Tag: "Tom Becka"

Monday, July 22, 2019

| July 22, 2019

Cumulus Makes $50 Million Debt Prepayment. This latest debt payment by Cumulus Media is in the amount of $50 million and was funded by the net proceeds from the previously announced sale of KLOS-FM, Los Angeles to Meruelo Media that closed last week (7/17), plus cash on hand.  Cumulus says, “With this prepayment, the Company has reduced its debt by approximately $250 million since emerging from Chapter 11 on June 4, 2018, bringing the Company’s total debt to approximately $1.05 billion.”

Monday Memo: Say What? Part Deux. Consultant Holland Cooke writes in this week’s Monday Memo about things you and your on-air talent should never say on the radio.  From expressions that are dated to common English-language snafus, HC lists some of the most-often-heard mistakes that broadcasters should never make.  See his column here.

WIBC-FM, Indianapolis Adds Another Hour to ‘Hammer and Nigel’ Show.  The Indianapolis Business Journal published a big piece on WIBC-FM, Indianapolis’s afternoon drive program, “Hammer and Nigel,” hosted by Jason Hammer and Nigel Laskowski revealing the Emmis Communications news/talk station is adding the 3:00 pm hour to the show’s current 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm air time.  The reason for adding the hour is the show’s outstanding success has created such a demand for local advertising that the station wants more inventory.  Quoted in the piece is Kristine Warski, a media director for the local ad agency MKR, who says, “‘The Hammer and Nigel Show’ is a bit different from your traditional news/talk show.  They’ve fused news and entertainment and, by doing so, are attracting a younger audience than news-talk has traditionally.”  See the IBJ piece here.

The New Yorker Piece Looks at Allegations by KABC’s Leeann Tweeden The Brought Down Al Franken. A lengthy story by Jane Mayer in The New Yorker takes an in-depth look at the case of former U.S. Senator — and one-time Air America talk radio host — Al Franken, who resigned his senate seat after a photo showing him pretending to grab the breasts of KABC-AM, Los Angeles talk host Leeann Tweeden appeared in the media.  Now, more than 18 months after Franken left the senate, he’s interviewed for the story that addresses due process, the #MeToo movement, and whether Franken should have resigned at all.  (Spoiler alert: Franken regrets resigning his position.)  See the story here.

Is Talk Radio Responsible for the Tone of Today’s National Conversation?  Former longtime talk radio host Tom Becka (KMBZ and KCMO, Kansas City; KFAB and KOIL, Omaha) expresses his feelings about his responsibility as part of the talk radio industry for the polarized state of public discourse in America.  Becka, in an op-ed on KPTM-TV, Omaha “FOX 42,” says, “ I don’t think I personally contributed to what is going on, but I worked for stations with syndicated shows that did – shows that stoked fears about Muslims, stoked fears about minorities, shows that stoked fears about liberals and others that were different than them.”  See his entire commentary here.

Talkers 2019: Telling the Story Videos Continue Posting Today with the Presentation of the Freedom of Speech Award to Brian Kilmeade.  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 (7/22) post features the presentation of the TALKERS Freedom of Speech award to Brian Kilmeade of Fox News Radio/Fox News Channel.  Posted Friday (7/19): 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 is moderated by Kevin Casey, VP/executive editor, TALKERS.   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 already 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.

Siegel: Talk Radio Can Impact Regime Change in Iran.  Nationally syndicated talk radio host Mike Siegel writes in a piece today about the efforts to foment regime change in Iran and what role talk radio hosts in America can play in helping achieve that goal.  Siegel says, “Now there is a real and tangible option being offered as a new government in Iran by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).  Led by Madame Maryam Rajavi, this organization has grown in stature and respect over the years and has offered an option of peaceful government living as a civilized neighbor to other countries in the Middle East.”  Read Siegel’s piece here.

WABC’s John Batchelor Broadcasts from Tokyo This Week.  WABC, New York’s late-night John Batchelor show is broadcasting live from the center of Tokyo all this week (7/22-26).  The broadcast is being sponsored by global digital technology company Scala Inc. in conjunction with the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  All week long, Batchelor will travel widely to meet with and interview leaders from across Japanese culture, including: the Nippon Professional Baseball Association; the Japanese Space Agency’s Hayabusa2 asteroid probe program; the celebrated Cherry Association maintaining the pantheon of Japanese cherry trees; Toyota’s Autonomous Vehicle development; and the Central Japan Railway’s MAGLEV project.  Also scheduled to appear on the show is Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kano.

TALKERS News Notes. The Daily Hampshire Gazette reports Saga Communications’ news/talk WHMP, Northampton, Massachusetts has named its studio the Barbara J. Kuschka WHMP studio in honor of station traffic manager Barbara Kuschka, who recently celebrated 50 years of service to the radio station.  The article says, “Since she began work in 1969, Kuschka has been a behind-the-scenes figure, who one person described as the glue that holds the station together in her work as traffic manager.”…..Entercom Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh Athletics announce they’ve signed a new, multi-year extension of their broadcasting partnership.  As part of the deal, sports talk KDKA-FM “93.7 The Fan” will serve as flagship station for Panthers football and men’s basketball. Sister stations news/talk KDKA-AM “News Radio 1020,” hot AC WBZZ “100.7 Star,” and country WDSY “Y108” will provide coverage and promotional support.

Mueller Testimony, New Trump Impeachment Talk, 2020 Presidential Race, Iran Alleges CIA Arrests, Immigration Reform/Border Wall, and Summer Heatwave Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  This week’s testimony from special counsel Robert Mueller; House Judiciary chairman Jerrold Nadler’s “high crimes and misdemeanors” charge against Trump; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; Iran’s claims it has arrested 17 CIA spies; the Trump Administration’s immigration reform efforts and the border wall status; and the weekend’s hot weather in much of the country were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Josh Wolff is named program director for iHeartMedia’s CHR WAEB “B104” and rock WZZO in Allentown, Pennsylvania.  This is an internal move for Wolff, who was most recently marketing director and APD at the company’s Phoenix station group for adult contemporary KKEZ and adult hits KYOT “95.5 The Mountain.”  Wolff takes over for Derrick Cole, who accepted a role with the company’s National Programming Group as contemporary hit radio program director…..At non-commercial triple A WYMS, Milwaukee “88Nine Radio Milwaukee,” morning personality Dori Zori is named assistant program director. WYMS PD Jordan Lee comments, “Dori’s 20-plus years in non-commercial radio make her the perfect fit for the role.  Dori will also lead some new and exciting programming plans that are in the works at ‘Radio Milwaukee.’”

Monday, November 20, 2017

| November 20, 2017

Air Talent Changes at KCMO-AM, Kansas CityTALKERS magazine hears that Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM, Kansas City has let both Greg Knapp and Tom Becka go.  Becka had been hosting the 9:00 am to 11:00 am show since May of 2016.  That daypart is now listed on the station’s website as part of the “KCMO Morning Show” from 6:00 am to 11:00 am.  Knapp had been hosting the 6:00 am to 9:00 am morning show since rejoining the station in January of this year.  He had hosted the afternoon drive show on KCMO until exiting in late April of 2016.  Chicago talk radio pro Bruce Wolf is hosting mornings today through Wednesday (11/20-22).

Salem Moves DC’s ‘The Answer’ to WSPZ, Bethesda.  The conservative news/talk station is already re-branded “AM 570 The Answer,” reflecting its moves to WSPZ.  However, as of today (11/20) it’s still heard on WWRC, Washington at 1260 AM, but it’s probable that Salem Media Group will install a Christian talk or music format on the 1260 AM signal.  Salem bought WSPZ from Dan Snyder’s Red Zebra earlier this year.

Sapienza to Lead Entercom Baltimore’s Sports Programming.  Former longtime Red Zebra programmer Chuck Sapienza joins Entercom to serve as director of sports programming for WJZ-FM, Baltimore and executive producer for Baltimore Orioles and University of Maryland Radio Networks.  He worked for Red Zebra’s WTEM, Washington in numerous capacities for 10 years, including serving as program director.  After leaving WTEM, he was executive producer at the Naval Academy Football Radio Network.

Markiewicz Replaces Van Stone at RadiOhio’s Sports Radio Operations in Columbus.  After a 40-year career in broadcasting, David Van Stone is retiring from his position as president and general manager of RadiOhio’s sports talk stations WBNS-FM “97.1 The Fan” and WBNS-AM “1460 ESPN,” plus The Ohio News Network.  The company announces it is promoting station manager and director of sales Todd Markiewicz to vice president and general manager in charge of the radio operations.  The changes take effect in January.  Markiewicz says, “The opportunity to become the steward of these heritage Columbus radio and digital properties is just a thrill for me.  Dave Van Stone’s leadership over the past 19 years has resulted in our company operating at an elevated level toward our goal of super-serving our listeners, our community and our employees.  My job now is to make sure RadiOhio matches that excellence for years to come and I can’t imagine a better group of radio professionals to accept that challenge with than those already working within these walls.”  Van Stone comments, “These last 19 years working for RadiOhio have been tremendous.  I want to thank the Wolfe family and [RadiOhio chairman and CEO] Michael Fiorile for their confidence and support.  Thanks as well to the outstanding, dedicated RadiOhio staff for their commitment to excellence and for ‘making great radio.’”

Beasley Names VP of Digital Sales.  This is a newly created position at Beasley Media Group and the company welcomes Dan Frisbie to the vice president of digital sales position.  His radio experience includes an eight-year stint as VP of sales for iHeartMedia.  Most, recently he was leading his Frisbie Consulting LLC in which he assisted clients with media, digital, mobile, and video sales strategies and operations.  Beasley EVP of digital Steve Meyers comments, “We are thrilled to bring Dan on board to lead digital revenue growth at Beasley Media Group.  Dan’s experience, enthusiasm and passion for digital, especially as it relates to the radio space, is a perfect complement for our goals to aggressively grow our digital presence and capabilities for our brands and our clients.”

ESPN Radio Announces 2018 Network Schedule; New Podcasts.  In addition to the new morning drive show, “Golic & Wingo,” ESPN Radio is unveiling its new lineup for the network, effective January 2, 2018.  The WEPN, New York-based Stephen A. Smith radio show joins the network for national distribution in the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm daypart.  Ryen Russillo – currently hosting the 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm show – moves to the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm slot with new co-host Will Cain.  That bumps “The Right Time with Bomani Jones” off the schedule (Jones continues with the company on the TV side).  “Spain and Fitz” is the new early evening show featuring espnW voice Sarah Spain with SEC Network commentator Jason Fitz.  In a time shift, the “Freddie & Fitzsimmons” show with Freddie Coleman and Ian Fitzsimmons moves from 11:00 pm to 2:00 am to the new 9:00 pm to 1:00 am slot.  The company also announces new podcasts from Bomani Jones (new episodes 2-3 times per week), Jalen Rose and David Jacoby (whose Jalen & Jacoby podcast will be produced 4-5 times per week), and Katie Nolan (a weekly show).

Entercom Unveils New Analytics Tool for Advertisers.  With Friday’s close of the EntercomCBS RADIO merger, the new Entercom hit the road running with a few high-profile format flips and a statement about its new business practices.  It also announced the new Entercom Audience Analytics tool for radio advertisers.  The company says it offers “advertisers unique data and analytic insights designed to optimize their advertising campaigns and improve return on investment. The enhanced analytics capability is powered by an exclusive partnership in Entercom markets with AnalyticOwl, a broadcast analytics platform used to measure effectiveness and audience response of radio advertising.”  Entercom chief revenue officer Bob Philips adds, “Entercom Audience Analytics will enable us to develop a more consultative relationship with our advertising partners and more effectively measure and validate the important role of radio in the consumers’ path to purchase.  This is a tremendous step toward improving campaign effectiveness and ROI for our advertisers.”

GOP Tax Plan, Celebrity Sexual Assault Allegations/Franken Case, Roy Moore Sexual Predation Accusations, Nuclear Launch Debate, FOX News Channel Supports Hannity, Charles Manson Dies, David Cassidy Hospitalized, Justice League Film, American Music Awards, College Football Playoffs, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Analysis of the effects of the Republican tax reform plan; the slew of sexual assault allegations involving celebrities and the case involving Senator Al Franken; the allegations of sexual predation against Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore; the debate over the machinations of a nuclear weapons launch after Air Force General John Hyten said he would ignore an illegal request from the president; FOX News Channel issues a statement in support of Sean Hannity after advertiser boycott effort; Charles Manson dies at age 83; 1970s teen heartthrob David Cassidy hospitalized in critical condition; the opening weekend of the Justice League film; Sunday’s “American Music Awards”; Saturday’s games with College Football Playoff implications; and Sunday’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Science Guru and Rising YouTube Star, Isaac Arthur, Guests this Week on Harrison Podcast. He is a high school drop-out from Ohio with a trademark speech impediment and a true geek’s love of science fact and fiction who, after earning his GED diploma, went on to graduate with a B.S. in Physics from Kent State University at the age of 20. He attended graduate school but preferred self-teaching and dropped out to serve in the army in Germany and Iraq. Upon returning home, he became involved in local politics and was appointed a member of the Ashtabula County, Ohio Board of Elections. (He tells Michael Harrison, “We take our elections very seriously here in Ohio.”) But there is a whole other talk media side to Isaac Arthur that caught the attention of Harrison and makes him an ideal guest for the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far out with Michael Harrison,” as well as being a person of significant interest to the commercial media industry. It began as a hobby and has now grown into something remarkable. He is the producer and host of a rapidly growing YouTube channel titled, “Science and Futurism with Isaac Arthur.” He writes, produces and narrates stunning video podcasts that run between ½ hour and an hour that curate, explore and explain the provocative leading edge of popular science. In three years, his channel has attracted more than 161,000 devoted subscribers and more than 12 million visits. Harrison, a passionate layman enthusiast of science and astrophysics says, “Isaac Arthur is a quintessential example of the pioneers who are out there laboring on the outskirts of the mainstream commercial radio/TV industries on the exciting frontier of talk media – where audio intersects with video, graphics, education and entertainment. Everyone in the radio business with an eye on podcasting and cross-platform brand expansion can learn from him. Having a personal love for the subject matter he covers, I am his fan!” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

 

 

Mars Dominates AMAs. In the Tracee Ellis Ross-hosted American Music Awards ceremony held last night (11/19) in Los Angeles, Bruno Mars took home six trophies, including “Artist of the Year,” “Favorite Male Artist – Pop/Rock,” and “Video of the Year” for “That’s What I Like.” Ross’ mother – Diana Ross – was honored for her “Lifetime Achievement.” Among the other highlights from the ABC-TV telecast were Lady Gaga cited as “Favorite Female Artist – Pop/Rock,” Niall Horan named “New Artist of the Year,” and Coldplay recognized as “Tour of the Year.” Elsewhere in the “Pop/Rock” category, Imagine Dragons won “Favorite Duo or Group”; Mars’ “24K Magic” was “Favorite Album,” while Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieberhad the “Favorite Song” (“Despacito”). Winners in the country format were Keith Urban (“Favorite Male Artist,” “Favorite Song” for “Blue Ain’t Your Color,” and “Favorite Album” for “Ripcord”); Carrie Underwood (“Favorite Female Artist”); and Little Big Town “Favorite Duo or Group.” Honored as “Favorite Artist – Adult Contemporary” and “Favorite Artist – Alternative Rock” were Shawn Mendes and Linkin Park, respectively. Meanwhile, Mars scored victories in the “Soul/R&B” genre as “Favorite Male Artist,” “Favorite Album” (“24K Magic”); and “Favorite Song (“That’s What I Like”); Beyonce was recognized as “Favorite Female Artist – Soul/R&B.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Alt rock personality and programmer Tamo Sein joins iHeartMedia’s WEND, Charlotte “106.5 The End” to host the midday show and serve as APD and music director.  In this role, she’ll assist in the day-to-day operations of the station’s music programming and scheduling of music logs as well as be responsible for all the station’s imaging and branding.  Sein will report to WEND program director Chuck “DZL” Thompson.  She comes to Charlotte from iHeartMedia’s Richmond cluster where she was music director and afternoon drive host…..On-air pro Jeff Pope is named morning show host at All Pro Broadcasting-owned hot AC duo KHTI-FM “Hot 103.9” and KATY-FM “101.3 The Mix” in the Riverside-San Bernardino market.  Pope has most recently been morning host at Alpha Media’s hot AC KEZR San Jose but he’d worked in the Inland Empire for 13 years prior to that hosting morning drive at iHeartMedia’s crosstown rhythmic CHR KGGI…..SiriusXM is presenting a special invitation-only performance by Duran Duran at the Faena Theater in Miami on December 9.  The exclusive performance will feature Duran Duran playing signature music from throughout their career, including songs from their most recent, top-10 charting studio album, Paper Gods…..Rowdy Yates, host of “Original Country Gold with Rowdy Yates,” is offering a half-hour, “Mel Tillis Tribute Special” for immediate radio airplay on a non-market-exclusive basis.  The tribute features music from Mel, songs that he wrote for others (like “Ruby” for Kenny Rogers and “Detroit City” for Bobby Bare), music from his daughter Pam Tillis and some great stories about his rise to fame along with the hardships that he overcame.  This Compass Media presentation is available to stations in a commercial free format.  The download link is here.  Please email Doug Ingold at dingold@compassmedianetworks.com with call letters, intended air dates and times.  Call Doug with questions at 310-242-8746.

Westwood One Backstage at the AMAs.  This past weekend, Westwood One Backstage at the AMAs took place at the Microsoft Theater Event Deck in Los Angeles from Thursday (11/16) through Saturday (11/18) that included three days of branded programming and artist interviews.  Pictured above are (from l-r): Cat Collins, EVP/In2une Music; Mike McVay, EVP programming & content, Cumulus Media and Westwood One; John Kilgo, SVP, talent relations, Cumulus Media; in2une recording artist Taylor Grey; and Suzanne Grimes, EVP corporate marketing, Cumulus Media and president, Westwood One.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

| March 15, 2017

Mark Fuhrman Named Area President for iHM Pittsburgh/West Virginia.  Joining iHeartMedia West Virginia as area president for the Pittsburgh/West Virginia region is Mark Fuhrman.  He was most recently with IMG College.  iHeartMedia West Virginia includes 22 radio stations.  The company says Fuhrman will work with the programming, business and sales teams for radio station brands in Huntington, Parkersburg and Wheeling to oversee on-air and digital programming as well as create new business and revenue opportunities.  He will report to Tim McAleer, president of iHeartMedia’s Pittsburgh region.

ESPN Announces Launch of ‘30 for 30 Podcast’ Series.  Based on the storytelling formula of ESPN’s popular “30 for 30” film documentaries, ESPN Films and ESPN Audio are collaborating to debut a podcast series – “30 for 30 Podcasts” – this June.  ESPN says the series will tell original, high-quality sports stories in the likeness of the acclaimed “30 for 30” documentaries, but made exclusively for audio.  Two of the topics that will be featured in the first season of “30 for 30 Podcasts” will be: “Dan and Dave Revisited,” the true story of the massive 1990s marketing campaign around the world’s two best decathletes, and “On the Ice,” the story of how a group of amateur Brits became the first all-women’s team to make it to the North Pole.  ESPN Films and Original Content vice president and executive producer Libby Geist comments, “ESPN Films is continuing to push boundaries in the storytelling space and we’re excited to further evolve the 30 for 30 brand.  These audio documentaries will break new ground for ESPN while also bringing our signature long-form archival-based approach to the podcasting arena.”

Radio Talent Institute Scheduled for University of Tennessee May 15-24.  This next Radio Talent Institute is being presented by the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters, University of Tennessee Knoxville, and the National Radio Talent System at the University of Tennessee.  The Institute is a 10-day immersion in radio and it involves discovering, coaching and preparing talented broadcasting students with more than 30 broadcast professionals leading all the sessions in their area of expertise in on-air music radio, news and sports, as well as digital/social media, production, promotion, sales, engineering, programming, management and all things radio.  Students from all over the state and region apply to be accepted and will become certified Radio Marketing Professionals by the Radio Advertising Bureau.  National Radio Talent System founder and president Dan Vallie states, “We are very excited to be partnering with the University of Tennessee and working with Sam Swan and the College of Communication and Information, and with Benny Smith, at their award winning college radio station, WUTK.”  The TAB Radio Talent Institute is accepting applications from students now.  They should apply at http://tab.nationalradiotalentsystem.com/. The deadline to apply is March 31.

CBS News Radio’s Peter King Honored with Legacy Award.  Radio news pro Peter King is being honored by the Florida Associated Press with the Florida Associated Press Broadcasters’ LEGACY AWARD.  The organization cites King’s distinguished career and his service as a role model and his involvement with the AP Broadcasters’ college workshop and more for this award.  He will be honored at the awards ceremony in Orlando in April.

KCMO-AM Talk Host Tom Becka Does TEDx Talk on Fake News.  Longtime talk radio personality Tom Becka (left) recently did a TEDx Talk on “Real News vs Fake News” that you can see here.  Becka hosts the 9:00 am to 11:00 am show on Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM, Kansas City and does a regular commentary on KPTM-TV, Omaha’s 9:00 pm newscast.

Trump’s Obama Wiretapping Accusations, North Korea Threats/Tillerson Asia Trip, GOP Health Care Plan, Trump’s Tax Returns, Dutch Elections, Snoop Dogg Video, Marines Nude Photos Scandal, Northeast Blizzard, and March Madness Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/14). The accusation by President Donald Trump that President Barack Obama ordered Trump Tower to be wiretapped during the 2016 election; North Korea’s nuclear missile program and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s visit to Asia; the Trump Administration’s and the GOP’s plans to replace ObamaCare with their own health care plan; the rise of far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders and today’s elections in the Netherlands; controversy over the latest Snoop Dogg video in which he shoots a clown dressed as President Trump; Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert B. Neller testifies before a senate subcommittee on the nude photos scandal; the blizzard that hit much of the Northeast on Tuesday; and the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

CBS RADIO and Canon Present Small Business Grants.  Pictured above are (from l-r) 1010WINS, New York news director Ben Mevorach; Bittylab LLC founder and CEO Priska Diaz; and “The Bottom Line for Small Business” anchor Rob Walsh.  Mevorach and Walsh presented Diaz with a grant for $10,000 from CBS RADIO and Canon MAXIFY Printers for presenting the most creative plan to expand their business while also doing good in their community.  The companies also awarded San Francisco-based Prison Bars founder and CEO Seth Sundberg a grant in the same amount.

KXNT, Las Vegas Host Alan Stock Leads Listener Trip to Israel. Las Vegas talk show host Alan Stock (pictured at center) recently led a group of listeners on a trip to Israel.  Stock tells TALKERS, “It was a mix of seeing Jewish and Christian holy sites, as well as exploring the geo-political nature of the country.  The trip lasted eight days and everyone loved it – in fact, I’m already getting requests for a second go-around.”

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On translator K279BO, Portland, iHeartMedia launches classic country outlet “103.7 The Legend.”  The company says the station’s core artists will include: Garth Brooks, George Strait, Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson and others…..iHeartMedia Philadelphia debuts the new station “Pride Radio Philly” – a station targeted to the local LGBTQ listeners and allies.  It’s available on WIOQ’s HD-2 channel at 102.1.  In addition to the personalities also heard on iHeartRadio’s Pride Radio channel, local hosts include Loraine Ballard Morrill, director of news and community affairs; WIOQ’s Casey, and WUSL’s Mutha Knows.  iHeartMedia SVP of programming Brian Check comments, “Philadelphia has an exciting, passionate and growing LGBTQ community and we hope to amplify their voice on Pride Radio Philly.”

The Band Perry Rocks ‘Stage 17 LIVE.’  Pictured above is The Band Perry performing live before a crowd of loyal WPLJ, New York listeners at Cumulus Media New York’s new performance space, “Stage 17 LIVE.”  The space sits high above Madison Square Garden on the 17th Floor of 2 Penn Plaza.  The Band Perry, along with Clean Bandit and Anne Marie, appeared at the special show on March 7.  Cumulus Media New York VP/market manager Chad Lopez comments, “The momentum is building with interest from various artists for the new Cumulus New York performance space.  95.5 PLJ welcomed two great bands to the 17th floor on the same day during our soft launch of the new studio.  This is the first of many VIP experiential opportunities that we will have to offer to our advertisers and listeners and we couldn’t be more excited.”

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

| January 3, 2017

WPRO-AM, Providence and Talk Host John DePetro Go Separate Ways.  During the month of December, the late morning talk show hosted by longtime WPRO-AM personality John DePetro was handled by a rotating cast of fill-in hosts.  DePetro had referenced a “health situation” on his website.  Then, just before Christmas,deptrojohn DePetro notified listeners via his website of his departure from the station.  He wrote, in part, “At this time, I have decided to conclude my entertaining weekday 9:00 am -12:00 noon radio show on WPRO.  Thank you to all my listeners for making 2016 my best year ever in radio, with my coverage of the Trump campaign, my many exclusives, plus my national work on ‘The Savage Nation’ and CNN.  I am very grateful for the many loyal listeners who have been entertained by my program on WPRO over the past 10 years.”  So far, WPRO has not named a replacement host, nor has the Cumulus Media news/talk station officially addressed DePetro’s departure.

Programming Moves at iHeartMedia Denver.  This affects both news/talk KOA and sports talk KDSP.  First, at KOA “NewsRadio 850 AM & 94.1 FM,” the new afternoon show is Lewis & Logan from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm featuring Rick Lewis and Dave Logan.  The duo will be joined by Kathy Lee as co-host and Robbyn Hart as koanews anchor.   In June of 2014, iHM tweaked afternoons by bringing Denver TV and radio pro Susie Wargin aboard to co-host with Logan for the 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm hours and the show moved away from being sports-centric.  Wargin then co-hosted a newsy program with Mike Rice from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  Wargin moves to the company’s classic rock KRFX.  Also at KOA, Cory Lopez is the new host of “PrimeTime Sports,” airing weeknights from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm.  At sports talk KDSP, “Denver Sports 760,” Mike Rice hosts the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm show.  The new duo of Ed McCaffrey and Andy Lindahl will co-host the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm program.

KCMO-AM, Kansas City Announces New Program Lineup.  There are two talk personalities returning toknappgreg Cumulus Media’s news/talk simulcast KCMO-AM/K279BI as the station announces its new, 2017 program lineup.  Longtime Kansas City talk personality Greg Knapp is back on the station after a nine-plantechrismonth absence to host the morning drive program.  Knapp hosted the afternoon show at KCMO until late April of 2016.  Westwood One’s rollout of the national Chris Plante program brings him back to KCMO in the 11:00 am to 1:00 pm slot.  Tom Becka remains in the 9:00 am to 11:00 am slot, while Mike Ferguson moves from middays to afternoon drive (4:00 pm to 6:00 pm) with co-host and producer Jared Carter.  Nationally syndicated superstar Dave Ramsey also remains in his current 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm timeslot.  Knapp takes over mornings for Rob Carson, who exited late last year.

‘PowerTalk’ in Fresno Launches New Early Evening Program.  Fresno news/talk simulcast KALZ-FM/KRZR-AM “PowerTalk 96.7 and AM 1400” announces the debut of the Guillermo Moreno program, thismorenoguillermo evening from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.  The iHeartMedia station says Moreno “will take a conservative approach to local and national issues – including politics, business headlines and pop culture – from the perspective of a Latino millennial and for listeners of all ages.”  Moreno comments, “I’m excited to continue breaking the political and radio establishment mold and thrilled to be among the first young Latino millennial hosts in the Central Valley.  Fresno is the greatest city in America and I’m honored to continue my passion for politics with my generation here at home.”

kinosianmikeDecember PPMs: Some Notable Occurrences.  TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at some significant happenings, from a ratings perspective, relative to Nielsen Audio’s December PPM survey.  Among them are the return to earth for CBS RADIO’s sports talk WSCR, Chicago and iHeartMedia’s WTAM, Cleveland – both of which benefitted mightily from the performances of the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians leading up to and including the World Series.  See more interesting highlights here.

cookeces172017 CES Preview.  Media consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas at the Consumer Electronics Show reporting for TALKERS magazine and he files the following:

165 THOUSAND of us – from 150 countries – are heading to the massive, mind-boggling Consumer Electronics Show.

This year is the 50th annual CES.  Back in 1967, there were ooohs and ahhhs for console color TVs.  Are you old-enough to remember the handsome woodwork?  Some had built-in stereo systems…but only for the vinyl you played on the turntable.  Stereo TV sound?  Someday.

50 years ago, only 14 companies were showing-off their stuff, in 100,000 square feet of exhibit space.  Back-to-the-future: Today, when they cut the virtual ribbon, four THOUSAND companies will display in 2.4 MILLION square feet of Las Vegas Convention Center.  Picture FIFTY football fields.

And that’s just inside.  Outdoors, there’ll be drones up above, and down-below we’ll be test-driving cars with no gas tank, and cars with no driver.

Technology accounts for 15 million American jobs.  Not everyone becomes a billionaire, by inventing, for instance, the smartphone.  But someone became a millionaire by accessorizing it with the Selfie Stick.

Much of what we’ll see here this week is here-today-gone-tomorrow.  Many of these companies didn’t exist a couple years ago, and many won’t be around a couple years from now.  Innovation is the-name-of-the-game, and that makes CES a welcome pump-up for radio broadcasters attending.

Look for my reports here in TALKERS all this week, and listen for updates on “America in the Morning” and “The Jim Bohannon Show,” or at www.HollandCooke.com.

Terry Foster Returns to WXYT-FM, Detroit’s Afternoon Drive Show.  After missing a lot of time on the air during the latter part of 2016 due to a stroke caused by high blood pressure, Terry Foster is returning to thefosterterry “Valenti and Foster” program with co-host Mike Valenti on sports talk “97.1 The Ticket.”  Program director Jimmy Powers states, “We are excited that Terry is returning to the ‘Valenti and Foster’ show.  His humor and insight have been missed not only by his co-workers, but by the listeners.  I sincerely appreciate and would like to thank Jeff Riger for sitting in for Terry while he was out; the show didn’t miss a beat.”  Foster comments, “I have been on the sidelines for too long.  I missed a lot of good stories and a lot of good times.  I’m glad to be back on the train again.  I want to thank all of the listeners and my co-workers for their encouraging words, they got me through a tough time.”

Dan Lovallo Joins AM Show on Connoisseur’s ‘Talk of CT.’  The news/talk multi-cast heard on Connoisseur Media’s “The Talk of CT” (WDRC-AM, Hartford; WMMW, Meriden; WWCO, Waterbury; and WSNG, Torrington) is adding well-known Connecticut radio personality Dan Lovallo to the Brad Davis morning show.  Lovallo has been with the stations in various capacities over the years.  In addition to news duties on thelovallodan company’s sister classic rock WFOX, Southport (Bridgeport-Stamford market), Lovallo will also host his own Connecticut politics-focused show, “CT On The Hill,” on “The Talk of CT” every day at 9:00 am.  This is one of a number of changes at the Connecticut operations of Connoisseur and OM Keith Dakin comments, “These changes, across our portfolio, indicate a strong commitment to localism.  Radio will continue to be vibrant if it remains a true fabric of the community with more local morning shows, local news and people from Connecticut behind the microphones.”

Free Talk Live Hosts Prevail at NH Supreme Court.  This case goes back three years to a suit filed against “Free Talk Live” hosts Ian Freeman and James Cleaveland by the City of Keene, New Hampshire.  The long-running courtroom saga of the “Robin Hood of Keene” all started when Freeman and Cleaveland began plugging the parking meters of citizens whose time was running out and were about to get parking tickets issued by the city’sfreemanian parking enforcers.  The city sued, alleging among other things that Freeman and Cleaveland were “threatening, intimidating, and harassing” the parking enforcers – something the court ruled the city was unable to prove.  The pair won their case at the superior court level but the city took the case all the way to the state supreme court.  Freeman informs TALKERS that “the supreme court agreed with the superior court that the city’s proposed injunction, which would keep us away from their enforcers, was unconstitutional.  It’s a victory for freedom of speech in the public streets.”

‘Kilmeade & Friends’ Adds 24 New Affiliates.  The nationally syndicated “Kilmeade & Friends” late morningkilmeadebrian show hosted by Fox News personality Brian Kilmeade and produced and distributed by Fox News Radio, adds 24 new radio affiliates.  Some of the stations adding the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET program include: WHIO-AM/FM, Dayton; WOKV, Jacksonville; WRHI, Charlotte; WMMI, Flint, Michigan; KZRG, Joplin, Missouri; WFIN, Toledo; and WNIX-AM, Greenville, Mississippi.

Odds & Sods.  Nationally syndicated, San Antonio-based talk show host Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo is now heard onpagliarulojoe an number of new affiliate stations across the country, including: KZRG, Joplin, Missouri; KHVH, Honolulu; KMBZ, Kansas City; KSTE, Sacramento; WATX, Cookeville, Tennessee and more…..Syndicated morning show “Walton & Johnson” changes affiliates in both New Orleans and Baton Rouge.  The program is moving from Entercom classic rocker WKBU to iHeartMedia’s news/talk WRNO in New Orleans and from Guaranty’s classic rock WDGL to iHM’s news/talk WJBO in Baton Rouge…..Westwood One is celebrating the 25th anniversary of “The Dave Ross Show” and announces rossdaveit is extending its relationship with Ross (who also serves as morning news host at KIRO-FM, Seattle).  The daily feature is heard on more than 200 stations nationwide including: WCBS-AM, New York; KNX, Los Angeles; WBBM-AM, Chicago; and WTOP-FM, Washington.  Ross also guest hosts for Charles Osgood on “The Osgood File.”…..Robert K. Tanenbaum, trial attorney, author of 31 books, and former mayor of Beverly Hills, will be featured in a new segment titled, “Book Buzz,” on Patzi Gil’s “Joy on Paper” radio show, which airs twice weekly on Radio Works’ WTAN, Clearwater, Florida…..Executive vice president Paul Cramer exits Triton Digital after 16 years with the company and its predecessors.   He’s excited about his next challenge in the digital solutions space and can be reached at PaulCramer@Outlook.com or 716-508-4104.

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radioinfo-web-bannerMusic Radio Trade Publication RadioInfo to Be Absorbed into TALKERS Magazine.  Beginning today, January 3, 2017, the music radio industry trade publication RadioInfo is folded into an expanded incarnation of TALKERS magazine (www.Talkers.com and the daily TALKERS email newsletter) and ceases to be distributed as a stand-alone entity.  According to TALKERS/RadioInfo VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “This has been a transition in the works for a number of months now.  Because, RadioInfo has shared main headquarters and staff with TALKERS for the past five years, there has been a significant degree of duplication between the publications, especially regarding general industry stories that cover all formats.  It makes sense from a standpoint of economy, proficiency and expediency to combine these into one ‘super’ trade journal.  We will continue to provide RadioInfo readers and newsletter subscribers with the latest news events and personnel changes in music radio within the pages of TALKERS.  We also are expanding our coverage of the talented talk-oriented hosts heard across America on music station morning programs that we categorize as ‘pop culture talk.’”  Subscribers to the daily RadioInfo email newsletter, not already signed up for TALKERS, will be added to the TALKERS list so they will continue to receive the service.  RadioInfo was founded as a set of radio discussion boards and an accompanying general online industry news platform in 1999 by young radio enthusiast and entrepreneur Doug Fleming who tragically passed away in 2005 at the age of 25.  The entity, known as Radio-Info.com, continued to be published by Doug’s parents Diana and Rick Fleming until 2012.  At that time, the discussion boards were acquired by trade publication Radio Ink’s parent corporation Streamline Publishing and eventually discontinued.  The trade publication side was acquired by TALKERS magazine’s parent company Talk Media, Inc. and transitioned into the music radio incarnation of RadioInfo.

Talent Moves at KRFX, Denver.  At iHeartMedia’s Denver classic rock KRFX “103.5 The Fox,” 25-yearkrfx morning personalities Rick Lewis and Kathy Lee renew and extend their contracts with the station.  At the same time, the station announces Denver radio and TV pro Susie Wargin is the new midday personality and market radio pro Uncle Nasty assumes the afternoon drive daypart.

Talent Moves at Connoisseur Connecticut.  At the Connecticut operations of Connoisseur Media, operations manager Keith Dakin announces changes to a number of the company’s stations designed to increase their commitment to focus on “being more local and involved in the community.”  First, Ken Tuccio is named the new morning drive host at classic rock WFOX, Southport (Bridgeport-Stamford market).  He’ll be joined by news broadcaster Dan Lovallo with Fairfield County-centric news updates every 30 minutes.  The station will air local news throughout the day during the shifts of new midday host Pam Ciaburri and afternoon host Allan Lamberti.  Additionally, Cari Edwards is the new evening personality.  At rock WPLR, New Haven, Kevin Begley adds programming duties for the station to his current responsibilities serving as PD for hot AC WEZN “Star 99.9” and WFOX.  Finally, at classic rock WDRC-FM, Hartford “102.9 The WHALE,” Allan Lamberti takes over the programming duties (in addition to hosting evenings).  The jock lineup consists of: Michael Picozzi in morning, Suzi Klonk in middays, and Keith Dakin in afternoons.

iHeartMedia Adds ‘Mojo in the Morning’ to CHR WSNX, Grand Rapids.  The AM drive show “Mojo in themojomorninggroupstrip Morning” – featuring Mojo, Shannon, and Spike – based at iHeartMedia’s CHR WKQI, Detroit “Channel 95.5,” is the new morning show at the company’s West Michigan CHR WSNX, Grand Rapids, effective January 16.  Mojo says, “We love Michigan and are so excited to have the show heard in West Michigan.  As a big fan of SNX, we are honored to be on the two best CHR radio station brands in Michigan!”

KKHH Hits ‘The Spot.’  Among stations making format modifications over the holidays was CBS RADIO Houston CHR KKHH “Hot 95-7,” which transitions to adult hits “95.7 The Spot.” Supplementing “The Spot” identity is the slogan “Your Place – Your Music – Your Way – A Radio Station Unlike Any Other in Town.”  The format changekkhh means Cumulus Media’s KRBE will now have the market’s CHR lane to itself.  CBS RADIO senior vice president and Houston market manager Sarah Frazier comments, “We worked exhaustively to understand what Houston listeners were missing from their local radio stations.  They told us they wanted their own ‘spot’ to hear their favorite music hits, a ‘spot’ to relax and energize at work, and a ‘spot’ to feel comfy and complete.”  Representative “Spot” artists include Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Prince, and U2.  Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s December 2016 PPM report, KKHH is flat at 2.7 (#18), while KRBE gains two-tenths to 3.5 (#14); iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA “Sunny 99.1” is #1 (7.3, 6+).

JVC Goes True Oldies in the Palm Beaches.   This change is the result of a partnership with Scott Shannon’s True Oldies format.  JVC Broadcasting announces that WBGF, Belle Glade, Florida flips from rock as “93.5 Thewbgf Bar” to oldies as “True Oldies 93.5.”  JVC Broadcasting of South Florida vice president and general manager Matt Goldapper says, “True Oldies is the perfect fit for the West Palm Beach market – lots of jingles, lots of voices and all the hits all the time.  This music is just missing from the radio here in South Florida and with our sister stations ‘95.9 The Palm’ and ‘900 AM The Talk of the Palm Beaches,’ we are just super-serving this market.  The best part of this radio mix is the partnership with radio legend Scott Shannon who is the genius behind this entertaining and upbeat radio format.”

More Career Moves and Music Radio News.  At the Kansas City cluster of Cumulus Media, the company announces that the Premiere Networks-syndicated Steve Harvey show is now airing in mornings at urbanharveysteve contemporary KMJK “Magic 107.3.”  Meanwhile, at sister classic hits KCMO-FM, Kansas City radio pro Steve-O assumes the afternoon drive host duties, following Lance Tidwell, who takes over the middays schniederguennprogram…..The syndicated “Ace & TJ Show” announces the official return of former cast member Guenn (Peterson) Schneider. She was previously part of the Ace & TJ  team from 2007-2011.  Following her departure from the show, Guenn worked with various media outlets in Charlotte…..Alpha Media launched a new contemporary rock outlet on translator W259CL, Orangeburg, South Carolina at 99.7 FM in the Columbia market on December 27.  The station will feature such core artists as Green Day, Kings of Leon, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Blink 182, and the Foo Fighters.  Alpha Media EVP of programming Scott Mahalick comments, “Alpha continues to grow and invest in Columbia with our latest addition of a contemporary rock station.  ‘Rock 99.7’ will be a great companion to our classic rock station ‘Fox 102.3’ WMFX.”…..Refuge Media closes on its purchase of classic rock KMFG, Nashwauk, Minnesota.  Refuge bought the station from Midwest Communications, Inc.

Monday, May 2, 2016

| May 2, 2016

kcmo logoTom Becka Returns to Kansas City as KCMO Re-Vamps Lineup.  Last week, Cumulus Media’s KCMO-AM/K279BI, Kansas City cut ties with 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm personality Greg Knapp.  It turns out that was phase one of a programming lineupbeckatom restructure.  Talk host Tom Becka – who previously worked in the market at crosstown KMBZ – joins the station to host the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show.  Local host Rob Carson remains in the morning drive slot.  Current KCMO personality Mike Ferguson moves to the 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm slot, followed by Dave Ramsey from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm and Westwood One’s Michael Savage from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  Cumulus Media Midwest regional VP and market manager Donna Baker comments, “KCMO talk radio takes an exciting step forward today.  Welcoming Becka back to KC, Mike Ferguson continuing local community conversations over the lunch hour, and Dave Ramsey returning to three hours in the afternoon are powerful additions to our talented lineup.”

theblaze logoReport: ‘Nearly 40’ Laid Off at TheBlaze.  According to a published report by Lloyd Grove in The Daily Beast, close to 40 staffers have been let go from Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze – just a year after numerous staffers were laid off in May of 2015.  Grove’s piece says this is part of a restructuring required by the covenants of a “multimillion-dollar bank loan” recently taken out to keep the company going.  Layoffs reportedly affect some 20 at offices in New York, 12 in Washington, five at a dozen in Washington, five at a documentary studio in Columbus, Ohio, plus several in a Los Angeles office.  Back in February, Kraig Kitchin stepped down from his CEO role with TheBlaze to focus on “existing commitments.”  Director of advertising sales Jeremy Price and director of marketing Liz Julis also exited at that time.  The story says these changes do not affect Beck’s Premiere Networks-syndicated show.  Read Grove’s piece here.

baileykenettaKenetta Bailey Named SVP of Marketing for CBS RADIO.  Joining CBS RADIO as senior vice president, marketing is Kenetta Bailey.  She was most recently heading up her own consulting firm – KB Consulting – in which she worked with a variety of start-up businesses on subscriber growth, social media and branding.  She also serves as an adjunct instructor at the Wharton School of the University ofcbsradio logo Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.  CBS RADIO president Andre Fernandez states, “I’m thrilled to welcome Kenetta to our leadership team, and look forward to introducing her creative energy and brand expertise into everything we do.  We have a tremendous opportunity to expand the strength of our brands locally and nationwide, as well as define our long range position in the marketplace.  I know Kenetta will play an instrumental role in the telling of our story to the industry.”  Bailey will be responsible for the marketing and brand positioning of the company, its stations and its digital products.  She’ll also provide business-to-business marketing support and work with the division’s market managers and station management to develop and coordinate strategy for their local marketing efforts.

price howardWhen Your Station IS the News.  Last week’s attempted takeover of a media outlet in Baltimore by an allegedly deranged man happened at a television station.  But, it could just as easily have been a radio station group.  ABC Television Network director of business continuity Howard B. Price writes in a column published today (5/2), that “comprehensive, well-resourced and well-rehearsed emergency planning not only assures your continued ability to operate in times of crisis, but more importantly, shows your staff and clients how much you care.”  He notes that the Sinclair-owned station and its staffers were prepared and it showed in how the situation was dealt with.  Read Price’s valuable advice for preparing for potential emergencies here.

entercom2015 Acquisitions Help Entercom to Q1 Net Revenue Hike of 23%.  During 2015, Entercom added stations to its portfolio in deals with Lincoln Financial Media and Bonneville.  Those deals helped the company’s first quarter 2016 net revenue soar tofielddavid $96.1 million.  Company CEO David Field says, “But the bigger news is that we had another great quarter of organic revenue growth.  Same station revenues increased 6% for the quarter… In sum, it was a terrific quarter. What is important to note is that is part of an increasingly consistent pattern of Entercom delivering solid growth quarter-after-quarter.  This now marks the fourth consecutive quarter of accelerating organic revenue growth for Entercom.”

The Presidential Race/Trump Protests, Iraq Parliament Protest, Seattle May Day Violence, 9/11 Report Controversy, White House Correspondents Dinner, and NFL Draft Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The activities of the candidates for president and the California Donald Trump protests; the storming of the Iraqi Parliament by anti-government protestors; Sunday’s violent May Day protests in Seattle; controversy over the validity of the contents of the 9/11 report and Saudi Arabia’s threat to the U.S. if blamed for the terror attacks; the various political jabs from speakers at Saturday’s annual White House Correspondents Dinner; and the 2016 NFL Draft were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

holdtheirfeet16FAIR’s ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ Reports Record Attendance.  The immigration-oriented radio row scheduled for June 22-23 in Washington is filling up with radio talk show hosts fast.  The “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” event is produced by Federation for American Immigration Reform and executive director Bob Dane calls it an all-time high attendance record and adds that it’s “no surprise given immigration is the hottest issue in a high-profile, turbulent campaign.”  FAIR says there are three remaining broadcast slots up for grabs.  The event on Capitol Hill pulls together talk hosts, lawmakers, law enforcement and media.  FAIR covers all expenses and engineering.  Call for details at 202-328-7004.

Odds & Sods.  Sports talk KDCO, Denver adds an FM presence in the market via translator K284CI at 104.7 FM.  Mile High Sports Radio operates the stations under an LMA from Kona Coast Radio….. The Red State Talk Radio Network-based talk show “Standing Ground” hosted  by Jeremy Leahy adds new affiliate station WJHC, Jasper, Florida (between Jacksonville and Tallahassee).  The show airs at 11:00 pm on Sunday evenings…..Alpha Media’s Mason City, Iowa stations news/talk KGLO and standards KRIB pick up 11 honors in the Small Market Division of the 2015 Iowa Broadcast News Association awards.  KGLO’s Bob Fisher won four first-place awards for Best Newscast, Sports Play-by-Play, Political Coverage, and Public Affairs.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

| February 3, 2015

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

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

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

Odds & Sods.  Longtime San Diego sports talk personality Lee “Hacksaw” Hamilton is joining XETV, San Diego “San Diego 6” to serve on the 10:00 pm news on Saturdays and Sundays.  News director Don Shafer says, “Lee will bringhamiltonhacksaw his unique perspective and knowledge of local, state and national sports to San Diego 6 News.”  Lee will bring his signature “Hacksaw’s Headlines” to the sportscast, with his take on the biggest stories of the day…..Cumulus Media sports talker WSKO, Syracuse inks a deal to broadcast Syracuse Chiefs minor league baseball for the next two seasons.  Kevin Brown and Eric Gallanty will be in the broadcast booth for play-by-play duties…..According to PennLive, Cumulus Media’s sports talk simulcast WHGB-AM and W243BR, Harrisburg “Sportsradio 96.5” will be carrying Washington Nationals baseball this season instead of Philadelphia Phillies games.

Patriots Win Super Bowl XLIX, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Politicians’ Vaccine Remarks Flap, Battle Against ISIS, Obama Tax Hike Proposal, Suge Knight Charged with Murder, and Bobbi Kristina Brown in Coma Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/2). Patriots win game that is most-watched TV broadcast in U.S. history; the potential candidates for president in 2016; comments by Chris Christie and Rand Paul questioning safety and efficacy of vaccines; the fight against ISIS; the tax hikes proposed by President Obama; rap mogul Suge Knight is charged with murder and more in hit-and-run death; and Whitney Houston’s daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown in a coma were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, January 12, 2015

| January 12, 2015

howellbigjohnCumulus Names Big John Howell Morning Host at WLS-AM, Chicago.  The arrival of longtime Chicago market personality Big John Howell at Cumulus Media’s WLS-AM, Chicago had been rumored for some time and now it becomes official as Howell will assume the morning show duties effective next Monday (1/19).  Most recently, Howell was morning host at Salem Communications’ news/talk WIND “AM 560 The Answer.”  He also was a jock at CBS RADIO’s country WUSN for many years as well as morning personality on CBS’ WCKG.  For seven years he hosted the Westwood One-syndicated “Country Gold” request show.  Howell comments, “I’m looking forward to joining WLS-AM.  It has been a longtime professional, as well as personal, goal. Growing up in West Michigan and listening to WLS influenced my initial decision to give the radio business a try.  Now, all these years later, and on the heels of many WLS broadcast legends, including Larry Lujack and Don Wade, it is truly an honor and a privilege.  I’m also looking forward to sharing the WLS airwaves with Steve Dahl, who taught all of us to ignore management and hate disco.”   Howell takes over for the team of Dan Proft and Bruce Wolf.

connroeRoe Conn to PM Drive at WGN, Chicago.  There’s no official word from Tribune Media on this…yet, but Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that former longtime WLS-AM afternoon host Roe Conn will take over the afternoon drive show on WGN, Chicago from Bill Leff and Wendy Snyder – both of whom have been in the post since last May.  Conn even appeared on WGN’s Steve Cochran show this morning (1/12), but chatted about issues and there was no mention of his joining the station.  The hiring of Leff and Snyder was part of the makeover of the station orchestrated by president Jimmy de Castro.  Feder reports that it’s expected that Leff and Snyder will stay on in some capacity.

rothlaurieDr. Laurie Roth Show Joins USA Radio Networks.  As part of a series of program rollouts, the USA Radio Networks announces Dr. Laurie Roth becomes part of the syndicated lineup, airing from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET effective February 2.  USA Radio Networks describes the show as an “issues-driven program known to tackle politics, crime and corruption.  Dr. Roth often visits with survivors and family membersusaRadioNetworks affected by crimes and conspiracies.  How do they survive and come back after losing a family member, being smeared or a being a victim of crime in some way?  Listeners learn the answers to such questions.  Roth says, “I expose the bad guys, stand for the good guys and don’t get caught in-between.”  Tim Maranville is chief content officer at USA’a parent company – Cross Platform Media Group – and he comments, “Dr. Roth covers the issues driving the conversation in America like no other radio host.  Her life experience brings a realness to the radio that, sadly, is uncommon in the network industry.  She is a welcome breath of fresh air.”  Recently, USA Radio Networks announced the launch of new shows including “AMERICA CONTINUES with Jim Sharpe,” and the syndication of the Steve Deace show, “DAYBREAK USA with Angie Austin,” and the hourly USA Radio News.

brooksericBrooks Promoted at WTMJ, Milwaukee.  At the Journal Broadcast Group-owned news/talker WTMJ, Milwaukee, Eric Brooks is upped to assistant program director.  WTMJ VP/GM Tom Langmyer says, “Eric has grown tremendously as a leader at WTMJ.  As producer of ‘Wisconsin’s Afternoon News with John Mercure,’ Eric has helped the program leapfrog into the top news/talk position with both listeners 6+ and 25-54.  Eric has also deftly handled many day-to-day responsibilities in the programming department in his role as executive producer of WTMJ programming.”  Brooks joined WTMJ in 2011 as a news anchor and producer before being elevated to executive producer, WTMJ programming in 2013.

Odds & Sods.  This Friday (1/16), New Jersey Broadcasters Association president and CEO Paul Rotella will sit in for morning drive personality Harry Hurley on Townsquare Media’s Atlantic City, New Jersey news/talker WPGG…..Here’s an interesting show, now available to radio stations across the country that draws on Americans’ interestrotellapaul in the Old West: Dakota Livesay’s “Chronicle of the Old West.”  It’s both a three-and-a-half minute show delivered five days per week and a weekly, one-hour show that features friends, authors and experts who chat with host Livesay about this romanticized period of American history.  Check out OldWestRadio.com…..The WYD Media-syndicated “Huckabee Report” with Mike Huckabee and the Stephanie Miller program are both joining the lineup at CRN Digital Talk Radio.  CRN states that “The Huckabee Report” will air throughout the day on CRN effective today (1/12) and CRN 4 channel will broadcast encore presentations of the Stephanie Miller show Tuesday through Saturday, beginning January 13.

beckaliveeventTalk Pro Tom Becka Does ‘Friday Night Live.’  Longtime Omaha (not to mention Kansas City and Fargo) talk radio personality Tom Becka rhetorically asks TALKERS magazine, “What does a talk show host do when he’s on the beach?  He keeps talking…”  And that’s what you see in this photo.  Recently let go from KOIL, Omaha in a cost-cutting move, Becka reports on his latest venture – a live version of the Tom Becka Radio Show.  He says, “We set up a stage at a local watering hole, charged admission, and did an interactive audience participation show just like it was on the radio.  A sold-out crowd came to talk about the hot issues of the day with ‘Honesty, Integrity, and a Sense of Humor.’  It was spirited, entertaining, and profitable.  I used social media and my daily podcasts to promote the event and it turned out great.  I’ll be doing these on a regular basis.”  Becka can be reached at: 402-321-9590 or via Tom@TomBecka.com.

ferraranickRemembering Nick (Bazoo) Ferrara. Word and condolences spread throughout social media on Saturday, January 10 about the passing of noted CHR programmer Nick Ferrara. Conspicuously absent though were specific details of when, where, or even if Ferrara had indeed passed. The Harrison County (Mississippi) coroner though has unfortunately confirmed that 59-year-old Gulfport resident Ferrara was killed Friday (1/9) in a two-vehicle accident on Interstate 10. According to officials, Ferrara was not wearing a seatbelt while driving his 2013 Honda Accord sedan; he died at the scene from blunt-force trauma. According to a report in the Biloxi-Gulfport Sun Herald, police responded at 6:05 pm to a report of a crash with injuries. Ferrara’s car apparently rear-ended another vehicle. The Gulfport Fire Department and American Medical Response were at the crash scene. Eerily, a Friday Facebook posting ostensibly made by Ferrara – known to many from his earlier top 40 programming days as Nick Bazoo indicated simply that at approximately 5:30 pm, he was at Biloxi’s Bubba Gump Shrimp Company.  The previous day (Thursday, 1/8), Ferrara made 17 original Facebook posts. Tony Gray had the most succinct – yet possibly the most powerful comment on Ferrara’s home page, with the noted consultant simply writing, “B-97 New Orleans.” Specifically, WEZB “B-97” is the New Orleans station (then owned by EZ Communications) at which operations manager Ferrara (Bazoo) rose to prominence in the early-1980s.  He was famously linked to that Louisiana metro.  NBC Sports Radio programmer Jack Silver though first met Ferrara in Mill Valley, California in 1984. “He was coming in to flip KMEL from rock to top 40,” Silver recalls. “He and Keith Naftalyhad the vision – I was in the right place to help them as well.  Heaven is full of great program directors who touched us all – God rest your soul.”  Media Monitors music manager Anita Bonita writes, “Godspeed Mr. Bazoo – you will be missed.” Renowned talk radio consultant Valerie Geller is “so sorry to hear this news – RIP.”  According to Giant Records vice president Jean Johnson, Ferrara was, “The consummate Facebook poster. I shared many of your hilarious posts. Rest in peace Mr. Bazoo – taken way too soon.” Legendary voiceover/imaging talent Howard Hoffman sums it up perfectly by stating, “This hurts. Selfless, strong, and just a real honor to work with you, Nick.  One of the best field marshals ever and you deserved so much better. I am glad you knew that before leaving us way too soon. Godspeed, friend – thanks for everything.” Longtime industry executive Rob Sisco laments, “Oh my dear sweet Bazoo. I am so profoundly sad to hear this news. You were one of the true good guys. I am proud and honored to have called you friend. You will be missed forever. Rest in peace, Nick.” Former New Orleans programmer Pat Matthews recalls, “Met you when you were just 18 and starting out at WIXO. A funny, talented, caring guy – wow, this is so unbelievable.” Veteran programmer Joel Burke remarks, “You were one of the smartest radio people I knew and had such a contagious laugh – RIP.” Consultant Dan Vallie comments, “Good man – good heart. Rest in peace my friend. Heaven is going to enjoy your sense of humor and big smile.” Yet another twist: A “Life Event” posted on Ferrara’s Facebook page less than two weeks ago – New Year’s Eve (12/31) – states he “started working at retired.” Commencing in 2001 and lasting approximately through 2013, Ferrara was an operations manager in State College, Pennsylvania at Forever Broadcasting and then doing similar duties at cross-town Results Radio (2006 – 2013). In addition to WEZB “B-97,” Ferrara (Bazoo) held the operations manager title at several other New Orleans outlets, including WLMG, WLTS, and WWL. In the mid- and late-1980s, he spent time in California as an OM for KMEL, San Francisco and then Gannett Broadcasting‘s properties in San Diego. Sandwiched between those stops was a two-year stint as operations manager in Pittsburgh for EZ’s WBZZ “B-94.” Information is not yet available regarding Ferrara’s funeral arrangements.

Friday, December 5, 2014

| December 5, 2014

word logoEntercom Names Tara Servatius and Vince Coakley to Morning Radio Posts on ‘WORD 106.3’ in Greenville.  At Entercom’s WYRD, Greenville, South Carolina “WORD 106.3,” new morning programming is announced that includes Tara Servatius servatiustarahosting “The Tara Show” from 6:00 am to 10:00 am followed by Vince Coakley taking over the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show.  The new programming begins on Monday, December 8.  Entercom Greenville VP and market manager Steve Sinicropi says, “We are energizing morning radio with the launch of these vibrant, coakleyvincelive, and local talk shows.  Both Tara and Vince will deliver fresh, and thought-provoking commentary on the issues and news our community cares about most.  We are excited about fans joining in the on-air conversation on the only Upstate local news/talk station.”  Servatius was most recently with Cumulus Media’s WTMA, Charleston, South Carolina.  She also worked at Greater Media’s WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte.  Coakley – also a WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte alum – had been hosting a Sunday afternoon program on “WORD 106.3.”  Longtime WYRD personality Russ Cassell – host of the 8:00 am to 12:00 noon program – passed away in October, prompting changes in the morning lineup.

beckatomTom Becka Exits NRG Media’s KOIL, Omaha.  Two and a half years after joining NRG Media’s KOIL, Omaha, Tom Becka announces his contract with the station has not been renewed.  Becka posted a podcast on his TomBecka.com site explaining his exit from the station.  He tells TALKERS it wasn’t too shocking as he’d suspected his deal was not going to be renewed.  As for KOIL, the station’s GM, Andy Ruback, tells the Omaha World-Herald they’ll announce permanent plans for the afternoon drive daypart in the near future.  In the interim, the station is airing TRN’s Sam Sorbo program.  Tom Becka can be reached at tbecka@hotmail.com.

talksmerconishMichael Smerconish Options Novel Talk to Warner Bros.  The novel published by SiriusXM personality Michael Smerconish about a talk radio host acting out a stereotypical neo-conservative philosophy on the air despite his own convictions in order to be successful,has been optioned to Warner Brothers to become a TV show.  Smerconish, who exited AM/FM radio for satellite after a career that included local radio on WPHT, Philadelphia and national syndication via Compass Media Networks, tells Politico that he’s excited about the opportunity.  “Like anyone who’s ever written a novel, as I wrote it I envisioned it on the screen.  Of course in most cases that doesn’t come to pass and now this looks like it will, and I couldn’t be more excited.  I think the story lends itself to TV beautifully.  In the world of ‘House of Cards’ and ‘Alpha House,’ I can definitely see ‘Talk’ on a television screen.”  Many talk radio practitioners bristle at the implication that conservative talk hosts don’t really believe what they portray on the radio, but just do it because they think that’s what the industry wants.  A number of talk professionals also took umbrage with Smerconish’s parting shots at the industry as he left AM/FM for satellite, specifically with his public statements accusing the business of requiring hosts to adhere to an ideologically driven style of talk radio instead of one that addresses issues from multiple perspectives.

cookehollandYour New PD Gig: D.I.Y. with O.P.M.  In a column published today (12/5) in TALKERS, consultant Holland Cooke explains an opportunity that might be perfect for some sales-minded programmers looking to work independently on other people’s radio signals.  He’s talking about programming weekend content on a brokered basis.  He says, “Parlay your assets into Do It Yourself radio.  I’m not talking about podcasting-instead.  I’m talking about renting transmitter time.  All that many news/talk stations ask of weekend talent is pay-for-play, so consider pay-and-program.”  Read more from Holland Cooke here.

whfs logoBeasley Drops Sports on FM in Tampa.  The FM sports talker that CBS RADIO brought to Tampa is gone – playing Christmas music until a new format debuts on January 5.  Among Those out with the change at WHFS-FM “98.7 The Fan” are sports talk personalities Anthony “Booger” McFarland, Marc Ryan, Kirk McEwen, Jesse Kage, and Justin Pawlowski.  Beasley is still operating WHFS-AM as a sports talker using CBS Sports Radio Network programming.

Odds & Sods.  A new podcast from Sports USA featuring former super agent Tom Reich will launch.  According to Sports USA president Bob Moore, “Tom and brother Sam Reich bring integrity, respect, experience and a fresh perspective to the podcast and will talk about past stories and current events in their lives and the world of sports.”…..The PAC 5 final game – the prep championship between St. John Bosco and Corona Centennial – will air on LAA 1 LLC-owned KLAA, Anaheim tomorrow (12/6) at 8:00 pm PT.  The Emmy-award winning broadcast team of Kevin Turner and Bill Cunerty will call the live play-by-play.  The game is being broadcast on the radio for the sixth year in a row on KLAA – home of the Los Angeles Angels and Anaheim Ducks.  Fox SportsFred Salas will join the team for the broadcast handling sideline reports and postgame interviews.

Ferguson Aftermath Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of December 1-5.  The events that have followed the Ferguson grand jury’s decision not to indict officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown – including Charles Barkley’s comments and whether to charge Brown’s stepfather Louis Head for inciting a riot – were the top stories on news/talk radio during the week.  Following at #2 was the NYC choke hold case tied with the police shooting death of 12-year-old Cleveland youth Tamir Rice.  At #3 was the amnesty issue followed by the 2016 presidential candidates at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

| July 30, 2014

radioworkforcegraphic14Minority Workforce in Radio ‘Highest Since Mid-1990s.’  That’s according to a recent RTDNA study by Robert Papper, professor emeritus at Hofstra University.  The latest edition of this annual study, titled “Women and Minorities in Newsrooms,” examines the state of minorities and women working in both television and radio news organizations.  The minority workforce in radio over the past 24 years peaked in 1995 at 14.7%.  Results for this year show the minority workforce in radio at 13%.  Breaking down the radio minority workforce, the data show African Americans make up 4.8% of the workforce with Hispanics making up 6.2%.  However, Papper concludes that the number of minorities working at non-commercial stations is “two to three times as high” compared to the workforce at commercial stations.  Read the entire study here.

2014 NYC logo 150Talkers New York 2014 Videos Being Posted.  Up Today: Panel Discussion, “Developing and Managing a Talk Show Hosting Career.” Today (7/30) marks the 12th consecutive business day of TALKERS magazine’s video posting of speeches, sessions and presentations made during last month’s 17th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention – Talkers New York 2014.  The presentation of these informative and historic recordings is sponsored by WYD Media Sales, LLC., the rep firm recently launched by Ron Hartenbaum and headed by John Murphy, that specializes in the advertising sales of spoken-word media on all popular platforms.  The worldwide showing of these very special videos continues today with a panel discussion moderated by TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian titled, “Developing and Managing a Talk Show Hosting Career.”  Featured speakers include:  Tom Becka, KOIL, Omaha; Ron Hartenbaum, WYD Media; Tom Marr, WCBM, Baltimore; Joe Piscopo, WNYM, New York; and Martha Zoller, WGAU, Athens, GA/Georgia News Network.  The session was introduced by noted industry attorney, Steve Weisman, legal editor, TALKERS who compares these days to Charles Dickens’ “best and worst” of times for being a radio talent.  Weisman advises those who think these are the worst of times to “get out now, because they are right.”  But he also says for those who see it the other way, they are also right — these are the best of talkcareerpanel14times because of all the “unparalleled opportunities” that exist among the changes at hand.  Moderator Kinosian sets the tone opening the session with the statement, “As a former program director, the greatest joy I had was dealing with talent.  I loved the formatics, the elements… I loved everything about programming a radio station — but nothing interested me more than the talent.  What it’s like to be a personality.  This [panel] is about personalities on the air, their lives and their profession.  I am interested in them as human beings.”  To view the entire presentation, please click here.  Coming tomorrow:  “The Talk Rumble” moderated by Lionel with a special introduction by Dr. Joy Browne.  Rumblers include:  Bubba the Love Sponge, Bubba Radio NetworkAlan Colmes, Fox News Radio/FNC; Mike Gallagher, Salem Radio Network; Thom Hartmann, WYD Media; Joyce Kaufman, WFTL, Ft. Lauderdale; Kevin McCullough, XtreMEDIA; and David Webb, Sirius/XM Satellite Radio.  The Talkers New York 2014 conference videos were recorded by Art Vuolo.

patriotmadeaudiocast‘Patriot-Made Audiocast’ Celebrates Three Years.  Creating American jobs and celebrating the ingenuity that leads to those jobs is the keystone of the mindset of Debra Grobman and Rita Rich, co-producers of the program “Patriot-Made Audiocast.”  The show is celebrating its third year of “telling stories about creating, and keeping jobs in America.”  Grobman, based in L.A., says, “The ‘Patriot-Made Audiocast’ is a made-in-the-USA podcast production and the appetite for positive stories about American inventors, designers, artists and musicians is great throughout North America.   Washington-based Rita Rich, former longtime producer of the Jim Bohannon show, adds, “As I talk to people about their work, I learned that patriotism and pride in being American is the bedrock of so many of their stories.”  Some of the people and companies the program has featured so far include:  Annie and William Chilakian, mother and son owners of Silver Moon Bay Convalescent Apparel; Victoria Hunter Closson, inventor of The Headbone; Dal LaMagna, the CEO of IceStone; a green flooring and countertop manufacturer; Chris Miceli, marketing director of Porta-Brace customized carry cases; Judy Smith, co-inventor of Wine-A-Rita drink mix; and Laura Wilkenson-Sinton, co-inventor of FreshTape.  Grobman adds, “Consumers are looking for fellowship and a sense of connectedness everywhere, including the marketplace.  Rita and I present stories that make the people who make stuff and present ideas as more human and real.  That way folks will want to spend money on goods made in the USA.  If you put a good story behind the things people buy and you make it worth it.”

hotnewstalkradioChattanooga AM Trio Debuts News/Talk/Sports Format.  Operating as Hot News Talk Radio LLC, principals Sab Cupelli and David Tulis are programming a new news/talk/sports format on three Chattanooga signals: WSDT 1240 AM, WEPG 910 AM, WSDQ 1190 AM.  The stations are featuring Westwood One’s Don Imus and Dennis Miller, Courtside Entertainment Group’s Laura Ingraham, Premiere Network’s “Coast to Coast AM” plus local programming including “Nooganomics” with David Tulis and various sports programming.  Cupelli is an experienced station owner and programmer.  Tulis is a veteran business news editor at the Chattanooga Free Press and a talk show host.

smithstephenaOne-Week Suspension for ESPN’s Smith. Concrete proof is hardly required to illustrate the kind of ramifications that can result from a sports talk host’s off-the-cuff remarks.  Those seeking evidence, however, need only examine two incidents from this month.  TALKERS has been following and reporting on the fallout from disparaging remarks WEEI, Boston “Dennis & Callahan” morning show member Kirk Minihane made regarding Fox reporter Erin Andrews. Add to that what happened last Friday (7/25) on ESPN‘s “First Take” when Stephen A. Smith inferred that women should consider how they are the ones who provoke violence against themselves.  In a staff memo, ESPN president John Skipper writes that Smith will not appear on “First Take” or ESPN Radio for one week.  In the note, Skipper states, “As many of you know, there has been substantial news coverage in the past few days related to comments Stephen A. made in the wake of the NFL‘s decision to suspend Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice for two games following charges of assaulting his then fiancée, now wife, a few months ago. Those remarks did not reflect our company’s point of view, or our values.  They certainly don’t reflect my personal beliefs.  We have been engaged in thoughtful discussion about appropriate next steps.  Those conversations have involved a diverse group of women and men in our company.  Our women’s ERG has added to the conversation and going forward, I know they will help us continue constructive discussion on this and related issues.”  Smith was quoted that his particular remark was, “the most egregious mistake” of his career.  According to Skipper, “I believe his apology was sincere and that he and we have learned from what we’ve collectively experienced.  I am confident we will all move forward with a greater sense of enlightenment and perspective as the lasting impact of these last few days.”  According to Skipper’s memo, Smith will return to ESPN one week from today (Wednesday, 8/6).

Odds & Sods.  Joining the Salem Communications Houston operations is 30-year market pro Michael Shiloh who is named news director and morning anchor at the station group that includes news/talk KNTH “1070 The Answer,” business talk KTEK, and Christian talk KKHT…..The University of Houston has a radio flagship for its football play-by-play this season as games will be broadcast on Clear Channel news/talk KPRC, Houston with Kevin Eschenfelder and Ted Pardee in the booth and Jeremy Branham on the sidelines.  Cougars football aired on CC’s sister sports talker KBME last season…..Towson University football and men’s basketball play-by-play will air on CBS RADIO’s sports talker WJZ-AM “CBS Sports Radio 1300” this season.  In addition to the gamecasts, football coach Rob Ambrose and basketball coach Pat Skerry will make appearances on sister sports talk WJZ-FM “105.7 The Fan.”

marconiawardFormer Marconi Winners to Help Celebrate 25th Anniversary of NAB Honor.  In recognizing the 25th anniversary of the NAB Marconi Awards, five former recipients of the honor with be part of the awards dinner and show at the 2014 Radio Show in September in Indianapolis.  Ron Chapman, Edgar “Shoboy” Sotelo, Big Boy, and Bob Kevoian and Tom Griswold of the “The Bob & Tom Show” will serve as emcees and presenters throughout the evening on September 11.  Helping lead the festivities and serving as presenters will be NAB Radio Board chair Don Benson of Lincoln Financial Media, Radio Show steering committee chair and Cox Media Group‘s Kim Guthrie and NAB Joint Board chair Charles Warfield of YMF Media LLC.

New England Broadcaster Dave Thatcher Dies at 70.  Longtime radio personality Dave Thatcher died on July 26 at age 70.  Thatcher worked for years in both the Springfield, Massachusetts and Hartford, Connecticut markets.  Early in his career he was a morning drive personality in Springfield, working at a number of stations in the market.  He also produced talk shows at WHYN and WNNZ in Springfield.

Gaza Violence, Flight 17 Probe/Russian Aggression in Ukraine, Obama Impeachment Move, Immigration Reform/Border Crisis, Mid-Term Elections/2016 Presidential Race, Ebola Threat, and Ray Rice Suspension Reaction Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/29).  The continuing violence in the Gaza Strip and Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts to broker peace; the investigation into the downing of Flight 17 and Russia’s continued involvement in Ukrainian instability; the move to impeach President Obama; immigration reform, amnesty proposals and the crisis at the U.S.’s Southeastern border; the looming mid-term elections and the 2016 presidential race; the renewed threat of the Ebola virus; and the aftermath of the NFL’s two-game suspension of Ray Rice were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

| July 1, 2014

beckglennForbes Releases 2014 Celebrity 100 List; Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and Howard Stern Rank.  The highest ranking radio personality on this year’s Forbes 2014 Celebrity 100 list – based on fortune and fame – is Premiere Networks-syndicated star Ryan Seacrest (estimated incomehannitysean $65 million), who tied with Sean “Diddy” Combs at #31.  Premiere Networks host and TheBlaze founder Glenn Beck comes in close behind at #39 with an estimated income of $90 million.  Premiere Networks superstar Rush Limbaugh lands at #59 this year with estimated income of $66 million and SiriusXM icon Howard Stern follows at #62 with $95 million in estimated income.  Premiere Networks and Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity rounds out the radio people this year at #86 with $30 million in estimated income.

walkerchetClear Channel Ousts Chet Walker from WHAM, Rochester Morning Duties.  After a 35-year career with the station, morning drive co-host Chet Walker is gone from heritage news/talk WHAM, Rochester.  WHEC-TV, Rochester reports that station program director Aaron Trimmer confirmed Walker’s departure with the obligatory “We appreciate all of his contributions during his time with us and wish him well” statement and that the station will unveil its new morning show soon.  Clear Channel – as with most radio companies – does not comment on personnel matters, but some industry watchers believe the recent spate of dismissals from CC stations due not to job performance but is part of a long, slow parsing of the payroll.  This contrasts with previous companywide cuts that had happened en masse and brought about negative PR.  The company cut ties with Walker’s former co-host Beth Adams in 2011.  She joined crosstown public radio outlet WXXI as local host of the “Morning Edition” program in 2012.

ryanricoGreater Media Promotes Ryan and Rico to Daily Show at ‘Detroit Sports 105.1.’  Weekend sports talk personalities Ryan Ermanni (left) and Rico Beard (right) are moving from their weekend slot at Greater Media’s sports talker WMGC, Detroit “Detroit Sports 105.1” to the late-morning slot airing from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon beginning Monday, July 7.  Greater Media Detroit market manager Steve Chessare says, “Ryan and Rico have been with us since day one and have done a phenomenal job with our weekend coverage.  They have had a tremendous run so far and are extremely popular with our dedicated Motor City sports fans.”  The pair are replacing ESPN Radio’s Colin Cowherd.  Program director Jason Dixon adds, “We are fired up to give Detroit sports fans even more local sports content.  Adding Ryan and Rico to the 10:00 to 12:00 noon slot is the next step in the evolution of ‘Detroit Sports 105.1.’ With Mike and Mike, Ryan and Rico, Matt Dery, Drew Lane and Marc Fellhauer, along with the addition of Detroit Pistons Basketball, I could not be more excited about the future of the station.”

wgn logo newWGN, Chicago Announces Sales Department Changes.  As part of a number of sales department changes at Tribune’s WGN Radio, Steve Tarpley is promoted to national sales manager for all Tribune agency markets, excluding New York and Philadelphia, for news/talk WGN and sports talk WGWG-LP “The Game 87.7.”  Tarpley continues his role as local AE for WGN.  At the same time, sales manager Liz Cullen will take on more responsibilities with the WGN local staff, but continue her national work in New York and Philadelphia.  Sales director Jeff Hill comments, “In Steve’s four-and-a-half years at WGN Radio, he has done a tremendous job in building relationships with both his direct and agency clients.  I’m very confident that he will have the same success in the national arena.”

riveraedSBG Names Rivera-Searles SVP Digital Initiatives; Teases ‘Brand New Day for Radio.’  With the announcement that Edwin Rivera-Searles is named the company’s new SVP of digital initiatives, Sun Broadcast Group, Inc. also promises news later this summer that CEO Jason Bailey says is “the first stage in what will be a brand new day for radio.  It was crucial that we brought in the very best to help implement this amazing plan and Ed Rivera is exactly that.  He truly ‘gets it’.  You won’t find a more well-respected, passionate person in this business and I couldn’t be more excited to finally welcome him to our family!”  Rivera comes to SBG from his most recent post as SVP of ad sales for Westwood One.  Rivera comments, “Joining the executive team of Sun Broadcast Group is a tremendous opportunity and I’m thrilled to be part of this new phase of growth and development for the company.  I’m impressed by what Jason and his team have accomplished in their short history in the network radio space.  I look forward to introducing our customized digital solutions to our agency and client partners later this summer.”

hillaustinMore TALKERS Career Moves.  Talk radio personality Austin Hill joins the six-station Faith Radio network (owned by the University of Northwestern – St. Paul) as host of the “Austin Hill in the Mornings on Faith Radio” program effective July 7.  The program will air from 6:00 am to 8:00 am CT.  Hill is also the harrispaulcreator and host of “Austin Hill’s Big World of Small Business,” a syndicated talk show about entrepreneurship and small business ownership…..Programmer Tim Sebean exits SiriusXM Satellite Radio where he was most recently SVP of entertainment and comedy, working with the Opie & Anthony show and others.  He’d been with the company for nine years, starting in 2005 as SVP of the Howard Stern channels…..Talk radio pro Paul Harris leaves the Envision Networks-syndicated “America Weekend” program.  Harris was one of three anchors for the program.  Turi Ryder and Rob Carson remain with the show.  Harris also is fill-in personality at CH Holdings-owned KTRS, St. Louis.

kitchinkraigBruce DuMont Steps Aside; Kraig Kitchin Named Chairman of National Radio Hall of Fame.  Following through on plans he announced last fall to ease back from some of his responsibilities to the Museum of Broadcast Communications, 70-year-old Bruce DuMont announces he’s resigned from the chairman position of the National Radio Hall of Fame and named new board of directors member KraigRHoF logo Kitchin to the chairman position.  Kitchin, who served as president of Premiere Networks for years, operates his own consulting firm Sound Mind LLC.  In his letter to the NRHOF committee, DuMont writes: I appointed new MBC Board member Kraig T. Kitchin to replace me as Chairman — naming MBC Board members Dennis Green and Karole White as vice chairs of the committee.  As you know Kraig, Dennis and Karole have all been longtime members of the NRHOFSC.  This important move comes in the wake of our recent announcement concerning the November 9th NRHOF induction ceremony taking place in Los Angeles.  It underscores the truly national scope of the NRHOF and will extend our reputation more broadly and hopefully our base of support as well.”

nielsen logoNielsen ‘Audio Demand Landscape’ Study Puts Listeners into Six Categories.  The Audio Demand Landscape study was unveiled at Nielsen’s Consumer 360 Conference on June 24.  Nielsen concludes from the online survey of a panel of 4,950 Americans between the ages of 18-74 (conducted in English in March) during March 2014 about their audio listening attitudes, motivations, behaviors, habits and preferences, that there are basically six types of audio consumers.  (Note that in parentheses is what Nielsen deems each group to be as a percentage of the U.S. population.)  They are: “Music Loving Personalizers” (23%) who are passionate music listeners mainly seeking an emotional benefit by listening.  They prefer free services and often play music in the background; “Discriminating Audiophiles” (18%) are highly engaged consumers who listen to and prefer a wide variety of audio, and are willing to pay for specific content; “Convenience Seeking Traditionalists” (17%) prefer broadcast radio, listening to their favorite stations and hosts, and they routinely listen in the car; “Information Seeking Loyalists” (15%) are heavy broadcast listeners who usually listen to their favorite talk programs for news, education and to stay informed of current events; “Background Driving Defaulters” (14%) are less engaged and typically have the radio on in the car for background entertainment or occasionally news and information; and “Techie Audio Enthusiasts” (13%) are avid consumers of many types of audio.  These listeners are early adopters of new platforms to satisfy their audio needs.  Nielsen says that when considering these groups based on the percent of all audio hours of listening they represent, the “Information Seeking Loyalists” and the “Music Loving Personalizers” account for nearly half (47%) of all audio consumption.  See more here.

callahanthomSCBA’s Thom Callahan Addresses Digital ‘Fraud’ in Column.  The mandate from marketing departments and ad buyers that more and more money be spent on “digital” platforms is a serious problem for traditional media ad sellers.  Southern California Broadcasters Association president Thom Callahan addresses the issue in a blog post titled, “A Responsibility to the Truth.”  In the post, Callahan cites a report by web security firm Incapsula that states in its latest annual reports on web traffic that: 1) 61.5% of all web traffic is NON-HUMAN or Bot traffic as it’s called; 2) 38.5% of all web traffic is Human; and 3) 48.1% of all video ads are not heard or seen by humans.  Callahan goes on to say that the big problem is there is no transparency in digital advertising.  “The sheer size and scope of this fraudulent behavior is costing advertisers over $6 billion a year in wasted advertising to these non-human sites, according to the ad fraud detection firm, White Ops.”  Read more of Callahan’s blog post here.

beckapizzapilgerKOIL, Omaha Raises $80,000 for Tornado Disaster Relief.  In an effort to assist the residents of Pilger, Nebraska who were affected by the twin tornadoes that moved through the area several weeks ago, NRG-owned news/talk KOIL worked with area pizza restaurants who donated 100% of the proceeds from pizza sales on June 23 to the Salvation Army.  Pictured here is KOIL talk personality Tom Becka (center, holding mic) presenting the check to the Salvation Army.  On the day of the “Pizza for Pilger,” Becka interviewed Salvation Army officials, pizza purveyors and Pilger residents impacted by the tornadoes.

SCOTUS Hobby Lobby Case; SCOTUS Health Care Workers Union Case, Illegal Immigrants Influx, ISIS Violence in Iraq, Israel-Hamas Clash, Hillary Clinton Popularity Rating/2016 Presidential Possibilities, and World Cup Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/30).  Two of the Supreme Court’s decisions, including the Hobby Lobby case and the Illinois Health Care Workers Union case; the looming political battle over the recent influx of illegal minors flooding into the Southwest; ISIS declares Iraq and Syria Islamic states and President Obama sends more troops to Iraq; Israel’s threat of strikes against Hamas after the bodies of three kidnapped teenagers are found; Hillary Clinton’s sinking popularity ratings and speculation about the possible presidential candidates in 2016; and World Cup action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

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