will grow key client relationships and develop new opportunities in the Dallas/Fort Worth region.”  Prior to joining Katz Radio Group, Quarm was an Interep senior account executive; network account coordinator at Premiere Radio Networks; and senior scheduling coordinator at Nielsen Media Research.

mcmanusadamMcManus Seeing Major Fill-In Duty.  San Antonio-based talk show host Adam McManus tells TALKERS he has been doing a ton of guest hosting lately.  During spring break, he broadcast for Chris Krok on Cumulus-owned WBAP, Dallas in mid-March.  Later that month he sat in for Joe Walsh on Salem Communications’ WIND, Chicago.  In addition to a recent fill-in gig for KTSA, San Antonio’s Sean Rima, McManus has been hosting the morning drive show on KTSA after the tragic death of morning personality Trey Ware’s son Justin.  Reach out to McManus at TalkRadioAdam@gmail.com.

Odds & Sods.  WTAG, Worcester morning drive host Paul Westcott fills in this evening (5/9) on Premiere Networks‘ “America Now with Andy Dean.”…..At Rocking M Radio, Will Sterrett comes aboard to serve as corporate news director.  He’ll work from home base country/farm KXXX, Colby, Kansas where he’ll also be news director.  Sterrett was most recently an anchor at Cumulus Media’s news/talk KCMO, Kansas City…..The New York Daily News is reporting that Spero Dedes will not return as the voice of New York Knicks basketball on ESPN O&O WEPN-FM, New York.  His contract was not renewed by MSG Network.  He joined the Knicks in 2011 after working for the Los Angeles Lakers…..Joining the affiliate relations team at America’s Talk Radio Network is David Reeder.  His previous experience includes managing the radio group Marsh Broadcasting and serving as VP/GM at USA Radio Network…..“America Tonight” personality Kate Delaney sits in for GCN-syndicated Jason Lewis on Monday, May 12.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  “Free Talk Live” featuring Ian Freeman and Mark Edge is added to the weekend program schedule at KMYC, Yuba City, California and KLID, Poplar Bluff, Missouri adds the weeknight edition of the program…..Genesis Communications Network-syndicated “America Tonight” with Kate Delaney is added to the program schedule at WQXL, Columbia, South Carolina.

boomer14draftBoomer & Pals Celebrate NFL Draft.  A big party was thrown by WestwoodOne at Boomer Esiason’s Stadium Grill at Bowlmor Lanes in Times Square, New York City on Thursday evening prior to the beginning of the 2014 NFL Draft.  In addition to serving as analyst on WestwoodOne’s coverage of Monday Night Football, Esiason is also morning drive co-host on CBS RADIO’s WFAN-AM/FM, New York alongside Craig Carton.  Pictured here are (from left to right): Esiason, WestwoodOne sports announcers Scott Graham and James Lofton.

Climate Change/New Power Plant Regulations Top News/Talk Stories for Week of May 5-9.  Stiffer power plant emissions regulations and the controversy over climate change were the two stories that tied for most-talked-about on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  Coming in at #2 was the Monica Lewinsky Vanity Fair article.  At #3 was the potential 2016 presidential candidates tied with mid-term election chatter and following at #4 was the Boko Haram kidnappings.  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.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View the entire chart here.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

| March 12, 2014

2014header - final for KCTALKERS Posts 2014 Heavy Hundred.  The 2014 installment of one of TALKERS magazine’s most popular and, perhaps, controversial annual features – “The 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America” – debuted on March 11.  Also known as “The Heavy Hundred,” the ranked listing of 100 hosts and talent teams from around the country is based on a number of both quantitative and qualitative criteria and is determined by collective analysis of the TALKERS editorial board with input from a wide variety of industry leaders.  It includes local and national hosts from an array of genres falling under the umbrella of “general” talk or “news/talk” radio covering politics, health, finance, relationships, consumer electronics, popular culture and a variety of specialties. (TALKERS launched a special and completely separate annual “Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk” two years ago.)  Hosts on the list are selected from those working at the time of its publication on platforms that include commercial and public AM/FM radio as well as satellite radio (internet-only talk hosts are ranked by TALKERS in an annual feature titled “The Frontier Fifty”).   According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “It is no secret that economic restraints facing the industry these past few years have contributed to shrinking the number of individuals working on the air across the nation.  Although the 2014 edition of the Heavy Hundred will, of course, include many familiar names, the need for new blood, fresh voices and potential up-and-comers has never been greater.  Readers will find this year’s roster will feature a number of new names and first-timers, which is quite exciting!”  To view the entire 2014 Heavy Hundred, please click here.

kgmzlogo‘Game’ Changes in San Francisco.  KGMZ “95.7 The Game” is modifying its weekday on-air lineup.  Among the adjustments at the Entercom-owned San Francisco Bay Area sports outlet are the importing of former cross-town KNBR talent Damon Bruce to afternoon drive (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm) and shifting current PM drivers Ric Bucher and Chris Townsend (below left, respectively) to mornings, replacing “The Rise Guys” — Whitey Gleason, Mark Kriedler and Dan Dibley.  Entercom San Francisco vice president and market manager Steve DiNardo states, “This is a brucedamongreat day for our station and for Bay Area sports fans.  For years, Damon Bruce has been one of the strongest, most opinionated, and passionate personalities in Bay Area sports.  He understands what it takes to compete and win in this market.  Just as exciting is moving Ric Bucher and Chris Townsend to morning drive.  In just 14 months, they have developed strong chemistry and a loyal following.  We feel like we have the perfect team in the perfect time slot to grow ‘The Game.'” According to Bruce, “The Bay Area has a one-of-a-kind sports scene, one of the hottest and most exciting buchertownsendin the country today.  Bay Area fans are some of the most passionate fans in the country. I can’t wait to start and kick off a new drive-time experience for Bay Area sports fans.”  Bruce was with KNBR from 1998 – 2000, and returned in 2005.  He gained national exposure hosting “Sports Overnight America,” before leaving to become a SportsCenter anchor on ESPN Radio. Bruce has filled in for Jim Rome and has hosted SportsCenter for ESPN International. His other credits include fill-in host on Fox Sports Radio; Sporting News Radio; CBS Sports Network; and hosting pre and post-game shows for the San Francisco Giants and San Francisco 49ers.  The revised KGMZ lineup – which begins in just over two weeks (3/31) – will include “Bucher and Towny” with Ric Bucher and Chris Townsend (6:00 am – 10:00 am); Haberman & Middlekauff (10:00 am -12:00 noon); “The Wheelhouse” with John Lund & Greg Papa (noon – 3:00 pm); and “The Damon Bruce Show” (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm).

salemcommunicationsSaga’s Ed Christian “Hoping for a Little Better” in Q4.  The 2013 fourth quarter and full year fiscal reports for Saga Communications saw the company’s net operating revenue dip 5% in Q4 of 2013, compared to the same period in 2012.  But gross revenue increased 3.8% during the quarter excluding political.  For the full year, the company’s gross revenue was up 3.3% (ex-political).  In a conference call with investment analysts, Saga CEO Ed Christian christianedstated, “I was hoping for a little better in Q4, we can always do a little more, we can always do a little better but I’m not disappointed.  We’re just pleased with the results.”  Christian said it’s hard not to put some blame on the winter weather for the economic sluggishness.  “Saga operates in a lot of mid-America markets and a lot in New England and I really don’t have to tell you what the last four months have been like.  In those markets it’s just outright miserable…I was talking with one of our managers the other day and he said people are irritable and it’s gloomy and people are lethargic.”

beasley logoBeasley Declares Cash Dividend.  The company’s board of directors is announcing the company is declaring a quarterly cash dividend of $0.045 per share of its Class A and Class B common stock.  The dividend is payable on April 10, 2014, to shareholders of record on March 31, 2014.

linnmanpaulKEX, Portland Personality Accused of Assault.  Morning show personality Paul Linnman – host at Clear Channel’s news/talk KEX, Portland – is being accused by a co-worker of assault after he allegedly groped her buttocks and licked his lips as he stared at her breasts.  Kailee Kinney is bringing the suit against Clear Channel and Linnman in Multnomah County Court.  Kinney is a producer and account executive at CC Portland.  She’s seeking $325,000 in damages.  The complaint alleges Linnman “came up behind plaintiff and groped her buttocks, a sexually intimate part of her body.  Linnman used an open palm to slap Plaintiff’s buttocks and then grabbed and squeezed plaintiff’s buttocks.”  It further alleges that “Linnman approached plaintiff for a second time, stating, ‘I should apologize but that black dress…you look great in that black dress,” during which he “licked his lips and stared at Plaintiff’s breasts as he made this comment to plaintiff.”

postbillSalem, Oregon Talk Host Suspends Show After Equal Time Complaint.  In the Salem, Oregon market, Willamette Broadcasting employee Bill Post has suspended his daily talk show on KYKN due to his campaign for state representative and a complaint from a primary opponent about violation of equal time rules.  Post announced his campaign for the seat in December.  Last month, Barbara Jensen announced her bid for the seat but Post continued to work on the air.  Jensen complains that Post and the station have been violating FCC rules and election laws but also asserts Post has violated other campaign laws but did not specify what they are.  In a story in the Statesman Journal, Post says the station was prepared for Jensen’s complaint and that he believes the station and his campaign manager have operated within the law.   Jensen’s complaint implies that once Post worked on air after opponents joined the race, the station must then provide equal time.

journalcommunicationsJournal Communications Shows Off New Brand.  The parent company of radio and TV station firm Journal Broadcast Group unveils a new company brand with three cohesive new logos representing Journal Communications and its two major business segments, the Broadcast Group and Journal Publishing.  As part of the new brand, the company also launched a fully redesigned corporate website atjournalbroadcastgroup www.journalcommunications.com.  Journal Communications chairman and CEO Steven J. Smith comments, “When we look at our company, we see quality, focus and effective teams in our local markets – all part of a business that is moving forward.  However, many people outside of Journal often have no idea that, in addition to their favorite local station or publication, we have a total of 13 television stations, 35 radio stations and a major daily newspaper with a variety of supporting local publications, all with complementary digital products.  As such, we believe our new brand better represents our company to investors, employees and the public and positions us as a national media company with diverse brands united under a common identity.”  The redesigned company website includes links to all of Journal’s digital products and Journal Broadcast Group live streaming sites, as well as a “What’s Trending Now” feature that highlights Journal’s most recent content across its Broadcast and Publishing websites.

entercomEntercom Kansas City Takes Action Against Delinquent Client.  It’s not unusual for radio stations to put a past-due account into collection but Entercom Kansas City is seeking a court’s assistance in getting more than $52,000 it claims it is owned by Vinson Mortgage Services Inc.  In a story in the St. Louis Business Journal, Vinson apparently advertised on news/talk KMBZ, alternative KRBZ and rock KQRC.  This is not the only action involving Vinson.  St. Louis television station KMOV-TV is filing a suit claiming it is owned more than $68,000.

wdrc-amOdds & Sods.  The recent FCC filing for Buckley Broadcasting’s sale of its Connecticut stations to Connoisseur Media announced last week shows the price is $7.9 million.  The stations include classic hits WDRC-FM, Hartford; talk WDRC-AM, Hartford; WWCO, Waterbury; WSNG, Torrington; and WMMW, Meriden…..Talk radio pro Mark Wainwright is sitting in on Clear Channel’s WSYR, Syracuse for Joe Galuski on the morning program next week, March 17 – 21…..Alpha Broadcasting announces Jeremy Scott and Brian Perkins will be the radio announcers for the Arena Football League’s Portland Thunder when games air on the company’s KXTG, Portland “Sports Radio 750 The Game.”  Scott serves as a reporter for sister news/talk KXL.  Perkins is a reporter and air personality on KXTG…..XtreMEDIA nationally syndicated talk host Steve Deace is talking to New Englanders today as he sits in for Boston talk icon Howie Carr on Entercom‘s WRKO.

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Mystery, Winter Weather/Global Warming, Republican Wins Fla. Special Election, ObamaCare Criticism, CIA Monitoring of Senate Staffers/Snowden Video Appearance, and Obama vs. Putin/Ukraine-Crimea Tensions  Among Top Stories Yesterday (3/11).  The ongoing mystery concerning the whereabouts of the missing Malaysia Airlines jet; a new round of winter weather hits the East and renewed debate over the case for man-made global warming; Republican David Jolly defeats Democrat Alex Sink in Florida Congressional special election; scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act; Senator Diane Feinstein’s allegation the CIA monitored Senate staffers and Edward Snowden’s commentary on surveillance cases; and President Obama’s faceoff with Vladimir Putin and the case of Russia’s incursion into Crimea and Ukraine were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, March 10, 2014

| March 10, 2014

TRN logo 125Cumulus-logo 100ww1 125TRN Companies and Cumulus Media Announce Amicable Westwood One Settlement.   TRN Companies and Cumulus Media announced late Friday afternoon (3/7) that they have agreed to settle outstanding claims arising during previous ownership of WestwoodOne, acquired by Cumulus Media in December, 2013. Lew Dickey, president and CEO of Cumulus Media, said, “While Cumulus Media had no role in the lawsuits filed by TRN Companies, we are pleased to resolve these claims and move forward together. We remain supportive of each other and are optimistic for the future.”  Mark Masters, CEO of TRN Companies, said: “We are pleased to ‘turn the page’ with the new owners of WestwoodOne and have put past issues behind us.  As we build bridges together, we look forward to a mutually beneficial future working with our affiliated stations, customers, Lew and John Dickey and Cumulus Media.”

emmisEmmis to Reward Employees with Stock.  The company states that as part of its 2012 Employee Retention Plan, roughly 75% of its full-time employees are being notified they are eligible to receive what it is saying is “a sizeable stock award.”  The company further states, “Emmis prides itself on being a destination employer in the media and digital industries, and as such, places a high value on cultivating a culture that allows us to attract and retain the best talent in our industries.  The third of Emmis’ Eleven Commandments states: Be good to your people – get them into the game and give them a piece of the pie.”  Eligible employees will receive a pro-rata share of approximately 976,000 shares of Emmis Communications common stock.  Using Friday’s closing price, the 976,000 shares in the Retention Plan will deliver $3,240,000 in value to the 598 employees who qualify for the plan.  To ensure a broad-based distribution, the Plan excluded executive officers and capped the level of salary credit at $50,000.  As an example of the award size, a full-time employee of Emmis who has been with the company since April 2, 2012, with a salary of $40,000 per year will get approximately 1,480 shares. That equates to a market value of $4913.60, using the closing price last Friday, March 7 of $3.32.  The awards will vest on April 2, 2014 and will be distributed to employees shortly thereafter.  It will be their choice whether to hold or sell the stock.

hughesspencerKSFO, San Francisco Names Hughes Late Morning Host.  Cumulus Media’s news/talk KSFO, San Francisco has been trying out talk show hosts in the late morning slot (billed on the station’s website as “KSFO Talk Show”) for the past several months.  Now, the station names Spencer Hughes permanent host of the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program.  Hughes’ resume includes stops at talk stations across America including WRKO, Boston; KGO, San Francisco; KTKZ, Sacramento; and KSRO, Santa Rosa.

decastrojimmyWGN VP/GM Jimmy de Castro Talks Radio and More.  The vice president and general manager of Tribune Company’s WGN, Chicago and the new sports talk WGWG “The Game 87.7” spoke candidly with the Chicago Sun-Times for its online video feature “The Sit Down.”  In the interview, de Castro throws out a number quips that’ll interest industry watchers.  For example, he’s not trying to bring young listeners to WGN, “I don’t want a younger audience for ’GN.  I want 35- to 65- or 70-year-old people.”  He says he hasn’t committed a lot of money to his staff.  “I don’t have one contract with one person on our station.  Not one.  They’re all here because of how they feel.  Any time they want, they can walk out the door.”  The one-time WLUP-FM leader also talks about his career and how he views life after all of his success.  See it here.

robertsjackJack Roberts Dies at 62.  Radio executive/on-air personality Jack Roberts died this past weekend in Los Angeles.  Over the course of his career, the 62-year-old Roberts was a general manager, program director, on-air talk host, and producer.  Most recently, the Boston College graduate and Massachusetts native was executive producer for CRN Digital Talk Radio programming, including “What’s Cookin’ Today.”  CRN chief executive officer Michael Horn comments, “Jack truly understood and loved radio.  He became an instant, caring friend to everyone he encountered.”  Roberts thought he could get any guest or celebrity, and Horn remarks, “He almost always booked them.  Guests and talent, but most especially the listeners, enjoyed what they heard.  Jack’s legacy will live on through them and all of us.  That would make him very proud.”  Roberts was a senior producer on syndicated radio programs hosted by Dick Cavett, and Colonel Oliver North.  He was in charge of production for “The Jerry Williams Show” and “The Doug Stephan Show.”  His on-air experience includes stops at Boston’s WRKO, WMEX and WXKS; WPRO, Providence; and WDRC, Hartford – where he became general manager and program director.  Roberts held those titles at WWRC, Washington, DC as well.  Programmer Ron Jacobs writes, “Jack Roberts is great at shining the spotlight on others and not blowing his own horn.”  Funeral services are pending for Roberts, who wrote a radio-themed blog – “HollywoodHillsGroup.com” – that highlighted industry achievements and gave publicity to on-air talent.

barnardtomTwin Cities Star Tom Barnard Talks Podcasting in Profile Piece.  Morning radio personality Tom Barnard – a 43-year Minneapolis-St. Paul market icon – is profiled by the Minneapolis Post.  The star of Cumulus’ rock KQRS speaks about numerous topics – the death of the voice-over business, his rise to fame, and his decision to get more political after 9/11 – in the story and explains his separate business producing and selling ad time for his daily two-hour podcast.  Barnard tells the Post that although he billed roughly $250,000 in 2013, the show is not in the black due to expenses including salaries and the cost of bandwidth.  Barnard and partner Don Shelby (former WCCO personality) are not collecting a salary at this point.  Barnard’s decision to sell ad time and not charge for subscriptions as well as to go after local ad dollars, flies in the face of the way many of the high-profile podcasters are doing it (think Tom Leykis and Adam Carolla).  Read the entire Post story here.

Odds & Sods.  In the Duluth market, Midwest Communications flips standards WGEE, Superior, Wisconsin to sports talk using CBS Sports Radio programming…..Sports radio pro Seth Everett becomes part of the New York Mets broadcasts on Clear Channel’s WOR, New York this season where he’ll be hosting the pre- and post-game programs…..Charlotte Knights minor league baseball will air on Greater Media’s news/talk WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte this summer as the station will carry 10 Saturday night home games and two Friday evening home games.

stigallboltonChris Stigall Broadcasts from CPAC.  The annual Washington, DC gathering of conservative politicians dubbed the Conservative Political Action Conference involves an active radio row and WPHT, Philadelphia morning drive host Chris Stigall (right) was in the middle of all the action last week as he broadcast his show from the event.  He’s pictured here interviewing former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton (left).

wvbr logoWVBR Returns To Collegetown (Ithaca) in New, High Tech Studio Station to Hold March 15th Dedication Ceremony — Keith Olbermann Makes Major Donation.  Proving that grassroots terrestrial radio is alive and well, WVBR-FM is returning home to Collegetown (a proud name sported by downtown Ithaca, New York – home of Cornell University and Ithaca College — per its reputation as being one of the best college towns in America) after a 14-year absence, with a newly-built, state-of-the-art studio.  The new studio is located at 604 East Buffalo Street in Ithaca, next to the Carriage House Café and across from The Connection, Loco Cantina, and the Chapter House.  WVBR has operated out of 957 Mitchell Street near East Hill Plaza afterolbermannkeith leaving its longtime home at 227 Linden Avenue in Collegetown in 2000. It will be officially dedicated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to take place this coming Saturday (3/15).  WVBR-FM is a commercial, non-profit radio station that is owned and fully operated by the Cornell Radio Guild, a group of Cornell University students.  Since 1935, this group’s stated mission has been running a radio station with the goal of training students in broadcasting.  Since 1968, WVBR has been serving Ithaca and Tompkins Counties playing an eclectic mix of classic and modern rock under the banner, “Real Rock Radio.”  WVBR broadcasts over 93.5 FM and 105.5 FM to Tompkins County and the surrounding area. The newly named Olbermann-Corneliess Studios was purchased with donations from station alumni, most notably ESPN host Keith Olbermann.  Olbermann gave what has been described by station management as “a generous donation” with a request that WVBR’s new home studio be named in honor of his late father Theodore Olbermann, as well as the late Glenn Corneliess, his colleague during his years at WVBR who passed away in 1996.  Olbermann, the Corneliess family, and Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick will be among those on hand for the dedication, as well as many station alumni, current staff, and management.  A brand new set of professional equipment, a large vinyl library, a live performance space, three soundproof production booths, and two advanced on-air studios are some of the many highlights of the new space.  “There is no doubt in my mind that 604 East Buffalo Street will feature the best college radio setup in the country,” says Drew Endick, president of the Cornell Radio Guild, Inc. and general manager of WVBR, telling RadioInfo, “We have been trying to expand our content production operations and provide better services for the local community, and we now have the facilities to meet these challenges.”  The new studio will be home to two radio stations – WVBR, which broadcasts with a rock format over FM, as well as CornellRadio.com, which is being launched as a more student-centric, freeform online station.  CornellRadio.com will feature pop, hip-hop, dance, and alternative music, as well as talk shows, comedy programming, and sports content provided by a partnership with the Big Red Sports Network.  Each station will have its own cutting-edge studio within the building.  “This move is extremely important to the goals of our station,” says Michael Mallon, senior vice president of communications.  “The latest technology will not only allow us to create better content for our listeners, but it will also allow the students of Cornell University to learn and train on the same equipment as is used in the big stations in major cities.”  The move is also significant as the station will now be a close walk for most students.  “It’s a perfect location for us, both physically and symbolically,” Mallon continues, “The station is right between the students who operate the station, and the Ithacans who make up most of our listenership.”  ASI Renovations managed the huge project.  The space was already in great condition, but the design presented some big technical challenges.  Sherpa Technologies wired the building for radio operations.  Students and weekend staff led the move, bringing over the entire vinyl and CD collections, as well as other important articles from the old station.

stevensbrucieChattin’ with a Legend.  WFTL, Fort Lauderdale late morning talk host Rich Stevens (right) entertains legendary disc jockey Cousin Brucie (left) in the station’s studios.  Stevens tells TALKERS the pair chatted about numerous topics and took calls from listeners.  While speaking with callers, a 92-year-old local listener phoned in to tell Cousin Brucie he remembers winning a contest 40 years ago that Cousin Brucie executed that sent him on a vacation.  Brucie asked him if he was still there and needed money to get back!

odonnellwmalSittin’ in on WMAL, Washington.  Former Delaware Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell (left) is pictured here in the WMAL, Washington studios as she served as guest co-host on the “Morning On The Mall” program today (3/10).  O’Donnell worked with co-host Larry O’Connor (right) while subbing for Brian Wilson.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

| February 13, 2014

cbsradio logoCBS Reports Radio Segment Down 4% in Q4 2013; Company Up 6%.  While CBS Corporation CEO, president and director Les Moonves spoke glowingly about the performance of CBS Corporation as a whole during yesterday’s Q4 conference call, the radio segment was not part of the celebration and loss of political advertising was given the lion’s share of the blame.  The company’s report indicates that after taking political out of the picture, CBS RADIO was flat compared to the same quarter in 2012.  Moonves was upbeat about the radio division saying, “In radio, we continue to put an emphasis on great, localmoonvesles programming, which is leading to bigger audiences.  During the most recent ratings period, we had double-digit ranking gains in the highly coveted 25- to 54-year-old demo in many of our major markets, and non-traditional revenue from special events was up double digits over one year ago.  Our strategy to combine the company’s local TV and radio websites into a single online presence in every market also continues to pay off.  In 2013, revenue was up 21% over the year before, and the momentum is continuing here in ’14, including a new record of nearly 57 million unique users in January.  I’m also very pleased with the success of our CBS Interactive business.  Revenue was up 14% during the quarter, and we continue to see very rapid growth in mobile ad revenue, which was up 118%, and it helped to increase profit substantially.”  Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the transcript.  Members can read the whole conference call here.

nielsen logoNielsen Q4 Revenue Up 11.8%; Rises 5.5% for 2013.  Media ratings giant Nielsen Holdings N.V. issues its fourth quarter 2013 and full-year financial reports and states that Q4 revenue was $1.6 billion, an increase of 11.8% over the same period in 2012.  For the full year of 2013, the company says its revenue was $5.7 billion, a jump of 5.5% over the full year of 2012.  The company reports its free cash flow for 2013 increased 34.5% to $573 million from $426 million in 2012 while cash flow from operations increased 14.9% to $901 million in 2013 from $784 million in 2012.  The result is the adjusted net income per share on a diluted basis for 2013 was $2.02, up 19.5% compared to $1.69 in the full year 2012.  Nielsen acquired radio ratings firm Arbitron during 2013 and the move paid off.  The Arbitron business helped add 9.3% to Nielsen’s Q4 revenue and 2.5% to its 2013 revenue.

krld logoCBS RADIO Dallas Ups Paul Mann to KRLD-AM PD.  At CBS RADIO’s Dallas cluster, news director Paul Mann is promoted to program director for KRLD-AM “NewsRadio 1080 KRLD” and the Texas Statemannpaul Networks (TSN), effective immediately.  Mann has served as news director for KRLD-AM and TSN since June 2006 and in this new role he will be primarily responsible for all programming and talent and will report to Gavin Spittle, vice president of news/talk/sports for CBS RADIO Dallas-Fort Worth.  Spittle comments, “Paul has shown tremendous leadership as news director with the sole focus on serving the North Texas community.  He’s helped put together a tremendous team which shares a great pride in this heritage station.”  Under Mann’s leadership, KRLD-AM has been honored with two national Edward R. Murrow Awards, in 2008 (spot news) and 2013 (newscast).

kuiperspradostellaStella Prado Kuipers Lands at Salem Los Angeles.  The successful, former KOST, Los Angeles program director joins Salem Communications to serve in the sales department working on multi-media marketing for Christian talk KKLA, Los Angeles.  Stella Prado Kuipers made her announcement on her Facebook page where she wrote: “A new chapter in my life has begun and I’m proud to announce as of March 3rd I am an employee of Salem Communications Radio Broadcasting company!  My position is multi-media marketing and I am thrilled to be a part of this company!  I’m sooooo excited!”  Kuipers had been with Clear Channel’s AC KOST for 20 years – eight as program director – before she was let go in December of 2012.

wctc logoProgramming Changes at WCTC, New Brunswick, New Jersey.  A shuffle in afternoons at Greater Media-owned news/talk WCTC, New Brunswick, New Jersey sees current 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm personality Tommy G move to the afternoon drive slot replacing Newsmax-syndicated host Stevetommyg Malzberg.  Into the early afternoon slot goes WestwoodOne’s Dennis Miller program.  WCTC program director Bert Baron states, “We’re excited to welcome Dennis Miller to the WCTC weekday lineup.  He’ll have Central Jersey laughing, thinking, and engaged on a daily basis.  I can’t think of anyone I’d rather have doing PM drive on WCTC than Tommy G, one of the most passionate and hard-working people I’ve ever known.  This is a BIG WIN for WCTC and for Central Jersey.”

delcollianojerryIs Nielsen “Lying” About Millennial Audiences?  Noted industry observer Jerry Del Colliano thinks so.  Del Colliano published a scathing indictment of the ratings research giant in his daily industry blog Inside Music Media (www.insidemusicmedia.com) this morning (2/12) referring to the Nielsen Audio (formerly Arbitron) report released earlier this week stating that “Millennials” (also known as “Generation Y”) are big fans of AM/FM radio and listen to it on average of 11.5 hours per week.  This, of course, flies in the face of what has to this point been conventional industry wisdom stronglynielsen logo suggesting that over-the-air radio is rapidly losing ground as a medium of choice for the millions of 20-something children born to Baby Boomers in the 1980s-90s and now coming of age in the millions – a widespread perception that broadcast business leaders openly fear threatens the future of what is increasingly being marginalized as “terrestrial radio.”  Del Colliano writes, “The company that now does PPM ratings which records listening that occurs by accident when meters randomly pick up an encoded radio signal is now weighing in on Millennials…an audience that clearly has no use for what consolidators put on the radio these days.”  He accuses the major corporate consolidators in radio of “paying hundreds of millions of dollars to report audience estimates that the company [Nielsen] itself admits in a legal statement are not reliable.”  Del Colliano is a veteran program director and radio personality who rose to prominence as the founder and publisher of the trade publication Inside Radio which he built to formidability as an independent journal prior to it being acquired by Clear Channel, which still publishes it.  Del Colliano has subsequently served a number of years as a member of the music department faculty at the University of Southern California (USC) teaching and writing courses on “Generational Media” specifically documenting and understanding the traits and habits of the rapidly maturing Millennial generation – a subject that he regularly shares with radio industry leaders via his blog and annual conference.

harrisonmichaelSpeaking of Jerry Del Colliano…  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison recently interviewed Jerry Del Colliano on the TALKERS magazine “experimental” talk radio station, TalkersRadio, (www.talkers.com/talkersradio) as a complete installment of the one-hour, media-talkersradio logodiscussion program he hosts.  The program, recorded two-weeks ago (prior to today’s provocative Del Colliano blog), presents the two industry observers in an in-depth discussion about the very subject of the delicate relationship AM/FM radio and Gen-Y.  In it, Del Colliano discusses such issues as Gen-Y’s obsession with authenticity as well as its consumer interest in non-over-the-air digital media.  To listen directly to the entire 58:00 installment of this first-time public conversation between Michael Harrison and Jerry Del Colliano, please click

      here
.

crummyjoeTalk Host Joe Crummey Publishes Non-Fiction Book.  Talk radio pro Joe Crummey has just published his first non-fiction book titled, Planking on Headstones: Your Future Outside of Time (School of Eddiness 2013).  The veteran of such historic signals as WABC, New York; KFI, Los Angeles; WNBC, New York; KABC, Los Angeles andcrummeybook KFYI, Phoenix penned this new book that “takes the reader on a journey through space-time that’s rich in love, loss, fear and contemplation.  With notes of his on-air, quick-wit persona, Planking on Headstones distills complex issues of religion and science into memorable anecdotes that elicit laughter, tears and a sense of connection.  Crummey openly shares about his life, from his brain tumor to the death of his parents, as he explains his theories, such as the ‘Fonzie Principle,’ the ‘Boston Market Revelation’ and the ‘Jesus Burger.’  He also explains why he believes the Big Bang is the most evil thing that has ever happened.”  Crummy states, “Throughout my career, I often discussed and challenged religious tenets on air with my audience.  But after going through the brain tumor experience, my quest for meaning in this life and beyond intensified.  I began to understand the importance of thinking outside of time and allowed myself to imagine the impossible while I explored this subject matter.”

cclogoClear Channel Renews Promotional Deal with Relativity.  In a statement, Clear Channel says that the renewed cross-media marketing collaboration between it and media company Relativity will include one-of-a-relativity logokind campaigns promoting upcoming movies on the part of Clear Channel and Relativity will provide exclusive content created by its filmmakers and talent that will be shared with listeners and viewers through various Clear Channel platforms.  “The programs will also include organic promotional support from popular radio personalities such as Ryan Seacrest, Elvis Duran, Dan Patrick and Steve Harvey; naturally integrated film imaging across local stations and iHeartRadio’s national digital and mobile ad units; homepage website takeovers; and national and local on-air commercial inventory.”  Clear Channel says previous successful collaborations between the companies included campaigns for the films “Limitless,” “Immortals,” “Act of Valor,” “Safe Haven” and “Free Birds.”

webbdavidOdds & Sods.  Talk media personality David Webb signs on to write a column for DC political publication The Hill.  His column will be available every other Wednesday in The Hill’s print edition, online at thehill.com and on The Hill’s app.  In addition to his daily SiriusXM talk show, Webb also appears frequently on Fox News Channel’s “Hannity” and “The Five.”…..Sports USA adds a podcast featuring former NFL star and TV personality Fred Dryer to its programming.  Sports USA president Bob Moore says, “Fred Dryer is a true NFL legend and a major TV star.  We are excited to add Fred’s show to our growing list of digital audio programs…..WNYC, New York names David Lewis its new metro editor.  Lewis taught journalism at CUNY for the past seven years.

rabNAB to Feature RAB Sales and Marketing Sessions.  The Radio Advertising Bureau will present five revenue- and growth-oriented presentations at this year’s NAB Show.  RAB president and chief executive officer Erica Farber explains that, “The RAB is in the business of helping sellers on the street close deals and help drive revenue for the radio industry.  These sessions will drive home key lessons and tools of the trade.  NAB Show attendees will find these sessions invaluable to their future success in the broadcast business.”  Specifically, the Radio Advertising Bureau’s focus will be “Lunch and Learn – A Discussion on Radio’s Four Significant Issues;” “Concentrating on Core Radio Revenues;” “Creative Radio Commercial Production and Imaging;” and “Rapid-Fire Revenue Generators for Small and Medium Market Radio.”  The NAB Show will be held April 5 – 10 in Las Vegas.

whamradiothonWDVI-FM and WHAM in Rochester Hold Radiothon to Benefit Children’s Hospital.  Today and tomorrow Clear Channel Rochester stations hot AC WDVI “100.5 The Drive” and news/talk WHAM are broadcasting the annual “Drive For Miracles Radiothon” to benefit Golisano Children’s Hospital live from the lobby of Strong Hospital.  Throughout the event, on-air personalities from each station will talk with current and former patients, their families, and the hard-working hospital staff that “creates miracles” every day.  Personalities including WHAM’s Chet Walker, Bob Lonsberry, Shari Smith, Joe Lomonaco, and Bob Matthews and WDVI’s Bill Moran, Julie, JP, and “The Mayor” Pete Kennedy will broadcast from the hospital.

bfoa logoBFoA Names 2014 Ward L. Quaal Leadership Awards Recipients.  This year’s recipients of the 2014 Ward L. Quaal Leadership Awards have been announced by the Broadcasters Foundation of America.  They will be presented at the Foundation’s annual breakfast on Wednesday, April 9, at the Wynn Hotel during the National Association of Broadcasters Show in Las Vegas.  This year’s recipients are: Jim Beloyianis, past president, Katz TV; Dan Mason, president & CEO, CBS RADIO; Deborah Norville, host, “Inside Edition”; Mary Quass, president & CEO, NRG Media; Perry Sook, chairman/president & CEO, Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Inc.; and Nick Verbitsky, chairman, United Stations Radio Networks.  The Leadership Awards are given annually by the Broadcasters Foundation in recognition of career contributions to the broadcast industry and the community at large, and are named in honor of iconic broadcaster Ward L. Quaal.

Winter Weather Hits South and Northeast, ObamaCare Rollout Criticism, Afghanistan Prisoner Release, Paul NSA Suit, Debt Ceiling Raised, the Sochi Olympics and Gay NFL Prospect Comes Out Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/12).  The unusually severe winter weather bearing down on the South and the Northeast; scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act and President Obama’s unilateral delay of the employer mandate; Afghanistan’s release of numerous “dangerous” inmates and the state of the U.S.’s relationship with Hamid Karzai; Senator Rand Paul’s suit against the NSA; the GOP’s signing on with Democrats to raise the debt ceiling; the Sochi Winter Olympic Games; and the coming out of NFL prospect Michael Sam were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

| December 4, 2013

sargentchrisClear Channel Programmer Chris Sargent Departs. Clear Channel Portland vice president of programming Chris “Sarge” Sargent leaves the cluster effective immediately.  In addition to his VP duties, Sargent for the past 20 months was the cluster’s operations manager.  He programmed classic hits-oldies KLTH, news/talk KEX, progressive-talk-turned-sports KPOJ and classic rock KFBW. Sargent joined the Portland cluster over four years ago from Fort Wayne, Indiana.

loganbruceBruce Logan Named VP of Programming and Ops at CBS Radio Houston.  Programmer Bruce Logan exits his regional programming manager role at Clear Channel’s Greensboro, North Carolina and Greenville, South Carolina clusters and his national country brand coordinator post to join CBS Radio as vice president of programming and operations manager for the six-station Houston cluster that includes: hot AC KHMX, sports talk KIKK, country KILT-FM “The Bull,” sports talk KILT-AM, CHR KKHH “Hot 95.7,” and Spanish KOLO.  He’ll also have day-to-day programming responsibilities for “The Bull” and “Hot 95.7.”  CBS Houston SVP and market manager Sarah Frazier says, “Bruce has a reputation as one of the premier country radio programmers in America.  We have admired his work for some time and are thrilled we have an opportunity to bring him into the division.  I am equally excited about his leadership skills and ability to build teams which is so important in today’s cluster environment.”

jericho show logoPro Wrestler Chris Jericho Joins PodcastOne.  World champion wrestler Chris Jericho – also a New York Times best-selling author and lead vocalist of the metal band Fozzy – is launching his podcast on PodcastOne.  The program, “Talk Is Jericho,” premieres today (12/4) with Steve Austin as Jericho’s first guest.  Jericho dishes out his unique take on all things pop culture and life in general as he interviews some of the biggest names in entertainment from wrestling and music to TV and film with new episodes delivered every week at PodcastOne.com.  Jericho comments, “I’ve been considering doing a podcast for years now, but wanted to find the right people to work with.  Now after being hooked up with the fine folks at PodcastOne, I know I’ve found the right place!  I’m stoked to bring you the biggest names in show biz every week to discuss all things pop culture, music, pro wrestling and kumquats.  Get ready Jerichoholics…The Pod Of Thunder has arrived!”  PodcastOne chairman and CEO Norm Pattiz says, “As an entertainer, Chris is so much more than a world champion wrestler.  He’s an actor, an author, lead singer in a rock band and radio broadcaster.  With a package like that and the proven success of PodcastOne programs like the Steve Austin show, this is clearly a great bet.  Actually, more like no bet at all.  We’re thrilled with our new partnership.”

carsonjonCarson and Beckman Promoted at Idaho Broadcasting Groups.  The Moscow, Idaho-based broadcasting companies IdaVend BroadcastingInland Northwest Broadcasting and KRPL Inc. announce two promotions.  The company’s current promotions director – Jon Carson – is upped to executive director of promotions for the nine-stationbeckmanamberly radio group beginning January 2014.  Carson has been with the company for more than two years and commutes between the station groups’ two locations in Moscow and Lewiston, Idaho.   Carson recently earned designation as CRSM, Certified Radio Sales Manager, from the Radio Advertising Bureau.  With the expansion of his team, Carson is overseeing a team of two promotions directors.  The Moscow promotions director will oversee promotions for the six-station group, Inland Northwest Broadcasting, and KRPL, Inc.  The Lewiston promotions director will oversee promotions for the three-station group, IdaVend Broadcasting.  Additionally, Amberly Beckman is promoted to promotions director for the Moscow-based group from her most recent position as promotions director at the Lewiston-based stations.  She has served with the company for the past two years.

raytomThe Sad State of Radio Broadcast Engineering – Part 2.  Around Labor Day, TALKERS technical editor Tom Ray wrote a  powerful article that asked, “Where have all the broadcast engineers gone?”  He was inundated with responses — not just from across the country – but from around the world!  Obviously, he hit a nerve with everyone.  Ray reports, “I have heard from Australia, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan and Ireland.  Obviously, this is a universal topic and I have been overwhelmed.  Additionally, I was both surprised and not surprised at the bitterness in many of the responses.  Broadcast engineers are a unique group.  It’s difficult, though not impossible, to find a more dedicated group of people in any business.  We take it personally.  The station becomes part of us and is what we do.  And once that is disrupted, even if the person is in a much better place, it is taken personally.  I can relate.”  In a long-awaited follow-up to that article, Tom Ray posts a powerful and informative “Part 2” today (12/4) that goes into even more depth on this complex and important topic – raising issues and offering solutions – that lies at the very foundation of the state of today’s radio station business. It is must reading for anyone who cares about the present and future state of radio station operations.  To read it in its entirety, please click here.

homewizards‘Home Wizards’ Show Partners with Media Management Group.  KFWB, Los Angeles-based weekly home improvement show “Home Wizards” – hosted by Cindy Dole (left) and Eric Stromer (right) – joins the New York-based MMG Radio Network.  Home Wizards is a nationally syndicated radio show and multimedia content brand.  The show feeds live from KFWB Saturdays from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm ET.  In addition to Dole’s and Stromer’s work on the radio on digital platforms, Eric is a regular on NBC‘s “Today Show.” MMG president Jeff Schwartz comments, “Cindy and Eric are familiar to millions of Americans who enjoy home improvement and decorating.  They have a great on-air chemistry that resonates with both men and women while creating an inviting environment for sponsors.”  Cindy Dole adds, “Home Wizards is a true multimedia opportunity to engage with your audience every day!  We needed a team that excels in that space and are so impressed by how MMG masters the art of turning sales and marketing into a higher-level connection that delivers meaningful results!”

edisonresearchEdison Research to Work with Triton Digital on ‘Infinite Dial’ Study.  Arbitron’s absorption into the Nielsen fold has had an impact on the annual “Infinite Dial” study that Edison Research has been producing in partnership with the radio ratings firm.  Edison announces that it will be conducting the long-running study of consumer media usage with Triton Digital when the new study is released in March of next year.  Edison states that the study has been “one of the most widely cited and well-regarded studies on digital media usage, eagerly awaited each year and used by advertisers and content providers.  Hundreds of start-ups, advertising agencies, established businesses, financial analysts, and academics all make extensive use of the study each year.”  Edison Research president Larry Rosen comments, “We’re hard at work making the 2014 version of ‘The Edison/Triton Infinite Dial’ the best ever.  Edison has always sought to provide thought leadership and Triton Digital is the recognized leader in digital audio measurement with its MRC-accredited Webcast Metrics platform.  Our two companies have come together to continue the tradition of ‘The Infinite Dial’ and the tracking of consumer media trends in the digital economy.”

deptrojohnWPRO, Providence Talk Host John DePetro Files Police Complaint Alleging Threat.  WPRO, Providence late morning talk show host John DePetro filed a complaint with the Providence Police alleging that he was threatened outside the radio studios on Tuesday morning by two men he did not know.  The men apparently took issue with his comments about a labor union protest that happened in September.  According to a report in the Providence Journal, DePetro expressed his opinion of union leaders after a union protest at a fundraiser for State General Treasurer Gina Raimondo allegedly served to intimidate attendees and prevent others from attending.  DePetro reportedly said, referencing a female union leader, “What a disgrace.  You are an embarrassment…You are parasites.  You are cockroaches.  You lie.  You are union hags. There’s another word I’d like to use…it begins with a W. and an H. and an O. and an R. and an E. and an S.  See if they can spell that.”  Labor unions have since called for a boycott of WPRO until DePetro is fired.  DePetro has said that if the men who threatened him are caught, he will press charges.

sunbroadcastgrouplogoSun Broadcast Group Contracts with Jelli for Cloud-Based Ad Platform.  SBG CEO Jason Bailey announces that his company is investing the resources necessary to affect the “much-needed change to measurement and accountability in network radio” that he’s been publicly calling for as it will deploy Jelli, Inc.‘s cloud- based adjelli logo platform across its entire network that will make it easier and faster to buy and run radio advertisements.  The change will start immediately across all of Sun’s Hispanic products including CNN en Español, Fox Deportes, AccuWeather en Español and its national Latino Advantage network.  Sun Hispanic content partner, Stardome Media Group, has also committed to the platform change.  A roll out to Sun’s general market offerings will begin in early 2014.  Bailey comments, “I have been asking leaders large and small to stand with me and implement true change in how we conduct business across our industry.  Radio has been living in the dark ages when it comes to baileyjasonsunaccountability.  We’re being eaten alive by the real-time metrics of digital audio competitors and our best answer, RADAR, still requires busy planners and buyers to go back months after a campaign to see what should have run.  Today we stand proud to put our entire sales and programming schedules on the line and make a real change for this great industry.”  In a statement, SBG says it is agreeing to finance equipment and installation costs for each affiliate they service.  It has also been working with Jelli’s team of engineers to enhance the ad platform and include delivery of short-form content and features, allowing for real time measurement of sponsorships and integrated product placement in addition to relieving local affiliate workload in scheduling and running network content and ads.

vulpifrankVulpi Joins USRN as VP/GM Content Affiliations. Former My Traffic Department vice president of sales Frank Vulpi is tapped to become vice president/general manager of Content Affiliations for the United Stations Radio Networks (USRN). Vulpi will oversee roughly one-dozen staffers marketing the network’s programming services. “Frank’s wealth of experience on both the station and the network side of the business is an incredible asset for our company,” comments USRN executive vice president Charlie Colombo. “He understands the needs of our clients; he knows the new platforms; and he knows how to develop and maintain those essential relationships with our affiliates. He is joining an already successful team.” Vulpi’s approximately 30-year industry background includes being general sales manager of New York City’s WYNY. In addition, he spent 15 years with Bloomberg‘s media division, ultimately running its radio and television syndication departments.

hdradio logoHD Radio to be Standard on the 2015 K900. The seventh Kia-made vehicle to have HD Radio as a standard feature will be its 2015 K900. The luxury sedan will join the recently-launched Cadenza, along with the Forte, Optima, Sorento, Soul, and Sportage as other Kia vehicles to offer the digital AM & FM format. HD Radio is – or will be – available as a factory-installed feature from 33 automotive brands including Acura, Audi, Bentley, BMW, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Dodge, Ford, GMC, Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti, Jaguar, Jeep, Kia, Land Rover, Lexus, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, MINI USA, Mitsubishi, Porsche, Ram, Rolls-Royce, Scion, SRT (Chrysler), Subaru, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo. The 2015 Kia K900 is expected to arrive at dealers during the first quarter of 2014.

wgnlogoWGN, Chicago Helps Raise More Than $554,000 for Tornado Victims.  In response to the widespread damage of the November 17 storms throughout Illinois, Tribune Company’s WGN, Chicago partnered with the McCormick Foundation, WGN-TV and the Chicago Tribune to host the Illinois Tornado Relief Effort on Tuesday, November 26.  The fundraising initiative took place over a 24-hour period, with WGN Radio hosts rallying listeners to donate to the newly established Illinois Tornado Relief Effort.  WGN listeners, in addition to major donations from Medline Industries Inc., Cadence Health, Wintrust Financial Corporation and the FDC Foundation, contributed to a total of $554,087 raised.  The McCormick Foundation matched the first $500,000 raised at 50 cents to the dollar, providing an additional $250,000 in funds and bringing the total amount available to grant to $804,087.  WGN president and general manager Jimmy de Castro says, “The Illinois Tornado Relief Effort continues the WGN Radio tradition of reacting quickly to take care of our listeners in need.  It’s also another example in a long list of generous giving from the Chicago community.  We thank our partners at the McCormick Foundation, WGN TV, and the Chicago Tribune as well as generosity of our listeners, viewers, and readers for helping rebuild the lives of those impacted by the devastating storms.”

wrsb logoUpstate New York Business Talker Flips to Sports.  Genesee Media Corp.’s WRSB, Canandaigua (plus translator W286AE, Fairport) and WASB, Brockport flip from business talk as “Business 1310” to sports talk using programming from CBS Sports Radio Network.

bigjohndogparkDaytona Beach Talker Gets Dog Park Re-Opened.  WELE, Ormond Beach, Florida – being operated by Goliath Radio under an LMA – recently put its community-oriented philosophy to work to help re-open a closed dog park in Daytona Beach.  Goliath Radio talk show host Big John, a former member of the Volusia County Council, came to the rescue when resident Mary Nichols (pictured here) found herself and her dogs locked out of the park that had been open since 2001.  It turns out Big John had helped create the park when he was on the County Council.  When Nichols showed up at the radio station to complain about the closure, Big John put her on the air and took calls about the park that had become the center of a dispute between the county and the suburban city of Holly Hill.  Big John urged the sides to find a compromise.bigjohn  Within 20 minutes of the broadcast, the outline of an organization of dog owners/lovers that might operate the park came together; a local veteran’s club offered a meeting room and support to bring it together and support for maintaining the dog park was offered.  By the following Thursday, the Friends of the Holly Hill Dog Park was formed and able to show a broad base of support to the County Council which voted to reopen the park for 90 days while officials and the newly-formed support group work out details for ongoing operation.  Big John tells TALKERS, “People are ready and willing to do good things if we just give them a chance to figure out how.  Radio can be the bridge to coming up with answers and actions in our communities that benefit everybody.”

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

| September 25, 2013

nielsenarbitronNielsen Says No Plans to Reduce Headcount.  In covering the Nielsen conference call with investors that took place on Monday, TALKERS took note of Nielsen CEO David Calhoun’s statement about realizing $20 million in synergies and, due to the fact that broadcasting companies often use that term to define the cost savings from elimination of duplicative positions and consolidation of duties after a merger or acquisition, interpreted his comment to mean the acquisition of Arbitron would mean exactly that for some of the Arbitron staff.  However, Nielsen tells TALKERS, “In fact, there are no plans to reduce headcount at this time, and as a growing business, we have many opportunities to redeploy talent.  Mr. Calhoun’s comment on a ‘logical and steady pace’ was related more to the pace of global expansion.”

wmyt logoTalk Media TV’s WMYT, Wilmington, North Carolina Holds ‘Ribbon Cutting’ Tomorrow.  News/talk outlet WMYT, Wilmington, North Carolina announces the “official ribbon-cutting ceremony” at its Wilmington broadcast studios — sponsored by the North Brunswick Chamber of Commerce – taking placewrightcurtis show logo Thursday, September 26 at 10:30 am.  The station is owned by Talk Media TV principals Curtis Wright and George Bell who put the station on the air on July 22.  The two say they built the station to appeal to conservative talk radio listeners whom they believe had lost a voice in Southeastern North Carolina.  They add, “WMYT 106.7 FM has returned America’s top syndicated conservative talk, subject talk and spoken-word shows to FM and the region.  Since the launch of WMYT 106.7 FM, five new locally produced shows have been added to its lineup, while expanding its audio streaming on the web.”  Wright hosts his “On the Beat” morning drive show from 6:00 am to 9:00 am.  The station also features Premiere NetworksGlenn Beck and Sean Hannity plus Courtside Entertainment’s Laura Ingraham.  George Bell is the former Brunswick County GOP chair and a life-long business professional in the region.  Talk Media TV’s business plan includes acquiring additional radio stations, expanding its internet broadcasting capabilities, and adding cable broadcasting over the next several months.

pittmanbobBob Pittman Stands Up for Radio at Goldman Sachs Ad Week Conference. Clear Channel chairman and CEO Bob Pittman is working the “Advertising Week” events in New York this week and today (9/25) he laid down the case for what he sees as radio’s rightful place in an advertising mix at the “Goldman Sachs Communacopia” investor conference.  The Hollywood Reporter’s Georg Szalai is covering the event and reports Pittman is saying (about radio), “’The sector is way under-represented’ while TV is over-represented in marketers’ media mix…‘TV is wonderful, is very effective, but doesn’t deserve quite as much money as it has.’”  Pittman argues that TV gets three times the rate that radio does but “all the studies show the impact is about the same.”  He then explains how advertisers could benefit by moving 15% of their ad spend into radio.  Clearly, when Pittman says, “There is a huge opportunity in radio…We need to monetize it better, sell it better,” he is trying to get the message through at the agency level, where an industry-wide sea change must take place.

mhNAB2013Michael Harrison’s NAB/RAB Radio Show Address Now Posted on TALKERS TV.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison’s annual address at the NAB/RAB Radio Show drew a standing-room-only crowd and rave reviews from those in attendance.  The speech which runs 56:33 includes an information-packed “countdown” of the 10 most important things AM/FM radio must do to remain culturally relevant and thrive in the digital age of the 21st century.  In this ambitious and far-ranging overview of the state of broadcast radio, the man dubbed by the mainstream press as “The Wise Old Owl of the Radio Industry” connected the dots between Edward R. Murrow broadcasting live on rooftops from World War II bombing raids over London — to Murray the K anointing himself the “Fifth Beatle” — to today’s transitional period between the “old country” of the 20th century to the “new world” of the digital age — to the potential emergence of 21st century “Homo Technicus” listening to internet broadcasts piped directly into the temporal lobes of the brain via nanotechnology.  Harrison fearlessly speaks his mind about today’s debt-soaked radio mega-corporations that have emerged as a result of consolidation — to the dangers of mindless, product-less “branding” that plays to the shortcut mentality crippling today’s creative process in broadcasting. The speech received an ovation and was later described on the air by WSOY, Decatur morning host and Marconi Award winner Brian Byers as “sensational.”  Byers told his listeners it was “smokin'” and a “barn burner” saying, “He fired me up.  I looked around and the rest of the room was electric.  You could feel it in the air.  I can’t tell you how good it was!” To see Michael Harrison’s speech please check out the TALKERS TV box at the top of the right-hand column of this page.

sabowalterWALTER SABO: The Return of the Neat Idea.  Sabo Media CEO Walter Sabo celebrates what he says it’s going to take to get radio back in a forward-moving position: the return to creatively operating the business.  In this new column, Sabo writes, “The current economic depression celebrates ‘operators’ — executives with shrewd ‘operating’ skills who are known for their ability to cut costs, cut staffs, sell their story to Wall Street and keep their company within its COMFORT ZONE.  They do not have, nor are they required to have, vision.  Knowing what’s next is the key to growth in any industry.  No vision, no growth.”  Sabo offers five steps to establishing an environment for the birth and implementation of neat ideas with pragmatic results.   Read this important column here.

cookehollandRadio Sales Lead: ObamaCare.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke says forget what people on the radio are saying about ObamaCare, start thinking about how your marketing department can get some of the advertising that’s coming from it.  He recommends a video webinar available from the RAB.  In it, Cooke says veteran broadcaster Dave Burke shares some of his research into the impact of the law on the stakeholders.  Cooke writes, “AP estimates that $684 million will be spent on the initial activation period; and Burke reckons that 2014-2015 and beyond will be even bigger than 2013-2014: ‘I believe that this category, all-in, could be the biggest category on your stations.’”  Read Holland Cooke’s column here.

kassof coContinuing Concern for Radio to Placate Men 18 – 34.  Something new can now be added to the growing list for those who grumble, “They don’t make them like that anymore.” Unfortunately, that item is radio.  A Mark Kassof & Company-conducted research project indicates that more than half (53%) of U.S. radio listeners aged 18 – 64 agree that, “Radio is not as good as it used to be.”  Approximately four in 10 (41%) disagree, while 6% are not sure.  “The perception that radio is not as good as it used to be seems pervasive in the industry,” Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Kassof comments. “This research reveals that a majority of listeners agree.”  The most criticism regarding radio’s overall quality can be found among those 18 – 34, with more than six in 10 (61%) concurring that what they are hearing these days through their radio speakers has slipped; 31% however disagree and the remaining 8% are neutral.  Men tend to be more pessimistic about the current state of the medium than women are.  Consistent with the above-stated trend – and highly noteworthy – Men 18-34 are the most negative, as two of every three in that demo (67%) are of the opinion that radio has seen better days.  Results of this Kassof study are based on slightly less than 1,000 online interviews conducted among U.S. radio listeners earlier this month (9/12 – 9/15).  Reacting to the findings of the Kassof study, TALKERS magazine sister trade, RadioInfo’s  music editor/director Duane Doobie states, “It reminds me of the famous line in Bob Dylan’s ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’ that so powerfully says ‘you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.’”

wbenNo More FM Signal for News/Talk WBEN, Buffalo.  Entercom is dropping the simulcast on news/talk WBEN, Buffalo and will install a different format on WLKK 107.7 licensed to Wethersfield Township (some 30 miles southeast of downtown Buffalo) beginning Thursday, September 26 at 12:00 noon.  WBEN program director Tim Wenger tells Buffalo Business First that research tells the company 95% of the listening to WBEN is done on the huge 930 AM signal.

schnitttoddOdds & Sods.  Compass Media Networks syndicated and WFLA, Tampa-based talk host Todd Schnitt was in court on Monday suing his former attorney Phillip Campbell for legal malpractice.   Campbell was arrested for DUI while representing Schnitt in his defamation suit against Bubba the Love Sponge but the DUI case was dismissed in July after prosecutors agreed Campbell was set up.  Schnitt maintains it damaged his case.  Schnitt paid Campbell $1 million and owes another $1 million but he’s suing to get the first $1 million back, according to myfoxtampabay.com…..The Fourth Period continues its relationship with SiriusXM and the media site that calls itself “hockey’s only lifestyle destination” adds a program dubbed “The Players’ Lounge” to the SiriusXM NHL Network Radio channel airing Friday’s from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm ET.  This is an addition to “TFP Live” which returns to the channel airing from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm ET hosted by TFP editor-in-chief David Pagnotta and VP Dennis Bernstein.

Government Shutdown Threat, ObamaCare Defunding/Implementation, U.S.-Iran Talks, and Kenya Mall Massacre Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/24).  The looming threat of a government shutdown; the fight to defund the Affordable Care Act and the consequences of its implementation; relations between the U.S. and Iran; plus the ongoing stalemate after a massacre by militant Muslims at a mall in Nairobi, Kenya were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

| August 22, 2013

cclogoSeven AEs Sue Clear Channel Claiming Civil Rights Violations.  In a suit filed in the Eastern District of Louisiana by seven current and former AEs working at Clear Channel’s New Orleans stations, the group charges that after the economic downturn of 2008, accounts were redistributed at a meeting in Gonzales, Louisiana in February of 2009 in such a way that helped ease the financial hit Caucasian AEs were taking through the redistribution.  The complaint alleges many of the redistributed accounts had been built up by African American AEs.  The complaint – filed jointly by Wil Watson, Gary Watson, Prixie Montgomery, Ave Gaines, Darnetta Mahaffy-Nelson, Dinah Campbell, and Brandin Campbell – details salaries before and after the redistribution and concludes, “As a result of the redistribution of accounts, whether intentional or negligent, African-American account executives were disparately, and negatively, impacted, to their severe economic detriment as compared to their Caucasian counterparts…Overall, African-American account executives lost on average more than 40% of their 2008 income in 2008-9.  On information and belief Caucasian account executives lost no more that about 15% of their 2008 income, on average, during the same period of time.”  Three of the seven were fired, they allege, after complaining about the practices.  The seven seek relief, punitive damages, general damages, attorneys’ fees and statutory remedies.

weei logoIt’s Official: Kevin Graham Named Brand Manager at WEEI, Boston.  As rumored late last week, sports talk programmer and personality Kevin Graham is leaving his PD and co-host role at Cumulus Media’s KFNZ, Salt Lake City “1320 KFAN” to become brand manager at Entercom’s WEEI.  According to his bio on the KFNZ website, Graham was one of the architects of KFNZ as the station was built in 1996.  He’s worked as programmer at KTAR-AM, Phoenix; WXYT, Detroit and other sports talk outlets.  In addition to programming KFNZ, Graham co-hosts the “Gunther & Graham” PM drive show with Kyle Gunther.  Graham has extensive experience in the digital sports arena assisting in building grahamkevinArizonaSports.com in Phoenix and as the founder/editor of SportsMashup.com.  He’ll begin work at WEEI in September, taking over for longtime programmer Jason Wolfe.  Entercom Boston GM Jeff Brown states, “WEEI is more than a radio station; it is an entire sports ecosystem.  From our on-air talent to Red Sox play-by-play to WEEI.com, where we had 1.4 million unique visitors just last month, WEEI is a more complete sports brand than ever before.  We are thrilled to announce today that Kevin Graham will lead WEEI as our new brand manager.  His background both in front of and behind the mic, along with his years of digital sports experience made him the best choice to lead WEEI.  Kevin will bring a fresh perspective to the entire WEEI team and our complete package of digital sports assets.”  Speaking about his new gig, Graham comments, “I am honored and excited to join the WEEI team.  WEEI is one of the most recognizable and powerful sports radio brands in the country.  With great resources, amazing talent, and one of the best digital brands in sports, the sky is the limit.  I can’t wait to get started, especially with the Red Sox in the midst of such a great season.”

TalkersLA2013“The State of News/Talk/Sports Programming” Panel Set for Talkers Los Angeles 2013.  A diverse and powerful panel of front-line programmers has been set for Talkers Los Angeles 2013 that will explore the major issues of programming within the present-day news/talk/sports realm.  Participating panelists include (in alphabetical order): Robin Bertolucci, PD, KFI/KTLK, Los Angeles; Skip Essick, PD, KMJ-AM/FM, Fresno; Andy Ludlum, director of news programming, KNX/KFWB, Los Angeles; Don Martin, senior VP sports programming, Fox Sports Radio/Clear Channel Media & Entertainment; Chuck Tyler, PD, KRLA/KKLA, Los Angeles; and Bill White, PD, KQTH-FM/KFFN-AM/FM, Tucson.  The panel will be moderated by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey who states, “This will be a fast-moving discussion that will really capture the flavor of today’s talk radio programming scene and do so with a solid Western states perspective – which makes this California edition of our two-part national conference so valuable.  It will present a diverse array of formats including news/talk, all-news, and sports talk, as well as company types ranging in size and varied styles of corporate culture.”  This third annual installment of TALKERS magazine’s West Coast convention is set for Thursday, October 10 and is already shaping up to be a blockbuster.  The gathering is closing in on being an advance sellout some six weeks before the event so it is advisable for media professionals interested in attending to register now.  It is again being presented in association with the Los Angeles Press Club and held at the historic Steve Allen Theater on Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm. Registrations – $149 per person – can only be taken over the phone.  For sponsorship information or to register, call 413-565-5413.  More agenda details coming in the immediate days ahead.

wctc logoNew Jersey’s WCTC, New Brunswick Makes Big Local Moves.  Saying “there is a thirst for local content in this market,” WCTC, New Brunswick “The Voice of Central New Jersey” PD Bert Baron announces that the longtime news/talk station will debut a new and completely revamped on-air lineup starting Monday, August 26.  The Greater Media-owned station is making mass changes to its weekday programming, moving Baron from his two-hourbaronbert afternoon slot to morning drive, where he will host “Jersey Central with Bert Baron” from 6:00 am to 9:00 am.  Baron says his show will include “everything you need to know in New Jersey – news, sports, events, entertainment, politics, lifestyle, traffic and weather.”  Following Baron will be the Courtside Entertainment-syndicated Laura Ingraham, who moves up one hour from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm.  From 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm, WCTC will carry “The Tommy G Show,” the first time a terrestrial radio station will simulcast a daily internet radio show in New Jersey.  “Tommy G is very unique and brings a Jersey angle to what is happening here.  He’s a radio name with a great presence in the market.  He gets Jersey,” says Baron.  Tommy G, who was also named to this year’s TALKERS magazine Frontier 50 – A Selection of Outstanding Talk Media Webcasters – tommygtells TALKERS his show is “all about New Jersey and what Jerseyans are talking about,” and says his show could change the face of local talk radio.  “I’m introducing ‘syndi-local’ to talk radio and consulting others on the process, showing thatingrahamlaura companies can save money while talent can build their own business and brands.  It’s a win-win,” says Tommy G, who will be joined on Mondays by the New York Times best-selling author of “The Soprano State,” Bob Ingle.  Following Tommy G and replacing the syndicated Mancow is another new show hosted by longtime New York metro area talent Steve Malzberg.  Malzberg’s show is syndicated by Newsmax, and will be carried live from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  Says Baron, “Steve is a name in the area,” and despite being a national show, it’s expected Malzberg will discuss “a fair amount of local and regional news and topics.”  From 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm, WCTC, which is the flagship malzbergstevestation for Rutgers University sports, debuts “BTN Live,” a sports talk show about the Big Ten, the NCAA conference Rutgers begins competing in this fall.  Baron, who along with Tommy G, is well known for his community involvement, says he believes the changes are not only necessary but that stations must embrace how local content will make them stronger.  “We will be much more local in our approach to serving our listeners – from our shows to remote (broadcasts) and our community involvement.  For us it will be cost effective.  We will make noise in the radio landscape.”

feinburgtoddTodd Feinburg Subs in Boston and Louisville.  Boston-based talk show host Todd Feinburg is filling in for WBZ-AM, Boston’s Dan Rea on the evening program tonight and tomorrow (8-22/23).  Next week he’ll be heard 829 miles away on Clear Channel’s WHAS, Louisville sitting in hosting the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon slot on both Thursday and Friday, August 29 and 30.  The multi-faceted Feinburg spent many years working full time at Entercom’s WRKO, Boston.

wiplogoWIP-FM, Philadelphia Announces Howie Roseman Show.  CBS Radio sports talk outlet “SportsRadio 94 WIP” is announcing Philadelphia Eagles general manager Howie Roseman will make weekly appearances on the afternoon drive show with Anthony Gargano – accompanied by Eagles play-by-play voice Merrill Reese – every Monday from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm live at Chickie’s and Pete’s in South Philadelphia.  The station states, “In addition to discussing each week’s game with Gargano and Reese, Roseman will take calls and talk with fans on site at Chickie’s and Pete’s.  The show is the first of its kind.  It is the only live weekly interactive radio show with an NFL general manager.  The show, sponsored by Miller Lite, can be heard live on 94WIP, online at www.cbsphilly.com and via the Radio.com application for a variety of mobile devices.  The show will debut on Tuesday, September 3 due to the Labor Day holiday and be heard on Tuesday, September 10 due to the Eagles-Redskins Monday Night Football debut on September 9.  From 5:30 pm to 6:00 pm a leading Eagles player will join the show each week.

mohrtysonHangin’ with Mike Tyson.  Fox Sports Radio Network nationally syndicated host Jay Mohr (l) poses for a shot with former boxer Mike Tyson (r) in the Fox Sports Radio studios in Los Angeles.  Tyson visited Mohr’s program to talk about his life after boxing, being a dad and much more.  They also chatted about a recent run-in at a frozen yogurt shop, as well as Tyson’s upcoming FOX Sports 1 cable TV show, “Being Mike Tyson.”

losttrailersCountry Act The Lost Trailers Cuts Custom Theme Music for Dial Global’s “Sunday Night Football.”  The theme music to Dial Global’s “Sunday Night Footbal” this season is a tweaked version of The Lost Trailers’ single “It’s Goin’ Down Tonight” that features football highlights, sound bites and customized lyrics.  The company announces, “The new theme music, performed by The Lost Trailers and powered by Early Shares Music, will debut during the first regular season NFL broadcast on Thursday, September 5 which kicks off at 8:00 p.m. ET.  The highly anticipated season opener between the Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens and the Denver Broncos will feature Kevin Harlan and Boomer Esiason behind the microphones.”  The band’s founding member Stokes Nielson states, “We are truly excited to be a part of the NFL broadcasts on Dial Global.  We are huge sports fans and we can’t wait to help the announcers kick off every Sunday night game, because it’s goin’ down tonight, every Sunday night, all over America!”   The band previously collaborated with Dial Global Sports, customizing their top 10 single “Holler Back” for the network’s opening montage in Super Bowl XLIII.

Bradley Manning Verdict/Gender Issues, OK Thrill Kill Case, Averted Georgia School Shooting, NSA Surveillance Program, U.S.-Egypt Tensions, Syria Chemical Weapons Allegations and ObamaCare Implementation Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/21).  The 35-year sentence handed to Bradley Manning and his desire to begin gender change procedures; the case of three Oklahoma teens suspected of slaying Australian college baseball player Christopher Lane; a Georgia School staffer talks an armed man out of firing and averts a tragedy; the scope of the NSA surveillance program; the U.S. policy regarding Egypt; allegations Syria is using chemical weapons against citizens; and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, August 19, 2013

| August 19, 2013

mrc logoEight More Arbitron PPM Markets Gain Accreditation by MRC.  The Media Rating Council gives accreditation to eight more Arbitron PPM markets – making the total number of accredited markets 26.  In making the announcement, Arbitron notes that the MRC is not granting accreditation in the remaining 22 markets at this time.  The eight newly accredited markets include: Cleveland, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Denver-Boulder, Detroit, Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood, Pittsburgh, Portland OR, and Nassau/Suffolk (Long arbitronIsland).  They join the 18 markets the MRC is voting to continue accreditation: Atlanta, Baltimore, Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, Chicago, Cincinnati, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Milwaukee-Racine, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Riverside-San Bernardino, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, St. Louis, and Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater.  Arbitron executive vice president, service innovation and chief research officer Gregg Linder states, “MRC accreditation for our PPM markets is a company-wide priority at Arbitron, and we are pleased the MRC continues to recognize our ongoing efforts to improve Sample Performance Indicators and other quality metrics in our Portable People Meter ratings services.  Continuous improvement remains our watchword, for PPM and for all our ratings and software offerings and we are focused on earning accreditation for the balance of our PPM markets.”

theblaze logoFormer CNN Producer/Reporter Joins Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze.  Steve Krakauer – former CNN digital producer and media reporter – is named vice president of digital content for TheBlaze.  In his work at CNN, Krakauer oversaw the social and digital output of the CNN domestic U.S. television programs.  He also managed the team that ran @CNN — the network’s flagship Twitter account.  Krakauer joined CNN in November 2010 as the digital producer of “Piers Morgan Tonight.”  At TheBlaze, Krakauer will be responsible for growing the network’s presence across all digital media.  TheBlaze president and chief content officer Joel Cheatwood states, “Steve was one of the first people to truly recognize the growing relationship between digital media and traditional television and has built a remarkable track record integrating the two media.  We are excited to have Steve join TheBlaze as we continue to be at the forefront of creating a television network designed for the 21st century.”

schultzedEd Schultz Returns to Weeknights on MSNBC.  It hasn’t been quite five months since MSNBC moved “The Ed Show” from weeknights at 8:00 pm to a Saturday and Sunday 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm slot with Ed Schultz saying the move was for personal and professional reasons.  Now, the Hollywood Reporter writes that MSNBC president Phil Griffin asked Schultz to return to weekdays in the 5:00 pm slot replacing the first run of “Hardball with Chris Matthews.”  Matthews’ show will only air at 7:00 pm beginning August 26 when Schultz returns to weekdays.  Griffin told the publication, “Ed has proven himself no matter where we’ve put him.”

nprCEO Gary Nell to Exit NPR to Head Up National Geographic.  NPR CEO Gary Nell announces he’s leaving the public radio company after 21 months on the job.  In a letter to staff, he says, in part, “As president and CEO, supporting NPR’s success – your success – has been my highest ambition.  Working together, we have put NPR on more solid footing to continue to deliver the highest-quality journalism and programming.  We have launched innovative new platforms and made meaningful strides in attracting new audiences and new funding.  We have promoted a series of collaborations in news gathering, development, and a digital future.  And we have an exceptionally strong leadership team in place that is charting an ambitious path for our future.  We also face challenges, including the mandate to bring NPR to break-even cash operations.  We are completing a plan to focus our limited resources which support our essential services to stations and audiences.  We will present that plan to the Board soon, go over it carefully, and make it a reality.”  Nell took over the reins of NPR in December of 2011 after the high-profile departure of former CEO Vivian Schiller.  During her tenure, Juan Williams was fired after making comments on Fox News Channel admitting to feeling nervous when seeing people dressed in Muslim garb on airplanes.  Also, NPR fundraiser Ron Schiller (no relation) was recorded denigrating conservatives at a lunch meeting.

grahamkevinBoston Herald Reports Kevin Graham Will Succeed Jason Wolfe at WEEI-FM, Boston.  There is no confirmation from Entercom Boston market manager Jeff Brown about the Boston Herald’s recent report that KFNZ, Salt Lake City “1320 KFAN” program director and afternoon drive co-host Kevin Graham will take over the program director post at the station.  According to his bio on the KFNZ website, Graham was one of the key architects of KFNZ back in 1996 and has worked as programmer at KTAR-AM, Phoenix; WXYT, Detroit and other sports talk outlets.  In addition to programming KFNZ, Graham co-hosts the Gunther & Graham pm drive show with Kyle Gunther.  Longtime program director Jason Wolfe exited the station last week and the Boston media is rife with speculation about the status of the station’s air talent – especially morning duo John Dennis and Gerry CallahanCBS Radio’s crosstown WBZ-FM “The Sports Hub” has been topping WEEI-FM in recent ratings reports.  Still, the Herald also reports that Dennis and Callahan have been assured that they are not on the chopping block at this point.

talkersradio logoBrent Seltzer and Meg McDonald (“Brent & Meg”) Sign Up as Charter Members of TalkersRadio Lineup.  The married couple team of “Brent & Meg” (Brent Seltzer and Meg McDonald, pictured below) join the initial lineup of the soon-to-be-launched experimental internet talk station, TalkersRadio.  They will be hosting a Monday through Friday, two-hour Los Angeles-based program titled, “The Brent & Meg Show,” that will stream live between 3:00 pm and 5:00 pm ET with possible re-streams at other times during the following 24 hours.seltzermegbrent  According to TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein, “There never has been a ‘Brent & Meg Show’ prior to TalkersRadio.  They are coming together to do this specifically because the station is designed for these kinds of experiments.  Although they’ve been married for 28 years and have been in the media business doing everything from amazing short-form features to ground-breaking public relations campaigns for years, the idea of them being on the air live as a team hosting a long-form talk show is the brainchild of Michael Harrison who has been after them to do this for over two years now since hearing them bounce off each other in the ongoing short-form feature ‘Brent Seltzer, Still at Large.’  “I am excited about the potential of this show.  We envision it to be in the tradition of the classic husband/wife chat shows of the golden era – except with its focus fully planted on a 21st century foundation.”  The short-form feature “Brent Seltzer, Still at Large” — written, produced and performed by the couple — has accrued a dedicated multi-platform cult-following on Podjockey.com and XM Satellite Radio after having broken out in 2008 as a hot commodity at KSRO, Santa Rosa.  According to the couple, “Outraged by the cable TV political bloviates, we invented ‘Brent Seltzer, Still at Large’ as a panacea to the anger and complacency that radio was becoming.  We figured that since all the extreme right wingers and extreme left wingers were only preaching to their targeted choirs, we could have an extremely good time talking about anything to everyone.  It is our intention to continue that tradition on the ‘Brent & Meg Show.’  Absolutely no politician, celebrity, corporate business practice, social custom, anything or anybody will be safe from our scathing, biting and hopefully humorous and entertaining observations.  Hey, we just wanna have fun!”

Brent Seltzer is legendary in the annals of West Coast radio having worked as a personality “rock ‘n’ roll newsman” on two of the most storied signals in rock radio history – KMET, Los Angeles and KGB, San Diego — as well as  LA’s KZLA-FM/AM, KNX-FM, and KMPC. He has also been a popular radio writer working for years at companies such as Watermark (“American Top 40”) and its founder Tom Rounds’ celebrated international company, Radio Express.

Born into a Hollywood show business family, Meg McDonald’s mother was the popular character actress Elisabeth Fraser and her father was the dancer Ray McDonald.  Although a native of Santa Monica, her parents divorced when she was very young and her Mom moved to New York to co-star with Phil Silvers in his popular comedy, “You’ll Never Get Rich,” later known as “The Phil Silvers Show.”  As her mother went to work in many classic films, TV shows and Broadway shows, Meg found herself surrounded by gifted writers including Neil Simon, Norman Lear and Gore Vidal.  Returning to LA after a few years, Meg never thought of herself as a performer, so she majored in Journalism at LACC, but chose a career in public relations where she has forged an award-winning history as founder of her own shop, McDonald Media Services.  Strikingly beautiful with a big gorgeous voice, she always wanted to be on-air but was too shy to take the shot, until she met Brent Seltzer. “The Brent & Meg” show debuts on TalkersRadio Tuesday, September 10.  For more information about TalkersRadio call 413-565-5413 or email GM David Bernstein at david@talkers.com.  TalkersRadio streaming is powered by Backbone Networks.

wowoamshowWOWO-AM/FM, Fort Wayne Morning Show to Begin TV Simulcast.  Federated Media’s WOWO-AM/FM, Fort Wayne will begin a simulcast of one hour of “Fort Wayne’s Morning News with Charly Butcher on local NBC affiliate WISE-TV “NBC33” on September 23.  The television outlet will air the 6:00 am hour of  Butcher’s program using several high definition cameras placed in the studio and newsroom at WOWO.  Program director Ryan Wrecker says, “What we’re doing is taking a historic show in the market and advancing it to a new medium.  Finding new platforms for our product is an important part of our station strategy, and we think this is going to make a big impact not only in the market but it’s what should be expected for news/talk stations looking for ways to gain a younger audience share.”  Butcher states, “We’re excited to bring a show we work very hard on every morning to NBC33.  It’s another way for listeners to get a behind-the-scenes look at what we do and get all the information they need every morning.  I’m not excited that I might need to start wearing make-up.”  Pictured above is the WOWO-AM/FM morning show in action (Butcher at right.)

MLB LogoSiriusXM and MLB Reach Six-Year Extension.  Satcaster SiriusXM and Major League Baseball have reached an agreement to extend their relationship for another six years.  As a result, every regular season and post-season game will be available on both Sirius and XM platforms through 2016.  The deal also includes select exhibition games and Spanish-language broadcasts.  SiriusXM president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein states, “Baseball has been an essential part of our programming lineup and we’re very happy to extend our relationship with MLB to deliver the games to our subscribers for many years to come.  We’re especially pleased to now offer the games to SiriusXM subscribers whether they listen through Sirius radios, XM radios, the SiriusXM App or online.”

NPR Producer Teshima Walker Dies at 44.  After a two-year battle with colon cancer, NPR executive producer Teshima Walker passed away on Friday morning.  Walker had been executive producer of the Michel Martin-hosted “Tell Me More” program since 2011.  She’d been with the show in various capacities for four years prior to that.  During her career she had worked at WBEZ, Chicago and served as a producer on the Tavis Smiley program.

Friday, July 26, 2013

| July 26, 2013

whitebillBill White Named PD at Journal’s ‘104.1 The Truth’ and ‘ESPN Tucson.’  Programming pro Bill White is the new program director at Journal Broadcast Group’s news/talk KQTH, Tucson “104.1 The Truth” and sports talk duo KFFN-AM/FM “ESPN Tucson.”  Journal Tucson operations manager Shaun Holly says, “I am pleased to announce, after a long and exhaustive search, we have found the perfect program director for ‘104.1 The Truth’ KQTH and ‘ESPN Tucson’ 1490/1049fm KFFN-AM/FM and we are fortunate to add a team member with his talent and background of success.”  Bill White comments, “I am thrilled to be joining Shaun Holly, vice president and general manager Jim Arnold and the talented team at ‘The Truth,’ ‘ESPN Tucson’ and Journal Broadcast Group/Tucson.  Journal is a company committed to creating great local content through all media platforms: radio, TV, digital, and publishing.  ‘The Truth’ and ESPN are strong brands and I am very excited to work with their talented lineup.”  Bill White fills the programming slot left vacant when Ryan McCredden left to join CBS Radio Houston’s sports talk outlets KILT and KIKK.  Upon learning of White’s appointment to this position, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison stated, “Journal has made a brilliant move landing Bill White for this position and the Tucson market, which is a wonderful place to live and work, as well all of radio, will be better off for it.  In my opinion, Bill White is one of the finest programmers and individuals in radio today.”

beasley logo longBeasley 2013 Q2 Net Revenue Up 8.3%.  A good quarter for Beasley Broadcast Group as the company announces second quarter net revenue was up 8.3% on revenue of $26.9 million (compared to $24.8 million during the same period a year ago) and same station net revenue rose 4.2%.  Beasley notes that the increase “reflects strength in the company’s Philadelphia, Fayetteville and Las Vegas market clusters, including the acquisition of KOAS-FM in Las Vegas during the 2012 third quarter.”  In a statement chairman and CEO George Beasley says, “Beasley Broadcast Groupbeasleygeorge generated its fourth consecutive period of top line growth as second quarter net revenue rose 8.3% and same station net revenue increased 4.2%.  The increase in second quarter revenue reflects strong national and digital revenue growth which contributed to strength in several market clusters including Philadelphia, Las Vegas, Ft. Myers and Augusta. Overall, for our five markets that report to Miller Kaplan — which represent approximately 75% of our total second quarter revenue – Beasley station clusters grew revenue by 8.4% while the total revenue for all reporting radio stations in these markets declined by 2.4% for the quarter. We attribute our out-performance to our organization-wide focus on strong core programming and targeted localism, both of which are contributing to the Company’s ratings strength in its markets.  Notwithstanding the solid revenue growth, comparisons of our other financial metrics with the year-ago period are clouded due to the operating expense credit in last year’s second quarter, and certain charges in the 2013 second quarter including a loss on the early extinguishment of debt and a prepayment fee incurred in connection with the refinancing of our second lien debt.  In addition, recent initiatives in the areas of sales, programming and the further expansion of our digital offerings are expected to drive long-term revenue growth, but are resulting in higher operating expenses on a short-term basis.”

bearmanTVshotKSCO, Santa Cruz Talk Host Ethan Bearman Gets Huge Visibility from Needle Exchange Controversy.  Local talk show host Ethan Bearman raised his already skyrocketing profile in the Santa Cruz market even further after local TV station KION, Salinas (and other traditional news organizations) picked up on his efforts to get a better grasp of how the community feels about a controversial needle exchange program.  Bearman, (pictured here during the KION news segment) says he believes there is a disconnect between the community and the authorities on the newest needle exchange program designed to deal with the large number of used needles being found throughout the community left by intravenous drug users.  Bearman initiated his own unofficial Santa Cruz needle exchange survey online asking 10 questions of the public about the problem and the program.  The Health Services Agency and the citizens group Take Back Santa Cruz both put Bearman’s survey on their websites to try to feel the public’s mood.  Bearman says he’ll deliver the results to the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors as well as the Santa Cruz City Council.  The survey is closed and Bearman says he’ll have the results today (7/26).  See the KION segment here.

clearriffles logoMark Panetta Launches Clear Riffles Marketing and Research Agency.  Former DMR Interactive senior vice president of marketing strategy Mark Panetta (who spent 17 years with the Cincinnati-based strategic marketing consultancy) announces the launch of Clear Riffles – a new marketing and research agency.  Panetta says the reason for building his new venture is that “companies who specialize in direct marketing for radio have been more focused on the vehicle and the destination than on the content they deliver.  That is, they spend all their time on WHERE and HOW to advertise and little on WHAT TO SAY.  Yet, in the most successful advertising campaigns of the recent decade – Apple vs. PC, The Geico Gecko, Target Stores rebranding, etc. – it’s the perfectly executed message that mattered most.  Success is the result of panettamarkdeveloping a solid strategy based on understanding consumer perceptions and needs.  When you get that right, powerful creative can follow.  Where and how you advertise is then a matter of mechanics.”  Panetta says Clear Riffles was founded to fill the creative void by designing radio marketing campaigns that truly connect radio stations with today’s listeners.  He states this is accomplished with more emphasis on the creative process starting with proprietary research that illuminates current consumer views and attitudes.  And he adds, “It’s the hard work others in our field are not set up or qualified to do.”  Panetta can be reached at 470-239-3583 or emailed at Mark@ClearRiffles.com.

siriusxmSiriusXM Reports Q2 2013 Numbers; Net Subscribers and Revenue Both Up.  Satcaster SiriusXM reported second quarter figures for 2013 on Thursday, July 25 and CEO Jim Meyer said the company delivered more than 715,000 in net subscriber additions during the quarter to bring the company’s total paid subscriber tally over the 25 million threshold.  Meyer also said the revenue for the quarter — $940 million – was up double digits.  The company reports that meyerjimfactory-installed SiriusXM radios are now in 54.5 million automobiles and Meyer says he expects that figure to hit 100 million by the end of 2017.  Regarding developing technology, Meyers stated, “We also continue to make significant progress in developing our next generation connected-car platform and in driving our Telematics business.  During the second quarter we launched an in-car IP streaming app with Ford on the same platform.  This feature enables Ford customers to have two-way services such as Sirius XM on-demand and personalized music through MyXM.  It is a first step in creating an in-vehicle experience that harnesses both satellite and IT.  Our effort with Ford is just the beginning and we are holding discussions with all of the major OEMs about including their app on their platforms.  Ultimately, we believe that merging satellite and IP connectivity in the car will provide a superior service for subscribers.”  Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the conference call transcript.  You can check out the entire call here.

pepelarryOdds & Sods.  NBC Sports Radio weekend personality Jason Page will broadcast from the 2013 Ahmad Rashad Celebrity Classic at Mohegan Sun Country Club in Pautipaug, Connecticut tomorrow (7/27) from 9:00 pm to 1:00 am on Sunday.  The golf event has raised more than $500,000 for charity since its inception…..ESPN Radio’s popular podcast “His & Hers” featuring Michael Smith and Jemele Hill expands to a twice-per-week production with episodes now made available at ESPNRadio.com on Mondays and Thursdays…..Fox Sports Radio simulcasts “UFC on FOX: Johnson vs. Moraga” on Saturday, July 27 from Key Arena in Seattle.  Following the fights, mixed martial arts expert Larry Pepe will host a Fox Sports Radio wrap-up show with interviews and call-ins from 10:00 pm to 11:00 pm ET.

rosefrancisFilling In.  Boston-based talk show host Jeff Katz sits in at Clear Channel’s WHAS, Louisville for a day when he guest hosts the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program on Monday, July 29…..WFED, Washington afternoon drive host Francis Rose fills in for Cumulus Media Networks nationally syndicated personality John Batchelor on his Sunday evening program on July 28.

kimkomandologoCool Job Opportunities.  WestStar MultiMedia Entertainment’s Kim Komando show has two job opportunities available.  First, the program is searching for seasoned National Sales Reps with experience in selling broadcast (radio and television) and digital online advertising.  All interested candidates should send their resume to ad-sales-acct-mgr-hr@komando.com.  Second, The Kim Komando show is seeking an Experienced Television Producer.  This is a new position being created.  Candidate shall have a passion for broadcast programming plus a minimum of 5 years as a television show producer and /or assistant producer.  To learn about this position and more you can send your resume to television-producer-hr@komando.com.  For all open positions you can check out http://www.komando.com/careers.

Cool Job Opportunity.  Southwest Broadcasting is seeking a station manager for news/talk KYCA and beautiful music KAHM in Prescott, Arizona.  Owner Lou Silverstein can be phoned at 928-445-7800 or emailed at kahm@att.net.

burkmanjackTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  Radio America-syndicated “Behind the Curtain with Jack Burkman” announces the addition of KABC, Los Angeles; WTNT, Washington, DC; WFFG, Marathon, Florida; KTPA, and KXAR in Hope, Arkansas; KLEY, and KKLE in Wellington, Kansas; KSET, Beaumont, Texas; and WTIM-FM, Taylorville, Illinois begin carrying the program…..Genesis Communications Network-syndicated “Freedom Feens” featuring Michael W. Dean and Neema Vedadi is added to the program lineup at WPBQ, Jackson, Mississippi…..MMG Radio Network’s “The Pet Show” with Warren Eckstein adds affiliates: WFYL, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania; KWAM, Memphis; KBTK, Flagstaff, Arizona; and WRHI, Charlotte.

Anthony Weiner Saga Tops Talkers TenTM.  The trials and tribulations of New York City mayoral candidate and former congressman Anthony Weiner after new allegations of sexting and extramarital relationships were the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week of July 22-26.  Coming in at #2 on the Talkers TenTM was the George Zimmerman verdict aftermath.  At #3 was the implementation and promotion of the Affordable Care Act followed by the Detroit bankruptcy declaration at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio 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.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

| July 23, 2013

kinosianmikeBid4Spots: Auction an Alternative to Unsold Inventory.  In a piece published today (7/23), TALKERS managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian profiles  Dave Newmark’s successful Bid4Spots digital auction initiative.  There was a time when numerous players were getting into thebid4spots logo business of using the internet to deal with unsold inventory on radio stations.  Dave Newmark tells Mike Kinosian why the others failed and how he struggled to find the right business model that would eventually lead to success.  It was during a casual conversation with a software developer when he had an epiphany.  “I immediately thought of those ad exchanges and I realized what they all had wrong.  They had the supply and demand equation backwards.  Forward auctions work well only when the demand is high and the supply is low.  If I could figure out when demand would be at its lowest point – when regular airtime buyers were pretty much gone from the store – it would be as close to ‘next week’ as possible.”  Newmark’s road to success was not a smooth one.  In this fascinating piece he details his trials and tribulations.  He also explains why stations and advertisers are happy with his model of moving unsold inventory.  Read it all here.

tantillojohnAre You a Thinker or a Feeler?  More importantly, are your listeners and callers thinkers or feelers?  In a new TALKERS column posted today (7/23) by branding specialist Dr. John Tantillo, he states that understanding the difference between these two approaches to the issues of the day can have an impact on your show and determine how effectively you orchestrate discussions of them on the air.  Using the examples of the current Zimmerman verdict and Rolling Stone cover controversy, Dr. Tantillo examines the relationship between branding and controversy pointing out that the most important thing to focus upon is how the controversy directly impacts the customer’s (or fan’s) loyalty to the brand and nobody else’s.  He says we should be less concerned about public relations and more interested in “targeted relations.”  To read the entire column, please click here.

smulyanjeffEmmis CEO Jeff Smulyan Named Among ‘Giants of Broadcasting’ Honorees.  This is the 11th annual staging of the “Giants of Broadcasting” that is sponsored by the Library of American Broadcasting.  It celebrates “distinguished leadership or performance in television and radio” and will take place October 16 at New York’s Gotham Hall.  Smulyan is among 11 honorees this year including Anne Sweeney, Alex Trebek, Barry Diller, Morley Safer, Dick Cavett, Robert L. Johnson, David E. Kelley, Richard E. Wiley, Richard Leibner and Carole Cooper.  The Library of American Broadcasting is located at the University of Maryland and the organization states it is “entering its 42nd year serving as the national information resource for the radio and television industries and the academic communities that rely upon it for depth and expertise.  Its collections of historic documents, professional papers, oral and video histories, books and photographs are among the nation’s most extensive.”

cooleychrisRed Zebra Re-Tools Afternoons on WTEM, Washington.  Recently retired Washington Redskins star Chris Cooley becomes part of the new “The Drive with Cooley and Czabe” afternoon program on Red Zebra-owned sports talk outlet czabanpollinWTEM, Washington “ESPN 980”.  Cooley – who just joined the station for Washington Redskins game broadcasts with the company – joins Steve Czaban and WTEM weekend host Al Galdi for the new program that will debut August 1 and will air from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  Czaban currently hosts “The Sports Reporters” with Andy Pollin in the afternoon drive slot.  Red Zebra says Pollin remains with the station and will sub for the vacationing Tony Kornheiser beginning August 5.  About the new show, Czaban jokes, “I will work tirelessly to make Chris Cooley the second-most-beloved ex-Redskin tight end on radio in the DC market.”

bergmansandiMEDIA BROKER SPOTLIGHT: Mark Jorgenson of Jorgenson Broadcast Brokerage.  In this week’s installment of Media Broker Spotlight, Sandi Bergman of RadioTVDeals.com interviews media broker Mark Jorgenson of jorgensonmarkJorgenson Broadcast Brokerage of Greenville, South Carolina.  Jorgenson was a 12-year veteran of television sales and radio ownership in Southeastern markets before deciding that he liked putting deals together better than he did operating stations.  He says, “I enjoy matching people up with great opportunities and that’s what the brokerage business is all about.”  Jorgenson describes today’s radio station market as “sluggish due to a lack of capital to finance deals.”  He says, “There are plenty of potential buyers and even more potential sellers but without institutional financing to make the deals happen, we won’t see the volume of transactions we’ve seen in the past.  Brokers have to be creative and persistent to make deals happen in today’s financial climate.”  He continues, “There are even radio deals where some portion of the purchase price might be handled with a seller note.  The key is for the buyer to have access to at least some cash.  Private investors, family, and friends are the most likely source to finance new ventures these days.”  To read the entire installment of Media Broker Spotlight, please click here.

TalkersLA2013Talkers Los Angeles 2013 Is Set for Thursday, October 10.  The third annual installment of TALKERS magazine’s West Coast convention has been set for Thursday, October 10 and its outstanding agenda is shaping up to be a blockbuster.  It is again being presented in association with the Los Angeles Press Club and held at the historic Steve Allen Theater on Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm.  TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey states, “We are very enthusiastic about the growth and positive impact of this Southern California gathering.  It started out three years ago as an experimental LA regional get-together and blossomed into an exciting companion to our big New York convention.”  The event – open only to members of the working media – will feature a power-packed day of panel discussions, keynote addresses, special presentations, technology and services exhibits, tremendous networking opportunities and abundant food and refreshments (lunch is sponsored by Premiere Networks and Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity who will address the attendees from New York).  Speakers already set include (in alphabetical order):  Robin Bertolucci, PD, KFI, Los Angeles; Phil Boyce, VP spoken word format, Salem Communications; Holland Cooke, radio consultant; Skip Essick, PD, KMJ-AM/FM, Fresno; Erica Farber,CEO/president, RAB;  Ron Hartenbaum, president, WYD/WYM Media; Rusty Humphries, host, Talk Radio Network;  Kraig Kitchin, CEO, Sound Mind, LLC; Tom Leykis, president, The New Normal; Don Martin, senior VP sports programming, Fox Sports Radio/Clear Channel Media and Entertainment; Kevin McCullough, CEO, XtreMedia; Mike McVay, senior VP programming, Cumulus Media; Harvey Nagler, VP, CBS Radio News; Norm Pattiz, CEO, Courtside Entertainment/Podcast One; Chris Pendl, creative director, Bonneville Seattle; Walter Sabo, CEO, Sabo Media; Eric Stanger, VP of operations and affiliate marketing, The Sean Hannity Show/Premiere Networks; Alan Stock, host, KDWN, Las Vegas; Paul Vandenburgh, president/GM/host, WGDJ, Albany; and Michael Zwerling, owner, KSCO, Santa Cruz with many more to be announced in the coming days.  The latest broadcasting equipment and remote gear will be on display as presented by Broadcasters General Store and Comrex Corporation.  Registrations – $149 per person – can only be taken over the phone and the event is expected to be a very early sellout.  So don’t wait – avoid being shut out.  For sponsorship information or to register, call 413-565-5413.

wexlerlisaWFAS, White Plains Afternoon Host Lisa Wexler to Run for Judicial Office.  Lisa Wexler is an attorney and currently the PM drive talk host on Cumulus Media’s news/talk WFAS, White Plains, New York.  She tells TALKERS magazine she’s being nominated to run as a Republican for the Probate Judge of Weston and Westport (Connecticut) in November.  “I’ve practiced this area of law for many years, and I’m very excited to run and be able to serve the people with knowledge and compassion.”  Wexler notes the position is part time and, if elected, she will be able to continue her radio work.

WRSB, Canandaigua, New York to Flip to Business Talk.  The station was purchased earlier this summer by Genesee Media Corporation and has been serving the area south of Rochester with a religious format.  According to YNN.com, GMC will brand the station “Business 1310” and will use programming from Bloomberg, NBC News and Marketwatch.  The report also indicates that Genesee intends to add the programming to other AM signals in the region.

wodlingerkevinSonoma Media Group Announces Kevin Wodlinger Is New Local Business Development Manager.  The company says Kevin Wodlinger comes to its five-station Santa Rosa, California cluster from his most recent position in Grand Junction, Colorado as market manager for the Cumulus Media cluster that is now owned by Townsquare Media.  Wodlinger replaces longtime employee Jeriann D’Elicio, who recently announced her resignation.  Michael O’Shea, president of Sonoma Media Group, comments, “Kevin is the real deal – a consummate sales executive with a great track record of teaching, coaching and leading in local business development.  We are delighted to have his expertise and leadership in our building.”  The company operates news/talk KSRO, country KFGY “Froggy 92.9,” classic rock KVRV “97.7 The River FM,” hot AC KMHX “Mix 104.9,” and CHr KHTH “Hot 101.7.”

douglasbrianNew Motor Sports Network to Begin Operations.  The Midwest Racing Radio Network announces it is preparing to begin operations and has named Brian Douglas vice president of broadcast operations.  Douglas also serves as host.  The company states it will initially feature one two-hour motorsports show via live audio stream and podcast in a format for broadcast stations to air daily five days a week.  Also, the network will feature a live one-hour Sunday evening program and a national highlights podcast show containing results, interviews, and the upcoming regional racing schedules as submitted from tracks across the country.

cigardaveTVCigar Dave Goes Live on TV.  Nationally syndicated media personality “Cigar Dave” Zeplowitz is pictured here (at right) hosting the first-ever live televised broadcasts from the 2013 International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Convention at the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas.  The telecasts aired live on Sunday, July 14, Monday, July 15 and Tuesday, July 16. Cigar Dave reports his telecasts featured new premium cigar releases and accessories, interviews with premium cigar manufacturers and personalities, and presented viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the IPCPR Convention, that up to now, has been closed to the general public and only open to the trade.  “Cigar Dave” says, “This marks the next evolution of the Cigar Dave Show as we transition into a digital, multi-platform provider of relevant content for Alpha Males. Eighteen years ago, I was the first broadcaster to host a radio show dedicated to cigars and the Alpha Male-lifestyle.  This year’s live IPCPR telecasts commence a major expansion into televised and digital content that appeals to Alpha Males and a new generation of Millennial Males who enjoy cigars, spirits, manly pursuits, and the Good Life.”

Odds & Sods.  Public radio station WKSU, Kent, Ohio drops some of the daily classical music programming to add NPR’s “The Takeaway” with John Hockenberry and “On Point” with Tom Ashford to the midday schedule…..Sun Broadcasting changes the news/talk trimulcast of WFSX-AM and FM and WNOG-AM in Fort Myers.  It keeps WFSX-FM news/talk as “92.5 Fox News” and pairs up the AMs as a sports talk duo “The Fan.”

ObamaCare Implementation, Detroit Bankruptcy, Zimmerman Verdict Aftermath, 2016 Presidential Race, U.S. Syria Policy and British Prince Born Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/22).  The delay of the employer mandate and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act; the bankruptcy case of the city of Detroit; the aftermath of the George Zimmerman verdict; the potential candidates in the 2016 presidential race; the United States’ policy regarding Syria; and the birth of the son of Prince William and Kate Middleton were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, June 24, 2013

| June 24, 2013

arbitronArbitron Files Complaint Against Renda’s Jacksonville Stations.  Renda is a subscriber to Arbitron in some markets but hasn’t been a subscriber for its Jacksonville stations since 2010.  In the complaint filed in United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida Jacksonville Division, Arbitron alleges that Renda Jacksonville general manager Bill Reese received printed and emailed data from a senior executive at a local advertising agency of whom Reese is a professional and personal friend on numerous occasions throughout 2011 and 2012.  The complaint also cites sales manager Charlie Jennings, program director Chuck Beck and air personality Arthur Crofton as receiving the data.  Arbitron is seeking $150,000 per act in an amount not less than $500,000 plus attorneys’ fees.

sturmmcdowellPossible Sports Talk Shake-Up in Dallas.  The Dallas Morning NewsBarry Horn is reporting that sports KTCK, Dallas early afternoon duo Bob Sturm (l) and Dan McDowell (r) – known as BaD Radio – are in negotiations to move to CBS Radio’s crosstown KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan” for the 10:00 am to 2:00 pm slot.  Horn reports that “Ticket types” are not confident the duo will remain with Cumulus Media’s KTCK and expects that the deal could be done as soon as today (6/24).

smileytavisTavis Smiley and BlogTalkRadio Ink Deal.  According to a report in The New York Times, public radio broadcaster Tavis Smiley is entering into a deal with Alan Levy’s BlogTalkRadio in which Smiley will produce and anchor a daily program for the internet talk radio site and will produce shows for other contributors under his Tavis Smiley Network banner.  Levy tells the paper Smiley is the first broadcaster to be paid to work for BlogTalkRadio.  As with the other talk show hosts on the service, Smiley and BlogTalkRadio will split any revenue that is brought to the programs.  Smiley’s program – which will last 20 minutes or as long as he feels like talking – will consist of interviews and interaction with listeners.

cookenyc13You Only Need 1,000 Fans to Make a Living in this Business.  That was one of the eye-opening facts presented by radio consultant Holland Cooke at the recent Talkers New York 2013 conference (6/6).  In a concise, information-packed presentation titled “Resourceful and Remarkable,” Cooke outlines the tremendous benefits talk radio broadcasters can achieve and exploit by properly and effectively using Twitter.  Now, you can see the entire not-to-be-missed Holland Cooke presentation, power point slides and all, at TalkersTV by clicking here.

huffsamSam Huff Retires from Washington Redskins Radio Network.  Washington Redskins great Sam Huff announces that after 38 years in the radio booth broadcasting the team’s games, he’s ending his regular work with the team’s network.  Huff states, “I’ve enjoyed every game that I played, coached and provided color commentary over the last 50 years with the Washington Redskins.  I look forward to joining Larry, Sonny and Doc on the pregame show a few times this season.”  Red Zebra Brodcasting CEO Rick Carmean says, “This is truly the end of an era.  You cannot think Redskins Radio without Sam and Sonny.  We support Sam’s decision and look forward to having him as a special guest during the season.”  The team says Huff will be honored during a pregame ceremony at a to-be-determined Redskins game.  Red Zebra’s WTEM, Washington “ESPN 980” serves as flagship for the network.

odaypatSeattle Broadcast Legend Pat O’Day to Host Seafair Hydro Race Special on KIRO-FM.  The news was shocking to many Emerald City residents when it was announced that local broadcast legend Pat O’Day would not host televisionkirofm logo coverage of the Hydroplane Race that takes place during the city’s Seafair in early August – something he’s done since 1966.  Bonneville’s KIRO-FM is bringing O’Day aboard to host the coverage of the race on the radio.  The announcement was made on the station’s “Ron and Don Show.”  The show’s Don O’Neill states, “Pat is a Seattle broadcasting legend, and we’re really excited to share his longtime experience as the voice of Seafair on our airwaves.  Pat and the Seafair hydros have both been a part of our community for many years and we’re not ready for that to end.”  O’Day became known as the “Godfather of Northwest Rock” while making his name as an afternoon DJ in the 1960s.  He says of joining KIRO-FM for the race, “It’s been my joy to make contributions to the sport, but above all to make a contribution to our great, treasured festival called Seafair.  I feel very honored to be a part of Seafair for the past 46 years and am looking forward to sharing my perspective with KIRO Radio listeners.”

kochdavidKODI, Cody, Wyoming Host Arrested for Voting as a Convicted Felon.  “Speak Your Piece” co-host David Koch was arrested on Friday, June 21 state officials for allegedly voting in elections in the state as a convicted felon – a crime in Wyoming.  Koch was convicted of first-degree burglary and second-degree theft in Alaska in 1993 and he admitted to voting in elections over the past couple of years after taking an oath in 2009 that he had never been convicted of a felony.  The issue came to light when a caller to his radio program who had obviously researched Koch’s past, pressed him on the voting issue and he admitted to the convictions and to voting.  The Casper Star Tribune reports Big Horn Radio Network general manager Roger Gelder states Koch is still employed with the radio station and will let the legal system decide his fate.  Each count is punishable by up to five years in jail and a $10,000 fine.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

| June 12, 2013

smerconishspeechMichael Smerconish Delivers Annual “State of the First Amendment Address” at Talkers New York 2013.  It is considered an honor to be invited to deliver the annual “State of the First Amendment Address” at the annual TALKERS conference – a traditional component of the Freedom of Speech Ceremony that dates back to the early 1990s when the late and legendary talk show host Gene Burns delivered an impromptu speech extolling the importance of free speech in American society and the vital role it plays in the pertinence of talk radio.  Bringing the concept full circle, Burns further articulated how talk radio plays a crucial role in exercising and preserving the First Amendment.  According to TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, “That was a magic moment when Gene Burns explained how free speech and talk radio are intrinsically unified in preserving the very foundation of liberty upon which everything we consider to be ‘American’ is supported.”  Harrison recalls, “Gene reprised this role for the nextburnsgene couple of years leading up to it becoming an industry tradition carried on by free speech-aware orators.  We began inviting individuals from the broadcasting industry who understood and displayed from their own actions the importance of the First Amendment and comment on the state of its health – based upon the premise ‘use it or lose it.'”  Since then, a diverse roster of industry players, who have in their own way challenged the establishment, have delivered their versions of this important address including Al Franken, Michael Medved, Alan Colmes, Sean Hannity, Lou Dobbs, Jerry Springer, Neal Boortz, Jim Bohannon and many more.  This year, the editorial board invited Michael Smerconish, who recently walked away from his daily on-air job with CBS O&O WPHT, Philadelphia and his own syndicated network of approximately 80 affiliates to take a position as host of a show on the SiriusXM political channel, to deliver the address.  According to Harrison, “Smerconish, a moderate conservative, was quite outspoken in his protest against the extreme left-versus-right polarity presently manifested in the stationality of most AM/FM news/talk stations and opted for the ideological freedom provided by his new satellite platform.  Standing up to the conventional wisdom and practices of one’s own industry can be even more challenging and bold a stance for a talk show host to take than protesting the government.  He was an apt choice to deliver the address this year and he did a great job.”  Smerconish began the speech by recounting a media experience he had while still a teenager.  Pink Floyd’s legendary “The Wall” LP was released when he was a senior in high school.  The band was reluctant to tour in support of the double-album, but as part of its record deal, Pink Floyd was obligated to do a certain number of dates.  “I was able to see them and was the envy of my friends,” commented Smerconish, who at the time, was the editor of The Chatterbox, his high school newspaper. “When I came home from the concert, I decided to write a review of ‘The Wall.’” Speculating what the “wall” was and what it symbolized, Smerconish recounted it could have been a prison wall or a wall around a person seeking isolation.  When his review came out, he was summoned to the principal’s office. “The principal said he was disappointed that I had written the review and requested a retraction, not because of anything in particular that I had written, but because I had addressed the subject at all,” Smerconish explained.  “He wanted me to do a follow up and be critical of the group’s music.”  The then 17-year-old Smerconish (who went on to become an attorney) was “only superficially familiar” with the First Amendment.  “I doubt that I could have defined ‘censorship’ or ‘prior restraint,’ but I knew enough that something he was asking of me just was not right,” he recollected.  “I weighed his request and I did not do it.  More than 30 years later, I spend all of my time talking about such dilemmas, speaking my mind, and rendering judgments about matters of public controversy – only now – I do so with profound appreciation for the source of our freedom.  Establishing a government framework for the weighty subjects of religion, speech, assembly, and petition is exactly what was accomplished in 1791 when the First Amendment and the entire Bill of Rights were adopted.”  Of added significance is the fact that, as Smerconish mentioned, it was done in just 45 words and in a manner that would be relevant for 222 years and counting.  “It is so simple and yet so prescient,” he commented. “This guidepost was written two centuries before the advent of the internet.”  The succinct way in which Smerconish assessed the state of the First Amendment was “resilient.”  To view a video of Michael Smerconish’s entire speech, please click here.

farbernmsinterviewErica Farber: “There’s Nothing We Can’t Do Anymore!”  Brimming with optimism, Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) CEO/president Erica Farber tells TalkersTV, “For the first time in the history of radio, we are integrated marketers.”  In an interview conducted at the recent Talkers New York 2013 convention (6/6) by TALKERS managing editor/West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian, Farber explains how radio can not only offer commercials on our broadcast signals but also video, special events and a variety of methods of exposure on our digital platforms as well.  Farber praises what she describes as “great energy” in the radio business and says that those of us who are in radio are here because “we love it” and although we are facing obvious challenges, there are also great opportunities.  When asked to define her role at the RAB as well as the organization’s role she states, “We are advocates of the industry to anyone who will listen – advertisers, agencies, broadcasters, and consumer media.”  She strongly believes that far more people are listening to radio than detractors of the medium would have you believe.  To see a video of the entire interview with Erica Farber, please click here.

mhchineseradioTALKERS Magazine Building Bridge Between American and Chinese Radio.  At the same time President Barack Obama was meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping last week, another diplomatic meeting between the two nations was taking place at United Nations headquarters on Manhattan’s East Side (6/7).  Broadcasters from China Radio International (CRI), the state-owned-and-operated radio station/network of the People’s Republic of China participated in the seventh annual “Talk Radio Day at the United Nations” a cultural initiative presented by TALKERS magazine and Talk Radio News Service in association with the United Nations Foundation.  This was the first time a delegation of Chinese broadcasters participated in this event.  Pictured (above, left) TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison being interviewed by the delegation for broadcast on CRI answering questions about how talk radio in America operates and what differences exist between the culture of broadcasting in both countries.  When asked what he hopes can be achieved by the meeting that was taking place that day between the presidents of the two nations Harrison stated, “I hope good things come from it, but I have learned through years of experience not to put too much stock in the words and actions of ANY politicians, regardless of what country they represent.  I believe, however, in the PEOPLE of different countries as evidenced by the ‘love fest’ taking place right here, right now, between your broadcasters and ours.  Radio is first andchineseradiogroupsm foremost a medium to unite people.  May today be just the beginning in our quest to unite the people of our great countries on the basis of mutual respect and common human interests.  If we do that, perhaps the politicians will have no choice other than to be reasonable.”  According to Harrison, “This was one of the most exciting conversations I have ever had in my 45 year career in broadcasting.  The radio folks from China seemed absolutely fascinated by how different the business is here – especially the American concept of free speech.  However they were clearly quite worldly and educated to many aspects of American business and culture. I will always remember this wonderful meeting.”  Li Ping, director general of CRI North America, told Harrison that she hopes “this will be the beginning of a long and productive relationship between Chinese and American radio broadcasters.”  Pictured above, right (l-r) Xu Leiying, reporter, CRI; Josephine Cheng, president, Chinese Radio Network (CRI’s partner in New York); Harrison; Li Ping, director general, CRI North America; Dong Xiaole, reporter, CRI; and You Yu, reporter/assistant to director general, CRI, North America.

villanuccijimLongtime Albuquerque Personality Jim Villanucci Lands in Portland.  After a not-so-amicable split from his 14-year home at Cumulus Media’s KKOB, Albuquerque, talk show host Jim Villanucci will take over the late morning slot at Alpha Broadcasting’s KXL, Portland “FM News 101” beginning June 24.  Villanucci will fill the slot currently held by Premiere Networks’ Glenn Beck show.  Villanucci was a huge ratings-getter for KKOB over the course of his stay there in afternoon drive and now brings his broad talk host skills to the Pacific Northwest leading into market icon Lars Larson who hosts the early afternoon show.  The move reunites Villanucci with market manager Milt McConnell with whom he worked in Albuquerque.

podcastone logoYahoo! Sports Radio Podcasts to Be Featured on PodcastOne.  The Norm Pattiz-founded PodcastOne and Gow Broadcasting, operator of Yahoo! Sports Radio in partnership with Yahoo! Sports, announce a multi-year deal to make Yahoo! Sports Radio podcasts available to listeners for free onyahoosportsradiologo PodcastOne.com and via the PodcastOne mobile app.  Additionally, Yahoo! Sports Radio Network podcasts will be represented for advertising sales by Pattiz’s Launchpad Digital Media.  PodcastOne/Launchpad Digital Media chief financial officer, Dan Yukelson states, “As ‘radio’ continues to be redefined as ‘audio,’ the sports-talk format has never been more popular.  Yahoo! Sports Radio is a leader in on-demand sports content and we are looking forward to ushering sports talk into the digital age together.  Along with our current PodcastOne lineup of sports/talk programming such as category leaders Steve Austin and Ross Tucker, the addition of Yahoo! Sports Radio will further strengthen our platform and reach.”  Yahoo! Sports Radio podcasts now available on PodcastOne and represented exclusively by Launchpad Digital Media include Bryan Benway, Terry Ford, Dylan Gwinn, Rick Horrow, Travis Rogers, Pat Forde, Dan Wetzel, Geoff Ketchum, Doug Farrar, Steve Czaban, “Calling All Sports with Marty Tirrell and Bob Ryan,” “The War Room with John Harris” and the “Mouthpiece Boxing Podcast.”

kgme logoClear Channel’s KGME, Phoenix Re-Brands as Fox Sports 910 Phoenix; Adds Local Midday Show.  Clear Channel’s Phoenix sports talk outlet KGME announces it has re-branded as “Fox Sports 910 Phoenix,” leaving behind the old “Xtra Sports” brand.  The station also adds a new live and local midday show called “The Freaks with Kenny & Crash,” featuring hosts Kenny Sargent and Crash Gladys that airs from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm beginning today (6/12).  Program director Neil Larrimore states, “This programming change will create a better experience for sports talk radio listeners in Phoenix.  ‘Fox Sports Radio 910 Phoenix’ and the addition of ‘Kenny & Crash’ will provide listeners with phenomenal sports talk programming with a rock ‘n’ roll attitude and the best conversations in the Valley.”

cclogoKelly Kibler Is Promoted to SVP of Operations for CC’s Dallas, Houston, Austin and San Antonio Markets.  Moving up from her most recent post as the company’s market president in Dallas, Kelly Kibler is named senior vice president of operations, effective immediately.  In her new role with the company, she’ll oversee the Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio markets and will report to Tom Schurr, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment‘s president of operations — major markets.  Kibler has been with CC for more than 16 years, holding a variety of leadership and sales positions in the Dallas, San Diego and Las Vegas markets.  Schurr states, “Kelly’s strong performance and high level of achievement make her the perfect choice to oversee and lead our Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio markets.  Her track record is one of continuous success with the company.”

wachsmithdonAdLarge Promotes Don Wachsmith to Chief Revenue Officer, Radio Sales. AdLarge Media reports that EVP, radio sales Don Wachsmith is promoted to chief revenue officer, radio sales for the company.  AdLarge Media CEO and co-founder Gary Schonfeld states, “Don has done an incredible job of exceeding revenue goals, two years in a row.  His client relationships and ability to develop targeted national radio advertising packages have dramatically increased sales results for AdLarge.”  AdLarge president and co-founder Cathy Csukas adds, “With Don’s leadership, Adlarge has already surpassed 2012 results and achieved exceptional growth in 2013.  This is a well-deserved promotion for Don and recognition for his contribution to our success.”  Wachsmith states, “The past two years at AdLarge have been a wonderfully rewarding experience.  As AdLarge continues to expand partnerships with content providers, I look forward to delivering targeted branding experiences for our national advertising clients.”  Wachsmith joined AdLarge in 2011.  Prior to that, Wachsmith was executive vice president, sales, at Dial Global Media.

GfK MRI logoArbitron Announces ‘Model-Ready’ PPM Data Available in GfK MRI’s Granularity Portal.  Arbitron Inc. reports that Model-Ready Radio data is now available in media and consumer research firm GfK MRI‘s Granularity Portal.  The company states that “the model-ready radio ratings data is linked with Media Monitors commercial airplay data to enable advertisers to get a better read on radio’s contribution to marketing and sales results.  Its presence in the Granularity portal is designed to boost radio’s presence in marketing mix models and make it easier, faster and less error prone to use for advertisers, agencies and modelers.”  The model-ready data is now available in Granularity to all subscribers of the new data set.  It had previously been available in a beta version for a limited number of trial users, which was announced in October 2011.  Arbitron also states, “A series of case studies demonstrated that the model-ready Arbitron PPM Radio Ratings Data can help improve the statistical reliability of marketing mix models and provide advertisers with a better understanding of radio’s ability to drive marketing ROI.  The data is based on PPM radio ratings which is linked to commercial occurrence data from Media Monitors for the specific date, quarter-hour, and station on which each commercial ran.”

sontagfrankKKLA, Los Angeles Names Frank Sontag PM Drive Host.  The untimely death of talk show host Frank Pastore after a motorcycle accident in November of 2012 left Salem Communications’ Christian talk station KKLA, Los Angeles seeking a new afternoon drive host.  Now, the company announces Frank Sontag takes over the program that airs from 4:00 pm to 6:30 pm.  Program director Chuck Tyler says, “We are excited about having Frank Sontag join our lineup in the critical afternoon drive position.  Frank is a true veteran of Los Angeles radio having worked at KLOS-FM for 27 years.”  Sontag served as news director, disc jockey and was part of the popular Mark and Brian program.  During that time he also hosted his own talk radio show – “The Impact Program” – for 21 years.

abcnewsradioABC News Radio Recognized with Three Edward R. Murrow Awards.  The national Edward R. Murrow Awards have been announced by the Radio Television Digital News Association and ABC News Radio is recognized with awards in three categories. ABC won Best Breaking News Coverage for its handling of the Newtown, Connecticut school massacre; Best Continuing Coverage for its work reporting on Hurricane Sandy; and Best News Series for its The 2012 Campaign and Election: Your Choice Your Vote.”  You can hear the winning entries here.

beckslaterSiriusXMGlenn Beck Promotes New Novel on SiriusXM’s‘Author Confidential.’  Talk media superstar Glenn Beck (l) is the featured guest on this weekend’s edition of SiriusXM’s “Author Confidential” as he talks with SiriusXM Patriot Channel host Mike Slater (r) about his new novel The Eye of Moloch (Threshold Editions 2013).  The book is the follow-up to his previous New York Times bestseller The Overton Window and incorporates themes of tyranny, freedom, high-tech surveillance and more.  The program premieres on Saturday, June 15 at 10:00 am on the Patriot Channel.

Gerard Media Purchases Talk WHFB, Benton Harbor-St. Joseph, Michigan.  Gerard Media owns news/talk WIMS, Michigan City, Indiana and will add 5,000-watt class D AM WHFB, Benton Harbor-St. Joseph, Michigan to its portfolio for $175,000.  The seller is WHFB Broadcast Associates.

wrkotownhallWRKO, Boston Holds Live Town Hall Broadcast with Former U.S. Senator Scott Brown.  WRKO, Boston morning drive host Jeff Kuhner will take part in a live broadcast town hall meeting at Bentley University on Thursday, June 20 at 7:00 pm with former U.S. Senator Scott Brown.  The station says Kuhner and Brown will discuss topical political issues, including National Security privacy issue, the IRS scandal, the Benghazi attack and the Senate special election.  The program will end with an open session for audience questions and will be moderated by June Knight.

Alleged State Department Cover-Up, Immigration Legislation, NSA Data Collection Program, Severe Weather ‘Derecho’ Threat, and Plan B Pill Policy Among top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/11).  Allegations of a State Department cover-up of illegal activities including prostitution and drug abuse among staffers abroad; immigration legislation making its way through Congress; the NSA data collection program and the revealing of secrets by Edward Snowden; the threat of a dangerous weather system possibly forming a “derecho” that could affect the eastern half of the country; and the controversy over the Obama Administration’s policy on the Plan B pill were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

| June 4, 2013

stillwellfrostyFrosty Stillwell Returns to Talk at CC’s KKSF, San Francisco for Middays.  Hot AC KIOI, San Francisco “Star 101.3” morning show co-host Frosty Stillwell will continue his work alongside Sandy Stec on the Sandy & Frosty program until a replacement is named but today (6/4) he begins immediately hosting the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show on the company’s talk KKSF “Talk 910.”  Stillwell was part of the Frosty, Heidi & Frank trio that spent years at hot talk KLSX, Los Angeles.  He also had worked at Clear Channel’s KYSR, Los Angeles and filled in at talk KFI.  Frosty says, “I am thrilled to get back to what I’ve done for the past two decades, talk radio.  ‘Talk 910’ dominates the format in San Francisco.  While I loved being part of the music and personality show on ‘Star 101.3,’ there was just no way I could pass up this enticing opportunity right down the hall to get back to my true passion.”

boylespeterPeter Boyles Officially Out at KHOW, Denver.  Less than two weeks after being removed from the air on Clear Channel Denver’s talk KHOW, station management officially cuts the ties between the longtime Denver personality and the station.  Peter Boyles was taken off the air on May 24 after an altercation between Boyles and his producer Greg Hollenback that reportedly escalated into a physical attack on Boyles’ part.  The incident made the news immediately as local media was in the building to cover a press conference with politician Tom Tancredo.  KHOW program director Dan Mandis wrote an email to the Denver Post notifying the paper Boyles is no longer with the company.  Guest hosts have been sitting in on the morning show since that time and no permanent replacement has been announced.

foxnewsradioProgramming VP Mike Elder Exits Fox News Radio.  One of the most respected programming executives in talk radio, Mike Elder, has left Fox News Radio after serving the past eight years as the company’s VP of programming.  Elder, a veteran PD of such great stations as WRKO, Boston; WLS, Chicago; WCCO, Minneapolis; eldermikeKTOK, Oklahoma City and KMBZ/KCMO, Kansas City tells TALKERS, “It was an amicable parting of the ways.  My contract was up, cuts were being made to the staff, and we both agreed to move on.  And this was the longest tenure of a more-than-40-year career, so I was living on borrowed time anyway.”  Elder continues, “This has been one of the best jobs I’ve had, or that radio still had. [Fox VPs] Kevin Magee and Bob Finnerty were very supportive of our efforts and our channel on SiriusXM as well as the internet and affiliates.  They allowed me to put together a great staff and I appreciate their support over the past eight years.”  What next for the 40-year veteran of talk and music radio?  He tells TALKERS he will probably move back to his home in Boston and believes he has at least one more job in him.  He will take the time to explore his options as a programmer and talent coach. “I still feel I have another gig left in me, so I am not shutting the door on radio.  I would welcome the chance to work with great talent and production staffs again.  But I’m open to something new as well.  There is a whole new world on the internet that will require content, and not the same ol’, same ol’.  I’d love to work on something new, exciting, challenging and dynamic that would allow me to put my over 40 years of experience and skills to use in a new and different way.”  Mike Elder can be reached at Mikeelder@me.com or 646-256-5653.

thomasjoeJoe Thomas Puts ‘The Afternoon Constitutional’ on Hiatus.  WCHV, Charlottesville, Virginia program director and morning drive host Joe Thomas announces that “after two-and-a-half years of independent conservative analysis of the news and events for Virginia’s great cities of Richmond, Roanoke and Charlottesville,” he’s taking the regionally syndicated afternoon show off the air.  Although Thomas says of “The Afternoon Constitutional,” “It’s more like a ‘dry docking’ of a great ship that has taken you to amazing places but now needs to be refitted with some new things for her future voyages.  Stay tuned!”  Thomas continues his roles as morning host and program director at WCHV.  He can be reached at joe@theafternoonconstitutional.com

ktnf logoProgressive Talker KTNF, Minneapolis Sold to Chad Larson.  Sales manager Chad Larson believes in progressive talk and he’s agreeing to pay current owner JR Broadcasting (Janet Roberts) $1.5 million for the AM signal.  JR Broadcasting paid $3 million for the station in 2004 from CBS Radio.  Currently, the station airs local morning host Matt McNeil’s “The Morning Grind” plus WYD Media’s Stephanie Miller and Thom Hartmann, Ed Schultz and Compass Media Network’s Norman Goldman.

moranjessicaOdds & Sods.  The Boston Globe reports that rumors are flying in town that Entercom’s sports talk WEEI is contemplating a change to its midday show by moving Mike Mutnansky out and replacing him with Comcast SportsNet New England’s Jessica Moran.  Mutnansky co-hosts the “Mut & Merloni” show with former Red Sox player Lou Merloni…..At ESPN Radio, the NBA Finals are the hot topic as Minnesota Timberwolves star Kevin Love and former NBA head coach Doug Collins join “Mike & Mike” as co-hosts.  Love will join Mike Golic and Ryan Ruocco, who will sub for Mike Greenberg, on Thursday, June 6 – the morning of Game 1 of the Finals.  Doug Collins, who most recently coached the Philadelphia 76ers, will join Golic and Greenberg the morning after Game 3, Wednesday, June 12.  Both guests will be part of an NBA-centric programming block from 6:00 am to 10:00 am.

beasleyhonoraryGeorge Beasley Receives Honorary Doctorate.  Beasley Broadcast Group chairman and chief executive officer George G. Beasley is pictured here at Appalachian State University’s recent May commencement receiving Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa from the school’s chancellor Dr. Kenneth E. Peacock.  A native of Patrick County, Virginia, Beasley has deep ties to Appalachian State University (ASU) in Boone, NC receiving both his undergraduate (’58) and graduate degrees (’60) from ASU.  Most recently, he contributed the lead gift making a new broadcasting and media facility on campus possible – the George G. Beasley Media Complex, which is scheduled to open later this year.  Beasley vice president of corporate communications Denyse Mesnik tells us that education was a first love of George Beasley’s.  “Prior to broadcasting, George was a teacher and ultimately a high school principal.  In fact, while building his first radio station he was a principal until the school bell rang, then a radio station owner late afternoons, evenings and weekends.”

Michael Douglas Oral Sex Flap, Senator Lautenburg Dies, IRS Scandal, DOJ Journalists Investigation, Obama Administration Secret Email Accounts and Syria Chemical Weapons Charges Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/3).  Michael Douglas’ public statement that oral sex caused his throat cancer; the death of Democratic New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg; the ongoing scandal involving the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups; the Department of Justice’s investigation of journalists; the controversy over some Obama Administration appointees using secret email accounts; and the chemical weapons use charges against the Syrian military were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

| November 27, 2012

Whither Laura Ingraham? Affiliates Hear Tammy Bruce Today.  The Talk Radio Network star has left the air amidst saying that she is leaving TRN, perhaps with plans to be back via another avenue in the near future.  Although the departure seems abrupt, it comes as no surprise to industry observers who have long known of the not-so-secret friction that has existed for years between Ingraham and TRN’s top management.  TALKERS has reached out to Talk Radio Network for information but has yet to receive a response.  Former TRN syndicated talk host and current popular internet talk personality Tammy Bruce is filling in on the network slot where Ingraham’s program aired.  On her website, Ingraham has posted the following message.  “After more than 9 years with the distributor Talk Radio Network, I decided it was time to move on.  After much thought and reflection, I have decided to pursue my first loves — modern dance and the xylophone.  In the highly unlikely event that these efforts do not prove fruitful, I intend to return to radio.  Seriously — to the more than 300 stations that carry the Laura Ingraham show and to all my loyal listeners, I feel the time is right to expand and retool my radio program and to explore other syndication options, which I am now actively pursuing.  During this brief hiatus, my team and I will continue to deliver thought-provoking and entertaining analysis via my website.”

Entercom’s KGMZ, San Francisco Names Chris Townsend PM Drive Co-Host.  With the departure of Brandon Tierney to CBS Radio Sports Network for the morning show beginning in January, the Entercom sports talker fills Tierney’s spot as co-host of the afternoon “The Drive” show with midday co-host Chris Townsend.  He’ll partner up with Ric Bucher in the afternoon slot and Matt Steinmetz will host the late-morning “The Pulse” solo, at least for now.  Townsend was upped from his evening show at “95.7 The Game” in September to the late-morning slot.  In addition to his daily talk show work, he hosts the Oakland A’s radio pre-game show “The Dugout.”

WBEN, Buffalo Talk Host Tom Bauerle Shares Cardiac Diagnosis with Listeners.  Last week, long time Buffalo talk host Tom Bauerle told his audience that he’ll be undergoing a procedure to have a pacemaker/defibrillator put in after being diagnosed with Brugada syndrome – or as Bauerle describes it to TALKERS – the “he was so healthy and he just dropped dead” disease.  Bauerle says he’s always believed in being honest with his audience.  “I have a very close bond with people who’ve listened to me because I do not pretend to be something I am not and the real people appreciate the truth in the era of spin.”  So he explained that he had a routine EKG prior to planned elective surgery when doctors discovered he has the syndrome that can cause a sudden and fatal arrhythmia.  Bauerle, still in his 40s, recently signed a long-term contract extension with Entercom’s WBEN back in October.  We at TALKERS wish him the best in dealing with this condition.

Bay Area Media Blogger Rich Lieberman Debuts Weekend Talk Radio Show.  San Francisco-based media blogger Rich Lieberman’s 415 Media has been the source of opinions and news scoops for Bay Area media (and beyond) for years.  He’s also made a number of enemies in the region who don’t like his style or his willingness to publish speculation about their business.  Now, Lieberman is taking to the air at Michael Zwerling-owned KOMY, Santa Cruz with a three-hour weekend program that airs on Saturday and Sunday evenings.  Lieberman tells Fishbowl LA the show will be guest-oriented.  He opened the first program speaking to KTVU-TV, Oakland evening news lead anchor Frank Somerville who discussed his adopting a black daughter.  He also interviewed KKSF talk host John Rothmann.  Lieberman tells Fishbowl LA, “Next weekend, I will be talking with actor Patrick Warburton as well as Alan Colmes, formerly of ‘Hannity & Colmes.’  Colmes has a new book out, and we’ll also take a look back at the 2012 presidential election…The show is guest-oriented right now.  I wanted to charge it up during the holidays and start with a splash.  But in the long run, the zeitgeist of ‘The Rich Lieberman Show’ is going to be my rants and opines, and talking about those topics with callers.”

Bonneville’s Arizona Sports 620 KTAR-AM Adds Mixed Martial Arts Program to Lineup.  The fast-growing popularity of mixed martial arts (MMA), especially among young men, has a number of sports enterprises exploring the possibility the sport can draw audience on a level worthy of dedicated programming.  Bonneville’s “Arizona Sports 620 KTAR-AM” is adding a new program to its lineup beginning Saturday, December 1 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm called “The Power MMA Show” hosted by Jim Grieshaber, along with world-class MMA fighters and former ASU wrestling stars Ryan Bader and Aaron Simpson (pictured here, Bader at left, Simpson at right).  The station describes the show as one that “will focus on the biggest stories of the week, the lives of fighters – from superstars to local talent, the growth of Arizona into an MMA hotbed and more.”  Written and video content will be hosted on a new MMA section at ArizonaSports.com, with a team of Power MMA contributors providing local and national coverage.  Bonneville Phoenix vice president of news and sports content Ryan Hatch says, “MMA is one of the fastest growing and most exciting sports in the world.  We’re thrilled to launch the first-ever show of its kind in this market, hosted by world renowned experts and top notch fighters. This is going to be fun.”

Sports Talk’s Dino Costa Sparks ‘Battle’ with Chris Russo at SiriusXM.  Sports talker Dino Costa – whose program airs on Chris Russo’s “Mad Dog Radio” on SiriusXM – has been getting some attention lately for his on-air jabs at the channel’s namesake and founder Chris Russo.  A two-part interview with Costa appears on ShermanReport.com and Costa speaks frankly with publisher Ed Sherman about his battles with Russo – admitting to calling him a “has-been” on the air – and their strictly “professional” relationship.  The bomb-throwing is even more interesting since Russo operates the channel and could oust Costa if he wanted.  Costa is also not shy about expressing his desire for a bigger role in the sports talk world.  Read the entire interview here.

Washington Tax Battle, Post-Sandy Clean-Up Costs, Liberty University-ObamaCare Case and Morsi’s Egyptian Power Grab Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/26).  The struggle between the Obama Administration and House Republicans over coming tax hikes and spending cuts; the price tag for cleaning up after Hurricane Sandy in New York and New Jersey; the Supreme Court’s ordering lower court to reconsider Liberty University’s argument ObamaCare violates school’s religious freedom; and the power grab by Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

| November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving from All of Us at TALKERS.  All of us at TALKERS want to take this opportunity to express our gratitude at Thanksgiving to the hard-working, dedicated members of the radio industry and its associated fields who support and encourage us in this endeavor as readers, contributors and sponsors.  PLEASE NOTE:  Our regular weekday mid-morning emailed newsletter will not be sent out tomorrow (Thanksgiving) or Friday – but the home of TALKERS (www.talkers.com) will be updated with major breaking stories should they occur, as is the case 365 days per year.  We sincerely hope you all have a wonderful holiday with loved ones and reflect on how fortunate we all are to have the opportunity to be in a business and medium that is so vital to preserving the public’s well-being as well as bringing entertainment, happiness, information and opinions to millions each and every minute of the day.  May we all have the courage, strength, intelligence and will to keep the spark of radio and talk media glowing through these challenging times and into the promise of yet another golden era.

Andy Stuart Exits Clear Channel Toledo Market Manager Post.  More changes at Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s Toledo cluster a little more than a week after news/talk WSPD programmer and talk host Brian Wilson was let go by the company.  Toledo market manager and regional market manager in Northern Ohio Andy Stuart announces he’s leaving the company to take a CEO post at a new technology firm that he and his superiors are not naming due to the secretive nature of the tech business, according to the Toledo Blade.

Salem Communications Prepares to Flip WMUU, Greenville to Conservative Talk.  The class C FM at 94.5 that Salem Communications is buying from Bob Jones University-affiliated Gospel Fellowship Association covers a huge part of the Greenville-Spartanburg region.  Salem tips via Facebook that the station will be imaged as “Conservative Talk 94.5 FM” and will begin airing the Salem Radio Network slate of conservative talk shows featuring Mike Gallagher, Michael Medved, Dennis Prager, Hugh Hewitt and Bill Bennett on Monday, December 3.  The station currently airs a beautiful music format.

WTN, Nashville Raises $120,000 for Nashville Rescue Mission.  Cumulus Media news/talk WTN, Nashville “SuperTalk 99.7” pulled in more than $120,000 for the Nashville Rescue Mission during its 2012 Radiothon on Monday, November 19.  Vice president and market manager Mike Carpenter states, “We are more than pleased with the results of this year’s Hunger to Hope Radiothon for the Nashville Rescue Mission.  Our gracious listeners and clients helped raise over $20,000 above and beyond our original goal.  We are very proud to be a part of this effort to support the community through the Nashville Rescue Mission.”  The station reports that the effort was spearheaded by talk show personality Michael DelGiorno and the broadcast included all four of the station’s prime daytime hosts, utilizing commercial time as well as much of their normal program content to push for donations.  The lineup included Ralph Bristol from 5:00 am to 9:00 am, Michael DelGiorno from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, Dave Ramsey from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm and Phil Valentine from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  Additionally, Michael DelGiorno broadcast live from the Nashville Rescue Mission for an hour with Ralph Bristol, pre-empted the Mike Huckabee show by extending his program an hour, and then returned to the studio to raise $45,000 in the final hour of the radiothon at 6:00 pm.

KKLA, Los Angeles Personality Frank Pastore Injured in Motorcycle Accident.  Former major league baseball pitcher and Christian talk radio personality Frank Pastore is in critical condition at Los Angeles County USC Medical Center after suffering injuries in a motorcycle accident on Los Angeles’ 210 Freeway on Monday evening.  According to The Sun, Pastore – who hosts the PM drive slot on Salem Communications’ KKLA, Los Angeles Christian teaching outlet – was hit by another car while riding his motorcycle and thrown from the bike.  Just how extensive his injuries are is not known at this time.

KJAC, Fort Collins Inks Deal with Colorado State University.  Front Range Broadcasting sports talker KJAC, Fort Collins “105.5 ESPN” strikes a deal with Nelligan Sports Marketing to serve as the flagship station for Colorado State University athletics.  The deal will have KJAC broadcast football and men’s and women’s basketball play-by-play beginning in July of 2013.  The contract also calls for production and airing of weekly coach’s shows.  Games will also air on Front Range’s KDSP, Denver “102.3 ESPN.”

More Holiday Fill-In Work.  Progressive talk host Nicole Sandler is sitting in for Premiere NetworksRandi Rhodes on her nationally syndicated program for today’s pre-Thanksgiving Day program.  Sandler is also scheduled to host Rhodes’ program around the Christmas holidays December 17-21, December 26-28 and on New Year’s Eve day.

WJXL-AM/FM, Jacksonville Raises $54,000-Plus for Cancer Charity.  Seven Bridges Radio’s sports talk WJXL-AM/FM, Jacksonville “1010XL” raised more than $54,000 for the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund – New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin’s charity that benefits children battling cancer – during its radiothon on October 25.  Pictured here are staffers manning the phones at the 1010XL offices during the one-day radiothon.

Israel-Hamas Violence, ‘Fiscal Cliff,’ Petraeus-Broadwell Scandal, Benghazi Investigation, and Thanksgiving Holiday Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/20).  The ongoing attacks between Israel and Hamas; the battle in Washington over how to avoid the “fiscal cliff”; the possible security effects of the PetraeusBroadwell scandal; the Benghazi investigation and Petraeus’ involvement; and the Thanksgiving holiday were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, November 9, 2012

| November 9, 2012

Political Talkers Take Stock of Positioning in Post-Election Environment.  Contrary to the stereotype often depicted by the mainstream and political press that news/talk radio hosts all fit a standard model, TALKERS magazine observes that this is hardly the case – especially now that the all-consuming election of 2012 is in the history books and political talk show hosts are assessing their personal position strategies for the new chapter of history at hand.  Actually this is a process that has been in play for several years and not exactly a brand new trend sparked by the election.  Key players such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Michael Savage, Jerry Doyle, Rusty Humphries and Michael Smerconish have had significantly different takes on the conservative side of the dial as have hosts the likes of Ed Schultz, Thom Hartmann, Stephanie Miller and Alan Colmes been diverse in their approaches from the left.  However, recently concluded elections – especially presidential contests – have a way of making talent in this arena reassess and reflect upon their strategies.  Read the rest of this story here.

Lincoln Financial Media Re-Signs Two at KKFN, Denver.  Sports talk outlet “104.3 The Fan” KKFN, Denver inks new deals with midday co-host Scott Hastings of the “Drew and Scott” show as well as with morning drive co-host Joel Klatt.  Klatt also handles pre- and post-game programs for Colorado Rockies baseball and does college football color commentary for Fox Sports and his new deal is structured to allow him to continue in those roles.

 

Dave Ramsey Storms Seattle.  In what is being termed his last live event of the fall season, nationally syndicated financial talk sensation and New York Times best-selling author Dave Ramsey recently performed in front of a record crowd his brand new, intimate “Living a Legacy Live Event” in Seattle.  Ramsey spoke to the crowd about how to win with money, strengthen marriages and lead your children with confidence.  His daughter Rachel Cruze joined him on stage.  Affiliate KTTH says it saw direct benefits of the live event for their audience and their station.  President and GM Carl Gardner says, “Up close and personal, Dave made a big impression on our clients and his listeners.  He knows how to build a loyal following – one person at a time.”  Ramsey is pictured above with the staff of KTTH.

Francis Rose in for John Batchelor Tomorrow.  WFED, Washington, DC afternoon drive host Francis Rose sits in for Cumulus Media NetworksJohn Batchelor tomorrow night.  Rose – who as a media pro superserving federal government employees on Hubbard’s WFED has a view like few others of Washington, DC culture – is available for guest shots on how the federal government, both executive branch and Congress, are handling the aftermath of the election and the fiscal cliff.  He can be contacted at frose@federalnewsradio.com.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  Radio America’s Peter Schiff show is picked up by KQMS-AM/FM Redding, California; WCCF, Punta Gorda, Florida; WBCH, Hastings, Michigan…..Genesis Communications Network’s Alex Jones joins the program schedule at KFNX, Phoenix…..WYD Media’s Michael Smerconish show is now heard on WSJM, Benton Harbor/St. Joseph, Michigan…..Dial Global’s Dennis Miller is added to the program schedule at WFJX, Roanoke, Virginia and WLRT, Lexington, Kentucky…..Cox Media’s Clark Howard is picked up by WHTH, Heath, Ohio (Columbus)…..Dial Global’s Jim Bohannon is added to the program schedule at KGY, Olympia, Washington and WLOB, Portland, Maine…..Dial Global’s “America This Morning” and “America This Week” – both hosted by Jim Bohannon – are picked up by WXDE, Lewes, Delaware…..Cumulus Media NetworksMichael Savage is picked up by KFNX, Phoenix…..“The Money Pit Home Improvement Show” is added to WXDE, Lewes, Delaware; KPSF, Desert Hot Springs, California; and WEZS, Laconia, New Hampshire.

The Presidential Election Tops the Talkers TenTM for Week of November 5 – 9.  The race for president was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week.  Coming in at #2 was the congressional races and the ballot issues.  At #3 was the looming tax increases followed by the deficit issue at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio across America during the week and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s complete chart here.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

| October 17, 2012

Creating Content Available Nowhere Else at Bonneville Seattle.  News/talk KIRO-FM, Seattle and parent company Bonneville announce a changing role for “Seattle’s Morning News” anchor Linda Thomas that puts the radio personality and journalist in the driver’s seat for bringing unique, local content to both KIRO-FM and the company’s digital space MyNorthwest.com.  Bonneville says Thomas will “devote 100% of her time and energy to original enterprise reporting for radio and digital channels in a groundbreaking new role announced today by KIRO Radio and MyNorthwest.com.  As senior features reporter at KIRO Radio and MyNorthwest.com, her role is to meet intriguing people and tell their stories.  In her role as digital journalist, Linda will continue her award-winning blog and file original reports to MyNorthwest.com covering topics from parenting and politics to technology and trends.”

During numerous presentations at industry gatherings, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison has stated that what radio must do to survive this convergence of media and the changes in consumer behavior it is fostering, is to create content that is only available in one place – your radio station.  KIRO’s move combines this notion with the concept of a “media station” – a digital destination for unique multi-media content.  Bonneville’s radio and digital news director Peter Gammell says, “Original local reporting is what fuels KIRO Radio’s conversations and drives our users to visit MyNorthwest.com.  Linda has a proven ear for the compelling story, and she’s one of our most prolific reporters.  This role frees her to focus on what only she can do.”

Thomas relishes her opportunity to pursue her journalistic endeavors.  “I believe everybody has a story, and I want to know what’s yours.  I meet so many people whose stories have value, and someone hearing or reading them is going to have their life changed by their bravery and originality.”  Program director Larry Gifford states, “I’ve always been impressed with the compassion in Linda’s reporting.  She finds real, interesting people in the community, has a personal conversation with them and shares what she’s learned.  I can’t wait to hear who she introduces me to next.”

Thomas will continue her popular “News Chick” efforts.  Tweeting and posting on social media as “The News Chick,” Thomas is among the most-followed local journalists in the U.S., according to Bonneville.  The company says she promises her social media followers on Twitter @thenewschick and Facebook will continue to be fed her customary stream of sharable gems.  “The value of social media for me is connecting – in real life when possible – with people in the community, and being there when they want to interact with me.”  In addition to her longer-form radio and online feature reporting, social media are where she will continue sharing viral videos, photos, links to eye-catching stories from Seattle to Hollywood and around the world — along with Thomas’ famed fascination with her boots.

Cumulus Media Inks Agreement to Buy New York Market FM.  Pending approval from the FCC, Cumulus Media will have a third New York City station after closing on Family Stations, Inc.’s WFME, Newark, New Jersey.  Cumulus states in a press release that it will announce format plans for the Class B FM at 94.7 upon closing and expects that to happen sometime in the fourth quarter of this year.  Crain’s New York Business cites an industry insider saying Cumulus got WFME for a bargain: $40 million. Family Stations has undergone changes during the past year and is said to be cash-strapped after Family Stations chief Harold Camping’s apocalyptic predictions on the date of Christ’s reappearance last year failed on two occasions.  CEO Lew Dickey says, “This strategic acquisition of our second FM in the nation’s largest market will enable us to provide compelling new programming for our listeners and a powerful marketing vehicle for our advertising partners.”  Of course, although Cumulus is remaining vague about the specifics of its programming intentions with the new acquisition, industry observers are actively speculating as to what might be in store for the Big Apple’s soon-to-be competitive commercial FM.  For years, through several ownerships, WABC program directors have privately confessed that they wished talk-formatted WABC had a NYC FM outlet for its programming.  But the fact that its only sister FM, hot AC WPLJ (95.5) has been such a consistent ratings and revenue success put up a roadblock to that happening easily.  Now with the New York talk market in flux per Clear Channel‘s soon-to-be-completed takeover of WOR and Cumulus launching new high-profile syndicated talk shows such as Mike Huckabee and Geraldo Rivera, and with the end of their contracts with Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity shows looming – it makes sense that they would be looking for a new Gotham outlet for their considerably valuable talk properties.  Of course, this is just speculation.

Tavis Smiley Takes on WBEZ, Chicago in Open Letter After Public Station Cancels Weekend “Smiley & West” Program.  Talk media personality Tavis Smiley wrote an open letter to Chicago Public Media president and CEO Torey Malatia after the station cancelled his weekend program “Smiley & West,” co-hosted by Princeton professor Cornel West.  In the letter, Smiley reacts to his work being called “less than inclusive” and being compared to Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly but Malatia in response to WBEZ cancelling his program.  Read the entire letter here.

KTTH, Seattle Announces New Schedule; Names David Boze AM Drive Host.  Beginning in January, Seattle talk radio personality David Boze will have a new role with the Bonneville talk station.  Boze currently does a one-hour program at 3:00 pm on KTTH that serves as a local hour between Salem Radio Network’s Michael Medved and Premiere NetworksSean Hannity on the station.  In January, Boze will host the three-hour morning drive show and bumps Premiere’s Glenn Beck from the AM drive slot on the station.  Bonneville Seattle program director Larry Gifford states, “David is a stand-up guy with a traditional Northwest sensibility.  He’s someone you’d want as a neighbor – who happens to host a great radio show.  He always leaves me better informed and mentally energized.”  Boze, who began his talk radio career as a producer for Peter Weissbach at KVI in 1999, has been with KTTH for 10 years.  He says, “I try to live my life with the same traditional values as my listeners do; decency, liberty, hard work, and doing what’s right.  I want to create a friendly gathering place where people can digest the news and we can talk about important stories that other media misinterpret or miss altogether.”

Talk Radio’s Unique Sales Advantage.  H & H Communications president Al Herskovitz says the unique place talk radio occupies in the stew of formats is that it is a foreground format that brings a better value to its advertisers.  This is not a new concept but Herskovitz writes that talk sales staffers can be very creative in taking advantage of this in bringing new categories of advertisers to the format.  “It would be hard to believe that the Rolls Royce manufacturer or even the local Rolls dealer would want to buy a spot in that Sunday 5:30 am auto show,” Herskovitz states.  “But an Atlanta station saleswoman I know did sell that very program to a salvage yard in her market coupled with a weekday spot package and a handful of promos.  Now that’s creative salesmanship!”  Read Al Herskovitz’s entire piece here.

WHNZ, Tampa to Add Sports Talk from Fox Sports Radio.  Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s WHNZ, Tampa – currently airing a combination of brokered local shows and syndicated news/talk fare, begins adding Fox Sports Radio content to the station beginning with the overnight “J.T. the Brick” program airing from 1:00 am to 5:00 am.  In 2013, the station plans to add FSRN’s “Petros & Money” and “Fox Sports Tonight” programs to the lineup.  Program director Steve Versnick states, “We are excited to launch the powerful brand of Fox Sports Radio on WHNZ in Tampa Bay.  This adds star power to the station for us.”

Fox Sports Radio Changes “Loose Cannons” Lineup; Vic “The Brick” Jacobs to KLAC Duties.  The trio of Pat O’Brien, Steve Hartman and Vic “The Brick” Jacobs – known as the “Loose Cannons” on Fox Sports Radio Network – will continue with just O’Brien and Hartman as Jacobs has been re-assigned to the sports news updates role at flagship KLAC, Los Angeles.  He’ll also serve as a reporter covering Lakers basketball.

Second Presidential Debate, Libya Attack Investigation, Malala Yousufzai Case, Iran Nuclear Ambitions, MLB Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/16).  The second presidential debate from Hofstra University on Long Island; the ongoing investigation and controversy over the attack on the Banghazi consulate; the case of Pakistani wounded teen Malala Yousufzai; Iran’s nuclear weapons program; and the Major League Baseball playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, October 1, 2012

| October 1, 2012

Lionel Joins Morning Show at Merlin Media’s WWIQ, Philadelphia.  Talk media personality Lionel – known for his years of expanding talk radio’s dimensions with successful stints in national syndication and in local markets gigs including New York City – joins the morning drive show at Merlin Media’s WWIQ, Philadelphia beginning today.  Lionel, who anchors Tribune’s WPIX-TV, New York’s “Morning News” from 4:00 am to 6:00 am and produces commentaries for the station that air on its 10:00 pm news, will join the program with Al Gardner from 6:00 am to 8:30 am.  In addition to these “traditional media” gigs, Lionel has been operating the digital media station LionelMedia.com for the past several years.

Gregg Henson Named PD at WPGB and WBGG, Pittsburgh.  Sports talk and news/talk pro Gregg Henson takes the programming reins at Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s news/talk WPGB, Pittsburgh and sister sports talk WBGG “970 ESPN.”  Henson most recently served as director of programming operations at Federated Media’s WOWO, Fort Wayne, Indiana.  Henson says, “I’m excited to return to the Clear Channel family and I look forward to working with the excellent staff at ‘FM News Talk 104.7’ and ‘970 ESPN.’  Pittsburgh’s passionate and loyal Steelers and Penguins fans make this an exciting new opportunity.”  CC Pittsburgh OM David Edgar states, “Gregg has the skills and passion to lead our sports, talk, and news programming on all of our brands in Pittsburgh to new levels of success.  His past experience will be a great asset to the Clear Channel Pittsburgh team.”  Henson replaces Jay Bohannon who exited the cluster last month.

Dave Ramsey Celebrates 20th Anniversary in Radio with Big Nashville Bash including Affiliate Meetings and Gala Live Broadcast.  This past Friday, September 28, nationally syndicated radio talk show host Dave Ramsey marked his 20th year in radio with a special episode of “The Dave Ramsey Show.”  The program took place before a live audience of more than 2,000 listeners in a huge tent in the parking lot of Ramsey headquarters in suburban Nashville.  It included calls from long-time listeners and well-wishes from friends and celebrities such as Brad Paisley, George Stephanopoulos, Mark Cuban, Billy Gibbons, Piers Morgan, Zac Brown, Neil Cavuto, Darrell Waltrip, and Glenn Beck.  Video of the show was streamed live online.  Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam declared September 28, 2012 Dave Ramsey Day in the state of Tennessee.  He presented the proclamation to Ramsey during the first hour of the radio show (see photo).  The show was the culmination of Ramsey’s fifth annual Affiliate Executive Council (AEC) meeting held last week between Wednesday and Friday (9/26-28) in which he and his staff provided some 60 executives from his affiliates across the country with seminars, workshops breakout sessions and entertainment activities experienced in true Nashville fashion.  A highlight of the AEC event was an industry trade panel featuring professionals who have never been on one stage together.  The panel focused on current industry issues and events and was moderated by Radio Advertising Bureau CEO Erica Farber.  Al Peterson from NTS Media Online, Gene McKay from Inside Radio, and Michael Harrison from TALKERS and RadioInfo participated on the panel (see photo).  According to Harrison, “Attending the Ramsey event was an eye opener into how this amazing broadcaster and his superb staff have created a viable, productive partnership with their affiliate radio stations as well as a personal bond with them on a level unmatched by any other syndication company or network in the business.  Ramsey has created a business model and success story worthy of emulation, indeed!”

Syndicators Hit the Deck Running Today to Promote Shows to Stations Left Unprepared for Savage Exit.  After a weekend during which approximately 300 radio station managers who were affiliated with TRN’s Michael Savage Show (“The Savage Nation”) were trying to figure out what to put in the gaping vacancy left in their schedule by the sudden exit of Michael Savage from the airwaves this past Friday, the syndication and network community are readying a mad dash to get to them and have them consider taking any of a number of their available programs as its replacement.  Savage left the airwaves without warning after scoring a victory in a fierce legal battle with TRN to get out of his existing contract (see story below).  Talk Radio Network has teased that it will name Savage’s replacement (as “radio’s October surprise”) – at least within its stable of available hosts – sometime today.

Talk Host Michael Savage Produces First Internet-Only Broadcast.  Former Talk Radio Network nationally syndicate host Michael Savage – who won his arbitration case against the company last week to get out of his contract and left terrestrial immediately thereafter – produced his first Ustream-hosted webcast on Sunday evening (9/30).  Savage broadcast for about an hour.  His website encourages visitors to check back for announcements of future broadcasts.  The video is not being archived for repeat views at this time – so it must be watched live – and chatter on Ustream’s message board reveals some Savage fans are irked by that move.  Could it be that Savage is trying to create an appetite for a pay model?  The arbitrator’s decision voided Savage’s contract with TRN and allows him to work anywhere he likes.  Stay tuned!

TRN’s America’s Radio News Network Inks with Armed Forces Radio Network.  Talk Radio Network-owned America’s Radio News Network announces it has signed an agreement with Armed Forces Radio Network to serve as the top-of-the-hour news on the broadcast service for American military personnel.  American Forces Radio Network Worldwide director Jef Reilly, tells ARN, “The troops want news, not agendas, and I think you’re delivering that.”  ARN/ANN vice president for news John McCaslin says, “Our expanding team of news anchors, producers and board operators is extremely proud to enlist the trust of the millions of men and women of America’s armed forces, who every day put their lives on the line and sacrifice so much for those of us here at home.”

Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington Brings Del Walters Aboard Full Time.  Washington, DC’s all-news WTOP announces broadcast journalist Del Walters is promoted to a full-time position with the station.  WTOP states, “For more than two decades, Walters has been broadcasting in the Washington/Baltimore area, working as an anchor and investigative reporter for various stations including WJLA in Washington and WMAR in Baltimore.  Walters joined WTOP in 2010 as a part-time anchor and reporter but will now step into a full-time role.”

Clear Channel Flips WGST, Atlanta to Spanish Sports Talk.  Last week we reported that Clear Channel Media and Entertainment would be dropping the news/talk at heritage WGST, Atlanta and flipping to either a Spanish-language format or all-comedy.  CC chose to go with Spanish sports talk and debuted 640 ESPN Deportes on Friday afternoon.

Radio Vet Ron Cutler Shares Secrets of his Financial Success in New Radio Biz Book.  Radio veteran Ron Cutler turned a $15,000 investment in this industry into a $10 million payoff and now he’s written a book explaining how he did it.  The colorful radio and business book is titled How I Turned $15,000 into $10,000,000 (HIT) and You Can Too, and it serves up a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse into the radio business.  The advice is based on Cutler’s colorful experience as a top-rated Philadelphia DJ “Ron Diamond”; as the original owner and creator of the legendary KOME, the San Jose FM radio station that he sold to Michael Wiener and Gerald Carrus who formed Infinity Broadcasting making KOME Infinity’s first station; as the creator of 15 hit radio shows and services, Cutler was instrumental in launching the national shows of Rick Dees, Tom Joyner and Cousin Brucie;  as the owner of Cutler Comedy Networks, a leading comedy programming company that serviced more than 4,000 radio stations and was acquired in 1996 by Premiere Radio Networks; and as an entrepreneur in numerous entertainment ventures.  He tells TALKERS, “My path wasn’t an easy one.  At this stage in my life, I’d like to help others get a leg up, particularly during this challenging economy.  Perhaps the lessons that taught me resilience, determination and self-reliance will resonate with others.”   For more information visit www.roncutlerbooks.com. To interview Ron Cutler contact Amir Forester at 310-857-6207 or e-mail  amir@foresterpublicrelations.com.

Monday, September 24, 2012

| September 24, 2012

Phoenix Programmer Neil Larrimore Joins Speaker Roster at LA New Media Seminar.  Sellout Expected by Wednesday.  The lineup of outstanding industry speakers scheduled for the forthcoming West Coast installment of the TALKERS New Media Seminar continues to grow as Phoenix broadcaster Neil Larrimore, PD of NewsTalk 550 KFYI and XTRA Sports 910 KGME joins the roster.  The total number of speakers for the power-packed, one-day event has now surpassed 50.  Seminar organizers state that it will be completely sold out by the end of business on Wednesday – perhaps sooner.  According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “The venue is intimate and even kind of funky, making for a very relaxed and informal environment – conducive to the kind of communicative and networking environment we hope to achieve.  The problem, however, is that unlike industry events that are held in convention centers and big hotels, we are working with a finite amount of seating and space which we are obligated by city regulations not to exceed.”  TALKERS New Media Seminar LA is scheduled for Thursday, October 11 between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm in association with the Los Angeles Press Club at the Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood.  Because it is open only to working media, there is no online registration — only by telephone.  For registration and sponsorship information call 413-565-5413.  A detailed up-to-the-minute agenda will be posted here tomorrow.

Greater Media to Sell WPEN-AM, Philadelphia to Harold Camping’s Family Stations.  The simulcast of Greater Media’s sports talk WPEN-AM/FM will continue until the deal is complete but Greater Media clearly sees no need to have its “97.5 The Fanatic” heard on both the AM and FM bands.  The sale price for the Philadelphia-licensed outlet has not been made public yet.  In a statement, Greater Media’s Philadelphia vice president and market manager John Fullam says “Greater Media looks forward to focusing on the growth of ‘97.5 The Fanatic,’ the best sports talk station serving the market and the new home to Sixers and Flyers play by play.”

John Gehron to Leave Merlin Media.  As reported by Time Out Chicago’s Robet Feder, radio management and programming pro John Gehron  — who serves as the chairman of the advisory board of Merlin Media – will step down from that role at the end of this month.  Gehron, who also serves as COO of AccuRadio, tells Feder, “It was a fascinating experience.  I worked with some wonderful people.”

WGN, Chicago Moves Dean Richards to Sunday AM Slot.  With Tribune columnist and WGN talk host Rick Kogan leaving his radio show to take the PM drive slot at Chicago Public Radio’s WBEZ, WGN program director Bill White announces the station is moving Dean Richards’ Sunday program into the early morning slot held by Kogan’s “The Sunday Papers” program.  “Dean Richards’ Sunday Morning” will air from 6:30 to 11:00 on Sundays beginning October 7.  White states, “Dean’s show has been a staple on Sunday mornings since 1994, and this new timeslot will give him an earlier start — avoiding sports broadcast pre-emptions — while still airing during part of his longtime timeslot.  As a Chicago native, Dean truly embodies the WGN hometown quality and we’re excited to expand the show.”  Addressing Kogan’s new role on WBEZ, White says, “Rick is a true Chicago legend and has been a mainstay on WGN for the past 13 years. We expect him to have a great experience in his new endeavor, but the door is open for future projects down the road at WGN.”

Three Steps to Digital Power.  Digital media consultant Chris Miller says that part of radio’s beauty is that it is the original targeted medium and radio brands can use their digital components to even further capitalize on the value of radio’s targeted nature.  Miller states, “Having digital inventory to sell on our streams and websites only makes us a stronger business partner for clients who want to hyper-focus their message.”  But Miller believes there are three steps stations should follow to effectively work the digital medium: build for it, commit to it, and train for it.  Read Miller’s entire piece here.

Dave Ramsey’s EntreLeadership 1 Day Event Simulcast to 200-Plus Locations.  Nationally syndicated financial talk radio star Dave Ramsey presented his EntreLeadership 1 Day Event live from the People’s Church in Franklin, Tennessee last week.  The program included author Jon Acuff and speaker Chris LoCurto, speaking about how to run a business using the same common-sense principles that Ramsey practices in his own company of more than 300 employees.  This particular presentation was also simulcast to more than 200 additional locations across the country.  The Dave Ramsey show reports that flagship station WWTN, Nashville “SuperTalk 99.7 WTN” reaped big benefits.  Station GSM Timothy Meagher states, “It’s a win for our clients by providing an excellent business-to-business marketing opportunity at the event; it’s a win for our listeners by providing a great way to learn and be educated on sound financial principals from Dave and his team; and it’s a win for ‘Super Talk 99.7’ by providing a solid branding opportunity in the market for our community of listeners and station brand.”

Alex Cohen Replaces Madeleine Brand on SCPR Talk Show.  Southern California Public Radio announces personality Madeleine Brand exits the 9:00 am to 11:00 am talk shot she co-hosted with A Martinez to pursue other professional endeavors.  Her spot on the show will be filled by Alex Cohen who has been serving as KPCC, Pasadena’s anchor for the afternoon block that includes “All Things Considered” and “Marketplace.”  Vice president of content Russ Stanton says, “We are very fortunate to have in Alex a co-host with the combination of news judgment, experience and a lively, energetic on-air presence.  She has a range of experience in public broadcasting and journalism that few can match; she is smart, tenacious and insightful.”

Pasta Promotion.  The 29th Newsradio 1020 KDKA Spaghetti Breakfast was held on Friday, September 21 in downtown Pittsburgh.  Thousands of Pittsburghers stopped by the annual hosted by the CBS Radio station event to feast on spaghetti before continuing on to work.  Pictured here at the serving line are (from l-r): KDKA personality Vinnie Richichi, County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Ernie Ricci and KDKA talk show host Mike Pintek.

Monday, September 10, 2012

| September 10, 2012

ESPN O&O WEPN-AM/FM, New York Separate Sports Talk Programming.  English-language sports talk is now heard only on the FM at ESPN O&O WEPN in New York as the sports media giant took the AM side Spanish with the debut of ESPN Deportes Radio Nueva York 1050 on Friday, just in time to broadcast the New York Jets season opener victory over division rival Buffalo in Spanish.  Station GM David Roberts says, “We are thrilled to add the New York Jets to our solid roster of play-by-play offerings just in time for our launch.  There is tremendous passion for the NFL among the Hispanic community of New York, and this alliance with an elite franchise will further position 1050 AM as the Spanish-language audio destination for the Hispanic sports fan in New York.”  The station debuts two local sports talk shows today.  The first is “Firma ESPN” from 7:00 am to 10:00 am billed as the only radio program devoted to the New York Hispanic sports fan.  It is hosted by ESPN Deportes Radio veteran Renato Bermudez alongside the renowned Ernesto Jerez, the “signature Spanish-language voice of MLB,” plus Jorge Ebro and many other ESPN Deportes Radio experts. The second program is “Zona ESPN NY,” airing from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm and hosted by Carolina Guillen, Sebastian Christensen, along with Enrique Rojas.

Talk Host Ian Punnett Suffering from Tinnitus; Cuts Back On-Air Hours.  Hubbard Radio morning drive talk host Ian Punnett is cutting his hours on the radio by half in order to curb his exposure to audio that aggravates his tinnitus – a condition he’s been dealing with since 2009.  The Pioneer Press reports Punnett, who co-hosts the morning drive show on KTMY, Minneapolis with his wife Margery, joins her on the air from 7:00 am to 9:00 am.  Margery starts the program at 5:30 with Elizabeth Ries and wraps it up at 10:00 am.  Punnett tells the Pioneer Press he first noticed the intense ringing in his head during a remote broadcast in 2009.  “It never goes away.  It’s the last sound I hear at night, it’s the first sound I hear in the morning.  It often wakes me up in the middle of the night.”  The story notes Punnett and his doctors have decided cutting back on his air time is part of a more aggressive treatment for the condition.

Host Shuffle at ESPN O&O KSPN, Los Angeles.  710 ESPN Los Angeles flips its midday and PM drive shows moving Steve Mason and John Ireland to the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm shift beginning today.  Midday duo Max Kellerman and Marcellus Wiley go to the PM drive slot.  The changes also include the debut of the late morning “ESPNLA Now” show airing from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon and hosted by Mark Willard.

Good Karma’s WKNR, Cleveland Hit with $4k Fine for Contest Violation.  The FCC is hitting Good Karma’s sports talk WKNR, Cleveland with a $4,000 forfeiture order for running what it called a “bogus” contest called “Who Said That?” from November 2007 until September 2009.  The contest involved callers having to identify the speaker of a clip played over the air.  The complainant asserted that the station originally talked about offering prizes and then “dropped talking about prizes.”  Good Karma tried to argue that the programming in question was not a contest but was more accurately characterized as a program.  But the commission ruled that the stations did conduct a contest and didn’t “fully and accurately” and “with sufficient frequency” list the prizes that a contestant could possibly win.

Rare Opportunities at Federated Media’s WOWO-AM/FM, Fort Wayne.  Jon Zimney tells TALKERS magazine that there are two tremendous opportunities at Federated Media’s heritage news/talk WOWO, Fort Wayne.  After the departure of OM and PM drive host Gregg Henson in August, Woody Zimmerman was named PD for the station.  But he’s now been re-assigned to general manager of the company’s Warsaw, Indiana cluster.  In the interim, Zimney, who serves as program director and news director at Federated’s WTRC, South Bend – 95.3 Michiana’s News Channel – is doing double duty programming both stations.  Additionally, WTRC morning host Casey Hendrickson is handling the PM drive duties at WOWO.  Federated Media is looking for two individuals to fill the PD and talk host positions at WOWO.  For the program director position, Zimney is looking for someone who can get the most out of talented talk show hosts and make them even better; has a strong understanding of local news and solid station programming; understands great news writing, presentation, and on-air execution; has a strong sense of news ethics and integrity; embraces and champions new technology in news (web, text, social media, video, etc); has examples of really good marketing, promotion and community involvement projects that they’ve conceived and executed.  For the talk host position, they are looking for “a personality who is well-rounded in politics, social issues and recognizes compelling stories that generate talk.  The ideal host is entertaining, informative and creative…can debate with listeners and guests in a spirited, but respectful manner, follows news like a hawk, expresses passion about local issues as well as national issues and also recognizes how everyday life can contribute to a show that is unique and compliments our winning lineup of Beck, Rush and Sean.”  To apply for either position, e-mail materials to Jon Zimney at: jzimney@federatedmedia.com.

Fox Sports Radio’s Petros & Money End Summer with “Deep V & Capri” Remote Bash.  Fox Sports Radio Network’s Petros Papadakis and Matt “Money” Smith broadcast live from the Hooters restaurant in Anaheim last week for their end-of-summer bash dubbed the “deep V & capri” party.  Papadakis (l) and Smith (r) are pictured here with a couple of listeners sporting their deep v t-shirts and capri pants at the event.

CBS Radio Philadelphia Partners with Clean Air Council for Greenfest Philly.  CBS Radio’s four Philadelphia stations took part in yesterday’s “Greenfest Philly” at Headhouse Square in Philadelphia for the 7th annual event designed to promote sustainable living. All-news KYW, sports WIP-AM/FM, news/talk WPHT and classic hits WOGL all broadcast live from the event that showcased businesses, regional green innovators, and non-profits of all sizes with strong commitments to sustainability.

Spoken-Word Content Aggregator Stitcher Offers Offline Mode.  Stating that 38% of its users indicated they prefer to listen to the service offline to protect against mobile data overages, Stitcher released an offline mode update that enables anytime, anywhere listening for its iPod Touch, iPhone, and iPad apps.  “Listeners can now seamlessly access and discover the best of over 10,000 shows at work, at the gym, anywhere, regardless of cellular or WiFi connectivity,” the company states.  CEO Noah Shanok says, “Our goal is to make on-demand radio more accessible than ever.  Our most requested feature, offline mode, solves the biggest obstacle to listening on the go or when users would prefer to use Wi-Fi and conserve mobile data usage.”  Stitcher bills itself as “the mobile leader in on-demand news, entertainment, sports and talk radio.”

Let Your News/Talk Flow.  WLAC, Nashville-based syndicated talk host Steve Gill is pictured here with the Bellamy Brothers at his studios in Nashville.  The legendary country duo stopped by the show to play some songs from their latest release, including the title track, “Pray for Me.”