Tag: "WERQ"

Friday, August 9, 2019

| August 9, 2019

Nunn Boosted to YEA Networks President. Three-year YEA Networks executive vice president of sales Shawn Nunn is elevated to the newly- created position of president at the independent radio and podcast company. Chief executive officer George Laughlin notes, “I’ve had the privilege of working with Shawn for more than 20 years. He is a trusted advisor and a highly-effective leader, who has been essential to the incredible growth and expansion of the company over the past three years. Under his leadership, YEA Networks will continue to deliver the highest quality products and services to the audio industry.” Nunn adds, “I am more than grateful to George for this opportunity. I have worked with many on the YEA team for much of my career and I am honored to take the lead. George’s vision and passion for this industry is immeasurable and I look forward to continuing this journey with him.” Texas native/Texas State University alum Nunn previously spent five years as Townsquare Media’s vice president of national sales; four years as GAP Broadcasting’s vice president of sales; and has held media industry positions in Dallas, Seattle, and Colorado Springs. YEA Networks’ syndicated programs include: various Kiddnation podcasts, “The Hollywood 5,” “The Kidd Kraddick Morning Show,” and “Tino Cochino Radio.

WCMC-FM Shifts “SportsChannel8: The Radio Show” to Weekdays. Saturday morning’s 10:00 am -12:00 noon “SportsChannel8” will begin airing weekdays in the same slot on Capitol Broadcasting Raleigh sports talk WCMC-FM, starting next Thursday (8/15). As a result, “FM 99.9 The Fan” will have nine consecutive hours of local sports talk programming each weekday. WCMC program/operations director Dennis Glasgow states, “We couldn’t be more excited to add the ‘SportsChannel8’ brand to our weekday lineup. Not only do we add another two hours a day of outstanding local content, we’ll also be offering probably one of the most engaging, entertaining, and hyper-local shows I have ever heard in my six years in ‘The Triangle.’” The show is hosted by longtime North Carolinian Hayes Permar, along with Josh Goodson and Brian Geisinger. Permar remarks, “We are incredibly excited and humbled to be part of the already outstanding lineup that ‘99.9 The Fan’ offers listeners every weekday. Our crew is made up of guys who all grew up and became sports fans in North Carolina; our show has and will continue to reflect that.” Coinciding with the change, ESPN Radio’s Dan Le Batard will transition from WCMC to co-owned/similarly formatted WCMC-HD2 “Buzz Sports Radio” and add an extra hour (10:00 am – 1:00 pm).

TALKERS News Notes. Exiting Total Traffic & Weather Network, owing to restructuring, are senior vice president of affiliate services Roger Nadel; vice president of affiliate sales for the southeast Christopher Leonard; and head of operations for the southwest John Winder ….. After an 18-year career as an NFL QB (the first seven with the Philadelphia Eagles and the last 11 with the Washington Redskins), Sonny Jurgensen hung up the helmet and spikes in 1974. The soon-to-be (8/23) 85-year-old Hall of Famer is now hanging up the headsets as the longtime Redskins’ radio analyst. He made the announcement before last night’s (Thursday, 8/8) pre-season, pre-game show. Jurgensen commented, “I’ve had so many wonderful memories of teammates I’ve played with and talked about during my years in radio and television. The relationships with coaches and executives over the 50 years have been special. My broadcast partners such as Sam Huff, Frank Herzog, Doc Walker, and George Michael lived through the glory years together – all great memories. My good friend Andy Ockershausen was responsible for bringing together the original broadcast team of ‘Sonny, Sam, and Frank.’ After 62 years in professional football, I still have my health and wonderful family; a special thanks to my beautiful wife, Margo, for letting me work the weekends for all those years. I’ll always be a fan of professional football and appreciative of all that it has done for me, my family, and our city” ….. KTUL-TV, Tulsa marketing consultant Jessica Foster joins Stephens Media Group Tulsa as director of sales. SMG owner David Stephens notes, “Jessica has the well-rounded media experience we need to maximize revenue. Her ties to the local advertising community and reputation for excellence adds to the strength of our cluster.” Senior vice president of radio and digital sales Summer Kirkland comments, “Having worked alongside Jessica for several years, I have witnessed the way she incorporates her vast media knowledge with a passion for people to achieve success.” Prior to KTUL-TV, Foster worked at Interep/D&R; Entercom St. Louis news/talk KMOX; and several stations in Atlanta and Springfield, Missouri. The Stephens Media Group Tulsa cluster includes news/talk KCFO “AM 970 Talk You Can Trust,” sports talk KYAL “97.1 The Sports Animal,” contemporary Christian KXOJ and KXOJ-HD2, alternative KMYZ “Z-104.5 The Edge,” and KTSO “Totally Awesome 80s” ….. Part of next Monday’s (8/12) debut of iHeartMedia Reading, Pennsylvania’s news/talk WRAW “News Radio 1340” will be the return of Rush Limbaugh to the market. Regional senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia Allentown and Harrisburg Jeff Hurley comments, “We’re thrilled to bring an all-star lineup of talk radio programs to Reading. We’re confident that WRAW will become a favorite source for compelling news, talk, and entertainment.” The station’s weekday lineup will include: “The RJ Harris Breakfast Show” (5:00 am – 9:00 am); Glenn Beck (9:00 am – 12:00 noon); Limbaugh (12:00 noon – 3:00 pm); Sean Hannity (3:00 pm – 6:00 pm); Buck Sexton (6:00 pm – 9:00 pm); and “Crime Stories with Nancy Grace” (9:00 pm – 10:00 pm) ….. As part of an extended relationship with NRG Media Omaha, all hockey, and men’s and women’s basketball games of the University of Nebraska Omaha Mavericks will air on sports talk KZOT “1180 AM – The Zone 2.” In the event of a hockey conflict, any and all basketball games will be heard on sports talk KOZN “1620 AM – The Zone” or KOIL “News Talk 1290.” NRG Radio Omaha general manager Mark Shecterle remarks, “We are extremely excited to continue our partnership with UNO. As the sports leader in Omaha, it is important that we associate our stations with great sports programs like UNO. We look forward to broadcasting UNO sports on our stations this upcoming year, and many years to come.” UNO vice chancellor of athletics Trev Alberts notes, “NRG Media has provided our hockey and basketball teams with a reliable radio home for many years; we are pleased to continue this mutually beneficial relationship. NRG Media is a recognized leader in sports broadcasting in Omaha, and its stations allow our fans to follow the Mavericks, both over-the-air and through live streaming.” Gary Sharp will be back for his seventh season calling UNO men’s basketball. He will work with former Maverick Kyler Erickson who will begin his first season as analyst for all home games. Likewise, Donny Baarns enters his first year of  lead play-by-play announcer for UNO hockey broadcasts. He will work alongside Terry Leahy who has provided color commentary for all 22 seasons of UNO hockey. Lester St. James will return for his 10th season as the rink-side reporter for all home games. Meanwhile, Jon Schriner replaces Baarns as play-by-play voice of Omaha women’s basketball ….. The Wall Street Journal is among the first to report that Facebook is offering news outlets millions of dollars for the rights to put their content in a news section that the company hopes to launch later this year. The project involves the social network striking deals potentially worth millions of dollars to publishers including The New York Times, The Washington Post and Dow Jones, parent company of The Wall Street Journal, among others. The Journal reported yesterday (Thursday, 8/8) that Facebook representatives had told news executives that they’d pay as much as $3 million a year to license stories, headlines and other material. Publishers could pick between putting the stories directly on Facebook’s tab or putting previews in that go back to the original site. These arrangements would last for three years. Thus far though, it’s unclear if any publishers have signed on yet.

New Installment Posted of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The recently launched, one-hour weekend program, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” produced by Goodphone Communications that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, will be posted this afternoon (Friday 8/9) on the website of its flagship station, iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC.  The new episode titled, “The Nation Grieves and Argues!” looks back at this past week of August 5-9, 2019 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS magazine; Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company; Mike Siegel, syndicated talk show host, GCN; Harry Hurley, WPG, Atlantic City, NJ;  Rick Ungar, syndicated talk show host, “The Rick Ungar Show”/former CEO Marvel Entertainment; and Renee Kohanski, M.D., forensic psychiatrist and medical profession podcaster.   The news/talk media show airs on WONK-FM on Friday afternoons between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm as a recap and exclamation mark for the week-in-review as well as several other stations around the country including KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA and during the weekend on the Virginia Talk Radio Network as well as Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA. Hosted by Michael Harrison, this excellent show is now being made available as a service to terrestrial news/talk stations from TALKERS for on-air or online presentation on a market-exclusive basis.  For information call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.  To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here.

Cool Job Opportunity. There are actually three of them to share – all at Fox News. A freelance writer is needed for the Fox News Headlines team. You will write news for the national news network, conceptualize, write, compile enterprise stories, fact check, and build show content newscasts. This is a shift-based role, including overnight and weekend shifts. You will work some holidays and must be available off-hours in the event of major breaking news. Among the responsibilities are writing fast-paced newscasts; generating creative and innovative ideas for writing news segments; and communicating daily story development with producers and editors. A degree in journalism or related field is preferred. Click here to apply. In addition, Fox News Radio D.C./New York is seeking an overnight freelance anchor. The person in this position will work under tight deadlines, must have a passion for breaking news, and be flexible to work on a days’ notice. In order to be considered for this role, a link or MP3 file of a demo reel/air check is needed. Among responsibilities are writing for a one-hour live national newscast; writing five-minute and one-minute newscasts; and handling live breaking news coverage during national newscasts. Requirements include strong writing skills; ability to work under tight deadlines; flexibility to work primarily weekend shifts; and at least five years’ experience as a news anchor. Network or major market experience is preferred. Click here to apply. Needed as well is a freelance producer/news editor to supervise the staff for the network radio news operation. This person will work with news anchors to craft content and structure of a 24/7 news operation. Responsibilities include: formatting, programming, coordinating, and producing a live news program; producing segments and reporter hits; handling staffing issues when managers are not present; and working on developing stories as the day progresses. Candidates must: be highly skilled in writing and copy editing; have familiarity with social media; be able to handle breaking news situations; have strong editorial judgment; and be able to interact with high-profile talent. Click here to apply.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Director of sales for Townsquare Media’s four-station Cedar Rapids (Iowa) cluster, Brian Sines, transfers to Texarkana (Texas/Arkansas) to become market president/chief revenue officer of the company’s five stations there. Townsquare senior vice president Todd Lawley notes, “I have worked with Brian the past five years and watched him build Cedar Rapids into one of the top performing clusters at Townsquare. The Cedar Rapids market hasn’t missed a budget in three years and holds a dominant position with both their broadcast and digital performance. I’m confident that Brian will quickly build upon the high performing team that serves the community, our listeners, and the clients of Texarkana. It is extremely rewarding to again have the ability to promote from within, which is a direct reflection to the level of talent we have at Townsquare.” Sines remarks, “I am excited to join the team in Texarkana. Townsquare is fortunate to have such a long-tenured team in place that truly cares about our clients, our listeners, and super serves the community. I look forward to working with the number one media team in the market and starting a budget-busting streak of our own.” Sines formerly held market manager, GSM, and director of sales positions in Des Moines, Madison (Wisconsin), and Burlington (Iowa) at stations owned by the then-Clear Channel (now iHeartMedia). Townsquare Media’s five Texarkana stations are country KKYR “Kicker 102.5”; CHR KPWW “Power 95.9”; classic rock KYGL “Eagle 106.3”; urban AC KMJI “Magic 93.3”; and gospel KOSY “790 AM.” ….. Program director Al Payne has left Cumulus Media Kansas City urban AC KMJK “Magic 107.3.” Prior to his KC tenure, Payne programmed in Dallas (KRNB); Washington, DC (WKYS); Detroit (WMGC, WGPR, WDMK); Baltimore (WERQ, WWIN); and Greensboro (WQMG) ….. WLXX “92.9 Nash FM,” Lexington (Kentucky) promotes on-air talent Deidre Ransdell to program director of the Cumulus Media country outlet. Cumulus Lexington general manager Scott Frazier opines, “Having Deidre Ransdell as WLXX program director is like naming [Houston Astros RHP] Justin Verlander as your starter in game one of the World Series. She brings talent, experience, drive, and the will-to-win to the station. I’m very much looking forward to working with her.” Operations manager Anthony “Twitch” Longo comments, “It’s a great day when we get to promote someone as talented and hardworking as Deidre. She is a force to be reckoned with; to say I am excited to have her at the helm of “92.9 Nash FM” is an understatement.” After a 15-year career in education, Ransdell has been a Lexington on-air talent the past 18 years. She joined WLXX’s morning show in 2001 and has been heard in various other day-parts on the station. Last year, Ransdell added overnights at Nashville’s co-owned/similarly formatted WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon” and is heard on various other country stations on Cumulus Media’s Westwood One Radio Network …. As voted by the Academy of Country Music membership, the ACM announces its officers for the 2019 – 2020 term. They are: Ed Warm (chair); Lori Badgett (president); Chuck Aly (vice president); Carmen Romano (treasurer); Gayle Holcomb (sergeant-at-arms); Paul Moore (parliamentarian); and Tommy Moore (secretary). Outgoing chair Duane Clark comments, “The Academy’s history is one of continually building upon its successes and supporting the artists we love, and the music they create that shapes our culture. I am grateful for – and proud of – the hard work and dedication of the Academy’s board, our partners, and our passionate staff. With Ed [Warm] stepping in as chair, I am confident we are in the best hands to guide our organization to new heights.” Warm remarks, “I have greatly enjoyed my involvement with the Academy and am looking forward to carrying the torch from Duane. I’m proud to work with the many talented industry people who volunteer their time for our artists, industry, and fans.” ….. Adult contemporary WLDR “101.9 – Northern Michigan’s Music Leader,” Traverse City joins Blarney Stone Broadcasting rock sibling WQON “Q-100,” Grayling (Michigan) as an affiliate on the Detroit Lions radio network. Blarney Stone Broadcasting president/chief executive officer Sheryl Coyne notes, “We know how important Detroit Lions football is to their passionate fan base in Northern Michigan; we’re proud to be able to deliver all the games in such professional broadcasts.”

Rasberry Receives MIW “Airblazer Award.” Longtime co-host of YEA Networks’ syndicated “The Kidd Kraddick Morning Show,” Kellie Rasberry, was honored with the 2019 MIW “Airblazer Award” during the 31st annual Talentmasters Morning Show Bootcamp (MSBC). Radio Advertising Board president/chief executive officer Erica Farber made the presentation. Now in its fifth year, the MIW “Airblazer Award” stems from an alliance formed between the MIW Group and MSBC and honors a deserving on-air radio personality. In addition to her work as co-host of “The Kidd Kraddick Morning Show,” Rasberry co-hosts (with her husband, Allen Evans) the weekly podcast, “A Sandwich and Some Lovin.’” She is on the board of directors of Kidd’s Kids, a non-profit organization that takes children with life-altering conditions to all-expenses paid trips to Disney World with their family. After more than two decades in radio, Rasberry has won several “Favorite Female Radio Personality of the Year” awards. She was a co-host on Fox Television’s “Dish Nation,” “Love Letters with Matthew & Kellie,” and webcast of the “Blockbuster Entertainment Awards.” During “Women of Radio Week,” she co-hosted “Live! With Regis.” Pictured (left to right) are Farber, Rasberry, and 2018 MIW “Airblazer Award” honoree Mercedes Martinez of Entercom Las Vegas hot AC KMXB “Mix 94.1.”

 

 

July 2019 PPM Data. Information for the July 2019 ratings period has been released for Boston, Miami, and Seattle. Nielsen Audio’s July 2019 survey period covered June 20 – July 17. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these three markets.

Boston

Spoken-Word Formats – Winning ways continue for iHeartMedia news/talk WRKO, which nets +1.5 via seven successive positive or neutral trends (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 3.6, 6+). Moreover, July’s impressive +.9 propels “AM 680 – The Voice of Boston” all the way into the top ten (#12 to #8), with 3.6 (6+) surpassing November 2014’s 3.3. Up one-tenth in consecutive sweeps (.4 – .5 – .6, June and July, 6+), co-owned WXKS-AM “Talk 1200” repeats at #26.

The combined sports talk share of this sports crazy market’s two high-powered FMs deflates by -2.4 (June 2019 – July 2019, 6+) with Beasley Media Group-owned WBZ-FM absorbing 75% of that hit (5.6 – 3.8, fourth to seventh, 6+). Nine recent shifts for “98.5 The Sports Hub” include: +.9 (October 2018); +.8 (November); -1.0 (December); +.5 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.6 (January 2019); -.8 (February); +.8 (May); -1.4 (June); and July’s whopping -1.8. “The Sports Hub” is the lead station of the Stanley Cup runner-up Bruins; Super Bowl champion New England Patriots; and the Celtics. The month-to-month drop-off for Entercom-owned sports talk WEEI-FM is one-third that of “The Sports Hub” (3.9 – 3.3, -.6, 6+); the flagship of the 2018 World Series champion Boston Red Sox flagship slips from eighth to tenth. Sample shifts for WEEI-FM include: -.5 (September 2018); +.5 (October); +.6 (November); -2.0 (December); -.7 (“Holiday” 2018); +1.7 (January 2019); -1.0 (February); -.5 (March); +.6 (April); and -.6 (July).

WBZ-AM is truly locked on 5.0 (6+), as that is what “News Radio 1030” logs for the fifth successive month. The iHeartMedia-owned news-talk hybrid progresses from sixth to fifth; it was +1.3 in January/February (4.3 – 5.5 – 5.6, 6+).

By regaining the one-tenth it lost in June (3.5 – 3.4 – 3.5, 6+), Boston University news/talk WBUR returns to the top ten (#11 to #9, 6+), while WGBH Educational Foundation news/talk WGBH repeats June’s 6+ AQH share (2.2) and market rank (#16).

Boston Music Formats – Not only does Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies WROR replicate June’s increase of six-tenths (7.6 – 8.2 – 8.8, 6+), “105.7 – 80s & More” is #1 for the fourth month in a row. When WROR dropped two-tenths in May, it snapped at four a consecutive string of up or flat trends that netted a +2.2 (5.6 – 6.2 – 6.8 – 7.8 – 7.8, 6+). Boston’s (6+) pacesetters thus far this calendar year have been: iHeartMedia-owned CHR WXKS-FM “Kiss 108 – Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station” (January, 7.3, and February, 7.4, 6+); WROR (March and April, 7.8 – both times, 6+); WROR and WXKS-FM (May, 7.6, 6+); WROR (June, 8.2 and July, 8.8, 6+). At the same time that iHeartMedia-owned WBWL “101.7 The Bull Boston’s #1 For New Hit Country” improves by six-tenths (2.1 – 2.7, #17 to #13, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WKLB “Country 102.5” regresses by seven-tenths (4.7 – 4.0, seventh to sixth, 6+). A June loss of three-tenths by “The Bull” ended six successive sweeps without a loss that netted six-tenths (1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 2.2 – 2.4, 6+). This is the highest 6+-share for “The Bull” since August 2017 (2.7, as well). “Country 102.5, meanwhile was a cumulative +1.3 in four straight “Holiday 2018 through April 2019 bumps (3.5 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 4.2 – 4.8, 6+). In four consecutive positive spikes, Northeast Broadcasting triple A WXRV gained a collective nine-tenths (1.8 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 2.7, 6+), but “92.5 The River – Boston’s Independent Radio” forfeits six-tenths to 2.1 (#12 to #17, 6+). Up a combined-eight-tenths in May/June (6.1 – 6.2 – 6.9, 6+), Entercom adult contemporary WMJX “Magic 106.7 – Today’s Hits/Yesterday’s Favorites” forfeits one-half share to 6.4 (6+) but continues in third-place. June’s 6.9 was its highest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2018’s 14.5. Albeit a collective -1.2 in six straight down or flat moves (3.1 – 2.8 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.9, 6+), iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WJMN “Jam’n 94.5” improves from #19 to #18. In the market’s CHR arena, iHeartMedia’s aforementioned WXKS-FM “Kiss 108” is a combined -.7 in June/July (7.6 – 7.2 – 6.9, 6+) but repeats in the runner-up slot. A one-half share increase in May took “Kiss 108” to 7.6, its strongest 6+-performance since August 2018’s 7.8. Meanwhile, Entercom’s similarly-formatted WODS “103.3 Amp Radio” is down or flat the sixth straight time for a net loss of four-tenths (2.5 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.1, #17 to #16, 6+).

Miami

English-Language Spoken-Word Formats – In three straight sweeps without an increase, iHeartMedia news/talk WIOD “News Radio 620 – Miami’s News, Traffic, & Weather Station” has lost just two-tenths and carries on at #18 (2.7 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.5, 6+).

Seven successive sweeps without a loss yielded three-tenths for Entercom’s WAXY (.6 – .6 – .6 – .7 – .7 – .8 – .9 – .9, 6+), but “Sports Talk 790 The Ticket” is off one-tenth in July to .8 (#25 to #26, 6+). Co-owned WQAM – which recently rebranded from “Sports Radio 560” to “560 The Joe” – has a January 2019 through July 2019 topline of .6 – .5 – .7 – .5 – .6 – .5 – 6 (#29 to #30, 6+).

While it remains at #20, Dade County School Board news/talk WLRN falters by four-tenths to 1.9 (6+), thus snapping four straight up or flat reports that produced a net gain of two-tenths (2.1 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.3, 6+).

Miami Music Formats – Without an increase the last three ratings periods and down three-tenths in that March through June stretch (2.9 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.6, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned urban contemporary WMIB “103.5 The Beat” ends the slide with a +.6 to 3.2 (6+) and jumps from #16 to #12. This is its best 6+-showing since December 2018 (3.2, as well). In four straight drops, Spanish contemporary sibling WZTU was a collective -1.7 (5.1 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.1 – 3.4, 6+). “Tu 94.9” pulls the plug in July though by picking up three tenths to 3.7 (6+) and returns to the top ten (#12 to #10). June’s 3.4 was its weakest 6+-stat since October 2017 (3.4, as well). Flat at #15, Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish contemporary WRMA “Ritmo 95.7,” which had faltered by seven-tenths in four consecutive sweeps without an increase (3.4 – 3.3 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 2.7, 6+), gains one-tenth to 2.8 (6+). Miami’s pacesetter the seventh consecutive ratings period (including a three-way tie at #1 in February), Cox Media Group-owned adult contemporary WFEZ “Easy 93.1,” follows June’s increase of eight-tenths with a July loss of three-tenths (6.8 – 7.6 – 7.3, 6+). Eight-tenths has been a common fluctuation recently for “Easy” as it was down eight-tenths in February; up by that magnitude in March; and up again by eight-tenths in June. Entering the “Holiday” 2018 sweep, “Easy 93.1” finished on top seven straight times. Following three up or flat trends in succession that netted nine-tenths (2.9 – 3.5 – 3.5 – 3.8, 6+), CHR cluster-mate WFLC returns roughly half that increase with a one-half share decline to 3.3 (6+). As a result, “Hits 97.3” exits the top ten (#9 to #11); June’s 3.8 was its highest 6+-share since December 2017’s 4.0. “Hits 97.3” responded to March’s one-tenth loss with an April increase of six-tenths. Meanwhile, iHeartMedia-owned/similarly-formatted WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station” recaptures half of June’s loss of four-tenths (2.6 – 2.8, +.2, 6+) and advances from #16 to #15. When “Y-100” added one-tenth in March, it curtailed five straight reports without an increase for a collective setback of nine-tenths (3.4 – 3.3 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.5, 6+). WHYI posted a half-share increase in May. Even though Entercom’s similarly-formatted WLYF picks up one-tenth to 5.5 (6+), thus suspending four straight sweeps without an increase that led to an overall -1.2 (6.6 – 6.2 – 6.2 – 6.1 – 5.4, 6+), “101.5 Lite FM” slips to #4. It had been in third-place the past four months. Anchored at #7, Cox Media Group urban contemporary WEDR “99 Jamz” is a collective -1.1 through six straight negative or neutral moves (5.2 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). Spanish Broadcasting System-owned Spanish tropical WXDJ is -1.1 in five straight down or flat trends (4.9 – 4.8 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.8, 6+) as “El Zol 106.7” falls from eighth to ninth.

Seattle

Spoken-Word Formats – Recapturing the three-tenths it dropped in June (4.9 – 4.6 – 4.9, 6+), Bonneville news/talk KIRO-FM remains in fifth-place. Co-owned KTTH “Conservative Talk Radio” is up a cumulative one-half share in three straight sweeps without a loss (1.2 – 1.2, 1.4 – 1.7, flat at #22, 6+). This comes directly after losing roughly 43% (-.9) of its 6+-stat due to three straight down or flat trends (2.1 – 1.4 – 1.2 – 1.2, 6+). In five successive negative or neutral reports, Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned KVI “Talk Radio 570” has lost more than half (-.9) of its 6+ AQH share since February (1.6 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.1 – .7, #24 to #26, 6+).

Bonneville sports talk/Mariners’ flagship KIRO-AM “ESPN 710” is a collective -1.3 in three straight drops (4.3 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.0, #13 to #14, 6+). With its 6+ stat sliced by more than 60% (-.9) via four consecutive slips (1.4 – 1.3 – 1.2 – .6 – .5, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KJR-AM “Seattle’s Sports Radio 950” falls from #27 to #28.

For the third time in the last four sweeps, Sinclair Broadcast Group all-news KOMO logs a 2.8  (2.8 – 2.7 – 2.8 – 2.8, #16 to #15, 6+).

This calendar year, Northwest Public Radio news/talk KUOW has ranked #1 (January, February, and March); #2 (April); #1 (May); #3 (June); and now #2 (5.6 – 5.5, -.1, July 2019, 6+).

Seattle Music Formats – June’s first-place tie is broken with an exclamation point. Specifically, iHeartMedia-owned KZOK “102.5 Seattle’s Classic Rock Station” dials up a July uptick of nine-tenths and has the top spot all to itself. At the same time, Hubbard Broadcasting CHR KQMV “MOViN’ 92.5 – Seattle’s #1 Hit Music Station” surrenders eight-tenths (6.1 – 5.3, 6+) and segues from that first-place tie to #3. Thus, the two stations that were locked together in June are now separated by nearly two full-shares. There’s much more to the story though as KZOK is an impressive +3.3 owing to eight straight bumps (3.7 – 3.9 – 4.4 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 5.6 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 7.0, 6+). Immediately in advance of this positive run, KZOK was -1.6 in four consecutive ratings periods without an increase (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 3.7, 6+). A collective -1.0 in four successive down or flat trends (7.0 – 6.8 – 6.8 – 6.6 – 6.0, 6+), KQMV applied the brakes in June with a gain of one-tenth. “MOViN’” made it to #1 in April, the first time it reached the lead spot since November 2018. Tacking on six-tenths to July’s boost of eight-tenths (3.7 – 4.5 – 5.1, 6+), iHeartMedia adult hits KJAQ “96.5 Jack FM Playing What We Want” jumps from sixth to fourth. Moreover, Seattle’s version of “Jack” reaches the five-share threshold (5.1, 6+) for the first time in nearly ten years (5.0, October 2009). Not only has Hubbard Broadcasting’s KNUC more than doubled (+2.2) its 6+ AQH share in eight successive up or flat sweeps (2.1 – 2.1 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.3 – 3.5 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.3, 6+), “New Country 98.9 The Bull” enters the top ten (#11 to #8). Furthermore, it leapfrogs Entercom’s KKWF “100.7 The Wolf – #1 For Country,” which erases May’s +.9 with June/July’s combined -.9 (5.0 – 4.5 – 4.1, 6+) and exits the top ten (#6 to #12). Prior to April, when it regressed by six-tenths, “The Wolf” was a cumulative +1.4 as a result of three straight upticks (3.3- 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.7, 6+). Bustos Media regional Mexican KDDS “99.3 La Gran D” pops on with a .7 (6+) and checks in at #26. Not only does a loss of six-tenths to 4.2 (6+) by Entercom’s KISW curtail three consecutive positive spikes that produced a +1.1 (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.5  4.8, 6+), “Rock 99.9” fades from the top ten (#4 to #11). This is the third month in a row that Entercom adult contemporary KSWD “94.1 The Sound” (4.5 – 4.4, -.1, flat at #6, 6+) and Hubbard Broadcasting’s similarly-formatted KRWM “Warm 106.9” (4.4 – 4.3, -.1, ninth to eighth, 6+) are separated by one-tenth. Prior to eroding by -1.1 in April, “The Sound” was an overall +1.5 through three consecutive increases (3.7 – 3.8 – 5.1 – 5.2, 6+). Entering the May sweep, “Warm 106.9” recorded a 4.8 (6+) in three of the previous four reports (4.8 – 4.0 – 4.8 – 4.8, 6+) and was #1 in December and “Holiday” 2018. Without an increase the seventh time in a row for a collective -2.3 (5.1 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.8, 6+), Sinclair Broadcast Group hot AC KPLZ  “Star 101.5 Today’s Best Mix” is now in a four-way tie at #15.

Talk Radio Pioneer Mike Siegel is this Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Veteran conservative/libertarian talk radio personality Mike Siegel is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Siegel, a former private practicing attorney and school teacher, currently syndicated by Genesis Communications Network (GCN), was one of the early broadcasters to emerge in the late-eighties post-Fairness Doctrine period described by Harrison as “the modern era of talk radio.” During that period, Siegel – who hosted shows on such stations as KING and KVI in Seattle – was, according to Harrison, “the quintessential, local, muckraker aggressively holding local politicians, government and big corporations accountable for their actions.” Harrison and Siegel, whose latest book is titled Airing the Wave: Talk Radio at the Dawn of the Digital Era (Page Publishing, 2016), informally chat about the changes talk radio has experienced through the years as it has evolved from the analog era into the digital age, not to mention the transitional state of journalism itself. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and on every page of Talkers.com.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

| July 25, 2017

WWL, New Orleans Names Sheriff Newell Normand to Replace Garland Robinette. The midday show at Entercom’s news/talk WWL-AM/FM, New Orleans has been open since Garland Robinette retired.  Now, the station surprises the market by convincing Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand to trade in his badge for a microphone.  Normand will retire from his sheriff’s position on August 31 and join the radio station on September 11. Normand says, “It was a tough decision because I love my work, my officers, and the people of Jefferson Parish.  But, this is an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.  I always listened to Garland and admired his voice in our community.  He played a pivotal role in New Orleans’ recovery and rebirth from Katrina.  Plus, good leaders know when it’s time to move on.  I’m satisfied that Jefferson Parish is in great shape.  The crime rate hasn’t been this low since 1974.  And strong leadership is ready to step in and take over a great team – one I care about deeply and will miss dearly.”  WWL operations and program director Diane Newman states, “I can honestly say we surprised Sheriff Normand.  Called him out of the blue one day and asked if he’d consider a career change.  It was a long shot – he’s one of our most popular and effective leaders – a powerful man with one powerful voice.  But, just as Garland always seemed bigger than the box called television, Newell always seemed more than the uniform.  His voice will be amplified behind the WWL mic, allowing him and us to make even deeper connections with our community.  There are sides to Newell Normand that most people don’t know.  This show will give him room to expand – to display not just his unmatched smarts and institutional knowledge, but that passion and love of community that he always had to reign in as sheriff.  Talent as big as the stage.”

iHM Promotes Tony Molaee to iHeartRadio Post. New York-based iHeartMedia staffer Tony Molaee is promoted to VP of digital programming and operations for iHeartRadio.  The company says that in this new role, he will support the national digital programming team as well as continue to support iHeartRadio’s local New York market as digital lead.  “Molaee’s local experience and digital expertise will serve the overall organization by identifying what content will help continue to drive more traffic to iHeartRadio’s individual local radio station websites, as well as nationally.”

Salem’s ‘Made in America’ Day at the White House. Pictured above are Salem Radio Network vice president/news & talk programming Tom Tradup (left) and SRN talk show host Hugh Hewitt (right) getting ready to kick off yesterday’s “Made in America” day broadcasts from the White House.  Guests on yesterday’s shows included new White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci, Energy Secretary Rick Perry and State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert.

WMBD, Peoria’s Power Failure Plan Keeps Station On Air.  Much of downtown Peoria lost power last Tuesday (7/18) but Alpha Media’s stations in the market moved quickly to remain on the air.  News/talk WMBD went old school by broadcasting at the transmitter site. Greg Batton – of the “Greg and Dan” morning show – went with WMBD traffic reporter Ken Zurski and chief engineer Wayne Miller and other staffers to the transmitter in Tazewell County.  Batton (pictured here in the transmitter building) and Zurski were on the air commercial free during the outage.  Other staffers sent WMBD’s content via Marti to another tower site for three more Alpha stations.  Then “Mix 106.9” program director and morning host Randy Rundle joined Batton and Zurski for the unique show. Dan DiOrio, Batton’s co-host, along with news anchor Ed Hammond and producer Cory Wara, remained at the studio facility in case the power came back on, and along with morning shows from the other Alpha stations, fed content to social media and station websites via cell data. Alpha Media Peoria SVP/market manager Mike Wild comments, “Our number one priority is serving the community and I’m extra proud of our team for how they handled this unscripted situation.  They moved quickly and were able to keep our listeners and users well informed.  This is what Alpha Media is all about – live and local!”

TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated late-night talk show host Jim Bohannon is scheduled to deliver the summer commencement address at University of North Georgia in Dahlonega, Georgia on Saturday, July 29.  The Westwood One personality says that he will “forgo the big picture so popular in commencement addresses, and will tell graduates about the ‘little picture.’”…..WHO, Des Moines-based talk show host Simon Conway makes a change to his work on WMT, Cedar Rapids.  Conway had been hosting a separate 9:00 am to 11:00 am program on WMT for some time while doing his afternoon show on WHO.  Now, iHeartMedia is simulcasting his 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm show on both stations and Conway is giving up the late morning show on WMT as he ramps up efforts to spread his program across Iowa…..Seven new podcasts have joined the Earwolf comedy network on the Midroll Media podcast platform owned by Scripps.  The shows include: “Off Book,” the “first-ever improvised musical podcast,” Jessica McKenna and Zach Reino; “Homophilia,” featuring MTV host Dave Holmes, comedian Matt McConkey and a celebrity guest for a candid conversation on what they’re loving in pop culture and who they are loving in their romantic lives; episodes of the popular 1960s comedy radio show “Chickenman”; “Cracked Movie Club”; “Cracked Gets Personal”; “Throwing Shade”; and “James Bonding.”…..Grammy Award-winning musician Darius Rucker begins a new golf show airing monthly on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio titled, “On Par with Darius Rucker” on July 26…..Pantsuit Nation and DGital Media launch a new weekly podcast titled, “This Pod is Your Pod,” featuring co-hosts Libby Chamberlain and Cortney Tunis.

Hangin’ Out with Mama. Nationally syndicated talk show host Dr. Daliah Wachs (right) poses for a pic with iconic comic actress Vicki Lawrence (left) in Las Vegas.  Lawrence – well-known for her work on the “Carol Burnett Show” and creating the character “Mama” – was in Vegas doing “Vicki Lawrence and Mama:  A Two Woman Show.”  Lawrence is also a spokeswoman for CIUandYou that raises awareness for Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria – a condition that produces chronic hives with no known cause.  Lawrence appeared on Wachs’ GCN-syndicated program during her stop in Las Vegas.

CMG’s Gamut Names Four Executives. The Cox Media Group subsidiary Gamut – a “solutions-based” advertising organization – names four to new positions.  Soo Jin Oh is Gamut’s new vice president of client strategy & solutions; Meghan Bentley is now director of business development; Jason Whidby is regional director of sales, West; and Blake McClean is regional director of sales, Southeast.

GOP Renews Plans to Vote on Health Care, Trump-Russia Investigation, Russia Sanctions Vote, NYTimes-Fox News Tiff, China Beefing Up N. Korea Border, Smuggled Illegals Deaths/Sanctuary Cities Controversy, Sister Livestreams Sister’s Death, Jeff Sessions’ Job Security, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/24). Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s effort to force a vote in the Senate to repeal ObamaCare; the controversy over meetings between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the House bill that would increase sanctions on Russia, as well as Iran and North Korea; the skirmish between The New York Times and Fox News over the latter’s reporting that the NYT published information that hindered the U.S.’s search for ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi; speculation about what China’s increased activity near its North Korean border means; the deaths of 10 illegals in a tractor trailer in San Antonio and the related criticism of sanctuary cities; a Fresno teen is arrested on DUI charges after livestreaming the car crash that killed her younger sister; rumors that President Trump wants to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions; 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.

Dana Barrett Appears on HLN with Lynn Smith.  Pictured above are WAFS, Atlanta “biz1190” mid-morning personality Dana Barrett (right) during her recent appearance on HLN’s “Weekend Express” with host Lynn Smith (left).  Barrett spoke about the gender pay gap relative to the recent story revealing the BBC’s disparate gender pay stats.

TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Continue Posting Today (7/25) with Heather Cohen, Brian Kilmeade and Scott Lakefield.  The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and its sessions are being posted to Talkers.com – one event per day.  Already posted are:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

–          TODAY (7/25) we posted the third of four in the above series of “one-on-one” dialogues “Where Does Talk Media Go From Here?” featuring a conversation between The Weiss Agency EVP Heather Cohen and Fox News Radio/Fox News Channel host Brian Kilmeade (again, facilitated by WOR, New York APD Scott Lakefield).

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

 

 

PPM Analysis: Urban Contemporary. The third of our four-part series examining the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s June 2017 PPM survey turns to the urban contemporary format.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian writes that when looking at 6+ share, “nearly half (48%) of this urban contemporary panel regresses year-to-year; 45% improve (the same percentage as month-to-month); and 6% are unchanged from June 2016.” Urban One’s WERQ, Baltimore “92 Q Jams” is the only urban contemporary station in a PPM market to rank #1 in June.  However, eight other stations ranked in the top five in their respective markets.  Check out the whole report here.

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. In San Diego, Midwest Television’s rock “100.7 KFM-BFM” names Mikey Esparza the host of the 3:00 pm to 7:30 pm PM drive show.  Program director Mike V. Vasquez says, “Mikey’s passion for creating compelling content and his love of rock and roll make him the ideal choice to entertain San Diego during the afternoon commute. With ‘The DSC’ entertaining our fans in the morning, the legendary Robin Roth rockin’ the workday and ‘The Mikey Show’ on the drive home, ‘KFM-BFM’ is committed to delivering quality programming.”…..Matt Derrick becomes operations manager for NRG Media’s Omaha FM stations, including hot AC KQKQ “Sweet 98.5,” hip hop KOPW “Power 106.9,” and classic rock KOOO “101.9 The Keg.”  Previously, Derrick served with iHeartMedia as SVP of programming in Norfolk-Virginia Beach…..Emmis’ CHR KNOU, St. Louis signs up with Focus 360’s programmatic networks “Powered by Jelli” – repped by Envision Networks.  The cloud-based ad platform traffics, serves and reports campaigns using Jelli’s RadioSpot.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

| November 1, 2012

Jeff Kuhner Officially Named New WRKO, Boston AM Drive Host.  As TALKERS reported yesterday, Todd Feinburg and Michele McPhee are out as morning drive duo at the Entercom news/talk outletand now WRKO confirms the moves of late morning talk host and Washington Times columnist Jeff Kuhner to the AM drive slot.  Kuhner has been a weekly guest and fill-in host on the station since January of 2012.  He began doing a daily 11:00 am to 12:00 noon program on WRKO in August.  Entercom VP and market manager Jeff Brown states, “This caps off a season of positive change for WRKO.  It’s the right move for our two most important customers – our listeners and our advertisers – and needless to say, I’m excited about our future.”  In addition to his work at the Washington Times, Kuhner is the president of the Edmund Burke Institute, a Washington think tank.  He did his doctoral work at Ohio University and taught U.S. history at McGill University in Montreal from 1998-2000 before deciding to make a career change to journalism.  He has made numerous national radio appearances and served as a frequent guest host on “The Savage Nation.”  Vice president of programming for Entercom Boston Jason Wolfe states, “Jeff has made an immediate impact in a very short period of time and has demonstrated that he’s ready for a bigger platform.  The positive reaction to his 11:00 am hour has been simply overwhelming and his fearless, honest brand of talk makes him appointment listening.”  Kuhner will continue to host the 11:00 am hour as well.  As for Todd Feinburg, he had been with WRKO since 2003 hosting in different dayparts, the last several years in AM drive with Tom Finneran and most recently with McPhee.  He is considered one of the most capable and versatile talk show hosts in the business.  He can be emailed at todd@toddtalk.com.

America’s Radio News Network Adds Election Night Coverage.  Special election night programming is being added to America’s Radio News Network on Tuesday, November 6 as 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.”

New Jersey Radio Stations Move into Day Three of Hurricane Sandy Mode.  Meteorologists are saying that Hurricane Sandy could have been much worse and indeed some of the early models called for prolonged rain and wind well north and west into the mainland U.S.  The broadcasting community is well aware that New Jersey and New York took the brunt of Sandy and today many Garden State radio stations are still working on generator power as the clean-up gets underway.  New Jersey Broadcasters Association president and CEO Paul Rotella tells TALKERS that he’s proud of the people who are still working hard in the often-overlooked aftermath of a storm like this.  “Our broadcasters responded magnificently almost without exception.  What was so poignant about this tragic weather event is that although our beloved New Jersey Shore got ravaged it’s really interesting to see how many broadcasters were at their posts manning their stations while their own homes were being destroyed.  It’s nothing less than awe-inspiring, the dedication of the broadcasters here in New Jersey.”

Nebraska Secretary of State Denounces KFAB, Omaha Satire.  Responding to a satirical radio interview in which late morning host Scott Voorhees spoke with a phony U.N. elections observer named Steve Apple about the United Nations’ monitoring of voting in the Ohama area, Nebraska Secretary of State John Gale called the content of the bit “completely false” and stated, “I want to make it clear that the U.N. has no right to send election observers to the United States, much less any whom are ‘armed and in uniform.’  It is also untrue that Omaha was targeted due to serious concerns about civil rights violations.”  During the bit, Voorhees’ conspirator states the U.N. observers may asked for I.D. and pat down voters if they feel they may have illegal campaign literature.  During one point, a caller asks why Omaha is being observed and the fake U.N. observer states that the fact that the Midwest has no blue states indicates the likelihood of voter fraud.  While Gale called the stunt reckless, saying, “This is a serious time in America, right before a presidential election.  Spoofing the process demeans our democracy.  People don’t need further distractions as they prepare to cast their votes.  They need straightforward and honest information on which they can rely.”  Voorhees tells the Omaha World-Herald that he did it to call attention to questions about international election observers.

Salem Communications Officially Takes Over Columbus FM; Flips to Conservative Talk.  Last week TALKERS reported that Salem Communications was planning to flip soon-to-be-acquired WJKR, Columbus to a conservative news/talk format using Salem Radio Network programming and that’s what happened at midnight last night.  Salem is buying the station from Radio One but took over today under an LMA and is positioning the station as “98.8 FM The Answer.”  Salem’s vice president and director of spoken word format Phil Boyce says, “This will be the fifth ‘Answer’ station we have launched at Salem, along with New York, Los Angeles, Riverside and Dallas.  Salem continues to be a leader in the news/talk format, and this new station will be the first FM news/talk station in the company fold.  ‘The Answer’ imaging voiced by legendary Lonnie Perkins will sound great coming out of an FM speaker.”  The station will air the SRN programs — Bill Bennett‘s “Morning In America”; Mike Gallagher; Dennis Prager; Michael Medved; and Hugh Hewitt; plus Dial Global‘s Dennis Miller from 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight and Compass Media‘s Lars Larson from 12:000 midnight to 3:00 am.

WERQ, Baltimore’s LaDawn Black Returns as Relationship Expert on Bill Cunningham TV Show.  “The Love Zone” host LaDawn Black is back for a second season as a relationship expert on WLW, Cincinnati talk host Bill Cunningham’s eponymous nationally syndicated television talk show.  Black hosts the 10:00 pm to 2:00 am show on Radio One’s hip hop WERQ, Baltimore “92QJams.”  She is a best-selling author of such books as Stripped Bare: The 12 Truths That Will Help You Land the Very Best Black Man (One World/Ballantine) and Let’s Get It On: 15 Hot Tips and Tricks to Spice Up Your Sex Life (One World/Ballantine) and contributed to episodes last season and will contribute to more shows during Cunningham’s second season.

Main Street Radio Network Inks Distribution Deal with Salem.  Independent syndicator Main Street Radio Network informs TALKERS that its programming operations will now be distributed by the Salem Radio Network (SRN).  This includes its flagship daily show, “Battle Line with Alan Nathan,” and its popular weekend program, “The Dr. Evelyn Higgins Show.”  Jane Silk, president of Main Street Radio Network says, “We’re exceptionally pleased to have our programming now distributed by the Salem Radio Network.  SRN’s longevity and steady prominence in the radio industry are renowned and we look forward to all the mutually promising horizons attainable through this new relationship.”  SRN VP of operations Charles Mefford adds, “SRN is thrilled to assist in the production and distribution of ‘Battle Line with Alan Nathan’ and ‘The Dr. Evelyn Higgins Show.’  It’s always exciting to add quality shows to the growing list of program producers who daily rely on the Salem Radio Network for outstanding production and distribution services.

Presidential Race Polls, Sandy Aftermath, Climate Change Controversy, and Benghazi Attack Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/31).  The resumption of presidential race polling; the effects of Hurricane Sandy on its victims and on the political races; climate change as a cause of Hurricane Sandy; and the quest for answers in the Benghazi attack were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.