Tag: "The Michael Harrison Interview"

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

| October 15, 2019

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s September 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on the news/talk format.  Roughly the same number of news/talk stations were up (36%) – weekly, 6+ AQH share – as were down (38%), comparing August numbers to September numbers (the rest were flat).  Gainers were led by Entercom’s KMOX, St. Louis (+1.4) and Cox Media Group’s WOKV-FM, Jacksonville (+1.4).  Comparing September 2018 to September 2019, 48% of the stations on our panel were down, while 39% were up and the remainder were unchanged.  Year-over-year gainers were led by iHeartMedia’s WJNO, West Palm Beach (+1.9), CMG’s WOKV-FM, Jacksonville (+1.8), and iHeartMedia’s WREC, Memphis (+1.8).  Four news/talk stations ranked #1 in their markets (6+) during the September PPM survey: CMG’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta; iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati; Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5”; and CMG’s WOKV-FM, Jacksonville.  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

‘Our American Stories’ Offers Veterans Day Special. For this year’s Veterans Day on November 11, American Private Radio – the company that produces the nationally syndicated “Our American Stories with Lee Habeeb” – is making available a special two-hour Veterans Day Radio Tribute for that Monday.  APR says, “The program will feature stirring letters and biographical accounts from all the major battles in U.S. history and the lessons they offer as we honor our veterans, past and present.”  Stations wishing to air this commercial-free, two-hour FTP downloadable program (or satellite delivered via XDS feed) should call “Our American Stories” at 855-276-8020 or visit them on online at OurAmericanNetwork.org.

Entercom Unveils ‘Rewind’ Technology for Sports, News, and Talk Shows. The ability to pause and rewind live radio shows is becoming available for users of Entercom’s RADIO.COM, according to the company.  The RADIO.COM REWIND feature automatically records the last 24 hours of broadcast content on enabled stations and makes it easy for the user to navigate to their favorite show and begin listening from any point in the broadcast.  Entercom says this feature is debuting on its most popular sports, news, and talk stations with more shows added over time and adds that this new functionality marks the first-ever, all-in-one, on-demand audio experience for broadcast radio content.  Entercom chief digital officer J.D. Crowley comments, “As a leader in audio, we are thrilled to introduce innovative technology that will transform the way audiences consume and engage with broadcast radio by reimaging it for a digital environment.  RADIO.COM REWIND provides a best-in-class listening experience by delivering the premier news, talk, and sports audio content our audience wants, whenever and however they want it.”  The feature allows audiences to start their listening experience from any point in any show and select a playback speed up to two times the original speed. Listeners can also quickly and easily return to the live broadcast at any time. In the coming months, audiences will also be able to share moments of live broadcast radio content for distribution on social media and via email.

Premiere Networks to Rep FNTSY Sports Radio Network. The FNTSY Sports Radio Network – a collaboration between owner SportsGrid and the Elvis Duran Group – is announcing a partnership with Premiere Networks for the latter to serve as national ad sales rep.  EDG partner/CEO David Katz comments, “This partnership propels us further into the multi-billion-dollar industry of fantasy sports, priming us to take full advantage of the medium’s meteoric growth, particularly since the recent legalization of sports wagering.  With industry leader Premiere Networks by our side, there’s no stopping us.”  The Elvis Duran Group says that since partnering with FNTSY Sports Network, it has assembled broadcast teams to report live from such events as the National Fantasy Baseball Championships (NFBC) and has launched new programming, including the daily show, “Fantasy Sports Today,” hosted by fantasy sports talker Craig Mish and Joe Pisapia, sports analyst and author of the number-one-selling Fantasy Black Book series.

TALKERS News Notes. A new podcast venture is coming from iHeartMedia and actor, comedian, and producer Will Ferrell.  The new “Big Money Players Network” – focusing on comedy shows – will roll out in 2020.  The network is preparing to launch 10 podcasts – scripted and unscripted – over the next 24 months produced by Ferrell and iHeartMedia that will be available on iHeartRadio and everywhere else podcasts are heard.  iHeartPodcast Network president Conal Byrne says, “Will Ferrell is one of the greatest comedians of our lifetime and the unique synergy between Will and iHeartMedia will continue to lead us in accomplishing even more great audio content together.  We’ve worked extremely close with Will over the past year and our listeners love what we’ve offered them so far.  The creative opportunities that an iHeart and Will Ferrell collaboration offer are limitless and we can’t wait to introduce fresh, hilarious, new content to listeners.”…..Greg Likens leaves his weekend sports talk host position at Entercom’s WAXY-AM, Miami “790 The Ticket” for work outside the radio business.  During his career in sports media, he served as producer for WQAM, Miami’s Joe Rose morning show…..Envision Networks’ home improvement show host Eric Goranson of “Around The House With Eric G.” is named among the Top 50 Innovators of 2019 in Kitchen and Bath Design.  The list was created and voted on by kitchen and bath design industry peers to highlight innovators whose work, creativity, and professionalism are leading the industry.  Goranson says, “I am honored that my industry peers and colleagues placed me in the top 50 innovators for 2019.”

Impeachment Inquiry, Ukraine Controversy, U.S. Syria Policy, 2020 Presidential Race/Ohio Debate, Catch and Kill Book, and Fort Worth Cop Kills Black Woman Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/14). The Democrats’ impeachment inquiry against President Trump; the controversy over Rudy Giuliani’s and the Bidens’ activities in Ukraine; the fate of the Kurds and the Trump Administration’s Syria policy; the 12 Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020 and tonight’s debate in Ohio; the sexual predation allegations against NBC execs and the rape allegation against Matt Lauer outlined in Ronan Farrow’s Catch and Kill book; and a now-fired Forth Worth police officer kills a black woman in her home were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. A change in the programming department at SummitMedia’s Springfield, Missouri station group as Bo Jaxon exits after seven months as operations manager and PD/morning drive host for country KTTS.  Handling mornings for now is KTTS personality Nancy Simpson…..Pictured below at KKFR, Phoenix’s “POWERHOUSE 2019” concert featuring Chris Brown and Ty Dolla $ign are (from l-r): KKFR afternoon drive host Crisco Kidd along with DJ Automatic, Dana Cortez, and Anthony A of the “Dana Cortez Show.”

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

| October 8, 2019

Mike Thomas Exits Boston’s ‘Sports Hub’ for WMVP, Chicago Market Manager Role. This move means a program director role at one of the top-performing sports talk radio stations in America is open.  Beasley Media Group announces that it is “looking for the Bill Belichick of sports radio” as it seeks a PD for WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub.”  Mike Thomas, who also serves as Beasley Media Group’s national spoken word and podcast brand manager, announces he’s leaving Boston to accept a new position in Chicago – market manager for Good Karma-operated WMVP “ESPN 1000” – in order to be closer to his family and fulfill a career goal of becoming a market manager.   Beasley says he will continue to remain as a consultant to the station and actively participate in the search process.  Thomas says, “This was an incredibly difficult decision.  This radio station is a once-in-a-career station, with a once-in-a-career staff.  I would like to thank Caroline and Brian Beasley and the entire corporate team for everything. Locally, Mary Menna, Cadillac Jack, and Buzz Knight have been fantastic to work with!  I also want to thank every single ‘Sports Hub’ employee for 10 years of winning!  I know our relationships won’t end here.”  Beasley Boston director of programming Cadillac Jack says, “I want to thank Mike for the instrumental part he has played in leading our award-winning brand throughout its first decade and wish him continued success in his next chapter.  They’re big shoes to fill and we look forward to meeting a lot of great talent in the process as the coming days and weeks unfold.”

Ex-FOX News Radio Personality Todd Starnes Launches Syndicated Commentary.  Former FOX News Radio personality Todd Starnes – who exited the company last week – announces he’s unveiling a syndicated commentary that “more than 750 radio stations have signed on to carry.”  The “Todd Starnes News & Commentary” short-form program is produced by his Starnes Media Group and syndicated by Hamilton Strategies.  Additionally, a three-hour, caller-driven radio talk show will debut on November 4.  Starnes says that program will feature major newsmakers, entertainers, artists, and Christian leaders.  He says, “I am first and foremost a radio guy.  I love the format and I believe that radio will continue to have a lasting impact on the nation.  We are also deeply committed to super-serving our radio affiliates with first class service.”  The commentaries are broadcasting on Bott Radio Network, American Family Radio, CSN Network, and a number of commercial radio stations.  For information about broadcasting Starnes’ commentaries or his talk show, contact Deborah Hamilton at Media@HamiltonStrategies.com.

Tammy O’Dell Assumes VP/Market Manager Role at Cumulus Columbia. Sales and management pro Tammy O’Dell is named vice president and market manager for Cumulus Media’s Columbia, South Carolina cluster.  This is a return to Cumulus after serving most recently as local sales manager for Spectrum Reach in Cary, North Carolina.  She was formerly Cumulus’ VP/MM in Charleston, South Carolina.  The Columbia cluster includes sports talk duo WNKT-FM “107.5 The Game” and WISW-AM “1320 The Fan” and three music brands.    Cumulus Media EVP of operations Bob Walker says, “We are excited to welcome Tammy back to the Cumulus family in Columbia.  Her passion for the Carolina region and her success in building a winning sales culture make her a great addition to the team in Columbia.”

SiriusXM Woos Denise Karkos from TD Ameritrade. Marketing pro Denise Karkos is joining SiriusXM as the new chief marketing officer, a position in which she’ll be responsible for brand and digital marketing of both the SiriusXM and Pandora brands and helping support and drive the growth of SiriusXM subscribers and Pandora listeners.   Karkos was most recently CMO at TD Ameritrade where she was named 2019 CMO of the Year by Ad Age.  SiriusXM president, sales, marketing and operations Jennifer Witz says, “Denise is exceptionally innovative and forward thinking and we are very pleased and excited that she will be leading our marketing efforts as we continue to grow the SiriusXM and Pandora brands.  She and her team will execute a cohesive marketing strategy to drive brand relevance and consideration through to customer conversion, with a deep focus on digital, social, and mobile marketing.”

FOX Sports Radio Reports Digital Audience Gains. Citing data from August and September of this year, FOX Sports Radio – a division of Premiere Networks – is announcing audience growth “across several digital platforms, including podcasts, streaming and www.FOXSportsRadio.com.”  FOX Sports Radio says it set a new record for total monthly podcast listens in September, reaching more than 11 million monthly listens.  It also notes total podcast listens have grown nearly 60% since January.  FSR says it experienced its third-highest streaming audience in the history of the network with the streaming numbers growing 8% from August of 2018 to August 2019 and a 25% increase over August 2017.

Cumulus CEO Mary Berner to Receive Gracies Leadership Award. The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation is honoring Cumulus Media president and CEO Mary Berner with a 2019 Gracies Leadership Award.  The Gracies Leadership Awards are presented annually to women executives who have made a significant impact on the media industry, while also spurring to action and emboldening other female leaders.  The award will be presented to Berner and five other female media executives at the Gracies Leadership Awards luncheon at the Plaza Hotel in New York City on Thursday, November 21, 2019.  AFWMF executive director Becky Brooks says, “The Alliance for Women in Media is proud to showcase female executives for their extraordinary accomplishments and deep contributions across the media landscape.  The Gracies Leadership Awards are one way AWM recognizes and connects women who serve in all areas of the media and entertainment industry.  By honoring these outstanding women, including Mary Berner, we are empowering all women, at every level, to take that next step in elevating their careers and their contributions.”

TALKERS News Notes. In Denver, Bonneville brings former Denver Broncos offensive tackle Tyler Polumbus aboard as co-host of “The Drive” on sports talk KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan.”  Polumbus joins hosts Darren “DMac” McKee and Nick Ferguson on the afternoon drive show.  He takes over for Tom Nalen who exits the station for personal reasons…..A “Free Talk Live” co-host is making news as he takes on two other candidates for mayor of Keene, New Hampshire.  But there’s more to the story.  In August, Rich Paul filed in New Hampshire probate court to change his name to Nobody.  Today’s ballot gives voters three choices for mayor: Mitchell “Mitch” Greenwald, George S. Hansel, and Nobody.  “Free Talk Live” host Ian Freeman tells TALKERS magazine Nobody’s mayoral campaign is just the beginning.  He’s already announced his 2020 campaign to take on New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu and is even considering a presidential run in a few more years.  Check out his campaign website: ElectNobody.com…..Edison Research is making three of its presentations originally delivered at the recent NAB/RAB Radio Show in Dallas available to the industry at its website. Available for your perusal are: “The Top 10 Findings from Edison Research in 2019 (so far)”; “The Secret to Longer TSL”; and “What Does it Mean for Radio to Be Local.” Check them out here…..In Northern Michigan, an application is filed with the FCC to transfer the licenses of eight stations from Sovereign Communications, LLC to AMC Partners Escanaba, LLC.  The stations are: news/talk WMIQ-AM, classic rock WIMK-FM, and hot AC WZNL-FM in the Iron Mountain/Escanaba area and news/talk WDMJ-AM and WIAN-AM, country WJPD-FM, classic rock WUPK-FM, and oldies WNGE-FM in the Marquette area.  Sovereign Communications is headed by Bill Gleich.  AMC Partners Escanaba is a Wisconsin-based company headed by Terry Shockley and Chris BernierKALIL & CO., INC. is the exclusive broker for this transaction…..The University of San Francisco and Cumulus Media San Francisco announce a multi-year agreement for KTCT-AM “KNBR 1050 The Sports Leader” to serve as flagship station for the school’s men’s basketball games.  Pat Olson will serve as play-by-play voice for broadcasts of the USF Dons games.

Impeachment Inquiry, Bidens Investigation, Trump’s Syria Decision, 2020 Presidential Race, Omar Files for Divorce, NBA-China Rift, and Joker Film Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/7). The impeachment inquiry against President Trump and the report of a second whistleblower; the reported activities of Joe and Hunter Biden with regard to business in foreign countries; President Trump’s decision to remove U.S. troops from Northern Syria in deference to Turkey; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar files for divorce amidst rumors of an affair with a Democratic operative; the rift between the NBA and China over the Houston Rockets’ general manager’s comments; and the Joker film were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Bay Area sales pro David Drutz is named vice president and market manager for Alpha Media’s San Jose duo KBAY-FM and KEZR-FM.  Drutz was most recently vice president of sales for Cumulus Media’s sports talk KNBR-AM/FM, San Francisco.  Drutz says, “I’m incredibly excited to be part of a company as visionary as Alpha Media and lead classic hits KBAY and hot AC KEZR.  Both brands not only dominate Silicon Valley but also have tremendous reach throughout the Bay Area.  It’s going to be great fun in managing these stations to even more success!”…..Programming pro JT Bosch is promoted to senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia’s Greensboro station group, effective October 14.  Bosch will also serve as program director for rock WVBZ-FM “105.7 MAN UP!”  Bosch has been with iHeartMedia since 2001 and most recently served as the assistant program director, music director and afternoon show host for country WKKT, Charlotte “96.9 The Kat.”  He says, “The opportunity to lead our programming efforts in Greensboro is so incredible.  We are ushering in a new era and I’m honored to be a part of it.  Thanks to the entire iHeartMedia senior leadership team for their continued support.”…..Cumulus Media announces that it has appointed Mike Moore program director for country WKHX-FM, Atlanta “Kicks 101.5.”  Moore comes to Atlanta from his most recent position as VP of programming for Entercom’s Portland cluster where he also programmed country KWJJ “99.5 The Wolf.”  Cumulus EVP of content and audience Brian Philips states, “As we met a strong field of senior candidates for WKHX, Mike Moore pushed his way to the front with thoughtful ideas and hard-driving enthusiasm.  His wartime country radio leadership experience will enable him to build the team that changes the Atlanta landscape.”

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

| September 24, 2019

3rd Circuit Court of Appeals Strikes Down FCC’s 2017 Ownership Changes. In the fourth round of The Prometheus Project vs the FCC, the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Federal Communications Commission failed on the effects the 2017 ownership changes would have on the female and minority ownership front.  Judge Thomas Ambro writes: “We do, however, agree with the last group of petitioners, who argue that the Commission did not adequately consider the effect its sweeping rule changes will have on ownership of broadcast media by women and racial minorities.  Although it did ostensibly comply with our prior requirement to consider this issue on remand, its analysis is so insubstantial that we cannot say it provides a reliable foundation for the Commission’s conclusions.  Accordingly, we vacate and remand the bulk of its actions in this area over the last three years.  In doing so, we decline to grant the requested extraordinary relief of appointing a special master to oversee the FCC’s work on remand.”  FCC Chairman Ajit Pai disagreed with the decision and wrote: “For more than twenty years, Congress has instructed the Federal Communications Commission to review its media ownership regulations and revise or repeal those rules that are no longer necessary.  But for the last fifteen years, a majority of the same Third Circuit panel has taken that authority for themselves, blocking any attempt to modernize these regulations to match the obvious realities of the modern media marketplace.  It’s become quite clear that there is no evidence or reasoning—newspapers going out of business, broadcast radio struggling, broadcast TV facing stiffer competition than ever—that will persuade them to change their minds.  We intend to seek further review of today’s decision and are optimistic that the views set forth today in Judge Scirica’s well-reasoned opinion ultimately will carry the day.”  Pai is referring to Judge Anthony Scirica’s dissenting opinion in which he says the Citizen Petitioners overlook “that the Commission’s judgment regarding how the public interest is best served is entitled to substantial judicial deference.”  Further, Scirica writes, “The FCC reasonably predicted on the record before it that the new rules would not diminish or harm minority and women ownership.  The question whether the rules and ownership diversity are interconnected was aired over the course of the 2010/14 quadrennial review. The FCC invited comment and data that might shed light on this connection.  It concluded—based on its understanding of the broadcast markets, the evidence in the record, and the only data submitted—that repeal of the rules was unlikely to harm ownership diversity.”  He further reasons that “the effect the new rules will have on women- and minority-broadcast ownership may remain difficult to uncover until the FCC gains experience with the new rules.”

KTRS, St. Louis Names Wendy Wiese News Director. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that market radio and TV pro Wendy Wiese is named news director at CH Holdings’ news/talk KTRS-AM, effective October 7.  Wiese has been with the station on a part-time basis, filling in for Kelly Jackson on Mondays as co-host of the McGraw Milhaven morning drive program.  In this new role, Wiese will anchor both the morning and afternoon newscasts with Jim Fairchild.  She’ll also handle fill-in duties in addition to continuing her Monday morning co-host role.  During her career Wiese has served with Entercom’s crosstown KMOX, KTRS (from ’96 to ’06), Relevant Radio, and St. Louis Regional Public Media’s KETC-TV, St. Louis where she hosts the public affairs program, “Donnybrook.”

Mike Francesa to Host Radio Hall of Fame Ceremony. Iconic New York City sports talk personality Mike Francesa will host the 31st annual Radio Hall of Fame induction ceremony at Gotham Hall in New York on November 8.  The WFAN-AM/FM afternoon host and 2018 Hall of Fame inductee will preside over the ceremony in which Sean “Hollywood” Hamilton, Harry Harrison, Kevin Ryder and Gene “Bean” Baxter (Kevin & Bean), Joe Madison, Jim Rome, Ryan Seacrest, John Tesh, and Dr. Ruth Westheimer will be inducted.  Radio Hall of Fame chairman Kraig Kitchin says, “Quintessential New Yorker Mike Francesa will bring big energy, humor, and great perspective to this year’s Radio Hall of Fame induction ceremony.  We’re honored to have him as our master of ceremonies.”

TALKERS News Notes. The nationally syndicated “BOB & TOM Show” is broadcasting live from the 2019 Radio Show in Dallas this week.  Host Tom Griswold and his ensemble cast will be in the main lobby of the Hilton Anatole Hotel Wednesday through Friday (9/25-27) from 5:00 am to 9:00 am CT.  Celebrity guests will include comedians Donnie Baker, Greg Hahn, Al Jackson, and Alli Breen, comedian and impressionist Frank Caliendo, and The Black CrowesSteve Gorman.  Griswold and cast member Kristi Lee will co-host the Marconi Radio Awards Dinner and Show with Premiere NetworksDelilah and Reach Media’s Rickey Smiley on Thursday night…..Play-by-play of the University of New Orleans men’s basketball and baseball will be heard on Cumulus Media’s country WRKN-FM, Picayune, Mississippi “106.1 NASH ICON” this season.  The games will be called by Jude Young and Emmanuel Pepis…..Entercom announces two new original podcasts are joining RADIO.COM starring former “Real Housewives of New Jersey” cast members.  “Eat Live Love Indulge with Kathy Wakile” and “The Lookover Ladies,” hosted by Laurita and friends Jill Ashley and Melissa Polo.  RADIO.COM SVP and general manager Pam Russo says, “We’re thrilled to welcome this stellar group of talented women to our best-in-class content portfolio on RADIO.COM and with them, more female-first programming to the platform.  They each lead full lives as professionals, mothers, wives and daughters, in addition to dedicating themselves to championing on behalf of various causes.  I look forward to hearing more of their inspirational and relatable stories of family, home life and inner strength.”

Trump-Ukraine Controversy/Hunter Biden Business Dealings, UN Climate Summit/Trump at the UN, 2020 Presidential Race, and Brexit Chaos Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/23). The controversy over President Trump’s conversations with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky and the related questions about the legality of Hunter Biden’s business activities in the Ukraine; Monday’s UN Climate Summit and today’s UN appearance by President Trump; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; and the political and legal chaos in Britain over Boris Johnson’s Brexit tactics were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Air personality David Bugenske becomes the newest cast member of “The Wake Up Call” on Entercom’s country KFRG-FM/KXFG-FM, Riverside “K-FROG.”  He’ll work alongside Kelli “Green” Barajas and Ginny Harman.  Entercom Riverside SVP and market manager Michael Valenzuela says, “We are so excited to welcome a champion for country music and country radio to the K-FROG family.  David’s remarkable personality, presence on social media, and love for serving the Southern California community is a natural fit for a heritage station such as ‘K-FROG.’  We look forward to creating great content with David.”  Bugenske was most recently on air at Mt Wilson FM’s country KKGO, Los Angeles “Go Country 105.”…..Portland rock radio personality Iris Harrison announces that she’s leaving Entercom’s classic rock KGON – the station at which she’s worked for the past 42 years – at the end of December.  Harrison says in a video posted on the KGON website that she plans to put her archive of interviews and other KGON classic content together in a new podcast format…..SuiteRadio and Envision Networks are offering tribute radio specials of Eddie Money and Ric Ocasek of The Cars for FREE to any station that wants to air them.  Each tribute is being shared as a sample of the forthcoming radio show called “Long Live Rock.”  Each tribute features six songs with nationally recognized radio personality Donna Mackenzie sharing stories of the “Money Man” and Ocasek. The special is fully produced and played together offer an hour’s worth of programming that includes all local commercial time available for radio stations to sell…..The staff at iHeartRadio’s hot AC WMXY-FM, Youngstown, Ohio “MIX 98.9” is mourning the untimely passing of Wes Miller, who died yesterday (9/23) at age 53.  The station says, “Our condolences go out to his family including his children and wife, Shelley.  Wes was a bright spot each morning on the radio and his infectious laugh will be missed in our hallways each day.”

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

| September 17, 2019

Key Networks Launches Audio Ad Sales Division. Two radio sales executives join Key Networks as the division of Sun & Fun Media begins providing audio advertising sales to producers and service/program providers.  Jim Higgins joins Key Networks as president and chief operating officer and Rich Baum comes aboard as executive vice president, advertising sales.  Higgins, previously president and COO at United Stations Radio Networks will be based in New York City and Baum, formerly EVP of sales at USRN, will be based in Chicago. Rob Koblasz, Sun & Fun and Key Networks CEO, says, “We are excited to now be a full-service network company for our existing as well as new clients, with the addition of advertising sales capabilities and an experienced and knowledgeable senior executive team.  Our goal when we started Key Networks was to be best-in-class, from the talent we represent, the producers we work with and the professionals on our team.  Both Jim and Rich fit that description perfectly. Their contacts in the ad sales and marketing world run deep and they are highly respected in the industry.  We couldn’t be more pleased to welcome Jim and Rich to help build Key Networks into a successful full-service network audio company.”

FCC Approves Tribune-Nexstar Deal; Fate of WGN-AM Up in the Air. The Federal Communications Commission approved Nexstar Media’s acquisition of Tribune Media, a deal that will create the largest television station company in the country.  After closing, Nexstar will own almost 200 stations in 115 markets – plus a lone radio station: WGN-AM, Chicago.  Nexstar is a television company and it has not specifically addressed what it will or will not do with WGN-AM.  It wouldn’t be unique for a TV operator to also dabble in radio – Sinclair Broadcast Group operates four radio stations in addition to its large television holdings.  It’s certainly possible Nexstar continues to operate WGN-AM.  However, recent deals for heritage signals in the top markets – think WABC, New York and the several FM stations in New York and Los Angeles – indicate that the value of stations like these is on a steady decline and Nexstar may be better off selling WGN-AM before its value declines even more.

Learning from Entercom’s Ransomware AttackTALKERS magazine legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman writes in his column that the alleged ransom Entercom was facing is “much higher than most ransomware demands.  According to security company Coveware, the average demand this year is $12,762 — double the average demand in 2018.”  Though Entercom is reportedly not paying the ransom, Weisman says “the cost of repairing the damage will exceed the cost of paying the ransom.  Radio One paid $500,000 to repair the damage when it was victimized by a ransomware attack, which also resulted in a large amount of lost advertising revenue.”  Read Weisman’s entire column here.

Bortnick Promoted to Region SVP of Sales for iHeartMedia. Sales pro Danny Bortnick is promoted from senior vice president of sales for iHeartMedia’s Washington, DC cluster to region senior vice president of sales for the Washington D.C./Baltimore markets.  iHeartMedia Washington/Baltimore region president Aaron Hyland says, “Danny has made a tremendous impact on the day-to-day operations of our sales organization since day one.  I am excited to see Danny take on this new leadership position and look forward to his continued success in developing and managing a best-in-class sales team for the region.”  Prior to joining iHeartMedia, Bortnick served as the vice president of sales for Entercom, vice president of sales for CBS Radio and general sales manager for WNEW-FM.

Saudi Oil Attack, Kavanaugh Allegations/NYTimes Criticism, 2020 Presidential Race, Another Vaping-Related Death, and ‘SNL’ Fires Comic Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/16). The attack on a Saudi oil facility, accusations Iran is responsible, and President Trump’s military threats against Iran; the allegation of sexual harassment against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and the related criticism of The New York Times; the Democrats hoping to challenge President Trump in 2020; the dangers of vaping after another person succumbs to respiratory ailments; and the firing of Shane Gillis from “SNL” after bigoted comments came to light were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. Kansas City sports talk outlet KCSP “610 Sports Radio” and the MLB’s Kansas City Royals announce a five-year extension to their deal for the Entercom station to serve as the flagship for the team’s play-by-play broadcasts.  In addition to airing all 162 regular season games, KCSP will also broadcast all weeknight and weekend Cactus League Spring Training games from Arizona.  The weekly “Royals Hot Stove” show returns in January, and dates and times of the spring broadcasts and “Royals Hot Stove” show will be announced at a later date…..The New York Post and cabana announce the upcoming launch of “We Hear: A Page Six Podcast.”  The first episode of this new podcast dropped yesterday with Page Six editors Maggie Coughlan and Ian Mohr serving as hosts.  They bring insider stories and knowledge straight from the newsroom to the podcasts…..TALKERS founder Michael Harrison made a guest appearance this past weekend on the longtime nationally syndicated radio show “The Art of Living and the Science of Life” hosted by Danielle Lin that has generated quite a buzz in the metaphysics community.  The program deals with consciousness and anesthesiology – two subjects that are peripheral to Harrison’s usual beat of media and society, but he effectively ties them into his general theme of “rewiring the human nervous system” in the digital era.  To listen to the entire show, please click 

      here
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‘SuperTalk Mississippi’ Broadcaster Kipp Greggory Dies. Talk host, programmer, and WOSM, Biloxi “SuperTalk Mississippi” station manager Kipp Greggory died on Saturday (9/14).  Specifics of his passing were not made public but his final message to family and friends, passed on by his wife, alluded to an illness. “Well.. it got the best [of] me. So long my Biloxi Family. I hope they have Bacon in heaven and I can get the Saints channel.”  Station owner Telesouth Communications wrote in a tweet: “All of us at Telesouth Communications and ‘Supertalk Mississippi’ send heartfelt condolences to the family of our colleague and friend, Kipp Greggory.  Kipp’s passion was radio.  For many years, he could be heard daily on WOSM ‘Supertalk Mississippi Gulf Coast’ and often heard statewide on the ‘Supertalk Mississippi’ network.  He loved the Mississippi Gulf Coast and worked diligently each day to bring Coast residents the news and issues important to them.  Kipp also used his platform to highlight causes close to his heart and give back to the community.  Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Jo and their daughters. Kipp loved them deeply.”

PPM Analysis: CHR. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s August 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on CHR.  Comparing data from the July 2019 survey and the August 2019 survey shows about as many stations saw their weekly, 6+ AQH share go up (43%) as saw it go down (39%), with 18% unchanged.  Year-over-year, slightly more are down (51%) than up (42%).  Two CHR-formatted stations ranked #1 in their respective markets in the August survey: iHeartMedia’s KHKS-FM, Dallas “106.1 Kiss FM” and Hubbard Radio’s KQMV, Seattle “MOViN 92.5.”  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air and programming pro Mike James announces he’s retiring from his position at Hall Communications’ Lakeland, Florida station group – and the radio biz – effective at the end of the year.  James has been program director at WPCV, Lakeland “97 Country” since 2004, and operations manager for the four-station cluster since 2006.  He says, “My first radio job was in 1979, and I can remember thinking how great it was to be able to entertain people and get paid for it at the same time.  Forty years later, it’s still great, but I’m finally ready to kick back, relax, and spend more quality time at Anna Maria Island.  I want to thank Hall Communications owners Art and Bonnie Rowbotham for giving me the opportunity to work for one of the most respected radio groups in America.”…..The “Jagger & Kristi” morning show at Local Media San Diego’s rhythmic oldies XHRM-FM “Magic 92.5” announces that Samantha DeJesus is its new producer.  She has been serving as interim producer since the departure of Sheryl Love in July.  DeJesus says, “I cannot fully express the amount of gratitude I have to be given such an amazing opportunity.  Along with the rest of the city, I grew up listening to ‘Jagger & Kristi,’ so I feel like I’ve known them all my life. To be working alongside such an iconic radio duo, who are legends to the San Diego community, I am thrilled to learn and grow with the best in the business.”

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

| September 10, 2019

KMJ-AM/FM, Fresno Talk Host Chris Daniel ‘Semi-Retires’ from Station.  The afternoon drive host had been on extended leave from the Cumulus Media station but now announces that he’s leaving the station at which he’s worked for the past 10 years.  Chris Daniel states in a letter to listeners: “Hi, everybody.  It’s been a while.  I thought it would be best for me to let you know what’s going on.  Sorry to leave everybody guessing, but it was the best way to go.  Now, it’s time to let my friends and colleagues off the hook with the many questions they have had to field.  Thanks to them for doing it and to you for caring enough to ask.  First of all, I am ok. Truly.  Stop worrying.  I was simply looking hard at some things I have been contemplating for a while now and I wanted to be certain that I was doing the right thing.  So, I took this extended leave I’ve been on to make sure.  Now, I am. For the past couple of years, I had been considering leaving my position at KMJ, for various reasons, none of which have to do with the people I work with and/or for, or the wonderful people who take the time to listen to the show.  Now, I have decided to do so.  I have resigned my position at KMJ and am moving on to some other things that I’d like to do.  I am not going to another station. I guess you could say that I have semi-retired.” KMPH-TV, Fresno reports that Philip Teresi will take over as PM drive host.

Dan Sileo Off the Air at KGME-AM, Phoenix. There’s been no official statement from iHeartMedia, and TALKERS has reached out to sports talk host Dan Sileo for comment, but a week after starting his position as afternoon drive host on sports talk KGME-AM, Phoenix “Fox Sports 910,” Dan Sileo is off the radio.  His information has been scrubbed from the station’s website and the program schedule lists FOX Sports Radio’s “The Odd Couple with Chris Broussard & Rob Parker” in the 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm daypart.  It appears that the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes put pressure on the station to oust Sileo.  The Athletic was first to report that the club – which just inked a deal to air its games on KGME – was unhappy with Sileo’s history of making “sexist and racist” social media comments.  The club’s statement was: “When we became aware that Fox Sports 910 had hired Dan Sileo, we immediately reached out to the station’s management to express our deep concern regarding Mr. Sileo’s abhorrent comments.  Our promotion of inclusivity is deeply rooted into the fabric of who we are as an organization and we have no tolerance for racism, sexism, anti-Semitism or any other discriminatory behavior.”

Neil Larrimore Leaves News/Talk WPRO, Providence. After two years in the program director role at Cumulus Media’s news/talk WPRO-AM/WEAN-FM in Providence, Neil Larrimore exits the station.  Prior to joining WPRO, Larrimore served with iHeartMedia, serving as program director for the company’s talk outlets in Phoenix and Tucson.  He’s also programmed KMBZ-AM and FM in Kansas City during his career.  There’s no official word from Cumulus on its strategy to fill the program director role.

WRAW, Reading Flips to News/Talk. Gone from the Reading, Pennsylvania AM station is the Spanish music “Rumba 1340” format and in is news/talk.  iHeartMedia flips the station to talk as “Newsradio 1340 WRAW.”  The program lineup includes a number of Premiere Networks programs, including Rush LimbaughSean Hannity, Glenn Beck, and Buck Sexton, as well as a simulcast of the WHP, Harrisburg morning program, “The RJ Harris Breakfast Show.”  iHeartMedia regional SVP of programming Jeff Hurley comments, “We’re thrilled to bring this all-star lineup of talk radio programs to Reading with the launch of ‘Newsradio 1340 WRAW.’ We’re confident that ‘Newsradio 1340 WRAW’ will become a favorite source for compelling news, talk, and entertainment.”  RJ Harris adds, “WRAW is where I got my start in radio at 16 years old, so I’m excited to contribute to the re-launch of an all-new talk station with some of the biggest names in the format.”

‘ESPN 630’ Washington to Air Kornheiser Podcast. DC sports talk outlet WSBN-AM “ESPN 630” is adding the “The Tony Kornheiser Show” podcast to its on-air schedule in the 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm slot. Kornheiser co-hosts “Pardon the Interruption” on ESPN with Michael Wilbon.  He’s a former Washington Post sports columnist and former DC market sports talk radio host.  Cumulus Media programmer Bill Hess says, “Tony is a legend on sports radio in DC and we’re thrilled to be his new home.  With Tony at noon, followed by ESPN’s ‘The Stephen A. Smith Show’ at 1:00pm, ‘ESPN 630’ has the best one-two midday punch in town!”  The podcast is an exclusive partnership between Cadence13 and Tony Kornheiser.

TALKERS News Notes. A news podcast titled, “Modern Ruhles,” – hosted by MSNBC anchor and NBC News correspondent Stephanie Ruhle – debuts today as an iHeartRadio Original podcast.  A press release states that the show addresses some of today’s most pressing issues and features “conversations between Ruhle and influential guests, who help dissect the sensitive and often complex social topics that impact the state of the world today.”  Some of the first guests include actress and writer Amber Tamblyn, actor and comedian Terry Crews, musician Amir “Questlove” Thompson and more…..Seven Bucks Productions, Andrew Jenks, and Cadence13 announce the launch of season three of the podcast, “What Really Happened?”  The program, written and hosted by award-winning documentarian Andrew Jenks, kicks off the season with a special two-part episode exploring the life and death of accused child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein…..FOX News Radio personality Todd Starnes’ new book, Culture Jihad: How to Stop the Left from Killing a Nation (2019, Post Hill Press) is published today (9/10).  The presser for the book says, “America is on the verge of another Civil War.  Socialism is on the rise. Free Speech is under assault. People of Faith are facing persecution. Gun owners are in the crosshairs. Our public schools have been turned into indoctrination centers.  A leftist mob made up of socialist politicians, academic elites, raging feminists, and effete Pajama Boys has partnered with Antifa, illegal aliens, and other radical groups to finish what President Obama started—a fundamental transformation of our nation. Can America be saved?  Political columnist, commentator, author, and radio host Todd Starnes addresses this issue and more in Culture Jihad. He believes that if good-hearted patriots rise up together, we can stop the jihad. It is possible to keep America great.”

Katz Unveils Programmatic Sales Division. The new division, called Audiology by Katz, and operating under Katz Digital, “was built with the mission to help advertisers and agencies utilize the power of audio to connect with consumers.  The service offers access to a scalable, premium and brand-safe digital audio marketplace with programmatic inventory across 120-plus connected devices and smart speakers.”  Katz says the new sales division will be led by David Krulewich, who also serves as SVP/programmatic sales for Katz Digital.  Katz Media Group CEO Mark Gray adds, “The addition of Audiology is part of Katz’s ever-expanding position in the digital marketplace.  This new digital audio programmatic sales division enables us to continue to invest even more time and resources into evangelizing audio on behalf of our partners in the rapidly expanding programmatic space.”

Bahamas Refugees, NOAA-Alabama Controversy, 2020 Presidential Race, CNN-Russia Spy Report, Gun Control Legislation, and Antonio Brown Antics Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/10). The U.S. position on Bahamian refugees in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian; the controversy over allegations NOAA staffers were threatened not to contradict President Trump’s statement Hurricane Dorian would hit Alabama; the Democrats and Republicans hoping to challenge President Trump in 2020; the CNN report that the U.S. had to extract a Russian spy from Moscow due to the Trump Administration’s mishandling of classified intelligence; current gun legislation that would expand background checks to nearly all gun buyers; and wide receiver Antonio Brown signs with the Patriots after orchestrating a messy exit from Oakland were some of the top news/talk stories yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Broadcasters Foundation of America Raises $250k at Golf Tourney.  The Broadcasters Foundation of America raised more than $250,000 yesterday (9/9) to help broadcasters in need during its 2019 Celebrity Golf Tournament at the Quaker Ridge Golf Club in Scarsdale, New York.  More than 175 broadcasters and celebrities took part in the event that has, since its inception, raised more than $5 million for financially afflicted broadcasters and their families.  Celebrity golfers in attendance were: John Anderson, ESPN; Bruce Beck, NBC TV Sports; Dick Brennan, CBS News; Scott Brunner, New York Giants; Scott Burrell, University of Southern Connecticut; Bobby Carpenter, NHL Stanley Cup Champ; Chad Cascadden, New York Jets; Rick Cerone, MLB great; Ron Claiborne, ABC News; Jon Crispin, UCLA-Big Ten Network; Maurice DuBois, CBS News; Mike Eruzione, 1980 Olympic Gold Medal Team & Captain; Rachel Grant, actress-model; Harold Green, Atlanta Falcons; Brian Leonard, NFL great; Ann Liguori, WFAN, New York; Otis Livingston, CBS Sports; Rob Marciano, ABC News; Donny Marshall, FOX Sports; Sean McDonough, ESPN; Bill Neil, New York Giants; Karl Nelson, New York Giants; CJ Papa, SNY Sports; Sterling Sharpe; Lee Saltz, New England Patriots; Jeremy Schaap, ESPN; Taylor Twellman, ESPN; Tim Welsh, Providence Friars; Bob Wischusen, ESPN; Chris Wragge, CBS News; Larry Roth, MSG Network; plus, Sarah Stone and Liz Caron, LPGA Pros.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Louisville, Kobi Kearney exits iHeartMedia’s CHR WNRW-FM “Radio Now 98.9” where he was program director and afternoon drive personality.  Kearney announced his exit via Facebook saying: “I guess it’s ironic that I’m celebrating 20 years in radio this month and all of a sudden I am no longer on the radio.  Thanks to everyone in Louisville and Southern Indiana who has showed me love and support for last four years.  I am a believer in the old saying everything happens for a reason, so hopefully the universe has something dope in store for me.”…..WWKA, Orlando “K92.3” afternoon drive personality AJ Maguire exited the station last Friday (9/6) after seven years with the Cox Media Group station.  He’s expected to announce a new gig in the near future…..Cumulus Media’s alternative WKQX, Chicago announces the lineup for its annual Christmas shows, “The Nights We Stole Christmas.”  The series of five shows is being held at Chicago’s Byline Bank Aragon Ballroom December 11-15, 2019.  The lineup by date includes: 12/11 – Cage The Elephant, Angles & Airwaves, The Federal Empire; 12/12 – The 1975, Bob Moses, Allan Rayman; 12/13 – Twenty One Pilots, IDKHBTFM; 12/14 – Mumford & Sons, Local Natives; and 12/15 – 311, Highly Suspect, The Glorious Sons.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

| August 20, 2019

WGAU, Athens Debuts Erick Erickson Midday Show. Back in April, WSB-AM, Atlanta afternoon drive talk show host Erick Erickson announced he was planning to launch a midday talk radio show based at Cox Media Group’s WGAU-AM/W254CJ, Athens, Georgia.  That has become a reality with his new show now airing from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon, following the station’s morning drive program and leading into Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh program.  Back in April, Erickson said he believes that local news outlets are failing to give enough attention to Georgia news and the drive time shows focus too much on the national political scene.  Erickson hopes to syndicate the new show to other talk stations in Georgia.  He is continuing to host his 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm program on WSB-AM.

Darren Smith Co-Hosts Nightly Show on KOGO, San Diego.  San Diego sports talk personality Darren Smith – who just started his new midday gig with iHeartMedia’s sports talk KLSD-AM “XTRA 1360” – is delving into news/talk with the company’s sister KOGO-AM.  Smith is co-hosting an hour-long 7:00 pm program with “KOGO Evening News” anchor Jack Cronin titled, “Not Sports.”  Smith was a longtime sports talk host on former sports talk XEPRS-AM “The Mighty 1090.”  This addition to the KOGO program schedule pushed the Chris Merrill-hosted “KOGO at Night” back to an 8:00 pm start.

KGME-AM, Phoenix Adds ‘Roc & Manuch’ to Weekday Lineup. Phoenix sports talk duo “Roc & Manuch” – Mike “Roc” Muraco (left) and Dan “Manuch” Manucci (right) – are joining iHeartMedia’s sports talk KGME-AM “Fox Sports 910” to host the 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm daypart, effective September 3.  The two have been on the air in the Phoenix market for more than 15 years, including on KQFN-AM “1580 The Fanatic” and KDUS-AM “NBC Sports Radio.”  The program is being produced by Chris Schubert.  iHeartMedia Phoenix market president Linda Little says, “We’re excited to add ‘Roc & Manuch’ to our expanding local lineup on ‘Fox Sports 910.’ With over 15 years of experience in Phoenix, Roc and Manuch bring with them a vast knowledge of local sports.”

Fargo Sports Anchor Dom Izzo Launching Talk Show.  In Fargo, WDAY-TV sports reporter and anchor Dom Izzo is leaving his 6:00 pm and 10:00 duties with the Forum Communications television station to host the 9:00 am to 11:00 am program on the company’s news/talk WDAY-AM/K226CL. Izzo, who’s been with the television station for the past 10 years, will continue to handle the Friday high school football wrap-up and the “Sports Sunday” show on the TV side.  His new radio show appears to replace the last two hours of “AM Fargo-Moorhead with Mike Kapel.”

‘Jet Stream Sports Report’ Launches.  A new, daily two-minute sports feature called “The Jet Stream Sports Report” is being distributed by USA Radio Network.  The program – available via FTP – is hosted by Jason “The Jet” Williams and “brings the fire and energy that is required for the world of sports.”  USA Radio Network says, “Jason’s passion and love for sports and his sharp wit make him a unique brand ambassador.”

2020 Presidential Race, Trump Greenland Purchase Inquiry, Immigration Policy, U.S.-China Trade War/Hong Kong Protests, Epstein Suicide Ruling, NYPD Fires Cop in Garner Death Case Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/19). The Democrats hoping to challenge President Trump in the 2020 election; President Trump’s reported interest in buying Greenland for its natural resources; the state of the U.S.-Mexico border and U.S. immigration policy; the trade war between the U.S. and China and the related Hong Kong protests; the official ruling of suicide in the death of alleged sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein; and the firing of New York City police officer Daniel Pantaleo in choke-hold death of Eric Garner were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Celebrating 50 Years in Radio.  KDXE-FM, Little Rock “101.1 The Answer” afternoon drive talk show host Dave Elswick (right) is pictured above with Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson (left) – one of many visitors to the station to help Elswick celebrate his 50th anniversary in the radio business.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  In the Washington, DC market, Howard University-owned urban contemporary WHUR-FM names Al Payne program director.  He was most recently with Cumulus Media as PD at urban contemporary KMJK, Kansas City “Magic 107.3.”  He says, “Growing up as an I-95 ‘radio kid,’ there were a few iconic stations that you could only dream of one day having the opportunity to program and influence. 96.3 WHUR is at the pinnacle of my personal list and to say that this is a blessing is a huge understatement.  I look forward to working with the incredible GM, Sean Plater, to help this amazing team of world class broadcasters continue to entertain and serve the DMV under the umbrella of Howard University.”…..iHeartMedia’s CHR WIOQ, Philadelphia “Q102” announces that Eliott King becomes the new evening personality as host of  “Q102 Tonight with Eliott,” effective September 9. Station program director Buster Satterfield says, “Eliott’s passion and level of creativity make him the perfect candidate to lead ‘Q102’ nights.  ‘Q102’ is a heritage station in the Philly community and we’re certain that he’ll help shake things up for the iconic brand.”  King was most recently afternoon drive host at Radio One’s CHR WNOW-FM, Indianapolis…..Alpha Media names DJ Q content director for hip hop WGZB “B96” and urban contemporary WMJM “Magic 101.3,” effective September 1. He’s been serving as assistant program director for the stations for the past five years.  He states, “There is no purpose without a plan.  Success is doing what you love, focusing on your goals, and never giving up the strength and determination to succeed.  I’m excited to be a proud Alpha Media family member and I look forward to bringing a positive culture and creative ideas to the forefront.”…..At Hubbard Radio’s country WIRK-FM, West Palm Beach “New Country 101.3,” Sammy Cruise rises to APD and music director.  He also hosts the afternoon drive show.  Operations manager and brand content director Bruce Logan says, “I am thrilled to have Sammy on the team.  His brand knowledge of WIRK, his talent as an air personality, and his relationships with artists, artist managers and label friends is second to none. Sammy has been invaluable to me as we work to build ‘New Country 103-1’ into South Florida’s home for new country.”

27 Graduate from 12th RTTR Women in Radio Management & Leadership Training Program. Pictured above are the 27 women who took part in the Rising Through the Ranks Women in Radio Management & Leadership Training Program in Nashville August 13-15. The program was presented by the Radio Advertising Bureau, in conjunction with BMI and the Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio Group.  The graduates are (in alphabetical order): Luisa Banks, Cox Media Group; Jill Bernhardt, Cumulus MediaTaylor Brown, Neuhoff Media; Alexandra Byrnes, Entercom Communications; Yvonne Cheng, iHeartMedia, Inc.; Katy Dempsey, Bryan Broadcasting; Jaime Frankel, Beasley Media Group; Adella Fremstad-Nolden, Radio One; Pamela HallKindred Communications; Andrea Hansen, Entercom CommunicationsNichole Hansen, Saga Communications; Traci Harris-Mason, Forcht Broadcasting; Dara Kalvort, Entercom Communications; Tori Kahl, iHeartMedia, Inc.; Shannon Kenefick, Townsquare Media; Adria Lawrence, Emmis Communications; Michelle Mazzara, BMI; Kate Maguire, Summit Media; Elizabeth Nifong, Beasley Media Group; Debbie Payne, Cumulus MediaKristina Schoenbeck, Entercom Communications; Crista St. JohnBonneville International/Mariners Radio; Ava Suppelsa, BMIBrianne Thompson, Leighton Broadcasting; Denise Tolzman, Queen B Radio; Dianna Towns, Neuhoff Media; and Ashley WilliamsCox Media Group.

Nielsen Audio’s July 2019 PPM Data. July 2019 ratings information has been released for Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s July 2019 survey period covered June 20 – July 17. Managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@Talkers.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these three PPM-markets.

Greensboro

Spoken-Word Formats – A collective -1.2 via four successive down or flat trends (4.4 – 3.6 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WPTI “94.5 Your News, Talk, & Sports Station” ends the slide with an increase of six-tenths to 3.8 (#11 to #10), its best 6+-stat since February’s 4.4.

Up two-tenths in three straight sweeps without a loss (.8 – .9 – .9 – 1.0, 6+), Curtis Media Group sports talk WSJS “Triad Sports” advances from #16 to #14.

Recording its third uptick in a row for a collective gain of nine-tenths (1.6 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.5, 6+), Wake Forest University news/talk WFDD “88.5 Public Radio for the Piedmont” holds down the #13 position the 15th consecutive ratings period. This is the fourth time in the last five reports that University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill news/talk WUNC logs a .8 (.8 – .5 – .8 – .8 – .8, #17 to #15, 6+).

Greensboro Music Formats – Repeating in ninth-place, iHeartMedia-owned rocker WVBZ is a collective +1.7 in four straight bumps (2.5 – 3.2 – 3.7 – 4.1 – 4.2, 6+). In June, “105.7 – Man Up” reached the four-share level (4.1, 6+) for the first time since November 2018’s 4.0. This marks the fifth occurrence in 2019’s seven monthly survey periods that Entercom urban AC WQMG “97.1 QMG The Best R&B and Old School” (9.3 – 9.5, +.2, 6+) ranks #1. An April increase of six-tenths curtailed five straight declines that resulted in a -2.3 (11.4 – 10.8 – 10.3 – 9.9 – 9.6 – 9.1, 6+). WQMG’s consecutive streak of reaching double-digits (6+) was snapped at 26 in January. It has been within 9.1 – 9.9 (6+) range ever since. The two exceptions to WQMG’s 2019 reign at #1 are March and June when co-owned adult hits WSMW held the lead. In July, however, “98.7 Simon Says We Play Everything” spirals by -1.0, erasing June’s improvement of one-half share (9.3 – 9.8 – 8.8, first to second, 6+). Its seven fluctuations this calendar year are: +.9 (January); -.6 (February); +.9 (March); -1.6 (April); +1.1 (May); +.5 (June); and -1.0 (July). Prior to its March stay at #1, WSMW last reached #1 in August 2016 when it logged a 10.5 (6+). Still within that Entercom cluster, rhythmic CHR WJMH “102 Jamz” drops six-tenths (7.2 – 6.6, 6+) but remains in fourth-place. A one-half share loss (4.0 – 3.5, 6+) forces Curtis Media Group regional Mexican WYMY “La Ley 101.1 FM” out of the top ten (#10 to #11) with its lowest 6+-stat since November 2018 (3.5, as well). June’s sixth-place tie between the market’s two country rivals is broken as iHeartMedia’s WTQR “Q-104.1 – #1 for New Country” is flat at 5.3 (sixth to seventh, 6+), while Entercom’s WPAW “93.1 The Wolf” is down or flat the third straight time for a cumulative decline of one-half share (5.7 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.2, sixth to eighth, 6+). In three straight sweeps without an increase, WTQR was a cumulative -1.0 (6.0 – 5.3 – 5.3 – 5.0, 6+), but erased 70% of that deficit in May with a +.7 to 5.7 (6+). Flat in March, “Q-104.1” cancelled out January’s +.7 with a February -.7 (5.3 – 6.0 – 5.3, 6+). Before dropping two-tenths in March, “The Wolf” had three consecutive shifts of one-half share: -.5 (“Holiday” 2018); +.5 (January 2019); and +.5 (February). Over the course of the last 15 sweeps (June 2018 through July 2019), WTQR has prevailed over WPAW ten times (June 2018, July, August, September, October, November, “Holiday” 2018, January 2019, May, and July); WPAW has come out on top four times (December 2018, February 2019, March, and April; and the two were tied in June 2019 (5.3, 6+).

Memphis

Spoken-Word Formats – Up four-tenths in June/July (4.1 – 4.2 – 4.5, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WREC “600 AM – Memphis’ News, Traffic, & Weather” progresses from ninth to eighth.

In six consecutive negative or neutral reports, Entercom sports talk WMFS “ESPN Sports Radio” has lost one full-share (4.0 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.0, 6+) and falls from #11 to #13. Its internet stream appeared with a .1 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2018; disappeared from print in January and February; logged a .1 (6+) four straight times; and vanishes in July. Co-owned WMC-AM “ESPN 790” is without an increase the 13th straight time (including eleven consecutive .1 showings) for a collective loss of three-tenths (.4 – .4 – .2 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 -.1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1 – .1, 6+) and is locked at #18.

Memphis Music Formats – Over and above the fact it has nearly doubled (+1.2) its 6+ AQH share since May (1.3 – 1.7 – 2.5, unchanged at #14, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KWNW “101.9 Kiss FM” registers its best-ever 6+-stat (2.5) in the PPM-era. In five successive setbacks (5.3 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+), co-owned WDIA was -2.1 but “AM 1070 – The Heart & Soul of Memphis” ends the slide with a +.2 to 3.4 (6+) and proceeds from #13 to #11. A one-half share rise (4.7 – 5.2, seventh to sixth, 6+) takes Entercom hot AC WMC-FM “FM 100 Today’s Best Mix” to the five-share level (6+) for the first time since January (5.6). By gaining three-tenths to 10.1 (6+), iHeartMedia urban AC KJMS pulls the plug on four straight down or flat trends that accounted for a -1.8 (11.6 – 11.4 – 10.4 – 10.4 – 9.8, 6+); “V-101” is #1 the ninth time in a row. Prior to June’s loss of six-tenths to 9.8 (6+), KJMS reached double-digits (6+) in each of the previous 14 ratings periods. “Holiday” 2018’s 12.8 is the highest 6+-share since December 2012’s 13.5 for “V-101,” which was +2.3 in December/“Holiday” 2018 (10.5 – 11.5 – 12.8, 6+). Gospel cluster-mate WHAL “Hallelujah 95.7 – Memphis’ Inspiration Station,” which notched four consecutive increases for a +1.6 (5.8 – 6.4 – 7.0 – 7.1 – 7.4, 6+), forfeits nine-tenths to 6.5 (flat at #4, 6+). June’s 7.4 was its best 6+-showing since August 2015’s 7.5. The market’s (6+) adult contemporary share improved by two-tenths in June but is -1.1 (6+) in July. Absorbing the brunt of the decrease is Entercom’s WRVR “104.5 The River” (6.6 – 5.8, -.8, steady in fifth-place, 6+). Until picking up one-tenth in June, “The River” was an overall -2.4 in three straight declines (8.9 – 7.8 – 7.7 – 6.5, 6+). While “Holiday” 2018’s 11.3 is its strongest 6+-performance since “Holiday” 2017’s 12.9 (#6), this (5.8) is its lowest since May 2017’s 5.7. Eight recent WRVR fluctuations include: +2.4 (October 2018); -1.6 (December); +2.0 (“Holiday” 2018); -3.1 (January 2019); +.7 (February); -1.1 (March); -1.2 (May); and -.8 (July). After adding one-tenth in June, Cumulus Media’s similarly-formatted WKIM “98.9 The Bridge” (unchanged at #16) sputters by  three-tenths to .7, its lowest 6+-stat since transitioning from urban-rhythmic oldies to AC in late-2017. WKIM surrendered nearly half (-.7) its 6+ AQH-share in April/May (1.6 – 1.1 – .9, 6+). “The Bridge” reached the five-share level (6+) in “Holiday” 2018, but was a combined -4.0 in January/February (5.1 – 1.3 – 1.1, 6+). While it repeats in the runner-up slot, iHeartMedia urban contemporary WHRK “K-97.1” is off three-tenths to 9.2 (6+), thus curtailing five straight bumps that resulted in a +2.7 (6.8 – 7.2 – 7.5 – 7.7 – 8.5 – 9.5, 6+). In June, WHRK reached the nine-share level (9.5, 6+) for the first time since May 2018’s 9.4.

Hartford

Spoken-Word Formats – July’s -1.1 (7.4 – 6.3, 6+) sends Entercom news/talk WTIC-AM “News Talk 1080” from second to seventh with its lowest 6+-stat (6.3) since February’s 5.9. By gaining two-tenths in June, Red Wolf Broadcasting news/talk WDRC-AM suspended four consecutive sweeps without an increase that resulted in a one-half share loss (1.3 – 1.3 – 1.1 – .9 – .8, 6+); however, “AM 1360 The Talk of Connecticut” now regresses by one-half share (1.0 – .5, flat at #15). Ever steady, iHeartMedia’s WPOP “News Radio 1410” logs a .1 (#17 to #18, 6+) the 14th report in a row; it was a “no-show” in June 2018.

Frozen on 1.8 (6+) in March and April, iHeartMedia sports talk WUCS “97.9 ESPN Hartford” follows with three straight sweeps without an increase for an overall loss of three-tenths (1.8 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5, flat at #12, 6+).

Up one-tenth to 4.3 (unchanged at #9, 6+), Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network news/talk WNPR “Connecticut’s Public Media Source for News & Ideas” halts three straight drops that accounted for a collective -1.1 (5.3 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 4.2, 6+). University of Massachusetts-owned WFCR “New England Public Radio” has lost six-tenths in June/July (1.6 – 1.2 – 1.0, 6+) and slips from #13 to #14.

Hartford Music Formats – An overall -1.0 in five consecutive sweeps without an increase (7.7 – 7.0 – 6.9 – 6.9 – 6.8 – 6.7, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned WWYZ “Country 92.5” obliterates that deficit with a +1.2 to 7.9 (fifth to second, 6+), its highest 6+-share in nearly two years (8.3, August 2017). Level at #3, classic hits-oldies sibling WHCN “105.9 The River” is a combined +1.9 in three straight reports without a loss (5.3 – 5.7 – 7.2 – 7.2, 6+) and has its best 6+-showing (7.2) since May 2018’s 7.7. Adding six-tenths to June’s +.1 (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.7, 6+), Entercom rhythmic CHR WZMX jumps from eighth to fifth. Entering the June sweep, “Hot 93.7” was -1.9 via three drops in a row (7.9 – 6.6 – 6.5 – 6.0, 6+). The just-concluded negative streak directly tailed January/February’s +1.1 (6.8 – 7.7 – 7.9, 6+). Having followed April’s increase of nine-tenths with a combined -2.0 in May/June  (8.5 – 7.7 – 6.5, 6+), hot AC sibling WTIC-FM “96.5 TIC-FM” picks up two-tenths (6.7, sixth to fifth, 6+). Albeit a -1.4 in June/July (10.8 – 10.4 – 9.4, 6+), adult contemporary cluster-mate WRCH is #1 the 37th consecutive time. Recent “Lite 100.5” fluctuations include: -.8 (November 2018); +1.8 (December); +5.6 (“Holiday” 2018 to 18.0, the strongest 6+-showing for any Hartford station since WRCH recorded an 18.3 in “Holiday” 2017); -6.9 (January); +1.0 (February; -1.0 (March); -1.3 (April); +1.0 (May); and -1.0 (July). Prior to slipping to 9.8 in April, WRCH was in double-digits (6+) in 30 of the previous 32 sweeps. Without an increase the sixth straight time for a collective -1.5 (4.6 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.4 – 3.4 – 3.1, 6+), Red Wolf Broadcasting alternative WMRQ “Radio 104.1” continues at #10. Co-owned Spanish tropical WMRQ-HD2 is down or flat the third report in succession and is -1.0 in that stretch (2.6 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 1.6, flat at #11, 6+). The last time WMRQ-HD2 fell below a two-share (6+) was May 2018 (1.9).

Friday, August 2, 2019

| August 2, 2019

Michael Savage Petitions Boris Johnson to Lift His British Travel Ban. Back in 2009, then-Home Secretary Jacqui Smith put Westwood One talk show host Michael Savage on a list of people banned from traveling to Great Britain for “fostering hatred.”  Now, Savage’s attorney, Daniel Horowitz, has petitioned newly elected Prime Minister Boris Johnson seeking to have the ban lifted.  In a recent conversation with TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison on the PodcastOne show, “The Michael Harrison Interview,” Savage spoke about the ban.  He said that although he’s a bit of a homebody and doesn’t travel much these days, he loves the English people and the architecture and might like to visit again someday.  In his petition, Horowitz writes, “The ban has stood in place for a decade.  Now is the time to lift the ban and take a stand for the rights of free speech that have come under assault in the land of the Magna Carta.”  Read the Washington Examiner’s coverage here.

Big Radio Closes on Janesville, Wisconsin Duo. The deal that transfers news/talk WCLO-AM, and country WJVL-FM in Janesville, Wisconsin from Southern Wisconsin Broadcasting, a subsidiary of Bliss Communications to Ben Thompson, CEO of Big Radio for $5.75 million closes.  Kalil & Co. represented Thompson in this transaction.  Thompson is the son of Scott Thompson, whose Big Radio owns and operates 8 signals in Southern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois.  These are the last radio stations to be divested by Bliss.  The company sold four Milwaukee market signals to Magnum Broadcasting in 2014.

Grimsley to Retire from Townsquare Lafayette; Burley to Take Over Cluster Leadership. Media executive Mike Grimsley is retiring from his position as market president and chief revenue officer for Townsquare Media’s Lafayette, Louisiana, a post he’s held for the past 25 years.  Grimsley began his career in radio at the age of 18 and also worked in the Charleston, South Carolina and Phoenix markets.  Townsquare is promoting Brad Burley from his post as market president and chief revenue officer in the Lake Charles, Louisiana station group to lead the Lafayette cluster.  Townsquare COO Erik Hellum says, “Mike Grimsley broke the mold.  He has uniquely combined leadership, passion, and drive with the sincerest care for his people and dedication to his community – all with a great sense of humor on top.  Mike is one of the original Townsquare leaders and helped build our company with a steadfast commitment to great local radio while building a vibrant digital and event business.  He is a broadcast legend. Thank you, Mike!”

New Installment Posted of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The recently launched, one-hour weekend program, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” produced by Goodphone Communications that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted on the website of its flagship station, iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC.  The new episode titled, “Infestation and Other Fighting Words!,” looks back at this past week of July 29 – August 2, 2019 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Gary Sutton, host, WSBA, York, PA; Larry Young, host, WOLB, Baltimore; Scott Masteller, program director, WBAL, Baltimore; Graham Mack, program director, Fix Radio, London, UK; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company.   The news/talk media show airs on WONK-FM on Friday afternoons between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm as a recap and exclamation mark for the week-in-review as well as several other stations around the country including KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA and during the weekend on the Virginia Talk Radio Network as well as Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA. Hosted by Michael Harrison, this excellent show is now being made available as a service to terrestrial news/talk stations from TALKERS for on-air or online presentation on a market-exclusive basis.  For information call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.  To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here.

TALKERS News Notes. A few changes take place at Townsquare Media’s sports talk WEZQ-FM, Bangor, Maine “92.9 The Ticket.”  Station brand manager Dale Duff is leaving his 6:00 am to 8:00 am show and former WABI-TV morning news co-anchor Wayne Harvey begins hosting “The Morning Line” in the time slot.  Duff’s show will move to the 3:00 pm hour, leading into the Jim Churchill-hosted afternoon drive program….Emmis Communications’ sports talk WFNI-AM, Indianapolis “The Fan” adds another FM signal to its broadcast. The company had removed translator W228CX from the simulcast of WFNI-AM two years ago to do some engineering work on the signal.  Now, “The Fan” is back on the 93.5 FM frequency in addition to AM 1070 and translator W298BB at 107.5 FM.  Emmis Indianapolis vice president and market manager Bob Richards says, “We’re thrilled to have ‘The Fan’ on loud and proud at 93.5, reaching even more fans with the sports and personalities they love, especially in the western and southern areas of central Indiana.”

The 2020 Presidential Race and the CNN Debates Top News/Talk Stories for Week of July 29 – August 2. The Democrats hoping to face President Trump in 2020 and this week’s Democratic debates in Detroit were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  Tied at #2 this week was President Trump’s criticism of Baltimore, race relations in general, and the NixonReagan recording. Coming in at #3 was immigration and health care reform, followed by Boris Johnson, Brexit, and the British-U.S. economies tied at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

Wayne Allyn Root is this Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  One of the most ardent supporters of Donald Trump in today’s talk media, Wayne Allyn Root, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  The Las Vegas-based talk show host, heard daily on the USA Radio Network between 6:00 pm and 9:00 pm ET with the third hour (8:00 pm to 9:00 pm) simulcast on Newsmax TV, is one of the fastest rising stars in today’s news/talk media – catapulting within three years of the launch of his show in local radio to the number 62 position on the TALKERS Heavy Hundred.  Harrison and Root discuss the colorful “in-your-face” host’s political and media background going all the way back to his days in Westchester, New York as a three-year old child handing out flyers for then-presidential candidate Barry Goldwater’s campaign.  Root’s working-class parents were among the founding members who launched the New York State Conservative Party.  In 2008, Root entered national politics and received the Libertarian Party’s vice-presidential nomination to serve as its presidential candidate Bob Barr’s running mate. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Entercom’s Baltimore cluster, air personality Maria Dennis moves from hosting the midday show on CHR WWMX “MIX 106.7” to the company’s adult contemporary WLIF “Today’s 101.9.”  At the same time Corinna Delgado – who also hosts the morning drive show on Entercom’s classic hits WIAD, Washington “94.7 The Drive” – is named the new midday personality for “MIX 106.7.”  Entercom Baltimore SVP and market manager Tracy Brandys says, “I’ve worked with Maria for over 20 years.  She’s a consummate professional and an amazing on-air talent.  All of us are thrilled to have her in our Entercom family and we are excited that she’ll now bring her cheerful persona and enthusiasm to ‘Today’s 101.9.’  I’m equally excited to have Corinna Delgado, who is also already part of our Entercom family, join us to take over the midday shift at MIX 106.5.”…..Townsquare Media flips a pair of FM stations in Albany that had been simulcasting a classic rock format branded “Q103.”  First, WQBK-FM becomes adult contemporary as “103.9 The Breeze.”  That station will feature core artists such as Elton John, Fleetwood Mac, Boyz II MenAdele, Alicia Keys, and Kelly Clarkson.  Second, WQBJ-FM is now alternative rock as “ALT 103.5.”   Operations manager and program director Steve Richards says, “We are excited to launch ‘103.9 The Breeze.’  We know the station will be the perfect choice to relax to at work and anytime.  We are thrilled to have ‘ALT’ back on the air playing great alternative music for the Capital region and ‘Dave & Mahoney’ in the morning.”…..On-air pro Brian Moote exits Entercom’s Los Angeles CHR KAMP “AMP 97.1” where he’d been co-hosting mornings with Edgar Sotelo for the past 18 months…..iHeartMedia’s rock WDVE, Pittsburgh honored longtime air personality Sean McDowell for his 41-year career with the station.  He retired from WDVE on Wednesday (7/31).  McDowell’s final broadcast party included special guests such as Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, current WDVE personalities Randy Baumann, Val Porter and Michele Michaels and past WDVE personalities Jimmy Roach, Herschel, and Kenny Gibbs.  He’s pictured here with the honorary jersey sent by the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Photo: Tyler Sing.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

| July 30, 2019

Hahn to Lead Townsquare Media’s Sedalia, Missouri Operations. In the Sedalia, Missouri market, Townsquare Media names Craig Hahn market president and chief revenue officer for the station group that includes: news/talk KSIS, country KXKX “KIX 105.7,” and classic hits KSDL “Awesome 92.3.” Hahn was previously general manager with First Media Radio of North Carolina.  Townsquare regional vice president Kelly Quinn comments, “Craig’s incredible leadership experience in both digital and radio, combined with working in all sizes of markets make him a fantastic fit for Sedalia. Craig will immediately dig in with the community and find ways we can best serve our listeners and local businesses with our amazing brands and advertising solutions.”

Mendonca Named Digital Sales Manager at Frederick Duo. The duo of news/talk WFMD-AM and country WFRE-FM in Frederick, Maryland was recently acquired by Connoisseur Media from iHeartMedia.  Now, Connoisseur announces that Patrick Mendonca is the digital sales manager for the stations.  The company says Mendonca is a tenured member of the team and has served in several roles at the stations including on-air, marketing and promotions, and assisting the team with company-owned digital assets.  He says, “I’m very excited about this opportunity and look forward to helping our clients and team achieve great success with their digital campaigns.”

TALKERS News Notes. WGST, Atlanta midday talk show host Dana Barrett recently launched a new podcast via the iHeartRadio Podcast Network and Stuff Media called, “Bizography,” a program that each week delves into the history of an iconic company.  The July 24 edition is subtitled, “Sears: The Rise and Fall of the First Everything Store.”  Check it out here…..In Panama City, Florida, MyPanhandle.com reports about the new, monthly interview show being broadcast before a live audience on Magic Broadcasting’s news/talk WYOO-FM “NewsTalk101.”  Titled, “Live from the Atrium,” the program features host Keith Kramer interviewing special guests.  The first guest was attorney, author and motivational speaker Scott Mager. The live show takes place the last Friday of each month from 7:00 am to 9:00 am.  Next month’s guest is Congressman Neal Dunn (R-FL).

2020 Presidential Race/Detroit Debates, Trump-Cummings-Sharpton Spat, California Festival Shooting, Capitol One Hacked, Immigration Policy/Border Conditions, Ratcliffe Nomination, and Hong Kong Protests Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/29). The Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020 and this week’s Detroit debates; President Trump’s war of words with Congressman Elijah Cummings and Al Sharpton over his Baltimore criticisms; the aftermath of the deadly shooting in Gilroy, California; Capitol One admits hacker accessed 100 million credit applications and accounts; the Trump Administration’s immigration policies and the conditions at the border detention centers; the nomination of John Ratcliffe for director of national intelligence; and the violent response by Hong Kong police to protests there were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Dave Ramsey’s New Studio.  Yesterday, TALKERS magazine featured a photo of nationally syndicated talk radio star Dave Ramsey seated behind the desk in his new broadcast studio at his new facilities in the Nashville area.  Since radio peeps love to check out new studios, we thought we’d share another pic sent from Dave’s crew at Ramsey Media.  This shot above is from the perspective of the audience seating outside the studio’s glass walls.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. With the retirement of Sean McDowell, iHeartMedia rock WDVE, Pittsburgh announces a new air staff lineup.  Chad Tyson becomes the afternoon drive personality (3:00 pm to 8:00 pm) and incumbent WDVE personality Russ Rose moves to the 8:00 pm to 12:00 midnight daypart.  WDVE program director John Moschitta says, “We’re thrilled to have Chad join the WDVE family.  Tyson’s charismatic personality, accompanied by his extensive knowledge of music and sports, make him the perfect fit for our listeners and having Russ Rose as evening host is the icing on the cake for our program lineup.”  Tyson joins iHeartMedia’s Pittsburgh market from the company’s rock outlet WEGW, Wheeling, West Virginia “Eagle 107.5,” where he most recently served as the afternoon drive host…..Adams Radio Group appoints Nathan James to the program director and PM drive host position at country WUSX-FM, Salisbury, Maryland.  James will continue to serve in his post as director of marketing partnerships and promotions for the Delmarva cluster’s five radio brands and digital products.  Adams VP and general manager Lisa Layne says, “Nathan James is one of the greatest radio minds I have ever had the pleasure of working with.  His awareness from the branding, the listener, to the clients is unmatched.  Nathan is a huge part of the new dream team in the Eastern Shore market.”…..Programming pro Jay Michaels is promoted to operations manager for Cumulus Media’s Shreveport, Louisiana cluster.  Michaels continues his PD/afternoon drive host duties for hot AC KQHN “Q97.3.”  Cumulus Shreveport vice president and market manager Aaron Criswell comments, “I am excited about Jay’s expanding role in our station group.  He brings the energy, enthusiasm, experience, and forward thinking needed to dominate in a competitive market.  I am looking forward to working with Jay as my OM in Shreveport.”…..MaineInvests LLC closes on the purchase of WJYE, Gardiner, Maine from Blue Jey Broadcasting.  It is flipping the station to oldies as “FUN OLDIES 1280.”  The station says the format will feature all of the biggest hits of the 1960s and 70s with its 5,000-watt signal blanketing Central Maine.  The new format is being overseen by consulting programmer Tom Lawler.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

| July 23, 2019

Blair Garner’s Pete Buttigieg Interview Kept Off Westwood One Show. After Cumulus Media denied nationally syndicated overnight country radio host Blair Garner (left) permission to air segments of his interview with Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg (center) (but allowed him to post it on his personal Soundcloud account) the company is facing public scrutiny over its decision.  Cumulus’s official statement was that equal-time concerns – especially considering the large number of Democratic candidates running – were the only reasons for not allowing the interview on the air. Regarding the equal-time rule, TALKERS magazine legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman says, “As it applies to advertising, the rule means that if a station sells advertising to one candidate, it must offer the same amount of time to other candidates.  Where the rule gets confusing to some is that if the station offers free air time to a candidate, it must offer free air time to other candidates.  However, the [four] exceptions to the rule effectively eliminate this as a concern because free air time to other candidates is not required if the air time being used – as with the Buttigieg interview – is a bona fide news interview.  Other candidates are not required to be given equal time.  Therefore, the position of Cumulus Media that they are not running the interview because the provisions of the equal time rule would require them to provide air time for interviews with all of the other candidates, is an inaccurate interpretation of the rule.”  It’s possible that Cumulus is choosing to avoid the political “can of worms” entirely by not engaging in political content on a country music show.  Some critics, perhaps cynically, are suggesting the company’s true motive centers on the fact that Buttigieg is openly gay and the country music audience is traditionally conservative.  Garner said it all started when he was approached by Buttigieg’s campaign ahead of his appearance in Nashville.  Garner agreed to the interview because Buttigieg requested it.  Garner told Buttigieg during the interview, “I think that our base tends to be more conservative.  And the fact that you, from the Democratic ticket, are the singular candidate to reach out and to say, ‘May I please be on your show?’  That you are reaching out to our listeners, I think we all have to embrace that and be appreciative of that.”

Talkers 2019: Telling the Story Videos Continue Posting Today with the Panel Discussion, “Overcoming Distrust of the Media.  TALKERS is continuing to post key speeches, presentations and sessions from the recent 22nd annual edition of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most-important national convention – Talkers 2019: Telling the Story.  Today’s (7/23) post: the panel discussion, “Overcoming Distrust of the Media” featuring panelists (in alphabetical order) Thom Hartmann, host, WYD Media; Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo, host, the Joe Pags Show; Doug Stephan, CEO/host, Stephan Multimedia; and Rick Ungar, host, the Rick Ungar Program/editor-in-chief, TheDalyCentrist.com.  The session was moderated by Jim Bohannon, host, Westwood One.  Posted yesterday (7/22): the presentation of the TALKERS Freedom of Speech award to Brian Kilmeade of Fox News Radio/Fox News Channel.  Posted Friday (7/19): the discussion “Attracting Younger Demos to Talk Radio” featuring panelists (in alphabetical order) Mike “Bax” Baxendale, morning co-host, WAQY (Rock 102), Springfield, MA; Greg Foster, VP/programming and national news/talk brand coordinator, iHeart Media/PD, KOA, Denver; John T. Mullen, operations manager, WRHU, Hofstra UniversitySid Rosenberg, morning co-host, WABC, New York; and Rich Zeoli, host, WPHT, Philadelphia. The session was moderated by Kevin Casey, VP/executive editor, TALKERS.   Also already posted: discussion “Talk Radio in the Era of Watch What You Say” featuring panelists (in alphabetical order) Michael Berry, host, Michael Berry Show; Grace Blazer, national brand coordinator of news/talk/sports programming and director of AM programming Miami/Fort Lauderdale, iHeart Media;  Karen Hunter, host SiriusXM Satellite RadioBrett Winterble, host KFMB, San Diego; Larry Young, host, WOLB, Baltimore; and Dan Yorke, host WPRO, Providence.  Also already posted: WPG, Atlantic City morning personality Harry Hurley saluting the Broadcasters Foundation of America and Vince Benedetto, CEO of Bold Gold Media Group receiving the Sharon L. Harrison Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service by a Talk Radio Broadcaster (“Humanitarian of the Year”); a special luncheon address by former Trump Administration advisor Sebastian Gorka, now a personality syndicated by Salem Radio Network; panel discussion “Adding the Video Component to Talk Radio” featuring Howie Carr, host of the Howie Carr Show (Howie Carr Radio Network and Newsmax TV), Jared Hart, former PD, WPHT, Philadelphia, and  Art Vuolo, president, Vuolo Video.  The session was introduced and facilitated by Scott Lakefield, APD, WOR, New York.   Also posted: special keynote address delivered by CBS Sports Radio syndicated host Jim Rome with an introduction from Yappy Days author/college professor Bernadette Duncan; the panel discussion, “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in 2019” featuring (in alphabetical order) Asa Andrew, host, AsaRx;  Vince Benedetto, CEO, Bold Gold Media Group;  Suzanne Grimes, EVP/marketing, Cumulus Media and president, Westwood One; and Dave Robinett, chief marketing officer, #250-America’s Mobile Speed Dial – moderated by Erica Farber, president and CEO of the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) and introduced by renown independent station owner Michael Zwerling of KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz, CA; the special keynote address by Key Networks syndicated personality Bill O’Reilly; the one-on-one discussion, “Sports Talk Radio’s Role in Popular Culture” featuring a conversation between Mark Chernoff, senior VP/programming WFAN/Entercom, NY and captain/sports format, CBS Sports Radio and Mike Thomas, PD, WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub,” Boston and brand manager/spoken word, podcasts, esports, Beasley Broadcasting with  Kate Delaney, host, GCN and correspondent NBC Sports Radio, serving as facilitator; the panel discussion, “Broadcasting and Podcasting,” featuring (in alphabetical order) Greg Batusic, chief operating officer, PodcastOneSteven Goldstein, founder/CEO Amplifi MediaMichael Czarnecki, program director, WONK-FM, Washington, DC and iHeartRadio Podcast Channel; and Craig Schwalb, former program director WABC, New York and WPRO, Providence with moderation by Mike Kinosian, managing editor/West Coast bureau chief, TALKERS; the keynote “fireside chat” in which TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison interviews Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity in a casual one-on-one conversation introduced by DC Radio Company executive director Victoria Jones; the opening address titled, “Telling the Story,” delivered by Lee Habeeb, host and producer of the successful syndicated program, “Our American Stories;” RAB president/CEO Erica Farber receiving the Woman of the Year award and SiriusXM Satellite Radio star “Cousin” Bruce Morrow receiving the Lifetime Achievement award. The convention took place in New York City on Friday, June 7 and was one of the most positively received in the event’s colorful history.  TALKERS plans to add one or two videos per day to those posted until all the major events of the conference are posted here at Talkers.com where they will remain on view for the rest of the year.  To see the videos and convention video page, please click here.

Gallagher Broadcasts from ‘Teen Student Action Summit.’ Pictured above is Salem Radio Network talk radio host Mike Gallagher (left) speaking with Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk (right) live from the group’s “Teen Student Action Summit” in Washington, DC.  Scheduled speakers at the three-day event include: President Trump, U.S. Senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, plus Gallagher’s SRN colleague, Dr. Sebastian Gorka.

Sports Talk WNDE-AM, Indianapolis Losing FM Translator. According to a piece in the Indianapolis Star, iHeartMedia has new plans for FM translator W248AW at 97.5. Local management is only saying they will debut a new format on the signal “very shortly.”  iHeartMedia Indianapolis SVP of programming Dave Hill tells the paper that the programming on sports talk WNDE-AM remains the same.  WNDE-AM airs FOX Sports Radio programming, the local “Query & Schultz” PM drive show plus Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh.

Mueller Testimony, Immigration-Asylum Policy, 2020 Presidential Race, U.S.-Iran Tensions, Louisiana Cops’ AOC Threat, $320B Budget Deal/Debt Ceiling Rises, Puerto Rico Protests, UK PM Race, and Brady-Daughter Cliff Jump Flap Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/22). Wednesday’s testimony before the House judiciary and intelligence committees by special counsel Robert Mueller; the Trump administration’s immigration and asylum policies and the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border; the Democrats vying for the nomination to challenge President Trump in 2020; Iran’s claim to have arrested 17 CIA operatives; two Louisiana police officers are fired for social media post suggesting Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez should be shot; the two-year budget deal that raises the debt ceiling and allows for $320 billion in new spending; the protests roiling Puerto Rico over Governor Ricardo Rossello’s leaked chat messages; Britain’s prime minister race between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt; and the flap over video of Tom Brady and his daughter jumping off a cliff into water were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming and on-air pro Walter Flakus moves from Cumulus Media’s alternative WKQX, Chicago to Entercom’s KNDD, Seattle “107.7 The End” where he’s taking on assistant program director and afternoon drive duties, effective August 6.  He’d been APD, music director and evening personality at WKQX. Entercom Seattle SVP and market manager Jack Hutchison says, “We’re thrilled to welcome such a talented programmer to the ‘107.7 The End’ team.  Walter brings extensive experience and leadership both on and off the air which will benefit listeners and partners.”…..In Atlanta, Cox Media Group names Chris Centore assistant program director for urban contemporary WALR, CHR WSB-FM “B98.5,” and classic hits WSRV.  Additionally, he’s hosting the PM drive program on “B98.5.”  Centore joined WSB-FM in April of this year.  He’d previously worked in Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC.  He says, “I am excited for this new opportunity with ‘B98.5’ and to work alongside Chris Eagan and the CMGA team.  I look forward to being part of our listeners’ afternoon commute and to help our radio stations continue to deliver the best, most compelling on-air content in Atlanta.”…..Hubbard Radio St. Louis inks morning man Scott Rizzuto to a multi-year contract renewal to stay with alternative rock KPNT “105.7 The Point” with castmates Tony Patrico, Jeff Burton, Phillip Sneed, and Scott McNew.  Hubbard St. Louis VP and market manager John Kijowski says, “Hubbard Radio believes in live and local talent.  The Rizzuto show is undeniable when it comes to connecting with listeners, mirroring their lifestyles, and talking about things that matter locally.  ‘The Rizzuto Show’ love is real!  We’re excited to partner with Scott for another four years.”…..Radio One programming pro Arthur “A-Plus” Willis – currently PD for hip hop WIZF, Cincinnati “The Wiz 101.1” – is adding programming responsibilities for the company’s rhythmic CHR WCKX, Columbus “Power 107.3/106.3.”…..All day today, Beasley Media Group’s classic rock WMGK-FM, Philadelphia is playing exclusively Rolling Stones songs as “102.9MCK – All Stones All the Time” in recognition of the band’s show this evening at Lincoln Financial Field.  “102.9MCK” is also providing complete concert coverage with afternoon drive host Andre Gardner broadcasting live from the venue.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

| July 9, 2019

iHeartMedia Flips ‘Orange and Blue 760’ to ‘Freedom 93.7.’  Denver’s KDSP-AM changes calls to KDFD-AM and – with the addition of FM translator K229BS, Lakewood – flips to news/talk as “Freedom 93.7 Real News, Real Talk.”  The station had been a Denver Broncos-centric sports talk station for the past two years. It began stunting Monday (7/8) with a rotation of pop and rock songs with the word “freedom” in the title.  iHeartMedia has not issued a press release on the changes and it’s unclear exactly what the lineup will be but there’s been speculation that Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh program will move from sister news/talk KOA to anchor the lineup.

BIA Advisory Services Revises 2019 U.S. Local Ad Forecast; Radio Projected to Get $14.5 Billion. Media consulting firm BIA Advisory Services updates its 2019 U.S. Local Advertising Forecast, predicting that the total local media marketplace in 2019 will be “slightly stronger than expected earlier in the year, with ad revenue reaching approximately $148.8 billion.”  The firm cites “a strong economy, an early start to the 2020 election, and most notably, increases in mobile and mobile-social advertising” as causes for the improved projections.  As usual, direct mail leads the pack with an estimated 25% share of that ($37.2 billion). Local radio is expected to get 9.8% of the total, or about $14.5 billion, thanks to online efforts by radio stations.  BIA SVP and chief economist Mark Fratrik comments, “It can be surprising to see that direct mail continues as such an important medium.  However, it directly targets more households than any other channel and mobilizes local consumers to make purchases, especially when combined with campaigns that make use of digital platforms.  The key for revenue growth (and protection) today is not just to look at the media in your sector, but across all local media because you compete across all ad channels today.”

Talkers 2019: Telling the Story Videos Continues Posting Today with “Sports Talk Radio’s Role in Popular Culture” One-On-One Discussion.  TALKERS is continuing to post key speeches, presentations and sessions from the recent 22nd annual edition of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most-important national convention – Talkers 2019: Telling the Story.  Today’s (7/9) post presents the one-on-one discussion titled, “Sports Talk Radio’s Role in Popular Culture” featuring a conversation between Mark Chernoff, senior VP/programming WFAN/Entercom, NY and captain/sports format, CBS Sports Radio and Mike Thomas, PD, WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub”, Boston and brand manager/spoken word, podcasts, esports, Beasley Broadcasting.   Kate Delaney, host, GCN and correspondent NBC Sports Radio, serves as facilitator.  Posted yesterday: “Broadcasting and Podcasting,” featuring (in alphabetical order) Greg Batusic, chief operating officer, PodcastOneSteven Goldstein, founder/CEO Amplifi MediaMichael Czarnecki, program director, WONK-FM, Washington, DC and iHeartRadio Podcast Channel; and Craig Schwalb, former program director WABC, New York and WPRO, Providence.  The discussion is moderated by Mike Kinosian, managing editor/West Coast bureau chief, TALKERS.  Already posted: The convention’s keynote chat in which TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison interviews Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity in a casual one-on-one conversation.  The two discuss a variety of topics including Hannity’s special relationship with President Donald J. Trump; what it takes to be successful on both radio and television talk media; the challenges facing talk radio in terms of ratings and marketing; Hannity’s feelings about his life and career; plus more.  The session is introduced by DC Radio Company executive director Victoria Jones.  Also already posted on the page:  The convention’s official opening address titled, “Telling the Story,” delivered by one of the industry’s great storytellers, Lee Habeeb, host and producer of the tremendously successful syndicated program, “Our American Stories” as well as RAB president/CEO Erica Farber receiving the Woman of the Year award and SiriusXM Satellite Radio star “Cousin” Bruce Morrow receiving the Lifetime Achievement award. The convention took place in New York City on Friday, June 7 and was one of the most positively received in the event’s colorful history.  TALKERS plans to add one or two videos per day to those posted until all the major events of the conference are posted here at Talkers.com.  To see the videos and convention video page, please click here.

‘98.5 The Sports Hub’ Adds FOX Sports Radio Shows for Overnights.  The Beasley Media Group sports talker announces it is adding FOX Sports Radio’s “The Jason Smith Show with Mike Harmon” for the 12:00 midnight to 2:00 am slot and “The Ben Maller Show to air from 2:00 am to 6:00 am, effective July 18.  WBZ-FM, Boston will also air overnight programming from FOX Sports Radio on weekends.  Beasley national spoken-word brand manager Mike Thomas says, “For the second time in our 10-year history, ‘The Sports Hub’ will partner with FOX Sports Radio for late-night programming.  We’re happy to have FSR’s compelling brand of sports talk back on ‘The Sports Hub’ to keep our listeners informed and entertained.”

Sutterfield Appointed GSM for Cox Media Group’s Tulsa Cluster. Sales pro Phillip Sutterfield is promoted to general sales manager for Cox Media Group’s Tulsa station group that includes news/talk KRMG-AM/FM three music brands and Cox’s three television stations in the market.  CMG Tulsa director of sales Joe Muller states, “Phillip has been an integral part of the CMG sales team for many years and has always been one of the most consistent leaders on the team.  He has built outstanding relationships in the community and is a creative force for our clients.  I know Phillip will thrive in this new role and help guide us through the next phase of our sales growth.”

TALKERS News Notes. Former White House aide to President Obama (and current executive producer of Funny or Die D.C.) Brad Jenkins teams up with PodcastOne to create a new podcast titled, “Fired Up!” PodcastOne says, “Jenkins and his guests will dig deep to explore political issues and other things that get them fired up to love, laugh, and inspire.”  PodcastOne CEO Peter Morris says, “Brad is a dynamic, outspoken, intelligent ball of fire!  His passion for igniting high energy and intelligent conversation is perfect for the podcast format, and is sure to get both his guests and listeners as fired up as he is when it comes to politics and other topics we all care about.”…..Skyview Networks and The Howard Hughes Corporation’s Triple-A baseball club the Las Vegas Aviators, announce today a multi-year contract for the team to use Skyview’s inventory management and live read capture software, AdView.  The Aviators – an affiliate of the Oakland A’s – play in the Pacific Coast League…..Voice and audio content provider SpokenLayer announces that Andy Lipset joins the company as CEO.  He takes over for SpokenLayer founder Will Mayo, who continues with the company as chief strategy officer.  Lipset served for the past six years with Pandora.

CORRECTION: Yesterday, TALKERS magazine reported on the programming changes at Forever Media’s WXDE-FM, Lewes “Delaware 105.9.”  In doing so we wrote that Ed Tyll’s early afternoon show was cancelled by the station.  Program director Dan Gaffney tells TALKERS that Tyll was not let go but resigned from his program.

2020 Presidential Race, Epstein Arrest, Trump Tax Returns, UK Ambassador Leak, Immigration Policy/Detention Facilities; Iran Nuclear Ambitions, California Earthquakes, Women’s Soccer Pay Issue Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/8). The 2020 presidential race and the Democrats running for their party’s nomination; the arrest of billionaire hedge fund managerJeffrey Epstein on charges of sex trafficking; New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signs a law allowing Congress access to President Trump’s New York tax returns; the leak of a cable from UK Ambassador Kim Darroch calling President Trump “inept” and “clumsy”; the Trump Administration’s immigration policies and the controversy over conditions at border detention centers; Iran’s continuing progress in enriching uranium; the Southern California earthquakes; and the issue of pay disparity between the men’s and women’s U.S. Soccer team were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Tallahassee has a new music station as iHeartMedia turns WTLY-AM/W243EG into classic hip hop and R&B as “Throwback 96.5.”   The station will feature hip hop and R&B from the 80s, 90s and early 2000s.  Station program director D – Strong says, “Throwback hip hop and R&B is what’s hot right now and I’m glad that we’re the ones that get to bring that to Tallahassee!”.…..Some new acts are being added to the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Festival taking place Friday, September 20 and Saturday, September 21 at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena.  Hootie & The Blowfish, Marshmello, and Steve Aoki with special guests Darren Criss and Monsta X have been added to the lineup…..Westwood One’s syndicated “Country Gold with Terri Clark” hits the 165-station affiliation mark with the addition of WCCQ-FM, Crest Hill, Illinois (Chicago market); WDRQ-FM, Detroit; WNKN-FM, Cincinnati; WSM-FM, Nashville; WPUR-FM, Atlantic City; KTJJ-FM, Farmington-St. Louis; and KXKC-FM, Lafayette, Louisiana.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

| June 25, 2019

It’s Official: Greg Papa Joins KNBR. The news of the arrival of Bay Area sports media figure Greg Papa at Cumulus Media’s sports talk KNBR is official – he’ll be co-hosting the midday show with John Lund, effective July 16. Papa, a longtime radio voice of the Oakland Raiders, also begins serving as play-by-play man for the San Francisco 49ers this season.  This news from Cumulus comes a day after TALKERS reported that longtime KNBR air personality Gary Radnich is retiring from the station and that host Bob Fitzgerald (who serves as play-by-play voice of the Golden State Warriors) is exiting.  The station’s new lineup has “Papa & Lund” airing from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. Fitzgerald’s former partner Rod Brooks is joining the Tom Tolbert-led afternoon drive show, as is Radnich’s co-host, Larry Kreuger.  The new “Tolbert, Kreuger & Brooks” show will air from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  This is a return to KNBR for Papa, who hosted his own show on the station from 2001 through 2003.  He’s also worked with Lund in the past.  KNBR program director Jeremiah Crowe says, “Greg brings unrivaled knowledge and top-notch entertainment value to every broadcast he leads.  His connection with the Bay Area sports fan runs deep on many levels through his history in the local market, and we are proud to reunite him with John Lund in middays on ‘The Sports Leader.’” Regarding the exit of longtime personality Gary Radnich, Cumulus San Francisco VP/GM Doug Harvill says, “From the time Gary Radnich started at KNBR he was a pioneer in the sports talk format.  He built a close relationship with listeners through his entertaining and intriguing perspective on sports and life.  I cannot express how appreciative all of us at KNBR are for the opportunity to have partnered with him on his KNBR journey.”

Andrew Kalb Exits ABC Radio News. Radio news pro Andrew Kalb announces he’s exited ABC News as part of “a restructuring led by new management.” Kalb, who’s been with ABC News for the past 22 years, says, “It has been an honor to lead a talented team of broadcast and digital journalists and storytellers, and to successfully re-launch the ABC News Radio business, which now serves over 1,650 radio stations.  Most recently, I also was executive producer and helped launch the ABC News daily audio podcast, ‘Start Here,’ which was recognized with a Murrow award last week for ‘innovation in journalism.’  Along the way, I have served our affiliates in partnership and with pride, understanding that all success is the result of teamwork and collaboration.  To my many friends in radio, both at ABC and across the industry, thank you for the opportunity to work with you.  I am looking forward to my next exciting opportunity.”  Kalb can be emailed at: andrewkalb@gmail.com.

The New York Festivals Radio Award Winners Presented in NYC. The winners of the 2019 New York Festivals Radio Awards were presented in New York last night and RTE Ireland was named Broadcaster of the Year for the third year running.  Almost Tangible LTD. from the U.K. was named Production Company of the Year.  ESPN Films was named Grand Winner for its “30 For 30” podcast.  Pictured above is “30 For 30” producer and host Jody Avirgan (right) accepting the award at last night’s ceremony.  You can see all the winners here.

TALKERS News Notes. New Jersey talk radio station WKXW-FM, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” was honored with five of the New Jersey Society of Professional Journalists’ Signature Awards at a ceremony held last Saturday (6/22) in Newark.  Four of the Townsquare Media station’s full-time staffers and one freelancer were honored for “compelling news reporting on-air, online, and through the use of video.”  Michael Symons and Sergio Bichao took 2nd place in the Investigative Reporting category for their four-part series on New Jersey’s pension system, detailing spiraling costs and sky-high individual payouts.  Dino Flammia is the 2nd winner of the Herbert Morrison Award for Best Audio Story for his series on the challenges and successes seen in treating mental health issues in New Jersey.  Michael Symons is the 3rd place winner of the Herbert Morrison Award for Best Audio Story, for the audio presentation of his and Sergio Bichao’s pension series.  Louis C. Hochman is both the 1st and 3rd place winner of the Gabe Pressman Award for Best News Video. The first-place award is for his video of a community memorial service after a Long Branch teen killed his entire family and a friend.  The 3rd place award, shared with freelancer Jay Lassiter, is of Lassiter’s long-form interview with former legislator Maria Rodriguez-Gregg, detailing her decision to publicly disclose a domestic violence incident…..Radio news pro Steve Nikazy is calling it a career at Entercom’s all-news KYW, Philadelphia.  After 29 years with the station, Nikazy will retire on June 28…..Hubbard Radio St. Louis is honored with the distinction of making the St. Louis Top Workplaces list.  The designation comes after a survey from Energage – a culture, technology, and workplace improvement research company.  Hubbard operates sports talk WXOS-FM “101ESPN” and four music-formatted stations in the St. Louis market.  Hubbard St. Louis vice president and market manager John Kijowski says, “This Top Workplace designation is especially important to us. In February of last year, we acquired KSHE and ‘105.7 The Point’ from Emmis Communications. We had twice the number of employees that we had to fit into the same square footage.  We really worked hard to provide all of our employees with a great workspace.  We focused on instilling confidence in the leadership and being attentive to the process of blending workplace cultures.”

Radio Exec Rick Devlin Dies at 75. Longtime radio executive Rick Devlin died on May 15 at the age of 75.  During the course of his 40-year career, Devlin was general manager at WOR, New York; ABC Radio; and RKO Radio. He also served as president of the Radio Network Association and was a member of the National Association of Broadcasters and the Radio Advertising Bureau.

Six-Station Deal in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. This deal will transfer six radio stations and an FM translator in the Williamsport, Pennsylvania market from Backyard Broadcasting PA LLC led by Daniel J. Farr to Backyard Broadcasting of Pennsylvania LLC led by Van A. Michael.  The stations are: country WILQ-FM, hot AC WLMY-FM, sports talk WWPA-AM/W267BJ, rock WZXR-FM, rock WCXR-FM, and oldies WBZD-FM.  The price of the sale has not been announced.

2020 Presidential Race, Iran Sanctions, Southern Border Migrant Issues, Trump Rape Accusation, Census Citizenship Question, and U.S.-China Relations Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/24). The Democrats competing for their party’s nomination to face President Trump in 2020; the new sanctions placed on Iran in the aftermath of its shooting down a U.S. drone; the conditions at the U.S.-Mexico border and the politics of migrant issues; writer E. Jean Carroll’s allegation she was raped by Donald Trump in the early 1990s; the issue of including the question of citizenship on the next U.S. census; and the tensions between the U.S. and China over tariffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Big news from Chicago as on-air legend Terri Hemmert announces she’s giving up her midday show at Entercom’s triple A WXRT, where she’s been working for the past 45 years.  The 71-year-old personality will continue to serve with the station on a part-time basis, including continuing to host the Sunday morning “Breakfast with The Beatles” program…..LM Communications hands programming duties for its Charleston, South Carolina stations rock WYBB “98 ROCK” and triple A WCOO “The Bridge” to company PD Chili Walker, who is program director for its Charleston, West Virginia stations rock WKLC “ROCK 105” and classic hits simulcast WMXE/WWQB.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

| June 11, 2019

Cumulus Media Announces Offer of $300 Million in Senior Secured First-Lien Notes. This Issue of notes is a private offering made only to “persons reasonably believed to be qualified institutional buyers.”  The new offering is $300 million in Cumulus Media New Holdings, Inc, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cumulus Media, in aggregate principal amount of senior secured first-lien notes due 2026.  Cumulus reports that it expects to use the net proceeds of the offering to partially repay existing indebtedness under its senior secured term loan facility.

Keith Memloy Appointed PD for WDBO-FM and ‘ESPN 580.’ Rising from assistant program director at Cox Media Group’s news/talk WDBO-FM, Orlando to PD for that and sister sports talker WDBO-AM “ESPN 580” is Keith Memoly.  CMG Orlando director of programming operations Steve Stewart says, “Keith brings a diverse amount of experience and passion to his role.  I look forward to seeing him and the WDBO team help shape the future of Orlando’s iconic radio brand.”  Memoly started his career with CMG in 2010 as the marketing director for WPYO, WCFB, and WMMO in Orlando.  In 2017, he was promoted to assistant program director at WDBO.  He says, “I’m beyond thrilled for the opportunity to lead an amazing, award-winning team of talent that is the fabric of the ‘News 96.5’ and ‘ESPN 580’ brands.  WDBO is a legendary brand in the industry and I would like to thank Jason Meder, Steve Stewart and Tim Clarke for believing and entrusting in me and my leadership.”

Round One of May PPMs Released.  The first round of Nielsen Audio’s May 2019 PPM survey results is being released, starting with 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside-San Bernardino, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations hereTALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Takeaways from this round of ratings beginning tomorrow (6/12).

WBEN-AM, Buffalo Talk Host David Bellavia to Receive Medal of Honor. Buffalo talk radio host and decorated Iraq War veteran David Bellavia is being presented with the Medal of Honor by President Trump in a ceremony to take place on June 25 at the White House.  Bellavia co-hosts the afternoon drive show with Tom Bauerle on Entercom’s WBEN-AM, Buffalo.  He’s being presented with the Medal of Honor for “conspicuous gallantry while serving as a Staff Sergeant in the United States Army.”  You can read the account of what happened in Fallujah, Iraq on November 10, 2004 and Bellavia’s actions at the White House site here. In a story on the WBEN website, Bellavia is quoted saying, “There’s so much love on the battlefield, and you really do care.  You care for your hometown, you care for your country, you care for your friends, but that’s something that separates us from all the other enemies we fight…we love what we do and we love who we are protecting.”

Michael Castner Out at Entercom’s KXNT, Las Vegas.  Talk and news radio pro Michael Castner has exited his role as morning drive host at Entercom’s news/talk KXNT, Las Vegas.  Castner’s previous experience includes service at iHeartMedia’s WRNO-FM, New Orleans and KEX-AM, Portland, as well as a stint with the Wall Street Journal Radio Network.  Castner says he’s happy to re-locate and is also available for fill-in work.  He can be reached at michael@michaelcastner.com.

TEGNA Doubles Radio Holdings with Dispatch Broadcast Group Acquisition. The television-centric company TEGNA Inc. owns adult hits KFMB-FM and news/talk KFMB-AM in San Diego in addition to its 49 television stations.  TEGNA has just entered into a definitive agreement with the Dispatch Broadcast Group to acquire two television stations – WTHR-TV, Indianapolis and WBNS-TV, Columbus for $535 million in cash.  That deal also includes Dispatch’s two sports talk radio stations in Columbus – WBNS-FM and WBNS-AM – and that would give TEGNA four radio properties.  In a press release announcing the agreement, TEGNA says of the sports talk duo, “WBNS Radio is Ohio’s sports destination.  97.1 is the flagship home of the Ohio State Buckeyes, Columbus Crew, Columbus Blue Jackets, and teams across the state and features popular shows and podcasts including ‘Bishop and Laurinaitis,’ ‘Carpenter & Rothman,’ ‘Common Man & T-Bone,’ and ‘The Buckeye Show.’  1460 AM is the flagship station of Ohio State (OSBI) athletics and the home of ESPN Radio in Columbus.”

ABC Radio Ups Stacia Philips Deshishku to VP/GM. The “interim” is removed from Stacia Philips Deshishku’s title as she becomes vice president and general manager of ABC Radio in which she’ll oversee the company’s audio businesses – from traditional terrestrial radio serving more than 1,650 stations nationwide to podcasts and digital audio.  She had been serving as deputy bureau chief for Washington prior to being asked to be interim leader two months ago.  ABC News president James Goldston says, “Stacia is a terrific mentor, providing wise and candid counsel to all, including me.  She helped successfully transform the Washington bureau and was instrumental in ensuring it maintained its competitive edge and high standards in this non-stop news cycle.”

Chris Moreau Named Market Manager for Cumulus Green Bay. Radio sales and management pro Chris Moreau is promoted from his director of sales post with Cumulus Media Appleton/Oshkosh to vice president and market manager for the company’s Green Bay station group that includes: sports talk WDUZ-AM/FM, country WPCK-FM, hot AC WQLH-FM, classic rock WKRU-FM, and classic hits WOGB-FM.  He’s previously served as business development/account manager for Journal Broadcast Group/E.W. Scripps, vice president/general manager for Bliss Communications in Racine, Wisconsin, and more.

TALKERS News Notes. The San Antonio-based, nationally syndicated “Joe Pags Show” adds new affiliate stations KSEV-AM, Houston and WLOB, Portland to its roster.  “The Joe Pags Show” is syndicated by Compass Media Networks…..Hubbard Radio’s WTOP News in Washington, D.C. and PodcastOne have partnered to produce a new, true-crime podcast series titled, “22 Hours: An American Nightmare,” that details the horrific events that led to a D.C. power couple, their 10-year-old son and housekeeper being held hostage, tortured and brutally murdered inside their own home in May of 2015.  Daron Wint was found guilty of the crimes – known as the DC Mansion Murders – in 2018…..FOX Sports is presenting multiplatform coverage of the 119th U.S. Open Championship.  FOX Sports Radio has on-site coverage from Pebble Beach Golf Links on Thursday and Friday (6/13-14) via “The Doug Gottlieb Show” from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm while FOX Sports Radio news anchor Dan Beyer reports live from the course…..CBS News senior foreign affairs correspondent and “Face the Nation” moderator Margaret Brennan is serving as the keynote speaker of KYW Newsradio’s “Women’s Achievement Awards 2019,” being held at Loews Philadelphia Hotel on June 27.  This is the 10th annual edition of the awards from the Entercom all-news station that serve to celebrate women making a positive impact on the Philadelphia region.  This year’s event will honor the accomplishments of five exceptional women, all under the age of 40, who were nominated by KYW Newsradio listeners. Entercom Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff says, “We are thrilled to have a journalist as insightful and respected as Margaret on KYW Newsradio every week and honored to have her share her experience and perspective at our event. She embodies what the ‘Women’s Achievement Awards’ stand for and I look forward to her sharing a special evening with our deserving honorees.”

Sterling Swoons Over Swag Bag.  Nationally syndicated Westwood One personality Walter M. Sterling was so impressed with the quality of items in the Talkers 2019 convention “goodie bag” that he devoted a segment of this past weekend’s “Sterling on Sunday” show to talking about it.  Check it out here.

2020 Presidential Race, Trump Impeachment Talk, Southern Border Issues/Mexico Tariffs Threat, U.S.-China Trade War, and Big Papi Shot Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/10).  The Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the Democrats’ talk of beginning impeachment proceedings against the president; the immigration issues at the U.S.-Mexico border and the threat of tariffs on Mexican exports; the U.S.-China trade war and the looming G20 summit in Japan; retired Red Sox star David Ortiz is shot in a bar in the Dominican Republic were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Motor City urban contemporary WDMK-FM is being sold by Urban One to Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc. for $13.5 million in a deal that Beasley expects “to be immediately accretive to Beasley’s free cash flow without materially altering the Company’s leverage.  Beasley intends to fund the acquisition through borrowings under its credit facility and cash generated from operations.”  Beasley currently operates three stations in the Detroit market: rock WRIF, classic rock WCSX, and rhythmic oldies WMGC. Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley comments, “The accretive acquisition of WDMK-FM significantly enhances our revenue and competitive position in Detroit.  Detroit is undergoing an exciting renaissance as a result of billions of dollars of new investments in the city’s residential, commercial, entertainment and cultural centers, all of which are driving new residents, businesses, tourists, employment and economic activity.  We entered the Detroit market in late 2016 and have consistently improved the operating results of the three stations we acquired, and we believe the proposed transaction is a strategically and financially compelling growth opportunity for our shareholders.  The addition of WDMK-FM will mark further progress toward our goal of capturing 30% revenue share in each of our markets while delivering valuable synergies and the potential for SOI margin improvement.”…..Entercom names Kevin Callahan program director for country simulcast KFRG-FM/KXFG-FM, Riverside “K-FROG.”  He says, “I’m honored to be afforded the opportunity to expand my role with Entercom in the Riverside market.  I’ve been fortunate to oversee programming efforts for KSON and I look forward to taking ‘K-FROG’ to new heights in the next chapter of my career.”  Callahan now oversees programming efforts for all Entercom Southern California country stations.  He continues in his role as program operations manager for sister stations KSON, sports talk KWFN “97.3 The Fan,” alternative KBZT-FM “ALT 949,” adult contemporary KYXY-FM, and classic hits KXSN-FM “Sunny 98.1” in San Diego…..Westwood One announces that Nashville-based personality Elaina Smith is re-branding her original podcast, “Breaking Thru With Elaina.”  It was previously titled, “Women Want to Hear Women with Elaina Smith.”  The program returned with new stories from female artists breaking through the music industry on June 9 on The Empow(h)er Podcast Network on Westwood One. Smith won a 2019 Gracie Award for the first season of the show.  She says, “I’ve been itching to get season two going all year long.  I’m so thankful to everyone for being so patient as I worked on launching my new radio show, ‘With Elaina.’  Now that it is off the ground, it’s time to keep this conversation going, and with a new name!”

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

| May 28, 2019

PPM Analysis: News/TalkTALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s April 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on news/talk radio.  The transition from the March PPM survey to the April PPM survey was good to about a third of the news/talk stations on our panel who saw their weekly, 6+ AQH share go up.  But, 44% of news/talkers saw their numbers fall.  Comparing April 2018 to April 2019 data, almost half of the news/talk stations on our panel were down (49%) and 41% were up, led by Entercom’s WTIC-AM, Hartford (+1.8), Cumulus Media’s WBAP, Dallas (+1.5), and iHeartMedia’s WREC, Memphis (+1.2).  In April, three news/talk stations ranked #1 in their respective markets: Entercom’s KMOX, St. Louis; Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Middlesex; and Cox Media Group’s WOKV-FM, Jacksonville.  See all the data in Mike Kinosian’s report here.

FOX Sports Radio’s Clay Travis Debuts New ‘Wins & Losses’ Podcast. Sports media personality Clay Travis – host of FOX Sports Radio’s daily “Outkick the Coverage” program – is premiering a new iHeartRadio Original Podcast called, “Wins & Losses with Clay Travis,” on the iHeartPodcast Network.   The show will feature “candid, in-depth conversations with the biggest names in sports, entertainment, business, and beyond, who will discuss their inspiring journeys to success, including their wins and losses along the way.”  The first episode includes a conversation with sports journalist Jason Whitlock. Travis says, “I love doing daily radio, but most of the time, it’s about reacting to the most recent 24 hours of news – the game that ended the night before, the big free agent signing, the latest player, coach or owner to run afoul of the law.  My goal with this new podcast is to create a series of long-form conversations with fascinating people that are just as good a year from now, or even five years from now, as they are today.”

Monday Memo: Be Yourself.  This week’s Monday Memo from consultant Holland Cooke comes a day late thanks to the Memorial Day holiday.   Today, Cooke shares some simple advice for talk radio hosts and DJs from Howard Stern, Rush Limbaugh, Oscar Wilde, and even Dr. Seuss, who happens to share a birthplace with HC. Read it here.

Trump’s Japan Visit, Midwest Weather, U.S.-China Relations/Trade War, 2020 Presidential Race, European Nationalist Movements/Anti-Semitism, Memorial Day Holiday, and Mt. Everest Deaths Among Top News/Talk Stories over the Weekend.  The president’s visit to Japan; the devastating storms that swept across Ohio; China’s anger over John Bolton’s meeting with Taiwan leaders and the U.S.-China trade war; the Democrats vying to challenge Donald Trump in 2020; the weekend’s elections in European nations that saw victories for nationalist politicians and the related rise of anti-Semitism across the Continent; the Memorial Day holiday; and deaths on the crowded peak of Mt. Everest were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Saga’s Nystrom on Brand Building and Digital Attribution. In a piece published in Medium, Saga Communications VP of digital media Matt Nystrom pens an “open letter to my colleagues in the radio industry” in which he says that “appetites for on-demand information have traditional media sellers feeling compelled to measure the efficacy of their products in ways that undermine their core strengths.”  Specifically, he notes that digital attribution – measuring hits on a client’s website shortly after their spot airs on the radio to monitor traffic – is fraught with accuracy problems.  It’s understandable that radio wants to compete in the digital landscape, but it shouldn’t do so at the expense of its strength as a brand builder.  The problem is that brand building takes time and advertisers want immediate results.  Read his piece here.

TALKERS News Notes. The program schedule at Hubbard Radio’s sports talk KSTP-AM, Minneapolis-St. Paul “Skor North” changes this week with the addition of the daily “Twins Show” airing from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm.  The station’s Vikings show, “Purple Daily,” moves to the 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm slot hosted by Matthew Collier…..WFMZ-TV, Reading, Pennsylvania reports that a local businessman may be the savior of news/talk WEEU, Reading.  The station is owned by the Reading Eagle Company – currently in bankruptcy protection – whose assets are being sold to MediaNews Group.  MediaNews Group does not want the station and says it will shut it down after the sale closes.  Enter local businessman Hamid Chaudhry.  He says he is interested in buying the station, telling the TV station, “I can’t imagine Berks County without WEEU.  It has a strong base.  It just needs somebody with a little bit of a vision who can change things.”…..Chicago media reporter Robert Feder writes that Entercom is promoting Chicago news pro Jim Gudas to full-time reporter on the afternoon/evening shift on WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, taking the position that opened up when Bob Roberts retired last month.  Gudas previously served with Tribune’s crosstown WGN-AM and with the old WMAQ-AM…..Pictured below is “Radio’s Best Friend” Art Vuolo (right) with Indianapolis 500 winner  Simon Pagenaud (left).  Vuolo was in Indy to visit the Bob & Tom Carb Day remote broadcast at the Indy 500 grounds when he took the pic with Pagenaud.  Little did he know that Pagenaud would win the race!

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The nationally syndicated “The Ace & TJ Show” is now the morning program on iHeartMedia’s CHR WMKS, Greensboro “100.3 KISS FM.” Station program director Keith Allen says, “Pop culture fans in Greensboro have been dying to have a morning show to call their own and I’m excited for them to be able to wake up and listen to this top-rated show. Ace and TJ’s morning show is incredibly entertaining and I know it will truly resonate with the Triad audience.”…..Entercom appoints Andrea Hansen station manager and director of sales for its Madison trio of music stations – triple A WMMM “105.5 Triple M,” classic hits WOLX, and hot AC WMHX “MIX 105.1.”  She’s been serving the stations as general sales manager since 2015.  Entercom Madison SVP and market manager Chuck Sullivan says, “Andrea has done a tremendous job leading our sales team and is an invaluable resource to the culture of our company.  She has been instrumental in the growth of our client base and the training of the team.”…..Adams Radio Group LLC is agreeing to sell oldies WLYV-AM and translator W282CH in Fort Wayne, Indiana to Brian Walsh, owner of oldies WIOE-FM, South Whitley, Indiana.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

| May 21, 2019

ONLY THREE DAYS LEFT TO REGISTER:  Talkers 2019: Telling the Story Nearing a Sellout!  The 22nd annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention is on the verge of being sold out.  The final deadline for registrations being accepted is this Friday, May 24 at 5:00 pm ET.  According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “In order to maintain the intimacy and effectiveness of this heritage event, it must be open only to members of the media industries and be in a special type of venue with limited seating and capacity.  We have resisted the impulse to grow this event beyond that level of efficiency.  That is one of the reasons it is so popular and has enjoyed such amazing longevity.”  To obtain registration information and avoid being shut out before the deadline, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.  For an up to the minute agenda, please click here.

WGN, Chicago Names Mary Sandberg Boyle Director of News and Operations. In Chicago, Tribune Broadcasting is promoting Mary Sandberg Boyle – executive producer of the Steve Cochran morning show – to the position of director of news and operations.  Sandberg Boyle assumes the role left open when Stephanie Tichenor jumped across the street to take on the program director position at Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM.  Sandberg Boyle began her service with WGN Radio in 2015 and helped to launch the station’s weekday morning business show, “The Opening Bell.”  WGN-AM station manager and vice president of content Todd Manley says, “Mary brings us years of success managing high profile talent and a fresh vision for the next generation of WGN Radio.”

KTSA, San Antonio to Tweak Lineup.  The talk show lineup at Alpha Media’s news/talk KTSA, San Antonio changes, effective June 17.  Trey Ware remains in morning drive from 5:00 am to 9:00 am and will be joined by current KTSA air personality Sean Rima from 7:00 am to 9:00 am.  Rima then goes solo from 9:00 am to 11:00 am. New to the lineup is the “Markley and Van Camp” program (featuring Jamie Markley and David Van Camp) for the 11:00 am to 1:00 pm slot.  Dave Ramsey remains from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm, and longtime midday personality Jack Riccardi moves to the 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm daypart.  Check out the station’s promotional video here.

Nielsen Audio Podcast Investigates Neuroscience and Radio Ads. In a two-part podcast titled, “Your Brain on Audio,” the Nielsen Audio Podcast features communications professor Dr. Rob Potter from Indiana University to share his findings from a career spent researching how the brain responds to sound, and what it takes to capture listener attention and create memorable commercials.  Nielsen Audio says, “The first step in that process is understanding how the brain works and how it’s evolved to process information.  This knowledge is important all along the marketing cycle, particularly in today’s cluttered media world.  There are distinct differences between automatic attention and controlled attention when it comes to our physiology, and different tools radio producers can use to trigger those parts of our brain.  Everything from the music bed in a commercial to the pitch and number of voices used affects how consumers pay attention to a particular message.  Then, once attention has been captured, creative shoulders the important task of imprinting the message into memory networks.  One simple way to affect memory is to play on emotion using words or music, and the cutting edge of neuroscience marketing research is exploring the specific ties between music and emotion for use as a tool in making better ads.”  Check out the first podcast here.

WSB, Atlanta Presents Video Documentary of the Jamie Dupree Story. Regular TALKERS readers are aware of the story of WSB, Atlanta-based Washington correspondent Jamie Dupree’s battle with tongue protrusion dystonia that’s left him unable to speak.  Now, the station is featuring a video documentary telling Dupree’s story on its website.  Titled, “Voice of Reason,” the program details Dupree’s story and reveals how Cox Media Group identified a new, pioneering approach to return Dupree’s voice to radio.  CMG worked with Edinburgh-based speech synthesis firm CereProc. It sent hours of his archived radio reports to Scotland where engineers and audio specialists digitized and recreated his voice so that Dupree can write a script for a report that is converted into an audio file that sounds nearly identical to his natural voice.  Dupree says, “My health is fine, but my voice is not – and I honestly don’t know if I will ever speak normally again.  I’ll be forever grateful to my WSB and CMG family for getting me back on the air with Jamie Dupree 2.0.”  See the video, directed by WSB Radio videographer Jesse Brooks and produced by Cox Media Group digital content manager Zac Morgan, here.

Glenn Johnson Named OM for Cumulus Pensacola. The five-station Cumulus Media cluster in Pensacola has a new operations manager.  Glenn Johnson moves from the company’s NASH studios in Nashville where he was executive producer for “The Ty Bentli Show” to serve with the cluster that includes news/talk WCOA-AM and four music brands.  Cumulus Media regional VP Pete DeSimone says, “This is a win-win – a homecoming for Glenn and an opportunity to retain a very talented broadcaster.  We are extremely excited to have him leading the Pensacola programming team.”

Guaranty Media Brings Elliott Aboard as OM for Baton Rouge Stations. Programming pro Chris Elliott joins Guaranty Media in Baton Rouge as operations manager for the cluster that includes: news/talk WBRP-FM “Talk 107.3,” sports talk duo WNXX-FM/KNXX-FM “ESPN Baton Rouge,” and two music-formatted stations.  Elliott comes to Baton Rouge from his most recent position as brand manager for Manning Media’s hot AC WAFY, Frederick, Maryland.  Guaranty president and CEO Flynn Foster says, “Because great radio should reflect the ever-demanding needs of a local market, we are happy to announce the installment of our new OM to help us meet these demands.  Chris will be a powerful addition to our team.  He will lead our five stations, enhance our existing programming, develop new local talent, and expand our digital platforms. We are very excited to have Chris join us.”

Digital Talk Brand MoJo 5-0 to Support Veterans Causes. Digital talk radio station MoJo 5-0 – a new station focusing on conservative and libertarian content – is involved in two Memorial Day programs in the Dallas/Fort Worth area to assist veterans.  MoJo 5-0 was founded by late talk radio host Doc Thompson, who had a passion for veterans’ causes.  First, Matt Locke, host of the “Conservative Cartel” on MoJo 5-0, will broadcast live from the Warrior Tent on the 16th hole of Colonial Country Club for the Charles Schwab Challenge.  There he’ll interview numerous veterans to help bring attention to non-profits that benefit them.  Second, the 2019 Memorial Day Celebrity Softball Classic, benefitting CarryTheLoad.org, will be held on Saturday (5/25) at Airhogs Stadium in Grand Prairie, Texas. MoJo 5-0 hosts Matt Locke and Rocci Stucci are scheduled to play alongside professional athletes, musicians, celebrities, and military heroes.  Locke says, “The Dallas-Ft. Worth area is a huge part of what we are at MoJo 5-0, and it’s an honor to have the opportunity to give back via both of these events.  We’ve been very vocal about honoring our military heroes and continuing the legacy that Doc Thompson established, and we’re thrilled to support these non-profits that play a vital role in veterans’ causes.”   MoJo 5-0 was developed, launched, and is managed by Cuddle Me Buff, LLC, a partnership of broadcasting experts encompassing all areas of the production spectrum, from operations to talent, business to sales.  Within six months of launch, MoJo 5-0 went from 0 listeners to 110K unique sessions weekly, and recently celebrated its one millionth download. MoJo 5-0 is distributed by iHeartRadio, and broadcasts from custom studios near Fort Worth, Texas.

iHeartMedia Appoints Kareem Chin to Investor Relations Position. Now that iHeartMedia is listed on the NASDAQ following its exit from Chapter 11 reorganization, it is naming media industry pro Kareem Chin SVP and head of investor relations.  In this position, Chin will manage iHeartMedia’s relationship with the investor community to ensure the company strategy is aligned with the needs of its equity holders.  Chin will work closely with COO and CFO Rich Bressler, chairman and CEO Bob Pittman, EVP and general counsel Paul McNicol, and leaders of iHeartMedia’s finance and communications teams, and will oversee the company’s investor conferences, investor meetings, and quarterly earnings releases and financial filings.  He spent the last three years as VP of investor relations for Viacom.

iHeartMedia Boston Appoints Adam Ralston VP of Marketing. Boston marketing pro Adam Ralston is named vice president of marketing for iHeartMedia’s station group there that includes: news/talk WRKO, news/talk WXKS-AM, all-news WBZ-AM, and five music brands.  iHeartMedia VP of programming Dylan Sprague says, “Adam’s leadership, programming and sales strategy, event experience, knowledge of the market and long history of success coupled with his strong local relationships stood out and I know he is the perfect fit.  I’m thrilled to have him lead our best-in-class marketing team and contribute to our brands’ ongoing success.”

Raiders Games to Air on KYMT-FM, Las Vegas. For the 2019 NFL season, Oakland Raiders’ games will air on iHeartMedia’s classic rock KYMT “93.1 The Mountain.”  Raiders games are produced and distributed by Compass Media Networks.  The play-by-play is being called by broadcasting legend Brent Musburger.  Former All-Pro tackle Lincoln Kennedy is handling color analysis and Chris Townsend serves as sideline reporter.  This is the team’s last season playing in the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum before it relocates to Las Vegas in 2020.

Trump Financial Records Subpoena, Dems Impeachment Talk, U.S.-Iran Tensions, U.S.-China Tariff Battle, New Anti-Abortion Laws, ‘Game of Thrones’ Finale, and NBA/NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/20). A federal judge rules President Trump’s accounting firm must turn over documents requested by congress; key Democrats battle House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over impeachment possibility; reports Iran has heightened production of enriched uranium as the U.S. warns of possible military action against it; the trade war being waged between the U.S. and China; the new, restrictive anti-abortion laws being passed in several states; the finale of HBO’s “Game of Thrones”; and NBA/NHL playoffs action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Pictured below is CMT personality Cody Alan (second from right) with members of Little Big Town at the second-annual “Live in the Vineyard Goes Country” three-day music and wine festival.  Alan chatted with all of the artists appearing at the festival and interviewed Little Big Town for the syndicated radio show “CMT After MidNite” and “CMT Radio Live” on June 3.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

| May 14, 2019

Round One of April PPMs Released. The first of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio have been released for 12 markets, including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex (New Jersey). You can see all the 6+, weekly AQH share data from subscribing stations here. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian will present his “Twelve Takeaways” from this first round of ratings information in tomorrow’s edition of TALKERS magazine online.

Post: Francesa Takes First Month of Spring Ratings.  The New York Post continues its reporting on the sports talk radio war in the Big Apple, today writing that WFAN afternoon drive personality Mike Francesa beat WEPN PM driver Michael Kay in the Men 25-54 demographic with a 7.0 share to Kay’s 6.1 share, according to Nielsen Audio’s April PPM survey.   If you recall, there’s been disagreement between the two stations over whether WFAN should include its stream audience since it sells streaming ads separately.  WEPN – which airs the same ads on air and online – made noise about Michael Kay’s strong performance in the Winter book (Jan., Feb., and March PPM surveys) and arguments ensued about whether he could really claim victory.

Neal Bird Joins Sun & Fun and Key Networks. Affiliate sales pro Neal Bird is named senior account executive for Sun & Fun Media and Key Networks.  Bird spent the last 11 years with Westwood One, the last five years as VP of affiliate sales for music & entertainment and backstage events.  Bird’s joining the companies comes just a few weeks after Key Networks’ April 29 launch of the new, 15-minute daily radio program, “The O’Reilly Update,” starring Bill O’Reilly.  Sun & Fun and Key Networks chief revenue officer Dennis Green comments, “I’ve had the pleasure of working with Neal and am delighted to welcome him to the Sun & Fun Media team and Key Networks.  Neal has strong relationships throughout the radio industry and is known as someone who gets the job done and delivers for his clients.  He will be an integral part of growing our core business while helping chart a course in building our new syndication division at Key Networks.”  Bird adds, “It’s an exciting time at Sun & Fun Media as its core business is as strong as ever and now, with the launch of Key Networks and ‘The O’Reilly Update,’ the future is even brighter.  With that, I’m thrilled to be joining the great team that Rob, Roger, and Dennis have assembled and I look forward to working with our valued partners and in growing the business.”

Radio One Returns WDBZ, Cincinnati to Urban News/Talk. The Cincinnati Enquirer is reporting on the move by Radio One to reverse the 2016 decision to flip urban news/talk WDBZ-AM/W268CM, Cincinnati to rhythmic oldies as “Soul 101.5.”  The station returned to its previous “The Buzz” brand with a new program lineup.  Remaining with the station is late morning talk host Lincoln Ware (his was the only talk show to survive the previous format change and remain on air in the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon slot). Emanuel Livingston hosts 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm, and former Cincinnati Mayor Dwight Tillery begins hosting the 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm show, effective June 3.  The Tom Joyner Show remains in AM drive and the station carries “Keepin’ It Real” with Al Sharpton.  Radio One Cincinnati vice president and general manager Mitch Galvin tells the paper, “With the climate of Cincinnati and the United States right now, there is more of a need for talk and the voice of the inner city to have an outlet, and that’s what we wanted to accomplish by bringing it back.”  Lincoln Ware is quoted saying, “This 2020 election is going to be like none you’ve seen before.  There are too many right-wing stations out there and we’ve got to balance it out.  ‘The Buzz’ will add a little weight toward that balance.”

Full Power Radio Launches ‘Trump 103.3 WDRC’ to Promote FM Translator and New Program Lineup. The trio of Connecticut talk stations – WDRC-AM, Hartford; WMMW-AM, Meriden; and WSNG-AM, Torrington – gets an FM partner as Full Power Radio fires up translator W277DT at 103.3 FM and temporarily re-brands as “Trump 103.3 WDRC.”  A press release from Full Power says the station is airing promos that call for the firing of Governor Ned Lamont and demand “No New Tolls or Taxes for Connecticut.”  Owner John Fuller says, “There is a real hunger for the truth and ‘Trump 103.3’ will report and uncover statewide waste and corruption that conventional media are afraid to touch.”  The program lineup includes: “Brad Davis and Friends” in morning drive, Salem Radio Network’s Mike Gallagher in late mornings, and local host Lee Elci shares the noon hour with Bill O’Reilly’s “The O’Reilly Update.”  Afternoons include Radio America’s Dana Loesch and Westwood One’s Michael Savage and Ben ShapiroWayne Allyn Root is heard in the evening daypart. After a period, the station will return to its “The Talk of Connecticut” brand.

Progressive Talk Radio Returns to Madison on FM. Madison-area signal WTTN-AM, Columbus added an FM translator at 92.7 on Saturday (5/11) that brings progressive talk back to Madison on the FM band.  The last time the format aired in the market on FM was on iHeartMedia’s WXXM “The Mic 92.1.”  But iHeartMedia flipped that station to classic hits in 2016.  Mike Crute’s “Resistance Radio” format is airing on the signals, as well as on the signal he purchased from Good Karma in 2017, WRRD-AM, Waukesha, Wisconsin in the Milwaukee market.  Crute co-hosts the daily “The Devil’s Advocates” program that airs in afternoon drive.  The stations also air WYD Media’s “Thom Hartmann Program” and “Stephanie Miller Show” as well as local personalities Earle Ingram Jr., and Bryan Kelly.

Good Karma Re-Aligns Sports Programming on Milwaukee Stations.  A couple of new, local shows will begin airing on Good Karma Brands’ Milwaukee sports talk stations and that will have an effect on sister news/talk outlet WTMJ.  Good Karma operates WKTI-FM and WAUK-AM as “ESPN Milwaukee.”  Beginning June 4, WAUK-AM will carry the entire ESPN Radio lineup except for the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm daypart in which Doug Russell will host “ESPN Milwaukee Podcenter.”  As for WKTI-FM, the station will debut “Gabe & Chewy,” airing from 7:00 am to 9:00 am and co-hosted by Gabe Netzel and former Green Bay Packers tight end Mark Chmura.  Also, former Marquette University basketball star Tony Smith partners with Bryan Dee for the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm program.  Greg Matzek moves over from WTMJ to host a daily noon hour program and Doug Russell hosts a nightly 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm program.  Good Karma Brands vice president and market manager Steve Wexler says moving some of the sports talk from WTMJ will allow for new, non-sports programming in evenings when there are no Milwaukee Brewers or Milwaukee Bucks games on WTMJ.  He says, “We will be adding local talk content to WTMJ in the evening that will feature new voices and perspectives.  We’re on the lookout for additional local, compelling, and entertaining personalities to add to WTMJ.”

U.S.-China Trade War, Mueller Testimony, ‘Heartbeat’ Abortion Laws, 2020 Presidential Politics, U.S.-Iran Tensions, Immigration Policy, and NBA/NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/13). The financial markets’ reactions to the U.S.-China tariff war; the possibility that special counsel Robert Mueller testifies before congress; the passing of “heartbeat” laws restricting abortion in several states and a possible challenge to Roe v Wade; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the saber-rattling between the U.S. and Iran; U.S. policy regarding migration at the Southern border; and NBA and NHL playoff action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. Best-selling author, keynote speaker, and entrepreneur Heather Monahan joins PodcastOne with her debut podcast, “Creating Confidence.”  In this series, Monahan shares the techniques and strategies to create your confidence, pursue your dreams and leapfrog the villains that get in the way.  The debut episode features top-ranked podcaster, Gary Vaynerchuk…..iHeartRadio announces that its podcast “Stuff You Missed in History Class” posted its first branded episode in partnership with Warner Bros Pictures. The episode delves into the historical perspective of the Godzilla legend, exploring how this iconic story came about during WWII and subsequently gained mainstream attention…..WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley is filling in for nationally syndicated talk radio host Tom Shillue on FOX News Radio’s 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET program today (5/14).

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The new on-air lineup at Entercom’s Atlanta CHR WSTR “Star 94.1” is officially revealed after last week’s changes that saw Jeff Dauler, Mike Marino, and Heather Branch exit the station.  The station adds personalities Mark Owens and Curtis Slade as co-hosts of the morning drive “Jenn & Friends” show with host Jenn Hobby.  In addition to contributing to the morning show, Amanda Kelly is promoted to midday host.  Finally, Kannon takes over the afternoon drive program.  Mark Owens served for the last six years as a producer at sister sports talker WZGC-FM “92.9 The Game.”  Curtis Slade began his career as an interior design consultant and then went on to host a weekly segment on WWXM-FM, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  Jeannine Riley is producing the morning show…..Cumulus Media promotes three at its Worcester, Massachusetts cluster.  Classic hits WWFX “100 FM The Pike” program director Chuck Perk adds operations manager duties for classic country WORC-FM “98.9 FM NASH Icon.”  Keith Stephens is named program director for WORC-FM, and Matt Henry is upped to promotions director for AC WXLO, WWFX and WORC-FM…..Programming pro Tom Ferguson is appointed program director for Times-Shamrock Communications-owned alternative WFUZ, Wilkes Barre-Scranton “ALT 92.1.”  Ferguson programmed WFUZ from 2013 through 2017 and had most recently been hosting afternoon drive at Entercom’s crosstown classic hits WMQX “Max 102.3.”…..Jodi Vale exits Connoisseur Media’s adult contemporary WKJY, Hempstead, New York “K98.3” in order to finish her master’s degree in communications.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

| May 7, 2019

TALKERS EXCLUSIVE:  A Conversation with Mike McVay.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison engaged in an exclusive audio conversation earlier this morning (5/7) with outgoing Cumulus Media executive vice president of content and programming Mike McVay.  McVay, who will be staying on with the company in an executive capacity until July at which point, he will launch his own consultation firm with Cumulus being its first client, discusses the details of the transition and some of his personal sentiments about the change.  This excerpt will be part of a larger, deep-dive conversation between Harrison and McVay that will be posted in full on Tuesday, May 14 as next week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne presentation, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  To listen to this informational excerpt, please click 

      here
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Rich Zeoli to Move to Mornings on WPHT, Philadelphia.  TALKERS magazine hears that current afternoon drive personality Rich Zeoli is moving to the morning daypart on the Entercom news/talk station.  Zeoli would assume the position most recently held by Chris Stigall, who exited the station earlier this year.  Zeoli joined WPHT as a talk host in 2010.

Townsquare Media’s Q1 Report: Pro Forma Net Revenue Up 4.7%.  Revenue was up for Townsquare Media, Inc. comparing the first quarter of 2019 to the same period in 2018.  Net revenue for Q1 of 2019 was $ 93.7 million, up 6.5%.  On a pro forma basis (excluding revenue from the July 2018 acquisition of three Trenton market signals), net revenue was up 4.7%.  Breaking apart the company’s three segments – advertising, interactive, and live events – advertising revenue was up 3.9% over the same period in 2018, interactive jumped 31.6%, while live events dipped 8.6%.  Pro forma net loss for the first quarter decreased $21.5 million, or 81.8%, to a net loss of $4.8 million, compared to a net loss of $26.3 million in the same period in 2018.  Townsquare Media CEO Bill Wilson says, “Townsquare is off to a great start in 2019 with strong operational and financial performance, demonstrated by our first quarter Adjusted EBITDA growth of 8.3%.  We have continued the strong momentum we experienced throughout 2018, as our team once again delivered double-digit revenue growth in our Townsquare Ignite and Townsquare Interactive divisions, leading to total net revenue growth of 6.5% in the first quarter of 2019.  As a result of our continued growth and strength in digital, we are pleased to announce that for the first time in our history, digital revenue contributed over one-third of the company’s total net revenue.  Given our diversified revenue base, today and moving forward we believe Townsquare is best described as a premier local media and digital marketing solutions company. To that point, beginning in the first quarter of 2019 I am very pleased to share that we have provided segmentation of our financial results.  In particular this will allow you to see the strong profit that is generated by Townsquare Interactive, our digital marketing solutions business which currently serves approximately 16,200 monthly subscribers.  In the first quarter of 2019, Townsquare Interactive had net revenue growth of 31.6% and Adjusted Operating Income growth of 34.8%, operating at a 31% margin.  As noted previously, we believe that Townsquare Interactive, as well as our Townsquare Ignite division, will each generate $100 million in annual net revenue within the next three to five years.”

Brian Kilmeade Named 2019 Recipient of the TALKERS Freedom of Speech Award.  Described by Michael Harrison as “one of this era’s most prolific communicators in national talk media,” the TALKERS editorial board has selected Fox News Channel “Fox & Friends” co-host (6:00 am – 9:00 am ET)  and Fox News Radio syndicated program host (9:00 am – 12:00 noon ET) Brian Kilmeade as the publication’s 2019 recipient of the Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech.  Kilmeade is also a prolific best-selling author who has written a number of books about American history shedding new light on such figures as George WashingtonThomas Jefferson, and Andrew Jackson among others.  According to Harrison, “Brian Kilmeade is a hard working media pro who has been turning in six straight hours per morning on both radio and cable TV year after year tackling the most controversial issues confronting the nation on a very big stage and facing the heat that comes with sticking your neck out on a regular basis.  His books about largely overlooked but highly significant chapters in American history have also added to a greater understanding of where this country came from written in language that is clear and compelling to the average person.  This man understands the First Amendment and knows how to exercise it on a level that keeps it alive and well in a turbulent environment in which it is always under assault.”  The award recognizes broadcasting achievement in raising consciousness and awareness of the First Amendment, displaying courage and commitment in exercising First Amendment rights and contributing to the viability of the First Amendment through deed and example.  The non-partisan award, one of the most prestigious and high-profile honors presented to individuals in the talk media industry, has a colorful (and often controversial) history that goes back to the early 1990s when the modern era of talk radio emerged and the format became recognized as an influential forum of public policy and social change following the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine.  It was re-named in honor of talk radio pioneer Gene Burns upon his death in May 2013. TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey states, “Gene Burns was the model by which the Freedom of Speech Award delivered at our national conventions was developed.  It is only fitting that this institution bears the name of this great champion of the ideals and foundation upon which contemporary spoken-word radio is built.”  Last year’s recipient of the Freedom of Speech Award was SiriusXM Satellite Radio “Urban View” channel personality Karen Hunter.  Recipients over the years include Rush LimbaughThom HartmannAl FrankenSean HannityAlan ColmesJim FarleyJuan WilliamsJoe Madison, Michael Savage, Norm PattizBill O’ReillyMatt DrudgeBob GrantG. Gordon Liddy, and Brian Lamb among others.  This year’s award will be presented to Brian Kilmeade at Talkers 2019: Telling the Story in New York on Friday, June 7.  The convention is close to being a sellout.  For registration information, please click here.

TALKERS News Notes.  KGLO, Mason City, Iowa news director Bob Fisher was recently honored by the Iowa Broadcast News Association during its 2018 Awards Contest.  Fisher picked up eight awards, including two first-place honors – one for Political Coverage and another for General Reporting.  Fisher and Alpha Media’s KGLO have received a total of 92 awards in the last 15 years. He just concluded serving as past-president of the Iowa Broadcast News Association’s board of directors and retired from the board after serving 14 of the last 15 years…..ABC Radio is offering three Memorial Day weekend specials for affiliate stations: “Country Summer Road Trip,” “A Decade of Rock Hits,” and “America Remembers 2019.” Country artist Luke Combs hosts the country music special, rock legend Don Felder is host of the rock hits show, and ABC News Radio correspondent Aaron Katersky reports on how combat, training, and suicide have taken a toll on American service members, in “America Remembers 2019.” ABC says, “Some have died afar, in the nation’s longest war or in another country’s civil war; some have died close to home in training exercises meant to prepare, not kill; and some have died at home, from the effects of an earlier deployment.  The three-hour ABC News special profiles these service members who lost their lives and the families they’ve left behind.”

Trump’s China Tariffs Threat, Mueller Report Aftermath/Trump Obstruction Letter, 2020 Presidential Politics, Trump Approval Ratings, Trump Tax Returns Fight, UN Species Extinction Report, U.S.-Iran Tensions, ‘Game of Thrones,’ Kentucky Derby Disqualification, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/6). The financial markets react to President Trump’s renewed tariff threat against China; the aftermath of the Mueller Report and the letter signed by some 400 former prosecutors stating President Trump’s action constituted obstruction of justice; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; a new Gallup poll shows Trump’s approval rating at 46%, his highest since taking office; House Democrats’ attempts to get Trump’s tax returns; the UN report concluding that plant and animal species are disappearing at a rapid rate; concerns about Iranian threats to U.S. interests in the region; Sunday’s episode of HBO’s “Game of Thrones”; the first-ever disqualification of a Kentucky Derby winner; and the NBA playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming and on-air pro Joel Weiss joins Cumulus Media as APD and music director for its alternative KCJK “X105.1” and CHR KCHZ “95-7 The Vibe” in Kansas City.  Weiss was most recently with Beasley Media’s alternative WBOS, Boston, prior to its recent flip to rock. He’ll also host the evening program on KCJK.  Mike O’Reilly is PD for the stations, and he says, “The timing of being able to integrate Joel into our ‘X’ and ‘Vibe’ brands is truly remarkable.  It’s not every day you find such a creative, talented programming vet with Joel’s unique skill set and unanimous favor in the industry.”…..Mediabase promotes Gregg Miller to vice president of sales/client services.  Miller joined Mediabase in 1997 after management positions at Polygram Records, Enigma Records, and Broadcast Data Systems.  His current duties will focus on airplay reporting and music trends for Mediabase clients…..WAXQ, New York “Q104.3” morning drive co-host Shelli Sonstein was appointed to the rank of Honorary Battalion Chief by Fire Department of New York Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro for her continued support of the New York City Fire Department and her contributions to the community during a ceremony on Monday (5/6).  Nigro stated, “Shelli Sonstein is a tremendous advocate for the FDNY, in particular, our members battling illnesses related to their brave work during the World Trade Center rescue and recovery effort.  She is extremely active in the September 11th community, educating her listeners and raising awareness about the growing list of fallen heroes in our Department.”…..On May 3, radio and CMT personality Cody Alan took the stage at KASE, Austin’s “The Night Before” surprise concert with station personalities Anne Hudson and Anthony “The AntMan” Allen to help introduce the secret headliners: Waterloo Revival, Russell Dickerson, and Morgan Wallen.  The event was held at Maggie Mae’s in Austin and is a free, annual event leading up to the iHeartCountry Festival in Austin.  Pictured below (from l-r) are: Alan, “CMT After MidNite” and “CMT Radio Live” correspondent Marley Sherwood, Hudson, and Allen.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

| April 30, 2019

Entercom Net Revenue Up 3% in First Quarter of 2019. Net revenue for Entercom Communications Corp. was $309 million in the first quarter of 2019 – an increase of 3% over the $300.6 million figure for the same period in 2018.  Operating income soared to $30.4 million, up from $5.7 million in the first quarter of 2018. At the same time, total operating expenses decreased 5.6% from last year to $278.6 million.  Entercom president and CEO David Field says, “I am pleased to report that Entercom delivered another strong quarter of performance as revenues increased 3% and Adjusted EBITDA surged 42%.  Our transformational investments in new products and capabilities and the hard work of our team are beginning to pay off as we capitalize on our scale and the abundant growth opportunities in audio. Second quarter revenues are pacing up by more than 4% and we are excited about our progress across multiple areas of the business and by the dynamic future ahead.”   Today’s report also states that “later today, the company expects to issue $325 million in 6.50% senior secured second-lien notes due 2027.  The company plans to use the proceeds of the issuance, as well as cash on its balance sheet and borrowings under its revolver, to repay $425 million of its senior secured Term Loan and to pay fees and expenses related to the issuance.” At the end of the first quarter, Entercom had outstanding $1.29 billion of senior debt under its credit facilities and $400 million in senior notes.  The company reports having $68 million in cash on hand.

Nielsen Reports Q1 Financials; Audience Measurement Revenue Up 1.5%.  As the company’s board of directors continues to consider selling all or part of Nielsen Holdings plc, the company reveals its revenue for the first quarter of 2019 was down 2.9% (on revenue of $1.56 billion), however was up 0.4% on a constant currency basis, compared to the first quarter of 2018.  The company recently renamed its Watch and Buy segments. They are now Nielsen Global Media and Nielsen Global Connect, respectively.  During Q1, revenue in the Nielsen Global Media segment increased 0.2% to $826 million, or 1.3% on a constant currency basis, compared to the first quarter of 2018.  Revenue in Audience Measurement increased 1.5%, or 2.2% on a constant currency basis, primarily due to continued client adoption of Nielsen’s Total Audience Measurement system, partly offset by pressure in local television measurement. Nielsen CEO David Kenny states, “Our first quarter results were ahead of our expectations, reflecting solid execution and continued focus on improving operational and financial rigor across Nielsen.  While I’m pleased with our first quarter results, we have a significant opportunity to accelerate our growth rate over time as we leverage and build on our incomparable data assets, our global footprint, and the critical role we play in the media and FMGC (fast moving goods company) industries.  We have begun our transformation into a truly product-driven, technology organization, able to make faster, bolder decisions that drive greater value for our clients and for Nielsen.”

Report: Erick Erickson Planning New Late Morning Show on Athens News/Talker. According to a report in the Atlanta Journal Constitution by Rodney Ho, WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta personality Erick Erickson noted on his Facebook page that he’s planning a new talk show for the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon daypart that would focus on Georgia news and politics.  Ho reports that WSB program director Pete Spriggs says the show is in the planning stages right now and the company’s news/talk WGAU-AM/W254CJ, Athens would be the show’s flagship.  Erickson would continue to host his afternoon show at WSB. Erickson says he believes that local news outlets are failing to give enough attention to Georgia news and the drive time shows focus too much on the national political scene.

Lars Larson Receives Honor from Right to Work Organization. KXL-FM, Portland-based talk radio host Lars Larson – also heard nationally via Compass Media Networks – is being given the “Lewis and Annabelle Fetterman Right to Work Communication Award” from The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.   The annual honor goes to an individual for their work in highlighting the injustices of compulsory unionism.  Larson says, “When my flagship station, FM News 101 KXL hired me, I got my first taste of forced unionism.  I arrived at my shiny new $9/hr job as afternoon anchor and editor in March of 1980. A big talk guy, whose name I have forgotten, walked up to me and introduced himself as the shop steward and told me in no uncertain terms, ‘You will join the union.’  I told him I had no interest in unions and no intention of joining.  He told me, ‘You’ll join or our contract says you’ll be fired in 30 days.’  Needless to say, I joined, paid the union and endured its extortion.  Years later at KXL, I happily joined an effort to decertify the union (it took two years but it succeeded).  I believe that every American worker should have the right to join a union or to decline union membership.  27 states now recognize this ‘right to work’ philosophy.  Nearly all of the Democratic Party candidates for president of the United States have vowed to kill section 14b of the Fair Labor Relations Act that allows for the ‘right to work.’  I have now worked 44 years in radio and television and have spent most of those years NOT IN A UNION by choice.  Every American should have that choice.”

WGN-AM and Crain’s Chicago Strengthen Relationship. This enhancement of the content integration between Tribune’s WGN Radio and Crain’s Chicago Business will bring Crain’s reporters to the air on WGN live from their Chicago newsroom, beginning Monday (5/6).  Each weekday, “The WGN Radio Crain’s Chicago Business Desk” will feature Crain’s reporters twice daily on WGN during newscasts at 7:00 am and 5:00 pm, in addition to listeners hearing the top business news of the day at 12:50 pm during the “Wintrust Business Lunch” program.  Crain’s publisher and executive editor Jim Kirk says, “We’re very happy to expand our relationship with WGN.  The station’s unique relationship with its listeners is a natural for Crain’s as we continue to look for ways to grow our journalism beyond our traditional platforms.”

Entercom and Waze Enter into Multiplatform Partnership. This deal between Entercom and traffic app Waze will – among other things – allow users of both Waze and Entercom’s RADIO.COM app to benefit from each other’s content.  As part of the deal, RADIO.COM will be integrated into the Waze app, so that Waze drivers can get audio content – including local news and sports, local broadcast traffic reports, and the music stations – with ease.  They’ll have access to the RADIO.COM playback and discovery controls, including favorite, local, and recently played stations, directly in the Waze app.  The partnership also allows Entercom to integrate the Waze community-based traffic data into its live and over-the-air traffic reporting across its radio stations. Entercom stations will utilize the Waze data to provide enhanced, real-time and hyperlocal traffic reporting to listeners on all platforms.

Progressive Insurance Named ‘Radio Marketer of the Year.’ The insurance company is being honored with the “Radio Marketer of the Year” award at the 2019 Radio Mercury Awards at SONY HALL in New York City on June 6.  The award is being given to Progressive Insurance “in recognition of the company’s long-term partnership with the radio industry to reach and engage consumers.  Their powerful radio creative differentiates the brand in a crowded category and significantly contributes to record sales for Progressive.” RAB president and CEO and chair of the Radio Creative Fund Erica Farber says, “Progressive Insurance and its creative advertising partner Arnold Worldwide continue to be tremendous partners to the radio industry. Broadcast radio is delighted with the ongoing collaboration with CMO Jeff Charney and his team, and we look forward to their continued innovation in the audio space.”  Charney comments, “Understanding the ‘art and science’ of the medium is key to putting out breakthrough radio campaigns.  It allows us to produce compelling and disruptive content that pushes toward the creative edge in all the right ways.  We sweat every second of each spot, and this recognition proves our company’s out-create approach drives powerful results.”

Sue McNamara Named EVP of Sales for PodcastOne. Sales pro Sue McNamara is appointed to the position EVP of sales for the Eastern U.S. for PodcastOne.  She comes to PodcastOne with a resume that includes roles SVP of advertising sales at CBS Corporation, EVP of sales at Interep, and VP of sales at Total Traffic Network.  PodcastOne executive chairman and founder Norm Pattiz says, “When looking for someone to fill this position, we spoke to a number of our advertisers, and the one name that kept coming up was Sue McNamara.  After our first meeting at our Los Angeles headquarters, I understood exactly why.  She knows audio.  She not only understands advertisers’ goals and needs, she’s been instrumental in creating new, creative opportunities for them.  She’s a perfect fit for podcasting and that makes her the perfect choice for PodcastOne.”

TALKERS News Notes. The online-only broadcasts from the sports talk hosts of “The Mighty 1090” have ended. As reported by KGTV-TV, San Diego, the sports talk format that was bumped off Mexican signal XEPRS on April 11 is no longer an online venture either.  Broadcast Company of the America’s pulled the plug on the digital feed at around 2:00 pm yesterday (4/29), ending almost three weeks of online only content.  The staff were asked to come to the studios and retrieve their belongings.  KGTV-TV notes that BCA previously lost two other of its Mexican signals – XHPRS, formerly a classic hits station, and XEPE, also a sports talk station – after negotiations with the Mexican owners broke down…..WMFS-FM, Memphis “ESPN 92.9” sports talk personality Eric Hasseltine is exiting the Entercom station after almost eight years hosting the 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm program.  Hasseltine is also the radio play-by-play voice for the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies, a position he will continue to hold. WMFS program director Brad Carson says Jeffrey Wright, producer for the station’s Geoff Calkins show, will host the 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm daypart for now. Hasseltine says the decision to leave the station was entirely his and adds that it was not an easy decision to make…..Urban news/talk WURD, Philadelphia is bringing air personality Solomon Jones back to the station to host the morning drive “Wake Up with WURD” program, effective Monday (5/6).  Jones tells the Philadelphia Tribune, “I’m pleased to be able to come back.  I missed the audience at WURD and I’m anxious to be able to get started again and to just impact our community.  Doing what I do at WURD is familiar and I think it is ministry.  I want to make sure that our community is informed and engaged.  There are some things that we need to really be talking about and take action on.”…..Cox Media Group’s news/talk KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa hosted nationally syndicated digital expert Kim Komando at a luncheon today (4/30).  KRMG invited 225 listeners to the Women in Business Luncheon presented by Community Care College.  KRMG program director Levi May states, “Kim Komando is a real power player in both the media and technology fields and it’s an honor that she chose Tulsa to visit in 2019.  We are thrilled to have an opportunity to put her in front of our listeners in an intimate setting where she can talk about her successes and share her tips with other women.”  In addition to Komando’s appearance, KRMG news director April Hill moderated a panel discussion of Tulsa businesswomen.

77WABC’s Sid Rosenberg Speaks at NYTimes Protest.  Pictured above is WABC, New York personality Sid Rosenberg (holding mic) at a protest outside the offices of The New York Times.  The co-host of the “Bernie & Sid in the Morning” program addressed the crowd gathered to protest the publication of a cartoon depicting President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that’s being called anti-Semitic.

2020 Presidential Politics, Trump Sues Banks, Dems Impeachment Talk, NYTimes Cartoon Criticism, Venezuela Political Unrest, Southern Border Crisis, Game of Thrones, Avengers: Endgame Movie, NBA Playoffs, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/29). Democrat Joe Biden’s rise in the polls and the politics surrounding the 2020 presidential campaign; President Trump sues to prevent Deutsch Bank and Capital One from releasing personal and Trump business financial information; the talk of presidential impeachment among congressional Democrats; the criticism of the New York Times cartoon depicting Trump and Netanyahu as being anti-Semitic; Juan Guaido’s attempt to lead a military uprising against the Maduro government in Venezuela; the migrant status at the U.S.-Mexico border; Sunday’s “Game of Thrones” episode in the HBO series’ final season; the Avengers: Endgame movie; the NBA playoffs: and MLB action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Denver country outlet KYGO has a new program director as Bonneville names Brian Michel to the position.  Michel was most recently with iHeartMedia as SVP of programming for the Atlanta station group…..iHeartMedia announces that Taylor Swift is joining the lineup of KISS-FM, Los Angeles’ Wango Tango concert being held on Satuday, June 1 at The Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California…..SiriusXM is getting ready to present Florida Georgia Line performing in a special invitation-only event at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.  The private show will be the first time the GRAMMY-winning duo has performed at the legendary venue and will air on SiriusXM on May 29…..LBI Media names Wynette Gallegos Ortiz director of sales for the Houston market.  Ortiz will lead LBI Media’s sales and operations activities for all of its radio properties and EstrellaTV’s sports and event activations in Houston.  Ortiz has been with LBI Media since 2001, starting as an account executive and quickly moving up the ranks and into management as local sales manager and eventually as general sales manager.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

| April 2, 2019

PPM Analysis: News/Talk Part Two. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents part two of a look at the performances of news/talk radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s February PPM survey.  This report looks at the format on a more localized basis, ranking the PPM markets in order of weekly 6+ AQH share for commercial news/talk stations.  Cincinnati was the top market in February, with a 13.1 share for news/talk led by perennial ratings-getter WLW.  See the rest of the markets ranking as well as which markets saw news/talk listening increase and which saw decreases from the January survey to the February survey here.

Hannity Hosts Limbaugh on FNC Show. Nationally syndicated talk legend Rush Limbaugh – the man who pioneered the modern-day radio talk show – appeared on FOX News Channel’s “Hannity” last week to discuss the situation in Washington in the aftermath of the completion of the Mueller investigation.  Sean Hannity and Limbaugh – both syndicated in radio via Premiere Networks – have done a couple of these TV segments in the past few months.  Limbaugh chooses his television appearances carefully and his conversations with Hannity put two of the most important news/talk personalities in America in the homes of conservative fans simultaneously.

Fans Upset, Affiliates Perplexed by New York Mets Network Decision. A decision by Entercom not to pony up for satellite time for the New York Mets Radio Network this year has some upstate stations miffed.  As it stands now, the only place New York Mets baseball can be heard on the radio is WCBS-AM, New York.  Galaxy Communications president and CEO Ed Levine is quoted at Syracuse.com calling it a “middle finger to Syracuse and all of Upstate New York.” Levine blames the Mets, saying the team would request the broadcast plan for its games from its broadcast partner.  “This is why the Yankees are the Yankees and the Mets are the Mets.  It’s not like we told the Mets we didn’t want them. They reneged on the deal. They are too cheap to do what every other major league franchise does.”

‘National Defense Radio Show’ Distributed by Envision. The national distribution of “The National Defense Radio Show” is being handled by Envision Networks.  The weekly two-hour program is hosted by Randy Miller and Jerry Newberry.  The program focuses exclusively on topics concerning today’s active-duty military, veterans, and those who support them.  Recent notable guests on the show include: Tom Hanks, Jennifer Lawrence, Jay LenoDolly Parton, Colin Powell, and former President George W. Bush.  Randy Miller says, “We are so excited to get started with Danno [Wolkoff] and the great folks at Envision.  They have become one of the most successful content providers in America and we know that this will give ‘The National Defense’ a greater platform to celebrate our nation’s heroes.”

TALKERS News Notes. WBEN-AM, Buffalo contributor and national Republican strategist Michael Caputo is hosting a weekly podcast that’s being made available on Entercom’s RADIO.com platform.  “Still Standing with Michael Caputo” features his “unique perspective on national political and cultural events, gained from 30 years in the international political arena.”  Caputo states, “I’m truly honored to be featured on RADIO.com.  This is a great way for me to celebrate five years working for Entercom.  Each week, I try to bring a ‘flyover country’ perspective to global events, not just the conflict between President Donald Trump and the Washington elite.  A unique populist movement elected him, something I know well and hope to help listeners understand along the way.”…..Syndicated Solutions, Inc. announces that the popular national travel radio show “RMWorldTravel with Robert & Mary Carey and Rudy Maxa” is now being heard on more than 400 weekly affiliates, reaching more than 1 million leisure and business travelers.  The program airs live on Saturdays from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon ET.

Radio Hofstra University Celebrates 60th Anniversary.  WRHU-FM, Hempstead, New York “Radio Hofstra University” celebrated its 60th anniversary on Saturday night (3/30) at the Long Island Marriott attended by more than 450 staffers, alumni, and VIPs.  The two-time Marconi Award-winning station also inducted six alumni into the WRHU Hall of Fame.  Pictured above (from l-r) are the inductees: Marc Ernay, sports director/morning sports anchor, WINS, New York; John Mullen, operations manager, WRHU-FM; Heather Cohen, EVP, The Weiss AgencyJohn Caracciolo founder, JVC Broadcasting, and Andrew Schmertz, co-founder/CEO of Hopscotch Air. Not pictured is Shirleen Allicot, co-anchor Eyewitness News, WABC-TV 7, New York.  Since WRHU produces and distributes the New York Islanders Radio Network, it was fitting that the team clinched an NHL playoff spot on the same evening and the broadcast team was able to stop by and join the festivities.  Pictured at right are Islanders play-by-play team Chris King (r) and Chris Buckley (l) posing for a pic with John Mullen (c).  Saturday’s dinner was preceded by several panel discussions on Friday (3/29) about the state of radio and media and industry leaders including Mike McVay, EVP content and programming, Cumulus and Mark Chernoff, senior VP programming WFAN/Entercom NY and captain/sports format CBS Sports Radio participated as speakers.

Border Closure Threat, Joe Biden Allegations, 2020 Democratic Hopefuls, WH Security Clearance Issue, Disaster Relief Stalled, Rep. Omar Campaign Funds Investigation, Brexit Chaos, NCAA Tournament, and NBA and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/1). The threat by President Trump to close the U.S.-Mexico border if Mexico doesn’t stop migrants from entering the U.S.; the allegations of inappropriate touching against Joe Biden; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; allegations of improper issuance of White House security clearances by the Trump administration; Democrats’ Puerto Rico strategy stalls Midwest disaster relief funds; campaign fund spending violation allegations against U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar; the political chaos in London over Brexit; the NCAA Final Four; and NBA and MLB action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the Fresno market, programmer Jon Ballard exits Lotus Communications’ rock KKBZ-FM “105.1 The Blaze.”  Ballard joined the station in March of 2013…..Entercom announces the “Y108 8 Man Jam” will take place on May 23 at the Rivers Casino Amphitheater.  The event, emceed by country WDSY-FM “Y108” morning personality Stoney Richards will include acoustic performances by: Jimmie Allen, Devin DawsonRiley Green, Brandon Lay, Justin MooreDavid Lee Murphy, and Morgan Wallen.

Tuesday, February 5, 2018

| February 5, 2019

Alpha Media Sells Peoria Cluster to Midwest Communications. We don’t know the price yet, but Alpha Media has filed with the FCC to sell its six stations in the Peoria, Illinois market to Midwest Communications.  The cluster includes news/talk WMBD-AM, hot AC WSWT-FM, country WXCL-FM, classic hits WPBG-FM, classic hip hop WNGY-FM and oldies WIRL-AM. The Peoria group was acquired by Larry Wilson’s L&L Broadcasting from Triad Broadcasting in 2013.  L&L and Alpha merged a year later.  Alpha has been in sell mode recently, having just closed on the $88 million sale of its West Palm Beach cluster to Hubbard Radio.  It is selling its Biloxi, Mississippi cluster to TeleSouth for $2.5 million and last year closed on the $1.82 million sale of its Bluefield, West Virginia cluster to First Media Services.  After this latest deal is consummated, Alpha will own 201 stations in 44 markets.  Alpha Media CEO Bob Proffitt says, “It’s been an honor to work with Mike Wild and the great team in Peoria.  They have been an integral part of Alpha and will be missed.  We are sad to see them go but know they are in great hands with Duke Wright and the Midwest Communications family.”  Midwest Communications owns 75 radio stations in Tennessee, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota.  KALIL & CO., INC. is the exclusive broker for this transaction.

Bo Jaxon Named OM at SummitMedia Springfield. At its Springfield, Missouri station group, SummitMedia names Bo Jaxon operations manager for the cluster that includes news/talk KSGF-AM/FM, CHR KSPW-FM, classic hits KRVI-FM, and country KTTS-FM.  He’ll also serve as program director for KTTS.  Jaxon was most recently with iHeartMedia as morning personality at country KBWL, Denver “The Bull 106.7.” SummitMedia Springfield president Janelle Moffett says, “Bo brings a ton of energy and great ideas to Springfield.  I’m confident that under Bo’s leadership our stations will be an even greater source of entertainment and information for our community.”

WBZ-AM, Boston Legend Gary LaPierre Dies at 76.  The man who anchored mornings on WBZ-AM, Boston for almost 44 years passed away on Monday (2/4) after a battle with leukemia. Gary LaPierre retired from his morning host role on WBZ-AM in 2006. His obituary on WBZ’s website notes that LaPierre’s “calm and steady voice prepared New Englanders for the day ahead.”  LaPierre began his career in the mail room of WBZ in the 1960s and worked as a general assignment reporter before moving into the anchor booth.

TALKERS News Notes. The latest podcast from Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley features a conversation between her and iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman. In her “Beyond the Business” program, Beasley and Pittman discuss a variety of topics centered on innovation, ranging from the latest technology featured at CES 2019 to the state of the audio business and how the industry can best collaborate moving forward…..Tonight’s State of the Union Address is being covered for affiliate stations by ABC News Radio.  The organization will provide live coverage of the address and response anchored by correspondent Aaron Katersky.  He’ll be joined by correspondent Karen Travers from the White House, correspondent Brad Mielke and ABC’s Ali Rogin from the Capitol, political director Rick Klein and contributor Steve Roberts from Washington, D.C., and contributors Alex Castellanos and Kristen Soltis Anderson.  It will offer a one-hour preview program (8:00 pm to 9:00 pm)…..Talk radio pro Rob Carson inks a deal to present his more than 100 cooking videos on the internet destination Spoony.com – a platform dedicated to food, wine, and lifestyle…..Valdosta, Georgia station owner and morning drive talk show host Scott James, a.k.a. Scott James Matheson, announces he’s running for mayor of Valdosta this fall. James owns Smalltown Broadcasting, operator of news/talk WDDQ-FM – licensed to Adel, Georgia…..As reported by Chicago media maven Robert Feder, former television news anchor Joan Esposito is named the afternoon talk show host at Newsweb Radio’s progressive talk outlet WCPT, Chicago.  She’s been the interim host since Ben Joravsky was let go from the station in December…..Nationally syndicated radio show “Free Talk Live” adds a new affiliate station as the program joins the weekend evening schedule at iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington.  Also, several affiliate stations also expand their carriage of “Free Talk Live” as WGOW-FM, Chattanooga adds two hours of the program for weekday evenings and KHMO, Hannibal, Missouri  and KBKW-AM/FM, Aberdeen, Washington add an hour of the program to their weeknight schedules…..Blaine Thompson at Indiana Radio Watch alerts us to the fact that Neuhoff Media is moving Jared Jesulaitis from his program director role at CHR WXXB-FM, Lafayette to sports director for the Lafayette operations and morning co-host at sports talk WASK-AM/W269DJ “101.7 The Hammer” alongside Kyle Charters.  Meanwhile, assistant PD Joe LaCay moves up to program director for WXXB…..All this week, SiriusXM’s MLB Network Radio is presenting “Players Week” – in which current major league players, including All-Stars and World Series winners, will join SiriusXM hosts for special extended feature segments.  “These players will have a national platform, an hour of airtime, and the freedom to guide the conversation and discuss the teams and topics from baseball that most interest them.”…..Entercom’s news/talk KMOX, St. Louis showed its disdain for the Los Angeles Rams – the city is still bitter about losing the NFL franchise – by airing game six of the 2011 MLB World Series on Sunday evening as much of the rest of the country was paying attention to the Super Bowl.  The move did, apparently, get a lot of local media attention. It was the game between the hometown Cardinals and Texas Rangers that went 11 innings as St. Louis pulled out a victory and went on to win the World Series.

State of the Union Address, Border Wall Battle, Trump-Russia Investigation, Ralph Northam Controversy, ‘Green New Deal’ Proposal, DC Circuit Court Nominee, U.S.-China Relations, and Super Bowl LIII Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/4). Anticipation of President Trump’s State of the Union Address; the political battle over President Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border wall proposal; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the charges of racism dogging Virginia Governor Ralph Northam; the “Green New Deal” proposal from freshman Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez; Democrats’ challenge to President Trump’s nominee to replace Brett Kavanaugh on the DC Circuit Court; the tense economic relations between the U.S. and China; and the aftermath of Super Bowl LIII were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

PLAN AHEAD, DON’T BE SHUT OUT! 2019 Talkers Convention Set for NYC. The 22nd annual installment of the longest-running, most-important national talk media convention has been set for Friday, June 7, 2019 in New York City. Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will take place at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan. The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern-day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations. It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, one-on-one conversations and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception — all in a single, power-packed day! Full agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information will be posted in TALKERS during the days and weeks ahead. As is customary with TALKERS conventions, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students. Because seating is limited, and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments, costs $329 per person. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. To take advantage of the hotel discount available to TALKERS convention attendees, contact the Hilton Fashion District Hotel located directly across the street from the venue at 152 W. 26th St, New York, NY 10001 by clicking here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Chicago country outlet WBGG, Chicago “BIG 95.5” announces afternoon personality Brooke Taylor is adding assistant PD duties to her responsibilities at the iHeartMedia station.  Simultaneously, fill-in personality Trace Hamilton is named the station’s evening host…..Making the transition from television to radio is well-known television meteorologist Kim Adams.  She joins Entercom’s adult contemporary WDZH, Detroit “987 The Breeze” as midday personality.  Entercom Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon says, “Kim Adams is an award-winning television personality and one of metro Detroit’s most recognizable faces.  We’re excited to welcome Kim to our team and know she’ll help our listeners breeze through their day.”  During her career, Adams has worked on air at WDIV-TV and WXYZ-TV in Detroit as well as WBNS-TV, Columbus…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that market radio personality Ramonski Luv returns to the radio as evening host on Future Vision Entertainment’s urban AC “95.1 FM Clubsteppin.’”  The station emanates from the leased WLEY-HD2 signal of WLEY Licensing and is heard on translators W236CF and W236CG, both at 95.1 FM.  Luv was most recently hosting weekends on urban AC WVAZ…..Radio One moves programmer Yonni “Rude” O’Donoghue from its Richmond cluster where he’s been OM since 2016 to Detroit where he’ll serve as operations manager for the three station group that includes hip hop WGPR “Hot 107.5,” urban contemporary WDMK and the three-signal Gospel format the Praise Network…..On-air pro Lady B, a.k.a. Wendy Clark, is the new midday host at Radio One’s rhythmic oldies WPPZ, Philadelphia “Classix 107.9.” In addition to the midday show, she’ll also co-host the “Basement Party” mix on Fridays and Saturdays from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm.

Tuesday, January 22, 2018

| January 22, 2019

Political Consultant, Pundit and Author Dick Morris Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  The man who had President Bill Clinton’s ear for several years during his presidency and wielded tremendous political influence in the 1990s, Dick Morris, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Morris, a prolific author, has just published his latest book, 50 Shades of Politics (Triangulation Publishing, 2019).  It consists of 100 short stories covering highlights of his 50-year career in politics and follows his evolution from being a “blue,” liberal Democrat to a “purple,” moderate bi-partisan, to a “red,” conservative Republican covering many political “shades” along the way.  Harrison and Morris discuss some of the juicy, behind-the-scenes stories contained in the book and then some, including the “dirt” dished in its pages about Bill and Hillary Clinton.  Check it out!  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on the TALKERS email newsletter and every page of Talkers.com.

The Epoch Times: A New Resource for Talk Radio. For those in the talk media business not already aware of The Epoch Times, it is a multi-language newspaper with a mission statement asserting that it aims to serve society by “providing credible, quality news that is honest and unbiased, and never slanting from the influence of outside interests.”  The declaration on the Epoch Media Group website banner reads, “To report truthfully on important topics that other media choose not to touch.”  The organization was founded in 2000 by John Tang and a group of Chinese Americans responding to censorship in China. Today, in addition to covering the breadth of national and international news, The Epoch Times focuses on exposing communist propaganda in China and abroad. In a recent Epoch Times piece by editor-in-chief Jasper Fakkert titled, “A Letter to Our Readers Regarding BuzzFeed’s Reporting About The Epoch Times,” he writes, “Whether one agrees with the policies of the Trump administration or not, there is no denying that Donald Trump’s presidency is transforming America.  This is something that most Americans genuinely care about.  We see the Trump administration’s efforts to change socialist policies in America, as well as set policies to counter infiltration and subversion by China, as remarkable reversals from past policies, and sincere efforts that, if fully realized, will benefit America and the world as a whole.”  Learn more about this amazing news organization and its value to talk media practitioners here.

Juliano to Lead Townsquare Media’s Rockford, Illinois Cluster. Management and sales pro Mike Juliano is named the market president and chief revenue officer for Townsquare Media’s Rockford, Illinois station group that includes news/talk WROK and three music radio outlets.  He was most recently director of sales for Beasley Media Group’s Detroit operations.  He’s also held sales positions at Entercom Boston, Westwood One, Cox Media Group, and more.  Townsquare COO-Local Media Erik Hellum states, “Few people are as passionate as Mike is about our industry, about building great teams, and helping our clients grow their business, as he has proven over and over again in his career.  With our ‘local first’ focus, Townsquare is very proud to have someone of Mike’s caliber joining our company and leading our Townsquare Rockford team.  And as an added bonus I finally get to work with Mike, which I’ve been trying to do for 30 years!”

TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated talk radio host Larry Elder was a featured speaker at the BLEXIT LA conference – a gathering of conservative Blacks and Latinos that took place in Los Angeles last Sunday – and the Salem Radio Network personality argued the two groups have not been served well by the Democratic Party and its policies over the years.  Read coverage of his appearance at BLEXIT LA in Breitbart here…..San Diego sports talk host Dan Sileo (mornings on Entercom’s KWFN “93.7 FM The Fan” ) is filling in on the company’s WEEI, Boston tomorrow night (1/23) from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm.  Sileo guest-hosted last Friday evening’s program, as well…..FOX Sports Radio will be broadcasting live from Atlanta next week for its Super Week coverage leading up to Super Bowl LIII. Its daily shows – Clay TravisDoug Gottlieb, Dan Patrick, Rich Eisen, and others – will all broadcast from Turner Sports studios in Atlanta…..A new podcast from Unqualified Media is being launched, co-hosted by actor Topher Grace and Sim Sarna called “Minor Adventures with Topher Grace.”  The show consists of the two interviewing a celebrity with a twist added later in the program, such as the introduction of a lie detector test…..Pictured below are Paul Glickman of the Radio Television News Association and KPCC (left) and Westwood One News correspondent Jim Roope (right) as Westwood One News received its fourth consecutive Golden Mike award in the “Best News Reporting” category from the organization during last Saturday’s ceremony in Los Angeles.

Government Shutdown, Border Wall Battle, Trump-Russia Investigation, DC Protest Controversy, Democrats’ Agenda, 2020 Presidential Race, BuzzFeed Report-Mueller Statement, Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/21). The ongoing federal government shutdown; the battle over funding for President Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border wall; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents; the case of the viral video of students and Native American protestors in Washington, DC; the agenda of congressional Democrats and conservatives’ charges they are tilting farther to the left; the 2020 presidential candidates, including the entrance of Kamala Harris into the race; BuzzFeed’s report that President Trump told Michael Cohen to lie to Congress and the special prosecutor’s statement calling that inaccurate; Monday’s Martin Luther King Jr. holiday; and the NFL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

PLAN AHEAD, DON’T BE SHUT OUT!  2019 Talkers Convention Set for NYC.  The 22nd annual installment of the longest-running, most-important national talk media convention has been set for Friday, June 7, 2019 in New York City. Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will take place at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan. The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age.  This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern-day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations.  It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, one-on-one conversations and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception — all in a single, power-packed day! Full agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information will be posted in TALKERS during the days and weeks ahead. As is customary with TALKERS conventions, Talkers 2019: Telling the Story is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students. Because seating is limited, and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments, costs $329 per person.  To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Mike Nelson exits his position with Riverbend Communications’ Idaho Falls stations where he’d been operations manager and program director for adult contemporary KLCE and CHR KFTZ “Z103.”…..In Chicagoland, media maven Robert Feder reports that Alpha Media unveils its new lineup at hot AC WXLC, Waukegan.  Wes McKane is the new morning host after Jimmy Novak’s departure last week.  He’s joined by Leah Anderson as co-host.  Evening host Jason Cornell slides into the afternoon drive daypart and promotions director Janelle Rominski adds evening host duties…..At iHeartMedia’s Columbus/Albany, Georgia cluster Brian Paiz exits the SVP of programming position he’s held for the last 18 months.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

| January 15, 2019

iHeartMedia Asks Bankruptcy Court for More Time. In a motion filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Houston yesterday (1/14), iHeartMedia asks the court to grant it more time in which it (the Debtors) may remove actions from its Modified Fifth Amended Joint Chapter 11 Plan of Reorganization.  It is asking the court to give it until June 7, 2019 to address the matters.  It says, “Given the size and scope of the Debtors’ capital structure and business operations, expeditiously moving toward exit from these chapter 11 cases will require significant effort. Due to the Debtors’ efforts to date, they are on track to consummate a restructuring that will maximize value for all stakeholders.  As a result, the Debtors have not yet determined conclusively which Actions, if any, they will seek to remove. The extension requested herein will provide the Debtors with time to make informed decisions concerning which Actions to remove and will ensure that the Debtors’ rights to remove Actions can be exercised in an appropriate manner.”  iHM notes that the rights of parties to the actions will not be unduly prejudiced.  “If the Debtors ultimately seek to remove Actions pursuant to Bankruptcy Rule 9027, parties will retain their right to seek remand with respect to such Actions pursuant to section 1452(b) of the Judicial Code. Therefore, the Debtors submit that cause exists for the relief requested herein.”

KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh’s Marty Griffin Cancer-Free. Pittsburgh news/talk KDKA-AM announces that afternoon personality Marty Griffin – who’s been battling cancer since last year – is cancer free.  Griffin co-hosts the 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm show with Wendy Bell on the Entercom station.  He had a PET-CT scan at UPMC’s Hillman Cancer Center yesterday (1/14) and the results indicate he is officially cancer free.  Griffin was diagnosed with HPV-related cancer near his throat and underwent weeks of chemotherapy, radiation, and immunotherapy.  He’ll continue with three more months of immunotherapy to increase his survivability rate.  Griffin said upon learning the results of this latest test, “I won the lottery today, its Christmas morning, it’s just beautiful.”

Cattles Named PD at ‘ESPN Radio 94.1’ in Norfolk. Afternoon drive talk host Nick Cattles is promoted to program director at Max Media’s sports talker WVSP-FM, Norfolk-Virginia Beach “ESPN Radio 94.1.” Cattles served with the station from 2012 through 2017 when he left for a stint at now-Beasley Media Group’s WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub.”  He returned to WVSP last June.  About his promotion, Cattles says, “I’m so grateful for being named the new PD of ‘ESPN Radio 94.1.’  “I’ve loved my time working as a host at the station and now enthusiastically jump into this next challenge. I’d like to thank Keith Barton, Rusty James, and the ownership at Max Media for this opportunity.”

TALKERS News Notes. New York news/talk WABC will have a place at the radio row for Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta. The “Bernie and Sid Show” featuring Bernard McGuirk and Sid Rosenberg as well as Rosenberg’s “Sid Sports Sunday” programs will broadcast from the Atlanta Sheraton.  The “Bernie and Sid” show will broadcast on Thursday and Friday. Rosenberg tells TALKERS magazine this is the first time a WABC show has gone on the road for the Super Bowl…..CBS News and Simon & Schuster announce a joint podcast/book project by popular “CBS SUNDAY MORNING” correspondent, humorist, and history buff Mo Rocca. His long love of obituaries has led him to write Mobituaries, an “irreverent but deeply researched appreciation of the people (and things) of the past who have long intrigued him — from an unsung Founding Father to the first Chinese-American superstar, from Neanderthals to the station wagon.”  The Mobituaries podcast premieres January 17 with eight weekly episodes in the first season…..Television talk host, game show host and Premiere Networks nationally syndicated morning radio star Steve Harvey is hosting the “NFL Honors” program live from Atlanta’s Fox Theatre on Saturday, February 2.  The two-hour primetime awards show is in its seventh year and is designed to recognize the NFL’s best players, performances, and plays from the 2018 season.  It will air at 9:00 pm on CBS TV.

Border Wall Issue, Government Shutdown, Barr Confirmation Hearing, Federal Birth Control Ruling, 2020 Presidential Candidates, Rep. Steve King Troubles, Jayme Closs Case, Today’s Brexit Vote in U.K., and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/14). The ongoing battle over funding the U.S.-Mexico border wall; the issues surrounding the federal government shutdown; today’s senate confirmation hearing for attorney general nominee William Barr; federal judges block President Trump’s birth control mandate rollback; the potential Democratic candidates for president in 2020; U.S. Rep. Steve King has committee assignments taken away after white supremacist comments in NYT story; missing teen Jayme Closs escapes captor in Northern Wisconsin; today’s Brexit vote in the U.K.; and the NFL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The LGBTQ-targeted “Channel Q” format comes to Seattle as Entercom adds it to KNDD-HD2 and translator K277AE at 103.3 FM.  Entercom Seattle SVP and market manager Jack Hutchison says, “We are thrilled to bring ‘Channel Q’ to Seattle.  We’re passionate about giving a voice to the LGBTQ+ community and its allies, and look forward to partnering with people and organizations that help the LGBTQ+ community thrive in Seattle.”…..“The Breakfast Club” co-host Angela Yee is named the first-ever BSE Global Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement (DICE) Ambassador.  As such, Yee will “play a prominent role in helping the organization build deeper connections to Brooklyn neighborhoods to further expand awareness of the company’s events and community initiatives. As part of her position, she will participate in BSE Global’s youth educational programs throughout the community.”  Her nationally syndicated morning program is based at iHeartMedia’s WWPR, New York “Power 105.1.”  Yee says, “As a Brooklynite, this borough holds a special place in my heart and I’m excited to represent BSE Global and identify opportunities that elevate our community to new heights.  Brooklyn has a strong, historic relationship with both music and basketball, and I look forward to working with BSE Global to find new ways to deepen and celebrate that relationship within our community.”…..In Southeastern Wisconsin, Magnum Communications names Mitch Morgan morning show host at country WVTY, Racine.  Morgan also hosts the afternoon show on the company’s sister country outlet WMBZ, West Bend “92.5 Buzz Country,” a position he’ll continue. Prior to his work with Magnum, Morgan served as music director at iHeartMedia’s country WMIL, Milwaukee for more than 25 years…..Two programming staff moves take place at Neuhoff Media’s Lafayette, Indiana station group.  Jared Jesulaitis gives up the program director position at CHR WXXB “B102.9” and takes on the dual roles of sports director for the cluster and morning co-host on sports talk WASK-AM/W269DJ “101-7 The Hammer.”  Rising from APD to program director for “B102.9” is Joe LeCay.  Cluster vice president of programming Mike Shamus comments, “These guys have both worked very hard over the last few years and we are happy to see them move into positions that will make Lafayette an even stronger market for Neuhoff Media.”

iHeartMedia and The CW Renew for Television and Streaming Deal.  Television network The CW and iHeartMedia announce a new, multi-year agreement for The CW to remain the exclusive television broadcaster and video streaming partner for the iHeartRadio Music Festival and the annual holiday iHeartRadio Jingle Ball event.  The two have partnered for the events since 2012.  Under the new agreement, The CW will air a “best of” special featuring one of iHeartRadio’s 2019 marquee events as well as live stream four of iHeartRadio’s Theater Shows from New York and Los Angeles.  The CW Network president Mark Pedowitz says, “The CW has really enjoyed the incredible relationship we’ve shared over the years with our friends at iHeart, as we’re able to showcase for our fans the best of the best in the world of music.  As the exclusive TV broadcast and video streaming partner, The CW is looking forward to continuing our tradition of starting our fall launch with the iHeartRadio Music Festival, celebrating the holiday season with Jingle Ball and adding some new events through the year.”

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

| December 18, 2018

Report: Savage Program Changes the Result of ‘Corporate Censorship.’  In an analysis/opinion piece in The Washington Times, writer Cheryl K. Chumley quotes both Michael Savage and Daniel Horowitz (identified as Savage’s lawyer) in a piece that asserts the coming changes in Savage’s program from three live hours to one live hour and a one-hour podcast and the resulting, anticipated loss of affiliate stations WABC, New York; WLS-AM, Chicago; WMAL-AM/FM, Washington; and KABC, Los Angeles are not business decisions but political ones. Horowitz is quoted saying, “Michael’s voice, unlike [his conservative competitors] has always been very independent.  Savage is completely a wild card, right? And that’s what they’re trying to kill.  It’s all about corporate control.  Taking him off the air is not a business decision.”  Horowitz adds, “Networks are actually losing millions of dollars in order to keep Michael’s voice off these stations.”  Savage himself seems piqued the aforementioned stations won’t delay-broadcast his shows at night.  “The only reason I can see is because of politics.  It makes no sense.  I have a loyal, large audience.  Why not at least do reruns at night?”  Read the Times piece here.

Dave Glover Re-Ups with KFTK-FM, St. Louis. St. Louis radio talk show host Dave Glover signs a multi-year contract extension with Entercom’s news/talk KFTK-FM to continue hosting his afternoon drive program on the station.  Entercom St. Louis SVP and market manager Becky Domyan says, “‘The Dave Glover Show’ has been a cornerstone of the afternoon drive at ‘FM NewsTalk 97.1’ from the very beginning and I am thrilled that Dave will be a part of the team for the foreseeable future.  I have been honored to work with Dave for the last decade and look forward to continuing to work with him in the years to come.  Dave leads the way on so many levels and strives for excellence in everything he does on a daily basis.”  Glover has been with KFTK-FM since 2000.  The station says Glover’s program finished #1 in 2017 with persons aged 25-54, according to Nielsen PPM ratings.

iHeartMedia Settles Lawsuits Removing Two Roadblocks. Two lawsuits that were partly responsible for postponing iHeartMedia’s Confirmation Hearing in its Chapter 11 reorganization have been settled.  Creditors GAMCO and Norfolk County Retirement System objected to iHeartMedia’s use of cash sweeps from Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings and filed suit.  An early December agreement between GAMCO and iHM called for iHeart to provide a revolving line of credit of $170 million to CCOH.  This latest settlement calls for the revolving line of credit to be hiked to $200 million after iHeartMedia and CCOH become separate companies – part of the Fifth Amended Plan.  iHeart is also indemnifying CCOH for up to 50% of certain tax liabilities.

TALKERS News Notes. Beginning January 2, Las Vegas talk radio pro Heidi Harris hosts a three-hour morning show on Kemp Communications’ news/talk KMZQ-AM, airing from 6:00 am to 9:00 am. Currently, Harris is hosting the 8:00 am to 10:00 am slot on the station.  The station also swaps out Salem Radio Network’s Dennis Prager and Michael Medved in middays for SRN’s Mike Gallagher and Sebastian Gorka.  Harris tells TALKERS magazine she continues to produce her podcast in addition to hosting her radio show.  Harris has served with Entercom’s KXNT-AM and Beasley’s KDWN in the Las Vegas market…..Sales pro Ed Krampf joins Sun & Fun Media as senior account executive for its affiliate sales unit.  Sun & Fun co-founder Rob Koblasz says, “Adding Ed to our team continues our mission of having the best and brightest minds in the industry serving our affiliates.”…..Premiere Networks announces the continuation of a long-standing “Coast to Coast AM” tradition of listeners being treated to live, holiday-themed programming, including special guest appearances, open lines, music and surprises on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.  Program host George Noory says, “When I began this journey 17 years ago, I made a promise to our faithful listeners that there will be live programs on the holidays – a time of joy, but also a time of loneliness for some.  I look forward to sharing this special time of year with my ‘Coast to Coast AM’ family.”…..Tomorrow, WABC, New York personality Sid Rosenberg, along with WNYW-TV FOX 5 “Good Day New York” host Ines Rosales, will visit Maimonides Children’s Hospital in Brooklyn.  The two will deliver presents and holiday surprises from the hospital’s wish list for every child in the unit to make their holidays a little brighter.  Rosenberg says, “As the proud and loving dad of two, I can’t think of a better way to spend my holiday season than with the children at Maimonides Medical Center.  Bringing laughs to my listening audience is fun but putting a smile on these kids’ faces will be the absolute best.”

Trump-Russia Investigation/Russian Election Meddling, Border Wall-Government Shutdown Threat, Dow Dips 500+/Recession Worries, Obamacare Status, Moonves Gets Nothing from CBS, Criminal Justice Reform Bill, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/17). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents and the related intelligence regarding Russian election interference; the battle in Washington over funding for the Mexican border wall that could shut down the federal government; the continuing stock selloff and concerns about a recession; the status of Obamacare in the aftermath of a federal judge’s ruling it unconstitutional; CBS reveals ousted chief Les Moonves will get no severance; the criminal justice reform bill that would reduce sentences for non-violent offenders; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Remembering Dave Robbins.  Social media was abuzz Monday night as news spread about the sudden passing of highly respected programmer and general manager Dave Robbins. To see glowing tributes for someone who has died isn’t unusual, but the well-earned praise for Robbins was particularly voluminous and the word “mentor” was frequently mentioned. Held in high esteem for his days programming Columbus CHR WNCI, Robbins was among the most successful PDs who transitioned to the GM’s chair. What follows is a very brief sample from the many weighing in on him. Noted consultant/programmer John Sebastian: “He was my GM in Chicago at WJMK. He was a great boss and a very good man.” Executive vice president/programming operations at iHeartMedia Jon Zellner: “I have two mentors in this business and Dave Robbins is one of them. He literally taught me everything I know through the many years I had the opportunity to work with him at Nationwide and CBS Radio – I am forever grateful. No one was more creative, inspiring or motivating – a true strategist in every sense of the word. Dave possessed every trait of a natural leader, but he also was one of the most nurturing human beings I ever met. It truly brought him joy to see people on his team succeed.” Breakthrough Management partner John Parikhal: “This is terrible news. I was a huge fan of Dave’s and we had some serious fun working together. I’m so sorry to hear this.” WTUZ, New Philadelphia (Ohio) director/operations & programming Steve Kelly: “This is the most difficult post I have ever had to write, but I know our radio family and Dave’s friends will want to know that my dear friend, Dave Robbins, passed away today. Godspeed my friend.” Longtime Chicago programmer/consultant Buddy Scott: “I’m stunned – today we lost one of the greatest guys in radio and in life, Dave Robbins. We worked together twice and were corporate mates once. I loved Dave – he was my friend. [This is] so sudden and so sad.” Zapoleon Media Strategies president Guy Zapoleon: “We lost someone very special today, a broadcast industry legend; mentor to so many in our industry; and a great human being who always had time for anyone who would reach out in need. [This is a] heartbreaking loss for all who were blessed to know Dave Robbins. I was blessed to have worked with and partnered with Dave at Nationwide Communications. I always called him ‘the general’ because he had an amazing strategic mind that he applied to radio and was the greatest strategic mind I’ve met in our business, truly a leader of men. Most importantly, Dave was a wonderful nurturing man who mentored so many people in our business and taught them the secrets of success in radio and in life. Dave was simply a one-of-a-kind, once-in-a-lifetime human being.” Executive vice president/programming at iHeartMedia Tony Coles“This afternoon brought the stunning loss of my friend and mentor, Dave Robbins. Dave was the person responsible for getting me into programming. All of these years later, I have never made a major career decision without consulting Dave – I am so thankful to have known him.” Cumulus Media Holdings vice president/programming operations John Dimick“I am devastated at the news. [Dave] gave me my first shot and truly taught everyone how to be their best self. Programming WNCI with [him] as the GM is a bright spot in my life. The universe is just a little out of balance tonight.” Also “heartbroken” to hear the news of Robbins’ passing was Saga Communications Asheville (North Carolina) operations manager Neal Sharpe: “He was one of the most incredible people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. He was a mentor, a friend, and the greatest radio leader I’ve ever known.” WLNK, Charlotte on-air talent Ramona Holloway remarks that Robbins had, “one of the most unforgettable voices in the business.” Executive vice president of global music marketing & strategy for iHeartMedia Alissa Pollack: “Wow – I’m devastated – I just spoke with him. He was one of my all-time favorites. I’m so sorry to hear this about Dave ‘Rock & Roll’ Robbins.” Three comments from record company executives included this from Alchemy Entertainment owner Bill Pfordresher: “Dave was an amazing bright light in my life. Yes, he was a great radio executive, but also an amazing friend. You always felt special in his presence and he was able to do that with everyone he met. He had true soul and I am deeply saddened at his passing. He is in a good place and will be remembered and loved always.” What’s In-Store Music partner Bob Catania: “I will never forget my first meeting with Dave. He handed me a hand grip, stuck a quarter in it, and told me if I could hold it for five minutes without dropping the quarter, he’d give me an add. Of course, I couldn’t – he had tested it with many a promo person prior. That was the beginning of a beautiful friendship [with a] true gentleman and a brilliant programmer. This news breaks my heart.” Hitpredictor owner Rick Bisceglia: “Dave was tough – almost impossible – but highly intelligent and fair at the end. He was compassionate and made me better.” From January 2006 to the time of his death, Robbins was owner and chief executive officer of Windermere, Florida-based Getaway Vacation Homes, where he owned/managed 50 vacation homes and condos along Florida’s beaches and at Walt Disney World. Prior to that, his lengthy radio resume included a five-year stint (2010 – 2015) as senior vice president/market manager for CBS Radio Orlando’s WOMX, WJHM, WOCL and eight years as vice president and general manager for four of that company’s Chicago stations – WUSN, WCFS, WBBM-FM, and WJMK. Prior to that (1998 – 2003), Robbins was VP/GM for Columbus facilities WHOK, WLVQ, and WAZU; as well as vice president and general manager of Nationwide Columbus’ WNCI, WCOL, and WFYI. He spent seven years as Nationwide’s vice president of programming (1988 – 1995) and, from 1982 – 1988, programmed KHTR, St. Louis. Just 59 years old, Robbins was reported to have suffered a massive heart attack.  He’s pictured here (center) with his wife Patti (left) and Radio’s Best Friend Art Vuolo (right).

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Syracuse morning duo Ted Long and Amy Robbins have signed a multi-year contract extension with Cumulus Media to continue hosting the “Ted & Amy in the Morning” show on CHR WNTQ “93Q,” something they’ve been doing for 30 years.  Long says, “To be able to do what I love for so long, with the same people whom I admire so much, and at a company that not only cares for the audience they serve, as well as their employees, really makes it a no-brainer when it came to re-signing our contract.  Amy and I both feel very privileged to hold the positions we have had for so long here in Central New York. I am excited to continue to inform and entertain our great audience of listeners on 93Q.”  Robbins adds, “I truthfully find it hard to believe that I have spent more than half my life on the airwaves of ‘93Q.’  We are beyond grateful to our amazing listeners who continue to keep us as a part of their daily lives and to Cumulus Media who continues to recognize how important local talent is to each and every market they serve.”…..Alpha Media names Frank Wright content director for adult contemporary WXLC, Waukegan, Illinois.  Wright – midday host on the station – takes over for Haynes Johns, who exited the position in October of this year.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

| December 11, 2018

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s November 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on the news/talk format.  The news/talk stations that saw the biggest weekly 6+ AQH share improvement over the October 2018 survey were iHeartMedia’s WISN, Milwaukee (+ 0.9) and Emmis Communications’ WIBC-FM, Indianapolis (+ 0.7).  On the negative side, Bonneville’s KSL, Salt Lake City was down a 1.8 share, iHeartMedia’s KOA, Denver dipped a 1.1 share and Good Karma’s WTMJ, Milwaukee was off a full share.  Year-over-year, Cox Media Group’s WOKV-AM/FM, Jacksonville was a big winner, up 3.5 shares.  On the flip side, iHeartMedia’s KOGO, San Diego dropped 1.9 shares since November 2017.  Five news/talk outlets ranked #1 in their markets in November: Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta (8.6 share); iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati (10 share); Good Karma’s WTMJ, Milwaukee (9.4 share); Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton (8.3 share); and Cox’s WOKV, Jacksonville (11.2 share).  See the entire report here.

Latest Settlement Talks May Push Back iHeartMedia Chapter 11 Exit. The latest events in iHeartMedia’s journey through Chapter 11 reorganization may push the company’s exit further into the future, according to a piece in Bloomberg Law.  The story says that as the result of Monday’s court filings indicating objections to the Plan because of iHM’s settlement talks with Gamco Asset Management, the actual exit from bankruptcy protection could move past the anticipated February time frame.  The piece says it appears certain creditors object to iHM and Gamco settling a class-action suit, arguing that such suits shouldn’t be settled in bankruptcy court.  Today (12/11), was the original Confirmation Hearing date that’s been pushed back by the negotiations.

Maxwell Schaeffer to Host Weekend Show on WHO, Des Moines. According to a report in the Des Moines Register, longtime Des Moines radio personality Maxwell Schaeffer is returning to the airwaves hosting the Saturday morning “Maxwell & Friends” program on news/talk WHO-AM, beginning January 5.  Schaeffer has been with the iHeartMedia Des Moines cluster serving as director of promotions and marketing since August.  Previously, he spent 23 years as morning host on Saga Communications’ classic hits KIOA-FM.  Schaeffer tells the paper, “I kind of want the show to feel like we’re having a brunch party.  Maybe without the mimosas — or at least visually.  It is the radio, after all.”  WHO program director Michael Dorwart comments, “It really just seemed like the wise move for us was to let him get settled then find where’s the right place to get him in an on-air role.  Saturday morning seemed like a really good fit.  We’re really not looking for a hardcore talk show.”

KRLA, Los Angeles-Based ‘The Bigger Picture with Timothy Spangler’ Reaches 250th Episode – Now Available for Syndication Distributed via Salem Radio Network.   This Sunday (12/16) will see Los Angeles’ “The Bigger Picture with Timothy Spangler” air its landmark 250th episode on local Salem Media Group O&O KRLA “AM870 the Answer.”  The Sunday night call-in show has been airing on the SRN Southern California affiliate since March of 2013.  The show is hosted by commentator/talk show host Timothy Spangler and co-hosted by Phillip Sparks and David C Fisher.  Spangler tells TALKERS, “We started the show five-and-a-half years ago with a very different view on what live AM radio could and should be.  We wanted our show to appeal to a much broader and younger audience than was currently being engaged by stations across the country – what we like to refer to as the #AltCenter.  Fortunately, Los Angeles is a great inspiration for us.”  Broadcasting live from the studios of KRLA 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight PT, the program covers a wide range of issues both domestic and international, punctuated by a unique blend of humor and wry observation. The show is now also available in other markets through Salem Radio Network (via XDS “SRN2 – The Bigger Picture”).  For more information, check out the website www.biggerpictureradio.com.

KQTH-FM, Tucson Wraps News/Talk Format. Tomorrow, Tucson news/talk KQTH-FM flips from news/talk to a religious format as Family Life Radio closes on its purchase of the station in a divestiture from the Scripps MediaLotus Communications transaction. The FM news/talk format was originally installed on the station in April of 2007 by Journal Communications.  The station transitioned to Scripps Media with the merger of Journal and E.W. Scripps. The station was airing mostly syndicated talk in addition to local morning show “Tucson’s Morning News” with Mike Rapp.

Trump-Russia Probe, Migrant Caravan/Border Wall Issue, Clean Water Act Changes, Google CEO to Testify, Financial Markets Activity, Brexit Complications, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/10). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the migrants amassed at the U.S.-Mexico border and the battle in Washington over funding for the border wall; the EPA’s proposed changes to the Clean Water Act; Google CEO Sundar Pichai to testify before a House subcommittee about bias allegations and China’s Project Dragonfly; the recent stock selloff and concerns about a bearish 2019; the Brexit complications dogging British Prime Minister Theresa May; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the San Diego market the executive management team operating Local Media San Diego has entered into an agreement to acquire the company operating alternative XETRA “91X,” CHR XHITZ “Z90,” and rhythmic oldies XHRM “Magic 92.5.”  The management team consists of vice president and general manager Gregg Wolfson, chief financial officer Norm McKee, and director Steve McNeely.  Wolfson says, “LMSD has always operated locally and the transition to local ownership is the final step to firmly plant our flag as San Diego’s local media provider.”…..More cuts at Hubbard Radio-owned stations as the KRWM “Warm 106.9” drops morning team Allan Fee, Ashley Ryan, and producer Kevin Justik.  At sister country KNUC, evening personality Michael Kraig Mason exits…..Urban One flips Gospel WPPZ “Praise 107.9” to rhythmic oldies as “Classix 107.9” while keeping the Gospel format on WPPZ-HD2…..Pictured below is WHTZ, New York “Z100”-based, Premiere Networks syndicated morning personality Elvis Duran (left) on the December 7 episode of NBC’s “The Tonight Show” with Jimmy Fallon (right).  The two discussed Duran’s taking care of his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and his getting engaged on the unluckiest day of the year – Friday the 13th.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

| November 27, 2018

iHeartMedia Launches New FM Sports Talker in Milwaukee. The sports talk radio battle in Brew Town is getting serious as iHeartMedia flips CHR WRNW to sports talk as “97.3 The Game, Sports Talk That Rocks,” effective immediately.  iHM already owns WOKY “The Big 920” that carries primarily FOX Sports Radio content.  Across town is Entercom’s WSSP-AM/W289CB “105.7 FM The Fan” airing local sports talk during the day and syndicated fare at night.  And, of course, there’s Good Karma Brands’ new FM sports talker WKTI “ESPN Milwaukee 94.5” that’s airing the same mix of local and ESPN Radio programming as sister suburban AM WAUK, Waukesha.  Good Karma also owns news/talk WTMJ (thanks to its recent $16 million acquisition of the two stations from Scripps Media) which has the play-by-play broadcast rights to Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers, and Milwaukee Bucks games.  Getting back to “97.3 The Game,” the station will air a blend of local and syndicated content including: former Brewers beat writer and Milwaukee radio host Drew Olson, Milwaukee Bucks radio voice Ted Davis, WISN-TV sports director Dan Needles, FOX Sports Wisconsin’s Dario Melendez, Spectrum SportsBob Brainerd, longtime market morning personality Kevin Brandt, a.k.a. KB, and Wisconsin Badgers sports voice Mike Heller.  “The Game” program director Tim Scott says, “Sports talk in Milwaukee is about to change.  Milwaukee is more than just a great sports town and ‘97.3 The Game’ will reflect that.”

Salem Launches Multimedia Ad Agency. In order to effectively sell its broad range of media options, Salem Media Group announces it has developed Salem Surround, “a nationwide multimedia ad agency with locations in 35 markets across the country.”  The press release says that “in addition to selling audio and digital advertising on its 116 radio stations and websites, Salem Surround offers a comprehensive suite of digital marketing services to develop and execute audience-based marketing strategies for clients on both the local and national levels.”  Salem Media Group CEO Edward Atsinger adds, “From our beginning as just a few local radio stations to the nationwide multi-platform media company we are today, Salem has worked hard to stay in tune with our listeners, readers, clients, and partners to meet their growing needs.  Salem Surround is yet another way for us to serve with excellence nationwide, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.”  Company VP of digital marketing Jamie Cohen states, “With consumers spending more and more time on smart phones and tablets, the media landscape has become significantly more complicated for business owners and marketers to navigate.  The one-size-fits-all marketing approach of just a decade ago has quickly become outdated.  Combining the power of Salem Radio with a full-service digital advertising strategy will allow us to go above and beyond in meeting the needs of advertisers around the country.”

NBA’s Spurs Sign with Skyview Networks for Broadcast Services. The NBA’s San Antonio Spurs are working with Skyview Networks, using the latter’s radio distribution network and AdView Inventory Management software for its WOAI, San Antonio-based play-by-play broadcasts.  Skyview says its “AdView system provides inventory scheduling, revenue reporting, and affidavit reconciliation in one consolidated system. This allows the organization’s front office to manage the complex nature of play-by-play contracts with ease.  Now the Spurs have access to detailed inventory tracking, which in turn generates instant affidavits to speed the billing and receivables process.”  Skyview VP of business development Matt Stys says, “I am thrilled to call the San Antonio Spurs a partner.  We are proud of the package of services we provide, and I am confident in the value the Spurs will receive with our high-quality distribution and streamlined inventory management system.”

Programmer/Researcher Roberts Succumbs to Cancer. Programmer and research expert Dave Roberts (Kelliher) lost his long battle against cancer last Saturday (11/24). The former architect and PD of San Francisco’s KRQR “The Rocker” became vice president of programming for the RKO Radio Networks and vice president of FM programming for CBS. He and RKO news vice president Dave Cooke formed Roberts/Cooke Media Research. In addition to consulting news/talk outlets, Roberts provided research to television stations and retailers. His on-air credits included stops in San Francisco (KYA and KIOI “K-101”); Anaheim (KEZY); Riverside-San Bernardino (KMEN); Fresno (KYNO); and Honolulu (KPOI). SoundOut president/North America Rob Sisco hired Roberts at “K-101” in 1981. “Dave went on to host national radio shows and filled-in several times for Casey Kasem on ‘American Top 40,’” Sisco points out. “Jo [Interrante] and I hired him when we had IS Inc to host RKO Radio Networks artist profiles we produced, ‘Music Star Special,’ and ‘The Hot Ones.’ Dave narrated more than 250 shows for RKO. He was an amazing talent, a brilliant programmer and researcher, a delightfully nice man, and a dear friend to all who knew him. Rest in peace my dear friend – you are missed.”  Of Roberts, veteran programmer (WGN, Chicago; WBAP, Dallas; WCCO, Minneapolis; NRG Media) Bob Shomper comments, “The absolute best research guy around – and an even better person.”  RKO Radio Networks’ former director of affiliate relations Julie Spira states, “My heart aches seeing this news.  I loved working with Dave at RKO Radio Networks.  May he rest in peace.” John Evans notes, “We’ve lost another brilliant broadcaster.  I was lucky to have worked with Dave at KYA from 1979 until [Rob] Sisco grabbed him for ‘K-101.’ We were doing great radio in those storied days and Dave was one of the best. His shows for RKO and IS Inc were top notch.” Owing to the fact Roberts held a Ph.D. in communications research from the University of Oregon, he was often called “Dr. Dave.” Surviving Roberts, who turned 70 earlier this month, is his wife – Walsh College (Troy, Michigan) president Marsha Kelliher. A private funeral for Roberts will be held later this week, followed by a memorial.

Talking Trump. Pictured above are former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski (right) and Citizens United president (and former Trump deputy campaign manager) David Bossie (left) at the ABC News Radio studios where they talked to affiliate stations about their new book, Trump’s Enemies: How the Deep State Is Undermining the Presidency (2018, Center Street).  (Photo: ABC News)

Trump-Russia Investigation/Manafort Allegedly Violates Plea Deal, GM Announces Job Cuts, Climate Change Report, U.K. Facebook Documents, Undecided Congressional Races, Russia-Ukraine Aggression, Mars Landing, the Brexit Deal, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/26). The anticipated release of Robert Mueller’s report on the investigation into potential connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the related allegation from Mueller that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort lied to investigators after making his plea deal; General Motors announces job cuts and plant closings in the U.S.; the U.S. government’s ominous climate change report and President Trump’s response; the U.K.’s possession of Facebook documents relative to the Cambridge Analytica data use scandal; the status of the remaining 2018 election results; global response to Russia’s military aggression in the Ukraine; NASA’s successful Mars InSight landing mission; the U.K.’s latest Brexit deal with the EU nations and its implications for U.S.-U.K. trade; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Pittsburgh Entercom-owned radio stations WBZZ-FM, “100.7 STAR” and country WDSY “Y108” are presenting “A Concert for Unity” to benefit the rebuilding of Tree of Life – Or L’Simcha Congregation in Pittsburgh, the site of the deadly assault on worshippers there on October 27.  The event, live from Pittsburgh’s Byham Theater on Sunday, December 2, will feature Dan + Shay, FRZY, and The Andy Davis Band and will be broadcast live on both stations.  All proceeds from the show are going to rebuild Tree of Life. Entercom Pittsburgh SVP and market manager Michael Spacciapolli says, “Pittsburgh suffered an unfathomable tragedy and our community has come together to support our neighbors in their time of need.  Through the generosity of local Pittsburgh artists and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, ‘A Concert for Unity’ will directly support the rebuilding of Tree of Life.”…..Morning show personality Frank Lario exits Beasley Media Group’s country WXTU, Philadelphia where he was working alongside Andie Summers, who is holding down the show solo while a search is on for a partner…..Programming pro Robyn Simone is named PD at Cumulus Media’s urban AC WLXC, Columbia, South Carolina “KISS 103.1,” effective December 10.  During her career, Simone has served for 10 years with Radio One in markets including Detroit and Cleveland…..Sales pro Kimberly Parker is named general sales manager at Cumulus Media’s country WIVK, Knoxville.  She most recently served as VP of advertising with the Las Vegas Media Group.  She comments, “It’s great to be back in Knoxville.  This is my home.  I know the wonderful history and significance of WIVK in East Tennessee and I am honored and thrilled to have the opportunity to work with this talented and well-established staff.”…..Big Broadcasting’s KOKO-FM, Fresno flips from oldies to classic hip hop and R&B as “Jammin’ 94.3” entering into a deal with Envision Networks for programming and ad sales.  Station program director Mike Marino says, “Our unique blend of old school and R&B throwbacks super serves an adult female audience ignored by other contemporary and gold-based radio stations in the market.  Passion levels for this music are off the charts. Fresno will get the ‘feels’ from Jammin.’”…..Tragic news strikes iHeartMedia’s hip hop WWWZ, Charleston, South Carolina “Z93 Jamz” as authorities in Beaufort County report finding the body of 28-year-old Nathaniel Scott Jr., known on the radio as DJ Tough Love, in a wooded area where he’d been shot to death.  Authorities are still investigating the matter.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

| November 13, 2018

Jim Philips to Retire from WTKS, Orlando; Jim Colbert Show to Fill PM Drive Slot. On-air pro Jim Philips has been hosting the afternoon drive show on iHeartMedia’s hot talk WTKS-FM, Orlando “Real Radio 104.1” for more than 30 years.  On November 20, he’ll host the final live “Philips Phile” show and on November 21, the station will air a “Phinal Philips Phile” tribute program.  During his time as host of the afternoon show, Jim Philips has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Central Florida charities including The Mustard Seed and A Gift for Teaching and has dedicated countless hours to causes including first-amendment issues, adult literacy, mentoring at-risk youth, and championing LGBTQ rights.  The University of Florida graduate has also received numerous awards and honors including the Debbie Simmons Community Excellence Award lifetime achievement honor and has been recognized as the “Best Radio Personality” more than a dozen times by readers of the Orlando Sentinel, the Watermark and the Orlando Weekly.  Philips says, “It has been a great 50-year career and now it is time to move on with the next phase of my life.  I can’t thank the Orlando community enough for letting me into their homes, their cars and their offices for all this time.”  iHeartMedia division president Linda Byrd announces “The Jim Colbert Show” will air in PM drive.  Led by longtime “Monsters of the Morning” cast member “Dirty” Jim Colbert, the Jim Colbert show will include co-host and news director Deborah Roberts, award-winning stand-up comedian Rauce Padgett, and executive producer and 20-year “Real Radio” veteran Jack Bradshaw.  Byrd states, “We are very excited about the Jim Colbert show expanding to five days a week. After 26 years of entertaining morning audiences as part of the ‘Monsters of the Morning’ show on ‘Real Radio,’ Jimmy will now be doing the same in afternoon drive time with his unique comedic take on the world.”  Colbert says, “Before I was in radio I was a longtime listener of Jim Philips and the ‘Philips Phile.’  It is an absolute honor to bring my show to the same time slot on ‘Real Radio 104.1.’”

Longtime KMJ, Fresno Personality Craig Hansen to Retire. Station program director Blake Taylor reports that Craig Hansen – a fixture on the KMJ, Fresno airwaves for 42 years – is retiring from the Cumulus Media news/talk station in December.  Taylor says, “It is with mixed emotions that we announce the retirement of KMJ’s Craig Hansen at year’s end.  For those who don’t know, Craig is a virtual encyclopedia of KMJ’s long history and import to Fresno and the San Joaquin Valley.  Craig’s first day at KMJ was November 24, 1976.  As far as we can tell, Craig’s 42-year tenure is probably the second-longest in KMJ’s 96-year history – second only to Jerry Higgenbotham’s run from 1949 to 1994.  Mr. Hansen has held a number of on-air positions over the decades but is probably best known for his years as our go-to guy on Saturdays hosting news, ‘Autoshop Talk,’ ‘Real Talk,’ and of course ‘Radio Tradio!’  Craig’s final show at KMJ will be Saturday, December 22.  After that, he and his better half will be driving his Corvette out of the mayhem of California and moving out of state to retire in peace.”

Cumulus to Launch Local Ad Guarantee. The company says that it is “doubling down on the industry-leading ROI guarantee of its Westwood One division” and “will launch an innovative program leveraging the proven effectiveness and reach of broadcast radio, combined with the precise targeting capabilities of its digital products.”  Cumulus Media radio station group EVPs Dave Milner and Bob Walker announce the company will support local advertisers’ number one objective: attracting more customers.  Cumulus says it will guarantee participating local advertisers a minimum number of Engaged Potential Customers (EPCs): listeners who have contacted the business as a result of the coordinated program.  Should the program not deliver the guaranteed results, the business will receive free advertising.  Milner says, “Marketers took notice of our commitment to results when we debuted the Westwood One ROI Guarantee and challenged us to deliver something similar to our local advertisers.  After touting the benefits of a combined radio and digital campaign, we’re now putting our money where our mouth is in our local markets with the EPC Guarantee.”  Walker adds, “Using radio’s exceptional 10:1 ROI, and a proven 19% lift when messages are coordinated between media platforms, we are delivering a hyper-efficient brand building and customer generation program all in one.  We’ve known all along that we can be an advertiser’s one-stop shop for results; now we guarantee it.”  The EPC Guarantee will launch in 65 Cumulus markets later this month, in the home and professional services categories, and will be available in all 90 Cumulus markets in 2019.

Entercom Names Sarah Harris VP of Social Impact. This is a new position at Entercom that Sarah Harris will begin on January 2.  She comes to Entercom from Emmis Communications where she was a senior vice president. While there, she founded and led “Incite,” a cause and social marketing division within Emmis.  Previously, Harris served as director of community outreach for Emmis.  She holds an MA in Philanthropic Studies and an MPA in Nonprofit Management from Indiana University and recently completed University of Pennsylvania’s Executive Education in Social Impact Strategy.  In her new role with Entercom, Harris will oversee all aspects of the company’s community engagement initiatives, including its recently launched corporate social responsibility platform, Entercom Cares, as well as Entercom’s government business practice.  Entercom EVP and general counsel Andrew Sutor states, “Sarah is a pioneer in cause and social impact marketing and wholeheartedly believes in the power of media to create positive impact.  With her significant experience and expertise in creating and managing social impact programs and campaigns, Sarah will be a terrific addition to our team.”

NPR to Be Honored at Inaugural iHeartRadio Podcast Awards. When the first-ever iHeartRadio Podcast Awards take place at the iHeartRadio Theater in Los Angeles on January 18, NPR will be the recipient of the iHeartRadio Podcast Pioneer Award.  NPR is being honored as a “driving, innovative force in the creation of the podcasting industry” and the award “will pay tribute to the renowned non-profit multimedia organization’s groundbreaking contributions to podcasting’s expanding role in today’s popular culture.”  The press release notes that NPR launched its first digital-only podcasting predecessor, “All Songs Considered,” in April 2000 and it officially debuted NPR Podcasts in August 2005 with a full slate of 174 programs, including 17 original podcasts.  In less than a year, NPR reached 13 million downloads for all of its podcast programming and reached more than 80 million downloads by February 2007.  NPR SVP for programming and audience development Anya Grundmann says, “We are honored to receive the Podcast Pioneer Award.  Podcasts have been a major source of innovation for NPR.  They have given our reporters the chance to flex their storytelling muscles, pursue creative ideas, and longer stories, and play with form in ways not always possible on a daily show.  They have also helped us connect with listeners in new ways and helped us evolve our sound.”

Adam Clanton Back on the Air in Houston. The Houston Chronicle’s David Barron reports that Houston sports talk personality Adam Clanton – who had been with iHeartMedia’s KBME until being fired last May – joins Entercom’s crosstown KILT-AM to host a regular Tuesday evening program with co-host (and KPRC-TV sports anchor) Adam Wexler as well as to handle fill-in and weekend air shifts.  Clanton tells Barron, “It’s nice to be out of radio purgatory and with a group of true professionals who have welcomed me (back) with open arms.  610 has been amazing to me, and sometimes life really does come full circle.  I’m excited going forward.”

WPGG, Atlantic City’s Harry Hurley Named to Insider NJ’s Top 100 Power List.  Atlantic City morning drive personality Harry Hurley was again named to Insider NJ’s “Top 100 Power List” – landing at #42 this year.  The publication says of Hurley, “The conservative talk radio show host loves politics and outshines most hosts with his uncanny ability to break news himself – not just opine about what other reporters write about first.  He remains very influential in South Jersey politics and is at the top of his game.”

Florida Recounts, Trump-Russia Investigation Status, Whitaker Appointment Challenge, Dow Drops 600 Points, California Wildfires, Michelle Obama Book Tour, Crenshaw ‘SNL’ Appearance, Stan Lee Dies, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/12).  The partisan fighting over the election recounts in Florida; the status of the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; legal questions about the appointment of Matthew Whitaker as acting Attorney General; the Dow dips 600 points; the deadly California wildfires that have claimed 42 lives; former First Lady Michelle Obama’s book tour for Becoming; Congressman-elect Dan Crenshaw’s appearance on “Saturday Night Live” a week after Pete Davidson’s joke about the war veteran’s missing eye; Marvel comics founder Stan Lee dies at 95; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Another “Breeze” is blowing, this time in Detroit as Entercom flips CHR WDZH to adult contemporary as “987 The Breeze.”  This comes on the heels of two recent flips to adult contemporary “Breezes” from iHeartMedia – KBEB, Sacramento and WISX, Philadelphia. Entercom Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon states, “We are excited to launch ‘987 The Breeze’ and to fill this void in the Motor City’s music scene.  We know the station will become a must-listen to make your work day breeze by.”…..Beasley Media Group – after cutting ties with morning personality Bigg Boy, moves afternoon personalities Gello and Joanna to AM drive as “The GELLO Show” and adds former AM drive co-host Shay-Shay to middays.  The station is on the search for an afternoon drive personality…..Urban One adds the WNOW, Indianapolis-based “Joe & Alex” show – Joe Piesz and Alex Clark – to the morning drive daypart on its Houston CHR KROI.  KROI program director Charese Fruge comments, “Joe and Alex are the perfect combination of caring and crazy, the comedy and quirkiness they bring to mornings is infections and is sure to be a treat for listeners in Houston.”…..iHeartCountry and Premiere Networks is offering unparalleled, multi-platform coverage of “The 52nd Annual CMA Awards” tomorrow (11/14).  In addition to programming leading up to the awards show, The Bobby Bones Show’s Amy Brown will provide iHeartCountry mainstream stations with live updates from the red carpet leading up to show time.  Premiere Networks will also provide a live radio simulcast of the CMA Awards show co-hosted by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

| August 28, 2018

News/Talk WGOW-FM, Chattanooga Cuts Ties with Jeff Styles. The longtime WGOW-FM, Chattanooga morning drive personality had been suspended by Cumulus Media after his arrest on aggravated assault charges stemming from a road rage incident on June 15.  Now, after the station’s internal investigation, Jeff Styles has been let go from the news/talk outlet.  A portion of the station’s statement says, “There is nothing more we can say about it because we do not know the specific considerations and scope of the internal investigation nor the specific findings of the internal investigation.”  Styles recently launched a website dedicated to telling his side of the story.  During the incident, Styles was shot in the arm by motorist Nickolas Bullington.  On the JeffStylesAmerica.com site, he lays out his explanation of what happened during the confrontation with Bullington and displays Bullington’s history of court appearances and motor vehicle violations.  Styles’ attorney had argued that there was no probable cause to charge Styles but the judge eventually bound the case over to a grand jury.  WGOW-FM’s “The Morning Press” show is being hosted by Jim Reynolds and program director Kevin West.

WABC, New York Launches ‘Sid Sports Sunday’ Program.  Beginning September 9, WABC, New York personality Sid Rosenberg debuts his new, weekly sports talk show, “Sid Sports Sunday” from 8:00 am to 10:00 am on Cumulus Media’s news/talk 77 WABC Radio.  Rosenberg co-hosts the station’s “Bernie and Sid in the Morning” program with Bernard McGuirk.  The station says the show “is created with the listener’s sports needs at its epicenter – from expert fantasy picks, to incredible player interviews, to live look-in’s at stadiums across the country.”  Cumulus Media New York VP/market manager Chad Lopez adds, “Our listeners and our advertisers have been begging for Sid to contribute to New York’s explosive sports conversation with more regularity.  ‘Sid Sports Sunday’ will cover it all every week.”  Rosenberg says, “I’m so proud of the work we do daily on the ‘Bernie and Sid in the Morning’ show. There is no better variety show in the country. But it is no secret that I wanted to get back to my roots and host a serious sports show. I want to thank Chad Lopez and [program director] Craig Schwalb for this wonderful opportunity.”

Annual WEEI-NESN Jimmy Fund Radiothon Raises More Than $4.4 million.  This year’s fundraiser was the 16th annual to benefit the Boston-based Jimmy Fund that supports adult and pediatric cancer care and research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.  WEEI launched the fundraiser in 2002, regional sports cable channel NESN joined the cause in 2003.  This year’s event helped raise more than $4.4 million and, to date, the “WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon” has raised more than $53 million.  Entercom Boston regional president and market manager Mark Hannon says, “The Jimmy Fund makes significant contributions to those battling cancer in the Boston area and we are proud to support its efforts through this yearly event.  It is an honor for our team to give back to the community by raising funds on behalf of the organization and we are blown away by the incredible generosity of WEEI listeners who make this event so successful year in and year out.”

Rich Brody to Wrap 45-Year Sales Career This October.  Currently serving as an account executive for Beasley Media Group’s classic hits WROR-FM, Boston, Richard Brody will retire from the radio business on October 26 after 45 years of service to the Boston radio industry.  The company says that in addition to being an “extraordinary and award-winning sales professional,” Brody is known as “a great mentor and friend, and fierce advocate for the radio industry as a whole.” During his career, Brody hosted a jazz program on WCAS, Cambridge and worked in the sales department at Boston stations including: WCOZ, WBCN, WVBF, WXKS “Kiss 108,” Mix 98.5 (now Mix 104.1), WZLX, WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” and, of course, WROR.  Beasley Media Boston GSM Jesse Carbone says, “When Richard Brody walked into my office a couple of weeks ago and said he was ready to retire, at first I didn’t believe him.  I didn’t think Rich would ever stop working, but after a few minutes I realized it was in fact true.  The guy who had spent more than four decades becoming a legend in the radio industry was finally ready to travel, visit family and friends, and hopefully sleep past 3:00 am.  Throughout his career, Rich not only sold the stations for which he worked but he also championed the medium with unmatched passion.  The radio industry will not be the same without him.”

Edison Research: 54% of Radio Listeners Hear Medium ONLY in the Car.  This data point is one of a number from Edison Research’s “Share of Ear” study that will be revealed during the company’s presentation at the NAB/RAB’s Radio Show in Orlando.  As you can see in the infographic above, the younger a consumer gets, the more they only hear radio in the car.  Find out more from Edison Research at its “Miles Different: In-Car Audio 2018” presentation on September 27 at 1:30 pm at the Radio Show.

NextRadio Available on New Samsung Galaxy Note9. The inclusion of an FM chip and the support for NextRadio by Samsung on its new Galaxy Note9 is thrilling for NextRadio, says NextRadio president Paul Brenner.  “The launch of the Samsung Galaxy Note9 is especially exciting, as this model is a showcase for premium technology and industry-defining innovation. We look forward to the Galaxy Note9 being available to millions of users who will be able to listen to free radio on their phone in North America…Through the free NextRadio app, Galaxy Note9 consumers can listen to live, local radio stations.  Also, when cellular coverage is congested or unavailable, the FM chip will provide life-saving information from local radio stations.”

iHeartMedia’s AUTOFLYTE EDGE Launched to Assist Auto Dealers in Marketing Decisions. This marketing tool for auto dealerships is a collaborative effort between iHeartMedia and AUTOFLYTE that features daily sales and market share data throughout each region to help dealerships market smarter and faster.  iHeartMedia says, “In an age when real-time analytics and insights are vital to a business’ success, dealerships have been confined to analyzing OEM reports and 60- to 90-day-old registration data to guide their sales and marketing strategies.  Now, for the first time, auto dealerships will be able to utilize iHeartMedia’s AUTOFLYTE EDGE tool to receive up-to-date, daily automotive sales insights from their surrounding area, allowing them to completely customize and quickly update their sales and marketing strategies based on current market dynamics and trends.” iHeartMedia EVP of automotive business developments & partnerships John Karpinski says, “We are committed to technology-driven innovation and having the ability to offer even more targeting solutions for our advertisers that leverage the unparalleled local reach of radio.  AUTOFLYTE has partnered with the industry authority for automotive sales statistics to create the most powerful and credible insights tool available and we have partnered with AUTOFLYTE to bring this revolutionary technology to the market. With the new AUTOFLYTE EDGE platform, we will provide our auto partners the ability to break free from previous automotive marketing confinements and use timely information to precisely target new buyers.”

TALKERS News Notes. WPEN-FM, Philadelphia executive producer Eric Camille is promoted to assistant program director for the Beasley Media Group sports talker. Camille joined “97.5 The Fanatic” in 2009.  Program director Eric Johnson says, “Eric Camille cares deeply about ‘The Fanatic.’  It shows in everything he does…whether it’s creating compelling imaging, making sure of all our on-air schedules are coordinated, or acting as a programming, sales and promotions liaison.  It’s a privilege to have him on our team.”…..The Federal Communications Commission is getting into the podcast game with a new series called, “More Than Seven Dirty Words,” designed to educate and, as the press release says, “maybe even do the impossible: make telecom interesting.” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai comments, “One of the wonderful things about the digital age is the many ways to share information, so we’re excited to launch this new FCC podcast.  What really has struck me during my time at the agency is the dedication that our staff has for the mission of the FCC, and I’m glad we’re able to shine a light on their efforts to make America a better, stronger place.”  The podcast is hosted by FCC policy advisor Evan Swarztrauber.  Guests will share their personal stories behind some of the headline-making news from the commission and break down issues across the spectrum of the FCC…..There are two management announcements from Midwest Communications as the company brings former NRG Media Omaha market manager Kurt Luchs aboard to oversee its five-station Kalamazoo cluster that includes news/talk WKZO and sports talk WQLR.  Also in Michigan, Midwest appoints Mark Jaycox manager of the four-station Lansing group that includes sports talk WQTX-FM.  Most recently, Jaycox was with Adams Outdoor’s Lansing office…..Kevin Gabbay joins news/talk 77 WABC, New York and the rest of the Cumulus Media New York cluster as director of marketing & promotions…..According to a report in Variety, ESPN is making some changes to the “Get Up!” morning program hosted by Mike Greenberg, Michelle Beadle, and Jalen Rose.  The story says Beadle is exiting the show and re-locating to Los Angeles to focus on her other ESPN duties, including hosting “NBA Countdown.”  Jalen Rose will continue to appear on “Get Up!” when his “NBA Countdown” duties allow.  Greenberg exited the successful ESPN Radio “Mike & Mike” show to take on the role hosting mornings on the company’s flagship cable channel…..SiriusXM is broadcasting live coverage of the 2018 US Open Tennis Championships from the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, New York…..Westwood One is continuing to urge all major commercial broadcast radio stations to register their existing C Band downlinks with the FCC before the Commission evaluates the 3.7-4.2 Ghz C Band for additional mobile broadband data services. These potential services could create insurmountable interference to programming that thousands of stations receive by satellite. The deadline for registration is now October 17, 2018.  Typically, registration requires a Frequency Coordination Study ($1,500) plus a $435 filing fee. During the 90-day window, the FCC waived the first fee and only the $435 filing fee applies. It is possible the FCC will later charge the $1,500 study fee. Westwood One’s satellite provider, SES, has set aside a pool of funding to reimburse those broadcasters for whom the $435 registration fee is a hardship. This reimbursement is subject to the terms set by SES for earth stations registered between July 25, 2018 and October 17, 2018 in the continental United States.  For questions, contact SES directly at FCCregistration@ses.com

John McCain’s Passing, Trump-Russia Investigation, Lanny Davis-CNN Story Controversy, Trump Announces U.S.-Mexico Trade Deal, Deadly Jacksonville Shooting, NFL Pre-season, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/27). The passing of Arizona Senator John McCain, the White House’s reaction, and speculation about who will fill his seat; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; Michael Cohen attorney Lanny Davis admits to being source of CNN story that claimed Trump had knowledge of Trump Tower-Russia meeting; President Trump announces steps toward new trade deal with Mexico; the aftermath of the deadly shooting at an egame competition in Jacksonville; the NFL’s pre-season; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

Chuck Fredrick to Lead Cumulus Indianapolis. Former iHeartMedia Cincinnati market manager Chuck Fredrick is joining Cumulus Media as vice president and market manager for its Indianapolis cluster that includes CHR WYRG, country WFMS, and classic hits WJJK.  Fredrick comments, “Grateful to Mary Berner and Dave Milner for giving me the opportunity to do what I love to do.  I am especially excited about joining and partnering with the Indianapolis team, giving our best in all that we do.”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Kansas City hot AC KZPT “99.7 The Point” announces its new morning show will be “Ponch & Nikki in the Morning” featuring Brian “Ponch” Hudgens and Nikki Vivas.  Ponch joins the Entercom station after working for 17 years at Steel City Media’s crosstown CHR KMVX “MIX 93.3.”  He says in a Facebook post, “I’m coming back to morning radio in Kansas City on ‘99.7 The Point!’  I will also continue my journey with Strange Music.  Managing, promoting, and developing some of the best artists on the planet!  Music and radio are two of my BIGGEST passions.  Being able to do both, I am literally living my dream.  As a bonus I get to do a morning show with one of my dearest/closest friends, Nikki Vivas!!!”…..Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that Lou Lombardo is the new midday jock at Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s rock WXRX, Rockford, Illinois.  Lombardo previously worked at Cumulus Media’s alt rock WKQX, Chicago…..News about the new morning show at Community Broadcasters-owned alternative WZLB, Fort Walton Beach “103.1 The Blaze” is expected soon as station program director Wes Styles announces the station has ended its carriage of the “Bubba the Love Sponge” program.  Styles comments, “We’re excited about the evolution of the station.  A new logo, voice, and morning show.  Things are happening at ‘THE BLAZE!’  And we are confident these changes will create a better listening experience for our devoted fans and an enhanced advertising environment for our clients.”…..Chicago radio pro LaMont WattsFuture Vision Entertainment is buying two FM translators from Windy City Broadcasting for $3.5 million.  They will be fed by an HD signal of SBS’ WLEY-FM and will air Watts’ “Clubsteppin” R&B format that currently airs online.  The translators are W236CF, Chicago (atop the Willis Tower) and W236BF licensed to suburban Bolingbrook.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

| May 1, 2018

iHeartMedia Releases Q4 2017 and Full Year Financial Figures. The company did not release its 2017 fourth quarter and full-year financial numbers at the usual time due to its status in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, but now gets permission from the court to do so.  For all of 2017, iHeartMedia’s consolidated revenue was $6.17 billion – down 1.4% from 2016.  Excluding the outdoor divisions (Americas Outdoor and International Outdoor), audio-focused iHeartMedia’s 2017 revenue was $3.44 billion – up 1.2% from 2016. For the fourth quarter of 2017, iHeartMedia was basically flat – up 0.3%.  In reviewing 2017, the company reports that growth in national revenue and other revenue were partially offset by lower local revenue. “National revenue grew due to an increase in national trade and barter, as well as increased sales in response to investment in our national platforms, including our programmatic buying platforms, primarily offset by a decrease in national traffic and weather revenue and lower political revenue.  Other revenue increased partially as a result of higher talent appearance fees. Local revenue decreased primarily as a result of lower spot and political revenue, partially offset by an increase in local trade and barter.”  See the filing here.

Bowen to Lead Sports Sales for Entercom in Chicago.  According to Chicago media writer Robert Feder, former Cumulus Chicago VP and market manager Peter Bowen is joining Entercom’s Windy City operations to serve as director of sports sales for sports talk outlet WSCR “The Score” plus play-by-play for Bears, Bulls, and Cubs broadcasts.  Feder notes that Bowen is rejoining some of his old CBS RADIO colleagues at WSCR.  Bowen was director of sales for CBS’ Chicago and Los Angeles markets prior to taking the Cumulus gig in 2015.

Edison Research Releases ‘The Infinite Dial: Heavy Radio Listeners’ Report. The 2018 edition of Edison Research’s “The Infinite Dial” looks at the media habits of American consumers and the “Heavy Radio Listeners” report “looks at the 30% of the American population ages 12 and over who are ‘Heavy Radio Listeners’ – defined as those who listened to more than one hour of radio in the last day.”  One of the findings is that one-fifth of radio’s biggest listeners currently own a smart speaker.  Edison Research president Larry Rosin says, “At this time of industry transition, it is vital that radio managers have high-quality research that represents the full U.S. population to use to understand their audiences.  This look at the ‘Heavy Radio Listener’ from Infinite Dial allows everyone to understand not just what other kinds of audio and media people are using, but how ‘Heavy Radio Listeners’ compare to the population at large.  Readers of this report will see that the qualitative profile of ‘Heavy Radio Listeners’ is very strong.  This is the kind of information that radio managers can show to agencies and clients with confidence in the quality of the data.” See more about the study here.

TALKERS News Notes. A new, Sunday podcast from Ben Shapiro becomes available this weekend as The Daily Wire and Westwood One launch “The Ben Shapiro Show Sunday Special.”  The idea behind the Sunday series is to provide more in-depth interviews, while not disrupting the fast-paced daily news format of the weekday show.  Shapiro says, “This show is going to be a long-form discussion about ideas with the nation’s best thinkers and biggest names. It’s all about enlightening and fascinating dialogue.  You can expect to know more when you’re done than you did when you hit play, and I’m supremely excited to be working with Westwood One to bring these conversations to listeners.  Even better, current Ben Shapiro Show subscribers don’t even need to hit a separate button to listen – these episodes will show up in their feed.”…..A round of cost-cutting changes have taken place at Salem Media Group’s RedState.com conservative media site.  According to CNN’s Brian Stelter, an internal memo from Townhall general manager Jonathan Garthwaite states: “We had to make some tough changes to RedState today.  While these changes are painful, they were necessary once we reached the conclusion that we could no longer support the entire roster of writers and editors.”  The CNN report cites a number of people associated with the site saying that although bloggers are paid based on “per-click” rate, those who were more “pro-Trump” survived the round of cuts.  RedState.com was founded 13 years ago by Erick Erickson, who hosts the 5:00 pm “Atlanta’s Evening News” on Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta.  It was acquired by Salem as part of the Townhall Media addition to its portfolio…..“The Soul Brother Kevin Show” is the new evening program on Cox Media Group’s hot talk WHPT, Tampa “102.5 The Bone.”  The program airs from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm an features Soul Brother Kevin, A Cat Named Moe and Geo.  CMG Tampa director of branding and programming John Brennan says, “Kevin is a dynamic and special radio talent.  He has strong opinions and is unbelievably funny – the most important tools needed to host on ‘102.5 The Bone.’  I’m very excited to hear him on the host mic!”…..The Houston Chronicle’s Dave Barron reports that sports talk radio pro Adam Clanton has exited iHeartMedia’s KBME where he was co-host of the afternoon drive show with Jayson Braddock and Sean Jones.  Barron writes that neither iHeartMedia nor Clanton have commented publicly on his departure.  In the Houston market, Clanton has served with sports talk outlets KILT-AM and KGOW-AM.…..This weekend’s 144th running of the Kentucky Derby is being covered for radio by Westwood One in conjunction with NBC Sports Radio and the Horse Racing Radio NetworkMike Penna of the Horse Racing Radio Network anchors the Kentucky Derby coverage and will be joined by analyst and Keeneland announcer Kurt Becker.  Longtime horse race owner and radio executive Dan Mason, and horse racing reporter Tom Leach, will contribute to the coverage, while former jockey Jeff Bloom will serve as trackside reporter.

Alpha Media’s Bill McElveen Presented with BFoA’s Ward L. Quaal Leadership Award. Pictured above receiving the Ward L. Quaal Leadership Award from the Broadcasters Foundation of America is Alpha Media executive vice president Bill McElveen (center).  Presenting the award to him are BFoA chairman Dan Mason (left) and BFoA president Jim Thompson (right).  The Ward L. Quaal Leadership Award recognizes career contributions to the broadcast industry. McElveen says, “It is a great honor to receive the Ward L. Quaal Award for lifetime leadership to our industry.  I am grateful for all the mentors and coaches I’ve had throughout my career and I am thrilled to accept this award on behalf of my Alpha Media family.”

Chuck Harder Dead at 74.  Talk radio host Chuck Harder died on April 10 at age 74, according to a story published at WorldNetDaily.  Harder was a pioneer in the early days of talk radio syndication with his Sun Radio Network and his Tampa-based “For The People” talk radio program.  Harder’s regular involvement in the talk radio business was sporadic in recent years with health issues reportedly taking their toll on him.

Stormy Daniels Sues Donald Trump, White House Correspondents Dinner, Israel Claims Proof Iran Cheats on Nuclear Deal, Mexico Border Security/Caravan Asylum Seekers, Trump-Russia Investigation, North-South Korea Talks, Rising Gas Prices, MLB Action and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/30).  Porn star Stormy Daniels sues President Donald Trump for defamation; criticism of comedian Michelle Wolf’s routine at Saturday’s White House Correspondents Dinner; Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claims proof Iran is defying nuclear weapons restrictions; security at the U.S.-Mexico border and the status of caravan asylum-seekers; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the peace talks between North and South Korea; the steadily rising price of oil; Major League Baseball and NBA playoffs action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Country programming pro Ginny “Rogers” Brophy is the new program director at iHeartMedia’s WBWL, Boston “101.7 The Bull.”  iHeartMedia Boston SVP of programming Dylan Sprague says, “If you are doing country in Boston you better have Ginny on your team.  She is a great leader with years of success under her belt.  She is uniquely connected to the country music scene in both Nashville and New England, and most importantly, she is a fierce competitor who is eager to win.  We can’t wait to see what Ginny and the entire ‘Bull’ team can do together.”…..In the Kansas City market, Cumulus Media adds program director duties for alternative KCJK “X105.1” to the responsibilities of KCHZ-FM “95.7 The Vibe” PD and afternoon host Mike O’Reilly.  At the same time, the company announces that Al Payne joins the cluster to program urban AC KMJK. Kansas City native O’Reilly began his career at KCHZ in 1997.  He was named PD of the station in 2015.  Payne comes to Cumulus from his most recent gig with Beasley Media Group’s classic hip hop and R&B WMGC, Detroit “105.1 The Bounce.”  Cumulus Media Midwest RVP and KC market manager Donna Baker says, “Mike O’Reilly’s exceptional knowledge of these formats, passion to win, and respect as a leader on our team and in our community have earned this well-deserved promotion.  He is one of the best in the business.  Al Payne brings proven leadership with a clear vision of winning to the helm of our talented ‘Magic 107.3’ team. He is the perfect choice to rekindle KMJK to a new level of success.”…..Entercom announces that Kyle Matthews joins KFRG, Riverside “K-FROG” as midday air personality and imaging director. Southern California native Matthews says, “I couldn’t be more excited to be headed home to do what I love with a station that I’ve always wanted to work for.  Entercom Riverside has made a great impact within the community and I’m looking forward to being part of it.”  Matthews most recently served with NRG Media in Lincoln, Nebraska…..Albany country outlet WKLI-FM “100.9 The Cat” unveiled its new morning show today (5/1) with new co-host Kristina Carlyle partnering with station midday personality Pete Kelly for the “K.C. and Kelly in the Morning” program.   Carlyle joins the 6 Johnson Road Licenses station from Scripps’ country KVOO, Tulsa.  Station general manager A.J. Bodden says, “We could not be more excited about this dynamic duo taking over the airwaves and knocking the socks off ‘Cat’ listeners every morning. Kristina is an industry veteran with a tremendous track record that will be the perfect complement to Pete’s energy and enthusiasm.  Together they will bring a renewed energy and fresh sound to the mornings on ‘100.9 The Cat, Albany’s #1 for New Country.’”  The station moves morning host Kevin Richards to the midday slot to make room for the new show…..iHeartMedia Tampa Bay announces that Brandon “Buster” Satterfield is the new assistant program director for CHR WFLZ, Miami “93.3 FLZ.”  In this role, Satterfield will be responsible for the station’s music and programming content, as well its personalities and digital extensions.  He’ll report to WFLZ PD and iHM Tampa SVP of programming Tommy Chuck, who comments, “We’ve had our eyes on Buster for several years, so I’m excited – we’re lucky to have him join our team in Tampa Bay.  He’s creative, driven, and has performed at a high level during all of his previous stops.  Now, with all of the tools, resources and talent around him at iHeartMedia, I can’t wait to see how much of a winner he will be!”…..Morning personality Stacy Barton exits the morning show at Tyler Broadcasting’s adult contemporary KMGL, Oklahoma City “Magic 104.1” to spend more time with her family.  The morning show will continue with Steve O’Brien and “Magic Man” Jeff Roberts as “Steve and the Magic Man.”…..iHeartMedia is again presenting the iHeartRadio Music Festival on September 21 and 22 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, along with its Daytime Stage, that will take place at the Las Vegas Festival Grounds on Saturday.  The Daytime Stage will feature live performances by both popular and emerging artists including first-revealed performers: Dua Lipa, 5 Seconds of Summer, Lil Uzi Vert, Dustin Lynch, Bazzi, Belly, Bobby Bones and the Raging Idiots, and Greta Van Fleet with more to be announced.  The main stage performance lineup for the 2018 iHeartRadio Music Festival will be announced at a later date…..Moyes Research Associates says it is now offering its ratings building services to stations in smaller markets.  MRA managing partner Bill Moyes says, “Lots of managers would love to achieve the ratings success of MORE-FM at Jerry Lee Radio’s WBEB, Philadelphia – a 38-year client of Moyes Research. Now, after more than three years of development work, we’re able to bring that kind of success to smaller markets at a price they can afford.  The success of MORE-FM is based on three elements: a strong brand, the secrets of an effective brand introduction, and a music product that is guided by research with format clocks and categories to rotate the music in a way that maximizes listening.  You have to have all three of those ingredients to win.”  Moyes says they tested a pilot program on Nicolet Broadcasting’s WRKU, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin and the station has realized a 400% audience increase since then.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

| April 24, 2018

Hannity Named to TIME Magazine’s ‘100 Most Influential.’ Talk radio and talk television superstar Sean Hannity is named to TIME Magazine’s list of the “100 Most Influential People of 2018.”  The annual list highlights “pioneers, leaders, titans, artists and icons with insights from peers and contemporaries detailing the honoree’s impact” and the Premiere Networks and FOX News Channel personality is listed in the “leaders” section.  Each list-maker’s entry is written by a fellow celebrity or newsmaker.  Hannity’s entry is written by former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who says: “Sean Hannity has a remarkable impact between three hours of radio and an hour of TV every day.  His fans listen to him and learn from him.  One of his biggest fans is President Donald Trump, who routinely watches the TV show and talks with Sean as a fellow New Yorker.  Hannity played a major role in helping Trump get the nomination and win the general election.  Sean is both a principled conservative and a ferocious opponent of the left and the deep state.  He has made and is making a difference.”  See the whole list here.

New York Media on a ‘Mike Francesa Watch.’That New York sports talk icon Mike Francesa misses being on the radio talking sports is no secret – he’s said as much publicly.  But is he, as the New York Post puts it, “desperate?” The Post’s Andrew Marchand writes that Francesa is “desperately” trying to get back on the New York airwaves four months after retiring from the afternoon drive gig at Entercom’s WFAN-AM/FM “The Fan.”  Marchand reports that sources indicate he’s talked with ESPN about a gig on WEPN and iHeartMedia about a sports talk show on WOR.  When asked by Marchand about a return to WFAN, he replied, “I’m not answering questions about any specific stations.” See the Post piece here.

Freund Joins PodcastOne as Co-COO.  Digital media and sales pro Billy Freund (left) is joining PodcastOne as co-chief operating officer, based in Beverly Hills. Freund will work with fellow COO, East Coast-based Greg Batusic.  In making the announcement, PodcastOne founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz (right) says, “Billy – his actual legal name – and I worked together at Westwood One for several years.  He understands the space, and his background – not only in sales but also technology, operations and affiliations – will provide us with even more unique and valuable input to power the growth of the company.”  Freund’s experience includes time spent with Chancellor Media and the Katz Media Group, Westwood One/Metro Networks, and his work co-founding Triton Digital Media.  He later served with Clip Interactive.   Freund comments, “I am very excited to join the PodcastOne team, working shoulder-to-shoulder with Norman Pattiz, Kit Gray, and Greg Batusic to continue the company’s explosive growth across its 250 exclusive podcast programs and highly effective, non-cluttered advertising environment in more than 2.9 billion annual user sessions.”

TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated radio talk show “Phil’s Gang” featuring host Phil Grande – is added to the program schedule at KCAA, Loma Linda, California.  Program executive producer Thomas Biggs Sr. says, “Over two decades now, radio listeners consistently turn to Phil Grande and his ‘Phil’s Gang’ show for the most up-to-date market business news and what Wall Street will not tell you.  We are always looking to partner with the strongest programming affiliates and we are excited to be teaming up with KCAA Radio.”…..The news division of Westwood One is being honored with the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi award from The Society of Professional Journalists for its breaking news coverage of the Las Vegas concert shooting last October 1.  The “Radio Breaking News Reporting Award” recognizes “resourceful and complete coverage of a major breaking news event, emphasizing both deadline reporting and continuing coverage as the story develops over succeeding days.”  Westwood One News says that its winning entry “represents the scope and scale of Westwood One News coverage, including on-scene reporting by lead correspondent Jim Roope and contributions from the entire Westwood One News staff.”…..The Virginia Associated Press Broadcasters Association is honoring Hubbard Radio’s WTOP-FM, Washington with nine awards – including five first place finishes.  WTOP was recognized for Best Website and Best On-Air Newscast.  WTOP director of news and programming Mike McMearty says, “We are proud of the work our team does as a whole to provide relevant news coverage, in a timely and creative fashion. We all share in these awards and consider our successes as a team, a testament to the work we do each day in an effort to serve our community.”…..ABC News names Amy Robach the new, permanent co-anchor for its “20/20” news magazine program.  She’ll work alongside current anchor David Muir…..SiriusXM is providing coverage of this week’s 2018 NFL Draft.  In addition to broadcasting round-by-round coverage of the draft itself, SiriusXM will present four days of special programming, live from Arlington, Texas featuring the on-site broadcast team of: Gil BrandtPat Kirwan, Jim Miller, Phil SavageMark Dominik, Jason Horowitz, and Alex Marvez.

Radio News Pro Reid Collins Dies.  Radio news pro Reid Collins has died at age 88.  Collins spent 20 years of his career with CBS Radio Network – a stint that saw him serve as anchor for the network’s flagship news program, “CBS World News Roundup.”  Prior to his time with CBS, he worked at such signals as WHAM, Rochester and WNEW-AM, New York.  After leaving CBS, he served with CNN.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Deadly Toronto Van Attack, Trump-Macron Meeting, Iran Nuclear Deal, Waffle House Killer Apprehended, Pompeo Nomination, Kanye West’s Trump Support, and MLB and NBA Playoff Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/23).  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the van attack in Toronto that took the lives of 10; the meeting in Washington between French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte and President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania; President Trump’s threat to exit the nuclear deal with Iran; alleged Waffle House shooter Travis Reinking is apprehended; the confirmation process for Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo; the controversy over Kanye West’s professed love of President Trump; and Major League Baseball and NBA playoffs action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley Named TALKERS Woman of the Year. The TALKERS editorial board has announced this morning (4/20) that Caroline Beasley has been named the 2018 recipient of the TALKERS Woman of the Year award. The award (officially titled “The Judy Jarvis Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Radio Industry by a Woman”) will be presented to Beasley at the forthcoming national talk media industry convention TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! in New York City on Friday, June 8 during her morning fireside chat with Michael Harrison. Caroline Beasley was appointed chief executive officer of Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc. on January 1, 2017, previously serving as interim chief executive officer from March 18, 2016 until December 31, 2016 and as executive vice president, chief financial officer, treasurer and secretary beginning in 1994. Beasley has served as a director of Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc. since she joined the company in 1983. Over her tenure prior to 1994, she was employed in various positions, including business manager, assistant controller and corporate controller. She also serves as the joint board chair of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) board of directors and is a past chair of the NAB radio board. In addition, she is of the BMI board of directors and the Broadcasters Foundation of America board of directors. Beasley received the 2016 “Distinguished Service Award” from the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters and was the 2012 recipient of the “Frances Preston Trailblazer Award” from the Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio Group (MIW), a national organization dedicated to promoting the advancement of women to senior positions in the radio industry. Harrison states, “Caroline Beasley is an extraordinarily bright rising star among the captains of industry in the radio business and one of the most influential executives operating with a realistic vision of what this medium can do and where it is heading. She was born and raised in a great media family and has had a bird’s-eye view of all the changes this business has gone through since her legendary dad started it as a small family enterprise. Radio is in her DNA.” Recipients of the prestigious award include: Mary Berner, Ginny Morris, Julie Talbott, Robin Quivers, Robin Bertolucci, Heather Cohen, Grace Blazer, Laurie Cantillo, Stephanie Miller, Randi Rhodes, Laura Ingraham, Kim Komando, Adriane Gaines, Lynn Distler, Lisa Evers, Gloria Allred, and more going all the way back to 2000 when it was originally presented posthumously to pioneering talk show host, Judy Jarvis. For information about TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! please click here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The Los Angeles-based “The Woody Show” returns to the San Francisco market after a four-year absence.  But this addition to the program’s roster is not an iHeartMedia station, it’s Cumulus’ KFOG.  Beginning April 30, Premiere Networks’ “The Woody Show” with Woody, Ravey, Greg, Menace, and Sebas will be heard on KFOG and KFFG, Los Altos (San Jose market) from 5:00 am to 10:00 am.  KFOG program director Matt Bates says, “The opportunity to align KFOG with such unique and compelling talent doesn’t come along often.  We recognized this and locked them in.  As a fan of ‘The Woody Show,’ it’s remarkable that it’s taken this long for them to have a major platform from which they can take back the Bay.  ‘The Woody Show’ represents that bright and entertaining spot in our morning routine. YOU KNOW!”…..iHeartMedia is rewarding KISQ, San Francisco “The Breeze” morning personality Jack Kulp for his success as co-host of “The Morning Breeze” with Carolyn McArdle with a contract extension.  At the same time, the company happily boasts the two-year-old adult contemporary station is “the #1 music station in total audience share (6+) — up from # 17 when it was a rhythmic oldies station.”   iHeartMedia SVP of programming for the San Francisco region Don Parker says, “Launching ‘The Breeze’ was a game-changer for KISQ.  The station’s steady growth pattern to # 1 station in the market, surpassing such an iconic brand as heritage KOIT, is a direct result of the right mixture of programming and talent that resonates well with the Bay Area community.  Ricci Filiar, the station’s program director, has really done a fantastic job establishing ‘The Breeze’ as one of the Bay’s premiere radio stations.  We are also thrilled to extend our relationship with talent like Jack who joined the station at launch and continues to build a strong relationship with our listeners.”…..Cumulus Media promotes Adam “Kash” Kashner to assistant program director for country WFMS, Indianapolis.  Kash retains his roles as on-air host, weekends/fill-ins on WFMS and on sister classic hits WJJK.  Cumulus Indy VP and market manager Tom Stemlar says, “Adam is an essential piece of our programming, sales and marketing organizations and I couldn’t be more excited that he’s decided to continue his career at Cumulus Indianapolis as APD of WFMS.”…..iHeartMedia elevates media management and sales pro Aaron Hyland to market president for the company’s Baltimore market, including country WPOC, CHR WZFT, adult hits WQSR, and Gospel WCAO-AM.  Hyland will also continue to oversee sales for the Washington, D.C. region as regional senior vice president.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

| April 10, 2018

KFTK-FM, St. Louis Morning Host Jamie Allman Leaves TV Show Gig After Controversial Tweet.  If you guessed that this involves Parkland, Florida student David Hogg, you are correct. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that KFTK-FM, St. Louis morning show host Jamie Allman Tweeted a statement regarding Hogg, who is seen as the face of the student-led movement to change gun laws in Florida in the aftermath of the deaths of 17 students at the hands of Nikolas Cruz.  He wrote, “I’ve been hanging out getting ready to ram a hot poker up David Hogg’s ass tomorrow.”  As the paper reports, the context of Allman’s Tweet is unclear as his account has been locked.  Allman, in addition to his radio show, hosted “The Allman Report” on Sinclair Broadcast Group’s KDNL-TV “ABC 30,” but The Hollywood Reporter states that he resigned that gig after the backlash that included a number of advertisers reportedly dropping their ad campaigns on the TV station.  Allman continues to host his morning show on news/talk KFTK-FM.  The station is being operated under an LMA by Entercom as it is buying the station from Emmis Communications.

Entercom’s ’97.3 The Machine’ in San Diego Goes All Comedy/Rock; Sileo and ‘The Men’s Room’ Off the Air.  Local sports talker Dan Sileo and the Seattle-based “The Men’s Room” were both off the air on Entercom’s KEGY, San Diego “97.3 The Machine” yesterday, and likely will be today as well, as the status of the erstwhile sports talk/hot talk hybrid remains in question.  As of this morning, the station continues to play comedy bits and rock music.  If you’ve been following this story, you know that the ill-advised Tweet by Kevin Klein – hired to host the morning show – that used a picture of San Diego’s Coronado bridge and poking fun at its history of being a site of many suicides left his status with the station up in the air.  The San Diego Padres – for whom the station serves as their flagship for play-by-play – were upset with the station and publicly questioned their desire to continue with KEGY.  The absence of Sileo and “The Men’s Room” from the air seems to indicate Entercom is planning an overhaul of the station, but what form the station will take when the smoke clears is not known.  There is speculation the station will emerge as a traditional sports talk outlet.  Stay tuned.

Andy Bloom Named Operations Manager at Entercom’s Twin Cities Cluster. Programming pro Andy Bloom is returning to his hometown(s) to serve as operations manager for Entercom’s Minneapolis-St. Paul cluster that includes news/talk WCCO-AM, country KMNB “Buz’n @ 102.9” and adult hits KZJK “104.1 JACK FM.” Entercom Twin Cities SVP and market manager Shannon Knoepke says, “Andy has a successful track record programming radio stations and we are looking forward to having him join our Twin Cities team.  He has a clear understanding of our operational vision and is skilled at implementing winning business strategies.”  Bloom is certainly well known to Entercom EVP of programming Chris Oliviero, with whom he worked at CBS RADIO.  Oliviero came over to Entercom with the acquisition of the CBS RADIO stations by Entercom.  Bloom was most recently programming CBS’ Philly stations, including sports talk WIP-FM and news/talk WPHT.

FOX News Radio to Launch Early Evening “Benson and Harf” Program.  This new nightly show from FOX News Radio will emanate from the company’s newly named Tony Snow Radio Studio in Washington, DC and will co-star Guy Benson and Marie Harf.  The 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm ET “Benson and Harf” show will feature nightly expert guests to “discuss the news of the day and engage in powerful debate, providing fast-paced, thoughtful discourse on relevant stories pertaining to politics, media and culture.”  Benson joined FNC in 2013 and provides political commentary across FNC and FOX Business Network’s daytime and primetime programming.  Harf joined the network in 2017 to offer national security and political analysis across FNC and FBN’s daytime and primetime programming.  Most recently, Harf served as the senior adviser for strategic communications to Secretary of State John Kerry and previously held the position of deputy spokesperson for the State Department from July 2013 until May 2015.

Michael Clemente Named CEO of Newsmax Broadcasting. The Newsmax Broadcasting segment of Newsmax Media, Inc. airs the Newsmax TV channel.  The company announces that television executive Michael Clemente is joining the fold as CEO of Newsmax Broadcasting.  Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy says, “Michael is one of the most accomplished executives and producers in television and digital news.  He is widely respected in the industry and has won accolades for his high journalistic standards.  It’s an honor for us to have him leading our team.”  Clemente was with FOX News Channel for the past seven years as EVP of news.  In that capacity he oversaw all news programming, including live events, breaking news, documentaries, and specials.  He’s also served as senior producer for ABC’s “World News Tonight” and was executive producer of live and breaking news at CNN.  Clemente comments, “Newsmax has demonstrated the ability to adapt and thrive in the highly transformative digital news world and was one of the first major online outlets to create a TV brand in cable and OTT.  I’m excited to take on this new role at Newsmax during an incredible period of change, in a country eager for truth, understanding, and engagement in the news process.”

TALKERS News Notes.  Next Monday (4/16), the simulcast of WPEN-FM, Philadelphia’s afternoon program – “The Mike Missanelli Show” – begins on NBC Sports Philadelphia.  The program airs on Beasley Media Group’s “97.5 The Fanatic” from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm daily, but the TV simulcast will end at 5:00 pm followed by the “Philly Sports Talk” show on NBC Sports.  Missanelli says, “I’m extremely excited to be joining forces with NBC Sports Philadelphia. ‘97.5’ led the way in town to bring sports talk radio to the FM airwaves and now we are so looking forward to bringing it to television.  The show will continue to provide the very best in sports analysis and fun, entertaining radio.  I can’t wait for everyone to become part of it.”…..Boston television news figure Tony Pepper died at age 79 in the Boston suburb of Newton after complications from diabetes and heart disease.  In addition to his years spent on WBZ-TV, he co-hosted a talk radio program with Janet Jeghelian on WRKO-AM, Boston for two years in the early 1980s…..In conjunction with NBC Sports and NBC Sports Radio, Westwood One is presenting live, play-by-play audio coverage of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, beginning tomorrow (4/11).  Kenny Albert – play-by-play – and Joe Micheletti – analyst – are serving as Westwood One/NBC Sports Radio’s lead broadcast crew and will call the 2018 Stanley Cup Final and select playoff games…..WPHT, Philadelphia morning host Chris Stigall is pictured at left in a screen grab of his most recent appearance on FOX News Channel.  Stigall says that in the Trump era, “FOX News knows one of the president’s most important constituency groups is talk radio.”  He’s been making regular appearances on FNC commenting on the Keystone State, how the 2018 mid-terms may play out, the special House race in PA-18, and how trade issues could affect Pennsylvania…..In the photo below, WGOW-FM, Chattanooga “Talk Radio 102.3” midday personality Brian Joyce is throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at the Chattanooga Lookouts-Birmingham Barons AA baseball game.  Joyce – who is also heard in afternoons on Cumulus Media’s sister Atlanta news/talker WYAY-FM “Talk 106.7” – says he warmed up a bit in the bull pen to avoid “air-mailing the first pitch.”  Coincidentally, Joyce played four years of Division 1 college baseball in his younger days.

‘Yappy Tour’ Rolls Into Academia.   Pictured above lecturing a college class in “journalism convergence” at Highpoint University in Highpoint, NC this morning (4/10) is Bernadette Duncan, author of one of the most-discussed radio books in the talk media industry, Yappy Days: Behind the Scenes with Newsers, Boozers, Schmoozers and Losers (Talkers Books, 2016).  Duncan, a former producer, chronicles her 26 years as the woman behind the glass on shows hosted by such legends as Sally Jessy RaphaelLarry KingTom SnyderLou DobbsGil GrossCharles Osgood and others, covering a large swath of modern talk radio’s pre- and post-9/11 “golden era.”  Plus, she tells stories about behind-the-scenes encounters with hundreds of quirky guests from the worlds of show business, politics, media, business and literature including: Donald TrumpOmarosa ManigaultDavid LettermanJoe BidenMike HuckabeeGeraldo RiveraJoan Rivers and dozens more.  Due to the strong response by hosts around the world to both the subject and Duncan’s lively air presence, the “Yappy Tour” has continue to roll on into 2018, sponsored by TALKERS magazine.  Duncan has already appeared on more than 130 local and syndicated programs since the book’s release in September of 2016.  Now, based on the book’s success and positive recognition, she has been invited to guest-lecture at colleges and universities advising students how to break into the radio business and carve out a career in producing and journalism.  In the past two months, she has spoken at such schools as Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY; Asnuntuck Community College in Enfield, CT;  American International College in Springfield, MA; and Bay Path University in Longmeadow, MA.   Hosts, shows and schools interested in booking Bernadette Duncan can do so by calling Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

FBI Raids Trump Attorney Cohen’s Office, Trump-Russia Investigation, U.S.-Syria Military Policy/Chemical Attack, Zuckerberg Congressional Testimony, Rick Scott Senate Bid, Kimmel-Hannity Feud, Mexican Border Security, U.S.-China Tariffs, and MLB and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/9). The FBI executes warrants on Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen after receiving information from special counsel Robert Mueller; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the Trump administration’s military policy in Syria and the recent, deadly chemical attack on civilians; Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify before Congress on Cambridge Analytica data usage; Republican Florida Governor Rick Scott to challenge Democrat Bill Nelson for U.S. Senate seat; the war of words between Jimmy Kimmel and Sean Hannity over the former’s poking fun at First Lady Melania Trump; Trump’s plan to use the U.S. military to defend the Mexican border from illegals; the threat of a tariff war between the U.S. and China; and MLB and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Country radio programming pro Lance Houston is named PD for iHeartMedia Chicago’s WEBG, Chicago “BIG 95.5.”  Houston – who joins the Windy City operations of iHM from the company’s WBWL, Boston “101.7 The Bull” – will also serve as midday personality.  Houston reports to Tommy Austin, SVP of programming for iHeartMedia’s Chicago Region…..Programmer John Richards is the new program director at iHeartMedia’s country WQIK, Jacksonville.  In this position, Richards is also taking on programming duties at the company’s WTNT, Tallahassee and WPAP, Panama City, Florida.   Richards says, “I’m excited to be back in Jacksonville at WQIK.  I have history with the brand, and now another opportunity to add something to its tapestry.  The management team is terrific, and the staff is passionate.  It really shows in the quality of the product.  I appreciate the opportunity to contribute.”  Richards was most recently market president and iHeartMedia’s Corpus Christi and Harlingen-Brownsville-McAllen, Texas markets…..Westwood One is launching a new, weekly syndicated Saturday program called “Jayde,” starring Jayde Donovan.  Donovan is well-known as co-host of the WPLJ, New York morning show, host for the “Westwood One Backstage” broadcasts and her various television endeavors.  WWO says the new, three-hour show is “an upbeat, fun, and empowering show built for Saturday mornings to target the fierce, fabulous women who are doing it all – even if that means they are still wearing yesterday’s make-up while driving carpool to soccer practice.  The show will be a mix of interviews with celebrity moms, real life stories that inspire, and great music, all creating the perfect cocktail for a young, fresh, and inspired female-driven radio show.”…..iHeartMedia Seattle radio personality Marty Riemer – morning show co-host at KJR-FM “95.7 The Jet,” is being featured in an upcoming episode of HGTV’s “House Hunters International.”  Riemer works on air from Germany to join co-host Jodi Brothers for the “Marty & Jodi Show.”  The HGTV program addresses the Riemer family’s decision to move to Berlin, Germany, Marty’s experience co-hosting a cohesive morning program from Germany, and how the family met their unique balance of needs – including a central city location, reliable internet connection, and proximity to their children’s school…..In honor of Elvis Duran being inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame, Sierra Automated Systems presented the Premiere Networks syndicated morning host with a gold “Hall of Fame Edition” iSL console (pictured below) at the NAB Show in Las Vegas.  From left to right are: Elvis Duran, “Shotgun” Tom Kelly, and SAS president Eddie Fritz.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

| April 3, 2018

Day Four of Where’s Kevin Klein?  The website for Entercom’s sports/guy talk/rock hybrid still lists Kevin Klein as morning drive host.  In fact, it says he’s on the air now.  But, he’s not; the station is still playing rock music as of this morning.  Klein was supposed to start his morning show stint on KEGY, San Diego “97.3 The Machine” last Thursday.  But, after the ill-fated Tweet poking fun at the city’s Coronado Bridge and its history as a site of so many suicides, Klein’s fate appears to be up in the air.  The station is the flagship for San Diego Padres baseball, but the team was upset with the Tweet as well as the station’s general tenor, according to recent local media reports.  Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler last week told the Union Tribune that the team would get through the opening series of the season and then “sit down and evaluate it,” meaning the team’s relationship with the station.  It seems safe to assume that Entercom and the Padres are still in discussions about their deal.  Programming execs may be re-evaluating the station’s image, or they could be waiting for the issue to blow over.

FNC Backs Laura Ingraham with Strong Statement. Despite reports of advertisers fleeing FOX News Channel’s “The Ingraham Angle” program starring Laura Ingraham, FNC co-president Jack Abernethy issued a strong statement in support of her.  As talk media watchers are aware, Ingraham’s social media comments about Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School senior David Hogg’s college applications drew criticism from some quarters.  Hogg posted a list of Ingraham’s advertisers, suggesting a boycott, and the feud gained momentum.  Ingraham is on a planned vacation this week, and Abernethy issued the following statement: “We cannot and will not allow voices to be censored by agenda-driven intimidation efforts.  We look forward to having Laura Ingraham back hosting her program next Monday when she returns from spring vacation with her children.”  Read Variety’s take on the matter here.

Former WWTN-FM, Nashville Morning Host Ralph Bristol to Run for Nashville Mayor.  According to a report in The Tennessean, former WWTN-FM, Nashville “SuperTalk 99.7” morning host Ralph Bristol will run as a Republican in the August election for the Nashville mayoral position.  Megan Barry recently resigned from the mayor’s office after pleading guilty to felony theft over $10,000 in connection with her extra-marital affair with her former security chief.  The 68-year-old Bristol tells that paper that he left his gig with Cumulus Media’s WWTN due to and “editorial difference of opinions” with station management.  (Brian Wilson recently assumed AM drive duties at the station.)  Bristol is opposed to a $9 billion transit bill that is intended to alleviate Nashville’s traffic problems and is banking on his opposition to the controversial proposal to fuel his campaign.

Longtime Washington News Pro Connie Lawn Dies at 73.  News pro Connie Lawn died this morning at her home in Falls Church, Virginia at age 73 after a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease.  Lawn was the longest-credentialed member of the White House press corps, having served for 50 years.  Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup says Lawn served with him during the 1990s at USA Radio Network and, more recently, worked for SRN News on a part-time basis.  Tradup says he told his staff, “All of us at SRN News and TOWNHALL News send our condolences to Connie’s husband, Dr. Charles Sneiderman, and to her many friends and colleagues throughout the radio news industry.  She was one-in-a-million.”

TALKERS News Notes. Tomorrow (4/4), SiriusXM is honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King on the anniversary of his assassination in Memphis 50 years ago.  SiriusXM host and human rights activist Joe Madison will broadcast his daily show live from Ben’s Chili Bowl.  The popular D.C. restaurant was frequented by Dr. King during his life and remained open during the riots that ensued following his assassination.  Other programming will take place across the satcaster’s Progress and POTUS channels…..Westwood One is presenting coverage of the 2018 Masters Tournament this Thursday through Sunday.  In addition to hole-by-hole coverage, Westwood One will present hourly updates and a nightly, half-hour preview and recap show, “The Masters Tonight.”  Bob Papa and Charlie Rymer are the anchors for live coverage from Augusta National Golf Club…..ESPN Deportes Radio (WEPN-AM, New York) launches a new, local afternoon show called “Zona NYC,” airing from 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm, hosted by Tenchy Rodriquez and Nestor Rosario.   ESPN says the show will focus on the sports themes most relevant to the New York City Hispanic community.  Rodriquez brings years of experience as a reporter in the Dominican Republic covering MLB and Dominican League Baseball.  Rosario serves as Spanish-language color commentator for the New York Mets and as play-by-play announcer for the New York Giants.

Trump Mexico Criticism, U.S.-China Tariffs, Financial Markets Activity, Trump-Russia Investigation, Ingraham-Hogg Feud, Iran Nukes Deal, Steven Bochco and Winnie Mandela Die, NCAA Championship Game, and MLB and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/2).  U.S. immigration policy and President Trump’s criticism of Mexico’s policing of illegal immigration; China slaps tariffs on U.S. goods in response to President Trump’s tariffs on Chinese exports; Monday’s sharp Dow drop and the financial markets’ responses to U.S. policy; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the feud between FOX News Channel personality Laura Ingraham and Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg; criticism of the Iran nuclear deal from Israel and Saudi Arabia; the deaths of television producer/writer Steven Bochco and Nelson Mandela’s ex-wife Winnie Mandela; Monday night’s NCAA championship game between Villanova and Michigan; and MLB and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERSmagazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Detroit on-air and programming pro Jessica Tyler adds music director duties for Cumulus Media’s hot AC WDVD to her responsibilities at the cluster.  Tyler continues to serve as APD, music director, and midday jock at sister country outlet WDRQ-FM “NASH FM 93.1.”  Cumulus Detroit director of programming Robby Bridges says, “Jessica’s passion for music and her relationships with artists and the label community is unparalleled.  I’m pleased she’ll work with me, APD Kendall Taylor, and our corporate team on the sound of Detroit’s 96.3 WDVD going forward!”…..At Connoisseur Media’s Connecticut operations, Allan Lamberti is named morning host at rock WFOX, Stamford/Norwalk “95.9 The FOX.”  He’s been with the cluster since 2003 in a variety of positions.  Station PD Kevin Begley says, “Allan is a walking trivia night.  He knows more about pop culture and music than anyone I’ve ever met.  Being a lifelong resident of Fairfield County, Allan is a perfect person to entertain ‘FOX’ listeners on their way to work in the morning.”  Begley adds that Lamberti leads a re-tooled lineup that includes the addition of Keith Dakin in afternoons…..Cumulus Media promotes programming pro Dayton Kane to operations manager and program director for country WPKR-FM and alternative WWWX-FM “96.9 The Fox.”  Kane was most recently program director for the company’s classic rock WKRU and classic hits WOGB in Green Bay.  Cumulus VP and market managerJohn Rowe says, “Dayton has demonstrated strong programming leadership qualities and produced outstanding results within Cumulus Wisconsin. We’re excited to expand his role and take advantage of his success and experience.”

West Coast Jock John Mack Flanagan Dies at 71.  As reported in LARP.com, John Mack Flanagan, who spent most of his career at KFRC, San Francisco – but also did part of 1975 at KHJ, Los Angeles – passed away after a battle with congestive heart failure on March 31.  In addition to his work at KFRC, he also worked on air at KWSS, San Jose; KSFO, San Francisco; KYA, San Francisco; and KBGG-FM, San Francisco.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

| March 13, 2018

iHeartMedia and Consenting Lenders Extend Deadline by 24 Hours.  This is the second extension of the Forbearance Agreements between debtor iHeartMedia and the Consenting Lenders.  The first was signed on March 4 and the second on March 7.  This extension ends at midnight tonight (3/13).  The 8-K filing with the SEC notes that “As previously disclosed, iHeartCommunications has been engaged in ongoing discussions with its stakeholders with respect to the restructuring of its capital structure. In connection with such discussions, iHeartMedia and iHeartCommunications have been working on a proposed draft restructuring support agreement and related proposed draft restructuring term sheet with advisors to groups of iHeartCommunications’ noteholders, lenders and equity holders.”  One would have to assume that progress is being made toward a solution to the company’s debt problem that avoids putting it all in the hands of a bankruptcy judge.  The latest term sheet still calls for the spinning off of Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, a senior secured asset-based revolving credit facility, new secured debt of $5.75 billion, and equity issued to holders of Term Loan Credit Facility Claims, PGN Claims, 2021 Notes Claims, Legacy Notes Claims, and various holders of Equity Interests in iHeart.  See the 8-K filing here.  Meanwhile, Gene Ely writes in Forbes about what possibilities exist for the future incarnation of iHeartMedia.  Read that here.

Townsquare Media Releases Q4 2017 Financial Data; Net Revenue Flat.  The company says its 2017 fourth quarter net revenue figure for the Local Marketing Solutions division (that includes radio) was good.  Townsquare Media co-CEO Bill Wilson says, “We are pleased to announce another strong result in our Local Marketing Solutions segment, which delivered net revenue growth of 0.4% in the fourth quarter of 2017, and 1.9% for the full year, despite the loss of political revenue.  This was the 16th consecutive quarter of positive, organic net revenue growth for this segment of our Company.  Excluding political revenue, Local Marketing Solutions net revenue increased 5.2% in the fourth quarter of 2017, our strongest quarter of the year, and 3.9% for the full year.”  The Entertainment division (live events) did not perform well in either Q4 or the year as a whole.  Fourth quarter 2017 Entertainment net revenue was down 17.4% and, for the year, was down 8.6%.  Townsquare did repay $6.7 million of long-term debt.

WEEO, Chambersburg-Hagerstown Unveils ‘Live Eye in the Sky.’  Pictured above is Magnum Broadcasting general manager Patrick Ryan launching WEEO, Chambersburg-Hagerstown’s new drone, “The Live Eye in The Sky.”  Ryan says “NEWS TALK 1037 FM” is using the drone to fly over Tri-State events and provide play-by-play sound on air and video on Facebook Live.  “Forget cutting edge, we’re cutting through the skie