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Cumulus Media to Remake Geraldo into an NYC-Only Show. A little more clarity on the status of journalist and talk media personality Geraldo Rivera after last week’s quickly dispelled rumors that he would be exiting Cumulus altogether. It turns out Geraldo will be leaving the national syndication game and his 10:00 am to 12:00 noon ET program will be heard exclusively on WABC, New York beginning January 1, 2014. A statement from the company says the show “will focus on the most-talked-about topics involving the nation’s largest city — everything from social issues to politics.” Rivera will also continue his fight against unemployment by broadcasting live from upcoming “Put Americans Back to Work” job expos and events hosted by Cumulus. Rivera comments, “For the last four decades, in war and peace I’ve been chasing the news around the world. But there’s a universe of stories right here in my hometown. Energized and excited by this opportunity, I’m taking our show to the four corners of the five boroughs. I’ll be on the streets and in the face of lawbreakers and newsmakers, ready with a hot mike and a helping hand.” Cumulus COO John Dickey adds, “We are excited that one of the most recognized and respected names in media will be sharing his perspectives on New York issues and supporting local causes that matter most to listeners in one of our top markets.”
Nielsen to Acquire Harris Interactive. The company best known for The Harris Poll – Harris Interactive Inc. – is announcing plans to be acquired by Nielsen Holdings N.V. In a statement, it reports: “Nielsen will commence a tender offer to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Harris Interactive’s common stock through a wholly owned subsidiary formed for the purpose of making the offer. Holders of outstanding shares of Harris Interactive’s common stock will receive $2.00 per share in cash, subject to adjustment as provided in the merger agreement. The $2.00 per share cash purchase price (which excludes any adjustment which may be required under the merger agreement) represents a 2.0% premium to the volume weighted average closing price of Harris Interactive’s common stock in the 60 consecutive trading days prior to announcement of the transaction, and 8.7% below and 81.8% above the 52-week high and low, respectively.” The final purchase price will be based on Harris Interactive’s average cash (subject to certain adjustments and calculated as specified in the merger agreement) calculated during a 10-day period before and after a reference date expected to occur approximately 20 business days after commencement of the offer. Nielsen president, Americas, John J. Lewis says, “For our existing CPG and media clients, our combined capabilities will provide better and more integrated insights to help them drive business outcomes. Harris Interactive’s strength with other industry verticals allows us to serve these clients with Nielsen’s differentiated solutions in areas such as marketing effectiveness, social and digital to achieve our growth objectives.”
Castleberry Exits Sports WAXY, Miami; Marc Hochman Status Uncertain. Program director Tod Castleberry has exited Lincoln Financial Media’s sports talk WAXY, Miami “790 The Ticket” and the Miami Herald is reporting that WAXY morning drive co-host Marc Hochman is bound for afternoon drive at crosstown WQAM after sitting out a three-month non-compete (he would start in April). Since LFM won’t comment on personnel matters, we may never know if the reports that Castleberry was dismissed from WAXY, in part, for missing an exclusive negotiation period in Hochman’s contract (which lapses on December 31) are accurate. The Herald is also reporting that Hochman has been telling friends he’s done at WAXY after his contract expires or sooner if the station chooses to keep him off the air. However, there are also reports from Miami that LFM and Hochman are negotiating a new deal for him to remain at WAXY. Hochman was the executive producer and a cast member on Dan Le Batard’s PM drive show on WAXY for many years until moving into morning drive a year and a half ago where he works with Jonathan Zaslow and Joy Taylor.
Opinion: Why I Went to Dallas. KOIL, Omaha talk pro Tom Becka writes about his approach to Friday’s 50th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy. He explains that he doesn’t buy into the notion that it was merely commemoration of a news event to which only older audiences can relate. “It was theatre of the mind…I went to Dallas and [talked to] people who were actually there that day. I interviewed a man who was in the high school marching band that played “Hail to the Chief” the last time JFK heard it. I interviewed a former congressman who was on the house select committee of assassinations. I interviewed a few conspiracy theorists. I gave a different perspective direct from the grassy knoll. I was just a few feet from where many say a second gunman stood.” Read Tom Becka’s entire piece here.
WGN, Chicago and McCormick Foundation to Raise Funds for Tornado Victims. On Tuesday, Tribune’s WGN, Chicago and the McCormick Foundation are declaring it Illinois Tornado Relief Day. Starting with the Steve Cochran show at 5:00 am, the station will host a 24-hour campaign for listeners to donate to the newly established Illinois Tornado Relief Fund. WGN-TV and the Chicago Tribune are also partnering with the effort to promote additional fundraising for the day. WGN VP of content Todd Manley says, “We’ve all been touched by the stories of communities coming together following last Sunday’s storms. Our WGN and Tribune families kept searching for ways to help. Now, like so many times before, we’ll trust in the generosity of our wonderful listeners, viewers, and readers.” The McCormick Foundation will match the first $500,000 raised at 50 cents on the dollar. All administrative costs are paid by the foundation and its partners, allowing 100% of all money raised, including the match, to be granted directly to the nonprofit agencies. The first round of grants will be distributed by the end of 2013.
Hosts Can Now Conveniently Cut Their Own Clips. A new service recently launched that aims to take the technical know-how out of creating sound clips for radio. Called Grabien, the site allows users to browse news videos, creating custom audio/video clips that come with transcripts. Launched by the executive producer of The Peter Schiff Show and former long-time producer of The Laura Ingraham Show, Tom Elliott, the site was designed to be so simple that hosts could create their own clips. “Recognizing radio margins can be thin, I wanted to help shows that can’t afford a big production staff achieve the same professional sound as the biggest shows out there,” Elliott tells TALKERS. “Grabien posts the best news clips every day, making it an easy one-stop shop for quickly assembling a sound packet.” By helping keep production costs down, Elliott says he hopes the site will help stations preserve original programming. For more information about this innovative service please click here.
Slocum Named President/CEO of Texas Public Radio. NPR chief administrative officer Joyce Slocum will begin her responsibilities as president/chief executive officer of Texas Public Radio starting January 6. “I am delighted to join the wonderful team in building on the momentum to make TPR a vital resource to the community and a preeminent voice regarding the news, events and culture of the region,” the Dallas native and Southern Illinois University (B.A.) and St. Louis University School of Law (J.D.) graduate comments. NPR acting president/chief executive officer Paul Haaga remarks, “Joyce has made many contributions to NPR over the years, including her pioneering work within our legal division during her time as general counsel, and leading the teams that moved NPR into our new building under budget and ahead of schedule. We will certainly miss her but are thrilled she is staying in the public radio family.” In 2011, Slocum was NPR’s interim president/CEO. Before joining NPR five years ago, she was general counsel at HIT Entertainment and supervising attorney for 7-Eleven. San Antonio-based Texas Public Radio operates noncommercial talk KSTX and classical KPAC (both in San Antonio); talk-classical KTXI, Ingram; and talk KTPR, Snyder.
The Joy of Hearing One’s Syndicated Show in One’s Home Market. In this era of remote broadcasting and crowded competition, it is not uncommon in talk radio for a syndicated talk show host to be without an affiliate in the market in which he or she actually lives. Such was the case with Michael W. Dean, the talented co-host of the nationally syndicated Genesis Communications Network (GCN) program “The Freedom Feens.” That was, until now — as the rapidly growing program has been cleared on KVOC in Dean’s hometown of Casper, Wyoming. KVOC is owned by Mt. Rushmore Broadcasting which O&Os 14 stations in Wyoming, South Dakota, and Nevada. Dean is pictured, in this artsy photo, listening to a DB of “The Freedom Feens” on his car radio parked in the shadow of KVOC’s tower. Ah… the magic of it all!
Super Cool Morning Gig Opening. Bonneville’s news/talk KIRO-FM, Seattle is seeking to fill the shoes of Linda Thomas who is exiting the morning news anchor/host position in morning drive program. The company says the successful candidate will have the backing of a 24/7 award-winning newsroom, the heritage brand of KIRO Radio, a market leading website MyNorthwest.com, all in a world-class international city with unparalleled quality of life. Candidates must have integrity and be a credible news personality; must be exceptionally curious about both local and national news; must be intellectually honest and conduct entertaining, yet civil conversation while maintaining high energy and a sense of humor. The morning news show will reflect the purpose at KIRO Radio: To connect entertainment to value; to connect discussion to understanding; to connect communities and enrich lives. To apply, visit: here.