Tag: "Tom Brady"

Digital Creates a New Ballgame For Boston’s WEEI

| August 8, 2017

By Jeff McKay
TALKERS
Special Features Correspondent

BOSTON – While some radio stations and companies are working harder and in some cases struggling  to make digital dollars and digital traffic work for them, Boston’s WEEI (850AM/93.7FM) has proven digital can work extremely well for them.  The Boston and New England region Entercom sports/talk powerhouse weaves its podcasts, along with an unusually strong presence on social media into a mechanism that drives listeners to and from the radio and social media, and advertisers to multiple platforms.

Success for WEEI’s digital arm didn’t happen overnight.   The digital and social media launch came nine years ago as the stock market was tanking and businesses crumbling during the “great recession,” and now employs eight full and part-time staffers who also bring strong content to the radio while on-air sports radio hosts enhance their digital domain.

A Team Effort Built From Within

“We’ve always had an understanding that our site can be a lot of things to a lot of people. It’s obviously a reflection of the on-air product, but we have also shown the ability to drive the on-air content perhaps more than most sports stations digital platforms,” says Rob Bradford, site editor and Red Sox beat writer for WEEI.com.

Bradford, who also hosts his own podcast for WEEI titled “The Bradfo Sho,” says it’s not just about the content, as their success really comes from the people behind the content, and as you can tell from Bradford, his staffers clearly each wear more than one hat.

“Perhaps the most important aspect of our growth has been to employ smart, talented people who will do anything at any time. This has been a seven-day-a-week, non-stop venture, and everyone on our staff being at the ready to populate the site, or contribute to the on-air product, has always been part of the deal.”

A great example is Kirk Minihane, who started at WEEI.com as a part-time fantasy sports writer and fill-in copy editor.  He soon amassed a following online, becoming an on-air presence and, given the chance, rose through the ranks to now become the popular and brash WEEI radio morning show host.

On the digital side, Alex Reimer writes columns and blogs as well as hosting a podcast.  Ryan Hannable interned at WEEI.com in 2012 and now covers the Red Sox and Patriots as well as writing sports news, and they’re just two parts of the digital team.

Social Media Becomes a Listener Hub

“All of our social media platforms have played a role but I’d say Facebook has been the most important,” says the 30-year old WEEI PD Joe Zarbano, and with good reason.

With over 225,000 followers, WEEI has over four times the Facebook followers of New York City’s legendary sports/talk WFAN.  Zarbano says the key to their Facebook success is using social media as a way to both promote their on-air effort and tie in their digital products.

“We consistently and strategically post throughout the day. Facebook is another platform that allows us to reach a large audience to help promote what is happening on air and online.”

However, it’s not just Facebook.

WEEI’s Twitter followers rival that of WFAN and Los Angeles’ “ESPN LA” combined, and when it comes to Instagram, more than 16,800 followers can see pics and behind-the-scenes action, some they can’t find anywhere else.

It’s also about using the content to be advantageous both on-air and on-site.

“The unique thing that we’ve been able to do is to have more options, unique material and interviews.  We can leverage that one interview and break it down to on-air, blogs, podcasts and site news to drive the conversation,” says Bradford, who added it keeps the listener and reader engaged on multiple levels.

“Deflate-Gate” Culminates a Digital Drive

A story like the one in which the Patriots were accused of deflating footballs might have been a problem for the football team, but it pushed page views on WEEI into the stratosphere, with over 12.4 million page views in January, 2015.  However, it was not that one story that has defined their digital domain.

Bradford tells TALKERS, “Storylines are always going to put page views over the top, with our on-air product doing a better job than anybody at capitalizing on anything that might be a talker.   What we do a really good job of – not only online, but also on the air – is realizing what are the best stories, and then presenting them in the right way.  We have learned a lot when it comes to understanding how to maneuver around a news cycle in terms of timing, tone and where the energy should be devoted to.”

Fast-forward two years, and In March, WEEI.com had 10.3 million page views, and averages 10 million pages views each month.  WEEI.com also averages 1.6 million unique page views each month, and spiked just over 2.6 million unique views in April.

“We cover the teams more relentlessly than other sites – breaking as many stories as any media outlet while also traveling to a good chunk of events – but then have the luxury of being able to surface the most powerful voices (on the air and online) when notable moments arise. I guess it once again comes back to the ability to offer more of everything — columns, show audio, news of the day, podcasts, video to our listeners and users,” says Zarbano.

Podcasting Brings In New Listeners

To say WEEI has made an investment in podcasting may be an understatement.  From “Enough About Me,” hosted by WEEI morning show host Kirk Minihane, to “Two Outs,” a podcast featuring two openly gay sports enthusiasts in Boston Herald columnist Steve Buckley and Reimer, this gives the station added programming and targets listeners in almost every possible demographic, especially younger demos.

According to Zarbano, despite having a strong number of podcasts, there’s still more work to be done.

“We have two different types of podcasts, podcasting that is not on the radio and podcasting that are the segments on the radio that we upload to the website.  As an example, our exclusive Tom Brady podcasts are uploaded to the website and get thousands of clicks and listens,” says Zarbano, who oversees podcasts including fantasy football and movies along with national and local sports.

Now that Entercom has bought a stake in DGital Media, this will allow Entercom to become one of the largest providers of original sports audio content in the country, enhancing an already strong digital and podcasting presence for WEEI.

“Entercom will be the clear leader in creating original audio content and we are committed to reaching our listeners in any way they wish to engage with us,” says Entercom president & CEO David Field, adding they will rely heavily on Entercom’s “deep roster of local talent and relationships in the world of sports, news, politics, music, comedy, and technology.”

Branding Leads To Sales

One thing Entercom has done in Boston is intertwine WEEI’s on-air product with WEEI.com in a way that both sales and station content complement one another.

“Many of our sales packages include digital. It’s a great advantage to have when enticing a prospective client. We can offer more than just our on air product when closing a deal,” says Zarbano.  “Our dot.com staff are ‘brand personalities.’  Bradford, John Tomase, and Reimer and others all contribute original content to our site on a daily basis and also have a regular presence on the air as well.”

WEEI’s exclusive content gives advertisers unique access to Boston’s celebrity athletes and teams on multiple levels that can improve their own digital presence.

“It allows us to put together packages and tell clients you can sponsor Tom Brady’s interviews on WEEI, but also have a presence on the website, and that’s a great incentive for advertisers who don’t have the digital access and number of page views we have.  It gives our clients an opportunities they can’t get anywhere else that can compliment and improve their own digital presence,” says Zarbano.

After Nine Years of Digital – What’s Next?

“Our audience just wants more WEEI – they want to consume more content,” says Zarbano, but Bradford makes clear, “There’s not a template on how to do this.”

For WEEI, their drive into digital began in 2008, just as the recession was crashing all around them.  Despite an extremely uncertain economy, Entercom gave the go-ahead and since then, it has only grown.

Credit for WEEI’s success, according to Zarbano, starts at the top and cites the company’s faith in the product and digital vision.

“David Field and Entercom management believe in WEEI and had a vision before most that a website generating an enormous amount of new content on a daily basis could be extremely beneficial to the WEEI brand. We’ve been able to grow because of the unwavering faith the company has in us,” says Zarbano.  “When we started it was the worst possible time to start anything, the economy tanked right away.  Entercom stood by us and despite losing a lot of great people we’ve gained a lot of great people and thanks to our reputation, and a powerhouse radio station, we’ve been able to stay ahead of the curve.”

When it comes to what is ahead, the goal for WEEI is to continue to build the brand.

“You want to keep building your numbers.  We can put up an audio file and now that we have so much traffic it helps the on-air product, or they’ll listen live to an interview and then go to the site for more of the story.  It’s not just a radio station or website – it’s the entire brand,” says Bradford.

“Finding young talent that can be opinionated, entertaining and informed both on-air and on-line will be key for us as well,” says Zarbano, who adds, “One day hopefully we’ll have an even larger staff on WEEI.com, more assets, more podcasts, I think that’s part of the future.  We need to create more content that’s not just traditional radio content, especially as cars become more connected.”

Jeff McKay, a veteran New York-based operations manager, newsman and traffic reporter, is a special features correspondent for TALKERS.  He can be emailed at  McKayway@aol.com.

 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

| September 4, 2013

westwoodone logoDial Global Changes Name to WestwoodOne.  Making good on what had been rumored for a little more than a week, Dial Global, as it prepares to be acquired by Cumulus Media, announces the official change of its name to WestwoodOne (complete with cool, new logo).  CEO Paul Caine states, “We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished as Dial Global.  Through our belief in the power of sound we are dedicated to continuously reinventing the industry and creating the most dynamic audio programming that connects people to their passions.  With the audio industry’s ever-changing landscape we know we’ve just scratched the surface of what’s possible for audio’s broad consumption.  By reclaiming and reviving an iconic audio brand name, we are not changing who we are, but accelerating thecainepaul great work we are doing to contribute to the growth of audio.”  In addition to the name change, the company reports it is commissioning “an industry study on the ‘power of sound,’ aimed at better understanding consumers, their behavior, and their interaction with audio.  The study builds on current recency data proving radio as the most-used medium closest to point-of-purchase and will explore trends in audio consumption based on behavioral tendencies among various demographics.”  The company says full study results are expected to be released in the fourth quarter of 2013 but states that preliminary findings further the notion that audio is an integral part of the new media landscape.

epictimes logoTRN’s Jerry Doyle Launches ‘Solution-Based News Destination’ EpicTimes.com.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Jerry Doyle – a former actor, voice-over artist, Wall Street trader and pilot, says he credits his varied background with instilling in him the obvious and growing need for a solution-based news doylejerrycommunity.  The Talk Radio Network personality is therefore launching his newest media endeavor, EpicTimes.com – what he calls “a solution-based news destination dedicated to putting cutting-edge news, resources, and answers in the hands of the public.”  He adds, “EpicTimes.com seeks to deliver insight from some of the most influential voices of our time, spanning a variety of expertise to share solution-based ideas and insights with a community that is focused on problem solving and results.”  Doyle says that to serve the knowledge of his online audience, he has assembled a diverse cast of contributors, whose collective goal is to offer clear insights into a range of issues, combined with hard-hitting commentaries and workable solutions to the issues that directly affect our lives.  “This unique view on the issues and news headlines is geared toward building an active community on the site.  All opinions are heard and commentary between readers and contributors and readers to readers is encouraged.  That kind of honest conversation is just what I believe people want.  My goal is for EpicTimes.com to not just publish relevant news, but to become a solutions community.”  Check out EpicTimes.com here.

rosenthalmarkKatz Radio Group Names Mark Rosenthal CEO.  Media rep firm Katz Media Group announces it has picked media executive Mark Rosenthal to head up the Katz Radio Group.  Rosenthal’s media experience goes back to the early days of MTV where he was one of the original team that created the cable TV channel.  He was also involved in the inception of Nickelodeon, VH1 and Comedy Central.  Katz says he “has been a leader in the media industry for more than 25 years, building advertising and marketing solutions for world-class media brands.”  KRG says Rosenthal will work with president Mark Gray to “ensure continued high-level performance in the transactional arena.  Rosenthal will also focus on KRG’s radio advocacy efforts and lead an accelerated charge to bring additional revenue into the radio sector.”  Clear Channel Media and Entertainment chairman and CEO John Hogan says, “We are thrilled to have such a well-respected media executive join Katz Radio Group.  Mark has an enormous range of experience across all forms of media, from traditional and digital media to the agency world.  Radio is a powerful national marketing platform.  Our goal is to continue to tell the success story of radio’s massive reach.  Mark joining the team signifies a very exciting step forward in our intensified effort to drive substantial growth for Katz clients by providing the most innovative media solutions available.”

foxnewsradioFox News and SiriusXM Re-Up; Content Added to SiriusXM Internet Radio.  After speculation over the summer that Fox News and SiriusXM were headed for a break-up, the two sides announce they have inked a deal to bring Fox News content to the satcaster through 2019.  In addition, as part of the new agreement, siriusxmSiriusXM will broadcast Fox Business Network.  SiriusXM will be the exclusive audio home for broadcasts of Fox News and Fox Business Network for its more than 25 million subscribers.  As part of the agreement, SiriusXM will add both channels to its SiriusXM Internet Radio channel lineup for the first time.  The new agreement also includes the addition of Fox News Talk to the SiriusXM Internet Radio service.  Fox News Talk, which offers news, analysis, listener call-ins, and commentary from popular Fox News personalities such as Brian Kilmeade, John Gibson and Alan Colmes, among others, will be available online at SiriusXM Internet Radio and through the SiriusXM Internet Radio App on smart phones and other connected devices.  Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes states, “Our viewers love the ability to keep the connection with Fox News Channel, even while they’re in the car with SiriusXM.  This agreement not only ensures that will continue but expands it to our Fox Business Network viewers and restores the Fox News Talk channel to SiriusXM subscribers on their computers and smart phones.  This is good for Fox News, for SiriusXM and for the people we both work for, the American public.”

conwaylelandLeland Conway Named Late-Morning Host at WHAS, Louisville.  Clear Channel’s heritage Louisville news/talker announces talk host Leland Conway will assume the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program that opened up when Mandy Connell moved to the company’s KHOW, Denver for the morning show earlier this summer.  Conway – a Kentucky native – currently hosts afternoon drive on CC’s WRVA, Richmond and will continue in that role as well.  Regional programming manager Kelly Carls states, “This is an exciting appointment for ‘84WHAS Radio’ and the Kentuckiana community.   We talked to many highly qualified and experienced on-air personalities, but Leland’s talents really shined brightly.  His wit, energy and longstanding Kentucky roots make him a great fit.  We’re extremely happy he’s returning to the Bluegrass State.”  Conway has served as a commentator on WTVQ-TV, and for six years hosted a successful talk show on WLAP, Lexington.  Conway adds, “It is an honor to join the WHAS team.  As a native Kentuckian, I grew up with WHAS.  It’s as much a part of the Bluegrass State as hot browns and horse racing.  I am excited to once again be a part of the lively conversation in Kentucky.”

radioshow2013Michael Harrison to Present Annual Address at NAB Radio Show.  In a popular “Info-Session” that has packed the room each year for more than a decade, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison will address the forthcoming NAB Radio Show on the subject “The Vital Role Radio Plays in Popular Culture.”harrisonmichael  The info-session, sponsored by TALKERS, will be a power-packed hour touching upon a number of key issues that are vital to radio’s very existence – let alone artistic and financial well-being – in the rapidly advancing digital era.  Harrison says that for radio to remain iconic in the 21st century, it must maintain “ownership” of the scenes it addresses whether they are music, politics, news, sports or any other expression of the human condition.  He says radio must maintain a foreground, active position and avoid being marginalized as a passive delivery system and he gives solid examples and suggestions to make it happen.  Consultant Holland Cooke introduces what will be a riveting and inspirational hour.  The session takes place on Thursday, September 19 between 1:30 pm and 2:30 pm in the very heart of the conference at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel in Gatlin E2 and is open to all attendees of the conference.

baxobrien‘Rock 102’ Springfield, MA Morning Talk Duo Bax & O’Brien to Do Live Performance at Local Theater.  The long-running morning drive powerhouse of Bax & O’ Brien (Michael “Bax” Baxendale and John O’ Brien) have been gathering huge on-air audiences in Western Massachusetts for more than 15 years and innovating advances in local webcasting worthy of national attention.  Now, they’ve added another facet to their arsenal of attractions.  The team has been booked into the downtown Springfield prestigious City-Stage theater for a one-night special performance on Thursday, October 17.  The show is being sponsored by local car dealership Curry Honda and will cleverly feature “guest” appearances by locally famous advertisers who will actually perform their live commercial reads during the program (great idea!).  In addition, guests will include local and regional personalities Paul “Fitzy” Fitzgerald, live performances from guitar legend Gary Hoey and Dr. Westchesterson plus special video presentations from comedians Lisa Lampanelli and Tom Cotter, and the promise of other surprises!  Tickets go on sale Friday September 6 at the City Stage Box Office or at Ticketmaster.com.  Fans of Bax & O’ Brien will be able to see it live in person or watch the show streamed live with their BaxandObrien.com membership.

nathanalanMain Street Radio Network Re-Brands Alan Nathan-Hosted Program.  The talk show that’s been known as “Battle Line with Alan Nathan” is now titled “The Alan Nathan Show.”  Main Street Radio Network president Jane Silk states, “He’s the longest-running centrist radio show in the country and we’re delighted with the program’s evolution and direction.  As so many have said, ALAN is an important voice who needs to be heard!”  Nathan himself comments, “They’ve been calling it the ‘Alan Nathan show’ for years, so I learned how to take a hint.  Additionally, while there’s plenty of spirited debate (or battling) happening on the program, it’s also a guest-generated, panel-driven event that teases all who take themselves too seriously.”

costadinoDino Costa Moves to Mornings on SiriusXM’s New Sports Zone Channel.  As TALKERS reported yesterday (from a New York Daily News story), sports talk host Dino Costa is moving from the Mad Dog Radio channel at SiriusXM where he was the evening (Eastern Time) personality, to mornings where his show will be heard from 7:00 am to 11:00 am ET beginning September 5.  In a statement, Costa says, “When I joined SiriusXM nearly five years ago, my objective was to deliver listeners across North America a brand of sports commentary and opinion that they had never heard before, something that was a radical departure from the status quo.  I feel I have accomplished that and gained a more than appreciable audience over that time.  Creating and delivering the kind of a show I do would not have been possible anyplace other than SiriusXM and it is an honor and a privilege to be with what I consider to be the mightiest radio broadcaster on planet earth.  I enjoyed my time with Mad Dog Sports Radio and now I look forward to new challenges and conquests and feel more enthused than ever at the prospects of making SiriusXM Sports Zone a destination channel for our valued subscribers.  This is the start of something very big!”

mooreloriLori Moore to Retire from WKZO, Kalamazoo.  Retire might be too strong a word for AM drive host Lori Moore’s departure from Midwest Communications’ news/talk WKZO, Kalamazoo.  But Moore has worked at the station for the past 18 years (32 years in the market) and, to her faithful listeners, it might feel like retirement.  Still, Moore says she will remain close to the community and has “many projects” in the pipeline.  Morning host since 1995, Moore states, “I feel I have a special bond with my audience and advertisers.  I think I am able to connect with what people care about.  I talk about events because I go to them and I endorse products and services I actually use.”  Her last day is Friday, September 6.

Odds & Sods. Tribune’s WGN, Chicago adds more sports programming to its weekend lineup with a post-Bears game program called “Two and a Half Bears,” featuring NFL Hall of Famer and Chicago Bears alumnus Dan Hampton, his former teammate Glen hamptondanKozlowski and WGN’s resident football fanatic Pete McMurray.  The program will feature interviews with players, coaches, and front office personnel.  Additionally, Hampton will join WGN’s Steve Cochran every Monday and Friday morning at 7:40 to provide a Bears game recap and preview…..Entercom’s WEEI-FM, Boston announces its NFL and Patriots football-related programming to air on the station and its affiliate stations around New England.  The content again includes exclusive interviews with quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick on “Patriots Monday.”  As itcowherdcolin did last year, gameday coverage will originate from Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill at Patriot Place in Foxborough and include pre- and post-game programs.  Throughout the week, WEEI programs will be visited by numerous football experts, writers and Patriots players…..ESPN Radio sports talk host Colin Cowherd debuts a new program on ESPN2 titled “Colin’s New Football Show” that will air Sundays at 9:00 am ET.  ESPN vice president, original programming and production, Jamie Horowitz says, “’Colin’s New Football Show’ will be entirely from Colin’s perspective.  It’s a cool and alternative pre-game show with Colin, a football outsider on the inside, letting fans know the key stories of the day in his own style.”…..CBS Radio’s all-news WNEW-FM, Washington reports it is doubling its traffic alerts to keep commuters up to speed on the region’s roadways during drive time.  Dubbed “Beltway Fix on the Six,” in addition its traffic and weather together on the 1s, the station will add reports on the 6s between 7:00 am and 10:00 as well as between 4:00 pm and 7:00 pm……CRN Digital Talk Radio host and well-known actor Fred Dryer is back on the big screen in a new movie titled “Snake and Mongoose,” that chronicles the careers of drag racers Don “the Snake” Prudhomme and Tom “the Mongoose” McEwen.  In the film, Dryer plays Motorsports Hall of Fame member Ed Donovan, McEwen’s engine builder who coined the racer’s “Mongoose” moniker.

bernierimmigrationIllegal Immigration Forum.  Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) and former INS agent Michael Cutler appeared in “The President Speakers Series” on the subject of illegal immigration at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach.  The event was moderated by the talk show host Marc Bernier – who also serves as President’s special assistant at the university – and was broadcast on WNDB, Daytona Beach and carried by C-SPAN.  Pictured here are (from l-r): Bernier, ERAU president John P. Johnson, Rep. Barletta and Cutler.  The event was the 95th in the Town Hall Series.  Photo by Arthur J. Byrnes.

Syria Question Goes Before Congress, ObamaCare Implementation, Miley Cyrus Fallout and Jack Nicholson Retires due to Memory Loss Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/3).  Secretary of State John Kerry takes the question of whether the United States should begin military action against Syria to Congress; ongoing complications in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act; the fallout from Miley Cyrus’ risqué performance at the MTV Video Music Awards and Jack Nicholson’s retirement from making movies, reportedly due to memory loss were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Hey Bad Guys – Watch Out!

| February 5, 2013

TALKERS Spotlight: THE WATCHDOGS

By Mike Kinosian
TALKERS
Managing Editor/West Coast Bureau Chief

LOS ANGELES —  Contrasted to national talk radio hosts who can sometimes get deeply mired in a monotonous right against left (or vice versa) onslaught, many of their local counterparts emerge as bona fide folk heroes for standing up against a coterie of injustices inflicted on their fellow residents.

Actions taken by this band of “watchdogs,” in the overwhelming number of instances, have nothing to do with political leanings or a partisan playbook.

johnandkencarrhowieLegendary for rooting out the “bad guys,” afternoon talk hosts “John & Ken” (John Kobylt & Ken Champiou) expose what they consider dirty dealings to their very large audience on Los Angeles’ KFI.  Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, WRKO, Boston’s Howie Carr is a thorn in the side of the “powers that be” in New England.  Everywhere in between, intense professional satisfaction comes when they go toe-to-toe with pit bull-like tenacity against the establishment. In that same sort of imagery, “hold their feet to the fire” has actually become a talk radio slogan as on-air talents attempt to expose and defeat “the bad guys.”

Read More

Peacock Sports Network Playing The Hits

| January 3, 2013

Part Two of a Special Feature

By Mike Kinosian
TALKERS
Managing Editor/West Coast Bureau Chief
LOS ANGELES — As sure as 2013 has arrived, personal resolutions have been made, and a plethora of prognostications will bombard us.

crystalball130Equally as predictable is that not long into this brand new year, those well-meaning self-promises will be severely compromised, and one’s forecasting ability becomes cloudy-looking, at best.

Here, however, is something that could actually be a trend this year: Don’t be surprised if clusters with multiple talk stations jettison one of those signals to sports.

Associated with that, we very well might witness a spate of under-performing (primarily talk) outlets transition to sports.

Read More

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

| September 7, 2011

Larry King to Address Breakfast at “Los Angeles Regional Talkers Forum 2011.”  Some of the most important names in American talk radio will be assembling for six power-packed hours of give and take at what is aptly being described as a “new kind of industry gathering.”  Now the addition of one of the most legendary of the legends brings the roster of heavyweights over the top as Larry King signs on as the special breakfast speaker for “Los Angeles Regional Talkers Forum 2011.”  The first of its kind event is being presented by TALKERS in conjunction with the Los Angeles Press Club on Thursday, October 20 between 9:00 am and 3:00 pm. Organizers report that as of 4:00 pm ET yesterday the free (including continental breakfast and lunch) mega-regional event has reached capacity for reservations.  However names of attendees will still be taken for a standby list on a first-come basis.  (The event is open only to members of the working media and press.)  Some 30 speakers have been recruited including keynoter Bill Handel, morning host of KFI, Los Angeles; and special guest solo speakers Norm Pattiz, CEO, Courtside Entertainment; Don Barrett, publisher, LARadio.com; and Holland Cooke, consultant, McVay/Cook Media.  Moderators, panelists, presenters and introducers include (in alphabetical order):  Cliff Albert, KOGO, San Diego; Robin Bertolucci, KFI, Los Angeles; Kevin Casey, TALKERS; Chris Crump, Comrex Corporation; Skip Essick, KMJ-AM/FM, Fresno; Charles Feldman, KNX, Los Angeles; Jessica Gillette, C. Crane Company; Michael Harrison, TALKERS; Roger Hedgecock, KOGO, San Diego/Radio America; Jason Insalaco, KFI, Los Angeles; Mike Kinosian, TALKERS; Tom Leykis, The New Normal; Don Martin, KLAC, Los Angeles/Fox Sports Radio; Doug McIntyre, KABC, Los Angeles/Citadel Media; John McMullen, Desert Radio Group, Palm Springs; Stephanie Miller, KTLK, Los Angeles/Dial Global; Bill Moran, Bill Moran & Associates; Patt Morrison, KPCC-FM, Los Angeles/Southern California Public Radio; John Phillips, KABC, Los Angeles; Josefa Salinas, Hot 92.3, Los Angeles; Jack Silver, KABC, Los Angeles; Dave Sniff, KFMB, San Diego; Doug Stephan, Stephan Multimedia; H. Leighton Steward, Plants Need CO2; Chuck Tyler, KRLA/KKLA, Los Angeles; and Jeff Wasserman, Life Coach Media.  TALKERS managing editor Kevin Casey states, “This event has taken off like a rocket. It is extremely gratifying to see so much interest in this new concept. Part of its charm and appeal is its intimacy.  That being said, if we don’t cut off registrations at this point we’ll have to move it from the Los Angeles Press Club at the Steve Allen Theater to the Staples Center.”  For further information, click here.

Cox Media Group Birmingham Makes Offer to Paul Finebaum.  Birmingham-based sports talk host Paul Finebaum’s legal action against employer Citadel probably won’t be settled in the very near future, especially since recent attempts to settle the dispute out of court appear to have failed, but he may have a place to go if he leaves Citadel’s WJOX-FM.  The Birmingham Business Journal reports CMG Birmingham GM David DuBose has made an offer to Finebaum to join his new sports talk WZNN-FM should his separation from Citadel be legally executed.  Finebaum is in a battle with Citadel over compensation and contract language.  TALKERS legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman recently wrote about the case and you can read that here.  DuBose tells the Journal of the conditional offer, “Cox certainly is interested in Mr. Finebaum, but it is all contingent on his release from his existing contract or from a court order that his contract is no longer valid.”

Governor David Paterson Hits Ground Running on WOR, New York.  If local is the goal with the hiring of former New York Governor David Paterson on Buckley’s WOR, New York, he accomplished that yesterday.  He hosted the two candidates for former Congressman Anthony Weiner’s job on his first program after taking over for Steve Malzberg in the 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm slot.  Bob Turner and David Weprin appeared for an in-studio debate.  Former Governor Eliot Spitzer and former NYPD and Los Angeles Police Department commissioner Bill Bratton also joined Paterson yesterday.

Salem Communications Announces October 3 Start for Steve Cochran on WIND, Chicago.  Longtime WGN, Chicago talk show host Steve Cochran – let go from the Tribune station in June of 2010 — will begin his 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm air shift on Salem’s crosstown WIND on October 3, according to Time Out Chicago’s Robert Feder.  Cochran’s joining the station was announced last month but a start date was not announced.  Cochran currently holds two air shifts at CH Holdings’ KTRS, St. Louis – 10:00 am to 12:00 noon and 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm – and Cochran says he’ll continue both but, obviously, something has to give with the 6:00 pm hour at KTRS.

Steve Gill Show Adds Local Hour to WLAC, Nashville Program.  The Steve Gill show is nationally syndicated via Radio America from its base at Clear Channel’s WLAC, Nashville from 5:00 am to 8:00 am.  Beginning Monday, September 12, the program adds the 8:00 am to 9:00 am hour on WLAC only.  Gill says, “We are thrilled to add an extra hour in morning drive that allows us to provide more local talk and listener interaction.   Additionally, we will continue to provide the A-list guests, commentary and remote broadcasts that we always have.  The combination of national impact and local availability to our affiliates is what sets us apart from other syndicated shows and we will provide more local emphasis in the Nashville and Middle Tennessee areas with the additional hour.”

Premiere Networks’ Andy Dean Gains Major Market Clearance.  Premiere’s “America Now” with Andy Dean clears WSB, Atlanta and 95.5 FM.  Prior to gaining national syndication through Premiere Networks, Dean hosted the nightly overnight program on the Cox Media Group station.  WSB, program director Pete Spriggs says, “Andy just breaks through.  He’s extremely smart and informed, but there’s also a great flippant sense of humor to go with all the incredible content.  You can’t stop listening.  His potential is really unlimited.”

Tony Bruno Returns to WPEN-AM/FM, Philadelphia.  Bruno left the midday show he co-hosted with Harry Mayes back in June to concentrate on his Fox Sports Radio syndicated late-night “Into the Night” show.  Now, WPEN-AM/FM announces Bruno returns to his place alongside Mayes (12:00 noon to 2:00 pm) on October 3.

 

Westwood One Snags Tom Brady and Larry Fitzgerald for National Broadcasts.  Westwood One spices up its pre-game show broadcasts with commitments from Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald to appear for weekly interview segments with Jim Gray during NFL games.  Brady will appear weekly during Monday Night Football pre-game broadcasts and Fitzgerald will also make weekly appearances during broadcasts of select games.  Gray says, “We have the best quarterback and the best wide receiver in the NFL joining us now every week.  In fact, they could be the best two players in the league, period, and we will be the only ones to have them both on a regular basis.  I am looking forward to a great season.”

Arbitron Promotes Two.  Jon Miller is upped from his post as an embedded account manager for CBS Radio to director of programming services where he’ll be the primary resource for radio programmers.  Jenny Tsao moves from PPM market manager to programming and marketing operations manager where she’ll develop training content, presentations and studies to help Arbitron’s clients better understand and utilize the company’s services to make programming decisions.

Obama Jobs Plan, European Economic Turmoil and Financial Markets Activity Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/6).  President Obama’s plan to announce his jobs creation package before a joint session of Congress tomorrow, the uncertainty over European economic stability and the effect on U.S. financial markets were three of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

“Ay Dios Mio, FIU!” That’s former CNN personality Rick Sanchez in the booth as color analyst for Florida International University’s football broadcasts (from video posted on the Chicago Tribune’s website).  Sanchez is working the broadcasts without compensation (his two sons attend the school) but reviews of his initial performance were largely positive.  Some say he was a bit too exuberant in his praise of the home team but his knowledge of the game and professional broadcaster technique added to the broadcast.  He even came with his own catch-phrase for the game, “Ay dios mio, FIU,” which translates to, “Oh, my God, FIU!”  FIU has a large number of students of Hispanic heritage.