Tag: "Tom Leykis"

Thursday, August 4, 2016

| August 4, 2016

iheartmedia logo tinyiHeartMedia Second Quarter Net Revenue Rises 1.2%.  That figure is based on net revenue of $1.6 billion during Q2 of 2016, compared to the same period in 2015 and that is for the whole company.  Separating the radio and digital business from the outdoor segment, iHeartMedia reports an increase of 3.2% in net revenue due in large part to live events, the traffic and weather services, broadcast and digital advertising, as well as the Premiere Networks syndication segment, especially news/talk.

Townsquare Media Reports Q2 Financials; Radio Segment Up 3.5%. The company reports on its two business segments – Local Marketing Solutions, which includes radio plus its digital products, and Entertainment, which provides live events and music and lifestyle content.  During Q2, Local Marketing Solutions pro forma net townsquaremediarevenue increased $2.9 million, or 3.5%, to $86.7 million (including political).  For the first half of 2016, Local Marketing Solutions net revenue increased $8.8 million, or 5.8%, to $161.9 million (including political).   Townsquare Media chairman andpricesteven CEO Steven Price says, “We are pleased to report solid results for the first half of 2016, with pro forma net revenue and Adjusted EBITDA increasing approximately 4% over the prior year, with strength in our Local Marketing Solutions segment.  In the second quarter, we delivered net revenue growth of 16.7% over the prior year.  On a pro forma basis, net revenue increased 2.1%, which was in line with our expectations, and Adjusted EBITDA increased 4.1%, which exceeded our guidance.  In addition, we were able to strengthen our balance sheet through the repurchase of $17 million of Unsecured Senior Notes.”

Saga Communications Reports Net Revenue Up 6.1%.  That figure – comparing Q2 of 2016 with the same period a year ago – is based on net revenue of $36.4 million for the whole company.  The Sagasaga Communications radio division’s net revenue mirrors that at +6.1% on net revenue of $30.8 million.  However, on a pro forma basis, the radio net revenue dipped 1.7%.  Saga notes that free cash flow increased 15.6% to $6.5 million.  Operating Income increased 12.6% to $8.4 million.  Station operating expense increased 4.6% to $25.4 million (station operating expense includes depreciation and amortization attributable to the stations).  Same Station net revenue increased 0.8% to $34.2 million and same station operating expense was flat at $24.0 million.  Net income for the period was $4.8 million ($0.82 per fully diluted share compared to $0.77 for the same period last year).

Radio One Delivers Positive Second Quarter; Net Revenue Up 2.4%, But Radio Flat.  That 2.4% is for the company as a whole, for which net revenue was approximately $122.7 million compared to the same period in radioonelogo2015.  Station operating income was approximately $48.9 million, an increase of 5.5%.  Radio One breaks its net revenue report into six categories: Radio Advertising, Political Advertising, Digital Advertising, Cable Television Advertising, Cable Television Affiliate Fees, and Event Revenues & Other.  The company says, “Net revenues from our radio broadcasting segment decreased 0.2% for the quarter ended June 30, 2016, versus the same period in 2015.  We experienced net revenue growth in eight of our radio markets (most significantly in Washington D.C., Charlotte and Cleveland); however, this growth was offset by declines in other markets (with Columbus, Philadelphia, Houston and Detroit experiencing the most significant declines).  Reach Media’s net revenues increased 2.8% in the second quarter of 2016, compared to the same period in 2015.”

Nashville Sports Personality George Plaster Exits ‘102.5 The Game’ for University Gig.  After a Nashville sports media career that’s spanned 30-plus years, WPRT “102.5 The Game” afternoon drive sports talkplastergeorge radio host George Plaster is leaving the station to take the position of associate athletics director for marketing at Nashville’s Belmont University.  The Tennessean reports that Plaster’s friend Scott Corley, athletics director at the school, approached him about the position and Plaster was intrigued with the notion.  Over time he became very interested and told the paper, “It’s probably the one scenario that I would’ve considered leaving radio.”  Plaster joined Bud Walters’-owned WPRT in 2011 after exiting Cumulus Media’s crosstown WGFX “104.5 The Zone.”

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases Third Round of July 2016 PPM Data.  The third of four rounds of July 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Columbus.  The June 2016 survey period covered June 16 through July 13.  You can find the complete 6+ ratings numbers from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here

wygcJVC Drops Classic Hits Simulcast in Gainesville; Launches News/Talk Format on WYGC.  The classic hits will be heard on JVC Media’s WXJZ, Gainesville “WOW 100.9” and WYGC, licensed to High Springs (northeast of Gainesville) flips to news/talk as “104.9 The Talk of Gainesville.”  The company says the station will air from its “downtown Gainesville studios with non-stop local news, weather, and traffic in addition to the legendary ‘Imus in the Morning’ and FOX NewsBrian Kilmeade.”  WYGC program director and JVC Media VP Matthew Goldapper says, “‘104.9 The Talk of Gainesville’ will be locally programmed to allow our community to discuss issues important to Gainesville residents.”

The Presidential Race, US Cash Payment to Iran, Deadly London Knife Attacks, Wikileaks-Benghazi Emails, Black Lives Matter Movement, Rio Olympics Troubles, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/3).  The activities of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump; the controversy over the US’ payment of $400 million to Iran the day Americans were released from Iran; the deadly knife attack in London that left several wounded and one woman dead; the claim by Wikileaks’ Julian Assange that emails indicate the U.S. was arming jihadists in Syria via Benghazi; the Black Lives Matter movement; the problems facing Rio De Janeiro as it prepares for the Olympic opening ceremony; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tom Arnold’s ‘100% Honest. Pretty Much’ Launches from PodcastOne.  Hollywood’s Tom Arnold is joining the PodcastOne platform with his new podcast, “Tom Arnold. 100% Honest. Pretty Much.”  PodcastOne podcastone bsays the show will cover everything from his career, to life as a husband and father of two, followed by an interview each episode, “as some of the funniest people around bring laughter and something extremely embarrassing about themselves to reveal to the audience.”  PodcastOne founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz says, “Tom has shared his humor and entertainment with the world for decades, and it’s great to now bring him to the podcast world. It’s the perfect platform to let loose, hang out and have a great time – with all his fans.”

Radio One and Edison Research to Release Race Relations Study Results.  Urban media company Radio One says it engaged Edison Research to conduct the study into the “true state of race relations in this country.”  The results will be revealed on Friday (8/4 at 11:00 am ET via conference call) and Radio One teasesedisonresearch that a key finding is “Black and White Americans are more closely aligned than previously thought on improving race relations in the country and share broad agreement on practical solutions.”  Radio One commissioned the study “on the heels of outrage, protests and emotional responses after the shooting of two black men by police officers in Louisiana and Minnesota and the subsequent shooting of five police officers in Dallas (study fielded prior to Baton Rouge police shooting).

Odds & Sods.  This report in from the Los Angeles base of The New Normal, home of Tom Leykis’ digitally distributed program: the special wine made just for Leykis and his fans is almost gone.  Leykis tells TALKERSleykistom magazine that they surpassed 1,000 bottles sold of the 2014 Pedal to the Metal Santa Ynez Valley Syrah.  Sales will end August 31 and they will likely have sold all 120 cases by that date.  Leykis has another money-making event on the horizon.  The show has rented the biggest suite at Dodger Stadium – holds 70 – for an upcoming game and has sold it out.  Tickets range in price from $299 – $349.  The show grossed $21,000…..DirecTV’s Rich Eisen will report from Canton, Ohio during this week’s Pro Football Hall of Fame festivities.  He’ll broadcast live today and tomorrow with guests including: Brett Favre, Kevin Greene, Orlando Pace, Eddie DeBartolo, and Tony Dungy.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

| March 9, 2016

mccreddenryanCBS RADIO Inks Sports Talk Programmer Ryan McCredden to Extension.  KILT-AM “SportsRadio 610” and KIKK “CBS Sports Radio 650” Houston program director Ryan McCredden signs a contract renewal with CBS RADIO to continue leading the programming at the two stations.  The company notes that “under his leadership, McCredden has increased the ratings for both stationskilt-am logo and been influential in securing the market’s partnership with the Houston Dynamo.”  CBS Houston VP of programming Charese Fruge says, “Ryan is a smart programmer, brilliant negotiator and an absolute joy to work with.  He is adored by his team from the top down.  We are very lucky to have him and proud to have strengthened our kikkcommitment to the continued success of 610 and 650.”  McCredden comments, “I’m thrilled to continue working with my team at ‘SportsRadio 610’ and ‘CBS Sports Radio 650.’  We strive to be difference-makers in the world of sports.  The station accomplished impactful things on air, on-site and online during my time here.  Our team works tirelessly to create unique and experience-driven events for our passionate listeners, all the while helping to support our community.  Houston has been a great city to me and my family, and I look forward to sticking around!”

salemmediagroup logoSalem Media Group Releases Q4 and 2015 Financials; Broadcast Net Revenue Up 1.6% for Full Year.  As a whole, Salem Media Group’s 2015 fourth quarter total revenue was up 4.9%.  The broadcast segment’s net revenue was up 5.2% in Q4 with the digital media segment up 3.8%.  For the whole year of 2015, total revenue was down 0.3%.  The broadcast segment was up 1.6% for the year and the digital segment was down 2.1%.

Super Tuesday 2/GOP Moves to Stop Trump, Iran Missile Test, N. Korea Nuclear Threats, Battle Against Islamic State, Illegal Immigration, and European Migrant Issue Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/8).  The presidential primary race, the Super Tuesday 2 elections, and reports of the GOP’s plans to stop Donald Trump from winning the nomination; Iran’s testing of long-range missiles in violation of the recent nuclear deal; North Korea’s announcement it has put small nuclear warheads on ICBMs; U.S. strikes on Islamic State leadership; illegal immigration policy in the U.S.; and the deal between Turkey and the EU to stop the flow of Syrian migrants into Europe were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

curtiskubyroast15b‘Curtis and Kuby Roast’ Happens Monday Night in NYC.  WABC, New York is presenting the second “Curtis and Kuby Roast” on Monday, March 14 at New York night spot The Cutting Room.  77 WABC personalities Curtis Sliwa and Ron Kuby – heard in middays on the station – will be roasted by WABC radio personalities and friends including: Warner Wolf, Sid Rosenberg, Mike Gunzelman (Imus in the Morning, Fox News contributor), Mike Coscarelli (producer, The Bernie & Sid Show and former board op for Curtis and Kuby), Gene Getman (WABC board op; co-host, Social Villains Podcast) and Roast Master Jamie Roberts, plus stand-up comedians including: Corinne Fisher, Ben Kissel, and Frank Morano (Morano in the Morning on WNYM). Pictured here at last year’s roast are (from l-r): roast master and comic Rich Vos, Sliwa, and Kuby.

leykiswine16Tom Leykis Wine Sale Underway.  Wine aficionado and radio pro Tom Leykis tells TALKERS magazine that the sale of his first wine is taking place and, since March 4, he’s sold $35,000 worth of the Pedal to the Metal Syrah (pictured here).  Leykis partnered with California Central Coast winemaker Joshua Klapper using grapes from the Brave & Maiden vineyard in Santa Ynez, California.  Leykis says the sale is being done with no outside promotion or publicity.  “All sold to a waiting list made up exclusively of our listeners who’ve been waiting, and now being made available to all of our fans for the first time.”  There are 125 cases of the wine available at $75 per bottle.

Odds & Sods.  Former all-news and sports talk KFWB, Los Angeles staffers are gathering this Saturday (3/12) for a reunion to reminisce over “more than 40 years of memories.”  The event will take place at 5:00 pm at the Golden Dragon restaurant in Chinatown.  Any former KFWB staffers are welcome.  See more at event’s Facebook page here…..…..Outdoor Sportsman Group – Networks, which includes Outdoor Channel, Sportsman Channel and World Fishing Network, expands its multi-platform partnership with the nationally syndicated radio show “Thetherevolution Revolution with Jim & Trav.”  The program has been dubbed “The Official Radio Program of Outdoor Channel” since 2013 and now adds Sportsman Channel and World Fishing Network as title sponsors.  The radio show is co-hosted by father-and-son team Jim and Travis Ferguson and airs on more than 440 stations plus the American Forces Radio Network on satellite radio.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

| February 9, 2016

furstalanEntercom’s Furst Choice to Program KC Talk Combo. Self-described “freelance programming advisor/consultant” Alan Furst is tapped to program Entercom Kansas City siblings KMBZ-AM “Talk 980” and KMBZ-FM “News/Talk 98.1.” Entercom Kansas City vice president and market manager Dave Alpert remarks, “We are very pleased to welcome Alan. He brings with him a wealth of experience, possesses a passion for the on-air product, and a passion for winning.” Furst – who begins his newKMBZ AM & FM duties next Monday (2/15) – comments that he is “very excited to join one of the truly great news talk brands, KMBZ.” He went on to thank Alpert and Entercom president of programming Pat Paxton “for the opportunity to be part of the outstanding staff at Entercom Kansas City. I look forward to helping both stations continue to grow.” Prior to opening his programming consultancy in October 2014, Furst spent nearly two years as program director of Radio One Houston’s KROI. His varied resume includes hands-on operations manager and PD experience at San Antonio country and CHR duo KAJA “KJ-97” and KXXM “Mix 96”; WLW, Cincinnati; and WIBC, Indianapolis. In addition, he was senior vice president of content for DMX Music; Cumulus Media’s country format director; group program director for the Australian Radio Network; senior vice president of programming for Clear Channel, AMFM, and Capstar Broadcasting; national program director for NewCity Communications; and a programming consultant for Shane Media Services. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s “Holiday” 2015 PPM report, both KMBZ-FM (3.3, #14) and KMBZ-AM (2.6, #18) were down one-half share from December 2015.

tuurihowardHoward Tuuri Named VP/GM for Genesis Communications.  Radio executive Howard Tuuri joins Genesis Communications to serve as vice president and general manager for the company’s four Florida stations – news/talk WWBA, Tampa; sports talk WHBO, Tampa; Spanish WMGG, Tampa; and sports talk WHOO, Orlando – as well as its two Internet publications.  Tuuri, who will report to Genesis president and CEO Bruce Maduri, previously served with Cox Media Group as a VP/GM for its Tampa operations.  Maduri states, “Howard’s background and quality of experience are a tremendous fit for our organization.  He has been a valuable member of our Leadership Team, and this appointment confirms our commitment to grow and realize the vision of a truly integrated media content company.”

The Presidential Race, Low Oil Prices/Financial Markets Activity, Battle Against Islamic State/Syrian Civil War, North Korean Missile Launch, Zika Virus, and Super Bowl 50 Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/8).  Today’s New Hampshire primary and the activities of the candidates for president; low oil prices and the effects on the world’s financial markets; the battle against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and the effects of the ongoing Syrian civil conflict; North Korea’s weekend launch of a satellite missile; concerns over a potential pandemic of the Zika virus; and Sunday’s Super Bowl 50 and controversy over the Doritos commercial were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

rabRAB/Borrell: Radio Digital Revenue to Rise 14%.  According to a study by Borrell Associates on behalf of the Radio Advertising Bureau, the radio industry’s digital ad revenue rose 11.4% in 2015 to more than $550 million.  The study also predicts radio’s digital revenue will improve by 16% this year.  This fourth annual report is titled, “Benchmarking: Local Radio Stations’ Online Revenues,” and concludes the average market cluster made $951,756 in digital sales last year, with the average station making $231,210.  Borrell Associates CEO Gordon Borrell summarizes, “All signs point to the radio industry mobilizing even more in the interactive space.  Eighty-two percent believe there is strong potential – the highest we’ve ever seen; 62% believe that their sales teams’ ability to sell digital products is solid – up from 52% a year ago; and 37% believe their digital strategy is headed in the right direction – up from 27%.”  The full study is available to RAB members, but here are some of the juicier takeaways: One-third of stations surveyed believe their sales reps are talking to the wrong buyers when trying to sell digital products.  Three years ago, two-thirds believed that was the case; Only 16% believe that radio sales suffer because reps are forced to sell digital advertising.  That’s down significantly since 2014, when more than half felt that way; Conversely, 24% believe that digital sales suffer because reps focus on radio advertising.  Three years ago, twice as many felt that way; And the average radio cluster received 0.26% of all locally spent Internet advertising.  There were some, however, achieving 15 times that – up to nearly 4%.   RAB president and CEO Erica Farber states, “Digital continues to be radio’s fastest growing sector.  Stations that are laser focused on increasing revenue beyond their core broadcast business are experiencing the benefits.  The results from this study provide us with insights of where efforts are paying off and what additional training is needed for radio to continue with this trajectory.  The RAB is here to help with that knowledge and training.”

WW1SBSound16Service King and Motel 6 Win Westwood One Super Bowl Sound Awards.  This was the third annual Westwood One Super Bowl Sound Awards designed to recognize excellence in audio creativity and celebrate brand advertisers and radio creative.  Westwood One asked listeners to vote on their favorite audio commercials airing in the Westwood One Super Bowl 50 broadcast.  In addition, Westwood One commissioned a Nielsen study of 3,030 consumers who rated all 45 commercials on a series of key attributes.   Listeners voted for Service King’s “Mission 2 Hire” ad as their favorite Super Bowl commercial.  The ad promotes Service King’s Mission 2 Hire program, which is dedicated to hiring 500 veterans at Service King locations around the country.  Hear the ad here: http://thesoundawards.com/service-king/Motel 6 was rated the most likeable ad in the Westwood One-commissioned Nielsen study.  The brand’s “Designer Dogs” ad features long-time Motel 6 narrator Tom Bodett, who promotes Motel 6’s great rooms and low rates while poking fun at trendy dog breeds with silly names.  The Motel 6 ad also received top consumer ratings for relevance, engagement, and memorability. Here is a link to hear the ad: http://thesoundawards.com/motel-6-3/.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

| January 5, 2016

wabc logoCurtis Sliwa to Host WABC, New York’s ‘The Drive at Five.’  The “Drive at Five” program takes the place of “Right Now with Doug McIntyre” and debuts this afternoon (1/5) from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm on Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York.  The station callssliwacurtis the show a “fast-paced, comprehensive look at the stories and people that have New York talking.”  Curtis Sliwa will continue his role as co-host of “The Curtis and Kuby Show” with Ron Kuby airing from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm.  In September of 2014 the station aired “The Ride Home” with Pat Kiernan and Rita Cosby at 5:00 pm.  Kiernan exited and Cosby did the show solo until moving to weekends with Doug McIntyre (also heard at the company’s KABC, Los Angeles in morning drive) taking over the one-hour show in March of last year.  Sliwa states, “My job will be to take people from their suites to the streets and re-connect them with everything that has transpired while they’ve been working their 9-to-5 jobs.”

eskinspikeSpike Eskin Relinquishes On-Air Duties at WIP-FM, Philadelphia.  According to a report at Philly.com, WIP, Philadelphia program director Spike Eskin is leaving his on-air role on the Joshwiplogo Innes program as he absorbs some of the responsibilities of ousted operations manager Andy Bloom.  In a budget-related move, Bloom’s OM position was eliminated by CBS RADIO.  Eskin and former Philadelphia Eagle Hollis Thomas worked on air with Innes.  Thomas remains on the show and the station moves Marc Farzetta from Angelo Cataldi’s AM drive show to afternoons to handle news updates and other duties on the program.

bubbaSettlement in Nielsen vs Bubba Case ‘Unlikely.’  According to the most recent court filings that detail the schedule for the discovery process and pre-trial hearings in the civil fraud case being brought against Bubba the Love Sponge by Nielsen Audio, the two sides seem to agree on one thing: a settlement in the $1 million lawsuit is “unlikely.”  Nielsen is suing Bubba on civil charges of fraud, conspiracy to defraud, interfering with business and contractual relations and violation of Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Practices Act as the result of his tampering with the PPM ratings process in the Tampa market.  Although Bubba admitted to the tampering he says Nielsen is unable to prove damages and the $1 million figure was pulled out of thin air.  Nielsen wishes to depose Bubba for up to 14 hours over two days and Bubba says he’s not willing to do that so the court will have to rule on the deposition schedule.  If this does go to trial as it’s expected to do, it’ll be in January of 2017.

bannonstephenkWhat do Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Stephen K. Bannon Have in Common?  Answer: They are the only three radio talk show hosts to make the prestigious Mediaite “25 Mostlimbaughrush15 Influential in Political News Media” list.  The list includes leading names from the world of news-gathering and news-delivering organizations including internet, television and radio.  Rush Limbaugh came in at #8; Sean Hannity showed strongly at #15; and Stephen K. Bannon appears at #19.  Bannon, the executive chairman of Breitbart News LLC (parent company of hannitythe Breitbart News Network), is the host of the weekday morning show “Breitbart News Daily” presented on the SiriusXM Satellite Radio Patriot Channel.  The 6:00 am – 9:00 am ET show covers the hottest topics of the day featuring Bannon moderating contributions and features from Breitbart correspondents around the nation and world.  To see the entire Mediaite list, please click here.

brownrobCumulus Names Rob Brown AM Host at WFTW, Fort Walton Beach.  Fort Walton Beach news/talk WFTW “NewsTalk 1260” will launch a new morning drive program next Monday (1/11) featuring longtime local broadcast personality Rob Brown.  His eponymous show will air from 6:00 am to 10:00 am.  Brown has been serving as a field reporter for local station WEAR-TV.  He’s worked in radio in the Florida Panhandle doing news and sports at sports talk WTKE “The Ticket.”  WFTW operations manager Hayden Green says, “Rob Brown is a native of the area.  He knows the players, he knows the people and he knows great radio.  We’re excited to have him on the team and excited about the future of NewsTalk 1260 WFTW.”

entercomEntercom Promotes Three Programmers to Vice Presidents.  Three Entercom Communications programmers are awarded vice president stripes today: Jim Fox in Sacramento, Mike Moore in Portland and Bob Barnett in Rochester, New York are promoted to VP of programming for their respective markets.  Jim Fox joined Entercom in Sacramento as station manager of active rock KRXQ in 2003 and began overseeing all Entercom Sacramento brands as OM in 2013.  Mike Moore joined Entercom to program country KWJJ in Portland and was upped to operations manager for the cluster in January 2013.  He also serves as Entercom’s director of country programming.  Bob Barnett is a 33-year programmer who oversees all programming for Entercom Rochester.  Entercom president of programming Pat Paxton comments, “Jim, Mike and Bob are outstanding leaders with impressive track records of success in their markets.  They have each earned this recognition.  I could not be happier for them and look forward to many more years of working together.”

cookehollandCES 2016: Radio vs Robots.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke reports from Las Vegas and the annual Consumer Electronic Show.  As Cooke says, driverless cars are one of the big “oh wow” items at the show.  How the car of the future will affect our hunger for the information and entertainment radio provides while driving isn’t certain yet, but the possibilities they suggest should cause radio people to think about their product.  Read Cooke’s report here.

Obama Gun Control Policy, 2016 Presidential Election, Battle Against Islamic State, Oregon Wildlife Refuge Standoff, Iran-Saudi Diplomatic Break, World Financial Markets Activity, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/4).  President Obama’s plans to use executive orders to amend gun laws; the activities of the candidates for president this year; the ongoing battle against Islamic State and debate over terror attack prevention; the standoff between armed protestors occupying an Oregon wildlife sanctuary; the break of diplomatic relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia and the growing Shiite-Sunni rift in the Middle East; turbulent world financial markets open the New Year; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

RadiodaysEurope16Michael Harrison set to Address Radiodays Europe Conference.  TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison has been named one of the key solo speakers at the forthcoming Radiodays Europe conference set for Paris, France March 13-15 at Le Palais des Congrès de Paris.  Billed as “The World’s Greatest International Radio Conference,” Radiodays Europe is an annual gathering for radio professionals with 1,300 participants from 60 countries.  It is the meetingharrisonmichael2015 point for the European radio industry, both private and public, and a destination for radio people from around the world.  Harrison’s presentation, titled “Lessons Learned by American Radio at the Dawn of the Digital Era,” will cover both the successes and failures experienced by US radio during its transition into the digital era.  Harrison will offer insight into the radio industry’s challenge of successfully integrating its assets and services into an internet-based culture while preserving and enhancing its iconic role as the primary audio medium.  Can it be done?  Harrison states, “Of course, it can!  I intend to lay out the big picture of radio’s path forward with realistic and cautious optimism.  I look forward to this opportunity to speak with broadcasters from around the world.”  For registration and other information about Radiodays Europe, please click here.

leykisbillboard16America’s First Internet Radio Billboard?  It is according to The New Normal principal Tom Leykis who says the electronic billboard (shown at left) that overlooks the northbound 405 Freeway in Carson, California is the first in America to promote an Internet radio show.  The billboard, which just went up on Monday evening (1/4), promotes Leykis’ daily afternoon program.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

| December 16, 2015

price howardPrice: Weighing Public Safety vs Risk of Assisting Threatmongers in Reporting to Your Listeners.  The recent terroristic threats against the New York City and Los Angeles public school districts – which turned out not to be true – present a bit of a potential problem for radio stations and news organizations.  ABC Television director, business continuity Howard B. Price writes today in TALKERS, “Critical to the discussion is the hard reality that those who make these threats are banking on a response from both authorities AND the media.  Thankfully, even in these troubled times, most threats are hoaxes made to seize on public fear.  The hoaxers find out about that response the same way the rest of us do – through the media.  SO what to do?  As with most professional challenges, the process begins with an internal conversation, specific to your station and market.  For example, do you have a policy document to guide your decision making in such dynamic breaking news situations?”  Read more here.

grimessuzanneCumulus Media Names Suzanne Grimes to President of the Westwood One Division and EVP of Corporate Marketing Roles.  According to Cumulus Media, this new role of president of the Westwood One Division “creates a unified structure that maximizes opportunities across the division’s national content and sales platform.”  Steve Shaw, president of Westwood One, will continue to lead ad sales, and Charles Steinhauer, COO of Westwood One, will continue to lead operations, both reporting directly to Grimes, who in turn reports to company CEO Mary Berner.  Grimes was most recently president and COO of Clear Channel Outdoor.  Berner states, “When it comes to anything in media, Suzanne’s the full package.  With 30 years of experience building content businesses into high-performing brands, she brings valuable perspectives from leadership roles in outdoor, mobile, social, digital, print and experiential sectors for both public and private companies, so she’s a natural choice for these important roles.  I look forward to her contribution as we build a stronger, more operationally focused organization.”

Newly Re-Organized Corporate Structure at Cumulus Includes Tommy Page and Mike McVay Taking on New Responsibilities.  As part of her memo to Cumulus Media staff of Suzanne Grimes’ new role, CEO Mary Berner also explained some of the other changes atop the corporate structure at the company.  Working forbouvardpierre Grimes will be the company’s chief marketing officer Pierre Bouvard and VP of social media Lori Lewis.  Berner announces Tommy Page’s new title will be SVP of brand partnerships & NASH in which he’ll continue his role as leader of platform events initiatives and brand partnerships, corporate mcvaymikemarketing function, and new duties including the development and execution of the NASH brand strategy.  Berner says the company is creating a new Office of Programming in which SVP of content & programming Mike McVay will operate to “lead our content strategy across the platform, including talent recruitment and development and label relations.”  Tom Schurr, SVP ofschurrtom operations, will work with McVay in a new role overseeing the business aspects of programming, including organization and prioritization, resource allocation, and budget responsibilities.  Berner concludes, “Our belief with regard to ratings is that more local insight and more effective corporate support will result in an improved outcome.  The new Office of Programming will be responsible for executing this strategy to drive ratings growth and will be rolling out more details in the coming weeks.”

bohannonjimJim Bohannon to Exit ‘America in the Morning’; Continues Late Night Show.  Hall of Fame broadcaster Jim Bohannon is cutting back on his duties for Westwood One and is leaving the hosting role for “America in the Morning” after the December 18 broadcast.  He is continuing his work as host of the late night Jim Bohannon show.  He signed a multi-year contract extension with Westwood One in February of this year.  Bohannon has been the sole host of “America in the Morning” since its firsttroutjohn broadcast in 1984.  The morning magazine program airs on more than 250 stations nationwide.  Taking over for Bohannon is the show’s regular guest host John Trout.  He officially begins on Monday, January 18, 2016.  Bohannon comments, “It’s time for me to cut back the daily schedule a bit and focus my attention on the research, interviews, and calls for my weeknight Jim Bohannon show.  But I’ll still be contributing my daily feature, the ‘Offbeat,’ and my newsmaker interviews to ‘America in the Morning.’  Listeners will love John Trout as host.  He’s got a stellar track record and he’s been a terrific fill-in.  The show is in great hands and I wish him much success.”

leykistomTom Leykis’ New Normal Projecting Another Profitable Year.  New Year’s Eve will be the sixth anniversary of The New Normal – the audio content company founded by radio legend Tom Leykis after exiting his CBS RADIO talk show in 2009.  Leykis has long been a vocal proponent of the digital delivery system for taking audio content into the future.  Today, he reports that as 2015 winds down, The New Normal is financially continuing on an upward trend.  Leykis tells TALKERS that revenue is up for the third straight year.  Profits will increase from $23,000 in 2014 to almost $100,000 in 2015.  He adds, “This means that, for the second year in a row, we will be more profitable than the top two radio companies combined.”

Odds & Sods.  Are there wrinkles in the future of the Bob & Tom Show post-Bob KevoianTALKERS sources arebobandtom labeled hearing that negotiations between the syndicated program’s management and staff are hitting snags.  Kevoian announced his retirement at the recent Radio Hall of Fame induction ceremony and although the show is moving forward with Tom Griswold continuing his role, rumors are that negotiations for contract renewals with longtime cast member Kristi Lee and contributor Ron Sexton are facing challenges…..Software platform provider Mediaocean announces it is integrating iHeartMedia within its Spectra platform.  As a result, within one central system, ad agencies are able to seamlessly manage, research, and buy local digital audio inventory across the iHeartMedia digital platform.  Mediaocean says users will be able to compare iHeartMedia’s audience data side-by-side with other digital audio platforms to better plan campaigns and engage the right audiences at the local level.

tradupTrump15Covering the GOP Debate.  Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is seen here gesturing as he makes a point while speaking with Salem Radio Network personalities Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager and Michael Medved (who are out of the picture to the right) while SRN VP news & talk programming Tom Tradup holds the mic.  The exchange took place during SRN’s exclusive radio distribution of the Republican presidential debate.  SRN talk host Hugh Hewitt appeared on the CNN debate panel asking questions of the GOP hopefuls.

Run-Up to Last Night’s GOP Debate/2016 Presidential Race, Refugee and Immigration Policy, Los Angeles and New York Schools Terror Threats, Battle Against Islamic State, Freddie Gray Trial, Government Shutdown Threat, and New Star Wars Film Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/15). The build-up to last night’s GOP primary debate in Las Vegas and the activities of the candidates for president in 2016; debate over policy regarding refugees from Syria and over immigration in general; terror threats against the New York and Los Angeles public school districts and criticism over LA’s decision to cancel school; the battle against Islamic State; the wait for the verdict in the case against the first of six Baltimore police officers in the death of Freddie Gray; the move in Congress to avert a government shutdown; and the hype over the new Star Wars film were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, June 29, 2015

| June 29, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

| June 24, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

| April 22, 2015

nielsen logoNielsen Announces Q1 Financials; Revenue Up 4.4%.  In announcing the numbers for the first quarter of 2015, Nielsen N.V. reports revenue was down 2.1% due to the impact of foreign exchange, but up 4.4% on a constant currency basis, compared to the first quarter of 2014.  CEO Mitch Barns states, “Nielsen’s first quarter results again illustrate the consistency of our business model and strong execution, with 4.4% total company and 10.0% emerging markets revenue growth on a constant currency basis.  These results reflect the 35th consecutive quarter of constant currency revenue growth.  In addition, we were pleased to raise our quarterly dividend 12%, as we continue to deliver on our commitment to drive ongoing shareholder value.”

rudymaxasworldSSI’s Bob and Mary Carey Host Rudy Maxa’s World Travel Show from Iceland.  Telling us that he guest hosts the program about every six weeks, Syndicated Solutions Inc. president Bob Carey says the latest show he co-hosted with his wife Mary was from the hot new destination – Iceland.  Carey’s company syndicates the “Rudy Maxa’s World” weekly travel show.  Among the things Carey discovered about the unlikely tourist destination of Iceland is that geothermal energy and technology make Iceland an ideal place to grow hothouse fruits and vegetables and that The Blue Lagoon geothermal health and wellness spa is becoming a popular destination for American and Canadian travelers who can get there in five hours from the East Coast of North America.

Odds & Sods.  WTOP, Washington Capitol Hill correspondent Dave McConnell was honored at the Capitol for his many decades of journalistic service.  McConnell was recognized by Congresswoman Eleanor Homes Nortonmcconnelldave by being entered into the Congressional Record.  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator Mark Warner also delivered thank you speeches in his honor.  McConnell recently celebrated his 50th anniversary with the station.  McConnell can be heard live each weekday morning and afternoon, just steps from the House floor, in his hourly “Today on the Hill” segments…..CBS RADIO all-news KNX, Los Angeles will present a special program on the high cost of housing in Southern California on Thursday (4/23).  The station says that “not only can fewer people afford to buy a house, LA has become one of the most unaffordable rental markets in the country.  Add it up and it makes finding a place to live near your job unlikely and often prevents employers from attracting the most qualified candidates.”  The show will feature special expert guests and will be hosted by KNX anchor Tom Haule and chief investigative reporter Charles Feldman.

cumulus logoNo Performance Bonuses for Cumulus Media Executives This Year.  The Compensation Committee of Cumulus Media, Inc. awarded no annual incentive compensation nor long-term incentive awards to Cumulus executives in 2014, according to a Definitive Proxy Statement filed with the SEC.  The filing notes that the Compensation Committee would have the discretion to grant the applicable target award if “Cumulus achieved budgeted EBITDA goals, and satisfied other objectives related to managing costs, developing content, achieving gains in market share, as well as successes in strategic planning and implementation and optimizing financial liquidity.  In reviewing the performance and compensation levels of the executive officers for 2014 at the completion of that fiscal year, the Compensation Committee determined that the quantitative financial performance objectives were not met at the threshold level.  As a result, no annual incentive compensation was paid for 2014.”  The filing also reports that no equity incentive awards (stock) were granted either.  “In light of the size and timing of equity award grants to the named executive officers in 2013, which awards were made in October of that year, as well as data provided by Meridian Compensation Partners LLC with respect to the compensation of the executive officers, general industry conditions and actual Company performance in 2014, the Compensation Committee did not grant any long-term incentive awards to the executive officers in 2014.”  So, what did Cumulus officers make in 2014?  Here are a few of the numbers:  president and CEO Lew Dickey earned $1,456,000 in total compensation; SVP, treasurer and CFO Joseph Hanna earned $554,125; EVP of content and programming John Dickey earned $881,192; SVP secretary and general counsel Richard Denning earned $509,942; and recently retired EVP and co-COO Jon Pinch earned $757,851.

wachsKennedyRaising Awareness for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Dr. Daliah Wachs (right) reports to TALKERS that she’s been assisting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society with its spring campaign and was recently honored to work with six-year-old leukemia survivor Kennedy (left) as Dr. Wachs accompanied her to her first television interview on KSNV-TV.

Iran Nuclear Negotiations/Corker Bill, ObamaCare Subsidies Addressed by SCOTUS, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Baltimore Police Protests, Yemen Military Action, Ben Affleck ‘Roots’ Cover-Up Case, and Bryan Price Profanity-Laced Presser Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/21).  The controversy over the Obama Administration’s role in negotiating a nuclear program with Iran and the bill drafted by Senator Bob Corker that would give Congress the ability to approve or disapprove the final deal; the case before the Supreme Court challenging the legality of health care subsidies as provided by the Affordable Care Act; the potential candidates for president in 2016; the protests against the Baltimore police after the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody; the ongoing Saudi strikes in Yemen and the U.S.’ naval presence in the region; chatter about Ben Affleck’s plea to leave his ancestor’s history of slave ownership out of the “Finding Your Roots” program; and Reds manager Bryan Price’s dropping of 77 f-bombs in a post-game press conference were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

| April 21, 2015

littlelindaLittle Rises to President of Phoenix Market for iHeartMedia.  Assuming the position left briefly vacant by Scott Hopeck after he was promoted to the same post at the New York City cluster is Linda Little.  She moves up from her SVP of sales position with the station group.  Prior to that, she was GSM for adult contemporary KESZ and country KNIX.  She also served as integrated media business development manager.   She comments, “I have had the privilege of building my media career in Phoenix and am very fortunate to have worked for a company that has given me many opportunities to grow while constantly evolving with the industry.” In this position she’ll oversee news/talk KFYI, talk KOY, and sports talk KGME.

schreiberjonathanSchreiber Promoted at Mercury Radio Arts.  Moving up from his head of strategy and special projects position with Glenn Beck’s Mercury Radio Arts to president of the company is Jonathan Schreiber.  In this new post, Schreiber will oversee Mercury’s divisions including digital, radio andmercuryradioarts logo publishing and its continued growth in film, television and “digital content across different genres beyond politics and current events.”  The company says Schreiber will continue to serve as an advisor to TheBlaze, the company’s news, information and entertainment network led by CEO Betsy Morgan.  Schreiber has an 18-year pedigree in the tech, mobile and entertainment businesses.  Beck says, “I personally recruited Jonathan to help take our company to the next level.  Since joining Mercury, he has played an integral role in both the strategy and execution at Mercury Radio Arts and my overall business philosophy and approach.  He is a trusted advisor and this title reflects the leadership position he has and will continue to assume in this new era for both me and our business.

quayledonIndustry Mourns Don Quayle. The first president of National Public Radio (NPR) has died: Don Quayle was 84 years old. NPR’s Susan Stamberg recalls that Quayle gave her her first radio job. “It was the early-1960s and he was head of the Educational Radio Network – the precursor of NPR – a little network of 12 east coast stations that developed a daily drive-time news show. He hired me to help produce it. When this national network arose, he was an obvious choice to run it. Don was principled, decent, and astute. In the euphoric tumult of our first years, he navigated the choppy seas of building a public radio system. He knew NPR had to serve our listeners, above the competing needs of stations, boards, and funders.” The program to which Stamberg alludes, of course, is “All Things Considered,” which Quayle debuted on NPR in 1971. He headed the network – which now has more than 900 member stations – from 1970 to 1973. Prior to that (1960 – 1962), Quayle managed Boston public outlet WGBH. Five years ago, the Logan, Utah native received an honorary doctorate of humane letters for his “significant contributions” to public broadcasting from his alma mater, Utah State University.

theblaze radio networkPremiere and TheBlaze to Present Memorial Day Special.  The annual Memorial Day radio special produced by Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze Radio Network returns in 2015 with Premiere Networks handling affiliate relations.  The three-hour program – titled “Reflections from a Gratefulpremierenetworks Nation” – features the hosts, writers and editors of TheBlaze and TheBlaze.com, including: Doc Thompson, Skip LaCombe, Buck Sexton, Jay Severin, Chris Salcedo, Mike Broomhead and others.  In addition to special appearances by award-winning actor Gary Sinise, “Wheel of Fortune” host Pat Sajak and members of the military, listeners will hear personal stories and conversations about the meaning of the holiday in this special tribute to those who fought and gave their lives to defend America’s freedom.  It’s available to news/talk stations for airing from May 23-25.  Interested stations can phone Premiere at 818-377-5300.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Harrison Interviews Boston Herald Editor-in-Chief Joe Sciacca on Weekly Podcast, ‘Up Close and Far Out.’  In a candid and informative interview on the popular weekly podcast “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” Boston Herald editor-in-chief  Joe Sciacca discusses his views on a wide variety of media-related topics that include, among others:  the state of the newspaper industry in a changing media landscape; the impact of the digital era on journalism; and his experience in being involved with his newspaper’s pioneering effort in online news/talk/sports radio broadcasting – Boston Herald Radio.   During the extensive conversation, Sciacca – a 37-year veteran of the newspaper business as a reporter, columnist and editor — tells TALKERS magazine publishersciaccajoe Michael Harrison that the biggest challenge facing journalists in the newspaper business today is “keeping their print product relevant.”  He tells Harrison, “I believe this is the greatest time to be leading a news organization in America even though resources are challenging and newspapers are experiencing difficult times in terms of revenue.  There really is a great window of opportunity to be creative – to reinvent our business.  So when I became editor five years ago after being at the Herald for 32 years, I embraced the challenge because even though I knew the road was going to be difficult to navigate, we have done some incredible things over the last five years and we’ve really transformed what was purely a print organization into a multimedia news organization.”  This transformation, of course, includes the launch of Boston Herald Radio – the newspaper’s online talk station that produces 11 hours of original, live content every weekday from a studio located right next to the newspaper’s newsroom.  It has proven to be a major source of breaking stories, not only for Boston-area news consumers, but for the media across the country and around the world.   Harrison and Sciacca delve into media theory and discuss differences in the psychology between reading stories online as opposed to the printed page.  They also analyze the impact of video cameras inside a radio studio and the differences between what Harrison describes as “great radio or bad television.”  Sciacca discusses the Boston Herald’s commitment to getting the stories right, rather than just being first – a pressure amplified by the competition generated by the 24 hour non-stop, digital news cycle and he recalls how coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing was particularly challenging because of all the false information that was out there in the general news media’s frenzy to stay on top of the breaking story during its early hours and days.  Harrison describes his theories about the emergence of what he calls “stickless” radio broadcasting (meaning radio without the traditional license, transmitter and tower) and the development of the online “media station” in the 21st century.  To hear the entirety of this fascinating conversation between two seasoned, front-line media visionaries, please click here, or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” box in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

clipinteractiveFour More Smartphone Models Can Have FM Chip Activated Via Clip Interactive.  According to Clip Interactive, more consumers can exercise the FM chip listening option as it has expanded the phones that can use its technology to include the HTC One M9, HTC Desire 610, Sharp Aquos Crystal and LG G3.   Clip Interactive says its application technology connects to this chip, allowing the listener to tune into local stations without having to stream, which depletes data allowances and consumes more battery life.  FM chip activation through Clip Interactive mobile apps allows stations to optimize listening options for users.  Clip Interactive chief technology officer Peter Shoebridge says, “Activating the FM chip on more devices benefits the listener as they can reduce data usage and enjoy the real-time broadcast.  The industry can expect more announcements about additional devices in the coming weeks as we continue our mission to provide interactive radio to the masses.”

Odds & Sods.  Appearing in the KFAQ, Tulsa studios this morning is a crew from “Good Morning America” as morning host Pat Campbell interviews attorney Clark Brewster.  Reserve Sheriff Deputy Robert Bates hiredcampbellpat Brewster to represent him in the case of the fatal shooting of Eric Harris that took place during a drug sting.  Bates has been cleared by the FBI of violating Harris’ civil rights but faces a second-degree manslaughter charge for accidently using his pistol instead of a taser on Harris.  Pat Campbell tells TALKERS magazine, “Our station has been ground zero for many exclusives on this story, including the foxsportsradio logoonly sit-down interview with Sheriff Stanley Glanz.  KFAQ news director Tami Marler has been all over this since day one, getting scoops and guests other outlets can’t secure.”…..FOX Sports Radio is presenting “FOX Sports Live 2015 NFL Draftcast” – a multi-platform NFL draft special featuring Jay Glazer, Joel Klatt, Peter Schrager, Mike Garafolo and Don Bell in Chicago.  It will air on the network’s more than 400 affiliates nationwide beginning at 8:00 pm ET on Thursday, April 30…..The last Buckley Broadcasting property – KIDD-AM, Monterey, California – has been sold to Saul Levine’s Mt. Wilson Broadcasters for $50,000.  Buckley took KIDD-AM dark a few months ago and recently tore down its aging tower structure.

ISIS Violence, Iran Nuclear Program Controversy/U.S. Naval Presence in Yemen, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Police Shootings Controversies, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/20).  The reports of ISIS executing Christians; the controversy about negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program and the United States’ naval presence in the waters off Yemen; the potential candidates for president in 2016; the cases of police shooting citizens in Baltimore, Tulsa and elsewhere; and the weekend’s Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

| January 27, 2015

price howardGetting It Partly Wrong and Absolutely Right.  Disaster preparedness expert Howard B. Price – director, business continuity for ABC Television – writes in a piece in TALKERS today (1/27) that even though parts of the Northeast escaped the dire predictions of Winter Storm Juno, it’s better that people were overprepared.  For those upset with officials for shutting down roads and, in some cases, entire cities, Price says, “No one should EVER blame the messengers for decisions governments and businesses take based on scientific facts that were trumped – as they sometimes are – by the forces of nature.  Better to plan for what turns out to be unnecessary, then to be caught flat-footed when circumstances are worse than you anticipated.”  Keep in mind that as we publish this piece on Tuesday, parts of New England are indeed getting a lot of snow, combined with high winds.  Read more from Price here.

foxcarolynCarolyn Fox: My Prescription for Radio Success.  Radio pro Carolyn Fox writes about the key tenets to help personalities succeed in the radio business – even in this era.  In this piece she presents five points radio personalities should understand in order to have success in a business that’s contingent upon connecting with listeners.  “Great radio is nothing more than real humans connecting with other real humans aurally,” Fox says, “Don’t overcomplicate the message because my kid is banking on you to resuscitate radio so he too can pay back his college loans.”  Read Carolyn Fox’s piece here.

leykistomnonameTom Leykis’ The New Normal Reports 2014 Profit.  It’s been three years since Tom Leykis – free from the confines of his old contract with CBS RADIO – debuted his own internet talk program via a digital platform operating within his company The New Normal LLC.  Leykis says that his gross revenue for 2014 was $524,952, an increase of 60% over 2013’s gross, and a net profit of $2,187.  He goes on to say that this profit “will most likely exceed the combined net profits of the radio industry’s two largest companies (representing 1,310 or 11% of all US commercial radio stations).”  Pointing to the balance sheets of large radio operators iHeartMedia and Cumulus Media, Leykis says “iHeartMedia has not earned a net profit since at least 2008 according to its own 10K report.  Despite recent claims of ‘accelerated growth,’ iHeart’s best showing since 2008 was the second quarter of 2010 when it showed a net of negative $204.2 million…Cumulus Media, which is number two to iHeartMedia in stations owned, has shown a slight profit in 2014, with earnings per share for 2014 so far reported at $0.04 per share and net revenue of $159.34 million as of the third quarter of 2014.”  TALKERS editors note that while profits are certainly a challenge for companies with large debt service, it can be argued that the two companies mentioned (and the others not) employ thousands of people, support workers’ families and in turn contribute to the economy in a bigger way than a small company that actually earns a profit.  Still, Leykis says his point is that it doesn’t take big corporate backing to produce a successful media venture.  “In the end, this news doesn’t exactly make my day.  I made a fantastic living in the radio business and I still have many friends in the industry who are afraid of what the future holds.  I could have retired young and lived comfortably forever.  This project is to show radio folks that there’s a future for them if they’re willing to work hard.”

Westwoon One Super Bowl AdsWestwood One to Recognize Excellence in Audio Creativity. It has become an annual event for the syndicator to recognize the best radio commercials within perhaps the year’s biggest sporting event – the Super Bowl. Westwood One‘s senior vice president of sports sales & marketing Brandon Berman explains that the Cumulus Media division created the “Sound Awards” to “connect with – and to encourage – marketers, creatives, and brands to join forces and showcase the power of sound. Our Super Bowl broadcast is the perfect environment for advertisers to leverage their commercial creative, thanks to our incredible reach and sheer volume of audience across platforms. Following the crowning of a Super Bowl Champion, we look forward to crowning an advertising champion.” Westwood One’s play-by-play coverage of SuperSeahawks - Patriots Bowl XLIX between the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks originates this Sunday (2/1) from suburban Phoenix (Glendale). The “Super Bowl Sound Awards for Excellence in Audio Creativity” will feature national ads airing on Westwood One’s Super Bowl XLIX broadcast, as well as SiriusXM Radio, NFL.com/Audiopass, NFL Mobile from Verizon, and on the American Forces Radio Network. Last year’s winner, Motel 6, earned the top spot with a parody on how to use AutoCorrect.  Other top vote getters were Tilted Kilt, Subway, Exergen, and Taco Bell. Voting opened yesterday (Monday, 1/27) at 3:00 pm (ET) and runs through next Tuesday (2/3) at 12:00 noon; winners will be announced next Wednesday (2/4).

XEPRS-AMXEPRS-AM, Padres Extend “Mighty” Agreement. The pact between Broadcast Company of the Americas’ sports outlet XEPRS-AM “The Mighty 1090” and the National League West San Diego Padres covers this year’s MLB season and next year. BCA president Mike Glickenhaus comments, “We are very excited to continue our relationship with the Padres. We believe very strongly in the [team’s] vision for theSan Diego Padres future and we are looking forward to being a part of it.” Padres president Mike Dee remarks, “We are thrilled and excited because this really is a good partnership. ‘The Mighty 1090′ is where San Diego fans go for their sports and the Padres are glad to be part of it.” XEPRS-AM has been the Padres’ flagship since 2004; the station is licensed to Rosarito Beach, Baja California (Mexico).

Odds & Sods.  Former Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Mike Rogers joins Hudson Institute as a Distinguished Fellow.  In this role, he’ll focus on cyber-warfare and security, counterterrorism, and national security policy.  Rogers currently hosts the nationally syndicated feature “Something to Think About withrogersmike Mike Rogers” for Westwood One and is a CNN national security contributor…..At the Omaha cluster of NRG Media, AM radio operations manager Neil Nelkin announces he’s leaving the position and the station group he’s been at for more than two decades.  The company’s Omaha AM properties include: sports talkers KZOT and KOZN, news/talk KOIL, and Spanish-language KMMQ…..There’s a changing of traffic reporters at Tribune’s WGN, Chicago as the station informs traffic service Radiate Media that it’s dropping 10-year personality Leslie Keiling and will replace her with Judy Pielach, according to Chicago media writer Robert Feder…..Ashley Lopez is named political reporter for Kentucky Public Radio’s WFPL, Louisville.

Johnjay and RichJohnjay and Rich Suggest Non-Traditional Super Bowl Accommodations. Capitalizing on the fact that this Sunday’s Super Bowl is being played in their flagship market, Phoenix-based syndicated morning talents Johnjay and Rich maintain they are prepared to rent out their studio. Emphasizing they are offering the “full Super Bowl experience,” the duo cites computers, buffet breakfasts/lunches, convenient parking, and color television as tongue-in-cheek selling points to would-be renters. According to a video they shot, the 3.5-day rate to rent their studio is approximately $160.

WW1probowl15Busy Week in Arizona for Westwood One.  Pictured here is the crew that covered last weekend’s NFL Pro Bowl game at University of Phoenix Stadium – also the site of this weekend’s Super Bowl XLIX.  Westwood One is the exclusive national radio partner of the NFL.  From left to right are: producer Aaron Cummins, announcer Scott Graham (the voice of NFL Films), executive producer Howard Deneroff, and NFL Hall of Famer Rod Woodson.

Obama Tax Plan, ‘American Sniper’ Film Controversy, 2016 Presidential Prospects, East Coast Blizzard, and Super Bowl/DeflateGate Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/26).  The proposal by President Obama to hike taxes on the rich to assist the middle class; the controversial responses to the film “American Sniper”; the potential candidates for president in 2016; the blizzard hitting the East Coast; and Sunday’s Super Bowl and chatter about the DeflateGate issue were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

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