Tag: "Walter Sterling"

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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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.”

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