Thursday, October 1, 2015

| October 1, 2015

cookenab15Cooke: 2015 Radio Show Report.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke reports from the 2015 NAB Radio Show in Atlanta today with a focus on the business of the business.  In this report, hear from notables including Wells Fargo senior analyst Davis Hebert, Connoisseur Media’s Jeffrey Warshaw, Entercom’s David Field, Beasley’s Caroline Beasley, Cumulus/Westwood One’s Pierre Bouvard, and CBS News correspondent Lara Logan.  Read some of the takeaways from the “Financing the Future of Radio” presentation, the radio company CEO panel and Bouvard’s presentation on the return on investment for advertisers using radio by clicking here.

ppmunitSecond Round of September PPM Data Released.  A scheduling change at Nielsen Audio for this month means the ratings giant is releasing September PPM survey data in two large batches, instead of the usual four groups of 12 released over four days.  The one anomaly is the Tampa market ratings are being held up due to the potential tampering issue.  In total Nielsen has now released the September 2015 PPM survey data for 47 markets.  The survey period was August 13 through September 9.  You can see all the 6+ data from subscribing stations here.  Also, TALKERS and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Twelve Takeaways” analysis here.

Odds & Sods.  Cyber Party presidential hopeful John McAfee is choosing “Business Rockstars” host Ken Rutkowski as his vice presidential running mate.  The anti-virus software magnate who has an admittedrutkowskiken “checkered background,” is running on a small government platform and says that his knowledge of the state of America’s cyber security (he says it’s really bad) is the reason he’s running.  He’s chosen Rutkowski for a running mate because “every businessman in America knows who he is.”…..The wife of Miami Dolphins cornerback Brent Grimes is no longer with CBS RADIO’s sports talk WQAM, Miami.  Miko Grimes – a contributor to daily shows and co-host of a weekend show with Miami Sun Sentinel reporter Omar Kelly – was arrested outside Sun Life Stadium in Miami last weekend after ignoring police orders and resisting arrest…..A new talk show that examines “how sports-related topics can drive the agenda in D.C.” debuts on SiriusXM’s POTUS channel on for a six-show run beginning on October 2 and co-hosted by ABC News political director Rick Klein and ESPN senior correspondent Andy Katz.  The inaugural guest will be former Florida Governor and current GOP presidential candidates Jeb Bush, who weighs in on the Washington Redskins name controversy and on NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

WW1Gupta15WW1’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Team at 2015 Radio Show.  Pictured here at the Westwood One-hosted cocktail reception at the NAB Radio Show in Atlanta is “A Better Life” program host Dr. Sanjay Gupta (second from right) with the Westwood One affiliate team.  From left to right are: Bart Tessler, EVP news & talk; Dennis Green SVP, affiliate sales; Becky Bennett, affiliate operations manager; Gupta; and Stuart Greenblatt, senior director, affiliate sales.

U.S.-Russia Tensions Over Syria, Pope Francis-Kim Davis Meeting, 2016 Presidential Race, Planned Parenthood Congressional Hearing, Next House Speaker Controversy, and Hurricane Joaquin Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/30).  Russia’s initiation of air strikes in Syria and questions about the U.S.’ military policy in the region; the controversy over a reported meeting between Pope Francis and Kentucky court clerk Kim Davis; the activities of the candidates for president in 2016; the aftermath of the House hearing on the funding of Planned Parenthood; the internal battle in the GOP over the next Speaker of the House; and the potential effects of Hurricane Joaquin on the Eastern U.S. were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Cooke: 2015 Radio Show Report

| October 1, 2015

“Radio is in a position to grow profoundly in years to come.”
NAB/RAB Radio show coverage by consultant Holland Cooke


By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

cookewriterATLANTA — That statement, from Entercom’s David Field, underlines this year’s Radio Show theme, “Bold Ideas: Turn it UP.”  Field was among oh-so-quotable CEOs at Wednesday’s opening session…

“Pillsbury’s Financing the Future of Radio”

That’s Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, the Washington law firm.  But make no mistake, this session packed a well-catered ballroom with dough boys.

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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

| September 30, 2015

cookenab15Holland Cooke: Atlanta Conference Coverage.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke is in Atlanta covering both the RAIN Summit and the NAB Radio Show.  The NAB event kicks off today and runs through Friday morning while the RAIN Summit took place on Tuesday.  Cooke reports that attendees experienced panel discussions, key notes and interviews that explored two major questions: what makes good digital content and what is the most effective what to sell that content?  For a rundown of some of yesterday’s prime takeaways, check out Holland Cooke’s analysis here.

nielsen logoFirst Round of September PPM Data Released.  A scheduling change at Nielsen Audio for this month means the ratings giant is releasing September PPM survey data in two large batches, instead of the usual four groups of 12 released over four days.  The one anomaly is the Tampa market ratings are being held up due to the potential tampering issue, so only 23 markets have been released with the other 24 to be delivered after 5:00 pm today (9/30).  You can see all the 6+ data from subscribing stations in the first 23 markets here.  Also, Talkers and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Twelve Takeaways” analysis here.

cbsradioCBS RADIO Names Paul Donovan VP of Engineering.  In this corporate role radio engineering pro Paul Donovan will be in charge of engineering, information technology, real estate and capital for the division’s 117 stations across the country.  CBS RADIO chief operating officer Scott Herman states, “Paul is recognized as one of the best in the business, and has been an integral part of the CBS RADIO engineering team.  With this elevated position, he will be able to demonstrate and share his vast knowledge and expertise with all of our stations.  I’m extremely excited to work with him, especially during such a time of change for our industry as we explore new operational technologies.”  This is a promotion from Donovan’s previous director of engineering, Northeast region position.

carrhowieHowie Carr Pens New Crime Novel, Killers. When it comes to organized crime, mobsters, thugs and punks — New England talk radio legend and elite Boston Herald columnist Howie Carr is one of the most experienced and knowledgeable media practitioners in the world today.  His role in the bringing down of legendary mob boss Whitey Bulger (subject of the new movie “Black Mass”) is an intrinsic part of both men’s stories and the basis for Carr’s sizzling series of non-fiction best sellers on the topic of Bulger and crime.  Now, Carr has turned his talent for rendering the printed word into his second major work ofcarrKillerscover fiction with the release of a riveting new novel, Killers: A Novel (Forge Books, 2015).  Whitey Bulger is gone from Boston, but Carr’s fictitious Bench McCarthy is here to take his place.  Bench McCarthy is a thug’s thug, a hitman, an underworld jack-of-all-trades running his own mob out of Winter Hill in the Boston-area town of Somerville while simultaneously handling “wet work” for Sally Curto, a half-demented, totally obscene mob boss.  After years of gangland peace, Bench and Sally suddenly find themselves clay pigeons for unknown hit crews coming at them from every direction.  The motives are as murky as the hitmen themselves, but all roads seem to lead back to the State House, where corrupt pols are battling over a bill to legalize billions of dollars’ worth of new casinos.  In order to stay alive as he puts an end to the uprising, the wisecracking Bench must set aside his objections and enlist the help of Jack Reilly, a dodgy ex-cop turned private investigator.  The hunter has become the hunted. Killers is a ride through the dark underbelly of Boston crime and politics that could only have been written by the man novelist James Ellroy calls “the Bacon-Banging Boston Bossman”- Howie Carr, the newspaper columnist on whom Whitey Bulger first put out a contract and then called as a defense witness during his 2013 murder trial in Boston.  To inquire about booking Carr for a radio interview please contact Emily Mullen at Tor/Forge Books: 647-307-5413 or emily.mullen@tor.com.

brownehabitat15Dr. Joy Browne Works on Behalf of Habitat for Humanity.  Continuing the kind of non-stop community service activities that earned Dr. Joy Browne a past TALKERS Humanitarian of the Year award, the GCN nationally-syndicated talk legend is pictured recently (9/24) moderating a discussion at Habitat for Humanity New York City’s “Women Build 2015” kick-off event at City Winery in lower Manhattan.  Dr. Browne (l) is joined on stage by two women —  Selina Sacasa (c) and Kima Payne (r) — who are each receiving a three bedroom house with a deck in Queens (they’ll be next door neighbors).  They are single mothers, one with two children and one with three.  Their mortgages will be $1200 per month.  The event raised nearly $300,000 surpassing its goal of $250,000 toward building new homes for low-income families in New York over the next 10 years.

madisonjoeSiriusXM’s Joe Madison to Launch New Series on ‘Race and Society.’  Urban radio personality Joe Madison – whose morning drive program is heard daily on SiriusXM – is beginning a new series on the satellite service called, “An American Conversation – We Are All Americans.”  The satcaster says the first installment of this “ongoing series focused on the need for a national dialogue about race in America” will be “a roundtable discussion on a hotly debated topic in the news: the school to prison pipeline.”  The panel will feature leading experts from the worlds of education and politics, including U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan; Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.); Chancellor of D.C. Public Schools, Kaya Henderson; Chief Judge, U.S. District Court, Richard Roberts; and many more.  SiriusXM president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein states, “Joe Madison is kicking off a series of candid conversations with the leaders of our nation and our communities.  Radio can do more than entertain and Joe is more than just a host behind a mic.  He regularly travels across America to hear directly from his listeners, encouraging them to have their voices heard.  This is just the start of a series where all Americans, regardless of race, religion, or political affiliation, can learn from one another and lead our nation forward.”

gellervalerieGeller’s Beyond Powerful Radio Now Available as Audio Book.  The immensely popular – not to mention incredibly instructive – Beyond Powerful Radio from renowned radio consultant Valerie Geller is now available as an audio book.  Geller tells TALKERS magazine she can’t take all the credit because what excites her about the audio book is that the contributors each read their own parts.  “So there are actually lots and lots of voices!”  The audio version of Beyond Powerful Radio is some 16 hours of content and is available on iTunes and via Audible.com here.

Obama-Putin Meeting at the UN, Trump Tax Plan, 2016 Presidential Race, Planned Parenthood House Hearing, Pope Francis Visit Aftermath, Post-Boehner GOP, Tropical Storm Joaquin Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/29).  The meeting between President Obama and Russian president Vladimir Putin over Syria and ISIS; the tax plan laid out by GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump; the activities of the rest of the candidates for president in 2016; the House hearing on Planned Parenthood and the testimony by Cecile Richards; talk about the recent visit to the U.S. by Pope Francis; the state of the GOP as House Speaker John Boehner prepares to exit Congress; and the status of Tropical Storm Joaquin as it approaches the Eastern Seaboard were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, September 28, 2015

| September 28, 2015

bubbaNielsen Investigating ‘Evidence of Ratings Tampering’ in Tampa Market; Bubba the Love Sponge at Center of Scrutiny.  The statement issued on Friday by Nielsen Audio doesn’t mention Beasley Broadcasting’s WBRN-FM, Tampa-based personality Bubba the Love Sponge, but Beasley has been informed of the investigation by Nielsen and the company says it is cooperating.  It isn’tnielsen logo commenting on Bubba’s status with the company but the station is airing “best of” content today (9/28).  Nielsen stated on Friday, “We became aware of evidence of attempted ratings distortion activity in the Tampa market.  We are working to resolve this issue and will provide additional details when they become available. Nielsen is committed to maintaining the highest standards of data integrity and acts swiftly to ensure that those standards are upheld.”  Nielsen will be delaying the September 2015 PPM report for the Tampa/St. Petersburg market.  The rest of the markets will be released as scheduled, tomorrow and Wednesday.

andersoncarlCarl Anderson Named Tucson Market President for iHeartMedia.  Company programmer Carl Anderson will take on the role of market president and SVP of programming for iHeartMedia’s seven-station Tucson cluster.  Anderson added brand manager for the company’s news/talk/sports stations to his EVP of programming Midwest responsibilities back in March.  Now, along with the new role in Tucson, Anderson will retain the news/talk/sports brand manager responsibilities.  Andersonknstlogo comments, “The career opportunities within iHeartMedia are truly amazing.  I’m honored and humbled in this new venture of leading the Tucson team as well as remain engaged as brand manager for news/talk/sports.  This combined role enables me to grow in a new position while furthering my passion of developing and growing spoken-word programming for the company.”  iHeartMedia’s Tucson holdings include hot AC KMIY “My92.9,” CHR KRQQ, country KYWD “Wild Country 97.1,” hip hop KOHT “HOT 98.3,” news/talk KNST, and Spanish music outlets KTZR and KXEW.

cowherdcolinFOX Sports’ Colin Cowherd Lashes Out at ESPN.  A piece by Matt Bonesteel in the Washington Post details the recent comments by sports talk personality Colin Cowherd on his Fox Sports Radio Network-syndicated show in which he criticizes former employer ESPN.  The foundation for Cowherd’s criticism is the company’s conservative nature.  He says the company has become increasingly “reactionary” over the past “three or four years.”  He specifically criticized the “Mike & Mike in the Morning” show, saying, “We used to call it ‘Mickey and Mickey in the morning.’  It’s very Disney, it’s very safe, it’s very likeable, nobody’s going to get yelled at.  It’s a very easy place for advertisers to come in, park their insurance commercial and nobody’s going to be offended.”  Cowherd left ESPN in August after 12 years for a new deal with FOX Sports.  He was taken off the air by ESPN a week before his final show after comments about the education level of Dominican baseball players caused a stir.  Read Bonesteel’s piece here.

limbaughrushNational Talk Shows to Reap Super PAC Money from Promise I.  As reported in the New York Post by Claire Atkinson, the Super PAC Promise I – supporting GOP presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz – will spend $1 million on a national talk radio ad campaign.  Atkinson reports the programs destined to be part of the buy include Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity as well as the Laura Ingraham show.  See her story here.

jelli logoFocus 360 Adds Stations to Programmatic Radio Network.  Nine new radio stations are being added to the programmatic networks “Powered by Jelli” from Focus 360.  The company is working in conjunction with Envision Networks for affiliate sales.  Jelli’s cloud-basedenvisionnetworks new programmatic ad platform “traffics, serves and reports campaigns allowing stations and show producers to generate incremental revenue with virtually no time constraints added to in-house sales teams.”  Envision president and CEO Danno Wolkoff says, “Ad agencies are increasingly demanding programmatic buying opportunities, and the Focus 360 radio networks powered by Jelli’s technology platform fulfill this growing need.  Jelli’s platform delivers and monitors commercials as they are broadcast, relieving stress on station traffic departments by not requiring them to schedule and report those spots every day.”

simonemarkCantor15WOR, New York’s Mark Simone Raises Funds for Charity at Cantor Fitzgerald.  The annual 9/11 Charity Day at financial firm Cantor Fitzgerald brings celebrity traders into its offices to execute trades with the commissions going to various charities.  WOR, late morning personality Mark Simone and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani are two of the celebs who participate each year.  Pictured here is Simone manning the phones.  During the day, Simone made a $750 million trade of U.S. treasury bonds – the biggest trade of the day.  All together, $12 million was raised for charity.  Simone’s portion of the commission is being donated to the The Police Athletic League of New York City.  Cantor Fitzgerald’s offices were at the top of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 and the company lost 700 employees that day.

Friday, September 25, 2015

| September 25, 2015

ramseyATL15Dave Ramsey and WGST Team Up for Atlanta Appearances.  Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey brought his “Smart Money” and “EntreLeadership 1 Day Event” productions to Atlanta with the promotional assistance of radio affiliate WGST.  Ramsey packed Atlanta’s famed Fox Theatre yesterday evening (9/24) for the “Smart Money” event while, the day before, he and speaker Chris Brown presented the “EntreLeadership 1 Day Event” targeted to those who operate businesses.   iHeartMedia Atlanta SVP of sales Jason Mosher says, “640 WGST was very excited to host Dave Ramsey in Atlanta for the 2015 Smart Money and EntreLeadership events.  This was a wonderful opportunity for our listeners to see, hear and connect with Dave in person.  The events were high energy and were filled with sound, practical financial advice.  We have already received wonderful feedback from our partners!”  Pictured here are (from l-r): iHeartMedia Atlanta market president Justin Schaflander, Mosher, Ramsey and WGST general sales manager Art Volpe.

boomercartonremote15Boomer & Carton Broadcast from New York-Presbyterian/Columbia.  The WFAN, New York morning team of Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton were on the road early yesterday morning (9/24) as they broadcast their program from NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia to raise awareness for Cystic Fibrosis and the Boomer Esiason Foundation.  The two interviewed Dr. Joshua R. Sonett and patient Jerry Cahill.  Dr. Sonett performed a double lung transplant on Cahill, who just completed a 500-mile bike ride from Maine to New York to raise awareness for CF.  Pictured here (from l-r) are: Cahill, Esiason, Carton, and Dr. Sonett.  Photo: NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia.

Odds & Sods.  A new weekly program is added to the Genesis Communications Network lineup.  The Adam Thompson show is now being distributed by GCN.  The program “explores the biggest international and domestic stories and regularly features a debate with sharp minds that pull no punches.”….. Brian Landaulandaubrian assumes the EVP for digital sales and strategy at DGital Media, the audio engagement firm founded by former Dial Global/Westwood One execs David Landau and Spencer Brown.  Brian joins father David after his most recent position with cloud-based social sponsorship company Izea.  The company says, “Brian Landau will be charged with driving digital sales and partnerships with national content producers and brands to extend their audio brands and engage existing and new audiences.  DGital Media is already working with noted tech podcast ‘Re/code Decode’ with Kara Swisher, as well as fantasy wolfejennasports brands and personalities including Rick Wolf and Fantasy Alarm, Kay Adams, RotoGrinders, FNTSY Sports Network, Swish Analytics, Erik Kuselias and others.”…..Fitness expert Jenna Wolfe is going to be hosting a live, limited-run, one-hour weekly series on SiriusXM’s “TODAY Show Radio,” starting September 25.  Sirius says the program will feature Wolfe discussing favorite topics: fitness, nutrition and emotional well-being.

shielsCongpanel15Shiels Hosts Michigan Congressional Panel.  Regionally syndicated morning drive talk show host Michael Patrick Shiels (at podium) – host of “Michigan’s Big Show” – moderated a Congressional panel consisting of eight members of the U.S. House of Representatives at Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island during the state’s Republican Leadership Conference.  Five GOP presidential candidates also spoke at the gathering.

talkersten logoDonald Trump Candidacy Tops Talkers TenTM for Fourth Consecutive Week.  The presidential candidacy of Republican Donald Trump, this week tied with the 2016 presidential race in general, is the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio for the week of September 21-25, and for the fourth straight week.  This week, at #2 is Pope Francis’ visit to the United States.  Coming in at #3 is the European migrant crisis and the related immigration policy controversy in the U.S., followed by U.S.-Russia-Syria tensions at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

wbtwlnk duo logoCool Job Opportunity.  Greater Media Charlotte seeks a Promotions and Events Coordinator.  “News Talk 1110” WBT and 107.9 WLNK “The Link” is looking for a fun, outgoing, hands-on and dedicated individual with entry level event planning experience for a full-time position in the marketing and promotions department.  This position works to ensure the timely and successful execution of promotions, contests and events through teamwork and coordination with other departments and staff.  This position reports directly to the marketing director.  Responsibilities include daily event planning from inception to completion and working the station-sponsored events.  Other responsibilities include planning and scheduling station contests, meetings with clients and community partners, maintaining event equipment, upkeep of station calendars, and working with the promotions team to plan and execute station promotions.  Excellent organization, communication and time management skills required.  Knowledge of Microsoft Office, Photoshop and other promotional based software a plus.  This position requires an individual who exhibits great interpersonal communication skills, is an enthusiastic and dynamic team player, is interested in physically and mentally demanding projects and enjoys working in a fast paced environment.  Additional availability to work weekends, evenings and holidays is a must.  Please send your cover letter and resume to: Greater Media Charlotte, WBT/WLNK Human Resources, One Julian Price Place, Charlotte, NC 28208 or hired@wbt.com or hired@1079thelink.com. No phone calls please.  Greater Media Charlotte is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Monday, September 21, 2015

| September 21, 2015

jonesbomaniESPN Makes It Official: Bomani Jones to PM Drive; Jalen & Jacoby to Host Early Evenings.  As TALKERS magazine reported last week, ESPN Radio is moving Bomani Jones from the 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm slot to the afternoon drive daypart – 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET.  TALKERSjalenjacobystill sources told us that the podcast duo of Jalen Rose and David Jacoby (pictured at right) would be brought to the network for the 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm show and that is indeed what the sports giant is doing.  One aspect of our report from last week is not confirmed; whether Jorge Sedano moves to the 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight ET timeslot remains uncertain.  ESPN Audio SVP Mo Davenport states, “Bomani, Jalen and David are all rising stars in the audio space.  They appeal to a young demographic and their followings in the digital space are phenomenal.  Adding them to our already impressive stable of ESPN Radio hosts gives us a powerful and diverse weekday lineup.”

ewscrippsE.W. Scripps Springfield, Missouri Staffer Quits; Maintains Virginia TV Crew Slayings Were a Hoax.  One of the two air staffers suspended by E.W. Scripps after suggesting on a Sunday morning call-in show that the shooting deaths of two Virginia TV staffers was a hoax has quit the Springfield, Missouri station group, maintaining he believes the incident was staged.  Rick Masters, a.k.a. Rick Kennedy, worked as on-air producer for the “Cracker Barrel” show hosted by Joe Rios that airs on country KTTS-FM and news/talk KSGF-AM/FM.  Both Masters and Rios were suspended after the conversation aired a few weeks ago. Now, the Springfield News-Leader confirms Masters has quit his part-time job with the station because he stands by his conspiracy theory.

kmoxKMOX, St. Louis and Cardinals Renew Flagship Deal.  As is usually the case, the financial terms of the renewal of the contract between the MLB’s St. Louis Cardinals and CBS RADIO’s news/talk KMOX are not being disclosed.  The extension of the multi-year deal continues with the Cardinals producing the game broadcasts.  Staying in their current roles are veteran announcers Mike Shannon, John Rooney and Mike Claiborne.  Cards president Bill DeWitt III comments, “We are pleased to extend our agreement with our partners at KMOX.  KMOX is an iconic station in St. Louis, and we are proud to extend our partnership with them which includes so much shared history and tradition.”

kinosianmikeProfile: WABC New York’s Charlie Harary.  Weekend personality Charlie Harary is very aware of the challenge a radio talk show host has in making a name for himself, even if he’s heard on the legendary WABC, New York.  “You just hope that somebody listening thinks that you ‘belong’ on WABC.  In addition, there is the enjoyment of honing the craft as you go through reams of paper and stacks ofhararycharlie newspapers every day.  I try to draw lessons out of current events to deliver the message in a way that can be entertaining.  You have to differentiate yourself and provide unique content.  You cannot just be another voice that listeners hear on the radio.  I am on Saturday night — not Monday morning drive time.  People have to actually turn on the radio to hear this show, so I am trying to get better every week.” In a profile piece by TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian, the spotlight is on Harary, who jumps out of the speaker as a talent.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison says Harary offers “tremendous richness, authenticity and power-packed content to his performances that combine fresh angles with facts and analysis not usually heard in mainstream news/talk radio.”  Read more about Charlie Harary here.

Odds & Sods.  The Radio Television Digital News Association announces the results of executive elections that include KOA, Denver news director Kathy Walker being elected chair of the board of the RTDNA while all-news WCBS-AM, New York news director Tim Scheld is elected regional director for the organization’s Region 11, encompassing New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania…..At the Dispatch Printing Company’s RadiOhio – operator of sports talk outlets WBNS-FM, Columbus “97.1 The Fan” and WBNS-AM “1460 ESPN Radio” – the company promotes Joseph Gallo to president and COO and names chief executive officer Michael Fiorile vice chairman and CEO…..CBS RADIO all-news KNX, Los Angeles announces that Leeza Gibbons is among 25 prominent speakers set to gather for “A Sandwich Generation Forum & Resource Expo” produced by the station to offer help and guidance for peopleknx facing the complex challenges of caregiving for aging parents and growing children.  The free event takes place on November 14 at the Burbank Airport Marriott Convention Center.  KNX states it is providing assistance and resources from healthcare and legal professionals, as well as compassion and advice from others in similar situations because an estimated one of every eight Americans from 40 to 60 now belongs to the so-called sandwich generation, people who care for elderly loved ones while rearing their own children.

wabcpopepageWABC, New York Unveils Radio and Web Presence for Papal Visit.  Beginning today through Sunday, September 27, Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York is presenting “comprehensive, live, on-the-street and long-form news coverage of Pope Francis’ visit to the U.S.  WABC says it will have “live, play-by-play” of the Pontiff’s appearances in Washington, D.C., New York City and Philadelphia.  77 WABC reporters will be joined by reporters from Westwood One News covering the events on the streets of Washington, New York City, Philadelphia and in studio, with special reports by host Rita Cosby and 77 WABC’s “Religion on the Line” team, headlined by Deacon Kevin McCormack and Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, all of whom have experience covering the Pope.  Coverage will be broadcast on 77 WABC and via a dedicated “Papal Page” and live stream on www.wabcradio.com/pope.

hillsdalecollegeCool Job Opportunity.  Hillsdale College seeks a general manager for its campus radio station WRFH-LP.  The general manager oversees the management and operation of “Radio Free Hillsdale.”  This person will be involved at every stage of broadcast operations, including station programming/management, commercial productions, digital audio editing, traffic, and station promotions.  The general manager of the broadcast radio station will always be supportive of the mission of Hillsdale College, and will be responsible for properly maintained program content that is to be conformed to the College’s established brand standards and guidelines.  More information on the job requirements and how to apply, click here.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

| September 17, 2015

kantar media logoKantar Media: Total U.S. Ad Spend Down 3.9%; Radio Up 5%.  The comparison of the total U.S. ad spend – the 3.9% figure – is both from the first quarter of 2015 to the second and the January to June figures from 2014 to 2015.  The positive news for radio is in local ad sales.  Kantar Media reports that from the first quarter of 2015 to the second, local radio ad spend was up 10.6%.  For the same category, the Jan-June 2014 versus 2015 figure was also up, by 7.9%.  the not-so-good news is that Kantar reports the network radio ad category was down 8.4% and 5.4%, respectively.  National spot radio was up a little bit from Q1 to Q2 this year – 1.2% — but comparing the first six months of 2014 to the same period this year, the category is down 1.6%.  See the whole Kantar Media report here.

wbix logoSalem Media Group Debuts Boston Talk Station on WBIX.  The newly acquired Boston AM signal WBIX starts life anew as a news/talker for Salem Media Group.  The station is being branded “AM 1260 The Buzz” and features Salem Radio Network stars Bill Bennett, Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, Michael Medved, Hugh Hewitt, and Eric Metaxas.  The calls have been flipped back to WBIX from the WMKI calls that identified the station when it was owned by Disney and aired the company’s “Radio Disney” pop music format.

patrickmattHouston Talk Host Matt Patrick Fighting Esophageal Cancer.  KTRH, Houston-based talk show host Matt Patrick announced his morning drive audience  that he is battling esophageal cancer.  He also went on colleague Michael Berry’s talk show on Wednesday to further discuss his medical situation.  During the segment with Berry, Patrick explained that he’s receiving treatment for the malignant tumor at the world-renowned M.D. Anderson clinic in Houston.  The 30-yar radio pro is a recovering alcoholic and he told the audience this will be the second toughest fight of his life.

globalmediaservices logoNew Production Service ‘Radio Spot Shoppe’ to Launch on September 28.  The new three-part production service is being offered by Global Media Services and includes script writing, commercial production and imaging from “one professional source.”  Global Media Services is partnering with AdLarge Media for barter national ad sales representation.  Global founder Tony Garcia states, “Producing good creative quickly has always been a challenge for radio.  That is especially true as bottom line pressure increases and the head count decreases.garciatony  Radio Spot Shoppe gives stations the ability to outsource services rather than relying on the same voices, the same production staff, and the same AEs to write commercial copy.  Not only does that free-up internal personnel to focus on their core responsibilities, it also brings a dedicated team of production, script-writing, and imaging professionals to your station.”  Garcia says the market-exclusive barter service allows stations to choose the level of service based on their needs.  Check out www.radiospotshoppe.com, call Garcia directly at 303-557-1961 or email him at: tony@globalmediaservices.co.

hurleyharryHarry Hurley Re-Ups with Townsquare’s WPGG, Atlantic City.  With almost 25 years under his belt at WPGG, Atlantic City, morning drive star Harry Hurley can feel safe about easily surpassing the 25-year mark after inking a new, multi-year contract with Townsquare Media.  Hurley says, “To have a broadcasting career with one company that’s measured in decades is a dream come true.  We have the most dynamic founder, chairman and chief executive officer in Steven Price.  Mr. Price’s pedigree is incomparable.  He has served our federal government in the Pentagon as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense.  And, Mr. Price is such a visionary in the areas of terrestrial radio, all digital platforms and live events.  He truly understands how government, business and industry intersect, along with working with and serving our various communities at the highest level.”

fccnewBroadcasters Applaud New FCC Contest Rules.  The long awaited revised contest rules for radio and television stations that allow licensees to post contest rules online have been approved by the FCCNAB EVP of communications Dennis Wharton states, “NAB applauds the FCC for updating its contest rules to better reflect today’s media environment.  Providing flexibility about where and how contest rules can be posted online allows broadcasters to best serve our audiences based on the wide variety of contests we run.  NAB looks forward to working collaboratively with the FCC to help radio and TV stations adhere to these revised rules.”

Odds & Sods.  Targeting fans of the science fiction, fantasy and horror genres, the “30 Minutes of Geek” podcast is expanding to a full hour and is now available for radio stations.  Midnight Entertainment, LLC announcesgeekuniverse the Jim Yelton-hosted program, dubbed, “Geek Universe with Jim Yelton,” will discuss “everything related to the science fiction, fantasy, horror genres across movies, television, games, and more.”  The show launched into national radio syndication in July on the brand new GLN Radio Network with guest Carl Gottlieb, the screenwriter of the classic summer blockbuster Jaws.…..Celebrating its fifth anniversary, the nationally syndicated radio show “Café Mocha” has joined forces with Hyundai Motor America gellerBull15to launch the Salute Her presented by Hyundai: New Thinking, New Possibilities campaign.  With a mission to salute and reward women who are demonstrating new ways of thinking and creating new possibilities in their communities, prizes will include one-on-one professional coaching sessions, all-expense paid trips to the 47th NAACP Image Awards and one grand prize, a 2016 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T…..Consultant and author Valerie Geller (left) poses for a photo with LBC London talk show host Clive Bull (right) at the Next Radio 2015 conference at the Royal Institution in London.  The annual conference is billed as the place where “the best new radio ideas are shared.”

wnymcruise15All Aboard!  Salem Entertains Clients on Twilight Yacht Cruise.  The annual Salem Media Group client yacht cruise around lower Manhattan took place last evening (9/16) during which the staff and hosts of WNYM “AM 970 The Answer” and WMCA “AM 560 The Mission” sailed, wined and dined with an invited gathering of advertisers, clients and media friends.  Pictured (l-r): TALKERS GM/broadcast operations, David Bernstein; nationally syndicated GCN talk radio legend Dr. Joy Browne (heard on WNYM); and Salem NYC VP/GM Jerry Crowley.  Not pictured: Hugh Hewitt whose image was on all of the yacht’s television monitors tuned to his outstanding participation as one of three select questioners in the second Republican presidential debate simulcast on CNN and Salem Radio Network.

Trump Candidacy/Wednesday GOP Debate, European Migrant Problems/U.S. Immigration Policy, Iran Nuclear Deal, Russia’s Syrian Military Aid/Obama Administration’s Syria Policy, North Korean Nuke Threat, and Student Home-Made Clock Arrest Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/16).  The presidential candidacy of Donald Trump and the anticipation of Wednesday evening’s GOP primary debate; the migrant problems facing European nations and the debate over the U.S.’s immigration policy; the nuclear deal with Iran; reported military aid to Syria from Russian tied with the Syria military policy of the Obama Administration; the nuclear weapons threats made by North Korea; and the case of the high school student arrested for bringing a home-made clock to school were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Podcasting Gets an ‘Upfront Showcase’ with Advertisers

| September 15, 2015

By Jeff McKay
Special Features Correspondent

mckayjeffwriterNEW YORK — Peter Senerchia, Cari Champion, and Farnoosh Torabi.  One is a former champion professional wrestler known in the ring as Taz, one is a TV reporter and anchor for ESPN, and the other works in her Brooklyn apartment.  However, all three have something in common – they have carved out their own niches and become stars in the world of podcasting… and with their advertisers.

Digital audio has been on a roll over the past 18 months, and this is especially true among younger listeners.  A February survey by Edison Research found approximately 46 million people listened to podcasts in February.  Meanwhile, ad spending on podcasts is soaring.  A recent survey by eMarketer says ad spending for digital audio is expected to reach $2.75 billion, up over 27% from a year ago.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

| September 15, 2015

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Harrison and Consultant Holland Cooke Discuss ‘How Digital Media is Rewiring the Human Nervous System.’  In the latest installment of Podcast One’s international hit “Up Close and Far Out” posted today (9/15), noted radio and media consultant Holland Cooke joins host Michael Harrison in a discussion of what Harrison describes as the five major tenets of digital media’s effect on the way human nervous systems are becoming “rewired” going into the 21st century.  According to Harrison, here are the five major tenets of modern-day media theory for commercial practitioners to consider (from five to one in order of importance):

5. The magic of 20th century media is rapidly disappearing. Radio, television, film, print and records do not carry the same level of mystique that they did for most of our lifetimes.  It is no longer just enough getting past the gatekeeper and “being there.”  Everybody is or has direct access to being a media star.  This development democratizes production and distribution but significantly raises the bar on what must be achieved to actually attract attention and display panache in an increasingly noisy world.

4. Loss of privacy.  It is becoming increasingly impossible to engage in modern life “on the grid” and preserve the level of privacy that many consider vital to maintain dignity and personal freedom.  It is becoming increasingly treacherous to be famous or a “celebrity.”  Media whores beware!  It is dangerous out there.

3. Life is becoming one big crazy reality show. Look no further than the media circus known as the 2016 presidential election to see this process at work – punctuated by the adventures of the greatest media exhibitionist of our time, Donald Trump.  The once well-defined boundaries between entertainment and real life – fact and fantasy – are becoming increasingly blurred.

2. The rise of the techno-psychic.  Modern-day instantaneous communications and data accumulation, punctuated by multi-tasking, social media, and the individual’s immediate access to everyone and all publically archived information, is transforming the human race (Homo sapiens) into a technologically induced telepathic species.  People literally are walking around with the voices of others inside their heads.  We are just a handful of short years away from having chips implanted inside our bodies that will replace the inconvenience of having to lug around what we currently call “smartphones.”

1. The coming of the quantum age.  Don’t expect the digital era to hang around as long as the analogue era has through all of the 20th century and into the 21st.  It will be replaced relatively quickly by something truly “far out.”  Our increased understanding and coming to cultural terms with quantum physics is changing everything!  Although the development of the quantum computer (which promises to replace the digital computer) is still in its infancy, progress is being made at a rapid rate.  Quantum computing will exponentially increase humanity’s influence on the very fabric of time and space themselves.  Today’s modern technology will seem as quaint as the horse and buggy in a relatively short time.  Harrison advises, “Today’s media practitioners interested in being prepared for the onrushing future should study everything they can about quantum physics and the impact it will have on computing and communications.”

Interestingly, Harrison produced this installment of “Up Close and Far Out” on the road under difficult technological conditions stating, “Our studio back at TALKERS suffered an equipment malfunction and our server was undergoing maintenance.  I found myself facing deadline with nothing more than two iPhones and a remote guest (Holland Cooke) who also had nothing more to work with at the moment than an iPhone.  Somehow we made it work – although I regret that Holland’s usually mellifluous voice sounds a bit like Rudy Vallee singing on his trademark megaphone.  Considering the futuristic nature of our rather esoteric conversation, it is ironic that we produced the show under extremely primitive (by modern standards) conditions.  All of us who’ve done radio over the years have had the experience of being forced to play MacGyver.  This was one such case.  Thank you, Holland Cooke, for being a good sport.”

To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here. or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player located in the right-hand column of every page on Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

rosenbergpeterFamiliar New York Voice Peter Rosenberg to Join WEPN’s Michael Kay Show.  New York radio personality Peter Rosenberg is joining the Michael Kay show on ESPN’s WEPN.  Rosenberg is host of Emmis-owned hip hop HOT 97’s morning drive show – a position he will continue.  Rosenberg will join Don LaGreca – himself recently inked to a contract renewal – as co-hosts with Kay.  On this added gig, he comments,wepn logo “I’m thrilled and thankful for this opportunity to be a part of the 98.7 family and to be part of a show that I have always loved with two guys that I couldn’t respect and admire more.  By working for both 98.7 and HOT 97, I’m able to contribute to a wide variety of topics I’m passionate about and provide listeners with a fresh perspective on not just hip hop, but sports, lifestyle, and more.”  He begins his new duties today (9/15).He begins his new duties today (9/15).

martinezheatherMartinez Joins ‘News 96.5 Orlando’ for Anchor Position.  Trading the cold for sunshine this winter is Heather Jordan Martinez who is leaving iHeartMedia heritage news/talker WHO, Des Moines for Cox Media Group’s WDBO-FM, Orlando “News 96.5.”  Martinez has a diverse resume including time in music radio on-air and in promotions.  She is also a voice-over talent.  Her new gig starts September 28.

mckayjeffIAB Presents Podcasting ‘Upfront.’  The recent “Upfront Showcase” held in New York City by the Interactive Advertising Bureau was held in response to the medium’s recent and meteoric rise on the mainstream consumer’s and advertiser’s radar.  TALKERS and RadioInfo special features correspondent Jeff McKay reports, “The Interactive Advertising Bureau put together the event to highlight some of the top-flight podcasters, along with some of the companies at the forefront of digital success and their advertiser successes.”  IAB president/CEO Randall Rothenberg explains, “We’re here responding to market demand.  Why are we here?  The success of ‘Serial’ and President Obama’s interview on ‘WTF with Marc Maron’ – these shows have opened up eyes to podcasting.”  Attendee and VP of digital sales for AdLarge, Jay Green states, “You’re saying, ‘I want to hear what this host has to say,’ and that becomes a brand.  For advertisers, the spot load is very low.  It’s not intrusive.  And, the ads are integrated into the show, discussed by the host with their own brand and style.”  Read McKay’s entire report from the IAB “Upfront Showcase” here.

jalenjacobystillESPN Radio to Finalize New Network Lineup; Jones to PM Drive, Jalen & Jacoby to Assume Early Evening Show.  TALKERS magazine sources say the revamped ESPN Radio schedule should be complete within a couple of weeks and, as we’ve reported in recent weeks, Bomani Jones willjonesbomani move from his 9:00 pm ET start to the afternoon drive slot being filled right now by Jorge Sedano and Sarah Spain.  As regular TALKERS readers are aware, the changes at ESPN Radio were spurred by Colin Cowherd’s move to Fox Sports.  ESPN has already shuffled Dan Le Batard to the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm ET daypart, leaving an opening in afternoon drive.  With Jones in the PM drive slot, TALKERS hears ESPN will move podcast duo Jalen & Jacoby – Jalen Rose and Dave Jacoby – to the 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET slot and Jorge Sedano will assume the 9:00 pm to 12:00 ET midnight show.  Sedano will reportedly also take on more NBA-related program responsibilities on the TV side.

salemmediagroup logoSalem Media Group to Acquire Radio Disney Signals.  Five more Radio Disney AM signals are on their way to a new owner as Salem Media Group agrees to buy 5,000-watt class B KDIZ-AM, Minneapolis for $375,000; 10,000-watt class B KDDZ, Denver for $550,000; 10,000-watt class B KDZR, Portland for $275,000; 20,000-watt class B WSDZ, St. Louis (licensed to Belleville, Illinois) for $275,000; and 9,800-watt class B WWMI, Tampa-St. Petersburg for $750,000.

CORRECTION:  Yesterday (9/14), TALKERS magazine incorrectly reported the new time of the “Business Rockstars” show.  The correct time is 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET.  TALKERS regrets the error.

The Trump Campaign, the 2016 Presidential Candidates, European Migrant Tensions/U.S. Immigration Policy, Russia-Syria Military Buildup, Iran Nuclear Deal, North Korean Nuke Threat, California Wildfires and NFL Week One Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/14).  The ongoing analysis of the early success of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign; the activities of the candidates for president in 2016; the migration issues European nations are dealing with and talk about the immigration policy in the United States; reports of Russia’s supplying Syria with weaponry; the controversial nuclear deal between the U.S. and Iran; the threats of nuclear missile use by North Korea; the destruction being caused by the Western wildfires; and the first week of the 2015 NFL season were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

August 2015 PPM Analysis: MLB Flagships

| September 14, 2015

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor

kinosian (2) MLB Logo2LOS ANGELES — This exclusive TALKERS overview of MLB flagships encompasses the August 2015 ratings period.

Survey dates for that sweep were July 16 – August 12. It is also imperative to note that – rather than limited to a specific day-part – ratings data cited here is Monday-Sunday, 6:00 am – 12:00 midnight.

Listed is each team’s primary, 162-game English-language flagship; however, that station must be a Nielsen Audio subscriber that appears in print.

Key outlets of the two New York City franchises (Mets and Yankees) are found in three PPM-rated markets (New York, Long Island, and Middlesex).

Flagship of the Los Angeles Angels (KLAA) is listed in Los Angeles and Riverside.

Key stations of the San Francisco Bay Area franchises (Giants on KNBR, and Oakland A’s on KGMZ) appear in the San Francisco and San Jose ratings reports.

In these instances, flagships for the Mets (WOR) and Yankees (WFAN) have New York City ratings info only.

Los Angeles ratings stats are used for the Angels’ key station (KLAA).

Data for flagships of the two Bay Area teams comes strictly from the San Francisco report.

Thus, in all cases (not just the ones noted above), each team is shown with one flagship in just one PPM-market.

Now, the exception to the fine print: Toronto is MLB’s only non-PPM market; consequently, CJCL – the key station for the American League East’s Toronto Blue Jays – has no ratings information of any type anywhere in this analysis.

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Friday, September 11, 2015

| September 11, 2015

levinmarkMark Levin Comments Cited in Atlantic Piece About Trump-GOP Relationship.  The story by David Frum in The Atlantic is titled, “The Republican Revolt,” and addresses the “frustration” rank-and-file GOPers are having with longtime party leaders and how that’s affected Donald Trump’s candidacy.  In the piece, WABC, New York-based and Westwood One nationally syndicated talk host Mark Levin is quoted from a segment on his radio show.  Levin is quoted, in part, saying, “Senator Mitch McConnell and Representatives John Boehner and Karl Rove and their ilk …. You’re sick of them.  You’re sick of them not doing what you elected them to do.  You’re sick of them lying to you.  You’re sick of them attacking everybody who doesn’t agree with them through their surrogates.  You’re sick of how they treat people who dare to challenge them in Republican primaries… You’re tired of so-called conservative commentators on TV and elsewhere who serve as their surrogates… You don’t feel you have a home and you don’t feel that there’s a party that stands up for you.”  This consternation within the GOP has been an underlying theme on conservative news/talk radio since before Donald Trump announced his candidacy, although talk hosts who broach this topic and reference Trump now that the nation is in campaign mode, are often labeled in the consumer media as “Trump supporters.”  Read The Atlantic piece here.

bouvardpierreWW1 Podcast Study Cited in AdAge Piece.  A story in Advertising Age by Felicia Greiff cites a study commissioned by Westwood One titled, “State of American Podcasting.”  The piece notes that WW1’s study consisted of data from an Ipsos custom study and Edison Research’s “Share of Ear” quarterly study.  Edison created “a cross tabulation of 500 podcast listeners using three recent studies  that showed the audio source, time of day, demographic profile, devices used to listen and types of content used by consumers.”  WW1’s Pierre Bouvard says the study confirmed that podcast listening is led by Millennials as it concluded the median age of podcast users is “30, versus 45 for AM/FM radio and 57 for broadcast television networks.”  Further, “personalities and talk shows are the leading content consumed by podcast listeners, taking up 66% of total podcast listening, followed by news podcasts with 22%.”  Read the whole AdAge story here.

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Announces 2015 Radio Market Survey Rankings.  Some of the changes in rank for radio markets as defined by Nielsen Audio include major markets Atlanta and Philadelphia swapping positions – Atlanta slides up to #8 and Philly drops to #9.  Las Vegas makes another leap, moving from #38 to #31.  Raleigh-Durham moves up from #42 to #40.  Milwaukee slides back to #41 and Oklahoma City dips from #48 to #50.  Another diary market – the growing Chattanooga area – jumps from #110 to #88.  See the entire Nielsen report here.

podcastone bPodcastOne Adds Six New Shows to Menu.  On-demand audio content giant PodcastOne announces six new programs that are being added to its menu of shows.  New sports programs include: “Name Dropping with Ian Fitzsimmons,” “Total Soccer Show,” and “Mohr Sports Los Angeles” with Jay Mohr.  Two new programs in the fitness category are: “Bulletproof Radio” and “Ben Greenfield Fitness.”  The final addition is a podcast called “NRP” featuring celebrity blogger Nik Richie.  All six shows will be available at PodcastOne.com, the PodcastOne app and iTunes.

harringtonjoeyJoey Harrington Assumes PM Drive Co-Host Gig at ‘750 The Game’ in Portland.  Former Oregon Ducks and Detroit Lions quarterback Joey Harrington joins Alpha Media’s KXTG-AM” 750 The Game” (also heard on K275CH at 102.9 FM) to co-host the afternoon program from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm alongside Fletcher Johnson.  Alpha Portland SVP/market manager Milt McConnell comments, “We are thrilled to add Joey’s Ducks and NFL expertise and analysis to our afternoon drive show.”  About his new gig, Harrington adds, “I’m excited for the opportunity to join the ‘750 The Game’ team and Alpha Media.  What a perfect way for me to be able to share my passion for all things football and Portland, than over the airwaves on the best station in town.”

Odds & Sods. More additions to the CBS RADIO podcast platform Play.it are announced.  New shows include “Cosmo Happy Hour” hosted by Elisa Benson of Cosmopolitan.com; a weekly one-hour show from comic Tom Green; “The Brouhaha with Ana Marie Cox” from the Wonkette founder; a weekly football podcast hosted by Jason Fitz; and “The Global Travel Conspiracy” with Gary Arndt, who has been traveling non-stop since 2007 and has visited more than 100 countries across all continents…..WGN, Chicago legend Orion Samuelson will gomikemikeJets15 in for heart valve surgery on Monday (9/14), according to Chicago media writer Robert Feder.  The 81-year-old Radio Hall-of-Famer says he hopes to be back on WGN by September 25, his 55th anniversary with the station…..ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike kicked off their 4th annual Fall Football Tour today with a live broadcast from the New York Jets training center.  In honor of the anniversary of 9/11, New York City first responders were in attendance for the closed-door broadcast, and hosts Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic welcomed attendees at a special brunch after the show.

talkersten logoDonald Trump Candidacy Top News/Talk Story for Week of September 7-11.  The top-polling presidential candidacy of Donald Trump was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the Hillary Clinton emails controversy and her apology.  Coming in at #3 was the activities of the rest of the 2016 presidential candidates followed by the Iran nuclear deal at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week.  It is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Friday, August 28, 2015

| August 28, 2015

owensronnRonn Owens to Return to KGO, San Francisco on Monday.  Weeks after undergoing surgery for phase one of Deep Brain Stimulation treatment for his Parkinson’s Disease, legendary Bay Area talk personality Ronn Owens posts on his Facebook page that he’s feeling better – minor complications notwithstanding – and will return to KGO, San Francisco’s airwaves on Monday.  Here’s what he had to say: “Just checking in (with a three-day growth of beard!) to let you know that I’m feeling much better and plan to be back on the show on Monday.  Falling down the stairs after the Deep Brain Stimulation surgery slowed my recovery due to the resulting blood clot on the surface of the brain, along with another blood clot in the lung and a nasty cough.  Those factors have also forced my doctors to postpone the second phase of the DBS process (implanting a battery pack in my chest) until late October.  Nonetheless, the DBS procedure is still on track for success and I look forward to it being able to reverse my Parkinson’s symptoms by 5 to 7 years when it’s complete in early November.”  Prior to his recent surgery, Owens spoke with TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison on the latter’s international hit podcast “Up Close and Far Out” on the PodcastOne platform.  You can check out that discussion here.

wnnhNew Hampshire Gets New FM N/T Station – Howie Carr Headlines Lineup.  Beginning Monday (8/31) Binnie Media-owned WNNH-FM, Concord, New Hampshire will re-launch as “99.1 NH1 News, New Hampshire’s Newsradio.”  The station will provide the Concord area with what is being described as “continuous local news updates on the top stories from around the Granite State, along with opinion and analysis from nationally recognized personalities, including Howie Carr weekday afternoons.”  The “NH1” brand has been serving New Hampshire as a major statewide TV and radio newscarrhowie organization.  “99.1 NH1 News” will feature hourly updates from the NH1 News staff. The NH1 Radio News Network will continue to broadcast on 12 radio stations in New Hampshire, including stations in Concord, Nashua, Portsmouth, the Lakes Region, and Lebanon.  In 2014, NH1 News received a Granite Mike Award for the Best Radio Newscast from the New Hampshire Association of Broadcasters.  The local news coverage on “99.1 NH1 News” will be augmented by the world and national resources of CBS News.  Binnie Media EVP Lee Kinberg tells TALKERS, “This is the next logical step in the growth of NH1 News.  Last month NH1 News on WBIN-TV was the #1 10:00 pm news in New Hampshire and in less than a year, NH1.com is achieving over 800,000 page views a month. “99.1 NH1 News” brings our comprehensive local news coverage to Concord’s radio listeners.”  In addition to Carr, nationally known personalities including Don Imus, Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, and Michael Savage round out the weekday lineup.  Carr tells TALKERS, “It’s an honor to be working with all the great professionals at NH1 News, and to be able to reach a whole new audience in the Granite State — especially with the presidential primaries coming up in less than six months.”  This marks the 24th affiliate for Howie Carr’s rapidly-growing independent regional talk network.  Binnie Media owns 16 stations in Maine and New Hampshire.

sullivanbobBob Sullivan Exits Daily Role on KOGO, San Diego.  His comments to the San Diego Union-Tribune about leaving his co-host role on the afternoon drive show with former San Diego city councilman Carl DeMaio are pretty sanguine, still there’s a tenor of disappointment in Bob “Sully” Sullivan’s comments that he and the station have different philosophies about what the show’s topics should be.  Sullivan tells the paper, “I like to talk red-meat topics — illegal immigration, gun control and minimum wage — and I think the station wants that segment to go more toward local politics, pension reform and the water crisis.  Carl is very passionate about that stuff and I just am not.”  Sullivan’s 16-year tenure with the station will continue as he’ll still be business editor and serve as a fill-in host.  DeMaio has been on the program for the past five months – shortly after losing a race for a seat in Congress.

cosbyritaRita Cosby to Host Weeklong Web Series on Education.  The hour-long program – titled “Back to the Books Radio” – will appear exclusively on WABC, New York’s website beginning Monday, August 31.  On the program, Rita Cosby will “discuss timely and critical issues in American education with some of the nation’s most prominent voices in education, including highlighting: teacher and student standards, busing, charter schools, Common Core, and illegal immigrants and who should pay for their education.  The series is a provocative and no-holds-barred look at the issues that are important to those who are concerned that the educational system is failing the country’s children — what is working, and what is not.  The series looks in-depth at New York City’s massive public education system with more than one million students and 1,700 schools.”  Each show features interviews with top experts and thought leaders in New York and U.S. education.

townhallcomSalem Media Group Re-Brands TOH News with Townhall.com Collaboration.  Raising the radio profile of its conservative website Townhall.com will likely be one of the effects of Salem Media Group’s decision to rename its top-of-the-hour news product with the brand Townhall.com.  SMG says the site “reaches 3 million unique visitors every month.  This will be a brand extension to the powerful SRN News product that provides both news/talk and Christian talk stations a strong 24/7 radio news service.”  Salem says it will continue to produce the SRN News feed at :55 past the hour,  primarily for Christian stations and that the Townhall.com branded product will be designed for news/talk stations.   Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce comments, “We will continue to offer the outstanding reporting that is a hallmark of SRN News with great anchors and respected correspondents like Greg Clugston at the White House, Linda Kenyon at the Senate and Wally Hindes at the House.  The new brand extension will allow us to better market the product for news and talk stations and we can’t think of a better partner than Townhall.com which is so respected and well-known.”

wmen logo‘640AM Sports’ in Fort Lauderdale Shuffles Hosts.  Midday sports talk host Joe Raineri moves to afternoon drive on WMEN, Fort Lauderdale “640AM Sports,” replacing Hank Goldberg.  Currently, the midday daypart consists of DirecTV/FOX Sports Radio’s Dan Patrick from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon and Rich Eisen from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm but there is speculation that the station will opt for adding Colin Cowherd’s new FOX Sports Radio program – set to debut in September – to the slot currently held by Eisen.

Odds & Sods. Abundant, thunderous changes taking place with Major League Baseball‘s Boston Red Soxobriendave have even spread to the broadcasting booth. While it doesn’t take effect until next year, Dave O’Brien will shift from radio play-to-play to the television side, calling Red Sox games on NESN. O’Brien, who has a renowned national presence from his ESPN television exposure, will succeed Don Orsillo, whose contract isn’t being renewed. No word yet on a successor to O’Brien on the Red Sox Radio Network, whose flagship is Entercom Boston sports outlet WEEI-FM. Quincy, Massachusetts native O’Brien miklaszberniejoined the Red Sox radio booth for the 2007 season – when the Red Sox wound up winning the World Series…..St. Louis sports media pro Bernie Miklasz returns to Hubbard Radio‘s WXOS “101ESPN” on Monday, August 31  to revive his sports talk show.  The longtime St. Louis Post-Dispatch sports writer is exiting his position with the paper to begin hosting the 7:00 am to 10:00 am program.  He will also write for the station’s 101sports.com website…..ESPN Radio announces that Ian Fitzsimmons will host the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm slot with Will Cain, Trevor Matich, and Freddie Coleman next week.  The network is reportedly preparing to officially announce Dan LeBatard will assume that daypart permanentlyzaklana later in September…..Former Philadelphia Eagles great Brian Westbrook is reprising his football expert role at Greater Media‘s WPEN-FM, Philadelphia “97.5 The Fanatic” on the AM drive Anthony Gargano show.  Westbrook will be part of the Monday program from 9:00 am to 10:00 am following Eagles games during the NFL season…..ABC News announces Lana Zak is the newest member of the Multi-Platform Reporter team.  Zak began her career with ABC News as an anchor producer for Diane Sawyer at “Good Morning America.”  Most recently, she has served as a coordinating producer for ABC’s Specialized Units.

New Economic News Program to Debut in January.  This new offering comes from Walter O’Connell Tax Services, LLC on a weekly basis beginning January 2, 2016.  According to O’Connell, “Economics-Weekly.com” is a one-hour radio program featuring selected readings in economics from top economic bloggers from around the world and “was founded on the belief that liberty and free trade are created, and sustained, through economic understanding.”  O’Connell says, “Our current weekly syndicated radio program is a perfect pre-air or post-air program for news, business, economic, political or current event programing.”

hannity montgomerygentry15Country Duo Montgomery Gentry to Appear on ‘Hannity’ Tonight.  Country music will be a topic on FOX News Channel’s “Hannity” this evening (8/28) as country superstars Montgomery Gentry will be on the program.  Eddie Montgomery (left) and Troy Gentry (right) recently spoke with Sean Hannity (center) about their new Blaster Records album, Folks Like UsPhoto: Monarch Publicity.

TV Reporters Slayings/Gun Control Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of August 24-28.  The tragic slayings of WDBJ-TV reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward and the related issue of gun control were the most-talked-about stories during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM this week.  At #2 was the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump.  Coming in at #3 was the debate over immigration policy followed by the possible presidential candidacy of Vice President Joe Biden at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.


Thursday, August 27, 2015

| August 27, 2015

price howardHoward B. Price: Now, It’s Personal.  Writing in the aftermath of the shooting deaths of WDBJ-TV, Roanoke journalists Alison Parker and Adam Ward, ABC Television Network director, business continuity Howard B. Price says that, although it’s impossible to know if anything could have prevented their deaths, media employers must take this tragedy as a lesson to do more to prepare staffers to combat threatening situations.  How so?  Price says, “Ask any crisis trainer, and they will tell you that situational awareness is critical – no matter one’s field or the instant circumstances of their work.  Who would have imagined that a live shot on local tourism in a bucolic park would end in so much trauma – on an early morning newscast in Moneta, Virginia?”  He suggests that even in the most seemingly benign situations, crews should observe a safety protocol.  “When you arrive at the scene of a story, look for areas of safe refuge and secondary escape routes.  Try to keep a corner of your eye cocked peripherally to catch at least a glimpse of anything that doesn’t look quite right.  Keep a cellphone or two-way radio close.  Think about how you might call for help.  And don’t hesitate to raise red flags about any coverage plan you find risky.”  Read Price’s entire story here.

newsmax logoNewsmax.com Places Third in Views for Political News.  The July 2015 comScore MultiPlatform data shows that while CNN Politics is #1 in multiplatform views with 136 million for the month, Newsmax.com comes in third (55mm), close on the heels of Politico.com (57mm).  Newsmax.com tops Fox News Politics, HuffPost Politics and MSNBC TV, according to comScore’s survey, which includes desktops and mobile devices.  comScore also notes that July marked the best month in mobile traffic and video starts on record.

cookehollandHolland Cooke: ‘Quality, Currency, Quantity.’  Just back at his Block Island, Rhode Island home base after a summer on the road visiting client stations, consultant Holland Cooke writes in TALKERS today about crafting news copy that is more “remarkable.”  He says, “Not ‘miraculous,’ but ‘remarkable,’ meaning likely-to-provoke-a-remark when heard.  ‘Hmmm…’ is a remark, because the listener heard useful information which he/she might quote over lunch or dinner.  Or at least REMEMBER, which is, after all, what diary ratings measure, and relevance is what brings PPM-ers back again and again.”  For more thoughts about effective radio news, read Cooke’s entire column here.

lagrecadonDon La Greca Inks Extension with WEPN, New York.  The co-host of the afternoon drive Michael Kay show on ESPN O&O WEPN, New York has signed a three-year contract extension with the station to continue in that role.  Don La Greca, in addition to his duties with the Kay show, will continue to host 98.7FM’s “Jets Gameday” pregame show and “The 5th Quarter” postgame show.  La Greca will also retain his duties as studio host and occasional play-by-play commentator for New York Rangers broadcasts.  ESPN New York 98.7FM general manager Tim McCarthy states, “Don has established himself as one of the most knowledgeable hosts in all of New York sports.  He is a rare breed who can combine talk and play-by-play without missing a beat.  Don and Michael are one of the longest-tenured and most entertaining sports talk teams in the country.”

Odds & Sods. According to the New York Daily NewsBob Raissman, ESPN is going to move current sports talkwepn logo WEPN, New York evening duo Alan Hahn and Rick DiPietro to the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm slot that opened with Mike Lupica’s recent departure.  He says Dave Rothenberg will leave the 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm show with Ryan Ruocco and host evenings solo.  He also notes the station will air the soon-to-move Dan LeBatard show in the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon quigleyalexslot…..Former WGN, Chicago operations manager Alex Quigley is joining Hubbard Radio Chicago to serve as executive producer and update anchor for classic hit WDRV’s weekly, three-hour Chicago Bears post-game show that will be hosted by Mike North…..News and talk radio programmer Al Mayers, currently station manager at Bloomberg Radio, is adding Bloomberg TV programming duties to his responsibilities, according to a report in the New York Post.  The story says Claudia Milne is exiting the Bloomberg TV programming post to work on special projects and product placement for Bloomberg.  Mayers was a longtime Boston program director having served at WRKO, WEEI and WHDH.  He also programmed WJR, Detroit…..WMTI, New Orleans “106.1 The Ticket” is flipping from sports talk to a music format.  No word on what Cumulus will settle on.  Currently the station is stunting with song loops.

westwood one news logoWestwood One Celebrates Affiliate Mark for News Product; Names Chas Henry to Anchor/Correspondent Role.  Syndicator Westwood One is celebrating surpassing the 750-affiliate mark for its news product Westwood One News, powered by CNN.  WW1 says that since launching in January, it’s placed the service on more than 750 stations, including in nine of the top 10 markets.  At the same time, the companyhenrychas announces it has brought aboard Washington, DC news pro Chas Henry to serve as an anchor and correspondent.  Henry has served at WTOP, Washington; TV news outlets NewsChannel 8 and ABC7, and at CBS RADIO’s WNEW-FM as anchor and national security correspondent.  A combat-decorated veteran of the 1991 Gulf War, Henry came up in the U.S. Marine Corps, rising in rank from private to captain.  He has reported from Iraq, Afghanistan and Qatar and been frequently heard nationwide on the CBS Radio Network.  For Westwood One, in addition to anchoring newscasts, he will report on national security issues and will fill in on the daily feature “Something to Think About with Mike Rogers” from September 8-14.

ramseydaveCarson15GOP Candidate Dr. Ben Carson on the Dave Ramsey Show.  Pictured here on the air with nationally syndicated talk superstar Dave Ramsey (left) is retired neurosurgeon and GOP presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson (right).  Ramsey has invited all of the presidential candidates to appear on his program to discuss relevant topics during the election season.  Earlier this summer, Texas Governor Rick Perry appeared on the Ramsey program.

Virginia TV Reporters Slayings, Trump Candidacy, Immigration Policy Debate, Probable Joe Biden Presidential Run, Hillary Clinton Email Investigation, Financial Markets Volatility, and Western Wildfires/Tropical Storm Erika/Climate Change Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/26).  The killing of two Virginia television journalists by a former station employee; the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump; ongoing debate over immigration policy and Trump’s interaction with Univision reporter Jorge Ramos at an Iowa press conference; the probable entrance of Vice President Joe Biden into the presidential race; the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server for State Department business; concern over the volatile world financial markets and a possible crash; the Western drought, recent wildfires, Tropical Storm Erika, and the specter of climate change were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

wbtlogoCool Job Opportunity.  Wanted: Part-Time WBT Tailgate Girls.  “News Talk 1110” WBT, Charlotte is seeking part-time WBT Tailgate Girls who are interested in learning more about event marketing, promotions and broadcasting.  As part of the WBT Tailgate Girls, you will work to gain exposure for the radio stations at station-produced and/or sponsored events, area concerts, sporting and cultural events and other on-site opportunities relevant to the station’s marketing and sales effort.  Candidates must be detail oriented, creative and outgoing.  They must have strong communications and organizational skills and must be able to represent the station(s) in a positive manner at events.  Candidates should have strong people skills, web/internet knowledge, and must be able to multi-task and meet deadlines.  All candidates should possess a desire to learn more about promotional/marketing strategies for radio.  In order to be considered for the position, candidates must have a valid driver’s licenses.  Hourly pay: $12.00.  If you think you have the talent and qualifications to be a (part-time) News Talk 1110 WBT Tailgate Girls with Greater Media Charlotte, please e-mail resume and photo to hired@gmclt.com.  If you would like to mail a package, send to: Greater Media Charlotte, Attn: Promotions, One Julian Price Place, Charlotte, NC 28208 NO TELEPHONE CALL PLEASE!

Friday, August 21, 2015

| August 21, 2015

lebatarddanDan LeBatard Show Front-Runner to Fill Cowherd Slot on ESPN Radio.  There’s been no official announcement from ESPN but TALKERS sources report that the Dan LeBatard show – which currently airs in the 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm daypart on ESPN Radio – will move to the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon slot sometime in September.  That late morning slot opened up after Colin Cowherd accepted an offer from FOX Sports to join its operations.  TALKERS sources also says that Bomani Jones, host of the 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm “Right Time with Bomani Jones” program on the network, will move into the afternoon daypart.  Jones is also a co-host of Dan LeBatard’s “Highly Questionable with Dan LeBatard” show that airs on ESPN TV.

waxy-amEntercom Drops FM Simulcast of WAXY, Miami for Alt Rock.  The sports talk simulcast of WAXY-AM/FM, was acquired from Lincoln Financial Media and now, Entercom unveils its plans for the FM as it launches the market’s only alternative rock outlet, “104.3 The Shark.”  The company says that it has complete faith in WAXY-AM’s ability to dominate the AM band.  Vice president and market manager Doug Abernethy says, “‘790 The Ticket’ is the flagship station for South Florida sports and is the home of the Miami Heat.  ‘790 The Ticket’ delivers the best in local content, personalities and events.  We are making a huge investment in more content featuring the biggest names in sports in South Florida.”

northmikeMike North to Host Bears Football Post-Game Show on Classic Hits WDRV, Chicago.  As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, former longtime Windy City sports talk personality Mike North is hosting a three-hour Chicago Bears post-game program on Hubbard Radio’s classic hits WDRV.  As Feder points out, this will be the fifth Bears post-game show to air simultaneously in the market (including the one on play-by-play flagship WBBM-AM and WCFS-FM).  North will continue to co-host the daily morning show “FOX Sports Daybreak” with Andy Furman on the FOX Sports Radio Network.  Read Feder’s story here.

nielsen logoNielsen’s Latest ‘State of the Media: Audio Today’ Focuses on Medium and Small Markets; 86% of Consumers Spend More Than 15 Hours with Radio.  In the latest “State of the Media: Audio Today” report from Nielsen, the ratings giant digs into data from the 215 markets in which it employs the diary survey method.  Reporting that there are “35 million qualified consumers” (more than 60% of which are between the ages of 18 and 54) being reached by radio in medium and small markets, Nielsen looks at listening by generation, among other things.  Regarding Millennials, Nielsen says 86.5% of that generation is reached by radio and averages 12 hours and 30 minutes of weekly listening.  Forty-four percent of Millennials work full time, their most-listened-to daypart is afternoon drive and their favorite format is country.  When it comes to Gen Xers, AM drive is the most-listened-to daypart, the favorite format is country but reach and listening time go up to 89.9% and 16 hours, respectively.  Listening time goes up even further for Boomers – to 16 hours and 30 minutes per week – but reach dips to 86.8%.  Boomers listen most in middays and the most-listened-to format is news/talk.  When it comes to total listening in medium and small markets, the top formats are: 1) country, 2) news/talk, 3) CHR, 4) adult contemporary, 5) classic rock, and 6) classic hits.  Download the whole Nielsen report here.

brennancharlieKMOX Talker’s Speeding Ticket Broke Missouri Constitution.  Albeit three years after the fact, a 2012 speeding ticket issued to KMOX, St. Louis 8:30 am – 11:00 am co-host Charlie Brennan has been ruled by the Missouri Supreme Court to be in violation of the state’s constitution. Brennan received a ticket after his car was caught on camera going 11 MPH over the speed limit in Moline Acres on Missouri Highway 367. Brennan tells TALKERS, “I challenged the ticket and won in two lower courts as well.” Owing to this case, Brennan comments, “Most cities in Missouri will be taking down their speeding cameras if they haven’t done so already.” Brennan’s lawsuit challenged whether the municipal ordinance can turn moving violations into a civil matter that does not result in points against a driver’s license. As reported by Leah Thorsen in The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Moline Acres mayor Michele DeShay says speed cameras “are no longer in place but there was a possibility they could return, depending on how the court ruled.” A plan to put a measure on next August’s ballot to ban red-light cameras across the state did not pass in this year’s legislative session. Brennan’s morning co-host is Debbie Monterrey; he has been part of the KMOX late morning show since 1990.

cumulus logoCumulus and IMG Partner for University of Oregon Sports Broadcasts.  This is a renewal of the play-by-play rights agreement that KUGN, Eugene has had for the past 20 years.  The new pact with IMG is a multi-year one that gives Cumulus Media exclusive radio broadcast rights for University of Oregon sports in the Eugene/Springfield market.  Games and related programming will air on news/talk KUGN, sports talk KUJZ “95.3 The Score,” and classic rock KZEL.  Cumulus Eugene operations manager Al Scott says, “University of Oregon Sports broadcasts are a tradition here at Cumulus Eugene.  Our entire team is incredibly proud of our partnership with the University of Oregon Ducks.  We all look forward to broadcasting the U of O sports features and games.  The Oregon Duck games are as exciting for all of us here in the building as they are for our listeners.”

jorgensenjimJim Jorgensen Returns to Radio to Talk Taxes. Renowned financial talker Jim Jorgensen – hearing during his career on WOR, New York; ABC Radio; and in national syndication – is talking to listeners about retirement and taxes.  This is the same content he’s written about in his new book, Retire Tax Free.  Jorgensen is a radio pro who knows how to talk to listeners.  He says, “You’ll collect a Social Security check based on income in retirement…Warren Buffett won’t get a check…will YOU?”  Book Jim for a segment on your show by calling 800-701-7283 or click here.

radioinfluenceRadioInfluence.com Relaunches.  New owners Jason Floyd and Jerry Petuck say they are relaunching RadioInfluence.com with “a renewed mission statement and a renewed dedication to serving…the listeners.  The service creates streaming audio programs and provides the show in podcast form to Stitcher and TuneIn.  New shows will include Nanci Donnellan, a.k.a. The Fabulous Sports Babe, MLB Network personality Rich Herrera, and a number of shows dedicated to wrestling and mixed martial arts.

Odds & Sods. GABNet is now a channel on Roku. The channel initially will feature a 24/7 feed of Alex Bennett‘sgabnet “Great American Broadcast Network,” along with its live shows. According to Bennett, “This is a great opportunity for us to get our original form of talk programming to the ten million homes using the Roku device.” Bennett utilizes “citizen panels,” where callers join in a group discussion. In addition, there will be show archives of each personality – Bennett, Jim Browning, Miranda Janell, and Damion Chaplin. Also featured is Bennett’s audio-biography “Life in the Passing Lane”; a weekly video of “Bennett’s Ramble”; and Michael Snyder‘s movie reviews. GABNet can be found wepngolf15under “New,” and “Comedy” in Roku’s search engine…..The 11th annual ESPN New York 98.7 FM Tee it Up Golf Classic was held at Knollwood Country Club in Westchester on Tuesday (8/18).  Listeners from the Tri-State area were able to “fill their foursome” at the event by winning on-air contests throughout various shows on 98.7FM or entering at local PGA Tour SuperStore locations.  Pictured here at the event are (from l-r): ESPN New York 98.7 FM’s Michael Kay, and ESPN personalities Ryan Ruocco, Robin Lundberg and Dave Rothenberg.….A new podcast launches on BlogTalkRadio called “Girls in Heels”  and featuring Cooper Lawrence and “Real Housewives” Nicole Napolitano and Teresa Aprea.

shannonjaneKOMO, Seattle Anchor Jane Shannon Dies Unexpectedly.   At this time there is no cause of death or even an age being reported for Seattle news radio pro Jane Shannon, and the KOMO, Seattle website simply writes that she “passed away unexpectedly this week.”  The story goes on to say: Shannon was not only an award-winning broadcast journalist, but a mother, a master gardener, and someone who loved making just the right gourmet dish for dinner guests.  An Oregon native, Shannon started her radio career at KITI in Centralia, where she was an anchor and the news director.  Before coming to KOMO News Radio in 2010, Shannon worked at KXXO-FM in Olympia, KING-AM in Seattle, and was a morning news co-host at KIRO.  Former KOMO News Radio program director Paul Duckworth called Shannon an outstanding talent and a dear friend.  “When I met her the first time in the radio station, she was everything I thought she would be.  She was smart.  She was always looking for stories that made people feel things.”  Shannon is survived by two sons.

brandmeiercruise15Westwood One’s Johnny B Captains Chicago River Cruise.  They wouldn’t let Jonathon Brandmeier actually pilot the boat, but an intimate crowd of staffers and clients enjoyed an architectural cruise on the Chicago River on Wednesday evening with Westwood One-syndicated and WLS-AM, Chicago-based “Captain” Jonathon Brandmeier entertaining them.

Trump Immigration Plan Top News/Talk Story of the Week.  The plan to address America’s immigration policy by GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server.  Coming in at #3 was the activities of the rest of the 2016 presidential candidates followed by the Black Lives Matter movement and the recent police shooting in St. Louis at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Remember the Commercial

| August 18, 2015

Al Herskovitz
H&H Communications


herskovitzwriterBRADENTON, Fla. — Here are two interesting lines I recently heard in a couple of produced and pre-recorded commercials.  From a law firm’s spot: “so get your head out of your apps….” From a seafood restaurant’s ad: “…and you’ll get a shipload of shrimp.”  If you’re not listening super closely to your radio, what exactly did you think was being said?  Try saying these lines out loud.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

| August 18, 2015

Rob WilliamsWilliams Joins Townsquare Media Group As Senior VP/Operations. We learned yesterday (Monday, 8/17) that Rob Williams resigned as Greater Media Boston vice president and market manager to accept a position closer to his Connecticut home. We now know the specifics of that new job – it is Townsquare Media Group‘s senior vice president of operations. In addition, Townsquare Media Group boosts Todd Lawley to a similar role. Chairman and chief executive officer Steven Price comments, “We are thrilled to have Rob join our company. His track record of success and understanding of multi-product local media make him a great addition to our seniorTownsquare Media Group management team. We are also excited to announce the elevation of Todd Lawley to a more senior leadership role within the company. In a short amount of time, Todd has proven himself to be a results-based leader who understands and drives the Townsquare mission in the markets he oversees.” In other personnel activity within the company, former Westwood One senior vice president of network sales Darrin Klayman joins Townsquare as vice president of national client partnerships. Receiving promotions are Matt Kiger to vice president of sales and training; Todd Moskowitz to vice president of sales; and Kelly Quinn also to vice president of sales. Executive vice president Erik Hellum states, “Rob and Darrin are both great additions to the Townsquare team. I am excited to work with such accomplished professionals that can help us grow our company and drive revenue. We are also excited to announce the promotions of Todd Lawley, Matt Kiger, Todd Moskowitz, and Kelly Quinn – all of whom have played key roles in our company’s growth and development. We are confident that they will continue to excel in their new roles.”

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallConversation in Black & White.  Noted Black Conservative, Republican, Raynard Jackson Gets ‘Up Close and Far Out’ with Michael Harrison. There are a number of pressing issues playing out in the talk media as we approach the conclusion of the Summer of ’15 and are still more than a year away from the next presidential election.  These include the economy, the Iran nukes deal, ISIS aggression, immigration reform, the environment and climate change, cybersecurity, as well as the feeling that corruption in government is reaching an unacceptable tipping point — just to name a handful.  And of course, there’s the sticky matter of race relations.  It’s been a year since Ferguson rocked our collective consciousness about white/black relations in America – a year ofjacksonraynard news story-upon-news story of unarmed black men being killed by white police.  There is the growing “Black Lives Matter” movement inserting its message into the rallies of political campaigns for both Democratic and Republican candidates…the tip of what appears to be an enormous iceberg of festering anger and frustration.  On a recent episode of the Podcast One hit, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” African American comic Jimmie JJ Walker waxed philosophically, “It seems we don’t like each other anymore!”  Program host and TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison’s reaction:  “The thought of such a generalization having any merit… sickens me.”  This week’s guest on the international podcast targeted to “media freaks” around the globe is noted Washington, DC-based political thinker Raynard Jackson.  Jackson is a well-connected political consultant, public relations executive, newspaper columnist, cable TV talking head and occasional radio talk show host.  He is also a conservative and a Republican.  Harrison says, “It is a candid conversation in black and white.  I am the white man and my guest, Raynard Jackson is the black man.  We have several things in common.  One, we are both media freaks.  Two, we like each other.  Three, we respect each other.”  Harrison continues, “I realize that no singular white person represents the views of the white population in America and no singular black person represents the more than 45 million black people living in this country who make up more than 14% of the nation’s citizenry.  Fourteen percent of 319 million people is a lot larger and more diverse than the commonly used term, African American community would imply.  The word ‘community’ in this context is terribly limiting and misleading.  We take the time and go into enough depth for Jackson to take a meaningful shot at explaining the often-embattled perspective of the black conservative in our society.”  To listen to the entire conversation between Michael Harrison and Raynard Jackson, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column of every page of Talkers.com.

kywlogoScopinich Returns to CBS RADIO Philly as VP/DOS.  A familiar face returns to CBS RADIO Philadelphia as Dave Scopinich is named VP/director of sales for the company’s six-station cluster.  In this capacity, he’ll also serve as GSM of all-news KYW while overseeing thescopinichdave sales efforts news/talk WPHT, sports talk WIP-FM as well as the three music outlets in the cluster.  CBS RADIO Philly SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff says, “I’m excited to bring Dave back home to CBS RADIO Philadelphia to lead our sales operation.  He has earned a reputation as a leader in our industry and will bring that leadership and passion to our iconic brands, CBS RADIO’s new media platforms and our valued advertising partners.  Our future is brighter when Dave is on our team.”  Scopinich worked for the company in Philly for 11 years before moving across the street to serve as GSM at Greater Media’s classic rock WMGK in March of 2014.

herskovitzalHerskovitz: Remember the Commercial.  Radio advertising pro Al Herskovitz writes in a column published in TALKERS today (8/18), that the salesperson’s responsibility doesn’t end with the signing of the contract.  It’s incumbent upon that person to make sure the copy – and the delivery of the copy on air – are done in a way that will get the sponsor’s message across effectively.   Regarding live reads, Herskovitz says, “The keys to good live copy are finding the most important advantages, hammering away at them in simple, understandable terms and delivering the message in an enthusiastic and sincere manner.”  Read Herskovitz’s entire piece here.

Odds & Sods.  The new-look Josh Innes afternoon drive program on CBS RADIO’s WIP-FM, Philadelphiainnesjosh includes station program director Spike Eskin and former Philadelphia Eagles player Hollis Thomas.  The new additions come after Tony Bruno abruptly resigned from his position as Innes’ co-host last month…..Former WBUV, Biloxi, Mississippi morning duo Steve Taylor and Mike Mankiewicz are taking their craft digital with a daily podcast after exiting the iHeartMedia news/talk station.  The two hosted the “Gulf Coast Mornings” program for the past two years.  The station is now airing the Gerry Vaillancourt morning program being piped in from sister New Orleans news/talker WRNO.

Trump Immigration Plan, 2016 Presidential Candidates, Hillary Clinton Emails Case, Bangkok Terror Attack, Russian Aggression in Ukraine, North and South Korea Tensions, Amazon Workplace Controversy, and IRS Data Theft Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/17).  GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s plan to revise American immigration policy; the activities of the candidates for president in 2016; the latest news in the Hillary Clinton emails case; the Bangkok terrorist attack at a popular shrine in the city; the renewal of military aggression in Ukraine by Russian troops; the tensions between North and South Korea over the latter’s joint military operations with the U.S.; the PR issue facing Amazon after a New York Times article’s description of its workplace culture; and the report of more stolen data from the IRS hacking case were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

July 2015 PPM Analysis: MLB Flagships

| August 17, 2015

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor

kinosianLOS ANGELES — The second installment of our overview of MLB flagships encompasses the July 2015 sweep. It is important to note that the survey dates for that ratings period were June 18 – July 15.  

Rather than showing multiple stations, we are listing each team’s primary, 162-game English-language flagship; that station, though, must be a Nielsen Audio subscriber that appears in print.
MLB Logo2Key outlets of the two New York City franchises (Mets and Yankees) are found in three PPM-rated markets (New York, Long Island, and Middlesex); Angels’ flagship KLAA is listed in Los Angeles and Riverside; and key stations of the San Francisco and Oakland franchises (Giants and A’s) appear in the San Francisco and San Jose ratings reports.

In these instances, flagships for the Mets and Yankees have New York City ratings info only; only Los Angeles ratings stats are used for the Angels’ key station; and flagships for the two Bay Area teams have San Francisco ratings info only.

Thus, each team is shown with one flagship in just one PPM-market.

There always seems to be one exception to the fine print. In this case, it applies to CJCL – the key station for the American League East’s Toronto Blue Jays. Toronto is MLB’s only non-PPM market; consequently, no CJCL ratings information of any type is shown anywhere in this analysis.

The final day of the July ratings sweep was July 15: Let’s see how the flagships performed roughly two weeks before MLB’s July 31 trading deadline.

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Friday, August 14, 2015

| August 14, 2015

Trump, DonaldTrump Beats Obama!  Iobaman one of the extremely rare occasions when someone other than the President of the United States tallies in as the most-talked-about person of the week on news/talk radio across America, TALKERS research indicates that Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump has accomplished that very feat for the week ending today (8/10-14).  According to TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, “The reason it is hard to top the president in this survey is because the chief executive is intrinsically tied-in to so many of the top stories and topics discussed in the medium.  Plus, there are quite a few hosts who base their entire programs for weeks, months and years at a stretch either criticizing or supporting the sitting president.”  Harrison continues, “But Trump did it this week and quite handily at that.”  Harrison cites the following elements driving ‘Trumpmania’ among the nation’s radio yappers: “First, he makes good copy and fun content – he’s extremely entertaining – and, let’s face it, competitive talk radio needs to be – or believes it needs to be — compelling and easy to digest to attract listeners in this increasingly noisy world.  It might not be the most academic and productive form of journalism – but talk radio doesn’t claim to be ‘journalism’ – it leaves that to the TV news networks and newspapers.  What’s their excuse for feeding on Trump’s reality show-style bait?”  Harrison cites Trump’s “respect for the medium” as being the second reason for his domination of airwave discussion: “He clearly respects talk radio and exploits it for grassroots exposure. Unlike so many of today’s big-time politicians and candidates, he is not afraid of its spontaneous nature.  He thrives on it. We are receiving calls and press releases from stations and shows around the country touting their ‘exclusive’ interviews with Donald Trump – many saying he simply ‘called in.’”  Harrison says, “Obama’s strength as a conversational focal point or lightening rod is rapidly diminishing as this early election frenzy crystallizes his position as a lame duck.  Let’s face it, Obama-bashing is getting boring. ‘Boring’ is bad for talk radio.  And the problem for talk radio with Hillary Clinton – even as a target of criticism — is similar.  She’s been around so long and everyone knows exactly what they’re getting… making her – from the perspective of talk radio potency – a lame duck even before she potentially gets elected.”  Harrison sums it up, “The election cycle starts too early for serious voters to take it seriously.  Most of the candidates are relatively boring – except for Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump — from the almighty ‘entertainment’ perspective.  Trump fills the vacuum quite beautifully.  The other candidates would be wise to play this next few months very carefully and be prepared and in proper position for a run for the title for when the election becomes serious.”

Russillo, RyenRussillo, ESPN Radio Agree to Extension. Earlier this week, TALKERS reported details of Colin Cowherd‘s exit from ESPN Radio and his new deal at Fox Sports Radio. Now comes confirmation that ten-year ESPN Radio host Ryen Russillo is remaining with the sports network to do “Russillo & Kanell,” a daily three-ESPN Radio 2hour (1:00 pm – 4:00 pm, ET) program with ESPN college football analyst Danny Kanell. ESPN Radio senior vice president Mo Davenport remarks, “We are happy to have Ryen at ESPN for the long-term. We look forward to utilizing his creative energy as we forge a smart, engaging and entertaining show, born from the natural chemistry between Ryen and Danny.” According to Russillo, “Danny is the perfect partner for an everyday radio show. Former athletes get labeled as one-sport guys all the time based on what they played [but] that isn’t fair. Danny can talk all sports and is one of the best college football voices in the country. Staying with ESPN and this time slot is a challenge I have been ready for.” Russillo – who was named co-host of ESPN Radio’s “Scott Van Pelt Show” in May 2009 – will have an expanded ESPN television presence across multiple studio shows, with a focus on NBA programming. For the past two months, he has hosted “The Russillo Show” with a group of alternating co-hosts, including Kanell. In addition to airing on ESPN Radio beginning two weeks from Monday (8/31), “Russillo & Kanell” will be seen on ESPNEWS.

WTOP Brill-Liebman 3She Said “Yes.” Someone must have mentioned to Mark Brill that, when done correctly, radio is perhaps the most effective one-one-one communications platform. In just 22 warm-and-fuzzy seconds, the loyal partisan of Hubbard Washington, DC all-news WTOP2operation WTOP fully underscored that unique strength of the medium. WTOP was clearly the centerpiece and most integral participant in this story – which has several moving parts – but a few other key players aided Brill in the performance of his life. This past Saturday (8/8) at precisely 6:07 am, Brill and his girlfriend, Phyllis Liebman, were in Bethany Beach, Delaware. While not out-of-the-ordinary for Brill to be tuned to WTOP (in this case, more accurately streaming the station online), Liebman, ostensibly, thought she was doing so at the request of her employer MRP Realty. Liebman’s boss asked that she listen at that specific time to verify that an ad the company purchased on WTOP ran as scheduled. One slight detail: There was no MRP Realty spot. What Liebman – and every other WTOP listener – heard at that time, however, was this marriage proposal from Brill (listen here). Brill first saw Liebman three years ago (7/16/2012) at the concession stand of a tennis match. “Later, I saw her sitting behind me and it looked like she was looking at me,” he recalls. “I did get up the nerve to give her my business card and said if she wasn’t dating anyone to call me.” Several weeks later, the two had their first date and Liebman informed Brill she wasn’t looking at him but at Michelle Obama, who was seated a few rows opposite him. WTOP sales manager Skip Quast‘s responsibility was to have Brill’s proposal air exactly at sunrise, which that particular day was 6:07 am. Many businesses contact Quast regarding advertising information on WTOP (the market’s #1 station for the seventh straight month, 6+, Nielsen Audio PPM) but when he received Brill’s call in May, Quast states, “It was a first. Mark explained how WTOP was his favorite station and said he was planning to ask her [to marry him] in August. I let him know we might be able to help him out and asked him to give me a call when he was ready. I wasn’t sure I would hear back from him, but he called again in July and set a date. I am happy we were able to help and make it a special day for both of them.” Score another victory for the power of radio.

University of Vermont 2University of Vermont Partners with Learfield Sports. The pact between Learfield Sports and the University of Vermont will have Learfield Sportsthe collegiate multimedia rights firm representing the “Catamounts” through 2025. School athletic director Dr. Bob Corran comments, “We are very fortunate to have developed such a wonderful partnership with Learfield Sports. This will allow us to focus greater efforts on promotions, communications, and brand building, while enabling Learfield staff to bring their considerable organization and experience to sponsorship and multi-media sales. We’re very excited about the future of Catamount athletics and Learfield’s role in helping securing that future.” Learfield is assembling staff for its local Vermont Sports Properties – under new GM Mike MacConnell – to work alongside Dr. Corran and his entire athletic administration. WVMT-AM, Burlington and WCPV “ESPN 101.3,” Burlington will continue to broadcast University of Vermont hockey and basketball games.

Mintz, Elliot1-HarrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallHistoric Pop Media Figure Elliot Mintz Interviewed on Podcast One’s “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”   One of the most complex and challenging processes in all of radio is the art of the interview.  We hear interviews all the time – but how many of them are really good?  How many of them bring the listener true insights into the mind and knowledge of the person being interviewed?  How many truly represent the interests of the listener without ambushing or disrespecting the human dignity (or appropriate privacy) of the person being interviewed?  Should an interview be a series of hard ball questions?  Should it be conversational?  Should it be confrontational?  Should it be to promote a product?  These are questions that any good interviewer faces every time they enter a public dance of dialogue with another human being… “Am I an adversary, an advocate or something in between?”  The new installment of the hit weekly podcast geared to media freaks around the world, “Up Close and Far Out,” presents an interviewer (Michael Harrison) interviewing an interviewer (Elliot Mintz).  Mintz was one of the original pioneers of FM rock radio back in the 60s – only he wasn’t a DJ, he was an interviewer – thus, he is also somewhat of a pioneering talk show host.  Throughout the sixties and seventies, he became widely respected for the quality and prolific body of work (more than 2000 interviews) with the most famous and respected pop stars in the world of music, the performing arts, science and philosophy.  In the 80s, he reinvented himself and became a consultant, advisor and publicist to some of the biggest names in the business including the John Lennon estate and a slew of others.  He can truly be called a consummate show business insider and a legend in his own right.  Now, Elliot Mintz has done something extraordinary.  He spent more than a year of diligent detail work assembling his archives, that were packed away in fading and often unmarked boxes, into a museum-like website where the visitor can experience, at no cost, more than 150 hours of audio and video treasures culled from his encounters with some of the most fascinating characters of the 20th and early 21st centuries.  It is www.ElliotMintz.com. To listen to the entire conversation between Michael Harrison and Elliot Mintz, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column of every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

Westwood One PGA PicMugging it up for the camera from the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits Golf Course in Kohler, Wisconsin are Westwood One Sports analyst/PGA member Charlie Rymer (left) and broadcaster Earl Forcey. Westwood One presents live, hole-by-hole coverage at 2:00 pm (ET) through Sunday.

talkersten logoDonald Trump Surpasses POTUS as Most Talked About Person on News/Talk Radio this Week (8/10-14).  Top topics include the Presidential Race, the Fox-Trump Feud, and the Iran Nukes Deal.  According to TALKERS research, fallout from last week’s audience record-breaking GOP debate on Fox News Channel continued to dominate conversation on news/talk radio across America this past week and the media remain fixated on Donald Trump.  Very rarely does anyone top the President of the United States as the most-talked-about person for a day, let alone a week.  Hot topics include the presidential election in general, the Fox News Channel-Trump feud stemming from the candidate’s dust up with debate moderator Megyn Kelly, Hillary Clinton’s email controversy, the Black Lives Matter movement, Jimmy Carter’s health issues and the global economic impact of China’s devaluation of the yuan.  To see the complete listing of the 10 most-talked-about topics and people for this past week please click here.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

| August 5, 2015

alphamedia logoAlpha Media Announces Intent to Purchase Digity Radio Stations.  This deal has been rumored for some time so it’s not a big surprise.  The proposed acquisition of Digity LLC’s 116 stations in 26 markets, after approval from the DOJ and the FCC, will bring Portland, Oregon-based Alpha Media’s station total to 251 in 54 markets.  Alpha Media chairman Larry Wilson says, “We aredigity extremely pleased to be acquiring from exceptional operators and management who truly understand radio.  Dean [Goodman] and his team have done a tremendous job with these stations.  They will be a great addition to our live-and-local vision across the country.”  Digity CEO Dean Goodman comments, “Larry Wilson and I have a shared vision for the radio renaissance in progress now.  Radio is live, local media enhanced by digital delivery and community focused events.  Our success is the result of an employee environment of collaboration, transparency and innovation.  I am honored to have worked with the great broadcasters at Digity and the dynamic growth they’ve created.  Digity and Alpha are a perfect match.”  Digity has focused on medium and small market operations.  The largest of its 26 markets are Palm Beach, San Jose, Canton, and Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville, North Carolina.  It also operates 11 outlets in suburban Chicago markets.  For a complete station list, click here.

townsquare logoTownsquare Media Q2 Up 10.6% Powered by Live Events.  The company went public just last summer – on July 24 – and financial data from the second quarter of 2015 indicates Townsquare Media’s 10.6% net revenue increase compared to the same period a year ago, comes on the strength of its live events sector.  Live events net revenue was up 50.4% while localpricesteven advertising revenue rose just 0.6% (1.5% ex political).  Townsquare chairman and CEO Steven Price states, “We believe our second quarter net revenue growth of 10.6% highlights the strength of our diversified revenue strategy.  We saw growth in each of our operating segments in the second quarter, particularly within our live events segment, which grew over 50% over the prior year.  Local advertising net revenue increased primarily as a result of an increase in non-political local advertising net revenue of $1.2 million, which was partially offset by decreases in political local advertising net revenue of $0.7 million.  Live events net revenue grew primarily as a result of increases in attendance and revenue per attendee of our live events, including three new music festivals.  Other media and entertainment net revenue grew primarily as a result of increases within our digital marketing services offering.”

vertical bridge logoTownsquare to Sell 43 Towers to Vertical Bridge.  At the same time as it reports its 2015 Q2 numbers, Townsquare Media announces it has entered into an agreement to sell 43 towers to a subsidiary of Vertical Bridge Holdings, LLC for approximately $22.8 million in cash, subject to closing adjustments (the Tower Sale).  Townsquare will retain ownership of more than 250 towers following this sale.  The towers being divested are located on 41 sites in 28 markets and not only house the company’s radio station antenna but are rented by third parties for similar uses.  Townsquare has a 35-year deal (an initial term of 20 years and three optional five-year renewal periods) during which it will pay $41 of rent per annum ($1 per site per annum) to Vertical Bridge for the right to house its existing antenna on the divested towers.  Townsquare has also entered into an agreement with Vertical Bridge for Vertical Bridge to serve as the exclusive marketing agent for the towers retained by the company.

giroccodawnDawn Girocco New LA Market Manager for Cumulus Media.  Longtime Los Angeles radio sales pro Dawn Girocco has worked for iHeartMedia as GSM and CBS RADIO as VP/director of sales in the City of Angels.  Now she crosses the street to serve as vice president and market manager for Cumuluskabclogo Media’s classic rock KLOS and news/talk KABC.  Cumulus Media SVP of operations Tom Schurr says, “I’ve known and respected Dawn for years.  We competed in Houston and worked together at Clear Channel, and I couldn’t be more excited to be partnering with her again. She’s going to be a great leader for Cumulus LA.”  Girocco comments, “I appreciate the opportunity to step up to the role of market manager for Cumulus in Los Angeles and the confidence that Tom and Lew [Dickey] have placed in me to drive results with these incredible properties.”

scottdrewDrew Scott Named Executive Producer of Bubba the Love Sponge Show.  The Bubba the Love Sponge program officially announces that Drew Scott is the new executive producer of the Tampa-based, syndicated program.  “The revered morning show is looking to make some changes, and they feel Scott’s well-rounded radio career, experience working with affiliates, and contacts make him a perfect fit.”  He’s been in the position since June 17.  Scott is a Central Florida native who’s been working for Mid-West Family Broadcasting in Benton Harbor, Michigan at rock WIRX “Rock 107.”  Scott says, “This opportunity would not have been possible without the management and staff at ‘Rock 107.’  I have grown as a programmer and professional during my time in Michigan and I am grateful to my on-air teams – Dave Doetsch, Gayle Olsen, Jim Gifford, Paul Layendecker, Tom Walker, Randy Hawke, and Tim Moore – for allowing me express my creativity on and off the air.”

stapletonjasonUSA Radio Network Adds Jason Stapleton to Weekend Programming.  He founded his eponymous talk show that’s been available via YouTube, iTunes, and Stitcher Radio but now USA Radio Networks adds the Jason Stapleton program to its weekend lineup, airing live Saturdays at 3:00 pm ET, effective August 15.  Stapleton is a former force reconnaissance Marine, entrepreneur, speaker andusaRadioNetworks investor who has been a professional trader for over a decade.  USA chief content officer Tim Maranville says, “Jason’s perspective and background are unique and impactful to listening audiences everywhere which makes him an excellent addition to our ever growing lineup of shows.”  USA says that Stapleton’s “experience has led Jason to become a highly sought after authority on everything from military strategy and politics to economics. This makes him a rare expert whose unconventional insights offer a perspective not heard in mainstream political and economic discourse.”

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases Second Round of July 2015 PPM Data.  The second of four rounds of July 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  The July 2015 survey period covered June 18 through July 15.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

hubbardradio logoHubbard Radio Signs Up for Shazam for Radio.  The Shazam for Radio service is described by Shazam and radio partner Sun Broadcast Group as “the first-ever interactive radio service designed for every station’s unique content.”  The deal between Hubbard Radio and SBG means Shazam for Radio is being deployed on 19 stations in all seven Hubbard markets.  Hubbard president and COO Drew Horowitz says, “All of us here at Hubbard Radio are thrilled to be partnering with the great team at Sun Broadcast Group and Shazam for Radio.  As we continue to look to the future and new ways of connecting our great brands and the advertisers we serve with millions of our loyal listeners, we believe Shazam for Radio is a game changer.”  SBG COO Julio Aponte says, “We are so pleased to be working with Hubbard Radio in bringing another level of interactivity to their great radio properties.  Shazam For Radio will allow them to engage directly with their audience by giving them real-time access to all their content, personalities, promotions and advertisers.  We look forward to working with Drew Horowitz and his great team of programmers and sales people.”

Odds & Sods.  On Thursday (8/6), Salem Radio Networks personality Hugh Hewitt will host a special two-hewitthughhour program titled, “SRN Presidential Debate Special,” airing from 11:06 pm to 1:00 am ET.  SRN says Hewitt will provide analysis of both the “undercard” debate on FOX News Channel — featuring candidates who polled outside of the “Top 10”— as well as the “main event” debate featuring the “Top 10” contenders as determined by public opinion polls.  Guests expected to appear on the show include: GOP presidential contenders Carly Fiorina (R-CA) and Dr. Ben Carson (R-MD); Dan Balz of The Washington Post; Fred Barnes of The Weekly Standard; Guy Benson, news editor of Townhall.com; Karen Tumulty of The Washington Post; Eliana Johnson of National Review; Mary Katherine Ham, editor-at-large of HotAir.com; and others…..The Denver operations of iHeartMedia announce Crystalyn Portwood is named director of sports sales.  The cluster serves as the flagship for play-by-play for the NFL’s Denver Broncos, MLB’s Colorado Rockies and the University of Colorado Buffalos…..FOX Sports Radio’s “Jay Mohr Sports” hits the road for a series of three remotes from NFL training camps.  Mohr’s show visits the Denver Broncos on Friday (8/7); the San Diego Chargers on Monday, August 17; and the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday, August 20.

2016 Presidential Candidates-Donald Trump Criticisms, Planned Parenthood Videos Scandal, Immigration Policy Debate, Battle Against ISIS and al Qaeda, Hillary Clinton Email Server Case, and California Wildfires Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/4).  The activities of the candidates for president, Thursday’s GOP debate and criticism of Donald Trump; the ongoing controversy over the Planned Parenthood videos showing doctors discussing the price of tissue from aborted fetuses; the debate over America’s immigration policy; the military efforts to combat ISIS and al Qaeda; the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server; and the devastating wildfires in California were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

| August 4, 2015

sagaSaga Communications Reports Q2 Revenue Up 1.6%.  Net revenue for the second quarter of 2015 for Saga Communications was $34.4 million – an increase of 1.6%.  The company reports that free cash flow decreased $281 thousand to $5.7 million.  Station operating expense increased $812 thousand to $24.3 million (station operating expense includes depreciation and amortization attributable to the stations).  Operating income was $7.5 million.  Net income for the period was $4.5 million ($0.77 per fully diluted share).  Taking a look at the radio division, net operating revenue was $29.1 million, an increase of 0.6% over the same period a year ago.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Harrison Chats with Former FEMA Director (and Current KHOW, Denver Talk Host) Michael D. Brown as 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina Approaches.  It was almost a decade ago (August 23-31, 2005) that Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast of the United States with winds of up to 175 mph and flood waters of biblical proportions rising from the ocean and falling from the sky — leaving in its wake almost 1,900 fatalities, $108 billion in damages, and countless casualties and lives upended.  Michael D. Brown – the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at the time and Under Secretary of Homelandbrownmichael Security (“Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job”) became the official poster boy for everything that went wrong with the federal government’s too-little-too-late response to one of the greatest disasters in American history.  Some of the criticism that fell upon Brown was deserved – but much of it wasn’t.  After all, it was an epic crisis and involved numerous overlapping agencies, governments, and politicians charged with making things right.  Brown took a severe beating from the media as well as a proverbial bullet for the team and stepped down from his position with the Bush Administration.  A lawyer by trade, Brown went on with his life, taking away an enormous amount of wisdom and experience from the episode.  Undaunted, he began speaking to groups around the country about the insidious side of politics, and the human complexity of management and team play. He wrote a candid book about his role (and responsibility) in Katrina — Deadly Indifference: The Perfect (Political) Storm, Hurricane Katrina, the Bush White House, and Beyond (Taylor Trade, 2011).  He also began a successful talk show hosting career in Denver – first at KOA and then at KHOW, where he presently presides over a daily program 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm MT.  In the newly posted installment of the weekly international hit podcast “Up Close and Far Out” (8/4), Brown is interviewed by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison about inside-Washington politics, the war on terror, the nature of the political mind, the psychological profile of presidents, the general state of media and journalism as well as what his life is like as a big market talk show host 10 years after Katrina.  To hear this must-listen conversation, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player located in the right hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases First Round of July 2015 PPM Data.  The first of four rounds of July 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey).  The July 2015 survey period covered June 18 through July 15.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

daviesrichardReport from Podcast Movement.  Longtime ABC News Radio journalist Richard Davies has been working with his co-host Jim Miegs on their podcast “How Do We Fix It?” since retiring from the network news radio business.  He recently attended the Podcast Movement conference in Fort Worth, Texas.  Davies reports that the recent success of “Serial” and the PR Marc Maron received for President Obama’s appearance on his “WTF?” podcast has given hope to the thousands of podcast “newbies.”  “Marketers and tech firms are taking note of podcasting’s recent growth.  Some companies sponsored booths and took part in Q&A sessions at Podcast Movement.”  Read Davies’ entire report here.

Odds & Sods. Sports talk station KHTK, Sacramento has a new program director as Kevin Sherrets returns to the station where he began his career 18 years ago.  Sherrets leaves his APD gig at Bonneville’s KKFN, Denver “104.3 The Fan” to join the CBS RADIO sports outlet…..FOX News Radio is providing GOP debate coverage to its affiliate stations.  It will offer live anchored coverage of the Cleveland debates with Jared Halpern anchoring and Debbie Georgatos serving as analyst.

Nielsen’s ‘Audio Today’ Report: Blacks and Hispanics Account for Almost One Third of National AQH Audience.  The quarterly radio audience report from Nielsen finds that “the broad national radio audience (those 12 or older) has hit an all-time high for the second year in a row: 245 million.”  This 2015 Q2 report focuses on minority listening and Nielsen’s data shows that a “record 71.7 million Blacks and Hispanics combine to account for almost a third (29.3%) of the national AQH audience.  These Black and Hispanic consumers spend more time with radio each week than any other group, and possess enormous buying power for advertisers looking to reach a qualified audience when they are away from home and in the marketplace ready to purchase.”  See Nielsen’s report here.

2016 Presidential Candidates-Trump Criticisms, Planned Parenthood Videos Scandal, Cecil the Lion Death, New Obama Emissions Regulations, Battle Against ISIS, Baltimore Violence, and Search for MH370 Debris Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/3).  The activities of the candidates for president in 2016, the criticisms of Donald Trump and the possible entrance of Vice President Joe Biden in the race; the potential vote to defund Planned Parenthood in the wake of the videos scandal; the continuing outrage over the hunting of Cecil the lion; President Obama’s new power plant emissions regulations; the air strikes on ISIS targets in Syria; the Baltimore police request federal assistance as violent crime continues to skyrocket; and the search for more potential debris from flight MH370 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

| July 30, 2015

iheartmedia logo smalliHeartMedia Reports Q2 Revenue Up 4%.  The privately-owned iHeartMedia announces its Q2 financial numbers and reports revenue was $841 million – up 4% compared to the same quarter in 2014 – and stating that it saw “strength across the business (core local and national broadcast advertising revenue, traffic and weather business, syndication business and events).”  The companybresslerrichard says its expenses rose 5% year-over-year attributable to “event production costs, timing of barter and trade expenses, sales compensation expense and costs related to music licenses and performance royalties.”  Chief operating officer and chief financial officer Rich Bressler says in a press release, “We’re pleased with the revenue and OIBDAN growth we achieved this quarter.  We continue to invest in our capabilities across both iHeartMedia and outdoor to realize the full value of our multi-platform assets.  With no significant debt maturities until 2018, we can continue focusing on growing the top and bottom lines across our business segments.”  Total debt for the media giant is reported as just shy of $20.4 billion.

stigallchrisStigall: The Importance of Talk Radio. WPHT, Philadelphia morning drive host Chris Stigall writes in a piece published in TALKERS today about recent events that have given him pause to reflect on the value of talk radio to the greater society.  Stigall says that an important cog in the media machine would be missing if talk radio did not exist.  He says, “Call talk radio propaganda if you’d like, but it can only thrive if it offers something consumers want to hear and delivers results to advertisers and sponsors.  I know in our show’s case we’re blessed with both.  Whether it’s Limbaugh’s leading voice of conservatism, Levin’s case for millennials to engage in their country’s political future, Hannity’s demands for more scrutiny of a taxpayer-funded entity, or simple assessments of current and future leaders’ character – talk radio is the only place it’s found consistently.”  Read Stigall’s entire piece here.

hotchkisskeithiHeartMedia Charlotte Hikes Hotchkiss to Market President. Senior vice president of sales Keith Hotchkiss is elevated to market president of iHeartMedia‘s six-station Charlotte operation. Hotchkiss remarks that, “iHeartMedia Charlotte boasts some of the most talented on-air hosts, programmers, and sales professionals in the country. It is my goal to lead and expand, providing innovative solutions for our client partners across all our platforms, while also creating the best radio for our listeners. This is an exciting time to be in the radio industry. I could not be more proud to represent one of the world’s most enterprisingiHeartMedia Charlotte media companies in one of the nation’s greatest cities.” Prior to being transferred to Charlotte, Hotchkiss spent more than 15 years at the company’s Cleveland cluster, where he ultimately became general sales manager. With (6+) Nielsen Audio June 2015 PPM market share and market rank in parentheses, iHeartMedia’s Charlotte cluster consists of country WKKT “The Kat” (7.3, #3); classic rock WRFX “The Fox” (6.5, #4); adult hits WLKO “The Lake” (6.3, #5); CHR WHQC “Channel 96-1” (5.3, #7); and WEND “New Rock 106.5 – The End” (3.1, #12 ). WRFX-HD2 “Fox Sports FM 98.7″ does not appear in Charlotte’s June sweep.

Odds & Sods. The news/talk format airing on WMEL, Cocoa Beach, Florida and operated by John Harper’s Broadcast House LLC will move to Genesis Communications’ WIXC (licensed to Titusville, Florida) beginning Sunday, August 9.  Rama Communications has been leasing the station to Broadcast House…..Matt Jones’ “Kentucky Sports Radio” will continue to be heard on stations in the Blue Grass State as Jones renews with the network.  The show airs from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon on WKJK, Louisville; WLAP, Lexington; and other iHeartMedia stations across the state using the Kentucky News Network…..Christopher “Jack” Johansing is promoted to marketing director at Benztown.  He’s been with the company for the past five years serving as coordinator, web, marketing & affiliate relations.

Cecil the Lion Case, 2016 Presidential Candidates-Trump Criticisms, Planned Parenthood Videos Scandal, Iran Nuclear Deal, Bill Cosby Rape Allegations, Samuel DuBose Slaying, Lois Lerner-IRS Case, and the NFL’s Tom Brady Decision Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/29).  The case of the Minnesota dentist who hunted a protected lion in Zimbabwe and the public outcry; the activities of the candidates for president in 2016 and the intense scrutiny of Donald Trump; the aftermath of the release of videos showing Planned Parenthood doctors haggling over the price of body parts from abortions; the proposed nuclear deal with Iran; the rape allegations being leveled against Bill Cosby; the slaying of unarmed motorist Samuel DuBose in Cincinnati by a police officer; new allegations of Lois Lerner destroying evidence in the IRS scandal; and the NFL’s upholding of the four-game suspension of Tom Brady were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

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.

Friday, July 17, 2015

| July 17, 2015

wgow logoWGOW, Chattanooga Gives Listeners News, Avoids Opinion and Conjecture During Initial Hours of Deadly Assault on Military Sites.  News of the fatal shootings of four U.S. Marines at a recruiting center in Chattanooga and the wounding of others at a Naval facility seven miles away broke just a couple of hours before WGOW, Chattanooga talk host Brian Joyce was preparing to go on the air for his 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm program.  Joyce tells TALKERS magazine that the station decided right away to go into full news mode to provide as much information to the public as possible andjoycebrian avoid opinion and conjecture.  Joyce, program director Kevin West, and APD Bill Lockwood worked together to get the information that was trickling in on the radio.  Joyce says he and West co-hosted his show while Lockwood gathered information from authorities.  He says, “WGOW decided that there will be plenty of time to present opinions on radical Islam, gun laws, security at military facilities in the weeks to come, at that moment yesterday though, our job was to inform.”  Joyce says they did put callers on the air if they were in the area and had something to report, but they were careful with what was said.  “It was important that we don’t broadcast any misinformation and our call screeners were instructed to avoid that when putting people on the air.”  Today, Joyce is on a planned vacation and the station has Robin Smith – the former chair of the Tennessee Republican Party – sitting in for him.  She will be speaking with Tennessee’s U.S. Senators Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander as well as other state and local officials as the station remains in information mode.  Joyce says that when he’s back on the air next week, he’ll begin to delve into the opinions that will come in the aftermath of the attacks.

entercomEntercom Closes on LFM Deal; Begins Operating Bonneville’s KSWD, Los Angeles.  On the heels of this week’s announcement that Entercom Communications and the Department of Justice reached an agreement on its acquisition of  Lincoln Financial Media’s radio stations comes today’s news that the deal has closed and it begins operating the stations today (7/17).  Entercom iskkfn logo also beginning operation of Bonneville’s classic rock KSWD, Los Angeles “The Sound” under a Time Brokerage Agreement and Bonneville begins operating the four Denver stations it is acquiring from Entercom as part of the larger deal.  Those Denver stations are: adult contemporary KOSI, country KYGO, and sports talkers KKFN-FM and KEPN.  Closing of the Bonneville-Entercom station exchange is subject to FCC approval and other customary closing conditions.  Entercom expects this transaction to close by the fourth quarter of this year.

cosbyritaWABC, New York to Air Rita Cosby’s Donald Trump Interview.  There’s little question that the current poll success Republican candidate for president Donald Trump is enjoying means tremendoustrumpdonald content for talk show hosts who get him for a guest on their show.  WABC, New York’s Rita Cosby will air a conversation with the real estate magnate on her Sunday (7/19) 6:00 pm ET program.  The station says, “Trump shares with Cosby and her listeners his unvarnished and often provocative views…Trump calls for a boycott of Mexico in light of its illegal immigration/border issues and the escape of El Chapo.  He also discusses Bill Cosby and says they should take away his Medal of Freedom because, ‘He’s guilty as hell.’”

daykennyiHeartMedia Names Day to Political Marketing Post.  Named to the SVP, political sales and strategy position for iHeartMedia is Kenny Day, who joins the company on July 23.  He’ll report to president of national sales Jeff Howard.  The company says that in this new role, Day will oversee its “political and advocacy efforts by building a Washington D.C.-based team focused on working with political and issue advertisers as well as advertising agencies to create custom strategies, campaigns and content” that leverage all the company’s platforms.  Day was most recently director of platform solutions for unified programmatic video advertising platform BrightRoll.  Day comments, “With the introduction of its innovative programmatic buying platform and the upcoming 2016 election, there could not be a more exciting time to be joining iHeartMedia.  I look forward to the opportunity to provide iHeartMedia’s political and issue advertisers with the most targeted, effective, affordable and powerful ways to deliver their messages.”

ktar-fm logoBonneville Names Bertrand Berry Host of Late Morning Show on KTAR-FM, Phoenix.  The former Arizona Cardinals defensive star known as “B-Train” begins hosting the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon program on August when KTAR-FM “Arizona Sports 98.7 FM” replaces “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” with Bertrand Berry’s “Off the Edge with B-Train.”  Berry says, “I’m so excited to add a new sound to the mid-mornings on ‘Arizona Sports.’  I can’t wait to share my opinions and connect with the bird gang and all of the great fans of the local teams in the Valley.”  Bonneville Phoenix VP of content and operations Ryan Hatch says, “The local sports market continues to grow, and we’re very excited to add more local content with such a unique and dynamic personality like B-Train.  He’s going to bring the same passion and energy he brought on game days to the Arizona Sports airwaves.”

harrisonCarrs15Howie Carr Celebrates Tremendously Successful Launch of His Independent Regional Network.  Approximately 100 affiliates, sponsors, staff and well-wishers of the Boston-based Howie Carr Radio Network gathered last evening (7/16) at the Wellesley, Massachusetts home of Howie and Kathy Carr.  It was a festive party in celebration of the first seven months of Carr’s regional Northeast network now approaching a whopping 25 affiliates in all six New England states as well as attracting a significant listenership in neighboring New York.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison was in attendance and introduced Carr to the gathering stating, “Howie has created an example of regional talk networking that has attracted the attention of the entire industry.”  Carr told the affiliates and sponsors at the poolside event how grateful he is for all the support his show has received since going independent in November of 2014, stating “thank you for sticking with us and believing in us.”  Pictured at the party (l-r):  Kathy Carr, VP sales and marketing, HCRN; Howie Carr and Michael Harrison.

tradupHaiti15Covering a Humanitarian Crisis in Haiti.  The Salem Radio Network is reporting from Haiti this week on a “major humanitarian crisis unfolding in that island nation.”  Vice president of news & talk programming Tom Tradup (pictured here with refugee children in Jimani, Haiti) tells TALKERS magazine, “The neighboring Dominican Republic has forced over 30,000 refugees (so far) over the border with Haiti and experts say Haiti — the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere — could eventually end up with over 200,000 refugees from the Dominican Republic.  Tradup is working with the charity Food For The Poor.  He adds, “The mainstream media spends its time hyping the Confederate Battle Flag and Donald Trump…while 90-minutes from Florida, men, women and children face starvation and death.”  He says Salem Radio Network hosts Bill Bennett, Mike Gallagher, Hugh Hewitt and others are incorporating live reports from Haiti, as are local hosts Joe Piscopo – on WNYM, New York – and Mark Davis and Jon-David Wells on KSKY, Dallas.

nbcSchwartzmanToomerBarkley15NBC Sports Radio Stars at American Century Championship.  Pictured here at the celebrity golf tournament are NBC Sports Radio Network personalities Dan Schwartzman (left) and former New York Giants great Amani Toomer (right) with former NBA superstar Charles Barkley (center).  The 26th edition of this golf tourney is taking place at Edgewood and Harrah’s Lake Tahoe, Nevada.  Schwartzman and Toomer are broadcasting their daily show from the event, as is fellow host Mark Malone.  Weekend coverage of the tournament will take place with NBC personalities Rodney Harrison and Brian Webber.

mcCulloughMetaxasSorbo15Talk Hosts on Broadway.  The radio personalities you see here aren’t performing on Broadway, but they were at the opening performance of the new show “Amazing Grace” now playing at the Nederlander Theatre.  The play is based on the life of John Newton, longtime 18th Century slave trader and composer of the hymn “Amazing Grace.”  Pictured here (from l-r) are: actress Sam Sorbo (syndicated weekly by TRN), XtreMedia’s Kevin McCullough, and Salem Radio Network’s Eric Metaxas.

talkersten logoIran Nukes Deal Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of July 13-17.  The U.S.-led deal with Iran for its nuclear program was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week.  At #2 were the activities of the candidates for president in 2016.  Coming in at #3 was the deadly assaults on the Chattanooga military facilities, and following at #4 was Caitlyn Jenner’s speech at Wednesday’s ESPY awards.  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.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

| July 16, 2015

cowherdcolinColin Cowherd to Exit ESPN; Destination FOX?  Today’s announcement by ESPN that personality Colin Cowherd is exiting the company’s ESPN Radio – where his show is a part of the nationally syndicated daily lineup – comes after recent rumors Cowherd is being wooed by Fox Sports.  Now we know that it’s true he’s leaving ESPN but there’s no word from Fox Sports, yet. At the same time, ESPN is not saying which personality will fill the gap in its daily lineup.  Much is being made of the recent exit of Bill Simmons and Keith Olbermann, suggesting a mass exodus of talent is taking place, but reports are that ESPN wanted Cowherd to stay but was ultimately outbid.  The hot bet is Cowherd will join FOX Sports for a show on its Fox Sports 1 cable channel with a probable simulcast on Fox Sports Radio Network.  ESPN issued the following statement today from president John Skipper: “We’ve enjoyed a mutually beneficial run with Colin for over a decade.  He came to national prominence on ESPN with his unique perspective on sports and society.  Endings also bring new beginnings, for ESPN and Colin, and we thank him and wish him the best.”

nitenikkiEntercom Elevates Nite to Austin’s VP/Programming; Will Oversee News/Talk KJCE. In a move that will take her from California’s capital city to a return to Texas’ state capital, Nikki Nite is leaving the programming chair at Entercom Sacramento mainstream CHR KDND “The End” and hot AC KUDL “Star” to succeed Cat Thomas as the company’s vice president of programming and operations in Austin. Entercom Austin vice president and general manager Stephanie Callihan comments, “After [Nikki’s] incredibly successful run at Entercom Sacramento, we are thrilled to welcome [her] back to Texas. Nikki’s experience and leadership will help continue the momentum we have with our stations in the Austin market and help us grow deeper relationships with our listeners and fans.” Nite remarks, “I am honored to have the opportunity to continue to build upon the solid foundation Cat Thomas has put in place. Returning to Austin is not only professionallyEntercom Austin rewarding, but also personally rewarding. I will be doing what I love, closer to family. Entercom is a company full of talented, good people; I am blessed to be able to continue to grow my career with this team.” Prior to joining Entercom in 2009, Nite worked in Dallas (at KVIL and KMVK); Greenville, South Carolina (at WFBC-FM and WGCV); and in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (at WWXM). In just over two weeks (8/3), she begins her new duties overseeing programming and operations of Entercom Austin adult contemporary KKMJ “Majic 95.5”; hot AC KAMX “Mix 94.7”; KKMJ-HD3 “96.3 RnB,” and talk KJCE. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio‘s June PPM ratings sweep, “Magic” ranks #7 (4.8); “Mix” #8 (4.4); KKMJ-HD3 #12 (3.6); and KJCE is #26 (.2).

wls-am logoPlay-By-Play Coup for Cumulus in Chicago.  The company officially announces that its news/talk WLS-AM, Chicago is acquiring the play-by-play rights for both the MLB’s White Sox and the NBA’s Bulls.  Both deals begin in 2016 – the White Sox in April and the Bulls in November – and run through 2021.  White Sox games have been heard on CBS RADIO’s sports talk WSCR for the past nine seasons and ESPN O&O WMVP has been the Bulls flagship since the 1996-97 season.  Cumulus Media Chicago VP and market manager Peter Bowen says in a statement, “Cumulus Media and WLS AM 890 are honored to become the radio home of the Bulls and White Sox, two of Chicago’s very best sports brands.  Adding both teams to our programming schedule allows us to continue to capitalize on the strong growth and success Cumulus is enjoying in the Chicago market. We cannot wait to bring year-round sports to some of the world’s greatest fans.”

wabc logoWABC, New York Presents Special Program ‘Garner: One Year Later.’  The program is airing on Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York this week in the 5:00 am and 5:00 pm hours.  “Garner: One Year Later” is a three-part program that presents views one year after 43-year-old Eric Garner died after a police officer subdued him with an alleged chokehold.  His death sparked “discussion, outrage and protest about police brutality in New York City.  It eventually evolved into the proverbial epicenter of debate for the entire nation.”  WABC says news staffer Ken Duffy spoke with Erica Garner, Garner’s eldest daughter; Ed Mullins, head of the NYPD’s Sergeants Benevolent Association; and Alex Vitale, sociology professor from Brooklyn College.  The special series seeks to answer pressing questions: What’s the impact on Garner’s family?  How are police officers viewed in the eyes of the public?  And what else can be done to improve police-community relations?  In addition to airing on WABC, the program is available at wabcradio.com.

wilhoitdaveyWilhoit Joins Cumulus Pensacola as VP of Sales.  Advertising executive Davey Wilhoit joins Cumulus Media as vice president of sales for the five-station Pensacola cluster.  Wilhoit is a Pensacola native who most recently was multimedia advertising manager for the Pensacola News Journal.  Cumulus SVP Gary Pizzati says, “We’re thrilled to have Davey at the sales helm of our Pensacola group of stations.  He has years of experience managing a team of business-to-business sales professionals driving high levels of solution-based sales activity each day.  Davey will bring that same pace of business inside the walls of Cumulus in Pensacola. His deep knowledge of digital, newspaper and yellow page sales will bring a new and fresh perspective to radio in this market.”  Cumulus operates news/talk WCOA, classic hits WJTQ, AC WMEZ, urban AC WRRX, and country WXBM “NASH FM.”

elderlarryNEW1-15Larry Elder Show to Air on KRLA, Los Angeles. Beginning August 3, the Larry Elder show will air on Salem Media’s news/talk KRLA, Los Angeles from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm nightly.  Elder’s program is being distributed by CRN Digital Talk Radio.  A press release states that Elder will “celebrate the announcement later today at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley when he hosts an event with activist and author Ann Coulter.”  Elder’s program is streamed live on his website and at CRNTalk.com.

abcPurdyESPYsABC News Radio at the ESPYs.  Pictured here interviewing Paralympic snowboarder Amy Purdy (right) at Wednesday night’s ESPY Awards in Los Angeles is ABC Radio correspondent Jason Nathanson (left).

Iran Nukes Deal, Illegal Immigration-Steinle Slaying, Planned Parenthood Abortion Remains Story, 2016 Presidential Candidates, Caitlyn Jenner at ESPYs, Bill Cosby Rape Allegations, Confederate Flag-Stone Mountain Issues, ‘El Chapo’ Escape-Mexican Corruption, NASA’s Pluto Images Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/15).  Analysis of the nuclear deal between Iran and the U.S.; ongoing debate over the illegal immigration policy in the U.S. and the slaying of Kate Steinle, allegedly by an illegal with a criminal past; the furor over a videoed discussion with a Planned Parenthood doctor about which body parts are desired by researchers; the activities of the candidates for president in 2016; Caitlyn Jenner’s appearance at the ESPYs and her receiving the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage; the evolving story of allegations Bill Cosby gave drugs to women to have sex with them; the controversy over the flying of the Confederate flag and the push to remove the Confederate generals carving from Stone Mountain in Georgia; the escape from prison of Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman and Mexican corruption; and the images from NASA’s New Horizons craft from Pluto were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, July 13, 2015

| July 13, 2015

greymichaelMichael Grey Returns to WBBL, Grand Rapids.  The Cumulus Media-owned sports talk station says popular Grand Rapids radio personality Michael Grey returns to the morning show daypart with new co-host Ryan Schuiling.  Grey co-hosted mornings on WBBL, Grand Rapids from 2009 through 2011wbbl logo with Bret Bakita.  He’s also worked at KXSP, Omaha and KIRO, Seattle.  WBBL program director Dave Jaconette says, “We are thrilled to have Michael Grey back on 107.3 WBBL.  After successful stints in Omaha and Seattle, Michael is back to talk with fans about the teams he loves.  And I’m very happy that Ryan Schuiling will be joining him on what will be one of West Michigan’s most exciting sports talk shows.”

espnaudiologoESPN Radio Reports Increased Streaming Numbers.  Referring to second quarter 2015 streaming data, ESPN Radio Network announces it accrued more than 2.5 billion total listening minutes compared to the same period in 2014.  That’s an increase of 31%.  The sports giant also reports that its on-demand audio downloads were up 27% over last year with more than 90 million downloads.  ESPN SVP, production business divisions Traug Keller says, “Sports fans consume audio across multiple platforms and the compelling content that ESPN Audio offers through streaming and podcasts is making an impact on listening.”

missanellimikePhilly Sports Talk Wars Invade Print Turf.  The hand-grenade lobbing between CBS RADIO’s WIP-FM and Greater Media’s WPEN-FM in Philadelphia has moved to the print media with WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” afternoon host Mike Missanelli writing a column for Philly Mag in which he lambastesinnesjosh afternoon host Josh Innes for his on-air style, former host Tony Bruno for similar reasons and suggests the former duo’s ratings successes against his show are not all they seem.  According to a story at Philly.com, Innes lashed back at Missanelli on his radio show saying the piece was “basically the last ramblings of a desperate man who’s trying to politic his way into the hearts of a few people by basically reading comment sections and seeing what appeals to meatballs.”  Read the Philly.com coverage of the feud here.

ppmunitNielsen Audio Releases Fourth Round of June 2015 PPM Data.  The fourth of four rounds of June 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford.  The June 2015 survey period covered May 21 through June 17.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

Odds & Sods.  Another personnel move in Philly sports talk as Pat Gallen leaves Greater Media’s WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” to join CBS’ KYW-TV as sports anchor.  Gallen served with WPEN-FM as a sports anchor and reporter.  His move to KYW-TV comes just a week after former NFL great Beasley Reece was let go from his sports anchor post at the station…..After nine years with NAB – the last four as EVP of government relations –colekelly Kelly Cole announces she’s leaving the organization to open her own advocacy firm.  In an email to NAB’s board of directors, Cole said, in part, “Over nine years, I’ve seen NAB make amazing strides.  Gordon Smith is a tremendous leader.  Our relationships with state associations are at an all-time high, and we have EVPs in every department who work cohesively and collaboratively.  NAB is viewed with respect on both sides of the aisle on Capitol Hill, and our government relations team is the strongest it has ever been during my time at NAB. It has been an absolute privilege to be a member of this amazing team, to be a part of NAB history, and to work with all of you.”…..Matt Martinez moves from his most recent position with NPR as senior producer to Pacific Public Media-owned non-com KPLU, Seattle where he’ll serve as director of content…..KNTK, Lincoln, Nebraska sports talk personality Tom Stephens is recovering after suffering a heart attack on June 26.  Stephens co-hosts the midday show with John Gaskins on the Home Field Communications station.  According to the Lincoln Journal-Star, the 51-year-old is undergoing speech and occupational therapy and is anxious to get back on the air.

metaxasRadioCity15Eric Metaxas at Radio City Music Hall.  Author and Salem Radio Network talk host Eric Metaxas appears here on the big screen in Times Square on Friday (7/10)  as the guest speaker at evangelist Luis Palau’s “City Fest” at Radio City Music Hall.  Metaxas’ address was beamed out to the crowd in Times Square.  Palau hosted an event the next evening in Central Park that drew some 60,000 attendees.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

| July 9, 2015

emmis logoEmmis Fiscal Q1: Radio Down 5.3%.  Reporting financial data from the company’s fiscal first quarter, Emmis Communications’ net revenue from radio was $42.6 million compared to $45 million one year ago.  However, publishing net revenue was up 5.8% during the quarter, driven by strong growth at Los Angeles magazine, Texas Monthly and Atlanta.  President and CEO Jeff Smulyan comments, “While this was a challenging quarter, we are encouraged by what we see looking forward.  Our Q2 radio revenues are pacing up low single digits, we had a record-setting ‘Summer Jam’ concert in New York, and ratings are bouncing back in Los Angeles after some expectedsmulyanjeff turbulence.”  A press statement quotes Smulyan as very positive about the NextRadio project.  “The Emmis-created, industry-led initiative to make FM broadcast radio available on smartphones and tablets, NextRadio, has incredible momentum.  The announcement last week that NextRadio is now available for download in the Amazon App Store is the first in what we hope will be a series of positive announcements.  I couldn’t be more thrilled with the way our industry has come together to support NextRadio.”

brunotonyTony Bruno Shocks Philly and Radio Biz with Surprise ‘Retirement.’  Working with co-host Josh Innes in the afternoon drive slot on CBS RADIO’s sports talk WIP-FM, Philadelphia only since February, sports talk pro Tony Bruno exits the station after topping crosstown rival WPEN-FM’s Mike Missanelli in the latest ratings.  Bruno says via a message on his website that, contrary to the rumors, hewiplogo has no problem with Josh Innes or management at WIP but that he’s retiring from radio and TV forever.  “First off, I did not quit in haste because I ‘hated’ or couldn’t work with Josh Innes.  That is totally untrue.  Josh and I have never had any arguments or confrontations during or after any shows since day 1.  The modern world of radio and social media has sucked the fun out of doing this due to ‘factions’ whose sole attempt is to provoke ‘wars’ or have listeners ‘take sides’ to anger or distract the process of doing radio every day.”  Bruno will continue to produce his weekly podcast and you can read his message here.  Meanwhile, WIP programmer Andy Bloom now is charged with keeping WIP on top of rival WPEN without Tony Bruno.  Speculation on who will be teamed with Innes in the afternoon drive slot has begun with some suggesting late night host Jody McDonald likely to be considered.

bookerpeteDelmarva Broadcasting Chief Pete Booker to Retire from Company.  In a Facebook post, Delmarva Broadcasting president and CEO Pete Booker announces he’s “retiring” from the company as of Monday, July 13.  He writes, “I will miss the people and always remember the great times.  By the way, this doesn’t mean I’m retiring from life.  Look for me to do some great new things!”  Booker served as an operations manager at Delmarva from 1980 to 1988.  He joined the Mid-Atlantic Network in 1989 and stayed through 1993.  He’s been back at Delmarva for the past 22 years.

digilionickWGN, Chicago’s Nick Digilio to Return to Air Soon.  The overnight personality on Tribune’s WGN, Chicago told the station’s morning host Steve Cochran that he hopes to return to his nightly program on July 20, according to a report from Chicago media writer Robert Feder.  Whatever ailment has sidelined the 50-year-old host and caused him to drop 35 pounds, he’s not saying yet, but promises to talk about it when he returns to his regular show.  Read Feder’s story here.

westwood one sportsWestwood One Touts NFL Play-by-Play Audience Via Nielsen Research.  In a blog post designed to promote the syndicator’s NFL play-by-play broadcasts, Cumulus Media chief marketing officer Pierre Bouvard says that because radio audiences are only reported for average weekly estimates, “We never see how radio audiences build over time.  For the first time ever, Westwood One, the official audio partner of the NFL, partnered with Nielsen to understand how audience reach grows through the season.”  The research shows how cume builds from about 6.1 million in the first weeks ofesiasonboomer the NFL season to more than 21 million during the playoff run.  The data also show that new persons join a broadcast as a game goes on and Bouvard says, “Season-long advertiser investment yield significant reach.  Buying deep in the broadcast and long in the season results in massive reach.”  See his blog here.  The company also is reaching out directly to advertisers via a mail campaign using Boomer Esiason to lay out the reasons a season-long campaign will pay off.  According to a piece in Ad Age, companies being targeted include Anheuser-Busch InBev, Gatorade, Hyundai, Pepsi, Visa and Xbox.  Read the Ad Age piece here.

jacksonkevinKevin Jackson Show to Debut in 15-Plus Markets.  The syndication of the Kevin Jackson show via USA Radio Networks is off to a good start, according to company officials, who state the show will debutusaRadioNetworks in 15-plus markets, including six of the top 25 DMAs.  USA chief content officer Tim Maranville says those markets include Atlanta, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Tampa, and Portland.  “New markets are contacting us daily to affiliate with the show.  Kevin Jackson is a conservative voice to be reckoned with.”  The program airs live in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET daypart.

ppmunit altNielsen Audio Releases Second Round of June 2015 PPM Data.  The second of four rounds of June 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  The June  2015 survey period covered May 21 through June 17.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

Odds & Sods.  NFL quarterback-turned-broadcaster Donovan McNabb is taking a leave of absence from his NBC Radio Network-syndicated program “Under Center with McNabb and Malone” (with co-host Markmcnabbdonovan Malone) after getting his second DUI arrest on June 28.  ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio is reporting that McNabb faces a mandatory minimum 90 days in jail for this second offense…..A content-sharing arrangement between Townsquare Media and Nexstar Broadcasting Group in the Utica-Rome, New York market will include WFXV-TV “FOX 33” airing the news/talk WIBX’s “WIBX First News with Keeler” and, in return, WIBX will air audio from Nexstar’s WUTR-TV’s half-hour “Eyewitness News at 6” program…..NPR announces staffing changes on the “All Things Considered” programs.  London correspondent Ari Shapiro and West Coast national desk correspondent Kelly McEvers are becoming part of the daily “All Things Considered” alongside co-hosts Robert Siegel and Audie CornishMelissa Block is exiting the show to serve NPR as special correspondent and Michel Martin takes over as host of the weekend edition of “All Things Considered” from Arun Rath.

China’s Market Plunge, Greece Debt Crisis, Global Markets Reactions, Illegal Immigration-Sanctuary Cities Controversies, 2015 Presidential Candidates, SC Confederate Flag Issue, Iran Nukes Negotiations, Bill Cosby Allegations, NFL Stars’ Fireworks Injuries, and Redskins Lose Trademark Right Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/8).  The continuing Chinese stock market sell-off; the Greek debt issue and the nation’s status in the EU; the global financial markets’ reactions to the Asian and European financial news; the illegal immigration policy in the U.S. and the sanctuary cities controversy; the activities of the candidates for president in 2016; the South Carolina legislature votes to remove the Confederate flag from the statehouse; the deteriorating negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program; the status of Bill Cosby’s image after unsealing of testimony in which he admits to acquiring Quaaludes to give to women; the cases of NFLers Jason Pierre Paul and CJ Wilson, both of whom lost fingers to fireworks accidents over the Fourth of July weekend; and the Washington Redskins lose trademark rights for the Redskins image were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

| July 8, 2015

price howardHoward B. Price: Radio’s Role on a ‘Typical Friday Night.’  When important news breaks on a “typical summer Friday night,” news and talk stations have the opportunity to be there for people tuned into the station.  ABC Television director of business continuity Howard B. Price writes today about the bevvy of news stories that broke on June 26 and what he observed.  “If you were online, or near a TV, or fortunate enough to be within earshot of one of the country’s 31 all-news radio stations on June 26, (and perhaps many news/talk stations, too), you were very much aware of what was going on.  You heard history being made at the Supreme Court as same-sex marriage became the law of the land.  You heard the president lead thousands in “Amazing Grace,” as he eulogized the nine souls murdered by a racist assassin, in oratory so stirring even some of the president’s critics acknowledged it as some of the best of his or any other presidency. You heard about not one, not two – but THREE bloody terrorist attacks in three different countries.  And you heard about the dragnet that cornered and killed one of two murderous escapees from a maximum-security prison in northern New York State.  But if you were listening to many music stations, and even some spoken-word stations programmed almost exclusively via satellite and with no local or network news service – you may have heard little or nothing about any of these major news events.”  Price was traveling in rural New York State on that night and says that because no local radio station was reporting these stories, he learned about them on the Internet.  But it didn’t have to be that way.  Read Price’s entire piece here.

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases First Round of June 2015 PPM Data.  The first of four rounds of June 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey).  The June  2015 survey period covered May 21 through June 17.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

ballentinewarrenWarren Ballentine Gets Light Sentence in Fraud Conviction.  Being indicted two years ago on charges of fraud in connection with mortgage fraud schemes cost attorney and media personality Warren Ballentine his Reach Media-syndicated talk show that had been heard on some 35 signals across the country.  After last fall’s conviction on six counts of fraud, U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly sentenced Ballentine to three years’ probation, 300 hours community service, and restitution of $140,940.  Ballentine claimed he was just a representative attorney and had no knowledge of any plan to defraud.

schachteraaronCox Media Group Names Schachter WOKV, Jacksonville PD.  With the recent dismissal of longtime program director Mike Dorwart, Cox Media Group doubles up duties for other programmers in order to provide news/talk WOKV, Jacksonville with a leader.  Music programmer Aaron Schachter will let go of alternative WXXJ “X102.9” in order to become director of branding and programming for WOKV.  He maintains his other responsibilities as morning host and program director for sister classic hits WJGL “96.9 The Eagle.”

pauleymattCumulus Transitions KCSF, Colorado Springs to All Sports as ‘Xtra Sports Radio 1300.’  By transitioning KCSF, Colorado Springs from talk to sports as “Xtra Sports Radio 1300,” Cumulus Media gives the market what it calls “Southern Colorado’s first radio station offering ‘All Sports, All The Time.’”  The station will carry national hosts from CBS Sports Radio NetworkJim Rome and Doug Gottlieb – as well as afternoon personality Matt Pauley, who also becomes PD of the new station.  Pauley also serves as one of the play-by-play announcers for Colorado Springs Sky Sox Triple A baseball team and is sports reporter for cluster mate KVOR.  Cumulus Colorado Springs OM Bobby Irwin says, “Matt’s enthusiasm for this station has been a force throughout our cluster for quite some time.  It’s exciting to see him take the reins of this upgrade and create a station that both listeners and advertisers have been clamoring for.”

wssp logo15Entercom’s ‘Sportsradio 105.7 The Fan’ in Milwaukee Adds ‘Save Our Bucks Radio Hour’ Program.  The status of the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks is in jeopardy after the league declared the city’s Bradley Center “unfit” for an NBA team.  Now, Entercom sports talk simulcast WSSP-AM and W289CB, Milwaukee (105.7 FM) “Sportsradio 105.7FM The FAN” is addressing the matter adding a one-hour, weekly program called the “Save Our Bucks Radio Hour.”  The show is being hosted by Paul Henning, a representative from Save Our Bucks – a fan-based, grassroots community group founded to help support the team and the proposed arena project to keep the team in the market.  WSSP personality Joe Zenzola will co-host the program that debuts tomorrow (7/9) at 6:00 pm.  ‘The FAN’ program director Tom Parker states, “We’re excited to partner with Paul for this important community show.  Paul’s been at the forefront on this issue and he cuts through partisan politics to give our listeners clear, actionable facts that are absent from many other shows and news outlets.  This is a show that will share ALL sides of the debate.”  Henning will also be heard on the station’s regular programs on the matter.

Bubba the Love Sponge’s Attorneys Found Guilty in Florida Bar Trial.  Just what the punishment will be for Bubba the Love Sponge’s attorneys in his defense against former rival Todd Schnitt remains to be seen but Steven Diaco, Robert Adams, and Adam Filthaut were found guilty of multiple ethics violations by the Florida Bar for conspiring to get Schnitt counsel Phil Campbell arrested on DUI charges.  MyFoxTampaBay reports that the three could get fines, suspensions or disbarment when sentencing takes place on August 5. Read the MyFoxTampaBay account here.

millerjeffDigital Sales Pro Jeff Miller Named VP/GM of Entercom’s SmartReach Digital.  The SmartReach Digital division of Entercom provides the company’s local and regional clients with a broad range of digital marketing solutions, products and services.  Now, the company brings Jeff Miller aboard as vice president/general manager of SmartReach Digital.  He spent the last seven years withentercom ReachLocal, most recently as senior director of sales for virtual markets.  Entercom regional president Michael Doyle comments, “We are excited to find an executive with Jeff’s talent and experience available to help us continue to build our market-leading portfolio of digital products and services.  Our focus is on helping local advertisers understand the power of combining the unmatched reach of radio with the best available digital advertising tools to generate outstanding results.  Jeff provides us with cutting-edge thinking on both the product development and sales execution sides of the digital business.”

Odds & Sods. WJFK-FM, Washington “106.7 The Fan” personality Grant Paulsen – co-host of the midday “Grant and Danny” show – is joining WTTG-TV, Washington “FOX 5” as a Washington Redskins reporter.paulsengrant  According to the Washington Post, Paulsen will appear on newscasts and on the “Redskins Game Time” program…..On Monday and Tuesday (7/13-14) ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike show with Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic will broadcast live from the Moerlein Lager House in Cincinnati – across the street from the Great American Ball Park – site of this year’s MLB All-Star festivities.  Guests scheduled to appear on the show include Hall-of-Fame pitcher John Smoltz, Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost, former All-Star Frank Thomas, San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy, and MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred…..Morning drive personality Tim Greene is promoted to assistant program director and music director of non-com and NPR affiliate WSGE, Charlotte.  In his new role, he’ll assist in overseeing all programming operations while continuing to host the morning drive slot following NPR’s “Morning Edition.”

wnrpCool Job Opportunity.  “NewsRadio1620” in Pensacola, Florida is looking for an experienced afternoon drive talk host.  Our simulcast FM106.5 launches next month.  Our ideal candidate will entertain our listeners with a three-hour, host-driven show with minimal guests.  A host who covers the big national issues and current buzz — but gives equal attention to local news and issues.  We’re looking for a host who covers the local scene as an ombudsman.  Who creates conversation, makes our listeners smile and gives them something to talk about.  Pensacola is an active news market with a growing economy.  “NewsRadio1620” has a high community profile and our on-air team has won seven Edward R. Murrow awards since 2010.  Our sister station, “CatCountry 98.7” is the top FM in the market.  Nine hours of local talk, plus local news every 30 minutes every weekday.  Totally locally owned and operated.  Fox News Radio affiliate. 401k/ health/dental plans available.  Best of all, live and work in paradise on the Gulf Coast of Florida’s NW Panhandle.  Check out www.NewsRadio1620.com and Facebook.  Send resume and most recently unedited audio/link to Anne Schiller at: aschiller@newsradio1620.com.  EOE.

2016 Presidential Prospects, Steinle Slaying-Illegal Immigration, Cosby Testimony Released, Confederate Flag Issue, Greek Debt Crisis-EU Tensions-Chinese Stock Market Dive, OK Ten Commandments Case, Iran Nuke Talks, and U.S. Women’s Soccer World Cup Victory Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/7).  The activities of the candidates for president in 2016; the slaying of Kate Steinle in San Francisco, the debate over the nation’s illegal immigration policy, and the controversy over “sanctuary cities”; the release of decade-old testimony from Bill Cosby admitting he gave Quaaludes to women in order to have sex with them; the ongoing discussion over the status of the Confederate flag; the Greek debt crisis, its effect on the European Union and concerns over a Chinese stock market crash; the Oklahoma capitol Ten Commandments monument case; the talks with Iran over its nuclear program; and the U.S. Women’s Soccer World Cup victory were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

| July 7, 2015

beckglennGlenn Beck to Take Time Off to Rest Strained Vocal Cords.  Nationally syndicated talk radio host and digital media pioneer Glenn Beck announced via Facebook yesterday that he’s taking time off from his daily radio program to rest his voice.  He states in the video, “As you may or may not have noticed over the past couple of months, my voice has been changing a bit.  Because I have had problems with my nerves in my vocal cords in the past where my voice has stopped working, I have been a little concerned, but I have really, really great doctors.  This Friday I consulted with them and they have advised me to take a few weeks off andtheblaze logo rest my voice due to some severe strain that has happened.”  Beck is expected to return to hosting his programs on August 3.  Meanwhile, although Beck did not directly address the news that his TheBlaze is ceasing operation of its radio news network this summer, he touched on the matter in another way when he spoke about the direction of his work in the future.  “I know the staff has this weekend been working overtime on the trying to find the things that we can do to enrich us and keep us on track for where we are headed.  They will be doing some really exciting things on radio and television that I think will help us.  The time for looking and saying what is happening with the news is over.  Now we need to start to say what’s coming our way and what can we do about it – and that’s where my focus is going to be.”

petriebonnieBonnie Petrie Joins ‘Wisconsin’s Morning News’ on WTMJ, Milwaukee.  Award-winning journalist Bonnie Petrie is named co-anchor of “Wisconsin’s Morning News” alongside Gene Mueller on E.W. Scripps-owned news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee.  Petrie most recently worked in radio at Radio One’s Houston all-news WROI “News 92.”  She’s also worked at CBS RADIO’s KRLD-AM, Dallas andwtmj logo iHeartMedia’s WGY, Albany.  WTMJ notes that Petrie has been honored with awards for anchoring, feature writing, series writing and production.   WTMJ VP/GM Tom Langmyer comments, “We were looking for very specific qualities in a news anchor to join Gene Mueller and ‘Wisconsin’s Morning News.’  Bonnie combines the qualities of experience in large news organizations, leadership depth, ideas, great writing ability, work-ethic, drive, an engaging personality and the passion for being an active part of our community.”  Petrie will join the station on July 13 and begins on the morning program in August.

brokawcarterCarter Brokaw Joins iHeartMedia as President of Digital Revenue Strategy.  In this position, Carter Brokaw will oversee iHeartMedia‘s digital sales efforts, driving digital revenue through new and existing sales channels as well as developing new digital revenue strategies for the company.  He assumes the president of digital revenue strategy after serving with Guardian News and Media.  He reports to Tim Castelli, president of national sales, marketing and partnerships.  The company reports that Brokaw will work closely with Brian Kaminsky, iHeartMedia’s president of programmatic and dataiheartmedia logo small operations, to take to market iHeartMedia’s “first-of-its-kind programmatic, real-time ad buying platform launched earlier this year for broadcast radio stations, enriched with unique and proprietary data as well as third-party data.”  Castelli comments, “Carter’s impressive track record of developing business strategies and launching national sales organizations for several media companies makes him the perfect person to drive our digital sales strategy.  His vision and skill sets will be integral as we continue to build on the success of our digital sales team.”

engmannrandyEngmann Appointed GSM at iHM Milwaukee. Nine-year Nielsen Audio senior account manager Randy Engmann joins iHeartMedia Milwaukee as general sales manager. Senior vice president of sales Nathan Tonarelli declares, “We are excited to welcome Randy to our winning Milwaukee team. Randy’s leadership, knowledge, and drive will be a great addition to our culture.” Engmann remarks, “I am extremely enthusiastic in joining such a talented team providing a wide variety ofiHeartMedia Milwaukee offerings with the strong, impactful, high value brands of Milwaukee.” The company’s six Milwaukee properties include news/talk WISN; urban contemporary WKKV “V-100.7 Jams”; WMIL “FM 106.1 Milwaukee Country”; WOKY “Big Sports 920”; WRIT “Oldies 95.7”; and CHR WRNW “Radio Now.” In advance of his Nielsen Audio tenure, Engmann worked at cross-town Entercom Milwaukee as an account executive, general sales manager, and regional account manager.

rosenbergmiltMilt Rosenberg Moves to PM Drive in Chicago.  As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Chicago radio icon Milt Rosenberg’s program on WCGO will move from middays to the 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm slot.  Rosenberg – who spent most of his Windy City radio career hosting “Extension 720” on Tribune’s crosstown WGN – joined the Kovas Communications-owned station in April of this year.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Harrison Gets ‘Up Close and Far Out’ with Radio Imaging Master and ‘Deep End’ Host Nick Michaels.  This week’s new installment of Podcast One’s international hit podcast for media freaks, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” is posted today (7/7).  It features a candid, free-flowing conversation between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and legendary radio imaging master Nick Michaels – host of the long-running, syndicated classic rock (and beyond) radio show “The Deep End with Nick Michaels.”  The two practitioner/theorists discuss the state of imaging in radio and related media, sea changes in today’s creative approach to advertising, themichaelsnick increasing scarcity of time in the modern world, and serious problems facing music radio in the digital era.  Michaels says, “Time is the new currency in today’s over-communicated world” – a concept he defines as ‘too much information traveling through too little time.’”  He says that the competition for people’s attention has never been more intense and in order for programmers and advertisers alike to get their messages across they must do so by focusing on the perspective of the recipients of the message, not the presenters.  Michaels boldly states, “In this environment, the advertiser’s need to sell a product or get a message out is no longer an annoyance, burden or interruption that this audience is willing to bear!”  To hear the entire podcast, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player located in the right hand column of every page of Talkers.com.

wpen-fm logoGreater Media Philadelphia Re-Ups with NHL’s Flyers. The new multi-year deal between Greater Media’s Philadelphia cluster and the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers means sports talk WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” will continue to serve as the flagship of the Flyers Radio Network.  Flyers games will air on both WPEN-FM and sister rock outlet WMMR.  Additionally, Greater Media’s classic rock WMGK and adult hits WBEN-FM will continue to be promotional partners with the team.

Odds & Sods.  At iHeartMedia’s WOR, New York, Blain Ensley is named the new producer for the station’s late-morning Mark Simone show.  The New York radio pro has a two-decade-long career producing, writing and co-hosting radio shows.  He’s worked at NYC outlets WABC, WPLJ, WNEW-FM as well as WMMR in Philadelphia…..Legendary Houston radio personality Barry Warner is being inducted into the Texas Radio Hall ofwarnerbarry Fame in November.  Warner is currently a Yahoo Sports Radio network contributor and hosts the “Barry Warner Classic Minute.”  He’s also a host on KGOW, Houston and a contributor to Gow Media-owned KFNC-FM, Houston…..CBS RADIO all-news KNX, Los Angeles “1070 NEWSRADIO” announces Northwestern Orange County will be the next community to be featured on its award-winning series, “KNX On Your Corner.”  On Friday, July 31, the station will broadcast live most of the day from the Katella Deli in Los Alamitos, including the Frank Mottek-hosted “KNX Business Hour” and the afternoon news co-hosted by Diane Thompson and Chris Sedens…..SiriusXM launches a weekly interview program hosted by former New York Times columnist and best-selling author Bill Carter.  “The Bill Carter Interview” will feature conversations with “performers, writers, producers, and executives who are shaping the culture today.”…..New Hampshire Public Radio is recognized by the Radio Television Digital News Association with a 2015 National Edward R. Murrow Award for Overall Excellence in the small market category.  NHPR president Betsy Gardella says, “This national recognition is a testament to the thorough and thoughtful local reporting efforts of our news team day in and day out.  It is an extraordinary moment for NHPR, and I couldn’t be more proud.”

joycebrianDunk15Brian Joyce Gets Wet for Pets.  Chattanooga talk show host Brian Joyce (pictured here atop the dunk tank) helped the Hamilton County Humane Society and the McKamey Animal Center in Chattanooga get new homes for 108 dogs and cats at the recent all-day “Adopt-A-Thon.”  The WGOW “Talk Radio 102.3 FM” midday personality says it was satisfying to know that so many animals now have “forever” homes thanks to the efforts of the local community and media.

2016 Presidential Prospects, Kate Steinle Death-Illegal Immigration Debate, Bill Cosby Testimony, Greek Debt-EU Tensions, ISIS Atrocities-U.S. Policy, Iran Nuke Talks, and U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Wins World Cup Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/6).  The activities of the candidates for president in 2016; the shooting death of Kate Steinle in San Francisco by an illegal alien and the controversy over U.S. and San Francisco illegal immigration policy; unsealed testimony from Bill Cosby in which he admits he’d given Quaaludes to women in the past in order to have sex with them; the ongoing financial turmoil in the EU and Greece over the latter’s inability to repay debt to the IMF; more atrocities perpetrated by ISIS and the U.S. military policy in Iraq and Syria; the ongoing nuclear talks between the U.S. and Iran; and the World Cup victory by the U.S. Women’s Soccer team were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, July 6, 2015

| July 6, 2015

limbaughrush15Programming Changes Take Effect in Indy; Limbaugh Moves to WNDE.  Today, Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh moves from his longtime place on Emmis’ WIBC-FM, Indianapolis to iHeartMedia-owned crosstown sports talk WNDE – a move announced earlier this year.  At WIBC-FM,wibclogo the new lineup sans Limbaugh includes the new show “The 10@10 with Mike Wilson and Ray Steele,” a program and will run down the top 10 stories of the day at 10:00 am.  Greg Garrison moves to the 11:00 am to 1:00 pm slot and Radio America-syndicated “The Dana Show” with Dana Loesch airs from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.  The “Chicks on the Right” with Daisy and Mockarena airs from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm and “Abdul at Large” with local political writer, educator and media personality Abdul-Hakim Shabazz from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

cookehollandCooke: Turning Digital Disappointment into Direct Success.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke presented at two state broadcasters’ conferences recently and he says the common thread from all three sessions was the following: “Recent years’ radio revenue data has many shrugging that ‘flat is the new up.’  Less so in small and medium markets, where local direct retail comprises more of radio’s income than in big markets where transactional business is the ball game.  And in every market, digital is the shiny object sucking dollars away from legacy media.  Especially ours.  Ask car stores: Detroit is telling them to move radio money online.”  And while digital is expected to eclipse all other ad platforms by 2017 (in terms of dollars spent), there are those who dare to question digital’s efficacy relative to ‘legacy’ media.  In today’s column, Cooke offers some advice for reigniting the power of radio as a sales vehicle.  Read the entire piece here.

kgo logo newCumulus Draws Local Criticism from Press, Unions for Closing KGO’s South Bay Bureau.  Noting that the South Bay bureau of news/talk KGO, San Francisco has been open for more than four decades, the San Jose Mercury NewsScott Herhold laments the decision of Cumulus Media to shutter the two-staffer office in San Jose without notice.  Reporting thatsagaftra logo Jennifer Hodges and Jeanne Lynch were let go June 26, the paper says even San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo wrote Cumulus’ Lee Hammer writing, in part, that the closure “wouldn’t serve the station well to abandon the region’s biggest city and hope that folks could simply phone it in.”  SAG AFTRA (which represents also registered its displeasure by asking listeners to do the same via a petition at its savelocalradio.org site.

savagemichaelMichael Savage Announces Winners of $100,000 Scholarship Contest.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Michael Savage announced the five winners of his “What Does It Mean to Be an American?” essay contest on July 2.  The winners – Alex Peterson, James Lutack, Heather Fisher, Curtis Butterfield and Mark Bragg – will each receive a $20,000 scholarship over a two-year period.  The Westwood One-syndicated host says he launched the unprecedented $100,000 scholarship fund in early 2015 with the intention of promoting traditional American values among conservative college students.  Savage says he received approximately 1,700 entries, and the five carefully selected winning essays “honor the principles that America was built upon and discuss the country’s past, present and future.”  You can read the winning essays here.

bearmanbookcoverHeavy Hundred Host Ethan Bearman’s New Book, Liars & Whores: How Big Government and Big Business are Working to Save their Own Assets, Not Yours (Talkers Books, 2015), Released Today. Praised by the TALKERS editorial board as being “one of the rising stars of talk radio – a new voice of Generation X” – KSFO, San Francisco (local) and GCN (national) radio talk show host Ethan Bearman adds “published author” to his growing list of credentials with the official release today of his new book, Liars & Whores; How Big Government and Big Business Are Working to Save Their Own Assets, Not Yours (Talkers Books, 2015).  The book – a populist, non-partisan approach to the economic and social challenges faced today by the average person trying to make a living and feed his or her family against the backdrop of an increasingly corrupt corporate and government culture – addresses the key issues of these times and marks the return of TALKERS magazine to the book publishing business after a 10 year hiatus.  According to TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, “What makes this book so fresh and exciting is the fact that it is a manifesto that ‘works’ in any of today’s competing political ideologies… that is what makes Ethan Bearman such an effective up-and-coming host with razor-sharp teeth, and now a superb guest for any talk show that deals with current events.”  For more information about Ethan Bearman and the book, please click here.  To schedule Ethan Bearman for a talk radio interview call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

Odds & Sods.  The Minneapolis Star-Tribune is reporting that, based on a recent memo from American Public Media CEO Jon McTaggart there are cuts coming to the public radio corporation this month.  Saying theamericanpublicmedia company “cannot succeed with ‘business as usual,’” he tells staffers, “We will stop some programming and create capacity for new content and innovative audience services.  We will eliminate and change positions in some departments, and create capacity for new positions in others.”…..Saga Communications is relocating the newly acquired Illinois Radio Network from Chicago to the state’s capital of Springfield.  According to a report from WAND-TV, Springfield, WTAX, Springfield news director Alex Degman adds ND duties for the network to his responsibilities, replacing Jim AndersonDave Dahl stays aboard at the capitol and will add WTAX morning anchor duties.  WTAX’s Will Stevenson assists the network with Springfield and Capitol coverage.  Current IRN staffers John Gregory and Jason Goch will continue to be based in Chicago.

shepardMH4th15Hyper-Local Radio.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (the hipster on the left wearing the Broadcasters Foundation baseball hat) stopped by the reviewing stand at the East Longmeadow (MA) Independence Day Parade on Saturday (7/4) to say hi to his buddy Brad Shepard (right) who was serving as emcee of the annual event.  Shepard is the general manager and star host of the recently launched, hyper-local online station, Pioneer Valley Radio (www.PioneerValleyRadio.com), designed to super-serve the Western Massachusetts communities of the Greater Springfield Metropolitan Area.  The station’s format is best described as “personality-oriented public affairs” geared to the community, its leaders and most-active citizens. Harrison, a primary backer of the internet media station, says, “Everyone knows that I am a strong advocate and supporter of local radio as well as non-traditional online programming.  How could I resist getting involved with and supporting a project of this nature in my own backyard?  Of all my many projects, Pioneer Valley Radio is one of the most exciting and fulfilling.  The positive response from the good folks who keep the wheels turning in this region has been incredibly gratifying.”

barberdaveMichigan and Rhode Island Talk Personality Dave Barber Dead at 60.  Family, friends, the talk radio business and the Rhode Island political scene are remembering Dave Barber today after he succumbed to what his brother Larry called a “catastrophic health event” in Michigan 10 days ago.  Barber – who had been serving as host of the Rhode Island General Assembly’s TV program “Straight from the Gavel” – was put into a medically induced coma after choking during a rehearsal dinner for a friend’s wedding.  Complications ensued and Barber was not able to emerge from the coma.  He died on Saturday (7/4).  Barber was a longtime Flint, Michigan talk host – serving at such signals as WTRX, WTAC, and WFDF – before joining WPRO, Providence in 2006.  Two years later he took up the “Straight from the Gavel” gig and had been doing it ever since.  You can see a tribute video of Dave Barber from Art Vuolo here.

wbtlogoWBT, Charlotte’s John Hancock Kicks Off Fourth Peanut Butter ‘N’ July Food Drive.  WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte afternoon drive personality John Hancock is working with local merchant Harris Teeter and peanut butter manufacturer Jif for the “Peanut Butter ‘N’ July” benefit for Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina.  Saying that the high protein food is one of the most requested items for those who benefit from their services, WBT has launched a campaign to bring attention to the importance of this product.  Hancock and other WBT personalities will be appearing at Harris Teeter locations during the month of July to collect unopened jar of peanut butter.

troopathon158th Annual Troopathon Raises $280,000.  Co-hosts Melanie Morgan of KSRO, Santa Rose, California (left) and WABC, New York personality Rita Cosby (right) share a laugh with Premiere Networks superstar Rush Limbaugh via Skype during the recent “Troopathon” fundraiser organized by the group Move America Forward.  The organization has been raising cash to send care packages to troops on the front lines in Afghanistan and raised $280,000 during this year’s program that ended June 25.  Cosby says, “The participation of radio personalities played a huge role in the success of this year’s Troopathon.  This year, we were joined by my co-host Melanie Morgan, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Geraldo Rivera, Brian Kilmeade, Dennis Miller, Adam Corolla, and Herman Cain.”  Celebrities who assisted with the effort included rock legend Ted Nugent, producer Jerry Bruckheimer, Super Bowl Champion quarterback Joe Theisman, singer Tony Orlando, TV host Nancy Grace, and many more.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

| July 2, 2015

2015 NYC 150Talkers New York 2015 ‘Navigating a Talk Show Hosting Career’ Panel Video Posted Today. One of the most interesting panel discussions of the Talkers New York 2015 mega-conference (held on June 12) is posted today on Talkers TV.  Moderated by WMAL, Washington, DC PD and recently-appointed Cumulus Media corporate PD/talk Bill Hess and introduced by WBAL, Baltimore host Jimmy Mathis — the informative session includes (in alphabetical order): Mandy Connell, host, KHOW, Denver/WHAS, Louisville; McGraw Milhaven, host, KTRS, St. Louis; Larry O’Conner, host WMAL, Washington, DC; Todd Schnitt, WOR, New York/Compass Media Networks; David Webb, host, SiriusXM Satellite Radio; and Dan Yorke, host WPRO, Providence.  The panel covers a wide variety of issues pertaining to being a professional talk radio host – drawing upon the speakers’ personal experiences — including breaking into the business (each tells his/her own story); working at multiple stations doing separate shows; doing separate local and national shows; performing on both radio and television; simulcasting on multi-media platforms; using social and digital media for brand extension; creating digital-specific content; working productively with sales; dealing with ongoing corporate changes; being entrepreneurial to protect your career and financial options; overcoming challenges faced by women in the business; breaking through listener confusion in a noisy world; keeping it fresh and preventing topic burnout; making due with diminishing support personnel; and negotiating conflicts with management, plus more.  To view the video in its entirety, please click here.

kinosianmikeProfile: Bold Gold Media Group CEO Vince Benedetto.  TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a profile of Vince Benedetto, chief executive officer of the 10-year-old radio company Bold Gold Media Group.  To say Benedetto is bullish on radio is an understatement.  The former U.S. Air Force captain tells Kinosian he can’t believe so many people in the industry are such naysayers about its future.  “There is an explosion of audio consumption because it is even easier tobenedettovince consume.  It is so strangely un-entrepreneurial to live in a world where audio demand and consumption is exploding, yet so many in our industry act as if it is the end of the world.”  Benedetto began building his radio portfolio with the acquisition of four signals in the Catskill Mountains and Pocono Lake Region and grew into the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre market from there.  He says, “There are things about radio that other businesses do not have as strengths.  One is that you are not warehousing things, so you get to refresh your inventory every day. Radio’s margins are very good and you can get involved in many businesses all at once.  If you do it correctly, you learn about many different kinds of businesses.  It was exciting to me that I knew radio was about to go through many changes.”  Read the entire piece here.

audioboom logoCumulus Media and Audioboom Announce Partnership.  This deal will allow Cumulus to use Audioboom’s SaaS platform for its content across station websites and mobile apps.  Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey says, “This exciting new partnership marries Cumulus’ and Westwood One’s best-in-class local and national content with Audioboom’s industry-leading technology and distribution capabilities.  Radio is America’s number-one reach medium, and as listeners continue to increase their consumption of audio, thiscumulus logo partnership allows for new ways for consumers to explore and engage with the radio stations and on-air talent they know and love today.  Additionally, from an advertising perspective, the short-form and on-demand digital medium provides a unique and effective way for brands to activate consumers.”  As part of the deal, Westwood One will sell the advertising within the digital platform and Audioboom will get a share of the revenue.  Audioboom CEO Rob Proctor comments, “This partnership represents a major step-change in our plans for monetization, and as we see the full rollout of our platform across the entire USA, we expect to benefit from a considerable increase in monthly listens and registered users, but also a steady flow of advertising revenues.”  The two companies are also expected to collaborate on original audio content to be distributed online.

cbssmallbusinesspulseCBS Launches ‘Small Business Pulse’ Platform.  The new digital destination is an aggregation of CBS content that’s designed to target small business owners.  Dubbed “CBS Small Business Pulse,” the site is a creation of the CBS Local Digital Media division.  President Ezra Kucharz says, “CBS Small Business Pulse brings together the best content from across many CBS divisions plus new, original editorial on the topics that matter most to small business owners.  CBS Small Business Pulse will provide the insights and knowledge small business owners need to immediately solve the challenges they face by delivering daily, easily digestible information across myriad topics that can easily be put into action.”

coachktownhall15WCMC, Raleigh Conducts Third ‘Fan Town Hall’ with Duke’s Coach K.  The event takes place tonight on WRAL-TV, Raleigh with WCMC “99.9 The Fan” personality Joe Ovies joining WRAL-TV’s Jeff Gravley for an hour-long “Fan Town Hall” featuring Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski tonight from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm.  The public is not allowed to attend the event but Gravley and Ovies will sprinkle in questions submitted by the public via social media using #FanTownHall.  WCMC-FM programmer Dennis Glasgow says “Capitol Broadcasting continues to give unprecedented access to some of the Triangle’s most accomplished sports figures, and Coach K is no exception.  We know how passionate sports fans are in North Carolina, and it’s important to us for the fan base to have social media access so that they can ask questions to the all-time winningest coach in college basketball history.”

Odds & Sods.  Two KTSA, San Antonio personalities are being inducted into the San Antonio Radio Hall of Famewaretrey this year.  Longtime morning drive personality Trey Ware and traffic reporter (and voice/imaging pro) Johnny Shannon will be honored at a ceremony next month…..Longtime KFYI, Phoenix radio personality (and husband and business partner of WestStar Radio Network principal Kim Komando) youngbarryBarry Young is one of four broadcasters to be enshrined in the Arizona Broadcasters Hall of Fame this fall.  Being honored on October 15 along with Young are Bill Buckmaster, Tom Dillon and Maurie Helle…..Entercom is expecting to close on its purchase of the Lincoln Financial Media stations very soon but one programming change taking place is LFM-owned Atlanta sports talk WQXI’s loss of its ESPN affiliation.  Dickey Broadcasting-owned WFOM (licensed to suburban Marietta) will become the new ESPN Radio affiliate, effective August 17…..PodcastOne is reporting that the four-week-old Shaquille O’Neal podcast has been holding the #1 spot on the iTunes Sports Charts for the past three weeks.  PodcastOne also says the advertising industry is supporting the podcast with Mazda, Vonage, Draft Kings and True Car becoming sponsors.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  “Free Talk Live” with Ian Freeman and Mark Edge is now heard on new affiliates KKFT-FM, Reno and KEEL-AM, Shreveport, Louisiana…..The Envision Networks-syndicated “John and Leah Show” with John Ziegler and Leah Brandon adds new affiliates: WNIR-FM, Akron; WNYM, New York; WNTP, Philadelphia; WRGA, Atlanta; WHAS, Louisville; KKFT-FM, Reno; and WMEL-AM, Cocoa Beach, Florida.

hurleyHarryrddedication15Harry Hurley Way Dedicated.  Pictured here is WPGG, Atlantic City morning drive personality Harry Hurley (at podium) speaking at the dedication of St. David’s Pl. in Atlantic City as Harry Hurley Way.  Hurley tells TALKERS magazine that he took the opportunity to surprise Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian (back row, left) by presenting his honor with the New Jersey Broadcasters Association 2015 Crystal Award for the “Ask The Mayor” program that airs on WPGG.

2016 Presidential Prospects, Fourth of July Terror Threats, Trump’s Pageant Troubles-NYC Contracts Being Reviewed, Hillary Clinton Emails Investigation, Obama Re-Establishes Cuba Diplomatic Ties, ISIS Atrocities, Greek Debt Crisis/EU Tensions, Jim Carrey Bashes California Vaccine Law, and Global Warming Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/1).  The candidates for president in 2016; concerns over threats of Fourth of July terror attacks; Donald Trump’s legal issues with the Miss America and Miss Universe pageants and NYC’s review of his contracts; the ongoing investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of private email for State Department business; President Obama re-establishes diplomatic relations with Cuba; the latest reports of barbaric activities from ISIS; the Greek debt problem, its fate in the EU and effects on global financial markets; Jim Carrey blasts California Governor Jerry Brown over vaccine law; and talk about the state of climate change were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday.

Monday, June 29, 2015

| June 29, 2015

talkersnycKinosianpanel15Talkers New York 2015 “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in a Changing Paradigm” Video Posted Today.  One of the most important panel discussions of the Talkers New York 2015 mega-conference (6/12) is posted today on Talkers TV.  Masterfully moderated by TALKERS managing editor/West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian and introduced by ABC News Radio VP/GM Steve Jones, the take-away-packed session includes (in alphabetical order): Vince Benedetto, president/CEO, Bold Gold Media Group; Kathy Carr, VP, sales & marketing, Howie Carr Radio Network; Jerry Crowley, VP/GM, WNYM/WMCA, New York; Ron Hartenbaum, CEO, WYD Media; Tom Leykis, CEO, The New Normal; and Cary Pahigian, president/GM, WBAL/WIYY, Baltimore. The discussion covers all aspects of revenue generation with respect to varied station and network market sizes, traditional and non-traditional revenue models, ingenious methods of harmless cost-cutting, monetizing qualitatively desirable audiences; and optimistic prospects for the future of radio, and more.  To view the video in its entirety, please click here.

tylledEd Tyll Named CEO of Starcom.  The national network of 26 low-power AM and FM radio stations announces talk radio pro Ed Tyll is named CEO of the company.  Starcom Radio Network operates signals from Marshland, Oregon to Mooers, New York, sports the brand, “Broadcast Real Characters,” andstarcomradionetwork logo describes itself as “low power, high impact.”  Tyll adds, “Starcom disrupts ‘static quo’ radio in dozens of great American towns.  We entertain our communities with real characters who talk about the news and enjoy a good laugh.”  Tyll’s program on the network airs live at 12:00 noon ET.  Shows currently airing on the network include: Rob McConnell’s “XZone Live,” DJ Bruce Wayne, Don Lavasseur, Laurie Zoock, and Ryan McCormick.  In addition to its AM and FM network, it streams on StarcomRadioNetwork.com, EdTyllShow.com, TuneIn, Stitcher and other digital outlets.  Tyll says he is currently seeking new hosts and radio stations for Starcom Radio Network.

knxHermanSedens15KNX, Los Angeles Honored with LA Press Club Awards.  Los Angeles all news KNX “1070 Newsradio” was recognized for editorial excellence on Sunday evening, receiving three Southern California Journalism Awards at the Los Angeles Press Club’s 57th awards dinner.  The awards for exclusive, original programming included: Investigative, for “Running on Empty: Our Epic Drought” by Charles Feldman and Laraine Herman; News/Feature Short Form, for “Ed Begley’s Not Running on Empty” by Chris Sedens; and Talk/Public Affairs, for “Ask the Mayor” by Charles Feldman, Tom Haule, Jonathan Serviss, Diane Dray, and Logan Moy.  Pictured here holding their awards are KNX producer Laraine Herman (left) and anchor Chris Sedens (right).

herskovitzalAl Herskovitz: The Coming Political Ad Season.  Sales pro Al Herskovitz says one of the benefits of the recent Talkers New York 2015 conference was the chance to chat in the hallways between sessions with other sales pros about the issues with which they are dealing, and the big topic discussed back on June 12 was the looming political ad season.  Herskovitz writes that it’s not too early to begin strategizing.  “Step one is to make contact with your area’s party committees and keep them informed with a steady stream of all promotional tools you may have: such as copies of any press your programs and hosts may have gotten; statistical data that might help to make your case; a compilation of complimentary letters and email.  Alert your news department to send you copies of politically related press releases they have received so you can follow up on their sources.  Also check with your program hosts and producers as to who has been in touch with them asking for guest spots.”  Read more here.

Odds & Sods. “The Lisa Wexler Show,” hosted by Connecticut attorney and Westport/Weston probate Judge Lisawexlerlisa Wexler, will be heard exclusively on Forte Family Broadcasting-owned WGCH, Greenwich, Connecticut from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm, effective July 6.  Wexler’s program has been based at Cumulus Media’s WFAS-AM, White Plains, New York for the past few years.  Wexler says, “I am thrilled to be back in Connecticut, but still able to reach my Westchester audience.”…..Former WUCS, Hartford “97.9 ESPN” and Maxim Radio personality Michael Bower is sitting in for Jeff “Defo” DeForrest on iHeartMedia’s sports talk WINZ this Thursday (7/2) and Monday (7/6)…..The new radio color analyst for San Diego Chargers broadcasts is former NFL receiver Curtis Conway.  He takes over for former Charger Hank Bauer whose contract was not renewed after 17 seasons broadcasting radio play-by-play.  iHeartMedia’s KLSD, San Diego is the flagship station.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

| June 25, 2015

wrkologoWRKO, Boston Unveils New AM Drive Show and Partnership with The Globe’s Boston.com.  It’s been no secret that Entercom’s WRKO, Boston would move morning talk personality Jeff Kuhner to the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot after declining to renew Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh show, but the station is now announcing its new morning drive programming.  Leading the show will becarrigankim Boston media pro Kim Carrigan.  Former crosstown sports WEEI personality Jon Meterperel will join Carrigan along with show producer David Cullinane.  Still more interesting is the station’s joint venture with the Boston Globe Media Partners-owned online platform Boston.com.  WRKO says the new show – the “Boston.com Morning Show” – will consist of “four hours of rapid-cadence news, talk and trending live from the newsroom at Boston.com.  The show will lean heavily on contributing writers and columnists from the highly-trafficked, regional website as well as national correspondents from ABC News.”   The new lineup will be live and local from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm (Barry Armstrong’s Financial Exchange airs from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon and Boston talk legend Howie Carr’s show holds down PM drive) for the first time in more than 20 years, according to the station.  Entercom Boston VP/market manager Phil Zachary says this is a logical evolutionary step for the talk format.  “On the cusp of the 2016 election cycle, it’s very clear traditional talk radio is facing strong headwinds.  As ideological lines blur and new technologies afford almost limitless tractability in audio news options, now is the time to deliver highly targeted, local content that’s unavailable to consumers anywhere else.  This new lineup, anchored by our alliance with New England’s second largest news website, squarely positions WRKO for the next decade.”  The lineup debuts Monday, June 29.

talkersNYC15BigPictureTalkers New York 2015 “Big Picture” Panel Video Posted Today.  “The Big Picture,” one of the major panel discussions at the recently concluded (6/12) Talkers New York 2015 mega-conference, is posted today on Talkers TV.  The session covers a range of important issues pertaining to the state of talk media from a wide variety of perspectives.  Introduced by TALKERS legal editor (and Bentley University law professor) Steve Weisman and moderated by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (both not pictured here), the panel includes (from left to right): Chris Oliviero, EVP programming, CBS RADIOJoe Sciacca, editor-in-chief, Boston Herald/Boston Herald Radio;  Craig Schwalb, PD, WABC, New York; Karen Hunter, host, SiriusXM Satellite RadioAlan Colmes, host/commentator, FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel; Julie Talbott, president, Premiere Networks; and Holland Cooke, consultant, Holland Cooke Media. The session covers the position and future of the stick; the psychology of being a talk host; the challenges of local, independent station ownership; the broadening of the news/talk menu as it relates to partisan politics, preserving major market heritage radio brands; the role of urban talk; the glass ceiling in spoken-word radio; the emerging new relationship between radio and newspapers and more.  To view the video in its entirety please click here.

podcastone logoNew Shows Debut on PodcastOne.  Comedian, actress and bestselling author Heather McDonald debuts “Juicy Scoops with Heather McDonald” on PodcastOne, beginning today (6/25).  The network says McDonald “asks the questions everyone wants to know and discusses the hottest and most controversial topics each week.”  Also “The Fraze & Bentley Podcast,” hosted by radio personality, actor and comedian Frazer Smith, and actor, magician and comedian Jim Bentley launches.  PodcastOne says, “The duo is serious about comedy, but it’s all fun and games as they invite podcast regular and burlesque dancer Harper Rose to the mic each week, in addition to a myriad of their famous friends.”  Jon Lovitz is the duo’s first celebrity guest.

klz logoThree Hosts Quit KLZ, Denver Over Disagreement with Management.  Denver talk outlet KLZ is without three of its hosts after Ken Clark, Kris Cook, and Randy Corporon resigned from the Crawford Broadcasting station.  According to a story in the Denver Post by Lynn Bartels, The three – who hosted separate shows on the station – had given 30-day notices of their resignation but exited before that period had elapsed after they were instructed not to book former Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo as a guest.  Tancredo is playing a role in controversy surrounding Colorado Republican Party Chairman Steve House and station manager Don Crawford Jr. told the hosts he didn’t want Tancredo booked as a guest until Crawford could determine for himself what Tancredo’s role in the call for House to resign was all about.  Read Bartels’ story here.

Odds & Sods. It’s being called “a new national headline news service and full-time satellite radio channel produced by a dedicated team of FOX News journalists and contributors.”  The joint effort from SiriusXM and FOX Newsfoxnewsradio will launch this fall and is part of a multi-year agreement between the two.  SiriusXM says the channel, under the watch of FOX News senior vice president of news Jay Wallace, will be “staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year” to “deliver the day’s top stories at any time.”…..Kevin Radich joins CBS RADIO-owned all news KCBS, San Francisco “All News 106.9 FM/740 AM” as weekday sports reporter.  Radich served as afternoon sports reporter on Cumulus Media’s crosstown news/talk KGO until earlier this year…..The Radio Television Digital News Association’s Edward R. Murrow Award winners are being announced and there are several to report today.  ABC News wins a total of five awards, including the Overall Excellence in Television and Overall Excellence in Radio awards for the second year in a row.  ABC News president James Goldston comments to his staff, “I want to extend a abcnewsStaff15special congratulations to [ABC News] Radio for a banner year – winning three more Murrow awards.  Radio stations count on ABC News Radio when news breaks.  The radio team works tirelessly with unmatched production and groundbreaking reporting every day.”  RTDNA recognized  the radio division for Breaking News – The Shooting at Fort Hood, Brad Mielke for Sports – Spartan Racing and Writing – Scott Goldberg.  (pictured at left is the ABC News Radio staff celebrating its honors.)  At the local level, all-news WCBS, New York “Newsradio 880” is honored with “Overall Excellence in Large Market Radio.”  The winning entry included coverage of the east Harlem gas explosion, New York City police protests, and the murders of New York Police Department officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu.  Also, Rivet Radio – a multi-bowermikeplatform media company that produces customized audio news and feature stories – was recognized for “Best Use of Sound by a Small Online News Organization.”  News reporter and producer George Drake Jr. conceived, wrote and produced the piece, “The Story of Marvin the ‘Street Greeter’,” which profiled a Chicago resident spreading joy within the bustling metropolis…..Former WUCS, Hartford and Maxim Radio personality Michael Bower sits in on iHeartMedia‘s sports talker WINZ, Miami for Andy Slater tomorrow from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

Obama’s TPP Trade Deal, Charleston Church Slayings Aftermath/Confederate Flag Issue, 2016 Presidential Prospects/Bobby Jindal, Freddie Gray Autopsy Results Revealed, OPM Hack, Iran Nukes Negotiations, and Obama LGBT Pride Event Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/24).  The U.S. Senate votes to give President Obama fast-track authority over the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement; the aftermath of the Charleston Church slayings and the matter of flying the Confederate flag on public property; the growing list of 2016 presidential prospects grows as Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal enters the GOP primary race; the results of the Freddie Gray autopsy are acquired by the Baltimore Sun; questions about how much information was available to hackers into the Office of Personnel Management; The U.S.’s offer to provide Iran with nuclear technology; and talk about the scene at President Obama’s LGBT pride event at the White House were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

| June 24, 2015

talkersny15MHJDTalkers New York 2015 ‘Fireside Chat’ Video featuring Dialogue Between Michael Harrison and John Dickey Posted Today.  Billed as a “Fireside Chat” in one of the keynote sessions of the just-concluded Talkers New York 2015 convention, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison conducts a one-on-one conversation with Cumulus Media executive vice president of content & programming, John Dickey.  In a series of what Dickey describes as “really tough questions,” Harrison asks him about a wide variety of subjects including how he handles the stress of being significantly responsible for the operation of one of the largest and most complex radio broadcasting companies in the history of the medium; whether or not the platform of radio can ever be accurately measured in terms of ratings; what position talk radio occupies within the overall Cumulus plan going forward; whether or not there is room for qualitative selling and non-traditional revenue generation at large, corporately owned stations; and if there is a future for the personality oriented disc jockey in music radio, among other topics.  Dickey responds with thoughtful and candid answers before a fully engaged, packed house of professionals from all segments of the industry in a room so quiet, one could hear a proverbial pin drop.  On the subject of stress, Dickey says it is a matter of “balance…balance in life” putting work and family into their proper perspectives.  He ties that into programming — repeatedly stating that successful radio formats must maintain an effective balance of elements as they evolve forward with their “natural life cycles.”  Dickey discusses the importance of “branding” in today’s commerce, underscoring his company’s commitment to and “heavy investment” in the talk format stating, “We are the ‘custodians’ of some of radio’s greatest brands,” making it clear that Cumulus takes that responsibility very seriously in the talk arena.  He makes the point, “We must, however, arrive at an understanding of what constitutes the talk format today” pointing out that talk radio needs to “broaden the conversation” because “people talk about a lot of things.”  On the subject of ratings (immediately following a powerful panel discussion about the state of audience measurement moderated by Sean Hannity during which Nielsen’s feet were held to the fire), Dickey is measured and fair in his criticism of Nielsen stating, “The ratings are accurate… but only to a point.”  He says, “Nielsen needs to be [more forthcoming] about the ‘margin of error’ [in their metrics] – they owe us more than they are giving us.”  Looking back at the conversation, Michael Harrison says, “John Dickey is one of the brightest young men I have ever met in this business and I have no doubt in my mind about his love for and commitment to radio.  Neither he nor his brother Lew have easy jobs…and, like all human beings, they are far from perfect, not to mention the entire radio industry is challenged by the circumstances of the times… so operating the second largest ownership group in the history of the medium in the second decade of the 21st century is an extremely daunting task.  Unlike so many of today’s powerful executives in both business and government, they admit their mistakes and are always trying to learn and improve.”  To view the “Fireside Chat” in its entirety including an introduction by rising talk star Ethan Bearman, please click here.

nielsen logoNielsen Unveils its Total Audience Report; Radio Leads Weekly Reach of Adults.  Senior vice president of the audience insights division at Nielsen, Glenn Enoch, says that in preparing the first-ever Total Audience Report, the company is “using the best available data and have done all we can to make this an ‘apples-to-apples’ comparison, but it is important to remember that these platforms are measured by different methods using different samples and different crediting rules.”  Enoch is referring to the challenge of finding one way to express the consumption of three different media platforms – TV, radio and digital.  That said, radio practitioners are happy with the results indicating that on a weekly basis, radio reaches 93% of the adult population compared to television’s 87% reach.  Digital is broken up into three segments – PC, smartphone, and tablet – and those reach 54%, 70% and 35% of American adults, respectively.  However, when one looks at the weekly hours and minutes spent with each medium, television comes out on top across all adult demographics and radio comes in second.  The data shows that, for persons 35-49, the average hours/minutes during the week spent with television was 33:05, for radio 13:39, for PCs 6:58, for smartphones 8:52, and for tablets 4:50.  In tallying the number of days per week of usage for each medium for persons 18-49, smartphones come out on top with 5.9.  Radio is close behind with 5.  Television is third with 4.7, followed by tablets at 4.6 and PCs with 3.6.  In a memo to his sales stall, Cumulus Media chief marketing officer Pierre Bouvard writes, “While radio is known as a frequency medium, we have always had significant reach.  Radio’s reach has remained consistent while television has eroded.  Radio now finds itself as America’s number one mass reach medium.”

gellervalerieNYF15New York Festivals Winners.  Pictured here at Monday evening’s New York Festivals International Radio Program awards ceremony at New York Penthouse are Grand Jury member Geller Media International’s Valerie Geller (center); SiriusXM host Paul Bachman, Bronze Radio Winner in the Best Children/Young Adult Program for “Couch Potato Stew on Kids Place Live” (left); and SiriusXM VP Frank Raphael (right).  The New York Festivals International Radio Program awards is an annual radio program competition executed in collaboration with the United Nations Department of Public Information.  The United Nations Awards were established in 1990 to honor programs highlighting global concerns of interest to the UN.

Odds & Sods. The Edward R. Murrow Awards from the RTDNA will be handed out on October 12 in New York and CBS Radio News will receive the awards for Best Newscast and Best Continuing Coverage for the third straightcbsradionews logo year.  Outstanding coverage of the downed Malaysian airliner in the Ukraine earned CBS the Best Newscast for its July 18 edition of World New Roundup by Steve Kathan and Paul Farry.  The Continuing Coverage award was given for CBS’s yearlong reporting of the war on ISIS.….Chicago media writer Robert Feder is reporting that Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM, Chicago has secured the rights to Chicago White Sox baseball for a six-year deal that would start with the 2016 wls-am logoseason.  Currently, White Sox baseball is heard on CBS RADIO’s sports talk WSCR “670 The Score.”…..It didn’t take long for former San Diego Chargers analyst Hank Bauer to find a new gig.  The former Chargers player will join Sports USA as a play-by-play analyst for its NFL broadcasts beginning in September.  Bauer’s deal to work in the Chargers radio network booth was not renewed after 17 years…..Jon Laaser is named the new radio play-by-play man for Virginia Tech football starting this fall by rights holder IMG.  Laaser will work in the booth with color man Mike Burnop.

colmesGHRvideoAlan Colmes Recalls Playing Gunhill Road in His DJ Days.  Mainstay radio and TV talker Alan Colmes of FOX News Radio and FOX News Channel is pictured at left at Talkers New York 2015 (6/12) being interviewed for a documentary film being produced about the legendary pop/rock band Gunhill Road that he recalls from his early days as a DJ spinning rock ‘n’ roll.  The trio had a great time schmoozing with radio broadcasters from both music and talk formats at the recent mega-conference.  Gunhill Road had two FM rock radio album favorites and the hit single “Back When My Hair Was Short” in the early 1970s.  They surprised the music worldleykisGHR15 recently by releasing an unexpected album with 19 new tracks titled Every 40 Years (Gunhill Road Records) that has garnered some airplay on AC and triple-A formats as well as a ton of interviews on talk radio – talk show hosts with a taste for pop culture find the group’s personal story fascinating.  The group attended the conference to appear with various radio folk in the forthcoming documentary (“Back When My Hair Was Long”) about their extremely unlikely two-part journey from the 1970s to the modern digital era set for theatrical release in 2016 and to promote their latest single, “I’ve Got To Learn To Cry (featuring American Idol’s Julia DeMato).  Pictured above: Gunhill Road members (l-r): Glenn Leopold, Steve Goldrich and Paul Reisch with talk radio legend Tom Leykis.

wabcwpljsoftballThe Dump Buttons Start Season with Narrow Loss.  Pictured here after their first game of the season – a very close 10-9 loss to Bloomberg News – are the players on the Cumulus Media New York co-ed softball team, The Dump Buttons.  They represent hot AC WPLJ, news/talk WABC, and urban contemporary WNBM.  Top row (from l-r): the Don Imus show’s Lou Rufino, WPLJ digital/social media producer Sheila Watko, Joan Hamburg producer Matt Meany, WABC account executives Jamie Roberts and Jose Torres; and Bryce Grafton (Jayde’s boyfriend).  Bottom row (from l-r): WPLJ GSM Mary Jo Vetrano, WNBM midday host La Loca; WPLJ morning show co-host, Jayde Donovan; Curtis & Kuby producer Flipper; WABC personality Curtis Sliwa.

geraldoGolf15The 28th Annual Geraldo Golf Classic.  77WABC personality Geraldo Rivera (left) is here with honoree Steven G. Santino (right) at Monday’s Geraldo Golf Classic at Edgewood Country Club in River Vale, New Jersey.  Geraldo’s radio show was broadcast live from the event and golfers participated in contests, watched the broadcast, golfed, and enjoyed an extended cocktail hour in the evening.  All proceeds benefit Life’s WORC, which provides support and services for individuals with developmental disabilities.

Charleston Church Massacre Aftermath/Confederate Flag Controversy, Pope’s Climate Encyclical, Obama Trade Deal, 2016 Presidential Prospects, ISIS Activities, Iran Nuclear Program, White House Ransom Policy, and Skinny Jeans Hospitalization Case Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/23). The aftermath of the Charleston church killings and the related South Carolina Confederate flag issue; the recent climate change encyclical from Pope Francis and the controversy over the beliefs of his science advisor; the revived fast-track trade bill; the activities of the 2016 presidential candidates; the military progress of ISIS and world reaction to its grisly tactics; potential cooperation between the US and Iran and the latter’s nuclear program; the new White House policy that would not legally pursue families that pay ransom for family members held by terrorist organizations; and the case of a woman hospitalized due to ill effects from “skinny jeans” were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

| June 23, 2015

talkersnyc15RatingspanelSean Hannity Moderates Blockbuster Panel on Audience Measurement at Talkers New York 2015 – See Video Today!  One of the highlights of the recently held (6/12) Talkers New York 2015 mega-conference is now posted on Talkers TV – “The State of Radio Ratings.”  Moderated by Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel superstar Sean Hannity, the panel includes (in alphabetical order): Phil Boyce, SVP, Salem Media Group; Erica Farber, president/CEO, RAB; Steve Goldstein, CEO, Amplifi Media; Richard Harker, founder, Harker Research; Tom Langmyer, VP/GM, E.W. Scripps; Jon Miller, VP Audience Insights, Nielsen Audio; and Greg Moceri, CEO, Moceri Media.  The session is introduced by Brian Kilmeade, host, Fox News Radio/Fox News Channel.  The hard-hitting, no-holds-barred conversation addresses the ongoing problem of achieving accurate radio ratings – particularly in the spoken-word formats – during audio media’s transition into the digital era. Issues such as the PPM, the new Voltair device, achieving adequate sample size, and the challenge of rating elusive online listenership are analyzed.  Each panelist brings their own insights, problems and solutions to the discussion with Nielsen’s Jon Miller formidably bearing much of the brunt of probing questions and stinging criticism.  This video is a must-view for all professional radio broadcasters today.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “I have been organizing and attending industry conferences since 1976.  This particular session provides more valuable take-aways than any I have ever witnessed in my entire career, as well as moving the interests of a fairer and more productive radio industry forward.  My congratulations to all the participants – especially Jon Miller – for bring their A-games to the table.  And Sean Hannity shows what a major league host and moderator he is – above and beyond his skills as a ‘political’ talk show host.  Sean’s constituency in this case is everyone who makes, or is trying to make, their living in radio.  He delivers a real clinic on how to run a discussion.  I give him a 10.”  To view the entire session, please click here.  Coming tomorrow:  An intimate “fireside chat” between Cumulus Media EVP, John Dickey and Michael Harrison.

voltair imageTelos Alliance’s Dr. Barry Blesser Explains Voltair’s Success.  The conclusion drawn by Telos Alliance director of research Dr. Barry Blesser regarding his company’s controversial Voltair products is, “The way that the radio industry handles the current Voltair controversy will influence its likelihood of surviving.”  Most industry pros are aware of Voltair and the controversy over the reliability of Nielsen Audio’s PPM measurement system.  Those who are not should be getting up to speed quickly and Blesser’s paper illustrates – from Telos Alliance’s perspective at least – what Voltair does, what it doesn’t do, and how it is affecting what radio listeners hear and don’t hear in PPM-rated markets.  The selling point for the $15,000 signal processing unit is that it helps stations make up for alleged inadequacies in the PPM technology and Blesser’s paper explains how those inadequacies manifest themselves for radio programmers.  One of the issues is Blesser’s assertion that different types of audio are “friendlier” to PPM code tones than others.  He says, “Voltair is basically an AGC (automatic gain control) compressor that keeps the tones higher in amplitude when they are on their way to becoming too small.  Voltair produces tone energy similar to that of a well-encoded audio signal.  The tones are perceived as being louder in part because they are of longer duration.  Why does increased duration make a difference?  Because the detector cannot identify the frequency of a tone if it is too short.  When a tone is relatively constant for the full half second, all is well; but if the tone lasts for less than a tenth of a second, the meter has no idea about its frequency.  And the exact frequency is required to determine the meaning of the codes. Tones are truncated when the spectral content of the program is in short bursts. Interestingly, speech is comprised of short spectral bursts.”  That last part may not bode well for spoken-word programming.  Nielsen says it is testing the Voltair unit, but so far the industry has heard nothing.  Blesser writes, “In the decade since PPM was rolled out, radio has changed dramatically as programmers, who, ‘teach to the test’ of PPM’s technical properties, have shortened or eliminated spoken word segments, moved clocks around, and even dumped whole formats.  Now, with Voltair providing tremendous insight as a monitoring/measurement tool, this dynamic has accelerated as programmers have proven to themselves the correlation between PPM’s technical underpinnings and raw meter count.  Assuming Nielsen refuses to address technical issues raised by Voltair, we can expect this trend to accelerate.  Call it the law of unintended consequences where a measurement methodology drives programming decisions, determines careers and discards content, all in service to watermarking success.”  Read the entire paper here.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallFly Me to the Moon – Actually the Moons (of Pluto)!  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison has been expanding his probes beyond radio deep into the media universe via his international hit Podcast One program “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” This week, he takes his audience of “media freaks” billions of miles across the solar system in advance of NASA’s “New Horizons” mission’s unprecedented fly-by of the Pluto system on July 14.  Harrison interviews Dr. Alan Stern, a leading planetary scientist who is the “principle investigator” of this exciting and historic project and the two get into illuminating detail of the solar system’s unfolding new paradigm.  There is a lot more to the debate about whether or not Pluto is a “planet” than the mainstream media is indicating… and there is hardly consensus among scientists about the topic.  Harrison states, “All these technologically wondrous probes and space satellites are connecting the human nervous system to places that were once considered one-dimensional abstractions, completely out of reach.  After all, ‘media’ is the extension of human consciousness by technological means – plain and simple.  We used to use drums and smoke signals.  Then we accomplished such major feats as laying a trans-Atlantic cable across an ocean.  Now we are ‘wiring’ the solar system!  Anyone see an amazing pattern here?  To listen to Michael Harrison’s exclusive conversation with Dr. Alan Stern, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player located in the right hand column of every page of Talkers.com.

nyfest smallNew York Festivals Names Winners in 2015 International Radio Program Awards.  The winners in this year’s New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards were presented last night (6/22) at the annual gala at Manhattan Penthouse in New York City.  The Grand Jury honored RTÉ Ireland with the prestigious title of Broadcaster of Year and TBI Media UK with Production Company of the Year.  In addition, three prominent companies earned the coveted Grand Award: New York Philharmonic USA, TBI Media UK, and WNYC-Radiolab USA.  Commercial broadcasters from the U.S. that won awards included ESPN Radio, SiriusXM Satellite Radio and Gold Coast Broadcasting’s news/talk KVTA, Ventura, California.  The 2015 Grand Jury awarded 3 Grand Awards, 53 Gold trophies, 62 Silver, 58 Bronze, and 117 Finalist Certificates submitted from 32 countries.  All entries were judged online by the NYF Radio Awards Grand Jury of radio experts from stations and companies around the globe.

Odds & Sods.  Former Cumulus Media executive Marko Radlovic – market manager for Los Angeles stations KABC and KLOS – returns to Spanish Broadcasting System to serve as SVP and West Coast regional manager…..iHeartMedia has a new senior vice president of programming for its New Hampshire stations.  Tim Moore is in charge of programming for the station including news/talk WGIR-AM, Manchester; WQSO-FM, Portsmouth; and sports talk WPKX, Portsmouth.  He takes over for Jeff Pierce who recently joined Saga Communications’ Portland, Maine station group.

carrhowieSiegel15Boston Legends Go to Bat for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.  Boston talk radio legend Howie Carr (right) chats with WXKS, Boston “Kiss 108” morning personality Matty Siegel (left).  The two were at The International in Bolton, Massachusetts for the Ted Rubin Memorial Golf Tournament – a six-year old charity event that has raised more than $1 million for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Dr. Richard Stone’s Leukemia Research.  It was Howie Carr’s first live remote since he took ownership of the Howie Carr Radio Network in 2014.  Carr jokes, “It’s great to be working with the Jimmy Fund and Dana Farber, especially with an elder radio statesman I’ve always looked up to since my youth – Matty Siegel.”

gracies15b2015 Gracie Awards.  The 2015 Gracie Awards were presented at the New York Hilton on June 22 by the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation.  This photo shows just a few of the high-profile attendees and winners.  (From l-r): Heather Cohen, EVP, The Weiss Agency; Lori Lundin, anchor/reporter WTOP and Gracie winner (also host of the new experimental animal rights show “Vox Animali” on TalkersRadio); Kristen Welch, chair, AWM/F and SVP, global content operations, Discovery Communications, Inc.; Chad Lopez, VP/market manager, Cumulus New York; Kelly Ford, WNSH, New York host and Gracie Winner; Maire Mason, VP/GM WNSH, New York; Valerie Blackburn, VKB Media Consulting and past chair of AWM/F; Pavlina Osta, Gracie Winner; Loren Raye, Gracie Winner and co-host of “The TJ Show,” WODS-FM, Boston; Matt Bosso, WASH-FM, Washington; Emme, supermodel; and Kay Olin, Olin and Associates and past chair of AWM/F.

madisonrisingREDMadison Rising Releases New Album American Hero RED.  That band that bills itself as “America’s most patriotic rock band,” is releasing its American Hero RED album. Madison Rising says the new record is completely remixed and remastered to deliver the cleanest and strongest sound possible.  It includes four additional tracks: “Amazing America,” the band’s powerful rendition of the classic Marines’ Hymn, the hauntingly beautiful “Soldier’s Christmas” and its brand-new rendition of the Irving Berlin classic, “God Bless America.”  As with the original American Hero album, American Hero RED is anchored by Madison Rising’s best-selling rock rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner.”  Originally released in the summer of 2012, both the song and video have become huge hits, catapulting the band into the national spotlight and creating one of the most loyal fan bases in rock music history.  The band has recently partnered up with Concerned Veterans for America as well as the Young Marines National Youth Organization and is currently embarking on an ambitious 70-city tour.  Madison Rising is on a mission to make great rock music and send a message that American culture is alive and well.  Led by navy veteran and former 8404 FMF Corpsman Dave Bray, the band promotes the principles of liberty, independence, smaller government and personal responsibility. For review copies, please contact albumreview@madisonrising.com.

Charleston Church Massacre/SC Confederate Flag Issue, Obama Uses ‘N-word,’ Pope Francis’ Climate Encyclical, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Taylor Swift-Apple Music Case, and Massive U.S. Govt. Cyber-Breach Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/22).  The aftermath of the church massacre in Charleston and South Carolina’s debate over the Confederate flag; President Obama’s use of the “n-word” during an interview; the flap over Pope Francis’ climate change encyclical; the potential candidates for president in 2016; Taylor Swift calls out Apple Music over payments to songwriters and musicians; and concern over the massive security breach at the government’s Office of Personnel Management were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Monday, June 22, 2015

| June 22, 2015

mcmeartymikeWTOP, Washington Names McMearty Program Director.  Three months after former programmer Laurie Cantillo and Hubbard Radio parted ways, the company names 23-year staffer Mike McMearty program director for the multi-platform news operation.  McMearty moves up from his news director post to the new position of director of news and programming.  Hubbard Washington SVP/GM Joel Oxley comments, “Mike has been an integral part of our success for more than two decades.  He has led the newsroom to hundreds of industry awards for excellence in journalism, including 18 National Murrowwtop logo NEW 1-15 Awards and more than two dozen honors already in 2015.  I look forward to him taking the department to new heights.”  The station reports that Jim Battagliese continues his role as director of traffic, transit and weather.  Mitchell Miller is promoted to senior news director managing the newsroom weekday mornings, Darci Marchese moves up to a full-time news director weekday afternoons, and Jamie Forzato now will manage news operations on the weekends as weekend managing editor.  Meera Pal moves to social and digital engagement director reporting to Julia Ziegler, who moves from web and operations manager of FederalNewsRadio.com to become the news director of WTOP.com.  All of the changes will take place over the next several weeks.

2015 NYC 150Talkers New York 2015 Videos Begin Being Posted Today (6/22).  Starting today with WFAN, New York superstar Mike Francesa’s opening “Keynote Greeting,” TALKERS will be posting videos of each of the sessions that made Talkers New York 2015’s agenda one of the most successful in the convention’s 18-year history.  A session will be added each business day for the next nine days in a row, in the order that they took place at the event, until the entire agenda, video-recorded by Art Vuolo, is posted in a special Talkers TV feature sponsored by independent station owner, Michael Zwerling’s KSCO, Santa Cruz.  The entire feature will remain posted for the rest of 2015.  To see the opening session with Mike Francesa, please click here.  Tomorrow:  “The State of Radio Ratings” panel moderated by Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel icon Sean Hannity.

talkersnyc2015FrancesaMike Francesa Opens Talkers New York 2015 on Upbeat Note – See Video Today!  In a video posted today (6/22), legendary WFAN afternoon drive personality Mike Francesa sets the tone for what proved to be a realistic, but highly optimistic and solutions-oriented, agenda at the recent industry mega-conference, Talkers New York 2015 (6/12).  The tell-it-like-it-is broadcaster – who has been ranked at #1 on the TALKERS “Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk Radio” for the past two consecutive years – blasted the pessimism that he says permeates the radio industry and offered his assessment of the tremendous opportunities available to radio in the digital era.  Francesa drew applause form the packed house stating, “It’s amazing the amount of negativity that exists no matter what part of the business you’re in… I’m here to tell you that even though I am a little closer to the finish [of my career] than I am to the start, back [in 1987] when I was pounding on the door at WFAN with Jeff Smulyan – it took me 18 interviews to get hired, folks — I would be as bullish on radio and as gung ho about getting a career and feeding my family on radio NOW… as I was back then.”  Francesa discusses the multi-platform nature of programming content today and the need/opportunity to monetize every element of it.  He praises the spread of smartphones as being equivalent to a theoretical resurgence of the old transistor radio and thus providing radio with universal portability… something it hasn’t enjoyed in decades.  He discusses the importance of branding in today’s media environment and vehemently champions the importance of “live and local” being the key to radio’s survival and purpose in the coming era.  To see Francesa’s entire speech, please click here.

russoronWestwood One Names Ron Russo EVP Northeast Sales.  Radio sales pro Ron Russo is named EVP, Northeast Region for Westwood One’s network sales division.  In this position, Russo will “manage and oversee the New York sales office and be responsible for revenue growth and multi-platform brand integrations across all Westwood One assets, including network sales, spot sales, platform, digital, and events.”  Russo will report to Westwood One president Steve Shaw.  In awestwood one NEW statement from WW1, the company notes that Russo comes to them from iHeartMedia where he was general sales manager for the NYC station group.  “In addition to building and overseeing the sales teams, he was instrumental in managing the transition when iHeart purchased WOR-AM from Buckley Broadcasting.  He also played an important role in securing the station’s radio rights to the NY Mets.”  He worked for CBS RADIO at hot AC WWFS, “Fresh 102.7” before joining iHeartMedia.   Russo says, “I am really looking forward to working with this great team of sellers and collaborating throughout the organization as we look for innovative ways to drive and accelerate results for our clients.”

ellismayesBillboard15Rob Ellis Lands at WPEN, Philadelphia.  Former WIP-FM, Philadelphia personality Rob Ellis debuts on crosstown Greater Media’s WPEN, Philadelphia, partnered up with Harry Mayes.  Ellis exited CBS RADIO’s WIP in March after failing to come to terms on a contract renewal with the station.  Ellis, who also hosts “Breakfast on Broad” on cable’s Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, takes over as co-host of the midday show for Eytan Shander, who remains with the company.  Former WIP personality Anthony Gargano also joined WPEN late last year as morning drive personality.

Odds & Sods. Both FOX Sports and ESPN are reporting that former San Diego Chargers player and longtimeWW1EmrichGrahamKuglerCWS2015 radio play-by-play analyst Hank Bauer has been let go from the radio broadcast team.  Bauer served a one-game suspension last season – missing the final preseason game – after he used a Jewish slur during the third preseason game.  He later apologized…..Westwood One presents coverage of the NCAA Division I Men’s College World Series Finals beginning this evening from TD Ameritrade Park Omaha in Nebraska.  The best-of-three championship series between Vanderbilt and Virginia is being covered by (pictured here in front of the famous Road to Omaha statue standing from left to right) Ted Emrich, Scott Graham, and Kevin Kugler.

brownejoyIs15Dr. Joy Browne Tours Israel as Guest of Prime Minister – Meets with Victims of Terror.  Nationally-syndicated (GCN) talk show host and clinical psychologist, Dr. Joy Browne returns to New York today (6/22) after an intense week-long tour of Israel on a fact-finding/counseling mission that brought her into one-on-one encounters with Israeli victims of terror.  Browne (right) is pictured meeting with Israeli citizens at the Jerusalem headquarters of the OneFamily organization during what has been her first visit to the Middle East democracy this week.  According to a report in the Jerusalem Post, during the emotionally charged encounter, which was hosted by OneFamily CEO Chantal Belzberg, Browne met with former residents of the US, Canada, and the UK who were physically and emotionally scarred in terrorist attacks across Israel during the past few years.  “I am delighted and honored to be here,” Browne tells the Post. “After experiencing the aftermath of 9/11, we all share a common echo and I am impressed with the resilience of the people here who have worked or who are working to transcend fear and are getting on with their lives.”  The perennially popular radio personality, in addition to interviewing and counselling victims, also interviewed the organization’s various psychologists and therapists for a future segment on her widely heard program.  Browne’s trip to Israel was sponsored by the Office of the Prime Minister and America’s Voices in Israel. (Photo courtesy of the Jerusalem Post and Sarah Levin.)

ratnerPinkerton15FOX News Commentators Ellen Ratner and Jim Pinkerton Honored by Grenada’s St. George’s University. Media personalities Ellen Ratner and Jim Pinkerton were recognized with honorary doctorates from St. George’s University in Grenada for their charitable works.  Pinkerton and Ratner – who work together as conservative and liberal commentators, respectively, on FOX News Channel’s “FOX & Friends Weekend” on the “Long and Short of It” segment – are known for separate charitable efforts.  Pinkerton has been working with the school assisting with its cure strategy for diseases.  Ratner has been working for years to provide some of the basic tools for subsistence farming to people in South Sudan.  Ratner (third from left) and Pinkerton (fourth from left) are seen here receiving their honorary degrees.

morrisonbobDallas Newsman Bob Morrison Dies.  Former KRLD-AM and WBAP-AM, Dallas newsman Bob Morrison died yesterday (6/21) after a long illness. Salem Radio Network VP, News & Talk Programming Tom Tradup tells TALKERS, “When I served its VP/general manager, I hired Bob as news director of the USA Radio Network in 1999, and he brought a professional demeanor to reorganizing USA that was nothing short of amazing.  His planning and execution of the national political conventions in 2000 remains a highlight, and nurturing his strong delivery and solid journalistic skills will always remain a highlight of my career.”

NJ Broadcasters Work for a New Attitude

| June 19, 2015

By Jeff McKay
Special Features Correspondent


mckayjeffwriterATLANTIC CITY — The 68th annual New Jersey Broadcaster’s Association Conference & Gala in Atlantic City brought together state broadcasters, management, sales and industry leaders for a two-day event that included honoring those who’ve helped to make New Jersey broadcasting great, and new this year, to recognize broadcasters mentoring those considering a career in radio.

The conference opened this week with the theme: “Broadcast Has a New Attitude.”  NJBA president & CEO Paul Rotella told Talkers, “We heard from a variety of voices during this conference which provided attendees with the latest and most substantial evolution in research, technology and advancement in audience measurement.”  During the conference, the NJBA honored FOX News’ Judge Andrew Napolitano as its recipient of the Howard L. Green Humanitarian of the Year.  Also, Greater Media’s Peter Smyth inducted Dan Finn, Harry Hurley, Richard Swetits, and Kevin Williams into the NJBA Hall of Fame.

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Friday, June 19, 2015

| June 19, 2015

kitchinkraigKraig Kitchin to Serve as Interim CEO at TheBlaze.  After six months as CEO of Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze, Betsy Morgan is leaving the company and radio executive Kraig Kitchin will take over the post on an interim basis.  Morgan was promoted from her president and chief strategy officer position inmorganbetsy December of last year when longtime Beck associate Chris Balfe left the company.  She joined TheBlaze in 2011 after years with the Huffington PostRe/code’s Peter Kafka is reporting that Morgan told staffers in a memo that over the course of the past six months “we found ourselves on a rough sea, but stayed true to our course.”  Kitchin was the longtime president and COO of Premiere Networks, exiting the company in 2007 and starting his own firm, Sound Mind LLC.

mckayjeffMcKay: Report from the NJBA Conference & Gala.  TALKERS magazine special features correspondent Jeff McKay writes about the recently concluded New Jersey Broadcasters Association Conference & Gala in Atlantic City.  In addition to the ceremony inducting five New Jersey greats into the NJBA Hall of Fame, the conference included panel discussions and presentations.  McKay spoke with WCTC, New Brunswick program director Bert Baron who notes that New Jersey’s unique position being sandwiched between New York and Philadelphia means using localism to stand out.  “It’s important now more than ever.  What sets WCTC apart is we provide great national coverage but also the local content people really want.  We talk the local issues in both mornings with me and with Tommy G in afternoon drive.  That setup gives our listeners a local feel with local perspectives.”  Read McKay’s entire report here.

bennettGraham15Salem’s ‘Road to Majority’ Conference Underway in DC.  The Salem Radio Network’s “Road to Majority” conference began on Wednesday with a VIP dinner and runs through tomorrow.  This photo captures presidential hopeful and U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) (at left) chatting with SRN personality Bill Bennett (center) at the dinner that was hosted by Bennett and fellow SRN talk hosts Mike Gallagher and Michael MedvedFOX News Channel commentator Charles Krauthammer was guest speaker.  The “Road to Majority” features every announced GOP candidate for president plus other political conservatives.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  The Talk Media Network nationally syndicated “Frontlines of Freedom” program with host Lt. Col. Denny Gillem adds new affiliates: WGKA-AM, Atlanta; WTIS, Tampa; KJCE, Austin; KGED, Fresno; WEBY, Pensacola; and WLFJ, Greenville, South Carolina to its roster.

talkersten logo2016 Presidential Prospects/Trump Enters Race Top News/Talk Stories for Week of June 15-19.  The vast slate of candidates running for president in 2016 and the addition of real estate magnate Donald Trump to the GOP field was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the Charleston church slayings tied with the greater topic of gun control.  Coming in at #3 was the Rachel Dolezal case followed by the military progress of ISIS in Iraq and the U.S. military’s policy there.  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.  It’s published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

| June 16, 2015

talkersnyc15RatingspanelRave Reviews Mounting for Talkers New York 2015.  Complete Agenda Videos to be Posted Here in Coming Weeks Beginning Monday (6/22).  The sessions at the recent Talkers New York 2015 are being widely praised as some of the best in the colorful 18-year history of the annual event.  According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “The panels and presentations at this conference were just packed with non-stop takeaways.  We are extremely gratified by the positive response and feedback that we have been receiving from so many of the hundreds of people who packed this SRO event.”  Casey adds, “Now through the technology of being an online ‘media station’ we will be able to share this information with everyone in the world interested in what was said in New York this past Friday (6/12).  We will kick it off with the blockbuster panel, “The State of Radio Ratings” moderated by Sean Hannity that already has the entire industry buzzing.”  Pictured here are (from l-r): Salem Media SVP Phil Boyce, E.W. Scripps Milwaukee VP/GM Tom Langmyer, Amplifi Media CEO Steve Goldstein, Moceri Media CEO Greg Moceri, Radio Advertising Bureau president/CEO Erica Farber, Nielsen Audio VP Jon Miller, and FOX News Channel and Premiere Networks host Sean Hannity (not pictured: Richard Harker of Harker Research).

crenshawmillsMills Crenshaw New PM Drive Host at KLO, Salt Lake City.  Station general manager Matt Webb says, “Our audience has been asking for a local host in our afternoon drive time slot and we think we’ve landed the best in the business when it comes to local talk radio.  Mills is a true icon in Utah radio and we’re pleased to have him as part of our radio family.”  Mills Crenshaw has been in talk radio since 1965 and now is hosting “Drive Time Live with Mills Crenshaw” from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  He comments, “I am thrilled to be part of such a prestigious radio lineup on a legacy station such as KLO.  To be on the same station with Bill Bennett, Laura Ingraham, and Michael Medved is a true honor.”

cooperleanderCooper to Manage Beasley’s Atlanta Religion and Talk Outlets.   This is a promotion for LeAnder Cooper who moves up from the assistant business manager post to general manager for Beasley Media Group’s religion WAEC and talk WWWE in Atlanta.  Company EVP of operations Brian Beasley states, “We are deeply impressed with LeAnder’s commitment to WAEC and WWWE, and we have great confidence she is the ideal professional to serve as general manager of two historically successful AM stations in the Atlanta radio market.”

nielsen logoNielsen’s RADAR June 2015 Released; 167 Million Americans Reached.  The June 2015 RADAR from Nielsen is out and the ratings giant reports that this survey indicates more than 167 million Americans age 12 or older listened to a network radio commercial during an average week.  As industry pros are aware, Nielsen RADAR reports estimated audiences to network commercials broadcast by affiliates of the subscribing networks.  RADAR audience estimates do not account for listening to all network radio programming.  RADAR delivers data for the entire country but it also breaks out numbers for reach into the top 25 DMAs.  That data shows network radio reaches 64.6% of persons aged 12+; 68.5% of persons aged 18-49; and 69.3% of persons aged 25-54.  Nielsen’s RADAR (Radio’s All Dimension Audience Research) June 2015 Report is the standard currency for national network radio ratings and measures 43 individual radio networks.  These networks are operated by AdLarge Media, American Urban Radio Networks, Crystal Media Networks, Premiere Networks, United Stations Radio Networks and Westwood One.

Odds & Sods.  Nashville-based, Westwood One-syndicated talk show host Phil Valentine has a role in the new film The Secret Handshake, starring Kevin Sorbo (Hercules, God’s Not Dead), pop star Amy Grant and countryvalentinephil music singer Mark Collie.  The film was written and directed by Howie Klausner, who co-wrote Space Cowboys starring Clint Eastwood and Tommy Lee Jones.  In the movie about a young boy who starts down the wrong path and is taken on a camping trip by three concerned men, Valentine plays the role of a novelist pitching another book idea to Sorbo’s character.  Valentine says, “Hey, I got to do a scene with Hercules.  It doesn’t get much better than that.”…..Three of FOX Sports Radio’s talk shows will broadcast from the 2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay in University Place, Washington as part of the network’s coverage of the tournament.  “Jay Mohr Sports,” “Steve Gorman SPORTS!” and JT “The Brick” will air from Washington June 17-19 and the network’s coverage will continue through the weekend with national anchor Dan Breyer providing live updates during play…..Sports USA announces its 2015 NCAA football schedule, kicking off the season with an opening week doubleheader featuring Jim Harbaugh’s Michigan Wolverines facing Utah on Thursday September 3 and Washington Huskies head coach Chris Petersen’s return to Boise State on Friday September 4.  The 2015 schedule consists of 16 regular season games plus four bowl games.

rtdna logoRTDNA/Hofstra University Survey Indicates Local News Content Stabilizing.  That study by Hofstra University professor emeritus Bob Papper summarizes local news content for TV and radio.  Looking at the radio numbers, Papper reports that “66.2% of radio stations in the survey run local news — 71.9% of AM stations and 63.9% of FM stations.  The overall percentage running local news is down around 4 points (3.8) compared to last year — which was down 7.7 from the year before.  AM and FM stations were down about the same amount.”  The report shows, among other things, the number of minutes of news stations in different size markets air and one thing that pops out is the dip in minutes aired from major market stations to large market stations.  The weekday average number of minutes of news aired on major market stations was 129.3.  Large market stations aired much less news – 35.8 minutes on average during the week.  That number shoots back up for medium markets – 70.7 minutes and remains almost level in small markets at 68.9 minutes.  Read the study report here.

theblaze radio networkTheBlaze Radio Network’s Independence: An American Story Distributed by Premiere Networks.  The Fourth of July special “Independence: An American Story” – from Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze Radio Network – is being distributed to stations by Premiere Networks.  The show is hosted by TheBlaze’s Doc Thompson and Skip LaCombe and features appearances by several Blaze hosts, including Andrew W.K. and Sheriff David Clarke.  “The special highlights stories and conversations about the American Dream being achieved; the renewal of national pride and the accomplishments only possible in an independent, free nation; and why, despite the challenges facing Americans, this is the greatest nation on Earth.”  It’s available for news/talk stations to air from July 3-5, 2015.  Stations interested in this special should contact Premiere Networks’ affiliate relations department at 818-377-5300.

2016 Presidential Race/Jeb Bush Announces, Rachel Dolezal Case, Drone Strike Kills al Qaeda Leader, ISIS Military Activity, EU-Greece Tensions, TTP Trade Deal, and NHL and NBA Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/15).  Republican Jeb Bush officially enters the race for president in 2016; the case of Spokane NAACP head Rachel Dolezal who resigned from the post after questions about her identifying as black became a major news story; the U.S. military uses a drone strike to allegedly kill al Qaeda leader Nasir al-Wuhayshi; the United States’ policy in Iraq as ISIS continues its military campaign there; the state of the EU and Greece’s place in it as the Greek government fights the EU’s efforts to affect its policies; the tenuous state of the TTP trade deal; and the NHL and NBA Finals were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, June 15, 2015

| June 15, 2015

2015 NYC 150Packed Talkers New York 2015 Conference a Hit with Attendees.  Talk media industry practitioners jam-packed the India House in Manhattan’s Financial District on Friday, June 12 for a full day of presentations, panels and speeches as TALKERS magazine celebrated its 25th anniversary serving the talk radio industry at its 18th annual New York-located national conference.  The day began with a continental breakfast and reception titled, “Breakfast with Hannity,” sponsored by the Premiere Networks-syndicated talk radiokilmeadeHannityFrancesa15 superstar.  WFAN, New York sports talk legend Mike Francesa kicked off the presentations with a powerful and informative welcoming speech.  Panel discussions included such topics as “The State of Radio Ratings,” “The Big Picture,” “Generating Talk Radio Revenue,” “Programming Talk Radio in 2015,” “Variety, The Spice of Life,” and “Navigating a Talk Host Career.”  The program also included a one-on-one “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Cumulus Media EVP, content & programming John Dickey, plus the TALKERS quiversTalbott15Awards Presentation during which WOLB, Baltimore morning host Larry Young received the “Humanitarian of the Year Award,” Howard Stern co-host Robin Quivers received the “Woman of the Year Award,” CBS Radio News VP Harvey Nagler was presented the “Lifetime Achievement Award,” and ABC Television, director, business continuity Howard B. Price received the “Freedom of Speech Award.”  Michael Harrison states, “We are deeply gratified, humbled and grateful by the SRO turnout and the tremendous love and support we have consistently received that has allowed TALKERS and all its various projects to make it to the quarter-century milestone.  This conference exuded a level of confidence about the future of the talk industry held by its key players that we haven’t seen in years!”  Video of each of the sessions and presentations will be made available online via Talkers TV, along with detailed story and photographic coverage of the conference, beginning next week.  Above right, FOX News’ Brian Kilmeade, WFAN’s Mike Francesa and Sean Hannity share a joke.  Lower left, Premiere Networks’ Julie Talbott (left) presents the Woman of the Year Award to Robin Quivers (right).

limbaughrush15iHeartMedia to Create New Boston Home for Rush Limbaugh on WKOX.  Dropping the Spanish music format “Mia 1430,” iHeartMedia will launch “Talk 1430” WKOX on Monday, June 29 with Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh as the centerpiece along with company stalwarts Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck surrounding him.  WKOX is licensed to Everett, Massachusetts and its primary signalwkox logo covers the city of Boston and reaches many of its suburbs.   iHeartMedia is going with a sports and talk hybrid using FOX Sports Radio content in addition to syndicated talk programming.  Here’s the lineup: “FOX Sports Daybreak with Andy Furman & Mike North” in AM drive; Glenn Beck from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon; Limbaugh; Sean Hannity from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm; “America Now” from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm; Westwood One’s Mark Levin from 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight; and FOX Sports Radio during overnights.  iHeartMedia Boston market president Alan Chartrand says, “We are excited to bring this powerful lineup of talk show hosts to our cluster here in Boston.  We are confident that the biggest names in the talk radio format will serve our listeners and advertisers well.”

voltair imageCanada’s Numeris Orders Voltair Units Disabled Until Further Notice.  Canada’s Numeris – formerly called the Bureau of Broadcast Measurement – has ordered all Canadian radio stations to disconnect their Voltair units from their audio chains.  The audio processor manufactured by 25-Seven – a division of TelosAlliance – has been a controversial topic within U.S. broadcast circles recently for reportedly enabling stations in Nielsen’s PPM markets to “amplify” the encoding that PPM receivers use to “hear” in order to give stations credit for listening.  As was discussed at the Talkers New York 2015 conference on Friday (6/12) on the “State of Radio Ratings” panel, Voltair is currently being tested by Nielsen but no such edicts have been issued here.  Canada’s Numeris states in a letter to station owners that the order to shut off Voltair comes because of the “importance of a level playing field.”  Numeris admists it doesn’t know if the technology is affecting ratings or not but that it expects to have an analysis of Voltair done within 60 days.

hessbillCumulus Media Elevates Hess to Corporate PD of News/Talk. A session moderator at last Friday’s (6/12) “TALKERS New York 2015,” Bill Hess takes on corporate responsibilities in addition to his role as program director of Cumulus Media Washington, DC news/talker WMAL-AM/FM. According to Cumulus executive vice president of content and programming John Dickey, “Bill is one of the format’s best minds. We look forward to sharing him within our company.” Senior vice president of content and programming Mike McVay comments, “This promotion enables us to take advantage of Bill’s previous experience as a corporate programmer and rewards him for the amazing job that he is doing at WMAL.” Hess remarks, “I deeply appreciate – and am incredibly energizedCumulus by – this opportunity to work with John Dickey, Mike McVay, and our team of talented programmers as we continue to drive the success of the industry’s leading platform of news-talk brands, both on-air and digitally.” Formerly senior vice president of programming for Air America Radio, Hess was brand manager for Clear Channel/iHeartMedia and was PD of talk stations in Providence (WHJJ); Springfield, Massachusetts (WHYN-AM); and Worcester, Massachusetts (WTAG), as well as operations manager of Washington, DC progressive talker WWRC, sports WTEM, and conservative talk WTNT. The Philadelphia native has programmed FM music stations in Washington, DC (adult contemporary WASH and classic rock WBIG); Providence (hot AC WSNE and classic hits-oldies WWBB); Springfield, Massachusetts (hot AC WHYN-FM); and Worcester, Massachusetts (adult contemporary WSRS).

wrkologoNew Course Set at WRKO, Boston.  In a press statement announcing the hiring of Alison Harris as sales manager for Entercom’s news/talk WRKO, Boston, VP and market manager Phil Zachary says filling this two-year-vacant post signals the station’s readiness to forward with the next step inharrisalison its evolution.  He comments, “Like every talk radio station in America, WRKO has been evolving with the changing media habits and demographic shifts in our society.  We did not want to fill this important position until our course was set for the future and we found the perfect candidate.  I’m thrilled we’re now at that point and that Alison was available to us.”  Harris is a 22-year media pro who was most recently with Clear Channel Outdoor’s Washington, D.C./Baltimore Division as vice president of sales.  The Boston news/talk will part with Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh next month and says it will announce its new, official lineup a little later this month.

Odds & Sods.  Boston journalist and talk show host Michele McPhee told her listeners on Friday afternoon that she expects to beat the charges leveled against her after a late night incident on Thursday that resulted in her beingmcpheemichele arrested for DUI, resisting arrest and assaulting an officer.  McPhee – heard on WMEX, Boston in afternoon drive – says she can’t comment specifically on the advice of her attorney.  She was pulled over after a police officer reported seeing her car swerve on I-93 in South Boston.  The Boston Herald reports she became belligerent with the officer and even sustained a head injury while the officer was arresting her…..Salem Media Group names Randy Bush general manager of its Little Rock station group that includes Christian contemporary KKSP, Christian teaching KDIS and news/talk KHTE “96.5 The Answer.”…..Townsquare Media announces Mike “Sandman” Sanders is the new operations manager for its Billings, Montana cluster that includes news/talk KCHH “Newstalk 95.5.”  He was most recently with Riverbend Communications as music director and afternoon personality at adult contemporary KCLE, Idaho Falls “Classy 97.3.”

Nielsen Audio Releases Fourth Round of May 2015 PPM Data.  The fourth and final round of May 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford.  The May 2015 survey period covered April 23 through May 20.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

njba logoNJBA Conference and Gala Begins This Week.  The annual New Jersey Broadcasters Association Conference and Gala opens this week in Atlantic City with his year’s theme: “Broadcast Has  New Attitude.”  NJBA president  & CEO Paul Rotella states, “We’re going to hear from a variety of voices during this conference which  will provide you with the latest and most substantial evolution in research, technology and advancement in audience measurement.”  During the conference, the NJBA will be honoring FOX News’ Judge Andrew P. Napolitano as its recipient of the Howard L. Green Humanitarian of the Year.  Also, Greater Media’s Peter Smyth will induct Dan Finn, Harry Hurley, Dick Swetits, and Kevin Williams into the NJBA Hall of Fame.

hobbsgabe‘Get Well’ Wishes to Gabe Hobbs.  Longtime radio pro and Gabe Hobbs Media principal, Gabe Hobbs is recovering from a ruptured disc in his lower back.  He writes to the industry that he’s been largely unable to communicated while literally “on his back” in the hospital for the better part of the last two weeks.  He writes, “As some of you may have heard, I have been hospitalized with a ruptured disk in my lower back for a couple of weeks.  My back just seemed to explode on the afternoon of May 26th and I’ve been largely unable to answer emails, phone calls or texts ever since.  I couldn’t even sit up or walk for 9 days.  I’m finally able to do a little work on the computer and have somewhat cogent phone conversations at this point…My apologies as I know many of you are wondering if I just dropped off the face of the earth.  Everyone at TALKERS wishes Gabe a speedy recovery.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

| June 11, 2015

2015 NYC 150Talkers New York 2015 Set to Rock Big Apple Tomorrow.  Talk media professionals from all across America (and the world) will be gathering at the historic India House in the Financial District of lower Manhattan tomorrow for the 18th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest running and most important national convention.  The event – which sold out three weeks in advance – will feature 65 industry speakers discussing the major issues and challenges facing talk broadcasting on air, online and on satellite including the state of audience measurement systems, integrating the art of radio into the technology of the digital age, adapting to changing sociological and generational attitudes, generating revenue in a new paradigm, navigating controversy and managing on air careers, plus a whole lot more.  Talkers New York 2015 will be the “reality” site of two major documentary films about the media currently in production – plus TALKERS will video record all sessions and speeches for later playback on TalkersTV, free of charge.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “Every one of these spectacular events has had its own colorful story and has played a significant role in the fascinating evolution of this vital scene we call talk radio.  However, this one is particularly special to me because it coincides with the 25th anniversary of the founding of TALKERS magazine way back in the ancient year of 1990!”  To see the full agenda, please click here.

iheartmedia logo smalliHeartMedia-Unified Partnership Further Enhances Data-Driven Marketing Approach.  This partnership is being termed a “long-term” one with iHeartMedia investing in marketing technology firm Unified in order to “accelerate the company’s growth and expansion.”  iHeartMedia says the data-driven partnership will deliver “unprecedented insights to advertisers across iHeartMedia’s portfolio of radio, digital, mobile, live events, social and on-demand entertainment and information services.”  Further, it states, “The companies’ strategic partnership will leverage Unified’s Social Operating Platform, the marketing industry’s leading data and analytics platform, to aggregate and unlock the massive data sets generated from iHeartMedia’s 858 radio stations; 70 million registered users of its iHeartRadio platform; 87 million monthly digital uniques; more than 20,000 annual events; and more than 75 million social media users across its network.  In addition, iHeartMedia will contribute data generated from its programming and consumer audiences to Unified’s award-winning data platform.  The combination of iHeartMedia’s data and Unified’s analytics technology brings the power of attribution, audience identification, and impact analysis associated with digital marketing to the unparalleled scale of broadcast media.”  iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman comments, “Data-driven solutions are transforming the way that we deliver new value to our marketing partners, providing the ease, measurability and precision of digital marketing at the incredible scale of broadcast.  Unified allows us to leverage big data in new ways that make our portfolio of products, technology platforms, content and personalities the most powerful marketing vehicles available today.”

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases Third Round of May 2015 PPM Data.  The third of four rounds of May 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio 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.  The May 2015 survey period covered April 23 through May 20.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

bearmanbookcoverTalkers Books Gearing Up for Three Releases in Second Half of 2015.  After a 10 year hiatus since the publication of its last book, Modern Aging: A Guide for Seasoned Citizens to Achieve Health, Happiness and Purpose (Talkers Books, 2005) by upper demographics expert Carole MarksTALKERS announces plans for three new releases under the imprint Talkers Books during the second half of 2015.  Scheduled for release in July is Liars & Whores: How Big Government and Big Business Are Working to Save Their Own Assets, Not Yours (Talkers Books, 2015) by rising talk star Ethan Bearman. Bearman, who hosts a weekly show on Cumulus Media’s KSFO, San Francisco and another nationally syndicated by GCN, is described by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey as “one of the brightest, personable and politically independent of the industry’s new breed of young talkers with the potential to become the voice of Generation X.” Bearman’s book will be available in hard and soft cover versions as well as an e-bookhigginsbookcover configuration.  That will be followed by the August release of the first in a series of e-books under the umbrella description, “The Talkers Manifesto Series.” Titled, The Dr. Higgins Guide to Health and Wellness: Physical, Emotional, Intellectual, Spiritual by Evelyn Higgins, D.C.  (Talkers Books, 2015), it is written by a rising star in the field of alternative health care who came to the attention of the TALKERS editorial staff via her outstanding work in Georgia talk radio over the past several years.  Scheduled for release in the fall is Yappy Days: Behind the Scenes with Newsers, Schmoozers, Boozers and Losers (Talkers Books, 2015) by Bernadette Duncan.  In this revealing memoir, Duncan recounts her first-hand impressions working with some of the biggest names in talk radio during her 31-year career as a producer for such personalities as Larry King, Sally Jessy Raphael, Tom Snyder, Lou Dobbs, Gil Gross, Charles Osgood, Mike Gallagher and many more. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “We are enthusiastic about reinvigorating our book publishing arm.  The talk radio world is full of potential literary stars and we are going to do our best to help them find their readerships.”

Odds & Sods.  At the Cumulus Media cluster in New York City, production whiz Fitz is now serving as the producer of the daily “Right Now with Doug McIntyre” program that airs from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm on news/talk WABC.  Fitz was previously production director for sister hot AC WPLJ…..The Boston Herald has been named one of three finalists for the Innovator of the Year award presented by the Associated Press Media Editors for the creation of Boston Herald Radio and its integration into the news organization’s daily multimedia news process.  The winner will be selected in October.

Police Excessive Force Cases, 2016 Presidential Prospects, ISIS Military Progress/U.S. Military Policy in Iraq, TTP Trade Deal, New York Prison Break, ObamaCare Court Challenge, and NBA-NHL Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/10).  The spate of alleged excessive force incidents by police across the country and talk about relations between police forces and the Black community; the activities of the candidates for president in 2016; the military progress of ISIS in Iraq and the U.S. military’s response; the controversy over the TTP trade deal and questions about what’s really in the pact; the ongoing search for two escaped murder convicts in New York State; the expected ruling from the Supreme Court on health care subsidies and how it may affect ObamaCare; and the NBA and NHL Finals were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, May 29, 2015

| May 29, 2015

zieglerbrandonProfile: John Ziegler of the ‘John & Leah Talk Show.’  TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a profile of talk radio pro John Ziegler, whose weekend program with co-host Leah Brandon is busting out on stations across the country (recent adds include WNYM, New York; WNTP, Philadelphia; and WHAS, Louisville).  In this piece, the Envision Networks-syndicated personality talks about his frustrations with the corporate radio business, his work producing documentary films as well as his philosophy of radioJohnandLeahShow logo entertainment.  Ziegler says about this new program, “Our show is about what Leah and I can add to the public conversation that particular week and we are completely unafraid.  All we care about is providing three hours of informative entertainment.  Our business model allows us the freedom to do things other shows would never do.  I am the CEO of the corporation, so this time I cannot get fired and that gives us a huge advantage.  No one is over my shoulder telling me not to do something, or that I have to do something a certain way.”  Read the entire piece here.

brockstefanAlpha Media Names Stefan Brock Corporate VP, Interactive.  There’s a corporate vice president now in charge of the digital space for Alpha Media as the company announces Stefan Brock is named corporate VP of interactive.  Alpha says Brock will “oversee digital strategy, initiatives and the current corporate digital team.  Brock’s experience includes time working for Disney Interactive Media Group, Disney ABC Television Group and most recently, Super Mackerel where he served as executivealphamedia logo director of product and operations.  Alpha says the award-winning exec “has a passion for development of original cross platform digital media products and experiences that unite classic storytelling, original video and the latest in interactive social media technologies.”  Alpha Media CEO/president Bob Proffitt adds, “After a long search, we are very lucky and excited to have Stefan relocate to Portland and join our team.  Stefan’s experience, intelligence and customer focus was a perfect fit for our live and local strategy, and also the continued evolution of our interactive choices for listeners and customers.”

foxnewsradioMonday Marks 10-Year Anniversary of FOX News Radio.  On June 1, the FOX News Radio service will be 10 years old.  The company says, “When FOX News Radio launched our full-service network on June 1, 2005, we had 24 stations, half a dozen reporters and a plan to bring ‘Fair and Balanced’ news coverage to radio.  Now, a decade later, that same full-service network has almost 600 affiliated stations.  We have 11 full-time radio reporters spread across the country and around the world, and our podcasts and our presence on the social networks are unmatched by any commercial radio network.  And we are still growing.”

Odds & Sods. Beginning Monday, June 1, Radio Spokane-owned KJRB-AM, re-launches as “FOX Sports 790AM.”  The station will carry the network’s 24/7 lineup including: “Jay Mohr Sports,” Dan Patrick, Rich Eisen, “Steve Gorman SPORTS!,” “FOX Sports Daybreak with Andy Furman & Mike North,” and JT “The Brick,” as well as the network’s weekend programming…..Beasley Broadcast Group is declaring a $0.045/share quarterly dividend payable July 10 for shareholders of record as of June 30.

njba logoJudge Andrew Napolitano to Be Honored at NJBA Conference.  At the New Jersey Broadcasters Association conference June 17-18 at Caesars in Atlantic City, FOX News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano will receive the Howard L. Green Humanitarian of the Year Award.  Napolitano has been the senior judicial analyst for FOX News since 1998.  He appears regularly on both FOX News Channel and on FOX News Radio.  The NJBA says Napolitano is “a fierce champion of the First Amendment, particularly freedom of speech, and is nationally known for watching and reporting on the government as it takes liberty and property.”  NJBA president Paul Rotella adds, “To be sure, Judge Napolitano’s impressive career and public service include several major accomplishments, but I am most proud of his fearless defense of our industry, the First Amendment, and his ability to bring the law to life for his audience.  The Judge will receive this honor at our Awards Luncheon during our Annual Conference in Atlantic City on June 18.”

talkersten logoISIS Progress in Iraq Top News/Talk Story for Week of May 25-29.  The success of ISIS in taking the Iraqi city of Ramadi and the Syrian city of Palmyra and questions about the U.S.’s military policy in Iraq was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  Coming in at #2 was the 2016 presidential prospects and former New York Governor George Pataki’s entering the race.  At #3 was the Clinton Family Foundation’s finances tied with the FIFA corruption scandal followed by the Hillary Clinton emails probe and the Benghazi case at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on talk radio during the week.  It is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

| May 28, 2015

limbaughrushRush Limbaugh’s Boston Situation Has the Industry – and the Media – Talking.  After Entercom’s WRKO, Boston announced it would end its relationship with Rush Limbaugh and Premiere Networks when the current contract expired this summer, the show was thrust into the spotlight as radio industry watchers and special interest groups wondered aloud why Entercom is letting Limbaugh go and where the show might land in the nation’s #10 radio market.  Recently, Boston mediawrkologo reports have crosstown WMEX management saying that it will not pick up the show.  As TALKERS noted during its initial coverage of this story, the list of quality AM signals in Boston likely to add a news/talk program are few and many wonder if the show will end up on a suburban AM.  While organizations such as Media Matters might like to take credit for the Entercom decision – that they successfully showed advertisers the show is “toxic” – without detailed comments from Entercom or Premiere Networks, no one can say for sure.  However, it’s likely the decision was more financial and less politically judgmental in nature.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “Politics is a double-edged sword for talk radio.  Taking ownership of it in the era following the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine has proven to be a magic elixir that has given additional life and longevity to not only spoken-word programming but, by osmosis, the entire medium of radio itself.  The downside, of course, is the reality that politics – unlike its conceptual cousin, sports – is more than a ‘game’ and people do get hurt.  It is a dirty, ruthless business – a blood sport – that often brings out the worst in people that seek victory rather than truth.  This mindset has splashed over into the armchair analysis of events in radio.  Limbaugh – being the political poster child of the medium – is the target of so much vitriol, from both within and outside the industry, that any bump in the road that he suffers on a business or economic level is seized as evidence of his complete demise directly due to his alleged ‘wrongness’ and ‘toxicity.’  Also fueling the fires of anger seeking to burn Rush at the stake is widespread resentment toward Clear Channel – that runs much deeper than its rebranding as iHeartMedia can sidestep – being the primary symbol of the so-called evils of consolidation.  The truth is – just like almost everyone and every company in this business – Rush has an economic set of difficulties and hard choices to make, based on the financial realities of the radio business in 2015 and the fact that his act is more than a quarter century old.  Cut him some slack… yes, he has a problem in a couple of major markets — he ain’t the only one.  In their zeal to destroy the guy who has lots of miles left in his treads, I hope his critics don’t castrate radio of its greatest asset – the courage to be controversial, irritating, politically incorrect and even ‘wrong.’”

JohnandLeahShow logo‘The John & Leah Show’ Lands New York Affiliate WNYM.  The syndicated weekend talk show “The John & Leah Show” is now being heard on Salem Media Group-owned news/talk WNYM, New York “AM 970 The Answer.”  Hosted by radio pros John Ziegler and Leah Brandon, the Envision Networks-syndicated show that deals with “the week’s news focusing on media, politics, sports and pop culture” airs Sundays at 10:00 pm.  Salem Media Group New York VP/GM Jerry Crowley says, “‘AM 970, The Answer’ in New York is excited to air the ‘John and Leah Show’ each Sunday night…John Ziegler and Leah Brandon provide our listeners with up-to-date news and opinion and New Yorkers have a chance to call-in and let them know how they feel about it.”

cumulus logoCumulus Names Sutherland to Providence VP Market Manager Post. Taking over the VP/market manager position in Providence after Barbara Haynes’ exit last week is John Sutherland, who moves up from his VP of sales position with Cumulus Media’s Worcester, Massachusetts cluster.  Prior to joining Cumulus in 2013, he was chief visual officer for Sutherland Marketing Group.  He was also awpro logo vice president with iHeartMedia.  Cumulus SVP Gary Pizzati says, “Placing John at the helm of Cumulus Providence is a perfect fit for that dynamic group of stations and will maximize our position in the market.  John has many years of broadcast history in the Northeast and his tremendous track record speaks for itself.  This is another example of the opportunities for advancement and growth Cumulus offers to our employees.  We congratulate John and are pleased to present him with this well-deserved battlefield promotion.”

KMZQ-AMYahoo! Sports Radio About to Score in Vegas. The affiliation between Kemp Communications’ KMZQ “The Score,” Las Vegas and Yahoo! Sports Radio will start next Monday (6/1). Yahoo! Sports Radio chief executive officer David Gow states, “We have had a significant presence in Las Vegas through our great partnership with the [Las Vegas hotel and resort] Palazzo. It is so exciting to welcome our newest Las Vegas partner and to build on our deep connection with the market through a terrestrial signal. It’s going to be a big win for everyone.” KMZQ executive vice president and general manager Marty Basch comments, “Yahoo! has built locally-rooted connections with its national programming across the country. We are excited to be an integral part of its Las Vegas presence. From special events to nightly broadcasts, this is a great opportunity for KMZQ and its listeners to connect locally; get their national sports information; and be represented nationwide.” The lineup on KMZQ will include: Steve Czaban; “Prime Cut” with Sean Salisbury and John Granato; Leigh Steinberg; and “Sports X Radio” with Ken Thomson, who originates his Yahoo! Sports Radio show from the Palazzo. KMZQ is currently a Fox Sports Radio affiliate; the station did not appear in Nielsen Audio‘s April 2015 PPM report for Las Vegas.

Odds & Sods.  Talk pro Michael Bower (WUCS, Hartford and SiriusXM’s Maxim Radio) will fill in for WINZ,bowermike Miami’s Jeff “Defo” DeForrest on June 8 and 9…..New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. will be a weekly contributor to WEPN, New York “ESPN New York 98.7FM” on the Michael Kay show.  Beginning September 3, Beckham will join Kay and co-host Don LaGreca each Thursday to talk Giants football and the NFL.

wgnhofplaqueWGN, Chicago to Induct ‘Walk of Fame’ Class.  In a ceremony that will be open to the public (and broadcast live on WGN, Chicago) and hosted by personalities Steve Cochran and Bob Sirott, the station will honor 10 broadcast legends.  The WGN Radio Walk of Fame Induction and Ceremony will take place tomorrow (5/29) on Pioneer Court in front of Tribune Tower from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm.  The 2015 inductees include: Steve Bertrand, Lyle Dean, Dave Eanet, Steve King, Franklyn MacCormack (represented by Rick Kogan), Lou Manfredini, Johnnie Putman, Ward Quaal (represented by 2014 Walk of Famer Orion Samuelson), Ron Santo (represented by his wife Vicki) and Eddie Schwartz (represented by his brother Hal Ross).

tradupKrauthammer15Conservative Commentator Krauthammer to Join Salem Conference.  On Wednesday, June 17, Salem Radio Network talk hosts Bill Bennett, Mike Gallagher and Michael Medved will host a V.I.P. “Preview Dinner” in Washington, DC to kick-off the 2015 Road to Majority conference and conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer (pictured here at right with SRN VP/News & Talk Programming Tom Tradup at left) will be a special guest.  Former SRN talk host and GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum will also be featured at the conference, along with Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Mike Huckabee and others.

2016 Presidential Prospects/Rubio Claims Assault on Christianity, FIFA Scandal/Clinton Donations, Deadly Texas and Oklahoma Floods, ISIS Military Progress, Baltimore Violent Crime Wave, Hillary Clinton Emails Issue, IRS Data Theft Case, and NBA-NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/27).  The potential candidates for president in 2016 and Marco Rubio’s assertion that Christianity is under assault in America; the FIFA corruption scandal and its donations to the Clinton Family Foundation; the continuing, deadly heavy rains and flooding in Texas and Oklahoma; ISIS’ military successes in Ramadi and Palmyra; the increase in violent crimes in Baltimore since the Freddie Gray case; the ongoing scrutiny of Hillary Clinton’s use of private emails for State Department business; the theft of data from IRS computers that is suspected to have been Russian in origin; and the NBA and NHL playoffs 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.

Monday, May 18, 2015

| May 18, 2015

nielsen logoNielsen: News/Talk Format Top in April PPM Survey.  That’s from Nielsen Audio’s analysis of its own data from the April 2015 PPM survey.  News/talk wins the format race – calculated based on average quarter hour share – with an 8.8 share of persons 6+.  When it comes to persons 25-54, news/talk lands in fifth place with a 6.2 share.  Ahead of the format in that demographic are (from first to fourth) are: pop/CHR, country, AC and hot AC.  View the rest of Nielsen’s report here.

alphamedia logoAlpha Media to Acquire 36 Signals from Morris Communications.  With the announced intent to buy 36 stations in eight markets from Morris Communications, Alpha Media says it’s on track to hit the 135-station mark.  Morris operates radio stations in: Topeka; Salina, Kansas; Amarillo, Texas; Palm Springs and Victor Valley, California; Anchorage; Wasilla, Alaska; Grays Harbor-morriscommunicationsHoquiam, Washington and Wenatchee-Columbia River, Washington.   Alpha chairman Larry Wilson comments, “What a wonderful thing it is to combine with such a fine stable of radio properties.  They bring heritage radio stations to our platform that will truly enhance our growth opportunities extensively.”  Morris Communications chairman and CEO William S. Morris III says, “We are pleased to enter into this agreement with Larry Wilson and his exceptional team.  They are experienced operators that will maintain the ongoing success of these stations.  We take comfort in knowing we have superior employees in each market that will continue to serve these wonderful communities.”  George Reed of Media Services Group is the broker for Alpha Media.

fontanadannyFormer Charlotte Radio Host Danny Fontana Dies at 65.  As reported by the Charlotte Observer’s Mark Washburn, former financial talk host and station owner Danny Fontana has died at age 65.  The Observer reports Fontana’s wife Mary found him dead in his study on Friday evening (5/15).  Businessman-turned-stock broker-turned radio personality Fontana started in the radio business doing financial/economic commentaries on WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte.  He then did the afternoon show there for four years, starting in 1995.  In 2000 he started co-hosting with Al Gardner on WBT’s morning show.  In 2005, Fontana bought WDYT-AM, Charlotte and ran the station for four years before tough financial times forced the station to go dark in 2009.

2015 NYC 150Talkers New York 2015 Sponsor C. Crane to Provide all Speakers at this Year’s Conference with a Radio.  One of America’s leading independent manufacturers and distributors of radios and radio-related products, C. Crane, will be providing each of the approximately 65 speakers at Talkers New York 2015 with a brand new radio.  The gesture, hailed by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison as “really boss,” is a symbolic display of support for the continuing importance of over-the-air broadcasting as a basic American communications platform.  Continuing beyond his retro-ese blurt, Harrison states, “C. Crane is not only a major force in keeping the concept of over-the-air radio alive and well, the company has long been a fabulous friend to the radio industry through its numerous, long-term sponsorships of stations, networks andccrane logo programs.”  Harrison adds, “Company president Bob Crane knows that the best target consumer group for superb new radios are people who are already listeners to and fans of the medium.  We can all take a lesson from that simple and obvious observation in terms of giving people who already know how to use this elegant little system known as ‘AM/FM radio’ compelling reasons to stick around.”  C. Crane is one of 15 sponsors of Talkers New York 2015 that include (in alphabetical order): ABC News Radio, American Family Farmer, Broadcasters General Store, Comrex Corporation, C. Crane, The Ric Edelman Show, The Sean Hannity Show, Life Coach Media, Newsmax, Premiere Networks, Radio America, The Dave Ramsey Show, Talk Radio News Service and A Touch of Grey (radio show).  Although registrations for the 18th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest running and most-important annual convention are sold out, several major sponsorship opportunities are still available.  For information please call 413-565-5413.  Talkers New York 2015 is a one-day event that takes place on Friday, June 12 at the historic India House in New York’s financial district.  For the latest agenda please click here.

Odds & Sods.  Former Boston talk radio producer Jeremy Leahy is now hosting his own show on the Cleveland, Tennessee-based digital station “Red State Talk Radio Network.”  Leahy’s program, “Standing Ground,” premieres on Thursday, May 28 at 7:00 pm ET.  During his career, Leahy has worked with conservative talk hosts including Jay Severin, Laura Ingraham and Bill O’Reilly…..NPR vice president for programming Eric Nuzum is exiting the public radio corporation for SVP of original programming for Amazon.com-owned Audible.com…..Radio personality Mark West’s oldies and talk morning show on WALL, Middletown, New York ends.  West had been brokering the time on the station and the rest of the dayparts had flipped to a regional Mexican format.

Cool Job Opportunity. Are you ready to go back to school?  Montclair State University Radio in beautiful, suburban Montclair, New Jersey, is looking for a new general manager.  Reporting to the director of the school of communication and media, the general manager is responsible for overseeing the 24/7 operation of WMSC-FM.  The GM will work closely with students, administration, faculty, staff, and alumni to develop a presence for the university radio station, which serves campus and local communities as well as a more global audience through the Internet. S/he will teach courses and workshops for students, fostering a rich learning environment and enabling the development of skills in all key areas of radio programming and production. S/he will also be responsible for maintaining full Federal Communications Commission compliance for the university’s licensed radio station.  Click HERE for more information and to apply online.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

| May 13, 2015

price howardPrice: Covering Breaking News at the Worst Time.  Last night’s deadly Amtrak train crash in Philadelphia caught many news outlets by surprise and, according to ABC TV director, business continuity Howard B. Price, even the big networks that were on the scene late into the evening made plenty of mistakes.  But, he says, local stations need to prepare for the unexpected.  “Regardless of the size of your station, or its resources, you simply have to be ready to cover it in a timely, comprehensive and authoritative way.  It’s why you have a license.  If you were watching cable news last night, you saw waaaay too much speculation as to cause…and more than anything else, you saw talent talking more than they were listening.  You also saw stunning displays of what happens when you thrust ill-prepared anchors into continuous coverage and not give them much substance to work with.”  Preparing to cover such a news event, especially for a smaller station, takes plenty of foresight and hard work.  Price provides some detailed advice for strategizing this preparation.  Read his entire story here.

brownchrisChris Brown to Be Syndicated in Ramsey-Salem Partnership.  The new Christian financial radio program starring pastor and speaker Chris Brown is called “Chris Brown’s True Stewardship” and will launch in June.  The joint effort by Dave Ramsey’s Ramsey Solutions and Salem Media Group willramseydave debut the show on Salem-owned Christian teaching outlets in 20 markets including Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia and Atlanta.  Dave Ramsey says, “Creating a Christian radio show, hosted by Chris Brown, allows Ramsey Solutions to help even more Americans take control of their money.  Chris has been speaking to crowds in excess of 10,000 attendees with an incredibly positive response.  He is the perfect person to host this new half-hour show!”

beckerjodiJodi Becker to Leave WTMJ, Milwaukee for Family Reasons.  In a memo to staff at Scripps Milwaukee, VP/GM Tom Langmyer praises news anchor Jodi Becker for her work with news/talk WTMJ as he announces she’ll be resigning from the station on May 29 in order to spend more time with herwtmj logo young children.  Langmyer writes, “Jodi Becker has been a part of the WTMJ family since 2009.  She’s been a leader in our newsroom and a strong voice at WTMJ.  During the past few years, Jodi continued to grow greatly as she moved into Wisconsin’s ‘Morning News with Gene Mueller.’  When the structure of the program changed to have more of Gene and Jodi, the news content was broadened and a more conversational approach was added – Jodi excelled even further.  Jodi and the ‘Wisconsin’s Morning News Team’ are a big reason for the incredible growth in WTMJ’s overall ratings in the past year or so.

espnScott Van Pelt to Leave ESPN Radio Show for SportsCenter Gig.  Announced at the ESPN Upfront presentation in New York City on Tuesday was the news that ESPN personality Scott Van Pelt will exit the SVP & Russillo show (co-hosted by Ryen Russillo) later this summer as he transitions to his new role with the sports giant hosting the midnight edition of the cable network’s iconic “SportsCenter” show.  ESPNvanpeltscott signed him to a new, multi-year extension in the process and says “Van Pelt will put his own, unique spin on the day’s news and highlights while offering the commentary, guests, interviews and insight fans have come to expect from the host of ESPN Radio’s SVP & Russillo.”  Van Pelt comments, “It was going to take something remarkable for me to consider a day that didn’t include radio, and this would qualify.  To be allowed and empowered to bring some of the sensibility of radio to this space is fantastic.”  ESPN Radio has made no comment about what will appear in place of SVP & Russillo on the network.

ppmunitNielsen Audio Releases Second Round of April 2015 PPM Data.  The second of four rounds of April 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  The April 2015 survey period covered March 26 through April 22.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

welikeitloud logoNew Sleeping with Sirens Podcast to Launch on Podcast One.  The Norm Pattiz-founded audio-on-demand platform Podcast One is bringing a new music-oriented program to its stable with the new “We Like It Loud” podcast from Sleeping With Sirens frontman Kellin Quinn.  Quinn is also co-founder of the clothing line Anthem Made.  Podcast One notes that the band has “102 million streams, 83 million music video views and a debut at #3 on Billboard’s Top 200,” and now the band will being this podcast from the road on its “We Like It Loud” summer tour.  Podcast One CEO Norm Pattiz states, “Kellin and Sleeping with Sirens are in the center of the rock scene and continue churning out hits, while focusing heavily on their fans through social media.  It will be very exciting to give music fans an insider look at their favorite bands, while incorporating the unique dynamic of taking fans on the road with Quinn and SWS’ upcoming summer tour.”

Odds & Sods.  The new vice president of programming for Genesis Communications is Tom Paleveda.  He comes to Genesis’ Florida operations from his most recent post with Galaxy Communications of New York and assumes the role vacated by Len Weiner who became PD at Lincoln Financial Media’s sports talker WAXY, Miami in March…..Chicago news pro Robin Robinson adds a new three-hour Monday evening show titledrobinsonrobin “Robin’s Nest” on urban talker WVON, Chicago to her radio duties.  The longtime WFLD-TV, Chicago news anchor recently signed on with CBS RADIO to serve as fill-in anchor on all-news WBBM-AM…..Singer Josh Groban addressed his concerns over alleged ticket price gouging by a Philadelphia stigallchrisvenue on Chris Stigall’s WPHT morning show.  Groban is appearing in Philly in September and claims he switched venues after learning the first theater was adding $20 to each ticket…..SiriusXM announces that two of the head writers for the David Letterman show will join the satcaster to serve as creative contributors to the “Opie and Jim Norton” show as well as other programming.  Brothers Eric and Justin Stangel are Emmy Award-winning writers who’ve been with the Letterman show since 1997…..The Detroit News reports that Cumulus-owned WJR is getting into the bidding process for the play-by-play rights to Detroit Tigers baseball.  Currently, CBS RADIO’s WXYT-FM “The Ticket FM 97.1” and WXYT-AM have the rights that end in 2015.  The paper also reports that Greater Media sports outlet WMGC “Detroit Sports 105.1” is interested in bidding for the rights.  CBS has owned the broadcast rights since 2001.

kevtTucson Talker to Attempt Guinness Record.  The record talk host Jim Parisi of KEVT, Tucson “PowerTalk1210” is shooting for is the Most Interviews in a 24-Hour Period, and he hopes to crack the 350 mark between 10:00 am on May 24 through 10:00 am on May 25.  Because it’s Memorial Day Weekend, the One Mart Corporation-owned talk station is attempting the record in honor of America’s veterans who sacrificed for their country.  Money will be raised for local veterans’ groups during the attempt.  The first 50 or more interviews will be with local veterans, face-to-face in the PowerTalk studios.  Parisi says, “Our veterans lay down their lives for us.  They sacrificed so that we may enjoy freedoms, one of which is freedom of speech, and broadcasters should never forget that.  So a handful of dedicated people at our station will be slightly uncomfortable trying to function for 24-hours without sleep, honoring our servicemen and women, past and present.  It’s a simple gesture and the least we can do.”

Michelle Obama Racism Speech, Baltimore Aftermath, Patriots and Tom Brady ‘Deflategate’ Sanctions, Bush-Christie Iraq War Flap, North Korea Executions, Nepal Aftershock, Kerry Visits Putin in Russia, Obama Trade Bill, and South China Sea Military Operations Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/12).  First Lady Michelle Obama’s commencement address at Tuskegee University in which she discussed her racism experiences; the political and legal aspects of the aftermath of the Baltimore riots and protests; the controversy over the NFL’s sanctions against the Patriots and Tom Brady after the “deflategate” issue; New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s criticism of Jeb Bush’s statement he would have approved Iraq War; the recent spate of executions of government officials in North Korea by Kim Jong Un; Nepal’s suffering a large aftershock to the quake that hit two weeks ago; Secretary of State John Kerry visits Russia and Vladimir Putin; the rancor over President Obama’s trade bill; and the U.S. military’s pondering action in the South China Sea to counter China’s military activities there were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

| May 6, 2015

Sean Hannity Says Times Have Reached a Seriously Important ‘Tipping Point’  – Candidly Discusses Wide Variety of Media/Industry Issues on Michael Harrison’s ‘Up Close and Far Out’ Podcast. TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison interviews Premiere Networks and Fox News Channel harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmalltalk superstar Sean Hannity on this week’s installment of the international hit podcast series, “Up Close and Far Out.”  In an exclusive 30-minute conversation, Harrison and Hannity cover a variety of fascinating topics including the changing nature of how politics is (and should be) handled in talk media as well as challenges presented by the digital age in achieving accurate audience measurement (a subject he will be spearheading at Talkers New York 2015) and his condemnation of the practice of organized political groups trying to “catch” talk show hosts withhannity whom they disagree saying something politically incorrect for the sake of shutting them down.  He explains that the days of predictable arguments about politics within the traditional “right versus left” paradigm are over… or at least they are for him.  He states, “Here’s an interesting evolution of my show… I am far more critical of Republicans than I am of Democrats these days… my argument being that they should know better… they are not articulating an inspiring vision that lets people who don’t have hope today know that their lives could be better.”  Hannity goes on to say that these times and today’s issues are so serious that talk show hosts need to re-evaluate what they consider to be “entertainment” in their medium.  He examines the unique set of functions being a talk show host encompasses and the many different roles they play in doing their jobs: “Some days I might be a newsmaker, some days I might be at the White House interviewing a president.  I might be interviewing a secretary of defense or a secretary of state.  Sometimes I might be interviewing a top newsmaker based on what the issues of the day are.  Another day I might be fostering a debate on the social issues that happen to be in the news.  Sometimes I am interacting with callers.  At other times, I’m giving a monologue with strong opinions.  That is by definition what a talk show host is… it is a unique role in the media.  It is unlike any other position that exists out there.  Reporters are supposed to report on the news and never give their opinion.  Anchors and reporters are supposed to be fair, balanced and objective.  That’s not my role.  My role is not to be fair and balanced… but at times, will I do a straight interview about news and facts or maybe the content of a book or an experience that somebody had while fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan or maybe their role in the CIA or the FBI or maybe their life as a Navy Seal?  Of course!  And that falls under the umbrella of what is our unique role as a talk show host which enables us to do a lot of different things… and then, maybe on a Friday when I’m kind of sick and tired of the news, I’ll put on Jim Norton or Larry the Cable Guy or any comedian and we’ll just have a fun half hour or hour or we’ll just goof around with calls and I’ll just be having fun with the listeners.”  In describing Sean Hannity, Michael Harrison states, “I know Sean has his share of political critics – but that comes with the territory of being a compelling radio/TV talk show host in the modern era.  Sean’s success as a professional performer is borne out by the numbers and track record he has accrued and maintained for such a long period of time.  What many people who only see and hear him as a media performer do not realize is that he is an outstandingly admirable human being… as a family man, colleague and positive spirit.”  To listen to Sean Hannity on “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” please click  here or click on the special player box in the right hand column of every page on Talkers.com.

brady billBrady: What to Consider Before Buying a Radio Station.  Radio sales/management pro and president of Futures & Options Inc, Bill Brady, presents his perspective on the business of radio station ownership in a column published today (5/6).  Brady writes that for anyone planning to get into the radio business these days, there are some serious points he believes need to be considered first.  “Over the years, too many bloated egos have crashed and burned on the rocks of radio station ownership.  Some were small players who misjudged situations, overpaid for stations, stupidly signed personal guarantees and went bankrupt.  Some huge corporate egos have also lost their groups when they tried to pull off acquisitions too big to digest when economic adversity inevitably came along.”  Is there a future for the entrepreneurial owner without a personal fortune to spend?  Brady says, “Yes, I said it is still a good business for the time being.  Radio stations in 2015 can still generate 30% cash flow.  But, we can’t stop time and with every passing year there is more competition for media time and ad dollars.  And that’s before the ‘connected car’ achieves critical mass.”  Read Brady’s entire column here.

paigemollyMolly Paige Joins Doug Stephan’s ‘Good Day.’ Joining the Stephen Multimedia-produced, nationally syndicated morning program “Good Day” is news radio pro Molly Paige.  She takes on the co-host and news anchor role effective immediately.  Paige, most recently working in network news in Washington, comments, “I knew this would be the situation worth waiting for from the very first time I talked withstephangoodday logo Doug.  He has created a show that informs his audience with the top trending news stories and then entertains them with his personal insight.  I look forward to adding my perspective to the show.”  Paige has also worked at Los Angeles signals KABC, KLOS, KRLA, KCBS-FM and in San Antonio on WOAI.   Doug Stephan says, “The addition of Molly to the ‘Good Day’ team of Rich McFadden, Jennifer Horn and Ken Kessler will help us continue to deliver fast and fun morning conversation.  She has great energy and we are thrilled to introduce her to our loyal listeners.”

wdbo-FM logoWDBO, Orlando to Present Domestic Violence Awareness Panel.  This evening (5/6), Cox Media Group news/talk outlet WDBO, Orlando “News 96.5” is presenting a live, one-hour program to “raise new awareness about Central Florida’s growing domestic violence problem and ask listeners to take action in support of eliminating domestic violence.”  The event is a partnership with The George C. Young American Inn of Court – an organization of more than 125 lawyers and judges dedicated to improving professionalism in the practice of law in Central Florida.  Titled, “Awareness & Action: Domestic Violence,” the panel will include Belvin Perry, former chief judge who presided over the Casey Anthony murder trial; Jeff Ashton, Florida’s Ninth Judicial Circuit State Attorney who was on the prosecution team in the Casey Anthony trial; Sherri DeWitt, “News 96.5” legal analyst and founder of The DeWitt Law Firm in Orlando; and Carol Wick, CEO for local domestic violence outreach, Harbor House of Central Florida, Inc.  The panel will be moderated by Joe Kelley, host of “Orlando’s Morning News” on “News 96.5,” and Nancy Alvarez, WFTV-TV, Orlando news anchor.  It will be broadcast live on WDBO at 7:00 pm and will be videostreamed on the CMG Orlando radio station websites.

boldgoldfounationBold Gold Foundation to Present Citizenship Award at Inaugural Fundraiser.  The Bold Gold Broadcast and Media Foundation – formed by Bold Gold Media Group to help prepare tomorrow’s frontline communicators – is holding its Inaugural Fundraising and Dinner Event on May 19 at Mohegan Sun Pocono in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.  The evening will feature citizen-journalist James O’Keefe of Project Veritas as the guest speaker in addition to the presentation of the 2015 Atlas Award for Citizenship to Bob Tambur – abenedettovince Northeast Pennsylvania business leader and philanthropist.  Bold Gold president Vince Benedetto says, “Radio broadcasting is the most powerful, informative, and persuasive medium in the world, and the news and talk formats are extremely demanding, and like all media, evolving… and we need the best and brightest communicators of tomorrow to begin preparing for these fields today.”  Bold Gold states that the Atlas Award is presented to an individual who, through their hard work and bold actions, show what is possible to achieve in a free society, and who exhibits extraordinary dedication to the highest ideals of character, community service, entrepreneurialism, patriotism, leadership, and virtue.

goldberghankHank Goldberg to Assume Afternoons on WMEN, West Palm Beach.  According to a report in the Florida Sun-Sentinel, former ESPN reporter and analyst Hank Goldberg will be hosting the afternoon drive show on James Crystal Radio-owned sports talker WMEN, Royal Palms, Florida “640 Sports.”  Hank “The Hammer” Goldberg worked at both WIOD and WQAM in Miami during his radio career and spent 20 years with ESPN.  James Crystal has not commented on the move and Joe Raineri is currently afternoon personality.

Odds & Sods.  The 2015 New York Emmy Awards were held on Saturday (5/2) and multimedia talker Lionel of LionelMedia.com received the Emmy for commentary and editorial writing for his work at WPIX Channellionel 11…..Los Angeles all-news KNX “1070 NEWSRADIO” is presenting the KNX Business Hour’s 2015 Small Business Summit on Friday, May 8 at Sheraton Universal Hotel in Universal City.  The event, titled “Achieving Small Business Success,” is designed to give small business owners and those thinking about starting a business insight into the key challenges of turning a passion into a profitable venture.  KNX Business Hour anchor Frank Mottek will moderate a special guest panel of business experts…..CBS RADIO and CBS Local Digital Media are debuting the “WOOOOO! Nation” podcast to its Play.it platform.  The podcast features former pro wrestler Ric Flair, also known as The Nature Boy.

Baltimore Aftermath, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Clinton Family Foundation Scrutiny, Prophet Cartoon Shooting Incident, California Drought, Kofi Annan Insect Proposal, Obama Trade Deal, and Amnesty Issue Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/5).  The legal and political effects of the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore; the growing list of potential candidates for president in 2016; the ongoing scrutiny of the operation of the Clinton Family Foundation; the Garland, Texas prophet drawing contest and questions about ISIS attacks on U.S. soil; action being taken in California to address the state’s ongoing drought; former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan’s suggestion eating insects will help combat global warming; the political battles over President Obama’s proposed trade deal; and the amnesty for illegals issue were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

| April 29, 2015

pricehowardPursuing Truth Amid Civil Unrest.  Media outlets have experienced a number of situations recently that qualify as true “danger zones” in which to send their reporters and tech crews if they choose to cover the event first hand.  ABC TV director of business continuity Howard B. Price writes today about the hazards radio news staffers are facing in situations similar to what’s been happening in Baltimore and – not too long ago – Ferguson, Missouri.  He presents a plan for broadcasters to follow in preparing for coverage of such news events in the future.  Read his entire piece here.

dickeylewLew Dickey, Cumulus, Agree to Continuation. The co-founder of Cumulus Media will be remaining in-place for at least another three years: Lew Dickey extends his employment agreement as the company’s president and chief executive officer. In addition, he will carry on as a board member through 2018. According to board member Jeff Marcus, “We are grateful that Lew Dickey, who has built Cumulus into a leading national media business, has renewed his commitment to lead the company into the future. I look forward to continuing to collaborate with Lew to build value for our shareholders.” In other news at the Atlanta-based company, Ridgemont Equity PartnersRobert “Trey” Sheridan, III, will retire from Cumulus’ board when his termCumulus ends at this year’s annual stockholders meeting; Association of Magazine Media (MPA) president and chief executive officer Mary Berner will be nominated to fill Sheridan’s vacated seat. Dickey comments, “We are fortunate to be adding Mary Berner to our board. Her insights and experience will be valuable as we continue to position the company for long-term success in the changing media landscape.” Elsewhere, Cumulus lead director, Jeffrey Marcus, is appointed non-executive board chair. Marcus has been a Cumulus board member since 2011. He is a partner with Crestview Partners, Cumulus’ largest stockholder.

zampillodanRed Zebra Officially Names Dan Zampillo to PD WTEM, Washington.  The company owned by Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder announces former WXYT-FM, Detroit and SiriusXM program director Dan Zampillo is taking over the programming reigns at its sports talk WTEM, Washington “ESPN 980.”  The PD position opened up after Chuck Sapienza exited in the middle of the on-off-on again addition of the new “Man Cave” morning show hosted by Chris Paul and Jason ReidRed Zebra Broadcasting CEO Rick Carmean says, “When it comes to sports, we have the best on-air talent in the area.  We look forward to having Dan join our team.  He brings great leadership, experience and fresh insight.”


What News/Talk Fans Are Doing When They’re Not Listening To Your Station.  In a piece prepared for TALKERS magazine by Jacobs Media based on data from the company’s recently released Techsurvey 11, company president Fred Jacobs presents a media and tech profile of news/talk P1s.  He notes that while news/talk P1s tend to lag behind younger demos in the tech and social media areas, that’s changing.  “Fans of the format are more likely to own a tablet, listen to podcasts, and subscribe to satellite radio.  They are less apt to be social networkers.  Compared to just a few short years ago, news/talk devotees are catching up tech-wise with their kids.  The data show that six in 10 stream video at least weekly while nearly eight in 10 own a smartphone.”  See how news/talk P1s choose to use social media and why they turn to broadcast talk radio.  Read the entire piece here.

Odds & Sods.  From the podcast genre comes news that PodcastOne is unveiling a new series featuring TV personality and entertainment reporter Katie Wagner, and international celebrity psychic Voxx Voltair.  Dubbed, “InnerView with Katie and Voxx,” it promises to combine “the hottest news in Hollywood with astrology, clairvoyance, numerology, and Tarot readings and features the latest gossip, fashion trends, and secrets from celebrity guests.”…..At the same time CBS RADIO and CBS Local Digital Media announce some new on-demand programming on its Play.it platform.  New shows include podcasts from SHOWTIME Boxing Commentator Paulie Malignaggi, ELLE Style correspondent Alia Ahmed-Yahia, TED.com speaker Julian Treasure, former CNN senior executive producer Michael Schulder’s “Wavemaker Conversations,” “The Marilu Henner Show”; and “Boomer & Carton” producer Al Dukes’ interview series with media moguls called, “Al’s Boring Podcast.”…..SiriusXM is launching “Let’s Talk with Abby and Ari,” a live, one-hour weekly, call-in show hosted by MSNBC The Cycle’s Abby Huntsman and Ari Melber.  The show will entail Huntsman and Melber examining the news of the day first, and welcoming tastemakers and newsmakers for interviews in a relaxed, casual style.  “The show will be a conversation at the cross-section of current events, politics and entertainment.”…..ESPN 2 “First Take” moderator Cari Champion is now hosting a new weekly ESPN Audio podcast called, “espnW Presents: Be Honest with Cari Champion.”  It will feature the “straight-shooting, always-honest Champion talking sports and more with A-list athletes and celebrity guests.”

srnlogoSalem Radio Network to Organize Aid Drive for Nepal Earthquake Victims.  Via its Washington-based SRN News, Salem Radio Network launched a campaign on its 1,600-plus affiliates nationwide to encourage donations on behalf of victims of last Saturday’s earthquake in Nepal.  The network is working with Oklahoma City-based nonprofit relief organization Project HOPE.  SRN will generate funds to rush food and emergency supplies to the stricken area.  The effort includes Salem Radio Network nationally syndicated talk hosts Bill Bennett, Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, Michael Medved, Eric Metaxas and Hugh Hewitt.

fisherhouselogoFisher House Foundation Offers Memorial Day Special to News/Talk Outlets.  As it has done in the past, Fisher House Foundation is offering news/talk radio stations a three-our Memorial Day Weekend program titled, “A Hero’s Best Medicine.”  Fisher House says this year’s program contains “all-new, compelling and diverse storytelling.  The show shares the role that Fisher House plays in military heroes’ recovery, giving family a safe place to stay just steps from their hospital rooms.”  Some of the stories told include that of Marine Cpl. Kyle Carpenter, a Medal of Honor recipient, and his family in South Carolina. Carpenter threw himself on a grenade in Afghanistan to save a fellow Marine’s life. His parents spent nearly three years in a Fisher House; and Marine Cpl. Jake Schick, a wounded warrior who attracted the attention of Clint Eastwood and landed a role in the blockbuster film “American Sniper.”  Schick met his wife in a military hospital.  Throughout his recovery she stayed in a Fisher House.  The program is hosted by KARN, Little Rock afternoon host Doc Thompson.  For affiliation details on “A Hero’s Best Medicine,” news/talk stations should send an email to radio@fisherhouse.org with the word “radio” in the subject line.

Baltimore Protests, SCOTUS Gay Marriage Arguments, Clinton Foundation Scrutiny, Nepal Quake Aftermath, 2016 Presidential Prospects, and Iranian Navy Intercepts U.S. Ship Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/28).  The tactics to curb the violent protests in Baltimore and the political aspects of the event; the Supreme Court’s hearing of arguments in the case challenging the anti-gay marriage laws in four states; the ongoing scrutiny of the financial operations of the Clinton Foundation; the aftermath of the earthquake that’s taken more than 5,000 lives in Nepal; the potential candidates for president in 2016 including new possibilities Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley; and the interception of a U.S-flagged ship in the Strait of Hormuz by an Iranian Naval vessel were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

NAB/NMX: At Conventions, We Convene

| April 15, 2015

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant


cookewriterLAS VEGAS — Two words if you ever attend the National Association of Broadcasters’ April NAB Show: “comfortable shoes.”

The sprawling Las Vegas Convention Center exhibit hall is tech city.  The crowd is three-deep around booths demonstrating drones that TV stations await FAA permission to use for newsgathering.  Audio gear now caters to two constituencies: broadcasters and podcasters; and it’s getting smaller, smarter, and more-user-friendly.  It is now easier and less expensive to produce audio than back when reel and cart machines and rack monsters were on display here.

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Legacy Media: Still the 800-Pound Gorilla

| April 6, 2015

By Bill Brady
Futures & Options, Inc.

bradybillwriterJupiter, Fla. — Regular readers of the media trades or general interest publications have been subjected to a non-stop barrage of digital media brainwashing for the last 15 years.

This is the product of the PR machine employed by digital start-ups to build and reinforce their investment value through rounds of funding leading to an eventual IPO.  Media consultants who hope to survive as digital experts also contribute mightily to the noise.  So do media companies themselves who are complicit in allowing the misguided narrative to go on and on and on.

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February 2015 PPM Analysis: News

| April 3, 2015

By Mike Kinosian,
Managing Editor

kinosianLOS ANGELES When we tracked the progress of all-news stations in January, we discovered something exceptionally impressive: Not one facility on that panel regressed (6+) from “Holiday” 2014.

Surely, that group could not repeat that feat January – February, but the following recaps how they fared.

News facilities that rank in the top 20 in a PPM market (6+, February 2015) comprise the following scoreboards.

Nielsen Audio only releases audience estimates for stations that subscribe to its services. Owing to that reason, ratings stats in this TALKERS analysis are limited to stations that pay Nielsen Audio for its data.

An asterisk (*) designates genuine news-talk hybrids – stations whose broadcast day is approximately 50% news and 50% talk.

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Monday, March 30, 2015

| March 30, 2015

garciatonySix Tips for Success in Syndication.  The syndication game in the radio business has gotten so much more competitive over the years that today one must have a well-thought out and almost flawlessly executable plan in order to successfully bring a radio show to a national audience.  That warning doesn’t mean it can’t be done – it’s just gonna be real hard.  But Global Media Services principal Tony Garcia – a veteran of the radio and syndication businesses – writes in TALKERS magazine that a quick rundown of his six-point checklist can let you know whether or not you have a reasonable shot.  Point #1 is Know Your Product.  Sound easy?  Read more here.

ramseyDallas15Dave Ramsey Does Dallas. Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar and New York Times best-selling author, Dave Ramsey is pictured here on stage at the Verizon Theater in Dallas where he hosted his “Smart Conference.”  This day-long event took place on Saturday, March 28 and included Ramsey, along with Chris Hogan, John O’Leary, Dr. Henry Cloud, Dr. Les Parrott, Dr. Meg Meeker and Michael Jr. providing attendees with essential information on how to win with money, strengthen their marriages, build parenting skills and excel in their careers.  Ramsey also hosted his “EntreLeadership 1 Day Event” in Dallas on Friday, March 27 during which Ramsey and Hogan spoke about how to run a business using the same common sense principles that Ramsey practices in his own company of more than 400 employees.  Ramsey partnered with CBS RADIO-owned local affiliate KRLD-AM “Newsradio 1080” to promote the appearances.

gallagherFergusonPlayposterMike Gallagher to Play Roles in Ferguson: The Play.  Nationally syndicated talk radio pro Mike Gallagher – whose program is heard around the nation via Salem Radio Network – will take part in a controversial stage production in Los Angeles based on the shooting death of Michael Brown by Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson.  Regular TALKERS magazine readers are aware that Gallagher is, in addition to his radio work, an accomplished stage actor.  Hegallaghermike appeared on Broadway in the musical Memphis and who took home a TONY Award as one of the investors in the 2014 Broadway revival of Pippin.  In this production, based on the Grand Jury witness testimony, Gallagher will play three roles: a lawyer, a forensic toxicologist and a medical examiner.  At the end of the production, the theatre audience will be asked to judge whether or not Darren Wilson should have been indicted.  The play will be presented at the Odyssey Theater in Los Angeles for four nights – April 26-29.  The producers of the Phelim McAleer-written and Nick DeGruccio-directed play hope to bring it to the stage in Ferguson itself.

brandmeierUnhingedlogoJohnny B’s ‘Talk Unhinged’ Debuts on Westwood One Today.  Stating that the program is debuting on 100 affiliate stations across the country, Westwood One announces the new Jonathon Brandmeier show is called “Talk Unhinged,” and the company says it’s “an entertaining, offbeat look at news, pop culture, and sports–from the big trending topics to the stories about to fall through the cracks–combined with celebrity interviews and free-wheeling audience interaction.”  It airs live from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm ET and launches on such Cumulus Media stations as: home base WLS-AM Chicago; KABC-AM, Los Angeles; KLIF-AM Dallas; WWBA-AM, Tampa; KKAT-AM, Salt Lake City; WPRV-AM, Providence; and KTBL-AM, Albuquerque; among others.

pagetommyCumulus Media Recruits Tommy Page for New Executive Role.  Former Pandora, Billboard and Warner Bros. Records exec Tommy Page is now with Cumulus Media as senior vice president of brand partnerships  where he’ll focus live events for that division of the company.  In this position Page will report directly to president and CEO Lew Dickey, who comments, “As an artist and marketer, Tommy is a natural choice to create meaningful connections between artists, brands and their passionate fans through immersive and measurable marketing experiences.  Tommy has a deep understanding of the live experience and helping advertisers bring their brands to life with unique partnerships.”

veatanyaVea Promoted at KSL in Salt Lake City.  The new title for Tanya Vea at Bonneville International’s KSL radio and TV is vice president and general manager of KSL-TV and KSL Newsradio.  She has served as vice president station manager at KSL since April 2014, overseeing news, programming, marketing, operations and engineering.   According to a story in the Deseret News, she now assumes responsibility for all operating departments, including sales.  Bonneville president Darrell Brown comments, “Tanya will be an outstanding general manager. She has been a key contributor to many of the cross-platform initiatives, including the groundbreaking DMC combined newsroom for KSL and the Deseret News.  Her expanded role as general manager of KSL will now allow her to have a greater impact on the entire organization.”

Mike FezzeyEx-WJR Leader Fezzey Passes. Former WJR, Detroit president and general manager Mike Fezzey died of a heart attack on March 27 while on a business trip in Naples, Florida. The 58-year-old native Detroiter had been president/general manager of heritage talker WJR from 1994 to 2011, but for the past four years, was president of Huntington Bank‘s southeastern Michigan region. According to a WJR statement, “Mike Fezzey was a community leader; active in many charities and nonprofit activities in Michigan; and he was a leader in his church. Under [his] leadership, [Cumulus Media-owned] WJR maintained [its] position as Detroit’s preeminent radio station, and it became one of America’s leading news-talk stations.” Cross-town CBS Radio market manager Debbie Kenyon comments, “Mike was a leader in our industry for years. He was an inspiration to many in the way he transcended his career. He will be sorely missed by all of us.” Huntington Bank released a statement, which describes Fezzey as “an extraordinary member of the Huntington family who was highly committed to the Detroit area and making it a growing, vibrant community. Our thoughts and prayers are with Mike’s family.” A former president of the Detroit Advertising Association, Fezzey received a Peabody Award for broadcasting excellence from the University of Georgia and the Neal Shine Award for philanthropy in journalism. In July 1996, Feezey selected Paul W. Smith to succeed the late J.P. McCarthy as WJR’s morning drive talent. On Saturday (3/28), Smith voiced a WJR commentary regarding Fezzey. Prior to being elevated to president/general manager at WJR, Fezzey was an account executive and sales manager there. His wife, Suzy, and their three adult children survive Fezzey.

brentmegCarnivalBrent & Meg Receive the Coveted ‘Poopy’ Award.  Nationally syndicated husband/wife duo Brent & Meg (Brent Seltzer and Meg McDonald) were recognized by the Los Angeles City Council for their role in the “Studio City Beautification” program instituted by the Studio City Resident’s Association and the City of Los Angeles to keep the streets free of unwanted dog droppings.  They are pictured at a special dinner honoring their community-mindedness at Carla’s Café, surrounding LA City Councilmember Paul Kerkorian of the second district (which includes major studios such as Universal and CBS). Meg and Brent are animal lovers and make sure that plastic mitt bags are available to “help dog owners keep our streets clean…not our movies…just our streets.”  The Brent & Meg Show now airs Monday through Friday 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm ET on the Genesis Communications Network (GCN) as well as on its anchor affiliate WWPG 1450, Atlantic City, New Jersey.  Brent & Meg will be serving as Official Masters of Ceremony at the forthcoming Talkers New York 2015 on Friday, June 12.  To register, call 413-565-5413 before it, again, sells out.

Friday, March 27, 2015

| March 27, 2015

leetomTom Lee Tapped to Lead LA’s ‘The Beast 980.’  Radio and sports talk pro Tom Lee is being given the programming reigns to KFWB, Los Angeles “The Beast 980” – the recently flipped sports talker owned by the KFWB Asset Trust.  Lee says in a press statement that “Los Angeles sports fans are the greatest and perhaps the most underrated in America.”  Lee will have the opportunity to help bring substantivekfwb sports ratings to a radio format that has historically never really achieved – from a pure ratings standpoint – much in the Los Angeles market.  Lee continues, “Their passion, the distinct LA attitude and our great sports teams will all be represented by ‘The Beast 980.’”  Lee certainly understands successful sports talk as his resume includes some of the industry’s most visible sports talk ventures.  He launched FOX Sports Radio in 2000, leading the programming team that created and developed the 24/7 national sports network.  Lee has also programmed KESN-FM, Dallas ESPN Radio, as well as sports radio stations WIP, Philadelphia and KJR, Seattle.  KFWB Asset Trust Trustee Diane Sutter comments, “Tom has achieved some of the highest ratings of all-sports stations across the country.  Our listeners will benefit from Tom’s invaluable skills in producing relevant content, top-notch talent and his experience in working with sports teams.”  Lee begins his new gig on March 30.

goldsteinsteveSteve Goldstein Exits Exec Role at Saga Communications; Launches Podcast Venture.  After a career with Saga Communications that spanned almost 30 years, Steven Goldstein leaves his executive vice president position and announces that he is forming a company called Amplifi Media, LLC which will specialize in “the development of digital audio-on-demand (podcast) content.”  Goldstein adds, “As connected cars, Bluetooth and smartphones converge, time-shifted audio will grow exponentially.amplifi logo  People will listen to content at a time and place of their choosing, just as is occurring rapidly in the television industry with Netflix, DVRs and on-demand video.”  A press statement from Amplifi says the company will “concentrate on great storytelling, compelling content and fresh voices on a variety of popular subjects, and will adapt, craft and focus the product for the unique needs of the digital audio business.”  Goldstein concludes, “The top of the iTunes podcast chart is dominated by NPR and affiliates.  They have done a tremendous job but there is a world of mainstream topics yet to be explored for on-demand-audio.  That’s where Amplifi will live.”  Goldstein can be reached at 203-221-1400 or via email at sjgoldstein@amplifimedia.com.

colmesalan“Healed Planet” Hosted by Alan Colmes Exploring New Worlds of Radio and Listenership.  One of the new program/projects launched on TALKERS magazine’s experimental radio platform TalkersRadio has been gaining notable traction in terms of expanded programming topicality and new listenership.  “Healed Planet with Alan Colmes” is an experimental talk show conceived and hosted by syndicated Fox News Radio personality Alan Colmes and it serves as a prime example of TalkersRadio carrying out one of its primary missions as a “laboratory/workout gym” for proven talk show hosts to test new concepts and as a showcase for promising newcomers to present their work to the industry.  A new “Healed Planet” program is produced at least once per month and is available to TalkersRadio listeners (primarily members of the radio industry) on demand.  The program features the multi-platform, news/talk figure that gained international notoriety as the liberal co-host on the iconic left-right political discussion show “Hannity & Colmes” during itstalkersradio logo successful 12-year run on Fox News Channel in a role quite different than his regular followers might expect.  (In addition to being heard nightly on his syndicated radio show, Colmes is also still seen on Fox News Channel as a contributing commentator.)  “Healed Planet with Alan Colmes” is an eclectic mix of science, metaphysics, unexplained mysteries, cosmic consciousness and everything else rolling around the fertile mind of Alan Colmes.  He describes it as “presenting stimulating conversations with thought-leaders in the human consciousness movement.”  At present, three episodes of “Healed Planet” are up and running featuring Colmes in conversation with authors Gabe Berman and George A. Hart, plus a discussion with TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison.  On having this new vehicle of expression, Colmes tells TALKERS,” I love having a nightly forum where I can give my political views and takes on the issues of the day, and I love having a forum where politics doesn’t matter and we can all talk as human beings without any ideological prism.”  According to Colmes, he is basically doing this for fun, stating, “Sometimes it is simply cool to do a media presentation just for the heck of it and explore subjects and styles that don’t necessarily fit into the understandably more-rigid confines of our day jobs, even though my daily radio show is on at night.”  TalkersRadio general manager David Bernstein states, “It is fun, fascinating, stimulating and informative for talk listeners and people in the industry to hear all the dimensions that make up the personality, creativity and interests one of the nicest and smartest guys in the business – beyond the paradigm of general news/talk radio and TV where – let’s face it – Alan is quite famous.  And THAT is what TalkersRadio is all about!”  To listen to “Healed Planet with Alan Colmes,” please click here.

spiegelmattWSCR, Chicago Host Apologizes for ‘Childish’ and ‘Crass’ Tweet.  From the “haven’t they been paying attention” department comes this story, chronicled by Chicago media writer Robert Feder here.  In a nutshell, WSCR veteran talk hosts Matt Spiegel and Dan Bernstein were Tweeting critically about the television presence of Comcast SportsNet Chicago anchor Aiyana Cristal when the two veered into the now-all-too-familiar territory visited by many media personalities these days: they commented on her breasts.  To Spiegel’s (and to some degree Bernstein’s) credit, he seems to have realized his error and has apologized profusely via Twitter, admitting that he made a stupid, childish mistake.  Feder reports that sources say Spiegel and Bernstein will not be disciplined for the incident.

wgnhofplaqueWGN, Chicago to Induct 10 into Station WoF.  When Tribune Media’s WGN, Chicago inducts its 2015 Walk of Fame class during the Steve Cochran show on Friday, May 29, 10 broadcasters will be honored.  The ceremony and live broadcast will air from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm at the Tribune Tower.  Those to be inducted include: Steve Bertrand, Lyle Dean, Dave Eanet, Steve King, Franklyn MacCormack, Lou Manfredini, Johnnie Putman, Ward Quaal, Ron Santo and Eddie Schwartz.  They will be commemorated in bronze plaques placed outside the Allstate Showcase Studio.

Odds & Sods.  Bringing a passion of hers to WABC, New York on Sunday nights at 7:00 is Laura Smith who tells TALKERS magazine she’s “psyched” to debut “Above and Beyond with Laura Smith” this weekend.  Smith says the program is a revival of the program she hosted on SiriusXM and on WFAS-FM, Westchester several years ago.  “It’ssmithlaura a passion of mine as it incorporates conversations with some of the world’s most popular thought leaders and then the biggest celebrity psychics, mediums and astrologers giving free readings live on the air.  This Sunday, I have global phenomenon, spiritual teacher and four-time NYT best-selling author, Marianne Williamson plus celebrity medium Thomas John.”…..There’s now an FM signal to complement Delmarva’s news/talk WDEL-AM, Wilmington.  The company announces it is using the newly acquired WJKS, Canton, New Jersey to create at trimulcast of the legendary news/talker.  In the market the station can be heard on WDEL at 1150 AM, on WJKS at 101.7 FM and via HD-3 on WSTW’s 93.7 FM.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  More stations are airing the Compass Media Networks-syndicated Lars Larson show.  New affiliate stations for the KXL, Portland-based talk personality include: WHBY, Green Bay; WLFJ, Greenville, South Carolina; WLEA, Elmira New York; WBRP, Baton Rouge; WNRP, Pensacola; KCRS,larsonlars Odessa; WDRC-AM, Hartford; and KTIP, Porterville, California.  Larson comments on his busy schedule, “I prep from 6:00 am to 12:00 noon on the Left Coast and talk from 12:00 noon to 6:00 pm.  I’ll leave the mic when they drag me away.  I’ll sleep when I get old.”…..Stephan MultiMedia’s “Good Day” with Doug stephandougStephan is also adding affiliate stations and announces it’s surpassed the 300-station mark with the following new outlets: KTFL, Gilbert, Arizona; KVNU, Logan, Utah; WNRI, Woonsocket, Rhode Island; WDNY, Dansville, New York; WQXL, Columbia, South Carolina; KBIZ, Ottumwa, Iowa; WPBQ, Jackson, Mississippi; WEBY, Milton, Florida; KSCB, Liberal, Kansas; WFEA, Nashua, New Hampshire; and KQEW-FM, Fordyce, Arkansas…..“Free Talk Live” with Ian Freeman and Mark Edge joins the daily lineup at KWOR, Worland, Wyoming.

dickeycurtisKubyinfShow Prep with Lew Dickey.  When Cumulus Media president and CEO Lew Dickey is in New York, he’s more than ready to roll up his sleeves and get to work with the talent at legendary news/talk outlet WABC.  Dickey (seated right) is captured here in the office of WABC midday talk duo Curtis Sliwa (seated left) and Ron Kuby (seated floor) as the executive gives Kuby a therapeutic massage to make him more relaxed on the air.  Dickey did, however, draw the line when Sliwa demanded that his be a foot massage.

Germanwings Flight 9525 Tragedy Top News/Talk Story for Week of March 23-27.  The downing of Germanwings Flight 9525 was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week of March 23-27, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program.  Following at #3 was the tense relationship between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and, at #4, was the potential candidates for president in 2016.  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.

What Radio Personalities Want and Need Most from a Coach

| March 25, 2015

By Bill McMahon
The Authentic Personality

mcmahonbillEAGLE, Idaho — It’s not easy being a radio personality. They work in relative isolation far from their listeners. They can’t see or hear them. Most radio studios don’t even have an outside window. The only immediate feedback personalities get on their performance is from those working with them in the studio. If they work alone, there is no feedback in the moment.

Oh, radio personalities get plenty of delayed reaction to their work, but it often does more harm than good. The phone lines light up or they don’t. Texts, Tweets, Facebook posts, and emails deliver all kinds of mixed messages. Some are glowing with praise and love. Others state clearly and unequivocally, “you suck!” After the show, the confusion continues. An enthusiastic PD might proclaim he loves a bit the personality hated, usually without offering specifics about what made it so good. Later, the GM weighs in saying, “I didn’t get that phone segment you did in the 8 o’clock hour and I don’t think it was relevant to our listeners.” Problem is the personality thinks it’s the best thing he did all morning and his followers on Twitter and Facebook seem to agree. This is the real world of a radio personality where everyone has an opinion on what they do and the opinions are anything but unanimous.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

| March 24, 2015

2015 small header_250TALKERS ‘Heavy Hundred’ for 2015 Delayed One Day – Coming Tomorrow Wednesday, March 25.  TALKERS magazine has delayed the date for the posting of the 2015 installment of the publication’s annual feature, “The 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America” which was originally set to be posted today.  The list will be revealed tomorrow (3/25) at approximately 2:00 pm ET.  This will mark the 20th consecutive year that the talk media trade journal (that is about to mark its 25th anniversary) has been compiling and publishing the list – also known as “The Heavy Hundred.”  According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “This year’s list will include a number of familiar faces (and voices) as well as new up-and-comers and several veterans whose continuing, successful careers our editors believe need acknowledgement on this list in 2015.”  Casey continues, “Needless to say, compiling this list is extremely challenging – especially since it draws upon both objective and subjective factors – and is the source of heated debate every year among our editors for months leading up to its release.”

savagemichaelSavage Celebrates Milestone!  Talk radio icon Michael Savage – now syndicated by Westwood One – is celebrating 21 years in radio today (3/24) with a special program that will reflect on his more than two decades on the air.  Savage is recognizing his time on the radio by encouraging listeners to call in and share their favorite memories from past shows.  He’ll also play rare archival show segments from over the years throughout the program.

robinsonjosephRobinson to President Post at iHeartMedia Ventures Group.  This is a promotion for iHeartMedia’s EVP of strategic development as Joseph Robinson is named president of theiheartmedia logo iHeartMedia Ventures Group in which Robinson will work “to develop high-value strategic opportunities with media, technology, and content companies.”  He’ll report to iHeartMedia president, COO and CFO Rich Bressler, who states, “Joe has played an invaluable role in helping iHeartMedia explore new digital and technology opportunities for both consumer-facing and internal initiatives.  I’m delighted that Joe is expanding his role with us; his new leadership position will be instrumental in our continued success as a 21st century media company — one that is both relentlessly forward-looking on the technology front and focused on using iHeartMedia’s cross-platform assets in creative ways that help redefine the future of consumer media and entertainment.”

suttonsteveSutton to Program KCMO, Kansas City.  Talk radio pro Steve Sutton is appointed program director for Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM, Kansas City.  Sutton is an experienced broadcaster who’s worked at CBS RADIO, iHeartMedia, ABC, and Air America (where he was co-creator and VP of programming and operations).  Cumulus SVP of programming Mike McVay says, “We’re very excited to have Steve join us in Kansas City.  He’s a multi-formatted programmer with amazing life experiences.  I can’t wait to hear how he sets news/talk radio on its ear.”  Sutton comments, “A life of amazing experiences continues in Kansas City at KCMO.  We all do this because it’s fun and fulfilling.  And now, thanks to Lew Dickey, John Dickey, Mike McVay, and Mark Sullivan, I get to do it again.  Donna Baker and I arrive within a week of each other.  We both can’t wait to start drawing on the easel.”

holleymichaelWEEI, Boston Re-Ups with Michael Holley.  Boston sports talkers WEEI announces that PM drive personality Michael Holley is “in it for the long haul with his veteran partner, Dale Arnold.”  Holley just signed a new, multi-year contract that will keep the duo together in the 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm shift (alongweei logo with recent addition Jerry Thornton).  Holley comments, “I’m so grateful to be able to do a job that I love, in a region that I love, speaking and working with people that I love.  There have been so many incredible stories in New England sports the past decade-plus, and I’m excited and humbled that I’ve been able to share in the journey on the radio.  I look forward to many more great shows with Dale, Jerry and our producers Andy Massaua and Ben Kichen.”

younglarryWOLB, Baltimore Morning Host Larry Young Named TALKERS 2015 “Humanitarian of the Year.”  Veteran radio talk show host and former Maryland State Senator Larry Young has been selected by the TALKERS magazine editorial board as this year’s recipient of the Sharon L. Harrison Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service by a Radio Talk Show Host.  The prestigious honor – also known as “Humanitarian of the Year” — will be presented to Young during the Awards Presentation at the forthcoming Talkers New York 2015.  The presentation will be made by Carole Marks, CEO of Talk Media,2015 NYC 150 Inc.  WOLB, owned by Radio One, is an urban/talk-formatted station serving the Baltimore-area African American community.  Young began his show and radio career on the station in 1998 hosting weekday mornings, 6:00 am to 10:00 am, after a turbulent and controversial career in Maryland state politics.  Since then, he has accrued a number of honors celebrating his work in the community as a broadcaster including “Best Radio Station” by Baltimore City Paper in 2007, 2008 and again in 2009. He also has been the recipient of such awards as the 2007 Pinnacle Award presented by the American Development Consortium, the 2009 Ed Bradley Award presented by the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, the 2011 Unsung Hero Award presented by the Grace Outreach fundraising committee and prestigious 2012 Whitney M. Young Jr. Award presented by the Greater Baltimore Urban League.  Young, a longtime member of the TALKERS “Heavy Hundred” is held in extremely high regard not only within the community served by WOLB, but by his co-workers as well.  WOLB general manager Howard Mazer tells TALKERS, “Larry Young is the kindest and most helpful person I know. The word NO is not in his vocabulary. When anyone in the community calls Larry, he will go out of his way to help them.  It does not matter the time or the day.”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison adds, “I have had the personal pleasure of spending time with the folks at WOLB at the station’s community functions where I have witnessed this man in action first-hand and I must say – the work of Larry Young and the relationship he has with his listeners and co-workers is absolutely inspiring – makes me proud to be in radio. And it is not a single day, promotion or activity that we are talking about.  Every moment of his work on and off the air involves the concepts of service and connection.  Larry Young and WOLB are the very essence of ‘community’ as it applies to radio.”  Talkers New York 2015 – the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention — takes place on Friday, June 12.  As of today’s posting, it is 75% sold out.  For complete agenda details and registration, sponsorship and hotel information, please click here.

wind logoSalem-Owned WIND, Chicago Debuts New Program Schedule; Dave Ramsey to Join the Station in June.  The Chicago secular news/talk outlet WIND “AM 560 The Answer” announces its lineup changes that take effect on both Monday, March 30 and Monday, June 1 of this year.  WIND has made official the addition of Dan Proft as permanent morning co-host, alongsideramseydave Amy Jacobson, in which the duo will host the newly created, “Chicago’s Morning Answer,” from 5:00 am to 9:00 am.  Station general manager Jeff Reisman comments, “Dan Proft is the perfect addition to our lineup.  As the only talk radio station in Chicago dedicated to talking about politics, current events, and proftdanbreaking news, Dan Proft provides the kind of analysis and insight that our audience has come to expect from us.  ‘Chicago’s Morning Answer’ will be the go-to place in Chicago to get up to speed on what’s happening in the world each morning.”  Salem Radio Network’s Mike Gallagher will be added to the station’s lineup airing live from 9:00 am to 11:00 am.  Dennis Prager will follow from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm, replacing Dennis Miller.  Then, on June 1, nationally syndicated superstar Dave Ramsey will begin airing in the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm slot, immediately following the Joe Walsh program that will air from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  Finally, “This Morning with Gordon Deal,” (syndicated by Compass Media Networks) will debut on March 30 in the 4:00 am to 5:00 am slot.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutMichael Harrison and Norm Pattiz Discuss a Wide Spectrum of Media Issues on PodcastOne.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and PodcastOne founder/CEO Norm Pattiz engage in an illuminating conversation about media and its impact on society in the third and latest installment of the podcast series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”  The two iconoclastic media figures draw upon their radio industry experience and 38-year friendship in tackling such issues as net neutrality; new advertising techniques; the impact of consolidation on radio; differences between radio and TV; the evolving state of journalism; the effect of fractionalization on the national consciousness, problems and changes in music radio and the burgeoning state of podcasting.  To hear the podcast in its entirety, please click here.

parriottphilKKOH, Reno APD Phil Parriott Dies in Auto Accident.  Tragic news from the Cumulus Reno station group after news/talk KKOH, Reno assistant program director Phil Parriott died early on the morning of March 21 from injuries sustained in a car accident.  Station staffers are saying Parriott was an extremely valuable member of their team who will be deeply missed by current and past co-workers who call him a friend.  KKOH program director Dan Mason states, “We report tragedy in the news every day and can easily forget that real people are involved.  We’re reminded of that as we mourn our friend and colleague today.  Our thoughts and prayers are with Phil’s family during this difficult time.”

wpen-fm logoGreater Media Named ‘Best in Philly’ Again.  For the fourth consecutive year, Greater Media’s radio properties have been named among the “Top Workplaces in Philadelphia” by Philly.com.  Hundreds of companies take part in the survey, but only a select few companies are awarded top workplace.  The Greater Media Philadelphia station group consists of rock WMMR; classic rock WMGK “102.9 MGK”; adult hits WBEN-FM “95.7 Ben FM”; and sports talk WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic.”  The evaluation for the “Top Workplaces” program was based entirely upon feedback from an employee survey conducted by Workplace Dynamics in the fall of 2014.  Greater Media Philly VP and market manager John Fullam comments, “Great companies start with great employees.  We are fortunate to have such an extraordinary team dedicated to serving Philadelphia, our listeners and advertising partners every day.”

2016 Presidential Prospects, U.S.-Iran Nuke Negotiations, Obama-Netanyahu Relationship, UVA Rape Investigation, Battle Against Militant Islam, Russian Military Aggression, and March Madness Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/23).  The potential candidates for president in 2016; the controversy over the negotiations between the West and Iran over its nuclear program; the strained relationship between Benjamin Netanyahu and President Obama and the recent Israeli elections; the police statement that it failed to find corroborating evidence in the Rolling Stone-reported UVA gang rape story; the militant Muslim organizations waging war in the Middle East and Africa; concern over Russia’s recent uptick in military maneuvers; and the weekend’s NCAA tourney action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Telephone Technique That Can Multiply Your Results

| March 20, 2015

By Holland Cooke
Holland Cooke Media
Talk Radio Consultant


cookewriterBLOCK ISLAND, RI — Smart talkers aim for high call count.  It’s YOUR show.  But when you usher in caller after caller you introduce perspectives and voices that broaden the conversation, and you can ignite sparks.  And if you host an ask-the-expert show, callers’ relatable issues and questions enable you do demonstrate your know-how to listeners you want as customers.

Monologue sounds lonely, dialogue sounds busy…at-the-speed-of-life to in-car listeners your advertisers want to see pull into the parking lot.  And lots of calls make you sound popular, which advertisers also notice.  And if you’re hosting a how-to show, callers aplenty imply that you’re the go-to pro in your area of expertise.

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Friday, March 20, 2015

| March 20, 2015

ppmunit altNielsen Audio Releases Fourth Round of February 2015 PPM Data.  The fourth of four rounds of February 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford.  The February 2015 survey period covered January 29 through February 25.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS magazine and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

cookehollandCooke: Telephone Tips for Weekend Talkers.  Media consultant Holland Cooke presents the third in a series of video presentations for Talkers TV designed to increase the effectiveness of weekend talk show hosts.  You can view the entire video in the Talkers TV box on the upper-right-hand-side of this page.  Cooke writes, “Smart talkers aim for high call count.  It’s YOUR show.  But when you usher in caller after caller you introduce perspectives and voices that broaden the conversation, and you can ignite sparks.  And if you host an ask-the-expert show, callers’ relatable issues and questions enable you do demonstrate your know-how to listeners you want as customers.”  Read more here.

2015 NYC 150Talkers New York 2015 to Present Powerful Speakers Agenda. The agenda for the 18th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention is shaping up to be one of the best in the event’s colorful history. Talkers New York 2015, which is approximately 70% of the way toward being sold to capacity, takes place from 8:45 am to 6:00 pm on Friday, June 12 at the historic India House in lower Manhattan. The event kicks off with its traditional “Breakfast with Hannity” social buffet (presented by Premiere Networks and Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity) followed by opening keynote remarks by the legendary sports talk host, Mike Francesa, of WFAN, New York. Following that, Hannity will moderate a panel discussion titled, “The State of Radio Ratings” featuring (in alphabetical order): Phil Boyce, SVP, Salem Media Group; Erica Farber, president/CEO, Radio Advertising Bureau; Steve Goldstein, EVP, Saga Communications; Brad Kelly, VP, client service, Nielsen Audio; Tom Langmyer, VP/GM, Milwaukee radio operations, VP/news-talk programming, Journal Broadcast Group; and Greg Moceri, CEO, Moceri Media. That will be followed by a fireside chat-style conversation between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and John Dickey, EVP, content & programming, Cumulus Media; Harrison will then don his moderator’s hat and host a panel titled, “The Big Picture,” featuring (in alphabetical order): Alan Colmes, host, Fox News Radio/Fox News Channel; Holland Cooke, consultant, Holland Cooke Media; Karen Hunter, host, SiriusXM Satellite Radio; Chris Oliviero, EVP, programming, CBS RADIO; Joe Sciacca, editor-in-chief, Boston Herald/Boston Herald Radio; Craig Schwalb, PD WABC, New York; and Julie Talbott, president, Premiere Networks. That event will be followed by a luncheon networking social which leads into the Annual TALKERS Awards Presentation emceed by Westwood One talk star Jim Bohannon. Awards will be presented for “Humanitarian of the Year,” “Woman of the Year,” “Lifetime Achievement,” and “Freedom of Speech” (recipients to be named shortly). This event will be introduced by the great Dick Robinson, founder/CEO of the Connecticut School of Broadcasting. This will be followed by a panel discussion titled, “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in a Changing Paradigm” moderated by TALKERS managing editor/West Coast bureau chief, Mike Kinosian and featuring (in alphabetical order): Vince Benedetto, president/CEO, Bold Gold Media Group; Kathy Carr, VP, sales & marketing, Howie Carr Radio Network; Jerry Crowley, VP/GM, WNYM/WMCA, New York; Ron Hartenbaum, CEO, WYD Media; Tom Leykis, CEO/host, The New Normal; and Cary Pahigian, president/GM, WBAL/WIYY, Baltimore. The discussion then turns to content with TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey moderating the panel “Programming Talk Radio in 2015” featuring (in alphabetical order): Carl Anderson, EVP, programming, iHeartMedia; Mike Bendixen, PD, Newstalk 1010, Toronto; Valerie Geller, CEO, Geller Media International; Scott Masteller, PD, WBAL, Baltimore; and Mike McVay, SVP, corporate programming, Cumulus Media. That will lead into a panel discussion exploring the programming realm beyond the dominant conservative news/talk model titled, “Variety, the Spice of Life.” Moderated by TALKERS GM/radio operations David Bernstein, this session features (in alphabetical order): Mike “Bax” Baxendale, morning show co-host, WAQY (Rock 102), Springfield, MA; Dr. Joy Browne, host, Genesis Communications Network; Tony Bruno, host, WIP, Philadelphia; Thom Hartmann, host, WYD Media; Doug Stephan, CEO, Stephan Multimedia; and Larry Young, host, WOLB, Baltimore. The final panel discussion of the day, “Navigating a Talk Show Hosting Career,” will be moderated by Bill Hess, PD, WMAL, Washington, DC and feature Michael Berry, host, The Michael Berry Show (syndicated); Howie Carr, host, Howie Carr Show; Mandy Connell, host, KHOW, Denver; Todd Schnitt, host, WOR, New York/Compass Networks; and Dan Yorke, Host, WPRO, Providence. The convention will conclude with a “Farewell Reception.” Exhibitors scheduled to present the latest in radio broadcasting equipment, technology and services include Broadcasters General Store, Comrex Corp., among other major companies. More speakers and agenda details will be announced here in the days ahead. Registrations are priced at $299 per person. Registrations, which are only open to professionals currently or recently employed in media-related industries, include all sessions, presentations, exhibits and breakfast/lunch/refreshment/and social networking activities. The heavyweight, non-stop agenda will include approximately 65 speakers and 500 attendees are again expected. Registrations can only be taken over the phone and paid for by credit card. The event will be an early sellout and no registrations can be sold after that point. See more information about the event here.  To register, call 413-565-5413; for sponsorship information, email info@talkers.com; and for local hotel information please click here.

berrymichaelbusTaking the Show on the Road.  Houston-based talk show host Michael Berry tells TALKERS magazine he was struggling with the problem of how to balance his need to go see some of his markets with his unwillingness to be separated from his wife and two sons.  He hit upon the solution and turned his boys’ spring break into a “Michael Berry Show DixieLand Tour.”  He got a band’s tour bus and a professional driver and they’re visiting six cities in seven days – from Houston to Atlanta – with stops in Beaumont, New Orleans, Nashville, Atlanta, Birmingham, and Baton Rouge.  He does his radio show during the day and a public meet-and-greet with the listeners at night, complete with a rock band he brings along.  Berry tells TALKERS, “I want to know the people who sell my show and program my station, and see them often.  And I want to look listeners in the eye and hear about their lives.  I think it has helped us grow our audiences and develop close relations with our station management and sellers.”

Odds & Sods.  While NBC Sports Radio personalities Donovan McNabb and Mark Malone – hosts “Under Center” – are on vacation next week, weekend host and Emmy-winner Brian Webber will be filling in with a star-studded list of co-hosts that include: Eric Dickerson, Brian Westbrook, Troy Brown, Terrell Davis, and Rodney Harrison…..Joining NPR as senior vice president of news and editorial director is Michael Oreskes.  He makes the move from his VP/senior managing editor post with The Associated Press.  Oreskes takes over for Margaret Low Smith who left in 2014.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Update.  Independently syndicated “KJRadio Show,” hosted by Kevin Jackson, joins the lineup at Salem Communications’ WGKA, Atlanta “AM 920 The Answer.”

kingNewseumLarry King Honored at Newseum.  This photo was taken at Washington, DC’s Newseum on March 18 at a party celebrating the new Larry King exhibit.  King (right), a longtime former Westwood One talk show host (who is currently hosting AARP segments on Cumulus-owned stations) is pictured here with WW1 EVP of news and talk Bart Tessler (left) and Pat Piper (center), current assignment editor for Westwood One News.  The Newseum exhibit will include King’s iconic microphone, part of his CNN TV set, his suspenders, and other items.  Piper was the producer and Tessler the executive in charge of Westwood One’s groundbreaking “The Larry King Show.”

beasleyfreedompressCelebration of the First Amendment. The photo you see here is from the 11th annual Honor the Free Press Day sponsored by the Marine Corp League of Naples, E. T., Brisson Detachment #063 and the Naples Press Club.  For the past several years, Beasley Broadcast Group has also taken part.  The goal is to observe the importance of freedom of the press and this year’s honoree is Bob Orr, recently retired from CBS News.  Pictured here are (from l-r): Marine Corp member Pappy Wagner (survived Iwo Jima), Beasley’s “Sunny 106.3” WJPT-FM afternoon host and market PSA director Sheila Book, Orr, Marine Corp member Bob Foster and Beasley VP corporate communications Denyse Mesnik.

Iran Nukes/GOP Letter Top News/Talk Story for Week of March 16-20.  The negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program and the letter sent to the Islamic state’s government by GOP senators tied for the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was President Obama’s relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the results of the Israeli elections.  Coming in at #3 was the 2016 presidential prospects followed by the Hillary Clinton email probe at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Gifford: Radiodays Europe — Day Two

| March 17, 2015

Special to TALKERS magazine

By Larry Gifford
Consultant/Talent Coach


giffordlarrywriterMILAN — iHeartMedia syndicated morning host Elvis Duran addressed 1,200 delegates at Radiodays Europe Monday (3/16) telling his story of success.  Ahead of taking the stage, Duran shared with TALKERS magazine how his definition of success has evolved.

“What was important to me as snot-nosed kid is not important anymore.  Now, success to me is just being happy and really wanting to wake up and go to work.  You know, maybe 10 years ago I didn’t want to wake up and go to work because I was usually hung over or whatever.  Now, I actually enjoy going in.  To me that’s a successful day: just wanting to do what you do.”

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Saturday, March 14, 2015

| March 14, 2015

Joe McDonnell #2Joe McDonnell: LA Saddened at Giant-Size Talent’s Passing. How “big” was Joe McDonnell in Los Angeles? Consider this: Friday’s (3/13) lead item for several newscasts on the city’s only all-news station, CBS Radio‘s KNX, was that the 58-year-old McDonnell – widely-known as “Big Joe” or “The Big Nasty” – had passed away. “Big” references regarded his weight, approximately 700 pounds at one time; however, the sports talk host underwent gastric bypass surgery and lost roughly more than half of that. “Nasty” became a handle owing to his highly opinionated nature. The overwhelming majority of those familiar with McDonnell’s exemplary on-air work in Los Angeles would quickly associate him with being a “legendary” or “iconic” sports talk radio “fixture” and that would certainly be accurate. He was, however, among the rarest of on-air talents in the country’s second-largest market, in that, in addition to doing a nightly (7:00 pm – 11:00 pm) sports program (“The Joe McDonnell Experience”) on Clear Channel‘s (now iHeartMedia) KLAC, he also did a Sunday (12:00 noon – 2:00 pm) political talk program (“The Joe McDonnell Show”) on co-owned KTLK-AM (now KEIB). Most recently, McDonnell did fill-in work at KNX. Reaction to his death has continued virtually nonstop, with a who’s who in local and national media, as well as executives of major sports franchises, offering condolences. Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia knew McDonnell ever since Scioscia first came up as a catcher in the Dodgers’ organization. “He was a good friend who will be missed. It’s sad,” Scioscia states. On Twitter, Keith Olbermann writes, “Heartbroken to learn of death of LA radio legend, my friend, Joe McDonnell. He leaves us having never held a grudge.” Ken Rosenthal comments, “So sad to hear about the passing of Joe McDonnell, a one-of-a-kind sports personality in Los Angeles and a reporter at heart.” Several years ago, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian, then the special features editor for Inside Radio, did an extensive profile of McDonnell, who freely used the word “idiot” to describe someone with whom he disagreed. It was a trademark of the bombastic on-air persona of “The Big Nasty” and customarily delivered in vitriol by the dean of Los Angeles radio sports talk hosts. McDonnell garnered legions of dedicated fans. Once – to benefit charity – he accepted the challenge of co-workers and successfully completed a four-hour shift without uttering one negative. In his profile, Kinosian shattered the myth about McDonnell and let the truth be told that in real-life, McDonnell was a far cry from the manic personality listeners were accustomed to hearing. Pensive and completely conscientious McDonnell qualified as a native Angelino, havingJoe McDonnell - Josh Hamilton relocated from Philadelphia in 1959 at age three with his parents. “I loved radio and wouldn’t go anywhere without it,” he fondly recalled to Kinosian. “I’d go to bed listening to it and wake up with it. I went through radios [as others] went through socks. Even when doing homework, I had the radio on.” Although thoroughly enthralled by the medium, McDonnell at that time never thought about pursuing a career in it. Family members urged him to be a lawyer, but McDonnell formulated sportswriter aspirations while attending L.A. Valley College and Cal State – Northridge. His radio career was, in his words, “a total accident.” A high school buddy McDonnell hadn’t seen in a while told him he received academic credit for working at a radio station. That was all it took for McDonnell: He scored an interview for a newsroom opening at KGIL in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley and his first day was September 18, 1975 – the day they arrested Patty Hearst. “I was so excited to be there and hung around to watch what everybody did. Then the story broke and I wound up staying until 10:00 pm. I fell in love with radio my first day and knew this was for me.” Freelance sports opportunities later surfaced for him at Mutual, AP Radio, and UPI Radio and he adroitly transitioned into a daily field correspondent. Play-by-play was briefly tinkered with, but long enough for McDonnell to know it didn’t captivate him. Something else did and as he flatly asserted to Kinosian, “My interest in politics is equal to my interest in sports. They are jobs but they are [also] passions. I love being able to show another side of my life. I am very liberal but do not [rubber-stamp] everything simply because that is what [other liberals] say you should do. I take things on a position-by-position basis. It is impossible and disingenuous to be one way on every subject. No one can ever accuse me of being a phony.” The first Gulf War was underway when he hosted a general talk show on KFI, Los Angeles. America’s first casualty came as a result of friendly fire. Soon after that, the victim’s widow drove to KFI one Sunday afternoon and McDonnell did two hours with her. “It was the most gut-wrenching, yet most fulfilling, thing I’ve done on radio,” he told Kinosian. “Quite honestly, I didn’t know I was capable of pulling it off. People heard me do sports and wondered what I knew about [politics]. I had to win them over.” Multiple Golden Microphone award winner McDonnell toiled in the Southland at KMAX and KWNK between 1994 – 1997; won raves doing sports updates for (then-all news) KFWB; and was part of the original 1992 staff transitioning KMPC to all-sports – although the outbreak of the L.A. riots was the considerably more monumental story the night of the format flip. For numerous personal and professional reasons, a five-year run beginning in 2000 as KSPN “ESPN 710,” Los Angeles’ assistant program director and afternoon driver profoundly affected him. “My first three years there were great,” McDonnell declared to Kinosian. “I had a say in what went on and helped build KSPN from the ground up with [KABC & KSPN OM] Erik Braverman who was my KFI producer. Unfortunately when Erik decided he wanted to concentrate on KABC, they brought in people who didn’t share our ideas.” It was one different concept after another and became the beginning of the end for McDonnell there. “They killed morale and dissolved everything we did. I wanted to leave every day the last two years I was there but made so much money I would’ve been put in a mental institution if I quit.” From the minute McDonnell walked into the Burbank offices of KLAC to interview with KLAC general manager/program director & KTLK program director Don Martin, he sensed something different. “This might sound crazy – but I really liked that they made me earn my position. Don put me on KTLK and let me do some KLAC fill-in. It meant a lot when he said I assimilated with the audience and staff. People have this idea you expect everything be given to you.” Being a sports talk host was a 24 hour-a-day job for McDonnell because, “Information doesn’t stop.” His shows were frequently punctuated with “24” and “Da Ali G” clips and laced with abundant/energetic hip-hop tracks as bumpers. At first, longtime “McDonnell – Douglas” partner Doug Krikorian wasn’t part of the equation for the “Joe McDonnell Experience,” although the Long Beach Press-Telegram sportswriter joined the ensemble to deliver weekly “K-Files” reports. After all, it was Krikorian who hung the “Big Nasty” moniker on McDonnell when Big Joe collared/disposed of a rowdy patron one night at their favorite hangout. Naturally, the subject of McDonnell’s weight came up in the Kinosian profile of him and McDonnell said that even before the gastric bypass procedure, the heavy burden he was carrying didn’t really bother him. He did however eventually begin slowing down, getting sick, and spending more time at home. “I stopped going to games because it was uncomfortable. My doctor told me I had to do something. Any addict – and I’m definitely a food addict – thinks you can do it on your own.” That’s the fallacy and something an addict desperately wants to believe but McDonnell stressed it can not be done alone. “It got to the point where I realized I was going to die. I had the surgery and lost 300 pounds. On Christmas Day, I put slabs of turkey and prime rib on a plate [surrounded with] potatoes, stuffing and cranberry sauce. I took it to the table and had a bite of each. Hey look – I’m a food addict and always will be.” The old Joe most likely would’ve avoided on-air surgery mentions. If it did pop up, he probably would’ve been brutal in challenging the person referencing it. A much mellower McDonnell made a conscious decision when he left KSPN that the “Big Nasty” had died. “It was a great vehicle for what I needed – but – that really isn’t me,” he emphasized to Kinosian. “I’m opinionated and will raise my voice but I’m a nice guy and like to have fun. One reason I love my job is it allows me to hang with people.” Conceding it was a “shortcoming” on his part as a talk show host to refrain from mentioning much about his personal life, McDonnell declared, “You can’t be isolated and expect to reach your audience; you have to let them in on your life. For the most part, I refused to do that. Don Martin and I had a long talk about that and he said the best on-air people let you know about them.” A happy, healthy, and exuberant McDonnell chatted up his March 30, 2007 wedding to KLOS’ lovely Elizabeth Cohn (now working at cross-town Bonneville-owned KSWD “The Sound”). “I finally met someone who will put up with me and I [married] the most Joe McDonnell #3wonderful person in the world,” McDonnell emphasized in that profile. Joe and Elizabeth worked together for four years inside ABC Radio Los Angeles (now Cumulus Media) and basically didn’t say a word to each other. “She understands I’ll occasionally make fun of her on-air and exaggerate things but my life is now an open book.” Numerous health ailments – some nearly life-threatening – plagued McDonnell and he frequently credited Elizabeth as being the rock who held him together. An avowed movie junkie, McDonnell would go to as many as three or four in one day. It was his way to relax and escape. “One of the biggest benefits of losing weight is I can fit into theater seats. That was honestly a problem before.” Such McDonnell segments as “Who Do You Want To Kick Out Of LA?” gave him a Northeast-sounding vibe, but his entire nearly 40-year career was spent in Los Angeles. The ardent WWE fan told Kinosian, “It would take a million dollar offer for me to leave Los Angeles. In the early-1990s, I had a chance to work for a friend in Nashville and had a big offer to go to Seattle in 1994 but my mother had cancer so I wasn’t about to leave town. There was a preliminary discussion years ago with WFAN, New York about being a reporter/weekend host but Los Angeles is my home. I’m part of the radio landscape.” Eerie now, but McDonnell confided to Kinosian in that lengthy printed conversation, “All the stuff I’ve done is leading up to something. I’ve always felt there was a bigger plan for me and a different path. God has kept me around for a reason – but I don’t know what it is. With what I’ve put myself through, any other person would have been dead by now.” Even at his heaviest, the voracious reader managed to stay in “fairly good shape.” The only weakness until recently was with his knees. According to McDonnell, “The ultimate moment for me would be to somehow find out who really killed John F. Kennedy.” As for the once “Big Nasty,” no cause of death was reported; several reports – including the one on KNX – said he died at Los Angeles’ Good Samaritan Hospital after a “brief illness.” A two-hour Friday night (3/13) Jeff Biggs-hosted show on KSPN paid tribute to McDonnell, who typically aired hisJoe & Elizabeth McDonnell “Kick Out” segment Fridays. Poignant, touching, and chillingly appropriate, the final word was given to Elizabeth McDonnell who somehow managed to summon up the strength in her voice to utter she wanted to kick Joe out of LA. Dramatic, goose-bump radio. “When I die,” McDonnell once told Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News, “I want to be cremated and then have a plane spread half of my ashes over Dodger Stadium and the other half over the [ex-home of the Lakers] Forum.”

Friday, March 13, 2015

| March 13, 2015

Laurie Cantillo

WTOP PD Cantillo Departs. Late Friday afternoon (3/13), WTOP, Washington, DC program director (and co-author of “Right Brained Children in a Left Brained World,” 1998) Laurie Cantillo teased her social media followers with this post: “Spring is a time of new beginnings … excited for the future.” That message is actually a follow-up to what was shared earlier in the day with the staff at the Hubbard all-news operation. “The decision has been made to not renew Laurie Cantillo’s contract,” general manager Joel Oxley writes. “The decision was reached mutually by Laurie and me.” In another internal memo, Cantillo states, “Our anchors and reporters have never sounded better and page views for WTOP.com are off the charts. Morale is as high as the International Space Station, where we conducted a historic live interview this morning. We are on ‘TOP’ in every respect, which makes this the right time for me to pursue my next adventure. There is no finer multimedia newsroom in America and I will miss seeing you every day. My immediate plan is to co-create a screenplay and finally get around to writing my next best seller.” Although she notes, “Radio and digital media innovation will continue to be a big part of my life,” she did not indicate if there is a particular station in her future. WTOP news director Mitchell Miller, senior news and sports director Mike McMearty, and managing editor Darci Marchese will share in assuming Cantillo’s duties. WTOP chalked up a mammoth +3.1 to 9.2 (Nielsen Audio PPM, January 2015, 6+) as it progresses from third to first. It is the station’s best mark in exactly one year, equaling the 9.2 it logged in January 2014. WTOP was #1 (6+) for 11 straight monthlies before iHeartMedia adult contemporary WASH took the top spot in December and “Holiday” 2014. Simultaneous with graduating from the University of Colorado, Cantillo landed a full-time reporting job in Boulder and she had a 13-year tenure at Denver’s KOA. She was selected to program KTAR, Phoenix in 1997 and was later recruited by cross-town KFYI in a similar capacity. The former WABC, New York programmer joined WTOP in 2011 and officially became program director there upon the retirement of vice president of news and programming Jim Farley.

journalbroadcastgroupPositive 2014 Q4 for Journal Broadcast Group’s Radio Sector.  With the merger with E.W. Scripps expected to close in the second quarter of 2015, Journal Communications reports a positive fourth quarter of 2014 – up 13.6% on revenue of $122 million.  For the radio sector, the fourth quarter saw revenue rise to $22.1 million – an increase of 7.7% (excluding the change in the fiscal year, revenue increased 5.5%).  The company reports that radio political and issue revenue was $0.7 million compared to $0.1 million.  Excluding political and issue, total revenue increased 4.9%, local revenue increased 6.5%, though national revenue decreased 0.9%. Automotive revenue, up 13%, was a driver of local growth.  For the full year, radio revenue increased 3.0% to $79.1 million.  Excluding the change in the fiscal year, revenue increased 2.4%.  Radio political and issue revenue was $1.3 million compared to $0.4 million.  Excluding political and issue revenue, total revenue increased 1.8%, local revenue increased 2.6%, though national revenue, a small component of our revenue, decreased 6.6%.  When the merger deal closes next quarter, Journal and E.W. Scripps will merge their broadcast and digital media assets under a company retaining the E.W. Scripps name and be based in Cincinnati.  Their newspapers and community publications and related digital products will comprise a firm to be called Journal Media Group, based in Milwaukee.


KJR, Seattle Re-Ups Levy; Adds Powell for Middays.  Morning drive personality Mitch Levy — with iHeartMedia’s sports talker KJR-AM, Seattle for the past 20 years – will continue in his morningpowellchuck drive role after inking a new contract.  At the same time, the station announces the arrival of Chuck Powell to host the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show.  He most recently was with Bonneville in Phoenix at both sports talk KTAR-AM and the former adult hits KPKX.  Former Seattle Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren is also returning to the station this NFL season to serve as NFL expert and contributor.

stocknspca15NSPCA Honors KDWN’s Alan Stock.  For the past 10 years, Las Vegas talk show host Alan Stock has been featuring the Pet Pick of the Week in an effort to get local pets adopted.  Earlier this week, the Nevada SPCA surprised Stock with special recognition for his work.  Pictured here (from l-r) are: Master Magician Lance Burton (former headliner at the Monte Carlo), Stock, and NSPCA president Kathy Jung.  She’s holding Keno, who was in this year’s Puppy Bowl before the Big Game.

XtreMedialogoKevin McCullough’s XtreMEDIA to Present Holy Week-Themed Radio Drama Across U.S. and International Radio Networks.  The audio drama is based on the one-man play being performed in Chicago by actor and radio personality Stephen Baldwin titled, “Heaven, How I Got Here: A Night with the Thief on the Cross.”  McCullough says, “Easter weekend on five  American radio networks and the biggest networks in the United Kingdom (our first jaunt into international broadcasting) a compelling ‘audio drama’ of the same role Stephen is portraying on stage, will be aired on both religious and mainstream spoken word stations across Europe and America.  Thus far 1500-plus stations have signed on and in some clusters/markets like Salem NYC the drama will air nine times from Good Friday evening through end of Easter Sunday. There is no cost to take the broadcast.  We commissioned the Grammy and Dove award winning composer Dick Tunney for an original soundtrack, we created a completely digital sound design, and Stephen re-created the character he will portray on stage to give voice to the ‘thief’ to whom Jesus historically said, ‘This day you will be with me in paradise.'” McCullough says stations wishing to take the radio special can email him at kmc@x3media.net and he’ll be glad to add them to the growing surge of stations gobbling it up.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  “Free Talk Live” featuring Ian Freeman and Mark Edge is now heardfreemanedge on Iredell Broadcasting’s WSIC-AM/FM/TV, Statesville, North Carolina, which includes transmission on over-the-air digital TV channel 21.2…..The GCN-syndicated “America Tonight” delaneykatewith Kate Delaney adds affiliate stations in: WSMN, Nashua; WPBQ, Jackson, Mississippi; KIXW, Victorville, California; KTFL, Higley, Arizona and KLOE, Goodland, Kansas…..Syndication Networks-syndicated “Those Weekend Golf Guys” joins the weekend lineup at KQV, Pittsburgh…..“Business Rockstars” is added to the program schedule at KTMS, Santa Barbara and KTVA, Oxnard/Ventura.

Iran Nuclear Controversy Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of March 9-13.  The controversy over President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran and the group of GOP senators who sent a letter to Iran contesting the president’s right to unilaterally make such deals was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week.  Coming in at #2 was the probe of Hillary Clinton’s use of personal email for State Department business.  At #3 was the 2016 presidential prospects followed by the amnesty/immigration issue at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

The Artist’s Secret: The Force that Guides Successful Radio Personalities

| March 9, 2015

By Bill McMahon
The Authentic Personality

mcmahonbillEAGLE, Idaho — I’ve been coaching radio personalities and studying gifted artists for over 25 years.  I’ve been privileged to work with some remarkable performers like Kidd Kraddick, Jeff of Jeff and Jer, Rush Limbaugh, and Dr. Laura.  I’ve observed successful songwriters, authors, screenwriters, and creators of TV shows.  I’ve learned a lot about where great artists get their inspiration and how they create.

I’ve discovered successful artists across the media spectrum — those who’ve created hit songs, blockbuster movies, best selling books, top-rated TV shows, and the most listened to radio shows — are guided by a common force I’ve come to call “The Artist’s Secret.”  It has three elements.

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Have You Hugged Your Call Screener Today?

| March 9, 2015

By Holland Cooke
Holland Cooke Media
Talk Radio Consultant

cookewriterBLOCK ISLAND, RI — Call screeners are talk radio’s unsung heroes.  Properly tasked, they can help make your show more interesting; and if you’re doing a weekend ask-the-expert show, a deft screener can help improve the return on your investment in talk radio.

The more callers the better 

Not just quantity, because it’s YOUR show.  But lots of quality callers can make your show sound popular, and interactive, like all the other media choices listeners now make.

If your station provides a call screener, here are some fundamentals you should share.  If your station doesn’t provide a screener, you should.  It won’t be expensive, and will be well-worth it.

This is something a teenager can do.  Possibly your teenager could actually earn his or her allowance, as your screener.  And here’s why.

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January 2015 PPM Analysis:
Talk (Part Two of Two)

| March 5, 2015

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor

kinosianLOS ANGELES — Yesterday’s analysis (Wednesday, 3/4) of the ratings performance by talk outlets in the January 2015 ratings period dealt with commercial stations – many of which are heritage, institutional properties with ultra-familiar call letters.

As a “part two” follow-up, we turn the attention to noncommercial/public signals in the same sweep.

A huge caveat, however, needs to be stated regarding the stations that appear below. This is not simply a laundry list of public stations. Noncommercial/public outlets with a fulltime music-intensive format such as classical, adult alternative, contemporary Christian, or urban contemporary (as examples) are not highlighted here.

Stations comprising this base lean toward spoken-word programming (specifically talk and news – locally originated and/or from NPR). Some might play music as well – from alternative to bluegrass to classical and practically anything else in between. “Variety” or another such label could be affixed to these stations, but we are choosing to group them under “talk” (since that is their primary thrust) with an added “noncommercial/public” designation.

As far as ratings criteria is concerned, it is the same for the overviews posted earlier this week for news, sports, and commercial talkers: Noncommercial/public outlets that rank in the top 20 in a PPM market (6+, January 2015) are included.

Nielsen Audio only releases audience estimates for stations that subscribe to its services.

Owing to that reason, ratings stats in this analysis are limited to stations that pay Nielsen Audio for its data.

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January 2015 PPM Analysis:
Talk (Part One of Two)

| March 4, 2015

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor

kinosianLOS ANGELES This past Monday (3/1) and Tuesday (3/2), we presented overviews of the truly astonishing January 2015 PPM ratings performances turned in by news and sports outlets.

Those extraordinary stats notwithstanding (especially with all-news), we have quite possibly saved the best for last in analyzing the most omnipresent genre under the spoken-word umbrella, talk stations.

For several reasons, we have separated “talk” into two groups – commercial, and non-commercial/public.

The January 2015 ratings overview of commercial talkers appears today, while the companion piece for non-commercial/public talk stations will be posted tomorrow.

Either way you slice it though, it was a strong sweep for both groups and the numbers will confirm that as being the height of understatement.

Spoiler Alert: Our “commercial” talk category consists of nearly the combined total of the sports and news samples from Monday and Tuesday, yet all but three stations in the commercial talk group show sweep-to-sweep growth (6+).

Same parameters apply in the following charts as with the news and sports overviews. Specifically, commercial talk outlets that rank in the top 20 in a PPM market (6+, January 2015) are included.

Nielsen Audio only releases audience estimates for stations that subscribe to its services.

Owing to that reason, ratings stats in this TALKERS analysis are limited to stations that pay Nielsen Audio for its data.

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January 2015 PPM Analysis: Sports

| March 3, 2015

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor

kinosianLOS ANGELES As a follow-up to yesterday’s analysis depicting the phenomenal performance of all-news stations in the January 2015 ratings period (Monday, 3/2), we stay in the spoken-word arena to focus on how sports outlets fare in that same sweep.

Considering there are nearly three times as many qualifying all-sports stations as news stations in our sample, it would be close to impossible to match what the news facilities did. Nonetheless, all-sports facilities rack up some impressive stats of their own.

Fine print is fairly simple as far as the following scoreboards are concerned. The same parameters apply as they did with the news overview, in that, all-sports outlets that rank in the top 20 in a PPM market (6+, January 2015) are included.

Nielsen Audio only releases audience estimates for stations that subscribe to its services.

Owing to that reason, ratings stats in this TALKERS analysis are limited to stations that pay Nielsen Audio for its data.

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A Radio App Built by Radio for Radio

| March 3, 2015

By Jeff McKay
Special Features Correspondent

mckayjeffNEW YORK — In a digital world, an app that does what you need it to do and more isn’t merely a consideration, it’s a must-have to increase your overall presence, reach younger demos, and if done right, expand sales, marketing, and create a valuable revenue stream.  Multi-billion dollar broadcast companies (although in debt) can usually afford what they need along these lines.  However, smaller radio groups, small- and regional-market owners, and those working on the digital frontier may not have the resources of the larger competitors.

JOTA App Square LogoIn the case of Jack of Trade Apps, the company has devised custom-created apps that provide technological solutions enabling businesses to communicate and interact with their clients.  The firm has been successfully marketing apps to non-radio businesses, but has also proven it can create the digital connection with radio listeners, and help establish a much-needed revenue stream.

You can call it “a radio insider’s radio app.”

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January 2015 PPM Analysis: News

| March 2, 2015

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor

kinosianLOS ANGELES Historically horrible winter weather conditions and the cessation of all-Christmas music are most likely contributing factors to the truly stunning January 2015 performance of all-news outlets.

For the most part, optimum ratings tracking of a radio format requires a sample base of at least 20 stations. Especially given that news is a uniquely major-market format, its universe of viable entries consequently hovers at that roughly 20-station level.

Although not coming anywhere close to possessing the massive volume of talk outlets, the feat all-news stations accomplished in the most recent sweep is nonetheless exceptionally impressive: Not one news station on the panel of properties we tracked regressed (6+) from “Holiday” 2014 to January 2015.

News facilities that rank in the top 20 in a PPM market (6+, January 2015) comprise the following scoreboards.

Nielsen Audio only releases audience estimates for stations that subscribe to its services. Owing to that reason, ratings stats in this TALKERS analysis are limited to stations that pay Nielsen Audio for its data.

An asterisk (*) designates genuine news-talk hybrids – stations whose broadcast day is approximately 50% news and 50% talk.

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Monday, March 2, 2015

| March 2, 2015

mcintyredougDoug McIntyre Returns to WABC, New York.  A change to the afternoon drive programming is made at Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York as KABC, Los Angeles morning drive personality Doug McIntyre begins hosting “Right Now with Doug McIntyre” on the station Wednesday, March 4.  Cumulus says the new, hour-long talk show will be “focused on the most important stories and personalities in New York.  As a native New Yorker, McIntyre brings with him a deep understanding of the Tri-State area’s most pressing issues and how they relate to the national headlines of the day.”  McIntyre has appeared on WABC in the past.  Hewabc logo created the “Red Eye Radio” show in 2000, first as a one-time post-election recap and then as a local overnight show in Los Angeles, expanding to become a nationally syndicated program in early 2010 with WABC as one of its flagship stations.  McIntyre also previously hosted “Talking the News” on WABC in 2009, a weekday morning show that aired before “Imus in the Morning.” McIntyre will continue as host of “McIntyre in the Morning” on KABC “TalkRadio 790.”  McIntyre says, “This is a real homecoming for me and I am genuinely thrilled to be returning to 77 WABC.  There is no more dynamic and insane city on the planet than New cosbyritaYork.  The Tri-State area is like a nation unto itself, with its own politics, its own culture and its own sense of humor and I look forward to highlighting the city’s unique stories again.”  Prompting this programming change at WABC is Rita Cosby’s decision to end her work hosting “The Ride Home with Rita Cosby.”  Citing her “various TV commitments and international speaking engagements” that require her to spend more time away from her daily show, Cosby is stepping down from the daily show but will continue to be heard on WABC hosting her new weekend talk show that will debut on March 8.  WABC program director Craig Schwalb says she will “continue to secure exclusive interviews with some of the biggest names making headlines in current events, politics and entertainment.”

kinosianmikePPM Analysis: All-News.  TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents an analysis of the performances of all-news-formatted radio stations based on data from the January 2015 Nielsen Audio PPM survey.  Kinosian writes, “Historically horrible winter weather conditions and the cessation of all-Christmas music are most likely contributing factors to the truly stunning January 2015 performance of all-news outlets…Although not coming anywhere close to possessing the massive volume of talk outlets, the feat all-news stations accomplished in the most recent sweep is nonetheless exceptionally impressive: Not one news station on the panel of properties we tracked regressed (6+) from Holiday 2014 to January 2015.  Read the entire report here.

madisonjoeMarathon-Man Madison. While understandably “exhausted,” SiriusXM‘s Joe Madison achieved his goal of a 52-hour broadcast during which he raised more than $150,000 for the construction of the Smithsonian‘s National Museum of African-American History and Culture. “When you do something for the right reasons – and you have the support of others – you really can do anything,” Madison states. “I hope our SiriusXM broadcast helps cast a spotlight on the need to raise funds for the much needed [museum to be built on the National Mall in Washington, DC].” The Guinness World Record Organization is reviewing the broadcast as a new record. Madison began the marathon this past Wednesday (2/25) at 6:00 am (ET) and continued un-interrupted until Friday (2/27) at 10:00 am (ET).

espnLAKSPN, Los Angeles Debuts Live and Local Show with Kelvin Washington and Travis Rodgers.  The new program featuring radio and TV pro Kelvin Washington and sports talk radio’s Travis Rodgers will air live on ESPN O&O KSPN, Los Angeles “ESPNLA 710” from 5:00 am to 7:00 am.  The show will continue until 9:00 am via ESPNLA.com and the ESPN Radio app.  KSPN begins airing ESPN Radio’s “The Herd with Colin Cowherd at 7:00 am.  Rodgers also hosts “Travis Rodgers Now” on Yahoo! Sports Radio and will continue in that role.

ipsosiHeartMedia: Study Shows Consumers Want AM/FM Radio in Cars in Traditional Format.  From a press release by iHeartMedia comes news that, according to a research study conducted by Ipsos (a leading global independent market research company) AM/FM radio remains the overwhelmingly preferred audio entertainment option in the car.  Further, “while consumers use new streaming services, virtually all consumers – 99% — are comfortable with the current AM/FM in-car radio operation.  And 91% of consumers say they prefer physical AM/FM radio buttons and controls built into the car dashboard, rather than AM/FM being an app that appears in the car’s electronic interface (with only 9% saying they would want it changed into a dashboard app).”  Other news from the study includes the finding that “while AM/FM radio remains paramount in the car, consumers use their in-car CD player three-and-a-half times as much as they use any digital music service.”  Additionally, the report indicates that “AM/FM radio still dominates in-car listening as the top platform used, with 84% of consumers using it in the car, followed by CD players at 64% — but radio still maintains a huge leadership position over the next closest service choice, SiriusXM – which had 22%.  Pandora was 18%; iHeartRadio was 8%; HD radio 7%; and Spotify was 7%.”  The study, conducted by Ipsos for iHeartMedia in January 2015, surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1036 adults 18-plus.

KGMZKGMZ, Oakland A’s Extend Partnership. The deal between KGMZ “The Game” and MLB‘s Oakland Athletics keeps the AL West team’s broadcasts on the Entercom-owned flagship at least through the 2018 season. Market manager Steve DiNardo comments that “The Game” has, “grown as a brand – experiencing consistent ratings and revenue growth during our partnership with the A’s. We are delighted to continue serving as the destination for Oakland A’s radio broadcasts for the next four seasons.” Oakland A’s vice president of broadcasting & communications Ken Pries remarks, “It has been an amazing partnership so far. We look forward to many more seasons of A’s baseball on 95.7 FM and all of the affiliates across the A’s Radio Network.” The A’s primary broadcast team will again consist of Ken Korach and Vince Cotroneo, who are in theirOakland A's 20th year and 10th year, respectively, calling the team’s games. Joining them occasionally will be former MLB catcher Ray Fosse, entering his 30th consecutive season on A’s radio. KGMZ will broadcast all 162 regular-season A’s games and some spring training contests. The A’s and “The Game” first partnered in 2011.

WKIMCumulus Sends The Vibe to Memphis. Score yet another transition to classic hip-hop as Cumulus Media Memphis jettisons talk on WKIM in favor of “98.9 – The Vibe.” Cumulus senior vice president of programming Mike McVay comments “The Vibe” is “designed to capture the spirit and complexity of Memphis. This city has birthed many music types of which this format is one more. ‘The Vibe’ is classic hip hop.” In addition to hosting mid-days on co-owned rocker WXMX “The Max,” Danni Bruns is programming “The Vibe” and she remarks, “Memphis has always been at the forefront of music. Now we have a new ‘Vibe’ – this is our party station.” Late last year, Flinn Broadcasting flipped Memphis alternative outlet WIVG to “throwback hip-hop” as “Bumpin’ 96.” The logo for Memphis’ “Vibe” mirrors that of Indianapolis sibling WRWM, although the latter is using “The Beat” rather than “The Vibe” as its handle. Naughty By Nature‘s “Hip-Hop Hooray” kicked off Friday’s (2/27) noontime launch of Memphis’ “Vibe.” Among persons 6+ in the latest (January 2015) Nielsen Audio PPM ratings report for Memphis, WKIM registers a 1.4, ironically tying it at #19 with WIVG. The 1.4 for WKIM is the station’s best (6+) performance in more than two years – it hit 1.8 in November 2012.

Odds & Sods.  Nationally syndicated talk host Laura Ingraham is being tapped to serve as the national chairman for the PAC Citizens for the Republic.  The political action committee was originally founded by Ronaldingrahamlaura Reagan in 1977.  A press statement says the PAC’s goal is to lead a “revitalized effort to advocate conservative principles and shine a light on government corruption.”…..Former WKRC, Cincinnati radio host Blake Seylhouwer was found guilty of two counts of negligent assault after an altercation outside his home during which he fired a rifle into the driveway and caused debris to spray up, injuring his wife.  Seylhouwer is an area businessman who brokered time from the station for a weekend show…..A grand jury in Hackensack, New Jersey has indicted Alan “Dr. Al” Lupinacci on charges of practicing medicine and conducting surgery without a license.  Lupinacci has brokered time from WMCA, New York for his “Learn to Be Healthy” program.  His medical license had been suspended in 1995 after he pleaded guilty to 10 counts of criminal sexual conduct with female patients.

The Battle Over Net Neutrality

| February 27, 2015

By Steven J.J. Weisman
Legal Editor

weismanwriterWASHINGTON — No one seems to be neutral over net neutrality.  On February 26, the FCC approved new rules to classify and regulate broadband Internet service as a public utility by a vote of 3-2 strictly along party lines with the three Democratic commissioners voting in favor of the new rules and the two Republican commissioners voting against the proposal.

Not that any of the commissioners appeared to be against net neutrality.  Net neutrality is the name for the principle that all traffic on the Internet should be treated equally and that Internet Service Providers cannot charge more for higher-speed service and greater access which would limit the most effective use of the Internet to only those large companies that could afford the greater fees.  Under net neutrality, the Internet Service Providers could not speed up, slow down or block delivery of any content or service.   Those in favor of net neutrality fear giving Internet Service Providers too much power and control over how people surf the net.  Internet Service Providers have opposed net neutrality for years, arguing that they should be able to charge higher fees to some companies, such as Netflix to receive faster service.  However critics of the Internet Service providers’ proposals for tiered pricing say that it would stifle freedom of speech and equal access that is at the cornerstone of the Internet and, in effect, would result in only big companies that could afford larger fees having effective access to the Internet as a means of communication.

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Thursday, February 26, 2015

| February 26, 2015

2015 NYC 150‘Big Picture’ Panel to Tackle Broad Strokes View of Radio’s Rapidly Evolving Role in 21st Century Media.  The power-packed agenda for the forthcoming 18th annual installment of the longest-running and most important talk media industry national convention is taking shape.  The event’s traditional convergence panel, “The Big Picture,” will feature a lineup of speakers including (in alphabetical order):  Alan Colmes, personality, Fox News Radio/Fox News Channel; Holland Cooke, consultant, Holland Cooke Media; Joe Sciacca, editor-in-chief, Boston Herald/Boston Herald Radio; and Julietalbottjulie Talbott, president, Premiere Networks with two more industry heavyweights to be confirmed shortly.  The colmesalaneclectic discussion will be moderated by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison who states, “I love moderating this panel.  It goes in many directions and is not afraid to explore esoteric speculation about what is lurking just over the horizon and around the next corner.”  Harrison adds, “It is always full of valuable takeaways for our attendees.”  The session will be held as part of the day-long conference set for Friday, June 12 at the India House Club in the Big Apple’s historic Financial cookehollandDistrict.  Registrations are priced at $299 per person with an early-bird, discounted cost of $249 available sciaccajoeuntil 5:00 pm ET on Friday, February 27 (tomorrow).  Registrations, which are only open to professionals currently or recently employed in media-related industries, include all sessions, presentations, exhibits and breakfast/lunch/refreshment/and social networking activities.  The heavyweight, non-stop agenda will include approximately 65 speakers and 500 attendees are again expected.  Registrations can only be taken over the phone and paid for by credit card.  For registration, sponsorship and hotel information, please call 413-565-5413.  Again, an early sellout is expected, so avoid being shut out by registering now!  More speakers, panelists and agenda updates will be announced here in the coming days.

shoredaveDetroit’s WMGC Shores Up PD Vacancy. The program director opening at WMGC “Detroit Sports 105.1” has been filled, as the Greater Media outlet taps Dave Shore for the position. Vice president and market manager Steve Chessare comments, “Dave’s experience in overseeing sports radio in major markets made him the perfect choice to lead [our] team. We are absolutely thrilled to have him help us take the station to the next level.” Shore – who will beginWMGC- FM his Motor City assignment next month (3/23) – most recently was operations manager of ESPN Radio Los Angeles’ KSPN and was the pre-game host of the station’s broadcasts of the NBA‘s Los Angeles Lakers. For seven years, he was sports director/on-air talent for ESPN Radio Dallas’ KESN and he did television play-by-play for Texas Tech basketball, as well as pre-game duties for the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks. In 2007, Shore launched Capitol Broadcasting Raleigh’s WCMC “99.9 – The Fan” and managed co-owned sports WDNC “620 – The Buzz” and WCLY “1550 ESPN Deportes.” Shore succeeds Jason Dixon, who was the first program director WMGC hired in August 2013 when the station transitioned from adult contemporary to sports. Ironically, Dixon arrived at WMGC after a three-year stint as operations manager/program director of the same three Raleigh sports stations (WCMC, WDNC, and WCLY) on Shore’s resume.

williamsonrachelWilliamson to New CMG Digital Post.  Sales and management pro Rachel Williamson is the new director of digital revenue development for Cox Media Group.  The company says that in this role, she’ll focus on working with the company’s 59 radio brands “to drive our digital revenue growth and integrated sales.”  She joins CMG from her most recent post with Cumulus Media as director of national sales.  Cox senior director of digital solutions Jesse McCambridge says, “We are very excited to have Rachel join our team.  We have experienced tremendous growth in digital across the company and Rachel’s experience brings industry expertise and focus on integrated marketing solutions.”

bearmanethan3Bay Area Talk Personality Ethan Bearman Highlighted in HuffPo Piece.  Talk radio personality Ethan Bearman – currently heard on his regular weekend shows on KSFO, San Francisco (where he does a lot of fill-in work), via his GCN-syndicated program and as a regular sub on WPHT, Philadelphia – is one of five “agents of change” that writer Greg Archer profiles in a recent piece in the Huffington Post.  About Bearman, Archer writes, “In just a short span of time, Bearman’s nationally syndicated radio talk show…has quickly risen among the ranks as one of the more thought-provoking outings on the airwaves.  Why The host is unabashedly witty, yes, but he’s also deeply interested in current events, politics, science, tech and other rich topics.  Beyond that, he appears to have a rare gift of being able to dissect half-truths, offering realistic takes on complex topics, and somehow allow the listener to find a curious and perhaps unexpected respite with him somewhere in the middle of ‘The Here And Now.’”  Read the HuffPo piece here.

rabRAB Cites Borrell’s Positive Forecast for Radio’s Digital Sales Growth.  According to research from Borrell Associates, the radio industry will rise above the half-billion-dollar mark in digital advertising this year based upon revenue that is projected to grow by 18%.  The study, titled, “Benchmarking: Local Radio Stations’ Online Revenues,” was done on behalf of the Radio Advertising Bureau.  It indicates that radio stations added or reassigned as many as 750 new employees to focus on digital ventures last year, causing revenue to grow 16% in 2014.  More than one-third of the radio managers surveyed indicated that they had at least one employee exclusively assigned to digital operations, up from 11% last year.  Also, more than 33% of those surveyed said their stations were either setting up a “digital agency,” were planning to set one up soon, or already had one.  Some other findings from the report include: Nearly two-thirds believe their sales reps are talking to the wrong buyers when trying to sell digital; and 77% gave sales training a number 1 or number 2 priority in terms of what would boost their station digital sales the most.  RAB president and CEO Erica Farber comments on the study, “It’s important to look at all available revenue data in order to provide our industry members with additional market barometers.  We’re making tremendous strides in radio’s digital growth, and this survey continues to provide us with areas to focus on and invest in to truly maximize this revenue stream.”

metaxasericSalem Brings Eric Metaxas Aboard for Daily Talk Show.  Although Eric Metaxas is a well-known author, speaker and TV personality in the Christian community, Salem Media Group says his new daily talk show could cross over to the news/talk format.  Metaxas will begin hosting his new radio show on April 20, airing from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET.  Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce says, “We are extremely enthusiastic to have Eric join the Salem platform.  I have tried to get Eric to join us for two years, and this opportunity seemed to be a perfect match.  He’ll do a great show every day that will inspire listeners and help stations grow their audience.”  In a press statement, Salem notes that Metaxas is the author of the bestseller, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet Spy (Thomas Nelson 2011) as well as a recent Wall Street Journal column titled, “Science Increasingly Makes the Case for God.”

Odds & Sods.  Washington-Baltimore all-news WNEW-FM is adding talk to its lineup in the evenings andkatzmcAuliffe overnights.  It’s adding the Dave Ramsey show to air from 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm as well as the KMOX, St. Louis-based “America Overnight” with host Jon Grayson…..Hubbard Radio’s Washington all-news WTOP and sister WFED “Federal News Radio,” as part of a restructuring of their sales department, promote longtime national sales manager Jeffrey Wolinsky to director of federal and national sales.…..KBBO, Yakima, Washington flips from talk to sports.  The Ingstad-owned station becomes “The Fan 1390 AM” and the Yakima Herald reports much of the station’s programming will be piped in from Bonneville’s KIRO-AM, Seattle, including:  “Brock and Salk” and “Danny, Dave and Moore.”…..WRVA, Richmond afternoon drive personality Jeff Katz (left) had the opportunity to interview Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe (right) at the iHeartMedia studios in Richmond and the two posed for a quick photo after the broadcast.

hannityschnittbermanThe Big Apple Drive Timers.  Posing for a quick pic in the WOR, New York studios are the station’s drive time stars Sean Hannity (center), and new morning duo Todd Schnitt (right) and Len Berman (left).  Hannity’s radio show is syndicated by iHeartMedia’s Premiere Networks and airs in the afternoon slot on WOR.  Berman and Schnitt recently partnered up to host the morning drive show on the station.  Schnitt is also heard in afternoon drive (Eastern Time) on stations across the country via Compass Media Networks.

bfoa logoBFoA to Honor Mel Karmazin.  Legendary broadcasting executive Mel Karmazin will be honored with the 2015 Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award presented by the Broadcasters Foundation of America at its annual breakfast Wednesday, April 15 during the National Association of Broadcasters Show in Las Vegas.  Karmazin retired from his CEO post at SiriusXM in 2013.  Prior to that, he was president and COO of Viacom.  He served as CEO of CBS Corp following his work as chairman and CEO of CBS Radio, which followed the merger of Westinghouse/CBS and Infinity Broadcasting.  The Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award is bestowed annually on an individual in broadcasting whose work exemplifies innovation, community service, advocacy, and entrepreneurship.  It salutes its namesake Lowry Mays and is underwritten by The Mays Family Foundation.

Department of Homeland Security Funding Battle, Obama Amnesty Order, FCC’s Net Neutrality Proposal, 2016 Presidential Prospects, ISIS Brutality, Iran Nukes, and the Bill O’Reilly Journalistic Ethics Flap Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/25).  The battle in Congress over the funding of the Department of Homeland Security; the status of President Obama’s amnesty order; the FCC’s proposal to regulate the Internet as a utility and the possible ramifications; the potential candidates for president in 2016; the brutal violence being perpetuated by ISIS and controversy over labeling the militant organization “Muslim”; the potential for Iran to acquire nuclear weapons; and the flap over accusations against FNC’s Bill O’Reilly of journalistic lapses were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

| February 25, 2015

2015 NYC 150Nielsen Audio VP of Client Service Brad Kelly to Appear on Talkers New York 2015 ‘State of Radio Ratings’ Panel.  Joining the star-packed panel addressing the State of Radio Ratings at the June 12 Talkers New York 2015 conference from Nielsen Audio is vice president of client service Brad Kelly.  He’ll discuss how Nielsen has its eye on both terrestrial listening and the ever-evolving digital options.  He will also update conference attendees onkellybrad Nielsen’s improvement programs for its basic ratings service in both PPM and Diary markets.  This hour-long panel will be moderated by Premiere Networks and Fox News Channel superstar Sean Hannity and will analyze the changing relationship between talk radio (as well as radio in general) and audience measurement methodology as we move further into the digital age.  It is no secret that determining the methodology to properly and fairly balance (and credit) listenership to radio programming on both terrestrial and online platforms has been a bumpy transition creating challenges for radio programmers and sellers alike.  Joining Hannity will be a stellar panel including:  Erica Farber, president/CEO, Radio Advertising Bureau; Phil Boyce, SVP/Spoken Word Format, Salem Media Group and Salem Radio Network, operations VP, New York Region; Steve Goldstein, EVP, Saga Communications; Tom Langmyer, VP/GM, Milwaukee radio operations, VP/news-talk programming, Journal Broadcast Group, and Greg Moceri, CEO, Moceri Media.  The session will be held as part of the power-packed, day-long “Talkers New York 2015” on Friday, June 12 at the India House Club in the Big Apple’s historic Financial District.  This marks the 18th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention.  It will also celebrate the 25th anniversary of TALKERS magazine which was launched by Michael Harrison in the summer of 1990.  Registrations are priced at $299 per person with an early bird, discounted cost of $249 available until 5:00 pm ET on Friday, February 27.  Registrations, which are only open to professionals currently or recently employed in media-related industries, include all sessions, presentations, exhibits and breakfast/lunch/refreshment/and social networking activities.  The heavyweight, non-stop agenda will include approximately 65 speakers and 500 attendees are again expected.  Registrations can only be taken over the phone and paid for by credit card.  For registration, sponsorship and hotel information, please call 413-565-5413.  Again, an early sellout is expected, so avoid being shut out by registering now!  More speakers, panelists and agenda updates will be announced here in the coming days.

cbsradio logoReport: CBS Under Pressure to Sell Radio Assets to Cumulus.  In a story in The Deal by Chris Nolter, hedge fund Sandell Asset Management Corp is lobbying CBS Corp to divest of its radio station group and merge it with Cumulus Media.  Nolter reportscumulus logo that the two companies have been advised to “pursue a reverse Morris Trust merger of their radio businesses.  By spinning off the radio stations to shareholders, CBS would divest an asset with a low tax basis without incurring a large bill from the IRS.  It could also collect a nearly $900 million dividend.”  The story suggests that if CBS’ radio stations merged with Cumulus, they would pull in about $2.4 billion in sales.  Nolter writes that executive chairman Sumner Redstone controls 79.6% of CBS Corp’s shareholder vote so any move would require him being on board.  Read Nolter’s piece here.  CBS has said repeatedly that it likes radio as a cash flow business.

iheartmedia logo smallExecutive Changes at iHeartMedia as Lakamp to Exit Digital Division; Kaminsky Moves Up and Market Managers Become Presidents.  In a company-wide memo, iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman announces president of technology and digital ventures Brian Lakamp has left the company in order to pursue “entrepreneurial endeavors.”  Pittman thankskaminskybrian Lakamp for his time with the company and credits him for iHeartRadio’s registered user growth as well for some of the sales-related technologies and partnerships Pittman says will “increase the importance of our platforms for our advertising partners and make our sales process more lavenmicheleefficient.”  Pittman is reconfiguring the technology and digital ventures team with iHeartRadio COO Brian Kaminsky rising to president of programmatic and data operations.  Simultaneously, Michele Laven – currently iHeartMedia president of partnerships and local activation – is now the president of business development and partnerships.  Finally, the company announces that all market managers are now market presidents.

kaufmanadamAdam Kaufman Named WBZ-AM, Boston Morning Sports Anchor.  Veteran sports reporter Adam Kaufman is promoted to morning sports anchor for CBS RADIO’s Boston news station WBZ-AM.  The company says that Kaufman is “a multi-platform sports journalist for more than a decade” who will continue to be a show host at sister sports talker WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” and CBS Sports Radio, in addition to being a columnist for Boston.com sports and serve as a regional television anchor on Comcast SportsNet New England.  During his career, the Syracuse University grad has worked as the lead play-by-play voice of the Boston College men’s hockey team and spent five years doing radio play-by-play of the Providence Bruins minor league hockey team.

herskovitzalThe 8th Annual Hersky Awards Announced.  It’s the time of the year when radio sales maven and H&H Broadcasting president Al Herskovitz pronounces what he deems to have been the best in talk radio advertising over the course of the past year.  While these “awards” are delivered tongue-in-cheek, the winners are named by Herskovitz as excellent examples of quality and effective talk radio advertising.  To find out the winners in the categories of Best National Host Doing a Local Commercial; Best Jingle Spot; Best Live Spot Reader; and Commercial of the Year, click here.

boomercartonAllessandroIt’s a Tough Job, But Somebody’s Got to Do it.  Morning duo Boomer Esiason (left) and Craig Carton (right) pose for a shot with supermodel and Victoria’s Secret Angel Alessandra Ambrosio (center) after her guest shot on WFAN, New York to promote tomorrow night’s “Victoria’s Secret Swim Special” airing on the CBS Television Network at 10:00 pm ET.  In addition to a bevy of bathing beauties, the show will also feature GRAMMY Award-wining artists Maroon 5 and Juanes.

Obama’s Amnesty Order, Bill O’Reilly Falklands Report Controversy, the FCC’s Net Neutrality Mandate, Department of Homeland Security Funding Battle, Keystone Pipeline Veto, Continued ISIS Brutality, Feds Choose Not to Charge George Zimmerman, Chris Kyle Trial Conviction, and Ukraine Tensions Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/24).  The state of President Obama’s amnesty order; the controversy over Fox News Channel star Bill O’Reilly’s Falklands War reporting in the early 1980s; the “net neutrality” proposal by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler; the battle over funding the Department of Homeland Security before the Friday deadline; Obama vetoes the resurrected Keystone Pipeline project; the ongoing brutality being perpetuated by ISIS; the Justice Department decides not to prosecute George Zimmerman; Eddie Ray Routh is convicted in the slaying of fellow former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield; and the ongoing tensions in Ukraine and Russia’s involvement.

hopeline‘The HopeLine’ with Dawson McAllister Goes into Syndication.  Radio pro Dawson McAllister recently returned to Christian on WAY-FM with “The HopeLine with Dawson McAllister,” and is now offering clearance of his new show to the general Christian market, focusing on contemporary Christian radio stations.  For 17 years Dawson McAllister was heard Sunday nights on more than 300 Christian radio stations with “Dawson McAllister Live,” before transitioning exclusively to top 40/mainstream stations in 2007 in a syndication agreement with Premiere Networks.  After years of requests from Christian stations and former listeners for Dawson to return, along with the recent opportunity presented by WAY-FM, he made the decision to launch this new Saturday night show.  He comments, “The unique thing about this show is that I have the opportunity to challenge my audience to make a difference in their world by having an impact on the lives of their friends – I love the idea of partnering with teenagers and young adults to change the world one life at a time.”  The show is described as “a three-hour, interactive call-in show where 13-29 year olds can call and talk to Dawson about all the issues in their lives.  In return, Dawson and his co-host Sarah Lee offer trustworthy Biblically based common-sense advice and encouragement that is truly life-changing.   Christian stations wishing to air “The HopeLine with Dawson McAllister” or CHR stations wishing to air “Dawson McAllister Live” can contact Ike Wingate at Wingate Media at ike@wingatemediagroup.com.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

| February 24, 2015

2015 NYC 150Sean Hannity to Moderate Major Panel Session, “The State of Radio Ratings,” at Talkers New York 2015. Continuing with an important theme that he has discussed at prior TALKERS conferences, Premiere Radio Networks and Fox News Channel talk icon Sean Hannity will moderate a panel analyzing the changing relationship between talk radiohannity (as well as radio in general) and audience measurement methodology as we move further into the digital age. It is no secret that determining the methodology to properly and fairly balance (and credit) listenership to radio programming on both terrestrial and online platforms has been a bumpy transition creating challenges for radio programmers and sellers alike. Joining Hannity will be a stellar panel including (in alphabetical order): Erica Farber, farberericapresident/CEO, Radio Advertising Bureau; Phil Boyce, SVP/Spoken Word Format, Salem Media Group and Salem Radio Network, operations VP, New York Region; Steve Goldstein, EVP, Sagaboycephil Communications; Tom Langmyer, VP/GM, Milwaukee radio operations, VP/news-talk programming, Journal Broadcast Group, and Greg Moceri, CEO, Moceri Media. The panel will be joined by a yet-to-be-named representative of Nielsen Audio. The session will be held as part of the power-packed, day-long “Talkers New York 2015” on Friday, June 12 at the India House Club in the Big Apple’s historic Financial goldsteinsteveDistrict. This marks the 18th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention. It will also celebrate the 25th anniversary of TALKERS magazinelangmyertom which was launched by Michael Harrison in the summer of 1990. Registrations are priced at $299 per person with an early bird, discounted cost of $249 available until 5:00 pm ET on Friday, February 27. Registrations, which are only open to professionals currently or recently employed in media-related industries, include all sessions, mocerigregpresentations, exhibits and breakfast/lunch/refreshment/and social networking activities. The heavyweight, non-stop agenda will include approximately 65 speakers and 500 attendees are again expected. Registrations can only be taken over the phone and paid for by credit card. For registration, sponsorship and hotel information, please call 413-565-5413. Again, an early sellout is expected, so avoid being shut out by registering now! More speakers, panelists and agenda updates will be announced here in the coming days.

talkersradio logoTalkersRadio Back for 2015 after Brief Retooling with Experimental Programs by Alan Colmes and Lionel.   TalkersRadio, the experimental internet radio platform launched by TALKERS in 2013, is back online after a two-month “re-tooling” in which several technological improvements were instituted and new ideas sorted out.  The platform is designed to serve as a workshop for new shows and concepts being developed as well as an industry showcase for programs about to be marketed.  On announcing the re-launch, TALKERS general manager of broadcast operations, David Bernstein states, “We are happy to be back up and running with great enthusiasm for the potential of this audio ‘stage.’  All of us at TALKERS are indeed proud of the remarkable success TalkersRadio has had in its first year-and-a-half providing a number of fine broadcasters the opportunity to work out new ideas and techniques, including having launched the terrestrial radio success of the Brent & Meg show and Doug Stephan’s ‘American Family Farmer.’”  The platform, described by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey as “an audio gymnasium” is re-launching with two on-demand programs hosted by well-known hosts Alan Colmes and Lionel.  Colmes – star of Fox News Radio and the Fox News Channel – is continuing to work on a concept titled “Healed Planet” — far removed from his political fare — in which he interviews thought leaders in the human consciousness movement.  Lionel – an iconoclastic and legendary veteran of major radio and television stations and networks, currently seen and heard on his own LionelMedia.com, performs an exclusive, experimental program for TalkersRadio simply titled, “Lionel.”  In it, he amply displays his remarkable and compelling aptitude for stream of consciousness story-telling and observations of leading-edge issues.  According to Bernstein, “TalkersRadio will also be streaming live industry events and inner-industry forums in the coming weeks and months with an exciting ‘new and improved’ system powered by our colleagues at Backbone Networks in Boston.”  Bernstein encourages broadcasters with new ideas and concepts that might be of interest to TalkersRadio to get in touch with him at 413-565-5413.  To hear TalkersRadio, please click here.

podcastone logo‘Mogul Mom’s Playbook’ Debuts on PodcastOne.  Joining the growing stable of star-powered podcasts available via the Norm Pattiz-founded PodcastOne is “Mogul Mom’s Playbook with Shaunie and Stella.”   The new podcast focuses on the increasing commitment of moms to juggle kids, career, parenting and relationships and is hosted by “Basketball Wives” star and executive producer Shaunie O’Neal and famed executive producer and founder of Wikked Entertainment, Stella Bulochnikov.  The weekly program features the duo and their celebrity friends “as they share tips, advice, support and lots of laughs to encourage the everyday ‘superwoman.’”   Pattiz says, “We are thrilled to welcome Shaunie and Stella to our family of hosts.  Their expressive personalities are such a joy to be around and their ability to connect with women has been proven in their personal and professional lives.”

Odds & Sods.  The first of three Republican primary debates will be moderated by Salem Media Group talk show host Hugh Hewitt.  Salem is working with CNN to produce the RNChewitthughsanctioned debates.  According to a press release, Hewitt will also broadcast special editions of his talk show pre- and post-debate.  At the conclusion of the debate, candidates will be invited to join Hewitt to talk candidly about the event and the pressing issues facing the nation.  Hewitt says, “I am delighted to be included with journalists posing questions as part of one of America’s finest political traditions – the presidential debate.”…..The self-described “metaphysical/biographical” program, “Outer Limits Of Inner Truth,” is airing a special two-hour show on Thursday, February 26 to commemorate its one-year anniversary.  The program is distributed via Star Com Radio Networks and airs on more than 24 stations across the country…..SWN Communications, a Memphis-based provider of the “Inside Track” radio show dedicated to horse racing, announces the program – hosted by Charlie Ricks and Bernie Halprin – becomes available on Yahoo! Sports Radio’s national network effective February 28.

Rudy Giuliani Comments Controversy, Obama Amnesty Order Case, DHS Funding Battle, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Ukraine Tensions, Sunday’s Academy Awards, and Frigid Winter Weather Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/23).  The controversy over former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s comments about President Obama’s love of his country; debate over President Obama’s amnesty order and its effects; the congressional battle over funding the Department of Homeland Security; the potential candidates for president in 2016; the civil unrest in Ukraine and Russia’s role in the matter; the 87th Academy Awards; and the frigid weather affecting much of the country were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Determining How Long It Will Take for a Radio Show to Succeed (and How Long to Give It)

| February 23, 2015

By Bill McMahon
The Authentic Personality

mcmahonbillEAGLE, Idaho — There are lots of variables to think about. Here are some questions to consider in order to come up with a realistic answer:

  • Let’s start with a reality check. How much time do you have to reach what ratings level? If you work for Bonneville or Hubbard you probably have more time than if you work for Cumulus or iHeartMedia? If you’re a GM or PD, it doesn’t really matter what you think is reasonable if your boss has other ideas. Find out what the bosses’ realities are. That’s your reality. If you don’t think the bosses’ ratings expectations are reasonable, better let him or her know up front. Matched expectations are good for job security.

Read More

Monday, February 23, 2015

| February 23, 2015

radioamerica newHedgecock Gives Way to Benson on Radio America.  After many successful years in national syndication – which followed a long reign as the king of talk radio in San Diego, Rodger Hedgecock is ending his daily long-form radio show to focus on hishedgecockroger work as a TV commentator and elections coverage specialist for KFMB-TV, San Diego “CBS 8” and his production of the two daily reports he does for KFMB, San Diego.  Radio America COO Mike Paradiso states, “Roger has been a strong leader in Radio America’s lineup for years bensonchadand I want to thank him for his hard work and dedication.  He will be missed.”  Taking over Hedgecock’s nationally syndicated program is Chad Benson, whom Radio America describes as “a rising star from the Next Generation of talk hosts.”  Benson debuts on March 30 from home base at Alpha Media-owned KUFO, Portland “Freedom 970.”  About Benson, Radio America says the 44-year-old is “an accomplished talk show host boasting over 22-years-experience in the entertainment industry.  He started in music radio in the 1990s at the legendary KRTH, Los Angeles as the executive producer of the Robert W. Morgan show and has also been featured on Los Angeles radio stations such as KZLA-FM and KNCI-FM and KWOD-FM in Sacramento.  Chad has also honed his skills as a voice artist for several Hollywood productions, as fans of ‘Droopy the Dog’ hear Chad’s voice as the signature Hanna-Barbera character.”  Alpha Media San Antonio OM/PD Greg Martin says, “Chad Benson is not the usual talk host.  His entertaining style and passion for talk radio helped develop him into a great talent.  He’s not afraid to go places the average talk host will not tread.  Very unique.”  Benson’s show will air 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET.

cookehollandWeekends: Healing Talk Radio’s Achilles Heel.  In a new article posted today in TALKERS, radio consultant Holland Cooke boldly states: “At too many stations – some with once-proud call letters – weekends are an embarrassment.  Through utter neglect, stations injure ratings and leave money on the table.”  He goes on to offer advice and insights designed to help programmers and management maximize weekends – including brokered programs – to improve station ratings, revenue and image in the community.  He also appears on the latest installment of TalkersTV (upper right column box on every page of Talkers.com) with valuable information about how talk stations can make their Saturday and Sunday programming truly “Solid Gold Weekends.”  To see TalkersTV, please check out the upper right box on every page of Talkers.com.  To read Cooke’s new column, please click here.

mcmahonbillMcMahon: Determining How Long it Will Take for a Radio Show to Succeed.  Just how long to give a new radio show to “take off” has been a debate in the radio business almost since the medium debuted.  All parties would love the answer to be, “almost instantaneous,” but that’s not realistic.  Bill McMahon, CEO of The Authentic Personality, writes in a column published in TALKERS magazine today that programmers must get realistic expectations from their superiors.  But once the timeline is known, there are things that can be done to make success happen as quickly as possible.  “Coaching focused on perfecting talents and strengths and highlighting appealing personal traits will significantly speed up the development process.  Nothing slowed the development of the superstars of radio, true originals, like Howard Stern, Rush Limbaugh, and Larry Lujack more than bad coaching from PDs and management that didn’t recognize and support their unique talents and strengths.  Each was fired multiple times.  All were told to fit into some current standardized success model and be anything but themselves.  They refused.  Each had his own instincts and ideas about the kind of show he wanted to do.”  Read the rest of this enlightening piece here.

2015 NYC 150John Dickey and Michael Harrison to Conduct “Fireside Chat” at Talkers New York 2015.  The agenda is being set for Talkers New York 2015 and one of the highlights of what promises to be a power-packed day of relevant discussions, presentations, and addresses will be a conversation between Cumulus Media executive vice president of content & programming, John Dickey and TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison.  Thedickeyjohn presentation will be conducted in the informal, one-on-one “fireside chat” format.  John Dickey is responsible for Cumulus’ sales, programming, marketing, promotion and engineering and will be able to offer comments, opinions and information about a wide variety of issues presently facing talk radio, as well as the entire spectrum of radio formats.  Conference director Michael Harrison states, “There are few people as ‘plugged into’ both the day-to-day operations as well as the big picture of commercial radio in America today than John Dickey.  He has extensive, first-hand knowledge about what’s happening in the business and plays an enormous harrisonmichael2015role in influencing policy – plus he has a true passion for radio and its position in our society.  I look forward to this session with enthusiasm and plan on it providing our attendees with a lot of valuable takeaways.”  Save the date and register early.  The 18th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important annual convention will take place on Friday, June 12, 2015.   It will be located at the historic India House Club dramatically situated at One Hanover Square in the heart of Manhattan’s financial district.”  The all-day event – 9:00 am to 6:00 pm — is again expected to be a quick sellout.  Registrations are priced at $299 per person with an early bird, discounted cost of $249 available until 5:00 pm ET on Friday, February 27.  Registrations, which are only open to professionals currently or recently employed in media-related industries, include all sessions, presentations, exhibits and breakfast/lunch/refreshment/and social networking activities. The heavyweight, non-stop agenda will include approximately 65 speakers and 500 attendees are again expected.  Registrations can only be taken over the phone and paid for by credit card.  For registration, sponsorship and hotel information, please call 413-565-5413.  Again, an early sellout is expected, so avoid being shut out by registering now!  Speakers, panelists and agenda updates will be announced here in the coming days.

ppmunit altRound Four of January PPM Data Released.  The fourth of four rounds of January 2015 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford.  The survey period was January 1-28.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ten Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

salemmediagroup logoSalem Incorporates ‘Media’ into New Corporate Name.  As a corporation with multiple media platforms, Salem Communications Corporation decides to change its name to Salem Media Group to better reflect “the dynamic growth” of its multi-media business.  Salem CEO Ed Atsinger says, “Salem’s mission has always been to serve our two core audiences – Christian and conservative – with engaging and meaningful content.  That mission brought us into radio, and it has guided our growth ever since.  As more and more of our audience seek new ways to get information and inspiration, we have added new media platforms to our traditional radio offerings.  Now nearly one-third of our total revenue comes from non-broadcast sources.  This rebranding of Salem acknowledges our evolution and confirms our commitment to serve our market.”  Salem says that in addition to its 106 radio stations and syndicated programs, it “owns several of the most influential brands in the Christian and conservative media space, including Crosswalk.com, GodVine.com, Christianity.com, BibleStudyTools.com, TownHall.com, HotAir.com, RedState.com, Human Events.com, the Conservative Book Club, and Regnery Publishing.

floresreneeFlores Appointed High Desert Broadcasting LSM. Former Lazer Broadcasting Oxnard-Ventura national and regional sales manager Renee Flores joins High Desert Broadcasting as local sales manager for its seven-station cluster in Lancaster, Palmdale, and the Antelope Valley (Southern California). High Desert president Miles Sexton comments that Flores, “brings a rare combination of experience in both product marketing and broadcast sales to this position, along with proven team leadership accomplishments. We are thrilled to have her join our management team to oversee the sales operation of this dominant radio cluster.” Flores points out that she has lived “in this exciting and growing portion of the Los Angeles metro area. It is great to be returning with such a wonderful opportunity to grow and serve the diverse business community here.” Flores’ prior background includes being general sales manager for Lazer Broadcasting’s three Oxnard-Ventura stations, as well as handling sales for the company’s 25 California and Nevada stations. High Desert’s seven stationsHigh Desert Broadcasting are KOSS “NewsTalk 1380”; regional Mexican KCEL “Que Buena 96.1”; hot AC KGMX “K-Mix 106.3”; alternative KKZQ “The Edge”; classic rock KQAV “The Quake”; KMVE “Classic Top 40”; and regional Mexican KUTY “La Mera Mera 1470.”

johnstondougJohnston Joins Westwood One in EVP Role.  Joining the company as executive vice president, Midwest division in the network sales department is Doug Johnston.  The company says he’ll “oversee revenue development and multi-platform brand integrations across all Westwood One assets, including network sales, spot sales, platform, digital, and events.  Johnston is based in Chicago and reports directly to Westwood One president Steve Shaw.”  He comes to WW1 from his most recent post as SVP, sales, central region, for Premiere Networks.

Odds & Sods.  Adding another daily show to his current role as afternoon drive personality on iHeartMedia’sconwaysimon legendary WHO, Des Moines, is Simon Conway.  Today (2/23), he begins hosting the 9:00 am to 11:00 am program on the company’s WMT, Cedar Rapids…..Fusion and ESPN Radio are announcing an agreement in principle for the former to simulcast the Dan Le Batard radio program beginning this spring.  The three-hour broadcast will air weekday afternoons from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET.

wtmj logoCool Job Opportunties.  Several outstanding career opportunities are currently open at Journal Broadcast Group‘s news/talk/sports WTMJ, Milwaukee.  WTMJ has taken traffic reporting in-house, after working with an outside vendor, and is building its own 24-hour on-air/digital traffic center.  There are opportunities for traffic reporters.  The station also has a rare opportunity for a sports anchor/sports talk host.  WTMJ is also searching for an experienced digital content producer/morning show producer.  In sports marketing, WTMJ is adding another sports account manager position to sell Green Bay Packers football and Milwaukee Brewers baseball.  See these and other great opportunities at Journal Broadcast Group’s Milwaukee Operations here.

rabRAB on 2014: Off-Air and Digital Help Bolster Spot and Network for Flat Revenue Year.  The annual report on radio’s revenue for the previous year from the RAB is released and the organization states that radio ended Q4 and full year 2014 with revenue comparable to those reported at year-end in both 2013 and 2012.  Radio’s digital and off-air sectors delivered impressive growth rates throughout the year, which also saw slight dips in the spot and network sectors.  For all of 2014, spot revenue was down 3% and network revenue dipped 4%.  Those decreases were offset by the rise in digital (up 9%) and off-air revenue (up 16%).  RAB president and CEO Erica Farber comments, “Radio held its own in 2014 with radio revenue remaining steady despite an economic climate which saw some businesses tightening their spending in Q4 due to reduced consumer confidence.  Digital revenue growth indicates that radio is meeting marketers’ growing commitment to reach consumers via all digital ad channels, and this continued growth confirms radio’s position as a true marketing partner.”

abcNathansonKevinHartABC News on the Red Carpet at the Oscars.  At last night’s 87th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, ABC News was on the red carpet interviewing the stars in advance of the annual awards program.  Pictured here is ABC News’ Jason Nathanson (right) speaking with comic, actor and record producer Kevin Hart (left).

Friday, February 20, 2015

| February 20, 2015

entercomEntercom 2014 Q4 Net Revenue Up 2%.  That increase over the same period a year ago comes on revenue $101.5 million.  For all of 2014, Entercom Communications posted net revenue up 1% over 2013, with total net revenue hitting $379.8 million.  Other fourth quarter data includes: station expenses increasing 3% to $63.3 million; station operating income flat at $38.2 million; and free cash flow rising 4% to $23.4 million.  For the year 2014, adjusted net income per share was flat at $0.79.  Entercom fielddavidpresident and CEO David Field says, “After finishing 2014 with modest gains in net revenues, adjusted net income and free cash flow, Entercom is looking forward to a promising year of opportunity in 2015.  Our recently announced Lincoln Financial Media acquisition will add a number of terrific new markets and brands to our lineup and should be accretive to shareholders with no material impact on our solid balance sheet.  And we are well positioned to capitalize on a number of other significant growth opportunities throughout the organization.”  If you remember, Entercom is buying Lincoln Financial Media’s 15 stations in the Atlanta, Denver, Miami and San Diego markets for $105 million.  It will sell one of its Denver FMs to comply with FCC regulations.

iheartmedia logo smalliHeartMedia Q4 Net Revenue Rises 1%.  During its 2014 Q4 conference call, iHeartMedia announced that net revenue was up 1% for both the fourth quarter of 2014 and for the year as a whole.  iHeartMedia COO Richard Bressler said during the investors conference call that “political dollars, traffic and weather, as well as national broadcast radio, drove higher revenues in a market that was soft across local radio.”  Bressler also touted the performance of the iHeartRadio digital platform, saying it has surpassed 60 million registered users and that total listening hours have risen 14% compared to the fourth quarter of 2013.

nielsen logoRound Three of January PPM Data Released.  The third of four rounds of January 2015 PPM data from Nielsen Audio 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.  The survey period was January 1-28.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ten Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

wtemlogoWTEM, Washington to Launch Local AM Drive Show.  Currently, Red Zebra-owned WTEM, Washington ESPN980 carries ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike show.  But beginning on March 16, the station will pair up longtime morning drive personality Chris Paul with national sports columnist Jason Reid to host “The Man Cave with Chris Paul and Jason Reid.”  Red Zebra vice president of programming Chuck Sapienza says the show “will be a blend of sports, comedy and entertainment and we are thrilled to welcome these two talented men to ESPN980.”  Chris Paul has worked in radio as part of the Donnie Simpson show on crosstown hip hop WPGC for 16 years and, for the last six years, on the syndicated “Tom Joyner Morning Show.”  Jason Reid began his professional journalism career at the Los Angeles Times covering the Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Clippers and providing college basketball analysis.  He moved to Washington in 2010 as the beat writer for the Washington Redskins for the Washington Post and was promoted to a sports columnist position in January 2011.  Reid will continue writing as a NFL columnist for ESPN.com.   Red Zebra CEO Rick Carmean adds, “We have been interested in creating a local morning drive show on ESPN980 for a while.  Chris and Jason give us and the Washington, DC sports fan the perfect combination of sports knowledge, humor and personality.”

Odds & Sods.  Producer Scott Miller jumps from Tribune’s news/talk WGN, Chicago to Hubbard’s classic rock WDRV to serve on the new Dan McNeil and Pete McMurray morning show…..Celebrity cook Paula Deen works out a deal with Compass Media Networks to launch daily radio vignettes called, “Get Cooking with Paula Deen,” and a weekly long-form podcast called, “What’s Cooking with Paula Deen.”  They will debut on May 1…..USA Radio Networks adds “Animal Radio” to its weekend lineup, airing on Saturdays from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm, effective March 7…..New York radio personality Joan Hamburg is hosting a special show on Cumulus Media‘s WABC on February 21 from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm titled, “The Business of Fashion Week,” focusing on the fashion economy and featuring interviews with leading fashion industry insiders…..Alpha Media announces today that KXTG-AM, Portland “750 The Game” enters into a partnership agreement to continue as the official radio station of the Portland Thunder of the Arena Football League…..At the Fort Lauderdale cluster of iHeartMedia, Shari Gonzalez is named VP of sales…..ABC Radio is providing coverage of the 87th Annual Academy Awards this Sunday.  Correspondent Jason Nathanson will be live on the red carpet with interviews from the night’s biggest stars.  Starting at 8:20 pm ET, ABC News correspondent David Blaustein will anchor twice-hourly, one minute status reports from New York correspondents Alex Stone and Jason Nathanson reporting from backstage at the main event.

madisonjoeJoe Madison to Attempt Marathon Talk Show Record to Benefit Museum of African American History.  Talk radio host Joe Madison, as part of Black History Month, will attempt to break the Guinness World Record for hosting the longest talk radio show on Wednesday and Thursday, February 25-26.  The current record is 50 hours and the SiriusXM “Urban View” host plans to concurrently raise funds for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, currently under construction on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.  The non-profit museum is scheduled to open in 2016.

ramseyDenver15Dave Ramsey’s Smart Money Tour Kicks Off in Denver.  Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey began his 2015 Smart Money tour in Denver yesterday (2/19) with a sold-out appearance at the Bellco Theatre.  The Smart Money tour presents Ramsey’s philosophy on winning with money, getting out of debt, and investing for the future.  Financial expert and speaker Chris Hogan appeared with Ramsey on stage.  Ramsey and affiliate station KKZN “Real Talk 760” worked together to promote the event.  Station program director Greg Foster comments, “The Dave Ramsey show connects with listeners like no other.  ‘Real Talk 760’ has been in existence for less than a year, but Dave sold out 5,000 seats to his live event in Denver.  Dave’s fans are incredibly loyal, and that translates to new revenue for his stations.”  Pictured here at the iHeartMedia Denver studios are (from l-r): iHeartMedia Denver director of integrated media and special events Ryan Clune, general sales manager Jessica Farias, Ramsey, and market manager Pat Connor.

Battle Against ISIS/Islam Criticism Controversy Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of February 16-20.  The fight against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and the political controversy over associating Islam with the militant organization was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week.  Coming in at #2 was a Texas court’s stay of the Obama amnesty order.  At #3 was the 2016 presidential prospects and following at #4 was the rise in European anti-Semitism.  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 this week’s entire chart here.

PAYOLA: What Every Radio Broadcaster Should Know

| February 19, 2015

By Steven J.J. Weisman
Legal Editor

weismanBOSTON — For many years it has been a violation of both federal law and FCC regulations for radio stations to neglect to inform the listening audience when someone has provided payment, services or something else of value in return for getting something on the airwaves.  This practice of paying for play has come to be known as “Payola” although the term does not specifically appear in any of the laws or regulations.

Payola has a rich and colorful history that includes both Congressional hearings and comments in 1960 by President Dwight Eisenhower who referred to Payola as an issue of public morality and called for laws to make Payola a crime.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

| February 18, 2015

whfs-am logoBeasley Flips WHFS-AM, Tampa Bay to Money Talk.  One of the sports talk outlets Beasley acquired in its swap with CBS RADIO – WHFS-AM – is flipping from sports talk to money talk.  The company says “MoneyTalk 1010 AM” will be “the Tampa Bay area’s only exclusively financial talk-formatted radio station…with programming that features valuable and timely information on the financial markets and emerging trends in the economy. ochscharlie Additionally, ‘MoneyTalk 1010’ offers an assortment of health, lifestyle, and general information programs delivered by a wide variety of local and national broadcasters.”  Beasley is naming Tampa market radio pro Charlie Ochs general manager of the station.  Most recently, Ochs served as a financial professional for Prudential Financial in Tampa.  Prior to that, he was an SVP and market manager with CBS RADIO.  Beasley Media Group VP and market manager Kent Dunn comments, “The expertise and leadership that Charlie brings to ‘MoneyTalk 1010’ is extremely valuable.  This radio station is committed to delivering the most current and up-to-date financial news to the Tampa Bay area.”

If You Think Radio Has Problems with Millennials, TV Faces Immediate 18-34 Crisis – Brings Up Question About Evolution of Radio Ratings.  In the New York Post, media columnist Claire Atkinson writes about the dramatic rate at which Millennials are dropping their live television watching habits.  She reports that “traditional TV usage — which has been falling among viewers ages 18 to 34 at around 4% a year since 2012 — tumbled 10.6% between September and January.”  Read Atkinson’s entire piece here.  Radio practitioners are well aware this is not a “sucks to be you” moment; all media are trying to adapt to the changing habits of consumers – especially Millennials and Gen Xers.  And tied directly into that is rating all of this consumption so that it can be priced and sold effectively.  While radio bemoans the lack of rating non-broadcasting listening, rest assured that while Nielsen hears radio’s cries, it has much more to gain financially by figuring out how to rate non-broadcast video viewing accurately.  As Atkinson points out, there is $80 billion in annual TV ad money at stake.  In response to this situation, TALKERS/RadioInfo publisherharrisonmichael2015 Michael Harrison states, “It is going to be a long time until an accurate system of rating radio audience numbers stabilizes to the point of widespread industry acceptance – if ever.  This looming fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants period should inspire radio broadcasters to: 1) value the opportunities available in highly specialized local programming based more on direct relationships with advertisers and obvious customer results; and 2) understand the principle whereby the nature of the programming defines the nature of the audience.”  Harrison concludes, “The burden will fall upon sales departments to get out there and communicate directly with potential advertisers on a one-on-one, very human level about their businesses and how radio can directly help them connect with specifically-desired customers.”  Harrison’s Principle basically means the genre of the programming has to be so clearly distinct and appealing to an obvious segment of the population that it becomes a given whether or not it will attract significant qualitative or quantitative numbers.

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases First Round of January 2015 PPM Data.  The first of four rounds of January 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey).  The January 2015 survey period covered January 1 – 28.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

zieglerbrandonEnvision Networks Debuts Weekend ‘John & Leah Show.’  The duo of John Ziegler and Leah Brandon first worked together at iHeartMedia’s KFI, Los Angeles.  Now, they are hosting a Sunday evening program – 10:00 pm ET – being syndicated by Envision Networks.  The company says the program will focus on “media, politics, sports, and pop culture.”  Envision president and CEO Danno Wolkoff comments, “John and Leah’s insights, quick wits, and rapport will be a great addition to the stations’ weekends.  With entertaining views from a male and female co-host, we are well on our way to offering new content for talk radio.”

Odds & Sods.  Joining PodcastOne as sales manager, Western region is digital media and sales pro Dana Senit.  The company says that in this new role Senit will “work with local and national advertisers in the Western region to collaborate on digital media initiatives across the network of all-star podcasts to maximize campaign effectiveness throughconnectpal personality-driven strategies.”…..ConnectPal founder and CEO Andy Dean announces his platform has struck a deal with Benztown Radio Networks to bring the latter’s talent to the ConnectPal platform where podcasts featuring such talents as David Tutera, Chris Heben, Dougall Fraser, and A.J. Barrera will be monetized.  Benztown has also made an investment – the terms of which have not been revealed – in ConnectPal…..SiriusXM is presenting comprehensive coverage of the 57th running of the Daytona 500, with the live race broadcast, multiple channels carrying in-car audio from some of the sport’s top drivers, and daily coverage from Daytona International Speedway on its NASCAR Radio channel.

marksdrjA Visit from the Doctor.  During a remote broadcast of NBC Sports Radio’s Anita Marks show live from the Harman store on Madison Avenue in New York City, NBA Hall of Fame legend Dr. J, a.k.a. Julius Erving, stopped by to chat with Marks.  Dr. J was a special guest during the in-store remote designed to celebrate the exclusive audio partnership between JBL and the NBA.  Pictured here are (from l-r): Marks, NBC Sports Radio’s Jon Stashower, Chris Mannix and Erving.

The Battle Against ISIS, The Stay on Amnesty Order, The Cost of ObamaCare for the States, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Rise in European Anti-Semitism, Ukraine Tensions, and Fifty Shades of Grey Film Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/17).  The violence perpetuated by ISIS and debate over how to combat the militant organization; a Texas court’s stay on President Obama’s amnesty order; the financial ramifications of the Affordable Care Act on the states; speculation about the potential candidates for president in 2016; the increase in anti-Semitism across Europe; the military tensions in Ukraine; and controversy over the film Fifty Shades of Grey were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, February 16, 2015

| February 16, 2015

powerswaynePowers Exits WKZO, Kalamazoo Mornings.  It was a four-month stint hosting the morning drive program at Midwest Communications’ WKZO, Kalamazoo for Wayne Powers, who tells the Kalamazoo Gazette that it ended in a contract dispute.  Powers, who replaced longtime morning personality Lori Moore back in Otcober, tells the paper he’d been working 70 hours per week on the show and, when asked to handle more responsibilities, sat down with management to discuss his workload, but the two sides were unable to agree.  Powers says, “I thought it could be resolved to be completely honest with you.  I thought worse comes to worse, that I’d be able to finish out the week and say good-bye to the listeners.”  The search for a new morning host has begun.  Powers – who’s worked in television, animation and commercials during his career – had been doing part-time and fill-in work at WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte before relocating to Kalamazoo to work at WKZO.  He says he hopes to remain in Kalamazoo.

wcgo logoKovas Communications Acquires Global American Broadcasting.  Chicago-based Kovas Communications – currently operating ethnic/talk hybrid WCGO – is acquiring Vero Beach, Florida-based Global American Broadcasting.  That company has operated a technical ops center for the past 15 years that provides complete board opping, program services, and distribution of programming for radio program producers.  It currently serves several syndicated radio programs.  The five studios, satellite dishes, and all of the equipment is being relocated to Kovas Communications’ Evanston, Illinois studios.  Kovas Communications will also employ the key technicians of GAB.  Chicago media pro Tim Disa is consulting Kovas and he says the acquisition of what will now be known as GAB Radio Network will play well into the growth plans of WCGO.  He says Kovas plans to operate several nationally syndicated radio programs from its facilities and will develop new programming as well.

owensgarySpecial Feature: Remembering Gary Owens.  The iconic radio and television personality passed away in Los Angeles on Friday, February 13.  TALKERS magazine managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian writes about Gary Owens, “Blessed with an enduring ability to captivate a broad base demographic with droll, clever, sometimes-corny witticisms/puns that much sooner rather than later made you laugh, Gary Owens is being fondly remembered by those whose lives he touched by his character and one-of-a-kind classiness…Not character voices that helped to shape, mold, and define this often-honored broadcaster who passed away at the age of 80, but much more important personal qualities.”  Read Mike Kinosian’s account of Owens’ career here.

Odds & Sods.  The mayoral candidates in Chicago will appear on Matt McGill morning show on WVON all this week as the special mayoral forum airs at 7:00 am each day through Friday.  McGill will speak with each candidate about issues important to the African American community…..Talk radio pro Mike Romigh is named program director for suburban Pittsburgh stations WBVP-AM and WMBA-AM, licensed to Beaver Falls.  Romigh, who’s worked at KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh and WKBN, Youngstown, Ohio during his career, began his career at WBVP in 1976.

noorybelzerbookGeorge Noory Co-Authors Flight 370 Book.  Actor and comic Richard Belzer is the lead author but Premiere Networks personality George Noory and journalist David Wayne are co-authors of the new book investigating the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 titled, Someone Is Hiding Something (Skyhorse Publishing 2015).  According to a press release, the book scrutinizes “the theories the media and politicians claim are the ‘most likely’ reasons the plane crashed, Belzer, Noory, and Wayne argue that if a year after a huge Boeing 777 has gone missing, and there’s still no sign of it whatsoever, it’s time to think outside the box.  The public needs to stop being misled.”

CMGHoustonawardspicCMG Houston Nabs Five Star Awards.  At the 2015 Media Alliance of Houston Star Awards Gala that took place on Thursday, February 12, Cox Media Group of Houston was honored with five awards by the organization that recognizes outstanding industry professionals while supporting the continuous education of media students.  The honors were as follows: Laura Filippone as Local Radio Account Executive of the Year; Cherolyn Johnson as Local Radio Assistant Traffic of the Year; Judy Lakin as Director of Sales of the Year; Mike Murray as National Sales Manager of the Year and Courtney Jenkins as Rising Star of the Year.  Pictured here (from l-r) are CMG Houston staffers: Cherolyn Johnson, Kali Gipson, Judy Lakin, Courtney Jenkins, Laura Filippone, Mike Murray, Mark Krieschen, Sheryl Grigsby, Johnny Chiang and Lisa Searcy.

kdkaKDKA-AM, Pittsburgh Helps 1,115 Area Families Via 2015 Warmathon.  This year’s edition of the “NewsRadio 1020 KDKA Warmathon” to benefit Dollar Energy Fund raised $404,558 during the two-day event, which will help 1,155 Pittsburgh-area families maintain basic utility service.  The Warmathon was a live radiothon on CBS RADIO’s KDKA-AM that took place on February 12 and 13.  With this year’s contributions, 6,550 local, limited-income families have benefited from the total of $2.25 million that has been raised since the first Warmathon in 2009.  KDKA-AM SVP and general manager Michael Young comments, “Helping our community is part of the DNA of KDKA.  The kindness of Southwestern Pennsylvanians is overwhelming and continues to impress us at KDKA year after year.”

Curiosity Enhanced by Awareness, Experience, Imagination and Courage

| February 12, 2015

By Bill McMahon
The Authentic Personality

mcmahonbillEAGLE, Idaho — Clients often ask me which of the Fourteen Traits Inherent in the Best Radio Personalities is the most important and predictive of success on the radio. That’s a very difficult question. It’s usually unwise to isolate any of the Fourteen Traits because each tends to modify or reinforce others. Multiple traits contribute to a personality’s appeal to listeners, ability to create content, and perform on the radio.

When it comes to creating distinctive and powerful content, high-level Curiosity is the key driver. The constant urge to ask questions fueled by an insatiable desire to know, generates the raw material necessary to produce truly life-enriching content.  Really good questions prompt answers loaded with learning and discovery that can be shared with listeners.

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The Amazing Career Journey
of Dr. Joy Browne

| February 10, 2015

 By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor


kinosianNEW YORK — Bon mots such as “iconic” and “legendary” are intended to be the highest form of flattery, yet some broadcasters bristle when they are referred to that way.

While most will not admit it, they sense such genuine terms of endearment are really euphemisms that bring their mortality into question and are code for “old.”

In an oftentimes, if not all too customary, flavor-of-the-month industry where the next great star is eaten up and spit out after a 26-week run, it would be disingenuous though not to ascribe “icon/iconic” and “legend/legendary” to a talk host who has been top-of-mind for over three-dozen years.

This particular peerless personality has maintained an impeccable status of excellence while breaking basic (unwritten) talk radio rules.

joy_200Exemplary on-air work that is approaching four decades has been done without political bent and her legend of loyal listeners actually have meaningful life-altering changes owing to the unparalleled expertise of the program’s sage host. In a male-dominated spoken-word personality arena, this show’s headliner is one of only 12 women on TALKERS’ renowned “Heavy Hundred” of 2014, checking in at #44.  (The new list for 2015 will be published within the next few weeks and this writer would not be surprised if she moves up significantly due to recent developments in her dynamic career.)

Added twist to the progressing journey of this generously genial, uncommonly cordial licensed clinical psychologist is that Dr. Joy Browne has taken proprietorship of her daily three-hour program.

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Friday, February 6, 2015

| February 6, 2015

hunterrobKFYI, Phoenix Names Rob Hunter News Host.  Moving to iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFYI, Phoenix from Bonneville’s crosstown KTAR-FM is news pro Rob Hunter who will become part of the morning drive Mike Broomhead program.  The station says Hunter will serve as news anchor during Broomhead’skfyifoxnews show and host the 5:00 am to 6:00 am “KFYI Download” program.  Hunter has worked in news/talk for the past 15 years but also has radio experience in the AC, hip hop, rock and sports talk formats.  KFYI program director Neil Larrimore states, “Rob is a great addition to KFYI mornings.  He is smart, versatile and a solid professional.  As soon as we heard he was available, we had to snatch him up.”  Hunter comments, “I’m beyond thrilled to begin the next chapter of my career at KFYI, one of the country’s great news/talk stations and to becoming part of the vast iHeartMedia family.  I’m looking forward to working closely with KFYI’s award winning newsroom, with talk show host Mike Broomhead and with the Valley’s early morning risers.”

kiernanpatPat Kiernan Exits WABC, New York’s ‘The Ride Home.’  Big Apple media personality Pat Kiernan leaves his gig with Cumulus Media at news/talk WABC to focus on his morning news program that airs on Time Warner Cable’s NY1 channel.  Kiernan had been co-hosting “The Ride Home” with television and radio news pro Rita Cosby.  Now, with Kiernan out, Cosby is hosting the 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm program solo.

otstotmattOtstot Named KMJ-AM/FM, Fresno Morning News Anchor.  The new morning news anchor at Cumulus Media’s news/talk KMJ-AM/FM, Fresno is Matt Otstot, who joins “Fresno’s Morning News” host Blake Taylor for daily broadcasts later this month.  Taylor says of Otstot, “Matt is an enormous talent with a wealth of experience on air.  But it’s his work off-air, in the community, which is invaluable.  I can’t wait for Matt to bring his energy to the massive KMJ audience.”  Otstot has worked at local television outlets KGPE-TV and KSEE-TV as an anchor and reporter.  Most recently he was community engagement coordinator at Valley Children’s Hospital.  Otstot says, “Working at Valley Children’s was an honor.  But, when you’re offered the chance to work for a place with the reputation and success of KMJ, you jump at it.  And I hope my passion and energy for morning news resonates with Valley listeners.”

NY FestivalsWorld’s Best Radio Programs Advisory Board Adds Critchlow, Geller. Those competing for New York Festivals’ “World’s Best Radio Programs” will have to impress TBI Media founding director Phil Critchlow and Geller Media president Valerie Geller: Both are named to thecritchlowphil international radio program awards advisory board and grand jury. Executive director of the NYF radio program awards Rose Anderson states, “These two thought leaders bring creative expertise and deep knowledge of today’s radio industry. Phil Critchlow and Valerie Geller will add tremendous vision and valuable insights as we engage the worldwide radio community and are responsive to what matters to them.” Critchlow comments, “We at TBI have been lucky enough to win a gellervalerienumber of New York Festivals awards, which always means a great deal to the team. I am delighted to become part of the NYF advisory board.” Geller remarks that, “It is stunning and so satisfying on every level to have the opportunity and honor to have the chance to hear the amazing work that news, documentary, and program teams throughout the world are producing/creating. It is an honor and a pleasure to serve as a judge for the NYF awards entries.” BBC-trained Critchlow joined Unique Broadcasting in 1994 and launched The Big Idea 12 years later. He formerly was chair of the UK Radio Independents Group (RIG) and is a fellow of the Radio Academy. Geller has coached radio, television, and internet broadcasters in 35 countries. The former WABC, New York program director and KIOI, San Francisco news director received the Conclave‘s Rockwell lifetime achievement award. Deadline for entering this year’s competition is in approximately six weeks (Thursday, 3/19). A New York City awards ceremony will be held (Monday) June 22.

Odds & Sods.  Joining digital podcasting platform BlogTalkRadio is digital media pro Denise Oliver who is named programming consultant and strategist for the organization. Oliver is widely recognized within the industry as a brightoliverdenise programming and consulting mind…..Yahoo! Sports Radio personality John Granato is pictured below (far right) celebrating his son J.T. (John Tyler) Granato’s (second from right) signing to the Rice University football team as starting quarterback this National Signing Day.  As a longtime radio and television granatoSigning15sports analyst, the Houston-based host has been grooming his son in the sports industry, and even invited J.T. to intern on his national show, “Prime Cut,” with former NFL quarterback Sean Salisbury this year.  John Granato comments, “This is a great day for our family.  We couldn’t be more proud.  Thank God J.T. has his mother’s brains – there’s no other explanation for him getting into Rice.”…..Westwood One syndicated talk host Phil Valentine is headed for the big screen.  Valentine has a supporting role in the upcoming film, The Secret Handshake, scheduled for release this spring.  Handshake is written and directed by Howie Klausner, who wrote the screenplay for the Clint Eastwood movie, Space Cowboys…..SiriusXM is launching a three-week series of live, call-in shows titled, “African Ancestry Radio,” in which hosts will try to help listeners and celebrities of African descent in their quest to reconnect with their heritage.  African Ancestry’s Gina Paige and award-winning producer Shirley Neal will host the program on February 8 with Louis Gossett, Jr. and Aunjanue Ellis as their first celebrity guests.

kirofmLiveShowThat’s Entertainment!  The photo you see here is a full-stage shot of a live production of KIRO-FM, Seattle’s “Tom & Curley” show that happened at The Triple Door on Friday, January 30.  The sold-out program was a live reenactment of the duo’s radio show done in the vein of an old-time variety show, complete with their weekly and daily features and guests, a local high school jazz band, as well as a certain degree of audience interaction and…one pet chicken.  The station billed the event featuring hosts John Curley and Tom Tangney as “a night of the best conversation you will ever listen in on as Tom and John bring their entertaining take on the news of the day to a select live audience.”

Longtime Buffalo Radio Newsman Ray Marks Dies.  Radio news pro Ray Marks (Markiewicz) died on February 4 after a two-and-a-half year battle with leukemia.  During his career, Marks served as news director at WJTN, Jamestown, New York and at heritage Buffalo AM signals WGR and WBEN.  WGRZ-TV, Buffalo reports that Marks also taught as an adjunct professor at St. Bonaventure University, Buffalo State College, and Medaille College.

kkobStieglerpilotHometown Hero Sets Balloon Records.  After Albuquerque resident and expert balloon pilot Troy Bradley set six new world records by flying across the Pacific Ocean with Russian co-pilot Leonid Tiukhtyaev, Cumulus Media news/talk KKOB got one of the first radio interviews.  Pictured here, KKOB PM drive personality Scott Stiegler (right) poses for a shot with Two Eagles pilot Bradley (left) at the radio station.  Bradley and Tiukhtyaev landed in the ocean about four miles from the California Baja last Saturday.

The Brutality of ISIS and Jordan’s Vow of Retaliation Top News/Talk Story for Week of February 2-6.  The increasingly cruel and violent tactics of ISIS and Jordan’s statement it will seek retaliation for the immolation death of its captured pilot were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the anti-vaccine controversy.  Coming in at #3 was the 2016 presidential prospects followed by the Obama tax hike proposal at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

| February 5, 2015

scorpiorobScorpio Selected as iHM’s California Regional PM. Riverside, Fresno, Bakersfield, Monterey, Stockton, and Modesto are the Golden State markets Rob Scorpio will oversee as iHeartMedia‘s regional programming manager. The company’s senior vice president of programming Tony Coles states, “Rob is a proven leader with a great track record. We are thrilled to be able to expand his role within the company.” Scorpio comments, “One of the many great things about iHeartMedia is their commitment to promote within the company. I would like to thank Tony Coles [among other iHM executives] for this opportunity.” Scorpio moves into his new role after being operations manager for iHeartMedia’s Riverside cluster. His past programming credits include KKBT, Los Angeles; KREV, San Francisco; KBXX, Houston; WPGC-FM, Washington, DC; and KFRH, Las Vegas.

nielsengrantGrant Nielsen Stepping Down from Daily KSL, Salt Lake City Wake-Up Duties.  After almost 22 years waking up the Salt Lake City market on Bonneville’s news/talk KSL “NewsRadio,” Grant Nielsen announces he’s retiring from his daily co-host of “Utah’s Morning News” gig.  He’ll still be a voice on the station inmartinbrian various dayparts.  KSL staffer Brian Martin will take over morning host duties alongside Amanda Dickson, effective March 23.  Martin currently anchors KSL’s national news with Nielsen and Dickson and is the host of “Utah’s Noon News.”  Prior to joining KSL in 2010, he spent 15 years anchoring and reporting television news in Texas, New Mexico, New York, and Utah.  Martin says, “I realize I have enormous shoes to fill, but I couldn’t be more excited for this opportunity to help grow the institution that Grant and Amanda have created.  To work with Amanda to deliver news to Utahns driving into work each morning is something I will never take for granted.”

Odds & Sods.  The film An Inconsistent Truth – produced by Westwood One talk host Phil Valentine’s film production company ExtryGood Productions – is being picked up by NewsmaxTV.  The two-year deal means thevalentinephil film will air regularly throughout the contract period, beginning with its debut on NewsmaxTV tomorrow night (2/6) at 9:00 pm ET…..Trevor Carey is named afternoon drive host at iHeartMedia news/talk simulcast KFIV, Modesto and KWSX, Stockton, California “Power Talk 1360/1280.”  He most recently was afternoon host at Townsquare Media’s hot AC WJYE, Buffalo (now WMSX)…..Former Fox 29 Philadelphia weatherman John Bolaris will begin hosting a weekly radio show on WTEL, Philadelphia, debuting this Saturday from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  According to a story at Philly.com, the “CenterStage with John Bolaris” program will feature high-profile guests.  Joining him for the premiere show will by Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and “Mob Wives” star Natalie Didonato…..ESPN is launching “Hometown” – a new division of its customer marketing and sales group that will focus on serving national brands looking to connect with fans in specific markets at their greatest passion point – their love of their favorite teams.

kleinaaron‘Aaron Klein Investigative Radio’ to Air in Philly.  The two-hour weekend show “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio” – which emanates live from Tel Aviv each Sunday from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET – is now heard on Salem Communications’ WNTP, Philadelphia “NewsTalk 990” as well as on the company’s WNYM, New York “AM 970 The Answer.”  Klein is a Philly native who now works and lives in the Middle East.  WNTP program director Mark Daniels says, “‘NewsTalk 990’ couldn’t be more pumped about adding ‘Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.’ There’s nothing else like it, especially on the weekends!  If you watch the Sunday talking heads on TV, then listen to Aaron Sunday evening, and you’ll appreciate the difference his global perspective brings.”

wowologoCool Job Opportunity.  Federated Media’s heritage WOWO, Fort Wayne is seeking a news director.  Fort Wayne, Indiana’s #1 radio station, a 50,000-watt news, weather and talk service station has a rare opening for a full-time news director/anchor to join our Marconi winning team.  If you’re hard working, have a dynamic personality, strong news delivery, ability to command attention through storytelling, have successful interactions with on-air partners and want to work for a station the community adores and loves, we’re looking for you.  We’re one of Indiana’s premiere news stations celebrating 90 years in the community — and with a 50,000 watt AM signal with a FM simulcast, we’re the most-listened-to station in our market.  Responsibilities include news anchoring, reporting breaking news, attending sporting events and other paid appearances, leading a fully staffed newsroom as someone who leads by example and possibly fill-in hosting duties.  An ideal candidate is energetic, efficient and capable of multi-tasking in a lively, fast-paced environment.  This sometimes requires weekend and evening hours, both on the street and in the radio station.  WOWO is also unique because of a local TV partnership.  We simulcast one hour every weekday morning on our local NBC affiliate, as well as live TV traffic updates in the afternoon.  This means future candidates must be comfortable with frequent TV exposure.  You’ll also be working with one of the best crews in the business, along with a great company to back a positive environment.  To be considered, please send a resume via e-mail to operations manager Ryan Wrecker at: wrecker@wowo.com or mail your stuff to Ryan Wrecker, WOWO Radio, 2915 Maples Road, Fort Wayne, Indiana 46816.  No phone calls please. Federated Media is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

brentmegValentinesGetting Ready for Love.  There is no doubt, with Valentine’s Day rapidly approaching, love is in the air and as far as nationally syndicated talk duo Brent & Meg are concerned, it will be ON the air as well.  The husband/wife midday talk team (syndicated by GCN) were spotted by a Studio City, California Walgreens manager with a smartphone camera as they were doing some shopping in preparation for the big holiday coming up at the end of next week.  Brent Seltzer tells TALKERS, “Meg and I are in a constant state of simply being in-love and Valentine’s Day week gives us just another excuse to express, demonstrate, explore, discuss and play with it on the air.”  Meg McDonald adds, “Being a married couple approaching 30 years together opens the door to so many conversations and aspects about life that make great content for the kind of free-spirited talk radio that we have the opportunity to do every day. Although our show tackles all the issues of the day and is not what you would call a ‘relationships show’ per se, the fact that we have such an established, real relationship as the baseline of our act really comes in handy in bringing a dimension of utter reality to what we do on the air.  Valentine’s Day was made for us!”

The Brutality of ISIS/Jordan Threatens Retaliation, Anti-Vaccine Controversy, 2016 Presidential Prospects, GOP’s ObamaCare Replacement Plan, and Brian Williams Recants Helicopter RPG Attack Story Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/4).  The world’s reaction to ISIS’ burning a Jordanian pilot alive and that country’s vow to retaliate; the controversy over anti-vaccine comments made by Chris Christie and Rand Paul; the potential candidates for president in 2016; the plan by congressional Republicans to replace ObamaCare; the response to NBC anchor Brian Williams’ admission that he was not aboard a helicopter hit by a RPG in Iraq in 2004 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

| February 3, 2015

iheartmedia logo smalliHeartMedia Expands with SoundBoard Initiative.  The company is calling iHeartMedia SoundBoard a “one-of-a-kind audio-centric branded entertainment studio” that will allow its talent to work with advertisers to “produce original long- and short-form audio, video and experiential content that moves seamlessly across radio, apps, and events, creating the next generation of brand storytelling.”  Chairman and CEO Bob Pittman says, “As the number one creators of live, daily content, brands have been asking us for more ability to craft original stories that leverage the power of sound to reach consumers when they’re ready to be entertained.  We’re launching the first branded audio studio for the digital era to prove the power of radio, the power of live content, and the power of cross-platform programming designed for a media world without walls.”  In addition to using national talent such as Ryan Seacrest and Elvis Duran, the company says it will use “the many local personalities who resonate in their communities — and its unique access to the most innovative thinkers in music and entertainment — to develop new original productions that combine the power of live radio with richer storytelling across platforms.”  The iHeartMedia SoundBoard Studio will be led by John Sykes, president of iHeartMedia’s Entertainment Enterprises Group; Gayle Troberman, EVP and chief marketing officer of iHeartMedia; and Vanessa Adamo, senior vice president of Entertainment Enterprises.

koil logoBob Bruce to Host Afternoons on KOIL, Omaha.  The new local afternoon program on NRG Media’s KOIL, Omaha is announced and Bob Bruce is returning to the Omaha market after a 10-year absence to host “The Bob Bruce Radio Experience” from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm, effective February 23.  Bruce comes to KOIL from his most recent gig at iHeartMedia’s news/talk WMT, Cedar Rapids.  Bruce replaces talk pro Tom Becka who exited the afternoon show at KOIL late last year.  About his new gig, Bruce says, “I am thrilled to be a part of a legendary station like KOIL and delighted to be back in Omaha.  I love this community and all it has to offer and I will make this show educational and fun for listeners.”

madisonjoeSiriusXM’s Joe Madison Helps Get Dick Gregory Star on Walk of Fame.  From a piece by George Curry published in BlackPressUSA comes the story of how talk show host Joe Madison helped get pioneering black comedian Dick Gregory a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  Curry writes that after working on the campaign to get The Four Tops a star on the walk, he noticed that Dick Gregory was not on the walk and set out to do something about it.  After two failed campaigns, the third time (with help from others) he was able to convince the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce to grant him the star.  But the hard part was just ahead.  Getting a star requires paying $30,000 for construction and maintenance.  Madison set out to raise the money and says he appealed to his listeners for $30 contributions and soon the money was in hand.  Read Curry’s story here.