Tag: "Warren Ballentine"

Friday, October 24, 2014

| October 24, 2014

ramseydaveDave Ramsey Hits the Big Screen.  Regular TALKERS readers are kept up-to-date on the live events that nationally syndicated talk star Dave Ramey presents in cities around the country.  Now, Ramsey is taking his presentation to the big screen as Fathom Events will produce “Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruze Present: The Legacy Journey” for select cinemas nationwide for one night only on Wednesday, November 19 at 7:00 pm local time.  The production is from the recent event in Grand Rapids that was taped before a live audience.  The event will be presented in nearly 600 select movie theaters around the country through Fathom’s Digital Broadcast Network.  Fathom Events is listing the participating theaters on its website.  Ramsey states, “‘The Legacy Journey’ is about you taking control of your money; being debt-free, saving and investing.  When you start to see your future becoming secure, you will naturally become concerned with the next generations of your family.  When you do the things we teach, your vision expands and you start to see the world’s needs and how you can make a difference.”  Ramsey’s daughter Rachel Cruze is a seasoned communicator and presenter.  She recently published a new book titled, Smart Money Smart Kids, co-authored by Ramsey.

beasley logo longNet Revenue Dips 5% for Beasley During Third Quarter.  That figure is for continuing operations – the stations Beasley is keeping, excluding those slated to be sold to CBS.  Due to the pending transaction between Beasley and CBS in which it’s trading five of its stations for 14 CBS signals, the company is required to report both continuing operations and discontinued operations.  The net revenue from the combination of both continuing and discontinued operations was -5.9%.  The company reports that the decline “primarily reflects lower advertising revenue at the Company’s Wilmington and Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville market clusters which more than offset net revenue increases at the Company’s Las Vegas and Ft. Myers market clusters.”  Company chairman and CEO George Beasley comments, “We don’t believe third quarter operating results from continuing operations reflect the strength, ratings and local relevance of our platform, as the lower level of reported net revenue from continuing operations is temporarily mismatched with certain expenses that will be better amortized across the Company’s larger revenue base once we complete the asset exchange with CBS Radio.  We are very excited by the potential presented by the CBS transaction…The planned asset exchange with CBS Radio addresses these strategic objectives and upon completion, we will expand our owned and operated station base by nine stations increasing Beasley’s portfolio to 53, including 33 FM and 20 AM stations, in 12 markets with approximately 7.7 million weekly listeners.  Importantly, we will add completed clusters in the Tampa and Charlotte markets which complement our already strong mid-Atlantic presence.”

nielsen logoNielsen Q3 Revenue Up 14%.  That’s on a constant-currency basis.  The company reports that its core top-line growth (excluding the Arbitron and Harris acquisitions) was 3.4%.  Nielsen CEO Mitch Barns says that increase was “driven by strong growth in Audience Measurement, double-digit growth in Ad Solutions and double-digit growth in the emerging markets, offset somewhat by anticipated softness in our Insights business in North America.”  Barns adds that “Adjusted EBITDA was up nearly 20% or 22% on a constant-currency basis, reflecting the impact of our Arbitron acquisition as well as great execution by our operating units…And our free cash flow of $289 million was up 17% in the quarter versus the prior year.”  During yesterday’s investors conference call, Barns discussed the integration of ratings systems for television and digital but only spoke of radio and digital ratings integration in passing, saying the company is “making progress” and it would keep the industry “posted.”

henckmitchMadison Talk Personality Mitch Henck Returns with Internet Show, Broadcast Plans.  After being let go from iHeartMedia’s Madison news/talker WIBA in June, Mitch Henck says he’s been “hounded” by fans to get back behind the mic.  Starting Monday, October 27, Henck begins an internet-based talk show airing live daily from 8:00 am to 11:00 am CT.  Podcasts of the show will be available after the conclusion of each live show.  The program will be web only for the rest of the year but Henck has plans to roll out the show into AM/FM syndication in 2015.  The show will take live callers and feature guests.  Henck says, “It’s exciting to be back with a great team in place.  We’re committed to bringing you the highest quality programming every day.  And I can’t wait.”

ballentinewarrenFormer Talk Host Warren Ballentine Convicted in Chicago Mortgage Fraud Scheme.  The Chicago-based real estate lawyer was syndicated nationally by Radio One and his talk show was carried by as many as 37 affiliate stations before he was indicted on real estate fraud charges.  The Chicago Tribune reports that Warren Ballentine will be sentenced in January and could face up to 30 years in prison for bilking lenders out of some $10 million as part of the fraudulent loan scheme.  Ballentine’s attorney says they will appeal and that his client knew nothing of the fraud and served only as the closing agent, accruing about $8,000 in fees for the real estate transactions.  He also noted several of Ballentine’s co-defendants testified against him after striking deals with prosecutors.  See the Tribune piece here.

ibs logoMichael Harrison to Serve as Keynote Speaker at College Radio Conference – Agenda Includes Presentation by Holland Cooke.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (pictured here) will deliver the keynote address at the 7th Annual Intercollegiate Broadcasting System East Coast Radio, Webcasting & Mediaharrisonherald2 Conference held tomorrow (10/25) at Simmons College in Boston.  Harrison’s speech is titled “The Precarious Position of Audio-Only Media in the Age of Video Screens.” Harrison will discuss the psychological processes at play in the different ways in which the human brain processes various forms of sensory stimulation.  According to Harrison, “I enjoy speaking at events with college broadcasters because they are still, shall we say, academically inclined and it gives me the opportunity to put on my media theorist hat and address some of the abstract concepts underlying general communications in our cookehollandelectronically accelerated relationships.  I believe it is very important for people involved in anything having to do with the aurally based art forms of ‘radio’ and music to at least have an understanding of the mind’s different relationships with the eye and the ear.”  Harrison also plans to include a serious discussion of the sensitive relationship between form and content in the art and science of media in his address.  Also speaking at the event will be noted media consultant and TALKERS contributor Holland Cooke whose address is titled, “The Future of Talk Radio: YOU – The Revolution is Over.” He will identify the major challenges facing talk radio in this new era and offer solutions and encouragement for young broadcasters entering the field.  For more information about the one-day event, please click here.

Odds & Sods.  The new SiriusXM program hosted by Jenny McCarthy debuts on Monday, October 27.  The show is called “Dirty, Sexy, Funny with Jenny McCarthy” and is set to air daily from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon ET…..NBCSportsRadio.com is unveiling its first-ever digital-only show called “The 2 Robbies ‘Football’ Show”, a Premier League-focused program which stars NBC Sports Group analysts Robbie Earle and Robbie Mustoe.  The soccer show launches tomorrow at 5:00 pm ET…..Sports talk KWTO, Springfield, Missouri “98.7 The Jock” is changing network affiliations, moving from Fox Sports Radio Network to ESPN.  The Meyer Communications station inked a three-year deal with ESPN.

freemanedgeTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  “Free Talk Live” featuring Ian Freeman and Mark Edge is added to the weekend program schedule at WIBC-FM, Indianapolis.  The program also recently began airing on KFNN, Phoenix; and KCOX, Jasper, Texas…..The GCN-distributed “Freedom Feens” show is added to the lineup at WSRQ, Sarasota…..The “Motley Fool Money” radio show is part of the weekend programming at WAFS, Atlanta.

Ebola Pandemic Threat Tops Talkers TenTM for Third Straight Week.  Discussion about the threat of an Ebola pandemic and the Obama Administration’s handling of the matter was again the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio for the week of October 20-24.  At #2 this week was the terror attacks that happened in Canada.  Coming in at #3 was the battle against ISIS in Iraq followed by the looming mid-term elections 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.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Friday, February 15, 2013

| February 15, 2013

nms2013logoSean Hannity to Host Breakfast Social and Deliver Morning Kick-Off Address at TALKERS New York 2013.  In what has become an annual tradition at the national TALKERS conference, Premiere Networks and Fox News Channel talk superstar hannityseanSean Hannity will again host a major networking event and deliver the morning kick-off address at the annual TALKERS conference.  In making the announcement TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “We all get to see a side of Sean that he saves for his colleagues in the industry – one of the most knowledgeable, articulate, and charismatic experts on the nuts and bolts of the business of spoken-word radio.  When Sean shows up at this event and addresses the industry on the state of ratings, research, advertising, affiliate relations and all the behind-the-scenes issues with which we as an industry are concerned, the left-versus-right paradigm that so dominates our airwaves disappears and it becomes apparent just what a broadcast industry statesman we have within our ranks.  He is a tremendous asset to this important gathering as well as the business of radio and television.”  Hannity will be one of a stellar lineup of industry luminaries being scheduled to speak at the event with more details of the roster and agenda to be announced next week.  Registrations for the 16th annual TALKERS New York City Conference are on sale now!  Save the date:  Thursday, June 6, 2013.  Formerly called “The New Media Seminar” the event – now simply titled “TALKERS New York 2013” – will again take place at the comfortable and modern Concierge Conference Center on Manhattan’s East Side.  It will be a power-packed, full day of special addresses, panels, presentations, and social networking opportunities tackling the key issues facing talk radio and its relationship with the new talk media (internet, satellite, cable TV) as well as existential general radio industry issues including music radio and the changing role of the disc jockey.  According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “This will be a TALKERS conference for the new era.  Our presentation this year will be so fresh and vital to the survival and ‘thrival’ of the business that we actually are moving beyond the title ‘New Media Seminar.’  It is not to be missed.”  As indicated, registrations are now on sale. A full registration entitling the attendee to all presentation and food events is $199.  Due to the pressures of limited space and seating, there are no partial registrations.  This event is traditionally a rapid sellout.  IMPORTANT: Registration will be limited to members of the working media only and can only be taken over the phone.  For registration and sponsorship information call 413-565-5413.  Stay tuned for specific agenda details right here at Talkers.com.

coxmediagroupThe Price Tag for Cox Media’s Stations Going to SummitMedia: $66.25 million; Connoisseur to Pay $40 million.  The paperwork for the deal between Cox Media Group and the two buyers of its properties in six markets is being filed and now we know the price tags.  SummitMedia will pay $66. 25 million for the former’s radio properties in five markets.  The stations SummitMedia is in the process of acquiring are: Birmingham (WAGG-AM, WBHJ-FM, WBHK-FM, WENN-AM, WZZK-FM, WZNN-FM, WBPT-FM, and CMG’s contract rights for WALJ-FM); Greenville, South Carolina (WJMZ-FM, WHZT-FM); Hawaii (KRTR-AM/FM, KPHW-FM, KCCN-FM, KINE-FM, KKNE-AM); Louisville (WRKA-FM, WVEZ-FM, WSFR-FM, WQNU-FM); and Richmond (WHTI-FM, WKHK-FM, WKLR-FM, WURV-FM).  Connoisseur will pay $40 million for the Southern Connecticut stations that include: WPLR-FM, WEZN-FM, WFOX-FM, and contract rights for WYBC-FM.

rabRAB: Radio Up 4% in 2012 Q4.  According to a report by the Radio Advertising Bureau, radio ended 2012 on a high note with Q4 revenue up 4% over 2011 comps, to $4.34 billion.  The report notes this was the highest growth recorded over the past eight quarters and since the strong rebound gains registeredRABKaplan chart throughout 2010.  Full-year spending was up for the third consecutive year and totaled $16.482 billion (an increase of 1% over 2011).  RAB president and CEO Erica Farber says, “The resurgent automotive industry and the closely-contested presidential political race provided the main impetus for 2012’s positive spot performance.  Our medium also enjoyed strong increases in Q4 spending by advertisers in the key communications and financial services categories.”  The chart here shows comparisons of spot, digital and off-air.

cbsradioCBS Radio Reports 2012 Q4 Revenue Up 1%.  Most of the talk during the CBS conference call yesterday was about television.  Not surprising since that’s where CBS is performing extremely well.  The talk of CBS possibly selling its radio division did not come up as it has so often in the past.  In fact, CEO Les Moonves’ only mention of radio during the call was in connecting the new CBS Sports Radio Network to Super Bowl programming when he said, “The Super Bowl was also very good for us in radio, where we debuted our CBS Sports Radio network just a few weeks before the game.  When we announced this venture last year, we had less than 100 affiliates. Now we’re already at 250.  The Super Bowl was a tremendous launching pad for this franchise, and we look forward to good things to come.”

knstlogoClear Channel Breaks Up AM/FM Simulcast of News/Talk KNST, Tucson.  It looks like Clear Channel is going to leave news/talk on FM in Tucson to Journal’s crosstown KQTH “104.1 The Truth.”  A new country format debuted on KNST FM – “Wild Country 97.1” – ending the AM/FM simulcast of the news/talk format that’s been in effect since November of 2011.  News/talk remains the format on the AM 790 frequency.

ballentinewarrenAttorney and Talk Radio Personality Warren Ballentine Pleads Not Guilty in Bank Fraud Case.  Lawyer and former Syndication One talk radio personality Warren Ballentine pleaded “not guilty” in U.S. District Court of Northern Illinois.  He faces multiple charges of fraud after begin charged by a federal grand jury with two counts of bank fraud, two counts of making false statements to lenders, and one count each of mail fraud and wire fraud.  The indictment is seeking a forfeiture of some $9,775,000.  Ballentine hosted a nationally syndicated midday program distributed by Syndication One but the program was cancelled after the news of his indictment went public.

tantarosandreaTRN’s Andrea Tantaros Picking Up Affiliates at Steady Clip.  On the heels of her positive write-up in the New York Observer, Fox News Channel and Talk Radio Network personality Andrea Tantaros is adding new affiliates and getting praise from existing affiliate PDs, reports TRN CEO Mark Masters.  Yesterday, TALKERS reported the Observer story that profiled Tantaros as one of the cast members of FNC’s “The Five” and host of her own syndicated talk radio program.  Tantaros filled the slot left vacant by the departure of Laura Ingraham from the TRN lineup and programmers, including KENZ, Reno’s Sean Patrick are pleased with her performance.  Patrick says, “Andrea Tantaros is a fabulous addition to our lineup.  She is the breath of fresh air that conservative talk radio has been lacking, a female perspective that is conversational.  She is a rising star in the format and we are proud to have her on our station.”  Buckley Radio of Connecticut VP/GM Eric Fahnoe states, “We’re thrilled with the lively and engaging perspective that the Andrea Tantaros show brings to ‘The Talk of Connecticut’ station lineup.  Andrea’s fresh presentation addresses contemporary issues and perfectly aligns with the direction we wanted to take our programming in 2013!”

webbhuckabeeThis Year, Jerusalem. The Middle East is a non-stop, hot-spot of political, ethnic and social intrigue replete with complex nuances often lost in the day-to-day mainstream press - making it a valuable destination for talk show hosts to do first-hand, fact-finding missions and live broadcasts with a parade of fascinating interviews.  In the past decade, America’s Voices in Israel, with advice from TALKERS magazine, has sponsored dozens of radio talk show hosts representing a spectrum of political perspectives on such trips to the Holy Land.  SiriusXM Patriot Channel host David Webb is broadcasting fromwebbTALKERS Israel this week on one such journey where he met up with Fox News Channel and Cumulus Radio host Mike Huckabee in Jerusalem in addition to interviewing numerous leaders of government, industry, health, arts and science. Webb (right) and Huckabee (left) are pictured above previewing the upcoming U.S. presidential visit to Israel in March.  Webb is also pictured (at right) in the radio broadcasting studio of the Jerusalem Post holding an old copy of TALKERS magazine on display featuring a cover shot of TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and syndicated host Doug Stephan meeting with Israel’s current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

brownscottOdds & Sods.  Former Massachusetts Republican Senator Scott Brown is the newest contributor to join Fox News Channel.  Brown served the final two years of the term of the late Ted Kennedy before losing a re-election bid to Elizabeth Warren.  Fox EVP of programming Bill Shine says, “Senator Brown’s dedication to out-of-the box thinking on key issues makes him an important voice in the country and we are looking forward to his contributions across all Fox News platforms.”…..Two daytime TV talk shows have bitten the dust within the last week.  “The Ricki Lake Show” was canceled by Twentieth Television and just yesterday the Los Angeles Times reported “The Jeff Probst Show” is being canceled at the end of its second season.

State of the Union Address Top News/Talk Story for Week of February 11.  According to the ongoing research from TALKERS, the president’s State of the Union address was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio, landing atop the Talkers TenTM for the week of February 11-15.  Following at #2 was the Christopher Dorner case.  At #3 was the sequester deadline tied with deficit reduction and the Chuck Hagel and Jack Lew hearings were tied 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 published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

| January 29, 2013

schnitttoddSchnitt vs. Bubba: Monday Recap.  After the news of Todd Schnitt’s attorney being arrested on DUI charges and allegations that Bubba The Love Sponge’s attorneys set him up for the arrest became the predominant aspect of the case on Friday and both sides asked for mistrials for varying reasons, Hillsborough County Judge James Arnold on Mondaybubba did not grant a mistrial saying the jury had not been compromised and testimony went forward.  But not before Arnold agreed to throw out five of the 16 defamation counts against Bubba (Todd Clem).  One in which Bubba accused Schnitt of possibly engaging in plug-ola, three in which he called him a “fraud,” and another in which he called him a “snitch.”  The other 11 counts remain.  Schnitt’s team rested its case on Monday and Bubba’s lawyers called michaelsrandyformer Clear Channel Radio president Randy Michaels, under whom both Schnitt and Bubba worked at one time, to the stand.  Michaels first complimented both Schnitt and Bubba for being talented radio performers.  He said that the feud between the two had gotten too intense and he asked them to “tone it down.”  He told the jury the language Bubba used when saying he wanted a funeral for MJ Kelli (Schnitt’s CHR morning show moniker) was hyperbole and not to be taken literally.  Also taking the stand was a former producer for Schnitt who now works for Bubba who testified that Schnitt spoke on the air jokingly about his wife’s “tramp stamp” tattoo – an effort by the defense to ask  the jury that if Schnitt could joke about his wife being a “tramp,” how is Bubba’s calling her a “whore” any different?  The defense is expected to continue its arguments today.

ballentinewarrenNationally Syndicated Talk Host Warren Ballentine Charged with Mortgage Fraud.  The Chicago-based attorney and host of the Warren Ballentine show distributed nationally via Syndication One is being indicted on charges related to an alleged mortgage fraud scheme.  The Justice Department reports that a federal grand jury returned indictments for two counts of bank fraud, two counts of making false statements to lenders and one count each of mail fraud and wire fraud.  The UPI reports the indictment is seeking a forfeiture of some $9.7 million in fraud proceeds.  The feds allege Ballentine plotted with others to obtain more than two dozen fraudulent mortgage loans and that he represented buyers at closings knowing that they weren’t qualified for home mortgages in Chicago and its southern suburbs.  Ballentine is expected to be arraigned next week.  Meanwhile TALKERS sources close to Ballentine say he maintains his innocence and that the truth will come out.  His talk show is currently heard on some 37 affiliates across the country including WVON, Chicago.

barreirodanClear Channel’s KFAN Network Re-Signs Dan Barreiro.  Sports talk host Dan Barreiro and Clear Channel Media and Entertainment agree on a multi-year contract extension for the KFXN, Minneapolis-based sports talk host.  Barreiro hosts the afternoon drive program on the company’s KFAN sports talk brand that is distributed to numerous stations across Minnesota.  CC Minneapolis vice president of programming Gregg Swedberg says, “Dan has been the top afternoon drive talk personality in the market for decades and has many loyal listeners all over the country through iHeartRadio.  We are delighted that Dan will be with us for a long time.”

bakerchrisChris Baker Lands at KFAB, Omaha for PM Drive.  Talk radio pro Chris Baker’s next gig is at Clear Channel’s KFAB, Omaha where he’ll host the afternoon drive program.  Baker – a veteran of the Houston, Minneapolis, Miami and Omaha markets – recently exited the Dan Patrick-owned KSEV, Houston talk outlet.  He says, “Since my family and I are in Omaha to visit friends and relatives on a regular basis, it’s only natural that I would want to put down root here.  KFAB is a legendary Midwest radio powerhouse and I’m excited to work with Gary Sadlemyer and the whole crew.”  His new gig begins February 11.

mcnabbdonovanOdds & Sods.  NBC Sports Radio Network brings former NFL star Donovan McNabb aboard to eventually be part of a daily sports talk show to begin on April 1.  Until that time, McNabb will begin as a weekly contributor as the build-up to the Super Bowl takes place.  McNabb will serve as a lead NFL analyst and will call in to affiliate station programs…..Formerbrandotim Yahoo! Sports Radio personality Tim Brando begins a new gig with SiriusXM Satellite Radio where he’ll host his eponymous program on the SiriusXM College Sports Nation channel.  Brando’s program will continue to be simulcast on cable TV’s CBS Sports Network…..WTOP, Washington news anchor Richard Day has retired from the Hubbard Broadcasting all-news brand.  Vice president of news and programming Jim Farley says Day’s retirement was handled with no fanfare at Day’s request…..Chicagoland Radio and Media reports that WFLD-TV sports anchor Lou Canellis is beginning a regular hour-long, daily appearance on WLS-AM, Chicago’s “Roe & Roeper” PM drive program with Roe Conn and Richard Roeper.  Canellis is now part of the 5:00 pm hour every day to talk sports on the Cumulus Media station.  The blog speculates that the move is part of a greater effort to add sports content to the station to improve its ratings…..The “4th Period Live” program returns to SiriusXM’s NHL Network for its second season beginning Saturday, February 2 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET.  The show is hosted by David Pagnotta, 4th Period‘s editor-in-chief from Toronto and Dennis Bernstein, its Los Angeles-based senior writer.  The show is an extension of TFP’s brand of hockey lifestyle content that includes a highly visited website (www.thefourthperiod.com) and quarterly print magazine available on newsstands throughout North America.

huckabeerenoHuckabee Visits Reno.  Cumulus Media Networks nationally syndicated talk host Governor Mike Huckabee is pictured here with KNEZ, Reno news director and afternoon drive host Sean Patrick at the sparkling new studios of the Shamrock Communications news/talk station.  Huckabee’s program is carried by “KNEWS” – a new FM signal and news/talk brand that Shamrock recently put on the air in the market.

calajoeSouthern California Sports Personality Joe Cala Named to Hall of Fame.  KNX, Los Angeles sports anchor Joe Cala was inducted into the Southern California Sports Broadcasters Hall of Fame at the organization’s 22nd annual awards luncheon at the Lakeside Golf Club in Toluca Lake, California.  Cala has been with KNX for the past six years and spent the previous 32 years at crosstown KFWB.  The SCSB has served as a major forum for recognizing and advancing sports broadcasting in Southern California since 1958.  Its Hall of Fame includes Dick Enberg, Tom Harmon, Don Drysdale, Chick Hearn, Gil Stratton, Stu Nahan, Vin Scully and Jim Hill, to name a few.

millerkevingunsTown Hall Meeting in Boise Addresses Second Amendment.  You’re looking over the shoulder of KIDO, Boise morning drive host Kevin Miller as he addresses the more than 300 area residents who attended the Peak Broadcasting station’s Town Hall Meeting to discuss Second Amendment issues in the wake of the Obama Administration’s call for stricter gun legislation.  Miller tells TALKERS that the event was covered locally by two of the market’s television stations.

mcguireseanKOIL, Omaha Adds Weekend Affordable Care Act Program.  The program is called “America’s Healthcare Challenge” and is hosted by Sean McGuire.  The goal of the program is to provide valuable insight into implementation of the Affordable Care Act and prepare decision makers for looming penalties and taxes in the law.  McGuire states, “This is currently the only radio show of its kind in the US.  Business owners are clamoring for credible information and answers to their questions like how employees’ benefits will change next year and what innovative ways exist to curb rising healthcare costs constantly squeezing bottom lines all over the country…I was a part of the research team for the Senate Finance Committee five years ago.  The law originated conceptually in the Senate and I have read the bill multiple times.  It is my desire to bring my listeners information they need to know as if they were Members of Congress.”

morrisonsotomayorJustice Sotomayor Visits SCPR.  United States Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor (right) poses for a photo with Southern California Public Radio special correspondent Patt Morrison (left) during an appearance at KPCC, Pasadena’s Crawford Family Forum.  The venue was packed with local high school and college students, as well KPCC listeners who came to hear Sotomayor speak about her life and promote her new autobiography My Beloved World (Knopf 2013).  Patt Morrison interviewed Sotomayor as part of the appearance.

greenbergbookESPN Radio’s Mike Greenberg Announces New Novel to Benefit the V Foundation.  Nationally syndicated ESPN Radio and ESPN 2 personality Mike Greenberg announces the publication of his first novel titled, All You Could Ask For (William Morrow 2013).  In making the announcement from the Super Bowl radio row in New Orleans, Greenberg stated that all of the author’s proceeds from the sale of the book will benefit The V Foundation for Cancer Research.  Greenberg says, “I wrote this book to honor the memory of a good friend of mine and my wife Stacy’s named Heidi Armitage, who lost her battle with breast cancer in 2009 at the age of 43.  The V Foundation is an obvious organization to work with.  Mike Golic and I have been honored to be a part of many great V Foundation events over the years.  I’m so proud of our connection to the V Foundation.”

wachsdaliahpodiumDr. Daliah Wachs at the Podium.  Practicing family physician and nationally syndicated talk show host Dr. Daliah Wachs is pictured here at the Nevada Academy of Family Physicians at their conference in Lake Tahoe this past weekend.  About 200 were at this lecture where Dr. Wachs spoke about avoiding pitfalls in family medicine, educating them on the liabilities doctors face and what lawsuits have been successful.  Dr. Wachs’ program is syndicated by Genesis Communications Network.

Monday, December 3, 2012

| December 3, 2012

Michael Savage Bashes “Bash Obama” Programming Philosophy.  Cumulus Media Networks nationally syndicated talk host Michael Savage appeared on WABC, New York’s “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio” program last night and told Klein’s audience that talk radio conservatives are “committing suicide” by incessantly criticizing Barack Obama.  Savage, who recently left longtime syndicator Talk Radio Network and subsequently signed on with Cumulus Media Networks, said, “Many people on the conservative side of the dial are making the same mistakes now that the liberals made when Bush was in power.  “Air America went bankrupt, why? Because all they did was…Bush bashing and they were just crazy in the Bush bashing.  Boring.  Boring.  How much could you listen to?  It wasn’t even clever Bush bashing.  This is what’s going on now with the conservatives.  They’re committing suicide.  Just attacking Obama – although he deserves it – is not good radio…Remember one thing, radio is primarily an entertainment medium.  It was not created to be the voice of the Republican Party or the Democrat Party.”  Savage’s program begins airing on Cumulus O&O WABC tonight from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm.

CBS Radio Dallas Offices Hit by Gunfire.  The offices of CBS Radio’s Dallas operations that house its radio stations was hit by gun shots on Friday and police are still investigating the source of the bullets.  CBS Dallas is reporting the shots hit the outside panes of glass on two floors of the 12-story building that abuts the busy Central Expressway.  One of the offices hit was that of NewsRadio 1080 KRLD’s promotions director Matt Stacks.  The other window hit was above the KRLD offices belonging to former police officer and practicing attorney Pete Schulte who tells CBS, “It sounded like a rifle.  It was clearly a loud bang, and as soon as I heard the loud bang the glass shattered in my office.”  Schulte says he was frustrated by how long it took the police to take action.  “I should think police should at least canvass the area to see if they can find anyone with a long gun.”  The CBS story notes police did canvass the area a little over an hour later and that Schulte was told the call had been mis-categorized as a criminal mischief call instead of an active shooter case.  The building also houses CBS Radio’s other Dallas stations including sports talk KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan,” AC KVIL “103.7 Lite FM,” adult hits KJKK “100.3 Jack FM,” classic hits KLUV, and Spanish WMKV, “Mega 107.5 FM.”

WLS, Chicago Adds Early-Morning Newscast.  Time Out Chicago’s Robert Feder tips that Cumulus Media-owned news/talk WLS, Chicago began a 4:30 am newscast anchored by John Dempsey this morning (12/3).  The move means WLS is cutting the second half of The Wall Street Journal Radio Network’s “This Morning” program that aired from 4:00 am to 5:00 am.  “The 89 WLS First Morning News at 4:30” also uses ABC Radio News London-based correspondent Tom Rivers as a contributor.

Radio One to Consolidate Syndication One Division with Reach Media in January.  Radio One will increase its ownership stake in Reach Media from 53% to 80%.  The consolidation of Radio One-owned Syndication One and the Tom Joyner- and David Kantor-founded Reach Media will, according to Radio One, create an “assembly of top talent, programming and prime national advertising inventory that make Reach Media the leading radio network with the ability to speak directly to the African-American audience.  In 2013, Reach Media will use its strong affiliate lineup and relationships with leading urban stations to also launch a new network.  Reach Media’s new network is expected to be in the top tier of radio networks and have one of the largest African-American audiences of any radio network.  Reach Media will expand its dedicated sales and marketing staff to sell the radio network advertising inventory along with web and event sponsorships.”  The company will offer talk and music radio talent including: Tom Joyner, Rickey Smiley, Russ Parr, Yolanda Adams, Reverend Al Sharpton, Warren Ballentine and CoCo Brother.  It indicates it has plans to acquire more urban-targeted talent in the near future.  Radio One CEO Alfred Liggins says, “Radio One has a commitment to be the leader in radio and online programming with compelling entertainment and information for the African-American audience.  Combining our assets under Reach Media offers an incredibly broad platform for affiliate stations and advertisers to connect with our loyal audience.”  Reach Media CEO David Kantor states, “In bringing together the most compelling urban programming in radio, we’ve created a platform that can focus on outstanding talent for our affiliates and the delivery of an incredibly responsive consumer base.  We look forward to expanding our offerings and becoming the primary radio network for advertisers to reach African- Americans.”

Pat Miller Returns to PM Drive on WOWO, Fort Wayne.  Longtime WOWO, Fort Wayne talk show host Pat Miller re-joins the station for the afternoon drive slot beginning in January.  Miller exited his full-time role at the station last spring but continued to do a two-hour weekend program.  After Gregg Henson exited the program director and PM drive posts at WOWO at the end of the summer Federated Media plugged in Premiere NetworksSean Hannity.  But Hannity has been moved to the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm slot with Casey Hendrickson filling in on the PM drive show.  Hendrickson also hosts the morning drive show at Federated’s WTRC-AM/FM, South Bend, Indiana “Michiana’s News Channel.”

Dave Ramsey Moves to Daytime in Atlanta on WCFO.  Nationally syndicated financial talk star Dave Ramsey’s program is moving to new affiliate JW Broadcasting’s WCFO, Atlanta beginning today where he’ll air live in the 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm time slot.  Ramsey’s program most recently was heard in the 10:00 pm to 1:00 am slot on Cox Media’s WSB-AM and WSBB-FM.  Prior to being picked up by WSB in 2011, Ramsey aired in afternoons on Clear Channel’s WGST.  Brian Mayfield, vice president of broadcast for The Lampo Group, says, “We are very excited that Dave can now be heard live in Atlanta.  Our audience has been asking for this, and we are proud to partner with WCFO to deliver on this request.”

Five Practical Digital Lessons Radio Can Learn from the Obama Campaign.  Noted radio digital consultant Chris Miller says broadcasters should look to the recent Obama Campaign’s effective use of digital media for promotional and branding initiatives.  In this piece, he illustrates how 1) all the various platforms we use today are inter-connected and must be treated as such; 2) every platform has a specific purpose and should be used to achieve clearly defined goals; 3) remember that it is all a “show” and just because it is digital or “social media” doesn’t mean it isn’t show biz; 4) make sure your emails are likely to be opened by labeling them with irresistible subject lines; and 5) create “community,” not just “conversation.”  Read Miller’s entire piece here.

Jason Pugh Exits WEFL, West Palm Beach for DC TV Gig.  Jason Pugh is leaving his positions at Good Karma’s “ESPN 760” WEFL, Tequesta, Florida where he partnered with Jeremy Marks-Peltz for the 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm show and his sportscasting gig at WPTV-TV for a position at NBC O&O WRC-TV, Washington, DC.  Pugh also worked in the play-by-play booth for Florida Atlantic University football games.  The Florida Sun-Sentinel reports Pugh joined Good Karma in 2006 and began hosting his own program in 2009.

ESPN New York O&Os Re-Up with NFL’s Jets.  The New York City ESPN O&O stations – WEPN-FM “ESPN New York 98.7” and WEPN-AM “ESPN Deportes New York 1050” announce they have extended their contract to be the exclusive New York radio partners of the NFL’s New York Jets.  Included in the deal are three ancillary programs — the “Jets Player Spotlight” (Mondays at 3:30 pm) a weekly interview with Jets head coach Rex Ryan (Mondays at 5:15 pm) and “Inside the Jets” (Mondays at 7:00 pm).   ESPN New York vice president and general manager Dave Roberts states, “We’re excited to continue our relationship with the Jets.  The Jets have a huge fan base in the New York metropolitan area and we look forward to continuing to serve them.”

XtreMedia Talk Hosts  DoGood.com  Charts Giving Success.  XtreMedia talk show hosts Dani Johnson, Kevin McCullough and Stephen Baldwin began a campaign in April of this year to assist 2,012 orphans with a stated goal of raising $185,000.  After achieving the goal in just eight weeks instead of the eight months they had given themselves, they set about creating DoGood.com and partnered with Kings Ransom Foundation to assist orphaned children and others in need.  Some examples of their success include: In November, Dani Johnson again publicly challenged her listeners to radically help with practical help for victims of hurricane Sandy.  In one weekend’s broadcast the Dani Johnson web and radio community (some of whom were directly impacted by the storm) and working with Kings Ransom Foundation raised in excess of $35,000 to aid specific cases whose stories were of particularly tough loss.  Over the course of five weeks after Sandy, Kevin McCullough was able to rally listeners to his national daily show to provide aid by connecting volunteers to engineering and contracting, clean-up crews, and miscellaneous needs in excess of $25,000 towards help for churches, communities, pastors, and parishioners in hard hit communities in Brooklyn, Queens, The RockAways, and down the Jersey shore.  On December 12, Stephen Baldwin is scheduled to headline a fundraising gathering being hosted by VH1 with proceeds to be donated to hurricane Sandy relief efforts via DoGood.com.  On December 1, the clients and listeners in attendance at Dani Johnson’s “Creating a Dynasty” leadership training weekend raised an additional $113,000 (by auctioning off slices of cheesecake freshly prepared by Dani personally) for the King’s Children’s Home orphanage in Belize that is in need of a new roof for four buildings on its campus.  The total cost for the roofing project will run $200k for all four structures.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

| November 6, 2012

Radio News Services Prepare for Election 2012 Coverage.  Fox News Radio announces its schedule for coverage of the 2012 election.  The network will provide live coverage beginning at 7:00 pm ET.  Fox News Radio senior national correspondent Rich Johnson and political analyst Jeff Birnbaum will co-anchor the coverage along with Fox News Channel’s Heather Nauert who will be reporting on the race results.  In addition, many of the FNR affiliates across the country will be covering the election as well as the congressional and gubernatorial contests.  ABC News Radio will also begin its live coverage at 7:00 pm and it will run until 1:00 am unless longer coverage is deemed necessary.  ABC’s Aaron Katersky is anchoring with assistance from correspondents Vic Ratner, Ann Compton, Steven Portnoy and Alex Stone.  As we reported last week, America’s Radio News Network is providing election coverage to affiliate stations.  The team of John McCaslin, Lori Lundin and Chris Salcedo will broadcast “Election Night 2012” to affiliates from 9:00 pm to 3:00 am ET.  McCaslin states, “Before the winners are even announced, we will have for listeners the final state-by-state exit polling – including crucial battleground states like Ohio, Florida and Virginia – as quickly as the polls close in each state.  Once the voting stops, we will be able to closely examine various exit-polling data and get a clear signal of the ultimate results.  Take the all-important race for the White House: if President Obama or Mitt Romney were to win certain key battleground states – with the right combination, this could be as few as two of the states – we would be able to suggest which candidate will be taking the oath of office on January 21, 2013.”

Talker Warren Ballentine to Interview President Obama Today.  President Obama will push a get-out-the-vote message when he visits with Syndication One nationally syndicated talk host Warren Ballentine on his talk show today in the 11:00 am ET hour.  Yesterday, TALKERS spoke with SiriusXM and WOL, Washington talk host Joe Madison who said President Obama has made himself and his cabinet available to urban talk outlets such as his during the course of the president’s term.  Ballentine, a lawyer by trade, is heard on 37 affiliate stations across the country.

ESPN Radio’s Jim Durham Passes Away at 65.  Jim Durham was the lead play-by-play analyst for “The NBA on ESPN Radio.”  He died over the weekend at his home in Tomball, Texas.  No cause of death has been announced.  Senior vice president and general manager, ESPN Radio Mo Davenport says, “Jim was a respected play-by-play specialist who combined a tremendous gift for storytelling with a Hall of Fame voice.  He’s been a dedicated friend and a trusted teammate to so many at ESPN for two decades and he will be greatly missed. Our thoughts are with his wife Helen and the entire Durham family.”  In 2011 Durham was honored by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame with the Curt Gowdy Media Award, presented annually to members of the print and electronic media whose longtime efforts have made a significant contribution to the game of basketball.

Talk Host Michelle Jerson Promoting New Web Venture.  Relationship talk host and news reporter Michelle Jerson – who has worked at such outlets as WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5; WJFK, Washington and SiriusXM’s Howard 100 channel – has developed a new web venture at her site called PassportRomance.com.  The content-rich travel website combines her experience as a relationship host and travel expert.  As the former television, web, and radio correspondent for Travelzoo.com, she is now giving readers  first-hand accounts and ideas of where to travel if they are single looking for love, seeking the perfect first trip with a new partner, or planning a romantic honeymoon or anniversary close to home or abroad.  Jerson is also creating radio segments to promote her site and will appear on Merlin Media’s WWIQ, Philadelphia “IQ 106.9” on the morning show with Al Gardner and Lionel this Friday.  Stations interested in booking Michelle as a guest can reach out to her at michelle@passportromance.com.

WZON, Bangor Morning Host Lives in “Hobbit Hole” to Raise Awareness of Those Who can’t Afford Heat.  Talk host Pat LaMarche hosts “The Pulse Morning Show” on WZON-AM/FM, Bangor Maine and she’s been living in a “hobbit hole” – basically a non-insulated and unheated garden shed – to raise awareness and funds for those in the region who have trouble heating their homes during the brutal Maine winters.  LaMarche tells local TV outlet WABI that all funds raised will go to help winterize homes, especially of the elderly, disabled and homes with children.  LaMarche is bundled up and is hosting the program from inside the wooden shed and she tells the TV station that it’s very uncomfortable and difficult to function due to the cold.  She says for families with children, it’s even more challenging.  “If you had to go to school every day and your choice is cold water or going to school un-bathed and kids make fun of you, and your life is extremely unpleasant because you’re cold and then you get picked on at school.”

Romney vs. Obama, Voter Fraud Issues, Sandy Aftermath, and Libya Investigation Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/5).  The final push before election day between President Obama and Mitt Romney; allegations of voter fraud in early polling; the aftermath of Sandy in the hard-hit areas of New York and New Jersey; and the investigation into the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

| April 19, 2012

Entertainment Industry Mourns Passing of Dick Clark.  The music, television and radio industries are mourning the passing of pioneer broadcaster Dick Clark, who died on Wednesday after suffering a massive heart attack at age 82.  In addition to his numerous other contributions to the entertainment industry, Clark co-founded United Stations Radio Networks with Nick Verbitsky in 1981.  Verbitsky says, “Dick was an icon to many, but a true friend, partner and mentor to those of us who worked closely with him.  His impact on broadcasting is immeasurable, and his entrepreneurial spirit will be a part of our world at United Stations forever.”

Talk Host Scott Hennen to Purchase WZFG, Fargo.  The conservative talk-formatted WZFG, Fargo – positioned as “1100 AM The Flag” – will return to the control of talk host and station manager Scott Hennen upon FCC approval and the closing.  Hennen announces he’s struck a deal with Great Plains Integrated Marketing to buy back the station he founded in 2008.  Hennen was fired by his investors as president and CEO of GPIM in the fall of 2010.  His program remained on the air at WZFG until May of 2011.  Hennen is currently hosting a nationally syndicated radio show but is not heard in the Fargo market at this time.  His program will return to the station when the new deal begins.

Internet and Terrestrial Radio Are Different Businesses When it Comes to Non-Competes.  That’s the ruling of Stark County (OH) Common Pleas Court Judge Charles E. Brown in the case of two Canton jocks who started a radio show on the internet and were sued by their former employer for violating the non-compete.  Radio hosts Patrick DeLuca and Charlotte DiFranco (pictured here) left their highly rated morning program at WDJQ-FM, Canton after failing to agree to terms on a contract renewal with station owner Don Peterson III.  They started their own station at www.theradiosucks.com and began broadcasting three shows per week after exiting in February and Peterson sued, claiming they violated the non-compete.  Attorney Steve Okey argued his clients were prevented from operating a business that was “the same or essentially the same as a radio station” and their venture does not fit that description.  The judge agreed.  Peterson tells the Youngstown Vindicator he’s disappointed with the decision and will review his options.  This is a case others in the radio and internet radio businesses will be watching closely.

Red Zebra’s WTEM, Washington Inks Deal for Sports Content with Dial Global.  Red Zebra Broadcasting announces it has signed a two-year deal with Dial Global Radio Networks to have exclusive rights to March Madness, the NFL package, the NFL playoffs, the Super Bowl, the NFL Draft, Golf’s Majors and the Olympics in the Washington, DC market. Vice president of programming Chuck Sapienza says of the deal, “We want to thank Greg Leader and Sean Thompson of Dial Global for being such great partners.  We could not be more pleased with the relationship and all the great programming Dial Global brings to our listeners.  When you team the Redskins Radio Network with Dial Global’s NFL Package, NFL fans in DC will receive extensive, exclusive coverage of the National Football League on ESPN980.”

Current TV to Add Show Hosted by California Lieutenant Governor.  Former San Francisco mayor and current California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom will debut a new talk show on the Al Gore-founded Current TV network beginning in May.  The New York Times reports the move is designed by Current TV to “keep its progressive agenda on track.”  In a statement announcing the move, co-founder Al Gore states, “He touches many worlds – business, politics, entertainment and activism.  We are honored that Current TV will be bringing his curiosity, intelligence, insights and enthusiasm to television.”  Newsom will continue to serve as lieutenant governor of California.  Current TV is rebounding from the high-profile battle – now in the courts – with former “Countdown” host Keith Olbermann.  It also recently added video simulcasts of talk radio stars Stephanie Miller’s and Bill Press’ nationally syndicated morning radio programs.

TALKERS Publishes 2012 Heavy Hundred.  The 2012 installment of TALKERS magazine’s signature feature, “The Talkers 250 featuring the Heavy Hundred,” is officially posted.  This long-running talk radio industry institution also titled, “The 250 Most Important Talk Radio Hosts in America,” is compiled by the TALKERS editorial board based upon a compilation of both objective and subjective elements including (in alphabetical order):  courage, effort, impact, longevity, potential, ratings, recognition, revenue, service, talent and uniqueness.  Although the list is traditionally drawn from a wide variety of genres representing the breadth of spoken word radio from commercial to public and including everything from traditional news/talk to specialty programming, this year’s installment of the popular feature marks a departure from the custom of including sports talk hosts.  According to TALKERS VP/managing editor Kevin Casey, “Because of the explosive growth of sports talk radio and the number of excellent hosts participating in it across the country, TALKERS will be publishing the genre’s own Heavy Hundred beginning in 2012.”  The TALKERS Sports Talk Heavy Hundred is scheduled for publication this coming June.  To see this year’s entire “Talkers 250 featuring the Heavy Hundred” click here.

23rd Annual Imus Radiothon Begins Today.  77WABC, New York-based Don Imus broadcasts the 23rd Annual Imus Radiothon beginning today and running through tomorrow.  The Radiothon is airing on 77WABC, radio affiliates around the country and on the Fox Business Network.  The two-day event benefits the Imus Ranch for Kids with Cancer, the Tomorrows Children’s Fund and the CJ Foundation for SIDS.  Guests on the program for the Radiothon will include various sponsors and children/siblings who have visited and experienced the Imus Ranch in Ribera, New Mexico.

Warren Ballentine Interviews First Lady Michelle Obama.  Syndication One nationally syndicated talk host Warren Ballentine is pictured here at the White House on April 16 interviewing First Lady Michelle Obama.  Ballentine visited the White House as part of the Summit on Entrepreneurship for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority-Serving Institutions.  The White House Summit offered the opportunity for Ballentine to provide a national African-American audience for small business owners, government experts and leaders from a variety of HBCUs/MSIs to discuss their numerous opportunities and facilitate solutions to challenges in underserved communities.  Ballentine states, “Doing my show from the White House was such a great honor for me.  The staff was outstanding and the chance to interview First Lady Michelle Obama was truly a blessing and honor.  The First Lady is not only gracious, she is wise, funny, empathetic and truly in tune with the people of America.  This is an experience that I will never forget!”  Ballentine’s interview with the First Lady will be highlighted on his program today (4/19).

2012 Presidential Campaign, U.S. Soldiers Photos Scandal, North Korea Military Ambitions, Trayvon Martin Case Developments and Ted Nugent Comments Concern Secret Service Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/18).  The 2012 presidential campaign; the problems being caused by U.S. soldiers taking photos with the bodies of dead Taliban insurgents; ongoing concerns over North Korea’s military ambitions; judge steps down from Trayvon Martin case; and Ted Nugent’s comments to NRA group draws concern of Secret Service were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

| April 3, 2012

The FCC and You – Part 2: An Explanation of Obscenity.  TALKERS legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman writes the second in a series of exclusive articles covering crucial regulatory information of which all license holders must be aware.  Here Weisman outlines the three-pronged guidelines to defining obscenity and discusses some of the court cases that have helped codify the FCC regulations as they stand today.  Read more here.

 

Rivers Radio Launches Progressive News/Talk Station in Atlanta.  WGUN, Atlanta debuted as a progressive news/talk outlet yesterday featuring a lineup that includes: Syndication One’s Warren Ballentine, The Ed Schultz Show, Premiere NetworksRandi Rhodes, WYD Media’s Thom Hartmann, and The Mike Malloy Show.  Rivers Radio EVP and general manager Kevin Hemmings states, “Atlanta’s 1010 is excited to be able to offer this incredible lineup to our rapidly growing audience. For the first time in a very long while, the listeners of Atlanta now have a diverse choice of viewpoints and opinions.”  WGUN had been airing an oldies/standards format.

Syracuse Talk Personality Jim Reith Joins Pubcasters for New Shows.  Longtime WSYR, Syracuse talk show host Jim Reith – a 27-year employee of the station who was downsized in October of 2011 – begins a new career in the public media world when he debuts a 30-minute TV talk show on WCNY-TV, Syracuse in May and a radio talk show on WCNY-FM, Syracuse in the fall.  Reith tells the Syracuse Post Standard, “I want to be a local guy doing local topics with local people.  I want to inform people about local issues in a more developed way than you can do with a sound bite.  And I want to entertain people and have some fun.”  Reith’s TV talk show will air daily from 6:30 pm to 7:00 pm starting May 14 and in the fall he’ll begin a daily three-hour radio talk show on classical WCNY-FM’s HD 3 channel.

Cumulus-Finebaum Suits May Reach Settlement Out of Court.  If Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Robert Vance has his way, the lawsuits between WJOX-FM, Birmingham-based sports talk host Paul Finebaum and employer Cumulus Media will be settled out of court.  According to the Birmingham News, Vance has ordered the two sides to get back to the negotiating table in order to settle the contract dispute.  The two sides were in court last week for a hearing before Vance and they appear closer to a settlement.  Finebaum is suing over contractual issues that took place when Citadel owned the station and Cumulus is countersuing claiming breach of contract.

Leland Conway Moves to WRVA, Richmond for PM Drive.  Lexington, Kentucky talk show host Leland Conway leaves his afternoon drive show at Clear Channel’s WLAP after six years to take over the same time slot at the company’s WRVA, Richmond.  Conway fills the slot at WRVA that opened when the station parted ways with Doc Thompson.  Back at WLAP, the station will get assistance from WHAS, Louisville talk host Mandy Connell and others filling in Conway’s afternoon show until a permanent replacement can be found.

WTMA, Charleston Morning Host Richard Todd Resigns.  Citing the difficulty of being a single parent after the passing of his wife from cancer back in January, WTMA, Charleston, South Carolina morning drive host Richard Todd has resigned from the station.  Todd returned to the radio in February after taking some time off subsequent to the death of his wife Mary Todd on January 3.  Todd told his audience he would not be leaving his position had it not been for his wife’s passing.  He said he isn’t able to focus and prepare the way he needs to in order to execute the show the way he’d like.

Former NFL Players Greg Koch and N.D. Kalu Exit KILT, Houston.  The two had been contributors to CBS Radio’s sports talk KILT, Houston where they worked on both its coverage of Houston Texans football and with some of the station’s sports talk shows.  Now, the Houston Chronicle reports the two have resigned from the station and the scuttlebutt is that they will resurface at Clear Channel’s crosstown sports talk KBME.  KILT program director Gavin Spittle tells the paper, “We appreciated the time they were here.  We have been fortunate to build a large staff, and with that will come departures.  And with departures comes rebuilding, and we are excited about our future.”  Greg Koch is an attorney and N.D. Kalu works in the real estate business in the Houston area.

Former Senator Arlen Specter Hangs Up on GCN’s Jason Lewis.  Former Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter grew tired of his time on Genesis Communications Network’s Jason Lewis show – especially of having to sit through commercial breaks – and hung up on Lewis, but not after admonishing him for how the interview was being conducted.  Specter was on the program to promote his latest book, Life Among the Cannibals (Thomas Dunne Books 2012).  GCN reports Specter was upset Lewis didn’t spend enough time with the Republican-turned-Democrat discussing his book.  After the second commercial break he told Lewis, “I gave you 10 minutes. You’ve been over every subject except for my book.  I’ve listened to two rounds of your commercials.  I think it’s insulting.  I’ve been in a lot of interviews in the course of the past 30 years and you are absolutely insulting!  I told you the last time around I wasn’t looking to sit around and listen to your commercials, and I didn’t want to hang up on you.  But I want to tell you this is no way for anybody to run an interview.  I’m as experienced as you are, if not more so.  And that’s all I have to tell you, so goodbye!”

WFED, Washington PM Drive Host Francis Rose Available to Comment on Latest Government Waste Scandal.  A new report from the Inspector General at the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), the agency that buys goods and services for the Federal government, says leadership spent over $822,000 on a conference attended by about 300 people in October 2010 (over $2700 per attendee).  The report says “many of the expenditures on this conference were excessive and wasteful and that in many instances GSA followed neither federal procurement laws nor its own policy on conference spending.”  This story has been gaining traction among government waste watchers and is already huge in the nation’s capital.  Hubbard Broadcasting’s WFED (sister station to WTOP) uniquely targets its programming to Federal employees – particularly the bureaucracy’s movers and shakers – and is all over this breaking scandal.  (See http://www.federalnewsradio.com/445/2812012/GSA-head-Johnson-resigns-two-others-fired.)  Afternoon drive host Francis Rose tells TALKERS he is available for live and taped interviews via telephone on talk shows around the country to provide insight into its outrageous details.  Rose can be reached via e-mail at frose@federalnewsradio.com or by cell at 202-657-9907.

Jim Rome’s New CBS Sports Network Show Airs Tonight.  Sports talk icon Jim Rome begins a new chapter in the TV side of his sports talk career as CBS Sports Network – CBS’ new sports cable channel – broadcasts the first edition of his TV show since Rome parted company with ESPN.  Rome appeared on the “Late Show with David Letterman” last week to promote the new show and talk sports.  Rome’s new TV program airs nightly at 6:00 ET.

GOP Primary/2012 Presidential Campaign, Syrian Violence, ObamaCare Status, Iran Nukes, Gas Prices and NCAA Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/2).  The Republican primary race and the 2012 presidential campaign; the drive to end the violence in Syria, the politics surrounding the legal status of President Obama’s 2010 Affordable Care Act, Iran’s nuclear ambitions; the rising price of gas and the NCAA basketball finals were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, January 9, 2012

| January 9, 2012

Talk Radio Hosts Invade New Hampshire.  The New Hampshire Primary election is tomorrow (1/10) and in what has become a talk radio tradition – the New Hampshire Primary Radio Row – is putting the candidates and the issues on the air for local listeners and national audiences alike.  The radio row event is organized by TALKERS magazine and the Talk Radio News Service and includes more than 45 programs broadcasting live from the Manchester Radisson.  National programs include: Dial Global’s Neal Boortz, Thom Hartmann and Michael Smerconish; Radio America’s Roger Hedgecock; Genesis Communications Network’s Kate Delaney; Syndication One’s Al Sharpton and Warren Ballentine; Main Street Radio Network’s Alan Nathan; “A Touch of Grey” with Carole Marks; Michael Skoda; Dr. Gina Loudon; and Ed Morrissey.  Local talk hosts include: WOR, New York’s John Gambling; WTKK-FM, Boston’s Jim Braude and Margery Eagan; WTKK’s Michael Graham; Stephen K. Bannon of KABC, Los Angeles; Marc Bernier of WNDB, Daytona Beach; Michael Berry of KTRH, Houston; Lee Davis of WYDE-FM, Birmingham; Scott Hennen of KNOX, Grand Forks, North Dakota; Mark Skoda of WMPS, Memphis; Lisa Wexler of WFAS, Westchester, New York; Ken Pittman and Phil Paleologos of WBSM, New Bedford; Richard Girard of WGAM, Manchester; Paul Westcott of WGIR, Manchester; Dan Mitchell of WKBK, Keene; George Russell of WSMN, Nashua; Mark Johnson of WDEV, Waterbury, Vermont; Steve West of WKVT, Brattleboro, Vermont; John Harper of WUVR, Dartmouth, New Hampshire; Tony Lopes of WVBF, Taunton, Massachusetts; and Jeff Santos of WWZN, Boston.

SCOTUS Hears Indecency Arguments Tomorrow.  This day seems like a long time coming but tomorrow the United States Supreme Court will hear arguments about the FCC’s handling of broadcast indecency.  The case comes to the Court with regard to television violations but the rules are the same for radio.  Recent fines against ABC and Fox were overturned by the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals after the court ruled the regulations are vague and unevenly applied – especially concerning the difference between how the rules are applied to over-the-air broadcast versus cable and satellite.  That’s what ABC and Fox will argue tomorrow.  The FCC will argue that even in the current era, most Americans expect broadcast TV (and radio by extension) to be “relatively safe” media for family consumption.  Many legal observers believe that the likely ruling from the Supreme Court will be the request that the FCC make the indecency rules very clear and that its method of enforcement be just as clear.  Interestingly, former FCC chairman Michael Powell – who now works for the National Cable & Telecommunications Association – is quoted by Bloomberg saying if he were voting on the cases in question again, he would dissent this time.  “I’ve always been deeply troubled by the way the First Amendment changes when you change channels.”

Programmer Neil Larrimore Lands KFYI/KGME, Phoenix PD Position.  Clear Channel Phoenix names former KMBZ, Kansas City program director Neil Larrimore PD for news/talk KFYI and sports talker Xtra Sports 910 (KGME).  CC Phoenix director of operations and programming Smokey Rivers states, “Neil is the perfect complement to our Phoenix programming team.   He is totally immersed in the flow of news and sports.  In this ‘that’s so thirty seconds ago’ age, having a quality programmer focused solely on the output of our information products is essential to maintaining our quality edge.”  Larrimore, who recently exited Entercom’s Kansas City news/talk outlet, says, “Information is the lifeblood of all media, now more than ever.  The opportunity to work with these powerful brands and continue to evolve them on-air, on-site and online, is extraordinary!  I can’t wait to get started!”

Rick Barber Retires from KOA, Denver.  After 30 years on the air in Denver, Rick Barber retires from his late-night talk show on Clear Channel’s KOA, Denver.  The Clear Channel station is filling the time with Premiere Networks’ “Coast to Coast AM.”

Drew Steele Takes Over AM Drive on WFSX-FM, Fort Myers; Trey Radel Exits to Run for Congress.  Trey Radel announces his candidacy for Florida’s 14th Congressional District seat and exits the morning drive show at Meridian’s “92.5 Fox News” (WFSX-FM) in the Ft. Myers/Naples market.  Meridian hands the reins of the morning drive show over to Drew Steele.  Radel is a longtime media figure in the market serving as anchor on WINK-TV for years before joining “92.5 Fox News.”  Radel is running as a Republican for the seat being vacated by Connie Mack who’s running for the U.S. Senate.

ESPN Radio Celebrates 20 Years in Operation.  Once just a small part of the ESPN cable television-focused broadcasting company, ESPN Audio is now a major component of the ESPN brand.  In January of 1992, ESPN Radio consisted of weekday drive-time commentaries on about 100 affiliates.  The network now has 300 full-time affiliates and ESPN owns four stations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Dallas.  SVP of ESPN Audio Mo Davenport states, “In 20 years, we’ve gone from airing only weekday, drive-time commentaries on 104 radio stations, to the amazing success of “Mike & Mike,” “The Herd with Colin Cowherd,” Scott Van Pelt, Doug Gottlieb, and having ESPN Radio become the most-listened-to sports stream on the planet.  Additionally, our local markets give fans the local angle on air and online. It is a tribute to our listeners and our team, which pushes us forward to greater success in serving the sports fan.”

Jim Rome Takes TV Show to CBS Sports Network.  There’s no official confirmation from ESPN or Jim Rome’s camp but Big Lead Sports is reporting that Jim Rome’s “Rome is Burning” show will soon disappear from ESPN2 and Rome will begin a TV presence on the new CBS Sports Network.  The site reports that Rome was offered a multi-year deal to remain with ESPN but he’s choosing to begin TV life anew with CBS’ new cable initiative.  There would appear to be no affect on Rome’s radio program with Premiere Networks as a result of this.

KNX, Los Angeles Business Series Offers “The Business of Going Green.”  The next event in all-news KNX, Los Angeles’ Business Breakfast Series is titled, “The Business of Going Green” and takes place Friday, January 20 at 8:00 am at the Los Angeles Convention Center.  CBS Radio Los Angeles says “KNX Business Hour” host Frank Mottek will moderate a discussion that will explore how a sustainability strategy can be good for generating revenue and why being socially responsible doesn’t have to mean being fiscally irresponsible.  The free event will include a resource expo, continental breakfast and expert panelists H. David Nahai and Paul Polizzotto.  Nahai was senior advisor to the Clinton Climate Initiative and is president of David Nahai Consulting Services which advises and assists public and private entities involved in the environmental sector.  Polizzotto is president of EcoMedia, a division of CBS Corporation, whose mission is to raise public awareness about environmental issues.

KIRO-FM, Seattle Debuts New Local Food Show.  Hosted by local restaurateurs Tom Douglas and Thierry Rautureau and produced by Tina Cole, “Seattle Kitchen” airs Saturday mornings at 8:00 and Sundays at 10:00 am.  As you’d expect, the program will feature restaurant reviews of Puget Sound eateries as well as recipes and, of course, fielding listeners’ questions.  Program director Larry Gifford says, “Tom and Thierry are a natural fit and great addition.  For the weekend chef, who better to learn from, laugh with and relax to than these guys?”