Tag: "Tom Marr"

Thursday, July 7, 2016

| July 7, 2016

WCBM, Baltimore’s Tom Marr Dead at 73.  Longtime Baltimore talk radio and sports radio personality Tom Marr died early today (7/7) at the age of 73 after suffering a stroke as a result of complications from back surgery.  WCBM posted the following on its website: “It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce Thomas A. Marr has marrtompassed away today due the severity of his stroke.  Please keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers!”  Marr had been with WCBM since 1988 when he joined the station as a reporter and political commentator.  He later became a talk show host.  Prior to joining WCBM, Marr worked at WFBR (now WJZ-AM) as a reporter and news director.  While there, he also served as part of the Baltimore Orioles play-by-play team for a number of years.  WCBM program director Sean Casey says, “He helped to build this news/talk radio station into the force that it is today.  He had a successful career while informing and entertaining listeners in Baltimore and worldwide.”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison issued the following statement:  “All of us at TALKERS are devastated over the loss of our dear friend and broadcasting treasure, Tom Marr.  Tom was one of the true greats and a perennial member of the Heavy Hundred.  His accomplishments in radio go back well before the modern era of talk radio that he played such an important role in building.  He was an outstanding, kind, compassionate man who cared deeply about his fellow human beings – qualities that he brought to the airwaves day-after-day, decade-after-decade.  The radio industry has lost one of its greatest players.”  Marr is survived by his wife Sharon, five children and 10 grandchildren.

Emmis Radio Division Q1 Net Revenue Flat.  Indianapolis-based Emmis Communications is reporting financial numbers from its fiscal first quarter for 2016.  As a whole, the company’s net revenue was down 4.2% — but the radio division was up a tick to $42.7 million from $42.6 million in the same quarter one year ago.  In a statement, emmis logoEmmis says, “Excluding the company’s radio station in Los Angeles, which is being negatively affected by a recent format competitor, Emmis’ radio net revenues would have been up 5% in the quarter.  Per Miller Kaplan reporting, radio revenues in Emmis’ markets were up 3% in the quarter with and without Los Angeles.  For the first fiscal quarter, operating income was up 13%, from $7.6 million to $8.6 million, primarily due to cost reductions the company implemented in January 2016.”  Chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan adds, “Our New York radio stations had asmulyanjeff stellar first quarter, growing revenues 11% and beating a healthy New York radio market that was up 4% in the quarter.  Compared to last year, Emmis’ ratings are up across our portfolio, and we are optimistic this will help drive revenue growth in the second half of the fiscal year.  I continue to be amazed and encouraged by the progress the radio industry is making with NextRadio, the radio industry’s initiative to make FM broadcast radio available on smartphones and tablets.  The Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge will soon be NextRadio compatible across all major wireless carriers in the United States, and with the support of handset makers BLU, Alcatel, and others, we have launched NextRadio in Canada and Peru.”

talkers16BigPictureTALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations – ‘The Big Picture Panel’ Video Posted Today.  The Livestream video recording of the panel discussion titled, “The Big Picture,” one of the many highlights of the recent TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations convention, has been posted today (7/7) to Talkers.com. The 19th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important convention took place on Friday, May 20 on the fabulous campus of Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York.  Introduced by Radio Hofstra University general manager Bruce Avery and moderated by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, the panel members include (in alphabetical order):  Heather Cohen, EVP, The Weiss Agency; Alan Colmes, host, Fox News Radio/commentator, Fox News Channel; Evan Cornog, Ph.D., dean, Hofstra University’s Lawrence Herbert School of Communication; Mike McVay, SVP/content & programming, Cumulus Media & Westwood One; Chris Oliviero, EVP/programming, CBS Radio; Joe Sciacca, editor-in-chief, Boston Herald; and Julie Talbott, president, Premiere Networks.  The video opens with a brief appearance by convention emcee, Dr. Joy Browne, host, Genesis Communications Network.  “The Big Picture” panel is a traditional favorite of the annual TALKERS convention and covers the spectrum of broad-strokes topics facing the radio and talk media industries. To view this video in its entirety, please click here.

The FBI’s Hillary Clinton Email Investigation, The Presidential Race, Baton Rouge and Minneapolis Police Shootings, U.S. Immigration Policy, UK Iraq War Report, and Rio Olympics Troubles Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/6).  The FBI’s decision not to pursue criminal charges against Hillary Clinton for using a private email server for State Department business; the activities of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump; the deaths of black men in confrontations with police in Baton Rouge and Minneapolis; US immigration policy including the Senate’s failure to begin debate over a bill to de-fund “sanctuary cities”; the UK report on its involvement in the Iraq War and former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s decision to join the coalition; and the reports of the numerous problems Rio De Janeiro is dealing with preparing to open the Summer Games in August were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

ppmunitNielsen Audio Releases Second Round of June 2016 PPM Data.  The second of four rounds of June 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  The June 2016 survey period covered May 19 to June 15.  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.

Former WABC and WOR, New York Manager Steve Borneman Named COO of Pamal Broadcasting.  Management pro Steve Borneman is the new COO at Albany-based Pamal Broadcasting.  He exits his generalbornemansteve manager role at Times Shamrock Communications’ Scranton station group to take the Pamal gig.  Previously in his career Borneman served as general manager for news/talk WABC and hot AC WPLJ in New York.  He also managed talk WOR, New York for iHeartMedia after the company acquired the station from Buckley Broadcasting.  Borneman will be based in White Plains, New York.

Odds & Sods.  At the Norfolk, Virginia Max Media cluster, Mark McKay is named program director for sports talk WVSP “ESPN Radio 94.1.”  McKay currently serves as program director for the company’s country WGH “97.3 THE EAGLE.”…..Hearst’s WBAL, Baltimore “NewsRadio 1090” picks up an Edward R. Murrowwbal National Award for Continuing Coverage of the Freddie Gray story.  The award is for the station’s coverage of the case, including Gray’s arrest and death, the unrest that followed, and the first trial of the six Baltimore police officers charged in Gray’s death.  The award is for nearly eight months of coverage by the station…..ESPN’s radio hosts are taking over ESPN2’s “First Take” show.  Next week (7/11-15), a new duo or trio from ESPN Radio will sit down at the First Take desk to give their takes on the day’s top stories from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon ET.  Molly Qerim will host all week.  Radio hosts and teams appearing on the show include: Steve Mason and John Ireland from KSPN, Los Angeles; Tom Waddle and Marc “Silvy” Silverman from WMVP, Chicago; Peter Rosenberg, Don La Greca comptonKatersky16and Rick DiPietro from WEPN, New York’s Michael Kay show and the Hahn & Humpty show; and ESPN Radio personalities Freddie Coleman, Bomani Jones, Jalen Rose and David Jacoby…..ABC News Radio is offering affiliate stations live, anchored coverage of the RNC and DNC conventions Monday through Thursday of the respective weeks (July 18-21 and July 25-28).  Correspondent Aaron Katersky (right) will anchor nightly coverage joined by special contributor Ann Compton (left), political analysts Steve Roberts and Trey Hardin, correspondents Alex Stone, Jim Ryan, Cheri Preston, Brad Mielke, Rick Klein and Shushannah Walshe.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

| July 5, 2016

Shannon Burke Wins ‘Casting Call’ for WYAY, Atlanta Talk Show.  Program director Greg Tantum says audience response to Shannon Burke’s appearance on Cumulus Media’s WYAY, Atlanta “NewsRadio 106.7”burkeshannon wyay logo newduring the on-air auditions – or Casting Call – was an “overwhelming audience favorite.”  As a result, Burke is inked to a deal to host the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program on WYAY.   Burke was most recently with Cox Media Group’s WHPT, Tampa “102.5 The Bone.”  He’s also worked on the Bubba the Love Sponge show, iHeartMedia’s WTKS, Orlando “Real Radio 104.1” and WFLF, Orlando “540 WFLA.”  Tantum says, “[Burke’s] show creatively combines intelligent talk with humor, entertainment and a connection with the Atlanta lifestyle.”

WCBM, Baltimore’s Tom Marr on Medical Leave After Suffering Stroke.  The longtime Baltimore news, talk, and sports radio figure suffered a stroke on Sunday (7/3) that the family says happened as a result of marrtomcomplications from recent back surgery.  WCBM, Baltimore’s Tom Marr will be on medical hiatus while he recovers.  Marr has been with WCBM since 1988 when the Mangione family acquired the station.   Prior to coming to WCBM, Marr spent 21 years at the former WFBR (now WJZ-AM) in Baltimore as a newsman and Orioles play-by-play announcer.

Baghdad, Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh Terror Bombings, The Presidential Race, FBI’s Clinton Email Investigation/Bill Clinton-Loretta Lynch Meeting, The Fourth of July Holiday, and Kevin Durant Joins Golden State Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The deadly terror attacks in Baghdad, three sites in Saudi Arabia and in Bangladesh; the activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; the status of the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server for State Department business, tied with Bill Clinton’s controversial meeting with Attorney General Loretta Lynch; the Fourth of July holiday; and NBA star Kevin Durant’s decision to join the Golden State Warriors were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Randi Rhodes Returns to Talk Show Hosting; Teams with Nicole Sandler for One-Two Progressive Punch.  Florida-based progressive talk host Nicole Sandler (right) tells TALKERS magazine that she and Randi rhodesSandler16Rhodes (left) are debuting four hours of live progressive talk on the Internet as Rhodes gets back behind the mic for the first time since her Premiere Networks show ended in May of 2014.  Sandler says, “Randi Rhodes and I have teamed up to produce and broadcast four daily hours of fierce, independent, entertaining and informative progressive talk radio streaming live weekdays.”  The Nicole Sandler Show runs live from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET and The Randi Rhodes Show follows immediately, airing live from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET.  Sandler’s show moves from its previous “Radio or Not” home to NicoleSandler.com.  Rhodes is broadcasting from her studios in Delray Beach, which were funded by Rhode’s listeners via a Kickstarter campaign.  Sandler says that in addition to their own streaming channels and their respective websites, the Randi Rhodes show and the Nicole Sandler show are also heard on The Progressive Voices channel and app, and a few other select streaming stations around the world.

Hyper-Local Online Talk Media Station.  For the fifth consecutive year, legendary Western Massachusetts radio personality Brad Shepard served as the voice and emcee of the regionally iconic East Longmeadow Fourth ofshepard4th16 July Parade yesterday (7/4).  Shepard is the GM and star personality on the hyper-local Pioneer Valley Radio (PioneerValleyRadio.com) launched a year-and-a-half ago after Shepard left his long-running morning show at local iHeartMedia news/talk outlet WHYN, Springfield.  Shepard tells TALKERS, “Pioneer Valley Radio features a format that can best be described as ‘full-time public affairs with personality.’  We are achieving tremendous traction with this concept and it is gratifying to works within an exciting medium that operates so closely with the heart and soul of its local community.  This platform has quickly become the favorite of this region’s most civically active citizens.  It is a qualitative bonanza for advertisers that functions within that mindset.”

haskewgaryWGOW-AM/FM, Chattanooga ‘SportTalk’ Host Gary Haskew Dead at 74.  Longtime Chattanooga sports reporter and talk host Gary Haskew, a.k.a. “Dr. Basketball” died on July 4 after suffering a massive heart attack.  Haskew hosted the afternoon program “SportTalk” on the Cumulus Media station.  WGOW interim PD Bill Lockhart comments, “Gary was an incredible talent, an excellent storyteller, a true original, and the largest of larger-than-life characters.  In a world of wanna-bes, posers, and imitators, Gary was the genuine article – a man’s man, an entertainer extraordinaire, with a love for people.  We are all lucky to have had Gary in our lives.”

talkers16MillennialsTALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations – ‘Millennials and the Media’ Panel Now Posted for Viewing.  TALKERS continues to add Livestream video recordings of the various presentations, addresses and discussions at TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations.  The 19th annual installment of the longest-running and most important national talk media industry convention took place Friday, May 20 on the fabulous campus of Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York.  The latest event from the convention being posted today (7/5) is the panel discussion “Millennials and the Media” moderated by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey.  Speakers on the panel include (in alphabetical order):  Mike “Bax” Baxendale, morning co-host, WAQY-FM, Springfield, MA “Rock 102”; Ethan Bearman, host, KGO, San Francisco; Vince Benedetto, president/CEO, Bold Gold Media Group; Mike Calta, host, WHPT-FM, Tampa “Rock 102”; Meghan McCain, host Premiere Networks; and John T. Mullen, director of operations, Radio Hofstra University.  To view the video in its entirety, please click here.

Odds & Sods.  The WOAI, San Antonio-based “Joe Pags Show” – hosted by talk radio personality Joe “Pags”pagliarulojoe Pagliarulo – renews its relationship with Compass Media Networks to be exclusively distributed by the firm into the next decade.  Joe Pags says, “The team at Compass Media Networks is extraordinary.  As I focus on putting on a great show and serving my stations, listeners and sponsors, this team is hitting it out of the park consistently bringing in new affiliates and revenue.”…..CBS Radio News is offering coverage of the 2016 political conventions to affiliate stations that will fit their needs.  CBS News will provide a variety of coverage from the 2016 Republican and Democratic National Conventions from Cleveland and Philadelphia – long- or short-form coverage, updates several times an hour, one-on-one interviews, and social media opportunities…..Podcasting pioneer Blubrry is partnering with StreamGuys to enable podcasters to expand their audience and reach through internet radio streaming.  StreamGuys’ new Podcast2Radio option lets Blubrry customers effortlessly convert podcasts into linear internet radio streams delivered to new audiences through StreamGuys’ robust, cloud-based content delivery network.  This increased distribution is complemented by rich analytics and statistics from StreamGuys that enhance the ability for Blubrry users to measure and track their wwweMoH16agrowing listener base…..At Beasley Media Group’s Atlanta sports talk WWWE, “Sports Joc Show” host Wayne Gandy (right) is announcing that Waverly T. Lucas II (left), a former member of the Dance Theatre of Harlem and The Atlanta Ballet is the first recipient of the “Man of Honor” award.  This award is presented by ex-NFLer Gandy once a month from June through September.  This award pays tribute to men who display integrity, honor, hard work, sacrifice and kindness to others.  Lucas is the co-founder and co-artistic director of Ballethnic Dance Company, the choreographer of more than 30 ballets and is the creator of Danseur Development Project, a program with a unique approach to the athletic development and mentoring of young males in dance.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

| June 22, 2016

cumulus logoCumulus Makes Change at CFO Role; Abbot Succeeds Hannan.  There has been chatter in the industry lately about looming personnel changes in the corporate tier at Cumulus Media and now the company reveals a new face in the chief financial officer post.  John F. Abbot is appointed executive vice president, treasurer and chief financial officer effective July 1.  He replaces Joseph P. “J.P.” Hannan, who the company says resigned his position after six years in order to pursueabbotjohn other interests.  Hannan will assist the company for several months to ensure a smooth transition.  Abbot comes to Cumulus from his most recent position as EVP and CFO of Telx Holdings Inc., a provider of connectivity, co-location and cloud services in the data center industry.  Abbot’s experience also includes spent as EVP/CFO for cable’s Insight Communications Company, Inc. and as managing director for the Global Media and Communications Group of the investment banking division at Morgan Stanley.  Abbot says, “I am excited to join Mary [Berner] and the senior leadership team at this important juncture in the company’s evolution.  I join Cumulus with an appreciation for the headway that has already been made around the company’s four key strategies as well as a keen understanding of the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. I look forward to using my skills and experience to help maximize value as we work to deliver on the turnaround.”

Day One of FAIR’s Immigration Radio Row Underway.  This year’s “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” radio row in Washington, DC is the ninth annual such event and this Federation for American Immigration ReformcarsonrobFAIR16 production is comprised of 50 talk show hosts from all over the country broadcasting their shows and suttongarydebating immigration policy while interviewing members of congress, law enforcement officials, experts, activists and citizens who live along the border.   FAIR says that “this year’s event will focus on the aftermath of President Obama’s amnesty and his continued abuse of executive power, the GOP’s internal battle over how to tackle immigration and the ongoing border crisis with its implications for national security risks.”  TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison is at the event today speaking with hosts about talk radio’s role in the national discussion ofmarrtomFAIR16 immigration issues.  He reports back that “it’s very apparent from the very beginning of this event that daneHarrison16there is a more thoughtful attitude toward immigration reform among the hosts and expert guests this year.  It seems to be understood that, even among Republicans and conservatives, there are many points of view with regard to the issues surrounding the security of our nation’s borders.”  Pictured here at today’s event are some of the talk show hosts taking part in day one – Rob Carson from KCMO, Kansas City; Gary Sutton from WSBA, York; and Tom Marr from WCBM, Baltimore.  At bottom left are Michael Harrison (left) and FAIR’s Bob Dane (right).

weei logoWEEI, Boston Parts Ways with Evening Personality Mike Adams.  Longtime WEEI, Boston personality Mike Adams – host of the evening “Planet Mikey” show on Entercom’s sports talker – exits the station after almost 11 years in the daypart.  The Boston Globe’s Chadadamsmikey Finn reports that Entercom Boston VP and market manager Phil Zachary did not cite ratings or any other specific measuring stick regarding the decision to change the evening show, but said, “We made a tough call on Mike but, at the same time, we feel there are some innovative opportunities we’d like to explore over the next few months.  As you know, WEEI has extensively – and successfully – revamped every major weekday show over the last three years.  The time is right to extend that thinking to nights.”  During baseball season, Red Sox baseball airs in the evening daypart most nights, so the station has some time before unveiling anything permanent.  Read Finn’s Globe piece here.

The Presidential Race, Former Secret Service Agent’s Clinton Book, ‘Brexit’ Vote, Battle Against Islamic State, Orlando Massacre Investigation/Gun Legislation, and Olympics-Zika Virus Concerns Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/22).  The activities of the candidates for president; former Secret Service agent Gary Byrnes’ tell-all book about the Clinton White House; tomorrow’s vote by Britons on whether to leave the European Union or not; the ongoing military campaign to fight Islamic State in the Middle East and the charge domestic authorities face in preventing attacks in the U.S.; the ongoing investigation into the events at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub massacre and the attempts at gun legislation changes in Washington; and the increasing number of athletes choosing not to compete in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics over concerns about the Zika virus were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Fashion Figure Mark Weber to Host WABC, New York Weekend Show.  This Saturday (6/25) is the debut of the new weekend program “Always in Fashion” on Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York.  Hosted by fashion industry business leader Mark Weber, WABC says, “The one-hour weekly business talk program featureswebermark luminaries from fashion’s most successful and innovative brands.  Weber and his guests share insights from the heights of the glamorous, fast-paced and highly competitive business of fashion in an exciting, engaging and highly entertaining talk format.”  The show is airing on 77 WABC at 10:00 pm ET.  Weber says, “Throughout my entire career I worked and commuted to New York City.  77 WABC was my pre-set on my radio and people like Don Imus and Michael Savage are my role models.  I listened and learned from these storytellers, and now I have my own stories and lessons that can teach, inspire and entertain listeners interested in business and fashion.  I am thrilled to be on the air at 770 WABC!”  WABC is the first station of a planned syndication rollout through KMG Networks, a division of Krantz Media Group, in association with Sungate Partners, Inc.

More Murrow’s to Announce.  Yesterday, TALKERS magazine wrote about a number of winners of Edward R. Murrow Awards bestowed in 2016.  Here are a couple of more: For the fourth year in a row, CBS Radio News winscbsradionews logo the Murrow award for “Best Newscast.”  The RTDNA recognizes excellence in numerous categories.  This award is for CBS’ “World News Roundup” from June 19, 2015, covering the wbbmlogoaftermath of the Charleston church shootings.  The first section of the broadcast was anchored from Charleston by CBS EVENING NEWS anchor Scott Pelley.  It was a comprehensive look at the investigation, the suspect, the victims and how the city was coping.  The rest of the broadcast was anchored from New York by CBS Radio News anchor Steve Kathan and covered the Colorado movie shooting trial wbz logoand the manhunt for two escaped prisoners in Northern New York.  Also, CBS RADIO O&O WBZ-AM, Boston – in the Large Market category – received the top honor for “Best Newscast” for its morning report, which included updates on the 2015 snow storm.  The company’s WBBM-AM, Chicago was awarded “Best Breaking News Coverage” for its continued coverage following the public release of the video capturing the shooting of Laquan McDonald.

gracies logoWABC’s Joan Hamburg Honored with Lifetime Achievement Gracie.  The 41st Annual Gracie Awards Luncheon took place at Cipriani on 42nd in New York yesterday (6/21).  The ceremony was presented by The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation.   Host Robin Meade led the program alongside presenters BeverlyhamburgjoanAlda16 Bond, Emme, Erica Hill and Ginger Zee.  The Gracie Awards were presented to honorees which were previously announced on March 21 in recognition of their successes in the media industry.  Lifetime Achievement Honoree Joan Hamburg was presented her award by close friend Alan Alda (pictured at right).  Ginger Zee was not only a presenter but an acceptor for Good Morning America’s win for Outstanding Talk Show- News.  In presenting Hamburg with her honor, Alda said, “In a media industry where talk radio is overwhelmingly dominated by men, Joan is a woman’s voice that is graceful and lively but authoritative.”  As part of the program, Canadian singer/songwriter Ruth B performed her viral hit “Lost Boy” and her unreleased single “In My Dreams.”

Odds & Sods.  According to a report in the New York Daily News, radio personality Zev Brenner was hit with a fine of $2,500 and will serve a year’s probation for failure to file income tax returns.  Brenner hosts an online radio show.  He was previously with WMCA, New York hosting his “Talkline” program.  The Feds charged Brenner with failure to file for tax years 2003 through 2011.  He’s already paid $63,764 in restitution…..The audio of NBC Sports Radio – the NBC Sports Group/Westwood One joint venture – is now available for live-streaming via Apple Music.  NBC Sports Ventures SVP Rob Simmelkjaer says, “Now, through Apple Music, with its broad reach andgreshamHannah16 immediate availability, NBC Sports Radio content is even more accessible.”…..Lisa Gillespie joins Louisville Public Media’s WFPL, Louisville as the station’s health and innovation reporter.  She was most recently working in Washington for Kaiser Health News.  Her beat with WFPL will be public health and health care policy…..Pictured here is nationally syndicated “Gun Talk” host Tom Gresham (right) with the host of television’s “Into the Wild,” Jack Hanna (left).  The two appeared at the Professional Outdoor Media Association’s annual conference in Kalispell, Montana where Hanna spoke about the role of hunting in conservation and his belief that hunters are the original conservationists.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

| March 15, 2016

nielsen logoRound One of February PPM Data Released.  The first of four rounds of February 2016 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey).  The survey period was January 28 – February 24.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Twelve Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

Presidential Race, Hillary Clinton Benghazi Gaffe, Syrian Civil Conflict, Battle Against Islamic State, North Korea Nuke Tests, and March Madness Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/14).  The activities of the candidates for president and today’s Super Tuesday II primary elections; controversy over Hillary Clinton’s statement about not losing any Americans in Benghazi; the Syrian civil war and Russia’s reported abrupt exit from the conflict; recent U.S. drone attacks on Islamic State fighters; the nuclear tests being conducted by North Korea; and the beginning of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

rtdnaSunshineWeekRTDNA Recognizes ‘Sunshine Week.’  All this week (3/13-19) the Radio Television Digital News Association is recognizing the public’s right to know by encouraging newsrooms across the country to observe the week.  Sunshine Week was begun by the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors and expanded nationwide 12 years ago, spearheaded by the American Society of News Editors, with the help of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and dozens of media organizations, including RTDNA.  Included in Sunshine Week this year is National Freedom of Information Day,bohannonjim which was conceived by radio talk show host Jim Bohannon, is celebrated on March 16 to honor the birthday of President James Madison, founder of the Bill of Rights.  RTDNA executive director Mike Cavender and Society of Professional Journalists president Paul Fletcher will be guests on Bohannon’s Westwood One-syndicated radio show on March 16, to mark the occasion and discuss the state of freedom of information in the country today.  Cavender says, “As the Freedom of Information Act turns 50 years old, we continue to see misguided attempts to undermine its principles by government agencies, members of Congress and state legislatures around the country.  Now more than ever, Americans should understand the need for transparency in government and having public access to the public’s business.”

Odds & Sods.  Baltimore talk radio legend Tom Marr signs a one-year contract renewal to continue his daily latemarrtom morning program on WCBM, Baltimore for a final year.  Marr has been in the radio industry for more than 50 years…..Programmer Mike Killabrew is the new SVP of programming at iHeartMedia’s Indianapolis cluster that includes sports talk WNDE…..Bob “Wolf” Wohlfeld returns to the radio in the Albany market where he’s now partnered with afternoon drive host Jeff Levack on Townsquare Media’s sports talk WTMM-FM “ESPN Radio 104.5.”  Wohlfeld had previously worked in the market at classic rock WPYX.

Friday, March 6, 2015

| March 6, 2015

beasley logo longBeasley Reports 2014 Q4 Pro Forma Net Revenue Dips 4.3%.  Getting an accurate picture of the fourth quarter – not to mention the total of 2014 – is a bit dicey because of the asset exchange between Beasley and CBS RADIO.  But as Beasley chairman and CEO George Beasley says in the press release, “On a reported basis, fourth quarter net revenue from continuing operations rose 23.5% and SOI [station operating income] increased 14.6%, while operating income of $1.8 million was impacted by $1.7beasleygeorge million of transaction and termination expenses related to the Asset Exchange and otherwise would have compared favorably with the $2.8 million in the comparable year ago period.  However, given the required accounting treatment for discontinued operations, the results include only one month of operations from the stations we received in the asset exchange, while excluding the results of the stations we gave up in the transaction.  As a result, we believe a pro forma presentation, which assumes the asset exchange occurred on January 1, 2013, better reflects the operating results.  On a pro forma basis, fourth quarter net revenue decreased 4.3% to $28.9 million while SOI declined 8.0% to $9.2 million.  Importantly, while the fourth quarter pro forma presentation allows for a comparison of the same stations during both periods, it does not reflect our recently initiated and planned format and personnel changes in Tampa as well as expense reductions in Tampa and Charlotte, the benefits of which we expect will be reflected in our results as we move through 2015 and into 2016.”

kkfn logo20 Years of KKFN Sports Talk in Denver Being Recognized.  This Monday (3/9), Lincoln Financial Media will celebrate 20 years of sports talk in Denver on KKFN.  The format is now heard on KKFN-FM “104.3 The Fan,” but debuted in 1994 on KKFN-AM.  The special broadcast will feature several former personalities and athletes who have been part of the two-decade history.  The station’s original lineup included: the Fabulous Sports Babe (Nanci Donnellan), Woody Paige & Todd Mansfield, Doug Moe & Tom Green and Jeff Reckard.  On Monday the station will welcome back former Fan personalities Woody Paige, Tom Green, Dan Issel, Charles Johnson, Irv Brown and Joe Williams.  They will be joined by Rockies radio announcer Jerry Schemmel.  The station’s current lineup is: “The Fan Morning Show with Mike Evans, Nate Lundy and Vic Lombardi” (5:30 am to 9:00 am), Dan Patrick (9:00 am to 12:00  noon), Sandy Clough and Scott Hastings (12:00 noon to 3:00 pm), “The Drive”­ with Alfred “Big Al” Williams and Darren “D-Mac” McKee (3:00 pm to 9:00 pm) and “The Fan Late Night” with Ryan Edwards and Shawn Drotar (9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight).  “The Fan” will also hold an anniversary party on Thursday, March 26, at the Sports Column in downtown Denver.  Listeners will get the chance to celebrate with members of “The Fan” on-air staff and celebrities.

iheartmedia logo smalliHeartMedia Names Charlie Wilkinson Dallas Market President.   Moving to Texas from his most recent position with the company as regional president overseeing Charlotte and Raleigh, Charlie Wilkinson becomes market president of iHeartMedia’s six Dallas properties.  EVP of operations – Texas majors Kelly Kibler comments, “Charlie has exceeded expectations and consistently raises the bar.  He has proven his ability to create and lead winning teams.  I’m confident he will continue to deliver consistent integrated revenue growth for the Dallas cluster.”  Former market president, Deidre Richter, will join iHeartMedia’s national sales team and will report to Jeff Howard, president of national sales.  Richter will lead the South Central Connections Team.

Odds & Sods.  At the Cromwell Group’s Nashville sports talk duo “94.9 The Game 2” — WQZQ-AM and W235BW – morning drive co-host Joe Dubin leaves the station and partner Greg Pogue to return to television sports as sports anchor on WSMV-TV, Nashville, effective March 30…..This weekend begins Westwood One Sports’ presentation of a slate of exclusive women’s college basketball broadcasts this month.  It gets underway Sunday with the Pac-12 Women’s Championship game andwestwood one sports culminating with the Women’s Final Four and National Championship in Tampa on April 7.  On Tuesday, March 10, WW1 broadcasts the Big East Women’s Championship, live from Allstate Arena in Chicago.  CBS Sports Radio talk-show host Amy Lawrence has the play-by-play, along with former University of Connecticut All-American Swin Cash as the analyst…..Salem Media Group New York brings Chief of Robotic Surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital, Dr. David Samadi, to the staff serving as chief medical correspondent for news/talk WNYM “AM 970 The Answer” and Christian talk WMCA “AM 570 The Mission.”  Additionally, Dr. Samadi will host the new program “World Health News with Dr. Samadi,” airing Sundays from 10:00 am to 11:00 am.

curtiskubyroast15Curtis & Kuby Roast Takes Place Monday in NYC.  Gotham Comedy Club will be the site of the Curtis & Kuby Roast on Monday, March 9 at 7:00 pm.  The duo – heard daily in middays on Cumulus Media’s WABC – will be in attendance as Roast Master Rich Vos (featured on Comedy Central, HBO, and Showtime) hosts a night of no-holds-barred comedy in honor of talk radio odd couple Curtis Sliwa and Ron Kuby.  Comedians Kurt Metzger, Bonnie McFarlane, Geno Bisconte, Aaron Berg, and The Stone Brothers will all come out to roast the duo. Limited tickets are still available at www.wabcradio.com. The event is produced by Jeffrey Gurian in conjunction with Gotham Comedy Club and 77 WABC.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  The sports programming from Yahoo! Sports Radio is now being heard on Word Broadcasting’s WVHI, Evansville, Indiana…..The Genesis Communications Network-syndicated “Freedom Feens” show is now being heard on affiliate stations WRMN, Elgin, Illinois (Chicago market) and on WPNN, Pensacola, Florida.

Netanyahu Speech/Iran Nukes Top Talkers TenTM for Week of March 2-6.  The speech before Congress by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the issue of a pact to allow Iran’s nuclear program to expand were tied for the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week.  At #2 was the Supreme Court’s hearing a challenge to the Affordable Care Act. Coming in at #3 was the probe of Hillary Clinton’s use of private email for State Department business, followed by the Homeland Security Department funding battle and President Obama’s amnesty order at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio this week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

| July 30, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

| June 26, 2013

npg logoClear Channel Faces Suit by Photo Company Alleging Illegal Use.  National Photo Group LLC has filed a complaint in United States District Court Western District of Texas alleging Clear Channel radio stations infringed on its copyrights by using pictures of various celebrities on the websites of some of its radio stations.  The complaint names 11 CC radio stations and alleges photos of celebrities including Jason Aldean, Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore, Drew Barrymore and others were used without permission and with knowledge that the photos were copyrighted.  NPG is seeking $150,000 per infringement plus legal fees and any other relief the Court deems just and proper.

marrtomlgWCBM, Baltimore Extends Talk Host Tom Marr’s Contract Through 2017.  Baltimore talk radio institution Tom Marr will be heard on WCBM through 2017 as the station’s vice president, Nick Mangione. Jr., announces the station extends his no-cut contract for another four years.  The official announcement was made June 24 by WCBM program director and operations manager Sean Casey at the start of Marr’s show that day.  Mangione, Jr. states, “I am delighted we have reached the agreement on the extension. To quote my late father, Tom is still at the top of his game both as a broadcaster in general and talk show host in particular.  We are delighted he will be on the air until 2017 with WCBM and he just may decide to stay longer.  There will always be room for him in the WCBM family.  Tom has a good sense for the business.  As an example, he is the first one to suggest that we add both Sean Hannity and Mark Levin to our lineup.  Tom has a large following within the reach of our 50 thousand watt transmitter and is building a solid national and international following on WCBM’s worldwide reach via the internet.”  Marr, who began his career as a high school sports broadcaster on WWDC-AM, Washington, DC in 1960, says, “I am deeply honored that Nick and the Mangione Family Enterprises agreed to the extension.  I look forward to the challenges ahead for talk radio and its increasing role in the media especially in view of our relationship with the digital world.”

brienjenWBZ-AM, Boston Names Jen Brien Overnight Talk Host.  After the retirement of Steve LeVeille last year, the station has been featuring a number of talk radio personalities in the overnight slot.  Now, program director Peter Casey announces Jennifer “Jen” Brien is named to the permanent position.  The station says the program “will be a mix of pop culture, current events, politics, and the comings and goings of people in New England.”  In addition to WBZ-AM’s monster signal that penetrates the entire East Coast at that time of night, the show can be heard on CBS Radio’s Radio.com.  Brien joined WBZ from Entercom’s crosstown news/talk WRKO where she hosted a daily program.  She has also hosted shows on WPRO and WHJJ in Providence, and WCOD and WXTK on Cape Cod.  Before beginning her career in radio, Brien spent more than five years as a soldier in the United States Army where she was selected for the prestigious “Soldier of the Year” award.

bennettalexSiriusXM Cancels Long-Running Alex Bennett Show.  One of modern talk radio’s true pioneers, Alex Bennett, has reportedly been let go “without cause” from SiriusXM Satellite Radio‘s “Sirius Left” channel where he was doing the daily 7:00 am to 10:00 am program.  Bennett has been with Sirius for almost a decade and, according to insiders close to the host, was caught by surprise and is “distraught” over what transpired.  Bennett has had a colorful, unique on-air career that goes back to the late-1960s when he was the lone talk show host on the old WMCA, New York when it was still the “Home of the Good Guys.”  He subsequently went on to do both rock music and talk broadcasting serving as one of the original prototypes for the pop culture-oriented (some call it “shock jock”) and “progressive” genres of modern day talk radio.  Between WMCA and Sirius, he served in ground-breaking stints at such great stations as WPLJ in New York and KMEL, KITS (“Live 105”) and KQAK (“The Quake”) in San Francisco.  At press time, it is not clear if this was a cost-cutting move on the part of Sirius or indicative of a re-direction in programming.  Bennett is still on the air and is reportedly doing his final program for the satellite radio service this Friday.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “In my opinion Alex Bennett is one of the most important talents ever to grace a microphone during my lifetime.  His show on WMCA — in which he did extremely progressive talk about the issues of the day such as the Vietnam War — was on a station that was otherwise a hip music station.  In the midst of all the fun, cool hipness of the rock ‘n’ roll and the zany DJs of that fabulous station, Bennett was fearlessly talking to the kids about extremely important controversial issues.  That show served as the original inspiration for me to launch an issues-oriented talk show (“Harrison’s Mic”) five years later on rocker KMET in Los Angeles and my own talk career that paralleled my music radio work.  If I had not heard Alex Bennett in 1969, there might not have ever been a TALKERS magazine.”

cookehollandHOLLAND COOKE: The Future of AM/FM in the Car.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke reports from the Consumer Electronic Association’s Connected Car Conference in New York City and her says that the bottom line after “four-and-a-half-hours of thoughtful discussion, research, and prognostication by automotive, electronics, and media thinkers:  Whatever the dashboard is about to morph into matters less to AM/FM radio than what’s already happened.”  Cooke writes that people who matter have already connected their media to the car speakers and offers some thoughts about what radio programmers can do to stand out from the digital competition.  Read his analysis here.

wznn logoSummitMedia to Pull the Plug on Sports Talk In Birmingham.  SummitMedia announces it will drop the sports talk format on WZNN, Birmingham “97.3 The Zone” and flip to a different – most likely music – format.  SummitMedia EVP and COO David DuBose tells the Birmingham News, “We have been evaluating the sportsfinebaumpaul format in light of multiple factors, including [Paul] Finebaum‘s placement.  After nearly two years, it became clear the market did not support two competing sports stations.  “Therefore, we have determined we should focus on other format opportunities.”  SummitMedia purchased the Birmingham cluster from Cox Media Group earlier this year.  The station was flipped to sports in August of 2011 when Cox had its eye on building the station around mega-successful Southeast sports personality Paul Finebaum by bringing him over from Cumulus Media’s crosstown sports WJOX.  Finebaum, who’d had legal squabbles with WJOX and wanted out of that relationship, ended up working out his contract there, sat out a non-compete and will begin a new sports talk radio venture with ESPN based out of Charlotte.  It’s believed he will return to WJOX via ESPN syndication when the new program debuts later this summer.

mynorthwest logoBonneville Seattle Brings Unique Talk to MyNorthwest.comThe Bonneville Seattle cluster that includes news/talk KIRO-FM, sports KIRO-AM and talk KTTH is beginning a series of unique audio programs to the web venture it calls MyNorthwest.com.  Dubbed “MyNorthwest Chats,” the weekly, one-hour programs will stream on Wednesday’s from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm beginning with today’s chat featuring nationally acclaimed restaurateur Tom DouglasMyNorthwest.com editor Stephanie Klein says, “We’re excited to have the opportunity to connect our readers directly to the experts and start an inspiring dialogue that makes an impact.  We want the conversation to spark a chain of discussion in our readers’ lives.”  Other chats lined up for July include talk show host Michael Medved and Seattle Mariners insider Shannon Drayer.

ryderturiProgramming Changes at WGN, Chicago; Turi Ryder to Exit.  Chicago radio pro Turi Ryder has been in the late night slot at Tribune’s WGN, Chicago since the beginning of this year but now the company says it’s going in a different direction and will end her program.  Ryder will get a chance to say goodbye to her WGN listeners as she’ll work this evening and Thursday before wrapping things up there.  The station has not announced what will air in the time slot.  Ryder also hosts “America Weekend” for Envision Radio Networks.

wproCumulus Media’s WPRO-AM, Providence Tackles Immigration Issue with Live Debate.  News/talk WPRO-AM’s Tara Granahan is moderating a debate that will take place today at the Providence Marriott from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm called, “Green Light on Green Cards,” featuring a panel of experts from each side of the illegal immigration issue.  The granahantaradiscussion will be streamed live online at the station’s 630wpro.com and will be the center piece of a “WPRO Special Report” scheduled to air during the “WPRO Morning News with Gene Valicenti” the week of July 1.  The debate features two immigration lawyers, a state representative, a member of the local clergy and the head of an illegal immigration enforcement organization.  The stations states, “The debate will address the issues that have emerged from illegal immigration including; licenses for illegal immigrants, how immigration effects the Rhode Island economy, and potential solutions moving forward.”

telesouth logoTeleSouth Communications to Buy WOSM, Ocean Springs, Mississippi.  TeleSouth operates the Mississippi talk radio network known as “SuperTalk Mississippi” and the purchase of WOSM, Ocean Springs (103.1 FM) – between Biloxi and Pascagoula on the Gulf Coast – will be added to that network.  The company states, “The addition of WOSM to the network will give coast listeners the best choice in Mississippi programming with ‘The Gallo Radio Show,’ ‘The JT Show’ and ‘Head to Head with Matt Wyatt and Richard Cross,’ all homegrown programs that keep a watch on state government, entertainment, sports, unique happenings in Mississippi, with a local take on national issues.”  In addition to Mississippi-based programs, ‘SuperTalk’ is also home to Cumulus Media NetworksMike Huckabee and Compass Media NetworksLars Larson and Todd Schnitt.  WOSM is owned and operated by Charles Cooper and airs Christian programming.  TeleSouth CEO Steve Davenport states, “We are excited about growing the ‘SuperTalk Network’ with the addition of WOSM.  Mr. Cooper has worked hard for years building an audience loyal to traditional family values.  We are confident that WOSM listeners will hear those values in the programs featured each day on ‘SuperTalk.’”  Long-time coast talk show host and programmer Kipp Greggory will serve as general manager of WOSM.

rutherforddaveCHQR, Calgary Talk Host Dave Rutherford to End Daily Show.  Canadian talk show host Dave Rutherford will wrap a 21-year career hosting a daily talk show at CHQR, Calgary after his last show on July 26.  The conservative personality and pedigreed newsman tells the Edmonton Journal he believes the broadcast news industry is dumbing down and there may be no place for a broadcaster like him.  “I don’t think there’s the desire to ask the next question, maybe to ask any questions.  But I sense that the whole industry, the broadcast news business, television and radio, is dumbing down.”

cnnradioThe End of the Line for CNN Radio.  The service was a shell of its former self after Dial Global ended its distribution of the news product and replaced it with NBC News Radio last year, effectively becoming a digital-only product.  Now, CNN states that after completing “a review of its radio business,” it “has made the decision to cease production of CNN Radio podcasts, effective immediately.”  CNN has indicated that some of the staff will be relocated to positions elsewhere in the company.

huntallenAllen Hunt to End WSB, Atlanta Program.  Christian broadcaster Allen Hunt announces he’ll end his Sunday evening program that has aired on WSB, Atlanta since its inception after the June 30 broadcast.  Hunt says he was approached by Cox Media to move the time of his program and he decided that due to his busy schedule with the Dynamic Catholic Institute and the requested change, he decided it would be better to end the show.  Hunt built the program at WSB and, for a couple of years, put the show into national syndication.

mohrbillboardThe Roving Jay Mohr Billboard.  Fox Sports Radio Network nationally syndicated host Jay Mohr’s flagship station, “AM570 FOX Sports LA” (KLAC, Los Angeles) surprised Mohr with a mobile billboard promoting his program.  While Mohr was on the air, the billboard stopped by the studio during its route through Los Angeles and the show crew seized the opportunity for a quick photo-op.  Pictured here (from l-r) are: intern Ben Haley, technical producer John Ramos, social media producer Matty Cox, assistant producer Justin Frosburg, Mohr, update anchor “Diamond” Dan Beyer, associate producer Mike Lingard and executive producer Greg “Hong Kong” Toohey.

Former KMOX, St. Louis Personality Bruce Bradley Dies.  Bruce Bradley was a personality on CBS Radio’s KMOX, St. Louis from 1986 to 1992.  The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports he passed away on Saturday, June 22 in Lake St. Louis at age 79.  Prior to his career in St. Louis, Bradley also worked in the New York, Philadelphia and Boston markets.

President Obama’s Global Warming Policy, SCOTUS Gay Marriage Rulings, George Zimmerman Trial, Paula Deen Freefall, and Texas Anti-Abortion Bill Fails Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/25).  President Obama’s policy to bypass Congress to enact greenhouse gas emissions regulations; the Supreme Court’s rulings on gay marriage issues; the trial of George Zimmerman in the death of Trayvon Martin; the demise of Paula Deen’s media career in the wake of allegations of racist language; and the failure of anti-abortion legislation in Texas were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

| March 28, 2012

Clear Channel’s Bob Pittman Addresses Limbaugh Case in AP Interview.  In a far-reaching interview with the Associated Press given at the American Association of Advertising Agencies conference in Los Angeles, Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman answered questions about the controversy over the Rush LimbaughSandra Fluke incident and the war being waged against Limbaugh and Premiere Networks by Media Matters for America.  Pittman – who hadn’t commented on the case since it exploded a month ago – told the AP Limbaugh is the “king” of radio and he’s sticking by him and he called the controversy “part of the normal day-to-day of talk radio.”  Pittman also said the resulting campaign by Media Matters and boycotts on sponsors has not had a major impact on the company nor has there been a move by stations to drop the show.  When asked about Cumulus Media Networks’ strategy of using the Limbaugh case to promote soon-to-be-syndicated talk host Mike Huckabee, Pittman stated, “It basically says Rush is the king.  Rush is certainly the leader, and we’re delighted to have him.”

Courtside Entertainment Lands Dr. Drew in Major Markets.   Courtside Entertainment Group announces the “One Minute Clinic with Dr. Drew” is picked up in Los Angeles by KFWB; KPTK, Seattle; KEXX, Phoenix; and KDWN, Las Vegas.  The feature is already heard in Chicago and New York on Merlin Media’s two all-news FMs.  Courtside president Bob Moore states, “‘Minute Clinic’ provides listeners with important information on medicine, relationships, and coping with the problems of everyday life.  It’s interesting, informative and entertaining from one of media’s most trusted and reliable experts – Dr. Drew Pinsky.  It’s exactly the kind of specialized programming that we are focusing on at Courtside.”  The feature is repped by Compass Media for ad sales and support.

Election Year Making FAIR’s “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” Radio Row a Hot Event.  The annual “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” radio row sponsored by Federation for American Immigration Reform and taking place in Washington, DC on May 8 and 9 is packed with talk radio hosts and stations taking part but election year interest is prompting FAIR to expand the event and allow even more broadcasters to take part.  Event manager Bob Dane says, “The fact that this annual radio row has a history of providing access to A-list guests and includes all equipment, ISDN lines, engineering support and long distance at no charge is really increasing demand to participate.”  For those who think the event is for conservatives only, Dial Global talk host Thom Hartmann explains why he’s attended in the past. “I’ve attended because a core part of my show is bringing on people with whom I disagree so we can let listeners and viewers see/hear the issues in sharp relief and make up their own minds.  That said, I also – having lived and worked on several continents, and having had to go through arduous processes to get work permits in Germany and Australia – know how important it is to have a work force that matches the demand for labor, and the best ways to insure that are through rational/sane immigration and trade policies.  We have neither right now.”  WCBM, Baltimore talk host Tom Marr says, “After taking my show to the border twice, ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ is a chance for invaluable access to the folks on the front line of the problem that I did not see, while at the same time being with those in Washington, DC who make the policy to secure the border and if one desires to get another side.  Capitol Hill is a short walk across the street.  It also gives one the ability in free time to visit the Hill and talk with Members about other problems faced by our nation every day.  Would not miss it for the world.  Hands down the best organized event for people in the talk business if its kind.”  For stations whose P1s care very much about immigration issues, it’s a can’t miss, according to KARN-AM/FM, Little Rock talk host Dave Elswick, “I go every year to ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ because illegal immigration is a hot topic to my listeners but most importantly the issue impacts other important issues.  Welfare reform, importance of protecting each man’s vote, and health care reform to name a few.  Two strong days of experts dealing with all those issues can’t be missed.”  WFTL, Ft. Lauderdale talk host Joyce Kaufman says she’s used the event to connect with her audience and the Congress members serving her listener area.  “I get invited to a lot of ‘radio row’ events each year.  The only event that I participate in year after year is FAIR’s ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ rally.  From the first year when I dumped 5,000 ‘soles’ (shoes with listeners’ messages written on the sole) to subsequent years, my audience supports my effort and some even come along and lobby Congress.”  For information about the event, contact Bob Dane at 202-328-7004.

KKOB, Albuquerque Charges Local Pol with Slandering Station.  There are no legal charges being filed but Cumulus Media’s KKOB, Albuquerque feels it’s the victim of a slur by City Councilman Ray Garduno.  Program director Pat Frisch reports that during a council meeting debate over a controversial road project of which KKOB morning host Bob Clark has encouraged listeners to call Garduno’s office about, Garduno referred to the station as K-K-KOB – a reference to the Ku Klux Klan.  In the audio, Garduno quickly corrects himself but Frisch says this isn’t the first time the station has been referred to as K-K-KOB by a local Democratic politician.  Frisch says State Senator Eric Griego did the same last year.  As for Garduno, Frisch states, “His racist remark is an attack on our listeners and to find a true racist, Garduno only needs to look in the mirror.”

JetBlue Pilot Incident Sparks Buzz on Talk Radio.  As talk radio hosts will tell you, one never knows when the next big story will come out of the “blue” and that is exactly the case this morning as talk show hosts of just about every format – political, lifestyle, pop culture, and medical – are feasting on the multi-dimensional aspects of yesterday’s frightening JetBlue pilot incident.  According to PodJockey.com resident psychiatrist Renee Kohanski, MD, “It is not like the experience of going to the airport and flying in today’s environment alone doesn’t foster an atmosphere of stress, yesterday afternoon’s unfortunate outburst by a pilot on the heels of a similar situation two weeks ago involving a flight attendant only serves to increase the level of passenger anxiety building across the nation.  From a medical and psychiatric perspective, this case is rife with questions and all sorts of speculation.  People want to know why things like this happen but the answers are not always immediately apparent!”  Dr. Kohanski is available today for phone interviews to discuss the story from a medical perspective citing the many questions and possible causes of yesterday’s shocking and disturbing story.  She can be reached at 860-334-4576.

Cumulus Media Providence Launches “Putting Rhode Island Back to Work” Campaign.  The cluster of Cumulus Media stations in Providence – including news/talk 630 WPRO & 99.7 – is beginning an on-air campaign titled “Putting Rhode Island Back to Work.”  With the support of sponsor Twin River Casino, the cluster is reaching out to and airing stories about Rhode Island businesses that have recently hired.  General manager Barbara Haynes says, “News Talk 630 WPRO & 99.7 FM, 92 PRO-FM, HOT106, Lite Rock 105 and 790 Business reach hundreds of thousands of listeners every day – we are excited to be able to highlight some of the companies helping refuel our local economy in front of our massive audience.”  The vignettes will also appear on the cluster’s digital properties.

Dial Global Partners with Yamanair Creative Worldwide.  Dial Global subsidiary TM Creative enters into a partnership with Yamanair Creative’s Cash by Creative production and creative service.  In a statement, DG notes TM Creative will serve as a creative arm to Cash by Creative, providing copywriting, commercial production and retail jingles.  This will further enhance Cash by Creative’s ability to offer world-class creative and production to its growing list of clients.  TM Creatvie VP/GM Chris Long says, “We are excited about this kind of creative partnership, as TM continues to expand its reach with both radio stations and advertisers.”

Entercom Portland Names Tim McNamara VP/Market Manager.  Tim McNamara is no stranger to the Portland, Oregon radio market.  He previously managed at Paul Allen’s Rose City Radio there and now he returns with Entercom to serve as VP/Market Manager for the company’s seven-station group that includes sports talk KFXX.

Supreme Court ObamaCare Hearing, Trayvon Martin Case, GOP Primary/2012 Presidential Race, Jet Blue Pilot Incident and Gas Prices Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/27).  The Supreme Court arguments over the validity of President Obama’s 2010 Affordable Care Act; ongoing scrutiny of the Trayvon Martin shooting; the Republican primary race and the larger 2012 presidential campaign; the case of the Jet Blue pilot; and soaring gas prices were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

| October 27, 2011

Harsh Reality of Today’s Radio Business Forces Clear Channel’s Major “Reduction in Force.”  This latest round of firings is focused on Clear Channel’s small and medium markets and is affecting primarily on-air and programming staff.  Internally, Clear Channel stations are broken down into three categories: the majors, the mids and the small markets – the latter sometimes referred to by insiders humorously as the stations that are for sale.  But in this economy those small stations – many of which were purchased in the late 1990s as the then-Randy Michaels-led radio group was buying stations at an astounding pace – are for all intents and purposes under water.  The company analyzed each station in an hour-by-hour fashion to determine how much it costs to program and execute the product versus how much it is making.  Programs and hosts whose shows are in the black are likely to be retained; those in the red are those about whom you are reading today.  The company is not describing this strategy as cost cutting but leveraging the quality programming it owns and distributing it to the small – or regional – markets.  The reality is that Clear Channel has a lot of debt it must pay off and – not unlike the homeowner who bought before the housing bubble burst and owes more than his house is worth – must make drastic cuts and hope that it can continue to engage listeners and serve advertisers with “Premium Choice” programming from afar and managers doing more jobs within the same work day.  This situation is unique to neither Clear Channel nor the radio business.  The following list of people working in news or at talk stations for CC are reported to have been let go.  This list is not complete and doesn’t include those from music-formatted stations.  Reports indicate several hundred employees will be out when all is said and done.  The list: KFAB, Omaha PM drive host Tom Becka; Clear Channel Hudson Valley news director Cameron Hendrix; WERC, Birmingham, Alabama news director Mark Evans; WHAM, Rochester news anchor Beth Adams; WSYR-AM/FM, Syracuse talk host Jim Reith; KWTX, Waco, Texas PD and morning host Shane Warner; WJBO, Baton Rouge, Louisiana mid-morning talk host Clarence Buggs; and WGY and WOFX, Albany assistant PD Steve Bleznyk.

Cumulus Los Angeles Cuts Include Legendary Jock Jim Ladd.  So far the cuts at Cumulus’ Los Angeles stations have not affected any air talent at news/talk KABC.  Production directors at both KABC and KLOS-FM – Howard Hoffman and Mike Sherry, respectively – are out as is KLOS-FM program director Bob Buchmann.  But Southern California radio fans are shocked to find legendary jock Jim Ladd – ironically, the subject of Tom Petty’s “The Last DJ” – has been sacked.  The 63-year-old Ladd received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2005.

Lionel Expands Role at New York’s WPIX-TV. What began as his doing a short form commentary running once per day on the evening news has expanded to multiple roles and appearances for the iconoclastic talk radio veteran and podcasting pioneer on the Tribune Company-owned Channel 11 in the Big Apple. Lionel has just debuted his weekday “5@5” segment on the daily newscast in addition to being featured on PIX 11 seven nights a week with fresh video commentary on its 10:00 pm newscast. Lionel, an ex-prosecutor and criminal defense trial lawyer, has also inaugurated his “Lionel’s Law School” segment. Plus, he appears weekly as PIX 11’s resident “News Decoder” on its Monday morning news broadcast and at pix11.com. Lionel’s commentaries are also broadcast nationally through Tribune Company’s affiliates including KPLR 11 in St. Louis. Lionel, a regular TALKERS columnist, has gained national attention as a talk “media station” groundbreaker with his lionelmedia.com.

Rusty Humphries Named National Radio Spokesman for Vietnam Memorial Effort.  The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund is spearheading a campaign to build a multi-media education center adjacent to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC.  In addition to his duties as national radio spokesman, Talk Radio Network host Rusty Humphries is leading the “Veterans Day Challenge” to raise funds for the center.  He will also serve as emcee at a gala benefit at the Capital Hilton in Washington, DC on November 11 that will feature actor Tom Selleck.  Humphries’ father died in Vietnam in 1969 when Rusty was just three years old.  Humphries says, “Every time I’m in Washington, I visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, gaze up at my father’s name on Panel 34W, Line 84, and wish that I’d have gotten to know the man whose name appears there, my father.  The Education Center at the Wall will provide a living memorial to these heroes – not just the men and women like my dad whose names appear on the Wall, but all veterans, from Bunker Hill to the present day.”

Tom Marr’s Contract at WCBM Extended Again.  Veteran talk show host Tom Marr of WCBM, Baltimore has been given another extension of his unique contract until 2015.  Marr first signed a no-cut deal with the independently owned heritage station in September of 1977.  It was then extended until 2009.  Marr reached an agreement on July 3, 2008 with the late owner of WCBM, Nick Mangione, Sr., to extend through 2012.  Now Marr has signed an extension with WCMB president Mary C. Mangione that will run until 2015.  Upon signing the deal, WCBM VP Nick Mangione, Jr. tells TALKERS, “Ownership is very pleased to have Tom’s commitment to remain on WCBM’s team.  Tom performs a public service that is informative, beneficial, and entertaining for our listeners.”  Marr comments, “I am delighted that my career will end with WCBM and the Mangione Family Enterprises.”  Pictured here at the signing ceremony are: WCBM VP Nick Mangione, Jr. (standing); seated (l-r) are Mangione Family Enterprise attorney Joe LaVerghettaMangione Family Enterprise president Mary Mangione, and host Tom Marr.

Clear Channel Adds FM Simulcast to WVOC, Columbia, South Carolina.  The victim this time is urban WXBT-FM at 100.1 and, of course, the entire staff of the music station as CC gives news/talk WVOC an FM presence.

Ric Edelman’s “Truth About Money” Public TV Show Heads into Season Two.  Author, broadcaster and financial advisor Ric Edelman will produce a second season of his public TV show that shares the same name as his nationally syndicated talk radio show – “The Truth About Money with Ric Edelman.”  Season one hit public TV stations across the country earlier this spring and season two will be ready for air in April of next year.  Executive producer Russ Hodge says, “Public Television executives and viewers around the country were so taken with the solid financial guidance they received from Ric, they wholeheartedly endorsed the notion of our coming back for another season.  It’s no secret Ric is recognized as one of America’s top financial advisors, and in these uncertain economic times, viewers gravitate to his expertise and know-how.”

USRN Offers Kim Iversen Show in New Format.  “Your Time with Kim Iversen” has been available in syndication via United Stations Radio Networks talk-intensive music show for Hot AC stations since 2007.  Now, after partnering with Entercom – the company that created the show – to bring it into wider syndication earlier this year, USRN announces that show is available as a live feed or a “build your own show” format.  Beginning November 13, the live feed will be a two-hour, personality-driven talk show airing live from 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight ET.  Stations wishing to continue airing music in the show can use the show segments around music to build a five-hour program.  USRN EVP of programming Andy Denemark says, “Kim is an amazing talent, but we found that programmers had varied opinions on how they wanted her show to air.  Some wanted strictly a talk block, others were happy with the Hot AC show and still others wanted her content mixed with CHR or alternative music.  Now, every affiliate gets their wish!”

ABC Digital Clients Now Get News from ABC Sports.  Stations subscribing to ABC Digital for news feeds for their websites now can get sports content from ABC Sports, according to ABC News Radio VP/GM Steve Jones.  “By adding sports headlines to our lineup of ABC Digital choices, we’re enhancing our radio customers’ websites at no additional cost to them.  Several of our partners have expressed an interest in adding a recognized sports brand and we’re pleased to make ABC Sports – a name steeped in tradition – a new category they can add to their station’s website with the simple click of a button.”  ABC Digital service was recently launched by ABC News Radio and Cumulus Media Networks.  The ready-to-post online content is produced and updated 24 hours a day and includes breaking news, exclusive stories, photos and graphics. Stations also have the option to brand the service locally, monetizing the content through local sponsorships.

Barb Yoder Moves into GM Seat at Salem Communications’ Tampa Cluster.  A series of management promotions at Salem Communications means a promotion for Tampa and Sarasota cluster general sales manager Barb Yoder and an open GSM post at the stations.  Yoder moves into the GM post as former GM Chris Gould moves to the corporate level in the vice president of program development position based in Camarillo, California.  Gould replaces Ron Walters who is promoted to senior vice president, ministry relations.

Affiliate Relations Pro Rich Rapiti Victim of Dial Global-Westwood One Merger.  New York-based affiliate relations pro Rich Rapiti lost his position as part of the consolidation of Dial Global and Westwood One.  He’s available for his next challenge and can be reached at rapiti@comcast.net or 973-809-3049.

Former Cap Cities/ABC COO Dan Burke Passes Away at 82.  Dan Burke and partner Tom Murphy are credited with building Cap Cities into a major broadcasting force and buying ABC to create Cap Cities/ABC.  The two ran the company for a decade before selling it to Disney in 1996.  Salem Radio Network VP of news/talk programming Tom Tradup remembers working for Burke when he was GM of WLS, Chicago.  “I will always remember Burke’s steely eyes and his tough questioning (especially at this time of the year during budgeting!) as we s-l-o-w-l-y turned WLS from the 23rd station in Chicago and put it on track to become a top-five news/talk giant.  He was firm but fair, and if people in Chicago enjoy WLS in 2011…they probably can thank Dan Burke more than anyone else for showing patience and for keeping others within the company from panicking as WLS grew and ultimately prospered in the #3 radio market in America.”