Tag: "Walter Sabo"

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

| August 29, 2017

KTRH, Houston’s Michael Berry Reports In; ‘Proud of Station’s Efforts.’  The radio stations that are on the air in Houston are all working around the clock to get information out to listeners, but iHeartMedia’s KTRH – the well-recognized news/talker in the market – is “the station the nation is turning to,” according to KTRH talk show host Michael Berry.  He tells TALKERS magazine his personal story as a resident of the area with a family whose job is to be at the station keeping the public informed.  “We’re going through what our listeners are suffering also.  I put my family up at the Omni Hotel.  Then the Omni had to be evacuated.  I was visiting our affiliate in Louisiana doing a fundraiser there.  I couldn’t get back into the city due to road closures.  My wife and kids had to be rescued by boat and waded in chest deep water.  This is my whole world in the picture you see here – that’s my wife and my two kids on a boat driven by a good Samaritan who pulled them from the hotel and deposited them on the freeway.  From there a volunteer put them in the back of a truck and drove them to high ground.  Getting to be on the radio these last few days and help other people is actually cathartic.  My own home flooded on the first floor and it took until today (8/28) to be able to get to see it.  But despite all of this we are seeing the best of our people as we come together as a community.”

Broadcasters in Gear Raising Funds for Harvey Victims.  Just a sample of the Harvey relief efforts underway at radio stations and radio groups across the country include the work of E.W. Scripps Milwaukee duo news/talk WTMJ and country WKTI (and sister television station WTMJ-TV) leading a fundraiser.  Yesterday afternoon (8/28), the stations hosted a fundraising phone bank to collect donations for the American Red Cross.  Vice president and GM for the Milwaukee stations, Tom Langmyer, states, “People in Wisconsin are looking for a way that they can help the victims of the Hurricane.  Using the power of local media, we can combine our efforts to enable giving on a large scale and truly make a difference to support the American Red Cross.”  Urban One’s Reach Media has been using its radio talent to call attention to the needs of Harvey victims.  Nationally syndicated personalities including Tom Joyner, Rickey Smiley, Willie Moore Jr., Darlene McCoy, Erica Campbell, Russ Parr and Ed Lover have been interviewing people affected, news people covering the storm, and elected officials.  The “Tom Joyner Morning Show” launched the BlackAmericaWeb.com Relief Fund to provide financial support to families impacted by the storm Hurricane Harvey.

WDAE, Tampa Returns to Local Morning Show. Tampa sports talk outlet WDAE returns to live and local mornings, dropping ESPN’s “Mike & Mike” show and sliding late morning duo Ronnie “Night Train” Lane and Tom “TKras” Krasniqi into the daypart.  The iHeartMedia station fills the late morning slot with FOX Sports Radio/DirecTV’s Dan Patrick.  It was just last October that the station in what was seen as a budgetary decision, let Tampa Bay Times sportswriters Rick Stroud and Tom Jones go and installed the “Mike & Mike” program.

Boston’s Emerson College the Site of Next Summer’s Radio Talent Institute.  Next summer, Beasley Media Group is partnering with Xperi and Marketron Interactive and the National Radio Talent System to present the 10-day Beasley Radio Talent Institute program at Emerson College in Boston.  The immersion program will bring broadcasting students together with more than 30 radio professionals who teach classes based on their individual areas of expertise.  Session topics will range from on-air, production, news, sports, interactive to social media, engineering, promotions and sales, and includes the Radio Advertising Bureau’s “Radio Marketing Professional” certification course. WERS, Boston general manager and Emerson adjunct professor Jack Casey states, “The Radio Talent Institute builds upon the quality education students are already receiving at their academic institutions and through working at their college radio stations.  We are grateful to Beasley Media Group for providing this incredible opportunity, along with other forward-thinking companies such as Xperi and Marketron Interactive.”

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that longtime Chicago sports talk personality Mike North has announced he’s retiring from sports talk radio.  North is famous for having been a hot dog stand owner who morphed into one of the first personalities on CBS RADIO’s sports talk WSCR.  He exited “The Score” in 2008 and for a time co-hosted “FOX Sports Daybreak” with Andy Furman on the FOX Sports Radio Network.  Feder reports that North told WTTW-TV, Chicago’s Phil Ponce, “I’m heading in another direction because I think the timing is right.  I’m not leaving broadcasting. I’m leaving sports radio.”  Read Feder’s column here…..Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch is reporting that ESPN Radio personality Ryen Russillo is serving a two-week suspension after an incident at a Wyoming condominium in which a drunk Russillo entered the unit of another couple and basically passed out on a bed in a state of partial undress.  He was charged with misdemeanor criminal trespass and ESPN reportedly says he’ll return to the air on September 5…..CBS RADIO’s all-news KNX, Los Angeles is prepping for the NFL season with its daily “Pro Football Insiders Report” that will feature five pro football experts giving their reports four times per day.  Former Chargers great Dan Fouts’ reports air on Mondays, FOX broadcaster Chris Myers airs on Tuesday, former Rams star Jackie Slater’s reports air on Wednesday, broadcast pro Andrew Siciliano’s reports air on Thursdays, and Rams great Vince Ferragamo’s reports air on Fridays…..Ed Esposito is retiring from Rubber City Radio where he’s been serving as vice president/information media.  Esposito handled news duties on Jeff Kinzbach’s morning program on rock WONE, Akron in addition to his responsibilities managing the news and public affairs on sister stations country WQMX, and news/talk WAKR.  Esposito is also a former chair of the Radio Television Digital News Association…..SiriusXM and ESPN announce their deal to serve college sports fans via ESPNU Radio on SiriusXM.  The channel launches on Thursday (8/31)…..FOX Sports Radio’s NFL insider Jay Glazer is hosting a special three-hour football season preview tomorrow (8/30) during the Doug Gottlieb show.  Glazer will be joined by FOX Sports Radio host Dan Beyer.  Glazer recently renewed his multi-year deal with FSR to serve as its NFL insider and he’ll appear regularly across the network’s programs…..TuneIn is offering free coverage of live play-by-play of college football all season long.  TuneIn features the home and away calls of every game for more than 140 schools.  This programming comes via partnerships with ESPN, FOX Sports, IMG College, JMI Sports, Learfield, and Outfront…..AdLarge Media brings Gina Suarez aboard as director of affiliate marketing and promotes Frank DeSantis to SVP of business development…..iHeartMedia news/talk KALZ, “PowerTalk 96.7 and AM1400” is serving as the official Los Angeles Chargers affiliate for Fresno and Visalia.  “PowerTalk” program director Jay Bohannon states, “We’re always looking for ways for ‘Powertalk 96.7’ to diversify our programming, particularly on a stage as large as the NFL.  It’s a dawn of a new era for the Chargers franchise and their fans and we’re thrilled to be a part of it.”

WPHT’s Chris Stigall Hosts Sharyl Attkisson at Live Event.  Pictured above are WPHT, Philadelphia morning personality Chris Stigall (right) speaking with Emmy award-winning journalist and author Sharyl Attkisson (left) before a sold-out audience at the Colonial Theatre.  Stigall tells TALKERS the conversation was “a blunt assessment of journalism today.”  Attkisson greeted fans and signed copied of her book, The Smear: How Shady Political Operatives and Fake News Control What You See, What You Think and How You Vote (Harper 2017).

Harvey Hammers Houston, Federal Flood Insurance Troubles, Trump’s Pardon of Joe Arpaio, North Korea’s Nuclear Threats, Trump-Russia Investigation, ‘Game of Thrones’ Finale, Mayweather-McGregor Aftermath, MLB Action, and NFL Pre-Season Activity Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday.  Houston’s challenge dealing with the effects of Harvey and the threat of more rain; the shaky state of the federal flood insurance program; reactions to President Trump’s pardon of former Maricopa County sheriff Joe Arpaio; North Korea’s nuclear threats and the launch of a missile over Japan; the investigation into possible connections between Trump operatives and Russia including the recent allegations Trump was looking into building a Trump Tower in Moscow; the season finale of “Game of Thrones”; the aftermath of the Floyd MayweatherConor McGregor fight; Major League Baseball action; and NFL pre-season activity 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.  WAXQ, New York morning duo Jim Kerr and Shelli Sonstein are celebrating 40 years together on the New York City airwaves.  Kerr’s career began 50 years ago at the tender age of 21 hosting mornings on WPLJ.  On August 29, 1977, Sonstein became Kerr’s morning drive partner.  As Kerr puts it, one morning Sonstein surprised him by showing up at the WPLJ studios.  “I saw this woman and I didn’t know what she was doing there.  No one told me who she was and why she was there!”  Sonstein says, “When people ask Jim and me when we plan to retire, we both respond the same way, ‘why would we ever want to stop doing what we love?’”…..Changes take place at Meruelo Media’s Los Angeles operations as rhythmic AC KDAY/KDEY program director Adrian Scott resigns and hip hop KPWR PD Jimmy Steal becomes vice president of programming for KDAY/KDEY…..Purchased from the SLC Divestiture Trust for $1.1 million by Aerostar Communications is former Simmons Media Group signal KEGH-FM, Salt Lake City.  With that station come four booster signals: KEGH-FM1, Ogden; KEGH-FM2, Bountiful; KEGH-FM3, Salt Lake City; and KEGH-FM4, Provo. Aerostar is operating KEGH-FM under an LMA airing a Spanish music format…..SiriusXM is debuting a new, monthly show called “Off the Cuff,” hosted by Keith Richards’ daughter Theodora Richards.  The program will feature Richards chatting with musical guests and friends such as Sean Lennon, The Rolling Stones back-up singer Lisa Fischer and musician Peter Wolf, as they “discuss their love of music, latest obsessions and biggest musical influences.”  She’ll play music from a diverse range of artists such as Howlin’ Wolf, Luther Vandross, Chuck Berry and The Rolling Stones.

Lessons from Neil Rogers

| August 23, 2017

By Walter Sabo
Sabo Media
CEO

 

NEW YORK — There are notable entertaining, non-network, local talk hosts.  My favorites are: Mike Trivosonno and Bill Wills on WTAM, Cleveland; Jon Pole on CJAD, Montreal; John & Ken on KFI, Los Angeles; Mark Belling on WISN, Milwaukee; Jim Philips on WTKS-FM, Orlando; and Dom Giordonno on WPHT, Philadelphia.  If I should have mentioned you, I apologize.  This is an urgent, current story about a host who knows how to use social media: South Florida’s Neil Rogers.

Right now, one of the most active Facebook pages is the Neil Rogers show.  It has almost 3,000 members and today has featured a dozen posts from listeners.

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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

| August 23, 2017

Chris Wegmann to Lead New Orleans Operations for Entercom. Radio executive Chris Wegmann – most recently president of the radio division of Radio One – is joining Entercom to serve as vice president and market manager for its New Orleans station group that consists of news/talk WWL-AM/FM, adult contemporary WLMG “Magic 101.9,” classic rock WKBU “95.7 The Bayou,” CHR WEZB “B97,” urban contemporary WWWL-AM and the New Orleans Saints Radio Network. Wegmann is a New Orleans native who began his career at WBOK-AM when it was an R&B outlet.  Entercom regional president Michael Doyle says, “I am excited to have someone of Chris’s background joining Entercom in New Orleans.  He started his career in New Orleans and is returning with an impressive resume of success in our industry.”

Christopher Gabriel Joins KFIG-AM, Fresno.  Radio personality Christopher Gabriel announces that he’s joining John and Katrina Ostlund’s sports talk KFIG-AM, Fresno “940 ESPN.”  Gabriel says it has not been determined whether his afternoon drive program will air from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm or 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm, but he writes on his website: “We’re a 50,000-watt monster signal and the flagship station for Fresno State Bulldogs athletics.  We also carry the Giants, A’s, 49ers, Raiders, Sharks and Lakers.  So why my move to sports talk after so many years in news/talk?  If you know me, you know it’s something I’ve wanted to do for years; this has been a long time coming.  Certainly, though, I’ll bring along CGP standards like “The Other Side of the News,” “One More Thing,” “CFB Friday” and most likely a new segment or two.  My sincere thanks to so many of you – in particular the great folks in Fargo, Moorhead, Minneapolis and the entire Upper Midwest – who have been incredibly supportive of me and the program during my ‘vacation.’  Time to jump back into the driver’s seat and have fun!”

New Entercom Sports President Mike Dee Talks to AdWeek. The former chief operating officer for the Boston Red Sox and president of the San Diego Padres talks with AdWeek about his new gig as president of Entercom Sports and the sports talk radio business.  Mike Dee says the merger of Entercom and CBS RADIO will give the new company an impressive array of large and major market sports talk radio outlets as well as the rights to radio play-by-play for more than 45 sports franchises.   In the Q&A, he says why he believes national advertisers should look to sports talk radio as part of their media strategy: “The opportunities are vast, and in our case, having stations in 23 of the top 25 markets, we will be able to offer scale for national advertisers that’s unprecedented and unmatched in the industry today.  You couple that on a broader context with our local event business, which has been a big growth element, both on the Entercom and on the CBS RADIO side.  The ability to reach targeted groups in local marketplaces on a national scale will enable Entercom to stand out from our competition, and I think that’s very appealing for national advertisers.”  Read the whole story here.

Sabo: Lessons from Neil Rogers. Radio consultant Walter Sabo writes today about the monstrous success of the social media of South Florida talk show host Neil Rogers.  Sabo says, “Right now, one of the most active Facebook pages is the Neil Rogers show.  It has almost 3,000 members and today has featured a dozen posts from listeners.  His YouTube channel has 3,990 posts of videos and airchecks ALL posted by listeners not by him or the station.  The posts are unique in that they feel like gift offerings to Neil and his fan base.  Most of the posts present clips, articles, and news stories that should please Neil.  There are airchecks from 5, 10, 30 years ago — posted this week.”  See Sabo’s entire piece here.

PPM Analysis: MLB Flagships.  In his second of four analyses of the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s July 2017 PPM survey, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian reports on MLB play-by-play flagship stations.  Kinosian says, “Approximately one of every three MLB flagships (34%) improves between June 2017 – July 2017 (6+), but more than half (52%) are down; the remaining 14% of the sample is flat (6+).”  When comparing the same flagship station ratings from last July (2016) to this, “Over half of our eligible MLB flagships sample are down year-to-year (53.5%, 6+) while 43% improve; the remaining 3.5% are unchanged.”  See the entire report here.

WBEN-AM, Buffalo’s Sandy Beach to Be Inducted into NYSBA Hall of Fame.  WBEN-AM, Buffalo morning drive personality Sandy Beach – a Buffalo radio pro for the past 35 years – is being named to the New York State Broadcasters Association’s Hall of Fame.  Beach, along with television news pros Janet Lomax of Rochester and Art McFarland of New York City, will be inducted on October 19 at the New York Broadcast Leadership and Hall of Fame Luncheon during the NAB/Show New York.  Beach also worked in the market at heritage hit radio outlet WKBW and is a 2013 inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a disc jockey.

TALKERS News Notes. Pictured here is KFYI, Phoenix talk show host Terry Gilberg on Fox News Channel on Monday evening (8/21) speaking in advance of President Trump’s Tuesday evening rally at the Phoenix Convention Center.  Gilberg hosts the “THINK! America Radio” program that airs on KFYI Saturdays from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm…..Podcast companies Spreaker and BlogTalkRadio are merging after their respective boards approved the move.  The press release notes that Spreaker co-founder and CEO Francesco Baschieri has been named president of the new firm.  The terms of the merger have not been disclosed but the companies say “shareholders from each of Spreaker and BlogTalkRadio will be making investments in support of the new company’s growth plan, which will be rolled out over the next several months.”  Baschieri comments, “We’re combining Spreaker’s best-in-class mobile and web content management system and creation tools with BlogTalkRadio’s first-to-market monetization platform. The merged company operates at massive scale delivering unique value to independent hosts, podcast networks, and larger mainstream publishers alike.”…..Union Broadcasting and the Kansas City Chiefs are agreeing to extend their partnership for the former’s sports talk WHB to serve as the flagship for radio play-by-play.  Under the extended agreement, WHB owns exclusive live radio broadcast rights to the Chiefs’ weekly in-season press conference with head coach Andy Reid and a weekly one-on-one interview with quarterback Alex Smith, plus other unique content…..KTRS, St. Louis talk show host McGraw Milhaven is subbing  for Westwood One nationally syndicated late night host Jim Bohannon.  He sat in last night (8/22) and will do it again tonight.

Trump Phoenix Speech/Protests, Arpaio Pardon/NAFTA Status, Louise Linton Social Media SNAFU, U.S.-North Korea Tensions, U.S. Navy Accidents, Tiger Woods Nude Pics Battle, Powerball Jackpot, ESPN Pulls Announcer from UVA Game, MLB Action, and NFL Pre-Season Activity Among Top News/Talk stories Yesterday (8/22).  President Donald Trump’s Tuesday speech in Phoenix and the attendant protests; Trump’s comments that he’s considering pardoning convicted former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his belief NAFTA will fall apart; Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin’s actress wife Louise Linton apologizes after getting into a social media spat; tensions between the U.S. and North Korea over the latter’s nuclear weapons program; the recent spate of U.S. Navy accidents and the fate of Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin; Tiger Woods’ and Lindsey Vonn’s legal battle with Celebrity Jihad over hacked, nude pictures of them; the Powerball jackpot hits $700 million; ESPN’s pulling of Asian-American announcer Robert Lee from a UVA football game because of his name similarity with the Confederate General; Major League Baseball action; and NFL pre-season activity were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Jeni Grouws Recognized as 2017 MIW Rising Star.  The “MIW Rising Star Award” is the result of an alliance between the Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio Group and Marketron, named in honor and memory of the late Renée Roth.  The Rising Through the Ranks 2017 two-day intensive training seminar was held August 16-17 at BMI’s Nashville offices during which Decorah Broadcasting’s KDEC, Decorah, Iowa station manager and morning host Jeni Grouws was recognized as the 2017 MIW Rising Star.  Pictured here are (from l-r): Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley, Media Staffing Network founder and president Laurie Kahn, RAB president and CEO Erica Farber, CBS RADIO Chicago’s Lindsay Cerajewski, Grouws and MIW Radio Group spokeswoman Denyse Mesnik.

Harrison Podcast Explores the History of Radio and Electronic Communications.  This week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” takes the listener to the Vintage Radio and Communications Museum of Connecticut.  In somewhat of a change-of-pace episode, Harrison interviews the colorful non-profit institution’s founder and executive director John Ellsworth about the museum and its fascinating contents, as well as its mission to preserve the growing history of the radio broadcasting medium’s impact on human culture.  Harrison and Ellsworth talk history all the way back to pre-Marconi days and trace the amazing story up to the present era of Wi-Fi and smartphones.  This episode is a media freak’s delight as is the offbeat gem of a museum that it spotlights.  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.  Photo:  Michael Harrison stands with a classic Collins 830 FM transmitter popular during the 1960s at the Vintage Radio and Communications Museum of Connecticut.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. WNVZ, Norfolk “Z104” program director Natalia Soniak adds programming responsibilities for sister hot AC WPTE “94.9 The Point.”  Entercom Norfolk vice president and market manager Bennett Zier states, “Natalia is one of our great leaders and talents and we are delighted that she will be taking on the extra responsibilities of the ‘94.9 The Point.’.…..Michigan radio pro Trudi Daniels is signing on with Black Diamond Broadcasting to host the midday program on rock WGFM, Traverse City “Rock 105 & 95.5.”  Daniels was part of the “Drew & Mike” show on WRIF, Detroit for almost 22 years.  She also worked on air at classic rock WCSX.  Daniels comments, “I started listening to ‘Rock 105 & 95.5’ driving up north for weekends and wished I could get it all the time, everywhere in Michigan.  So much great rock I hadn’t heard in years and new music, too. I’m amped to be a part of the ‘Rock’ roster.”…..Exiting E.W. Scripps’ country WCYQ, Knoxville “Q 100.3” after four years is morning personality Krisha Newport…..iHeartMedia Charlotte announces the appointment of Chuck “DZL” Thompson as program director and afternoon drive personality for alternative WEND “106.5 The End.”  Thompson comes to Charlotte from iHeartMedia’s Richmond cluster where he was program director and midday host for alternative WRXL “XL 102.”  iHeartMedia EVP of programming for the Northeast Division Meg Stevens says, “DZL is an extraordinary programmer: strategic, creative and driven.  He knows how to perfectly blend the art and the science of programming.  I look forward to his return to the Queen City.”…..As part of its effort to roll out Alexa Skills for its stations, Beasley Media Group is presenting a promotion in which Amazon Echo’s Alexa will guest DJ on WBEN-FM, Philadelphia this Friday from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  During the show, listeners will get chances to win Amazon Echo Dots.  Beasley EVP of programming Justin Chase comments, “Beasley is rolling out Alexa Skills for all of our stations nationwide and this is a creative example of how we are promoting it to our audience on BEN-FM.”…..RAIN Summit Australia is taking place at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre on October 13 in collaboration with Commercial Radio Australia’s “Radio Alive 2017” conference.  In 2017 RAIN will have produced six summits, including two conferences geared to digital audio advertisers in New York and Chicago, the Podcast Business Summit in New York, RAIN Summit Austin with the NAB (9/5), and RAIN Summit London (11/9).

Sabo’s Solid Sterling Resume

| July 31, 2017

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

 

NEW YORK — Prevalent, perceptions of programming consultants unfortunately tend to be highly unflattering.

Fast-talking, blue-sky selling, out-of-towners with disingenuous “I’m here to help you” patter and an altogether insincere demeanor is how some will often times erroneously paint the typical briefcase-toting advisor.

At the same time, a running industry punchline further diminishing the aura of this brutally competitive occupation was that each out-of-work program director and air talent was only hours away from hanging out his or her consulting shingle.

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Monday, July 31, 2017

| July 31, 2017

Beasley Pro Forma Net Revenue Dips 3.3%; Pro Forma SOI Rises 17.5%.  The second quarter 2017 financial report for Beasley Broadcast Group isn’t straightforward from a comparison standpoint due to the recent acquisition of the Greater Media stations as well as the divestiture of its Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville, North Carolina operations.  The company states, “The $33.2 million, or 119.7%, year-over-year increase in net revenue during the three months ended June 30 reflects the operation of stations in Boston, Philadelphia, Detroit and New Jersey acquired from Greater Media, partially offset by the disposition of the Charlotte and Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville clusters.”  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley adds, “Following our second full quarter of results including the Greater Media markets, we are beginning to realize the benefits from this transaction in terms of scale and opportunity, as reflected by the 119.7% increase in consolidated net revenue and 100% rise in SOI compared to the prior year.  In the second quarter, we continued to actively manage our local radio broadcasting platform while implementing our operating disciplines at the acquired Greater Media stations and extracting valuable synergies from our enhanced scale to drive SOI margin expansion.  The 9.1% reduction in pro-forma second quarter operating expenses, which included $1 million of severance related to the Greater Media markets, was partially offset by the 3.3% decline in pro forma revenue, which was attributable to political spending levels and declines in national revenues, as well as certain specific integration-related issues.  As a result, Beasley generated a 17.5% year-over-year increase in second quarter pro forma SOI with SOI margins reaching 26.6% up from 21.9% in the year-ago period.  With the financing of the Greater Media acquisition, our total outstanding debt as of June 30 was approximately $225 million, compared to $240 million at March 31.  We made voluntary debt repayments of $4 million in the second quarter and applied 100% of the $11 million in net proceeds from our Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville cluster divestiture toward debt reduction, resulting in a total $15 million reduction in debt.”

WBZT, West Palm Beach Flips to Sports as ‘Sports Radio 1230 The Zone.’ Dropping news/talk for sports, iHeartMedia West Palm Beach introduces the new WBZT as “Sports Radio 1230 The Zone.”  The station will feature a local morning drive show – “Defo in the Morning” – hosted by Jeff Deforest, Mike “Lubie” Lubitz and The Greek.  The station will air play-by-play including NFL football, the Miami Marlins, Florida Gators basketball and the 2018 Winter Olympics.  Program director Brian Mudd comments, “We are excited that ‘Sports Radio 1230 The Zone’ will be the Palm Beaches’ new home for all things sports.  Our all-star lineup featuring South Florida’s own ‘Defo in the Morning,’ The Greek and Jim Rome will bring the biggest games, the best sports conversation and sports updates you need to know.”

John Oliver Again Targets Alex Jones on Last Night’s ‘Last Week Tonight’ (7/30).  Satirist John Oliver again targeted controversial InfoWars host Alex Jones on his HBO series “Last Week Tonight,” citing TALKERS magazine’s most-listened-to hosts audience estimates of 5.9 million per week.  To view the scathing commentary please click here.

KOA, Denver’s Steffan Tubbs Arrested on Domestic Violence Charge. The iHeartMedia news/talk station has issued no comment at this time after the local reports of KOA morning personality Steffan Tubbs’ arrest on the charge of domestic violence, disturbance via phone.  FOX 31 Denver reports the 48-year-old Tubbs was arrested on Sunday morning outside the apartment of an unidentified woman who called police.  The story notes that Colorado is a mandatory arrest state, meaning that if police are called and there’s probable cause, an arrest of the accused is made and that person must appear before a judge prior to posting bond.

TALKERS News Notes. The new executive producer of the “Jason and John” show – featuring John Martin and Jason Smith – on Entercom’s WMFS-FM, Memphis “92.9 FM ESPN/680AM” is Bennett Doyle.  He’s been producing programs on the station – filling in on the Geoff Calkins show, the Eric Hasseltine show, and the Gary Parrish show – in addition to working with “Jason and John.”  At the same time, the station announces that Ashley Cahill is named promotion and events manager…..News anchor Frank Settipani retires from CBS Radio News after a 36-year stint with the news organization.  Before joining CBS Radio News in 1981, Settipani had worked at WNEW-AM and WINS-AM in New York, UPI, and Dow Jones…..RTDNA joins with the Society of Professional Journalists and a score of other journalism groups, urging the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee to hold a hearing on the state of media in the United States.  The groups say an informed public is crucial to democracy and they want to work together to ensure the public has an informed opinion of the press and its role. Because the Commerce Committee oversees the Federal Communications Commission, it plays an important role in broadcast media licensing, communications networks and more.  The organizations say an open discussion about journalism will hopefully help to rebuild trust in the profession. See the letter here…..CBS RADIO’s Spanish music outlet KLOL, Houston “Mega 101 FM” will be the new home of the Houston Texans Spanish radio broadcasts on game days…..Salem Radio Network personality Mike Gallagher (pictured at left) takes a selfie in front of the stage at Citi Field in New York where the Doobie Brothers are performing on stage.  The event also featured Steely Dan, Fleetwood Mac and Earth, Wind & Fire. Gallagher says the show was “my soundtrack from high school.”…..CBS Sports Radio host Jim Rome crowned the winner of the 2017 Smack Off, naming Leff in Laguna the eventual winner in what was described as a very crowded field.  Leff takes home $5,000 and eternal bragging rights.  Rome comments, “This was the best Smack Off ever and the toughest one to decide a winner, but Leff in Laguna won it with a great call that somehow included an incredible in-studio reunion of the guys from the 1996 SI photo shoot.  Truly an amazing moment in show history and one that I will remember forever.”

Profile: Walter SaboTALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a profile of radio’s Walter Sabo – currently focusing his efforts on his weekly Sunday night talk show on CBS RADIO’s WPHT, Philadelphia.  Sabo’s weekly show diverges a bit from what some would term formulaic conservative political talk, and Sabo thinks there’s room for that on news/talk radio.  “I strongly believe there is a great opportunity for talk stations today to increase what they offer [however] I am not saying to get rid of political talk shows.  It’s good if a station has a gifted talk show host – but make sure [he or she is] entertaining.  The most response I get from my show is when I talk about trouble with the in-laws – that’s when the phones and emails go crazy.  It is what you talk about with your friends, so why wouldn’t you put it on the air? This is what someone like Elvis Duran [highlights on his morning show originating from iHeartMedia New York City CHR WHTZ ‘Z-100’ and syndicated on Premiere Radio Networks]. Stations that just talk about politics are so afraid to talk about anything else and there is no reason to.”  Read Kinosian’s piece here.

ABC Radio and Skyview Renew. Partners since 2014, ABC Radio and Skyview Networks announce they’ve signed an early extension of their content, ad sales, affiliate sales and audio distribution agreement.  The companies say that “this early renewal through 2026 positions ABC Radio and Skyview Networks to continue their growth in audio syndication and sales, while preparing ABC Radio and Skyview Networks to expand their relationship with news and entertainment brands seeking strategic partnerships that generate strong results.”  Skyview president Ken Thiele comments, “Skyview Networks is proud to extend our partnership with ABC Radio.  This early renewal speaks to the success of our collaboration and allows us to continue our joint initiative to deliver quality content to radio stations and provide the media community impactful advertiser opportunities.  We look forward to deepening our relationship, as we further explore options that will expand the ABC Radio offering.  We feel privileged to have ABC Radio at our side as Skyview Networks continues to experience healthy, sustainable growth.”

Futuri Appoints Three to New Positions.  Three new staffers join media technology firm Futuri Media at the company’s new Cleveland-area headquarters.  Radio pro Chris Huneke is named partner integration specialist.  In this role, the former WNNF, Cincinnati “NASH FM 94.1” program director will be a partner to programmers who use Futuri’s audience engagement products, helping them develop new ways to drive ratings and revenue.  Alison Stubbendieck is named national account manager.  She comes to Futuri after spending the last 11 years with digital marketer NeoFillJames Hunziker also joins as national account manager. He previously served with YP.com and CBS RADIO Cleveland before joining Futuri.

Jim Bohannon Delivers University of North Georgia Commencement.  Pictured here at the podium is Westwood One nationally syndicated radio talk host Jim Bohannon delivering a speech at the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega, Georgia on Saturday (7/29).

The MBA Radio Talent Institute Begins Today.  This edition of the Missouri Broadcasters Association Radio Talent Institute begins today at Northwest Missouri State University.  The 10-day institute is made possible with financial commitments from the school and the MBA, plus broadcast companies including: Hubbard Radio-St Louis; Eagle Communications-St. Joseph; Emmis Communications-St. Louis; Zimmer Radio and Marketing Group of Mid Missouri-Columbia, Jefferson City; iHeartMedia-St. Louis, Springfield, Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Davenport; Cumulus Media-Kansas City, Columbia, Jefferson City; and Mid-West Family Broadcasting-Springfield.  Students will travel to the Kansas City Chiefs training camp in St. Joseph for a session on sports broadcasting from Chiefs play-by-play announcer Mitch Holthus. The field trip will continue in Kansas City with a play-by-play session from the Royals’ Denny Matthews.  On Friday morning, Kansas City’s “Taylor and Brady Morning Show,” from KZPT “99.7 The Point” will broadcast live from the institute.

Trump Ousts Reince Priebus/Cabinet Changes, Future of ObamaCare, Putin Orders U.S. to Cut Diplomatic Staff, North Korea Nuclear Threats, Venezuela Elections, Sunday’s GoT Episode, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The ouster of White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly named his replacement, plus the arrival of White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci; the GOP’s efforts to vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with a plan crafted by Republicans; in retaliation for the Congress-approved sanctions against Russia, Vladimir Putin orders U.S. to remove 755 diplomats from Russia; the ongoing threats against the U.S. by North Korea; the weekend elections in Venezuela that Nicolas Maduro says give him complete control of the nation’s government and military and other nations’ refusal to accept the elections as legitimate; the current season of “Game of Thrones” and anticipation of Sunday night’s episode; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Continue Posting Today (7/31) with Memorial Tribute To Dr. Joy Browne by Jim Bohannon.  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 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 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; a conversation between The Weiss AgencyEVP Heather Cohen and Fox News Radio/Fox News Channel host Brian Kilmeade; and a conversation between WPHT, Philadelphia host Dom Giordano and GCN syndicated host Dr. Daliah Wachs  (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.

–          TODAY (7/31) we posted the third of a series of three memorial tributes by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon dedicated to major talk show personalities and longtime TALKERS Convention participants who passed away this past year:  Tom MarrDr. Joy Browne and Alan Colmes.  Today’s posted tribute is for Dr. Joy Browne.  (Introduction by Stephan Multimedia CEO/host, Doug Stephan.)

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.

 

 

Westwood One Realigns 24/7 Formats Organization.  President of programming Kirk Stirland says the streamlining of Westwood One’s 24/7 formats organizational structure “includes the promotion of many talented team members, and we are committed to continually optimizing our systems and station support as we advance our technology and content delivery solutions.”  The company says the structure gives every affiliate a single point of contact with a senior programming executive supported by a dedicated team of experts including a program operations manager, music and promotion director, and system operator.  “The new organization supporting VPs of programming George King/country, Cheri Marquart/contemporary, and David Felker/gold formats can respond to the more than 1,800 affiliates swiftly and conclusively with the singular goal of providing a top-notch product and white-glove service.”  Effective immediately, Dave Carey and Melody Morgan are promoted to program operations managers.  Al Vertucci and Gerry Dixon are promoted to music and promotion directors, for gold and contemporary formats respectively, and Bill Thorpe is promoted to system operator.  In a related move, Heather Martinez, a 13-year veteran of Westwood One’s 24-Hour Formats, is promoted to promotion manager.

Travis Moon to Program ‘K-Bull 93’ in Salt Lake City.  Country radio pro Travis Moon is joining Cumulus Media to serve as the program director for KUBL, Salt Lake City “K-Bull 93.”  Moon was most recently with iHeartMedia as director of country operations at KAJA, San Antonio and KASE and KVET in Austin.  Joining KUBL is a return to the station for Moon.  Earlier in his career, he was afternoon drive personality and APD.  Cumulus Media Salt Lake City Pat Reedy says, “To have someone of Travis’ experience, knowledge and track record of programming winning country radio stations is very exciting.  Can’t wait to get him in the ‘K-Bull’ stable and let him work his magic.”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programmer Kenny J is named program director at Cumulus Media’s urban AC KMJK “Magic 107.3.”  He comes to Kansas City from Kennelwood Radio’s hip hop KWBT, Waco, Texas “94.5 The Beat.”  At KMJK, Kenny J will also host the midday show.  Cumulus Kansas City operations manager Lance Tidwell states, “We are excited to have Kenny at the helm of ‘Magic 107.3’ in Kansas City.  The station is poised for significant growth and will benefit from Kenny’s leadership and deep knowledge of the urban AC format.”…..Cumulus Media launches a new CHR station, flipping from sports talk on WNMQ-FM, Columbus-Starkville, Mississippi.   The station takes on the brand “Q103.1 FM The Golden Triangle’s Hit Music.”  In morning drive, the station will use the syndicated “The Bert Show.”…..iHeartMedia Phoenix names Vinnie Del Rosso the new executive producer and on-air talent on adult contemporary KESZ’s “Beth and Friends” morning show. Area SVP of programming Paul Kelley says, “I’m excited to add Vinnie’s personality and perspective to the ‘Beth and Friends’ morning show. Vinnie and Beth have a great rapport and he will bring tremendous energy to the show.”

Friday, July 28, 2017

| July 28, 2017

Entercom Reports Second Quarter Net Revenue Rises 3%.  With the pending EntercomCBS RADIO merger front-and-center in the radio news these days, when Entercom president and CEO David Field talks, people listen.  Analysts and industry watchers were no doubt eager to hear what Field had to say about the merger process and here’s what he told them on this morning’s conference call.  “We’ve made good progress towards completing the transaction. We’re well along in our post-merger integration work, developing our plans to optimize our structure, practices and strategies to ensure we move quickly and effectively to capitalize on the opportunities in front of us.  And we have entered into letters of intent on all of our planned divestitures with strong interest from a significant number of various parties for the various stations and we’re pleased with the outcome of this process.  That said, we’re still working to achieve approval from the Department of Justice on the divestiture plan and are in the midst of that process.  We believe we’ll remain on schedule for closing in the second half of this year.”  To the numbers, Entercom reports net revenue of $125 million during the second quarter of 2017, an increase of 3% compared to the same period a year ago.   Same station net revenue was up 1%, excluding political.  In a statement, Field says, “We continue to make great progress in our planning for our transformational merger with CBS RADIO that will make us the #1 provider of original, local audio content in the U.S. and create the scale to compete with other media for a larger share of ad spending.  As we meet with clients, agencies, and strategic partners, we are more confident than ever about the value-creating opportunities ahead.  Second quarter revenues increased 3% as reported, and up 1% on a same-station basis ex-political.  Expenses were up more than usual due to our acquisition in Charlotte, some significant one-time-only expenses and additional costs related to building the organization in anticipation of the merger.  We expect expense growth to recede in the third quarter and look for meaningful margin expansion post-closing.”  As of June 30, Entercom had outstanding $467.6 million of senior debt under its credit facilities and $27.7 million in perpetual cumulative convertible preferred stock.  The company reports $8.6 million in cash on hand.

SiriusXM Q2 Revenue Up 9%; Subscribers Top 32 Million. Satellite radio operator SiriusXM is reporting 2017 second quarter financial numbers, led by “record” revenue of $1.3 billion, up 9% compared to Q2 of 2016.  Net income was $202 million in the second quarter, up 16% from $175 million in 2016.  The company’s free cash flow rose 6% to $417 million.  During the quarter, SiriusXM added 466,000 net new self-pay subscribers, putting its total self-pay subscribers at nearly 26.7 million.  SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer states, “In the second quarter, SiriusXM continued its strong track record of execution and demand for our premium content bundle pushed our listener base to an all-time high of more than 32 million paying subscribers. We are pleased to raise our full-year guidance for net self-pay subscriber additions, revenue, and adjusted EBITDA. We also made tremendous progress on strategic initiatives in the second quarter with the closing of our recapitalization of SiriusXM Canada, our acquisition of Automatic Labs, and our agreement to acquire a minority stake in Pandora Media.”

TALKERS Hears: Westwood One Signs Syndication Agreement with Walter Sabo.  TALKERS magazine hears that, according to unconfirmed inside sources, Westwood One has signed an agreement to syndicate a three-hour radio show hosted by Walter Sabo.  Sabo, CEO of the New York-based consultation firm Sabo Media, has been hosting a live, weekly two-hour talk show at 11:00 pm on Sunday nights on CBS O&O WPHT, Philadelphia for the past several years.  He uses the on-air name Walter Sterling.  The pact is the result of conversations between CBS RADIO and Cumulus Media to make the Walter Sterling Show (a CBS property) available to Cumulus stations and others in the late night weekend slot including an extra third hour.  TALKERS editors who have been listening describe the show as a departure from typical “left versus right” political news/talk fare focusing largely on social, family, and cultural issues of current life.  Noted radio impresario Kraig Kitchin is reportedly managing Sabo’s emerging on-air career and negotiated the deal. NEXT WEEK:  TALKERS will be presenting a special feature story by managing editor Mike Kinosian detailing the history of Walter Sabo’s colorful career from being a wunderkind 20-something radio executive in the 1970s and 1980s with ABC and NBC through his work as a leading consultant in the 1990s and early 2000s – culminating with his emerging presence as an on-air talent today.

Longtime KTRS, St. Louis Personality Frank O. Pinion Exiting.  After more than 20 years onFrank the St. Louis talk station, afternoon drive host Frank O. Pinion, a.k.a. John Craddock, will wrap his deal with CH Holding’s KTRS on September 14. The St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that Craddock told his listeners that the parting was not amicable – he’s resigned – and that he’s not retiring either.  The paper reports that Craddock is not a KTRS employee but an independent contractor who brokers the show, getting inventory to sell.  Read the Post-Dispatch story here.

Jon Kelly Takes Control of SummitMedia LLC.  The company announces that shareholder and private investor Jon Kelly reaches an agreement to purchase the controlling interest in SummitMedia LLC held by Highpoint Holdings.  SummitMedia chairman/CEO Carl Parmer states, “Jon has been our largest individual shareholder since inception and we are delighted he will become our controlling shareholder, pending FCC approval.  Not only is he a good friend, but he and his family have a long and incredibly successful history in broadcasting in the United States.  His commitment to SummitMedia positions us to take advantage of strategic opportunities and grow our platform in the years ahead.”

Conclave 42.  Consultant Holland Cooke (pictured above with conference chair Lori Lewis, VP/social for Cumulus Media/Westwood One) reports from Minneapolis with his notes on the Conclave Summer Learning Conference.  Among the topics discussed at this year’s conference were: the possibilities for radio with the growth of smart speakers, podcast strategies for radio personalities, the future of radio’s place in the car, and more.  See Cooke’s coverage here.

Salem Hosts at the White House.  Pictured above are some of the Salem Radio Network personalities and some of the hosts whose shows air on Salem Media Group-owned news/talk stations at this week’s “Made In America” radio remote from the White House.  Clockwise from left: Kevin McCullough (WNYM, New York), Joe Piscopo (WNYM, New York), Salem SVP spoken word format Phil Boyce, Craig Silverman (KNUS, Denver) and his son, SRN’s Eric Metaxas and Larry Elder.

Talking Issues with Jon Lovitz. “Saturday Night Live” alum Jon Lovitz (right) is pictured here with talk radio star Lars Larson (left) at Alpha Media’s KXL, Portland studios. Larson tells TALKERS magazine that Lovitz appeared on his radio show and talked “Trump, guns, Caitlyn Jenner and a lot of other things.”

TALKERS News Notes. With the goal of making its 34 radio stations in 13 states available on to Amazon Alexa-supported devices, E.W. Scripps enlists XAPPmedia.  XAPP VP of sales Ryan Higbie says, “We are honored to work with Scripps to bring Amazon Alexa users access to its radio stations’ original audio content.  The technology offers an immersive experience for users to listen to their favorite radio programs on demand.  XAPP is committed to helping Scripps make the most of this new distribution channel and build deeper listener relationships at the same time.”…..SiriusXM announces comedian and actor Godfrey begins hosting a daily show on the Urban View channel on Monday (7/31).  “The Power Hour” will air daily from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm and feature “dynamic and often provocative conversations on politics, pop culture, and social issues in Godfrey’s relaxed, comedic style.”

ObamaCare Repeal and Replace Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of July 24-28.  The GOP’s attempts to vote on the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and efforts to craft a replacement health care plan tied for the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week.  At #2 was the threat by new White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci to fire the entire West Wing to stop leaks to the press.  Coming in at #3 was President Trump’s ban on transgender soldiers in the military, followed by the announcement by Foxconn of plans for a new plant in Wisconsin 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.

TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Continue Posting Today (7/28) with Memorial Tribute to Alan Colmes by Jim Bohannon.  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 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 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; a conversation between The Weiss AgencyEVP Heather Cohen and Fox News Radio/Fox News Channel host Brian Kilmeade; and a conversation between WPHT, Philadelphia host Dom Giordano and GCN syndicated host Dr. Daliah Wachs  (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.

–          TODAY (7/28) we posted the second of a series of three memorial tributes by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon dedicated to major talk show personalities and longtime TALKERS Convention participants who passed away this past year:  Tom MarrDr. Joy Browne and Alan Colmes.  Today’s posted tribute is for Alan Colmes. Dr. Joy Browne’s tribute will be posted on Monday.  (Introduction by Stephan Multimedia CEO/host, Doug Stephan.)

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.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Charlotte, air personality JT Bosch is named the afternoon drive host and assistant program director at iHeartMedia’s country WKKT “96.9 The Kat.”  Effective August 14, Bosch begins hosting the 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm show.  Bosch was most recently with the company as APD/evening personality at WMZQ, Washington.  iHeartMedia Virginia-Carolina Region president Dave Carwile states, “I’m excited to have JT in Charlotte and involved in the programming of WKKT.  He is familiar with the area and his experience in both programming and on-air is unrivaled.”…..Carson Daly is resigning from his morning show duties at CBS RADIO’s KAMP, Los Angeles “97.1 AMP Radio,” in order to focus on his television projects and his other radio work.  He told his radio listeners that his desire to spend more time with his wife and three kids was a big factor in the decision.  “I just want to have breakfast with my kids,” he said.  Daly will still produce the weekend radio countdown show “Daly Download” while handling television duties that include hosting “The Voice,” anchoring on the “Today” show, and hosting “Last Call with Darson Daly.”…..The mystery surrounding the April disappearance of Kathy Hart from WTMX, Chicago’s popular “Eric & Kathy” AM drive show may soon be revealed to some degree or another, according to Chicago media writer Robert Feder.  He writes today that sources say action on her relationship with the station should come soon and it sounds as though she’s negotiating an end to her contract.  However, everyone seems mystified as to what caused her to choose to take a leave from the highly rated program 12 weeks ago, including radio partner Eric Ferguson.  Read Feder’s piece here…..Entercom’s WLNK, Charlotte “The Link 107.9” inks a new deal with Bob Lacey and Sheri Lynch (pictured at right) for the two to continue hosting their syndicated “Bob & Sheri” show on the station.  Entercom Charlotte VP/GM Matt Hanlon states, “This is the top-rated show in the market and one of the best, most unique morning shows in America.  We’re fortunate to have the caliber of talent and creative engagement the ‘Bob & Sheri’ show brings to the airwaves every day.”

Thursday, July 6, 2017

| July 6, 2017

Kagan: WGN-AM, Chicago Valued at $58.4 Million. Media analysis firm Kagan, now an offering of S&P Global Market Intelligence, issues a report on the volume of mergers and acquisitions in the U.S. broadcasting market during the second quarter of this year and concludes that Tribune Media’s news/talk WGN-AM, Chicago is worth $58.4 million.  Tribune Media – the television stations and sole radio property – is being acquired by Sinclair Broadcast Group and WGN-AM will become one of just four stations owned by the TV giant.  The others are Seattle properties hot AC KPLZ, all-news KOMO-AM/FM, and news/talk KVI.  The Kagan report focuses largely on television deals but also reports on Emmis’ sale of KPWR, Los Angeles and notes Saga Communications’ exiting the TV business with its sale of television assets to Morgan Murphy Media.  See the report here.

Newsmax Granted White House Briefing Room Seat. The Boca Raton, Florida-based conservative news organization was one of three to be granted a designated, permanent seat in the White House briefing room by the White House Correspondents’ AssociationNewsmax joins Westwood One and Britain’s The Daily Mail in gaining the coveted full seat that puts the organizations on equal footing with outlets such as the Washington Post, Fox News and MSNBC.  Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy says, “This is truly an honor to be selected by our journalistic peers for this privilege.  It testifies to Newsmax’s strong news brand and our enormous reach.”  Reuters staffer Jeff Mason serves as WHCA president and he says, “The board considered multiple criteria during this decision-making process, including regular briefing attendance and commitment to the White House beat.  We did not want scarce real estate going unused.  We also looked at news outlets’ audiences, both in terms of reach and in terms of preserving (or in some cases adding) diversity in the briefing room. We took stock of the changing landscape of our industry.”

Gilbert to Host Night Show on ‘Real Talk KGX’ in Palm Springs.  Coachella Valley radio personality Marshall Gilbert is joining Desert Broadcasters’ news/talk KKGX, Palm Springs “Real Talk KGX” to host the nightly 7:00 – 9:00 program, beginning Monday (7/10).  Gilbert has been a presence on the radio in the market for the past 23 years.  Station GM Garry Wing comments, “He’s been an integral voice in talk radio in the desert for more than two decades and we’re delighted that he’s chosen to join KGX as we continue to build on the notion that talk radio can be entertaining, compelling and interesting, without the anger, yelling and fake outrage that has permeated the airwaves for years.”  The station notes that Gilbert learned a lot about local politics from his mentor Sonny Bono, serving as his campaign manager, and later as a member of the Palm Springs Airport Commission.

TALKERS News Notes. Well-known talk radio consultant Walter Sabo has  for some time been dabbling first hand in the on-air aspect of the business, hosting a Sunday evening talk program on CBS RADIO’s WPHT, Philadelphia as Walter Sterling.  Now, Mr. Sterling will be testing the waters of nationally syndicated radio as he fills in for Westwood One’s Jim Bohannon next Monday and Tuesday (7/10-11)…..Sports media pro Rock Riley is now the afternoon drive host on Genesis Communications’ Florida spots talk duo WHBO, Tampa and WHOO, Orlando – collectively branded SportsTalkFlorida.  Riley is a former Bright House sports television personality who was with the network for 18 years…..With its new relationship with Fishnet Syndication full steam ahead, Dave Graveline begins offering a daily, consumer tech tips feature to radio stations.  It’s called, “Into Tomorrow Daily with Dave Graveline,” and the program launches on Monday (7/10).  Graveline says, “We give an entertaining and informative glimpse about consumer tech in a short, 60-second vignette every weekday.  It’s kind of a condensed version of our weekly, three-hour weekend show that’s been on the air for 22 years!”…..In the wake of the controversy surrounding CNN’s decision to seek out the creator of the Trump vs CNN wrestling video and allegations the news organization is blackmailing that person, the Melanie Morgan/Brian Maloney-operated Media Equality Project is demanding CNN terminate reporter Andrew Kaczynski.  His “KFile” project is responsible for tracking down the creator of the video that President Trump tweeted.  The Media Equality Project is encouraging supporters to contact CNN advertisers to let them know they won’t support their products until Kaczynski is gone.

TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Continue Posting Today (7/6) with Norm Pattiz Podcasting Presentation.  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) and 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).  Posted today (7/6) is the special presentation “Podcasting and Local Radio” by PodcastOne excutive chairman Norm Pattiz (with introduction by Hubbard Radio SVP/programming Greg Strassell).  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.

NAB to Honor David Field with National Radio Award. At the Radio Luncheon at this year’s 2017 Radio Show in Austin on September 6, Entercom Communications president and CEO David Field will be presented with the National Radio Award.  NAB executive vice president John David says, “David’s passion for radio and his business savvy have led Entercom to new heights.  We look forward to recognizing him for his continuous dedication and significant contributions to the business.”

North Korea ICBM Test-Trump Warning, CNN-Trump Wrestling Video Blowback, NPR-Declaration of Independence Flap, Trump Antietam Donation, NYC Cop Slain, Trump Visits Poland, Violent Chicago Fourth Weekend, Wimbledon Matches, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/5).  North Korea’s successful test of an ICBM and President Donald Trump’s warning to the hermit kingdom; CNN faces blowback from critics accusing the news organization of blackmailing the Reddit user who originated the Trump-CNN wrestling video; the flap over NPR’s 4th of July tweeting of the Declaration of Independence and numerous critics’ failure to recognize the document and calling it an incitement to violence against the president; President Trump donates his paycheck to restoration projects at Antietam battlefield; the high-profile slaying of a New York City policewoman; Trump’s visit to Poland prior to this week’s G20 Summit; the aftermath of Chicago’s violent 4th of July weekend in which more than 100 were shot with 15 dead; the matches at the Wimbledon tournament; 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.

Doug Gottlieb Coaches USA Team in 20th World Maccabiah Games. Pictured above is FOX Sport Radio syndicated sports talk personality Doug Gottlieb (left) with the USA Open Men’s Basketball team competing at the 20th World Maccabiah Games from July 4-18 in Israel.  Gottlieb is leading a team of twelve Jewish athletes, ages 18-35, at the games, which is the world’s third-largest international sporting event, with more than 9,000 total participants representing 75 countries.  While there, Gottlieb is broadcasting his program live from Israel.   He is a three-time alumnus of Maccabi USA, having represented the United States as a member of the Open Men’s Basketball Team at the 15th World Maccabiah Games in 1997, the Pan-American Maccabi Games in Mexico City in 1999, and the 16th World Maccabiah Games in 2001, winning bronze, gold and gold medals, respectively.

Former CNN Anchor Frank Sesno Guests on Harrison Podcast.  Former CNN anchor, White House correspondent and Washington, DC bureau chief Frank Sesno joins host Michael Harrison as this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out.”  Sesno is currently the director of the School of Media and Public Affairs at The George Washington University.  He’s written a new book, Ask More: The Power of Questions to Open Doors, Uncover Solutions, and Spark Change (Amacom, 2017) in which he dissects the art and importance of asking the right questions as a journalist and in everyday life.  Harrison and Sesno discuss the techniques of good interviewing plus the current relationship between the White House press corps and the Donald Trump administration, as well as the profound effects that social media and digital technology are having on society.  To listen to the entire podcast, 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.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. A new urban format officially launches on low-power FM KTGP, St. Louis as “Mix 99.5.”  According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the station is being run by SVP and operations manager Lou Thimes, Jr and features a number of well-known St. Louis radio personalities, including: Jim Gates, Niecy Davis, Tossin’ Ted, Nappy DJ Needles, Calvin King, Edie B, DJ VuDu, and Darrel “EZ” Eason.  Music runs the gamut from mostly classic R&B to specialty shows including gospel music, blues, jazz, old-school hip-hop and talk…..Air personality “Hot Rod” Thompson joins Entravision’s country KNTY, Sacramento “101.9 The Wolf” to host the afternoon program.  Thompson was most recently at Townsquare Media’s country KCTR, Billings, Montana “Cat Country 102.9.”

Open a Mall

| June 16, 2017

By Walter Sabo
Sabo Media
CEO

 

NEW YORK — The forbidden topic about the future of AM talk radio is infomercials. Infomercials, rather than the subtleties of topic selection, harm AM talk cume more than any other single station element. Most stations airing infomercials generate about 40% of their total income from that stream. So, what’s the problem? It’s money!

The problem is that in most cities the number two HOMES USING RADIO daypart is Saturdays 10:00 am – 3:00 pm. There is significant radio listening available and it is discretionary, weekend listening, an ideal time to promote and sample your best work.  Infomercials during that valuable time period depress total week audience – easily by a full share.

Read More

AM Radio: Stop the Doomsday Machine!

| June 6, 2017

By Walter Sabo
Sabo Media
CEO

 

NEW YORK — It is hard to overstate how much I love radio and believe in its future.  This article suggests a necessary, urgent corrective action that must be taken to give AM talk radio a viable future.

First, my credentials for making this case:  Starting in 1990, I launched a large number of major market FM talk stations such as “New Jersey 101.5,” KLSX-FM in Los Angeles and “Real Radio 104” in Orlando. Simultaneously I consulted WOR, WIOD, WRKO, WISN and many others. For eight years, from pre-launch, I was the on-site consultant that built out all Sirius Satellite radio channels, music and talk.  Prior to that I was the VP/GM of the ABC Radio Networks. EVP in charge of the NBC FM stations where adult contemporary was created and perfected.  History shows that most successful media companies are product-driven.  The wrong product results in failure.

Read More

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

| June 6, 2017

Sabo: AM Radio – Stop the Doomsday Machine! Consultant Walter Sabo writes today that he strongly believes in the future of radio.  But, he says, if all you put on your talk radio station is political talk, then you “wallow in a 1 share or are rushing toward a 1 share. Or worse…Admission is the key.  First, admit that it’s not working.  It’s not working.  I am puzzled by companies that would clean house if a music station hit a 1 share, but fail to take action with talk stations that have a 1 share – or worse.”  Read more from Walter Sabo here.

John Williams Says Goodbye to WCCO-AM, Minneapolis. Back in January, WGN, Chicago announced that it was bringing talk show host John Williams back to the station on a full-time basis – hosting the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm show – and at the same time, Williams announced he’d be leaving CBS RADIO’s WCCO and relocate from the Twin Cities back to Chicago.  On Friday (6/2), Williams hosted his last program on WCCO.  Since then, he’d been hosting both shows from Minneapolis.  The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that WCCO is not ready to announce its new PM drive host.  Station operations manager Lindsey Peterson tells the paper that Jordana Green and Mike Max will host on an interim basis but that the station is close to signing a permanent replacement.

New Format Receives Praise at 20th Annual TALKERS Convention in NYC.  The 20th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention took place Friday (6/2) in the Chelsea district of Manhattan and it fulfilled its promise to continue its tradition of being a power-packed, valuable, one-day experience for its attendees.  More than 55 industry leaders from the ranks of ownership, management, programming, sales, technology and talent comprised a roster of speakers addressing the most pertinent issues facing talk professionals in 2017.  These included the complexities of news/talk programming in the era of Trump, capitalizing on podcasting at the local level, opportunities for talent in the current environment, selling radio outside the ratings, achieving an effective multi-platform balance, operating a professional broadcasting career in the perplexing age of increased consolidation against a backdrop of looming bankruptcy, engaging millennials, applying the latest technology and much more.  The major annual TALKERS awards were presented at the event.  (See details in yesterday’s story lower on this page.)  This year’s convention launched a new approach that scrapped the old, long-form panel format in favor of short solo presentations, fireside chat interviews and the new “one-on-one” dialogue approach.  Discussing the new style, TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey says, “We created a new, fast-paced approach to the conference and it worked very well – feedback has been extremely positive!”  The entire convention was video recorded and will be featured here on Talkers.com shortly.  Stay tuned for more story and photo coverage in the days ahead.  Meanwhile, below are some more photos from the event.

Norm Pattiz (l) and Dan Mason (r) point to their headshots peeking through the portholes in the theater doors on W. 26th Street at Talkers 2017: A New Era.

Talkers 2017 was attended by a large number of young broadcasters and college radio students.  Hofstra University’s WRHU operations manager John T. Mullen (l) and Hillsdale College’s WRFH general manager Scot Bertram (r) participate in a one-on-one discussion, “Where Does Talk Media Go From Here?”  Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.

SiriusXM Satellite Radio host and advisor Karen Hunter served as a “one-on-one” session facilitator at Talkers 2017.  Photo by Don Hurley.

iHeartMedia programming executive Grace Blazer (l) and WPHT, Philadelphia host Dom Giordano (r) discuss the nuts and bolts of today’s industry. Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.

SiriusXM VP/GM talk programming Dave Gorab addresses convention. Photo by Don Hurley.

Talent agent Heather Cohen (l) and Fox News star Brian Kilmeade (r) tackle the future direction of talk media.  Photo by Matthew B. Harrison

WMAL host Larry O’ Connor delivering welcoming remarks.  Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.

David Bernstein (l) and Dr. Asa (r) discussing ratings and revenue.  Photo by Don Hurley.

Jim Bohannon paying tribute to Dr. Joy Browne, Alan Colmes and Tom Marr.  Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.

Talk radio mavericks Tom Leykis (l) and Michael Berry (r) talk about the new digital era.  Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.

More Talkers 2017 coverage and photos coming tomorrow.

George Noory and Premiere Networks Extend Relationship. The host of Premiere Networks’ “Coast to Coast AM” signs an exclusive, long-term agreement to continue hosting the overnight radio show.  George Noory assumed hosting duties on the program back in 2003.  He says, “I’m excited to carry the torch for years to come.  I want to thank the incredible team at Premiere and my amazing show staff, who have been with me since this remarkable journey started.”  Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott comments, “I’m continually amazed by the dedication and passion George has for ‘Coast to Coast AM’ and his audience.  George is the driving force behind the show’s continued success and we’re proud to extend our partnership.”

KXTG, Portland Unveils New Late Morning Show with Justin Myers and DeVon Pouncey. A day after announcing the addition of Dino Costa to the lineup as afternoon drive host, Alpha Media Portland unveils its new late morning show co-hosted by former afternoon co-host Justin Myers and former Pacific University basketball star DeVon Pouncey.  Myers – who worked at KIRO-AM, Seattle prior to joining KXTG, Portland – was partnered with Noah “Chop” Homsley for “The Irregular Guys” afternoon show back in February.  With the demise of that show, Homsley stays on as Dino Costa’s executive producer and as APD for the station.  Alpha Media Portland operations manager Bruce Collins says, “Alpha Media has shown once again that it believes in being live and local and is committed to winning across the country.”

Sacramento River Cats Using Skyview’s AdView Software to Manage Game Broadcast Inventory. The San Francisco Giants AAA affiliate Sacramento River Cats are using Skyview Networks’ AdView Inventory Management software for its play-by-play broadcasts.  Under the terms of a multi-year deal, the club will take advantage of the inventory management system’s web-based application.  Skyview says, “The value in AdView lies in the absolute control it provides for scheduling advertisers, which is tailored to manage and monetize the unpredictable game interruptions of play-by-play sports.  With the capability to manage their broadcast, the River Cats benefit from scheduling flexibility and faster affidavit turnaround to sponsors.”  Skyview says its AdView system was developed specifically for sports franchises to make inventory accessible and easier to manage in-house.  Clients have access to advertiser contracts, logs and reports from any internet-enabled device.  Built to manage all forms of inventory, it tracks broadcast, print, signage and digital.  This provides the traffic manager and front office a panoramic view into the inventory sellout and revenue in one consolidated system.  For more information on Skyview Networks and its full package of broadcast solutions, visit skyviewnetworks.com.

Hall Talk 2017.  Radio sales maven Al Herskovitz writes today about his chats in the halls with fellow sales pros at the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era conference in New York City.  Not surprisingly, one of the hot topics was the growth of on-demand talk programs and how to best monetize them.  Read Herskovitz’s column here.

TALKERS News Notes. Thursday, Salem Radio Network’s 24/7 SRN News service is providing live coverage of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee testimony from former FBI Director James Comey.  SRN News says it will provide longform, live, gavel-to-gavel coverage starting at 10:00 am ET, anchored by SRN News Senate correspondent Linda Kenyon.  Additionally, SRN White House correspondent Greg Clugston will provide live updates and perspective from the White House during the hearings…..CRN Digital Talk Radio welcomes former “Magnum, P.I.” star and his wife back to the network to host “The Lounge with Larry and Nancy Manetti.”  The one-hour show premieres today (6/6) on the network’s CRN 1 channel…..Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington was honored over the weekend with 19 Chesapeake Associated Press Broadcasters Association awards, including for Outstanding News Operation and the award for Best Website for WTOP.com.  WTOP director of news and programming Mike McMearty says, “We were truly humbled this year.  From multimedia, to editorial and sports, to so much more, these awards are a tribute to the hard work of our staff.  We take great pleasure in serving our listeners, our readers, and our community.”…..Sports USA announces the first couple of weeks of NFL Sunday doubleheaders it will be offering to affiliate stations.  It will begin the 2017 season presenting the Bears vs Falcons game on September 10.  SportsUSA says it will announce the season’s games several weeks ahead of each Sunday’s offerings…..When the Los Angeles Chargers kick off their season, Matt “Money” Smith will partner with Nick Hardwick for radio play-by-play duties on the team’s new flagship station, iHeartMedia’s KFI, Los Angeles.  Smith replaces Josh Lewin…..SiriusXM is launching the Tracy Anderson show on its Stars channel.  The fitness pioneer and wellness expert will host her limited-run show beginning on June 19.

Trump Travel Ban, London Terror Attacks Aftermath, Looming Comey Testimony/Russian Hacking Investigation, NSA Contractor Arrested, Paris Climate Accord Exit, Bill Cosby Trial, ‘Pink Slime’ Trial, Orlando Workplace Slayings, MLB Action, and NBA-NHL Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/5). President Donald Trump’s tweets about the courts’ and the DOJ’s treatment of his travel ban; Britain’s releases about those responsible for the London terror attacks and speculation about the attack’s effects on Thursday’s general elections; Thursday’s senate testimony from former FBI Director James Comey and the Russian election hacking issue; National Security Administration contractor Reality Leigh Winner is arrested for leaking classified information to the press; President Trump’s decision to take the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Accord; the sexual assault trial of Bill Cosby begins; Beef Products Inc.’s defamation suit against ABC News over its ‘pink slime’ report; the killing of five awning company employees by an ex-staffer in Orlando; MLB action; and NBA and NHL finals 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. Air personality Jimmy Phillips joins LM Communications’ Lexington, Kentucky hot AC WCDA “Your 106.3” to co-host the “Mandy in the Morning” show with Mandy Williamson.  Phillips will also serve as assistant program director.  Previously, Phillips and Williamson worked together at Magic Broadcasting II’s WILN, Panama City, Florida…..At the iHeartRadio station group in Sioux City, Iowa, general manager and market president Kelli Erickson exits…..SiriusXM is bringing celebrity DJs in to host Friday programs on its new Beatles channel.  Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder will host the first guest DJ session on Friday, June 9 at 5:00 pm ET.  Don Henley will guest on June 23, Ron Howard on July 14, and Billy Joel July 28.

What Are You Going to Do on Wednesday?

| November 7, 2016

By Waltr Sabo
Sabo Media
CEO

 

sabowriterNEW YORK — “Talk radio” is whatever you want it to be.  Talk is the only viable, free-form format.

Is your current programming delivering the growth and demos you like? Have your numbers been getting older and smaller?

Then what you’re airing isn’t working—or good business.

Read More

Monday, November 7, 2016

| November 7, 2016

Entercom Reports Q3 Net Revenue Up 5%.  It was a rosy third quarter for Entercom Communications as it reports net revenue was $120.5 million during the period – up 5% from the same period a year ago.   Station operating income increased 12% to $37.9 million, and adjusted net income per share increased 8% to $0.27. entercomEntercom president and CEO David Field states, “Entercom delivered another solid quarter of organic top-line and bottom-line growth, demonstrating the strength of our great local brands and our outstanding team.  We are also very pleased to have just completed a highly successful refinancing that will lower our annual interest expense by more than $10 million and to have announced a terrific, value-creating acquisition of four stations in Charlotte.  We are excited by the opportunities ahead as we look to finish the year on a strong note and get off to a great start in 2017.”  Entercom is acquiring news/talk WBT-AM/FM, hot AC WLNK, and sports talk WFNC in Charlotte from Beasley.  Currently it is operating WBT-AM/FM and WLNK under an LMA and expects to close on the stations by the first of the year.  If the purchase of the stations from Beasley doesn’t close by then, it will start operating WFNZ under an LMA, as well.

cbsradioCBS RADIO Reports Flat Q3.  As parent company CBS Corp. prepares to issue an initial public offering on CBS RADIO stock and create a separate company out of the radio segment, it is breaking out the radio numbers from the Local Broadcasting segment.  CBS RADIO’s performance was basically flat comparing the third quarter of 2016 to the same period a year ago.  Net revenue was $319 million compared to $318 million in 2015.

Gann Upped to Regional SVP of Programming for iHeartMedia.  Programming pro Brian Gann is being elevated to regional SVP/programming for iHeartMedia’s Central Texas Region.  Gann has been program director gannbrianfor spoken-word formatted stations in the same region, including news/talk WOAI and sports talk KTKR in San Antonio and news/talk KVET in Austin.  In this new role, San Antonio-based Gann will “oversee all on-air content as well as music and digital programming for iHM’s 15 radio station brands in the Austin and San Antonio regions.”  He comments, “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to program some of the leading radio station brands in Central Texas.  Great things are happening for iHeartMedia in Austin and San Antonio and I am humbled to be a part of it.”

Update on Warner Wolf’s ‘Imus’ Exit.  No one’s talking on the record – neither Don Imus nor WABC – but it appears that sports anchor Warner Wolf’s surprise departure from his role on the “Imus in the Morning” showwolfwarner based at Cumulus Media’s WABC comes as a result of the wishes of Imus himself.  The New York Daily NewsDon Kaplan writes that, when asked why he’s leaving the show, his cagey response was, “You’d have to ask Imus that question.”  As TALKERS reported on Friday, WABC personality Sid Rosenberg is returning to the sports anchor role on the show and he’ll continue to co-host the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show with Bernard McGuirk.  Read the Daily News piece here.

iHeartRadio Names Peterson and Murphy to SVP Positions.  Joining iHeartMedia’s digital platform iHeartRadio are Chris Peterson, to serve as senior vice president of podcasting, and Beth Murphy, as the newpetersonchris senior vice president of marketing.  The company says Peterson will oversee iHeartRadio’s overall murphybethpodcast strategy and grow its profile in the podcast community.  He will guide content partnerships, advise the product team on its podcast roadmap, and work with sales to monetize podcast efforts.  He most recently was content partnerships manager for TuneIn.  He’s also worked as director of operations for The Blaze and the director of affiliate relations for Premiere Networks.  Murphy’s charge is to manage brand messaging and the user lifecycle process, as well as optimize user acquisition and retention.  She will work closely with iHeartRadio’s Chris Williams, chief product officer and Adam Denenberg, chief technology officer to oversee iHeartRadio’s overall streaming music and live digital radio strategy.  Murphy has previously served as chief marketing officer at Deezer and Stitcher.

sabowalterSabo: What Are You Going to Do on Wednesday?  Media consultant Walter Sabo asks that question of talk radio stations that are talking primarily politics most of the time.  What do stations that want to broaden their appeal do after tomorrow’s election?  He ticks off a list of stations whose ratings are growing and states, “Those stations, and others that are growing, present a wide range of subjects and hosts with varying points of view.  The results indicate that the wider the conversation, the higher the ratings.”  Read more from Sabo here.

The St. Louis Post- Dispatch Encourages FCC Complaints About Oldies/Talk KZQZ-AM.  The newspaper has taken an unusual step in publishing an editorial encouraging the public to complain to the FCC about kzqzthe language of talk host Bob Romanik.  The station calls itself “The First Amendment Station” and the newspaper says it is a great supporter of First Amendment rights, “but there’s a line between political expression and hate speech that must not be crossed.”  Romanik’s voice appears in recorded political ads in which he refers repeatedly to St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern as a cross-dresser and “faggot.”  The paper writes, “Listeners must not allow this abuse of the public airwaves to stand.  The Federal Communications Commission needs to hear from anyone who believes Romanik’s hate speech deserves sanction.  Romanik makes GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump seem like a model of good manners and decorum.”  Read the whole editorial here.

Odds & Sods.  At Entercom’s sports talk WEEI-FM, Boston, air personality and WEEI.com writer Jerry Thornton announces he’s leaving the company to return to Barstool Sports where he’ll write and host his own football podcast.  Thornton joined WEEI two years ago and has been serving as the third voice on the afternoon drive “Dale and Holley” show with Dale Arnold and Michael Holley.  He writes of his decision saying, “You don’t walk away from a job situation like this unless you have an opportunity too good to pass up.  And that’s what Barstool has offered me.”…..iHeartMedia promotes Matt “Shaggy” Culbreath from his APD position to program director of news/talk WSPD, Toledo…..Former WITI-TV, Milwaukee anchor and reporter Katrina Cravy is signed up to make regular, twice-weekly appearances on the “Mornings with Dave Luczak” show on Saga Communications’ classic rock WKLH, Milwaukee.  Cravy exited the TV station in September of this year…..FOX News Radio’s election coverage plans include a 6:00 pm start for anchored content with Jared Halpern, Laura Ingle, along with Fox News contributor Tony Sayegh.  Tonya J. Powers and Jon Decker will report live from the Hillary Clinton campaign headquarters while Rachel Sutherland and Gurnal Scott will be on hand live from the Trump headquarters.  FNR will have reporters throughout key states and Chad Pergram will cover the congressional race from Capitol Hill.

Beasley Broadcast Group Retains Dan Finn to Lead New Jersey Stations.  On the heels of last week’s closing on the Greater Media stations, Beasley Broadcast Group announces that it is formally bringingfinndan executive Dan Finn into the company’s fold as senior vice president and market manager for the New Jersey cluster.  Finn had been with Greater Media since 2001, first as VP and regional general manager, then as SVP and regional general manager since 2007.  Finn comments, “It’s an honor and privilege to now be a part of the Beasley team.  My staff and I are excited to continue working with these heritage properties for such a legendary broadcasting company.”

The Presidential Race, U.S. House and Senate Races, FBI Clears Clinton in Emails Matter, ObamaCare Premiums Soar, Daylight Saving Time Ends, and College and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The presidential contest between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; the down-ticket races for the U.S. House and Senate; FBI Director James Comey announces no new investigation into Clinton emails; ObamaCare’s premium increases; the pros and cons of Daylight Saving Time; and the weekend’s college football and NFL games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

| January 15, 2015

wgn logo newWGN Makes it Official: Roe Conn to PM Drive.  Thanks to Chicago media writer Robert Feder, the arrival of longtime, former WLS-AM personality Roe Conn to the afternoon drive daypart at Tribune Media’s news/talk WGN is not a surprise – Feder broke the news last week.  But now, the company officially announces Conn will move into PM drive and bump Bill Leff and Wendy Snyder to late mornings with John Williams leaving that daypart and connroebeing featured as part of WGN’s Saturday programming.  Williams also hosts a daily show at CBS RADIO’s WCCO, Minneapolis and had been doing double duty.  The changes take effect on January 26.  WGN Radio VP of content and programming Todd Manley says, “Roe craves what’s behind the curtain of breaking news.  He’s a master of investigative conversation, so you’ll learn and you’ll laugh.”  WGN-TV meteorologist Tom Skilling and news anchor Mark Supplesa will be regulars on Conn’s program.  Manley adds, “We’re building an even stronger bridge between our radio journalists at the Tribune Tower and the incomparable newsroom at WGN-TV.”   Regarding the new Saturday programming, Manley says a Saturday edition of “The Business Lunch” with host Steve Bertrand will follow the Kathy & Judy show from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm.  “The World of John Williams” will air from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm and will integrate with mobile app urVibe, a news-polling social platform that he developed.  Sports talk show “The Beat,” with hosts Jarrett Payton, Connor McKnight and Adam Hoge, will air from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

messinajoeUSA Radio Networks Adds Late Night Show.  Soon to air in the 12:00 midnight to 3:00 am ET slot on USA Radio Networks is “The Real Side Radio Show with Joe Messina.”  USA Radio Networks says, “Research reveals a growing number of workers are clocking in for the graveyard shift.  Once reserved for blue-color workers, there are now a significantly increasing number of white-collar employees working evenings or nights.”  Tim Maranville is chief content officer at USA Radio Networks’ parent company Cross Platform Media Group.  He says, “Now second and third shifters can continue a live engaging conversation about America with Joe Messina’s ‘The Real Side.’  They deserve a straight shooter like Joe.”  Cross Platform CEO Sam Hassell adds, “Joe is a tremendous asset to our expanding platform of programs.  Overnights is a significantly under served time period for live national content.  Another win for our affiliate and sponsorship partners.”

beasleymediagroupBeasley Modifies Corporate Name for Radio Group.  In a move that the company says reflects “the broad and expansive reach of on-air, digital and collateral radio products that are available to Beasley’s listeners and advertisers,” Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc. reports that the various entities that previously held the company’s portfolio of 53 radio stations in 12 markets now become Beasley Media Group.  The publicly traded parent company, headquartered in Naples, Florida, remains Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc. and continues to trade as “BBGI” on NASDAQ.

arnolddaleWEEI, Boston Rewards Dale Arnold with New Contract.  Longtime Boston sports media figure Dale Arnold – sometimes criticized for being stodgy and “old school” – assumed the afternoon drive co-host slot alongside Michael Holley last spring and was told if he helped bring the ratings up in the daypart, he’d get a new deal.  Today, Entercom announces that after 10 months on WEEI in afternoons, “ratings are up 59% with WEEI’s target audience of Men 25-to-54, and their program routinely ranks in the top three, up from sixth place last winter.”  So the company is signing Arnold to a new contract.  WEEI brand manager Kevin Graham says, “Dale Arnold has one of the most complete and diverse sports resumes in Boston broadcast history.  He is the only person to have done play-by-play for the Patriots, Red Sox, Bruins, Celtics and Revolution in addition to having called college football, basketball and hockey.  Most importantly, Dale’s name is synonymous with class and character, and the impact he’s made since returning full time is undeniable.”

sabowalterSabo: The Lessons of Lowell Bud Paxson.  Media consultant Walter Sabo worked with Lowell Bud Paxson – the founder of the Home Shopping Network – who died earlier this week.  In a column published recently, Sabo relates some of the media lessons he learned from working with Paxson and observing his operation.  While Paxson was better known for his creation of the Home Shopping Network and Pax TV, Paxson owned radio stations during his career.  Flying in the face of convention and trusting one’s instincts are two of the character traits Paxson had.  Read more from Walter Sabo about what radio operators can take away from the life and legacy of Lowell Bud Paxson here.

Odds & Sods.  Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is in the hot seat today as he appears on all-news KNX, Los Angeles’ “Ask the Mayor” program airing at 10:00 am PT.  KNX anchor Tom Haule and chief investigative reporter Charles Feldman will co-host the program and listeners are invited to call or Tweet questions.  Topics to be discussed include: the city’s crime rate, the mayor’s agenda for the New Year, safety at LAX, Barbara Boxer’s U.S. Senate seat and theknx city’s preparedness for a terrorist attack…..Glimmerglass Radio – which bills itself as “the only green living talk radio station in America” – marks its one-year anniversary in business and says it has completed its programming lineup of 54 radio programs dedicated to news and information related to all things green.  John Kosmer founded the Upstate New York-based digital station “to meet the rising interest in energy, the environment and healthy lifestyles.”…..Basketball legend Oscar Robertson will host a special Martin Luther King Jr. Day program on SiriusXM’s NBA Radio channel on Monday.  The hour-long program will be co-hosted by SiriusXM’s Jason Jackson during which Robertson will share his experiences in the civil rights struggle and discuss what Dr. King’s legacy has meant to players of his era as well as those in today’s NBA…..Yahoo! Sports Radio will be part of the media mayhem that leads up to the NFL’s Super Bowl this year.  The network will broadcast 17 hours daily from Glendale, Arizona including the Steve Czaban, Travis Rodgers, “Prime Cut with Sean Salisbury and John Granato,” “Sports X Radio” shows plus a special weekday series of “Talk of Fame.”…..Westwood One Sports continues its broadcast coverage of the NFL postseason with broadcasts of this weekend’s NFC and AFC Conference Championship games.

bennettOtterSRN’s Bill Bennett Addresses Idaho Legislature.  Pictured here with Idaho Governor Butch Otter (left) is Salem Radio Network personality and former U.S. Secretary of Education Bill Bennett (right).  Bennett, who hosts the “Morning in America” program, spoke before the Idaho legislature on the topic of education, commending the station on its education program and encouraging lawmakers to “provide more and better STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) curriculum in the state’s schools.”

Charlie Hebdo Aftermath/Islamic Extremists, ISIS Syria Strikes/Boko Haram Violence in Africa, Obama Immigration Policy, Boehner Floor Speech Rips Obama, 2016 Presidential Prospects, Plummeting Oil Prices/World Financial Markets Activity, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/14). The aftermath of the deadly assault on Parisian magazine Charlie Hebdo and the greater topic of violent Islamic extremists; the ISIS strikes in Syria and the deadly assaults in Africa at the hands of Boko Haram; the immigration reform policy of the Obama Administration; House Speaker John Boehner’s floor speech criticizing President Obama’s policies; potential GOP candidates for president in 2016 including Mitt Romney, Rand Paul, Scott Walker, Chris Christie, and Rick Santorum; falling oil prices and the effects on the world’s financial markets; and this weekend’s NFL conference championships were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

| January 14, 2015

savagemichaelMichael Savage and Westwood One Renew Deal; College Scholarships to Be Awarded.  Nationally syndicated talk radio star Michael Savage and syndicator Westwood One are announcing the two sides have come to terms on a new, multi-year contract to keep “The Savage Nation” with the company.  In a press release, Savage and WW1 say he is “ushering in a new era of talk radio with his groundbreaking ‘Unprotected Talk’ format that he will use to interact with listeners on topical current events and lifestyle issues – with politics of course remaining an important part of the show.  Savage is challenging the talk radio industry with his one-of-a-kind program by combining timely political content with the real-life issues that his millions of listeners are talking about every day, including topics such as health, science, religion, culture and more.”  At the samewestwood one NEW time, Savage says he’s set up a $100,000 scholarship fund “for conservative college students,” that will grant five recipients two-year awards totaling $10,000 annually.  The scholarship winners will be selected through an essay contest opening January 15 titled, “What Does It Mean to Be an American?” with “the intention of promoting traditional American values.”  Savage comments, “I am uniquely positioned to discuss a wide range of topics while maintaining an authentic, unapologetic voice because of my academic background. While others focus on Obamacare, I discuss health issues.  I’m not shying away from politics and I’m not running for office like others in the media.  Cumulus has allowed me to expand my reach, but my goal has remained the same – to deliver the best, most comprehensive commentary on radio and ‘edutain’ the world in the process.  With my new scholarship fund I can now help inspire the next generation by encouraging education and conservative values.”

craneedEd Crane Exits KFBK, Sacramento as Morning Host.  From a story in the Sacramento Bee, morning personality Ed Crane is out at the iHeartMedia news/talk outlet after serving in the post since 2008.  The station recently announced it hired talk programming pro Bill White – most recently with Journalkfbk logo Broadcast Group’s Tucson stations – who assumes his new position on Tuesday, January 20.  What the station’s plans for AM drive might be is pure speculation at this point.  White handled mornings at KQTH, Tucson.  Whether he’s headed for the morning show at KFBK or the station wants him to lead the search for a new morning host is unknown.  Back to Crane, he tells the Bee that he’s not happy with how his departure was handled saying, “Some untrue things were said that weren’t nice.  I don’t get it.  We were number 1.”

wmca logoWhither Christian Talk WMCA, New York?  The Salem Communications Christian talk outlet is airing promos on the station promising a change of some sort, but what the legendary NYC signal might morph into is unknown.  The promos state, “Beginning Monday, January 19th, WMCA New York’s Christian talk, will be no more.  Find out what we will become, Monday, January 19th.”  It’s likely that there will be no real format change, just a re-branding of the Christian talk format since ratings are not usually a concern for such a station.  Salem already serves the market with secular news/talk WNYM “AM 970 The Answer.”

pragerdennisDocumentary Film Debaters to Include Prager, Father Morris. This coming Monday (1/19), Salem Radio Network talk host Dennis Prager will join archdiocese of New York’s Father Jonathan MorrisEric Metaxas; and Anne Graham Lotz to discuss “Patterns of Evidence: The Exodus.”  Their panel discussion will be shown in 650 U.S. theaters through Fathom Events’ digital broadcast network and is slated to follow the theatrical premiere of the Timothy Mahoney award-winning documentary, which chronicles an in-depth archaeological investigation in Egypt as his team attempts to corroborate the biblical text.  Twelve years in the making, the film explores the fundamental question if there is any evidence the Exodus story actually happened.  Prager has been broadcasting on Los Angeles radio since 1982; his 9:00 am – 12:00 noon (PT) program has been in syndication since 1999.  Father Morris is currently the program director of “The Catholic Channel” on SiriusXM Radio.  The daughter of Billy Graham, Christian evangelist Lotz founded AnGeL Ministries.  Metaxas co-hosts the syndicated weekly Sunday morning program “100 Huntley Street.”  Prager’s SRN colleague Michael Medved appears on-camera in the documentary.  Fox News Channel‘s Gretchen Carlson will moderate next Monday’s debate.

snlkaganRabid Mobile Media Consumption Drives SNL Kagan $9 Billion 2014 Revenue Estimate. The research firm SNL Kagan is reporting that its estimate for 2014 revenue for the mobile entertainment sector is $9.14 billion – up from $2.71 billion just three years ago.  The frenetic growth of the mobile media industry is well documented in the radio trades and shouldn’t surprise anyone in this industry, but the figures that SNL Kagan breaks out are interesting, nonetheless.  It reports that the mobile music segment was the third largest, contributing 19% to the entertainment sector’s revenue.  However, the games category was tops – delivering 59% of the entertainment sector’s revenue in 2014 – with video in second place bringing in 20% of the sector’s revenue.  SNL Kagan estimates that the mobile music biz – led by players such as Pandora, Spotify, iTunes and others – accounted for $1.76 billion of the $9 billion total.

Charlie Hebdo Aftermath/Islamic Extremism, ISIS Hack of Pentagon and Centcom, Obama Cyber Security Speech, Bartender Accused in Plot to Kill Boehner, Romney Promises 2016 Run, and Ohio State Wins National Football Title Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/13).  The political aftermath of the deadly attack on Parisian magazine Charlie Hebdo and the larger topic of Islamic extremism; the hacking of the Pentagon’s and Centcom’s social media; the cyber-security speech delivered by President Obama; the plot by an Ohio bartender to kill House Speaker John Boehner; the promise by Mitt Romney to run for president in 2016; and Ohio State’s run to the National Championship were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

The Lessons of Lowell Bud Paxson

| January 14, 2015

By Walter Sabo
Sabo Media
CEO

 

sabowalterwriterNEW YORK — Founder of the Home Shopping Club, Bud Paxson, died this week.  His lessons and legacy are not to be ignored.  Here’s what I learned from him while serving as a content and management consultant to him and his company, Pax Net.

“Bad live television is better than any recorded television.”  The thrill of live TV is unbeatable. That’s why NBC goes through the horror of producing annual musicals live when elaborate productions are better suited to pre-recorded. “Live” is why, whether you love it or not, you respect “Saturday Night Live.”

Do It Yourself, or Bureaucracy Is Bad

In the beginning, the Home Shopping Club was mass, mass appeal.  The products were cheap, often grey-market electronic items, cheesy porcelain and fake pearls.  I watched it for thousands of hours.  I asked Bud who bought the merchandise for the Club? “I bought everything.”

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Thoughts for the New Year

| January 5, 2015

By Walter Sabo
Sabo Media
CEO

 

sabowriterNEW YORK — The biggest trends and their impact that Sabo Media has been following in this challenging year of disruption:

1) The vital initiative of NextRadio activating the FM chip in your smartphone.  Jeff Smulyan’s endless effort is paying off.  There are two important lessons.  Radio can infiltrate new technological platforms effectively.  Secondly, a solo operator determined to make positive change, can!

2) Major advertisers, such as Coke, moving their money from prime time network TV shows such as “American Idol” to online video.  Sabo Media was the first company, in 2007, to identify online video stars and monetize their work. Our HITVIEWS division persuaded Pepsi, Timberland, US Government, TiVo, Sony, Panasonic and many others to put their products inside user-generated video content.  Not worthless pre-rolls or pop-ups but placement inside web-star shows.  For radio this means that radio divisions within TV companies are becoming more important to total corporate financial health.

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Monday, January 5, 2015

| January 5, 2015

bubbaBubba the Love Sponge Returns to Tampa on WHFS-FM.  Via an official press statement issued today (1/5), Beasley Broadcasting confirms the news a local advertiser spilled on Friday about the return of Bubba the Love Sponge to the market on the company’s newly-acquired Tampa signal WHFS-FM.  The former FM sports talk outlet will make public its new format at some point in the future but after signing on this morning at 6:00 am, Bubba the Love Sponge announced the station would air his program continuously for the next few weeks or so before debuting WHFS-FM’s new format.  Bubba aired in the market on Cox Media’s crosstown WHPT “102.5 FM The Bone” before being ousted from the station in August and replaced by then-afternoon drive host Mike Calta.  The move pits former station-mates Calta and Bubba against each other in mornings.  Last week, Ker’s WingHouse debuted Bubba Style Wings and announced Bubba’s return to the market on WHFS-FM.  Beasley says listeners are still voting for their format choice at the station’s website — thenew98.7.com — and the new format is expected to be announced within weeks.

carrhowieHowie Carr’s New England Regional Juggernaut Keeps Gaining Steam – New Stations Signed and GSM Brought Aboard.  The independent talk radio network recently launched by Boston-based, multi-media icon Howie Carr continues to gather major affiliates throughout the six New England states and sets a shiningly optimistic model for what can be created and accomplished in the often-tenuous arena of regional spoken-word syndication.  The latest stations joining the Howie Carr Radio Network (HCRN) include WCAP, Lowell, MA (which started last week); WBEC, Pittsfield, MA (which starts tomorrow 1/6); and WFEA, Manchester, NH (which begins on 1/19), bringing the total number of affiliates to 19.  Also, HCRN VP of sales & marketing, Kathy Carr announces the hiring of sales heavyweight Ross Holt as the company’s new general sales manager.  Holt, who is moving back to his home in New England, was most recently part of the sales team at CBS O&O WINS, New York and has sold Carr in the past while at WGAN, Portland.  The sheer power of the loyal-listener-generating Carr program in market after market across the Northeast segment of the US has proven to be a strong advertising lure for such regional blue chip sponsors as Subaru of New England and a long list of others.  Commenting on the growth and impact of the Howie Carr show in its independent regional incarnation (since the host left Entercom’s WRKO, Boston this fall and replaced it as his flagship with Beantown’s reconstituted WMEX) TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “It is not easy doing what Howie and Kathy Carr are accomplishing with this network – and that is creating a pertinent local flavor that resonates with listeners across a very large and diverse expanse of markets and works in terms of both ratings and revenue.  There are lessons for the industry to learn from this extremely interesting endeavor.  Of course, you must have the right host to pull this off and this guy is a true rarity.  If New England were to suddenly declare itself a single state, Howie Carr would be elected its first governor.”

cohenshattuckBoston Herald Radio and WMEX, Boston Share New Morning Show.  The morning drive show on the Boston Herald’s digital platform – Boston Herald Radio – is now hosted by Adriana Cohen and Tom Shattuck (pictured here).  The program airs from 7:00 am to 9:00 am and is also being heard on Blackstrap Broadcasting-owned and Wallis Communications-operated WMEX.  Shattuck, who also serves as executive producer of Boston Herald Radio, says in the compay’s paper, “We’ve always been straight with our audience.  This is the city of Jerry Williams, Gene Burns and David Brudnoy.  We are lucky enough now to have an opportunity to be custodians of those same airwaves and we will do it humbly, tirelessly and with the utmost respect for the listener.”  WMEX grabbed longtime Boston afternoon personality Howie Carr after his contract with Entercom’s crosstown WRKO expired in November.

proftdanWLS-AM, Chicago Breaks Up Proft and Wolf Morning Show.  As tipped by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, the morning show at Cumulus Media’s news/talk WLS-AM, Chicago will be hosted by Bruce Wolf solo after the company parted ways with Dan Proft.  Wolf and Proft had worked together at the station, first in middays, before moving to mornings after longtime duo Don Wade and Roma exited due to Don Wade’s health issues.  (Wade later died from complications from a brain tumor.)

dealgordonNEWbannerFormer WSJRN Programming Evolves and Continues as Compass Media Networks Content.  As TALKERS reported last month, Compass Media Networks is advancing the business news radio programming abandoned by the Wall Street Journal after the latter chose to get out of the radio business at the end of 2014.  Today, Compass debuts breaking business and money news under the “Your Money Now” brand.  The one-minute reports are fed to affiliate stations twice per hour at :20 and :50 from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm ET Monday through Friday.  Anchors for the reports are former WSJRN morning drive anchor Jennifer Kushinka, former CEO Radio, WSJRN and BusinessWeek Radio anchor Ray Hoffman in middays, and former WSJRN evening anchor Bruce Vale in afternoon drive.  Also, Compass is continuing the morning drive program hosted by Gordon Deal for the WSJRN as the show is renamed “This Morning, America’s First News with Gordon Deal.”  Compass says the show continues to air on some 250 affiliate stations as well as on numerous digital platforms.

salemcommunicationsSeven Salem News/Talkers Assume ‘The Answer’ Brand.  Adding to the number of Salem Communications news/talk stations already using “The Answer” brand are seven more of the company’s like-programmed outlets, including:  KCBQ-AM, San Diego; KLFE, Seattle; KZNT, Colorado Springs; WGKA, Atlanta; WGUL, Tampa; WGTK, Louisville; and WLSS, Sarasota. WNYM, New York began using the “Answer” brand in 2012.  Salem SVP of spoken word formats Phil Boyce comments, “We discovered that our listeners are information seekers, always craving the answer to every possible question, from why am I stuck in traffic to who won the November election.  This branding allows our stations to cut through in markets where they are competing with more established stations that only need their call letters as a brand.  We needed something more, and this works.”

union edge logo‘The Union Edge’ Radio Show Releases New App.  Pittsburgh-based radio talk show “The Union Edge,” hosted by Charles Showalter with executive producer and co-host Angela Baughman and co-host/communications director Brittany Sheets, unveils its new app created with partner Jack of Trade Apps.  The new app allows listeners to stream the daily 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET program live as well as listen to podcasts on demand and “demonstrate some serious solidarity by sending in photos showing their everyday union actions.”  Listeners can also use the “speak out” voice recorder function to react to the show and expand on their thoughts and feelings about issues that impact their lives.  Jack of Trade Apps president Andrew Davis says, “What this app does is allow union families to organize in a way that surrounds this already great programming that heralds issues that directly impact them.  We are excited to be able to give them such a valuable tool, to help them achieve their growth and spread their message in a new way.”

Odds & Sods.  Former Arkansas governor and one-time presidential candidate Mike Huckabee gives up his weekend talk program at Fox News Channel.  Huckabee – still heard on the radio via his “Mike Huckabee Report” dailyhuckabeemike commentaries now distributed by WYD Media – says he’ll make an announcement about whether he intends to run for president in 2016 sometime in the first part of this year…..Salem Communications expands the “Cats Roundtable” program heard on WNYM, New York “AM 970 The Answer.”  The Sunday morning show, hosted by New York City businessman John Catsimatidis is now heard from 8:30 am to 10:00 am…..KBGG, Des Moines sports talk host Larry Cotlar exits the station as it transitions from “The Zone” to “The Champ.”  Cotlar’s show is being replaced by CBS Sports Radio Network’s Doug Gotleib…..Dr. Frank Wright exits Salem Communications where the former National Religious Broadcasters chief served as president and chief operating officer.  Dr. Wright will receive his salary in the form of severance for the next six months…..Beasley Broadcasting’s WHFS-AM, Tampa drops the CBS Sports Radio Network-programming on the station and flips the station to business talk using programming from the company’s WSBR, Boca Raton, Florida.  Beasley acquired the station from CBS RADIO in a swap.

St. Joseph, Missouri’s KFEQ Joins “Market Rally”Affiliate Network. The daily analysis of farm commodity markets airs 4:06 pm – 5:00 pm on the Eagle Communications-owned talker. KFEQ general manager Gary Exline comments, “Ever since Farm Journal launched ‘Market Rally’ [in March 2014], we have taken a wait-and-see attitude [but] when farmers in our region started asking for it – we knew we couldn’t wait any longer. ‘Market Rally’ is the perfect programming solution as we set out to reboot our afternoon drive lineup.” According to Farm Journal Radio vice president and general manager Mark DePrez, “Market Rally” host Chip Flory “already has more than 6,500 Twitter followers, a clear signal that farmers and ranchers are highly engaged in his entertaining and educational approach to the markets.” When Illinois outlets WRHL, Rochelle and WAIK, Galesburg begin carrying the program early this year, “Market Rally” will be heard on 42 affiliates in nine states.

cookeholland

2015 International CES; What Next?  Radio consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas covering the huge 2015 Consumer Electronics Show.  As Cooke notes, video and pictures are paramount to viral media.  “Major recent news stories demonstrate how profoundly technology impacts our lives.  More pictures and video are now shot with smartphones than cameras.  When Eric Garner’s take-down for selling untaxed cigarettes turned fatal, bystander video turned an already painful national conversation about race even more-painful.  When video of North Korea’s hack attack against Sony Pictures spooked movie theaters, The Interview was released on YouTube.”  Read more here.

sabowalterSabo: Biggest Trends Affecting Radio.  Media consultant Walter Sabo, in a piece published in TALKERS today (1/5), writes about seven trends in media that have been influential over the past year and will continue to be so through 2015.  From NextRadio to sports talk on FM to online audio platforms, Sabo suggests avenues radio practitioners can explore to build new and profitable content ventures.  Read Walter Sabo’s entire piece here.

Monday, November 24, 2014

| November 24, 2014

allmanjamieKFTK-FM, St. Louis’ Jamie Allman to Debut TV News Show.  With the start of the New Year, KFTK-FM, St. Louis morning drive personality Jamie Allman will launch a television show to air on Sinclair Broadcast Group’s KDNL-TV, St. Louis “ABC 30.”  Allman and KDNL-TV are calling the new show a “non-traditional newscast” that will “be an informative, debate-driven format focusing on the topics of the day with guest commentators and a wide social media presence.  ‘The Allman Report’ will join together the power of radio and TV behind Jamie’s multiple Missouri Radio Broadcasting Awards and 15 Emmy Awards for his TV reporting.”  Jeff Allen programs Emmis news/talker KFTK-FM and he comments, “We are excited about the launch of ‘The Allman Report.’  Jamie has dominated St. Louis morning radio for years now and to extend that to TV every weeknight makes perfect sense.  ‘The Allman Report’ is going to be very different than what is currently available locally at 5:00 pm and 10:00 pm and Jamie will no doubt have the same impact on local TV that he has had on local radio.”  KDNL general manager Tom Tipton adds, “ABC St. Louis will provide its viewers a more thorough look at the stories that impact St. Louis through in-depth viewpoints from an array of newsmakers on a local, national and international scale.  No other news in St. Louis will provide the viewing public in our area this multi-platform reporting and commentary that is lacking in local news coverage.”

flight957 logoKGMZ, San Francisco Changes Morning Shows.  Off the morning drive show at Entercom’s sports talker KGMZ, San Francisco “95.7 The Game” is Chris Townsend and in are Chad Doing, Joe Fortenbaugh and former All-Pro NFL fullback Lorenzo Neal who make up the new “Flight 957” morning drive program.  Townsend will move to evenings on the station working with Zakariah on the 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm shift.  Doing comes to “95.7 The Game” from his most recent post at Alpha Media’s KXTG-AM, Portland “750 The Game” where he hosted the afternoon show.  Program director Jason Barrett comments, “We are changing the sound of Bay Area sports radio with the launch of this exciting new morning show.  Expect “Flight 957” with Chad, Joe & Lo to deliver a fresh, irreverent, and energetic spin on sports talk.  The new show is the latest example of our commitment to bringing The Game’s growing audience the best possible listening experience.”

sabowalterOnline Video Marketing: The Kinder Eggs Shocker.  Media consultant Walter Sabo writes in a piece published in TALKERS today that the “predictive indicators for online video success are completely different than predictors for all other media.”  Obviously, this is important information for anyone – be it a client buying on a video platform or a radio station using online video to promote itself – wishing to understand what makes a successful internet marketing video.  You don’t need to know what Kinder Eggs are, but if you read Sabo’s column and check out the linked video, you’ll understand that how people find video content online and what makes them want to view a video are unique to the internet and require use of that knowledge for a successful marketing campaign.  Read Walter Sabo’s column here.

Odds & Sods.  Radio programming pro Mike Oakes joins City of Dallas-owned WRR, Dallas “Classical 101.1 FM” as program director.  Oakes also currently serves as a research partner at Albright & O’Malley & Brenner.  He has held numerous prior programming positions in St. Louis, Nashville, Green Bay, and most recently, three stations in Palm Springs, California including news/talk trimulcast KNWZ/KNWQ/KNWH…..WUSF Public Media announces Tracy Mitchell joins the Tampa public radio outlet as fundraising producer.  Mitchell will be responsible for overseeing the station’s year-round, on-air fundraising and will guide communications aimed at encouraging the community to support public radio and television.

danielsReaganKMJ-AM/FM, Fresno’s Chris Daniel Wins Reagan Award.  KMJ-AM/FM, Fresno afternoon drive personality Chris Daniel (pictured here) was honored recently with the 2014 Ronald Reagan Award for his work with veterans in the local community.  The honor was bestowed at the 2014 Sunbird Conservatives Banquet.  Local veterans advocate Charlie Waters also received the award — a large bust of President Reagan.  Daniel comments, “While I felt a little uncomfortable having never served in the military, it was very nice receiving such an honor from an organization like Sunbirds.”  Daniel commented to his listeners, “At an event honoring our great military, it was wonderful to receive thanks from an organization that has been so easy to support.  It’s an amazing group of people who do a great job at everything they do.”

wbtwlnk duo logoCool Job Opportunity.  Greater Media Charlotte is looking for a senior account executive to join our team of talented sales professionals and move forward with an account list of significant business.  Represent legendary radio properties: News Talk 1110am/99.3fm WBT, flagship of the Carolina Panthers and WLNK, home of the nationally syndicated Bob and Sheri Show.  Enjoy attractive compensation plans including high commissions, a people-centric culture built on mutual respect and the desire to succeed in the marketplace.  What are we looking for in an ideal candidate?  Hold proven track record with five (5) + years in media sales; possess the drive and ability to facilitate sales process through from prospecting to final close; have the knowledge and understanding of digital landscape; ability to provide marketing solutions across multiple platforms, on air, on line and on site; exercise sharp negotiation skills; maintain integrity and pride in being a full service account executive; represent WBT and WLNK with the utmost professionalism; desire to cultivate and grow new business; drive to exceed expectations; commitment to the highest standards in customer service; independent and entrepreneurial performer; excellent verbal and written communication.  At Greater Media Charlotte, you will be surrounded by people who work hard, respect our products and each other within a fun, pleasant environment offering support and encouragement on a daily basis.  Send your resume and a cover letter to: Director of Sales Sandra Szoke at sszoke@gmclt.com and Jessica RoBards at jrobards@gmclt.com.

bernierbookfair14Annual Book Fair Broadcast.  WNDB, Daytona Beach talk show host Marc Bernier (right) is pictured here during his broadcast from the Miami BookFair International this past weekend.  This is the 10th straight year that Bernier has broadcast from the largest book fair in the nation.  Bernier was on the air both Saturday and Sunday.  He’s pictured here with Canadian children’s author Emily Madill (left) and former White House counsel John Dean, author of, The Nixon DefensePhoto courtesy of Emily Madill.

The Kinder Eggs Shocker

| November 24, 2014

Six New Facts About Online Video

 

By Walter Sabo
Sabo Media
CEO

 

sabowriterNEW YORK — Please take a moment to look at this video for Kinder Eggs. You only need to watch for a moment. There are other Kinder Egg videos in the Que with similar view counts of over 100,000,000.

Why do Kinder Eggs pull high view counts?  The answer reveals a profound difference between online video platforms and TV or passive video platforms.

1.  If a user types in “Airplane,” many videos featuring airplanes pop up.  But, platform engines also push videos that share similar title spellings. Type “airplane” and “airplane” videos come up first, then “air show” “air balloon”, lots of “air.”  Most marketers ignore the opportunities presented by the shared title spelling previews.  For example:

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

| October 23, 2014

morrisdickDick Morris to Leave WPHT, Philadelphia Talk Show.  The notorious political operative has been hosting the afternoon drive program on CBS RADIO’s WPHT, Philadelphia for the past 18 months, but now informs the company he will exit after the mid-term elections to return to the political campaign business, focusing on assisting Republicans in 2016.  Dick Morris made the announcement on his Wednesday program and the Philadelphia Daily News is reporting that CBS RADIO Philly SVP and market manager Marcwpht logo Rayfield says, “He has done a great job for WPHT and we knew his busy schedule might one day make doing a daily radio show difficult.”  Rayfield expects to have news of the station’s plans for the daypart as soon as next week.  Philadelphia talk radio pro Gary R’nel co-hosts the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm show alongside Morris and has been a largely unsung component of the program’s professional smoothness and appeal.  Also, it is reported in the Daily News story that noted media consultant Walter Sabo has been seen at the station in recent weeks and has even recently hosted several talk programs during nighttime hours under a fictitious name – fueling speculation that the Sabo Media CEO is either involved in the station as a sabowalterconsultant or even more provocatively as a potential replacement for an on-air talent opening.  Although Sabo’s involvement is officially denied by CBS market management, TALKERS magazine editorial intelligence indicates it is not unusual for well-known programming consultants to occasionally moonlight as fill-in talent simply for the sake of keeping their first-hand “feel” for the format active… or as is likely in the case of Sabo, simply for the fun of it.  Regarding developments at WPHT, Walter Sabo tells TALKERS, “Under [OM] Andy Bloom and [PD] Jared Hart, WPHT has become a dynamic, Philadelphia radio station. They’ve made a series of great decisions, they will make the right one again.”

veittomNew Local Show to Debut on WHBO, Tampa and WHOO, Orlando.  The two sports talk stations are operated by Genesis Communications and, although they carry the slogan “The Team,” are branded collectively along with the website of the same name, “Sports Talk Florida.” Now the simulcast adds a new local show to the program lineup.  Debuting in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot is “The Front Office,” hosted by Tom Veit, a.k.a. The GM.  The station says the program “will take a unique look at the Central Florida sports world giving listeners the perspective from those that make the deals and the sports insiders that know how they’re made. Veit is a seasoned sports executive with over 25 years of experience in the sports and entertainment industry.”  Veit comments, “With 10 major professional sports teams and seven all sport Division I collegiate programs in Florida, there needs to be a place during the midday to talk local sports.  Every day there will be passionate debates on the hot topics.  After spending so many years working in the Central Florida sports scene, the one thing I know is that there is passion from every point of view.”

westwood one sportsWestwood One’s Unique Fourth Down. Pro football fans this Sunday (10/26) will experience either pure nirvana or pigskin overkill when Westwood One airs four consecutive NFL games. The league’s “International Series” affair between the Detroit Lions and Atlanta Falcons from London’s Wembley Stadium kicks off the coverage, beginning at 9:00 am (ET).  Assigned to that contest are Dave Sims and Mark Malone.  Kevin Lee and Ross Tucker will call the Houston Texans versus Tennessee Titans game, which starts at 12:30 pm (ET). Immediately following, the Philadelphia Eagles play the Arizona Cardinals, with Tom McCarthy and Rod Woodson handling play-by-play and analysis duties, respectively.  Wrapping up Westwood One’s quadruple-header marathon is the 7:30 pm (ET) tussle between the Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints, with Kevin Kugler, James Lofton, and Chris Doering doing the broadcasting honors.

abcKaterskyOttawaOn the Scene in Ottawa.  As Canada deals with the attacks at the country’s National War Memorial and Parliament that happened on Tuesday, ABC News Radio‘s Aaron Katersky is on the scene.  He’s pictured here just down the road from the Parliament building in Ottawa reporting after Michael Zehaf-Bibeau killed Canadian Army reservist Nathan Cirillo who was serving as a guard at the capitol.   

Michael Brown Autopsy Report/Ferguson Tensions, Mid-Term Elections, Ebola Pandemic Threat, Monica Lewinsky Speech, Canadian Killings, Battle Against ISIS, and Renee Zellweger Flap Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/22).  The unofficial release of the autopsy report on Michael Brown indicating he was shot at close range and the tensions in Ferguson, Missouri; the looming mid-term elections and speculation about a majority change in the Senate; the Ebola pandemic threat and the Obama Administration’s response; the revisiting of the Monica LewinskyBill Clinton affair after Lewinsky’s recent speech blaming the Drudge Report for “ruining” her life; the recent killings in Canada related to homegrown “jihadists”; the coalition battle against ISIS in Iraq; and the flap over actress Renee Zellweger’s changed appearance were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

| September 3, 2014

businessrockstars logo‘Business Rockstars’ Aligns with Radio America.  Talk radio network Radio America is entering into a relationship with Business Rockstars.  A statement from the companies announces that Radio America will broadcast “Business Rockstars,” hosted by Ken Rutkowski, which airs live from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm ET Monday through Friday.  “Radio America will add the broadcast to their lineup in a multitude of new markets around the nation.  Additionally the show can be seen from the live video stream, andradioamerica heard through the show’s website businessrockstars.com.  Business Rockstars co-founder Steve Lehman states, “We are very excited about this alignment with Radio America.  Mike Paradiso, COO of Radio America, is a smart guy.  He and his team will play an important strategic role in the growth of our terrestrial platform from both a sales and affiliation standpoint.  Entrepreneurs are the new rock stars.  Our show provides the strongest elements from a “Shark Tank”-like environment, combined with big name CEOs, entrepreneurs and start-ups.  We deliver real solutions to starting, growing and funding a business, while sharing stories that inspire and motivate listeners, from billion dollar start-ups, to business train wrecks, and our host Ken Rutkowski is brilliant.”  Paradiso adds, “Business Rockstars has done a great job of thinking outside the box, producing a show that is engaging, entertaining and interesting not only to aspiring entrepreneurs but to anyone interested in what makes successful people tick.  I also love the aggressive social media and digital aspects of the show that engage younger listeners and provide affiliates with a great resource for integration into their digital media sales efforts.”

brady billSolutions to AM’s Problems.  Radio pro Bill Brady weighs in today with thoughts about what AM radio’s problems – and consequently, the solutions – are.  In this piece, Brady – president and CEO of Futures & Options, Inc. – writes that network and syndicated programming vendors must play an important role in a new model to give AM stations the chance to succeed.  Ever the realist, Brady notes that while “live and local” is a great mantra, it’s simply an unaffordable option for AM signals that are in medium and small markets and/or have been languishing for years.  Brady also suggests a new model for network-station partnerships that could benefit both.  Read his entire column here.

sabowalterFive Steps to Effective Hiring.  Over the course of his storied career, media consultant Walter Sabo has been responsible for hiring and/or recommending more than 1,000 people for companies ranging from ABC to SiriusXM to smaller firms such as Press Communications.  During that time, he’s learned how to best go about the hiring process and he offers five steps to bringing the best people into a company.  Read his column here.

nielsen logoRound One of August PPM Data Released.  The first of four rounds of August 2014 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey).  The survey period was July 17 through August 13.  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 at RadioInfo.com here.

bubbaBubba the Love Sponge to West Palm Beach?  That’s the rumor being reported by GossipExtra columnist Jose Lambiet.  In his piece, Lambiet reports sources tell him New York-based JVC Media plans to create a rock station in the market, perhaps on WBGF, Belle Glade (40 miles inland from West Palm) or on one of the two translators it is buying – either W295BJ at 106.9 licensed to Jupiter or W240CI at 95.9 and licensed to North Palm Beach.  Lambiet also says the company has plans to create a new sports talk station built around CBS Sports Radio Network’s Jim Rome.  In the spring, JVC announced plans to purchase the translators and WSVU-AM, North Palm Beach from North Palm Beach Broadcasting for $850,000 and WBGF and sister station WSWN, Belle Glade from BGI Broadcasting for $555,000.

glasgowlindiGlasgow Appointed Alpha Media’s Corporate VP/NBD. Former Entercom San Francisco director of sales Lindi Glasgow joins Alpha Media as corporate vice president of new business development.  Alpha Media chairman Larry Wilson is “delighted” about the appointment.  “It goes hand in hand with our ‘live and local’ philosophy – concentrating on building relationships with our advertisers versus negotiation tactics,” he comments.  “Her stellar career and personal accomplishments make her the ideal candidate for the task.  Her creative thinking will be a huge addition to our sales strategy.”  President and chief executive officer Bob Proffitt notes that, “From the day I met Lindi as a rookie seller in Albuquerque 20 years ago, I was absolutely convinced she was destined for greatness.  She did not disappoint.  She has had a stellar career with amazing results.  I am delighted that she will help marry our ‘live and local’ philosophy in our 12 markets with new business development.  We are into relationships – much less into negotiation.  She has the skills, and our local markets have the content and audience to garner great results for our local advertisers; that is what I am most excited about.”  Glasgow remarks that she is “thrilled to join Alpha Media.”  She is returning to her “original radio roots that began with Larry and Bob, both of whom, I have enormous respect for.  I am passionate about the radio industry, how it engages with local communities and can play an essential part of growing local businesses.  I look forward to working with our local markets and am more than anxious to get started.”  Prior to working for Entercom San Francisco, Glasgow was corporate regional director of sales & marketing for Entercom Washington, DC; director of business development for Entercom Denver and Portland; and director of business development at Citadel Albuquerque.

komandopremiereTheatrical Premier.  The first feature film from Barry Young Entertainment premiered at the Landmark Theater in Phoenix recently and is set for release this Friday, September 5.  Barry Young – president and CEO of WestStar MultiMedia Entertainment – and wife Kim Komando – star of her eponymous nationally syndicated radio show and WestStar chairman and CFO – created the new division of their company to pursue film and television projects.  The company’s first venture, working in conjunction with OceanBlue Entertainment and Magnolia Pictures is Frontera, starring Ed Harris, Eva Longoria, Michael Peña, and Amy Madigan.  Pictured here are (from left to right): Madigan, Komando, Young, and Harris.

ISIS Beheads U.S. Journalist; U.S. Military Policy in Iraq; Russia-Ukraine Tensions; Mid-Term Elections/2016 Presidential Prospects; Ebola Pandemic Threat; and Hacked Celeb Nude Photos Among Top Stories Yesterday (9/2).  The beheading of American journalist Steven Sotloff by Islamic militants and the ISIS campaign in Iraq; the U.S. military policy in Iraq and Syria; military tensions between Russia and Ukraine; the coming mid-term elections and the prospects for the 2016 presidential campaign; the threat of an Ebola virus pandemic; and controversy over the hacked iCloud photos of celebrities were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Five Steps to Effective Hiring

| September 3, 2014

By Walter Sabo
Sabo Media
CEO
sabowalterwriterNEW YORK — Since the start of my career as a C suite executive and consultant, I have hired or recommended over 1000 people. I’ve hired them at huge corporations like ABC, NBC and Sirius. I’ve hired them at smaller, successful companies such as Press Communications. Plus, I’ve launched angel funded startups and populated them with sharpies.

Modestly, I have a strong reputation for spotting talented hard workers.  Really hard workers.  People of vision and passion. It is actually difficult to deconstruct how I have been so successful at the hiring process but here are some components of the process:

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Monday, August 25, 2014

| August 25, 2014

napaquakemapLocal Radio Responds to Napa Earthquake. The most severe earthquake to hit Northern California in 25 years registered a 6.0 and was centered in Napa, California on Sunday morning. Local media responded and – although knocked off the air for about 30 minutes — Wine Country Broadcasting’s news/talk KVON, Napa (and sister hot AC KVYN, St. Helena) did return to the air to serve the region. Farther south in San Francisco, sources tell TALKERS magazine that local television went wall-to-wall with its coverage. As for radio, KSFO weekend personality Ethanbearmanethan3 Bearman says that competition KCBS-AM covered it “like a quality news network” while sister news/talk KGO covered the event and took calls until San Francisco 49ers football began. Bearman says, “I had my producer, Leigh Wolf, toss aside what we had planned. We started the show interviewing a rep from PG&E about power and gas in Napa, took a couple of callers, then interviewed Ross Stein, a geophysicist from the USGS about earthquakes and this one in particular. We had more callers sharing stories, then an interview with CHP officer Daniel Hill about safety and road closures, followed by more callers sharing stories. We also interviewed Yountville councillor Richard Hall about the damage in his town up the road from Napa, then many more callers.” Bearman tells TALKERS that what KSFO was able to do was use its two-way nature to do what TV couldn’t. “TV doesn’t provide more than a 10-minute loop. Straight news on KCBS-AM is just talking to the listener while we provided that human contact, that outlet of expression, that connection with others. It was really powerful and received a lot of positive feedback.”

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theblaze logoBeck’s TheBlaze Negotiated with CNN for HLN Partnership.  But, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal by Keach Hagey, the two sides could not come to an agreement on terms.  Hagey’s report states that CNN executives recently held talks with agents from Glenn Beck‘s TheBlaze about a partnership that would change the programming on the struggling HLN channel that would have seen TheBlaze content replace the current shows on HLN.  It’s being reported that CNN is in talks with Vice Media about a similar partnership.  The WSJ reports that HLN’s total viewership has declined 22% for the season to date, and dipped 19% in the 18 to 49 demo, based on Nielsen numbers.

kfwbKFWB Accelerates Talk-to Sports Transition. Los Angeles talker KFWB was expected to conduct its transition to all-sports early next month; however, this past Sunday at midnight, CBS Sports Radio Network programming took over the 980 AM dial position.  Word quickly spread and there was plenty of activity/reaction on social media.  Included in the commentary are two classy postings from people who have worked at KFWB.  On-air talent Lisa Osborne writes on her Facebook page: “It is KFWB’s last weekday as a news/talk station – format flip next week to all sports.  Tune in if you can today to this heritage news station.  If you grew up in LA, you can sing the jingle – that is what everyone does when they find out I work here.  I’ve worked with some real pros here including: Penny Griego, Phil Hulett, Bret Lewis, Rhonda Kramer, Ken Jeffries, Elaine Perkins, Bill Nesbitt, Paul Lowe, Michael Shappee, Maggie McKay, Philip Luther Nash, Michael Knight, Russ Spears, Donna Page, Andy Ludlum, Joe Guimond, Cyndee Maxwell, and plenty more.  Iconic Los Angeles traffic reporter Kramer comments, that she was “only 26 years old” when she began reporting traffic on the station.  “It has always been home and I have worked with some of the most talented individuals in the news broadcast business.  It has been an honor to work with pros like Dan Avey, Charlie Brailer, Don Hurbert, Bob Howard, John Brooks Jack Popejoy, Judy Ford, Andy Ludlum, and most recently, Maggie McKay, Michael Shappee, Lisa Osborne, Penny Griego and Phil Hulett. Working here has been extremely rewarding, affording me the opportunity to win 18 Golden Mikes.  I am proud of my work on KFWB and have made friends here who will be in my life forever.  I wish nothing but the best for the new sports format.  Thanks KFWB for the wonderful memories.  You will always be a part of me.”  Quite a few industry personnel who did not work at the station were partisans.  “I was your biggest fan,” New Normal entrepreneur/talk host Tom Leykis writes.kfwbfinalcast  “Seriously. I grew up in New York listening to ‘1010 WINS.’  When I came to live in LA in the 1980s, KFWB, clearly modeled after WINS, became my new best friend…As a lifelong radio guy, I wanted to let you all know that, for me, you all were the best.”  On one hand, advanced timing of the format flip is a bit of a surprise, yet on the other, there is considerable logic to it.  The station has already secured a program director – Owen Murphy (from Seattle) – and it has cleared CBS Sports Radio programming.  That lineup includes a well-known local quantity, Jim Rome, who will be heard 9:00 am – 12:00 noon.  One more major piece to be added though is a locally originated morning show, which will likely debut in two weeks (Monday, 9/8).  A format change was practically inevitable, as the station’s 6+ PPM shares thus far in calendar year 2014 have topped out at .3 (January, February, and May) and included .2 showings in March, April, June, and July. KFWB’s July ranking was #42.  One year ago (July 2013), it ranked #39 (.5), still significantly lower from its all-news days.  It actually would be ironic (or perhaps purposefully intended) if a morning show is installed September 8, as that will mark the five-year anniversary KFWB switched from all-news to all-talk.  When CBS Corporation acquired KCAL-TV, Los Angeles (Channel 9) in 2002 (to go along with KCBS-TV Channel 2), it put them over the limit of radio and television properties in the same market.  Three years ago, CBS Radio placed KFWB into a Diane Sutter-headed trust, under the name The KFWB Asset Trust.  Director of news programming at CBS Radio Los Angeles’ all-news KNX – and formerly (and simultaneously) holding that same title for KFWB – Andy Ludlum posts on his Facebook page, “After 46 years of delivering news to the people of Southern California, the news watch has stopped for KFWB.  I have been fortunate to have spent the past 25 years of my life working there with some of the most talented people to ever open a microphone or write a news story.”  Ludlum posted the photo above showing the final minute of the final full newscast with Maggie McKay (right), Ted Sobel (center), and Michael Knight (left).

ktar-fmKTAR-FM, Phoenix Re-Brands; Tweaks Programming.  The Bonneville news/talk station announces it is re-branding at the same time it is making programming changes and unveiling its new website designed specifically for mobile users.  The station is now “KTAR News…on 92.3 FM and KTAR.com.”  Bonneville Phoenix market manager Scott Sutherland states, “This re-brand and website re-launch lets the community know that our commitment to live and local news has never been stronger.  And it also signals that KTAR News is a multi-platform media brand that distributes audio news and talk show content on FM Radio, KTAR.com and the KTAR App, as well as written, audio and video story content online across all devices.”  Programming changes include more news content in middays with “Arizona’s Noon News and Karie Dozer” (from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm) and an earlier start (2:00 pm) for afternoon drive team Mac and Gaydos.  Bonneville Phoenix VP of content and operations Ryan Hatch comments, “Our ‘mobile-first’ design will deliver a powerful, multi-media user experience on smartphones, where our online audience continues to migrate.  Using the very latest technologies, the site also seamlessly adapts to tablets and desktops to deliver the same quality experience across all platforms.”

nrglogoNRG Media, Woodward in Four-Station Transaction.  The price for the latest NRG Media purchase – the quartet of Woodward Communications facilities in Waterloo-Cedar Falls, Iowa – is $3.55 million.  NRG Media chief executive officer Mary Quass is “delighted to have the opportunity” to add the stations to her company’s platform.  “We continue to look for great radio properties that are located in the Midwest and are an integral part of the communities they serve,” she comments.  “Regarding NRG, Woodward Communications president and chief executive officer Tom Woodward states, “It is a well-known, community-oriented radio broadcast company with a great Midwestern culture and presence.  Our strategic plans and related growth goals positioned the sale of the Waterloo properties.  We salute the loyal, talented and dedicated staff we were fortunate to work with.  We will continue to operate, grow and enhance our award-winning, seven-station radio group in the Appleton-Green Bay, Wisconsin markets which we’ve owned since the late-1970s.”  The deal is for KFMW “Rock 108”; KOKZ “Iowa’s Classic Hits”; KWLO “1330 ESPN“; and KXEL “Iowa’s News & Talk Station.”  Woodward Communications has operated these outlets the past two years. Prior to that, Bahakel Broadcasting owned KXEL for 54 years (1958 – 2012); it owned the other three from 1996 – 2012.

WSCRgregolesjohnFound: WLS-AM’s “Next Talk Star.” If you wonder where the next generation of talk radio personalities is coming from, the answer might be professional wrestling.  John Chase Gregoles (pictured here) emerges as the winner of WLS-AM, Chicago’s “Next Talk Star” competition and the Lake Geneva, Wisconsin resident is a day trader who has a background in … sports entertainment.  This represents the Cumulus Media-owned talk station’s third such promotion, with WLS-AM program director/operations manager Peter Bolger pointing out, “Our last two winners are still on the air with a weekend show and occasional fill-in.  It is certainly possible we will be as fortunate with this year’s winner.  What the finalists had to say about talk radio and the passion they have for it was instructive and extremely energizing.”  Gregoles comments that he “wants to broaden the audience of talk radio.”  Wannabes submitted auditions via the station’s website. WLS-AM narrowed the submissions to 10 semifinalists; the top five were then determined by online voting. Bolger; WLS-AM’s (9:00 am – 11:00 am) Kass & Cohn co-host Lauren Cohn; 2012 winner Stephanie Trussell; and 2013 winner Laura Kelly were among those judging the competition.  Gregoles gets to host a two-hour WLS-AM show, receive a limo ride to/from the studio, and a trip for two to Mexico.

kinosianmike

MLB Baseball Continues to Give Boost to Most Flagship Stations.  TALKERS managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian presents his second analysis of the performances of MLB flagship stations this season – this time based on July PPM data.  Again, the flagships in markets where baseball has traditionally been good to its radio outlet and in markets where the team is performing well continue to benefit from increased listenership.  In this report Kinosian tracks how flagship stations have performed over the past five PPM surveys, compared to July 2013, how they rank in their respective markets, and how the stations stack up based on MLB divisions.  Check out Mike Kinosian’s analysis here.

sabowalterSabo: It Is a Widespread Myth That “Ours Is a Very Big Sports Town.”  As a globetrotting media consultant, Walter Sabo reports, “There is noticeable bravado in every city about the local level of sports fandom.”  In a new opinion piece certain to spark disagreement on the part of many TALKERS readers, Sabo makes the case that even though most radio markets claim to be “big” on sports or even the “biggest” sports city in America, the “facts don’t match the roar of the crowd.”  He writes, “According to the data presented from the major league national teams, every city is pretty much the same.”  To read this informative and provocative piece in its entirety, please click here.

hamiltonhacksawLee ‘Hacksaw’ Hamilton Hangs Out Fill-In Shingle.  West Coast sports talk pro Lee “Hacksaw” Hamilton, most recently with Broadcast Company of the Americas-owned XEPRS, San Diego “The Mighty 1090,” announces he’s making himself available as a “radio free agent” for freelance work as “Hacksaw & Company,” as he says, “sports talk radio designed for your market, when you need a pinch-hitter.”  Hamilton’s daily content can be seen at (www.leehacksawhamilton.com).  He can be emailed at hacksaw5555@gmail.com.

Arkansas Stations Swap Frequencies; AC Turns Conservative/Christian Talk.  A pair of Arkansas FMs are swapping positions on the dial – John M. Dowdy-owned hot AC KKTZ moves from 93.5 up to 107.5 while AC KOMT moves to the 93.5 frequency.  KKTZ will remain hot AC but KOMT flips to conservative/Christian talk using content from Salem Radio Network, Westwood One and Premiere Networks.  The new talk station will air: Bill Bennett in AM drive followed by Mike Gallagher, Dennis Miller, Michael Medved, Mark Levin, Janet Mefferd and “Coast to Coast AM” with George Noory.

Odds & Sods.  As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, radio pro Mike Stephen is joining WGN, Chicago for a weekend show called “Outside the Loop Radio” that will air from 6:00 am to 7:00 am Sunday mornings, effective October 4.  The eight-year-old show is promoted as “Chicago’s Almost Above-Ground Audio Magazine,” and promises “interviews with local newsmakers on everything from arts and politics to the environment and food.”…..Sitting in for Jimmy Barrett on Clear Channel’s WRVA, Richmond in morning drive all this week is Mark Wainwright…..CBS RADIO’s sports talker WJFK-FM, Washington “106.7 The Fan” and IMG Sports Network agree to an extension that will allow Virginia Tech football and men’s basketball  play-by-play to be heard on the station through the 2018 season.

Man Myth: “Ours is a Very Big Sports Town”

| August 25, 2014

By Walter Sabo
Sabo Media
CEO

sabowalterwriterNEW YORK — As a globetrotting consultant there is noticeable bravado in every city about the local level of sports fandom.

When the topic of sports coverage and sports interest is discussed, the local media mavens always say the same things:

*  “This is a very big sports town.”

* “Even women here are nuts about sports.”

*  “You’ve got to understand that this is the biggest sports town.”

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

| August 21, 2014

Ferguson Provides News/Talk Radio with Red Meat on Controversial Issues for Both Left and Right.  The tragic events that have unfolded in Ferguson, MO have provided talk radio opinion leaders from the left, right and in-between with more than enough fresh material on mainstay topics around which to build their cases.  Some see it as another horrific indication of unjust racial inequality in America and the troubling expansion of a militarized police state.  Others see it as further infuriating evidence of the rise of crime, unwarranted traduptomplaying of the race card and growing disrespect and lack of support for law enforcement.  Almost all are concerned about its reflection of the declining state of journalism and increasing suppression of the press and First Amendment rights.  Asked by Salem Radio Network VP news & talk programming, Tom Tradup (for a forthcoming article in September’s Townhall Magazine) his take on talk radio’s role in the matter and whether he sees it as negative or positive, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “Ferguson contains a tempest of pressing and controversial American issues. There’s red meat for both the left and right in this tragedy.  Talk radio – collectively – has played a positive role in responding to and covering it by airing all the different ideologies, including those that are politically incorrect, and moving the vital discussion forward.  Some hosts have gone directly to the scene putting local people on the air to present  real life perspectives, thus bringing the public closer to the disturbingly obscured truth.”  The article will contain comments from Sean Hannity, Mike Gallagher, and SiriusXM personality David Webb who went to Ferguson where he interviewed a wide variety of residents including African American businesspeople.  Tradup tells TALKERS, “I’m proud of our industry leading the national conversation on this issue, and look forward to highlighting the great work many shows did inviting audience members to experience the story-behind-the-headlines.”

gallagher mikeMike Gallagher: “I Can – and Will – Do Better.”  On his Salem-syndicated talk program yesterday (Wednesday, 8/20), Mike Gallagher became embroiled with one of his callers (“James”). The two discussed James’ opinion that releasing surveillance video of 18-year-old Michael Brown robbing a convenience store prior to the shooting that took Brown’s life was, in and of itself, a “violent act.” There was considerable shouting between host Gallagher and caller “James” with the latter hanging up. Gallagher maintains the on-air exchange bothered him the rest of the day and it prompted him to write on Facebook Wednesday night, “Today on my radio show, my emotions got the best of me. I have been bothered by that exchange all day and I wanted to formally apologize. While I steadfastly disagree with [caller James’] contention that the surveillance video of Michael Brown robbing a convenience store was not a ‘violent act,’ I should not have interrupted James as I did. I will give a more detailed and specific apology on the air tomorrow, but I wanted to put it in writing tonight. I should not have reacted the way I did, and I certainly should not invite people to call my show and then disagree so passionately that I don’t give them much of a chance to talk. I am sorry. I can – and will – do better.”

mason danDan Mason To Cox Media Group Tampa As OM. To clarify, the Dan Mason appointed operations manager for three Cox Media Group Tampa facilities is the former WODS, Boston program director – not the CBS Radio president and chief executive officer with the same name. CMG vice president and market manager Keith Lawless comments, “Dan’s approach to programming is firmly in line with ours and he is a welcome addition to our team. I am confident his contributions will help us continue to compete and win.” Cox Media Group vice president of programming Steve Smith explains, “We took our time searching for the right fit, and Dan is that guy. He will add his expertise in management and talent development to some of our other super-brands in Tampa. We welcome Dan to the CMG family.” Mason – who begins his new assignment in about two weeks (9/8) – states that he is “thrilled” to join the “fantastic team” in Tampa on “three of the most exciting and unique brands not just within Cox Media Group, but the country. I am grateful to Keith Lawless and Steve Smith for the opportunity to lead the team.” Mason’s Tampa OM duties involve alternative WSUN “97-X,” CHR WPOI “Hot 101.5,” and talk WHPT “102.5 The Bone.” He will also be director of branding & programming for “Hot 101.5.” Mason’s previous programming background includes Clear Channel Miami CHR WHYI “Y-100”; Entercom Sacramento outlets CHR KDND-FM “107.9 The End” and hot AC KBZC “Star 106.5”; and Clear Channel Cleveland CHR WAKS, “96.5 Kiss-FM.”

loesch danaCMG Talkers Clear “The Dana Show.” The agreement for Radio America‘s “The Dana Show” includes Cox Media Group talk outlets in Atlanta (WSB-AM); Orlando (WDBO-FM); Jacksonville (WOKV-AM/FM); Dayton (WHIO-AM/FM); Tulsa (KRMG-AM/FM); and Athens, Georgia (WGAU). Cox Media Group vice president of marketing/news-talk-sports format leader Nick Roberts comments that, “Cox Media Group strongly believes in growing new talk talent — people who can be the next superstars. We believe Dana has the ability to reach the next generation of listeners.” Radio America chief operating officer Mike Paradiso states, “The growth of ‘The Dana Show’ has been outstanding. Dana and all of us at Radio America are excited about her success across the country. It is a privilege to be working with a great company like Cox and their heritage stations.” Host Dana Loesch originates her daily program from Emmis St. Louis’ KFTK.

sabowalterWhen Broadened Aspirations Deserve a Thank-You. For well over one-half century (1926 – 1983), New York City’s female-targeted WOR was America’s #1 rated radio station and the country’s top-biller. Similarly-programmed talkers KABC, Los Angeles and WGN, Chicago were typically second and third. Partnership pioneer Tom O’Neil understood that his business was show business and grew the crown jewel of the RKO Radio Network – WOR – by hiring major stars from other media. Nowadays though, when topflight radio personalities seek to broaden their horizons in other media, most radio managers try to quash such plans. Tipping his cap to the O’Neil model, Sabo Media chief executive officer Walter Sabo strongly suggests that when on-air personalities possess the ambition to do more than radio, management should reward them with a hearty “Thank-You.” Click here to read Sabo’s exclusive TALKERS article.

donahue harryDonahue to Retire from KYW. After a five-decade Philadelphia broadcasting career, Harry Donahue is retiring. Tomorrow (8/22) is the last day on the job for the morning drive co-anchor at CBS Radio-owned all-news KYW. CBS Radio Philadelphia senior vice president and market manager Marc Rayfield states, “Harry’s voice is one of Philadelphia’s most familiar. His contributions to KYW are immeasurable. He is a consummate professional and will be sorely missed by those who have worked with him all these years, as well as our many listeners who set their alarms to 1060 each morning.” Donahue reflects that when he was hired at KYW, “I couldn’t believe it. It was, and remains, the preeminent radio station in Philadelphia. I have done what I always wanted to do. To work in my hometown and having been part of this iconic radio station – it just doesn’t get any better.” Donahue joined KYW in 1973. He began his career as an announcer for Philadelphia’s former WPBS (now WUSL) and as a manager of media relations for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Donahue is the longtime play-by-play voice for Temple University athletics – men’s football and basketball. The latter is heard on KYW’s talk sibling WPHT; he will continue those responsibilities.

hartmann thomTree Media Releases Climate Crisis Film “CARBON.” Production company Tree Media is supported by the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (DiCaprio is the film’s narrator). Made in collaboration with nationally syndicated, WYD Media progressive talk host (and recipient of the 2014 TALKERS Freedom of Speech Award) Thom Hartmann, CARBON explores crucial issues related to the climate crisis. Hartmann stresses, “We need serious action to address the most pressing issue of our time. Communities across the world have taken action in the most direct and effective ways possible by taxing and trading carbon. For us to beat this crisis, many more need to join.” According to DiCaprio, “97% of climate scientists agree: Climate change is happening now and humans are responsible. We cannot sit idly by and watch the fossil fuel industry make billions at our collective expense.  We must put a price on carbon — now.” This is the first film in the “Green World Rising” series that will include three additional ones covering solutions to the climate crisis. Director Leila Connors explains, “This film is meant to be an asset for the climate movement and to generate momentum for the global reduction of carbon emissions. We must move toward renewable energy and to create a real solution.” CARBON was produced by George DiCaprio, Mathew Schmid, Roee Sharon and Earl Katz, and presented by Thom Hartmann.

Mark Hochman 250Return of the Hochman Burger. For the second year, Beasley Broadcast Group Miami’s WQAM “Sports Radio 560” afternoon (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm) driver Marc Hochman can go into a certain Boca Raton establishment – Red’s Backwoods BBQ – and order a burger that is named after him. “As a guy, I don’t think there is a bigger honor than [that],” he contends. “In my radio career, I have interviewed everyone from Hulk Hogan and Mike Tyson to Pat Sajak and Al Roker. As a program director, I have been nominated twice for ‘Sports Radio Station of the Year’ for the Marconi Awards, but I have never been more proud of anything than [this]. For the record, the “Hochman Burger” is accompanied with cheddar cheese, barbeque sauce, and is topped with Funyuns.

NFL LogoTrojans Live 125Los Angeles’ KFWB to Air NFL and NCAA Slate. Set to launch the station’s all-sports format early next month, KFWB, Los Angeles newly-named program director Owen Murphy reveals KFWB will carry a complete schedule of NFL and NCAA play-by-play. In addition, the hour-long USC sports spotlight “Trojans Live” will return for its second season. The Tuesday evening (6:00 pm – 7:00 pm) program devoted to USC sports features men’s head football coach Steve Sarkisian. This is KFWB’s fifth year as flagship of the NBA‘s Los Angeles Clippers and it becomes the exclusive Los Angeles home for Westwood One‘s coverage of all NFL Sunday night, Monday night and Thursday night games. That schedule begins in two weeks (9/4) when Green Bay takes on reigning champion Seattle. Murphy states, “With rumors swirling about the NFL draft coming to Los Angeles in 2015, and maybe an NFL team as well, we could not be more excited to deliver great Westwood One football programming to a football hungry town so deserving of its own team. There is no better product than Westwood One’s March Madness play-by-play and we are proud to have the opportunity to present it to the most passionate and knowledgeable hoops fans in America.” The station’s broadcast schedule will include the NFC and AFC Championship games, Pro Bowl, and next February’s Super Bowl.

ragozino mike“Ragz” To Program Portland’s “Game.” Alpha Media Portland sports outlet KXTG “750 The Game” names Mike “Ragz” Ragozino program director and afternoon drive (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm) host. Executive vice president of programming Scott Mahalick comments, “‘Ragz’ is uniquely qualified to lead the staff of ‘The Game’ and practice what he preaches everyday on the air. He ‘gets’ the entertainment factor in sports radio like no one else in this business.” Ragozino reflects that ever since he got into the radio business, “It was always about taking a new challenge head on, without fear of failure, having fun and most importantly, entertaining the audience. Joining Alpha Media – and more specifically ‘750 The Game’ – offers me a chance to do what I love for an incredible company in a beautiful city that has the same passion for sports as I do.” The Queens, New York native has 12 years of classic rock programming/on-air experience at WNNJ, Sussex, New Jersey and WAOR, South Bend, Indiana. When WAOR flipped to sports in May 2012, it enabled “Ragz” to accomplish his dream of programming an all-sports station. In addition to programming it, he co-hosted a weekly one-hour show with Heisman Trophy winner Tim Brown. Ragozino begins his Portland assignment in just over two weeks (Monday, 9/8).

BOB Logo 125BOB-FM to the Romantic Rescue. “You’ll hear all sorts of stuff” is the way BOB-FM positions itself and a recent audio clip from the station underscores that positioning statement. This particular BOB-FM though is not an adult hits outlet here in the United States, but a radio station broadcasting at 106.7 and 106.9 in Knebworth, Hertford, Ware, Hatfield, Stevenage, Hitchin, Letchworth Garden City, Welwyn Garden City and Watton-at-Stone. Knebworth most likely gave away the location as the United Kingdom. Reminiscent of something syndicated personality “Delilah” or Karen Sharp on her nightly “Love Songs” show on Los Angeles adult contemporary KOST “Coast 103” might do, BOB-FM morning talents (or “breakfast presenters,” as they are more elegantly called) Graham Mack and Amy Stevenson came to the aid of a young woman (“Sarah”) yearning to reconnect with her dream man (“Sam”). The back-story is that Sarah met Sam at a music festival that featured Justin Timberlake and it was love at first sight. The snafu was that Sarah didn’t get Sam’s number, so she did what was only logical – call BOB-FM to track him down. Her email to Mack and Stevenson recapped that part of the story and stated her desire to meet the 25-year-old, 6′ 5″ Hertfordshire dog trainer. It took Mack and Stevenson all of two days to locate him. Especially if you are a hopeless romantic, click here to listen to the complete interchange.

marshall robin“Proactive” Patient Will Overcome Ovarian Cancer. That is what Robin Marshall optimistically writes on her Facebook page. Cumulus Media‘s “Sound Solutions” production manager states that, “Short and sweet,” she has stage two or slight stage three Ovarian cancer but “all was removed.” Doctors “did snippets” from her other organs for biopsy purposes and regardless of the results,” Marshall will be treated with “a very strong regiment of chemo.” As she laments, “It is nothing that anyone looks forward to.” Realizing she has a difficult road ahead, Marshall will remain in the hospital until this Saturday (8/23), but she declares, “I have hope.” At the “end of the day,” however, Marshall stresses, she will survive Ovarian cancer because, “I was proactive. There are no options – I want to live.”   

ISIS Beheading, Ferguson Turmoil, Rick Perry Indictment, Gaza Crisis and ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Among Top Talk Stories Yesterday (8/20).  The stories listed in this headline were some of the most talked about on news/talk radio yesterday  However the breaking story of ISIS beheading American journalist James Wright Foley was by far the most-dominating conversation on American talk radio according to the ongoing research from TALKERS.  Check here tomorrow for the complete top stories and most-talked-about people listings for the entire week.

Le3007_texas_a&m_aggies-alternate-2012arfield Launches Spanish Network for Texas A&M Football. Beginning with next week’s (8/28) season opener against South Carolina, fans of the Texas A&M Aggies will hear complete Texas A&M pigskin game coverage in Spanish on Univision Radio Houston’s KLAT; Salem Espanol San Antonio’s KRDY; KAMA, El Paso; and MBM Radio McAllen’s KVJY. Aggies games will also be on SiriusXM Deportes en Vivo Channel 551. Chancellor John Sharp of The Texas A&M University System explains, “It is important we share the Texas A&M brand across the state, To do so, we need a Spanish language option for our fans. We believe this is a real step forward for Aggie sports as we begin our third season in the SEC.” The Texas A&M Spanish Network will feature Pedro Vela Almaguer on play-by-play and Alberto Rodriguez doing color commentary. There are 55 English-language radio affiliates on the Texas A&M Sports Network. All 12 Aggies’ regular season and any postseason games will be carried on the Texas A&M Spanish Network.

TALKERS Affiliate Roundup. Rich Beem & Sandy McIlree-hosted “Beemer & the Bald Guy” welcome Cumulus Myrtle Beach, South Carolina’s WSEA “100.3 The Team” as an affiliate to its Nineball Radio Networks-distributed Sunday morning golf show.

When Talent wants to do MORE than radio – say, THANK YOU!

| August 21, 2014

By WalterSabo
Sabo Media
CEO

NEW YORK — When star radio talent wants to expand their horizons and perform on other stages, most radio managers try to kill that ambition. Thinking analog, radio managers want their talent, preparing and performing shows on their stations — period.

The key to success in a digital world is affiliations and partnerships. That tends to be hard for radio vets to accept, it’s counter-intuitive.

A survey of major digital industry publications such as Media Biz, Bloggers, Mashable, and Media Post Publications reveals that a majority of the news covers partnerships, affiliation agreements and asset sharing. Most online companies understand that they cannot grow on their own, they require partners. The deals involve sharing revenue, views or promotions or all three. Those partnerships are how digital businesses can beat proven TV/AM/FM for audience and dollars.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

| July 23, 2014

mendtelarryWABC, New York Adds Larry Mendte to Weekend Programming Lineup.  Joining the WABC, New York Sunday evening lineup is Larry Mendte, who will host a weekly 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm program beginning July 27.  The station notes that Mendte is “a familiar voice to the New York metro area, having most recentlywabc been a contributor to WPIX-TV’s nightly newscast producing commentaries…Returning to New York on 77 WABC allows Mendte to expand upon these commentaries, talk about New York’s biggest stories, and speak to Tri-State listeners with warmth, wit, and honesty that New York listeners have come to expect from Mendte and 77 WABC.”  Mendte co-hosted the morning program on WWIQ, Philadelphia during its time as a news/talk outlet operated by Merlin Media.  Mendte also hosts a television news and public affairs show for Me TV in Philadelphia.  The show will soon air in New York on Me TV.

2014 NYC logo 150Talkers New York 2014 Videos Being Posted.  Up Today: Julie Talbott of Premiere Networks Receives the TALKERS “Woman of the Year” Award.  Today (7/23) marks the seventh business day of TALKERS magazine’s video posting of speeches, sessions and presentations made during last month’s 17th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention – Talkers New York 2014.  The presentation of these informative and historic recordings is sponsored by WYD Media Sales, LLC., the rep firm recently launched by Ron Hartenbaum and headed by John Murphy, that specializes in the advertising sales of spoken-word media on all popular platforms.   The worldwide showing of these very special videos continues today with part 2 of the event’s traditional “Talkers Awards Ceremony” emceed by legendary Westwood One talk show host Jim Bohannon and featuring the presentation of the Judy Jarvis Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to Radio by a Woman (also known as the “Woman of the Year” award) by last year’s recipient Heather Cohen, EVP, the Weiss Agency to Julie Talbott, president, Premiere Networks.   Talbott delivers an uplifting acceptance address in whichtalbottNYC14 she states, “This is really a fun business.  But it’s a business…and it’s a tough business and we all have to continue to work together.   I know we’re competitors – but we have to work together to really make something great happen.”  Continuing on the theme of keeping radio work enjoyable, Talbott discusses her early days as a “pretty naive University of Kentucky small-town girl graduate” looking in New York City for a career area to enter and originally being attracted to the media field because the interviewers – unlike those in other areas of business she explored – seemed to be having fun in their work and were just as successful as the people she met in banking and other fields of business she encountered.  She quickly realized, “That’s the creative business I want to be in!”  She suggests, “We can’t forget the fun.  We have to continually try to find some fun environment for the folks working for us.”  To see this entire presentation, please click here.  Coming tomorrow:  part 3 of the Talkers Awards Ceremony in which Westwood One founder and Courtside Entertainment Group/Podcast One CEO Norm Pattiz receives the TALKERS Lifetime Achievement Award. The TALKERS conference videos were recorded by Art Vuolo.

fielddavidEntercom Chief David Field Asks Employees to Embrace Change, Lists Accomplishments in Mid-Year Memo.  In his twice-annual memo to staffers, Entercom president and CEO David Field writes that everyone in the radio business must embrace change and innovate and challenges employees to do so within the guidelines of what Entercom believes in.  He goes on to list those beliefs which start with its dedication to “building the best local radio stations with the best local personalities.”  Also, Field speaks about the company’s accomplishments and points to the launch of new radio stations, the debut of its SmartReach Digital local marketing arm, and the “two-minute” promise at Seattle’s alternative “The End” which limits spots to six minutes per hour on the station with never more than 2 minutes of commercials at one time.  Read his entire memo here.

wtmj logoWTMJ, Milwaukee to Debut Non-Sports Show Featuring Packers.  The show is called “Tauscher and Kuhn” and will feature former Green Bay Packers lineman Mark Tauscher and current Packers fullback John Kuhn.  It will air from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm on eight select Tuesdays beginning in September.  The Journal Broadcast Group news/talk station has the show sponsored by Associated Bank.  The program is not a sports talk show and will instead revolve around the two discussing current events, pop culture and more.  Journal Milwaukee VP/GM of radio operations Tom Langmyer says, “WTMJ is committed to developing original, live, local programming and talent for our listeners.  Mark and John have great chemistry.  This is a chance to hear them unplugged discussing all areas of life, beyond the Xs and Os of sports.  We look forward to have Mark and John on our team!”  Tauscher says, “One of my favorite things while playing in the NFL was debating and arguing a wide range of topics in the locker room.  John was and is always ready for a lively discussion, so I am looking forward to bringing our unique perspectives to the airwaves and having lots of fun along the way.”

sabowalterSabo: Five Steps to Managing a Problem.  Media consultant Walter Sabo writes that because talk radio’s very purpose is to nurture controversy and opinion, there are ways to handle what might be perceived as a too-controversial event that help avoid “bad” PR and, worse, loss of advertising revenue or the decision to fire employees.  Sabo notes that talk radio practitioners should be prepared to combat advertiser boycotts by arming themselves with examples of “controversial programming” on television on which they advertise because, most “family oriented” advertisers do air spots on TV shows that could be considered just as controversial – perhaps more so – than talk radio programming.  For examples of this and more of Sabo’s five-step prescription, click here.

giordanodomOdds & Sods.  WPHT, Philadelphia mid-morning personality Dom Giordano is being inducted into the Philadelphia Area Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame in a ceremony that will take place on November 21 at the Hilton Philadelphia.  See a complete list of inductees and honorees here…..Former San Francisco Giants pitcher and current team broadcaster Mike Krukow is suffering from a degenerative muscle disease called inclusion-body myositis.  Krukow is part of the broadcast team for Comcast Sports Bay Area and for Cumulus Media’s KNBR, San Francisco.  The disease is not life-threatening but there is no cure or mccannjaketreatment and it’s forced Krukow to use a cane for balance and to ride in a motorized cart at times…..Jake McCann is named vice president of sales for Cumulus Washington which puts him in charge of the sales effort for news/talk WMAL-AM/FM…..Digital Syndicate Network-owned sports talker WDKT, Beulah, North Dakota re-brands as “KDKT SportsRadio 1410” with the change in network affiliation from Fox Sports Radio to CBS Sports Radio.  The station keeps Fox Sports Radio/DirecTV’s Dan Patrick and brings CBS’ Jim Rome back to the market after a year’s absence…..John Harper is named host of Relevant Radio’s “Morning Air” program.  Harper joins the Catholic broadcaster after a career that includes time spent with ESPN building the sports giant’s “SportsCenter” into the iconic sports news programming that it’s become.

ABCkaterskyambassBringing the Flight 17 Story Home to Listeners.  Reporting from Kiev, Ukraine, ABC News Radio correspondent Aaron Katersky (left) speaks with US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt (right) in Kiev about the downing of Flight 17 and the political ramifications of Russia’s involvement in arming the Ukraine rebels.

ObamaCare Court Rulings, Flight 17 Investigation-Russian Responsibility, Gaza Strip Violence, Tony Dungy-Michael Sam Comments Controversy, Primary Races, Western Drought-California Water Shortage, Bill Clinton’s ‘Energizer’ Flap, and Illegal Child Immigration Crisis Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/22).  Two separate and different Appeals Courts rulings on tax credits for citizens signing up for the Affordable Care Act; the ongoing investigation into the downing of Flight 17 and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s battle with the West over blame; the escalating violence in the Gaza Strip and Western airlines’ cessation of flights into Tel Aviv; the controversy over Tony Dungy’s comments about not drafting openly gay footballer Michael Sam because of the “distraction” it would cause; the mid-term primary races held on Tuesday; concern over the ongoing Western drought and Southern California’s low water supply; the latest published allegations about Bill Clinton’s paramour dubbed “Energizer”; and the influx of child illegals into the Southwest were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

| May 6, 2014

limbaughrushRush Limbaugh’s Camp Responds to Media Matters Piece.  The consumer media war against conservative talk radio – led by Media Matters for America – has, in general, not seen a lot of pushback from the program hosts themselves and the producers of the shows.  But Premiere Networks-syndicated Rush Limbaugh, the chief target of criticism, fired back at Media Matters after a piece by its senior fellow Eric Boehlert was published in The Huffington Post that proclaimed Limbaugh’s program a ratings failure in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York.  Limbaugh program spokesperson Brian Glicklich penned a response to Boehlert’s piece in which he takes Boehlert to task for, primarily, publishing the three stations’ weekly AQH numbers with the implication they are Limbaugh’s numbers before clarifying that later in his piece.  He then adds his statistics about changes in Limbaugh’s ratings on those outlets.  With just four months under his belt on these stations, one thing is for sure: Limbaugh is still the primary target for Media Matters and scrutiny of the these signals is something the industry will see a lot of over the next year or so.

sabowalterYou’re Here Because of Ben Hoberman.  The recent passing of Ben Hoberman – the architect of KABC-AM, Los Angeles’ talk format in the early 1960s – has caused some of the industry’s great thinkers to look back at what made KABC and Hoberman so successful.  Sabo Media CEO Walter Sabo writes today in TALKERS (5/6) that Hoberman understood the basic premise behind great talk radio: It’s a show.  Sabo also says Hoberman followed a number of other prescriptions for success, including these two: He invested in new technology and he embraced fresh, often outrageous talent.  Read Walter Sabo’s entire piece here.

paiajitFCC Commissioner Ajit Pai Address AM Revitalization and Cross-Ownership Rules at PAB Meeting.  At the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters meeting in Hershey on Monday (5/5), FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai told the assembly that he wants to implement the workable aspects of the Commission’s AM revitalization program by the fall.  He told the gathering, “Small broadcasters and large broadcasters alike want to revitalize AM radio.  So do civil rights organizations and those favoring increased ownership diversity.  Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, the list goes on.  Indeed, I’ve been amazed by the chord that AM revitalization has struck throughout the United States.  When I made this proposal in September 2012, I never imagined the response we would receive…Time isn’t on the side of this grand old band, so let’s commit ourselves to getting this done by Halloween.  Our proposals will not be a panacea for the real problems confronting AM broadcasters.  But they will help.  For example, I’ve heard from numerous AM broadcasters desperate for FM translators.  That’s why we need to move forward with an FM translator window designed for AM broadcasters.  If the FCC acts soon, that window could open next year.  In addition to asking for comment in our NPRM on specific proposals, the Commission also solicited other ideas on how to improve the AM band, both in the short term and the long term.  And we received many suggestions from station owners, engineers, and listeners.  We need to sort through them and figure out which ones merit action and which ones need further study.  Beginning this summer, I plan to hold a series of meetings with stakeholders to discuss these proposals.  And I invite you to participate.  If you have an idea for revitalizing the AM band, don’t be shy. It’s not too late to tell us what you think.”  Regarding the cross-ownership rules, Pai is realistic about what can be accomplished, stating, “Unless the courts intervene, I see no prospect that the FCC will bring all of its media ownership rules into the 21st century in the next couple of years.  But I do see a glimmer of hope when it comes to the newspaper-radio ownership ban.  The Commission has signaled an openness to getting rid of this anachronism.  And as the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu put it, ‘a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.’”

wcpt logoNewsweb Radio to Change Programming on Two Chicago FMs.  The programming on two of the four stations currently airing Newsweb Radio’s progressive talk programming will cease and begin airing a Polish-language format under a time-brokerage deal.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder has the story and he reports WCPT-FM, Arlington Heights at 92.7 and WCPQ-FM, Park Forest at 99.9 will begin airing the Polski.FM-branded format on June 2.  Newsweb Radio president Charley Gross tells Feder the move will allow the company to focus progressive talk on its 820 AM flagship, 92.5 FM (which covers mainly the western suburbs and northwest Illinois) and its webstream while providing a source of revenue from the other two stations.

sagaSaga Communications Net Income Down 9%.  Although the company’s net operating revenue was up by 0.8% with $29,423,000 realized in the first quarter of 2014, net income for Saga Communications was down 9% from $2,949,000 in 2013 to $2,439,000 this year.  Saga’s long term debt dropped from $58,828,000 during the same period in 2013 to $46,078,000 in 2014.

millerstephanieOdds & Sods.  Changes in weekend programming at Cumulus Media’s news/talk KSFO, San Francisco put an end to Barbara Simpson’s weekly show…..Clear Channel adds a little FM strength to the market coverage of news/talk WRVA, Richmond.  The formerly dark translator W253BI, licensed to Glen Allen, Virginia at 98.5 FM, gives WRVA more potential coverage in the northern part of the market…..The “Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour” presented by WYD Media nationally syndicated talk media personality Stephanie Miller rolls into Albuquerque for a show at Popejoy Hall on Saturday, May 10.  Miller, along with fellow performers John Fugelsang and Carlos Alazraqui, will also do a show in Minneapolis on June 7.

sciannapaulScianna Named BRN Director of Communications & Marketing.  That is a brand new title for Bott Radio Network and the one landing it is Paul Scianna, founder/executive director of the first Missouri-based Family Policy Council associated with Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council.  Bott Radio Network president and chief executive officer Rich Bott states that, “This new role is consistent with the exciting growth of Bott Radio Network and will help facilitate our continuing expansion and use of new media platforms to better serve our listeners and broadcast ministry partners.  Paul has been a longtime friend of the Bott family, and he has a passion for the mission, vision, and values of BRN. Paul will have a key role in serving our listening audience, broadcast ministry partners and business sponsors, as well as engaging community leaders, pastors and our associates as we implement new ways to advance our vision of getting the word of God into the people of God.”  Scianna comments that he is “excited and humbled” to join BRN “at this point in the organization’s 52-year history.  Bott Radio Network has established a strong foundation on which we can build to fulfill its vision of broadcasting the timeless message of hope.”  Scianna previously was vice president of the college testing company ACT; manager of internal corporate communications for Sprint; and senior vice president of corporate and public affairs for the PR firm Fleishman Hillard.

wsjdealawardgroupEnjoying the Accolades.  The staff of The Wall Street Journal Radio Network’s “WSJ This Morning with Gordon Deal” poses with their Excellence in Financial Journalism Award received from the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants (NYSSCPA) which recognizes reporters from the national and local press whose work was published, posted or broadcast in 2013 and contributed to a better and balanced understanding of business or financial topics.  The “WSJ This Morning” crew was honored with one of only 11 awards given by the organization for the program’s coverage of the government shutdown.  Pictured here (from left to right) are: Mike Gavin, Gina Cervetti, Deal (holding the award) and Dave Duncan.

Obama WH Correspondents’ Dinner Speech, Mid-Term Election Prognostications, Russian Aggression in Ukraine, Rice Withdraws from Rutgers Speech, and Clean Air Act Battle Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/5).  Criticism of President Obama’s highly political speech at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner; the most recent polls indicating Democrats may suffer losses in the mid-term elections in November; continued aggression in Ukraine by pro-Russian forces; former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice withdraws from her speech at Rutgers University; and the political battle over the Obama Administration’s restrictions on power plant emissions as part of the Clean Air Act were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

First We Entertain: You’re Here Because of Ben Hoberman

| May 6, 2014

By Walter Sabo
Sabo Media
CEO

sabowriterNEW YORK — In the 1970s and early 80s KABC-AM, Los Angeles was the number 1 or 2
biller in America.  From its inception it was run by Ben Hoberman.

Meeting Mr. Hoberman was an event.  You made an appointment, no one just
walked in to his office.  The GM down the hall at KLOS made an
appointment.  Mr. Hoberman’s office was different than yours.  It was
crisp, immaculate and no-nonsense.  Just like Mr. Hoberman.

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Monday, May 5, 2014

| May 5, 2014

three eagles logoThree Eagles Communications to Sell Stations to Dean Goodman’s Digity.  The growing media portfolio of Dean Goodman continues to grow as his Palm Beach, Florida-based Digity Companies agrees to purchase Three Eagles Communications’ 48 stations in markets in Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota and South Dakota.  Pending FCC approval, the transaction is expected to close during the third quarter.  Three Eagles founder and CEO Rolland Johnson says of the deal, “I think it is an excellent time to be buying stations.  Radio seems to have survived the perfect storm and shoulddigity come out stronger than ever.  While on the NAB Board with Dean Goodman 10 to 12 years ago, Dean talked about his vision of buying stations and rolling them up into a diversified company.  It is great to have a vision like Dean’s and to be able to follow through with it.  Dean is getting a group of hard-working people with award-winning stations who deserve a chance to participate in something as exciting as what Digity offers.  I congratulate him on an excellent purchase.”  Goodman comments, “Digity is on-air, online, on-demand, on-location, and on-the-go.  It connects today’s busy consumers with content they want, people they trust, products they enjoy and things that matter.  We are very pleased to have signed the Three Eagles purchase and Digity intends to continue to grow in all areas of its operations.”  Digity, through Palm Beach Broadcasting, operates four FM stations in the Palm Beach market.  GoodRadio.TV operates 26 radio stations in Midwestern markets.  Digity earlier this year purchased 33 radio stations from NextRadio and operates those stations in San Jose, Chicago, suburban Dallas, Saginaw, Canton, Greenville and Myrtle Beach.

limbaughrushRush Limbaugh Awards Grants in Essay Contest; Tennessee School Reacts.  The essay contest Premiere Networks nationally syndicated talk star Rush Limbaugh conducted earlier in the 2013-14 school year has been completed with three schools receiving a package of books and a cash gift from Limbaugh and his wife Kathryn.  At Hawkins Elementary School in Rogersville, Tennessee, principal Barry Bellamy and first grade teacher Danee Collette are still reeling after receiving a shipment of books from Limbaugh that included American classics The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Where the Red Fern Grows as well as copies of his own bestseller Rush Revere and the New Patriots.  According to the Rogersville Review, Bellamy and Collette were even more shocked to receive a check for $15,000 to use as the school sees fit.  Collette tells the paper her father is a big Limbaugh fan and told her about the essay contest.  She dutifully wrote it and didn’t think much more about it until a Limbaugh staffer called to ask for a shipping address for the books.  Collette says the money will probably be used for white boards, desks and tables for the library.  She tells the paper, “This is so awesome!  I graduated last May, got a job here for the school year, and now this!”

hobermanreaganRemembering Ben Hoberman. Very briefly worded mentions of talk radio pioneer Ben Hoberman‘s passing dotted the internet Saturday and Sunday, but precise details regarding his death are not readily available.  What we do know though is that the longtime ABC Radio executive was 92 when he died on Saturday (5/3).  General consensus within the industry indicates that – with Hoberman at the helm in 1960 – Los Angeles’ KABC-AM was one of the first fulltime talk stations in the country – if not the first.  On John Rook‘s Facebook page, the well-known programmer posted that, “When all of the ABC-owned radio stations were introducing Top 40 programming, [Hoberman] envisioned a new kind of format featuring talk. KABC would become top-rated in Los Angeles for decades, a format that gave birth to KGO’s talk format in San Francisco.  His success elevated him to the presidency of ABC Radio.  Ben Hoberman was a role model for managing radio stations, a total gentleman, and one of the real class guys I have known.  My sincerest condolences to all who mourn his passing.”  In the early-1970s, John Mainelli was a 20-year-old NABET vacation-relief news writer for KABC and the talk radio consultant recounts, “I had just learned what ‘fortnight’ meant and decided to use it in a script the next chance I got.  Mr. Hoberman walked into the newsroom after [KABC morning drive talent] Bob Arthur read the story, saw my name on the filed script, dropped it on my desk and said, ‘If you mean two weeks ago, say it.’  That was ‘Mr. H’ – attention to detail and follow-through.”  Hoberman had been with ABC for close to 40 years, much of that time in Los Angeles, where he had been KABC-AM’s general manager.  He later was based in New York, running the network’s radio division, then consisting of six AM stations and six FM outlets, as well as syndicated programming as “American Top 40” – then hosted by Casey Kasem.  Hoberman, ex-ABC-TV president Elton Rule, and several other investors attempted to raise enough money to take over the entire ABC Radio division.  Hoberman is pictured here at right in an undated photo with President Ronald Reagan.

russochrisSiriusXM’s Chris Russo Stirs Controversy Over Race on Sports Talk Radio.  The flashpoint for a controversy over race and radio was SiriusXM sports talk personality Chris “Mad Dog” Russo’s recent comment to a caller when asked about why there are no black sports talk hosts on his channel.  Russo replied that he has not found one “worthy of doing a national talk show.”  That started a social media flap.  In the New York Daily News’ coverage of the story, Bob Raissman reports that Russo was not apologizing for his comment and told his paper, “The idea that I wouldn’t hire a black talk show host, a Korean talk show host, or a talk show host from Mars is absurd.  If there is any person of any ethnicity who wants to get a job at ‘Mad Dog Radio’ and we feel he or she is capable of doing a national talk show at the highest level, I’d put them on in a second.  Let’s just say we are not being overwhelmed by resumes.”

sabowalterFive Simple Engagement Actions.  Media consultant Walter Sabo, in a column published today (5/5), writes that it’s very important for listeners to feel that your radio station is “special.”  Sabo notes, “It is so important to examine every single second of our programming in every format and ask, ‘How can this be better?’  Too much time is wasted on learning new rules from ‘corporate’ and new organizational structures.  If your company is ‘afraid’ of Pandora and other web companies, the solution is better programming.  It’s always better programming.  Fresh programming ideas come from external sources, solid research and by paying close attention to what audiences do.”  And with that in mind, Sabo offers five ways to better engage your audience.  Read his piece here.

wtmj logoJournal Broadcast Group’s News/Talk WTMJ and Adult Hits WLWK in Milwaukee Honored with WBA Awards.  In the large market category, Journal Broadcast Group’s news/talk WTMJ and adult hits WLWK were recently honored with Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Awards.  WTMJ won the following honors: News & Talk Station of the Year; News Operation of the Year; Best News & Talk Radio Show (AM drive) for “Wisconsin’s Morning News with Gene Mueller”; Best News & Talk Radio Show (9:00 am to 5:00 pm) for “Wisconsin’s Afternoon News with John Mercure”; Best Live On-Scene Reporting, Jodi Becker and the WTMJ News Team (Carroll University Lockdown); Best Spot News, Shooting at Children’s Hospital, WTMJ Radio News Team; Best Feature, “Preserving WWII History,” Erik Bilstad; Best Sportscast, Greg Matzek; Best Continuing Coverage, “Say it Ain’t So, Ryan Braun,” WTMJ Radio News & Sports Team; and Best Use of Audio, “Rain, Rain, Go Away,” Erik Bilstad.  WLWK was honored for: Best Newscast – Music Format, Lake Mornings with Danny Clayton, Vince Vitrano & Andi Miller; Best Promotional Announcement, “Free Fun Night Out,” “The Lake” staff; Best Commercial – Music Station, Flanners/Just Press Play – Jim Gilles; and Best Humorous Commercial Music Station Love Finds A Way – Jim Gilles.

waretreyKTSA, San Antonio Morning Host Trey Ware Mourns Death of 28-Year-Old Son.  At Alpha Media-owned talk outlet KTSA, San Antonio, Trey Ware has handled morning drive for the past 21 years – almost half of his broadcasting career.  But last week Ware and his wife Nancy suffered the devastating loss of their 28-year-old son Justin who died under circumstances that are being kept private at this time.  This is not the first such tragedy for the couple.  Ware and his wife lost their daughter Rebekah in 2009 at age 20.  In the San Antonio Express-News, writer Jeanne Jakle spoke with Ware who said, “We’re taking it day by day, minute by minute, that’s all we can do…They were the only two we had.  April is not a good month for us.  We want to expunge April from the calendar.”  Other KTSA staffers are sitting in for Ware during this time.  Local radio personality Adam McManus has subbed the past few days.

scba logoSCBA Goes on the Offensive in TV vs Radio Ad Spend.  If there’s a radio trade organization doing more to make the case for radio as an advertising vehicle, we’re not aware of it.  The Southern California Broadcasters Association has been very focused on consistently reaching out to the media to present radio’s case versus its competition and in this case, the competitor is TV.  The SCBA is releasing a white paper  titled, “Traditional Appointment Television’s Technology and Viewership Crisis,” and it zeroes in on the decline in appointment viewing replaced by on-demand viewing that largely allows consumers to skip through commercial sets.  SCBA president Thom Callahan states, “The imbalanced ratio of radio to TV ad spending in Southern California is completely unjustified when one looks closely at this SCBA report.  Traditional appointment television is under direct attack from a variety of technology giants such as Google TV, Netflix, Amazon TV, YouTube, Hulu, as well as the ominous DVR.”  Callahan says the report goes on to show that “radio remains the only real time medium with no tape delay or commercial skipping.”  He adds, “Southern California Radio has grown its listenership of Adults 18+ over the past six years by an impressive 7.4% while local general market TV viewership has spiraled downward by -6.5% for early fringe programming and -8.5% for any local news.  We are urging every general market TV advertiser to look at their ad spending and decide if they want to invest in the power of radio and our solid growth trends and commanding reach in Southern California vs. the eroding viewership of traditional appointment TV.”

katzvalleypatriotawardJeff Katz Honored with Journalism Award.  Multi-media personality Jeff Katz was honored recently with an Editor’s Choice Award for his column that appears in the New England-based publication The Valley Patriot.  Katz currently is host of the afternoon drive show at Clear Channel-owned news/talk WRVA, Richmond.  He also writes for the Boston Herald and self-syndicates the nationally distributed “Katz Commentary.”  He is also a public speaker having delivered keynote addresses all over the country.  Katz tells TALKERS all of his media ventures embrace his unique philosophy of life, “Not Left. Not Right. Just Real.”  Katz (left) is pictured here accepting his Editor’s Choice Award from The Valley Patriot publisher Tom Duggan (right).

dickeylewWHcorresSharp-Dressed Men.  The annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner took place in Washington, DC on Saturday evening (5/2) and there was no shortage of media players at the who’s who of news and politics gathering.  Pictured here are (from left to right): Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey; ABC News president James Goldston; and ABC News Radio VP/GM Steve JonesPhoto by Jay Snap, LaDexon Photographie.

Five Simple Engagement Actions

| May 5, 2014

By Walter Sabo
Sabo Media
CEO

 

sabowalterwriterNEW YORK – There are many simple things that radio broadcasters can do to “engage” their listeners and make their stations stand out as being special. Here are five examples to consider:

1. The Radio Cathedral.  In your listener’s mind, the radio station is a community cathedral.  Recently I was talking with a Connecticut cub scout leader. She told me that she was about to take her troup on “their favorite trip.” She explained that they were going on a field trip to build their own radio sets. The kids loved it.

I asked, “At which radio station are you going to do that?”

Read More

The Introverts are Quietly Taking Over the Business World

| April 2, 2014

By Walter Sabo
Sabo Media
CEO

“Quiet people have the loudest minds.”  – Stephen Hawking

sabowalterwriterNEW YORK — Better cash bet? Telephone or telegraph? That was the debate among investment bankers at the turn of the 19th century. A significant portion of the population preferred the written word. They liked the formality, pause and thought of composition. Telephones didn’t let you take back or erase words you regretted.

As the telephone was funded and adopted, extroverts embraced the technology. Extroverts enjoyed talking for hours. They prefer to express themselves spontaneously, passionately. They love group think, brainstorming, team playing, drama in the conference room, public speaking and spontaneity. The phone is made for them.

Read More

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

| April 2, 2014

theblaze logoGlenn Beck’s TheBlaze.com Claims Increased Unique Visitors.  The website that’s a part of Glenn Beck’s digital efforts is growing rapidly, according to the company.  TheBlaze.com reports that, according to data from Omniture, it had its best month ever in March, attracting more than 35 million unique visitors and becoming the 43rd most trafficked site in the U.S.  Further, the company claims the site generated 198.7 million page views in one month.   TheBlaze president and chief content officer Joel Cheatwood comments, “TheBlaze.com’s mix of original reporting and curation has quickly made it one of the leading sites in America.  Editor-in-chief Scott Baker and his team have done a tremendous job and we are proud of how the site continues to grow alongside our TV network.”

opieanthonyOpie & Anthony to Celebrate 20 Years Together at Carolines on Broadway.  The hot talk duo of Greg “Opie” Hughes and Anthony Cumia will celebrate 20 years together on the radio as Opie & Anthony with a special edition of its “Unmasked” comedy series broadcast live from Carolines on Broadway – New York City’s premier stand-up comedy nightclub.  The program – “O&A20: Unmasked” – will air on SiriusXM live at 4:00 pm ET.  SiriusXM president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein says, “We want to toast Opie & Anthony on reaching this milestone and for being one of the most outrageous and daring duos in all of talk radio. SiriusXM has been proud to give Opie & Anthony the freedom to give fans and listeners their intense, edgy talk and uncensored comedy.  We are thrilled to have SiriusXM listeners across the country celebrate their decades in radio with an evening that will be without a doubt an outrageous and unpredictable show.”

daleholley picWEEI, Boston to Stick with Dale Arnold and Michael Holley in PM Drive.  Well, for as long as anything is stuck with in radio these days.  Those are our words, not those of Entercom Boston vice president and market manager Phil Zachary, who tells the Boston Globe that the station is “going forward with Dale and Holley” several weeks after parting ways with Mike Salk, who returned to his adopted hometown of Seattle to serve as program director at KIRO-AM.  Salk and Holley were paired up in afternoon drive for almost a year after Glenn Ordway was ousted from the station (Ordway has subsequently begun his own digital venture SportsTalkBoston that features his “The Big Show Unfiltered” also airing live in PM drive).  Michael Holley and Dale Arnold had been partners in middays on WEEI for almost six years before their show was broken up in 2011 to bring Lou Merloni into middays.  Boston radio observers speculated that WEEI management felt the knowledgeable-but-not-very-hip Arnold is the antithesis of what CBS is doing successfully at rival WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub,” so they took him out of the daily lineup.  Arnold stuck around WEEI hosting weekend shows, sports pre-game programs and doing fill-in work.  Now, Zachary tells the paper, “We will continue to evaluate and enhance the program as we start to get some Nielsen feedback.”

sabowalterSABO: Introverts Are Taking Over the Business World.  Media consultant Walter Sabo asks what kind of workforce are you building with respect to the personality types of staffers?  Are they introverts or extroverts?  Or a mix of the two?  According to Sabo, the different personality types prefer to communicate in different ways – extroverts, verbally and introverts, with the written word.  “An interesting fact about radio stars is that they are shy as hell.  They thrive working alone in a room where they have absolute control of their environment.  They hate to meet new people.”  With emails and texting taking over the way people – yes, especially young people – communicate, it may just be that introverts are taking over the business world.  Read Sabo’s entire column here.

topicpulse logoLDR Interactive Adds Two to TopicPulse Executive Team.  The growing firm LDR Interactive announces two executives join its TopicPulse leadership team.  Hank McMonigle is named vice president, sales for TopicPulse and Dana Hall joins as TopicPulse support and client services manager.  The company says in a statement that McMonigle and Hall will lead client development and service for TopicPulse, its real-time, social media monitoring system for local newsrooms and content producers.  TopicPulse scans social media including Twitter and Facebook, blogs, comment/message boards, and news sources to track trending topics in a local market.  McMonigle comes to LDR Interactive with more than 30 years of experience in the media industry, most recently serving as vice president/general manager at NextMedia Group in Dallas.   Dana Hall is a broadcast and music industry journalist who’s covered formats ranging from urban, hip-hop, gospel, rhythmic, and top 40 for Radio & Records, Billboard, Airplay Monitor, and RadioInfo.  She also programmed urban outlet WILD, Boston.  LDR Interactive CEO, Daniel Anstandig comments, “Hank and Dana bring exceptional talent and perspective to our growing team.  They are media industry thought leaders and relationship builders.  Their enthusiasm for innovation and forward-thinking mindset is already driving TopicPulse’s growth in the days since they’ve joined our team.”

herskovitzalThe 2014 Hersky Award Winners Are Announced.  For the 7th year running, TALKERS magazine is proud to deliver news of the winners of the annual Hersky Awards for talk radio advertising excellence.  Okay, so maybe the Herskys aren’t as big as some other industry awards, but radio pro Al Herskovitz is an accomplished sales pro and a serious observer of today’s radio advertising landscape and, even though we have a little fun with it, his accolades are delivered with utmost sincerity.  Check out his story and why Fox Sports Radio’s Jay Mohr, Compass Media’s Todd Schnitt, Cumulus Media and others are being recognized this year by clicking here.

Lionel largeCatching Up with Lionel:  One of Talk Radio’s True Originals Performing at the Top of His Game in Experimental Radio Space.  One of the most unique and original performers to grace the airwaves during talk radio’s modern era is a quirky former trial lawyer, prosecutor and talk show caller from Tampa, Florida named Michael William Lebron who is known in his many media-related activities (radio, television, books, live performances) by the professional name “Lionel.”  As Lionel, he has enjoyed a stellar career as a talk show host on such great call letters was WABC and WOR in New York, WFLA, Tampa as well as in national syndication on such networks as the WOR Radio Network and Air America.  He even hosted a cool show on Court TV.  These days he is familiar to New York television viewers as a commentator and legal analyst for WPIX-TV Channel 11 and to the elite audience of industry professionals and hard core talk show fanatics glued to TalkersRadio – the “experimental talk radio space” operated by TALKERS magazine on its website (www.talkers.com) as a laboratory for new ideas and formats for the industry.  It is within this endeavor that Lionel has begun raising eyebrows and is receiving praise fortalkersradio logo having delivered some of his most remarkable spoken-word performances to date.  In the words of TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, “When Lionel is left to his own on-air devices and not squished into an existing talk ‘format,’ ‘formula’ or cookie-cutter political ideology, he is capable of creating a level of compelling content the quality of which we haven’t heard since the days of Jean Shepherd.  All we have done at TalkersRadio is encourage him to do whatever he wants and as a result we have benefited from the brilliant results of that strategy.  What he does for us would fit any talk format out there today if the programmers didn’t ‘try to make it fit’ what they think is the only way to make talk radio work.”  In a new feature story written by TALKERS managing editor/West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian posted today (3/31), we look back at the amazing career of this most unusual talk show host, tap into his views and opinions about the state of the format, and reveal his hopes for the future.  To read the entire piece, please click here.

comrexpilotComrex to Unveil New Streaming Appliance at NAB Show.  For broadcasters involved in streaming content and who may be attending the NAB Show in Las Vegas, a visit to the Comrex Corporation booth will be informative.  There, the company will introduce the new P1L0T IP Streaming Server.  The company states that P1L0T is a dedicated streaming appliance designed with hardened Linux-based hardware and software.  There are no moving parts…not even a fan. AES3 and analog balanced inputs, special audio processing options enhanced for streaming and an intuitive web-based interface are included.  P1L0T can deliver your source stream to any SHOUTcast/lcecast-based streaming server and, given enough bandwidth, can deliver 100 streams directly to listeners.  Listeners connecting to your audio stream have a choice of formats, either HE-AAC, Opus or MP3 because P1L0T is capable of encoding in each mode simultaneously.  P1L0T is a compact unit occupying 1/2 U of rack space, at a very low cost.  The Comrex booth will be #C2221 in the Central Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

foxCDBOdds & Sods.  A new album featuring the songs of Bob Dylan has been released by the Charlie Daniels Band titled Off the Grid and Charlie Daniels visited the Fox News Radio studios in New York City to promote the record.  Daniels (right) is pictured here with Fox News Radio morning anchor Dave Anthony (left) who is sporting Daniels’ hat for the photo…..Last week TALKERS announced CBS News Radio was recognized with National Headliner Awards.  This week, we have two more to announce.  Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington wins seven National Headliner Awards including first place in the Newscast, News Series and Website categories.  Also The Wall Street Journal Radio Network is honored with two National Headliner Awards.  “Wall Street Journal This Morning with Gordon Deal” takes 3rd place in the Breaking News Category and MarketWatch.com Radio is recognized with a 2nd place finish in the Radio Affiliated Website category…..Chicago Public Media, which operates WBEZ, Chicago, announces Goli Sheikholeslami is named the new president and CEO of the organization.  She most recently served as chief product officer at Everyday Health but also served with the Washington Post, leading the digital division.

kars4kidsSometimes It Is Fool’s Gold.  Despite how perceptive you might think you are, or the conscientious pains you take to be aware, there is still a better-than-average chance you were duped about something yesterday – even if it was for a split-second.  It is a national pastime and we are not talking about the beginning of the baseball season.  Hopefully, the intention is always harmless, yet inevitably, something a bit wonky can happen when the calendar flips to the first day of April.  Okay – more specifically – countless on-air April Fool’s Day pranks were hatched yesterday; here is a quick look at two of them – one nationally and the other on a local level. Registered 501(c)3 nonprofit car donation charity Kars4Kids changed their long-running radio jingle, although listeners of more than 50 stations in 14 markets wondered if they were hearing correctly when they heard the new “message.”  The radio spot indicated Kars4Kids is launching a new division – Kids4Kars.  The kid donation program supposedly provides free pickup of all donations of kids and offers a free lifetime vacation to donors in return.  Kars4Kids spokesperson Morris Franco alleges that, “We had been getting requests for this service on social media and from callers for years. People would call up saying they have a kid they would like to donate and wondered what they can get in return.  After we got enough of these parents calling, we realized that there was a real need for kid donation that wasn’t being filled by anyone else, so we decided to step up to the plate.”  Prospective donors were directed to the charity’s website, where they could “submit a donation” by using an online form.  The website stated the program could “accept kids up to age 12 in any condition, provided the donor is the child’s legal parent.” Anyone getting to the confirmation part would receive an “April Fool’s” statement, followed by, “Your kids are worth more than you think.”  According to a Boston Medical Center study, 73% of parents pay more attention to their mobile phones than to their children during mealtime.  The Kids4Kars campaign encourages parents to ignore their devices during times reserved for their children.  “We felt we needed to hit hard to get the gravity ofchazandaj the message across,” Franco states. “With the increasing temptations of our mobile devices, it is harder and harder to stay focused on our children.  The shock value of an April Fool’s prank allowed us to wake parents up to the damage they can do to their children by focusing on their devices instead of their kids.”  It is estimated that this particular stunt reached at least 50 million people.  Meanwhile in Connecticut, Chaz & AJ – the morning team at Connoisseur Media‘s WPLR, New Haven “Connecticut’s #1 Rock Station” and co-owned classic rock WFOX, Stamford-Norwalk “The Fox,” reported that state taxpayers could double their tax rebate check from $55 to $110 by registering with a new database program instituted by the Department of Revenue Service.  According to Chaz, it was difficult to establish the exact number of calls the stations received, especially since, “The high volume that came in ultimately caused the phone system to crash.  We did not think it would generate that many calls.”  Shortly after 9:00 am, the morning duo fielded a call from the Governor’s office and Chaz points out, “They complained that the revenue department was overwhelmed with phone calls – they were not happy.”  A voicemail message declared it was an April Fool’s Day joke, but the Department of Revenue Services received calls about the supposed “rebate” throughout the day.

ObamaCare Criticism, Global Warming Debate, Ryan Budget Cuts, Benghazi Hearing, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Investigation, Russian Aggression, and MLB Season Opens Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/1).  Scrutiny of the White House’s claim that the Affordable Care Act has reached its stated goals; renewed debate over the theory of man-made climate change; Rep. Paul Ryan’s proposal to cut $5 trillion from the proposed federal budget; today’s House Intelligence Committee hearing at which former deputy CIA director Michael Morell will testify on the Benghazi case; new conflicting information about Malaysia Airlines Flight 370’s last communications and a renewed criminal investigation; Russia’s aggression in Ukraine; and the opening of the 2014 Major League Baseball season were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, February 28, 2014

| February 28, 2014

salemcommunicationsSalem Communications Posts Q4 2013 Revenue Increase of 3.4%; Broadcast Up 1%.  Digital was the key to Salem Communications’ 2013 fourth quarter revenue increase of 3.4% for the company as a whole.  The broadcast sector was up 1% on revenue of $47.4 million and broadcast makes up about 60% of the company’s revenue.  The company’s publishing sector was flat while internet and e-commerce was up 16.6%.  Salem’s outlook for the first quarter of 2014 projects “total revenue to increase 9% to 11% over the first quarter 2013 total revenue of $55.6 million.  The company is also projecting operating expenses before gains or losses on the sale or disposal of assets, impairments and stock-based compensation expense to increase 13% to 16% as compared to the first quarter of 2013 operating expenses of $48.2 million.  This guidance includes the impact of the hiring of two new senior executives and the financial performance for the recent acquisition of Eagle Publishing.  The guidance for the first quarter contemplates a loss of $0.4 million due to the assumption of some unfavorable contracts that will rapidly unwind and the fact that the first quarter is always a soft quarter in the book publishing business with the big titles being released in the spring and in the fall.”

nielsen logoNielsen Study Ties Station Choice to Buying Behavior.  In a release from Nielsen about its recent major market pilot test, the company says that “for the first time, a connection can be drawn between what consumers listen to on the radio and how they spend.  This solidifies radio’s place as a valuable marketing platform for advertisers and media planners.  The major market pilot test combined proprietary Nielsen data with anonymized panelist credit and debit card purchasing behavior covering more than 24 billion transactions and $2 trillion in annual sales primarily from the retail, travel, digital, restaurant, entertainment, financial services and telecom categories.”  Results from the Dallas market, for example, show that listeners to pop radio spend more per buyer annually on casual dining than those listeners who prefer other formats.  In the same market, rock and alternative listeners spend more per buyer annually in retail locations than listeners who prefer other formats.  News/talk listeners, the study showed, go to the movies more each year that do listeners of other formats.  Nielsen SVP of local media product leadership Farshad Family says, “The ability to determine how radio listeners among different formats like pop, news or rock are spending their dollars creates a unique opportunity for radio broadcasters to make a case for the value of their audience.  We are just beginning to tell the story about the value of radio’s audience.  As we make progress on conducting more links between listening data and purchase data, we will continue to share more insights with the marketplace.”

ordwayglennOrdway’s ‘Big Show Unfiltered’ to Begin Next Month.  Longtime Boston sports talk radio host Glenn Ordway is returning with a daily, 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm program (“Big Show Unfiltered”), which will be heard via his SportstalkBoston.com website and on mobile devices.  “I am so thrilled to once again be talking local sports in my hometown with the best fans in America,” comments Ordway, who presided over “The Big Show” for 27 years on Entercom-owned Boston sports outlet WEEI.  “I look forward to presenting an alternative in the market that will feature the best of the past with some new, innovative elements and voices.  There is no reason to hold anything back anymore – it is all unfiltered.”  The renamed “Big Show Unfiltered” is set to begin in about two weeks (Monday, March 17) and it will include similar components from his WEEI program, such as “The Whiner Line.”  It is believed that down the road, Ordway is planning to have his program air on a terrestrial radio network comprised of New England affiliates.  Boston native Mike Salk, who co-hosted a program on Seattle’s KIRO-AM since 2009, replaced Ordway in afternoon drive on WEEI-FM alongside Michael Holley.  Ordway’s final show on WEEI-FM was in mid-February of last year.

loganleeLogan Exits Shane Media.  Stating on his Facebook page that he thought he’d “spend the rest of my working days in this chair at Shane Media,” Lee Logan says the fiscal realities of the industry have him exiting the consulting company and looking for his next great opportunity.  Logan had been with Shane for the past seven years and was instrumental in assisting Radio One put its all-news format on KROI, Houston “News 92 FM.”

aalderstimFreedom’s Voice Broadcasting to Purchase Dark KPTO, Pocatello for $75K.  The principal of Freedom’s Voice Broadcasting is Tim Aalders who hosts the “Freedom’s Voice” talk show heard on United Broadcasting Company’s KTKK, Salt Lake City.  Ted Austin’s Main Street Broadcasting is the seller for the signal that is currently dark.  Aalders plans to expand the reach of his programming into the southeastern Idaho market.  This is no announced timetable for KPTO going back on the air.

sabowalterIf Weekends Were Weekdays?  Hey, They Are!  That so many talk-formatted stations air infomercials on weekends is not news – nor is the programming-versus-sales paradigm so prevalent at many of these stations.  Media consultant Walter Sabo says a little-known truth in the business is that Saturday midday is an indicative daypart and the second highest Homes Using Radio daypart.  What could this mean to your talk station?  Read Walter Sabo’s latest column here to find out.

hcsmithOdds & Sods. The New York Festivals World’s Best Radio Programs announces the appointment of Michael Freedman, senior vice president and professor at University of Maryland University College to the New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards Advisory Board and GrandJury panel.  NYF executive director Rose Anderson comments, “Michael Freedman brings over 35 years of broadcast journalism experience to his role as Advisory Board and GrandJury member.  His creative vision and reputation within the industry will be a tremendous asset.”…..ESPN O&O WEPN-AM, New York “ESPN Deportes Nueva York” will continue to air New York Mets play-by-play in Spanish as the team and rights owner Clear Channel (English-language games will be heard on WOR) agree to continue the broadcasts through the 2016 season…..Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington announces the addition of an entertainment section to its WTOP.com site with WTOP.com staffer Alicia Lozano named editor for the section.  Director of digital media John Meyer comments, “As WTOP evolves into a digital news operation, we are continuing to dedicate resources to original digital content that will feed not only our website but also our radio and mobile platforms.  The Washington area is rife with local stories concerning the arts, music, movies and more.  Our entertainment section will bring these stories to life online and on-air.”…..Media consultant Holland Cooke (pictured above at left in the WABC, New York studios with host Laura Smith) is appearing on WABC, New York this weekend on “Saturday Café with Laura Smith.”  Cooke, who also blogs at his SurvivalSpeech.com, will offer “9 Tips For YOUR Academy Awards Acceptance Speech.”

herskovitzmediaroundtableThe Media Roundtable.  TALKERS and RadioInfo sales and marketing specialist Al Herskovitz (standing) was a recent speaker at the Media Roundtable in Sarasota, Florida.  His subject was “The Current State of Radio Broadcasting.”  The Media Roundtable conducts a monthly meeting that brings together media executives and active participants from all types of media: radio, TV, cable, internet, newspapers, magazines, publishing, motion pictures, theatre arts.  The purpose of the group is to review current and future news and developments in the media with an interchange of opinions and questions by those in attendance.  The Media Roundtable originated in 1950 in New York City and moved to Florida in 1991 and is unique in the United States.  It currently is chaired and managed by longtime TV executive Irwin Starr.  While there are some 300+ active members, the luncheon sessions are limited to the first 50 who make reservations.  Pictured here with Herskovitz are Starr at far left and media broker Burt Sherwood, second from left.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  The Envision Networks-syndicated “America Weekend” talk show featuring Paul Harris, Turi Ryder, Rob Carson and other personalities, is added to the program schedule at Ohana Media Group’s KAST, Astoria, Oregon.

‘Religious Rights’ Legislation Top News/Talk Story for Week of February 24-28.  The story of Arizona Governor Jan Brewer’s veto of a “religious rights” bill that would have allowed businesses to discriminate against customers based on religious beliefs was the most-talked-about issue of the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act.  Following at #3 was the political unrest in Crimea and Ukraine and the U.S.-Russia tensions accompanying it.  And at #4 was the 2016 presidential race, Hillary Clinton’s prospects and the looming mid-term elections this fall.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

If Weekends were Weekdays?
Hey, they ARE!

| February 28, 2014

By Walter Sabo
Sabo Media
CEO
sabowalterwriterNEW YORK — No station consulted by Sabo Media has ever had paid-for programming on the weekend. Paid-for programming destroys weekday revenue by suppressing audience and aging demos.

The core issue is that Saturday middays is the second highest Homes Using Radio daypart. By default it’s vital.

There is a little known trend indicator that reveals how vital weekends are to weekdays. In diary markets, Saturday midday is predictive of the next rating period. If Saturday midday is up compared to weekdays, the next -overall- rating period will be up. If it is down, the next -overall- period will be down.

Bart Walsh, a very smart radio manager (formerly WKYS-FM, Washington, DC) taught me that.

Read More

5 Things to Do Today to Improve PPM Performance

| February 26, 2014

By Walter Sabo
Sabo Media
Chairman
NEW YORK — Most talk stations are scheduled rather than programmed.  When I talk to talent they always say, “No one has taught me anything.  No coaching.”
When I meet with most GMs their common complaint is, “The PD doesn’t meet with the talent.”

These five upgrades to your on-air work will improve your PPM performance and it’s what I would hound you about if I was your program director:

Read More

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

| February 26, 2014

waldengregCongressman Greg Walden Intends to Kill FCC’s Critical Information Needs Study.  It wouldn’t be out of line to suggest Oregon Congressman Greg Walden doesn’t trust the FCC not to step over the line regarding its Critical Information Needs study.  The controversial study would send researchers into the field to determine how stations and news personnel are choosing and presenting news and information and whether the conclusions reached somehowfccnew create a barrier to entry into station ownership for minorities.  Last week, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler backed off the study as initially created and he has said the Commission has no intention of regulating the content of journalists or broadcasters.  Walden is promising to craft legislation to end the CIN study permanently.  He says “The very existence of this CIN study is an affront to the First Amendment and should have never been proposed in the first place.  As someone with a journalism degree, I was alarmed from the moment I saw it, which is why we wrote to Chairman Wheeler in December to urge him to stop the study.  To date, Chairman Wheeler has insisted upon only making small tweaks, and what he has proposed to do isn’t enough.  The study should be eradicated completely.  The potential for violation of the First Amendment is exceptionally egregious, but it is also concerning that the commission believes it can prescribe what ‘critical information needs’ are in communities across the country.”

wnymlogoSalem Names Joe Piscopo Permanent Morning Host at WNYM, New York.  Former “Saturday Night Live” cast member, comic and actor Joe Piscopo has been sitting in hosting the morning show on Salem Communications’ WNYM, New York “AM 970 The Answer” since the beginning of the year.  Now the company makes it official as he’s named morning host of “Piscopo in the Morning.”  He is joined on the air by morningpiscopojoe show producer Frank Morano and newsman Al Gatullo.  Salem VP/director of spoken word format Phil Boyce says, “One of the best things I get to do in this job is find talented people who have accomplished something on one stage and are ready to take on another one.  Joe is extremely talented on the radio, bringing a level of entertainment to mix with the information that you seldom get to hear.  This is a very connected morning show in the nation’s top market.”  Piscopo has been involved in a variety of projects since he left SNL, and still does a number of nationwide tours with former cast members. In addition to numerous movie appearances, and comedy club gigs, he is soon to be featured in a national reality TV show for a major network.  He comments, “I have my college degree in broadcasting.  I remain a dedicated student of the most intimate medium, radio.  And with legendary broadcast giants like GM Jerry Crowley and current day guru of all radio personalities past and present, Phil Boyce, this is the positively perfect storm of talk radio.  I honestly believe that this is not only the reinvention, renaissance and revitalization of AM radio, (not to mention a totally new and exciting journey of my career) but the best thing to happen to NY radio since David Sarnoff.”  Crowley says, “We have had a huge positive reaction to Joe, both from listeners and advertisers, since he joined us. This is going to be a true home run.”

sabowalterImprove Your PPM Performance.  Media consultant Walter Sabo offers five quick tips for improving your talk radio station’s performance in PPM (or frankly, any) markets.  Sabo writes that one of the biggest gripes from general managers at stations which he consults is that the program director doesn’t coach the talent.  That can lead to bad habits.  To read his quick five-point prescription for getting on the track to better audience engagement, click here.

casonbrittneyWFNZ, Charlotte’s Brittney Cason Tells Chilling Tale of Narrow Escape from Human Trafficking Ring.  There’s no word how far the FBI is in its investigation of what happened – or almost happened – to media personality and WFNZ, Charlotte air talent Brittney Cason, but as the former NFL cheerleader writes in a column on XOJane.com, her dashed dream to cover the Sochi Olympics turned out to be a probable life-saving event.  You can read her story here, but here’s a summary: After being recruited to cover the Winter Games by whom Cason thought was a legitimate agent, Cason discovered through her own dogged pursuit of answers to questions that bugged her that the man pretending to be an agent was likely involved in a human trafficking ring operating around the Sochi Games.  Cason notes that one of the most common pretenses for abducting women for trafficking purposes is a modeling gig.  Cason’s experience in the broadcasting and modeling business may have saved her life.

reckfordlauraCape Cod Broadcasting Names Reckford News Director.  General manager Beverly Tilden announces that Cape Cod Broadcasting is naming Laura Reckford news director for the company.  Tilden says, “Cape Cod Broadcasting has been a trusted resource for local Cape Cod news and information.  Laura’s experience and leadership will assure that we continue that tradition as we grow and expand our news offerings.”  Reckford most recently worked in the communications & development department at Housing Assistance Corporation.  She is also the founder of the new online magazine CapeCodWave.com where she currently is editor and publisher.  Cape Cod Broadcasting says it will partner with CapeCodWave.com as part of its development of its website CapeCod.com.  She has worked at Cape Cod Life as managing editor and served with The Falmouth Enterprise in the same capacity.  She began her media career in New York City at Entertainment Weekly, Good Housekeeping, Viacom and 20th Century Fox.  Reckman comments, “After working in film, television, magazines, and newspapers, I am excited to be working in radio, a medium I have long admired.  In addition, I am looking forward to bringing local journalism to CapeCod.com and also enhancing that website with the magazine-style journalism of Cape Cod Wave.”

herskovitzalPolitical Ad Season Is for Everyone.  Media sales maven Al Herskovitz, president of H-and-H Broadcasting, writes about the already-upon-us political advertising season and what radio stations can do to get their fair share of the pie.  Herskovitz notes that political is a busy category at major and large market stations but that smaller market stations and shows that may have considered themselves too small or “unconnected” can follow some strategies to make sure they are exhausting all possible sources of revenue in this category.  Read Herskovitz’s column here.

deanmichaelwDean Adds Nightly Show to GCN Lineup.  “Freedom Feens” co-host Michael W. Dean is hosting his own nightly show distributed by Genesis Communications Network beginning Monday, March 10.  In addition to the weekly “Freedom Feens” program he hosts with Neema Vedadi, “Michael Dean After Dark” will air from 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight PT.  Dean says the program will feature him and a rotating cast of co-hosts for the two-hour show.

komandotvWeighing in on Net Neutrality.  Nationally syndicated talk show host, columnist and digital expert Kim Komando (right) is seen here in this screen shot during an appearance on the Fox Business Network’s “The Willis Report” hosted by Gerri Willis (left).  During the segment, Komando discussed the net neutrality issue and a potential deal between Netflix and AT&T for faster download speeds.

Arizona Religious Rights Bill, ObamaCare Criticism, Hagel Army Reduction Plan, Defense of Marriage Laws Controversy, Bitcoin Exchange Troubles, and Ukraine Turmoil-Russian Influence Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/25).  The controversy over the Arizona bill that would allow business owners to discriminate against customers based on their own religious beliefs; the plan of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to downsize the Army to its lowest level since after WWII; the edict from Attorney General Eric Holder that state attorneys general do not have to enforce “defense of marriage” laws; the question of the solvency of bitcoin exchange Mt.Gox; and the political turmoil in the Ukraine and Russia’s influence in the region were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Eight Realities of 2014: Perspective and Predictions

| January 16, 2014

By Walter Sabo
Sabo Media
CEO

sabowalterwriterNEW YORK – Here are some thoughts that I hope you find useful as we begin another pivotal year:

1. HD radio is going to explode. The management of iBiquity has achieved remarkable acceptance for HD by the auto industry with over 16 million installs.  HD is radio’s best real estate grab for the connected dash. The key, as always, is the show. (Sorry, the word “content” remains disgusting. It’s a show.)  HD is not about fidelity or graphics – it’s a new stage for new, audience captivating shows.

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Thursday, January 16, 2014

| January 16, 2014

cclogoTerrible News:  Clear Channel Managers Slashing Another 5%.  Numerous reliable sources throughout the radio industry are saying Clear Channel Media + Entertainment market managers are under the gun to find another 5% of their budgets they can trim to come into compliance with the corporate dictate.  What was rumored just a week or so ago appears to be true and as positions at CC-owned stations are eliminated over the coming weeks and months we’ll see what departments are going to feel it the most.  Regular readers of TALKERS are aware of the on-air positions that have been cut and industry watchers say some of the most obvious solutions in the programming departments at stations are: double-duty for talk hosts (two shows per day), voice tracking multiple dayparts for jocks, and the importation of national shows such as Bobby Bones for country outlets and Elvis Duran for CHR stations, which greatly reduces the money spent on morning shows.

bubbaBubba the (Country) Love Sponge?  No name change is impending but Florida-based hot talk star Bubba the Love Sponge is reporting success as morning show host at Asterisk Communication’s country duo WTRS-FM, Dunnellon and WYGC, High Springs “My Country” in the Ocala and Gainesville markets, respectively.  Bubba reports he’s thankful to station management for taking a chance on his show on a country outlet.  His Bubba Radio Network reports “WTRS-FM moved from 12th to 4th place with Men age 25-54, an all-time high for the station.  Bubba was very excited and thankful that women have taken to his program so well.  ‘You ladies get what’s hot and new and we love you for that.’  The Bubba the Love Sponge syndicated morning show also proudly reports it currently ranks top three Men 25-54 and top five Persons 25-54 in all markets it currently airs.  Bubba expresses interest in working with additional program directors to bring his program to country and urban format stations.”

callahanthomSCBA Reports 6.3% Revenue Surge in December.  The latest figures from Miller Kaplan Arase are giving the Southern California Broadcasters Association reason to cheer and the organization announces the Los Angeles radio market “enjoyed a robust 6.3% growth rate for the month of December 2013.”  SCBA president Thom Callahan states, “December was a great month for our region as we were finally out from under the political comps from 2012 and the market flexed its true revenue muscles as only Southern California Radio can.  All key revenue segments posted impressive gains: local and national spot combined was up 3.6%; digital posted an impressive 20.7% gain; and NTR/network was up 19.6%.”  For the 12 months ending December 2013, total market revenue growth was 1%, according to Miller Kaplan Arase.  Callahan says he’s more optimistic about the region than the 1% hike indicates.  “In our view, our real growth rate for 2013 was 4.4%, when factoring out 2012’s huge political revenue of $20.5 million.  It’s more than fair to deduct those comps, which are never a true indicator of market growth or the health of our business.  Political revenue on a YTD basis is not an apples to apples comparison.  As any station will tell you, it’s impossible to replace $20.5 million in 12 months, yet these incomplete YTD revenue comparisons continue.  These lopsided revenue reports help feed the misguided narrative that radio is a legacy medium, and nothing, I repeat nothing, is further from the truth.”

nymrad logoNew York Market Boasts 6% Revenue Hike in 2013; 5% in December.  On the Right Coast, the New York Market Radio Association reports that not only was its December up – 5.3% for all revenue – the year was way up over 2012 notching a 6% increase in total revenue.  The NYMRAD says for the month of December 2013, total revenues, including total spot, digital, and network/NTR/other, were up 5.3%.  For the 12 months ending December 2013, market growth was up across all sectors: +5.6% for local spot, +5.1% for national spot, +5.5% for total spot and +6.0% for grand total market revenue.  NYMRAD executive director Debbie Beagan comments, “New York radio is healthy, vibrant, and strong.  Advertisers and their agencies are investing in our medium and utilizing radio’s audio, online, mobile, and social platforms to reach engaged and loyal listeners.  The robust revenue results for the 2013 and December position the market well as we head into 2014.”

sabowalterSabo:  HD Radio Is Going to Explode.  In a new opinion column posted today (1/16) in TALKERS, noted consultant Walter Sabo makes eight predictions pertaining to the radio industry for 2014.  They include his prognostication that it will be a good year for HD based on iBiquity’s claim of 16 million automobile installs, stating “HD is radio’s best real estate grab for the connected dash.”  He also comments on the immediate future of websites and social media as well as the difference between corporate debt and personal debt.  To read Sabo’s entire piece, please click here.

bergensamCreative Advisory Council Scholarship Winner Announced.  The Berlin School of Creative Leadership and Clear Channel Media + Entertainment are announcing Sam Bergen, SVP and creative director of Deutsch Inc., is the winner of the Berlin School’s “Clear Channel Scholarship for Leadership in Audio Innovation” program.  Bergen will receive a full-tuition scholarship (worth 53,000 Euro) to attend the Berlin School’s prestigious Global Executive MBA in Creative Leadership Program starting in March of this year.  The Berlin School and Clear Channel’s recently formed Creative Advisory Council (CAC), featuring advertising thought leaders who focus on the development of innovative approaches to the audio and out-of-home media landscape, reviewed over 40 entrants from more than 20 countries around the world, based on their professional and academic profile, as well as their response to a special essay question about innovative audio strategies.  Berlin School of Creative Leadership founding president Michael Conrad states, “We are pleased to welcome Sam Bergen into our Executive MBA program.  Focused on leading radio and audio commerce to the forefront of media thinking, the Berlin School-Clear Channel scholarship drew an amazing amount of high-quality applications from around the world.  We were extremely impressed by the caliber of applications as well as the many compliments applicants had of our young school.  We thank Clear Channel for this exciting and collaborative opportunity.”  CC’s Bob Pittman adds, “Driving education and awareness on the value audio advertising offers is a key initiative for us.  We are proud to work with the Berlin School and our new Creative Council to award this scholarship to the audio industry’s next creative innovator.  Sam Bergen distinguished himself among a very elite group of applicants and I am confident that with his continued development at the Berlin School, Sam will be a trailblazer on the media landscape for both audio and out-of-home.”

radioioDigital Pure Play Radioio Takes RDIO Stock Ticker in Post-Merger Organization.  The digital music service Radioio – operated by Radioio Inc. – is being traded under the new stock ticker RDIO on the OTC market.  The merger resulted in the company’s name being changed from ioWorldMedia, Incorporated to Radioio, Inc.  In a statement, the company’s board of directors says it believes that the name change is consistent with the direction of the company. President and CEO Zach McAdoo says, “Radioio is a marquee name and brand of great distinction.”  He added that RDIO is a fitting ticker symbol for the company’s new name.

14mirrorawardsDeadline for Newhouse School’s ’14 Mirror Awards is February 14.  The Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University’s ’14 Mirror Awards is accepting entries through February 14.  The Mirror Awards competition for “media covering media” – established in 2006 by the Newhouse School – “honor the reporters, editors and teams of writers who ‘hold a mirror to their own industry’ for the public’s benefit.  They are the most important awards for recognizing excellence in media industry reporting.”  The competition is open to anyone who conducts reporting, commentary or criticism of the media industries in a format intended for a mass audience.  Eligible work includes print, broadcast and online editorial content focusing on the development or distribution of news and entertainment.  All entries must have been published or broadcast between January 1 and December 31, 2013.  Entries are evaluated based on three criteria: Excellence of craft; framing of the issue; and appropriateness for the intended audience. Winners are chosen by a group of journalists and journalism educators.  An awards ceremony will be held in June 2014 in New York City.  For more information, click here.

russochrisChris “Mad Dog” Russo to Host History of New York NFL Championship Games Special.  For those who are critical of the NFL’s decision to locate the Super Bowl in chilly New York (okay, New Jersey) this year, some may not be aware that this will not be the first championship that ever took place in the New York area.  SiriusXM’s Chris “Mad Dog” Russo will host “Deep Freeze: A History of NFL Championship Games in New York,” a special broadcast to air first on Tuesday, January 21 with encore airings to follow.  Special guests on the program will include NFL greats Frank Gifford, Paul Hornung, Jerry Kramer, Raymond Berry, plus more.  The three-hour special will focus in-depth on four of the most memorable championships in NFL history – played in 1934, 1956, 1958 and 1962.

Obama Executive Order Threat, Chris Christie Scandal, ObamaCare Criticism, GOP IRS Investigation Push, New Mexico School Shooting/Indiana Grocery Slayings, and ‘Duck Dynasty’ Returns Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/15).  The statement from President Obama about using executive orders to accomplish his administration’s goals; the aftermath of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s lane closure scandal; criticism of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act; the effort by GOP members of Congress to investigate the process by which the IRS is being scrutinized for allegedly targeting conservative organizations; the school shooting in New Mexico and the double murder at a grocery store in Indiana; and the debut of the new season of “Duck Dynasty” were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

The Miracle of ‘A Christmas Story’

| January 2, 2014
By Walter Sabo
Sabo Media
Chairman
 
sabowriterNEW YORK — The movie, “A Christmas Story,” is based on the synthesis of dozens of radio monologues created and delivered by Jean Shepherd.  Jean broadcast on WOR New York from 1958-1975.  His nightly monologues were not bedtime stories.  They were subversive proclamations, challenging authority wrapped in imagery of American traditions.  You can hear off-the-board airchecks of Shepherd here: http://www.flicklives.com/
 
Jean 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.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

| December 12, 2013

quinnandrose‘Quinn & Rose’ Honor Commitments, Forge Ahead in Post-WPGB Career.  Pittsburgh-based talk radio morning show “Quinn & Rose” – Jim Quinn and Rose Tennent – are not looking back after their 10-year relationship with Clear Channel’s news/talk WPGB, Pittsburgh ended last month.  As TALKERS managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian notes in his story about the duo published today (12/12), not only are Quinn and Tennent continuing to operate their web base warroom.com, they are honoring commitments to listeners, charities and businesses made before their exit from the radio station.  They have also been keeping in touch via social media with many of their P1s who’ve rallied around the duo.  Tennent says, “I thought that I knew our audience was loyal – but I never knew just how loyal and passionate they were about the show. They really seem to care about what is happening to us personally. I am very moved by the response.”  Read more about Jim Quinn and Rose Tennent here.

cookehollandLife After Arbitron: Day One.  Media consultant and TALKERS magazine contributor Holland Cooke reports in from the first day of the Nielsen Audio Client Conference & Jacobs Media Summit in Baltimore.  Presentations focused on operating radio stations in a multi-platform universe; the importance of solving the problem of competing for ad dollars against media that can provide specific data; and the use of social media.  Check out Holland Cooke’s report here.

theblaze logoYear-End Special Available from Premiere and TheBlaze.  Premiere Networks announces the availability of an exclusive, three-hour radio special, “TheBlaze: The Year in Your Ear,” – a comprehensive review of 2013 featuring different perspectives from the hosts and writers of TheBlaze, Glenn Beck’s news, information and entertainment network.   The company states, “From the government shutdown and North Korea missile threats, to the Boston Marathon bombings and the George Zimmerman trial, listeners will be treated to a recap of the biggest national events, news headlines and stories that shaped America in 2013.”  Premiere reports the show is already cleared on KOA, Denver; WOAI, San Antonio; WPGB, Pittsburgh; KPRC, Houston; and KNRS, Salt Lake City, to name a few.  It’s available for air between 12/25 and 1/5/14.

sabowalterThe $1.4 Billion Mystery: What Do Women Want?  According to Sabo Media chairman Walter Sabo, the talk radio industry continues its modern era tradition of turning down a significant piece of the $1.4 billion advertising budget spent annually by the advertising community on female-targeted talk television.  In a newly-posted article, Sabo writes these TV programs discuss:

– Relationships

– Celebrity gossip

– Diet & exercise

– Personal finance

– Parenting

– Balancing home and work

– Shopping

To read Walter Sabo’s entire piece, please click here.

dryerfredFred Dryer to Appear in TV Series.  CRN Digital Talk Radio personality Fred Dryer (also a former pro football star and a seasoned actor) will appear in a recurring role in the NBC series “Crisis.”  Dryer hosts a weekly talk show for CRN called “The PM Show with Fred Dryer” that airs Wednesdays at 7:00 pm ET.  CRN CEO Mike Horn says, “Fred is such a talented, multi-faceted actor.  He’s also a great guy – so as fans of his work and him as a person, we’re very excited.”  Dryer plays Thomas Jefferson Smith, a powerful, confident and wise CIA agent who, despite being in his 60s, can still kick butt.  The Rand Ravich thriller centers on Washington’s most powerful players pulled into an international conspiracy.  To bring the most powerful people in the world to their knees, the conspirator must threaten what everyone holds most dear. The “Crisis” cast includes other stars such as Dermot Mulroney, Gillian Anderson, Rachael Taylor and James Lafferty.

salemcommunicationsSalem Communications Spotlighted by Bloomberg Businessweek.  The business-focused publication shines a spot on Salem Communications after its recently announced purchase of Twitchy.com from conservative media figure Michelle Malkin.  The piece notes that the company is using profits from its radio assets to fund acquisition of digital properties and that fits with its conservative political philosophy.  Felix Gillette writes, “The move may signal that the same forces currently driving consolidation in the digital news industry at large are starting to gain momentum among the ranks of conservative news publishers online.  Since the advent of the internet, a diverse constellation of conservative news outlets has sprung up across the country, creating a rich buffet for GOP-loving readers – and a major logistical challenge for the advertisers hoping to reach them.  In theory, bringing more of the sites under a smaller number of roofs will appeal to the ad buyers who oversee rising digital marketing budgets while simultaneously providing cost savings for the publishers. Thus, the increasing pressure to consolidate.”  The piece reports that in fiscal 2012 Salem “generated $108 million of gross profit on $229 million of revenue.  Of the company’s operating income, significantly more came from its radio group ($47 million) than from its websites ($3.7 million).”  It also points to Politico which says it hears Salem is in talks to buy Eagle Publishing – owner imprints Regnery Publishing, Regnery History, Eagle Financial Publications as well as digital destinations RedState.com and MarkSkousen.com.

ObamaCare Criticism, Budget Deal/GOP Stalls on Nominees, Mandela Tribute Sign Interpreter Controversy, and Obama Selfie-Flirting Flap Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/11).  Scrutiny of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act and criticism of HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius; the budget deal and the Republicans’ stall tactics on President Obama’s judicial nominees; the controversy over the sign-language interpreter at the Nelson Mandela tribute; and criticism over President Obama’s taking a selfie and “flirting” with Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

The Return of the Neat Idea

| September 25, 2013

By Walter Sabo
Sabo media
CEO

NEW YORK — This is my experience. In my work, I have seen businesses grow and prosper when they embrace new, daring ideas based on marketplace demand. The winners are nimble organizations that jump on the neat idea and focus on the product, not organization politics. When fear of new ideas sets in and a business allows staff positions to grow too big and powerful, those businesses implode.

The current economic depression celebrates “operators” — executives with shrewd “operating” skills who are known for their ability to cut costs, cut staffs, sell their story to Wall Street and keep their company within its COMFORT ZONE. They do not have nor are required to have vision. Knowing what’s next is the key to growth in any industry. No vision, no growth.

Today, media businesses are excited when they show quarter-to-quarter, year-to-year growth. But this is false growth. Compare any media business with 2007 revenue figures and business is down. Five years after the depression began, revenue is still down.

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

| September 25, 2013

nielsenarbitronNielsen Says No Plans to Reduce Headcount.  In covering the Nielsen conference call with investors that took place on Monday, TALKERS took note of Nielsen CEO David Calhoun’s statement about realizing $20 million in synergies and, due to the fact that broadcasting companies often use that term to define the cost savings from elimination of duplicative positions and consolidation of duties after a merger or acquisition, interpreted his comment to mean the acquisition of Arbitron would mean exactly that for some of the Arbitron staff.  However, Nielsen tells TALKERS, “In fact, there are no plans to reduce headcount at this time, and as a growing business, we have many opportunities to redeploy talent.  Mr. Calhoun’s comment on a ‘logical and steady pace’ was related more to the pace of global expansion.”

wmyt logoTalk Media TV’s WMYT, Wilmington, North Carolina Holds ‘Ribbon Cutting’ Tomorrow.  News/talk outlet WMYT, Wilmington, North Carolina announces the “official ribbon-cutting ceremony” at its Wilmington broadcast studios — sponsored by the North Brunswick Chamber of Commerce – taking placewrightcurtis show logo Thursday, September 26 at 10:30 am.  The station is owned by Talk Media TV principals Curtis Wright and George Bell who put the station on the air on July 22.  The two say they built the station to appeal to conservative talk radio listeners whom they believe had lost a voice in Southeastern North Carolina.  They add, “WMYT 106.7 FM has returned America’s top syndicated conservative talk, subject talk and spoken-word shows to FM and the region.  Since the launch of WMYT 106.7 FM, five new locally produced shows have been added to its lineup, while expanding its audio streaming on the web.”  Wright hosts his “On the Beat” morning drive show from 6:00 am to 9:00 am.  The station also features Premiere NetworksGlenn Beck and Sean Hannity plus Courtside Entertainment’s Laura Ingraham.  George Bell is the former Brunswick County GOP chair and a life-long business professional in the region.  Talk Media TV’s business plan includes acquiring additional radio stations, expanding its internet broadcasting capabilities, and adding cable broadcasting over the next several months.

pittmanbobBob Pittman Stands Up for Radio at Goldman Sachs Ad Week Conference. Clear Channel chairman and CEO Bob Pittman is working the “Advertising Week” events in New York this week and today (9/25) he laid down the case for what he sees as radio’s rightful place in an advertising mix at the “Goldman Sachs Communacopia” investor conference.  The Hollywood Reporter’s Georg Szalai is covering the event and reports Pittman is saying (about radio), “’The sector is way under-represented’ while TV is over-represented in marketers’ media mix…‘TV is wonderful, is very effective, but doesn’t deserve quite as much money as it has.’”  Pittman argues that TV gets three times the rate that radio does but “all the studies show the impact is about the same.”  He then explains how advertisers could benefit by moving 15% of their ad spend into radio.  Clearly, when Pittman says, “There is a huge opportunity in radio…We need to monetize it better, sell it better,” he is trying to get the message through at the agency level, where an industry-wide sea change must take place.

mhNAB2013Michael Harrison’s NAB/RAB Radio Show Address Now Posted on TALKERS TV.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison’s annual address at the NAB/RAB Radio Show drew a standing-room-only crowd and rave reviews from those in attendance.  The speech which runs 56:33 includes an information-packed “countdown” of the 10 most important things AM/FM radio must do to remain culturally relevant and thrive in the digital age of the 21st century.  In this ambitious and far-ranging overview of the state of broadcast radio, the man dubbed by the mainstream press as “The Wise Old Owl of the Radio Industry” connected the dots between Edward R. Murrow broadcasting live on rooftops from World War II bombing raids over London — to Murray the K anointing himself the “Fifth Beatle” — to today’s transitional period between the “old country” of the 20th century to the “new world” of the digital age — to the potential emergence of 21st century “Homo Technicus” listening to internet broadcasts piped directly into the temporal lobes of the brain via nanotechnology.  Harrison fearlessly speaks his mind about today’s debt-soaked radio mega-corporations that have emerged as a result of consolidation — to the dangers of mindless, product-less “branding” that plays to the shortcut mentality crippling today’s creative process in broadcasting. The speech received an ovation and was later described on the air by WSOY, Decatur morning host and Marconi Award winner Brian Byers as “sensational.”  Byers told his listeners it was “smokin'” and a “barn burner” saying, “He fired me up.  I looked around and the rest of the room was electric.  You could feel it in the air.  I can’t tell you how good it was!” To see Michael Harrison’s speech please check out the TALKERS TV box at the top of the right-hand column of this page.

sabowalterWALTER SABO: The Return of the Neat Idea.  Sabo Media CEO Walter Sabo celebrates what he says it’s going to take to get radio back in a forward-moving position: the return to creatively operating the business.  In this new column, Sabo writes, “The current economic depression celebrates ‘operators’ — executives with shrewd ‘operating’ skills who are known for their ability to cut costs, cut staffs, sell their story to Wall Street and keep their company within its COMFORT ZONE.  They do not have, nor are they required to have, vision.  Knowing what’s next is the key to growth in any industry.  No vision, no growth.”  Sabo offers five steps to establishing an environment for the birth and implementation of neat ideas with pragmatic results.   Read this important column here.

cookehollandRadio Sales Lead: ObamaCare.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke says forget what people on the radio are saying about ObamaCare, start thinking about how your marketing department can get some of the advertising that’s coming from it.  He recommends a video webinar available from the RAB.  In it, Cooke says veteran broadcaster Dave Burke shares some of his research into the impact of the law on the stakeholders.  Cooke writes, “AP estimates that $684 million will be spent on the initial activation period; and Burke reckons that 2014-2015 and beyond will be even bigger than 2013-2014: ‘I believe that this category, all-in, could be the biggest category on your stations.’”  Read Holland Cooke’s column here.

kassof coContinuing Concern for Radio to Placate Men 18 – 34.  Something new can now be added to the growing list for those who grumble, “They don’t make them like that anymore.” Unfortunately, that item is radio.  A Mark Kassof & Company-conducted research project indicates that more than half (53%) of U.S. radio listeners aged 18 – 64 agree that, “Radio is not as good as it used to be.”  Approximately four in 10 (41%) disagree, while 6% are not sure.  “The perception that radio is not as good as it used to be seems pervasive in the industry,” Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Kassof comments. “This research reveals that a majority of listeners agree.”  The most criticism regarding radio’s overall quality can be found among those 18 – 34, with more than six in 10 (61%) concurring that what they are hearing these days through their radio speakers has slipped; 31% however disagree and the remaining 8% are neutral.  Men tend to be more pessimistic about the current state of the medium than women are.  Consistent with the above-stated trend – and highly noteworthy – Men 18-34 are the most negative, as two of every three in that demo (67%) are of the opinion that radio has seen better days.  Results of this Kassof study are based on slightly less than 1,000 online interviews conducted among U.S. radio listeners earlier this month (9/12 – 9/15).  Reacting to the findings of the Kassof study, TALKERS magazine sister trade, RadioInfo’s  music editor/director Duane Doobie states, “It reminds me of the famous line in Bob Dylan’s ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’ that so powerfully says ‘you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.’”

wbenNo More FM Signal for News/Talk WBEN, Buffalo.  Entercom is dropping the simulcast on news/talk WBEN, Buffalo and will install a different format on WLKK 107.7 licensed to Wethersfield Township (some 30 miles southeast of downtown Buffalo) beginning Thursday, September 26 at 12:00 noon.  WBEN program director Tim Wenger tells Buffalo Business First that research tells the company 95% of the listening to WBEN is done on the huge 930 AM signal.

schnitttoddOdds & Sods.  Compass Media Networks syndicated and WFLA, Tampa-based talk host Todd Schnitt was in court on Monday suing his former attorney Phillip Campbell for legal malpractice.   Campbell was arrested for DUI while representing Schnitt in his defamation suit against Bubba the Love Sponge but the DUI case was dismissed in July after prosecutors agreed Campbell was set up.  Schnitt maintains it damaged his case.  Schnitt paid Campbell $1 million and owes another $1 million but he’s suing to get the first $1 million back, according to myfoxtampabay.com…..The Fourth Period continues its relationship with SiriusXM and the media site that calls itself “hockey’s only lifestyle destination” adds a program dubbed “The Players’ Lounge” to the SiriusXM NHL Network Radio channel airing Friday’s from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm ET.  This is an addition to “TFP Live” which returns to the channel airing from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm ET hosted by TFP editor-in-chief David Pagnotta and VP Dennis Bernstein.

Government Shutdown Threat, ObamaCare Defunding/Implementation, U.S.-Iran Talks, and Kenya Mall Massacre Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/24).  The looming threat of a government shutdown; the fight to defund the Affordable Care Act and the consequences of its implementation; relations between the U.S. and Iran; plus the ongoing stalemate after a massacre by militant Muslims at a mall in Nairobi, Kenya were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

The Program Director’s Job in Five Years

| August 2, 2013

By Walter Sabo
Sabo Media
CEO 

 

sabowalterwriterNEW YORK — Television stations have program directors.  What do most of them program?  Nothing.  A network affiliate airs network shows, syndication packages and movie packages—usually bought by corporate.  There may be a local morning show but it is probably under the auspices of the news department.  When you receive a TV station program director’s business card it reveals the future of the radio programmers job: “Program and Research Director.”

There will be variations:

Program and Promotion Director

Program and Marketing Director

Program and Public Relations Director

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Friday, August 2, 2013

| August 2, 2013