Tag: "Walter M. Sterling"

Monday, June 24, 2019

| June 24, 2019

Big Changes at KNBR, San Francisco as Gary Radnich and Bob Fitzgerald Exit. Sports talk fans in the Bay Area are shocked by the unexpected tweet from KNBR, San Francisco personality Gary Radnich in which the 27-year station host announced he’s retiring immediately.  He wrote, “Plan was to retire at the end of the year but with my 70th birthday ahead it makes sense now. Thank you audience for 36 years of TV-Radio!”  Radnich has been partnered with Larry Krueger in middays. There’s considerable scuttlebutt in the Bay Area as to whether the sudden retirement was really Radnich being forced out by station owner Cumulus Media.  The announcement comes on the heels of a report in The Athletic that Bay Area sports personality Greg Papa is exiting Entercom’s crosstown KGMZ-FM “95.7 The Game” for an on-air position with KNBR (he’d also handle radio play-by-play for 49ers games).  For what it’s worth, The Athletic writes that Radnich was “let go.”  Shortly after the Radnich news hit, we learned that KNBR also is parting ways with Bob Fitzgerald, who co-hosted the “Fitz and Brooks” show with Rod Brooks.  It appears Brooks will continue hosting the show solo.

Drew Horowitz to Retire from Hubbard Radio.  At the end of 2019, radio executive Drew Horowitz will retire from his president and COO position with Hubbard Radio.  Horowitz has been with the company since it acquired Chicago stations (and clusters in three other markets) from Bonneville in 2011. Chicago media maven Robert Feder broke the news today.  Horowitz says he’ll take some time off after December “and explore other opportunities, including serving on corporate boards, teaching, and taking classes.”  Horowitz began his sales career with WFYR-FM, Chicago in 1976.  During his career he served as chief of Lakeshore Communications, GSM at WCLR (now WTMX) including 19 years with Bonneville.  In a memo to Hubbard staffers, chair and CEO Ginny Morris says, “Drew came to Hubbard Radio as a part of our transformational acquisition of four Bonneville markets in 2011.  Since that time, Drew has been instrumental in helping us further grow the company as we added clusters in Phoenix and Seattle, bolstered our cluster in St. Louis and most recently, acquired our operations in West Palm Beach.”

Monday Memo: Retire ‘Trivia.’ In this week’s edition of the Monday Memo, consultant Holland Cooke recommends that you DO call-in questions that ask listeners to think, but that you DON’T call it “Trivia,” for four reasons.  See what those reasons are here.

TALKERS News Notes. Veteran Philadelphia and New Jersey broadcaster Gary R’nel, guest-hosted last night (6/23) for Walter M. Sterling on the Westwood One syndicated “Sterling on Sunday” show…..Also from Philadelphia, several reports out of that city indicate that the KYW-AM air staff represented by SAG-AFTRA and Entercom have agreed to terms on a new contract for the on-air employees at the all-news station.  The KYW staffers had been working without a contract for the past eight months…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reminds us that Windy City radio legend Garry Meier, who is currently producing his own podcast, is sitting in on Cumulus Media’s WLS-AM all this week for morning drive personality Mancow Muller…..The most recent episode of the “Opie Radio” podcast from Gregg “Opie” Hughes is titled “R.I.P” in which Hughes says his deal with Westwood One for the podcast is ending.  He says he intends to keep producing the podcast…..Westwood One News manager John Stolnis is pictured at right accepting the Society of Professional Journalists’ Sigma Delta Chi Award won by the news staff for breaking news coverage of last year’s Parkland Florida School shooting.  The awards dinner was held Friday night at the National Press Club in Washington, DC…..Entercom’s WSCR, Chicago “The Score” announces the inaugural “McNeil and Parkins Charity Golf Outing” (named for afternoon drive duo Dan McNeil and Danny Parkins) taking place on August 5 at Seven Bridges Golf Club in Woodridge, Illinois to benefit Turning Pointe Autism Foundation.  Entercom Chicago SVP and market manager Jimmy de Castro says, “We’re very excited to launch the inaugural ‘McNeil and Parkins Charity Golf Outing’ and to raise money for a fantastic organization like Turning Pointe. It should be a great day of golfing with ‘The Score’ talent and local sports celebrities.”…..Podcast producer Cadence13 launches the new program “Hacks on Tap,” a weekly podcast hosted by longtime campaign strategists and friends David Axelrod, chief strategist for Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns, and Mike Murphy, a veteran political consultant for Senator John McCain’s presidential campaign and many others.  The two take listeners behind the scenes of top-level American politics and campaigns, offering their insider perspectives and analyses on the state of American politics in the lead up to the 2020 presidential election.

PPM Analysis: Public News/Talk RadioTALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s May 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on public radio news/talk.  Big gainers from April to May are KNPR, Las Vegas (+1.2); KXJZ, Sacramento; KCUR, Kansas City; and WPLN, Nashville – all up 1.0 share.  Both KNPR and KCUR realized big year-over-year weekly 6+ AQH share increased with KNPR rising 3.8 shares and KCUR going up 2.2 shares. Just three public radio news/talk stations ranked #1 in their markets in May: KUOW, Seattle; KPBS, San Diego; and KCFR, Denver.  See the whole report here.

The Harry Hurley Charity Juggernaut Keeps Rolling.  WPG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley’s “Hurley in the Morning” 12th Annual Charity Golf Open held this past Friday (6/21) at the Harbor Pines Golf Club was a huge success.  The event, in conjunction with Hurley’s 11th Annual Charity Dinner at Resorts Casino Hotel (with Fox News personality Todd Starnes) held earlier this year, has raised a record $100,000 thus far in 2019 and has surpassed $900,000 over the past 12 years.  Hurley, a former TALKERS “Humanitarian of the Year” recipient recently named the New Jersey Broadcasters Association “Broadcaster of the Year” for 2019, distributes the funds raised by his charity to worthy causes throughout New Jersey, the Northeast and across the nation.

Partying with Howie Carr.  The two photos here are from the annual Summer Kick-off Party for affiliates, sponsors and industry friends of “The Howie Carr Show.” Howie and Kathy Carr held their annual get-together at their Boston-area home this past Friday evening (6/21).  Above are Howie Carr (left) and TALKERS founder Michael Harrison (right). Below are (from l-r): Yappy Days author, Bernadette Duncan; “Howie Carr Show” producer and on-air personality Grace Curley; and WBSM, New Bedford, morning host Phil Paleologos.

Steve Austin’s New Podcast Tops 1 Million Downloads. Returning from a six-month hiatus, Steve Austin’s latest podcast episode on PodcastOne gets more than 1 million downloads.  PodcastOne founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz says, “Since January, we’ve been running Steve’s classic podcasts from the last five years.  There is no substitute for original content from the ‘global icon and national treasure,’ Steve Austin.  He hits the ground running and is reaching his biggest audience ever.  Welcome home, Steve.”

Three Named to Broadcasters Foundation of America Board of Directors. The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces it has elected John David, senior advisor to the National Association of Broadcasters; Jinny Laderer, co-founder and CEO of vCreative; and Deborah Roberts, award-winning ABC News correspondent for “20/20,” “Nightline,” “Good Morning America,” and “ABC World News Tonight with David Muir,” to its board of directors.   BFoA chairman Dan Mason says, “John, Jinny, and Deborah are industry leaders who have exemplified the Foundation’s philosophy of ‘giving back’ through their tireless efforts to advance broadcasting and to support our charitable mission of helping colleagues in need.  It is with great pleasure that I welcome these highly respected professionals to our board of directors.”

Trump Calls Off Iran Strike, 2020 Presidential Race/Dem Primary Debates, Mayor Pete Town Hall, Immigration Policy/Deportation Ramp-Up, and Boris Johnson PM Bid Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The downing of a U.S. Air Force drone by Iran and President Trump’s calling off a retaliatory strike; the 2020 presidential race and this week’s TV debates between 20 of the Democratic candidates; presidential candidate and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg faces angry constituents over the police killing of a black man; the Trump Administration’s illegal immigration policy and the delay of a deportation program; and the call for British prime minister candidate Boris Johnson to explain a domestic incident in which police were called to his home were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. New York City hot AC WKTU has a new program director as Chris Conley – who also programs sister adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 LITE FM” – assumes the responsibilities.  Conley is also brand manager for AC for iHeartMedia…..In Los Angeles, Taxi License Corporation names Jamillah Muhammad operations manager for urban contemporary KJLH-FM.  She was most recently vice president for the marketing and management firm The Lewis-Kortez Group. She says, “I am extremely excited to join the KJLH family as the new operations manager.  With my passion for radio, serving the community, and improving brands, I know we can lead this heritage station to success.”…..On-air pro Carmine Gialanella moves up from his evening show shift at iHeartMedia’s CHR WLDI, West Palm Beach “WiLD 95.5” to afternoon drive. Market SVP of programming Rad Messick says, “Carmine’s the ultimate team player for ‘WiLD 95.5.’  His enthusiasm and commitment is second to none.  It’s a thrill to reward his performance with this well-deserved new afternoon opportunity.”…..Albany Broadcasting names Jeff Weber market manager for its six music-formatted stations in the Albany market.  Weber joins the company from Charleston, South Carolina where he was general sales manager for a two-FM combo.  Company COO Steve Borneman says, “Jeff has tremendous experience in radio and he has a local connection to Albany which makes him the perfect choice.  We’re thrilled to have him…..Cumulus Media is spending $250,000 in technology to boost the signal strength of Worcester market hot AC WXLO-FM (licensed to Fitchburg, Massachusetts) to reach into the adjacent Boston market.  Cumulus says, “Thanks to MaxxCasting, WXLO has the ability to bring its programming to as many as one million more listeners in the Boston area.”  Cumulus RVP Bob Goodell adds, “We’re excited that the 450,000-plus listeners who tune into ‘104.5 XLO’ on a weekly basis, many of whom commute in and out of the City of Boston, will now be able to hear the radio station on their entire commute.  MaxxCasting has also given us the opportunity to reach new listeners who live in the greater Boston area, giving us the opportunity to expand our footprint.”

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

| June 11, 2019

Cumulus Media Announces Offer of $300 Million in Senior Secured First-Lien Notes. This Issue of notes is a private offering made only to “persons reasonably believed to be qualified institutional buyers.”  The new offering is $300 million in Cumulus Media New Holdings, Inc, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cumulus Media, in aggregate principal amount of senior secured first-lien notes due 2026.  Cumulus reports that it expects to use the net proceeds of the offering to partially repay existing indebtedness under its senior secured term loan facility.

Keith Memloy Appointed PD for WDBO-FM and ‘ESPN 580.’ Rising from assistant program director at Cox Media Group’s news/talk WDBO-FM, Orlando to PD for that and sister sports talker WDBO-AM “ESPN 580” is Keith Memoly.  CMG Orlando director of programming operations Steve Stewart says, “Keith brings a diverse amount of experience and passion to his role.  I look forward to seeing him and the WDBO team help shape the future of Orlando’s iconic radio brand.”  Memoly started his career with CMG in 2010 as the marketing director for WPYO, WCFB, and WMMO in Orlando.  In 2017, he was promoted to assistant program director at WDBO.  He says, “I’m beyond thrilled for the opportunity to lead an amazing, award-winning team of talent that is the fabric of the ‘News 96.5’ and ‘ESPN 580’ brands.  WDBO is a legendary brand in the industry and I would like to thank Jason Meder, Steve Stewart and Tim Clarke for believing and entrusting in me and my leadership.”

Round One of May PPMs Released.  The first round of Nielsen Audio’s May 2019 PPM survey results is being released, starting with 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside-San Bernardino, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). You can see all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations hereTALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Takeaways from this round of ratings beginning tomorrow (6/12).

WBEN-AM, Buffalo Talk Host David Bellavia to Receive Medal of Honor. Buffalo talk radio host and decorated Iraq War veteran David Bellavia is being presented with the Medal of Honor by President Trump in a ceremony to take place on June 25 at the White House.  Bellavia co-hosts the afternoon drive show with Tom Bauerle on Entercom’s WBEN-AM, Buffalo.  He’s being presented with the Medal of Honor for “conspicuous gallantry while serving as a Staff Sergeant in the United States Army.”  You can read the account of what happened in Fallujah, Iraq on November 10, 2004 and Bellavia’s actions at the White House site here. In a story on the WBEN website, Bellavia is quoted saying, “There’s so much love on the battlefield, and you really do care.  You care for your hometown, you care for your country, you care for your friends, but that’s something that separates us from all the other enemies we fight…we love what we do and we love who we are protecting.”

Michael Castner Out at Entercom’s KXNT, Las Vegas.  Talk and news radio pro Michael Castner has exited his role as morning drive host at Entercom’s news/talk KXNT, Las Vegas.  Castner’s previous experience includes service at iHeartMedia’s WRNO-FM, New Orleans and KEX-AM, Portland, as well as a stint with the Wall Street Journal Radio Network.  Castner says he’s happy to re-locate and is also available for fill-in work.  He can be reached at michael@michaelcastner.com.

TEGNA Doubles Radio Holdings with Dispatch Broadcast Group Acquisition. The television-centric company TEGNA Inc. owns adult hits KFMB-FM and news/talk KFMB-AM in San Diego in addition to its 49 television stations.  TEGNA has just entered into a definitive agreement with the Dispatch Broadcast Group to acquire two television stations – WTHR-TV, Indianapolis and WBNS-TV, Columbus for $535 million in cash.  That deal also includes Dispatch’s two sports talk radio stations in Columbus – WBNS-FM and WBNS-AM – and that would give TEGNA four radio properties.  In a press release announcing the agreement, TEGNA says of the sports talk duo, “WBNS Radio is Ohio’s sports destination.  97.1 is the flagship home of the Ohio State Buckeyes, Columbus Crew, Columbus Blue Jackets, and teams across the state and features popular shows and podcasts including ‘Bishop and Laurinaitis,’ ‘Carpenter & Rothman,’ ‘Common Man & T-Bone,’ and ‘The Buckeye Show.’  1460 AM is the flagship station of Ohio State (OSBI) athletics and the home of ESPN Radio in Columbus.”

ABC Radio Ups Stacia Philips Deshishku to VP/GM. The “interim” is removed from Stacia Philips Deshishku’s title as she becomes vice president and general manager of ABC Radio in which she’ll oversee the company’s audio businesses – from traditional terrestrial radio serving more than 1,650 stations nationwide to podcasts and digital audio.  She had been serving as deputy bureau chief for Washington prior to being asked to be interim leader two months ago.  ABC News president James Goldston says, “Stacia is a terrific mentor, providing wise and candid counsel to all, including me.  She helped successfully transform the Washington bureau and was instrumental in ensuring it maintained its competitive edge and high standards in this non-stop news cycle.”

Chris Moreau Named Market Manager for Cumulus Green Bay. Radio sales and management pro Chris Moreau is promoted from his director of sales post with Cumulus Media Appleton/Oshkosh to vice president and market manager for the company’s Green Bay station group that includes: sports talk WDUZ-AM/FM, country WPCK-FM, hot AC WQLH-FM, classic rock WKRU-FM, and classic hits WOGB-FM.  He’s previously served as business development/account manager for Journal Broadcast Group/E.W. Scripps, vice president/general manager for Bliss Communications in Racine, Wisconsin, and more.

TALKERS News Notes. The San Antonio-based, nationally syndicated “Joe Pags Show” adds new affiliate stations KSEV-AM, Houston and WLOB, Portland to its roster.  “The Joe Pags Show” is syndicated by Compass Media Networks…..Hubbard Radio’s WTOP News in Washington, D.C. and PodcastOne have partnered to produce a new, true-crime podcast series titled, “22 Hours: An American Nightmare,” that details the horrific events that led to a D.C. power couple, their 10-year-old son and housekeeper being held hostage, tortured and brutally murdered inside their own home in May of 2015.  Daron Wint was found guilty of the crimes – known as the DC Mansion Murders – in 2018…..FOX Sports is presenting multiplatform coverage of the 119th U.S. Open Championship.  FOX Sports Radio has on-site coverage from Pebble Beach Golf Links on Thursday and Friday (6/13-14) via “The Doug Gottlieb Show” from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm while FOX Sports Radio news anchor Dan Beyer reports live from the course…..CBS News senior foreign affairs correspondent and “Face the Nation” moderator Margaret Brennan is serving as the keynote speaker of KYW Newsradio’s “Women’s Achievement Awards 2019,” being held at Loews Philadelphia Hotel on June 27.  This is the 10th annual edition of the awards from the Entercom all-news station that serve to celebrate women making a positive impact on the Philadelphia region.  This year’s event will honor the accomplishments of five exceptional women, all under the age of 40, who were nominated by KYW Newsradio listeners. Entercom Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff says, “We are thrilled to have a journalist as insightful and respected as Margaret on KYW Newsradio every week and honored to have her share her experience and perspective at our event. She embodies what the ‘Women’s Achievement Awards’ stand for and I look forward to her sharing a special evening with our deserving honorees.”

Sterling Swoons Over Swag Bag.  Nationally syndicated Westwood One personality Walter M. Sterling was so impressed with the quality of items in the Talkers 2019 convention “goodie bag” that he devoted a segment of this past weekend’s “Sterling on Sunday” show to talking about it.  Check it out here.

2020 Presidential Race, Trump Impeachment Talk, Southern Border Issues/Mexico Tariffs Threat, U.S.-China Trade War, and Big Papi Shot Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/10).  The Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the Democrats’ talk of beginning impeachment proceedings against the president; the immigration issues at the U.S.-Mexico border and the threat of tariffs on Mexican exports; the U.S.-China trade war and the looming G20 summit in Japan; retired Red Sox star David Ortiz is shot in a bar in the Dominican Republic 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. Motor City urban contemporary WDMK-FM is being sold by Urban One to Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc. for $13.5 million in a deal that Beasley expects “to be immediately accretive to Beasley’s free cash flow without materially altering the Company’s leverage.  Beasley intends to fund the acquisition through borrowings under its credit facility and cash generated from operations.”  Beasley currently operates three stations in the Detroit market: rock WRIF, classic rock WCSX, and rhythmic oldies WMGC. Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley comments, “The accretive acquisition of WDMK-FM significantly enhances our revenue and competitive position in Detroit.  Detroit is undergoing an exciting renaissance as a result of billions of dollars of new investments in the city’s residential, commercial, entertainment and cultural centers, all of which are driving new residents, businesses, tourists, employment and economic activity.  We entered the Detroit market in late 2016 and have consistently improved the operating results of the three stations we acquired, and we believe the proposed transaction is a strategically and financially compelling growth opportunity for our shareholders.  The addition of WDMK-FM will mark further progress toward our goal of capturing 30% revenue share in each of our markets while delivering valuable synergies and the potential for SOI margin improvement.”…..Entercom names Kevin Callahan program director for country simulcast KFRG-FM/KXFG-FM, Riverside “K-FROG.”  He says, “I’m honored to be afforded the opportunity to expand my role with Entercom in the Riverside market.  I’ve been fortunate to oversee programming efforts for KSON and I look forward to taking ‘K-FROG’ to new heights in the next chapter of my career.”  Callahan now oversees programming efforts for all Entercom Southern California country stations.  He continues in his role as program operations manager for sister stations KSON, sports talk KWFN “97.3 The Fan,” alternative KBZT-FM “ALT 949,” adult contemporary KYXY-FM, and classic hits KXSN-FM “Sunny 98.1” in San Diego…..Westwood One announces that Nashville-based personality Elaina Smith is re-branding her original podcast, “Breaking Thru With Elaina.”  It was previously titled, “Women Want to Hear Women with Elaina Smith.”  The program returned with new stories from female artists breaking through the music industry on June 9 on The Empow(h)er Podcast Network on Westwood One. Smith won a 2019 Gracie Award for the first season of the show.  She says, “I’ve been itching to get season two going all year long.  I’m so thankful to everyone for being so patient as I worked on launching my new radio show, ‘With Elaina.’  Now that it is off the ground, it’s time to keep this conversation going, and with a new name!”

Women in Talk: Is This an Issue?

| May 24, 2019

By Walter Sterling
Talk Show Host
Westwood One

 

NEW YORK — Take a look at real power.  The picture here shows the most powerful people in daytime radio in 1955.  Mary Margaret McBride (left) and Pegeen Fitzgerald (right).

Seven secretaries
It took seven secretaries to answer the mail received by Mary Margaret McBride. Her daily NBC/ABC network show, heard on stations like WOR New York, set the agenda for America’s conversation. She did not do a cooking show or a nice show.  She was the toughest interviewer in radio and scored the biggest guests.  They were afraid to not go on her show. The big guests also did whatever she told them to do.

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Wednesday, August 1, 2018

| August 1, 2018

Emmis Pursues Zoning Change for Land Containing WFNI, Indianapolis Towers. A report in the Indianapolis Business Journal says the 70-acre parcel of land owned by Emmis and currently home to the six-tower array of sports talk WFNI “1070 The Fan” (formerly WIBC-AM) could fetch as much as $28 million in a sale.  The land is near a proposed I-65 freeway exit that should be open in 2021 and the zoning change from light industrial to urban business would enhance the value. If Emmis is able to sell the land, it would have to relocate the towers for WFNI, but with a possible gross of $28 million, it would be well worth it for Emmis.

Sean Hannity’s Status Atop Cable News Ratings Noted in New Forbes Piece. A new interview piece by Mark Joyella was published yesterday (7/31) in Forbes and cites Sean Hannity’s recent four-month stretch as top cable television personality – number one in both Total Viewers and Adults 25-54, according to Nielsen – with an average audience of 3.4 million during July.  The piece touches on Hannity’s reported relationship with President Trump, how he handles his critics, and what motivates him each day on his FOX News Channel TV program and Premiere Networks-syndicated radio show.  Read it here.

Attorney: Houston Sports Talker’s Career Hampered by iHeartMedia Bankruptcy.  According to Houston attorney Ed Burwell (as reported in the Houston Chronicle), his client, sports talk personality Jayson Braddock’s ability to work in the market is being adversely affected by the iHeartMedia bankruptcy.  Braddock was let go from iHM’s sports talk KBME in June with the company citing revenue and ratings shortfalls.  However, Burwell says ratings for the first five months of 2018 indicated Braddock’s show was the highest-rated of the station’s programs.  Complicating matters is that he was offered work at crosstown Gow Media, but iHM threatened to enforce his no-compete clause.  Burwell says any legal action he could take to allow Braddock to fight his case is complicated by having to go through the bankruptcy court.  In the end, Braddock may be forced stay unemployed to wait out his no-compete.  Read the story here.

TALKERS News Notes. The midday ESPN Radio show hosted by Stephen A. Smith joins some of its fellow shows in simulcast on the ESPNews television channel, effective August 13. “The Stephen A. Smith Show” join “Golic and Wingo,” “The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz,” and “The Will Cain Show,” making the channel the TV home of all four of ESPN’s weekday national radio simulcasts.  Smith also appears on “First Take” with Max Kellerman and moderator Molly Qerim on ESPN from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon ET…..Cox Enterprises announces the hiring of Luis Avila-Marco as SVP of strategy and corporate development. The company notes Avila-Marco has served with Juniper Networks and Scientific-Atlanta in addition to working as an independent consultant…..Westwood One promotes Julie Kim from senior traffic director to VP, traffic.  She oversees the traffic and continuity departments responsible for managing the commercial quality control and audio content delivery to more than 8,000 affiliates and satellites, client and agency partners, producers, and engineers.  She also works closely with Westwood One’s sales planning team to manage commercial inventory and maximize revenue…..Entercom sports talk KIFM, Sacramento “ESPN 1320” signs a multi-year broadcast partnership with Sacramento State University and Learfield’s Hornets Sports Properties to air play-by-play of the school’s football and men’s basketball…..Delta Communications’ WNTN, Boston adds “Reel Talk w/ The Hollywood Kid” to its lineup.  The program is hosted by Mike Di Stasio, a.k.k The Hollywood Kid, and targets lovers of “movies and television, especially retro lovers.”  Di Stasio says, “My show brings listeners back to a time when five or six channels was all they had on their TV sets.”  He interviews showbiz greats such as: George Hamilton, Paul Sorvino, Linda GrayKen Wahl, Gianni Russo, Ann JillianBernie Kopell, Stacy Keach, and many more…..WTOP, Washington film critic Jason Fraley is publishing his “ultimate list for movie lovers” – a list of 750 of the best movies of all time across 30 genres.  He says, “I’ve always wanted to put together my own ‘definitive’ ranking because my love of movies was sparked by devouring countless ‘best’ lists by other publications, from the American Film Institute to Sight & Sound Magazine.  In an era where you can pull up any movie on Netflix or Amazon Prime, such lists are no longer a historical exercise, but rather a living, breathing guide to what you can rent on any given night.”  View the full list here.

Hubbard Acquires TiWi Digital’s TriggerEx Ad Delivery Technology. There is no mention of a sale price or any other compensation, but Hubbard Radio and subsidiary 2060 Digital are purchasing the TriggerEX ad delivery technology from TiWi Digital.  Hubbard is a client currently using TriggerEx.  The press release says, “With the acquisition of the TriggerEX ad technology, Hubbard Radio and 2060 Digital will expand their digital solutions platform by offering advertising partners this unique and productive digital advertisement delivery solution.”  Hubbard Interactive Twin Cities director of digital sales Bernie Laur comments, “We have been using the TriggerEX tech for four or five years and not only does it deliver consistently more productive ad campaigns, but it also provides a nimble and timely ad message that our clients have come to expect.  And to prove it, our clients come back year after year.”

Salem and Loyal Ears Digital Collaborate for Hugh Hewitt’s ‘Midterm Fantasy’ Contest. Fantasy sports and entertainment provider Loyal Ears Digital is providing its “Midterm Madness” fantasy platform to Salem Radio Network’s Hugh Hewitt to run his “Midterm Fantasy” contest.  Listeners will handicap 25 key congressional, senatorial and gubernatorial races fantasy-style, all chosen by Hugh Hewitt, including research pages to aid the user who will be trying to win a coveted “winners” guest spot on Hewitt’s show right after the election.  Hewitt says, “Everybody’s an expert in a bar or when watching their favorite cable news show.  Everybody thinks they know who is going to win which race.  Well, we are going to find out who really knows the score…the political score.”  Salem Media Group SVP spoken word radio Phil Boyce – who commissioned the fantasy approach to the midterms – says, “We know there is intense interest amongst our listeners in the midterm elections.  No radio show is more on top of this than Hugh Hewitt.  This is a fun and engaging way for Hugh’s listeners to take a stake in following these races, all the way to election night.”

Walter Sterling Launches ‘Sterling Express’ – a Novel New Form of ‘On Demand’ Programming.  Ever since radio consultant Walter Sabo assumed the air name “Walter M. Sterling” several years ago and launched a Sunday night show on WPHT, Philadelphia, he has begun to take on the yappy characteristics of a radio talk show host who continues to incessantly comment on things even after the mic has been turned off.  Sterling, whose weekly show “Sterling on Sunday” is now heard on almost 60 stations, tells TALKERS, “My wife Katie asks me to please not do my show in the house.  Do it on the air.”  In a recent phone conversation with his old friend Michael Harrison, the TALKERS publisher agreed with Katie, telling Sterling, “Geez, Walter, do I have to hear a commentary about life every time we talk on the phone?  You’re starting to sound like a talk show host.”  “The problem,” explained Sterling, “is that I’m only on once a week, yet every day dozens of emails and notes come in wondering why I’m not on daily.”  Harrison replied, “Well, when I talk to you on the phone now, it’s like hearing an abbreviated, fast-food version of your radio show… sort of like those restaurant and hotel ‘outposts’ called ‘express’ versions of their larger incarnations.  I’m going to begin referring to my phone conversations with you as ‘Sterling Express.’  You should make yourself available to your P1 listeners this way during the week.  Call ‘em on the phone and bend their ears for a few minutes.”  Sterling replied, “That’s a great idea!”  This past Sunday night “Sterling on Sunday” listeners got to sign up for the Sterling Express.  Sterling told the first 10 callers he would call them during the week and perform a Sterling Express, one-on-one show.   Sterling will call 10 listeners per week and share his “deep thoughts” with them during the course of a few minutes — Express!  Sterling says, “Katie and the kids will be a lot happier that I’m not doing the show in the house and listeners get their wish of hearing me all week.”  He plans to turn recordings of Sterling Express into a weekly podcast to serve as a companion piece to his “Midnight Misfits” podcast.  “Sterling on Sunday” is distributed by Westwood One.  The website is  www.waltermsterling.com.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Manafort Trial, Trump Tampa Rally/Mid-Term Elections, New China Tariffs, Portland ICE Protests, Russian Election Interference, Apple Nears $1 Trillion Value, California Wildfire, European Heatwave, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/31).  The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents; the trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort; President Trump’s Tampa rally for Florida gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis and the larger, mid-term election picture; Trump’s threat to add tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods; the protests against Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials in Portland and criticism of Mayor Ted Wheeler’s treatment of ICE officers; Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and intelligence indicating it intends to meddle again this fall; Apple’s quarterly report indicating its value is close to $1 trillion; the raging Northern California wildfire; the heatwave setting record temps in Western Europe; 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.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Radio syndicator Westwood One is assuming the syndication of the two mix shows featuring The Baka Boyz.  The company says the two shows – “All Star Hit Mix” and “Hip Hop Master Mix” – feature researched and tested hit records and air on more than 60 stations nationwide.  Baka Boyz agent Gary Bernstein says, “The Baka’s have been PPM friendly well before PPM was even the measurement of choice.  They deliver quality, reliability, and an unmatched track record of success across all the contemporary music formats. We are excited to be with the Westwood One family and are looking forward to expanding our relationship in the future if the marketplace calls for a daily program.”

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

| July 25, 2018

Beasley Sets Price for ‘Bordes Family’ Stock at $7.50; Pulls Back on Secondary Offering. Analysts are saying the announcement of the sale of 3,126,147 shares of its Class A common stock – shares held by the Bordes family and received in the Greater Media deal – at $7.50 per share, combined with Beasley Media Group’s intent to purchase country WXTU, Philadelphia for $38 million in cash has sent the company’s stock price down 17.4% (as of Tuesday) to $7.35 per share.  As a result, Beasley has reversed course and will not sell 1.1 million shares of Beasley family-held stock in a secondary offering.  At the same time, the company has set the price of the “Bordes family” stock to the public at $7.50 per share.  That offering is expected to close on or about July 26 (subject to customary closing conditions).  Additionally, the underwriters have a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 468,922 shares of Class A common stock from the “Bordes family selling stockholders.”  Beasley will not receive any proceeds from shares of Class A common stock to be sold by the Bordes family selling stockholders.  Guggenheim Securities, LLC is acting as sole book-running manager for the offering.

Cox Media Group Considering ‘Strategic Options’ for Television Assets. It wasn’t that long ago that a rumor filtered through the radio industry that Cox Media Group may be shopping its radio station properties.  Now we learn that CMG’s concern is not with its radio division but with the 14-station TV group.  In a statement, Cox Media Group president Kim Guthrie says that when it comes to television, “scale is critical to be successful.  We firmly believe that our great stations – and talented people – will need to be part of a larger entity to thrive in the future.”  It’s not clear if Cox has a buyer or partner in mind, but Guthrie says any deal would likely be completed in the next six to 12 months.  Her internal memo says the company would consider merging or partnering with another media entity.  Cox Enterprises president and CEO Alex Taylor  says in his internal memo, “We’ve identified a lot of exciting growth opportunities, and also some tough decisions we need to make as time marches on and things change.”

FCC Seeking Comments on Competition in Audio Marketplace.  Speaking of competition in the broader media marketplace, the Federal Communications Commission issues a public notice seeking comment from the industry on the “status of competition in the marketplace for delivery of audio programming.”  Recent legislation requires “the Commission publish a Communications Marketplace Report in the last quarter of every even numbered year.  Among other things, the biennial Communications Marketplace Report requires that the Commission assess the state of competition in the communications marketplace, including competition to deliver audio service among broadcast stations, satellite radio, and entities that provide audio content via the internet and to mobile devices.”  Responses to this request could go a long way in giving the FCC the information it needs to justify changes in ownership caps, for example.  The notice continues: “Accordingly, this Public Notice seeks input on the state of competition in the marketplace for the delivery of audio programming as it would relate to the overall goal of providing the required Communications Marketplace Report to Congress.  This Public Notice requests comment on the criteria or metrics that could be used to evaluate the state of competition in the audio programming marketplace, as well as comment and information on industry data, competitive dynamics, and trending factors.  For example, commenters are invited to submit the following data and information related to participants in the marketplace for the delivery of audio programming, including, but not limited to, terrestrial radio broadcasters (i.e., AM and FM radio stations), satellite radio providers, and entities that provide audio programming over the Internet and to mobile devices (collectively, Audio Marketplace Participants): 1) identification and ownership of key Audio Marketplace Participants, as well as the business models and competitive strategies they use; 2) trends in service offerings, pricing, and consumer behavior; 3) the extent of competition among Audio Marketplace Participants, including intramodal competition (i.e., competition among providers of the same type, such as terrestrial radio broadcast stations) and intermodal competition (i.e., competition among providers of different types, such as terrestrial radio broadcast stations and satellite radio providers); 4) ratings, subscribership, and revenue information, for the marketplace as a whole and for individual Audio Marketplace Participants; 5) capital investment, innovation, and the deployment of advanced technology; 6) requirements for entry into the marketplace; and 7) recent entry into and exit from the marketplace.”  See the full Notice here.

Jack Taddeo to Lead Cumulus Des Moines. Radio management pro Jack Taddeo is named vice president and market manager for Cumulus Media’s Des Moines station group that includes: news/talk/sports KBGG and four music formatted stations.  Taddeo was most recently market manager at NRG Media’s Cedar Falls/Cedar Rapids cluster.  Cumulus EVP of operations Bob Walker comments, “We are thrilled to have a broadcaster like Jack Taddeo to lead the Cumulus team in Des Moines.  Jack’s passion for broadcast and the impact it has in communities is contagious.”

Doug Gottlieb and JT The Brick Launch NFL Camp Tour. The NFL season is just around the corner and that means FOX Sports Radio’s Doug Gottlieb and JT “The Brick” are on the road visiting team training camps in California for the network’s annual NFL Training Camp Tour.  The Doug Gottlieb show will broadcast from the Los Angeles Rams training camp at UC Irvine on July 27, followed by the Dallas Cowboys training camp at River Ridge Playing Fields in Oxnard on August 6, and the Los Angeles Chargers training camp at Jack Hammett Sports Complex in Costa Mesa on August 9.  JT “The Brick,” who has served in various broadcast capacities with the Oakland Raiders since 1998 and currently serves as a sideline reporter for the team’s pre-season broadcasts, will broadcast from their training camp in Napa Valley, on July 26 and 27.

New Affiliates for Walter M. Sterling; Guest Shot on KMOX, St. Louis. New affiliates for the Westwood One-distributed “Sterling on Sunday” program include KKSF, San Francisco and KUFO, Portland.  Walter M. Sterling says, “The show’s success comes from holding up a mirror to daily life.  I did a whole hour about stealing Splenda and tiny airplane bathrooms.” On Thursday of this week (7/26), Sterling guest stars on KMOX, St. Louis’ “Overnight America” program for regular host Ryan Wrecker.

Envision’s ‘Drive By Funny’ to Air on WWSE, Jamestown.  The city of license for adult contemporary WWSE “SE93” – Jamestown, New York – is the hometown of comedy legend Lucille Ball.  The owner is Media One Group and director of broadcast operations Andrew Hill says, “Jamestown, New York is the birthplace of Lucille Ball, the first female of comedy, so we needed to have a professional and easy-to-use comedy service to entertain listeners that come into town from across the globe to visit her hometown.  We are also opening the new National Comedy Center museum in Jamestown this year and we really needed a turnkey comedy option that our jocks could use to promote all of the comedy we have in town.  ‘Drive by Funny’ fits our needs perfectly and our audience is enjoying these clean, funny, and iconic audio pieces to laugh to throughout the day.”  Envision Networks says, “Drive By Funny’s contemporary and classic comedy cuts come from a library that boasts tracks pulled from an archive of more than 18,000 safe-for-work and in-the-car comedy clips that can create a great opportunity for benchmark features and lucrative sponsorship opportunities.”

Trump-Russia Investigation/Cohen Recordings, Trade Wars/Farm Aid Package, Illegal Immigration/Asylum Policies, Trump-Iran Rhetoric, Ivanka Trump Shuts Fashion Brand, Mega Millions Jackpot, Southwest Heatwave, Athens Wildfires, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/24). The investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives and the related 12 tapes of President Trump and former attorney Michael Cohen turned over to Robert Mueller; the Trump tariffs and fears of trade wars as well as the related move to provide $12 billion in assistance to U.S. farmers; the Trump administration’s illegal immigration and asylum polices; the war rhetoric between President Trump and Iran; Ivanka Trump shutters her fashion brand; the $522 million Mega Millions jackpot; the heatwave affecting the Southwest U.S.; the deadly wildfires ravaging Greece; 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.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programmer Nathan Graham is named PD at Entercom’s CHR WDZH, Detroit “98.7 AMP Radio.”  He comes to Detroit from his most recent position with the company at CHR WXSS, Milwaukee “103.7 KISS FM” where he was APD and music director.  Entercom Detroit vice president and market manager Debbie Kenyon says, “Nathan has cultivated strong leadership skills and a wealth of top 40 format knowledge that we are confident will help propel ‘98.7 AMP Radio’ to new heights.  We are proud to cultivate talent within the Entercom team and look forward to welcoming him to Detroit.”  Graham succeeds Ian “Slacker” Richards as program director, who remains at the station as the afternoon drive host, APD and music director…..KISS-FM, San Antonio-based Billy Madison is named Best Talk Show Host by San Antonio Current magazine.  His syndicated “Billy Madison Show” airs in morning drive on the Cox Media Group rock outlet…..SiriusXM announces that The Beach Boys will sit down for an intimate Q&A session with a select group of listeners for the SiriusXM “Town Hall” series at the legendary Capitol Studios in Hollywood on July 30.  The session will be moderated by Emmy award-winning actor, director, producer and writer Rob Reiner and will air on August 10 at 5:00 pm ET/PT on the Good Vibrations: The Beach Boys Channel.  In this rare, live group appearance, founding members Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine and David Marks along with long time Beach Boy Bruce Johnston, will gather to speak with Reiner and answer questions from fans about their SiriusXM channel, their new album, The Beach Boys with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and their celebrated career as one of the world’s most beloved and respected bands…..iHeartMedia announces the lineup for the 2018 iHeartRadio Fiesta Latina at American Airlines Arena in Miami on Saturday, November 3.  The fifth annual concert will celebrate the best in Latin music with performances by Pitbull, Nicky Jam, Steve Aoki, Farruko, Nacho, and Becky G with more artists to follow.