Tag: "Tribune"

Thursday, December 14, 2015

| December 14, 2017

Tribune Makes Management Changes at WGN-AM, Chicago; Manley Rises to Station Manager.  There’s a new management structure in place at Tribune’s news/talk WGN-AM, Chicago.  Yesterday (12/13), the company announced that VP of content and programming Todd Manley is being promoted to station manager and WGN-TV/CLTV president and general manager Paul Rennie will now have the radio station under his purview.  Tribune Broadcasting president Larry Wert made the announcements in a statement, making official changes to WGN-AM’s management for the first time since Jimmy de Castro exited the VP/GM position last fall.  De Castro is now serving in the same capacity at Cumulus Media’s Chicago operations.  Tribune is in the process of being acquired by Sinclair Broadcast Group, whose other radio properties are three stations in Seattle (including news/talk KVI and news KOMO-AM/FM).

Nielsen: News/Talk Top Format of 2017.  As the chart above indicates, ratings giant Nielsen Audio’s analysis of the AQH share ratings of radio stations across all the PPM markets shows that news/talk was the top format for all listeners (6+) in 2017.  Nielsen reports, “Overall in 2017, News/Talk improved on its success from last year, as did Adult Contemporary (AC) and Country. Pop Contemporary Hit Radio (CHR) had a down year compared with 2016, but it remained the top-ranked format in terms of audience share among kids 6-11, teens 12-17, Millennials aged 18-34 and persons 25-to-54. And listening to Urban Contemporary stations (also known as hip-hop) was much more prevalent among younger audiences, whereas News/Talk radio (the No. 1 overall format each year in PPM markets) rises dramatically as we age.”

Cumulus Launches Alex Skills for 300 Stations.  The company says it worked with XAPP Media on the rollout of Amazon Alexa skills for “300 local radio stations, popular Westwood One brands, plus the leading dedicated Christmas radio skill, Christmas Radio.  This is the largest collection of custom skills available with Amazon Alexa in the U.S.”  Cumulus Media adds that “this week marks the kick-off of a national consumer marketing campaign designed to educate listeners on how to find and enable skills, fueled by local on-air, video and social promotion.  Individual stations will create localized messaging that speaks directly to their unique listenership.”  Cumulus EVP of programming and content Mike McVay states, “Voice-interactive technology is bringing radio listening back into the home and office and will enable interactivity with our stations in the connected car.  Our strategy to create a custom skill for individual radio stations and programs, while educating consumers, is critical as smart speakers have created an entirely new, and rapidly growing platform to consume audio content.”  EVP corporate marketing/president Westwood One Suzanne Grimes adds, “At an aggregated network level, we will have access to valuable data and insights on this rapidly-evolving audio ecosystem.  We are dedicated to educating, testing, and learning to evolve the listening experience for our listeners and brand partners.”

PBS Severs Ties with Tavis Smiley After Sexual Misconduct Allegations.  This story was first published in Variety.  It says that PBS has “indefinitely suspended” distribution of the “Tavis Smiley” program that is produced by Smiley’s own company, TS Media.  After hiring an outside law firm to investigate, the public broadcaster states, “This investigation included interviews with witnesses as well as with Mr. Smiley.  The inquiry uncovered multiple, credible allegations of conduct that is inconsistent with the values and standards of PBS, and the totality of this information led to today’s decision.”  Smiley’s talk radio program was syndicated by Public Radio International from 2005 through 2013.  Daniel Holloway’s Variety piece says, “The investigation found credible allegations that Smiley had engaged in sexual relationships with multiple subordinates, sources said.  Some witnesses interviewed expressed concern that their employment status was linked to the status of a sexual relationship with Smiley.  In general, witnesses described Smiley as creating a verbally abusive and threatening environment that went beyond what could be expected in a typical high-pressure work environment.  Several expressed concerns about retaliation.”

Lewandowski Packs House at WPHT ‘Speaker Series.’ WPHT, Philadelphia afternoon drive host Rich Zeoli (left) interviews former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski during a standing-room-only appearance at the latest installment of the “WPHT Speaker Series.”  Zeoli says the capacity crowd heard insider tales from Lewandowski’s best-selling book, Let Trump Be Trump.

TALKERS News Notes.  Newsman Connell McShane leaves the “Imus in the Morning” show.  He replaced Charles McCord as the news anchor on the legendary program after his May 2011 retirement.  Don Imus delivered a glowing farewell “thank you” to McShane on the occasion of his final day with the show…..A change takes place at the executive level at the Radio Advertising BureauSharon Friedlander is named vice president, insights, effective January 2.  She takes over for Annette Malave who is leaving the RAB to pursue other interests.  Friedlander most recently served as partner/director at media planning agency MEC.  RAB president and CEO Erica Farber comments, “We are extremely fortunate to have Sharon Friedlander join us at a time when insights and analytics have never been more important or more available for media, specifically, radio.  We’re delighted for Sharon to represent RAB throughout the research community, partner with RAB’s senior team, and to provide invaluable resources to RAB members.”…..SiriusXM is airing a schedule of 38 college football bowl games, including the College Football Playoff Semifinals and National Championship.  The schedule begins this Saturday, December 16, with a lineup of six games.  The National Championship game is Monday, January 8 at 8:00 pm at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

Doug Jones Victory, GOP Tax Reform Plan, Sexual Misconduct Allegations, Trump-Russia Investigation, North Korea Nuclear Program, Omarosa Exits White House, and NFL and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/13).  The victory by Democrat Doug Jones over Republican Roy Moore in the Alabama special election for the U.S. Senate; the Republican tax reform plan’s effects on taxpayers; new allegations of sexual impropriety against politicians and celebrities; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; North Korea’s nuclear program and threats against the U.S.; former “Apprentice” star Omarosa Onée Manigault-Newman exits her White House position; and NFL/NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Urban programming pro Ken Johnson returns to New York to serve as program director for Cumulus Media’s urban AC WNBM “Radio 103.9.”  He’ll continue his role as VP of urban formats for the company.  Johnson was PD when Cumulus launched the urban AC format on the station.  Since April of 2015, he’s been operations manager for the company’s urban AC WUHT, Birmingham “Hot 107.7.”  Cumulus New York president and market manager Chad Lopez states, “Everyone at WNBM 103.9 and Cumulus are excited to have Ken Johnson back in New York.  Ken’s expertise and experience in this format will only continue to build a very strong loyal listener base and grow audience.”…..Two more iHeartMedia alternative rock stations pick up Premiere Networks’ “The Woody Show,” featuring Woody, Ravey, Greg Gory, Menace and Sebas.  The KYSR, Los Angeles-based morning show will be heard on WOLT-FM “ALT 103.3, Indy’s Alternative” and WDTW-FM “ALT 106.7, Detroit’s New Alternative” beginning January 3…..After two years hosting mornings at Townsquare Media’s country WPKQ, Portland, Maine “103.7 The Peak,” Dave Winsor messages his fans that he’s left the show.  “I’m no longer with ‘103.7 THE PEAK.’  The company did the best it could within its power to keep the show going, but it’s not to be.  Where will I go?  Who knows.  But, I’ll always be grateful to you!”

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

| November 14, 2017

New Entercom Names Format Captains; Newman, Butler and Chernoff to Lead Spoken-Word Formats.  When the EntercomCBS RADIO merger closes – as early as this Friday (11/17) – format captains for the new company will be in place.  The spoken-word formats will continue to be led by Diane Newman (talk), Steve Butler (all-news), and Mark Chernoff (sports).  Newman is the longtime operations manager and program director for Entercom’s WWL, New Orleans.  Butler is director of news and programming at KYW, Philadelphia and vice president of news radio for CBS RADIO.  Chernoff is the longtime program director at WFAN-AM/FM, New York who also holds the vice president of programming title.  Other format captains include: Jimmy Gonzalez –  Spanish Language, Brian Kelly – Top 40, Michael Martin – Alternative, Mike Moore – Country, Nikki Nite – Adult Contemporary, Dave Richards – Rock/Classic Rock, Reggie Rouse – Urban, Jim Ryan – Classic Hits, and Steve Salhany – Hot Adult Contemporary.  Michael Martin will continue in his role as SVP of programming and music initiatives in the new organization.  Format captains will report to president of programming Pat Paxton and EVP of programming Chris Oliviero.  Paxton comments, “We are excited about the best-in-class programming team we are building at Entercom.  This talented team of experts has the skills and experience to take our live, original and local audio content to new heights and compete at the highest level in the media industry.”

Report: Trio of Carlin, Scott and Gray to Take Over Afternoons on WFAN. The stories in the New York media – Newsday and the New York Daily News – indicate an official announcement from WFAN, New York could come today (11/14) regarding the fate of the afternoon drive show after Mike Francesa’s departure next month.  They are reporting that current WIP-FM, Philadelphia afternoon personality Chris Carlin and former New York Jets player Bart Scott will team up with SI.com and CBS Sports Radio staffer Maggie Gray for the new show.  WFAN program director Mark Chernoff had no comment on the reports, according to both papers.  The stories also indicate that NBC SportsChris Simms and the NFL Network’s Kimberly Jones both turned down offers by the station to be part of the new program.

Michael Savage Pens New Book: God, Faith and Reason.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Michael Savage says this new book is a result of his own spiritual journey and his belief that God wants us to question things.  On his website, Savage says that publisher Hachette asked him to write another book after his last release, Trump’s War: His Battle for America.  He says he agreed on the condition that he could “dedicate my next book to God, who has given me everything.”  He also says, “I’m not a holy guy, I’m not a holy roller, I’m not an evangelist.  I’m not better than the next man, I’m just really talking about my odyssey.  I’m still questioning myself and my existence.  What’s it all about?  I believe God wants us to question.”  See more here.

Roy Moore Allegations, Uranium One/Clinton Foundation Investigation, GOP Tax Plan, North Korea Nukes/U.S. Carrier Exercises, Saudi Arabia-Iran Tensions, Roger Goodell-Jerry Jones Battle, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/13).  The allegations of contact with underage girls against Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore; Republicans’ request to investigate possible connections between the Uranium One deal and the Clinton Family Foundation; the details of the Republican tax reform plan; North Korea’s nuclear program and the presence of U.S. aircraft carriers in the region participating in drills with South Korea and Japan; tensions in the Middle East as Saudi Arabia accuses Iran of fomenting war; speculation that Jerry Jones leaked NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s new contract requests in an effort put him in a bad light; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Democrats Request Probe into FCC’s Treatment of Sinclair.  With the proposed acquisition of Tribune Media’s 42 television stations by Sinclair Broadcast Group (owner of 193 TV stations) hanging in the balance, U.S. Reps. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Elijah Cumming (D-MD) are asking the FCC’s inspector general to look into whether FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is giving favor to Sinclair because of its perceived conservative slant.  As Reuters reports, the advocacy group Free Press stated in an FCC filing that Sinclair’s stations “air pro-Trump propaganda” and then seek favors from the administration.  Politico published a piece purporting that Sinclair struck a deal with then-candidate Donald Trump to get access in exchange for favorable coverage from its news departments.  While this is largely a TV story, Sinclair owns three radio stations in Seattle it acquired in the Fisher deal.  Two of them are all-news KOMO-AM/FM and news/talk KVI.  Tribune owns Chicago news/talk WGN-AM.

KIDO, Boise’s Kevin Miller Talking Turkey. For the sixth consecutive year, KIDO, Boise morning drive personality Kevin Miller is living outside a local Walmart for an entire week to raise awareness of homelessness and hunger and to get donations to benefit the Boise Rescue Mission.  Pictured above, Miller is dressed in a turkey suit while being interviewed by KTVB-TV’s Larry Gebert.  Over the past six years, Miller has helped raise more than $400,000 in cash, food, and clothing.

TALKERS News Notes. In recognition of the current “Saturday Night Live” exhibition at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago, Tribune’s WGN Radio will be doing a series of live broadcasts from the museum.  Next Tuesday (11/21), the Steve Cochran morning show will produce a remote broadcast that will include special guests and former “SNL” cast members Nora Dunn, Tim Kazurinsky and Julia Sweeney.  Later in January and February, “The Bill and Wendy Show,” “The John Williams Show,” and “The Roe Conn Show with Anna Davlantes” will also originate live broadcasts from the “SNL” exhibit at the museum…..Crawford Broadcasting Company announces the addition of WMUZ-AM, Taylor, Michigan “1200 The Salt” to its lineup of Christian stations in the Detroit area.  The company says the station will be ministry talk, featuring local and national pastors and teachers, including Alistair Begg and Dr. David Jeremiah…..The Coffee With Kenobi podcasting network is joining BlogTalkRadio, moving some four years of shows to the platform.  Creator of the Star Wars-themed podcast outfit Dan Z says, “We are thrilled to bring members of our Coffee With Kenobi family network to BlogTalkRadio.  If you love analysis and Star Wars conversation, this is the podcast you’re looking for!”

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  On-air and programming pro Rich DeSisto is appointed to the program director position at Beasley Media Group’s adult contemporary WJBR-FM, Wilmington, Delaware.  DeSisto has been serving Beasley as APD and afternoon personality at adult hits WBEN-FM, Philadelphia and as a weekend jock on classic rock WMGK (a role he’ll continue).  The company says that DeSisto has spent most of his 30-year radio career in the region, working at such stations as WYSP-FM, Q104.3-FM, WPST-FM, WZXL-FM and WSJO-FM.  In addition, DeSisto served as the director of programming of the WMGM-FM/WJSE-FM/WTKU-FM cluster in Atlantic City, New Jersey.  Beasley VP/market manager AJ Lurie says, “I have learned to hire people brighter than myself, and Rich is one of those people!”…..iHeartMedia promotes Jacob “Tight Pants” Bowling to assistant program director, music director and afternoon personality for alternative rock KTHR, Wichita “ALT 107.3,” effective November 20.  iHeartMedia Wichita SVP of programming Jim Dorman says, “We are very excited at what ‘Tight Pants’ will be bringing to Wichita.  His work ethic and passion for music is second to none and I am looking forward to working with him on ‘ALT 107.3.’  He truly deserves this promotion.”…..Curtis Media Group brings Morgan Thomas back to the Raleigh market to host the morning show on adult hits WBBB-FM “96.1 BBB.”  Thomas co-hosted the successful “Mike & Morgan” show on the company’s country WQDR from 2001 through 2004.  She left the market to take on the morning co-host role at KSON, San Diego, working there until 2010.  Station SVP/general manager David Stuckey says, “Morgan is a proven major market personality and I am very pleased to welcome her back to Raleigh on ‘96.1 BBB.’”…..This year’s “The Night Before” show at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul (the night before Super Bowl LII) will feature the Dave Matthews BandCBS RADIO and On Location Experiences are co-producing the show…..Content producer and syndicator Westwood One is presenting 12 holiday-themed, weekend music specials for affiliate stations to air from Thanksgiving weekend through Christmas weekend.  The first is the four-hour “A Thanksgiving Weekend Celebration with Chris Young.”  Christmas-themed shows are being hosted by such stars as Brett Eldredge, Gwen Stefani, Josh Groban, Kelly Clarkson, Dave Koz, and more…..iHeartMedia’s Phoenix adult contemporary signal KEZ brings the Premiere Networks syndicated “Delilah” show back to the program schedule for the evening daypart.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

| October 26, 2017

Will November 16 Be the Day the Radio-Newspaper Cross-Ownership Ban Dies?  Testifying before the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Communications and Technology yesterday, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai explained that serval proposals to ease regulations on broadcasters will be taken up at the Commission’s November 16 Open Meeting, the cross-ownership ban among them.  Radio operators and newspapers have long sought to end the ban on cross-ownership of their media platforms and it seems likely – with a 3-2 Republican majority on the Commission – that the 42-year-old rule will be eliminated.  Arguing that the rule – designed to ensure a diversity of news sources for consumers – is outdated, Pai told the subcommittee, “If you believe as I do that the federal government has no business intervening in the news, then we must stop the federal government from intervening in the news business.”  Pai said the media landscape has changed dramatically over the years and pointed to Google and Facebook and an example of that.  “Online competition for the collection and distribution of news is greater than ever and just two internet companies claim 100% of recent online advertising growth.  Indeed, their digital ad revenue this year alone will be greater than the market cap of the entire broadcasting industry.”

Westwood One Unveils Radio’s First ROI Guarantee.  In an effort to build confidence in the power of radio to give a return on investment to advertisers, Westwood One is announcing the “first-ever, industry-wide ROI Guarantee in the audio space based upon irrefutable evidence of radio’s powerful return on advertising spend.”  WW1 says that “the results, as proven by Nielsen, have continually shown exceptionally strong evidence of radio’s positive ROI across 23 national studies measuring sales results for multiple brand category campaigns.”  The press release explains how the program works.  “Westwood One will partner with qualifying clients to accomplish their business objectives.  Additionally, because campaign creative influences 50% of sales lift, the commercial creative will be pre-tested and benchmarked against industry audio creative test norms to ensure consumer impact and resonance.  Nielsen will measure return on advertising spend on behalf of the radio campaign, which includes all media that run across the entire broadcast radio landscape, as well as Westwood One, by matching Media Monitors ad occurrences with Portable People Meter listening, Nielsen credit card data and in-store CPG purchase data from Nielsen Catalina Solutions.  If ROI is not positive, Westwood One will run no-cost supplemental media weight sufficient to deliver the guaranteed ROI.”  Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes says, “We have seen stunning radio ROI data across the board and are convinced of radio’s ability to generate a positive return, so much so that we are offering the ROI Guarantee to our advertisers.  Given secular trends across the media landscape, brands are deeply concerned over ad fraud, viewability, and questionable metrics.  Marketers demand solutions that reach their target customers and generate results. The Westwood One ROI Guarantee elevates radio as the measurable mass reach medium that, simply put, delivers.”

Cumulus Offers Preliminary Operating Results for Third Quarter.  Ahead of the November 9 release of official financial figures and the subsequent investor conference call, Cumulus Media is presenting some “preliminary operating results” along with some commentary from CEO Mary Berner.  Today’s press release says the company expects to report net revenue in a range of $286 million to $288 million with net income in a range of a loss of $0.3 million to a gain of $1.7 million…Adjusted EBITDA performance for the three months ended September 30, 2017 is expected to show growth in a range of 3% to 6% year-over-year.  Berner states, “The strong preliminary results for the third quarter provide further evidence that our turnaround plan is taking hold.  We are encouraged by our continuing operating and financial momentum in the face of negative industry trends.  This quarter, we delivered our seventh straight quarter of ratings share growth at the station group along with revenue share gains for our fifth straight quarter at the station group and third straight quarter at Westwood One.  Most importantly, it was the second straight quarter of year-over-year growth in revenue and Adjusted EBITDA.  While the company has ample cash to operate our business, Cumulus continues to be constrained by an excessive debt load.  With the assistance of outside advisors, we are proactively exploring a range of alternatives with our lenders and noteholders to restructure the balance sheet and reduce debt.  Our objective is to be able to redirect more of our time and resources to where they can have the greatest impact on our future – investing in our employees, in key technologies and in initiatives that drive growth.”

SiriusXM Q3 Revenue Up 8%.  Reporting on third quarter results, SiriusXM announces that its revenue for the period was up 8% over the same period a year ago.  Revenue for the quarter was $1.4 billion.  The company reports, “Net income totaled $276 million in the third quarter 2017, up 42% from $194 million in the third quarter 2016….free cash flow in the third quarter 2017 grew 22% to $434 million, compared to $357 million in the third quarter 2016.”  SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer states, “SiriusXM delivered a very strong third quarter despite headwinds from slowing auto sales and the impact of severe weather in many parts of the United States. We recorded our best-ever quarter for adjusted EBITDA and its corresponding margin — which reached 39.9%.  SiriusXM is pleased to once again raise our full-year guidance for revenue, adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow.  In September, we also completed our $480 million strategic investment in Pandora and recently announced a 10% hike in our quarterly dividend.”  SiriusXM says total subscribers reached 32.2 million during the quarter and 27 million self-paying subscribers.

Radio Talent to Appear on C-Endorsement Videos for Cumulus.  The power of radio talent endorsements is being harnessed by Cumulus Media for its C-Endorsement Videos – “local personality-branded video endorsements will appear as pre-roll video ads before content on popular and reputable third-party websites visited by consumers within a local advertiser’s specific target audience including age, gender, geography, and behavioral characteristics.”  Cumulus VP, digital operations and business development Larry Linietsky states, “Radio personality endorsements are effective marketing solutions because of the trusted relationship listeners have with their favorite local DJs and hosts.  With audiences spending up to four hours every day with these personalities, research shows that nearly 80% trust on-air personalities like friends.  Given the combination of the time spent and the trust built, it is no wonder that over 50% of the audience reports their favorite personalities influence their opinions.  Now is the perfect time to harness the tremendous influence our talent has with local audiences into the digital world via C-Endorsement Videos as part of the growing Cumulus Digital C-Suite.”

Sean Hannity Executive Producer of Faith-Themed Film, Let There Be Light.  Actor and director Kevin Sorbo tells FOX News about his new film called, Let There Be Light, a production involving FOX News Channel and Premiere Networks superstar Sean Hannity.  Sorbo tells FOX that he and Hannity have known each other for years and Hannity approached him about doing a project together because he likes Sorbo’s movies.  Sorbo says the protagonist is an atheist who undergoes a transformation after the death of his son and his failed marriage. Hannity calls the film a real-life emotional rollercoaster.  “If you want to avoid the typical formulaic Hollywood movie model of sex, violence and cartoon characters and watch a movie that can truly impact your life, this is the movie for you and your entire family.”  See the FOX News piece here.

Menendez Promoted at WGN, Chicago. Windy City news pro Stephanie Menendez is being promoted by Tribune news/talk WGN to director of news and operations for the station.  Menendez joined the station in 2008 as a producer.  She then was elevated to executive producer, assistant program director and operations manager.  She is quoted saying, “I am excited for this opportunity to lead our news team as we continue to curate strong content 24/7.  We have the best team of journalists, hosts and producers in the city and I look forward to seeking innovative ways to further expand WGN Radio’s presence in the digital space.”  WGN vice president of content & programming Todd Manley states, “Stephanie has the zest our team needs to tell remarkable Chicago stories.  Every day I’m grateful for the way she leads and collaborates.”

NPR Seeing Growth in Content Consumption.  It wasn’t that long ago that The Current, the trade publication that reports on public media, wrote a piece detailing the listenership woes the content provider was experiencing: an aging listenership to NPR Member stations and five years of declining listenership to its morning and afternoon programs.  That article was published in October of 2015.  Today, NPR is gleefully reporting that via radio, podcast listenership and visits to NPR.org, it is reaching 99 million people per month.  Moreover, NPR states that, based on spring 2017 numbers from Nielsen Audio, “the total weekly listeners for all programming on NPR stations reached an all-time high of 37.7 million.”  The Fall 2016 election cycle brought a lot of listeners to news and news/talk radio stations.  NPR says it still isn’t seeing any falloff almost one year later.  “Both ‘Morning Edition’ and ‘All Things Considered’ retained the remarkable growth seen during the Fall 2016 election cycle.  Their weekly audience is at 14.63 million and 14.6 million listeners, respectively.  NPR is also happy with its younger demos, reporting that 28% of all 25-54 year olds listened to an NPR Member station at least once a month, 16% listened at least once a week, and 6% of all 25-54 listened at least once a day.”  Read more here.

Clinton-DNC Trump Dossier Case, Trump Tax Overhaul, Sexual Harassment Accusations, North Korea Nuclear Threats, Uranium One Investigation, Deadly Niger Ambush, and MLB World Series Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/25).  The revelation that the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee funded the Trump-Russia dossier; the Trump-GOP tax overhaul process; the numerous public allegations of sexual harassment; North Korea’s nuclear threats against the U.S.; the investigation into the Obama Administration’s deal with Russia-backed Uranium One and whether the Clinton Foundation benefitted from the deal; the aftermath of the ambush on U.S. troops in Niger that left four dead; and the Dodgers-Astros World Series were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

WHO, Des Moines’ Van Harden and Bonnie Lucas Spend Night in Scariest Place Ever.  Pictured here are WHO, Des Moines morning personalities Van Harden (right) and Bonnie Lucas (left) broadcasting from the place Google ranked the scariest place in America.  The two spent the night in the Villisca, Iowa home of the Moore family who, along with two house guests, were bludgeoned to death with an axe in 1912.  The killer(s) of the eight victims were never found.  Harden tells TALKERS, “Very odd things have been happening in the house ever since the murders.  We were not allowed to sleep on the beds, so we slept on the floor in sleeping bags, although between creepy sounds, unexplained happenings and the radio engineer’s loud snoring, there wasn’t much sleep.  Axe marks still remain on the walls and the case remains unsolved.  Footsteps were heard in other parts of the house when all the broadcast crew was accounted for. Weird things popped up on cell phones, including a picture of a room ceiling with 2 arms hanging out of it.  And when play balls were put on the floor, they mysterious started moving on their own in different directions.”

 

 

Kelsea Ballerini Thanks the NASH Folks!  Country sensation Kelsea Ballerini is pictured above on the NASH Campus of Cumulus Media in Nashville presenting a platinum record in recognition of her debut album, The First Time (Black River Group).  Pictured here are (from l-r): John Shomby, NASH director of programming and PD for WKDF “NASH FM 103.3”; Ballerini; Mike McVay, EVP, content & programming, Cumulus Media and Westwood One; and John Kilgo, VP, label relations, Cumulus Media.

Monday, October 9, 2017

| October 9, 2017

Moskowitz, Siegel Named VP/Sales for iHM New York. The appointment of Todd Moskowitz as vice president of sales of iHeartMedia New York City news/talk WOR “The Voice of New York” and the promotion of Marc Siegel from sales manager to VP/Sales of co-owned WAXQ “Q-104.3 New York’s Classic Rock Station” are effective immediately. Both will report to senior vice president of sales for iHeartMedia New York Bernie Weiss who states, “Marc and Todd are proven sales leaders with a long track record of delivering results for clients, teams and stations. They have the talent and experience to coach their teams in coming up with the most effective marketing solutions to maximize the ROI for their clients.” Moskowitz remarks, “I am excited to lead sales for one the most legendary radio stations in New York City and work with some of the best and brightest people in our business.” Siegel comments, “Classic rock is a format that transcends time and is as popular as it has ever been. I am very excited for this opportunity and I look forward to the next step in the journey with my iHeartMedia colleagues.” Moskowitz most recently was market president for Townsquare Media’s Danbury, Connecticut cluster. He began his career with CBS Radio Hartford, before joining Cumulus Media Bridgeport, Connecticut and eventually CBS Radio New York City all-news WINS. Before arriving at iHeartMedia New York at the end of 2016, Siegel was head of global audio sales at Bloomberg Media, and was local sales manager for New York public outlet WNYC, where he managed radio, podcasting, digital, and events sales.

TALKERS Founder Michael Harrison Guests on Debut Holland Cooke Show on RT America.  Says Donald Trump Has Been A Boon to Talk Media Business.  As reported last week in TALKERS, noted media consultant and TALKERS correspondent Holland Cooke was named to fill the big shoes of Thom Hartmann as host of television network RT America’s long-running “The Big Picture” program.  His debut installment of the half hour weekend show aired this past Friday (10/6) and is being met with positive reviews.  Cooke divides the opening show into two segments.  In the first, he welcomes panelists Brian Keane and Harvey Wasserman to discuss renewable energy… which could be the silver lining as Puerto Rico recovers from Hurricane Maria. And in the second segment, he asks TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison and talk media pundit Steve Malzberg, “Are we really THAT angry?” referring to the tone of today’s conversation in talk media.  Asked if Donald Trump is the best thing that could happen to talk radio and television, Harrison replies, “From a purely business standpoint – getting ratings, giving us material to use, creating interest, keeping people tuned to their radios and TVs – he’s the best thing that’s happened in years. I don’t remember anything like it.”  To view the entire program, please click here

Sirott Selected to Call Bruins Action. Inbound from Tribune Chicago news/talk WGN-AM, where he was studio host for the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks, Judd Sirott becomes the game caller for the Boston Bruins, whose NHL games are carried on CBS Radio Boston sports talk WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub.” CBS Radio Boston vice president of programming/CBS Radio vice president of sports programming Mike Thomas comments, “We are very excited to have someone with the exceptional reputation and experience that Judd has join our team at ‘The Sports Hub.’” Sirott adds, “I am incredibly fortunate, privileged, and humbled to be the radio voice of the Boston Bruins on ‘98.5 The Sports Hub.’ I didn’t just hit the lottery – I hit the Powerball. [The Bruins are] an ‘Original Six’ [NHL] team in a spectacular hockey market and one of the world’s greatest cities.” He succeeds Dave Goucher, who left last summer to become the television play-by-play voice for the Vegas Golden Knights, and joins analyst Bob Beers. An interesting note about Bruins’ radio play-by-play announcers: The only ones serving in that capacity going back to 1924 are Frank Ryan (28 years); Bob Wilson (25.5 years); Goucher (16 years); Fred Cusick (13 years); Bob Neumeier (five years); Bill Harrington (three years); Jim Laing (one year); and Dale Arnold (one-half year).

Cumulus DC Combo Arranges Blood Drive for Vegas Shooting Victims. Coordinated by Cumulus Media Washington D.C. news/talk and hot AC cluster-mates WMAL “Where Washington Comes to Talk” and WRQX “Mix 107.3,” the “Vegas Victims’ Blood Drive” will be held this Wednesday (10/11) from 2:00 pm – 8:00 pm at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner in suburban Washington D.C. (McLean, Virginia). WMAL program director Bill Hess states, “The injured – including some from our area – face a lengthy recovery. This is one thing we can come together and do to help in our own individual way. We invite our friends and listeners to roll up their sleeves and join us in this effort.” WRQX program director Rob Roberts notes, “Distance doesn’t lessen the impact of what happened in Las Vegas. This is our chance to help someone and it costs nothing but a little time. We’re proud to do our part.” On a side note, “Mix” assistant program director/music director/mid-day talent Ashley Nickels is a Las Vegas native. Excluding the shooter, 58 people were killed last Sunday night (10/1) in Las Vegas. The dead included 36 women and 22 men; the oldest was 67, the youngest 20. Six of the dead were from Nevada, 35 from California, 13 from other states, and 4 from Canada. An additional 489 people were injured. The attack became the deadliest mass shooting committed by an individual in the United States, having surpassed the death toll of the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting, where 50 died, including the gunman.

Broadcast Station Mergers, Acquisitions Hit $4.47 billion in Q2. The top radio deal was the $82.8 million sale of Emmis Communications’ Los Angeles rhythmic CHR KPWR “Power 106” to Meruelo Media. According to estimates from Kagan, a media research group within S&P Global Market Intelligence, the transaction was the largest single radio station sale since 2012 and represents nearly 34% of the quarter’s $245 million radio deal total. The second-largest radio transaction was the radio portion of Sinclair’s acquisition of Tribune Media with an estimated value of $58.4 million for news/talk WGN-AM, Chicago and the programming of one additional FM station. That was followed by Educational Media Foundation‘s purchase of three FMs from Entercom for $57.5 million – classic rock KSWD “100.3 The Sound,” Los Angeles; KSOQ-FM, which simulcasts KSON-FM “New Country,” San Diego; and WGGI, which simulcasts WGGY “Today’s Best Country – Froggy,” Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Next was the sale of four Alpha Media AM stations, 14 FM outlets, and two FM translators to Dick Broadcasting Company for $19.5 million. Saga Communications sold its six-remaining owned-and-operated television stations and three LMAs to Morgan Murphy Media for $66.6 million, while at the same time, expanded its radio business with the third-largest radio deal of the quarter, paying $23 million to Apex Media for seven FM stations, one AM, and four translators.

Levy Exits KJR-AM. Related to his August 26 arrest for soliciting a prostitute, KJR-AM morning show host Mitch Levy departs the iHeartMedia Seattle sports talk outlet after a 23-year tenure there. According to a report in The Seattle Times, Levy entered which is known as an “Alford plea,” an acknowledgment of enough evidence for conviction without a formal guilty plea. He was sentenced to two years of probation plus a deferred sentence that will be dismissed if he completes probation without being charged with another crime. Levy was one of 110 men arrested in an undercover operation called “Operation on Demand.” The 50-year-old Levy reportedly placed $160 in cash on a bedside table in anticipation of a half-hour of sex. On Twitter, he wrote, “As most of you realize by now, my 23-year tenure at KJR is over. I am fully aware that I have disappointed so many from the loved ones closest to me to all of you who have given me the opportunity to entertain you on weekday mornings. I’m deeply sorry. I’d like to thank KJR and iHeartMedia for the golden opportunity that was never taken for granted. Now, I must continue tending to me, my emotional demons and my family. Some day I hope you’ll allow me the opportunity to earn back your trust and respect.”

CPR’s Wycisk Sets Retirement Plans. It won’t become effective for another eight months, but 40-year Colorado Public Radio (CPR) president Max Wycisk is announcing he will retire on June 30 (2018). Board chair Dean Salter remarks, “On behalf of the CPR board of directors, we thank Max for his service and for the many notable accomplishments achieved during his tenure. Max is recognized as a pioneer in public broadcasting and his vision set CPR on the path to its current success. He leaves one of the strongest public radio organizations in the country with a sound financial base, a talented and committed staff, and loyal listeners. We look forward to an orderly transition to ensure the continued success of CPR.” According to Wycisk, “While the world has undoubtedly changed over the past 40 years, CPR’s mission has remained steadfast and our importance has grown. The organization is stronger than it has ever been – a testament to our dedicated staff, the donors who support us, and the hundreds of thousands of people who rely on us each and every day. It has been an honor to lead the development of a vital community resource that’s uniquely positioned to have an even greater future ahead.” Prior to becoming CPR’s president, Wycisk was a program director and an on-air announcer there. Among other things, he is responsible for transforming CPR from a single-signal station to a statewide network, which includes CPR News, CPR Classical, and CPR’s triple A Open Air, which are broadcast on 34 statewide signals and online.

WGN Slots Chicago Inno Tech Briefs. Starting today (10/9), Tribune Chicago news/talk WGN-AM adds “The Inno Minute,” a 60-second breakdown of Chicago’s top tech news. Airing weekdays in the 5:00 am hour on “The Opening Bell with Steve Grzanich,” the segment is a snapshot of topics covered at ChicagoInno.com. WGN-AM vice president of programming & content Todd Manley notes, “The stories that the team at Chicago Inno chases and shares are so powerful we wanted them on WGN every day.” Reporter Katherine Davis and Chicago Inno associate editor Jim Dallke will serve as producers. “Chicago Inno is incredibly excited to be working with WGN radio on ‘The Inno Minute,’” Dallke comments. “Chicago’s entrepreneurship scene is thriving, and we are thrilled to be able to work with WGN to inform Chicagoans on the innovation that is driving the city forward.” Elsewhere on the station, former Chicago Bears head coach Mike Ditka will appear for football commentary each Monday in morning drive with Steve Cochran and every Friday with afternoon driver Roe Conn. Ditka formerly had a similar radio arrangement in the market on WMVP “ESPN 1000.”

Salem Talk Hosts Headed Back to the White House. Approximately two and a half months ago (7/25), Salem Radio Network talk hosts Mike Gallagher and Hugh Hewitt conducted day-long broadcasts from the White House. The two will return to the Nation’s Capital next Tuesday (10/17) for live “Tax Reform Day” broadcasts from the White House. Hewitt (right) and Salem Radio Network vice president of news & talk programming Tom Tradup are planning for invited guests including treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin and commerce secretary Wilbur Ross, as well as other senior White House and administration staff.

Cavaliers, Monsters, iHM Cleveland Sign Multi-Year Extensions. As part of the new pact, all 82 regular-season contests, as well as five preseason and all playoff games of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers will air on iHeartMedia Cleveland news/talk WTAM and co-owned rocker WMMS. In addition to these two flagships, the Cavs are on a 30-station radio network. John Michael returns for his seventh season as the franchise’s play-by-play announcer, while Jim Chones is back for his eighth year as analyst. The Cavs have reached an extended agreement with Murray Hill Broadcasting to continue broadcasting all of its games in Spanish. Meanwhile, for the second consecutive year, all 76 regular-season games of the AHL Cleveland Monsters will be broadcast on iHeartMedia Cleveland alternative WMMS-HD2. Tony Brown returns for his third season as the radio and television play-by-play voice of the Monsters. Brown spent two years in the NAHL as the voice of the Odessa Jackalopes; one season in the USHL with the Omaha Lancers; became the radio voice of the Indy Fuel in the ECHL; and then came to the Monsters in their Calder Cup-winning season of 2015-2016.

Osgood As It Gets. The longtime host of Westwood One’s “The Osgood File” – Charles Osgood – was presented with the “Lifetime Achievement Award” last night (Sunday, 10/8) from the News and Documentary Emmys. Celebrating with Osgood (in the center with his trademark bowtie) backstage were his family and colleagues, including Westwood One executive vice president of news and talk Bart Tessler, and senior vice president of Affiliate Sales Dennis Green.

 

TALKERS News Notes. Fill-in host Rob Carson – who will be on iHeartMedia Phoenix news/talk KFYI and CBS Radio Las Vegas’ similarly-formatted KNXT next week – recently joined the conservative-leaning LibertyOne TV/video podcasting network and he explains, “My experience as an audio/video podcaster and live Facebook/YouTube podcaster is propelling my career forward in many ways. I hope to consult talk hosts about the new digital platforms. I’ve only been on for two weeks and my LibertyOneTV.com show attracted 18,000 viewers last Friday [10/6]. After two months, my daily podcast on PodcastRadioNetwork.com is their second-biggest podcast. This journey beyond terrestrial radio is incredible.” ….. The appointment of Karen Wishart as an Urban One executive vice president becomes official on January 1, 2018, when she replaces Linda Vilardo as chief administrative officer. In the meantime, those two will work together to transition Vilardo’s duties. According to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Wishart will be paid a base salary of $425,000 with an opportunity to make up to $150,000 in bonuses ….. The official charity of iHeartMedia Des Moines news/talk WHO afternoon drive talent Simon Conway is The Puppy Jake Foundation, which acquires, raises, and trains service dogs for physically and mentally wounded veterans. Last Friday (10/6), the fourth annual, two-hour free sandwich giveaway to benefit The Puppy Jake Foundation raised more than $28,500. The event brought in $4,000 in year one; $6,000 the second year; and $23,000 last year. Conway remarks, “People drove long distances and handed over huge sums of money. My show’s sponsors stepped up too, one of them called in and doubled his initial $1,000 donation.” Over 200 pounds of meat, buns, and sauce were all donated. So far, 22 service dogs have been provided to veterans; five more dogs will graduate the program in March ….. As of next Monday (10/16), Genesee Media Brockport-Rochester, New York sports talk WRSB “97.5 The Team” will transition to Spanish variety as “Mi 97.5.”

 

 

Delilah Taking Leave of Absence Following Her Son’s Suicide. On Saturday (10/7), the 7:00 pm – 12:00 midnight host posted on Facebook about the suicide, which occurred early Tuesday morning (October 3). “I will be absent from the radio and on social media for a time as I grieve and try to process this loss with my family,” Delilah (Rene) wrote as she grieves the loss of her teenage son Zachariah, who battled a long bout against depression. In what reportedly will be the only statement at this time by the Premiere Networks’ personality, Delilah states, “My dear friends, I need to share some devastating news with you. My son, Zachariah, took his life. He was being treated, counseled, and embraced fiercely by family and friends while battling depression. My heart is broken beyond repair and I cannot fathom how to go on, but I have to believe he is at peace with the Lord and that God will get us through. We will be playing some of my favorite shows from the recent past. I’ll look forward to my return, as you all lift me up so very much. Please pray for my beloved Zacky, and I will pray for all suffering from this debilitating disease called depression.” In a Facebook post earlier this year, Delilah revealed that Zack was autistic. The mother of 13 children, including ten she adopted, Delilah previously lost a son, Sammy, who died in 2012 from complications of sickle-cell anemia. According to The New York Daily News, Sammy’s death came two years after he was adopted from a Ghanaian refugee camp in West Africa. Delilah’s nightly show is heard on 180 (mainly adult contemporary) stations and on the American Forces Network. She was inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Broadcasting Hall of Fame in April, following her November 2016 induction into the National Radio Hall of Fame. Delilah has updated her Facebook home page to include the number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255), which offers free, 24-hour emotional support for people in distress, as well as resources that provide aid.

iHeartMedia Philadelphia Taking Bids to Beat Breast Cancer. The cluster is doing so in its annual “Bid for Breast Cancer” fundraiser to benefit the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). It begins today (10/9) and will include an auction through next Monday (10/16). According to iHeartMedia Philadelphia vice president of programming Brian Check, “We have again pulled together all the resources of our six stations to collect one-of-a-kind autographed items to benefit a cause that affects many women in our community. AACR is known for bringing together the greatest minds in cancer research and helping patients worldwide, as well as right here in the Philadelphia area.” AACR Foundation executive director Mitch Stoller explains that this year, “More than 300,000 women will hear the words, ‘You have breast cancer.’ The AACR’s mission is to prevent and cure all cancers, including breast cancer which is the second-most common cause of cancer-related death among women in the United States. We are grateful to iHeartMedia Philadelphia and the community for their support in this ‘Bid for Breast Cancer.’ Proceeds will enable the AACR to fund groundbreaking cancer research that will lead to more cancer discoveries, saving more lives.” Auction items include an Ed Sheeran-autographed guitar; a guitar autographed by Brad Paisley; a Green Day-autographed guitar; jacket autographed by Bruno Mars; Rolling Stone Magazine autographed by Harry Styles; and a Red Hot Chili Peppers-autographed guitar. In a similar “Bid for Breast Cancer” event last year, iHeartMedia Philadelphia raised over $15,000.

Chicago’s “B-96” Reveals “Jingle Bash” Lineup. The 18th annual Pepsi “Jingle Bash” from CBS Radio Chicago CHR WBBM-FM “B-96” is roughly two months away (12/7) and will be headlined by Taylor Swift, along with Backstreet Boys, Fifth Harmony, Khalid, Logic, and Sabrina Carpenter. Vice president of programming for CBS Radio Chicago/WBBM-FM program director Todd Cavanah states that the “B-96” “Jingle Bash” has been a “must-see holiday event in Chicago for almost two decades. This year, we are thrilled to have the world’s biggest superstar – Taylor Swift – as our headliner. In the holiday season, the ‘Jingle Bash’ is a wonderful way for our community to come together and celebrate an exceptional night of pop music.” Breaking the news on-air was “B-96” afternoon air talent “Tyler.” The station’s December 7 “Jingle Bash” will be held in Rosemont (Illinois) at the Allstate Arena. In other station concert news, Emmis New York rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97” will present “Hot for the Holidays” on December 14 at the Prudential Center. Scheduled to appear are Chris Brown, 21 Savage, Meek Mill, Cardi B, and Dave East & Tee Grizzley. Meanwhile, CBS Radio San Francisco CHR KMVQ “99.7 Now” will have Taylor Swift headline its December 2 “Poptopia” concert at San Jose’s Sap Center. Slated to perform as well are Ed Sheeran, The Chainsmokers, Fifth Harmony, Niall Horan, Khalid, Logic, and Dua Lipa.

WDVE Radio-thon Raises $814,000. Easily surpassing last year’s total of $605,000, iHeartMedia Pittsburgh’s WDVE “102.5 Rocks” raised just over $814,000 during the tenth annual “DVE Rocks for Children’s Radio-thon.” The beneficiary is Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation, which is the fundraising arm of Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. WDVE morning show personalities Randy Baumann, Bill Crawford, Val Porter, and Mike Prisuta, as well as Michele Michaels and Sean McDowell, shared stories from patients, families, and staff from Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh during the two-day radio-thon. Market president for iHeartMedia Pittsburgh – West Virginia Tim McAleer comments, “The ‘DVE Rocks for Children’s Radio-thon’ continues to exceed our expectations. WDVE has terrific listeners who rally for the kids. I am in awe of the dedication and efforts of our on-air talents to raise funds for the children in our Pittsburgh community.” Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation president Greg Barrett adds, “It is truly unbelievable to witness the generosity of WDVE, their loyal listeners, the corporate sponsors and partners, and this amazing Pittsburgh community who have supported the radio-thon over the past ten years. Without this remarkable support each and every year, providing this level of expert, compassionate care to our patients and their families simply would not be possible.” Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, comedian Billy Gardell (“Mike & Molly”), and WWE chief brand officer Stephanie McMahon made donations by phone. The “DVE Rocks for Children’s Radio-thon” has raised nearly $5 million to benefit Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, leading provider of pediatric care in the Pittsburgh community.

Duran Supports Third Annual “Carney Awards.” A joint production between The Elvis Duran Group and Radcliffe Road Pictures, the third annual “Carney Awards” will be held in approximately three weeks (10/29) at Santa Monica’s Broad Stage. Named in honor of the Oscar and six-time Emmy winning actor Art Carney, the Carney Awards were created by Elvis Duran Group CEO David Katz, his brother – Emmy-winning producer Jim Katz, and Carney’s son – actor voice-over artist, Brian Carney. Duran is morning personality on iHeartMedia New York CHR WHTZ “Z-100” and syndicated by Premiere Networks. “I never understood why the hardest-working actors in Hollywood were almost always excluded from receiving awards and recognition for the great work that they do,” Duran comments. “We created the Carney Awards to rectify that injustice. Character actors are the backbone of almost every movie and television show ever made. It’s time for them to get the recognition they so deserve. I don’t want people pointing anymore saying ‘Hey, it’s that guy.’” David Katz notes, “Elvis is the first to admit that his co-hosts are the backbone of his radio show. Our desire to celebrate those in supporting roles has picked up great momentum and has caught the attention of Hollywood, which is always good for radio.” This year’s honorees are Xander Berkeley, William Fichtner, Richard Kind, William H. Macy, and Wendie Malick. Past honorees include Bob Balaban, Steve Buscemi, Gary Cole, Conchata Ferrell, Dan Hedaya, and David Paymer. Tom Bergeron of ABC-TV’s “Dancing with the Stars” will host the awards program. Tickets are complimentary to radio industry members.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. The guest emcee at the 73rd annual Congressional Correspondents Dinner in just over two weeks (10/25) at the National Building Museum will be Bobby Bones, whose eponymous weekday morning show originating from iHeartMedia Nashville’s country WSIX-FM is heard on more than 100 affiliates. In addition to his Monday through Friday Premiere Networks’ syndicated morning program, Bones hosts a weekend “Country Top 30” countdown and authored “Bare Bones: I’m Not Lonely If You’re Reading This Book.” The event’s headline entertainer will be “Daily Show with Trevor Noah” correspondent Roy Wood, Jr.; house speaker Paul Ryan will deliver keynote remarks ….. General sales manager of iHeartMedia Pittsburgh classic rock WDVE and country WPGB “Big 104.7” Bobbie Loesch is promoted to regional senior vice president of sales for the Pittsburgh-West Virginia region. The company’s region president Tim McAleer remarks, “Bobbie’s extensive experience in our region makes her the perfect fit to oversee sales for our robust media and entertainment assets. We are lucky to have her; she is an expert at multiplatform sales and consistently helps our partners reach their goals.” Loesch – who begins her new duties next Monday (10/16) – adds, “I have worked with the iHeartMedia Pittsburgh team for over a decade, so I am excited to lead such a talented group. It is great that we are such a tight-knit team and that we are all passionate about helping our partners succeed.” ….. Starting next Monday (10/16), Cameron Moore takes over 10:00 am – 3:00 pm duties on Beasley Media Group Charlotte CHR WNKS “Kiss 95.1.” Operations manager/program director John Reynolds comments, “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Cameron to Beasley’s Charlotte team. [Her] expanded experience in every aspect of radio programming will help ‘Kiss’ continue the solid growth we have been having all year. Cameron is a great example of our goal to mentor and groom excellent talent within our company.” Moore adds, “It is an honor to be part of the ‘Kiss’ team. I look forward to playing all of the hottest hit music and getting out on the streets to meet all of [our] loyal listeners.” Winston-Salem native Moore most recently worked at Midwest Family Broadcasting’s Springfield, Missouri cluster ….. The yearly signature event for CBS Radio Chicago triple A WXRT “93-XRT” is its Goose Island Holiday Jam. The ninth such event will feature performances by Spoon with special guest Real Estate and takes place in two months (12/10) at the Chicago Theatre. WXRT program director and operations manager Greg Solk explains, “The WXRT Goose Island Holiday Jam was created to showcase some of the most dynamic talents around, and to offer a memorable annual holiday event for Chicago music fans. This year’s fabulous double bill of Spoon and Real Estate will certainly accomplish that goal.” ….. As of today (10/9), 2016 Texas Radio Hall of Fame inductee Gary Lee Love joins John Walton classic country KXXF “105.3 Free,” Beaumont (Texas) for afternoon drive duties. Station owner John Walton states, “It is quite a coup for [us] to acquire a partnership with the Gary Lee Love Show. Gary is a bigger-than-life personality who is a household name in Southeast Texas and a great entertainer. Love most recently did a similar shift on cross-town Cumulus Media-owned KAYD “Nash-FM.”

Hundreds Attend “The House FM” and “My Praise FM” Kid DJ Day. The sixth annual “Kid DJ Day” was held over a week ago (9/30) at the 89.7 “The House FM Where Christian Hits Live” and 88.7 “My Praise FM” studios. More than 550 Kid DJs and 888 total family members attended the free event. “The House FM” and “My Praise FM” founder and chief executive officer Doyle Brewer remarks, “We had such a great day hosting 888 guests. The families were making such great memories with the petting zoo and so many other activities. Our ministry has always been focused on supporting families on the air with our programming and any other way we can.” Kids were invited to be DJs for a day, receiving a tour of the radio station and having a turn on-air. They were asked to discuss a variety of different topics, prompted by the DJ; parents received an email recording of their child’s on-air time. Listener-supported Christian radio network “The House FM” broadcasts from Oklahoma City to Wichita; sister network “My Praise FM” broadcasts in northern Oklahoma and southern Kansas.

Austin’s September 2017 Report to be Re-Released. Owing to audience estimates being inadvertently omitted for Austin subscribing HD-multicast KKMJ-HD3, Nielsen Audio will issue a revised September 2017 PPM ratings report for that Texas market this Wednesday (10/11) at 12:00 noon. Reporting for Entercom urban AC KKMJ-HD3 apparently had not been entered into one of Nielsen Audio’s internal systems. Audience estimates for other Austin stations will reportedly not be affected. Prior to August’s +.1 to 1.6 (#19, 6+), KKMJ-HD3 hadn’t had an increase in five consecutive sweeps for a net loss of nine-tenths (2.4 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+) but disappeared from print in the September sweep that was released last week.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

| July 26, 2017

John McCain Latest Politician to Blame Media for Washington Gridlock. Returning from a medical absence in which he learned he has an aggressive form of brain cancer, Arizona Republican Senator John McCain lashed out at media commentators and chastised fellow legislators for kowtowing to them.  He concluded his speech on the Senate floor on Tuesday (7/25) saying, “Stop listening to the bombastic loudmouths on the radio and television and the Internet.  To hell with them.  They don’t want anything done for the public good.  Our incapacity is their livelihood. Let’s trust each other.  Let’s return to regular order.”  Talk radio hosts won’t be surprised by McCain’s language.  For many conservative talk radio hosts, McCain is seen as too liberal.  Even during his presidential runs, he was never a darling of the talk radio circuit.  Ironically, McCain’s daughter Meghan McCain is a Fox News Channel personality on the daily “Outnumbered” program.

Hewitt, Hannity and More Broadcast from Hillsdale College’s Washington Studio.  A number of high-profile talk show hosts broadcast from Hillsdale College’s Boyle Radio Studio in Washington, DC this week.  On Monday, Tuesday and today, Sean Hannity, Dennis Prager, Mike Gallagher, Michael Medved, Hugh Hewitt, and Eric Metaxas broadcast their nationally syndicated shows from the facility.  The Boyle Radio Studio is located in Hillsdale’s Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship.  Pictured above are Salem Radio Network morning personality Hugh Hewitt (left) speaking with Hillsdale College president Larry P. Arnn (right).  Hillsdale’s Boyle Radio Studio is available to radio hosts visiting Washington, DC.  It is a state-of-the-art facility and uses all commercial grade, industry standard high-end broadcast equipment.  It’s equipped with industry standard Comrex technology which allows visiting hosts to connect reliably back to their ‘home’ studios.  Matthew Spalding is the vice president and dean of educational programs for Hillsdale College at the Kirby Center and he says, “The Boyle Radio Studio and all that it does is an extension of the teaching mission of Hillsdale College.  The studio is available to host broadcasts to visiting radio personalities for no-cost, on an as-available basis.”

WABC’s Curtis Sliwa Arrested Serving Papers to NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio. The photo above is a still from video of WABC, New York talk show host and Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa being arrested by security at Gracie Mansion.  Sliwa also serves as The Reform Party chairman and was attempting to serve Mayor De Blasio legal documents regarding the Working Families Party ballot line.  Sliwa – who co-hosts the “Curtis and Eboni Show” midday show on WABC with Eboni K. Williams – will be represented at his court appearance by Williams, who is a licensed attorney.  See the video of Sliwa’s arrest at wabcradio.com.

Jim Rome’s 23rd Annual ‘Smack-Off’ Airs Friday.  This Friday (7/28), the 23rd annual “Smack Off” will take place on the CBS Sports Radio Network-syndicated Jim Rome show.  The contest among callers was designed 23 years ago by host Jim Rome to see which caller can talk the best sports smack.  Rome says, “The first Smack Off came about because I wanted a day when only the best callers would be invited to call in to compete with each other to determine who was the best.  At that time, I had no idea it would become an annual tradition, let alone one that would last for more than two decades.  Every year, the callers get bigger, bolder, and more creative with their ideas, so I can’t wait to find out which caller will become the next legend.”  This year’s “Smack Off” will feature 25 contestants competing for a cash prize of $5,000.  MMA legend and 2012 “Smack Off” champion Chael Sonnen is hoping to win his second title this year, while Yahoo’s MLB columnist and New York Times bestselling author Jeff Passan will be making his “Smack Off” debut.

Burke Named Director of Digital Sales/Operations at Cumulus DC.  This is a newly created position at Cumulus Media and digital marketing pro Dahn Burke joins the company from TEGNA Media where she was digital sales manager.  She previously worked in radio in the Washington market as senior digital account executive for CBS RADIO.  She’ll apply her skills to the digital platforms of news/talk WMAL-AM/FM and hot AC WRQX-FM and represent the digital marketing solutions in Cumulus Digital C-Suite.  Cumulus DC vice president and market manager Jake McCann comments, “Dahn Burke has a proven track record of developing digital programs that deliver results for clients.  Prior to joining Cumulus, Dahn ran a digital team that was the market leader in performance.  We are thrilled to have her leading our new Cumulus Digital C-Suite products offering local marketers with the powerful reach, frequency and recall of radio, combined with comprehensive custom digital marketing solutions that effectively engage consumers.”

New ‘Regular Guys’ Show Launches on Atlanta’s ‘The Fan 2.’  Last week TALKERS reported the tease by “Regular Guys” show founder Larry Wachs that he’s putting the Atlanta radio show back together with new cast members.  Now, with the Monday launch of the show on Dickey Broadcasting’s sports talk WFOM-AM/W292EV “The Fan 2,” we know that his show partner is former Atlanta Falcon Bob Whitfield and the staff includes producer Brandon Joseph, and Kaitlyn Henderson.  The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho has the whole story here.

WGN, Chicago to Leave Tribune Tower Next Summer.  The lease at the venerable Tribune Tower for WGN, Chicago – soon likely to be part of the Sinclair Broadcast Group stable – runs out in June of 2018 and station officials have announced that they have signed a deal to move the news/talk station to new offices in a 28-story building across the Chicago River on Wacker Drive.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder has the story and reports that the station will join two other Tribune media units in the offices.  Yes, WGN will lose that cool street-level studio on Michigan Avenue, but the new owner of the building wanted to lease the valuable space to a retailer, anyway.  Read Feder’s story here.

TALKERS News Notes. Houston talk show host Sam Malone (left) is pictured here on Capitol Hill interviewing House Ways & Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) at Salem Media Group’s “Made in America” day broadcast event.  Malone, heard in morning drive on Salem’s KNTH, Houston, was one of 19 personalities to take part in the Washington remote…..California Bears football and basketball will continue to be heard on flagship KGO, San Francisco as Cumulus Media and Learfield’s Cal Bears Sports Properties sign a new deal.  Joe Starkey returns as play-by-play announcer for his 43rd season…..Kansas University is looking for a new Kansas City flagship after the school decided it wanted a flagship where it would not get bumped from live coverage by Kansas City Royals games.  Entercom’s KCSP, Kansas City “610 Sports Radio” had been the flagship and station VP/GM Dave Alpert said he understands the school’s point of view. “We certainly appreciate their desire to be on a station where they’re not going to be bumped by other sports…I certainly appreciate KU’s desire to have consistency on where their games air.”  September and October often saw conflicts between KU football and Royals baseball…..SiriusXM’s “NFL Radio Training Camp Tour” begins tomorrow (7/27).  NFL Radio personalities will visit and report from all 32 teams’ summer camps, presenting one-on-one interviews with players, coaches and franchise executives, expert breakdowns of every roster and reports on rookies and veterans.

Suicide by Commercial.  Radio sales maven Al Herskovitz writes today about current talk radio spots he’s hearing that are continuing to make the same creative mistakes that have dogged radio advertisers for decades.  Spots with too much information, unmemorable phone numbers, and copy read at the speed of light are just a few of the aural assaults that stick in Al’s craw.  Read his entire piece here.

GOP ObamaCare Repeal Strategy, Russian Sanctions, AG Sessions Status, Trump Boy Scouts Speech, Trump Ohio Rally, North Korea Nuclear Program, Scaramucci Firing Threat, Former Dem IT Staffer Arrested, Football Brain Injury Report, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/25).  Republicans’ attempts to move forward on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act; the House-approved sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea and Russia’s condemnation of the House action; President Trump’s criticism of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and speculation about Sessions being ousted; the controversy over President Trump’s politics-laden speech at the Boy Scouts Jamboree; Trump’s Youngstown, Ohio rally; reports of North Korea’s progress producing ICBMs capable of hitting the U.S.; new White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci’s threat of mass terminations if leaks to the press don’t stop; a former IT contractor for Democrats and Debbie Wasserman Schultz is arrested trying to illegally leave the country; a preliminary report indicating a majority of brains of football players donated to the research project show evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy; 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.

Renowned Ghostwriter Michael Levin Guests on Harrison Podcast.  Many talk media hosts are writing books as an invaluable supplement to their branding.  A book with a broadcaster’s name on it helps expand his or her media footprint and can be a viable source of non-traditional revenue.  Having a book can also help a host attain speaking engagements – in turn, another source of promotion and revenue.  It defines their area of expertise and establishes them as a go-to source in the marketplace of ideas.  Never before in history has it been simpler to publish a professional-quality book.  The digital age has delivered authors the convenience and economic efficiency of on-demand printing and modern platforms such as Amazon have evened the distribution playing field for independent publishers to compete with the big New York City-based houses.  Of course, writing a good book can be challenging in terms of the focus, organization, and time it requires to do it properly.  Michael Levin, one of the most established ghostwriters in the nation, joins Michael Harrison as this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne hit series “Up Close and Far Out” to address the state of independent publishing in 2017.  This New York Times best-selling author is a veritable writing machine who has written, co-written or ghostwritten more than 550 books, of which 18 are national bestsellers.  He appeared on ABC’s “Shark Tank” in 2012 and has published with the biggest houses in the business.  His works have been optioned for film and TV by some of the industry’s most important studios. Harrison and Levin discuss a variety of aspects about the modern process of book publishing and its relevance to media practitioners.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.  Or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Continue Posting Today (7/26) with Dom Giordano, Dr. Daliah Wachs and Scott Lakefield.  The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and its sessions are being posted to Talkers.com – one event per day.  Already posted are:

–          The “Welcoming Remarks” by WMAL, Washington, DC afternoon drive host Larry O’ Connor (including an introduction by TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein).

–          The special presentation “You HAVE Options” by consultant Holland Cooke (including an introduction by Yappy Days author Bernadette Duncan).

–          The “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity (with introduction by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon).

–          The “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS managing editor  Mike Kinosian and WFAN, New York sports talk show host Mike Francesa (with introduction by Sabo Media CEO Walter Sabo).

–          The special presentation “The Trump Effect: Latest Research of Interest to News/Talk Radio” by Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce (with introduction by Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host Brad Shepard).

–          The special presentation “Podcasting and Local Radio” by PodcastOne excutive chairman Norm Pattiz (with introduction by Hubbard Radio SVP/programming Greg Strassell).

–          The first, second and third in a series of three consecutive “one-on-one” sessions discussing the topic “Maximizing Talk Radio’s Multi-Platform Potential for Reach and Revenue” featuring conversations between WABC, New York, PD Craig Schwalb and KGO, San Francisco host Ethan BearmanBold Gold Media Group president/CEO Vince Benedetto and DGital Media managing partner Ron Hartenbaum, and nationally syndicated host Dr. Asa Andrew and TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein.  All three sessions are facilitated by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio host Karen Hunter.

–          A “one-on-one” dialogue titled “Radio That Makes a Difference” featuring the SiriusXM Satellite Radio husband/wife team of host Joe Madison and executive producer Sharon Madison (introduced by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio VP/GM talk programming Dave Gorab).

–          A “Fireside Chat” featuring former CBS Radio president/CEO and Broadcasters Foundation of America chairman Dan Mason being interviewed by WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley (with introduction by BOB-FM, London morning host Graham Mack).

–          A “Fireside Chat” featuring Emmis Communications CEO/chairman Jeff Smulyan being interviewed by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey (with an introduction by Bentley University professor/TALKERS legal editor Steve Weisman).

–          The first two in a series of four “one-on-one” dialogues titled “The Challenges of Doing Talk Radio in 2017.”  They feature a conversation between WYD Media syndicated host Thom Hartmann and Cumulus Media corporate PD/WMAL, Washington PD Bill Hess (introduced by Moceri Media president Greg Moceri), a conversation between morning co-host of WAQY-FM (Rock102), Springfield, MA  Mike “Bax” Baxendale and morning host of WOLB, Baltimore Larry Young, and a conversation between Cumulus Media EVP programming and content Mike McVay and Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott (facilitated by ABC News Radio VP/GM Steve Jones).

–          The first three in a series of four “one-on-one” dialogues collectively titled, “Where Does Talk Media Go From Here?” featuring a conversation between WRHU, Hofstra University OM John T. Mullen and WRFH, Hillsdale College GM Scot Bertram; a conversation between The New Normal CEO/founder/host Tom Leykis and syndicated host Michael Berry; and a conversation between The Weiss Agency EVP Heather Cohen and Fox News Radio/Fox News Channel host Brian Kilmeade (facilitated by WOR, New York APD Scott Lakefield).

–          TODAY (7/26) we posted the fourth and final of four in the above series of “one-on-one” dialogues “Where Does Talk Media Go From Here?” featuring a conversation between WPHT, Philadelphia host Dom Giordano and GCN syndicated host Dr. Daliah Wachs (again, facilitated by WOR, New York APD Scott Lakefield). At the conclusion, Dr. Wachs is presented the TALKERS “Humanitarian of the Year” award by Michael Harrison.

Within the following days and weeks, every session will be posted and will remain on Talkers.com for the rest of the year.  The Talkers 2017: A New Era video page is sponsored by Backbone NetworksBroadcasters General Store and Comrex Corp.  To view the video page of Talkers 2017: A New Era, please click here.

 

 

PPM Analysis: Hot AC.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the fourth-and-final format analysis of station performances based on 6+ data from the June 2017 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio.  Today’s focus is hot AC. Kinosian reports that the qualifying sample of hot AC stations indicates “not quite half the stations on this panel (45%) are up May 2017 – June 2017; 38% are down; and the remaining 17% are flat.”  Looking at changes from a year ago, “virtually the same number of AC panelists falter year-to-year (49%) as improve (46%), while 5% are flat.”  iHeartMedia’s KBIG, Los Angeles “104.3 MYfm”; Connoisseur Media’s WALK, Long Island; and Alpha Media’s WRMF, West Palm Beach ranked #1 in their respective markets in June and another 13 hot AC stations ranked in the top 5.  See the whole report here.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Two moves take place at iHeartMedia’s hip hop WWPR, New York “Power 105.1 FM.”  First, Eddie Fennel is promoted to assistant program director for the station, moving up from his executive producer position with “The Breakfast Club.”  Next, midday personality DJ Prostyle is upped to music director.  He will retain his midday show.  Both will report to program director Thea Mitchem…..Programming pro Chuck Geiger is named program director for Alaska Broadcast Communications’ five-station Juneau, Alaska cluster that includes news/talk KJNO, country KYKU, hot AC KSUP, adult contemporary KINY, and classic hits KXXJ.  He was most recently with Cherry Creek Radio’s Wenatchee, Washington station group.

Monday, December 19, 2016

| December 19, 2016

Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano to Host Late Mornings at WLS-AM, Chicago.  A little more than a week after the Jonathon Brandmeier show was cancelled, Cumulus Media announces that it is bringing well-known Windy City broadcasters Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano aboard to host the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon program on WLS-AM.  The husband-and-wife team most recently worked on radio at Tribune’s crosstown WGN,sirottmurciano handling the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show.  Cumulus Chicago VP/market manager Peter Bowen states, “Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano are deeply rooted in Chicago and are well known to the community. With their addition, WLS is more local and more relevant to Chicago listeners and advertisers.”  At the same time, the station announces its new program lineup starting in January: Big John and Ray, 6:00 am to 10:00 am; Sirott and Murciano, 10:00 am to 12:00 noon; Rush Limbaugh, 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm; Steve Dahl, 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm; Mark Levin, 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight.  The host of the 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm show is still to-be-announced.

cookehollandAircheck D.I.Y.  Media consultant Holland Cooke writes today that, due to numerous changes in the radio business, talk radio personalities don’t huddle for aircheck meetings with program directors like they used to. Because of this, talk hosts are often missing a valuable tool for improvement.  If you’re a young programmer with some talk talent to coach, or a music PD who isn’t used to coaching talk talent, Cooke offers this handy primer on airchecking talk radio personalities.   Read more here.

wainwrightmarkWainwright: Make it Part of the Show.  WSYR, Syracuse morning show host Mark Wainwright tells TALKERS magazine that after viewing a recent Talkers TV video from consultant Holland Cooke titled, “Making Money with Endorsement Spots,” he felt compelled to share some of his experiences and strategies for endorsement spots.  Wainwright says his overarching belief about the effectiveness of live endorsements is that they must become part of the show in order to achieve their maximum effect.  Read more here.

WMAL, Washington’s Larry O’Connor Joins The Weekly Standard.  In a memo to the staff, The Weekly Standard editor-in-chief Steve Hayes announces that WMAL, Washington oconnorlarrypersonality Larry O’ Connor is joining the organization as online editor. Hayes calls O’Connor’s arrival at TWS “part of an aggressive expansion of the TWS online presence.”  Hayes goes on to say, “As you might expect, Larry has a very good ear for the kinds of issues that resonate with grassroots conservatives and we’re eager for his input as we continue to improve and expand the digital side of the magazine.”  His previous work in digital media includes time at Hotair.com and Independent Journal Review.  Earlier this fall, it was announced that O’Connor is leaving the “Mornings on the Mall” AM drive show to take over the afternoon drive daypart (3:00 pm to 6:00 pm).

WTMJ, Milwaukee’s Charlie Sykes Pens NYT Op-Ed Piece ‘Where the Right Went Wrong.’  Longtimesykescharlie Milwaukee conservative talk personality Charlie Sykes is stepping down from his role as a talk show host on E.W. Scripps’ WTMJ at the end of this month.  It’s no secret in the industry that Sykes – along with other Wisconsin talk radio hosts – has been a vocal opponent of President-Elect Donald Trump.  In an opinion piece published in The New York Times over the weekend, Sykes lays out why he believes Trump won the election, how the conservative media helped him win and, as the title implies, where he thinks the conservative movement has gone wrong.  Read it here.

John Ziegler Ends Syndicated Sunday Night Radio Talk Show.  Conservative media personality John Ziegler announces he’s ending the live Sunday night broadcasts of his talk show, originally called the “John & Leah zieglerjohnShow” that featured co-host Leah Brandon for most of its run (though he hopes to continue it as a podcast).  Ziegler, a strong opponent of President-Elect Donald Trump, gives shared credit for his decision to shutter the show to Trump’s ascension to the Oval Office, some bad business moves for which he accepts the blame, and the state of the talk radio business.  Ziegler also writes for Mediaite and he lays out his decision for leaving AM/FM radio in a piece in the publication here.

Odds & Sods.  News/talk WOWO, Fort Wayne – with the help of two local co-sponsors – helped raise $343,808 for Community Harvest Food Bank and Super Shot during its recent two-day radiothon.  Program director Ryanwowopennypitch16 Wrecker says, “The generosity was overwhelming this year.”  The Penny Pitch Radiothon raised $171,094 but Brigadoon Fitness and King of Carts matched that to double the total raised.  Community Harvest Food Bank’s Hope for Heroes program focuses on providing groceries at no cost to veterans and military families in need.  Super Shot helps provide vaccinations for low-income, uninsured, under-insured and Medicaid eligible people.  The WOWO staff is pictured at right around the phone bank…..The Salem Media Group Minneapolis cluster – news/talk WWTC “AM 1280 The Patriot,” Christian talk KKMS “AM 980 The Mission,” business talk KYCR “Business Radio 1440,” talk KDIZ “Wellness Radio 1570,” and stream theFishTwinCities.com are presenting a “Crisis & Security Summit” on Thursday, January 26.  It’s a free, informational event that will feature experts discussing topics such as IT security, personal safety, community preparedness, and child protection.  Salem Minneapolis GM Nic Anderson comments, “In this day and age, we must plan ahead, be informed, and ensure personal and community safety from all angles.  We at Salem feel a sense of duty to our local churches and schools.”

Trump Cabinet Nominations, Today’s Electoral College Vote, Allegations of Russian Hacking, ‘Fake News’ Controversy, China Nabs U.S. Submersible Drone, Rogue One Opening Weekend, Cold Snap, and NFL Action Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The transitioning of the Trump Administration and President-Elect Donald Trump’s nominees for cabinet posts; today’s electoral college vote and the numerous pleas from celebrities to not vote for Trump; the allegations that Russia is responsible for hacking the DNC’s servers in order to influence the election; the hot topic of “fake news” and its role in politics; China’s intercepting of a U.S. drone submarine and tensions between China and the U.S. over China’s military build-up in the South China Sea; the opening weekend of the new Star Wars film Rogue One; the bitter cold weather affecting parts of the country; and National Football League action were some of the top stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

| October 5, 2016

Jimmy deCastro to Exit WGN, Chicago President and GM Role.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder has the scoop as Windy City radio management legend Jimmy deCastro confirms he’s exiting the Tribune-owned,decastrojimmy standalone news/talker after three-and-a-half years leading the heritage station.  Telling Feder he’s “done wgn-logo-16everything I can to respect and build on the legacy of this amazing place,” deCastro says, “now the time is right for me to go back and build something new.”  Larry Wert is the president of broadcast media for Tribune and comments, “Jimmy brought his unique leadership, experience and passion to the job every single day, and it made WGN a better, more focused radio station both on and off the air.  I am eternally grateful to him professionally and personally.”  Read Feder’s piece here.

Brandmeier and Westwood One to Part Company.  From the statement made by Jonathon Brandmeier on his website, this decision by syndicator Westwood One to put the wraps on their deal when it expires in early 2017 is okay by him.  Brandmeier writes, “I completely agree with that decision.  I truly believe this is the best move brandmeierjonathonfor all involved.  It was only a matter of time, and there are no hard feelings…I met some good people at Westwood One, we picked up new listeners from across this great nation of Murica, and I realized what has always driven me in this business was missing: the spirit of JUST HAVIN’ FUN.  It’s time for me to get back to that.  We plan to honor our agreement and continue on the air until it’s officially over – or until they literally pull the plug.  I have no idea what the future holds, but I’m as pumped as ever to create content for the people of earth.”  Brandmeier’s show emanates from his home base at Cumulus Media’s WLS-AM, Chicago airing from 9:00 am to 11:00 am.  There’s no word yet what the end of the syndication deal means for WLS-AM.

Dave Adams Appointed SVP of Programming for iHeartMedia Tucson. Programmer Dave Adams takes on a new role with iHeartMedia, moving west to become SVP of programming for the company’s Tucson clusteradamsdave that includes CHR KRQQ, hot AC KMIY “My 92.9,” hip hop KOHT “Hot 98.3,” country KYWD “97.1 The Bull,” news/talk KNST, talk KTZR, and Tejano KXEW.  Adams most recently was serving as brand manager for classic hits KLOU, St. Louis.  iHeartMedia EVP of programming Steve Geofferies states, “What a great hire for the Arizona region and the Tucson market.  Experience, steady hand, and a history of success. I’m looking forward to getting Dave to Tucson.”

SB Nation Names New Morning Show.  With the exit of Steve Czaban from the lead role on the morning drive show, SB Nation Radio promotes from within and announces the Monday (10/10) debut of “SB Nation AM with Linn, Murray and Solly” featuring Scott Linn, Tim Murray and Steve Solomon.  The three are rejoining sbnationthe network after spending six years on the Steve Czaban show.  Murray also hosted his eponymous Sunday evening show on the network.  SB Nation Radio (formerly Yahoo! Sports Radio) CEO David Gow states, “This group is a talented trio.  They have long been integral to the success of our network and we are excited to give them their own show.”  All three have ties to WTEM, Washington “ESPN 980.”  Linn served as an anchor and OM at the station, Murray is afternoon anchor and host of “DMV Game Time,” and Solomon hosts a weekly show dedicated to mixed martial arts on “ESPN 980.”

Odds & Sods.  A new deal from Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment and the NHL’s New York Islanders put Islanders hockey on numerous radio signals.  CBS RADIO’s sports talk WFAN-AM/FM is named a broadcast partner of the Islanders Radio Network with the broadcast of 30 games during the regular season on 660 AM and simulcast on 101.9 FM, starting with the team’s home opener on Oct. 16.  Salem Media Group-owned news/talk WNYM “AM 970 The Answer” will join the network and broadcast 52 regular season games.  Plus, Hofstra University-owned WRHU-FM, Hempstead will continue to simulcast each game throughout the regular season and playoffs as part of the Islanders Radio Network…..Morning shows from five of CBS RADIO’s Chicago station group will broadcasting live from Wrigley Field prior to that evening’s game one of the Chicago Cubs Nationalweissmichael League Division Series versus either the Giants or the Mets.  Broadcasting will be WSCR’s Mully and Hanley show, WJMK’s Dave Fogel, WBBM-FM’s “The J Show,” WUSN’s Stylz and Roman, and WXRT’s Lin and Mary…..Sales pro Michael Weiss joins SiriusXM as senior advisor to advertising sales from his most recent position as president of sales for CBS RADIO.

The Presidential Race/VP Debate/Trump’s Taxes, Syria Civil War/U.S.-Russia Tensions, U.S., Immigration Policy, Wikileaks Letdown, Hurricane Matthew, MLB Playoffs, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/4).  The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the build-up to last night’s vice presidential debate, and the dominant chatter about Trump’s tax history; the state of the civil war in Syria and the tensions between the U.S. and Russia over the latter’s role in the violence; the immigration policy in the U.S.; the lack of any document drop from Wikileaks on the occasion of the organization’s 10th anniversary; Hurricane Matthew hits Haiti and heads for the U.S.; the Major League Baseball playoffs begin; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

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Standing Room Only in Charlotte.  The latest sold-out stop on nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey’s Smart Money tour was the Ovens Auditorium in Charlotte.  Last night (10/4), Ramsey spoke to attendees about winning with money, getting out of debt and investing for the future.  Best-selling author and financial expert (and Dave’s daughter) Rachel Cruze joined him on stage. Cruze’s most recent book is titled, Love Your Life, Not Theirs (Thomas Nelson 2016).   Pictured here at the event is Ramsey (center) and, from Charlotte affiliate WBT “News Talk 1110,” Rick Feinblatt, SVP/market manager for Greater Media Charlotte (left), and Greater Media Charlotte sales manager Carol Poteat (right).  Feinblatt states, “Dave Ramsey continues to have a great impact on the listeners of WBT as indicated by the sold out show in Charlotte.  His daily interaction with the listeners proves that the Dave Ramsey show is a great complement to the powerful lineup here at ‘News Talk 1110 WBT.’”

kfwbdesiLotus to Buy KFWB-AM, Los Angeles for $11.2 Million.  The former Los Angeles heritage news signal (more recently sports talk before the March 1, 2016 sale) KFWB has been airing a Bollywood music format since Universal Media Access acquired it officially just seven months ago for $8 million.  Now, Lotus Communications is agreeing to buy the signal for $11.2 million.  It’s unknown what Lotus’ format plans are for the station.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

| September 14, 2016

Tribune’s WGN, Chicago to Provide News for ‘Me-TV FM’ as Part of Partnership.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder has the story on this interesting partnership between Tribune news/talker WGN and the wgn-logo-16Weigel Broadcasting-operated soft AC-oldies format airing on low-power analog VHF TV signal atmetv877-logo 87.7 FM (WRME-LP).  Under the terms of the deal, WGN news staffers will provide two one-minute news/weather/sports updates per hour during morning drive for “Me-TV FM.”  Additionally, the two companies will enter into a joint sales agreement with WGN selling time on “Me-TV FM.”  The unique music format – programmed by Rick O’Dell – is surprising some industry watchers as it recently pulled a 2.0 share in the August Nielsen PPM survey with a cume of 684,000.  Read Feder’s piece here.

Cumulus Media Providence Promotes Paras to VP/MM. Ten-year Cumulus Media Providence director of sales Holly Paras is elevated to vice president and market manager for the company’s five-station cluster in that Rhode Island metro. Cumulus Media senior vice president Jeff Brown comments,cumulus-media-providence “Holly’s fingerprints are on many of the successes that our cluster in Providence has parashollyenjoyed over the years. She is the first to tell you that those wins are due to our very talented, market-leading team. She is the leader and the team is fired up to follow her.” Paras states, “I am excited and humbled to be asked to lead such a talented team of people and the tremendous radio brands at Cumulus Providence.” Before her director of sales tenure, Paras was national sales manager for three Cumulus Media Providence outlets, and was a Katz Radio Group New York City account executive. Fourteen (14) stations are listed in Nielsen Audio‘s August 2016 PPM report for Providence. With their August 2016 6+- market rank and 6+-share in parentheses, Cumulus Media Providence’s five station cluster consists of adult contemporary WWLI “Lite Rock 105” (#1, 9.7); CHR WPRO-FM “Today’s Hit Music” (#2, 8.5); talk WPRO-AM (#7, 4.6); rhythmic CHR WWKX “Hot 106” (#8, third successive 2.6); and talk WPRV (#13, .5).

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PodcastOne to Launch Virtual Reality Programming.  Stating that it will be the first company to “enter the virtual reality space,” PodcastOne announces a partnership with Mandt VR to launch its new PodcastOne 360 platform.  Mandt VR was founded by multi-Emmy Award winning producer Neil Mandt.  The firms report they plan to produce more than 200 original 360-video experiences and expect to become the largest producers of high-quality, serialized virtual reality content in the world.  They also intend to develop a proprietary camera system, specifically for PodcastOne’s high-volume production.   PodcastOne says the potential of providing the virtual reality experience to its listeners, who deliver more than 400 million monthly impressions, and Mandt VR’s unique ability to activate large quantities of captivating content, will create a robust catalogue of compelling, serialized content.  “The Adam Carolla Show” will be the first podcast available to listeners on PodcastOne 360.  PodcastOne founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz states, “Virtual reality is the future of entertainment and Mandt VR’s leading technology delivers quality video, and in large quantities.  This is key when you churn out about 350 podcast episodes weekly.  This provides the next dimension in consuming our on-demand audio programming.  It’s especially germane to an audience that wants to consume PodcastOne’s content on an ever-more connected basis.  This is exactly the kind of partnership and cutting-edge direction that floats our collective boats.”  Pictured above are (from l-r): PodcastOne CEO Jim Berk, Mandt, Pattiz, and Mandt VR chief strategy officer Chadwick Turner.

Zac Davis Appointed SVP of Programming for iHeartMedia Richmond.  This move keeps programming pro Zac Davis in the iHeartMedia family.  He’s been serving as program director for the company’s CHR outlets WKSS, Hartford “Kiss 95-7” and WKCI, New Haven “KC101.”  Now, he moves south to Richmond, Virginiadaviszac to take on the SVP of programming position for the eight-station cluster that includes: CHR WRVQ “Q94,” CHR W241AP “96.1 The Planet,” adult contemporary WTVR “Mix 98.1,” AC W253BI “BIG 98.5,” alternative WRXL “XL 102,” hip hop WBTJ “106.5 The Beat,” sport talk WRNL “FOX Sports 910” and news/talk WRVA “News Radio 1140.”  Market president Rick Green comments, “I’m thrilled that Zac is joining our great programming team.  Zac is a proven leader with great success in a diversity of formats which makes him a great fit for our eight-station cluster in Richmond.”

Odds & Sods.  A new podcast series from PodcastOne launches titled, “How I Got Here.”  It’s the work of recently graduated college roommates Tim Barnicle and Harry Hill who started wondering how to “make it” in the world, then decided to ask those who have “made it” to share their inspiring stories.  The series kicks off September 20 with Emmy Award winner Tom Brokaw. This will be followed by Peabody Award winner and legendary interviewer Larry King in week two.  New episodes will be available every Tuesday…..DGital Media and Learfield Sports are working together on a podcast project that will create original, non-event audio content for fans by the familiar, hometown radio voices associated with some of the nation’s most recognizable collegiate athletic programs, including the Alabama Crimson Tide, North Carolina Tar Heels, Oklahoma Sooners and Oklahoma State Cowboys,gallagheretrump16 with additional programs to be added soon…..The Genesis Communications Network-syndicated “Dr. Daliah Show” is added to the program schedule at WTNW, Jasper, Tennessee…..NBC Sports Radio announces sports media personality Mike Tirico is joining the network as an NFL commentator this football season.  Tirico is host of NBC’s “Football Night in America” and will be a featured contributor across NBC Sports Radio programming.  He’ll also do interviews with affiliated stations……Salem Radio Network host Mike Gallagher (left) is pictured here with Eric Trump (right) during a meeting at the World Bar of the Trump World Tower in Manhattan.  Gallagher, along with SRN hosts Hugh Hewitt and Dennis Prager (plus actor Jon Voight) stopped in NYC on the network’s “Decision 2016” tour that stops today (9/14) in Washington, Philadelphia, and Columbus, Ohio.

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Client Story.  The photo above shows WGOW, Chattanooga “Talk Radio 102.3 FM” personality Brian Joyce (left), Peachtree Auto Painting & Collision owner Bobby Socol, and Joyce’s beloved 1964 Chevy Impala.  Joyce tells TALKERS that when he decided his car needed a new paint job, the station contacted Peachtree in Chattanooga and came up with an endorsement deal he casually referred to as “Pimp Brian’s Ride!”  “They put a beautiful new two-tone paint job on the car, I talked it up on the air and social media (Facebook and Instagram, primarily), and the results were fantastic.  Peachtree says their phones have been ringing off the hook since we started the campaign, and they’ve generated a ton of phone calls and inquiries, not to mention, new business!” Joyce says Peachtree has continued to advertise with the station.

Friday, June 24, 2016

| June 24, 2016

New Jersey Broadcasters Association Annual Conference a Success in Atlantic City.  The 69th annual NJBA convention just wrapped up two-days at Caesars Atlantic City (6/22-23) and by all measures was a successful event.  Several hundred broadcasters from the Garden State and beyond gathered to discuss the state of the radio NJBA convention logo artindustry both regionally and nationally.  The theme of the conference was “The Power of Broadcast” and it included sessions on programming, sales and technology as well as an awards ceremony, Hall of Fame induction and radio row.  TALKERS/RadioInfo special features correspondent Jeff McKay was in attendance and provides coverage of the sessions and speakers.  To read it in its entirety, please click here.

manley, toddWGN Extends Its Programming ‘Man’ Through 2019. Six-year vice president of content and programming for Tribune Chicago talker WGN, Todd Manley will continue in that role through (at least) December 2019. WGN Radio president and general manager Jimmy de Castro states, “Todd makes it fun to come to work every day. He is a content musician that drives our incredible spoken-word content across a multitude of platforms.” ManleyWGN Radio remarks, “I am in awe of the effort our personalities and producers put forth each day. They are each driven to make sure WGN listeners never ever miss a story. I am grateful to Jimmy de Castro and [president, Tribune Broadcast Media] Larry Wert for the commitment to continue building this great team.” TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison comments, “I am so pleased to hear this news. Todd Manley is one of the most thoughtful and creative programmers in the talk field today.” Manley’s prior titles at WGN include imaging director and creative director. Before joining the station, he was program director/brand manager of KTRS, St. Louis. In addition, he has worked at cross-town Chicago outlets WXRT (as director/creative content) and WCKG (as production/imaging director). Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio‘s May 2016 PPM survey period, WGN ranks seventh (3.7); CBS Radio all-news WBBM-AM is on top with a 6.4 (6+).

kinosianmikeMLB Logo2MLB Flagships: Part Three. In the third of a multi-part series, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian recaps the performance of Major League Baseball‘s radio flagships. In a ratings overview based on data from Nielsen Audio’s May 2016 PPM survey period, Mike highlights each key station’s 6+ share; 6+ market rank; month-to-month and year-to-year fluctuations; flagships by league/division; and he unveils a new component to this overview. More than twice as many MLB flagships are in their markets’ top five in May (31%) versus March (14%). Average (6+) year-to-year decreases of MLB flagships in March, April, and May though far outweigh typical increases. See the third installment of this exclusive special feature piece regarding MLB flagships here.

Orlando Mass ShootingMedia Outlets Seek Access to Orlando Shooting 911 Calls. Nearly two-dozen media organizations filed a lawsuit Thursday (6/23) against the city of Orlando asking for the release of city phone recordings related to the mass shooting earlier this month at the Pulse nightclub. The suit challenges the city’s contention that those calls are exempt from public records laws because they record the killing of a person. The media consortium argues that the Orlando shooting is similar to the Sandy Hook school shooting, in which a Connecticut court ruled that related 911 calls were not confidential despite state laws that restricted the release of child abuse records. The media organizations argue that, “There is strong public interest in fully evaluating how first responders and police reacted during the most critical phases of this incredible tragedy. To be sure, the news media do not approach this petition with any preconceived notion that the city somehow acted inappropriately. Indeed, the audio recordings may well serve to substantiate and justify any action taken.” The city of Orlando made its own filing with the court, arguing release of the recordings is exempt under Florida public records law and that the FBI says releasing the recordings could damage the ongoing criminal investigation into the attack that left 49 people dead.

ruble, michaeltownsquareTownsquare Media Atlantic City & The Shore Officially Names Ruble Market President. It is “official,” in that, Michael Ruble had been market president and chief revenue officer for Townsquare Media‘s Atlantic City & The Shore’s (New Jersey) properties on an interim basis. He now handles both of those responsibilities without the “interim” prefix. Senior vice president of operations Rob Williams notes that, “Mike has been an exceptional leader in Atlantic City for years, building a terrific team that has consistently performed at a high level. In Toms River, we have a team with significant strengths and talents; wonderful brands; and the foundation to grow to new heights with Mike’s leadership.” Three of the company’s Monmouth and Ocean County stations include talkers WOBM-AM, WADB, and WPGG. The rest of its outlets in that area are adult contemporary WOBM-FM “Soft Rock 92.7”; hot AC WJLK “The Point”; AC WFPG “Lite Rock 96.9”; sports WENJ “97.3 ESPN“; hot AC WSJO “SOJO 104.9”; classic rock WCHR “The Hawk”; and WPUR “Cat Country 107.3.” Ruble joined Townsquare Media five years ago as market manager-general sales manager. He previously was a market manager-general sales manager with Millennium Radio Group; national sales manager for Citadel Broadcasting; and an account executive with Spring Broadcasting.

sportsshopWDNC, Raleigh Shifts Reese & Kmac to Mornings.  The midday “Sports Shop with Reese & Kmac” is moving into morning drive on Capitol Broadcasting’s WDNC, Raleigh “The Buzz.”  According to Capitol’s sports radio operations manager Dennis Glasgow, the program will be the first African-American sports talk morning show in the Raleigh-Durham market.  Glasgow comments, “We’ve wanted to bring more diversity to our listeners that would reflect the Raleigh-Durham population, and we will do that by bringing a very entertaining and energetic show with ‘The Sports Shop.’”  Reese & Kmac replace “The Morning Show with Mike, Lauren & Demetri.”  The company says Mike Maniscalco and Demetri Ravanos have exited the station but Lauren Brownlow will continue regular, on-air appearances on both WCMC-FM “The Fan” and “The Buzz.”  In addition to her radio appearances, Brownlow will continue to contribute to WRALSportsFan.com. “The Sports Shop” will be made available via WRALSportsFan.com and with the WRALSportsFan App.

brexit“Brexit” Fallout Felt in U.S. Following yesterday’s “Brexit” vote by Brits to separate from the European Union (Thursday, 6/23), several major United States-based media companies such as Fox, Viacom, Netflix, and Apple opened their stateside trading days down billions of dollars in stock valuation. Netflix and Apple though were among those surging back within the first 10 minutes of the U.S. trading day. The Pound dropped to its lowest valuation in decades, and stock prices overseas sunk.  British Prime Minister David Cameron has stepped down, vowing there will be a new PM in place by October. In a statement of support from the White House, President Barack Obama comments, “The people of the United Kingdom have spoken, and we respect their decision. The special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom is enduring, and the United Kingdom’s membership in NATO remains a vital cornerstone of U.S. foreign, security, and economic policy.” Given economic implications domestically and abroad, this is bound to be among talk radio’s biggest topics today.

talkersten logoThe Presidential Race Returns to Top of Talkers TenTM.  The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the TALKERS TenTM.  At #2 was the gun legislation push in congress tied with the investigation into Omar Mateen and the Pulse nightclub massacre.  Following at #3 was the Supreme Court’s deadlock on a challenge to President Obama’s immigration executive orders, and at #4 was Thursday’s “Brexit” vote by Britons.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Friday, June 10, 2016

| June 10, 2016

wgn logo 16Roe Conn Extends Deal to Remain with WGN, Chicago.  Windy City talk radio personality Roe Conn will be with Tribune’s WGN Radio through the year 2020 after he and the company inked an extension.  Vice president of programming Todd Manley says,connroe “Roe’s passion for relevant stories and magnetic characters has turned afternoons on WGN into a must-hear daily ritual.  He’s become the ring leader for one of my favorite radio ensembles.”  After spending most of his talk radio career at crosstown WLS-AM, Conn began hosting the afternoon drive show on WGN in January of 2015.  Daily contributors to the show include WGN-TV news anchor Mark Suppelsa and chief meteorologist Tom SkillingAnna Davlantes serves as Conn’s co-host.  Conn comments, “Being at WGN has been the most special experience of my career.  People make the difference and this station has the most diligent, professional and collegial folks I’ve ever worked with.  But what continues to amaze me every day is WGN’s dynamic, engaged and loyal audience.  It’s an incredible honor to be a part of their day.”

Bewley Named Digital Director for Hubbard Minneapolis-St. Paul.  Replacing Jeremy Sinon as Hubbard Radio’s Minneapolis-St. Paul digital director is Jesse Bewley, who will be responsible for the digital strategies for hot AC KSTP-FM “KS95-FM,” talk KTMY “myTalk 107.1,” and sports talk KSTP-AM “1500 ESPN.”ktmy  Bewley says, “I couldn’t be more grateful to Dan Seeman and the entire team at Hubbard kstp-amfor giving me this incredible opportunity to advance my career.  Jeremy Sinon undoubtedly leaves me gigantic shoes to fill, but I’m very much looking forward to leading the team to continued and expanded success in the local digital space.”   Sinon was promoted to corporate digital director.  Bewley, who most recently served as digital PD for iHeartMedia Minneapolis, starts with Hubbard on June 20.

talkersten logoThe Presidential Race Dominates Talkers TenTM for Week of June 6-10.  The activities of the candidates for president, the clinching of the Democratic nomination by Hillary Clinton and President Obama’s and Bernie Sanders’ support for Clinton were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week.  At #2 was the legal case surrounding Trump University and Donald Trump’s comments about Judge Gonzalo Curiel.  Coming in at #3 was the battle against Islamic State.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases Third Round of May 2016 PPM Data.  The Third of four rounds of May 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 May 2016 survey period covered April 21 to May 18.  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.

wdrvDan McNeil Exits WDRV, Chicago’s Morning Drive Show.  Mercurial Chicago radio personality Dan McNeil exits Hubbard Radio’s classic rock WDRV “The Drive” after 16 months on the morning drive show.  McNeil is probably one of the markets most famous – or infamous – sports talk personalities.  Over the last 25 years he had talked sports on CBS RADIO’s WSCR and ESPN O&O WMVP.  Prior to joining WDRV, McNeil was in contract talks to rejoinmcneildan WSCR in the midday slot but the two sides couldn’t come to terms.  In February of 2015, McNeil was paired up with Pete McMurray to co-host The Drive’s morning show.  Recently, McNeil disappeared from the air and, when he returned, was only heard doing brief sports reports.  According to several sources, McNeil was upset when Greg Solk was let go from his SVP of programming post and was more upset when he was instructed not to talk about the matter on the show.  Apparently, he was given some time off to cool down.  Now, the station and he part ways and Hubbard makes the announcement in a press release from Hubbard Radio Chicago vice president/market manager John Gallagher and WDRV program director Rob Cressman.  McNeil is quoted in the presser saying, “It was an incredible chapter in my radio tour.  I got to be a part of a terrific air staff… some really wonderful people.  ‘The Drive’ paid me go to mcmurraypetemovies, to take listeners to see AC/DC and The Who.  I’ve been wanting to write a love letter to rock and roll publicly for years and I got to do it on one of the most sparkling classic rock stations in the country.”  Cressman addresses the station’s morning show going forward.  “We look forward to what lies ahead for ‘The Drive.’  Pete McMurray and the team have assembled a strong foundation.  Our plans include a search for the chemistry and content mix that our audience has clearly requested.  The considerable research and appraisal that accompanied the former incarnation of ‘The Morning Drive’ will continue to determine where future opportunities exist to super-serve Chicago’s classic rock enthusiasts in the morning.”

PwC Gives Radio Positive Outlook Over Next Four Years.  The new Global Entertainment and Media Outlook 2016-2020 is out from PwC (PriceWaterhouseCoopers) and it presents current ad spend data and predicts where the industries will be in the year 2020.  For radio, the news is mixed.  PwC scores radio’s ad spend based on AM/FM spot sales, internet streaming and digital revenue, and NTR (or live events).  It predicts radio as an industry will rise from its current $21.4 billion in revenue to $23.1 billion in 2020 – a compound annual growth rate of 1.6%.  For radio stations and companies already integrating live events into their revenue stream, PwC says the news is good.  The study forecasts an almost 5% increase in revenue in the Live Events sector to $11.69 billion by the year 2020.  See the study here.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

| May 31, 2016

cunninghambillWLW, Cincinnati’s Bill Cunningham Wrapping TV Show.  According to a report by WVXU.org’s John Kiesewetter, longtime WLW, Cincinnati afternoon drive personality Bill Cunningham is declining to renew his deal with Tribune Broadcasting to produce three more seasons of his eponymous TV show that airs on the CW Network.  Citing the hectic schedule he has to keep to do both the television program and his WLW and Premiere Networks Sunday evening radio shows, Cunningham told WLW listeners he wants to spend more time with his grandchildren.  Cunningham was recruited for the television show by Tribune president of strategic programming and acquisition Sean Compton, a former Clear Channel programming executive who joined Tribune when former Clear Channel Radio president Randy Michaels became chief of Tribune.  The first season of the show was syndicated by Tribune but seasons two through five aired on the CW Network.

cookehollandCooke: 70 Rocks.  Media consultant Holland Cooke writes today about the maturation of the Baby Boomer generation and the value of these consumers to the radio industry.  For radio station operators – and for news/talk stations that target a mature audience – this demographic is a big fan of radio and is likely to purchase the products and services for which radio marketing campaigns work so well.  Read some of Cooke’s advice for radio stations taking advantage of this generation’s use of radio here.

The Presidential Race, the Battle Against Islamic State, Putin’s NATO Threats, Zoo Gorilla Killing, the Memorial Day Holiday, and the NBA and NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The activities of the candidates for president and the weekend’s Libertarian Party debate; the ongoing fight against Islamic State and the push by Iraqi forces to reclaim Falluja; Russian President Vladimir Putin’s threat to prevent U.S. missiles from being places in NATO countries Romania and Poland; the case of the rare gorilla killed in the Cincinnati Zoo after a child had entered the animal’s enclosure; the Memorial Day holiday and the weekend’s NBA playoff and the start of the NHL Finals were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

iheartmedia logo smallAnother Investor Sues iHeartMedia.  This time, the complaint against iHeartMedia comes from Gamco Asset Management Inc., which owns close to 10% of Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings public stock.  According to a report by Bloomberg, Gamco is saying that shareholders of Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings are not being protected first and foremost and that the subsidiary is being given short shrift in order to benefit the parent company.  An iHeartMedia spokesman says the asset shift is legal.  Gamco was in iHeartMedia’s corner during the recent case iHM won after being sued by senior lenders for the move.  Still, Gamco is alleging the stock’s shift to Broader Media Inc., harms CCOH’s ability “to exploit business opportunities.”

Odds & Sods.  Over the Memorial Day weekend, the Libertarian Party’s top five candidates held a debate in Orlando that was moderated by Salem Radio Network nationally syndicated talk radio host Larry Elder.  The debate was aired live on C-SPAN.  SRN VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup says, “As SRN’s newest nationally syndicated host, we are proud that Larry Elder was selected for this high-profile assignment as the unpredictable campaign 2016 continues to unfold.”…..Pro hoops star Jason Terry is launching a new weekly showabcNewsStoneAlexTrump16 on SiriusXM’s NBA channel beginning tomorrow at 7:00 pm ET (6/1).  “The Runway with Jason ‘The Jet’ Terry” will air Wednesdays and also feature co-host Justin Termine…..ABC News Radio correspondent Alex Stone is seen here positioned near police at the Donald Trump rally in San Diego on May 27.  The protest reportedly drew about 1,000 people and was peaceful for three hours until some protestors tried to break a police line.  Thirty-five people were arrested.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

| March 22, 2016

moorerichKJR-AM, Seattle’s Rich Moore Upped to SVP of Programming for iHeartMedia Seattle.  Programmer Rich Moore is promoted to senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia’s Seattle station group.  A 23-year iHeartMedia Seattle staffer, Moore has recently been serving as PD for sports talk KJR-AM “Seattle’s Sports Radio,” a position in which he will continue.  He’ll also oversee signals including CHR sisters KBKS “Kiss FM” and KPWK “POWER-FM,” hip hop KUBE, alternative KFOO “ALT-FM,” classic hits KJR-FM “95.7 The Jet,” and sports talk KHHO “FOX Sports Radio.”  Market president Kent Haehl says, “Rich has had a long and successful tenure at iHeartMedia Seattle.  He is a brilliant, creative and innovative leader who understands how to create deep relationships with listeners and we look forward to tapping into those skills across all our Seattle brands.”  At the same time, the company announces that Kevin Shockey is named to the assistant program director position for KJR-AM.

sliwarosenbergballbat2Mayhem at WABC, New York!?!  In the still photo you see here, WABC, New York air personality Curtis Sliwa (right) threatens fellow host Sid Rosenberg (left) with a baseball bat in the news/talk station’s studio.  In the video which you can see in full here, Sliwa is threatening Rosenberg for “stealing” producer Flipper, a.k.a. Jill Vitale, for his show and for subbing for him on what was supposed to be a “mental health” day off the air for Sliwa.  Sliwa co-hosts the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show with Ron Kuby and Rosenberg co-hosts the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show with “Imus in the Morning” cast member Bernard McGuirk.  Sources inside WABC tell TALKERS that the video is not contrived and that Sliwa was very upset about losing Flipper to the other show.  TALKERS editors, however, remain suspicious about the spontaneity of the video given WABC’s presenting it (proudly, it seems) on its website.  What, if anything, happens after this is unclear, however most employers discourage threatening fellow employees with baseball bats.  Stay tuned…

The Presidential Race, Obama’s Cuba Trip, Battle Against ISIS, Syria Conflict-Russian Involvement, and Hulk Hogan Sex Tape Suit Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/21).  The activities of the candidates for president; coverage of President Obama’s trip to Cuba and his meeting with Raul Castro; the ongoing battle against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria; the Syrian civil conflict and Russia’s military involvement; and the jury awards for Hulk Hogan in his suit against Gawker for releasing portions of his sex tape were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Harrison Gets ‘Up Close and Far Out’ with Kurt Hanson.  In this week’s installment of the PodcastOne international hit “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” the TALKERS magazine publisher conducts a candid and informative conversation with online radio pioneer Kurt Hanson from the convention floor of the recently concluded Radiodays Europe in Paris, France.  Hanson wears two feathers in his cap.  He is the founder and CEO of the tremendously successful online radio music service, AccuRadio,harrisonHansen16 that provides hundreds of thousands of music fans with a wide spectrum of music genres both old and new.  He also is publisher and founding editor of RAIN Enterprises.  RAIN provides the industry with two major services, the Radio and Internet Newsletter and its annual RAIN conference on the relationship between radio and the internet held in conjunction with the NAB Radio Show.  According to Harrison, “Kurt Hanson is a visionary in the merging fields of radio and digital broadcasting as well as being a heck of an entrepreneur.  He’s also a ‘Star Trek’ fanatic and I’m delighted to present our fascinating Paris conversation to the world’s ‘media freaks’ this week.”  To listen to the podcast in its entirety please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column of every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

cbsradioWBBM-AM, Chicago’s Felicia Middlebrooks and Lola Vanderpuye Among Gracie Award Winners at CBS RADIO.  Winners of 2016 Gracie Awards include WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago “Newsradio 780 & 105.9 FM” morning drive co-anchor Felicia Middlebrooks and WBBM coordinating producer Lola Vanderpuye.  The Gracie Awards — from the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation — honor exemplary programming for, by and about women in all facets of media and entertainment, as well as individuals who have made contributions to the industry.  Middlebrooks is being honored for anchor of a local news or news magazine program, and Vanderpuye is being recognized for local imaging for the Chicago Cubs.  Other CBS RADIO staffers being honored include: Marla Diamond, WCBS, New York “Newsradio 880” for Local Reporter/Correspondent; Nina Hajian, WNEW-FM, New York “92.3 AMP Radio” for Local Host of Entertainment/Information; Jane Tillman Irving, WCBS, New York “Newsradio 880” for Local Hard News Feature; Amy Lawrence, CBS Sports Radio for National Host of a Sports Program; Loren Raye, WODS, Boston “103.3 AMP Radio”; Suzyn Waldman, WFAN, New York for Local Sports Program; and Shila Nathan for Afternoon Drive Personality-Local (while at WUSN, Chicago).

cumulus logoCumulus Media Staffers Honored with Gracies.  Here’s a rundown of the Cumulus Media employees who will be recognized for their work by the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation with a 2016 Gracie Award:  “NASH Nights Live” personality Elaina D. Smith for National Radio Special; Rita Cosby, WABC, New York for Talk Show, News-Local Radio, and Host, Non-News/Non-Fiction-Local Radio; and Joan Hamburg, WABC, New York for Soft News Feature-Local Radio.

Odds & Sods.  The annual live political event “Charlie Sykes Insight 2016” – presented by E.W. Scrippssykescharlie WTMJ, Milwaukee and Sykes’ RightWisconsin.com – will include an appearance by GOP presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz tomorrow (3/23).  During the program at Country Springs Hotel in Pewaukee, Sykes and Senator Cruz will have an exclusive, one-on-one discussion…..Chicago news pro darlasandreaAndrea Darlas is being honored with the Diogenes Award for Excellence in Media from the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois at the organization’s 90th Anniversary Dinner Meeting on Thursday, March 24 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago.  BBB president and CEO Steve Bernas explains, “The Diogenes Award is presented to a media person who exemplifies the goals and principles of the Better Business Bureau to support and foster an ethical marketplace benefiting both consumers and businesses.”  Darlas is currently the morning news anchor on Tribunes’s WGN Radio, a reporter on its WGN-TV and CLTV as well as a contributor to the nationally syndicated TV show, “House Smarts.”…..In Canada, Bell Media news/talk stations are now carrying the NPR-syndicated “TED Radio Hour.” The show, hosted by Guy Raz, currently airs in the U.S. on public radio outlets and is available as a podcast.

Friday, February 26, 2016

| February 26, 2016

AlphaAlpha Media Closes on Digity Purchase. This is no ordinary acquisition as Alpha Media balloons to approximately 250 stations in 50+ markets by closing on in excess of 110 Digity properties. Over and above that, Alpha Media becomes the country’s third-largest broadcast company in terms of number of markets and fourth-largest regarding station count. Alpha Media chair Larry Wilson comments, “We are very pleased to get this remarkable transaction done. In our fold is now an exceptional stable of diversified stations and markets, serving not only their towns but surrounding areas and communities. It has been a tremendous pleasure to work with respected broadcaster [Digity chief executive officer] Dean Goodman and his management team. We look forward to joining forces with the phenomenal people at Digity doing radio the right way.” Goodman remarks, “I have been honored to work with the great broadcasters of Digity. They know their roots are in live and local and their future is dynamic. They will excel with Alpha as individual and collective entrepreneurs. We hand off a thriving company, up this year at the top of the industry. I wish Larry [Wilson] and his team all the best; they have assembled a great platform.” Only two of the 28 Digity markets are PPM-metros – San Jose and West Palm Beach. The other facilities are in Missouri: (Bethany-Cameron, Clinton, Farmington-Festus, Moberly-Macon, and Waynesville-Lebanon); Iowa (Fairfield, Fort Dodge, Grinnell-Newton, and Mason City); Minnesota (Albert Lea-Austin, Luverne, Mankato, and Redwood Falls); South Dakota (Brookings, Madison, and Watertown); Illinois (Aurora and Joliet); Nebraska (Columbus and Lincoln); Michigan (Saginaw-Bay City-Midland); North Carolina (Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville); Ohio (Canton); South Carolina (Myrtle Beach); Texas: (North Dallas-McKinney); and Wisconsin (Kenosha-Waukegan). When this deal was first announced in August 2015, the purchase price was reported to be $264 million.

CBS Radio LogoWFAN and Brooklyn Nets Extend Broadcast Rights Agreement. The multi-year deal between CBS Radio New York sports outlet WFAN “The Fan” and the NBA‘s Brooklyn Nets goes beyond NBA basketball to cover other parts of the business at Barclays Center, including select college basketball games, concerts, and live events. As it has since the 2004 – 2005 season, WFAN will continue as the team’s radioBrooklyn Nets Logo flagship. According to CBS Radio president Andre Fernandez, “CBS Radio is proud to continue our association with the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center. We have defined our position in sports broadcasting by delivering the most extensive coverage of local programming and events. We continue to make aggressive investments in exclusive content our audiences can’t find anywhere else.” Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment chief executive officer Brett Yormark comments, “Our relationship with CBS Radio continues to give us a major voice in the nation’s largest market. This new agreement comes on the heels of our recent extension with YES Network, providing the team with premium exposure on two of the country’s most popular sports outlets.” WFAN news sibling WCBS-AM will be the Nets’ secondary radio outlet. Prior to relocating to Brooklyn, the team was called the New Jersey Nets. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s January 2016 PPM report for New York City, WFAN ranks ninth (3.8, 6+); iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “Lite FM” leads the field with a 6.7 (6+).

hyde, coreyHyde Heads to Entercom Sacramento as GSM. Fourteen-month Pandora account executive Corey Hyde joins Entercom Sacramento as general sales manager. Vice president and market manager Lance Richard comments, “It is exciting to add Corey to our team. He has an impressive track record of success and Entercom_Communications_logohe brings experience in developing dynamic, integrated campaigns and long term partnerships for local clients. His leadership skills and experience in this market make him the perfect fit for Entercom Sacramento.” Hyde remarks, “I am thrilled to be joining Lance Richard and the team at Entercom Sacramento. Radio is stronger than ever, and we have the best local stations in the market. I look forward to using our wide array of marketing assets to drive real results for our clients.” In his 13-year radio career, Hyde spent nearly 10 years with CBS Radio Sacramento as a senior account executive and three years with iHeartMedia Sacramento as an AE. Entercom Sacramento consists of KCTC “ESPN 1320″; CHR KDND “The End”; alternative KKDO “Radio 94-7”; KRXQ “98 Rock”; classic rock KSEG “The Eagle”; and hot AC KUDL “Star 106.5.”

baldwin, stephenBaldwin Exits Weekend “Baldwin/McCullough LIVE.”  Effective immediately, actor Stephen Baldwin departs “Baldwin/McCullough LIVE.” The two-hour syndicated weekend program carried by approximately 250 affiliates on Kevin McCullough‘s eight-year-old XtreMEDIA and simulcast on BizTV is rebranded “Radio Night LIVE.” As Baldwin’s work schedule increased the past few months, McCullough explains, “The more difficult it has become for him to make the show. For the past eight years, we have enjoyed the liveliest and – on most nights – the funniest weekend radio broadcast in America. Our listeners will mccullough, kevinimmediately feel the impact of Stephen’s absence from the talk radio airwaves. To be realistic, however, because of his filming schedule in 2015, his workload severely prevented him from being with us even one out of two weeks. This is great for him because his passion is acting. Our staff, our sponsors, and listeners will miss Stephen’s unique humor and spunk. His personality is one-of-a-kind and Stephen will always be welcome to a microphone we have named in his honor; we are thrilled though at this chance to take our broadcast to another level. ‘Radio Night LIVE’ will take the signature humor we have developed over the years, add cutting edge ‘next generation’ guests, experts, and entertainers and explode Saturday night in ways previously unseen.” Baldwin comments, “God has been so good to me and all I want to do is to follow where He is leading me. My time doing the show is something I will always remember. Our listeners brought much laughter and insight into my life.” It is possible that McCullough will utilize a series of rotating guest hosts such as KRLA, Los Angeles’ Elisha Krauss; Karol Markowicz of The New York Post; YouToo America‘s Gina Loudon; as well as Ashley Papa and Kayleigh McEnany. McCullough continues hosting his weekday 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm “After Hours” show on Salem Media Group New York’s WNYM “AM 970 The Answer”; the “Kevin McCullough Show” for Salem Media Group; and “News That Makes You Think.”

WGN LogoFour More Years: WGN, Northwestern Extend Rights Agreement. The union between 50,000-watt WGN, Chicago and Northwestern University will keep Wildcats football and men’s basketball on the Tribune talker through the conclusion of the 2019 – 2020 season. In addition, the voice of Wildcats football since 1990 and men’s basketball since 1996 – Dave Eanet – signs a four-year contract. WGN Radio presidentNorthwestern Wildcats and general manager Jimmy de Castro comments, “We are proud to present Northwestern basketball and football anchored by Dave ‘Mr. Cat’ Eanet. We look forward to bringing our listeners the excitement of Chicago’s Big Ten team in the years to come.” According to Northwestern vice president for athletics and recreation Jim Phillips, “The Northwestern Wildcats and WGN Radio have forged a special relationship over the last two decades. WGN not only is a broadcasting force, but a true Chicago institution. We have shared many thrilling moments through the years, and we look forward to many more memories with WGN Radio as the home of Chicago’s Big Ten team.” Eanet was inducted into the WGN Radio Walk of Fame last year. Former Chicago Bear Ted Albrecht is WGN’s football analyst on Wildcat broadcasts, while former college and pro head coach Joey Meyer provides analysis on basketball broadcasts. WGN has been the radio home of the Wildcats since 1996. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s January 2016 PPM report for Chicago, WGN ranks fifth with a 4.2 – its best showing since last June’s 4.3; CBS Radio‘s all-news WBBM-AM is on top with a 6.8 (6+).

walter, maryLouisville Lineup Changes at WHAS, WKRD. Starting next Monday (2/29), former WKXW “New Jersey 101.5,” Trenton personality Mary Walter will oversee a weeknight 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm program on iHeartMedia Louisville talker WHAS. Of Walter, director of iHeartMedia Louisville’s AM programming Kelly Carls comments, “She is always prepared; keeps her finger on the pulse of the news; and she does a great job connecting with listeners. We are delighted she will be offering her unique perspectives every day.” A WHAS fill-in beginning in 2009, Walter remarks, “I am so excited to be with the WHAS audience on aWKRD regular basis. I have grown to love the local listeners over the years. They are so engaged and informed that it makes the job fun.” She previously worked at radio stations in Washington, DC; Phoenix; Denver; and Omaha. Meanwhile, at co-owned all-sports WKRD “790 KRD,” Howie Lindsey is named 7:00 am – 10:00 am host; contributors Matt Willinger and Katie George will join him. Another change there will find TheCardinalConnect.Com founder Nick Coffey taking on 12:00 noon – 3:00 pm duty. “We are very excited to expand our local sports coverage on WKRD,” notes Kelly Carls. “Mornings, mid-days and afternoons, we now have local sports fans covered with updates, insights, and compelling conversation about the teams and games that really matter.” Lindsey and Coffey will debut one week from Monday (3/7). Among persons 12+ in Nielsen Audio‘s winter 2016 book, WHAS ranks #1 (7.4) and WKRD is #12 (1.2).

Cumulus Media Dallas Sets Fourth Spring Job Fair. Jobseekers and hiring companies will come together in less than Cumulus Media Dallastwo weeks (3/9) as Cumulus Media Dallas presents its fourth annual Putting Texans Back to Work Spring Job Fair at the Plano Centre. In attendance will be representatives from over 100 companies in search of quality candidates from the Dallas, Collin, and Denton County areas of North Texas. No registration is required for job seekers; however, registration deadline for companies looking for qualified individuals is one week from Monday (3/7). The Cumulus Dallas cluster includes sports KESN “ESPN Radio 103.3”; talk KLIF-AM; CHR KLIF-FM “Hot 93.3”; country KPLX “The Wolf”; KSCS “New Country 96.3”; sports KTCK “The Ticket; and talk WBAP.

BTC LogoBTC Begins HD Radio Data Services in Canada. A partnership between the Broadcaster Traffic Consortium (BTC) and exclusive mapping and technology data partner HERE leads to Canada’s first in-vehicle HD Radio Traffic service. Honda is the first brand to offer the service to its customers on certain 2015 and 2016 models. Broadcaster Traffic Consortium president Paul Brenner comments, “The BTC and all of our member stations are excited to be the first to market for HD Radio data services in Canada. Honda and HERE are valued partners that expect constant innovation and quality services regardless of our borders or radio station ownership. Unified broadcasters, collaborating to deliver a common service, bringing innovation solutions to automakers is better for the strategic and long-term viability of the broadcast radio industry. BTC is proud to be a leader in this space.” HD Radio Traffic enables drivers and passengers to view detailed information on local traffic conditions in real time on their vehicle’s audio display screen. The BTC has stations providing coverage in most areas within greater Toronto, Vancouver, and Calgary; the service is expected to expand to additional Canadian markets. Originally founded in 2007 with eight broadcast groups – Beasley Broadcast Group; Bonneville International Corporation; Cox Radio; Emmis Communications; Entercom Communications; Greater Media; NPR; and Radio One – BTC has grown to include 23 broadcast groups in the United States and Canada. It builds a nationwide terrestrial broadcasting network to distribute local traffic and other map-related data via FM and HD Radio technology.

talkersten logoPresidential Race Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of February 22-26.  Primary races and activities of presidential candidates were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  Coming in at #2 was Apple’s refusal to hack the phone of one of the San Bernardino terrorists.  At #3 was the battle over the timeline for replacing Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, followed by Islamic State’s reported threats against Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week; it is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  View this week’s entire chart here.

fritts, eddieBFA to Fete Fritts with “Excellence in Broadcasting” Award. Former 23-year National Association of Broadcasters president and chief executive officer Eddie Fritts is named this year’s Broadcasters Foundation of America‘s recipient of the Lowry Mays “Excellence in Broadcasting” award. Underwritten by The Mays Family Foundation, the award is given each year to a broadcaster, “whose work exemplifies innovation, community service, advocacy, and entrepreneurship.” Fritts’ past recognitionBroadcasters Foundation of America includes “Broadcaster of the Year” awards at both the New York State Broadcasters Association and the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters. In addition, he is the past recipient of the Broadcasters Foundation’s “Golden Mike” and “Chairman’s” awards. Inducted into the Giants of Broadcasting’s Hall of Fame in 2010, he received the NAB’s “Distinguished Service” award one year later. Fritts – who launched The Fritts Group in March 2006 – will be honored with this particular acknowledgement in approximately two months (4/20) during the NAB Show in Las Vegas. The Broadcasters Foundation has distributed millions of dollars to thousands of broadcasters and their families. Individual donations can be made to the Guardian Fund. Corporate contributions are accepted through the Angel Initiative; bequests can be arranged through the Legacy Society.

Cumulus 2Cumulus Media Florida Outlets Aid in Tornado Recovery. Personal and household items, as well as monetary donations, are being collected by 14 Cumulus Media stations in Fort Walton Beach-Destin, Mobile, and Pensacola (Florida) for those affected by this week’s tornadoes in Century and Pensacola. Radio station staffers will be at various locations for six hours today (Friday, 2/26), nine hours tomorrow (Saturday, 2/27), and four hours on Sunday. Listeners are being asked to help tornado victims with water, personal hygiene items, household cleaning items, tarps, laundry detergent, diapers, wipes, book bags, crayons, pens, pencils, paper, clothing, and non-perishable food items. Cash donations should be directed to the Gulf Coast recovery effort through the American Red Cross and the United Way.

cbsradio-logoCool Job Opportunities at CBS, Los Angeles.  TALKERS has learned that CBS Radio Los Angeles is now looking to fill the following positions as soon as possible at all-news KNX 1070:  news reporter, writer, and news production assistant. For more details and to apply, please click here: WWW.CBSRADIO.COM/CAREERS.

union edgeOdds & Sods. Pittsburgh-based “The Union Edge” adds suburban Minneapolis talker KTNF “AM 950 The Progressive Voice of Minnesota” as its 27th affiliate. KTNF president Chad Larson comments, “KTNF has been a longtime union advocate, covering labor issues since 2004 in the Twin Cities. We look forward to carrying another program focused on the many accomplishments labor has made for our nation as well as the modern threats facing working families and our ability to collectively bargain in the workplace.”

Friday, January 22, 2016

| January 22, 2016

talkersten logoPresidential Race Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of January 18-22.  The activities of the candidates for president were the top story on news/talk radio during the week, claiming the top spot on the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server for State Department business.  Coming in at #3 was the sinking oil prices and the response of the world’s financial markets followed by the Oscars boycott at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

ramseyaustin16Dave Ramsey’s Smart Money Tour Hits Austin.  Packing the Riverbend Centre in Austin, Texas, nationally syndicated radio talk host Dave Ramsey presented his Smart Money event last night (1/21).  Along with financial expert and speaker Chris Hogan, Ramsey’s program addressed how to win with money, get out of debt and invest for the future.  Entercom Austin’s news/talk KJCE partnered with Ramsey to promote the appearance.  Station general sales manager Bob Woche commented, “We are thrilled to welcome Dave Ramsey and Chris Hogan to a sold out Smart Money in Austin.  Their message about life, family and finances resonates with our listeners and it shows with packed events like this one.  I’m confident everyone in attendance will leave fired up and ready to tackle their financial challenges.”  Pictured here with Ramsey (center) are Woche (left) and KJCE sales manager Jennifer Buck (right).

nielsen logoRound Three of Holiday PPM Data Released.  The third of four rounds of Holiday 2015 PPM 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 survey period was December 3 – December 30.  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.

garciatonyIndustry Pro Tony Garcia Launches Spot Shoppe.  Having the capability to produce good creative quickly has become a growing issue for radio. This is especially true as bottom line pressure increases and head count at stations decreases. To help stations overcome this challenge, 35-year industry veteran Tony Garcia’s Global Media Services (www.globalmediaservices.co) has begun offering a service called Radio Spot Shoppe.  The concept for Spot Shoppe was the result of conversations Garcia had with broadcasters about the pressing need for better creative and the shortage of time,globalmediaservices long resources and manpower at the station level.  He tells TALKERS, “At some point, the conversation always comes around to creative. We hear the same voices on spot after spot. We lean on the same voices, the same production staff, and the same people to write all of the commercials we air.  Spot Shoppe gives stations the ability to outsource some of their stuff, freeing up staff as well as bringing new voices to their stations.”  He explains that Radio Spot Shoppe gives stations the ability to select from three levels of service depending upon their needs: script writing, commercial production, and imaging.  Scripts and produced commercials will be delivered on a next-business-day basis. Imaging clients will receive one page of imaging per week.  “I know there are other services available to broadcasters,” says Garcia. “The difference is we are 100% custom. We write and produce everything from scratch. We don’t cut and paste or recycle commercials from other markets.  Our goal is to provide custom creative and a high level of affiliate service,” he concludes. Radio Spot Shoppe is available to stations on a market-exclusive barter or cash basis. Stations wanting to learn more can visit www.radiospotshoppe.com or contact Tony Garcia directly at 303-557-1961, or Tony@globalmediaservices.co.

bensonjimJim Benson’s ‘TV Time Machine’ Radio Show Hits on Television’s Past, Present, and Future.  The weekly, one-hour syndicated radio show produced by Jim Benson may sound from its title like an homage to television’s Golden Era, but Benson says his program is “a radio show about television’s past, present, and future.”  In a story published today (1/22), Benson is profiled by TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian.  He says his highly produced radio show about TV requires thought and preparation.  “There is the challenge of translating something that is visual to an audioTVtimeMachine logo medium.  If you do it correctly, it works.  That is what makes the show unique, entertaining, and intimate.”  Like radio, the face of television is changing with the times and Benson says his curiosity about what’s out there drives him to interesting discoveries.  “I want to be comprehensibly well versed in all aspects of television, especially current-day TV.  In addition, it allows me to discover great television – sometimes long before the mainstream audience does.  I interviewed [the creator of AMC drama series ‘Mad Men’] Matt Weiner before the show became such a huge phenomenon.  Our 90-minute interview was during its first season.  My wife was in advertising on Madison Avenue for 20 years.  I knew she would have tremendous insights he would appreciate, so we had a three-way conversation about advertising.”  Read more about Benson’s career in television history and his approach to his weekly radio show here.

nyrenmarvMarv Nyren to Lead Sales Effort at Pubcaster WBEZ, Chicago.  As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Chicago radio pro Marv Nyren is entering the public radio sphere.  The former WLUP-FM and WKQX general manager is assuming the president of corporate sponsorships role at Chicago Public Media, which operates WBEZ-FM.  In this role he’ll oversee the sales staff.  Nyren worked for Emmis for seven years and exited when WLUP-FM and WKQX were sold.  He’s been with Tribune Broadcasting as director of group sales and marketing for television division since last July. Read Feder’s story here.

Odds & Sods. It’s a milestone for CBS Radio News’ “Looking at the Law.”  The daily feature with attorney and Harvard Medical School professor Neil Chayet launched on April 1, 1976 and this week produces its 10,000th broadcast delivered to listeners around the country and on the Armed Forces Radio Network around therathertCardinals16 world…..Talk KSSZ-FM, Columbia, Missouri “The Eagle 93.9” is anxiously awaiting the start of Major League Baseball’s Spring Training.  Pictured here is Branden Rathert (right) with St. Louis Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong (left) during a recent interview.  Rathert hosts the “Wake Up Columbia” program on the Zimmer Radio and Marketing Group-owned station.

berniermarc25thBernier Marks 25 Years.  WNDB, Daytona Beach PM drive talk personality Marc Bernier marked 25 years on the air yesterday (1/21) with a special live broadcast from News Journal Center in Daytona Beach.  Pictured here is Bernier (far right) with his “Super Volusionaries” panel of 12 opinion makers who ran through the day’s news and politics just before the big celebration.  The event was held before a live audience and broadcast on the radio.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

| November 11, 2015

cookehollandCooke: Do What Cable Is Doing.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke clarifies that statement.  “I don’t mean do what cable news channels are doing, contrived political arguments.  That’s being done to death there, and has become an unfortunate ‘Talk Radio’ caricature… I’m saying do what you see on basic cable channels and so-called ‘Over The Top’ (OTT) TV such as Netflix.  And as I listened to Sony Pictures Television chairman Steve Mosko, the little voice in my kept whispering ‘podcasting.’”  Cooke is reporting from New York for TALKERS magazine from the NAB Show/New York where Mosko was interviewed by former New York Times media writer (now doing a show on SiriusXM) Bill Carter.   Read more of Cooke’s story from NYC here and watch for his report from the Consumer Electronics Association’s CES: Unveiled press event later this week.

wtmjDebate15WTMJ Provides Extensive Coverage of the Debate.  Last night’s GOP primary debate in Milwaukee was covered in depth by E.W. Scripps’ news/talk WTMJ.  The station held a listener event at its historic Radio City Studios.  Midday host and editor-in-chief of RightWisconsin.com Charlie Sykes interviewed candidates Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz on the air.  “Wisconsin’s Afternoon News” host John Mercure anchored special debate coverage including on-site reporting and an in-studio appearance from GOP chairman Reince Priebus.  Mercure is pictured here hosting one of the listener forums he conducted before, during and after the debate at the station.  After the debate, WTMJ weekend host and RightWisconsin.com managing editor Collin Roth hosted a two-hour on-air program featuring listeners’ reactions to the debate and analysis with a panel of experts.  The station says the WTMJ Voter Forum will be continued for future GOP and Democratic debates.

wscr logoCubs to ‘The Score’ Move Is Official.  Rumor from earlier this fall reported by TALKERS that CBS RADIO is moving the Chicago Cubs play-by-play broadcasts from all-news WBBM-AM to sports talk WSCR are confirmed in a press release by the company.  The Cubs began airing on WBBM-AM after an exclusive relationship with Tribune’s WGN ended.  With the Chicago White Sox’ move to Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM beginning next season, CBS decided to shift the broadcasts of the Cubs to “The Score.”  The Cubs made it to the National League Championship this season so continued success could be good news for WSCR.

Odds & Sods.  The Tulsa radio cluster of E.W. Scripps names David Abel the new vice president and general manager.  Abel moves to Tulsa from his most recent position with Apex Broadcasting’s Charleston and Hilton Head, South Carolina operations.  In Tulsa, Scripps operates country KVOO and KXBL, classic hits KBEZ, CHR KHTT and news/talk KFAQ…..Salem Radio Network “Morning in America” host Bill Bennett took part in thebennettBloomberg15 Bloomberg education conference “Workforce 2016 and Beyond: Innovative Approaches to Retraining Millions for the Jobs of Tomorrow” on Tuesday (11/10).  He spoke on a panel discussion (pictured here, Bennett at far left) addressing the education and workforce problems that exist in America today and expressed his belief that America needs to emphasize STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education in the early grades to train and prepare our students for the jobs of tomorrow…..Yahoo! Sports Radio cracks the Philly market with the addition of new affiliate WNJC which will begin airing the sports talk network’s evening, overnight and weekend programming, effective November 16…..Colorado-based WeedStream now airs on iHeartMedia’s iHeartRadio app.  WeedStream is an entertainment company focused on the legalized marijuana culture with WeedStream Radio, WeedStream TV and WeedStream Events.

wabc logoCumulus Media’s WABC Honor’s New York’s Veterans.  WABC, New York is honoring America’s veterans with a special series of Veterans Day features.  The special content features an interview with Kevin Lacz, an Iraq veteran and star of the award-winning hit film, American Sniper, and will air throughout the day today.  In the series, Lacz discusses the importance of Veterans Day, the issues Veterans face today, and other related topics.

armstronggettyArmstrong & Getty Holding Weeklong  Fisher House Foundation Fundraiser.  The KSTE, Sacramento-based news/talk morning team Armstrong & Getty – Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty – is hosting its 5th annual fundraiser for Fisher House all this week to commemorate Veteran’s Day week.  Over the past four years, Armstrong & Getty listeners have donated more than $1.7 million to Fisher House to help them build new Fisher homes on the grounds of VA and military medical centers to help bring military families together as their loved ones receive medical treatment.  This year, the goal is to raise an additional $500,000 for Fisher House and surpass the $2 million mark.

webyWEBY, Pensacola Presents Special Tribute Program to Vietnam Veterans.  This special 10-hour program chronicles the Vietnam era and honors Vietnam Veterans through the lens of the American Forces Vietnam Network – the Saigon-based radio and television operations that served the troops.  The program was aired on the Spinnaker License Corporation-owned WEBY, Pensacola in segments prior to today’s airing of the entire 10-hour program.  It features recordings of these historical broadcasts including combat correspondents’ interviews with servicemen; interviews with veterans of the Vietnam War that have interesting stories about their service; and, adding background and color to the broadcast, many of the program hosts who proudly served in those very difficult circumstances have been interviewed to share their memories and experiences.  The program was created by Mike Bates.  He can be reached at MikeBates@1330weby.com.

2016 Presidential Race/Milwaukee GOP Debate, University of Missouri Tensions, Veterans Day, Syria-Russian Military Alliance, Status of Obama Immigration Order, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/10).  The activities of the candidates for president in 2016 and the run-up to last night’s GOP primary debate in Milwaukee; the racial tensions on the University of Missouri campus and the resignation of the president and chancellor; the activities surrounding Veterans Day; the military relationship between Russia and Syria; the legal status of President Obama’s immigration order; 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.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

| July 7, 2015

beckglennGlenn Beck to Take Time Off to Rest Strained Vocal Cords.  Nationally syndicated talk radio host and digital media pioneer Glenn Beck announced via Facebook yesterday that he’s taking time off from his daily radio program to rest his voice.  He states in the video, “As you may or may not have noticed over the past couple of months, my voice has been changing a bit.  Because I have had problems with my nerves in my vocal cords in the past where my voice has stopped working, I have been a little concerned, but I have really, really great doctors.  This Friday I consulted with them and they have advised me to take a few weeks off andtheblaze logo rest my voice due to some severe strain that has happened.”  Beck is expected to return to hosting his programs on August 3.  Meanwhile, although Beck did not directly address the news that his TheBlaze is ceasing operation of its radio news network this summer, he touched on the matter in another way when he spoke about the direction of his work in the future.  “I know the staff has this weekend been working overtime on the trying to find the things that we can do to enrich us and keep us on track for where we are headed.  They will be doing some really exciting things on radio and television that I think will help us.  The time for looking and saying what is happening with the news is over.  Now we need to start to say what’s coming our way and what can we do about it – and that’s where my focus is going to be.”

petriebonnieBonnie Petrie Joins ‘Wisconsin’s Morning News’ on WTMJ, Milwaukee.  Award-winning journalist Bonnie Petrie is named co-anchor of “Wisconsin’s Morning News” alongside Gene Mueller on E.W. Scripps-owned news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee.  Petrie most recently worked in radio at Radio One’s Houston all-news WROI “News 92.”  She’s also worked at CBS RADIO’s KRLD-AM, Dallas andwtmj logo iHeartMedia’s WGY, Albany.  WTMJ notes that Petrie has been honored with awards for anchoring, feature writing, series writing and production.   WTMJ VP/GM Tom Langmyer comments, “We were looking for very specific qualities in a news anchor to join Gene Mueller and ‘Wisconsin’s Morning News.’  Bonnie combines the qualities of experience in large news organizations, leadership depth, ideas, great writing ability, work-ethic, drive, an engaging personality and the passion for being an active part of our community.”  Petrie will join the station on July 13 and begins on the morning program in August.

brokawcarterCarter Brokaw Joins iHeartMedia as President of Digital Revenue Strategy.  In this position, Carter Brokaw will oversee iHeartMedia‘s digital sales efforts, driving digital revenue through new and existing sales channels as well as developing new digital revenue strategies for the company.  He assumes the president of digital revenue strategy after serving with Guardian News and Media.  He reports to Tim Castelli, president of national sales, marketing and partnerships.  The company reports that Brokaw will work closely with Brian Kaminsky, iHeartMedia’s president of programmatic and dataiheartmedia logo small operations, to take to market iHeartMedia’s “first-of-its-kind programmatic, real-time ad buying platform launched earlier this year for broadcast radio stations, enriched with unique and proprietary data as well as third-party data.”  Castelli comments, “Carter’s impressive track record of developing business strategies and launching national sales organizations for several media companies makes him the perfect person to drive our digital sales strategy.  His vision and skill sets will be integral as we continue to build on the success of our digital sales team.”

engmannrandyEngmann Appointed GSM at iHM Milwaukee. Nine-year Nielsen Audio senior account manager Randy Engmann joins iHeartMedia Milwaukee as general sales manager. Senior vice president of sales Nathan Tonarelli declares, “We are excited to welcome Randy to our winning Milwaukee team. Randy’s leadership, knowledge, and drive will be a great addition to our culture.” Engmann remarks, “I am extremely enthusiastic in joining such a talented team providing a wide variety ofiHeartMedia Milwaukee offerings with the strong, impactful, high value brands of Milwaukee.” The company’s six Milwaukee properties include news/talk WISN; urban contemporary WKKV “V-100.7 Jams”; WMIL “FM 106.1 Milwaukee Country”; WOKY “Big Sports 920”; WRIT “Oldies 95.7”; and CHR WRNW “Radio Now.” In advance of his Nielsen Audio tenure, Engmann worked at cross-town Entercom Milwaukee as an account executive, general sales manager, and regional account manager.

rosenbergmiltMilt Rosenberg Moves to PM Drive in Chicago.  As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Chicago radio icon Milt Rosenberg’s program on WCGO will move from middays to the 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm slot.  Rosenberg – who spent most of his Windy City radio career hosting “Extension 720” on Tribune’s crosstown WGN – joined the Kovas Communications-owned station in April of this year.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Harrison Gets ‘Up Close and Far Out’ with Radio Imaging Master and ‘Deep End’ Host Nick Michaels.  This week’s new installment of Podcast One’s international hit podcast for media freaks, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” is posted today (7/7).  It features a candid, free-flowing conversation between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and legendary radio imaging master Nick Michaels – host of the long-running, syndicated classic rock (and beyond) radio show “The Deep End with Nick Michaels.”  The two practitioner/theorists discuss the state of imaging in radio and related media, sea changes in today’s creative approach to advertising, themichaelsnick increasing scarcity of time in the modern world, and serious problems facing music radio in the digital era.  Michaels says, “Time is the new currency in today’s over-communicated world” – a concept he defines as ‘too much information traveling through too little time.’”  He says that the competition for people’s attention has never been more intense and in order for programmers and advertisers alike to get their messages across they must do so by focusing on the perspective of the recipients of the message, not the presenters.  Michaels boldly states, “In this environment, the advertiser’s need to sell a product or get a message out is no longer an annoyance, burden or interruption that this audience is willing to bear!”  To hear the entire podcast, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player located in the right hand column of every page of Talkers.com.

wpen-fm logoGreater Media Philadelphia Re-Ups with NHL’s Flyers. The new multi-year deal between Greater Media’s Philadelphia cluster and the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers means sports talk WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” will continue to serve as the flagship of the Flyers Radio Network.  Flyers games will air on both WPEN-FM and sister rock outlet WMMR.  Additionally, Greater Media’s classic rock WMGK and adult hits WBEN-FM will continue to be promotional partners with the team.

Odds & Sods.  At iHeartMedia’s WOR, New York, Blain Ensley is named the new producer for the station’s late-morning Mark Simone show.  The New York radio pro has a two-decade-long career producing, writing and co-hosting radio shows.  He’s worked at NYC outlets WABC, WPLJ, WNEW-FM as well as WMMR in Philadelphia…..Legendary Houston radio personality Barry Warner is being inducted into the Texas Radio Hall ofwarnerbarry Fame in November.  Warner is currently a Yahoo Sports Radio network contributor and hosts the “Barry Warner Classic Minute.”  He’s also a host on KGOW, Houston and a contributor to Gow Media-owned KFNC-FM, Houston…..CBS RADIO all-news KNX, Los Angeles “1070 NEWSRADIO” announces Northwestern Orange County will be the next community to be featured on its award-winning series, “KNX On Your Corner.”  On Friday, July 31, the station will broadcast live most of the day from the Katella Deli in Los Alamitos, including the Frank Mottek-hosted “KNX Business Hour” and the afternoon news co-hosted by Diane Thompson and Chris Sedens…..SiriusXM launches a weekly interview program hosted by former New York Times columnist and best-selling author Bill Carter.  “The Bill Carter Interview” will feature conversations with “performers, writers, producers, and executives who are shaping the culture today.”…..New Hampshire Public Radio is recognized by the Radio Television Digital News Association with a 2015 National Edward R. Murrow Award for Overall Excellence in the small market category.  NHPR president Betsy Gardella says, “This national recognition is a testament to the thorough and thoughtful local reporting efforts of our news team day in and day out.  It is an extraordinary moment for NHPR, and I couldn’t be more proud.”

joycebrianDunk15Brian Joyce Gets Wet for Pets.  Chattanooga talk show host Brian Joyce (pictured here atop the dunk tank) helped the Hamilton County Humane Society and the McKamey Animal Center in Chattanooga get new homes for 108 dogs and cats at the recent all-day “Adopt-A-Thon.”  The WGOW “Talk Radio 102.3 FM” midday personality says it was satisfying to know that so many animals now have “forever” homes thanks to the efforts of the local community and media.

2016 Presidential Prospects, Kate Steinle Death-Illegal Immigration Debate, Bill Cosby Testimony, Greek Debt-EU Tensions, ISIS Atrocities-U.S. Policy, Iran Nuke Talks, and U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Wins World Cup Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/6).  The activities of the candidates for president in 2016; the shooting death of Kate Steinle in San Francisco by an illegal alien and the controversy over U.S. and San Francisco illegal immigration policy; unsealed testimony from Bill Cosby in which he admits he’d given Quaaludes to women in the past in order to have sex with them; the ongoing financial turmoil in the EU and Greece over the latter’s inability to repay debt to the IMF; more atrocities perpetrated by ISIS and the U.S. military policy in Iraq and Syria; the ongoing nuclear talks between the U.S. and Iran; and the World Cup victory by the U.S. Women’s Soccer team were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, April 13, 2015

| April 13, 2015

masondanDan Mason Announces Retirement from CBS RADIO; Andre Fernandez to Assume President Role.  In a letter to company staffers president and CEO Dan Mason announces he’s stepping down from his post this month.  Here’s the text of his letter: “After an unforgettable eight years leading CBS RADIO, I am announcing today my retirement at the end of April.  Witnessing all that we’ve accomplished and knowing the bright future ahead for our company has not made this an easy decision.  It has been an honor and privilege to serve as president and CEO and I want to express my gratitude to all of you.  My passion and love for this industry is well known and I’ve enthusiastically watched as we’ve transformed our broadcast business and simultaneously evolved our digital product.  I couldn’t be more proud of our accomplishments – everything from creating new music formats, andcbsradio logo launching sports on FM, to the evolution of Radio.com and now Play.it, our on-demand podcast network.  We’ve made it easier than ever before for listeners to experience our content through new online, mobile and event platforms.  However, as much fun as I’ve had, it’s now time to “pivot” in my personal life.  With four kids either grown, out of the house or on their way to college, I would like to do some “retirement” type things like leisure travel and spending more time doing my favorite hobbies.  Broadcasting will always be part of my life.  I am happy to continue with CBS RADIO on a consulting basis, and I will also be doing more work for the Broadcaster’s Foundation, a cause that I believe so much in.  Finally, this fall I will be doing play-by-play for select college basketball games, a passion I followed early in my career.  I guess you never get rid of the disc jockey blood you’re born with.  Most people are lucky enough to have one great run at the helm of an organization – I’ve had two.  My thanks to Leslie Moonves who has been so supportive of every new road we traveled down since this extraordinary second time around began for me in 2007.  His desire for great content has been an inspiration for all of us and will no doubt continue to be the foundation of the company.  Thank you as well for facing everyfernandezandre opportunity with optimism and dedicating yourselves to teamwork, excellence and creativity. You have been great colleagues.  I look forward to seeing you all grow in the years ahead, adding to a long list of successes.”  CBS Corp. has announced that former Journal Communications president and COO Andre J. Fernandez will be the radio division’s new president effective next week.  The company says that Fernandez will oversee the direction and management of the division, which includes 117 stations in 26 major markets as well as a growing collection of digital assets.

cookehollandAnalysis: RAIN Summit West.  Media consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas covering not one but three conventions for TALKERS magazine this week.  His piece covers the RAIN Summit West, which historically precedes the annual NAB Show.  Cooke writes that it’s impossible to go out in public and not see people interacting with their iPhones so it only stands to reason that this is the new frontier on which consumers need to be reached.  He reports that on one panel dealing with podcasts, PodcastOne CEO Norm Pattiz extolled the virtues of the podcast format.  “Podcast listeners are P1 listeners because they have to perform a positive task” by connecting.  Pattiz reckons these “lean-forward listeners” are “much-more engaged” than “lean-back” AM/FM/TV users.  Cooke says social media was also front-and-center at RAIN and on one panel discussion, “Jumpwire Media’s Gavin McGarry sounded almost stern:  ‘Social media is NOT for marketing.  It’s about building community.  And he urged that stations take it seriously: ‘Outsourcing social media to your interns is not an option.’  Your brand is at stake.”  Read Cooke’s entire report here.

limbaughrushRush Limbaugh to Seek New Home in Indy.  In a statement from both Premiere Networks and Emmis-owned news/talk WIBC-FM, Indianapolis, the former’s Rush Limbaugh program will cease to be heard on WIBC-FM after July 3.  The statement doesn’t say which party chose not to renew the contract nor where the show will be heard after the current deal expires.  Emmis Indianapolis SVP/market managerwibclogo Charlie Morgan comments, “Premiere has been a great partner, and Rush has been an iconic part of WIBC’s heritage and success.  WIBC has a strong lineup of live-and-local personalities delivering great radio, and we will continue to be Indianapolis’ home for listeners with a passion for conservative values and principles.”  Premiere president Julie Talbott adds, “We’ve had a wonderful partnership with Emmis for many years, including a long history of ratings success for the Rush Limbaugh Show in Indianapolis.”

lowenbergjustusCumulus Names VP/Sales … Right Now. The vice president of sales position is landed by Justus Lowenberg and it is actually for Cumulus Media‘s Right Now Traffic Network in San Francisco. Cumulus vice president of sales for news-talk Jaysson Reno remarks, “Justus will be a strong addition to our sales leadership team in San Francisco. His track record and experience will take our Right Now Traffic Network to new levels and provide maximum value for our community of listeners and advertisers.” Lowenberg comments, “With a top notch staff and elite brand of call letters, I am excited to be joining the Cumulus San Francisco team. The Right Now Traffic Network offers advertisers an unparalleled opportunity to connect with Bay Area listeners as they seek out route information in one of the most traffic congested markets in the country.” Lowenberg previously was in network sponsorship sales for iHeartMedia‘s Total Traffic Network and was national sales manager for Entravision Communications. He began his radio sales career at Infinity Broadcasting – CBS Radio in 1999 as an account executive.

kaufmannjustinWGN, Chicago to Debut Justin Kaufmann Show on April 16.  Recently recruited from Chicago public radio outlet WBEZ, Justin Kaufmann will begin his regular program on Tribune’s WGN this Thursday.  “The Download” will air from 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm as reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder today (4/13).  WGN VP of content and programming Todd Manley tells Feder “The Download” is a “daily mirror on Chicago revealed in multiple chapters.  You’ll hear a variation of WGN talk soup thatwgn logo new replays pieces of interviews from earlier in the day not in ‘best of’ style, but to challenge ourselves to be more reflective and less reactive.  Justin has a passion for revealing the hidden stories in breaking news, and we’ll pack one hour each night with A-list guests, too.  We also look forward to town hall conversations on location and some deep dives into music and comedy.  You’ll be treated to a kind of sonic architecture you won’t hear anywhere else.”  Kaufmann was most recently executive producer at WBEZ, in charge of the local shows “The Morning Shift” and “The Afternoon Shift,” among others.

SmartphonesIndiana Senate Passes Resolution To Activate FM Radio In Smartphones. More specifically, Senate Resolution 28 addresses the importance of Indiana residents having a link to emergency information from broadcasts of local radio stations via their Smartphones. A chip enabling Smartphone owners to monitor FM radio stations already exists in Smartphones available in the United States. Founded in 2013 – and with partial funding from NAB Labs – wholly owned Emmis Communications subsidiary TagStation – developed the NextRadio hybrid radio Smartphone app that combines the devices’ built-in FM tuner and the Internet. Ever since September 2013, Sprint customers have been able to listen to FM stations through that carrier’s android devices. Comparable legislation is scheduled for review in other states.

Odds & Sods.  This week, WGOW, Chattanooga afternoon personality Brian Joyce will be filling in for talk host Michael Graham on WYAY, Atlanta “NewsRadio 106.7” on Tuesday (4/14) after having subbed for him earlier injoycebrian the month.  Both talk stations are owned by Cumulus Media…..Tribune’s WGN Radio is partnering with the McCormick Foundation, WGN TV, Chicago Tribune and Hoy to launch the Illinois Tornado Relief Effort 2015 to help communities struggling with the devastation caused by the April 9 tornadoes.  The Illinois Tornado Relief Effort will support nonprofit agencies providing disaster relief and recovery efforts to those communities hardest hit by the tornadoes.  The McCormick Foundation will match the first $500,000 raised at 50 cents on the dollar.  Additionally, during an interview on April 10 with Roe Conn on WGN, Chicago, Governor Bruce Rauner made a personal donation of $100,000 to the Illinois Tornado Relief Effort…..A change in formats in Spokane as iHeartRadio flips sports talk simulcast KZFS/K257FX at 99.3 to contemporary Christian branded as “UP 99.3.”…..West Virginia morning personality Kay Murray retires from West Virginia Radio Corp.-owned news/talk WAJR, Morgantown after 35 years on the air…..The NBA’s LA kfwb wlogosClippers and sports talk KFWB, Los Angeles “The Beast 980” are announcing a new exclusive multi-year broadcast rights agreement.  The station will continue to be the official radio home of the Clippers for all preseason, regular season and playoff games as well as present comprehensive year-round coverage.  Play-by-play duties will be handled by Brian Sieman in his eighth season calling Clippers action on the radio, while the “Voice of the Clippers,” Ralph Lawler, and former Clipper Michael Smith team up with Sieman to call all nationally televised games not shown on Fox Sports PRIME TICKET.   Long-time Clippers broadcaster Isaac Lowenkron will continue to host Clippers pre-game, halftime and post-game shows.  “The Beast 980” personalities George Wrighster and Brett Winterble also host “Clippers Hardcore” before every game.

daviesrichardRichard Davies Retires from ABC News Radio; Begins New Weekly Podcast Venture.  After an almost 30-year career with ABC News Radio, Richard Davies is leaving the network to pursue his own project called “How Do We Fix It?”  Davies’ venture is a weekly podcast that allows him to perform as a talk radio host, speaker and broadcaster.  This new weekly project will entail Davies and fellow journalist, Jim Meigs, former editor-in-chief of Popular Mechanics, calling on experts and seeking solutions to vital maters that concern the public — from getting out personal debt to finding better teachers for kids to the probing the future of space exploration, “How Do We Fix It?” proposes to present “positive views on challenging matters.”

itsonlasvegasRAB and NBA Partner for Las Vegas Radio Sales Event.  In partnership with the Radio Advertising Bureau, the Nevada Broadcasters Association presented a gathering of Vegas-area radio stations along with local advertising agency, marketing and client executives for “Radio. It’s On In Las Vegas!”  The April 9 event was described as a “thought leadership, content-infused networking seminar.”  Featured speakers included primetime television and radio host, best-selling author, Jeffrey Hayzlett; Bill Rose, senior vice president, Nielsen Audio; and Erica Farber, president & CEO, Radio Advertising Bureau.  For the event’s finale, top Las Vegas radio talent engaged in a roundtable during which they discussed the personal connections and relationships they form with listeners across the local community every day.  Talent included: KWNR’s JoJo Turnbaugh, KSNE’s Marco in the Morning, KOMP’s Brittney & Sparks, KLUC’s Chet Buchanan, KMXB’s Mercedes, KKLZ’s Mike O’Brian, KDWN’s John Shaffer, and KWWN’s Mitch Moss.

krokDuckTexas Motor15Chris Krok at Texas Motor Speedway.  WBAP, Dallas personality Chris Krok (pictured here at the mic) speaks to a group of listeners and some of the “Duck Dynasty” clan at the Texas Motor Speedway during his “Chris Krok and His Flock” live event promotion.  This took place just prior to the Duck Commander 500 race.  Krok MC’d “Racing with Faith,” an event that included him interviewing NASCAR drivers about their faith as well as “Duck Dynasty” stars Phil Robertson and his son Alan.  Krok tells TALKERS magazine, “We’ve been doing this great event at Texas Motor Speedway for two years now, but this was by far the most incredible one yet!  What a privilege for me to do this.”

WW1WodonFrozenFour15The Frozen Four Airs on Westwood One Sports.  The radio sports network broadcast the college hockey finals over the weekend – dubbed The Frozen Four – live from Boston’s TD Garden as the Providence Friars came back to beat Boston University in the final game, 4-3.  Pictured here is Westwood One’s Adam Wodon (left) interviewing the Friars’ Brandon Tanev (right), who scored the winning goal.

larsonlarsBarrett15First Amendment Friday Benefits Youth Athletics.  Portland-based talk show host Lars Larson is pictured here holding a Barrett .50 caliber rifle that was raffled off to benefit the St. Helen’s Girls Softball League.  The raffle was part of a series of remotes the KXL, Portland and Compass Media Networks personality does from his favorite local gun store, NW Armory.  Larson says the team asked for his help in raising funds last year and he’s been happy to help.  The league netted $34,000 from last year’s raffle and hopes to achieve similar results this year.  Larson says the league bought a small tractor for field maintenance, some automatic electronic defibrillators, and a number of other things.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

| September 9, 2014

nagleraward14Radio Television Digital News Association Honors Nagler. This past Friday night (9/5) in Nashville, CBS Radio News vice president Harvey Nagler received the Radio Television Digital News Association‘s John F. Hogan Distinguished Service Award.  The honor recognizes an individual’s contributions to the journalism profession and freedom of the press. During his acceptance speech, Nagler stated, “Schools must be incubators for innovation in a field that desperately needs it.”  Many years ago, those in radio, television, and print, Nagler remarks, were “the messengers,” who decided what Americans would know.  “Today it is the reverse,” he opines.  “Everyone can publish – everyone can, at least, perceive themselves as journalists.  Content is ubiquitous.  It is often hard to discern the big picture from individual snapshots of information that flood our devices.  To place context on stories, many still seek out journalistic entities with traditional values.  In the end, it proves we still need to be able to turn to journalists and news organizations we can trust.”  Believing that the public’s “appetite for news has never been greater,” Nagler emphasizes, “It is our job, our responsibility, our mission to maintain that trust as we broaden our roles on new platforms, while continuing to serve our audiences on our traditional platforms.”  Prior to becoming vice president of CBS Radio News nearly 17 years ago, Nagler is credited with establishing the phrase, “traffic and weather together on the eights” when he was director of news programming for CBS Radio New York’s WCBS-AM.

neerrichardA Case for Accurate Headlines.  A story published today in TALKERS magazine by WFAN, New York sports talk host Richard Neer underscores the position talk hosts often find themselves in today when taking on a delicate – and complicated – issue.  Neer accurately points out that in today’s media culture, where all content must be immediate, fresh and provocative, there is little time for anything that isn’t black and white or that involves any depth.  Neer writes that for the talk host, “There is no tolerance for asking questions that have no easy answers.  Certain stories are reported from only one angle.  Anyone who carefully parses a statement that the press declares politically incorrect is defined as supporting the dark side.  Forget nuance, once you are attacked by the consensus bullies, you can only surrender and apologize, lest you lose your livelihood.”  He points to one of the culprits in this matter: the news headline.  Neer says so many headlines are misleading and are written purposely that way to tantalize to get people to read the story.  But often times, upon closer inspection, it becomes clear the headline is misleading or even the exact opposite of what the text of the story shows.  Still, what readers (assuming people actually go on to read the story) often come away with is a “glib conclusion based on the headline.”  Read his entire piece here.

joycebrianBrian Joyce Show Gets Permanent Billing on WGOW, Chattanooga.  Mid-afternoon talk show host Brian Joyce tells TALKERS magazine that the 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm time slot on Cumulus Media’s WGOW, Chattanooga “Talk Radio 102.3” is now officially called the Brian Joyce show.  Since he took over wgow logothe slot in April of 2012, the daypart had been called “Live & Local.”  Joyce also reports that since he began hosting his show, that daypart has gone from 10th in the market among Men 25-54, and 15th in the market among Persons 25-54, to among the top three in both demos, making it the first time in station history that this has been accomplished.

wgwg logoTribune Sports Talker WGWG-LP, Chicago Announces Changes.  A couple of changes to report at the sports talk outlet WGN Radio programs on low-power FM WGWG, branded “The Game 87.7 FM.”  In conjunction with Tribune Media, the station announces Chicago Bears’ cornerback Tim Jennings and safety Ryan Mundy will join as on-air contributors appearing on segments during the “Kap & Haugh” and the “Jarrett, Harry & Spike” shows, as well as Jennings co-hosting the weekly hour-long program, “The Jennings & Jarrett Show,” with The Game’s Jarrett Payton.  Jennings and Mundy will also provide updates on WGN-TV during the morning and evening news.  At the same time, as Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports, Howard Griffith goes to part time with his duties at the station, due to his workload at the Big Ten Network.  Griffith had been sharing equal billing with Alex Quigley and Ben Finfer on the station’s afternoon drive program.

clipinteractiveClip Interactive Announces Revenue Successes in Portland and Indy Markets.  Saying that it measures its success based on the new advertising dollars that its interactive radio apps bring to its station partners, Clip Interactive announces its apps developed for Alpha Media and Salem Broadcasting in Portland and Cumulus Radio in Indianapolis have generated more than $1 million in new revenue to date in 2014.  Further, the company says Clip Radio-powered stations are producing $100,000 of new revenue within 30-45 days of launch and Clip says this shows not only that radio advertising works, but also proves that an innovative and revenue-generating mobile solution is now available and radio advertisers embrace it.  Moreover, Clip says this net new revenue is coming from multiple sources including advertisers who are completely new to radio and returning advertisers who previously left radio for digital media.  Alpha Media’s president and CEO Bob Proffitt comments, “We are now able to attract advertisers that had previously abandoned the medium for alternative digital solutions.  Through the Clip Radio-powered apps, we are able to build a stronger relationship with both our listeners and our advertisers, providing both groups with compelling content that they cannot find anywhere else. We are eager to expand our interactive radio capabilities to our other Alpha Media markets.”

TALKERS Affiliate Roundup.  KNEI-FM, Cedar Rapids adds Envision Networks-distributed VirtualNWS Weather Reports featuring meteorologist Laura Huckabee…..The Sun Broadcast Group-syndicated Marilu Henner show joins the programming at KUSH-AM, Cushing, Oklahoma and KJFF, Festus, Missouri.

Obama ‘Theater of Being President’ Comment, Obama Drops Immigration Changes, Ray Rice Cut and Suspended by NFL, U.S. ISIS Strategy-Wednesday Press Conference, Global Warming Controversy, Midwestern Child Respiratory Virus Mystery, Bruce Levenson Scandal, and Joan Rivers Funeral Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/8).  Criticism of President Obama’s comment on “Meet the Press” that the “theater of being president” doesn’t come naturally to him; Obama’s decision to not pursue immigration law changes via executive order before the mid-term elections; the Baltimore Ravens cut Ray Rice and the NFL suspends him indefinitely after the full video of him punching out his wife in an elevator is revealed; Wednesday’s scheduled press conference during which President Obama will address the US’s ISIS strategy; increased scrutiny of the global warming theory; the mystery of a respiratory virus affecting thousands of Midwestern children; Atlanta Hawks owner Bruce Levenson’s admission of a racist email forces sale of team; and the weekend funeral of comedienne Joan Rivers were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, July 14, 2014

| July 14, 2014

astorinorobFormer New York Radio Host and Programmer Rob Astorino Under Fire in Gubernatorial Race for Townsquare Media Consulting Income.  Before leaving the radio business full time to run for public office – he’s now the Westchester County Executive – Republican Rob Astorino worked at WFAS, Westchester hosting a sports talk show and also worked at ESPN Radio New York where he was part of the team that transitioned WEVD to sports as WEPN.  Astorino is running for governor and incumbent Governor Andrew Cuomo’s campaign is making a deal about Astorino’s side job in which he collects $30,000 to consult Townsquare Media.  According to a piece in the New York Daily News, the governor’s campaign is contending Astorino is violating the Westchester County charter by accepting outside income but Astorino’s camp states the money he earns is not in violation of county rules.  Townsquare VP Alex Berkett tells the Daily News, “Mr. Astorino serves as one of a number of programming consultants that work with Townsquare Media.  This role allows Townsquare to benefit from Mr. Astorino’s considerable professional expertise in radio programming.”  Read the whole Daily News piece here.

cclogoClear Channel Announces Corporate Additions and Promotions.  From Clear Channel president national programming platforms Tom Poleman comes news that former Clear Channel programming executive Marc Chase has rejoined the company.  Chase will serve in the national programming platforms division as VP/strategic services, marketing & innovation.  Chase worked with Tribune during the Randy Michaels years and most recently was with Nuvoodoo.   Other moves at CC include Darren Pfeffer being promoted to senior VP/music & entertainment marketing where he’ll continue to be in charge of CC’s promotions and events, including the iHeartradio Music Festival, the iHeartradio Jingle Ball Tour and the iHeartradio Country Festival.  Also promoted are Marissa Morris and Adellyn Polomski who are VP/artist relations and director of artist relations & programs, respectively.  At the same time as these announcements comes news that Zena Burns is exiting her position as the company’s first digital program director to pursue other interests.

essickskipSkip Essick Exits Cumulus Media’s KMJ-AM and KMJ-FM.  For the past seven years, radio programming pro Skip Essick has been serving as PD at KMJ-AM and KMJ-FM in Fresno.  Essick oversaw the splitting of the two stations into separate news/talk stations while they were owned by Peak Broadcasting.  Last August, Townsquare Media agreed to purchase the stations from Peak and proceeded to sell them to Cumulus Media as part of a deal that saw Townsquare get Cumulus’ Dubuque and Poughkeepsie stations.

schwartzjeffreySchwartz Joins Yahoo! Sports as EVP Corporate Strategy.  This is a newly created position at the Houston-based Yahoo! Sports Radio and the company’s CEO, David Gow, says the arrival of Jeffrey Schwartz “will provide unmatched opportunities for our affiliate and advertising partners to thrive.”  Schwartz is charged with overseeing “business growth and partnerships, in addition to working withyahoosportsradiologo management to advance programming strategy, multi-platform marketing and promotional opportunities, and affiliate and talent relations.”  Schwartz comments, “I look forward to working with the Yahoo! Sports Radio team and the quality sports product they have developed to enhance the brand, as well as opportunities for our partners. Yahoo! Sports, one of the top sports sites in the world, will be a great asset to our strategic plans.”  Schwartz’s experience includes serving as manager of sales and promotion at classic rock WLUP-FM, Chicago “The Loop,” director of operations at sports talk WSCR, Chicago “The Score,” and director of operations at WMVP, Chicago “ESPN 1000.”  Concurrent with Schwartz’s arrival, the company announces Amanda Deutchman joins in the new position of director, marketing and business development.   She most recently was marketing and communications manager for Premiere NetworksFox Sports Radio Network.

simonsjoeSimons New PM Anchor at KXL, Portland.  Joining co-anchor Val Stouffer at Alpha Media’s news/talk KXL-FM, Portland “FM NEWS 101” for the “Portland’s Afternoon News” program is Joe Simons.  He joined KXL last year as a weekend morning news anchor.  Simons previously served as the voice of the University of Idaho Women’s Basketball team for two seasons and hosted TV and radio shows in Idaho while also serving as a field reporter for KQQQ, Pullman, Washington.     Simons says of his new gig, “I’m thrilled to be part of the incredible team at KXL. The amount of experience and talent our staff has is second to none.  I hope to bring my unique perspective and enthusiasm to ‘Portland’s Afternoon News.’”

jacksonkevinKevin Jackson Joins WBOK, New Orleans.  Conservative media personality Kevin Jackson – executive director of The Black Sphere LLC – joins the daily lineup at Bakewell Media-owned urban talk/gospel-formatted WBOK, New Orleans.  Jackson has been producing a program that airs on weekends on Salem Communications-owned Florida outlets WGUL, Tampa and WLSS, Sarasota.  Now his show will air nightly after the Al Sharpton program.  Jackson says, “I’m happy to follow Al Sharpton, because there couldn’t be a bigger difference in thought.  I believe black stations need to allow their listeners varying points of view, and I’m excited about the opportunity to have a predominantly black audience compare my viewpoint to Sharpton and Martin.”

ppmunitRound Four of June PPM Data Released.  The fourth and final round of June 2014 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford.  The survey period was May 22 through June 18.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ten Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page of RadioInfo.com here.

horizonbroadcastingHorizon Broadcasting Re-Launches Local News and Information Site.  What the company calls “the region’s most comprehensive website for local news and community information” – MyCentralOregon.com – has been re-launched by Horizon Broadcasting Group.  The company owns five stations in the Central Oregon region and operates mycentraloregonnews/talk KBNW via an LMA with station owner SummitMedia.  Horizon CEO Keith Shipman says, “We are excited to provide Central Oregon residents with a reliable option for real-time local news and community information.  We found that over 90% of our past visitors to the site were primarily interested in viewing local and national news content, which is where we will place our emphasis.  Local weather forecasts are a prime driver and we will rely on the expertise of AccuWeather to provide forecasts for communities throughout Central Oregon, complete with a 5 day outlooks and satellite radar images.  Visitors to MyCentralOregon.com will find breaking local news from the KBNW news team featuring Glenn Vaagen and Kellen Pierce.  Our national, international, political, entertainment, health and business news content will be robust thanks to our alliances with ABC News and The Wall Street Journal.  Visitors will also be able to get the latest traffic information, including mountain pass conditions, road reports featuring cameras from the Oregon Department of Transportation, school closures and the latest gas prices throughout Central Oregon.”

Odds & Sods.  When the 25th Annual American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament begins this week, NBC Sports Radio Network will broadcast live from Edgewood and Harrah’s Lake Tahoe.  The Westwood One/NBC Sports Group-run networks will broadcast its sports talk shows from the site on Thursday, Friday and throughout the weekend…..KSCO, Santa Cruz announces the addition of the “Wagner & Winick On the Law” program to the station’s weekend lineup.  Monterey College of Law Dean Mitchel Winick and Law Professor Stephen Wagner began hosting the weekly, one-hour radio program last Saturday, July 12…..AL.com reports that South Alabama sports is moving from longtime home Dot Com Plus LLC-owned WNSP-FM, Mobile to Clear Channel’s Mobile station group where Jaguar football games will air on adult contemporary WMXC while Men’s Basketball and Baseball will air on news/talk WNTM.

drakebillSpartanburg-Greenville Personality Bill Drake Dies at 73.  South Carolina radio personality Bill Drake died on July 11 from complications after successful surgery to treat esophageal cancer.  Although Drake also worked in Green Bay and Milwaukee during his career, he spent 29 years as morning host at WSPA, Spartanburg and then did mornings at WOLT-FM for seven years.  His “Awake with Drake” program was last heard on WOLI, Spartanburg.

ausfeldbobAlbany Broadcaster Bob Ausfeld Passes Away.  After years of heart troubles that required longtime Albany broadcaster Bob Ausfeld to have a heart pump implanted, Ausfeld went into surgery last week after a donor heart became available.  Ausfeld did not survive the recovery from the surgery and died over the weekend.  Ausfeld began his broadcasting career in the market at WPTR.  He worked for Townsquare Media through 2011 and joined Albany Broadcasting as general manager for the company.

hochman de la hoyaDe la Hoya Visits Marc Hochman Show.  WQAM, Miami afternoon drive host Marc Hochman (center), and co-host Zach Krantz (right), pose for a pic with fight promoter and Hall of Fame boxer Oscar de la Hoya (left) in Las Vegas.  Hochman brought his show to Las Vegas for a special broadcast last week in anticipation of the Canelo vs. Lara fight at the MGM Grand.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

| July 1, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

| June 24, 2014

shawsteveSteve Shaw Named Westwood One President.  Moving up from his post as SVP of Cumulus national sales is Steve Shaw who takes on the president role at the company’s Westwood One syndication and sales unit.  The company says Shaw will “expand his role as head of national spot sales for Cumulus’ owned-and-operated stations to include all national and digital sales for WestwoodOne, effective immediately.  In this new role he’ll oversee Westwood One Networks, Westwood One Sports, and Westwood One Digital, including Rdio and Cumulus National Sales, which will be renamed Westwood One Media Group.  Shaw waswestwoodone logo previously president of Katz Radio Group and president of Cox Digital Solutions.  Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey says, “Steve will drive the integration of our large stable of national media assets and advertising products under the Westwood One brand.  His track record of success in both broadcast radio and digital media will be instrumental as Cumulus and Westwood One combine to provide a compelling new set of ad packages designed to meet the rapidly evolving needs of our advertisers.”  Shaw comments, “Westwood One brings to listeners and advertisers an incredibly powerful combination of great content across a multitude of distribution channels.  With many of the most established brands in sports, talk, news and entertainment, as well as emerging new brands including NASH and Rdio, the opportunities are significant.  I am very excited to be working with the Westwood One team to create unique and effective solutions for our agency and client partners.”

caltamikeWHPT, Tampa’s Mike Calta Re-Ups with Cox Hot Talker.  Afternoon drive personality Mike Calta signs a contract renewal with Cox Media Group’s hot talk WHPT, Tampa “102.5 The Bone.”  The station says the “#1 afternoon drive talk show host” continues in his role as host of the 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm show.  Thewhptlogo station’s director of branding and programming, John Brennan, comments, “Mike Calta has earned his place among the elite in radio.  I’m honored that he will continue his dominance for several more years as part of The Bone’s team.  This announcement shows CMG’s commitment to providing its communities with the most compelling content and personalities.”  Calta says, “I’m excited to continue my radio career for the next five years right where it started 20 years ago in Tampa Bay.  CMG has been a great company to work for and I look forward to growing the Mike Calta show with them.”  Calta changed his air name from the high school nickname “Cowhead” that he used for years to his given name earlier this year.

henckmitchMadison Talk Host Mitch Henck Out at WIBA-AM.  Telling the Wisconsin State Journal he “probably milked (the radio job) as long as you could,” mid-morning talk host Mitch Henck says he was ousted by Clear Channel from news/talk WIBA-AM, Madison in a budget-related move.  The host of the 8:00 am to 11:00 am “Outside the Box” program says the ratings were not a problem and that it was “a corporate thing.”  Henck tells the paper he was neither right nor left in his approach to talk radio and he’s probably a “throwback.”  He also says he’s not bitter about the exit and will focus on other interests including his night club act called The Big Show in which he performs songs from the 1950s and 1960s.

cbslogoCBS RADIO Executes Cross Platform Sales Promotion in NYC.  This promotion ties in the popularity of golf among a certain demographic, that demo’s passion for luxury cars and a popular sports talk personality.  CBS’ radio, TV and digital platforms are executing a promotion involving the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut Lexus dealers and the Metropolitan Golf Association (MGA) called the “Lexus Perfect Drive” that features WFAN morning drive personality Craig Carton.  It was developed in collaboration with CBS Altitude Group and Team One, the ad agency for Lexus, to create excitement in the golf community through an engaging promotion implemented via original audio and video while also driving consumercartoncraig awareness of the Lexus brand.  Vignettes broadcast on sports talk WFAN-AM/FM, all-news WCBS-AM and classic hits WCBS-FM, plus WCBS-TV and featured on www.cbsnewyork.com offer an insider’s view into an array of renowned golf courses, and in-depth conversations with each club’s head pro as they reveal tips on what it takes to make par on the course’s most challenging hole.  A different course will be highlighted each week of the 12-week campaign.  During the promotion Lexus enthusiasts can visit one of 21 tri-state area dealerships where they can test drive a featured automobile or enter to win a VIP experience at a local golf club.  One grand prize winner will receive a trip to a famed golf resort in Ireland.  Altitude Group EVP Rich Lobel states, “We had a great time working with Team One and Lexus to create a campaign that highlights their pursuit of perfection and comes to life on a very local level.  Craig is a known golf enthusiast with a distinctive ability to speak to sports fans and champion results for clients.  He will be a great ambassador for Lexus as we execute this program.”

valentineboatTalk Host Phil Valentine to Take Listeners on ‘The Great Loop.’  Nationally syndicated talk show host Phil Valentine is taking his listeners with him as he brings his newly purchased boat – a 1968 57-foot Chris Craft Constellation – home to Tennessee from Fort Pierce, Florida.  He’s calling it Great American Vacation: Cruising the Great Loop and he’ll broadcast daily from the master stateroom of the boat he travels part of what’s called The Great Loop, also known as the Great Circle Route.  That route runs from Chicago and the Great Lakes down to the Tennessee River then down to Mobile and the Gulf of Mexico through the Tennessee-Tombigbee valentinephilWaterway.  From there it hugs the coast of the Panhandle down past Tampa then either across Florida via the Okeechobee Waterway or down around the tip of Florida then back up the East Coast to New York, up the Hudson then the Erie Canal and back into the Great Lakes. The entire loop is about 6,000 miles.  Valentine plans to traverse approximately a quarter of the loop from Fort Pierce to Mobile then up to Tennessee.  The Fort Pierce to Mobile leg will take approximately 8 to 10 days.  The last leg to the Tennessee River will take another 4 days.  The Westwood One personality says, “I’ve been looking for this particular boat for about eight years.  I’ve dreamed of doing at least part of the loop and the part we’re doing is probably the most scenic in the country.  The great news is our entire audience can vicariously join us for the ride.”  Valentine has hired a captain and first mate to navigate the trip.  Updates along with pictures and videos are being posted daily at http://CruisingTheGreatLoop.blogspot.com.

wgwg logo‘The Game 87.7’ Partners with Comcast SportsNet Chicago.  The late morning sports talk show “Kap & Haugh,” heard daily on WGN Radio’s sports talk sister WGWG-LP “The Game 87.7,” will be seen on Comcast SportsNet Chicago beginning July 21.  Tribune’s WGN Radio announces the show featuring David Kaplan and David Haugh will be simulcast live from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon and the deal will also include a one-hour “best-of” show that will air weeknights from 11:00 pm to 12:00 midnight.  WGN and WGWG-LP president and general manager Jimmy de Castro states, “It’s been our focus to deliver sports talk like no one else.  Combining the ‘Kap & Haugh’ radio broadcast with the TV powerhouse Comcast SportsNet is another piece that fits in our puzzle to bring a complete media experience to the Chicago sports fan.”

kantar media logoKantar Media Reports U.S. Ad Spend for Q1 2014 Up; Radio Categories Dip.  The Sochi Olympics were a boon for U.S. ad spend in the first quarter of 2014 but television was the beneficiary of that.  However, even without the Olympics money, the U.S. ad spend was up just under 4% compared to the same period a year ago.  As for radio, national spot was the only category – at a jump of 6.7% — was the only one to see an increase from last year.  Local spot, network radio and Hispanic spot were all down with local radio dipping 4.7% compared to the same period a year ago.  Kantar reports that both local radio and Hispanic local radio saw declines attributable to lower spending from the retail, auto dealer and restaurant categories.  See the press statement here.

herskovitzalHolding Hands at the Talkers Conference.  Sales maven Al Herskovitz writes that the recent Talkers New York 2014 conference provided the opportunity to meet in person with fellow talk radio sales people and compare notes about the current state of business.  He says that during chats in the hallways, one topic kept coming up: the art of servicing the client after the sale has been made.  Heskovitz writes that, aside from the ever-present medium and large market concerns about the inclusion of a digital component in marketing proposals, “every group member agreed there are steps that now must be taken to keep the nervous advertiser as comfortable as possible during the run of the spots.”  Read Herskovitz’s suggestions for reminding your clients how important your vehicle is for getting their message to consumers here.

dukesmichaelOdds & Sods.  Whether the current spate of Clear Channel layoffs is a company-wide trend or just coincidence is not known for certain, but longtime WKBN, Youngstown, Ohio news director Jim Michaels has been let go after a 30-year career with the station, and according to WFMJ-TV, he was the last person left in the station’s news department…..Alaska talk show host Michael Dukes will become the new morning show host at Ohana Media Group’s KBYR, Anchorage in September.  Currently he is host at Last Frontier Mediactive-owned KFAR, Fairbanks…..Talk show host Mark Wainwright will be sitting in for WSYR, Syracuse morning host Joe Galuski from June 30 through July 3.  Wainwright says he’s available for fill-in work an can be reached at thatvoice@verizon.net…..Speaking of fill-ins, Clear Channel talk personality Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo – WOAI, KPRC and KHOW – is being heard this week in the Crescent City as his show is airing in the afternoon drive slot where WRNO’s John Osterlind is on vacation.

brownejoygymDr. Joy Browne Works to Support Cancer Survivors and Their Families.  Nationally syndicated (Radio America) relationships host, Dr. Joy Browne – a past recipient of the TALKERS “Humanitarian of the Year Award” – continues her charitable ways.  Immediately following her appearance at Talkers New York 2014, the perennial Heavy Hundred radio star participated in the second annual Manhattan Relay for Life presented between 6:00 pm and 6:00 am at Pier 36 (6/21-22) presented by the American Cancer Society in support of cancer survivors and their families.  She is pictured here at Basketball City with the emcee of the event, Lehi Dowell.

WFANChristiesoftballChris Christie Steps to the Plate for Boomer Esiason Foundation.  New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is pictured here at the plate at Yankee Stadium taking part in the fourth annual Bombers Boomer Broadway Softball Classic on Monday, June 23.  Christie is a regular guest on WFAN, New York’s Boomer & Carton morning show and he joined Boomer Esiason’s team for the charity softball game.  Team Boomer, which consisted of WFAN personalities and Esiason’s noteworthy friends including Christie, played an exciting matchup against a host of Wounded Warriors and New York Yankees alumni, benefitting the Boomer Esiason Foundation.  WFAN reports that in the 7th inning, with the bases loaded, the Governor’s fielding at third base contributed to leading his team to a 7-6 victory.  Photo by Christian Conte/CBSNewYork.com.

Hillary Clinton Wealth Claims/Health Rumors, Iraq Turmoil-U.S. Assistance, Illegal Immigrant Influx, IRS Scandal, More VA Hospitals Allegations, Klein Clintons-Obamas Book, and World Cup Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/23).  Ongoing claims by Hillary Clinton that she and Bill are not rich plus reports that she’s not in good health; the ISIS-perpetrated violence in Iraq and U.S. assistant to the Iraqi Army; controversy over the massive influx of illegals crossing the U.S. border in the Southwest; more testimony from IRS officials about the missing Lois Lerner emails; new allegations of mistreatment of patients at VA hospitals; the new Ed Klein book Blood Feud about the relationship between the Clintons and the Obamas; and World Cup action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research about TALKERS.

2014 NYC logo 150Talkers New York 2014 a Tremendous Success.  Aside from the impressive numbers (60-plus speakers, hundreds of registrants, early sellout, 29 sponsors), the 17th annual installment of the longest-running, most-important national convention in the talk media industry was a crowd-pleaser in terms of issues addressed, solutions proposed, and connections made.  Talkers New York 2014 has received praise not only for its agenda’s precision and well-balanced representation of the industry’s diversity — but the spectacular (India House) venue’s food, comfort and elegance as well.  It was a power-packed day (6/20) without a second of downtime. From the opening “Breakfast with Hannity” networking social to the final “Farewell Cocktail Reception,” it stands out as what TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison describes as “one of the really good ones.”  In the words of Journal Broadcast Group’s VP/news/talk programming Tom Langmyer, “This is an incredible venue and the discussions are truly enlightening and powerful.  Not only is the event informative, but also very inspiring.  This is the juice we all need – and I am even more optimistic about the future of talk and the personal connection we can provide – across ALL platforms.”  Consultant/programmer Greg Moceri, CEO of Moceri Media adds, “Just amazing to me how many of us in the biz all these years feel this is a ‘can’t miss’ event every year.”  Courtside Entertainment/PodcastOne CEO Norm Pattiz describes Talkers New York 2014 as “a high-energy, super-pro, first-class conference.”  Radio and WPIX-TV, New York commentator Lionel says, “It just might have been the most fruitful and beneficial to date, if that’s even possible.”  Salem syndicated personality Mike Gallagher called it, “another wonderful gathering.”  Kraig T. Kitchin, CEO of Sound Mind, LLC says, “A great environment for conversation, for interaction, and for shared ideas.  I had a great time!  I learned a lot – more than I anticipated.  The camaraderie was very evident, industry-wide, and that was a true blessing.”  Among the major issues addressed were the challenges facing radio (of all formats, including talk) in the 21st century digital age including the arenas of programming, sales, technology, audience measurement and economics.  The very role and pertinence of radio in this new era was held up to the spotlight of scrutiny in terms of generational changes and expectations.  The result in a nutshell: unbridled (but absolutely realistic) optimism!  The two words that came up time and again throughout the day were “community” and “passion.”  Perhaps, the general sentiment of the conference is best summed up by WAQY, Springfield, MA “Rock 102” morning show co-host Mike “Bax” Baxendale who wrote, “These seminars have always made me want to become a greater broadcaster.  For that I am deeply grateful.”  In the words of TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “The hours and hours of valuable content generated by this event are going to keep our editorial and audio/video production departments busy for weeks as we break it all out and organize it for presentation in the form of stories, news and video packaging.”  Look for multi-media coverage of the event right here at Talkers.com in the days and weeks ahead.  In the meantime, the staff and management of TALKERS want to express deep gratitude to the hundreds of individuals and companies who supported this event so solidly as registrants, speakers and sponsors.  We are humbled by your precious friendship and confidence.

#1. Hannity Speech

Sean Hannity makes point during morning keynote.

 

 

 

 

 

1bHannity

Sean Hannity addresses standing room crowd.

 

 

 

 

 

1cHannity

Phil Boyce (l) and Greg Moceri (c) interviewed by
Sean Hannity (r).

 

 

 

 

2Francesa

Mike Francesa delivers sports talk keynote.

 

 

 

 

 

3Pattiz

Norm Pattiz accepting Lifetime Achievement Award.

 

 

 

 

 

4Hartmann

Thom Hartmann accepting Freedom of Speech Award.

 

 

 

 

 

5Julie

Julie Talbott accepting Woman of the Year Award.

 

 

 

 

 

6CaroleJoyce

Carole Marks presenting Joyce Kaufman with
Humanitarian of the Year Award.

 

 

 

 

 

 

7JimBo

Jim Bohannon emceeing the Awards Ceremony.
Not pictured, Kenneth Chandler, introducer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

8DelColliano

Jerry Del Colliano delivering special address.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9Erica

Erica Farber moderating “State of Radio Advertising
and Sales” panel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

10Salespanel

“State of Radio Advertising and Sales” panel. (l-r):
Ron Furman, Julie Talbott, Joe Puglise, Kraig Kitchin.
Not pictured:  Dr. Asa Andrew, introducer.

 

 

 

 

11BigPicture

“Radio: The Big Picture Panel” (l-r): Tom Langmyer,
Mike McVay, Sam Kimball, Steve Goldstein, Tom Leykis.
Not pictured:  Michael Harrison, moderator;
Dana Loesch, introducer.

 

 

12LocalRadio

“The State of Local Talk Radio” panel. (l-r): Jerry Crowley,
Larry Young, McGraw Milhaven, Mike “Bax” Baxendale,
Lee Harris.  Not pictured:  David Bernstein, moderator;
Ethan Bearman, introducer.

 

 

 

13Programming1

“The State of Talk Radio Programming” panel.  (l-r):

Bill Hess, Craig Schwalb, Gabe Hobbs.  Not pictured:
Kevin Casey, moderator; Phil Boyce, panelist.

 

 

 

14Bloom

“The State of Talk Radio Programming” panel,  Andy Bloom.

 

 

 

 

 

15Managing

“Developing and Managing a Talk Show Hosting Career”
panel. (l-r): Ron Hartenbaum, Tom Becka, Martha Zoller.
Not pictured:  Mike Kinosian, moderator.

 

 

 

 

16Managing2

“Developing and Managing a Talk Show Hosting Career”
panel.  (l-r): Tom Marr, Joe Piscopo.

 

 

 

 

17Rumble

“The Talk Rumble” (l-r):  Mike Gallagher, Bubba the
Love Sponge, Joyce Kaufman, David Webb,
Kevin McCullough, Alan Colmes, Thom Hartmann.
Not pictured:  Lionel, moderator; Dr. Joy Browne, introducer.

 

 

 

18Price

Howard B. Price delivering special address.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

| June 4, 2014

cubs logoChicago Cubs to Move to CBS RADIO’s WBBM Next Season.  In what appears to be the end of a 90-year relationship, Tribune’s WGN, Chicago is passing on Chicago Cubs play-by-play and, according to a report in the Chicago Tribune, the club will sign with CBS RADIO’s WBBM beginning in 2015.  That Tribune has been losing money on the broadcasts in recent years has been pretty widely reported for some time now and it’s not particularly shocking to industry watchers that WGN is giving up on the Cubs.  Though the deal has not been formally announced (a press release is expected sometime Thursday), the Tribune reports that the previous deal was for approximately $10 million per season and WGN had the right to match any other offer, which it chose not to do.  CBS RADIO already has the rights to Chicago Bears games (which air on both WBBM-AM and simulcast WCFS-FM) and White Sox broadcasts which air on sports talker WSCR.  WGN holds the rights to Blackhawks hockey.

kcaa logoKCAA, Loma Linda Owner Fred Lundgren Writes Appeal for AM Station Owners in HuffPost Piece.  In a blog post on Huffington Post, KCAA, Loma Linda, California founder and CEO Fred Lundgren asserts that the FCC has “waited too long to act on the problems facing the AM band, and the agency has made so many wrong and irreversible decisions that the AM band can’t be sustained in the long term…It’s time for the Congress and the FCC to pause it’s love affair with inefficient point-to-point communication and realize that the most efficient form of mass communication and spectrum utilization continues to be point-to-multipoint terrestrial radio, and unless the AM band is migrated to FM very soon, the opportunity to expand the band will be gone forever.”  Lundgren writes about the 10 ways the FCC is hastening the demise of the AM band and says the way to save the stations is to migrate them to FM frequencies below 87.5 FM.  Read his piece here.

sedersamSam Seder’s ‘Ring of Fire’ Changes to Daily Format.  Progressive talk host Sam Seder, co-host of the weekend “Ring of Fire” syndicated radio talk show, launches a daily version of the show airing from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET.  The show is syndicated by Ron Hartenbaum‘s and Debbie Greenbaum‘s WYM Media Management and distributed by WestwoodOne.  WYM describes the show as a “live, take-no-prisoners, progressive talk show featuring blistering commentary, smart interviews and the comedy which has made Sam Seder so popular amongst progressive audiences.”  In addition to his work on “Ring of Fire,” Seder is a contributor to MSNBC and produces a daily political podcast called “Majority Report.”

wntw logoWNTW, Chester, Virginia Flips to News/Talk as ‘820 The Answer.’  The branding slogan “The Answer” has been used by Salem Communications news/talk stations in some markets but now the Delmarva Educational Association-owned signal licensed to Chester, Virginia (just south of Richmond) takes on the moniker as it flips from Christian talk to conservative talk featuring programming including: local host John Fredericks, Cox Media’s Herman Cain, Salem Radio Network’s Dennis Prager, WestwoodOne’s Michael Savage, Mark Levin, and “Red Eye Radio” plus independently syndicated Steve Deace and Genesis Communications Network-distributed Alex Jones.

cigardave logoCigar Dave Offers D-Day Tribute Show to Non-Affiliates.  Last weekend, nationally syndicated talk show host “Cigar Dave” Zeplowitz hosted a special “D-Day 70th Anniversary Tribute.”  He reports that the response to his show, which devoted the entire two hours to the historic events of June 6, 1944, was so overwhelming that he’s decided to give the show to non-affiliates on a one-time basis to air this weekend, in honor of the 70th anniversary.  Zeplowitz states, “Friday marks the 70th Anniversary of Allied Expeditionary Forces scaling the cliffs at Normandy to begin the liberation of Europe from Nazi oppression.  It’s imperative that every American of every age recognize and understand the historic significance of D-Day.  The tribute show is my way of honoring the great Americans who stormed the beaches and insuring their legacy and sacrifice is never forgotten.”  The D-Day 70th Anniversary Tribute features a timeline of Operation Overlord and the D-Day invasion with audio from General Dwight D. Eisenhower, news reports from D-Day and highlights of Ronald Reagan’s speeches on the 40th Anniversary of D-Day.  The special tribute also includes interviews with World War II veteran Thomas Blakey, one of the first paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne Division to land behind enemy lines on D-Day, and April Cheek-Messier, president of the National D-Day Memorial.  Stations interested can contact Skip Joeckel at: 719-579-6676 or via email at: Skip@TalkShowsUSA.com.

unlogo blueTalk Radio Day at the United Nations Shaping Up as Major Broadcasting Event for Thursday, June 19.  TALKERS magazine announces a strong and diverse lineup of participating hosts at the forthcoming 9th installment of its annual international initiative, “Talk Radio Day at the United Nations.”  Presented in conjunction with Talk Radio News Service and in association with the United Nations Foundation, the event consists of a massive radio row held in the heart of the United Nations’ iconic headquarters on the East Side of Manhattan.  Approximately 25 talk show hosts and programs from around the country are given the opportunity to do live shows or simply record interviews on the scene for later playback with a wide variety of special guests including UN officials, foreign ambassadors, international policy experts and representatives of the arts and sciences from around the world.  “This is one of our most important annual events,” states TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, “and I am absolutely delighted that – in spite of the technical and tactical challenges presented by a project of this complexity and enormity – we are able to produce yet another installment in 2014.”  Harrison says, “It accomplishes a number of important things – most notably, it gives a variety of talk show hosts and millions of their listeners in every corner of the country the opportunity to shift gears and discuss international news stories of significant consequence that rarely, if ever, are covered or discussed in the mainstream American media.  Some of these stories have staggering implications on war, peace, life and death.”  Harrison also points out, “Hosts of just about every political and ideological persuasion have raved about this event over the many years we have been doing it saying that it has proven to be a personally rewarding experience for them as much as it has provided a spectacular bit of special programming to their stations and networks.”  “Talk Radio Day at the United Nations” will conveniently take place the day before Talkers New York 2014 when many talk show hosts are already in New York City.  Participating hosts include: Thom Hartmann, Alan Colmes, Doug Stephan, Dr. Joy Browne, Martha Zoller, David Webb, Ethan Bearman, Carole Marks, John Fredericks, Miriam Wallach, Ed Woodson, George Russell, Brent Seltzer and Meg McDonald (Brent & Meg), Phil Paleologos, Scott Hennen, Dr. Evelyn Higgins, Timothy Spangler, David Fisher, Debbie Nigro, Rick Smith, Howard Monroe and more.  Talk Radio News Service will broadcast the entire day to its hundreds of affiliates across the nation with more to be announced and the event will be covered live on TalkersRadio.  All equipment and broadcast set ups are provided at no cost for the convenience of the participants – but only a handful of spots are left, so interested hosts should call 413-565-5413 quickly to inquire about signing up.

krusejohn‘Northwestern Outdoors Radio’ Wins Three National Honors.  The regional weekend program “Northwestern Outdoors Radio” with host John Kruse, wins Excellence in Craft awards from the Outdoor Writers Association of America.  Kruse was honored with first place in the radio broadcast category; second place in the hunting category and second place for a humorous interview segment.  This is the second year “Northwestern Outdoors Radio” entered the national competition featuring outdoor radio shows and podcasts from all over the United States.  Kruse comments, “We must be doing something right, and it’s wonderful to get feedback saying so from not only our listeners, but also from the judges who are our peers in the outdoors media industry.”  The show is an hour-long weekend show airing on 52 stations in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana.  The program covers not only fishing and hunting, but also wildlife watching, conservation, and a wide variety of outdoor recreational activities and destinations with a strong focus on the Northwestern United States.

Bergdahl Prisoner Swap, Mid-Term Elections/2016 Presidential Race, New Donald Sterling Allegations, VA Hospitals Scandal, U.S.-Israel Relations, and NBA-NHL Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/3).  The aftermath of the prisoner swap for U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl; the primary races leading up to this fall’s mid-term elections and speculation about candidates for president in 2016; new allegations of racist and sexist behavior against Clippers owner Donald Sterling; the ongoing fallout from the VA Hospitals scandal; U.S.-Israel relations in the wake of Hamas’ role in the Palestinian Authority makeup; and the prelude to the NBA and NHL finals series were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, April 7, 2014

| April 7, 2014

businessrockstars radio‘Business Rockstars Radio’ to Air on WGN.FM.  The Ken Rutkowski-hosted “Business Rockstars Radio” program begins airing on Tribune Company’s WGN.FM digital platform.  WGN VP of content and programming Todd Manley says, “Ken Rutkowski is driven by a hunger to understand innovators, and his knack for unlocking the heart and soul of entrepreneurs makes for a potent audio-video-social journey.  This fits WGN.FM’s free-form model perfectly, and we can’t wait for Ken’s first Business Rockstars Chicago event.”  “Business Rockstars Radio” began broadcasting live today (4/7) from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm CT.  Business Rockstars co-founder Steve Lehman comments,wgnfm lofo “We’re thrilled to expand ‘Business Rockstars Radio’ into the Chicago market by joining the powerhouse family over at WGN Radio.  This new alliance will allow us to reach the huge demographic of ‘Wantrepreneurs’ in Chicago and the surrounding areas with fun, fast-paced and compelling entrepreneurial content about growing, starting, and funding businesses.  It’s going to be great to work with the WGN team.  Todd Manley is a cutting-edge, forward-thinking programmer, and I’ve always admired and had a great working relationship with my only man-crush, Jimmy de Castro.”

walshjoeSalem Communications Adds Chicago-based Joe Walsh to WNYM, New York Afternoon Schedule.  Former Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh is no stranger to the WNYM, New York “AM 970 The Answer” airwaves – he’s been working on the air there since late January.  But now the company announces Walsh will host the 5:00 pm hour on “AM 970 The Answer” and then do his 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm CT show on WIND, Chicago.  Salem VP director spoken word format Phil Boycewnymlogo says, “We looked at a lot of options for late afternoons, but once we put Joe on the air in New York something magical happened.  He instantly bonded with the New York audience.  Joe sounds like he was born and bred in New York with a fire-breathing attitude.  New York politicians need to get ready for this guy.”  Walsh comments, “When Governor Cuomo said three months ago that conservatives weren’t welcome in New York, I took that as an invitation.  Other talk show hosts threatened to leave New York, but I told the folks at AM 970 I want to go where the enemy lives, and they took me in.”

cookehollandRadio: Playing Catch-Up to Our On-Demand Culture.  Reporting from the RAIN Summit that preceded today’s opening of the NAB Show in Las Vegas, media consultant Holland Cooke writes about what those on the digital platform are doing well and what AM/FM operators can learn from them.  Cooke offers analysis of what “curation” can mean to radio station programmers and sales staffers as well as reporting on what works on the podcasting platform and what doesn’t.  Read Holland Cooke’s piece here.

cbslogoCBS-Nielsen Cross-Media Measurement Data Shows Power of TV-Radio Combo Buys.  A statement from both CBS and Nielsen calls today’s news “proof of concept (POC)” for local television plus radio audience measurement.  Using Nielsen TV and radio panels the two companies “collaborated to demonstrate the additive power of combining media buys for major advertising campaigns.  The POC combined audience data from CBS’ local TV and radio assets in order to build a foundation that measured combined and unduplicated reach across both media.”  It’s good news for CBS but it’s really the only player with a large number of TV and radio assets across the company.  Still,nielsen logo Nielsen says it intends to open participation in the pilot across a wider group of clients to “further strengthen cross-media selling models.”  But the companies go on to say that “creating a measurable foundation gives advertisers using marketing mix models as a basis for their media planning the tools they need to accurately account for how local television and radio together contribute to driving sales.  This POC begins the conversation into the data needed by those models to correctly value local television and radio.”  Here’s more from the press release: “In some cases, using local television and radio together doubled the reach in certain markets.  In the five markets measured in the POC, an advertiser could reach anywhere from 84% to as high as 93% of all adults 18+ within a month by leveraging local television and radio together.  Advertisers would be able to see the benefits of combining the buying of these media and dayparts together.  For instance, combining television prime time and late news all week with morning drive on weekdays, an advertiser could reach 75% of A18-49 in Boston within four weeks.  In this example, a local media buy could make sense for fast food advertisers.”  Full results of the study are being presented at the NAB Show tomorrow (4/8).  CBS Corporation chief research officer David Poltrack says, “Industry-standard measurement is a first step toward showing large advertisers what local advertisers already know – there is a lot of value to combining local television and radio in a media buy.  We will continue working with Nielsen to bring to the industry the rich analytics, reporting tools, and planning software needed to prove these benefits to advertisers.  The long-term plan is to include online as well.  This proof-of-concept demonstrates the power of broadcasting quickly and frequently to reach mass audiences.”

sternhowardHoward Stern to Interview Billy Joel for SiriusXM “Town Hall” Series.  The “Town Hall” Series on SiriusXM taking place at the end of this month will feature talk radio legend Howard Stern sitting down with rock icon Billy Joel.  The satcaster says that this “unique live sit-down special, pays tribute to Billy Joel with conversation, questions, performances by Joel and special guests.”  It will take place at a “secret, intimate location in New York City on Monday, April 28.”  Additional details about the “Town Hall,” including special performances and guests, will be revealed by Howard Stern in the coming weeks on his program. Stern says, “The 2010 interview I did with Billy Joel was one of my favorites of my career.  Now, this special hits a whole new level, with surprise guests whose lives have been changed by Billy, from the unknown to the famous, giving Billy the tribute, and fans the treat, that they deserve.”

sinnersaintKFXX, Portland Debuts Two New Weekend Shows.  Adding local programming to its weekend programming roster is Entercom’s KFXX, Portland “1080 TheFan.”  The new Saturday program is “The Sinner and the Saint” featuring Keith Hill and Luke Anderson (pictured here) airing from 9:00 am to 11:00 am.  On Sundays from 8:00 am to 10:00 am, “Sports Sunday” hosted by Mike Lynch and Rashad Taylor is now heard.

kcaa logoKCAA, Loma Linda CEO Featured on Sundance TV Reality Series Tonight.  On this evening’s episode of “Loredana Esq.,” KCAA CEO Fred Lundgren will be featured as station attorney and program star Loredana Nesci represents him in a case that went before the Los Angeles Superior Court.  The TV show features Nesci – a former L.A. cop-turned-criminal defense attorney – as she handles cases facing overwhelming odds.  During this evening’s episode Nesci represents Lundgren who faces receivership after being sued by a broadcaster for $800,000.  Lundgren terminated the broadcaster’s contract due to repeated on-air obscenities.  Lundgren says this episode offers a “unique glimpse behind the scenes of a radio station licensee who gets caught between our First Amendment rights and the First Amendment restrictions placed on radio stations by the FCC.”

cochransteveOdds & Sods.  Beginning tomorrow (4/8), Tribune’s WGN, Chicago will present a video component to the morning drive Steve Cochran program.  According to Chicago media writer Robert Feder, there will be multiple cameras in the studio to, as chief content officer Todd Manley says, give “a peek behind the curtain – a way to see how everybody collaborates.”…..ESPN Radio’s “SVP & Russillo” will originate from Sundance Square in Fort Worth today from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm in advance of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship game.  Today’s broadcast featuring hosts Scott Van Pelt and Ryen Russillo is open to the public…..Las Vegas-based talk show host Dr. Daliah Wachs reports thatwachsdaliah two more talk show hosts have signed on to take part in the effort to raise funds for the Lymphoma and Leukemia Society.  Casey Hendrickson of WTRC, Michiana-Fort Wayne “News/Talk 95.3” and Len Connell of “The Sex and Money Show” on KLAV, Las Vegas join a number of other radio hosts who are competing to raise the most money and claim the FROST prize (top fundraising host).  Dr. Wachs says there’s still time to join the fun and possibly win a $1,000 Southwest Airlines gift card.  Contact her at doctordaliah@hotmail.com.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

| March 19, 2014

geronimodonDon Geronimo Goes Digital.  After exiting CBS RADIO last month and promising he’d be back with a vengeance after his contract expired, radio pro Don Geronimo announces he’s joining the digital RELM Network to produce his new show that will be available via subscription only.  The new show will be presented live, Monday through Friday, starting in early April, at www.DonGeronimoPodcast.com .  The company says the exact launch date will be announced soon.  A recorded version of the show will be available on that website, shortly after each live show ends.  The cast of the new show will be Geronimo, co-host Drew Hoffar, their sidekick, Joe Ardinger and will feature regular appearances by Geronimo’s longtime pal and newsman Buzz Burbank.  A statement from the RELM Network, says, “As changes in the radio relm networkindustry continue to disappoint listeners, Geronimo looks forward to doing the show he’s always wanted to do, without interference from corporate radio executives or the FCC rules that quashed the medium’s spontaneity and fun.  Longtime listeners especially won’t want to miss the show’s opening week, in which Geronimo will talk about the events that — and people who — led him to do this podcast.” Burbank, who will panel on the show and bring bits of his news, worked with Geronimo nearly thirty years in their days at CBS Radio.  Burbank will continue his daily newscast at www.BuzzBurbank.com.  Burbank is a partner in, and co-founder of, The RELM Network, along with Marc Ronick and Lowell Melser.  The RELM Network now features 17 shows, including “Buzz Burbank News and Comment,” “The Kirk McEwen Show,” “The Marc & Lowell Show,” plus shows focusing on gaming, the arts, interviews, sports, politics — left and right — and more.

weinerlenLen Weiner to Program Lincoln Financial Media’s WAXY, Miami.  South Florida sports talker WAXY-AM/FM, Miami “FM 104.3/AM 790 The Ticket” has a new program director as Lincoln Financial Media announces Len Weiner will join the company beginning March 24.  The company parted ways with PD Tod Castleberry lastwaxylogo November.   Weiner most recently was vice president of programming for Genesis Communications’ stations in the Tampa, Orlando and Melbourne markets.  He’s also served at WGN, Chicago; ESPN Radio Network and KMPC, Los Angeles.  LFM SVP and general manager Maureen Lesourd comments, “I am excited that Len’s joining our ‘Ticket’ team.  His depth of experience as a sports radio programmer, producer and talent developer plus his solid track record for strengthening big brands makes him the perfect choice.”  Weiner adds, “I can’t wait to get started at ‘The Ticket.’  It’s a thrill and honor to join the team and continue to build and grow this great brand.  I would also like to thank Maureen and [LFM SVP of programming and operations] John Dimick for this opportunity.”

riverageraldoGeraldo Rivera Strikes Deal with Blast Applications for Digital Projects.  It’s not clear whether his new deal with Cumulus Media allows him to control his own digital endeavors or whether Cumulus is a silent partner in this but Geraldo Rivera and Blast Applications, Inc. are partnering to bring his radio show live to listeners via mobile devices.  Under the terms of the agreement, Rivera’s 10:00 am to 12:00 noon WABC, New York show will be distributed digitally and Blast Applications is responsible for promoting Geraldo’s upcoming online store that will feature innovative and one-of-a-kind products that will be available for purchase nationwide.  Blast Applications CEO Dino Luzzi states, “It is incredibly exciting to announce our joint revenue agreement with the Geraldo Rivera team to promote their popular radio show and online store.  This agreement is another key milestone in our growth for 2014 as we continue to expand Blast Application’s opportunity to create more revenue in the near future.”  Rivera comments, “With the help of Blast Application, we expect the Geraldo Rivera radio show to experience new growth and revenue opportunities.”

sykescharlieWisconsin Governor Scott Walker Featured at WTMJ’s “Insight 2014.”  The annual live event produced by Journal Broadcast Group’s WTMJ, Milwaukee and talk host Charlie Sykes that features important figures in public policy and media takes place this evening and will be re-broadcast tomorrow (3/20) from 8:30 am to 12:00 noon on the station.  “Insight 2014 with Charlie Sykes” is an annual political state of the state event and this year includes Governor Scott Walker, U.S. Senator Ron Johnson, WTMJ talk host Jeff Wagner and numerous Wisconsin political and media figures.

ramseydaveDave Ramsey to Present Fall ‘Business Gets Personal’ Event in NYC.  Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar, best-selling author and live event producer Dave Ramsey sells out theaters and arenas across the country targeting individuals and families as well as businesspeople with his “Legacy Journey LIVE” and “EntreLeadership” events.  Now, Ramsey is presenting a new businessperson-focused program to take place in New York City on October 2 titled “Business Gets Personal.”  The new event entails Ramsey teaming with marketing experts and best-selling authors Seth Godin and Gary Vaynerchuk to give businessmen and women valuable insight they can use to take their business to the next level.  Ramsey’s Lampo Group says the one-day event will allow attendees the opportunity to learn from some of the best in the business through keynote speeches, Q&A sessions and networking opportunities.  The daylong program takes place at the Rose Theater, Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall, Time Warner Center.  Godin’s latest book is titled, The Icarus Deception (Portfolio Hardcover 2012).  Vaynerchuk works in the family’s liquor sales business and launched Wine Library TV, a daily video blog about wine to much success in 2006.

huffaubreyKGMZ Adds Aubrey Huff to Morning Show.  The new morning show at Entercom’s KGMZ, San Francisco “95.7 The GAME” hosted by Ric Bucher and Chris Townsend adds retired San Francisco Giants star Aubrey Huff to the program’s cast beginning March 31.  Program director Jason Barrett says, “Last week, we announced a new lineup for ‘The GAME.’  Since then, we’ve been fortunate enough to add one of the most entertaining sports personalities in the Bay Area to our team.  It’s hard to improve on the ‘perfect team in the perfect time slot,’ but adding Aubrey Huff does just that.  Make no mistake — this morning show will be different, more informed, and more colorful than any other in the market.”  Huff adds, “I couldn’t be more excited to join ‘95.7 The GAME.’  I had an incredible experience in San Francisco, being a part of two World Championship Giants teams, and now I’m looking forward to joining my brand new team in the Bay Area.”

hurleyharryMichael Harrison Encourages Talk Radio to “Organize Communities, Not Sides.”  In a guest appearance this morning on the Harry Hurley morning show on Townsquare Media’s WPG, Atlantic City “Talk Radio 1450,” TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison – when asked by the popular, long-running AM drive star about the present state of talk radio in America – stated, “Although talk radio continues to be one of radio’s most successfulharrisonmichael formats and the platform that gives rise to the medium’s biggest stars, it might need to adjust its mission and style to perhaps a more positive mode in the days ahead for the sake of improving its image in the advertising community and maintaining influence in the arena of public policy.  I suggest that talk show hosts think more about organizing ‘communities’ that bring people together – especially on the local level where left and right ideology plays less of a defined role – than galvanize ‘sides’ that turn people and communities against each other.”  Harrison added, “There are many ways to target audiences and create critical, marketable masses.  Going forward it is important that news/talk radio explore all its options in this regard and not rely exclusively on the ‘us against them’ paradigm.”

bilstaderikOdds & Sods.  At Journal Broadcast Group’s news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee, Erik Bilstad is promoted to the role of executive producer, news, effective immediately.  The company says that in addition to his current duties as a reporter and news anchor on “Wisconsin’s Afternoon News with John Mercure,” Bilstad’s responsibilities will now include day-to-day management of the news department and personnel, along with story assignments and directing special news and severe weather coverage…..Former Chicago Bears general manager Jerry Angelo joins Tribune’s WGWG-LP, Chicago “The Game 87.7 FM” for a weekly football insider role on the midday show hosted by David Kaplan and David Haugh, according to Chicago media writer Robert Feder…..The Florida Times-Union reports the Jacksonville Jaguars will switch from Cox Media Group‘s WOKV, Jacksonville to Seven Bridges-owned WJXL for play-by-play of the team’s games beginning with the 2014 season.  According to the report, games would also air on Renda Broadcasting‘s country WGNE-FM.  The deal has not been officially announced by the NFL club.

jablonskijackMinneapolis Sports Talker Jack Jablonski Nabs Prom Date with ESPN’s Michelle Beadle.  Twin Cities sports talk personality Jack Jablonski made headlines in 2011 when, as a high school hockey player, became paralyzed from the chest down after being checked into the boards.  Jablonski was hired the following year at Cumulus Media’s “Sports Radio 105 The Ticket” (WGVX and WGVZ, Minneapolis) to host the weekly “Hockey Night in Minnesota” program that airsbeadlemichelle Wednesdays at 5:15 pm.  During his show last Wednesday, Jablonski joined former Vikings offensive lineman Mike Morris and Pioneer Press columnist Bob Sansevere. ESPN anchor Michelle Beadle was also on the air with them, having been booked for the second time by Jablonski.  After some hockey talk, the mood changed as Barry White‘s “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe” started to play.  The 18-year-old Minneapolis celebrity asked Beadle to his high school prom — and she accepted!

nielsen logoSecond Round of February PPM Data Released.  PPM data from the second of four groups of 12 markets for the February 2014 period (January 30 – February 26) has been released by Nielsen Audio.  Those markets include: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all the (subscriber) numbers here.  Managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian offers his “Ten Takeaways” from the report at RadioInfo.com here.

stockwallaceGeorge Wallace Visits KDWN, Las Vegas.  Comedian George Wallace (c) is pictured here in Beasley Broadcast Group’s Las Vegas studios with KDWN program director John Shaffer (l) and KDWN morning drive host Alan Stock (r).  Wallace spoke with Stock about the 10th anniversary of his engagement at the Flamingo Hotel and Casino on the strip.

Obama vs. Putin/Crimea-Ukraine Case, ObamaCare Criticism, Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 Mystery, and Mid-Term Elections/2016 Presidential Race Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/18).  Analysis of the motives of Russian president Vladimir Putin and his battle with President Obama over Russian interests and the Crimea-Ukraine case; scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act; the deepening mystery of the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370; and speculation about changes in Congressional power possible after the mid-term elections and the possible candidates for president in 2016 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, March 17, 2014

| March 17, 2014

cclogoClear Channel Creates Major Markets Operating Group. Executive vice president Hartley Adkins, executive vice president Tom McConnell, senior vice president Kelly Kibler and Greg Ashlock are the MMOG’s four division leaders.  The latter is Clear Channel Los Angeles’ former president, who adds president of Clear Channel Southern California duties.  Each leader reports to chairman/chief executive officer Bob Pittman, who states, “As a company, we continue to assess every aspect of our operations to make sure we have the right structure in place to efficiently and effectively leverage our position as the country’s leading multi-platform media and entertainment company.  Our Major Markets Operating Group will collaborate with our local market management to oversee our entire spectrum of media and entertainment platforms in our largest and highest revenue-generating markets.  These include everything from our core broadcast radio and its strong digital platform, whose traffic has doubled in the last year, and theschurrtom extremely successful iHeartRadio digital platform, to events and our expanded coordination with Clear Channel Outdoor – all of which we are increasingly mobilizing to benefit our national and local advertising partners.”  President of regional markets Matt Martin continues in his position; however, president of operations for major markets Tom Schurr departs the company. Regarding Schurr, Pittman notes, “During his tenure with us, Tom played a big role in Clear Channel becoming the media and entertainment leader it is today.  All of Clear Channel Media and Entertainment joins me in thanking Tom for the many contributions he has made to our company.”  Meanwhile, Pittman states Major Markets Operating Group will increase empowerment and accountability of the company’s individual market leaders.

sullivanrichSullivan Takes Over Middays on WGST, Atlanta Today.  Less than two years after exiting the afternoon drive slot on CBS RADIO’s then-triple A WZGC, Atlanta, Rich “Sully” Sullivan returns to the air in the market as the new 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm host on Clear Channel Media + Entertainment’s news/talk WGST.  Station program director Matt Shiflett says, “We are excited to have Sully join our team.  His knowledge of the city and ‘man-on-the-street’ attitude will solidify 640 WGST as Atlanta’s compelling talk radio station.”  Sullivan was the afternoon drive personality on WZGC “Dave FM” for six years from 2006 through 2012 before the station flipped to sports talk.

wkrklogoCleveland’s “Fan” Continues as Gladiators Flagship.  For the third consecutive season, CBS Radio Cleveland’s WKRK “Sports Radio 92.3 The Fan” will be the Arena Football League team’s radio outlet.  According to CBS Radio Cleveland vice president/market manager Tom Herschel, “The intense, hard-hitting games of the AFL fit perfectly into our lineup.”  Gladiators’ chief operating officer Mike Ostrowski comments, “We are extremely excited to continue our relationship with ‘The Fan.’  They do a great job of delivering football-related stories, updates, and content to our fans.  We look forward to working with them again this season with the on-going goal of growing the Gladiators brand in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio.”  Doug Plagens enters his third successive year handling play-by-play, while current “Fan” personality/former National Football League player Dustin Fox will provide analysis on home games.  In addition to game broadcasts and pre- and post-game shows, the station will air daily Gladiators reports each afternoon.

theblaze radio networkNew Weekend Shows Added to TheBlaze Radio Network.  Beginning next Saturday (3/22), TheBlaze Radio Network is expanding its lineup including new programs featuring cable news/talk personalities Will Cain and S.E. Cupp; KFMB, San Diego talk host Mike Slater and long-time radio and television producer Mike Opelka.  TheBlaze Radio Networks VP of programming Dom Theodore says, “This new Saturday lineup underscores TheBlaze Radio Network’s commitment to original programming.  We are absolutely thrilled to add Mike Opelka, Will Cain and SE Cupp, and Mike Slater to our already successful Saturday talent roster of Chris Salcedo and Joe Pags.  This is just another great step in our continued growth as a network.”

ryderturiOdds & Sods.  Radio pro Turi Ryder is on Tribune’s WGN, Chicago in the 11:00 pm to 2:00 am slot all this week (3/17-21).  Ryder, who worked a six-month stint on WGN last year from her home studio in the Bay Area, has relocated to Chicago.  She appears this week in the unsettled slot between evening host Pete McMurray and overnight personality Nick Digilio…..Results Radio’s new FM signal in Rhinelander, Wisconsin signs on as a sports talk outlet branded “Sports Radio 96.5” using programming from CBS Sports Radio Network plus Fox Sports Radio/DirecTV’s Dan Patrick and regionally syndicated personality Bill Michaels.  The company won WHOH at 96.5 FM in an FCC auction in 2013.

nielsen logoNielsen: 68% of Americans Heard a Network Radio Commercial During Average Week.  That figure is for Americans 12 and older, according to the Nielsen March 2014 RADAR Radio Network Ratings report which says more than 181 million persons heard a network radio commercial during an average week.  Other bulletpoints from the survey designed to illustrate the reach of network radio include Nielsen’s conclusion that commercials aired on the 46 measured networks reached: 71.2% percent of persons aged 18-49 (95.8 million listeners) and 71.9 % of persons aged 25-54 (90.0 million listeners).  In the top 25 DMAs, network radio reached: 70.7% of persons aged 12+ (95.1 million listeners); 74% of persons aged 18-49 (51.1 million listeners); and 74.6% of persons aged 25-54 (48.6 million listeners).  View the study here.

pizzapatronColloquial Spanish Term Kills Ad Deal for CBS RADIO and Univision in Texas.  The Dallas-based Pizza Patron chain’s ads for its new pizza with jalapenos in it won’t air on CBS RADIO or Univision stations in Texas.  According to a story published on NorthCountryPublicRadio.org, the name of the product and the content of the ad are too controversial for the broadcasters.  The radio campaign for La Chingona implies that only chingones are able to handle its spiciness.  What is a chingone?  A search of urban dictionaries indicates a chingone is what Americans would call a “bad-ass,” but the root of the verb is the Spanish slang for f**k.  Younger Hispanics say there is nothing inherently bad about the word but they admit it’s not a word they would use in front of their grandmother, either.  According to the NorthCountyPublicRadio.org piece, this isn’t the first time the company, whose target audience are Mexican immigrants, has ruffled feathers.  Several years ago it did a “pesos for pizza” promotion that offered discounts for customers paying with Mexican pesos.  The company received a lot of flak but business jumped 34%.  The most recent promotion apparently has CBS RADIO and Univision fearful of the FCC due to the use of the chingona term.

brennerdavidBrenner’s Run At Radio Royalty. By now, you most likely know that popular comedian David Brenner passed away over the weekend.  The Philadelphia native succumbed to cancer at the age of 78.  What you might not be aware of, however, especially if you read any one of at least a dozen or so different obituaries is that Brenner holds a relatively high-water mark in radio history.  Nowhere though was it mentioned in any account we saw.  It was as if radio was magically expunged from Brenner’s past.  Lest anyone doubt it though, David Brenner did, in fact, replace Larry King when the bespectacled talk show veteran quit his syndicated radio show nearly 20 years ago (June 1994).  Perhaps part of the confusion is that King was a nighttime fixture for years and in January 1993, Jim Bohannon – King’s regular fill-in – took his slot.  King though did not disappear – he segued to afternoon drive.  Most will remember Bohannon directly replacing King at night – which is true.  It is also correct though that Brenner then succeeded King in PM drive.  Unlike King, who transferred his Mutual Broadcasting show from Washington, DC to Westwood One in Los Angeles, Brenner based his program from New York.  According to Claudia Puig – then a superb writer for the Los Angeles Times (6/24/1994) – Brenner’s afternoon drive program was carried “in more than 100 markets” and the comedian did not attempt “to emulate King or to discuss weighty topics.”  Puig opined in her piece that to many in talk radio at the time, the move represented, “a clear-cut example of the heightened emphasis being given to entertainment in their format, as opposed to information.”  Regarding the succession, iconic Los Angeles talk radio personality Michael Jackson commented to Puig that it was, “sad when you see a Larry King replaced by a David Brenner.  Let’s see what kind of staying power Brenner’s show will have.  If you equate entertaining with telling jokes, I’m not that good at it, but if you equate it with hospitality and building a bridge with an audience, that’s what I do.”  Rewinding 20 years and witnessing how the industry viewed this choice to take over for Larry King is certainly a fascinating exercise.  Esteemed talk show host Bruce Williams chimed in back then by saying, “Brenner is an unknown quantity.  He is certainly a very funny comedian.  I don’t think he has exhibited as yet an interview capability or a radio capability, but then all of us were unknown quantities before we got into this.”  Taking a somewhat different tact – and as a reminder – this is from a 20-year-ago Claudia Puig column in the Los Angeles Times, KABC and KMPC, Los Angeles’ then general manager George Green commented, “Larry King was tired and they replaced him with a pure entertainer in hopes of drawing younger people.  As talk radio has become a very hot medium, you start looking at the word ‘entertainment’ as being more important than it was before.  ‘Entertainment’ does not necessarily mean a program that makes you laugh.  There can be many ways to entertain.”  King producer Pat Piper did similar duties for Brenner.  “There have always been attempts in radio to make people laugh,” Piper mentioned to Puig.  “It is good to hear some guys having fun.  When people call in, they say, ‘David, this is such a breath of fresh air.’  Not all of talk radio has to be what you see on ‘Crossfire.'”  Brenner had a two-year contract with Westwood One.  As it turned out, that was exactly how long the experiment lasted, as the syndicator pulled the plug on Brenner’s PM drive effort in June 1996.  Notwithstanding a limited two-year radio run, Brenner was as adept at observational humor as anyone else was.  His 1983 album “Excuse Me, Are You Reading That Paper?” is a comedy classic.  Most, of course, will remember the Temple University honors graduate from a slew of “Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson” appearances that began in 1971.  Many published accounts have the number of visits at 158 – the show’s most frequent guest and fifth most popular guest host (75 times). The five-time author (his latest – “I Think There’s a Terrorist in my Soup” – was published in 2003) headlined four HBO specials.  Prior to getting into comedy, Brenner helped write, produce, and direct 115 television documentaries. Longtime Brenner friend Joan Rivers tweeted, “RIP David Brenner. I adored him, and laughed more with him than anybody.  Sad, sad, sad.  Knowing David, he’s now making the devil laugh.” The funniest Brenner-related note we came across was relayed by family representative Jeff Abraham who points out that Brenner’s final request was to have $100 in small bills tucked in his sock, “just in case tipping is recommended where I’m going.”  Brenner’s gravesite will read, “If this is supposed to be a joke – I don’t get it.”

wachsdaliahTalk Host Dr. Daliah Wachs Organizes Fundraiser.  Las Vegas-based talk show host Dr. Daliah Wachs is organizing a fundraiser to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  Dubbed “FROST” (Fundraising Radio Host), Wachs says the contest will involve a challenge to radio hosts.  The radio host who brings in the most proceeds will be awarded a prize valued $1000, a plaque, and recognition as the 2014 FROST winner.  Runner ups will be recognized as well.  It’ll start April 14 and end May 10.  Interested radio hosts can message Dr. Daliah Wachs at doctordaliah@hotmail.com before April 1.

Monday, February 24, 2014

| February 24, 2014

espnupstateEntercom Adds Sports Talker ‘ESPN Upstate’ to Greenville Brands.  In the Greenville, South Carolina market, Entercom is taking the WORD-AM and WYRD-AM signals and pairing them with Spartanburg, South Carolina translator W246BU and the HD-3 channel of WFBC and creating the new sports talk brand “ESPN Upstate.”  The station will carry the full ESPN Radio lineup except for the afternoon drive daypart which is being hosted by local personality Greg McKinney.  According to the station, McKinney “has done play-by-play for Greenville High School and national high school powerhouses Byrnes and Dorman High Schools.  He served on the football and basketball broadcast teams for Wofford College.  McKinney was inducted into the Wofford College Hall of Fame as recognition for his contributions to their play-by-play broadcasts.  He currently anchors ‘College Football Today,’ on ‘93.3 The Planet,’ prior to each Clemson football game.  Vice president and market manager Steve Sinicropi comments, “ESPN is the biggest name in sports and adding the most powerful brand in sports makes our dominant cluster of radio stations even stronger.  This past year we have had tremendous success in the sports arena with Clemson football play-by-play, Greg McKinney anchoring our ‘College Football Today’ pregame show, and Carolina Panthers football with our ‘Carolina Kick Off’ pre-game show hosted by The Rise Guys.  Adding ESPN is another major step as Entercom Upstate becomes THE place for sports radio in the market.”

dicarojulieTribune Moves DiCaro to Radio Operations.  In a move reported by Chicagoland Radio and Media, Julie DiCaro moves from her community manager role at the Chicago Tribune’s ChicagoNow site to a new post two floors up at Tribune Tower to WGN Radio where she’s now handling social media for news/talk WGN, online project WGN.fm and new sports talker WGWG “The Game 87.7.”  She will also oversee writing sports blogs for the stations and have an on-air role at WGWG.  DiCaro is an attorney who gave up practicing criminal and family law to pursue her passion of writing about sports.  She founded the Chicago Cubs-intensive blog A League of Her Own as well as the network of female blog writers titled Aerys Sports Network.

toryjohnCFRB, Toronto Talk Host John Tory to Run for Mayor.  Add former CFRB “The Live Drive” talk host John Tory to the growing list of people challenging colorful and embattled Mayor Rob Ford for the Toronto mayoral seat.  Tory has been host of “The Live Drive” since the fall of 2009. He was president and CEO of Rogers Communications from 1995 to 1999 (he is still a member of the Rogers board of directors) and has worked in the offices of notable Canadian politicians including former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney.  Tory is resigning from his show to run for office and program director Mike Bendixen is quoted in a story on the “Newstalk 1010” website saying, “We would love John to stick around but…the station supports him in his endeavours in running for political office.”  As for the station’s treatment of him, Bendixen adds, “We’re gonna be just as hard on him as we would be on Rob Ford, as we would be with David Soknacki and Karen Stintz and Olivia Chow and whoever else decides to run.”

sokoljasenSokol to Host Late Morning Show on WAKR, Akron.  Another local program is added to the schedule at Rubber City Radio news/talker WAKR, Akron as news anchor and reporter Jasen Sokol begins hosting a two-hour show airing at 10:00 am today (2/24).  Sokol became part of the station’s news department after working at Kent State-owned WKSU, Kent while attending as a Walton D. Clarke Graduate Fellow.  Vice president of information media for Rubber City Ed Esposito comments, “We are proud to present the next generation of talent from Northeast Ohio.  Jasen is a true pro, with experience during his college career.  He’s smart, asks the questions that need to be asked but most importantly has the northeast Ohio sensibility and sensitivity WAKR listeners have come to expect.”

hunnicuttclayClear Channel Promotes Clay Hunnicutt to EVP and GM of National Programming Platforms.  This is a bump up from his most recent post as EVP of programming for the company’s largest markets.  According to a statement, in this new post, Hunnicutt will “work with [president of National Programming Platforms Tom] Poleman to oversee all aspects of the National Programming Platforms team, which develops and manages Clear Channel’s national programming ­ all on-air and digital content across the company’s radio stations and websites. He will work closely with Clear Channel’s senior and executive vice presidents of programming to emphasize the connection between Clearcclogo Channel’s 850 local radio stations and the National Programming Platforms assets, such as live events like the iHeartRadio Music Festival, iHeartRadio Ultimate Pool Party, iHeartRadio Country Festival and iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Tour, while also leveraging groups like the brand management in-house format team.  He will manage a team of programmers focused on sales integration with station programming , as well as the programming operations center and the Premium Choice network to ensure all content is executed and seamlessly integrated for Clear Channel’s national programming and advertising initiatives.  Hunnicutt will also continue as the company-wide brand manager for Clear Channel’s country stations.”  Poleman comments, “Clay has an unmatched connection with our local markets and knows how to link our national capabilities to our local assets.  He has a great understanding of the day-to-day programming of our local radio stations and what it takes to drive ratings and revenue.  His expertise will ensure our national platforms are of benefit to all of our radio stations nationwide, which gives us a huge competitive advantage.”

westbrianExecutive Changes at Nielsen.  Two executive moves at Nielsen are announced as chief financial officer Brian West is upped to chief operating officer and Jamere Jackson joins the company as CFO from his most recent post with General Electric.  The changes are effective March 10.  West takes over for Mitchell Habib who “moves to the next phase of his career, after a transition period.”  Nielsen CEO Mitch Barns says, “Our company has never been in a better place, due in large measure to Brian’s vision, leadership, and execution over the last seven years.  Brian is a trusted colleague and an exceptional business partner, with a proven track record of value creation.  As a key member of our leadership team, he has played an integral role in defining our growth strategy, allocating capital and delivering value to our shareholders.  His deep understanding of Nielsen’s people, operations, and clients well positions him to drive value in his new role as COO.”

morganpiersOdds & Sods.  The end is near for “Piers Morgan Tonight” on CNNThe New York Times columnist David Carr reports that the date of the final program is not certain but that the continued poor ratings are the reason.  Morgan tells Carr, “It’s been a painful period and lately we have taken a bath in the ratings…Look, I am a British guy debating American cultural issues, including guns, which has been very polarizing, and there is no doubt that there are many in the audience who are tired of me banging on about it.”  He says the show has “run its course and [CNN president Jeff istookernestZucker] and I have been talking for some time about different ways of using me.”…..Chisholm Trail Broadcasting’s KZLS – recently flipped to talk radio as “1640 The Eagle” – adds Ernest Istook’s syndicated talk show to the program quiversrobinschedule.  Istook represented the 5th Congressional District in Oklahoma for 14 years before leaving congress and pursuing other interests including broadcasting.  He says he intends to add more outlets for his program as it grows…..At Cumulus Media’s sports talk KFNZ, Salt Lake City, program director and air personality Tim Montemayor moves from the afternoon drive show where he was co-hosting with Kyle Gunther to the morning drive daypart…..Howard Stern show personality Robin Quivers was honored for Outstanding Literary Work by the NAACP at its “Image Awards” on Saturday, February 22.  Quivers recently published The Vegucation of Robin: How Real Food Saved My Life (Avery 2013).

SCBA colorSCBA Blog Introduces Auto Focus Report.  The latest blog from the Southern California Broadcasters Association and president Thom Callahan has been published and in this edition, Callahan introduces what it calls “an ambitious SCBA initiative to help regional auto dealer associations reach more customers more profitably by simply using more radio.”  Callahan comments, “The auto industry in Southern California and the nation, is facing a challenging year ahead with record new model introductions as well as a loomingcallahanthom factory incentive battle among most manufacturers.  This spells trouble for dealer profitability and makes the need to re-evaluate traditional radio/TV spending levels as an immediate focus.”  The SCBA Auto Focus Report will be “a detailed look at dealer association ad spending levels for radio and TV and compare those budgets to actual sales by dealership.  Using verified Polk Auto Data to document sales by dealership, the SCBA Auto Focus Report will create custom solutions and recommendations for each participating dealer association.”  Callahan adds, “Rather than just waving a ‘radio is great’ flag, we are approaching this project from a business point of view.  We have a compelling story to tell about cost of sales, profitability, and bringing substantive value to radio’s relationship with the auto industry.”

wearableiHeartRadio to Be Featured on Samsung Gear 2.  In the very near future when you’re doing your best Dick Tracy impersonation, your cool, new wrist device will allow you to hear your favorite music and talk programming as Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio is being featured on the new Samsung Gear 2 (pictured here).  The wrist-worn Gear 2 is a new device that keeps Samsung phone users connected with their phones and allows them to receive “Quick Glance notifications, such as texts, emails and phone calls, all on your wrist.”  Now, users will be able to control their iHeartRadio app operations from their wrist, as well.  The industry is calling this new device a “wearable” for obvious reasons.  CC president of digital Brian Lakamp says, “iHeartRadio is dedicated to providing even more access to the music, news and entertainment that our listeners love.  Wearables are an emerging access point for music fans, and Clear Channel continues to make iHeartRadio available everywhere our users are listening.  The sleek design and interface of the Samsung Gear 2 lends itself well to the iHeartRadio user experience and we believe it will be popular among our listeners.”

tradupuziNational Religious Broadcasters Conference Underway.  In Nashville, the National Religious Broadcasters Association conference is taking place and one of the companies with a presence is Salem Radio Networks.  Pictured here is SRN VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup (left) presenting and SRN clock to Israeli minister of tourism Dr. Uzi Landau (right).  Tradup reports that Landau spoke about reporting truthfully on world events and warned of Iran’s atomic weapons program.  The conference is billed as an event that networks thousands of Christian communicators, from program producers to authors, pastors to engineers, directors to vendors presenting outstanding internationally known speakers and musicians and giving attendees the opportunity to attend numerous educational sessions on radio, TV, film, church media, internet and leadership, and receive helpful industry training.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison is keynoting a two-hour session today (2/24).

Thursday, February 20, 2014

| February 20, 2014

stephanbarnSyndicated Host Doug Stephan Suffers Devastating Loss in Dairy Farm Disaster.  Early yesterday morning (2/19) Eastleigh Farm — located in the suburban Boston community of Framingham, Massachusetts – suffered a winter-related natural disaster in which one of the barn roofs collapsed under the weight of snow trapping, killing and injuring some of the dairy cows at the historic facility.  The farm is owned by nationally syndicated talk show host Doug Stephan, whose long-running morning program “Good Day” is heard on hundreds of stations across the country and is consistently ranked one of the most-listened-to talk shows in the business.  According to reports from the scene (pictured here where a cow is seen being hoisted to safety), at least three cows have died and many others are injured.  The trauma to the cows is immeasurable.  Dairy cows are very sensitive and this has potentially long-term consequences for the health of the farm and the remaining herd.  Stephan is somewhat of a local folk hero in the “Metrowest” region of Massachusetts where the Eastleigh Farm – already beleaguered by economic issues challenging small family farmers across America – has been engaged in a high-profilestephandoug struggle to exist and continue to bring healthy, raw locally raised dairy products to the community.  Eastleigh Farm is the last historical dairy land in Framingham.  A fund-raiser has been launched to help with the formidable veterinarian bills, the care of the cows and the rebuilding of the barn.  For information about the fundraiser, please click here.  To see local video news coverage of the story, please click here.  Ironically, Doug Stephan recently launched a new, weekly one-hour show on TALKERS magazine’s experimental talk radio platform, TalkersRadio titled, “American Family Farmer with Doug Stephan,” designed to bring information, inspiration and a political voice to the hard-pressed, small farmers battling the powerful interests of the mega-corporate-government-supported farm industrial complex that has been systematically squeezing them out of existence.  The show airs with a new installment on TalkersRadio every Saturday morning at 8:00 am ET with repeats throughout the week at 11:00 am ET.  Clearly, this disaster and its aftermath will provide Stephan with a tremendous amount of compelling material and content for the show. (Image: WCVB-TV, Boston)

kasemkerriRadio’s Kerri Kasem to Appear with California Assemblyman Mike Gatto to Introduce Parental Access Legislation.  Industry pros and the radio-loving public have been following the tragic story of radio legend Casey Kasem and his second wife’s refusal to allow Kasem’s adult children to visit him as his health deteriorates due to advanced Parkinson’s disease.  Now a California legislator is introducing a bill that would “provide reasonable accommodations for adult children who want to visit their parents, and provide children the right to know when an ailing parent’s health becomes worse or if the parent dies.  The proposed legislation seeks to protect children from previous marriages from being denied access to a kasemcaseyparent by a parent’s future spouse or child.”  State Assemblyman Mike Gatto will introduce the bill and “Sixx Sense with Nikki Sixx” co-host Kerri Kasem, daughter of Casey from his first marriage, will appear alongside Gatto when that happens today at 2:30 pm PT at the Los Angeles Superior Court.  In explaining the reason for the bill, Gatto’s office states, “Currently, adult children are not afforded the legal right to visit an ailing parent.  With divorce and remarriage becoming more prevalent, there is a greater possibility of conflict between a subsequent spouse and an ailing parent’s children from a previous marriage.  These conflicts can become exacerbated when a parent becomes incapacitated or dies.  In some cases, elderly parents are not even informed that their children wish to see them.  Such conflicts are very painful for those involved and can mean that certain adult children do not get to see their parent(s) before the parent(s) pass away.”

cclogoClear Channel Issues Q4 and 2013 Revenue Numbers; CCM+E Up 3%.  The parent company of Clear Channel Media + Entertainment – Clear Channel Media Holdings LLC – is reporting figures for the fourth quarter of 2013 and for the whole of 2013.  It reports revenue for the CCM+E division was up 3% — 8% excluding political advertising – and it notes that the reason was “due primarily to stronger national and digital advertising, as well as promotional and event sponsorship with the expansion of the Jingle Ball tour, iHeartRadio Music Festival and album release events.”  For all of 2013 CCM+E was up 2%.  The company states that “increases across multiple advertising categories were led by the telecommunications, retail and entertainment advertising markets.  Digital revenue benefited from higher total listening hours, which were up 29%, and from investments in a digital sales organization.  Promotional and event sponsorships also moved higher, driven by special events, such as the iHeartRadio Music Festival, Jingle Ball tour, iHeartRadio Ultimate Pool Party and album release events.”

wgwg logoTribune’s WGWG, Chicago Grabs Finfer for Daily Role.  The Tribune sports talk format airing on WGWG-LP at 87.7 FM adds another local talent as Ben Finfer jumps aboard from CBS RADIO’s crosstown WSCR.  Finfer served as producer for the late morning McNeil & Spiegel show before joining Tribune’s new “The Game 87.7” on Wednesday.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that he’ll be part of the midday shows hosted by David Kaplan and Howard Griffith and Alex Quigley.  While all of the media eyes may be on the new guy in town, WSCR and ESPN O&O WMVP have a healthy head start on WGWG.  Data from Nielsen Audio’s January PPM indicates WSCR enjoyed a 5.0 share with Men 25-54 and WMVP racked up a 3.6 share, according to Feder.

obriencolleenColleen O’Brien Joins KIRO-FM, Seattle for Mornings.  At Bonneville’s news/talk KIRO-FM, Seattle, former KXLY-TV, Spokane news anchor Colleen O’Brien is named morning drive news anchor, filling the role held by Linda Thomas prior to her exit from the station to join Starbucks as managing editor for online news and content strategy.  O’Brien is no stranger to Seattle or the radio side of the business.  Prior to her work in Spokane, O’Brien served at crosstown KOMO-AM/FM.

imusdonThe 4th Annual ‘Imus on Broadway’ Fundraiser ‘Opens’ Monday.  For the fourth year in a row, Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York teams up with “The Great White Way” to present “Imus on Broadway” at the Hard Rock Café in Times Square.  The evening’s event – a benefit for the Imus Ranch for Kids with Cancer – is a one-night-only production hosted by New York Post theatre columnist Michael Riedel and features performances from the casts of: “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder,” “After Midnight,” “Avenue Q,” “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical,” “Chicago,” “Mamma Mia,” “Motown the Musical,” “Kinky Boots,” “La Soiree,” “The Lion King,” “Pippin,” “Phantom of the Opera,” and “Wicked.”

ObamaCare Criticism, Ukraine Unrest, Sochi Olympics, ‘Smart Gun’ Bill, Jay Leno-‘Tonight Show’ Controversy, and Hillary in 2016 Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/19).  Scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act; the violence and political unrest in the Ukraine; the Winter Games in Sochi; the Democratic proposal for new guns to only fire in the hand of the owner; the accusation by a former ‘Tonight Show’ writer that Jay Leno was ousted for picking on President Obama; and the prospect of Hillary Clinton running for president in 2016 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, February 17, 2014

| February 17, 2014

wgwg logoWGN-Programmed FM Debuts Today as Sports Talk ‘The Game 87.7.’  Chicago media writer Robert Feder has the scoop following Friday’s announcement that Tribune’s WGN, Chicago will LMA WKQX-LP at 87.7 beginning today.  Last week Feder tipped us that Jonathon Brandmeier would do mornings when Tribune begins programming the station, but now he informs us the station will be thewgnlogo market’s first FM sports talk station branded “The Game 87.7.”  In addition to Brandmeier in mornings, the rest of the lineup will be: current WGN evening sports host David Kaplan and Chicago Tribune sports columnist David Haugh in middays, followed by WGN’s Alex Quigley and Big Ten Network’s Howard Griffith hosting an early afternoon show.  Former WMVP personality Harry Teinowitz and Spike Manton will host late afternoons with WGN’s Mark Carman hosting the evening show.  Overnights will feature programming from NBC Sports Radio Network.  WGN’s Jordan Bernfield will serve as full-time sports reporter.  Making the move over to the FM from WGN, Kaplan is giving up his “Sports Central” show on WGN and late night host Pete McMurray is bumped into the 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm slot.  Read Feder’s entire column here.

vitalejill‘Flirty Flipper’ Returns to WABC to Produce ‘Curtis & Kuby.’  It’s a return to the studios at Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York for Jill Vitale (a.k.a. Flirty Flipper) who served as Sean Hannity’s producer beginning in 1999 when he was a local NYC-only show.  During her time there she also produced John Gambling’s program before leaving in 2011.  Now, she returns to produce the midday show featuring Curtis Sliwa and Ron Kuby.

kevt logoTucson Talk Personality Jim Parisi to LMA KEVT.  Market talk radio pro Jim Parisi is taking over the operation of One Mart Corp.-owned KEVT under an LMA and is re-branding the former Spanish music station as news/talk radio outlet “Power Talk 1210.”  Tucson Weekly reports Parisi will serve as general manager in addition to hosting the 7:00 am to 10:00 am program.  Other personalities will include Providence, Rhode Island-based Steve Kass for 5:00 am to 7:00 am and John C. Scott for the 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm program.  Fox Sports Radio Network programming will air in evenings and on weekends.  Parisi tells the paper, “I’ve come to a point that the only way to be happy is doing what I believe in.  I’m not doing anything that doesn’t reflect how I truly feel, so it will be the most genuine station I can be a part of.  We should have more local programming than most anyone in town.  We want to be as local, but as budget conscious, as we can so that we don’t go away.”

knbrlogoKNBR, San Francisco Takes Beating Over Olympics Coverage.  When Cumulus Media-owned sports talk outlet KNBR, San Francisco cut away from its coverage of the U.S.A.-Russia men’s hockey game during the shoot-out (which the U.S.A won!) to air “Hooked on Golf,” critics took to the internet to blast the station for the move.  The sports media critique site AwfulAnnouncing called the station out and posted a series of Tweets from fellow critics.  One Tweet came in from a Ryan Covay, who appears to be a KNBR staffer, saying, “I’m @ryancovay at home, not at station.  I imagine it’s because there are specific shows that need to air.  Apologies.”  It’s not been confirmed by KNBR but it appears the “Hooked on Golf” show is a brokered show that broadcasts live from a golf course in San Mateo.  That could explain the decision to cut away.

johnsondaniXtreMEDIA Expands Dani Johnson Show to Daily Format.  More than two years ago, the Dani Johnson show debuted on weekends on premier affiliate WNYM, New York “AM 970 The Answer.”  Now, the program moves to a daily format beginning today (2/17) and Johnson’s program will be available seven days per week.  XtreMEDIA states that “Johnson’s brand of ‘No Excuses, Just Results’ is now heard/seen in more than 66 million television householdsXtreMedialogo nationally, heard in more than 112 terrestrial radio markets, cleared on SiriusXM, and streamed/accessed by hundreds of thousands of social media users on her wesbite, social media pages, and her proprietary smartphone app.  And now she is accessed seven days a week.”  Johnson adds, “I can’t believe how much fun I’m having doing a daily show.  My true desire is to continue to help push people to achieve results in all areas of their lives, so that they can take back control, build financial resources, build stable marriages and families, and ultimately feed orphans and help those who need it most.”  XtreMEDIA CEO Kevin McCullough comments, “Dani connects with people — especially in this hyper-partisan environment — in ways that few people can.  The beauty of her show is that it doesn’t matter where you are on the spectrum of success, if you apply exactly what she shows you, you achieve better results.”

nrb logoMichael Harrison to Speak in Keynote Session at National Religious Broadcasters Convention.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison will serve as a keynote speaker next week at the NRB International Christian Media Convention 2014 in Nashville.  The event, which runs February 22-25 and is preceded by a one-day Digital Media Summit on February 21, is billed as an event that networks thousands of Christian communicators, from program producers to authors, pastors to engineers, directors to vendors presenting outstanding internationally known speakers and musicians and giving attendees the opportunity to attend numerous educational sessions on radio, TV, film, church media, internet and leadership, and receive helpful industry training.  Harrison, whose two-hour session will take place on Monday, February 24 at 2:00 pm, states, “I am really looking forward to participating in this event and spending time getting to better know people from the faith-based sector of the radio and media industries.  It will certainly give me the opportunity to embellish one of the key points of my own personal view of what radio needs to do to be a viable and productive entity in the digital era – and that is to never miss any opportunity to be a hero…to literally serve the community… to spread hope and inspiration…to talk about the many crisis and challenges facing people in everyday life and help them cope.  I recommend this course of action to all broadcasters – but this is a community where it is already proven to be a winning strategy.  I am honored to be a part of this event.”  The conference will take place at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville.  For more information please click here.

rothmanloriOdds & Sods.  On the Fox Business News cable TV simulcast of Cumulus Media NetworksDon Imus show, Lori Rothman is the new business news update reporter.  TVNewser reports that Rothman is moving into the morning role after serving as part of the early-afternoon “Markets Now” crew.  She’s joining FBN’s Connell McShane and Dagen McDowell…..Clear Channel names Brent Henslee operations manager for the company’s six-station Macon, Georgia cluster that includes sports talk WPLA “Fox Sports 1670” and all-comedy WIBB…..KCRW, Santa Monica personality Matt Miller announces he will run as a Democrat for the seat in Congress being vacated by the retiring Henry Waxman.  Miller is co-host of “Left, Right & Center” on the public radio station.  He’s also a columnist for the Washington Post.  Several Democrats are competing in the primary for the party’s nomination to run in the general election.

hendersonangeloDetroit Media Personality Angelo Henderson Dead at 51.  WCHB, Detroit talk show host Angelo Henderson passed away on Saturday (2/15) at age 51 after an illness.  The Radio One Detroit cluster issued the following statement on the WCHB website: “We at Radio One Detroit are devastated by unexpected news today.  We regretfully must confirm the passing of one of our on-air icons Angelo B. Henderson.  Henderson has been with Radio One Detroit for 15 years and was the host of the popular talk show “Your Voice with Angelo Henderson” on Newstalk AM1200/99.9FM WCHB for the past 6 years.”  Vice president and general manager Kathy Stinehour adds, “Angelo was a strong pillar in the community, I am saddened by his untimely passing and he will be greatly missed by the entire Detroit community and his Radio One Detroit family.”  In addition to his broadcasting work Henderson was a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer.

Monday, February 3, 2014

| February 3, 2014

sileodanSports Talker Dan Sileo New AM Host at ‘The Mighty 1090’ in San Diego.  Sports talk personality Dan Sileo – who’s been working at stations in Florida for the past several years – joins Broadcasting Corporation of the Americas-operated XEPRS, San Diego “The Mighty 1090” where he’s the new morning drive host beginning today (2/3).  Sileo most recently was hosting a show at James Crystal Radio’s WMEN, West Palm Beach but was fired from that station in early November of 2013 after shooting off a controversial tweet.  Sileo has also worked at Beasley’s WQAM, Miami and Clear Channel’s WDAE, Tampa.  He takes over the morning show at “The Mighty 1090” from market pro Lee “Hacksaw” Hamilton who will remain with the station in another capacity.  Program director Mike Shepard says, “I am thrilled to welcome Dan to ‘San Diego’s Sports Leader, The Mighty 1090.’  Dan is a passionate, outspoken, engaging and incredibly knowledgeable sports radio personality.  His track record of major market success is remarkable and Dan is a perfect addition to the Mighty 1090’s top-rated, all-star lineup.”

wilc logoNew Talk Station to Air in DC Market.  The Laurel, Maryland-licensed WILC flips from Spanish music to a hybrid of talk and oldies.  The ZGS-owned signal is being operated by Wallis Communications under an LMA and the new format debuts today (2/3).  In a statement, the company says the program schedule is not complete but the station will be “libertarian and conservative talk radio.”  Chief operating officer and general manager Bryan Berner says, “All of us at WILC and Wallis Communications look forward to serving the people of the region and bringing a common sense, fresh perspective to talk radio in the Washington, DC market.”  Programming will include Premiere NetworksGlenn Beck, Wallis Communications’ “The Dr. K Show,” “The Capitol Hill Show with Tim Constantine” and WestwoodOne’s Dennis Miller.  Overnights will showcase vintage radio as the digitally remastered Wolfman Jack will air.

gallaghermikeMike Gallagher Causes Stir with Hoffman Death Observations.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Mike Gallagher’s observations in the aftermath of the untimely death of actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman caused such reaction that his post to his MikeOnline.com site logged more than 50,000 views and drew threats to him, his family and even his dog.  Speaking about the suspected heroin overdose that took Hoffman’s life, Gallagher stated, “Another senseless death. This time, one of the greatest actors of our time.  I wonder if he started with marijuana…If you want to get pot lovers mad, dare to even ask the question if an Oscar-winning movie star who is found dead in his bathroom with a needle stuck in his arm started with marijuana.”  Gallagher has stood firm in his stance against the legalization of marijuana as some states move to legalize and decriminalize the drug.

millerchrisTo Get Listeners to Your Website, Don’t Threaten to Bore Them!  Digital media consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller wonders why we tend to turn the marketing part of our brains off when we go “online.”  We can write good, tempting ad copy for radio but all we’ve learned goes out the window when it comes to our websites.  Miller says that one of the worst ways to get someone to your website is to offer them “all of the details” when they get there.  Not very tempting is it?  More details.  Instead, put your marketing skills to work in the same way you would with a spot.  “A good commercial will do a better job getting business through a client’s front door than a bad commercial will.  It’s the exact same thing getting people to go from your broadcast to one of your digital platforms…or move from one digital platform to another.  Opportunity is knocking.”  Read Miller’s entire piece here.

hannityseanClear Channel Tweaks Lineup at WVOC, Columbia.  The South Carolina news/talk station drops the early evening “Sports Talk” show syndicated by Learfield Sports that aired in afternoon drive and adds Premiere NetworksSean Hannity for the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm slot.  The “Sports Talk” program is hosted by Phil Kornblut, Kevin McCrarey and Tom Hayes.  According to The State, Learfield’s “Sports Talk First Edition” – which aired on CC’s sister sports talk station WXBT “560 The Team” from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm – is also being replaced.  A local sports talk show featuring former South Carolina footballer Rick Sanford will air in the time slot instead.  Learfield tells the paper it is working to place the shows on new affiliates in the market.

francesamikeMike Francesa Fans (and a Few Critics) Gather for FrancesaCon in NYC.  Sports talk pioneer Mike Francesa – afternoon drive host on CBS RADIO’s WFAN-AM/FM, New York – said after learning of the weekend event that the participants would probably be half fans, half critics.  How the numbers came down is unclear but the fact that an estimated 400 gathered at an Upper East Side bar on Saturday (2/1) to celebrate, imitate and even mock Francesa, shows how big he is in New York.  A piece by Jim Baumbach in Newsday tells the story but the short version is as follows: 23-year-old friends Michael Leboff and Ron Haraka came up with the idea of FrancesaCon as a gathering of Mike Francesa fans.  Little did they know that not only would people show up in droves, but they came dressed as Francesa, carried the appropriate props (Diet Coke cans), and did some very good imitations of the man himself.  Some even came dressed as Francesa’s longtime former partner Chris “Mad Dog” Russo and classic Francesa-Russo back-and-forths took place in the bar.  Check out Baumbach’s story in Newsday here.

fccnewFCC Grants Tribune Cross-Ownership Waivers.  The license renewals for several Tribune-owned television stations were being challenged by the United Church of Christ, the Media Alliance and the Teamsters.  The commission handed down rulings on Friday that granted renewals for the licenses though it also granted the petition for reconsideration to the UCC and Media Alliance.  The FCC also reaffirmed the permanent waiver for Tribune in the Chicago market where it owns the Chicago Tribune newspaper, WGN-TV, and WGN-AM.  In making the decision, the commission ruled that “Given the ‘uniquely long-term symbiotic relationship between [Tribune’s] broadcast stations’ and the Chicago Tribune that provides a special benefit of continued cross-ownership, coupled with the slight cost to diversity in Chicago’s massive media market of continued cross-ownership, Tribune has in fact shown sufficiently ‘unique or special circumstances’ to justify the granting of a permanent waiver of the NBCO (newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership) Rule to its Chicago licensees.”

L&L logoL&L Closes on Border Media Trust Stations.  Seven Texas radio stations that were in the Border Media Trust are now owned by Larry Wilson’s L&L Broadcasting.  The stations include San Antonio-licensed outlets news/talk KTSA, sports talk KZDC, adult hits KJXK “Jack 102.7 FM,” regional Mexican KLEY-FM, Jourdanton, regional Mexican KJAH-AM/FM, Pearsall, and CHR KTSM, Floresville.  The station group cost L&L $31 million and puts the company into market #28.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

| January 14, 2014

dollarsignJohn Hogan’s Exit from Clear Channel Cushioned with Cash.  Although the official line from former Clear Channel Media + Entertainment chairman and CEO John Hogan and the company is that he wanted to “spend more time with his family” and the time was right, a fair number of jaded industry watchers will never believe he wasn’t forced out – especially just seven months after he was moved to the company’s New York City offices to work more closely with CC Media Holdings chairman and CEO Bob Pittman.  The company’s 8-K filing details what Hogan is walking away with after his time leading the division.  Here’s what he can counthoganjohn on: $900,000, representing the amount previously earned by Hogan pursuant to a supplemental incentive plan with respect to 2012 performance; an annual bonus of $77,250 for performance during 2013; and a prorated annual bonus with respect to the days he was employed during 2014.  Pursuant to the Separation Agreement and in consideration of the extension by Mr. Hogan of certain restrictive covenants applicable to him, the vesting of 93,076 restricted shares of Class A Common Stock of CCMH granted to Mr. Hogan on October 22, 2012 will be accelerated and CCMH will repurchase 83,938 of such shares (the aggregate repurchase amount of such repurchased shares, the “Repurchase Amount”), provided Mr. Hogan does not revoke the Separation Agreement.  Additionally, in exchange for the Separation Agreement, Mr. Hogan’s release of claims and the extension of certain restrictive covenants applicable to him, and provided that Mr. Hogan does not revoke the Separation Agreement, CCB agreed to pay Mr. Hogan: $333,000, representing the remaining amount earned by Mr. Hogan pursuant to a supplemental incentive plan with respect to 2011 performance; an “equity value preservation payment” equal to $1,027,355, paid in a lump sum payment; a lump sum severance payment equal to (x) $1,538,000 minus (y) the Repurchase Amount; a severance payment equal to $3,297,000, paid over 36 months; and a payment of $1,000,000, paid over 12 months, beginning on the first anniversary of the date of separation.  Hogan is also entitled to receive continued healthcare coverage for 36 months, continued secretarial services for 6 months, $20,000 in outplacement services, and a housing allowance of $25,000 per month for up to 9 months, which amount is grossed up for certain applicable taxes; provided, that the housing allowance payments will stop if Mr. Hogan ceases to have obligations under the terms of his current lease agreement.  CCB also will pay up to $25,000 for Mr. Hogan’s reasonable legal fees incurred in connection with the negotiation of the Separation Agreement.

hannityseanSean Hannity to Air on Salem’s WDTK, Detroit.  The Motor City destination for Premiere NetworksSean Hannity show is Salem Communications-owned WDTK.  The program will air live in the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm slot.wdtk logo  It previously was heard on crosstown news/talk WJR since its 2001 national debut.  WDTK general manager Chris MacCourtney states, “The opportunity to bring Sean Hannity aboard was one we felt we could not pass up.  Sean was an instant hit when he came to Detroit and he continues to be one of the most popular talk personalities in the market.  He will join an already solid lineup of talk talent on ‘News/Talk 1400.’”  Since the first of the year, Hannity’s program had been added to Salem outlets WIND, Chicago; WWRC, Washington; and KSKY, Dallas.

quigleyalexDouble Shot of WGN, Chicago News.  Two items from Tribune’s WGN, Chicago: First, as Chicago media writer Robert Feder reported over the weekend, assistant program director Alex Quigley has been upped to operations manager at news/talk WGN, Chicago.  Quigley worked in the market at former Emmis alternative rock WKQX as interactive program manager.  When he first came to WGN he hosted the weekend show “ChicagoNow Radio” and “Chicago Preps Plus.”  WGN vice president of creative content Todd Manley said in a memo to staffers, “This is a recognition of Alex’s role in our expanding future…He’ll be mentoring producers and searching for new talent that builds our farm system, coordinating special programming, scheduling, digging deep on ratings analysis, and dreaming big dreams.”  Second,jacobsonwalter longtime television news personality Walter Jacobson brings his “Perspective” commentaries to the station beginning this Thursday.  Robert Feder reports that the longtime WBBM-TV anchor who exited the station last February will present his 90-second feature on Thursdays during Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano’s midday show and they will be repeated on the weekend during “The Sunday Spin: Politics with Rick Pearson” program.  Jacobson will also appear as a contributor to various shows on WGN.  Jacobson tells Feder, “Having been listening to WGN Radio since the day I became a reporter, and believing it’s the best in the business, I’m thrilled to be joining the team.  For me, it’s a perfect fit at a perfect time.  The station’s coming back, and 2014 is going to be an intriguing and exciting year in Chicago’s wild and woolly politics.”

salemcommunicationsSalem Communications Buys Eagle Publishing for $8.5 Million.  It had been reported recently that this deal was on the way and now it’s official as Salem Communications enters into a deal to purchase the assets of Eagle Publishing that includes conservative book publisher Regnery Publishing, and digital properties RedState.com and HumanEvents.com.  In a statement, Salem CEO Edward Atsinger IIIeaglepub logo says, “Eagle is one of the most influential companies in the conservative media space.  Its addition to Salem brings together a unique portfolio of conservative media properties and fits with our strategy of integrating traditional media and new media assets all serving the same target audience.  The opportunity we like most about this acquisition is that each of Eagle’s businesses matches up so well with Salem’s extensive media platform.  With 102 radio stations and a dozen major national websites all targeting the conservative community, this provides a perfect marketing platform to promote Eagle’s products to a wider audience.”  The purchase price is $8.5 million and current Eagle CEO Jeff Carneal will exit the organization as a result of the acquisition.

sternhoward‘A-List’ Talent Jon Bon Jovi and John Fogerty Added to Howard Stern Birthday Broadcast.  The January 31 birthday bash broadcast for SiriusXM’s Howard Stern just added two more “A-list” talents as Jon Bon Jovi and John Fogerty will join Steven Tyler, David Letterman and Louis C.K. for the show to be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel live from the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City.  On his program, Stern announced, “We have told you on the music side of things that we have Steven Tyler coming by to do a little number in honor of my birthday, I’m so honored…[today] I am excited [to announce that]…Jon Bon Jovi is going to perform…I am very excited to see Jon and thank him for that.  And also one of my heroes will perform that night—one of the greats, the all-time greats.  A guy whose every record I bought when he was in Creedence Clearwater Revival, and later his solo stuff, John Fogerty will come by to perform two great songs – I won’t say what the songs are, [but] we’re really excited about that…the list just begins there, Robin, it just begins there [there is] a huge amount of musicians coming by to help us out…it’s great.”

dubayjeffSports Talk Host Jeff Dubay Exits KSTP, Minneapolis in Budget Move.  Twin Cities sports talk personality Jeff Dubay, who fought a public battle against drug addiction to return to the airwaves in the market on Hubbard Radio’s KSTP, has left the station in what he says is a budget-related move.  The Star-Tribune reports Dubay – who worked at Clear Channel’s “KFAN” sports talk brand for 10 years before a crack cocaine addiction sidelined him – sent social media messages indicating that he was let go from the late morning show he co-hosted with Judd Zulgad because of financial reasons.  The station posted a message on its Facebook page confirming the matter was financial and not performance related.  The paper reports KSTP waived Dubay’s non-compete and he is free to work in the market if the opportunity arises.

shannonmikecardsShannon Staying With the Redbirds. St. Louis Cardinals fans will continue to hear Mike Shannon as the voice of the National League team that appeared in the 2013 World Series, as the former MLB player signs a two-year contract extension.  This will be Shannon’s 42nd year as a Cardinals broadcaster and 56th year with the team.  According to club president Bill DeWitt, “Mike’s voice has become the soundtrack to St. Louis baseball.  We look forward to having him back in the booth this season and for years to come.”  It is anticipated that Shannon will call all Cardinals’ home games this year for St. Louis flagship KMOX and roughly 30 road games for the CBS Radio-owned talk station.  Fox Sports Midwest‘s Rick Horton and former lefty relief pitcher Al Hrabosky will do the remaining road games.  Shannon will continue his work throughout the year on KMOX pre-game, post-game, and morning drive call-in segments.

mhblasingamebookGreat Read!  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison is pictured intensely absorbing the new book authored by independently syndicated talk show host Jim Blasingame titled The Age of the Customer: Prepare for the Moment of Relevance  (2014 SBN Books).  Blasingame is the longtime host of the very successful program “The Small Business Advocate Show” which is targeted to helping independent entrepreneurs and business owners cope with the day-to-day issues that face people running their own companies during this era of rapidly accelerating change.  This book, Blasingame’s third, is “his best work yet,” according to Harrison and “must-reading for anyone out there on the perilous high seas of today’s turbulent marketplace…especially those who are doing it independently without the backing of the Wall Street/banking/big-time money machine.”  Harrison goes on to say, “This includes those brave and hardy ‘Davids’ owning and operating independent radio stations and small groups, syndication companies and internet communications startups bucking the death grip of today’s mega-corporate ‘Goliaths.’”  The premise of the book is that small business owners are operating at a time that is so momentous it has never happened before.  Blasingame, a veteran of TALKERS magazine’s Heavy Hundred, identifies it as an epochal marketplace shift that’s causing the 10,000 year old Age of the Seller to be replaced by the Age of the Customer.  With an introduction by Steve Forbes, Blasingame’s book reveals how these two ages are existing concurrently in parallel universes, and how much time business-people have left to join the emerging universe.  He says relevance is replacing competitiveness and explains how to recognize when you arrive at the “moment of relevance,” how to connect with “new-influencers” who co-own your brand message; why you must be a good storyteller; the good, the bad and the ugly of social media; and he identifies the “killer app” that wasn’t a part of your past but will dominate your future.  Broadcasters interested in learning more about this book and perhaps scheduling Jim Blasingame as a guest can visit AgeoftheConsumer.com or email jim@jbsba.com.

cpb logoWHYY, Philadelphia-Led Local Journalism Center Awarded CPB Grant.  The recipient organization of a Corporation for Public Broadcasting grant for $1.5 million is the new multimedia local journalism center (LJC), Keystone Crossroads — a collaboration of Pennsylvania public media stations.  The new Keystone Crossroads is led by WHYY, Philadelphia.  Pittsburgh’s WQED and WESA FM, Central Pennsylvania’s WPSU and Harrisburg’s WITF will be partner stations.  The LJC will focus on the challenges the cities are facing, including a shrinking tax base and crumbling infrastructure, and enormous budget deficits.  The Corporation for Public Broadcasting  states, “By combining smart storytelling with energetic civic engagement, Keystone Crossroads will help Pennsylvanians see the challenges of their cities more clearly, understand how they are related, and create a forum for potential solutions at both the local and state levels.”  CPB president Pat Harrison adds, “Local Journalism Centers are really centers of collaboration comprising public media stations working together to report on local stories with significant impact.  This kind of focused collaboration ensures in depth reporting on issues of importance and concern to Pennsylvanians and of interest to all Americans.”  In addition to Keystone Crossroads, CPB  funds six other LJCs across the country, including:  EarthFix based in the Northwest; Fronteras in the Southwest; Harvest in the Midwest; Innovation Trail in upstate New York, the Southern Education Desk in the South, and most recently the Energy LJC in the Rocky Mountains.

Chris Christie Scandal, Hillary Clinton in 2016, New Congressional Spending Deal, ObamaCare Enrollment Status, A-Rod Suspension/Legal Challenge, and Golden Globe Awards Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/13).  The ongoing analysis of the Chris Christie lane closure scandal and apology press conference; speculation about Hillary Clinton’s plans to run for president in 2016; the new $1 trillion spending plan approved by Congress; enrollment in healthcare plans via the Affordable Care Act; Alex Rodriguez 162-game suspension and his plans to challenge the arbitration ruling; and the aftermath of Sunday’s Golden Globe Awards were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, January 6, 2014

| January 6, 2014

longbrianLong Set To Program Clear Channel, San Diego Combo.  Former senior director of programming for Bonneville Seattle’s KIRO-AM “710 ESPN,Brian Long, has been tapped to program Clear Channel, San Diego’s news/talk KOGO-AM and KLSD “Xtra Sports 1360.” Vice president of programming John Peake comments, “Brian will bring a diverse perspective from multiple markets and stations to our spoken-word brands.  We are excited to add Brian’s management and broadcasting experience to the San Diego programming team.  We are confident that KOGO-AM and ‘Xtra Sports’ will prosper under his tutelage.”  Long previously was assistant program director and “In the Zone” host on Los Angeles’ KSPN “710 ESPN.”  Prior to that, the Kansas City native programmed in Palm Springs, California for KXPS “The Team 1010,” KFUT “Fox Sports 1270,” and KNWZ “K-News.”  Long begins his San Diego assignment in two weeks (1/21).

caplisdanCaplis to Host Late Morning Show on KNUS, Denver.  Salem Communications-owned news/talk KNUS, Denver adds local TV and radio personality Dan Caplis to the program lineup in the 9:00 am to 11:00 am slot.  Caplis – an attorney – most recently worked in radio at Clear Channel’s crosstown news/talk KHOW with co-host Craig Silverman.  KNUS general manager Brian Taylor says, “With the upcoming election cycle, plus the compelling local issues that have put Colorado in the forefront recently, it is significant for us to offer another powerful local voice like market veteran Dan Caplis.  Combined with Peter Boyles and Steve Kelley, 710 KNUS will now offer more daily, live local conservative talk programming than any other station in the Denver market.”

millerchrisNew Year Changes at Facebook That Affect You.  Digital media consultant Chris Miller informs us that Facebook recently made some important changes that affect how users get to show the content they do.  Miller writes, “The news and entertainment site Buzzfeed first picked up on it before Facebook made it official.  The folks at Buzzfeed noticed that, all of a sudden, online content publishers were getting a huge increase in hits.  That group of publishers includes a wide variety of content providers, but the way to think about it is ‘sites that find and write about stuff that others should find interesting.’”  Miller says that all social platforms are getting more sophisticated about how they determine what their users will see.  Facebook has adjusted their formula that determines what content we all get shown, emphasizing the interesting over the merely silly and self-serving.  Here’s how to help insure that more of your posts get shown to your fan base.  Read Miller’s column here.

cookehollandAnalysis: 2014 NMX Podcasters Conference.  Media consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas this week covering the New Media Expo and the enormous 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show.  First up, Cooke reports from the weekend’s happenings at 2014 NMX.  Cooke says the standing-room-only crowd was replete with people focused on talking targeted, passionate interests with its audience.  “And they’re not just talking to your geographical area.  And they are not merely, as clichéd station imaging assures, ‘talking-about what-you’re-talking-about,’” says Cooke.  “Instead of belaboring Benghazi, they’re bonding with ‘ovewhelmed adoptive moms, by telling the truth about the post-adoption journey, so they feel validated and encouraged for the road ahead.’  If more station websites offered narrowcast content that’s specifically appealing, and used transmitters to invite those moms to engage, new digital revenue would follow.”  Read Cooke’s entire report from 2014 NMX in Las Vegas here.

rantzjasonJason Rantz Promoted to Daily Evening Show at KIRO-FM, Seattle.  Bonneville Seattle news/talk KIRO-FM ups Jason Rantz from his year-old weekend show on the station to the daily 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm program effective this evening.  KIRO-FM program director Pete Gammell says, “Jason is an extremely knowledgeable and thoughtful host who always seeks opposing views to further listeners’ understanding.  We always strive to connect entertainment to value and discussion to understanding.  This is Jason’s strength and I’m sure listeners will agree.”   Speaking about his new gig, Rantz states, “I’m excited by the opportunity to talk with Western Washington as a part of KIRO’s weekday team.  I’ve enjoyed interacting and engaging the KIRO Radio listeners during my previous weekend show and now I’m thrilled to bring this same dynamic to weeknights.  There are so many important issues affecting our community and the nation, and it is vital that we come together to have a civil but challenging and vigorous discussion.  I hope my evening show will become that forum.”

ktar-am logoBonneville Gives Sports Talk KTAR-AM, Phoenix FM Simulcast.  Shuttering adult hits KPKX “98.7 The Peak,” Bonneville Phoenix gives sports talker KTAR-AM an FM signal on which to simulcast.  The company has been building multi-platform sports content destination “Arizona Sports” using the AM radio station and a local sports content-heavy website and now adds an FM signal to the mix.  Vice president and market manager Scott Sutherland states, “Putting ‘Arizona Sports’ on FM is an opportunity too big to ignore.  Our live, local and exclusive sports content has never been better.  We have world-class local talk personalities who deliver powerful opinions and insights that engage, entertain and positively impact the communities we serve.  We also have amazing team partners.  And all of this attracts a passionate and loyal audience, which in turn, attracts a lot of marketing interest from small and medium business owners, major brands and C-Suite decision makers.”  The stations serve as flagship broadcaster for the Phoenix Suns, Arizona Cardinals, Arizona Diamondbacks, Phoenix Coyotes, Arizona State University and broadcasts Arizona Interscholastic Association prep sporting events from around the state.

czabansteveRed Zebra Re-Ups with Steve Czaban at ‘ESPN 980’ in Washington.  Red Zebra Broadcasting and sports talk host Steve Czaban have agreed to terms on a new three-year deal that will keep the afternoon drive co-host with WTEM, Washington, DC “ESPN 980” through 2016.  Czaban has been co-hosting the afternoon drive time slot for WTEM for the last 13 years.  Vice president of programming Chuck Sapienza comments, “Czabe is integral to the success of our station.  We look forward to three additional years of Czabe, Cooley and Galdi.”  Steve Czaban co-hosts “The Drive with Cooley & Czabe” from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm and also hosts the golf program “Sunday Tee Time,” at 8:00 am on Sunday mornings during golf season.

theblaze logoGlenn Beck’s ‘TheBlaze Radio News’ Launces Today.    “TheBlaze Radio News” – the latest AM/FM program offering from Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze – hits stations on the AM/FM dial today after debuting on SiriusXM’s Patriot channel several months ago.  The service offers hourly newscasts from anchors and reporters around the nation providing news and information specifically targeted to talk radio listeners.  The casts draw on the reporting from TheBlaze television network and its website TheBlaze.com which it says “generates over 20 million unique visitors per month and is one of the 100 most trafficked websites in America.”  The service is airing today in markets including Chicago, Houston, Phoenix, Denver, Las Vegas and Birmingham, Alabama.

ingolddougCompass Names Ingold Sales Exec.  Compass Media Networks brings Doug Ingold aboard as senior director of affiliate sales for entertainment & music programming beginning January 20.  The company says Ingold “will be based in Los Angeles and assume a vital role in the expansion of Compass’ long-form entertainment and music shows including Big D & Bubba, “Free Beer & Hot Wings,” “Off The Record,” “Out of Order,” Rick Dees and “Skratch N Sniff.”  Compass VP of affiliate sales Adam Wilbur comments, “Our entertainment portfolio is growing rapidly and the time is right for us to add someone of Doug’s caliber to spearhead day-to-day affiliate marketing.”

mcmurraypeteMcMurray Show Expands at WGN.  According to Chicago media writer Robert Feder, late night talk show host Pete McMurray’s show will expand with a new earlier start time at 10:00 pm (and end at 2:00 am), shaving an hour off David Kaplan’s evening sports talk program.  Feder quotes WGN vice president of creative content Todd Manley saying, “Pete has become our all-purpose star in a variety of fill-in roles.  I think he gets what we’re trying to do very well, especially in providing lots of video content.  Between Pete and [producer] Scott Miller, they do an amazing job of booking great guests and being about the city.”  Read the story here.

hotchkisskeithHotchkiss Transfers to Charlotte as Director of Sales.  As of today (1/6), Keith Hotchkiss is Clear Channel Charlotte’s director of sales.  He joins that operation from Cleveland where he was general sales manager of Clear Channel-owned CHR WAKS “Kiss-FM,” news/talk WTAM, rock WMMS, and WMMS-HD2 “99X.”  Regional Market Manager Charlie Wilkinson remarks that, “Keith’s proven sales leadership will have an immediate impact in Charlotte.  I’m confident he will be an integral part of our success now and well into the future.”  Clear Channel’s five-station Charlotte cluster consists of alternative WEND “The End,” CHR WHQC “Channel 96-1,” country WKKT “The Kat,” adult hits WLKO “The Lake,” and classic rock WRFX “The Fox.”

smithlauraOdds & Sods.  WABC, New York radio personality Laura Smith is sitting in for the first few shows with new 5:00 pm program host Pat Kiernan starting today.  Smith currently hosts two weekend programs on WABC – “Living Better with Laura Smith” and “The Saturday Café.”  Kiernan is an anchor on cable’s NY1 and his show is part of the newly revised program lineup at the station…..Tribune’s WGN, Chicago resumes its “Blackhawks Live” live broadcast promotion on Thursday, January 13 featuring defenseman Duncan Keith at the Old Town Pour House in Chicago.  “Blackhawks Live” is a series of one-hour radio broadcasts hosted over dinner throughout the year featuring current Blackhawks players, legends and management. Blackhawks radio broadcasters John Wiedeman and Troy Murray host the event that includes a question-and-answer format between the hosts and the featured Blackhawks guests.

iheartradioFour New Integrations for iHeartRadio.  Clear Channel announces its iHeartRadio digital entertainment platform is headed to dashboards in three auto makes, including Jaguar Land Rover, Volvo and Kia.  In addition to these OEMs, iHeartRadio will also be available via platform solution provider Bosch.  The company states that in 2014, Jaguar Land Rover vehicles equipped with Bosch SoftTec’s innovative InControl Apps platform, Volvo vehicles equipped with the Sensus Connect infotainment solution and Kia vehicles with UVO will have access to iHeartRadio.

colemanjerry“Oh Doctor!” – Jerry Coleman Passes Away.  That was one of the favorite on-air expressions uttered by the 89-year-old Jerry Coleman, whose death was confirmed Sunday night (1/5) by the San Diego Padres, the MLB team for whom he called games since 1972.  A portion of the team’s prepared statement read, “On behalf of Padres’ fans everywhere, we mourn the loss of a Marine who was truly an American hero as well as a great man, a great friend and a great Padre.”  He played parts of nine seasons with the New York Yankees (1949 – 1957).  After retiring, he began a broadcasting career with CBS-TV (1960 – 1962), where he conducted pregame interviews on the network’s “Game of the Week” broadcasts.  He did play-by-play for the Yankees on WCBS-AM and WPIX-TV (1963 – 1969), Angels (1970 – 1971), and Padres (1972 to this past season).  He also called regular-season and postseason broadcasts for CBS Radio from the mid-1970s to the 1990s.  For three years of Coleman’s tenure with the Padres, his on-air partner was sitcom writer par excellence-music radio on-air talent Ken Levine, who writes on KenLevine.blogspot.com, “I loved Jerry.  He was your favorite uncle – always cheerful, always there for you.  His passion for the game of baseball was infectious and his zest for life was inspiring.  Other than having to broadcast meaningless spring training games, I cannot think of anything Jerry Coleman didn’t view in a positive light.  He was also incredibly humble.  When we were on the road, I picked his brain for hours, and he graciously and patiently answered all of my questions.  Jerry Coleman worked Padres games up until his death.  He led a rich full life and he would often point out how lucky he was.  So many of his friends had died young in a war – he lived to be 89 in relatively good health.”  In 2005, Coleman received the Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasting excellence; two years later, he was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame.  As of the 2010 season, he reduced his broadcast schedule to approximately 25 home day games.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

| January 2, 2014

grantbobIconic Talk Show Host Bob Grant Dead at 84.  Just months after retiring from his weekend talk show at WABC, New York, Bob Grant passed away on New Year’s Eve after what’s being described as a brief illness.  Grant began his talk radio career at KABC in Los Angeles in the mid-1960s but rose to fame when he came to New York and began a regular talk show at WMCA in 1970.  Grant’s career saw him move around the New York radio dial; he worked at WABC and WOR and – for a time – WWDB-FM, Philadelphia.  He is regularly cited by today’s conservative talk radio practitioners as the man who pioneered the opinionated, call-it-as-you-see-it style of issues-oriented talk radio upon which the modern era of the format was built.  Read more about his legendary career here.

sliwakubyCurtis & Kuby Return to WABC, New York.  Cumulus Media names Curtis Sliwa and Ron Kuby midday talk hosts at WABC, New York – returning one of the most popular local talk teams to the station where they first worked together more than 13 years ago.  The Curtis & Kuby show aired on WABC from 2000 to 2007 pairing the conservative Sliwa with the ultra-liberal Kuby for a show that was very successful.  Cumulus COO John Dickey says in a statement, “We’re delivering on our pledge to invest in localized content that will entertain, inform and engage listeners while also providing advertisers unique opportunities to reach their customers on a sustained basis.  Sliwa adds, “Ever since I left 77 WABC, everywhere I go people have asked me if and when I would ever reunite with Ron Kuby, because that was a great show!  At a time when New Yorkers are starved for information and entertainment, I’m thrilled that we’ll be able to offer it to them on the greatest news/talk station this country has ever seen.”  And Kuby comments, “I am thrilled to be back at legendary 77 WABC radio with the Curtis & Kuby show — it is a new day for New York City and a new afternoon for Newkiernanpat York radio!”  Sliwa has most recently been hosting both morning and afternoon shows at Salem’s crosstown WNYM “AM 970 The Answer.”  In addition to the Curtis & Kuby show, Cumulus is adding a local hour from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm hosted by NY1 TV anchor Pat Kiernan.  Kiernan states, “My first broadcasting job was in radio so this is a natural way for me to extend my connection with New Yorkers.  I see this as a great way for listeners to reconnect after the workday.  We’re going to hit the big local stories, but we also want to plug into the conversation of the day.  That can include anything from pop culture to sports to the hot topic on Twitter.”  These moves come as the station transitions the late morning Geraldo Rivera show to local content and adds the Cumulus Media Networks nationally syndicated Michael Savage for the 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm slot.

wabcWABC, New York Names Craig Schwalb PD; Tony Mascaro Takes WPRO, Providence Programming Post.   Along with the programming changes announced above, Cumulus Media announces Craig Schwalb is being promoted to program director of WABC, New York from the company’s WPRO, Providence.  At the same time, Tony Mascaro moves from his operations manager post at WABC to program director of WPRO and sister business news outlet WPRV.  The company states that Schwalb has nearly two decades of news, talk and sports programming experience with roles held in markets including New York City, Detroit, St. Louis and Raleigh.  Prior to joining Cumulus, Schwalb was thewpro logo senior director of talk programming for SiriusXM.  Schwalb says, “WABC has inspired countless broadcasters over the years and to now lead WABC into its next phase will be an absolute pleasure.  Without a doubt, working alongside Cumulus NYC market manager Kim Bryant, COO John Dickey, SVP programming Mike McVay and corporate program director Randall Bloomquist, will be an honor.”  Speaking about his return to Providence, Mascaro comments, “I am thrilled to be returning to Providence where it all started for me.  WPRO-AM is a legendary radio station with an amazing line-up of talent.  I wish everyone at WABC continued success for the future.  Thanks to John Dickey, Mike McVay, Randall Bloomquist and Providence market manager Barbara Haynes for this opportunity to program a heritage radio station in a great radio market.”

hannityseanSean Hannity to Air Live on KVI, Seattle.  Premiere Networks nationally syndicated superstar Sean Hannity returns to Seattle’s “Talk Radio 570” KVI today airing live in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot.  This marks a reunion with the station on which his show debuted in 2001.  Program director Paul Duckworth states, “We’re thrilled to bring Sean back to KVI.  Listeners deserve to hear Sean’s program live and get the most up-to-the-minute news, information and analysis.”  Hannity adds, “From the very first day I went on the air and that red light went on, I have been in love with radio.  I’m thrilled, excited, ecstatic, exuberant to be back on America’s original conservative talk station, ‘Talk Radio 570 KVI.’”  In addition, “The Hannity Encore” will air on the station Sundays from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.

wind logo

WIND, Chicago Expands Morning Show; Adds Sean Hannity.  Salem Communications-owned news/talk WIND, Chicago announces the expansion of the morning drive show co-hosted by Big John Howell and Amy Jacobson plus the addition of Premiere’s Sean Hannity show to the lineup.  Beginning Monday, January 6, Bill Bennett‘s “Morning in America” returns live to the station for the 5:00 am to 6:00 am hour.  Howell and Jacobson will air in the expanded 6:00 am to 11:00 am slot.  Westwood One’s Dennis Miller remains in the 11:00 am to 2:00 pm slot but now airs live.  Sean Hannity also airs live from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm.  WIND general manager Jeff Reisman comments, “Sean Hannity is an ideal fit on ‘AM 560 The Answer.’  Sean is one of the premier news/talk personalities and his style will fit nicely with our outstanding lineup of local and national hosts.”

kaplandavidWGN, Chicago Gives David Kaplan New Contract.  Talk host and reporter David Kaplan inks a new, multi-year contract with Tribune’s WGN, Chicago.  Kaplan hosts the eponymous nightly sports talk show that airs from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm and serves as afternoon drive sports reporter as well as host of the Cubs and Blackhawks Confidential programs.  Kaplan comments, “It’s a thrill to continue my career at WGN Radio where I have spent the last 18-plus years.  I’m thankful to work for the best mind in radio, Jimmy de Castro, and I’m blessed to be able to talk sports in my hometown of Chicago on the best radio station in America.”  De Castro adds, “We are driven to deliver live and local programming to our listeners.  Kap has his finger on the pulse of Chicago sports and we’re excited for him to be a part of our multi-dimensional future.”

jamesmarcMarc James Goes Solo at “The Fan” in Charlotte.  CBS RADIO announces WFNZ, Charlotte “Sports Radio 610 The Fan” afternoon drive personality Marc James begins hosting the afternoon drive slot on the station solo as former co-host Taylor Zarzour leaves the show to host “Bleacher Report Radio” on SiriusXM‘s sports zone channel.  James and Zarzour had been co-hosting “The Drive” since they were paired up in 2011.  The station says Zarzour will continue to remain a part of the WFNZ family by calling into the show with Marc weekly.  Zarzour says, “I’ll be forever grateful for the opportunity that OM DJ Stout and market manager Bill Schoening gave me at WFNZ.  I am extremely proud of the success that we had in my three years on the show and have no doubt Marc and the crew will continue to grow the audience.  I am excited about my next opportunity but will continue to be a part of the WFNZ family.”  The show’s other cast members include The Q.C.B., Hitman, and Jayweezie.  Stout says, “Although it is bittersweet to see Taylor go, he has done a great job for us and we will miss his talent and professionalism.  We’re excited for Marc to take on this opportunity.  He is a top notch talent and we look forward to him taking The Drive to the next level.”  James comments, “Taylor Zarzour is probably the hardest working person in sports talk radio.  He made me a better host, but more importantly a better man.  I look forward to taking ‘Sports Radio 610 WFNZ the Fan’ to unparalleled heights in the future. Charlotte is hands down one of the best sports towns in America and we will continue to make Charlotte proud to call WFNZ THE best sports talk station in the city.”

xmas story albumThe Miracle of “A Christmas Story.”  Ever the radio historian, noted media consultant Walter Sabo reminds us about the power of story-telling as an audience-building device.  In a new column posted today (1/2) Sabo discusses the movie “A Christmas Story” which was based on the synthesis of dozens of radio monologues created and delivered by the late and legendary talker Jean Shepherd.  Shepherd broadcast on WOR, New York from 1958-1975.  His nightly monologues were not bedtime stories.  According to Sabo, they were subversive proclamations, challenging authority wrapped in imagery of American traditions.  Shepherd worked without a script, but with massive prep.  Some of his shows took months to come to fruition in his imagination.  He recorded every show.  The importance of Shepherd’s work is that it was not on NPR or an obscure station.  WOR was the number one station in audience and revenue in America through most of his reign.  It was a talk station that appealed primarily to women—about 70% of the cume was female.  About 70% of the hosts were women.  There were many other dominant talk stations at the time that appealed primarily to women such as KMOX, WCCO, WGN and WBZ.  Shepherd’s audience was young, more male.  His show often presented a youngster’s perspective on the idiocy of authority, success, day-people and capitalism.  He bashed advertising, radio, television and anything that was mainstream or plastic. In other words he trashed, on every level, the success of his employer: The number one radio station in America owned by General Tire and Rubber.  He did that every night.  There is much contemporary talk broadcasters can learn from this slice of radio history.  To read Sabo’s entire piece, please click here.

nielsen logoNieslen Audio December PPM Data Released.  The December 2013 PPM ratings data has been released by Nielsen Audio.  Numbers for all 48 PPM-rated markets have been made public and that information can be found at the site of TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo.  Check out the main page for managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian’s “Takeaways” here or go straight to the full ratings data here.

ces2014Coming Next Week: The 2014 International CES.  Media consultant and TALKERS columnist Holland Cooke will report from next week’s 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.  He teases the event asking, “How dizzying is the-pace-of-change?”  Media are now asked NOT to refer to this massive, mind-boggling event as “The Consumer Electronics Show,” because whassup here has transcendedcookeholland hardware.

Sure, there’ll be gadgets aplenty in an exhibit hall bigger than 30 football fields, many of ‘em obsoleting whatever seemed so-cutting-edge last year.  But many of the ways technology is changing our everyday lives are…invisible, “The Internet of Things.”

Yes, the Amazon drone story was a publicity stunt.

But 62% of Internet traffic is now robots.

Maybe your refrigerator isn’t (yet) auto-ordering milk; and none of us are riding driver-less cars.

Yet already, patients can enable doctors to monitor real-time vital signs.

Soon, your alarm clock could wake you earlier if the route you commute has a traffic tangle.  And your thermostat will auto-adjust, based on the changing weather forecast.  Traditional radio information hooks are no longer franchises.  If you think I’m exaggerating, look at your iPhone.

Come along, virtually…

Look for my coverage here next week in TALKERS and RadioInfo; and follow my real-time Tweets @HollandCooke.  I’ll also be reporting for the Jim Bohannon show and “America in the Morning,” and on my client stations.

And it’ll be a ‘Vegas convention two-fer.  Again this year, I’ll also be covering NMX, the New Media Expo, formerly “Blogworld,” before-that “The Podcast & New Media Expo,” which, a decade ago, already drew twice-as-many attendees as radio conventions.

With media consumers now in on-demand pick-N-choose mode — and with advertising and marketing money flowing to the digital platform — these internet content creators’ work is now instructive to what TALKERS and RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison has termed broadcast stations’ “survival and ‘thrival.’”

pattiznormNorm Pattiz to Keynote NMX 2014.  Speaking of the New Media Expo, Courtside Entertainment Group CEO Norm Pattiz will be among the three media execs keynoting the conference when it gets underway this weekend in Las Vegas.  Speaking alongside tech expert Leo Laporte and Stitcher CEO Noah Shanok, Pattiz – Westwood One founder and CEO of Podcast One – will address the former Blogworld conference at 9:00 am on Monday, January 6.  The title of the keynote address is “The Future of Podcasting.”

wmyt logoWMYT, Wilmington Adds Programming.  Talk Media TV-owned news/talk WMYT, Wilmington, North Carolina announces program additions to is schedule beginning with its “Super Saturdays” lineup.  The station says the new addition to its “Super Saturdays,” which consists of eight local shows, is “The Car Doctor with Val Boudreau.”  Also, the station announces it is bringing the new “The Blaze News” regular news updates to listeners airing every 15 minutes, saying “’The Blaze News’ spots, in addition to our Fox Business News spots, will expand our national news content and coverage!”  WMYT is also adding Premiere NetworksAndy Dean to the daily schedule airing weeknights from 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm.

ktxx logoAustin Sports Talker KTXX-FM Purchased By Local Group.  The Austin American-Statesman reports that longtime market media personality Bob Cole heads up an ownership group that is purchasing sports talk KTXX-FM “The Horn” and its sister AM signal KWNX from Total Austin Sports Radio for an undisclosed sum.  Cole – who serves as the Texas Longhorns stadium announcer and is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Texas Radio Hall of Fame – tells the paper the station will remain sports but that “We’re going to do something a little different, that fills a hole that no one else in the market is filling.”  Earlier this year the group purchased country outlet KOKE where Cole hosts the morning show.

keib logoOdds & Sods.  Clear Channel changes the call letters of KTLK, Los Angeles to KEIB – a nod to its new centerpiece, Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh, whose Excellence in Broadcasting network moniker is often shortened to EIB.  The station flipped from progressive talk to conservative talk as of today (1/2) and the station’s brand is “The Patriot.”  Limbaugh moved over from sister news/talk KFI…..CBS RADIO’s WIP-FM, Philadelphia “SportsRadio 94 WIP” is giving away a pair of tickets to Saturday night’s Eagles-Saints NFC Wild Card game at Lincoln Financial Field to the person “who needs them the most.”  The station iswiplogo telling listeners to make a banner that says “94WIP I Need Eagles Playoff Tickets,” make it big, creative and hang it where WIP can see – as long as it’s legal.  On Friday afternoon, the station will send its spotters out to select the best banner and will award the tickets accordingly…..ESPN Radio returns to the Columbia, South Carolina market after a 17-month absence on L&L Broadcasting’s WOIC “ESPN Columbia 1230 AM.”  WOIC flipped from news/talk on January 1 and is carrying much of the ESPN Radio lineup.  It will also air local programs “The Zone” hosted by Duane “The Shot Doctor” Everett from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm and “Sports Hotline” with Bobby Gist and Ernest Robinson from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm…..The “Positive Business with Patricia Raskin” show announces the addition of new co-host Lynda Adams.  “Positive Business” airs every Friday from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm on business talk WPRV, Providence where it’s been heard for the past four years.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

| November 7, 2013

sportshh2013TALKERS Publishes Second Annual “Heavy Hundred” of Sports Talk Radio.  The editors of TALKERS magazine, with input from industry leaders, have compiled the second annual Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk – The 100 Most Important Sports Talk Radio Hosts in America.  The eagerly anticipated list is posted today (11/7).  Like its long-established “sister list” – the long-running (18 years) annual “Heavy Hundred” that ranks talk radio hosts working in the news/talk and general talk genres – the editors of TALKERS magazine have ranked sports talk hosts, duos or ensembles from 1 to 100 based upon a set of criteria that includes a combination of hard and soft factors.  The results are, admittedly, subjective.  Being  true to the realities of the media business, ratings and revenue are two of the major factors – some would say they are the only factors worth considering – but the editors also took into account other qualities that help create a list that is reflective of the industry’s diversity and total flavor and still give credit where credit is due.  Those qualities include:  courage, effort, impact, recognition, service, talent and uniqueness.  The other concrete qualification for inclusion is hosts must be working – that is, have a regularly scheduled professional show on the air at a minimum of one terrestrial or satellite radio station at the time of publication.  TALKERS salutes the fine broadcasters who made this year’s second annual list!  To see the entire roster, please click here.

parksdarrylDarryl Parks Exits Clear Channel.  The longtime WLW, Cincinnati steward and architect of so many of the talk shows that aired on the station has been let go by Clear Channel.  Programmer Darryl Parks was PD of WLW from 1999 to 2010 when he was promoted to vice president of news/talk operations for the entire company.  He remained based at the Cincinnati cluster and hosted a Saturday morning talk show on WLW.  The Cincinnati Enquirer’s John Kiesewetter broke the news on Wednesday afternoon and in his report calls Parks “arguably the most influential person in Cincinnati radio” during his time as PD of WLW.  As per policy, Clear Channel doesn’t comment on personnel matters but has confirmed that Parks is no longer with the company.  The move is likely a restructuring of management within the company but Parks drew attention to himself last month with a blog post criticizing acting FCC chairwoman Mignon Clyburn’s AM revitalization program and referred to the NAB/RAB Radio Show as a “circle jerk.”

cbsradioCBS Corporation Reveals Q3 Numbers: Radio Up 1%.  For the company as a whole, revenue was up 11% but the radio division’s net revenue rose just 1%.  With so much of CBS’ revenue from television and cable, the company doesn’t spend much time talking about radio.  EVP of investor relations Adam Townsend did single out the fledgling CBS Sports Radio Network, saying, “CBS Sports Radio network continues to help drive our results.  Plus, digital revenue was up 19% in the quarter.  And nontraditional revenue, including our growing local events business, was up 9%.”  The company says it expects the radio division to be up in the low single digits in the fourth quarter.

cclogoClear Channel Radio Revenue Up 3%.  CC Media Holdings issued its third quarter 2013 financial results and the Clear Channel Media and Entertainment division’s revenue increased by 3% or $25 million.  Chairman and CEO Bob Pittman states, “Strategically and financially, our third quarter results reflect the growing strength of our Media+Entertainment business, while we continue to make meaningful progress in moving Outdoor forward internationally and in the Americas.  At Media+Entertainment, we outperformed the entire radio sector in revenue growth, including in our major markets. Increasingly, our radio business is benefiting from our strategic approach to advertising that sets us apart in the marketplace.”  Among numerous other points made about the division’s recent achievements, the company notes that there are now “39 million iHeartRadio registered users as of September 30, 2013, up 114% from the end of the 2012 third quarter, and crossing the 30 million registered user mark faster than Facebook, Twitter, Spotify or Pandora, and second only to Instagram.  iHeartRadio’s total listening hours were up 30% in the third quarter of 2013 compared to the same period in 2012.  Mobile represented 60% of iHeartRadio total listening hours during the quarter.”

katztonyTony Katz to Host Evening Show on WIBC-FM, Indianapolis.  Emmis Communications’ WIBC-FM, Indianapolis and talk show host Tony Katz have agreed to terms for Katz to debut his “Tony Katz Tonight” program on the station airing from 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight beginning Monday, November 11.  Katz will be based out of his Tomorrow Media Network studios in Los Angeles.  Katz most recently hosted a weekend program on Emmis-owned KFTK-FM, St. Louis “FM News Talk 97.1” where he also serves as the regular fill-in for the station’s Dana Loesch.  Katz states, “I’m thrilled to be with Emmis, a company that has fought hard to be strong in this ever-shifting radio landscape.  I’ve had a great relationship with the company, with Dana and especially KFTK program director Jeff Allen, who gave me nothing but support, opportunity and encouragement.  To go from there to the capable and fearless hands of WIBC program director David Wood makes me truly believe that this is the start of a long, profitable relationship.”  Katz is a columnist with TownHall and Christian Post and a frequent commentator on “Fox and Friends” and “The Kudlow Report” on CNBC.  He is also a sought after public speaker.

cunninghambillBill Cunningham’s TV Show Renews on The CW.  WLW, Cincinnati talk show host Bill Cunningham can also claim success in his other media endeavor – the Tribune-produced television talk program “The Bill Cunningham Show.”  Now, Cable & Broadcasting reports that the show has been picked up for another season – its third – by The CW Network which airs the show at 3:00 pm ET.  The TV project was one of those that began back when former Clear Channel radio president Randy Michaels was heading up Tribune.  Former Clear Channel programmer Sean Compton is one of the executives whom Michaels brought to Chicago and has risen to president of programming and entertainment for Tribune Broadcasting.  Compton is quoted in the piece saying, “The growth of ‘The Bill Cunningham Show’ over the past three seasons has exceeded all expectations.  When compared to perceptually bigger shows, Cunningham consistently comes out on top.  His demo conversion steadily yields impressive results and we are extremely proud of this show.”

cookehollandA Peek Inside: NAB Futures 2013.  Radio consultant and TALKERS contributor Holland Cooke was recently invited to attend – and deliver a keynote speech! – at the invitation only NAB Futures 2013 that took place in Laguna Beach, California.  Cooke describes it as “a think tank about how broadcasters can embrace and exploit the ‘disruption’ that has changed how consumers consume media.”  He reports back interesting tidbits from such speakers as: James McQuivey, VP and principal analyst at Forrester Research and the author of Digital Disruption: Unleashing the Next Wave of Innovation; Scott Burnell, global lead, business development & partner management at Ford Motor Company; Jason Dorsey, “The Gen Y Guy” who wrote Y-Size Your Business: How Gen Y Employees Can Save You Money and Grow Your Business.  Get Holland Cooke’s scoop on the NAB Futures 2013 here.

westwoodone logoWestwoodOne Opens Creative and Production Studio for Radio Marketers.  Saying that it wants to help marketers develop “world-class audio,” WestwoodOne announces the opening of a full-service Creative Services division to be “powered” in part by TM Studios.  The company says it will “provide multi-platform marketing solutions including on-air, digital and experiential components, built upon the company’s core service producing engaging audio experiences that connect people with their passions in life.  The studio is currently preparing to work with marketers to produce audio ads for WestwoodOne’s broadcast of Super Bowl XLVIII.”  WestwoodOne CEO Paul Caine states, “Audio plays a vital role in the new media landscape and WestwoodOne is uniquely positioned to help marketers integrate creative, multiplatform audio advertising into the mix.  Marketers need a reliable partner who understands how, where and when today’s mobile consumers are interacting with audio and the ability to develop audio content that can stand out from the competition.  Be it mobile, terrestrial or digital consumption, the team at WestwoodOne Studio has the talent and expertise to create the most compelling and effective advertising to give our marketers the most exposure.”

valentinephilPhil Valentine Kicks Off ‘Spreading the Truth’ Tour.  Nashville-based syndicated talk show host Phil Valentine is launching what he’s calling the “Spreading the Truth” tour to promote the newly released DVD of his film “An Inconsistent Truth.”  Valentine will be in Pensacola, Florida at the Cordova Mall on Sunday, November 10 in conjunction with his Pensacola affiliate station WCOA.  Valentine reports that the movie – which challenges the notion of runaway, man-made global warming and takes its title from a twist on Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth – “hit the #1 spot on Amazon.com’s documentary list shortly after its release.  It’s the winner of three film festival awards including the Nevada Film Festival.  The film enjoyed a limited run last year in select theaters and was the top-grossing movie per screen in the entire country its first two weeks out.  It’s the 20th top-grossing nature documentary of all time, out-grossing films like “Cool It, Gasland and Fuel.”  Valentine states, “I think the fact that we hit #1 on Amazon so quickly is a testament to the appetite out there for the truth.  People inherently know carbon dioxide is not some kind of poison.  They instinctively know they’re being lied to.  We just arm them with the facts.”  The Spreading the Truth tour kicks off in Pensacola then moves to Nashville.  Other tour dates are being added.

morelandkeithOdds & Sods.  Chicago Cubs radio color analyst Keith Moreland is stepping down from his role.  WGN, Chicago announces the former Cub has made the decision to leave the broadcast booth to spend more time with his family.  In a note to the WGN staff, Moreland stated, “I would like to thank the fans, the folks at WGN Radio, my colleagues in the booth, the Ricketts family, and the Cubs for this great opportunity.  After spending three years doing it, I’ve simply decided that I want to spend more time at home in Texas.”  Moreland became a permanent fixture with play-by-play broadcaster Pat Hughes in February of 2011…..Entercom’s WEEI-FM, Boston announces the return of its off-season baseball show “Red Sox Hot Stove,” a weekly, one-hour program hosted by WEEI.com editor Rob Bradford and Red Sox reporter Alex Speier that will air every Thursday night from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm through February.  The program will focus on all off-season moves made by the Red Sox and in Major League Baseball, including free agency and trades, the GM and owners’ meetings and the league’s annual Winter Meetings, taking place this year from December 9-12 at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in Orlando, FL.  Bradford and Speier will be joined on a recurring basis by Red Sox manager John Farrell, general manager Ben Cherington and assistant general manager Mike Hazen.  In addition, listeners will regularly hear from other managers, general managers, agents and players from around baseball.

zimneymissindy‘There She/He Is, Miss Indiana…’  Okay, so that’s not exactly how the song goes.  Nonetheless, the attractive woman you see here is Mekayla Diehl (right) who was crowned Miss Indiana USA 2014 this past Sunday.  The handsome lad seated and wearing the tiara is Federated Media news and programming guru Jon Zimney of ‘95.3 FM MNC’ (Michiana News Channel) in South Bend, Indiana, and WOWO-AM/FM in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  Miss Diehl visited the broadcasting facility to talk about her being crowned to represent the state of Indiana.

ObamaCare Criticism, Election Day Results, Benghazi Case, GOP 2014 and 2016 Strategies, Iran Nukes, Miami Dolphins ‘Bullying’ Story and Tony Dorsett Health Issues Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/6).  The ongoing scrutiny of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act; Tuesday’s election results; renewed criticism of the handling of the deadly Benghazi attacks; Republican prospects and strategies for the mid-term elections in 2014 and the presidential election in 2016; Iran’s nuclear weapons program; controversy over the suspension of Miami Dolphins player Richie Incognito; and former NFL great Tony Dorsett’s admission he suffers from possible effects of football injuries were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.