Tag: "WFAN"

Thursday, February 23, 2017

| February 23, 2017

Q4 2016 Shows Profit for iHeartMedia.  The San Antonio-based radio giant announced its earnings for the fourth quarter of 2016 and the year as a whole and, for the first time in 27 quarters, the debt-laden company turned a profit.  iHeartMedia’s net income for the fourth quarter of 2016 was $106.04 million.  It lost $93.3 million during the same period in 2015.  For 2016 as a whole, its loss dipped to $296.32 million, compared to the posted loss of $754.62 million the previous year.   iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman states, “We continue to take major steps to transform our iHeartMedia and outdoor businesses into a leading multi-platform, 21st-century media and entertainment company.  We are successfully building out new products and services for advertising partners to capitalize on our unique strength with the consumer – such as extending iHeartRadio with new, on-demand services and to in-home connectivity devices, including Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home.  In firsts for both industries, iHeartMedia and outdoor are building out their data-rich analytics capabilities and programmatic ad-buying solutions to do business in the same way that the entire advertising industry is heading.”

Legal Analysis: The Suit Against Howard Stern.  TALKERS magazine legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman takes a look at the lawsuit recently filed against SiriusXM personality Howard Stern and the IRS by a Massachusetts woman.  In his analysis, Weisman considers the liability of Stern, who aired a phone call between the plaintiff and the IRS without the plaintiff’s knowledge.  As many broadcasters are aware, the FCC rules about airing phone calls do not apply to satellite radio.  However, the plaintiff alleges she’s suffered damages and endured pain and suffering as a result of the incident.  Read Weisman’s take on the matter here.

DGital Media Partners with Bill Bennett for Podcast.  Reagan Administration appointee, former Salem Radio Network talk host and current Trump Administration advisor Bill Bennett is partnering with DGital Media to produce a weekly program that “brings together some of the most influential voices in politics, media, education and business for a conversation designed to inform listeners about what is impacting their lives, from the White House to their local communities.”  The weekly podcast launches today (2/23) with Vice President Mike Pence as Bennett’s first guest.  It’s available via iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn, and others.

Opinion: SAG-AFTRA – Too Little, Too Late.  WFTL, Fort Lauderdale afternoon drive talk show host Joyce Kaufman challenges the recent statement by union SAG-AFTRA “supporting the rights of a free and unencumbered press.”  Kaufman believes the union is being hypocritical and partisan for choosing this time to support “broadcast and online” journalists covering the Trump Administration, having chosen not to do so in the past.  Read her piece here.

Chris Christie’s Name in the Mix for WFAN, New York Gig.  There are still another 10 months to go until WFAN, New York afternoon sports talk host Mike Francesa leaves the CBS Radio sports talk outlet at the end of his contract, but station PD Mark Chernoff indicates to the media that he’s certainly willing to consider outgoing New Jersey Governor – and avowed Dallas Cowboys fan – Chris Christie for the gig.  Chernoff is quoted in the Bergen Record’s NorthJersey.com saying Christie is among “plenty” of candidates the station is considering.  “I would certainly at least want to consider him.  If he’s interested and we’re interested, it’s worth pursuing.”  Christie has done a number of fill-in gigs on WFAN and he’s made no secret of the fact that he’d like to do something in sports media when he leaves office.  Read the whole story here.

TALKERS magazine News Notes.  The nationally syndicated “Staying Young Show” – with host Judy Gaman announces that its podcast has hit the 1million download mark.  The “Staying Young Show” is syndicated for radio by Talk Media Network.  In June of 2015, Stay Young Media Group, LLC decided to relaunch the show as the podcast “Staying Young Show 2.o” so that it could be heard internationally.  Shortly after launching the podcast, it hit #1 on iTunes N&N Science and Medicine.  Talk Media Network president Josh Leng comments, “The ‘Staying Young Radio Show’ continues to lead the way with impactful broadcast and on-demand listening for those who take an active role in their medical and healthy living decisions.  The ‘Staying Young’ listener is one who cares highly about their well-being and their loved ones.  It is a fun and informative program, with numerous takeaways in each and every weekly episode.”…..KHTK, Sacramento sports talk host Damien Barling is off the air – at least temporarily – for calling Sacramento Kings general manager Vlade Divac a “moron” after trading DeMarcus Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans.  Barling is not the only Kings critic to rail against the team for getting next to nothing in return for Cousins.  As Deadspin reports, KHTK is the flagship radio station for Kings broadcasts, though the team has denied it had anything to do with Barling’s on-air status.  KHTK program director Kevin Sherrets told Deadspin the station doesn’t tolerate personal attacks…..Bonneville Denver adds a new show to the lineup at sports talk KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan.”  The daily 9:00 am to 10:00 am show features station contributors former Denver Bronco Tyler Polumbus and Broncos Insider Cecil Lammey.

Order, Boisterous GOP Town Halls, Retaking Mosul from ISIS, This Week’s CPAC, O’Keefe Threatens CNN Tapes, Kim Jong Nam Assassination Investigation, and NBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/22).  Public debate over what the Trump Administrations’ second travel order means for U.S. immigration policy; the reaction to Donald Trump’s reversal of Barack Obama’s transgender bathroom order; the action taking place at GOP politicians’ town halls and questions about whether attendees are paid activists or actual constituents; the battle to re-take Mosul from Islamic State and the recent removal of the terrorist organization from the city’s airport; conservatives converge on a Maryland resort for the Conservative Political Action Conference; undercover journalist James O’Keefe threatens to “expose” CNN with hidden camera footage of the news organization’s operations; the investigation into the death of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s half-brother Kim Jong Nam; and NBA and NHL action were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Broadcasting Live from CPAC.  Nationally syndicated radio host Mike Gallagher (right) hosts Milwaukee Country Sheriff David Clarke (left) on his Salem Radio Network program.  Gallagher is doing his program from the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland.  Some of Gallagher’s other guests this week include U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Heritage Foundation president Jim DeMint.

Carruthers:  Now is the Time for Radio Broadcasters to Get Serious About Podcasting.  Veteran syndicated radio broadcaster Mike Carruthers (host and creator of “Something You Should Know”) says most professional radio broadcasters are not yet taking advantage of the benefits and opportunities that can be developed as a natural extension of their already-proven skills and talent in the growing field of podcasting.  In an extremely informative article posted today (2/21) Carruthers – CEO of PerfectYourPodcast.com – concisely explains the state of podcasting and what radio broadcasters need to know to move their careers forward into seriously developing their stake in this dynamic field.  Carruthers will be presenting a free master class webinar (see story above) in association with TALKERS magazine titled “How to Launch and Grow a Successful Podcast” on Wednesday, March 8 at 1:00 pm ET.  To read the Mike Carruthers article, please click here.

 

 

CBS RADIO Promotes Tim Roberts to VP of Country Programming.  Already serving the company as vice president of music programming for CBS RADIO’s Detroit station group, the company announces that it is promoting Tim Roberts to the corporate post of VP of country programming.  CBS notes that Roberts is a veteran country music programmer “having worked in the radio industry for the past 39 years, with 38 of those dedicated to the country format.  By adding this new role to his purview, Roberts will be CBS RADIO’s lead liaison with the country music community, including Nashville’s top artists, labels, and management teams.  He will provide programming guidance and expertise to the division’s 12 country stations nationwide and work closely with the CBS RADIO Music Initiatives team to deliver live marquee events and experiences, such as the widely popular ‘Stars and Strings’ annual charity concert held at the iconic Chicago Theatre.”  Executive vice president of programming Chris Oliviero adds, “Tim is universally respected and admired as one of country radio’s preeminent programmers which makes him the ideal choice to lead our platform of more than 8 million weekly listeners including many of the format’s most recognizable brands.”

Ashley Z Takes Nights at ‘Q100’ in Atlanta.  The replacement for Adam Bomb in the evening shift at Cumulus Media’s CHR WWWQ, Atlanta “Q100” is Ashley Elzinga, a.k.a. Ashley Z.  Elzinga moves to Atlanta from her most recent gig at KDND, Sacramento “107.9 The End.”  During her career she’s also served with Saga’s CHR WNRG, Milwaukee “Energy 106.9” and with Ryan Seacrest Productions as part of the digital media team.  “Q100” program director Louie Diaz states, “After a nationwide search, ‘Q100’ is excited to add Ashley Z to the on-air team.  Ashley is an incredible talent and will keep ‘Q100’ #1 for great local content and hit music at night.”  Cumulus recently moved Adam Bomb to the afternoon daypart on WWWQ.

Andy Grammer to Perform at 2017 Golden Mike Award Ceremony.  On Monday evening, the Broadcasters Foundation of America will hold the 2017 Golden Mike Award ceremony at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.  Performing at the annual black-tie gala will be BMI songwriter and S-Curve Records artist Andy Grammer.  He is well known for his 2015 mega-hit “Honey, I’m Good.”  This year’s Golden Mike honoree is Paul Karpowicz, president of Meredith Corporation’s Local Media Group.  Receiving the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award will be retired president of Cox Media Group, Bill Hoffman.  The Golden Mike Award dinner attracts a who’s who of broadcast media executives and celebrities.  For information on how to reserve a seat or a table, please contact the Broadcasters Foundation at 212-373-8250, or email info@thebfoa.org.

 

 

Round Two of January PPM Data Released. The second of four rounds of ratings information from Nielsen Audio‘s January 2017 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Nielsen Audio’s January 2017 survey period covered January 5 – February 1.  View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Takeaways” from all of these PPM markets below.

TWELVE TAKEAWAYS

1) Washington, D.C. – The start of the new year brings excellent news for several Nation’s Capital spoken-word stations, including American University‘s WAMU “The Mind Is Our Medium” (9.2 – 11.0, +1.8, second to first, 6+); Hubbard Broadcasting-owned all-news WTOP (8.7 – 10.4, +1.7, third to second, 6+); and Cumulus Media talker WMAL (3.3 – 4.1, +.8, #12 to #9, 6+). It is quite a turnaround for all three, given that in “Holiday” 2016, WAMU was -2.3; WTOP -.7, halting three straight up or flat trends (8.7 – 9.2 – 9.4 – 9.4, 6+); and WMAL -.9, curtailing five straight sweeps without a decrease for a net +1.3 (2.9 – 3.1 – 3.1 – 4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2, 6+). “The Mind Is Our Medium” was +1.5 in December to 11.5, the most potent 6+-share in its PPM-history. Ousted from #1 is iHeartMedia adult contemporary WASH, which squanders more than half its 6+-share (10.4 – 4.8, – 5.6, 6+) and drifts from first to fifth. Locked on 4.5 (6+) in September and October, WASH picked up four-tenths in November; added one full-share in December; and was +4.5 in “Holiday” 2016. Notching gains of seven-tenths each are CBS Radio hot AC WIAD “94.7 Fresh” (3.4 – 4.1, #11 to #9, tied with WMAL, 6+) and – after a -.6 in “Holiday” 2016 Columbia Union College contemporary Christian WGTS (2.9 – 2.3 – 3.0, #16 to #14, 6+). Advancing from eighth to sixth, iHeartMedia classic rock WBIG “Big 100” picks up six-tenths to 4.5, its best 6+-stat since September 2015 (4.5 as well). Down in five consecutive sweeps resulting in a combined -2.3 (6.1 – 5.9 – 5.4 – 4.7 – 4.3 – 3.8, 6+), Radio One-owned urban AC WMMJ bounces back in consecutive sweeps with a combined +1.1 (3.8 – 4.4 – 4.9, 6+), elevating from seventh to fourth. “Majic 102.3” trails its direct competitor – Howard University‘s WHUR (5.7 – 6.0, +.3, fourth to third) – by 1.1 shares (6+). A loss of one-tenth in “Holiday” 2016 by Radio One gospel WPRS ended five successive improvements that produced a cumulative +2.2 (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.4 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.1, 6+). Now, “Praise 104.1” regresses by another eight-tenths (5.0 – 4.2, 6+), skidding from fifth to eighth.

2) Boston – The rollercoaster ride continues for Beasley Media Group-owned WROR, which forfeited all of December’s +1.1 with a -1.4 in “Holiday” 2016, but rebounds in January 2017 with a +1.6 (6.6 – 7.7 – 6.3 – 7.9, 6+), marching from second back to first. “Boston’s Classic Hits” was the market leader for 11 successive monthlies before being dislodged in December by sibling WMJX “Magic 106.7.” In advance of December’s +1.1, WROR had been down by a combined two full-shares over the last four sweeps (8.6 – 8.4 – 8.1 – 7.4 – 6.6, 6+). As for “Magic,” the adult contemporary facility nearly quadrupled the +1.5 it dialed up in December with a +5.6 in “Holiday” 2016, but it spirals by -7.4 in January 2017 (6.3 – 7.8 – 13.4 – 6.0, 6+) and drops to third. Prior to advancing to #1 in December, “Magic” was in the runner-up slot April 2016 through November. When it registered a 6.6 in September, WMJX halted three successive down or flat trends for a combined -1.2 (7.5 – 6.9 – 6.3 – 6.3, 6+). A -.6 in July, meanwhile, stopped a successive string of five increases for a cumulative +1.2 (6.3 – 6.5 – 6.8 – 7.2 – 7.3 – 7.5, 6+). Off a combined six-tenths in December and “Holiday” 2016 (5.6 – 5.2 – 5.0, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR WXKS-FM “Kiss 108 Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station” roars back with a +.9 to 5.9 (6+), climbing from fifth to fourth. Several spoken-word outlets in The Hub display significant gains including Boston University-owned WBUR (3.7 – 4.7, +1.0, eighth to seventh, 6+); public WGBH-FM (3.4 – 4.3, +.9, tenth to ninth, 6+); Entercom talker WRKO (2.4 – 3.0, +.6, #15 to #13, 6+) and co-owned sports WEEI-FM (4.8 – 5.4, +.6, steady at #6, 6+). Up by +1.1 in back-to-back monthlies (3.4 – 4.1 – 4.5, October-November-December, 6+), WBUR surrendered eight-tenths in “Holiday” 2016. WGBH-FM had been down or flat the past three sweeps for a combined -.6 (4.0 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.4, 6+). Prior to reaching 3.0 (6+) in January 2017, WRKO had been in 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) for 23 ratings periods in a row. Meanwhile, Red Sox flagship WEEI-FM cuts in half (eight-tenths to four-tenths) the 6+ margin by which it trails format rival – CBS Radio’s WBZ-FM “The Sports Hub” (5.6 – 5.8, +.2, fourth to fifth, 6+). “The Sports Hub” is the key station of the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots. Albeit that it remains at #11, cluster-mate WZLX “Classic Rock 100.7” gains four-tenths to 3.4 (6+), pulling the plug on four straight negative trends that produced a collective -1.5 (4.5 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.7 – 3.0, 6+). Following four straight negative trends that yielded a combined -1.4 since September (5.0 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 4.1 – 3.6, 6+), Beasley Media Group’s WKLB “New Hit Country 102.5” posts a +.7 to 4.3 (6+) and is steady at #9. Debuting at #22 with a .9 (6+) is Entercom’s WKAF “97.7 Boston’s #1 for R&B.”

3) Detroit – Jumping from seventh to third, Beasley Media Group’s WRIF “Rocks Detroit” hangs out a +1.4 to 5.9, the station’s best 6+-stat in nearly a year (5.9, February 2016). Enjoying spikes of eight-tenths each are CBS Radio all-news WWJ (5.8 – 6.6, 6+) and co-owned WYCD “99.5 Detroit’s Country” (4.9, tenth to seventh, 6+). In moving from third to first, WWJ evicts WNIC from the top spot, as the iHeartMedia adult contemporary property erodes by roughly 60% (6+) and skids to sixth. The -8.5 to 5.2 (6+) curtails four straight improvements by WNIC that netted +8.8 since September (4.9 – 5.2 – 5.7 – 6.8 – 13.7, 6+). Meanwhile, “Detroit’s Country” was down or flat the last three sweeps for a combined -.9 (5.0 – 5.0 – 4.6 – 4.1, 6+). Progressing by seven-tenths each are Cumulus Media hot AC WDVD “96.3 Today’s Best Hits” (3.1 – 3.8, #15 to #11, 6+); co-owned WDRQ “93.1 Nash FM” (2.7 – 3.4, unchanged at #16, 6+); and iHeartMedia classic rocker WDTW “106.7 The D Whatever Rocks” (2.3 – 3.0, #18 to 17, 6+). The +.7 by WDVD ends four straight sweeps without an increase that yielded a -1.3 (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.1, 6+). Up by six-tenths and one-half share, respectively, are iHeartMedia CHR WKQI “Channel 95-5 Detroit’s #1 Hit Music Station” (4.3 – 4.9, ninth to seventh, 6+) and Wayne State University’s WDET (1.5, 6+), which had registered 1.0 (6+) in four of the last five sweeps and cracks the top 20 (#20). Frozen on 4.7 (6+) in December on “Holiday” 2016, iHeartMedia urban AC WMXD “Mix 92.3” sputters by one-half share to 4.2 (sixth to tenth, 6+). In six consecutive decreases (7.8 – 7.7 – 7.5 – 6.0 – 4.9 – 4.5 – 4.3, 6+), CBS Radio sports outlet WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket” is -3.5 (6+), dipping from seventh to ninth. After a one-month hiatus from the top spot, WXYT-FM returned to #1 in September and repeated there in October; “The Ticket” was #1 in April 2016, May, June, and July.

4) Miami – The third successive improvement by WMXJ “102.7 The Beach” (ninth to sixth) is by one-half share as the Entercom classic hits-oldies outlet is +1.1 since November (3.5 – 3.9 – 4.1 – 4.6, 6+). Notching a one-half share increase as well is public WLRN (2.5, #17 to #16, 6+), which was without an increase in the previous three ratings periods for a cumulative -.9 (2.9 – 2.6 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+). A gain of two tenths (to 7.0, 6+) is enough to propel Univision Radio’s WAMR from second to first. In three of the previous four ratings periods, “Amor 107.5” posted a 6.8 (6+). Exiting the top spot after three consecutive sweeps there and sliding to second is Cox Media Group adult contemporary WFEZ “Easy 93.1,” which has its third successive decrease (7.2 – 7.1 – 7.0 – 6.6, 6+). “Easy 93.1” was a collective +1.1 (6.1 – 6.7 – 7.2, September – October – November, 6+). It is three tenths ahead of Entercom’s similarly-programmed WLYF “Lite FM,” which is up one-tenth to 6.3, #3, 6+), thus applying the brakes to five straight ratings periods that had resulted in a decrease of more than two full-shares (8.4 – 8.4 – 7.0 – 7.0 – 6.7 – 6.2, 6+). “Lite FM” was #1 from July 2016 through October. When WEDR declined by one-half share in December, its string of consecutive up or flat trends that produced a +.7 ended at five (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.8 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 5.2, 6+). The Cox Media Group urban contemporary rolled out a +1.1 in “Holiday” 2016 but “99 Jamz” now flounders by -1.5 (4.7 – 5.8 – 4.3, 6+) and falls from fifth to seventh. Down or flat for six straight sweeps for a combined -1.9 (8.2 – 8.0 – 7.2 – 7.1 – 6.4 – 6.4 – 6.3, 6+), urban AC sibling WHQT “Hot 105” notched a one-half share gain in “Holiday” 2016 only to stumble by seven-tenths in January 2017 (6.3 – 6.8 – 6.1, 6+) moving from a second-place tie to fourth. CHR rivals WHYI “Y-100 Miami’s #1 Hit Music Station” and WFLC “Hits 97.3” were tied at #12 (3.6, 6+) in “Holiday” 2016, but iHeartMedia’s WHYI picks up one-tenth to 3.7 and moves up to #10, while Cox Media Group’s WFLC is flat at 3.6, yet inches up to #11. After an extended period as a nonsubscriber, Spanish Broadcasting System’s WRMA appeared in the “Holiday” 2016 report at #7 (4.3, 6+), but “Ritmo 95.7” disappears again.

5) Seattle – Faltering by nine-tenths in “Holiday” 2016, University of Washington-owned KUOW answers with a +1.4 (4.4 – 5.8, 6+) to vault from sixth to second. By picking up nine-tenths, CBS Radio’s classic rock KZOK (seventh to sixth) curtails five successive down or flat trends that yielded a cumulative full-share loss (5.1 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). Country cluster-mate KMPS recaptures – in its entirety – the full-share it lost in “Holiday” 2016 (4.0 – 3.0 – 4.0, 6+) and is back in the top ten (#13 to #7). Meanwhile, owing to a +.2 to 2.5 (6+), Entercom’s similarly-programmed KKWF “100.7 The Wolf” halts four consecutive slumps that produced a combined -1.8 (4.1 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.3, 6+). Down or flat in each of the last four ratings periods for a cumulative -.9 (5.8 – 5.7 – 5.5 – 5.5 – 4.9, 6+), Bonneville talker KIRO-FM recaptures most of it with a +.8 to 5.7, climbing from fourth to third. Completely erasing its “Holiday” 2016 deficit of six-tenths (3.7 – 3.1 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia hot AC KBKS “106.1 Kiss FM More Music, More Variety” returns to the top ten (#9 from #12). It is tied in ninth-place with Sinclair Broadcast Group’s similarly programmed KPLZ “Star 101.5,” which surrenders all but three-tenths of the +2.1 it logged in “Holiday” 2016 (3.4 – 5.5 – 3.7, -1.8, 6+); “Star” joins “Kiss” at #9 from #3. In 4.3 – 4.8 range (6+) the past six sweeps, iHeartMedia’s KJR-FM spikes by one-half share to 5.1 (6+) and carries on at #5. Improving by one-half share as well is Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLSW “K-LOVE” (.8 – 1.3, #25, 6+). At the same time, Crista Ministries’ similarly-programmed KCMS-FM “Spirit 105.3,” which had been without a decrease in seven consecutive sweeps yielding a +1.3 (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.6, 6+), registers a -.8 to 2.8 (6+) to plummet from #8 to #17. On top for 12 straight sweeps entering the “Holiday” 2016 ratings period, Hubbard Radio CHR KQMV “MOViN 92.5 All The Hits” gave way to adult contemporary cluster-mate KRWM “Warm 106.9.” It is a short stay at the top though for “Warm” as it drops more than five full-shares and shifts to fourth (10.9 – 5.6, -5.3, 6+), while KQMV (6.8 – 7.1, +.3, 6+) returns to #1. In three successive gains prior to January’s -5.3, “Warm” was a cumulative +6.6 (4.3 – 4.4 – 6.7 – 10.9, 6+).  A combined -1.6 in five successive ratings periods without a gain (4.4 – 3.7 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 2.8 – 2.8), Entercom rhythmic hot AC KHTP “Hot 103.7 100% Throwbacks” gains four-tenths to 3.2 (6+) and moves from #16 to #13.

6) Phoenix – A cumulative -.9 as a result of being without an increase since September (3.9 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.0, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KZZP “104.7 The #1 Hit Music Station” hangs out a +1.1 to 4.1 and breaks into the top ten (#12 to #7). Up or flat in four monthlies entering the “Holiday” 2016 sweep (3.6 – 3.8 – 4.0 – 4.0 – 4.0, 6+), Bonneville talker KTAR-FM regressed by six-tenths but responds with a full-share increase (4.0 – 3.4 – 4.4, 6+) and rockets from ninth to fourth. Two of the several contemporary Christian properties that are present in Phoenix show strong growth: KFLR “Family Life Radio” adds nine-tenths (1.3 – 2.2 #21, 6+), while Educational Media Foundation’s KLVA “K-LOVE” gains seven-tenths (.6 – 1.3, #28, 6+). In addition to “K-LOVE,” CBS Radio’s KMLE Country @ 107.9 (4.2 – 4.9, steady at #3, 6+); classic hits-oldies sibling KOOL (ninth to seventh, 6+); and iHeartMedia hot AC KMXP “Mix 96.9 Today’s Best Music” (flat at #6, 6+) are also up by seven-tenths. “Mix” recoups the -.7 from “Holiday” 2016. Three straight negative trends prior to January’s +.7 (4.8 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 3.4, 6+) produced a collective -1.4 for KOOL. Progressing from fifth to fourth, Hubbard-owned KUPD “Arizona’s Real Rock” puts up a +.4 to 4.4 (6+), closing out four straight months without a gain that yielded a -1.1 (5.1 – 5.1 – 5.1 – 4.7 – 4.0, 6+). Maricopa County Community College’s KJZZ notches an increase of eight-tenths (2.1 – 2.9, 6+) as it cruises from #19 to #14, while co-owned classical KBAQ “89.5 K-Bach” (#17) extends its string of up or flat trends to five for a cumulative +.9 (1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.6, 6+). Up one-half share each are iHeartMedia adult hits KYOT “95.5 The Mountain” (3.7, flat at #11, 6+) and Farmworker Educational Radio regional Mexican KNAI (2.9 – 3.4, steady at #13, 6+). “The Mountain” had been down or flat the previous six ratings periods (5.0 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.9 – 3.2, 6+). Even though iHeartMedia adult contemporary KESZ erodes by nearly 10 full-shares (16.5 – 6.6, -9.9, 6+), it is #1 for the 29th successive ratings period. Its 16.5 in “Holiday” 2016 (6+) matched what KESZ recorded in “Holiday” 2015. Not only is this the fifth straight down or flat trend for KLNZ “La Tricolor 103.5” for a collective -1.4 (3.2 – 3.2 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.1 – 1.8, 6+), the Entravision regional Mexican outlet departs the top 20 (#19 to #23, 6+).

7) Minneapolis – The market’s (6+) hot AC share swells by +2.6, with that increase equally divided between Hubbard Broadcasting’s KSTP-FM “KS-95 Today’s Variety” (6.4 – 7.7, +1.3, 6+) and iHeartMedia’s KTCZ “The Cities” (5.3, +1.3, #12 to #8, 6+). The increase not only allows “KS-95” to advance from second to first, it ends a drought in which the hot AC hadn’t had an increase since February 2016 (10.2 – 9.8 – 9.8 – 9.8 – 9.1 – 9.1 – 8.9 – 7.7 – 7.6 – 7.1 – 7.1 – 6.4, 6+). In those 11 straight sweeps of being either down or flat, “KS-95” was a combined -3.8. Meanwhile, “The Cities” rebounds from a combined -1.2 in December and “Holiday” 2016 (5.2 – 4.6 – 4.0, 6+). Eroding in excess of 10 full-shares, its classic hits-oldies sibling KQQL “Kool 108 Minnesota’s Greatest Hits” (15.9 – 5.6, -10.3, 6+) is the station displaced at #1 and drifting to #6. Having faltered in five straight ratings periods for a combined -1.7 (8.0 – 7.5 – 7.2 – 6.8 – 6.5 – 6.3, 6+), “Kool 108” rebounded with a collective +9.6 in December and “Holiday” 2016. Following four straight negative trends that produced a loss of two full-shares (8.1 – 7.5 – 7.3 – 7.0 – 6.1, 6+), CHR sibling KDWB “101.3 The Twin Cities’ #1 Hit Music Station” is up four-tenths to 6.5 (6+), advancing from third to a second-place tie. Unchanged at #4, Cumulus Media-owned KQRS “Minnesota’s Classic Rock” is +.4 to 6.4 (6+), pulling the plug on three successive downward sweeps accounting for a -1.1 (7.1 – 7.0 – 6.9 – 6.0, 6+). Spoken-word facilities do well in absorbing some of those available shares. In particular, Minnesota Public Radio’s KNOW, which concluded three straight positive trends (4.9 – 5.1 – 5.2 – 5.9, 6+) in “Holiday” 2016 with a -1.3, roars back with a +1.4 (4.6 – 6.0, eighth to fifth, 6+); iHeartMedia talker KTLK-AM gains nine-tenths (2.0 – 2.9, 6+), returning to #14 from #16; and CBS Radio’s WCCO adds eight-tenths (4.4 – 5.2, #11 to #9, 6+). Before dropping six-tenths in “Holiday” 2016, KTLK-AM was without a loss the previous six sweeps for a combined +1.2 (1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.1 – 2.6, 6+). This marks the first increase for WCCO since July; it was a combined -.9 since then in six straight down or flat trends (5.3 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.4, 6+). Also in the non-music genre, iHeartMedia’s KFXN “Sports Radio FM 100.3 K-FAN” posts a +.5 (6.0 – 6.5, 6+) to progress from fourth to second. In December and “Holiday” 2016, “K-FAN” tumbled by a combined -2.5 (6+). With an 8.9 in October, it boasted the best 6+-share in its PPM-history. In addition to KFXN, Cumulus Media rocker KXXR “93-X” (5.0, 6+) and American Public Media Group triple A KCMP (2.0 – 2.5, flat at #16, 6+) also rise by one-half share; “93-X” regains the one-half share it lost in “Holiday” 2016 yet backslides from #10 to #11.

8) San Diego – Off by a full-share since November (5.7 – 4.9 – 4.7, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KHTS “Channel 93-3 San Diego’s #1 Hit Music Station” captures all of it and storms from fourth to first (4.7 – 5.7, +1.0, 6+). That ends the one sweep stay at the top for CBS Radio adult contemporary-turned hot AC KYXY (9.1 – 4.7, -4.4, 6+), which segues to fourth-place, vacated by “Channel 93-3.” A +4.6 by KYXY in “Holiday” 2016 extended its string of up or flat trends to five (3.7 – 4.0 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 9.1, 6+). After regressing by six-tenths in “Holiday” 2016, Entercom-owned KSON “New Country” bounces back with a +.7 (4.0 – 4.7, 6+) and is tied with KYXY at #4. Spoken-word outlets jumping by six-tenths are San Diego State University’s KPBS (4.6 – 5.2, sixth to third, 6+) and Midwest Television talker KFMB-AM (2.0 – 2.6, #20 to #19, 6+). Following eight consecutive up or flat trends that produced a gain of eight-tenths (1.5 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.1 – 2.3, 6+), KFMB-AM dropped three-tenths in “Holiday” 2016. Gaining six-tenths as well are Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KLQV “102.9 Mas Variedad” (4.2, #11 to #9, 6+); Imagen Spanish contemporary XLTN (also 3.6 – 4.2, #11 to #9, 6+); and Entercom-owned KBZT “94.9 San Diego’s Alternative” (2.1 – 2.7, #19 to #17, 6+). “Mas Variedad” had registered three consecutive decreases for a collective -1.7 (5.3 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 3.6, 6+), while “San Diego’s Alternative” is in 2.1 – 2.7 range (6+) for the fifteenth straight monthly.  Improving by one-half share each are Midwest Television rocker KFMB-FM “100.7 KFM-BFM” (2.3 – 2.8, #18 to #16, 6+) and alternative XTRA “91-X” (1.7 – 2.2, #20, 6+). This curtails five straight downward trends for KFMB-FM that resulted in a combined -1.1 (3.4 – 3.3 – 2.9 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.3, 6+). Off by six-tenths and one-half share, respectively, are rhythmic CHR XHTZ “Z-90.3 Today’s Hit Music” (5.1 – 4.6, 6+, third to seventh) and classic hits-oldies XPRS-FM “105.7 Max FM” (2.4 – 1.8, #17 to #21, 6+). In four straight increases prior to January 2017, “Max FM” was a combined +.5 (1.9 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.4, 6+). This is the fifteenth straight time KGB is within three-share range (3.6 – 3.5, -.1, 6+); “San Diego’s Classic Rock Music” falls from #11 to #13.

9) Tampa – Without an increase in three straight sweeps for a -.7 (3.4 – 2.9 – 2.9 – 2.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WXTB “98 Rock” busts out a +.7 to 3.4 (6+), climbing from #16 to #15. Four Tampa Bay properties gain six tenths, including “98 Rock” cluster-mate WFUS “US-103.5 Tampa Bay’s New Country Leader” (4.1 – 4.7, eighth to fifth, 6+) and a station with the same calls in a different order – University of South Florida’s WUSF (3.6 – 4.2, #12 to #11, 6+). Following four straight gains for a cumulative +1.3 (4.0 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 5.1 – 5.3, 6+), WFUS surrendered -1.2 in “Holiday” 2016. Also in that group gaining six-tenths are Beasley Media Group classic hits-oldies and Spanish contemporary siblings WRBQ “Tampa Bay’s Q-105” (3.9 – 4.5, tenth to sixth, 6+) and WYUU “92.5 Maxima” (#14 to #12, 6+). “Q-105” was off by one-half share in “Holiday” 2016, while “92.5 Maxima” is trending 3.9 – 4.4 – 3.9 – 3.4 – 4.0 (6+). Posting gains of one-half share are Cox Media Group’s WXGL “Classic Hits 107-3 The Eagle” (6.4 – 6.9, steady at #2, 6+) and iHeartMedia talker WFLA (3.0 – 3.5, #15 to #13, 6+). After five consecutive positive trends for a cumulative full-share increase (5.5 – 5.6 – 6.0 – 6.1 – 6.2 – 6.5, 6+), “The Eagle” was down by one-tenth in “Holiday” 2016. Notwithstanding that it is off by -3.1 (12.7 – 9.6, 6+), Cox Media Group adult contemporary WDUV “Lite Favorites” is in the driver’s seat for the 52nd successive ratings period. This time last year, “Lite Favorites” was #1 with a 12.1 (6+). After being up for three straight months netting a +1.3 (3.8 – 4.1 – 4.3 – 5.1), Radio Training Network contemporary Christian WCIE “The JOY FM” falters by seven-tenths to 4.4 (6+) and slips from fourth to seventh. Regressing by one-half share are iHeartMedia urban contemporary WBTP “95.7 The Beat” (third to fourth, 6+) and co-owned WDAE “Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio” (2.7 – 2.2, #16 to #18, 6+). This is the third successive decline for “The Beat” (6.3 – 5.8 – 5.4 – 4.9, 6+) for a collective -1.4.

10) Denver – Locked on 3.3 (6+) in December and “Holiday” 2016, Educational Media Foundation contemporary Christian KLDV “K-LOVE” erupts with a +1.1 to 4.4 and catapults from #14 to #7. Dusting itself off from a -.5 in “Holiday” 2016, Bonneville’s KKFN “Sports Radio 104.3 The Fan” also improves by +1.1 (2.9 – 4.0, 6+), cruising from #16 to #11. A loss of six-tenths in November by “The Fan” halted four successive up or flat trends which netted two full-shares (2.9 – 2.9 – 3.5 – 3.6 – 4.9, 6+). October 2016’s 4.9 represents its most potent 6+ showing under PPM methodology. As a result of eroding by -1.3 in December, iHeartMedia’s KTCL not only ended four straight up or flat sweeps that produced a +1.3 (5.3 – 6.3 – 6.6 – 6.6 – 6.6, 6+), it concluded four consecutive months at #1. In back-to-back sweeps though, “Modern Rock Channel 93-3” is +1.8 (5.3 – 6.2 – 7.1, 6+) and marches from runner-up to first. Supplanted from the top spot and seguing to #2 is Bonneville adult contemporary KOSI “101 Real-Music-Variety,” which has its 6+-share sliced precisely in half to 5.8. Moreover, the -5.8 curtails three straight gains that netted a combined +6.2 since October (5.4 – 5.6 – 6.5 – 11.6, 6+). In addition to KTCL, Colorado Public Radio’s KCFR dials up a +.9 as well (3.8 – 4.7, 6+), rocketing from #11 to #6. Fluctuations in calendar year 2016 for KCFR included +.7 (January); -.7 (February); +.7 (March); -.7 (April); -.7 (June); +.7 (July); -.8 (October); and +.6 (November); it begins 2017 with a +.9. Improving by seven-tenths are KSE Radio Ventures classic hits-oldies KXKL “KOOL 105 Denver’s Greatest Hits” (4.8 – 5.5, fifth to fourth, 6+), which was -.9 in “Holiday” 2016, and Colorado Public Radio classical KVOD (#20 to #17, 6+), up or flat for the fifth successive time (1.0 – 1.3 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 2.0 – 2.7, 6+) for a collective +1.7. Improving by one-half share (3.6 – 4.1, 6+), iHeartMedia triple A KBCO “World Class Rock” enters the top ten (#12 to #9). Co-owned KBPI “Rocks the Rockies” is in 3.0 – 3.8 range for the fifteenth successive sweep (3.3 – 3.4, +.1, #14 to #15, 6+).

11) Baltimore – It is a #1/#2 finish for Radio One as WWIN-FM “Magic 95.9” trots out a +.7 (8.2 – 8.9, 6+) to progress from third to first. Without an increase in six consecutive sweeps for a cumulative -1.7 since June (9.8 – 8.6 – 8.5 – 8.5 – 8.4 – 8.4 – 8.1, 6+), “Magic” added one-tenth in “Holiday” 2016. As a result of a -1.2 in July, it exited the top spot. Before that, “Magic” put together four straight increases for a combined +3.7 (6.1 – 6.5 – 7.1 – 8.2 – 9.8, 6+). Urban contemporary sibling WERQ “Q-92 Jams” is unchanged in share (8.3, 6+) and rank (#2, 6+). Banished from the top spot and taking over at #3 is CBS Radio adult contemporary WLIF “Today’s 101.9,” which loses approximately 53% of its 6+-share to 7.1 (6+). The five most recent fluctuations for WLIF are +.5 (October 2016); -1.1 (November 2016); +1.1 (December 2016); +7.0 in “Holiday” 2016; and -8.2 in January 2017 (7.8 – 8.3 – 7.2 – 8.3 – 15.3 – 7.1, 6+). After the dust clears, “Today’s 101.9” is down seven-tenths. A -.4 in September 2016 ended its string of successive increases – which netted a +1.1 – at three (7.1 – 7.4 – 7.8 – 8.2, 6+). Among those swooping in for some of those available eight (plus) shares are spoken-word outlets (public) WYPR (2.0 – 2.9, +.9, steady at #14, 6+); Hearst Television’s WBAL (3.5 – 4.2, +.7, tenth to seventh, 6+); and WCBM (+.6, 3.6 – 4.2, eighth to seventh, 6+). Entering the “Holiday” 2016 sweep, iHeartMedia-owned WPOC had been in fourth-place the previous seven ratings periods, but fell to fifth, surrendering a combined -2.5 in three consecutive slides (7.2 – 6.9 – 6.3 – 4.7, 6+), including a -1.6 in “Holiday” 2016. “Baltimore’s #1 for New Country” bounces back though with a +1.2 (4.7 – 5.9, 6+) and returns to #4. Enjoying one-half share spikes are Peter & John Radio Fellowship contemporary Christian WRBS-FM “Shine 95.1” (3.4 – 3.9, steady at #11, 6+) and Baltimore City Community College-owned WBJC “91.5 Maryland’s Classical Music Station” (1.2, #17 to #16, 6+). WBJC was down or flat the past four sweeps (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.1 – .7, 6+).

12) St. Louis – After five straight increases for a collective +1.9 (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.6 – 3.1 – 3.3 – 4.2, 6+), Emmis talker KFTK stumbled by -1.2 in “Holiday” 2016 only to rebound in January 2017 with a +1.4 (4.2 – 3.0 – 4.4, 6+), sailing from #16 to #11. Among other St. Louis spoken-word outlets notching noteworthy improvements are CBS Radio heritage talker KMOX (5.0, #12 to #8, +.9, 6+); Hubbard Broadcasting’s WXOS “101 Sports” (2.9 – 3.6, +.7, #17 to #14, 6+); and University of Missouri-owned KWMU (+.5, 6+). Prior to January 2017’s +.9, KMOX had been without an increase for six straight ratings periods and was a cumulative -3.1 in that stretch (7.2 – 7.0 – 7.0 – 6.8 – 4.9 – 4.6 – 4.1, 6+). Following December’s +.6 with a -.9 in “Holiday” 2016, KWMU had its string of consecutive upward trends – which produced a +1.2 – snapped at three (4.2 – 4.6 – 4.8 – 5.4, 6+). Registering increases of +1.1 each are CBS Radio hot AC KYKY “Y-98” (5.1 – 6.2, sixth to fourth, 6+) and Hubbard Broadcasting’s WIL “New Country 92.3” (5.8, eighth to sixth, 6+). Stuck on 6.1 (6+) in October and November, “Y-98” notched a +.5 in December but was -1.5 in “Holiday” 2016. The +1.1 curtails four straight down or flat trends by “New Country” for a -1.2 (5.9 – 5.9 – 5.5 – 4.9 – 4.7, 6+). Gaining one-half share are co-owned adult hits WARH “The Arch” (5.9 – 6.4, fifth to third, 6+) and Emmis alternative KPNT “105.7 The Point” (5.0, ninth to eighth, 6+). After improving in three straight ratings periods for a combined +2.2 (5.4 – 6.3 – 6.7 – 7.6, 6+), “The Arch” spiraled by -1.7 in “Holiday” 2016, while “The Point” breaks a string of four straight downward moves that yielded a -1.1 (5.6 – 5.2 – 4.6 – 4.5, 6+). Down or flat the past four sweeps for a -1.3 (5.1 – 4.7 – 4.7 – 4.4 – 3.8, 6+), iHeartMedia CHR KSLZ “Z-107.7 St. Louis’ #1 Hit Music Station” picks up three-tenths to 4.1 (6+), but remains at #13. A change at #1 finds CBS Radio adult contemporary KEZK losing approximately 50% of its 6+-share (11.1 – 5.5, -5.6, 6+) and drifting to seventh, while iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies outlet KLOU (9.9 – 7.1, -2.8, 6+) and Emmis rocker KSHE (6.7 – 7.1, +.4, 6+) become co-leaders. Prior to January’s decline, KEZK put together four consecutive progressive trends that netted a +6.8 (4.3 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.8 – 11.1); KLOU and KSHE ranked second and third, respectively, in “Holiday” 2016. Up a combined +1.3 in October and November (6.4 – 6.9 – 7.7, 6+), KLOU relinquished a -1.6 in December, but bounced back with a +3.8 in “Holiday” 2016. Before October’s +.5, KLOU had been down or flat the previous four sweeps (7.4 – 7.4 – 6.7 – 6.5 – 6.4, 6+) for a net loss of one full-share. Off by seven-tenths and one-half share, respectively, are Radio One urban contemporary WHHL “Hot 104.1” (5.1 – 4.4, #6 to #11, 6+) and co-owned urban AC WFUN “95.5 R&B + Old School For The Lou” (6.6 – 6.1, fourth to fifth, 6+).

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

| February 14, 2017

Alpha Media to Buy WFTL and WMEN in Palm Beaches.  This deal brings two spoken-word formatted AMs into Alpha Media’s West Palm Beach station group, joining current holdings adult contemporary WEAT “Sunny 107.9” and hot AC WRMF.  News/talk WFTL, West Palm Beach and sports talk WMEN, Royal Palm Beach are being sold by Mark Jorgenson’s ACM JCE IV B, LLC to Alpha for $ 2 million.  Jorgenson’s firm acquired the stations from James Crystal in a 2015 bankruptcy auction.  Alpha begins operating the two stations under an LMA until closing.

Westwood One and Entercom Partner to Syndicate ‘Beyond Reality Radio.’  Last August, Entercom launched the “Beyond Reality Radio” program across a number of its news/talk stations.  Now, the company is partnering with Westwood One to put the program into national syndication.  “Beyond Reality Radio” airs weeknights live from 12:00 midnight to 2:00 am ET and is co-hosted by Jason Hawes, co-founder of The Atlantic Paranormal Society and the creator and star of Syfy’s hit “Ghost Hunters,” and JV Johnson, a long-time paranormal investigator and former publisher and editor of TAPS’ ParaMagazine.  Entercom stations airing the show include: KJCE, Austin; WRKO, Boston; WBEN, Buffalo; KEZW, Denver; WSKY, Gainesville; WYRD, Greenville; WBZU/WKZN/WILK, Wilkes-Barre; KMBZ, Kansas City; WWL, New Orleans; WBT, Charlotte; and KNSS, Wichita.  Westwood One will roll out syndication to stations nationwide and represent ad sales as it launches on March 6.

TALKERS News Notes. In the Triangle market, Capitol Broadcasting’s sports talk WCMC, Raleigh “99.9 The Fan” and its affiliate digital platform WRALsportsfan.com partners with contributor Lauren Brownlow to present a special, eight-episode podcast investigating the “supernatural history” of North Carolina State University and the legendary “curse” that haunts Wolfpack Nation.  Brownlow says, “Growing up in North Carolina and covering the area teams for over a decade, I’ve long been fascinated with the dedication of NC State fans in spite of a recent string of bad luck, which contrasts sharply with a rich and successful overall athletic history.  When I learned about the recently conceived concept of ‘NC State Stuff – What can go wrong for NC State will go wrong,’ and that it had a name, I knew I had to learn more about it. I’ve never believed in it, but I kept an open mind going into this podcast and wanted to figure out, once and for all, if there’s anything to it.”…..Entertainment consulting firm Paragon Media Strategies names Michelle Conrad as social+mobile+digital consultant.  Paragon CEO Mike Henry said, “It’s great to add a true Millennial to Paragon’s consulting ranks.  Michelle Conrad is a native digital user and lifelong social media explorer.  Michelle brings hands-on experience working with entertainment brands, including ABC, Nickelodeon and GoPro.  She is uniquely suited to ensure that the social, mobile and digital experience is completely in synch with the overall brand experience.”…..Westwood One reports the results of a Nielsen study it commissioned to examine the return on investment for advertisers using WW1’s coverage of NFL football and NCAA basketball play-by-play.  WW1 says some of the key findings of the study include that, 1) radio elevated key brand perceptions.  For example, those exposed to Westwood One’s NCAA basketball audio were 37% more likely to indicate the motorcycle manufacturer was the brand for people like them versus those who were not exposed to the campaign; 2) the radio campaign had significant advertiser recall among key demographics for the brand.  Among those who have ever owned a motorcycle, those exposed to Westwood One’s NCAA basketball audio were 72% more likely to recall the brand’s ads; and 3) radio had a stunning impact on every stage of the purchase funnel, including purchase intent: Compared to those who had not heard the campaign, those exposed to the radio campaign had a 63% increase in plans to purchase the brand.  See more of the results in WW1 chief insights officer Pierre Bouvard’s blog post here…..The Radio Advertising Bureau names 17-year RAB staffer Tiffiney Wyatt to the newly created position, business development & insights associate.  At the same time, joining the membership team at the RAB is Rita Landells.

Trump’s Travel Ban Battle, North Korea Missile Incident/Trump Security Questions, Michael Flynn Under Fire-Resignation, California Dam Concerns, ‘SNL’ Trump Sketches, Tumultuous GOP Town Halls, and Sunday’s Grammy Awards Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/13).  The court battles over his original travel ban and potential new executive travel orders from President Donald Trump and related protests over his perceived anti-immigration stance; North Korea’s weekend test of an ICBM and related questions about presidential and national security after Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe learned of and discussed the matter in the Mar-A-Lago dining room; National Security Advisor Michael T. Flynn resigns after ongoing questions about his improper communications with Russian diplomats; the status of a Northern California dam spillway as it threatens the residences of some 200,000 evacuees; the flap over the series of Trump Administration spoofs aired on “Saturday Night Live”; the raucous town hall receptions some GOP lawmakers are receiving in their districts; and Sunday night’s Grammy Awards were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Music radio pro Zakk Babb stays in the Entercom family in his new position as afternoon drive personality and imaging director for CHR WZPL, Indianapolis.  Babb has been hosting evenings at Entercom’s hot AC WSTR, Atlanta “Star 94.1” – a position he’ll continue to hold as he’ll voice track the show from Indy…..Due to his ongoing cancer treatment, John Thomas is stepping away from his SVP of programming role at iHeartMedia’s Springfield, Massachusetts cluster in which he oversees programming at news/talk WHYN-AM, hot AC WHYN-FM, and country WRNX.  In a Facebook post, Thomas writes, “After a lot of prayer, weighing the pros & cons and deep soul-searching – I’ve decided to resign from my position @ iHeart in order to FOCUS 100% on my HEALTH! Over the course of the next several weeks – I’ll be transitioning in order to put myself in the BEST possible position to benefit from the clinical trial that I started a few weeks back.”…..Cumulus Media announces that the nationally syndicated Kidd Kraddick show – starring Kellie Rasberry, Big Al Mack, J-Si Chavez and Jenna Owens – is the new morning program on its CHR KBIU, Lake Charles “HOT 103.3.”…..In the Lafayette, Louisiana market, programming pro Tyrone Davis exits Delta Media’s urban contemporary KFXZ “Z105.9” where he’d been serving as program director and music director.  His duties will be assumed by operations manager Erik Tobias.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

| October 27, 2016

Reports: Chris Carlin to Co-Host Afternoons with Ike Reese at WIP, Philadelphia.  According to media reports in Philly.com and the New York Daily News, longtime Big Apple sports media figure Chris Carlin is being hired to co-host the afternoon drive show at CBS RADIO’s WIP, Philadelphia alongside Ike ReesePhilly.comcarlinchris reports that WIP would neither confirm nor deny that Carlin is joining the station.  The site also calls the hire “an odd choice” given that Carlin has been a longtime New York sports media personality.  Many in the industry would agree that Philadelphia is a market where sports fans like their talk hosts to be natives.  Currently, Carlin works for SportsNet New York hosting the “Loud Mouths” show.  Carlin served as producer for WFAN, New York’s Mike Francesa for six years and handled sports update duties on WFAN’s “Imus in the Morning” program for a while.  He is currently the voice of Rutgers football.

nielsen-logoNielsen Audio Releases Round Three of October 2016 PPM Data.  The third of four rounds of October 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Columbus.  The October 2016 survey period covered September 8 (the first game of the NFL season) – October 5.  You can find the complete 6+ ratings numbers from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

The Presidential Race, U.S. House and Senate Races, Megyn Kelly-Newt Gingrich Segment, ObamaCare Premium Increases, Russian Military Build-Up, the World Series, and NFL action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/26).  The presidential race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump; the contests for U.S. House and Senate seats and control of Congress; the heated Fox News Channel segment between Megyn Kelly and Newt Gingrich; the criticism of the Affordable Care Act as premiums are set to rise by double digits; concerns over a new Cold War as Russia continues its military build-up and posturing; the World Series between the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians; and NFL Action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Odds & Sods.  Coverage of Election 2016 from ABC News Radio will begin November 8 at 7:00 pm ET and run through at least 1:00 am ET.  ABC News correspondents Aaron Katersky and Karen Travers will anchor coverage with “World News Tonight” Saturday anchor and senior national correspondent Cecilia Vega and correspondents Brad Mielke and Cheri Preston reporting from the Hillary Clinton campaign headquarters and “World News Tonight” Sunday anchor Tom Llamas and correspondents Alex Stone and Mark Remillard reporting from the Donald Trump campaign headquarters.  Joining them will be correspondents Richard Davies from the ABC News Decision Desk, Stephanie Ramos from Washington, DC, Jim Ryan from Nevada, and Ryan Burrow from Florida.  Political director Rick Klein, deputy political director Shushannah Walshe, and contributors Steve Roberts and Trey Hardin will provide political analysis…..CBS Radio NewsCamimccormickcami McCormick was the only American radio reporter travelling with Defense Secretary Ash Carter in Brussels and broke the news that Carter ordered the suspension of all efforts to collect reimbursements from affected California National Guard members.  McCormick covers the State and Defense Departments for CBS Radio News…..CBS RADIO and Simon & Schuster are launching “The Paper Donkey Podcast,” a conversation between writers and editors about their work, the page and process, moderated by Victoria Taylor and available on the company’s Play.it platform.  The weekly 45-min show is the second collaboration between CBS RADIO and Simon & Schuster.

ramseynsh16wb

Ramsey Presenting EntreLeadership Master Series in Nashville.  Back at the Ramsey Solutions headquarters in Nashville, nationally syndicated talk radio star Dave Ramsey (pictured above) is presenting his EntreLeadership Master Series this week.  Tomorrow (10/28), he’ll broadcast a special “EntreLeadership theme hour” as part of the event.  The hour will focus on leadership and business questions from callers, e-mails and event attendees.  At EntreLeadership Master Series, Ramsey and his team condense more than 20 years of business and leadership wisdom into a seven-day event.  Business owners and leaders who attend walk away with practical ideas that can improve their communication, organization, team culture, finances, negotiating and selling skills, marketing, advertising, and ability to make tough decisions.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

| October 25, 2016

CRTV Digital Network to Launch in December.  Production firm CRTV is announcing plans to launch a new digital network in December “uniquely rich with honest and informative conservative content seen nowhere else in any medium anywhere.”  The company (parent of the Conservative Review) partnered with Mark Levin (left) back in crtvlevinmalkinsteynFebruary to debut the digital video program “LevinTV.”  Now, CRTV is adding conservative media personalities Michelle Malkin (center) and Mark Steyn (right) to the mix.  CRTV chief content officer Chris Crane comments, “We have partnered with the best thinkers and storytellers out there and given each the resources to design their own show in their own voice on their own custom set reflective of each of their personalities.”  Mark Levin adds, “With the huge success of ‘LevinTV’ launched earlier this year, we decided to accelerate plans.  We know people have rejected liberal media bias and there is an enormous demand for straight, bold, conservative talk and they will get it here from a wide variety of talent.  This is much bigger than any of us.  It is about our beloved audience.  This is a movement with millions of liberty lovers who know cable TV content doesn’t square with their worldview.  Proudly conservative in content, CRTV will allow popular personalities, presenting scholarly thought, culture to comedy, the liberty to be themselves.  And, viewers will have the freedom to consume straightforward, candid, unfiltered, commercial-free content whenever and wherever they want.”  CRTV is a subscription-based service available on digital and mobile devices for $99 per year or $12 per month.

CBS RADIO Names Radiate Media New Traffic Data Provider.  The 10-year deal between CBS RADIO and iHeartMedia’s Total Traffic Network ends on March 31 of 2017 and CBS is announcing that it has chosen cbsradio-logoRadiate Media as its new broadcast content traffic partner, effective April 1.  In a statement, CBS RADIO says Radiate will supply it with customized traffic data for its over-the-air radio stations in 26 markets, as well as on corresponding station websites.  Radiateradiatemedia-logo Media will sell sponsorships within traffic reports to national network advertisers while CBS RADIO will continue to sell sponsorships to local and regional advertisers.  CBS RADIO COO Scott Herman states, “We are excited to work with Radiate Media to deliver superior traffic reports to our local listeners who rely on our stations for timely updates and alerts.  The new arrangement allows for Radiate to better serve national network advertisers, while giving CBS RADIO maximum flexibility to deliver unique marketing opportunities to our local and multi-market partners.”

Genesis Simulcasts WHOO, Orlando’s Erik Kuselias Show to WHBO, Tampa.  Back in April, sportskuseliaserik media personality Erik Kuselias joined Genesis Communications to begin hosting a sports talk show on Orlando’s WHOO and the company’s SportsTalkFlorida.com platform.  Now, Genesis announces the show – airing 6:00 am to 9:00 am – will also be heard on the company’s WHBO, Tampa.  Kuselias comments, “Tampa has always been one of my favorite sports towns.  It’s incredibly underrated because it has smart, diverse sports fans.  I think my show and the city will be a great match and I’m honored to be part of their scene.”

nielsen-logoNielsen Audio Releases Round One of October 2016 PPM Data.  The first of four rounds of October  2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey).  The October 2016 survey period covered September 8 (the first game of the NFL season) – October 5.  You can find the complete 6+ ratings numbers from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

harrisonupclosefaroutsmallMichael Harrison and Richard Neer Get ‘Up Close and Far Out’ with Baseball and the World Series.  Veteran WFAN, New York sports talk show host Richard Neer is this week’s guest on the PodcastOne international hit “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” paying tribute to what used to be called America’s National Pastime and talking about the unusual “battle of the underdogs” nature of the 2016 World Series.  The discussionneerrichard focuses on the importance of sports teams to their local communities and the people who grew up loving them.  It covers changes in the relative popularity of sports in the US (baseball, football, boxing and horse racing) and even brings up Ronald Reagan’s early career as a baseball play-by-play pioneer.  Harrison and Neer engage in a pop cultural-oriented sports dialogue unlike most heard on sports talk radio.  To listen to this fun and illuminating conversation in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

The 2016 Election, Battle Against Islamic State in Mosul, Soaring ObamaCare Premiums, Enlistment Bonus Scandal, Friday’s Cyber-Attack, France to Demolish Calais Immigrant Camp, Josh Brown Spousal Abuse Controversy, Cubs-Indians World Series, and Weekend NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/24).  The presidential race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump as well as the U.S. House and Senate races; the fight against Islamic State in the battle to assume control of the Iraqi city of Mosul; reports of soaring premiums under the Affordable Care Act; the scandal at the California National Guard forcing thousands of soldiers to repay unqualified-for enlistment bonuses; the attack on U.S. DNS servers that greatly affected parts of the Internet on October 21; France begins to move immigrants from “the jungle” camp in Calais; controversy over the NFL’s handling of the Josh Brown spousal abuse admissions; anticipation for the Chicago Cubs vs Cleveland Indians World Series; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Odds & Sods.  KSTE, Sacramento-based, syndicated morning duo Armstrong & Getty is working to mobilize its listeners to help war veterans by signing a WhiteHouse.gov petition to ask congress to forgive the debts of the thousands of California soldiers who are being forced to repay enlistment bonuses a decade after they went to war.  Through improper action by California National Guard recruiters, thousands of soldiers were given enlistment bonuses for which they may not have qualified.  Many are now being asked to repay those bonuses.  Jack Armstrong says, “We are outraged.  Our listeners are outraged.  We are going to get something done about this.  The United States cannot mistreat our veterans like this.”  Joe Getty adds, “It’s time that the bureaucrats andelswickclown politicians honor our promises to our vets and honor the will of the people.  And it’s absolutely indisputable that these vets not get screwed.  We are going to hold the politicians’ feet to the fire.”…..Award-winning political journalist Soledad O’Brien and National Association of Broadcasters president and CEO Gordon Smith are being featured in a keynote session on the intersection of media and politics at the NAB Show New York on November 9 – the first day of the two-day conference at the Javits Convention Center in New York City…..Pictured at right, Gizmo the Clown (left) stopped by the KHTE-FM, Little Rock studios to visit with afternoon personality Dave Elswick (right) to discuss recent “scary clown” sightings in the Central Arkansas area.

Friday, September 30, 2016

| September 30, 2016

ramseyboston16wb

Dave Ramsey Smart Money Tour Hits Boston.  Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey brought his 2016  Smart Money tour to the sold-out Lowell Memorial Auditorium last night (9/29).  Ramsey and local affiliate WRKO worked to promote the event.  Entercom New England VP and market manager Phil Zachary says, “The timing of Dave’s visit to Greater Boston could not be better.  While many candidates are politicizing the challenges of America’s working middle class, Dave deploys a program of proven techniques and positive motivation that ensures everyone in attendance will come away with an improved outlook on life.  I just can’t think of a more uplifting experience to offer WRKO listeners.”  Pictured here are (from l-r): radio consultant Holland Cooke, Ramsey, and Zachary.

AdAge and iHeartRadio Partner for Marketing Podcast.  The new program is titled “Tagline” and will be available via the iHeartRadio digital platform and AdAge.com.  iHeartMedia chairman Bob Pittman announced the collaborative effort at an Advertising Week VIP event.  A press release says, “‘Tagline’ will give listeners an insider’s perspective on what the world that influences pop culture is really all about.  The new podcast series will air iheartradio-newtwice a month on iHeartRadio and Advertising Age and feature a rotating series of the most talented and entertaining people in the business, tackling everything from the most pressing questions to the most annoying trends.  The content and the participants will evolve organically as each episode concludes with this week’s Tagline host tagging the next guests via an unprompted phone call.”  AdAge publisher Josh Golden comments,adage-logo “Every day, people in the marketing community are whispering about what’s happened and what’s next – and now ‘Tagline’ will let people all across the industry listen to those otherwise private conversations.  Our audience wants to hear about the real conversations, frustrations, insights and resolutions that happen in the conference rooms late at night and this partnership with iHeart will expose exactly that.”  The first season will launch in November and include 24 podcasts and special edition episodes corresponding with select industry events.

Mike Francesa Confirms End of WFAN Show at Contract’s End.  Once again, New York sports talk legend Mike Francesa has told his listeners that he will be leaving CBS RADIO’s WFAN after his contract ends on December 15 of 2017.  This is not the first time he’s addressed the matter but, obviously, things can change.francesamike  However, according to the New York Daily News, Francesa reiterated that he’ll leave CBS RADIO but that he also promised the station he won’t spend a lot of time talking about it.  Where will he go?  Sounds like he doesn’t know right now.  The Daily News reports he says, “I’m very open to different things.  In broad strokes I have been contacted by some broadcast entities about what I would do.  I won’t be going to satellite, it’s just not something I want to do.  I have a few things that do interest me, that’s not one of them.  It has nothing to do with Dog [Chris Russo] being there.   I wish Dog well there, I know he signed a new contract, so congratulations on that, but it’s not going to have anything to do with me.”

ppmunitNielsen Audio Releases Fourth Round of September 2016 PPM Data.  The fourth of four rounds of September 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford.  The September 2016 survey period covered August 11 through September 7.  You can find the complete 6+ ratings numbers from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

talkersten-logoCop Shootings and Train Crash Among Top Talk Stories Behind the Presidential Race for Week of September 26-30.  Once again, the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week was the presidential race, highlighted by Monday’s debate.  At #2 this week was the police killing of a black man in El Cajon, California and the aftermath of the Charlotte shooting and protests. Coming in at #3 was the New Jersey train crash, followed by the Syria civil war and the related U.S.-Russia tensions at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

bernadettebo16wb

The Yappy Tour Rolls On.   Former radio talk show producer-turned-author Bernadette Duncan recently brought her “Yappy Tour” to the massive Western Massachusetts audience of classic rocker WAQY-FM, Springfield “Rock 102” by appearing as a guest on the very popular “Bax & O’Brien” morning talk show to discuss her buzz-worthy book, Yappy Days: Behind the Scenes with Newsers, Schmoozers, Boozers and Losers (AuthorHouse/Talkers Books, 2016).  The book recounts Duncan’s 26-year career as a producer of radio talk shows working with such big-name talents as Larry KingSally Jessy RaphaelLou DobbsTom SnyderGil GrossCharles Osgood and many more during modern talk radio’s pre- and post-9/11 “golden era.”  Plus, she tells stories about behind-the-scenes encounters with hundreds of guests from the worlds of show business, politics, media, business and literature. Above, Duncan (c) is pictured with hosts John O’Brien (l) and Mike “Bax” Baxendale (r).  Duncan’s national “Yappy Tour” will roll on through the remainder of the year.  She has already appeared on more than 25 local and syndicated programs.  Hosts and shows interested in booking Bernadette Duncan can do so by calling Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

Monday, June 27, 2016

| June 27, 2016

WGN, Chicago Renews Steve Cochran Through 2020.  This is the latest in a series of contract renewals at Tribune’s news/talker WGN Radio.  Morning drive host Steve Cochran’s pact with the station is extended through 2020.  Station VP of content and programming Todd Manley says, “Steve makes it look easy with hiscochransteve affable brand of intelligence, but nobody works harder to gather and share the stories Chicagoans care about.  He’s got the raw talent and work ethic we need for many years to come.”  The Cochran morning show team includes co-anchor and reporter Andrea Darlas, news by Steve Grzanich, sports by Dave Eanet and traffic by Mary Van De Velde.  Last week, the station made public new deals for afternoon drive star Roe Conn and, on Friday, an extension for programmer Manley.  Cochran worked at WGN from 2000 through 2010 when he was let go.  He rejoined WGN in 2013.  In a story this morning by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Cochran speaks glowingly about the new regime at WGN – and rather frankly about the one that fired him.  You can read Feder’s piece here.

Melissa Harrison Named AM Co-Anchor at KRLD, Dallas.  News pro Melissa Harrison becomes part ofkrld logo the KRLD Morning News alongside Mike Rogers and Scott Sams, beginning Friday, July 1.  harrisonmelissaHarrison has most recently been working as a freelance reporter for KXAS-TV, Dallas-Fort Worth.  She formerly worked as a television news reporter in New York, Birmingham, Jackson, Waco, and Abilene.  KRLD director of news and programming Paul Mann says, “Melissa’s extensive journalism experience will further strengthen the award-winning KRLD news team.  As with co-anchors Mike Rogers and Scott Sams, Melissa’s roots run deep in North Texas and she is passionate about our community.”

‘Brexit’ Vote/Financial Markets Activity, The Presidential Race, SCOTUS Immigration Ruling, Coming SCOTUS Abortion Ruling, Sacramento Rally Violence, and MLB Action and Copa America Final Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  Britain’s vote to leave the European Union and the reactions by the world’s financial markets; the activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton plus the hiring of former Trump aid Corey Lewandowski by CNN; the effects of the recent Supreme Court ruling halting President Obama’s immigration executive orders; this week’s expected ruling by the Supreme Court on Texas’ abortion laws; the violent clash of protestors at a ‘white power’ rally in Sacramento; and MLB action and the Copa America soccer final were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Odds & Sods.  Radio personality Anthony Cumia has pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor  charges – third-degreecumiaanthony assault and a charge of blocking someone’s breathing – related to an incident with his then-girlfriend in December of 2015.  Cumia – former partner of Gregg “Opie” Hughes on both SiriusXM and AM/FM radio – currently hosts an internet talk program.  Newsday is reporting that Cumia must complete six tradupfeder16months of outpatient alcohol abuse treatment and a six-month batterer’s intervention program.  Upon completion of those programs, he can get the charges reduced to non-criminal harassment counts…..Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup tips TALKERS magazine that Chicago media writer Robert Feder is celebrating his 36th year in the business of covering radio and television in the Windy City.  Tradup and Feder recently shared a lunch in Chicago where Tradup was once president and general manager of news/talk WLS-AM…..SiriusXM is offering comprehensive live coverage of The Championships, Wimbledon 2016 beginning today through the Ladies’ and Gentlemen’s Singles Finals on Saturday, July 9, and Sunday, July 10.  The broadcasts are airing courtesy of rightsholder ESPN Audio…..Audio content aggregator TuneIn is now offering Scripps-owned Newsy’s daily news reporting.  TuneIn premium subscribers can access two weekly podcasts focused on politics — “Newsy Politics” — and culture — “Givin’ Takes” – plus three daily podcasts focused on U.S. and world news; tech, science and health; and current events…..Alpha Media’s Salina, Kansas news/talker KSAL-AM “NewsRadio 1150” collects two honors in the 2016ksal Salina Journal Reader’s Choice Awards.  KSAL was named “Favorite Radio Station.”  KSAL personality Clarke Sanders was chosen “Favorite Radio Host.”  Fellow staffers Rich Alexander and Mike Hammett were finalists in the host category.  Alpha Salina market manager Bob Protzman says, “We’re very proud of Alpha Media’s representation in the 2016 Salina Journal Reader’s Choice Awards.  Once again, ‘News Radio 1150’ KSAL takes ‘Favorite Radio Station’ showing that AM radio is alive and well – all it takes is quality local programming.”

biakelseyBIA Kelsey Releases State of Radio Industry Report.  As part of its state of the radio industry report, BIA Kelsey releases “The Position of Local Radio Stations: Trends for 2016 & Beyond.”  Using data from Nielsen Audio, Edison Research, Miller Kaplan, and more, the study looks at AM/FM radio’s reach and revenue over the past five years and projects where radio is likely to be five years down the road.  It notes recent industry-wide dips in local station revenue.  “We believe local radio stations will be able to turn around this negative over-the-air revenue growth slightly.  As long as the economy maintains moderate growth in the next few years, we expect total radio advertising to grow in the 1.0 % to 1.25 % CAGR range.”  The BIA Kelsey study also points to digital and live events as pieces of the radio revenue pie that have helped AM/FM survive spot sales declines that will continue to be crucial to radio’s bottom line in the years ahead.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

| April 5, 2016

iheartmedia logo smalliHeartMedia and Creditors Still at Odds Over Asset Shift.  According to a report from Bloomberg, iHeartMedia and a number of its creditors have broken off talks to try to resolve the rancor over iHeartMedia’s shift of 100 million shares of Clear Channel Outdoor to a new subsidiary called Broader Media.  Creditors including D. E. Shaw, Canyon Capital, Franklin Advisers and Franklin Mutual sued iHeartMedia over the move claiming that it violates the debt covenants.  iHeartMedia argues that’s not the case and the move is designed to allow the company to deal more effectively with its $20 billion in debt.  iHeartMedia told a Texas judge that if the creditors’ bond defaults are allowed to proceed, it would cause as much as $15 billion of the company’s debt to come due quickly and that would force the company into bankruptcy protection.  The creditors argue that is not what they are trying to accomplish.  iHeartMedia SVP and treasurer Brian Coleman says the company’s maneuvers are part of its Project Indigo, a long-term strategy designed to allow it to study ways to deal with its debt.

The Panama Papers, The Presidential Race/Wisconsin Primary, Iran Arms Shipment Case, North Korean Nuke Threats, Tennessee Bible Bill, and NCAA Championship Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/4).  The so-called “Panama Papers” that reportedly link numerous world leaders to schemes to hide wealth in off-shore accounts; the activities of the candidates for president and today’s Wisconsin primary; the capture of illegal arms being shipped by Iran; the threats of nuclear attacks by North Korea; the controversial Tennessee bill that makes the Bible the official state book; and Monday evening’s NCAA Men’s Basketball championship were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

zaneericEric Zane Lands at Sports WBBL, Grand Rapids.  After exiting the nationally syndicated “Free Beer and Hot Wings” show based at Townsquare Media’s rock WGRD, Grand Rapids, Eric Zane has landed the morning show gig at Cumulus Media’s crosstown sports talk WBBL, effective April 7.  Zane officially left the show in mid-February after being absent from the program without explanation.  It appears Zane’s departure was the result of a contract dispute.  Now, he’ll compete in the Grand Rapids market directly with his former co-hosts Gregg “Free Beer” Daniels and Chris “Hot Wings” Michels.  The “Free Beer and Hot Wings” show is syndicated nationally by Compass Media Networks.

altitude sportsLineup at ‘Altitude Sports’ in Denver to Launch on Friday.  The newest sports talk radio station in the Denver market will officially launch on Friday, April 8 – the home opener day for the Colorado Rockies.  Much of the news about Stan Kroenke-owned KRWZ, Denver (recently purchased from Entercom) is not really news as it’s been rumored and reported in the Denver media for some time.  Here’s the lineup: Josh Dover hosts “The Morning Lineup” from 6:00 am to 7:00 am; the morning show will feature Tom Helmer, Lauren Gardner (an Altitude TV reporter), and former Denver Nuggets star Scott Hastings.  Middays will be hosted by Vic Lombardi and Kyle Keefe.  The station will also carry play-by-play of the NBA’s Nuggets, the NHL’s Avalanche; the MLS’ Colorado Rapids; and the National Lacrosse League’s Colorado Mammoth.

Odds & Sods.  There’s been a morning show and midday program re-build at CBS RADIO’s KHTK, Sacramento.  Carmichael Dave is now joined by Kayte Christensen and former midday host Nate Goodyear.  In middays, Jason Ross is partnered up with newcomers Ken Rudolph and Damien BarlingJay Johnson joins the station as executive producer…..Long Nine Inc.-owned news/talk WMAY, Springfield, Illinois adds an FM translator to its broadcast with the addition of W234CC, Sherman, Illinois at 94.7 FM.

granttoniDr. Toni Grant Dead at 72.  The cause of death is unknown at this time, but the Los Angeles Times is reporting that former radio talk show host and psychologist Dr. Toni Grant died in Beverly Hills on March 27.  Grant’s radio career was launched on KABC, Los Angeles in 1975 in the overnight daypart.  Her show eventually moved across town to KFI.  It went into syndication and at its height was heard on some 180 affiliates.  She was off the air from 1990 to 1997 when she re-entered the business.  She last worked on air at KABC in 2001.  Read the Times’ obit here.

kfivCool Job Opportunity.  “PowerTalk 1360 and 1280” is searching for a local talk show host for afternoon drive in California’s Central Valley.  Applicants must have spoken-word experience. General necessities include a passionate, opinionated, outspoken, larger-than-life personality with decidedly conservative values, obsession for news, politics, pop culture, and sports.  The ideal candidate will bring an intuitive understanding of the unique values, morals and issues of the California Central Valley and be in sync with those values and perspectives.  You must have the ability to speak to the audience as one of them; put a voice to their thoughts and beliefs…much more important than professional polish or experience.  In a perfect world you have spent time working in the Central Valley but you don’t have to presently live in the Modesto/Stockton area.  You will fully embrace the role of a LOCAL personality: specifically address and engage the LOCAL community issues, organizations, and interests, capitalize on endorsement opportunities, serve as station ambassador, be visible at all community functions, spearhead station and cluster community outreach. You must understand and dedicate your performance to the bottom line: your goals are ratings and unique visitors.  See required skills and submit resume and demo here.

Friday, February 26, 2016

| February 26, 2016

AlphaAlpha Media Closes on Digity Purchase. This is no ordinary acquisition as Alpha Media balloons to approximately 250 stations in 50+ markets by closing on in excess of 110 Digity properties. Over and above that, Alpha Media becomes the country’s third-largest broadcast company in terms of number of markets and fourth-largest regarding station count. Alpha Media chair Larry Wilson comments, “We are very pleased to get this remarkable transaction done. In our fold is now an exceptional stable of diversified stations and markets, serving not only their towns but surrounding areas and communities. It has been a tremendous pleasure to work with respected broadcaster [Digity chief executive officer] Dean Goodman and his management team. We look forward to joining forces with the phenomenal people at Digity doing radio the right way.” Goodman remarks, “I have been honored to work with the great broadcasters of Digity. They know their roots are in live and local and their future is dynamic. They will excel with Alpha as individual and collective entrepreneurs. We hand off a thriving company, up this year at the top of the industry. I wish Larry [Wilson] and his team all the best; they have assembled a great platform.” Only two of the 28 Digity markets are PPM-metros – San Jose and West Palm Beach. The other facilities are in Missouri: (Bethany-Cameron, Clinton, Farmington-Festus, Moberly-Macon, and Waynesville-Lebanon); Iowa (Fairfield, Fort Dodge, Grinnell-Newton, and Mason City); Minnesota (Albert Lea-Austin, Luverne, Mankato, and Redwood Falls); South Dakota (Brookings, Madison, and Watertown); Illinois (Aurora and Joliet); Nebraska (Columbus and Lincoln); Michigan (Saginaw-Bay City-Midland); North Carolina (Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville); Ohio (Canton); South Carolina (Myrtle Beach); Texas: (North Dallas-McKinney); and Wisconsin (Kenosha-Waukegan). When this deal was first announced in August 2015, the purchase price was reported to be $264 million.

CBS Radio LogoWFAN and Brooklyn Nets Extend Broadcast Rights Agreement. The multi-year deal between CBS Radio New York sports outlet WFAN “The Fan” and the NBA‘s Brooklyn Nets goes beyond NBA basketball to cover other parts of the business at Barclays Center, including select college basketball games, concerts, and live events. As it has since the 2004 – 2005 season, WFAN will continue as the team’s radioBrooklyn Nets Logo flagship. According to CBS Radio president Andre Fernandez, “CBS Radio is proud to continue our association with the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center. We have defined our position in sports broadcasting by delivering the most extensive coverage of local programming and events. We continue to make aggressive investments in exclusive content our audiences can’t find anywhere else.” Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment chief executive officer Brett Yormark comments, “Our relationship with CBS Radio continues to give us a major voice in the nation’s largest market. This new agreement comes on the heels of our recent extension with YES Network, providing the team with premium exposure on two of the country’s most popular sports outlets.” WFAN news sibling WCBS-AM will be the Nets’ secondary radio outlet. Prior to relocating to Brooklyn, the team was called the New Jersey Nets. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s January 2016 PPM report for New York City, WFAN ranks ninth (3.8, 6+); iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “Lite FM” leads the field with a 6.7 (6+).

hyde, coreyHyde Heads to Entercom Sacramento as GSM. Fourteen-month Pandora account executive Corey Hyde joins Entercom Sacramento as general sales manager. Vice president and market manager Lance Richard comments, “It is exciting to add Corey to our team. He has an impressive track record of success and Entercom_Communications_logohe brings experience in developing dynamic, integrated campaigns and long term partnerships for local clients. His leadership skills and experience in this market make him the perfect fit for Entercom Sacramento.” Hyde remarks, “I am thrilled to be joining Lance Richard and the team at Entercom Sacramento. Radio is stronger than ever, and we have the best local stations in the market. I look forward to using our wide array of marketing assets to drive real results for our clients.” In his 13-year radio career, Hyde spent nearly 10 years with CBS Radio Sacramento as a senior account executive and three years with iHeartMedia Sacramento as an AE. Entercom Sacramento consists of KCTC “ESPN 1320″; CHR KDND “The End”; alternative KKDO “Radio 94-7”; KRXQ “98 Rock”; classic rock KSEG “The Eagle”; and hot AC KUDL “Star 106.5.”

baldwin, stephenBaldwin Exits Weekend “Baldwin/McCullough LIVE.”  Effective immediately, actor Stephen Baldwin departs “Baldwin/McCullough LIVE.” The two-hour syndicated weekend program carried by approximately 250 affiliates on Kevin McCullough‘s eight-year-old XtreMEDIA and simulcast on BizTV is rebranded “Radio Night LIVE.” As Baldwin’s work schedule increased the past few months, McCullough explains, “The more difficult it has become for him to make the show. For the past eight years, we have enjoyed the liveliest and – on most nights – the funniest weekend radio broadcast in America. Our listeners will mccullough, kevinimmediately feel the impact of Stephen’s absence from the talk radio airwaves. To be realistic, however, because of his filming schedule in 2015, his workload severely prevented him from being with us even one out of two weeks. This is great for him because his passion is acting. Our staff, our sponsors, and listeners will miss Stephen’s unique humor and spunk. His personality is one-of-a-kind and Stephen will always be welcome to a microphone we have named in his honor; we are thrilled though at this chance to take our broadcast to another level. ‘Radio Night LIVE’ will take the signature humor we have developed over the years, add cutting edge ‘next generation’ guests, experts, and entertainers and explode Saturday night in ways previously unseen.” Baldwin comments, “God has been so good to me and all I want to do is to follow where He is leading me. My time doing the show is something I will always remember. Our listeners brought much laughter and insight into my life.” It is possible that McCullough will utilize a series of rotating guest hosts such as KRLA, Los Angeles’ Elisha Krauss; Karol Markowicz of The New York Post; YouToo America‘s Gina Loudon; as well as Ashley Papa and Kayleigh McEnany. McCullough continues hosting his weekday 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm “After Hours” show on Salem Media Group New York’s WNYM “AM 970 The Answer”; the “Kevin McCullough Show” for Salem Media Group; and “News That Makes You Think.”

WGN LogoFour More Years: WGN, Northwestern Extend Rights Agreement. The union between 50,000-watt WGN, Chicago and Northwestern University will keep Wildcats football and men’s basketball on the Tribune talker through the conclusion of the 2019 – 2020 season. In addition, the voice of Wildcats football since 1990 and men’s basketball since 1996 – Dave Eanet – signs a four-year contract. WGN Radio presidentNorthwestern Wildcats and general manager Jimmy de Castro comments, “We are proud to present Northwestern basketball and football anchored by Dave ‘Mr. Cat’ Eanet. We look forward to bringing our listeners the excitement of Chicago’s Big Ten team in the years to come.” According to Northwestern vice president for athletics and recreation Jim Phillips, “The Northwestern Wildcats and WGN Radio have forged a special relationship over the last two decades. WGN not only is a broadcasting force, but a true Chicago institution. We have shared many thrilling moments through the years, and we look forward to many more memories with WGN Radio as the home of Chicago’s Big Ten team.” Eanet was inducted into the WGN Radio Walk of Fame last year. Former Chicago Bear Ted Albrecht is WGN’s football analyst on Wildcat broadcasts, while former college and pro head coach Joey Meyer provides analysis on basketball broadcasts. WGN has been the radio home of the Wildcats since 1996. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s January 2016 PPM report for Chicago, WGN ranks fifth with a 4.2 – its best showing since last June’s 4.3; CBS Radio‘s all-news WBBM-AM is on top with a 6.8 (6+).

walter, maryLouisville Lineup Changes at WHAS, WKRD. Starting next Monday (2/29), former WKXW “New Jersey 101.5,” Trenton personality Mary Walter will oversee a weeknight 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm program on iHeartMedia Louisville talker WHAS. Of Walter, director of iHeartMedia Louisville’s AM programming Kelly Carls comments, “She is always prepared; keeps her finger on the pulse of the news; and she does a great job connecting with listeners. We are delighted she will be offering her unique perspectives every day.” A WHAS fill-in beginning in 2009, Walter remarks, “I am so excited to be with the WHAS audience on aWKRD regular basis. I have grown to love the local listeners over the years. They are so engaged and informed that it makes the job fun.” She previously worked at radio stations in Washington, DC; Phoenix; Denver; and Omaha. Meanwhile, at co-owned all-sports WKRD “790 KRD,” Howie Lindsey is named 7:00 am – 10:00 am host; contributors Matt Willinger and Katie George will join him. Another change there will find TheCardinalConnect.Com founder Nick Coffey taking on 12:00 noon – 3:00 pm duty. “We are very excited to expand our local sports coverage on WKRD,” notes Kelly Carls. “Mornings, mid-days and afternoons, we now have local sports fans covered with updates, insights, and compelling conversation about the teams and games that really matter.” Lindsey and Coffey will debut one week from Monday (3/7). Among persons 12+ in Nielsen Audio‘s winter 2016 book, WHAS ranks #1 (7.4) and WKRD is #12 (1.2).

Cumulus Media Dallas Sets Fourth Spring Job Fair. Jobseekers and hiring companies will come together in less than Cumulus Media Dallastwo weeks (3/9) as Cumulus Media Dallas presents its fourth annual Putting Texans Back to Work Spring Job Fair at the Plano Centre. In attendance will be representatives from over 100 companies in search of quality candidates from the Dallas, Collin, and Denton County areas of North Texas. No registration is required for job seekers; however, registration deadline for companies looking for qualified individuals is one week from Monday (3/7). The Cumulus Dallas cluster includes sports KESN “ESPN Radio 103.3”; talk KLIF-AM; CHR KLIF-FM “Hot 93.3”; country KPLX “The Wolf”; KSCS “New Country 96.3”; sports KTCK “The Ticket; and talk WBAP.

BTC LogoBTC Begins HD Radio Data Services in Canada. A partnership between the Broadcaster Traffic Consortium (BTC) and exclusive mapping and technology data partner HERE leads to Canada’s first in-vehicle HD Radio Traffic service. Honda is the first brand to offer the service to its customers on certain 2015 and 2016 models. Broadcaster Traffic Consortium president Paul Brenner comments, “The BTC and all of our member stations are excited to be the first to market for HD Radio data services in Canada. Honda and HERE are valued partners that expect constant innovation and quality services regardless of our borders or radio station ownership. Unified broadcasters, collaborating to deliver a common service, bringing innovation solutions to automakers is better for the strategic and long-term viability of the broadcast radio industry. BTC is proud to be a leader in this space.” HD Radio Traffic enables drivers and passengers to view detailed information on local traffic conditions in real time on their vehicle’s audio display screen. The BTC has stations providing coverage in most areas within greater Toronto, Vancouver, and Calgary; the service is expected to expand to additional Canadian markets. Originally founded in 2007 with eight broadcast groups – Beasley Broadcast Group; Bonneville International Corporation; Cox Radio; Emmis Communications; Entercom Communications; Greater Media; NPR; and Radio One – BTC has grown to include 23 broadcast groups in the United States and Canada. It builds a nationwide terrestrial broadcasting network to distribute local traffic and other map-related data via FM and HD Radio technology.

talkersten logoPresidential Race Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of February 22-26.  Primary races and activities of presidential candidates were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  Coming in at #2 was Apple’s refusal to hack the phone of one of the San Bernardino terrorists.  At #3 was the battle over the timeline for replacing Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, followed by Islamic State’s reported threats against Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week; it is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  View this week’s entire chart here.

fritts, eddieBFA to Fete Fritts with “Excellence in Broadcasting” Award. Former 23-year National Association of Broadcasters president and chief executive officer Eddie Fritts is named this year’s Broadcasters Foundation of America‘s recipient of the Lowry Mays “Excellence in Broadcasting” award. Underwritten by The Mays Family Foundation, the award is given each year to a broadcaster, “whose work exemplifies innovation, community service, advocacy, and entrepreneurship.” Fritts’ past recognitionBroadcasters Foundation of America includes “Broadcaster of the Year” awards at both the New York State Broadcasters Association and the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters. In addition, he is the past recipient of the Broadcasters Foundation’s “Golden Mike” and “Chairman’s” awards. Inducted into the Giants of Broadcasting’s Hall of Fame in 2010, he received the NAB’s “Distinguished Service” award one year later. Fritts – who launched The Fritts Group in March 2006 – will be honored with this particular acknowledgement in approximately two months (4/20) during the NAB Show in Las Vegas. The Broadcasters Foundation has distributed millions of dollars to thousands of broadcasters and their families. Individual donations can be made to the Guardian Fund. Corporate contributions are accepted through the Angel Initiative; bequests can be arranged through the Legacy Society.

Cumulus 2Cumulus Media Florida Outlets Aid in Tornado Recovery. Personal and household items, as well as monetary donations, are being collected by 14 Cumulus Media stations in Fort Walton Beach-Destin, Mobile, and Pensacola (Florida) for those affected by this week’s tornadoes in Century and Pensacola. Radio station staffers will be at various locations for six hours today (Friday, 2/26), nine hours tomorrow (Saturday, 2/27), and four hours on Sunday. Listeners are being asked to help tornado victims with water, personal hygiene items, household cleaning items, tarps, laundry detergent, diapers, wipes, book bags, crayons, pens, pencils, paper, clothing, and non-perishable food items. Cash donations should be directed to the Gulf Coast recovery effort through the American Red Cross and the United Way.

cbsradio-logoCool Job Opportunities at CBS, Los Angeles.  TALKERS has learned that CBS Radio Los Angeles is now looking to fill the following positions as soon as possible at all-news KNX 1070:  news reporter, writer, and news production assistant. For more details and to apply, please click here: WWW.CBSRADIO.COM/CAREERS.

union edgeOdds & Sods. Pittsburgh-based “The Union Edge” adds suburban Minneapolis talker KTNF “AM 950 The Progressive Voice of Minnesota” as its 27th affiliate. KTNF president Chad Larson comments, “KTNF has been a longtime union advocate, covering labor issues since 2004 in the Twin Cities. We look forward to carrying another program focused on the many accomplishments labor has made for our nation as well as the modern threats facing working families and our ability to collectively bargain in the workplace.”

Thursday, February 25, 2016

| February 25, 2016

cbsradioChicagoCBS RADIO Announces Sales Management Appointments for Chicago Stations.  Director of sales Mark Day was let go from the CBS RADIO Chicago cluster in early January (at the same time market manager Rod Zimmerman exited) and now the company is announcing its new sales managers.  Paul Agase is named director of music sales, and John Cravens is the director of news and sports sales.  SVP and market manager Tim Pohlman says, “I am extremely excited to have two senior veterans in the market lead our sales efforts with the great brands of CBS RADIO Chicago.  Paul and John have been leaders in the Chicago market for many years.  Their solid relationships with partners, clients, and our internal team will be key to growing our revenue in the years ahead.”  Agase (who was promoted from within) will oversee sales operations for the market’s music stations – WBBM-FM (CHR ), WJMK-FM (classic hits), WUSN-FM (country), and WXRT-FM (triple A) – while Cravens (former crosstown sports WMVP DOS) will manage sales efforts for WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM (all-news), WSCR-AM (sports talk), and sports play-by-play sales for both the Chicago Bears and Chicago Cubs.

Presidential Race, Apple vs FBI, Immigration Policy, Scalia Replacement, ISIS Threatens Zuckerberg and Dorsey, Syrian Conflict-Russian Military Build-Up, and Oscars Boycott Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/24).  The primary elections and the activities of the candidates for president; the controversy over Apple’s refusal to hack the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino terrorists; the immigration and refugee policies of the U.S. government; the scenarios for replacing Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia; the threats by ISIS against Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey; the conflict in Syria and Russia’s military involvement there; Sunday’s Academy Awards and the planned boycott were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

podcastone bAcademy Award-Nominated Screenwriter Leigh Savidge Launches ‘Straight Outta…The Podcast.’  Joining the PodcastOne platform is screenwriter Leigh Savidge, who is nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for the film Straight Outta Compton.  The podcast is based on the critically acclaimed film and involves Savidge focusing on “the inner culture of the hip hop world, from its inspirational roots, to top current-day artists.  Leigh has spent years in the underground hip hop scene and will invite guests to share eye-witness accounts of rap’s most controversial and intriguing moments.”  The series launches today with guest Alonso Williams, the NWA mentor who assisted the group with their first album.  Original NWA member Arabian Prince joins Savidge next week, followed by a two-parter with Suge Knight’s ex-wife Sharitha Knight.  PodcastOne EVP of content development Mike August states, “We are very excited to have one of the Oscar-nominated writers of Straight Outta Compton in the person of Leigh Savidge joining our PodcastOne family with never-before-heard interviews with the artists, producers and promoters that both created and drive the hip hop music business to this day.”

radioonelogoRadio One Q4 Report: TV Bails Out Radio.  Although the company’s 2015 Q4 net revenue was basically flat (down 0.3%) and revenue from the cable television helped offset a down quarter for radio, president and CEO Alfred Liggins believes the radio side of Radio One is well positioned for 2016.  “Overall, our radio advertising revenue was down 5.2% for the final quarter of 2015.  We underperformed our markets in Atlanta, Baltimore and Houston, but outperformed in Washington DC.  Our audience ratings have generally shown strong growth year-over-year, and I anticipate that we will monetize these audience gains in 2016.  While our gross cable television advertising revenues were up byligginsalfred 11% for the quarter, the liability incurred due to under delivery against rate card meant that overall TV advertising revenue was down by 3.5% for the quarter.  This was more than offset by the 27.5% increase in cable television affiliate fees.  Management remains focused on turning around underperforming radio markets and advancing our digital and cross platform sales strategies.  We have had a number of significant client successes with our One Solution cross-platform sales and marketing effort, and I expect that momentum to continue into 2016.”  Other notable figures from the Q4 report include an operating loss of approximately $11.3 million for the three months ended December 31, 2015, compared to operating income of $19.4 million for the same period in 2014 and a net loss of approximately $24.3 million or $0.50 per share compared to $13.5 million or $0.28 per share, for the same period in 2014.

Kalman Named LSM at ’98.7 ESPN New York.’  Former WFAN, New York play-by-play- sales manager Steve Kalman is named local sales manager at ESPN O&O WEPN, New York.  ESPN notes that Kalman spent more than a decade in the trade events business before moving into managing sports broadcast media sales.  Kalman has managed broadcast play-by-play sales teams for the New York Mets, New York Giants and the New York Yankees.

lundinClinton16Rally for ‘First Dude’ Hopeful.  Former President Bill Clinton spoke at an Old Town Alexandria, Virginia rally yesterday (2/25) for Hillary Clinton at which hundreds of loyal supporters waited in line in the rain to attend.  Pictured covering it for her various platforms is noted Washington, DC-based radio newswoman Lori Lundin (Washington Examiner, NPR and more) who hosts the experimental animal rights program “Vox Animali” for TalkersRadio.  Lundin quickly turns to the TALKERS camera while the former Chief Executive addresses the crowd.

Odds & Sods.  Broadcasting from this week’s National Religious Broadcasters conference in Nashville is Salem Radio Network’s SRN News and Townhall.com.  Both are originating morning drive newscasts from the event in addition to coverage of two separate presidential candidate forums which are being moderated by SRN’s Eric Metaxas…..The winner of Beasley Media Group’s “President’s Club Overall Winner” award for the calendar year 2015 is Beasley Tampa senior account manager Paige Grady.  The President’s Club consists of Beasley salesgradypaige executives, who are honored annually for their abilities to meet or exceed individual and market goals, attain accreditation from the Radio Advertising Bureau as Certified Radio Marketing Consultants (CRMC), and over-deliver their clients’ expectations on a daily basis. Each month throughout the year, one account executive from each of Beasley’s radio markets is named in the President’s Club.  At the end of each year, every market names their winner based on overall performance.  The individual with the highest ranking from this notable pool of top-performers is named Beasley’s “President’s Club Overall Winner” for the previous calendar year…..CBS RADIO reports its PPM market stations – as a whole – saw ratings performance increase comparing January 2016 PPM data to January 2015 numbers.  The company says its stations “across 25 major markets posted a nearly 5% increase in listeners Persons 12+, reaching a total audience in excess of 45 million and an increase of more than two million over the prior year.”  The biggest increases in audience in the top 10 markets were seen at KJKK-FM (Dallas, 48%), KLUV-FM (Dallas, 44%), KTWV-FM (Los Angeles, 44%), WIP-FM (Philadelphia, 32%), WIAD-FM (Washington, D.C., 31%) and WZGC-FM (Atlanta, 30%)…..This week, more than 500 local radio and television broadcasters gathered in Washington, DC for the National Association of Broadcasters’ annual State Leadership Conference.  The event featured speeches from prominent policymakers on federal legislative and regulatory issues affecting the broadcast industry, and provided attendees an opportunity to meet with their legislators to discuss how local radio and TV stations serve their communities.

wbtwlnk duo logoCool Job Opportunity.  Greater Media Charlotte is seeking a continuity and traffic assistant.  Ideal characteristics for this position include: someone who enjoys analytics and puzzles, is innately curious, is meticulous with details, thrives in a fast-paced environment, works calmly and effectively under pressure, reacts quickly to meet tight deadlines, is diplomatic and determined with solid people skills.  To apply, please email your cover letter and resume to hired@gmclt.com .  You may also fax your information to 704-338-3079, attention: Sandra Szoke, director of sales, or mail to: Human Resources – WBT/WLNK Radio, ATTN: Continuity and Traffic Assistant, Greater Media Charlotte, One Julian Price Place, Charlotte, NC  28208.  EOE.

Talkers2016 logo xlg‘Talk Radio: The Big Picture’ Panel Coming Together for TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations.  One of the traditional keynote events at the annual TALKERS magazine conference is the broad-strokes panel session titled, “Talk Radio: The Big Picture.”  Moderated by Michael Harrison, the session addresses a cross-section of the most important issues facing the institution of spoken-word radio in America by tapping into the experience and insights of major players from various aspects of the field.  Already booked for this year’s installment are (in alphabetical order): Vince Benedetto, president/CEO Bold Gold Media GroupHeather Cohen, executive vice president, The Weiss Agency; Tom Langmyer, vice president & general manager, Milwaukee radio operations and vice president, news/talk/sports programming E.W. Scripps Company; Mike McVay, senior vice president/content & programming, Cumulus Media & Westwood OneChris Oliviero, executive vice president programming, CBS Radio; and Joe Sciacca, editor-in-chief, Boston Herald & Boston Herald Radio.  Additional panel sessions to be announced include “The Millennials and Media,” “The Podcasting Session,”  “Generating Revenue in the Digital Era,” and “The Talk Rumble” among others.  Stay tuned for more news about speakers and events.  TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations will take place on Friday, May 20 between 8:00 am and 8:00 pm on the campus of Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY (near NYC).  More details in the stories below.

Stellar Lineup Developing for TALKERS 2016:  Bridging the Generations.  More than 60 leading industry speakers will fill a power-packed day and evening of panel discussions, special presentations, keynote addresses, exhibits, social networking functions, meals and live broadcasts at the forthcoming 19th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention.  TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations will take place on Friday, May 20 on the campus of Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York.  The event kicks off bright and early at 8:00 am with the traditional “Breakfast with Hannity” opening social.  It will conclude 12 hours later with a gala, early-evening reception on the university’s magnificent television soundstage.  Already scheduled: Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity will beharrisonhannityfrancesa interviewed in a morning “Fireside Chat” conducted by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and WFAN, New York sports talk titan Mike Francesa will follow his morning address with a live broadcast (with student participation) of his legendary five-and-a-half hour afternoon drive show via the state-of-the-art facilities of the university’s award-winning radio station.  Pictured: Mike Francesa (l), Michael Harrison (c) and Sean Hannity (r).  Located just outside of New York City, Hofstra University’s Lawrence Herbert School of Communication is nationally recognized as one of the nation’s most respected and influential breeding grounds of great broadcasters.  The NAB honored WRHU-FM in 2015 with a Marconi Award as the first ever “student operated” non-commercial station of the year!  Radio Hofstra University WRHU-FM is also currently ranked number one – best college radio station – by the Princeton Review.  WRHU-FM also earned a Pinnacle Award – station of the year – from the CMA.  Upon making the announcement of this year’s event, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “2016 marks a great leap forward in the rich and colorful history of this legendary conference.  Tapping into the theme ‘Bridging the Generations’ TALKERS 2016 will intensely focus on talk radio’s successful and as seamless-as-possible transition into the digital era concentrating on attracting younger demos, broadening the format menu, modernizing political positioning, enhancing both journalistic and entertainment impact, incorporating all aspects of pop culture, understanding Millennials and the New Authenticity, creating a viable cross-platform presence, embracing the new technology, and of course, podcasting, podcasting and more podcasting.” Harrison adds, “This conference will be inter-generational.  I cannot begin to express the level of excitement and pride we have in partnering this year with Hofstra University, its wonderfully dynamic Lawrence Herbert School of Communication and its famous radio station WRHU – clearly one of the greatest, heritage campus outlets in America.  Their amazing, state-of-the-art resources will provide an exhilarating backdrop and platform for this gathering.  As far as we are concerned, the future of talk media begins now!”  The cost of a full registration is $299 per person with a special student rate of $249.  An early bird registration rate of $249 will be in effect until 5:00 pm ET on Monday, February 29 unless the event sells out prior to that date.  Registration is only open to professionals currently or recently (within one year) employed in media-related industries as well as students enrolled in accredited colleges or universities.  Registration includes all sessions, presentations, exhibits, receptions, and tours as well as breakfast/lunch/refreshment and social networking activities.  Registrations can only be taken over the phone (to verify qualifications) and paid for with a credit card.  As in years past, for the sake of intimacy and productivity, attendance will be limited to 500 and TALKERS 2016 will be an early sellout.  No registrations can be sold after that point.  All registrations are non-transferable and non-refundable. To register or obtain sponsorship information, please call 413-565-5413. Information about special local hotel discounts for attendees is detailed below. Agenda and speakers to be announced in the days and weeks ahead, leading up to the event. Register now!

mariottLIFantastic Group Rate Available at Long Island Marriott for TALKERS 2016. A limited number of rooms are still available for a limited amount of time for the nights of Thursday, May 19 and Friday, May 20 at the fabulous Long Island Marriott hotel located near Hofstra University – the site of TALKERS 2016. To take advantage of the $169 per night rate, book as early as possible by clicking here or calling reservations at 1-800-228-9290 and telling the agent you are with the TALKERS event group.

Monday, February 15, 2016

| February 15, 2016

francesamikeWFAN Superstar Mike Francesa to Reprise Sports Talk Keynote Role at TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations.  In what has become the traditional opening one-two punch of the annual TALKERS conference, WFAN, New York sports talk personality Mike Francesa joins Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel titan Sean Hannity in delivering welcoming addresses at the forthcoming 19th annual TALKERS conference set for Friday, May, 20 on the campus of Hofstra University on Long Island.  Francesa, who has occupied the #1 position on the annual TALKERS “Heavy Hundred” of Sports Talk Radio since its inception in 2012, will follow this up by broadcasting his five-and-a-half hour afternoon drive program live from the state-of-the-art studio at the school’s Marconi Award-winning campus station, WRHU.  Upon making the announcement, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “Mike Francesa’s candid, ‘tell-it-like-it-is’ contributions to this conference over the years have proven to be of incalculable value to the attendees.  With this year’s event having an enhanced ‘youth’ and ‘future of broadcasting’ orientation, his presence and live broadcast will take it to yet another level.”  Francesa says, “It will be an honor to be part of TALKERS’ program at Hofstra.  I have a lot of good friends at the university and look forward to bringing the program there.  In these quickly changing times, there is a lot to discuss.”  Radio Hofstra University director of operations John T. Mullen comments, “Mike Francesa has inspired countless sports talk broadcasters for decades.  It is truly an honor to have him broadcast from Radio Hofstra University.”  TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations is expected to be an early sellout.  To register or obtain sponsorship information, please call TALKERS at 413-565-5413. Information about the special hotel discount at the Long Island Marriott can be found here.

Death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia Dominates Weekend News/Talk Radio.  The unexpected death of 79-year-old Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia quickly became the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio over the weekend.  For stations with local programming and/or live national shows, Scalia’s death spurred immediate talk by conservatives of how the nomination and confirmation of a new Supreme Court Justice can be pushed off until after the new president assumes office in a little less than a year and, for liberals, how President Obama must move forward to present a nominee who can be confirmed this year.  Other topics discussed over the weekend included the activities of the candidates for president; the escalating military strikes in Syria, including Russia’s prominent role there; and President Obama’s proposed cuts to counter-terrorism programs, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

kileykevinWKRK, Cleveland’s Kevin Kiley Resigns from Sports Talker; Complains About Censorship.  Sports talk radio personality Kevin Kiley announced on a guest appearance on WOIO-TV, Cleveland’s evening newscast on February 11 that he had resigned from sports talk outlet WKRK, Cleveland “92.3 The Fan,” back in November, effective at the end of this month.  He stated his resignation was for reasons other than the backlash he received from corporate about his comments regarding the Buffalo Bills hiring the first female coach, but the threats to his job if he continued to talk about the matter further cemented his decision to resign.  Kiley, co-host of the Kiley & Carman morning show on the station, stated last month on air that there is no way Kathryn Smith is more qualified than a man to do her coaching job with Buffalo and the comments brought him both support and condemnation.  On his television appearance, Kiley stated, “I’ve never been censored. In 35 years, I’ve never been censored, and I shouldn’t have been censored for this. And I have no right to accept censorship based on what broadcasting is.  And nor should you accept censorship, ever. You should make sure that the people on the radio are telling you the truth as they see it.  Now, you’re gonna argue with them and you can disagree with them, but don’t let the program director there, don’t let the general manager, don’t let some clown in New York tell them what to say, and then you think it’s their opinion, or what not to say. That’s what happened here, and I’m not accepting it.”  CBS RADIO has not commented on the matter.  View his appearance here.

Odds & Sods.  WEEI, Boston morning personality Kirk Minihane’s podcast “Enough About Me” launched lastminihanekirk Thursday morning and rocketed to the #1 spot on the iTunes Sports & Rec category.  WEEI reports that, “propelled by WEEI’s colossal on-air and on-line promotional engine, ‘Enough About Me’ crashed the top 20 of all audio podcasts on the iTunes chart on its very first day of release.”  Entercom Boston VP/market manager Phil Zachary comments, “The successful launch of ‘Enough About Me’ validates the natural rapport that can flourish when a major on-air talent plies his craft in real-time, then invites listeners to explore a different facet of his personality in an on-demand environment.  We have been deliberately patient in debuting our first, major podcast release, and these encouraging metrics reveal Kirk Minihane to have enormous national appeal across all distribution channels.”…..There’s a special block of programming on SiriusXM’s College Sports Nation channel on Wednesday (2/17) to showcase the Duke-North Carolina men’s basketball rivalry.  This Wednesday’s game marks the 241st meeting of the Duke Blue Devils and North Carolina Tar Heels and SiriusXM will broadcast the game live nationwide starting at 9:00 pm ET.  Prior to that, a special edition of Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski’s weekly SiriusXM show, “Basketball and Beyond” will air at 7:00 pm ET featuring Krzyzewski’s thoughts on the coming matchup.  Then, at 8:00 pm ET, SiriusXM will present a special hour-long radio documentary that will examine the history, intensity and emotions of the Duke-UNC rivalry.

Monday, February 8, 2016

| February 8, 2016

bennettbillBill Bennett to Give Up Daily AM Duties; Hugh Hewitt Moves to Morning Drive at SRN.  Ending an 11-year run as host of Salem Radio Network’s morning drive program “Bill Bennett’s Morning in America,” Bennett will step back a bit from the mic as of April 4 when he becomes seniorhewitthugh correspondent.  He’ll produce a daily feature titled, “Making America Work,” that will also be formatted as a one-hour weekend program.  In the series, he’ll interview successful American business owners and entrepreneurs.  Moving to the morning drive daypart (6:00 am to 9:00 am ET) will be current early evening host Hugh Hewitt.  Hewitt will re-locate to Washington, DC for the new program.  Salem Media Group notes Hewitt’s “radio career has taken off in the last year with a new-found love for breaking news and what to think about it.  He was given an opportunity to expose his great knowledge and talents to the country when he was selected as a panelist on the CNN presidential debates.  He has salemradionetworkalready conducted more interviews with the presidential candidates than any other host, and has become the ‘go to’ show for this campaign.”  Hewitt comments, “In 25 years of broadcasting on television and radio I have never been as excited as by this opportunity to build on the enormous platform Bill Bennett has constructed.  It is already a show for influencers across the country, and I plan to maintain that influence, making this a ‘must listen’ for every mover and shaker in America, from a stay-at-home mom or dad to CEOs and government leaders.”  Bennett says of his time on the radio, “Engaging in an illuminating and entertaining conversation with the American people has been one of the most enjoyable and rewarding episodes of my career.  I now look forward to another phase of work with the Salem Radio Network.  The seminars and in-depth discussions in our new ‘Making America Work’ series that we are planning for 2016 and beyond will write a new chapter in radio.  I simply want to express my gratitude to Salem for its continued confidence in me and to my audience – the greatest radio audience in America – for its loyalty and its candor, intelligence and goodwill.”

grahammichaelWYAY, Atlanta’s Michael Graham Offers to Consult Candidate to Oppose Georgia Legislator Who Defended the Klan.  According to a piece in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, WYAY, Atlanta “Newsradio 106.7” late morning personality Michael Graham has advertised in the Jackson Herald his willingness to put his political consulting acumen to use for a candidate who will challenge Republican State Representative Tommy Benton.  This comes after Benton defended the Ku Klux Klan while discussing proposed legislation he authored to protect institutions named after Confederate military figures and revert street names back to their original names, if they honored such historical people.  One street was named after Confederate General John B. Gordon, an early Georgia Klan leader.  In discussing the issue, Benton defended the Klan, saying it “made a lot of people straighten up.”  He also said it “was not so much a racist thing but a vigilante thing to keep law and order.  I’m not saying what they did was right.  It’s just the way things were.”  Graham’s ad requests any Jackson County resident wishing to challenge Benton’s seat to contact him.  Graham promises to donate his time and political consulting expertise as well as help promote fundraising.  Read the AJC story here.

Presidential Race, Super Bowl 50, North Korean Missile Launch, Zika Virus, and European Anti-Islam Rallies Among Top Weekend News/Talk Stories.  The activities of the candidates for president; the build-up to Sunday night’s Super Bowl 50; North Korea’s launch of a long-range satellite missile; concerns over the Zika virus and a potential pandemic; and the anti-Islam rallies held in Europe over the weekend were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

WW1LoftonMiller16Westwood One Provides Radio Coverage of Super Bowl 50.  The exclusive radio play-by-play of Super Bowl 50 was provided by Westwood One.  As part of its post-game program, WW1’s James Lofton (right) interviews Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller (left) who was named MVP of the game.

Odds & Sods.  The Indianapolis Business Journal reports iHeartMedia Indy market manager Rick Green is being promoted to a regional president post for the Mid-Atlantic region where he’ll be based in Richmond, Virginia.  A new Indianapolis market manager should be named soon…..The New York Daily NewsBob Raissman is reporting that John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman just re-signed to broadcast New York Yankees games on CBS RADIO’s WFAN, New York for two more seasons……iHeartMedia promotes longtime company sales pro Sherri Griswold Holladay to the regional vice president of sales position for the Mid-South region…..Beasley Media Group names Steve Griesbach director of engineering for the Las Vegas cluster.  Griesbach most recently served with Cumulus Media’s Green Bay, Wisconsin station group.

bubbaScheduling Announced in Nielsen v Bubba Suit.  Both sides of the $1 million suit by Nielsen against Tampa-based morning personality Bubba the Love Sponge are digging in for a fight.  Now, we know the timeline for the legal skirmish.  If the matter goes all the way to trial, it’ll start next January 3.  Before that, however, there are discovery deadlines, a mandatory attempt to settle via mediation and a pre-trial conference in December.  Nielsen probably has lawyers on retainer, but this is still going to be expensive for both parties.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

| January 20, 2016

ramseydaveTime Magazine Recognizes Dave Ramsey Podcast.  Dubbing it one of the top 10 podcasts on iTunes in 2015, Time magazine gives the Dave Ramsey podcast recognition for its popularity.  The Ramsey podcast averages more than 2 million downloads per week.  Numerous publications, including iTunes Charts, Digital Trends and Stitcher, list the Dave Ramsey show among the most frequently downloaded and streamed podcasts.  Ramsey Media vice president Brian Mayfield comments on the news.  “We are excited to see the development of a completely new audience in the digital space.  Our roots are embedded in radio where we began, and our audience continues to grow.  This recent success on the digital side allows us to introduce our show to the next generation of listeners.  Our goal is simple: we want to be there for our listener when, where, and how they want to listen.  Digital distribution allows those constantly on the go the ability to listen to their favorite programs on their time schedule.  We offer a variety of solutions including podcast, a dedicated channel on iHeartRadio, online audio streaming, and an online video channel.”  Mayfield says that these efforts combined with the existing radio audience reaches a total audience of 11 million listeners every week.

francesamikeMike Francesa to Leave WFAN, New York When Contract Expires.  New York sports talk radio icon Mike Francesa tells Fox 1’s Katie Nolan that he will exit CBS RADIO’s sports talk WFAN, New York when his contract ends in December of 2017.  On Nolan’s “Garbage Time” podcast, Francesa also tells Nolan that he has spoken with CBS brass about exiting early but the two sides haven’t found terms for an exit that are mutually agreeable.  He also says it won’t be the end of his sports talk career, just the end to his time with WFAN.  Fox Sports reports the news from the taping of Nolan’s video podcast that will be published tomorrow (1/21).

mccannjakeCumulus Promotes McCann to Market Manager and Cohen to VP of Sales in Washington.  Two are promoted in the executive ranks at Cumulus Media’s Washington station group.  Jakecohenbeth McCann moves up to vice president/market manager from his VP of sales post and Beth Cohen is upped from director of sales to VP of sales for the cluster.  Cumulus SVP Gary Pizzati states, “Jake McCann and Beth Cohen are the leadership team needed to achieve our goals in D.C.  In the past year, they’ve accomplished that and more.  Both promotions are well deserved.  We look forward to their continued contributions as they advance the growth trajectory of Cumulus DC.”  Cumulus owns hot AC WRQX “Mix 107.3” and news/talk WMAL-AM/FM in the market.

mediamonitors logoPresidential Candidates Radio Ads Tracked by Media Monitors; Hillary Clinton Top Spender.  Two of the nation’s earliest primary elections – the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary – are just weeks away and Media Monitors reports it is tracking the radio ads for candidates heard in markets within or near those states during the first 15 days of January.  Media Monitors reports the following: Hillary Clinton numbers from Des Moines and the Quad Cities show a total of 482 spots run with none run in the adjacent Omaha market.  Radio spots for Ted Cruz, whose numbers from Des Moines, the Quad Cities and Omaha totaled 218 that were part of the Cruz For President buy, however, his Super PAC – Keep The Promise ran a total of 26 spots in the three Iowa markets.  Donald Trump radio spots that ran in Des Moines, the Quad Cities and Omaha totaled 187 ads.  Bernie Sanders did not buy Omaha, but ran spots in Des Moines and the Quad Cities totaling 123 spots.  Marco Rubio’s Super PAC – Conservative Solutions – also ran in Des Moines, Omaha and the Quad Cities to the tune of 74 units counted.  And finally, Mike Huckabee’s Super PAC – Pursuing America’s Greatness – aired 50 times in Des Moines, the Quad Cities and Omaha.  Targeting New Hampshire voters, Hillary Clinton ran 1,110 spots in both Boston and Portsmouth-Dover.  Bernie Sanders was next with 899 spots in the two markets.  Marco Rubio’s Super PAC aired 358 ads. Next was Ted Cruz with 109 spots appearing in Boston and Portsmouth-Dover.  Donald Trump played 76 times in the Portsmouth-Dover and 10 times in Boston.  Chris Christie aired 24 spots in Portsmouth-Dover, while his Super PAC – American Leads – ran 21 spots in Portsmouth-Dover and Boston.  Mike Huckabee did not run any spots in Portsmouth-Dover or Boston.

Presidential Race, Hillary Clinton Emails Investigation, Oscars Boycott, Flint Water Scandal, 13 Hours Film,  Sinking Oil Prices/Tumultuous Financial Markets, and Battle Against Islamic State Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/19).  The activities of the candidates for president; the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of her private email server for sensitive State Department business; the Spike Lee and Jada Pinkett Smith-led boycott of the Academy Awards for the lack of black nominees; the lead water contamination scandal in Flint, Michigan; controversy surrounding the Benghazi film, 13 Hours; the continuing drop in oil prices and the activity in the world’s financial markets; and the battle against Islamic State were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

zampillodanDan Zampillo Exiting WTEM, Washington.  There are more changes coming to the Dan Snyder-owned sports talker WTEM, Washington “ESPN 980.”  Program director Dan Zampillo – on the job since April of 2015 – is leaving the company, according to numerous reports, including one from the Washington Post’s Dan Steinberg.  Citing an internal memo, the Post reports Zampillo will stay on as a search for his replacement commences.  Recently, station manager Rick Carmean exited and the company has eliminated that position.  Zampillo came aboard from SiriusXM’s sports programming division after Chuck Sapienza resigned the PD post during the bizarre “Man Cave” episode.  To refresh your memory, “The Man Cave” show – co-hosted by Chris Paul and Jason Reid – got off to an inauspicious start in March.  The launch of the show was delayed by two weeks during which there were reports Dan Snyder didn’t like the idea because Reid was critical of the Redskins while writing for the Post.  Sapienza quit during this time.  The show was eventually cancelled in October.  Read Steinberg’s Post piece here.

nielsen logoRound One of Holiday PPM Data Released.  The first of four rounds of Holiday 2015 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey).  The survey period was December 3 – December 30.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Twelve Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Harrison and ‘America’s Digital Goddess’ Discuss the Culture of Technology.  Nationally syndicated radio star and newspaper columnist Kim Komando of WestStar TalkRadio Network joins TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison as a special guest on this week’s installment of PodcastOne’s international hit, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” (1/19).  The two conduct an in-depth discussion about the state of the digital era as we are experiencing its unfolding in the early decades of the 21st century fromkomandokim both technological and cultural perspectives.  Highlights include a prognostication of where the technology is headed going forward.  Will humans increasingly merge (physically, mentally, spiritually) with silicon technology as chips are increasingly embedded not only in our clothing and all around us in the “Internet of Things” – but in our bodies as well?  How can parents, who are natives of the 20th century, exercise control and guidance over their digitally precocious children, who are natives of the 21st century?  What is the present state and future of privacy?  Komando, whom Harrison describes as a “remarkable woman,” discusses her early days as a teenage prodigy in New Jersey who graduated high school at 15, headed west on her own, and went on to build a multi-million dollar empire blazing new trails in radio and contributing greatly to the advancement of this amazing new era.  To listen to the entire conversation, click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column of every page on Talkers.com.

jacksonkevinTalk Host Kevin Jackson Named Fox News Contributor.  Independently syndicated talk personality Kevin Jackson joins the Fox News organization as a contributor.  The news was announced to Fox News Channel viewers on last night’s edition of “The Kelly File” with host Megyn Kelly.  Jackson has made numerous appearances on FNC shows over the years, including “Hannity” and “Fox & Friends.”  Jackson comments, “I am grateful and proud that Roger (Ailes) appreciates my talent enough to have added me to the Fox News family.  What a great honor to have Fox News as part of my distribution platform.  My message has been leaking through for some time and this should help me to extend that message a lot further.”

Odds & Sods.  As reported by Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch, Emmis Communications’ Indianapolis news/talker WIBC-FM names Chris Davis news director.  Davis, who most recently was news director for the News Mississippi Network, takes over for Mike Wilson who left the radio biz…..Westwood One is providing radio play-by-play for this weekend’s NFL conference championship games on Sunday.  WW1’s doubleheader coverage begins at 2:00 pm ET.

Friday, September 25, 2015

| September 25, 2015

ramseyATL15Dave Ramsey and WGST Team Up for Atlanta Appearances.  Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey brought his “Smart Money” and “EntreLeadership 1 Day Event” productions to Atlanta with the promotional assistance of radio affiliate WGST.  Ramsey packed Atlanta’s famed Fox Theatre yesterday evening (9/24) for the “Smart Money” event while, the day before, he and speaker Chris Brown presented the “EntreLeadership 1 Day Event” targeted to those who operate businesses.   iHeartMedia Atlanta SVP of sales Jason Mosher says, “640 WGST was very excited to host Dave Ramsey in Atlanta for the 2015 Smart Money and EntreLeadership events.  This was a wonderful opportunity for our listeners to see, hear and connect with Dave in person.  The events were high energy and were filled with sound, practical financial advice.  We have already received wonderful feedback from our partners!”  Pictured here are (from l-r): iHeartMedia Atlanta market president Justin Schaflander, Mosher, Ramsey and WGST general sales manager Art Volpe.

boomercartonremote15Boomer & Carton Broadcast from New York-Presbyterian/Columbia.  The WFAN, New York morning team of Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton were on the road early yesterday morning (9/24) as they broadcast their program from NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia to raise awareness for Cystic Fibrosis and the Boomer Esiason Foundation.  The two interviewed Dr. Joshua R. Sonett and patient Jerry Cahill.  Dr. Sonett performed a double lung transplant on Cahill, who just completed a 500-mile bike ride from Maine to New York to raise awareness for CF.  Pictured here (from l-r) are: Cahill, Esiason, Carton, and Dr. Sonett.  Photo: NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia.

Odds & Sods.  A new weekly program is added to the Genesis Communications Network lineup.  The Adam Thompson show is now being distributed by GCN.  The program “explores the biggest international and domestic stories and regularly features a debate with sharp minds that pull no punches.”….. Brian Landaulandaubrian assumes the EVP for digital sales and strategy at DGital Media, the audio engagement firm founded by former Dial Global/Westwood One execs David Landau and Spencer Brown.  Brian joins father David after his most recent position with cloud-based social sponsorship company Izea.  The company says, “Brian Landau will be charged with driving digital sales and partnerships with national content producers and brands to extend their audio brands and engage existing and new audiences.  DGital Media is already working with noted tech podcast ‘Re/code Decode’ with Kara Swisher, as well as fantasy wolfejennasports brands and personalities including Rick Wolf and Fantasy Alarm, Kay Adams, RotoGrinders, FNTSY Sports Network, Swish Analytics, Erik Kuselias and others.”…..Fitness expert Jenna Wolfe is going to be hosting a live, limited-run, one-hour weekly series on SiriusXM’s “TODAY Show Radio,” starting September 25.  Sirius says the program will feature Wolfe discussing favorite topics: fitness, nutrition and emotional well-being.

shielsCongpanel15Shiels Hosts Michigan Congressional Panel.  Regionally syndicated morning drive talk show host Michael Patrick Shiels (at podium) – host of “Michigan’s Big Show” – moderated a Congressional panel consisting of eight members of the U.S. House of Representatives at Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island during the state’s Republican Leadership Conference.  Five GOP presidential candidates also spoke at the gathering.

talkersten logoDonald Trump Candidacy Tops Talkers TenTM for Fourth Consecutive Week.  The presidential candidacy of Republican Donald Trump, this week tied with the 2016 presidential race in general, is the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio for the week of September 21-25, and for the fourth straight week.  This week, at #2 is Pope Francis’ visit to the United States.  Coming in at #3 is the European migrant crisis and the related immigration policy controversy in the U.S., followed by U.S.-Russia-Syria tensions at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

wbtwlnk duo logoCool Job Opportunity.  Greater Media Charlotte seeks a Promotions and Events Coordinator.  “News Talk 1110” WBT and 107.9 WLNK “The Link” is looking for a fun, outgoing, hands-on and dedicated individual with entry level event planning experience for a full-time position in the marketing and promotions department.  This position works to ensure the timely and successful execution of promotions, contests and events through teamwork and coordination with other departments and staff.  This position reports directly to the marketing director.  Responsibilities include daily event planning from inception to completion and working the station-sponsored events.  Other responsibilities include planning and scheduling station contests, meetings with clients and community partners, maintaining event equipment, upkeep of station calendars, and working with the promotions team to plan and execute station promotions.  Excellent organization, communication and time management skills required.  Knowledge of Microsoft Office, Photoshop and other promotional based software a plus.  This position requires an individual who exhibits great interpersonal communication skills, is an enthusiastic and dynamic team player, is interested in physically and mentally demanding projects and enjoys working in a fast paced environment.  Additional availability to work weekends, evenings and holidays is a must.  Please send your cover letter and resume to: Greater Media Charlotte, WBT/WLNK Human Resources, One Julian Price Place, Charlotte, NC 28208 or hired@wbt.com or hired@1079thelink.com. No phone calls please.  Greater Media Charlotte is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Thursday September 10, 2015

| September 10, 2015

francesamikeWFAN’s Mike Francesa Show to End Fox Sports Cable Simulcast.  New York sports talk legend Mike Francesa told his WFAN listeners on Wednesday that his show would cease being simulcast on Fox Sports’ cable channel after this Friday.  As the New York Post reports, Francesa had problems with the relationship almost from the beginning and griped to listeners about being pre-empted by soccer or moved to the FS2 channel.  Francesa said, “First, let me say that the blame is mine.  I tried to do something a little different.  The Fox guys were eager and I’m not going to say money wasn’t an issue, because it was the biggest.  I had some trepidation, but I saw some promise and it just didn’t work.”  The Post reports that Francesa is beginning to look for a new cable simulcast partner and MSG Network is a possible destination.

2015nyc_575

corralangelaCorral Named News Director at KGO, San Francisco.  This is a promotion from assignment editor to news director for Angela Corral.  She’s been with Cumulus Media’s KGO since October of 2013.  She’s worked in news in the Bay Area for the past 17 years, having joined CBS RADIO’s crosstown all-news KCBS in 1998 as a production assistant.  On her new gig, Corral comments, “It’s a true honor to be selected as news director of this legendary station.  I’m looking forward to working with an amazing staff of dedicated journalists as we move KGO forward.”

fairRadio Pro Bob Dane Rises to Executive Director at FAIR.  The Federation for American Immigration Reform announces Bob Dane is promoted to executive director of the organization after approval from the board of directors.  Dane, whose years of experience in network radio, marketing and communications led him to join FAIR in 2006 as director of communications, will be just the fourth executivedanebob director of FAIR since its founding in 1979.  In this new role, Dane will oversee the organization’s Washington, D.C.-based and national operations.  FAIR president Dan Stein comments, “With nearly a decade of experience in FAIR’s media department, Bob has spearheaded valuable and unique initiatives, bringing to light the public’s often-overlooked concerns about immigration.”  Chairman of the Board Donald Collins Jr. adds, “For many years, Bob has continually demonstrated media expertise, innovative ideas and able management.”  During his career, Dane also served in a policy and budgeting position within the Reagan administration.  He received a degree in public administration and management from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.

Odds & Sods.  After retiring from full-time work at Chicago all-news outlet WBBM-AM in 2004 after a 35-year career, Sheman Kaplan returned to the station on a freelance basis, according to Chicago media writer Robert Feder.  In a column today, Feder reports that Kaplan is again retiring from the station where he was co-anchoring midday newscasts and “The WBBM Noon Business Hour” alongside Kris Kridel…..Los Angeles-based talkelderlarryNEW1-15 personality Larry Elder will host presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson on his show today (9/10).  Elder’s program airs on CRN Digital Talk Radio at 3:00 pm ET and on Salem-owned KRLA, Los Angeles at 9:00 pm PT…..United Stations Radio Networks is now offering a sports radio prep service called Total Sports Prep.  USRN says it is intended for use by air personalities in sports talk or any krntprogramming that delves into sports content…..Bob Kempf  joins TV and online public media producer WGBH Boston as vice president for digital services.  Kempf was previously VP/general manager of digital services for NPR…..Saga Communications drops adult standards on KRNT, Des Moines and goes sports talk as “ESPN Des Moines.”  In addition to carrying ESPN Radio programming, it will carry Chicago Cubs baseball, Drake University play-by-play, and be an affiliate of the Green Bay Packers Radio Network…..Entercom flips from business talk on KWOD, Kansas City to sports talk using both CBS Sports Radio and Fox Sports Radio.

wipRadiothon15WIP, Philadelphia’s Eagles Radiothon Raises $200,000.  Another Eagles Radiothon is in the books and the event organized by the NFL club and CBS RADIO’s WIP-FM, “SportsRadio 94WIP raised $200,000 for the Eagles Youth Partnership.  As part of the annual radiothon, Eagles fans and 94WIP callers were provided the opportunity to bid on exclusive experiences involving their favorite Eagles players and 94WIP radio personalities.  Eagles Youth Partnership, Eagles Social Responsibility president Christina Weiss Lurie says, “We continue to be amazed each year by the generous contributions and devoted support from our fans during the Eagles Radiothon.  As an organization, we are always looking to deliver one-of-a-kind experiences for our fans.  The annual Radiothon provides us with the opportunity to do that, while also supporting the vital health and education programs of Eagles Youth Partnership.  On behalf of EYP, I would like to express a heartfelt thank you to 94WIP for their steadfast commitment and support of this event.”

tradupBosworth15Salem Radio Network at 90 Minutes in Heaven Premiere.  The new film 90 Minutes in Heaven – based on the New York Times bestselling book by Don Piper – opens this weekend and Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup (left) was in Atlanta this week for the media premiere of the film.  Tradup says that on the heels of the Christian-themed film War Room being tops at the Labor Day weekend box office last week, fans of faith-based movies are also expected to turn out this weekend for the nationwide opening of 90 Minutes in Heaven.  Tradup is seen here speaking with actress Kate Bosworth (right) who plays Piper’s wife Eva Piper.  In a story based on Don Piper’s own experiences, she helps him recover from a car crash after being pronounced legally dead for 90 minutes.  The film also stars Hayden Christensen and Fred Thompson.

ewscrippsConspiracy Theory Gets Two Suspended from Scripps Springfield, MO Stations.  The host and the on-air producer of the Sunday morning “Cracker Barrel” show have been suspended by E.W. Scripps after suggesting the on-air slayings of Roanoke TV crew Alison Parker and Adam Ward were a hoax designed to spur stricter gun control laws.  Host Joe Rios and producer Rick Masters are heard on the both company’s country KTTS and news/talk KSGF-AM/FM.  Station manager Rex Hansen apologized to the station’s listeners for the commentary.  It’s not known how long the two will be suspended from the weekly community forum program.

Hillary Clinton Emails Apology, Trump Candidacy, 2016 Presidential Candidates, European Migrant Crisis, Brandon Marshall’s Brady vs NFL Racism Charge/ESPN Spygate Story, Iran Nuclear Deal, and Russia-Syria Military Connection Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/9).  Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton apologizes for use of private email server for State Department business; the criticism and analysis of the top-polling Trump for President campaign; the activities of the candidates for president in 2016; the migrant crisis affecting European nations; the aftermath of the Tom Brady vs the NFL case and Brandon Marshall’s charge that Tom Brady is treated different because he’s white, plus the related ESPN Spygate story; the controversy over the Iran nuclear deal; and reports of Russia sending military aid to Syria were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

| July 22, 2015

nielsen logoNielsen on Voltair and PPM: The Morning After.  Yesterday’s Nielsen Audio webinar with PPM client stations regarding upcoming changes to its PPM technology and the Voltair audio processor from Telos Alliance has the industry buzzing.  As you know, Nielsen has been testing the Voltair unit and has concluded that it cannot “support” Voltair, saying it found nothing substantial to show the processor positively affects the PPM unit’s ability to pick up the watermark tone that credits listening.  A number of managers and programmers have subsequently commented anonymously that they remain unconvinced by Nielsen’s research and presentation.  One programmer tells TALKERS, “Their research proved without a doubt that Voltair recorded more listening in certain formats when the PPM was in a noisy environment.  However, they did a flip-flop in their presentation, stating that ‘Voltair’s increased recording of listenership was inconclusive.’  Interestingly, at the same time they announced the rollout of an enhanced and more robust watermark which should be in the field by fall.  If there was not a problem, then why the new watermark?”  But broadcasting consultant Randy Kabrich writes in a blog post today in which, in this instance, he defends Nielsen’s response.  He says it’s well known that PPM doesn’t hear all of the codes and because of the 15-minute Quarter Hour ratings method employed in the U.S., it doesn’t need to.  “The Media Rating Council has examined every aspect of the PPM very extensively with their audits…[The] policies for stations to receive credit from the PPM codes were put in place many years ago after years of testing because it is known that the PPM meter misses codes!  And yet, the results are statically valid.  Otherwise no PPM markets would be accredited by the MRC.  And don’t you find it interesting that the MRC has agreed to look at Voltair with stations who have gone to them based on their own observations?  Look at it from the outside.  What do those stations gain?  It is almost as if they have post purchase dissonance and need someone to tell them they made the correct decision.”  Read Kabrich’s interesting blog piece here.

francesamikeWhat Would it Take to Reunite Mike Francesa and Chris Russo?  That’s what New York sports talk fans are probably wondering after a passing question to Chris “Mad Dog” Russo by YES Network (and WEPN-FM, New York) personality Michael Kay about whether he’d considering working withrussochris WFAN, New York afternoon personality Mike Francesa again received the answer, “Yeah, I would.  Definitely.  I miss the camaraderie.”  Francesa was asked the same question by Newsday and told the paper that he would consider it.  Both Russo and Francesa are under contract to their respective employers – Russo through 2016 with SiriusXM and Francesa with CBS RADIO through 2017.  It’s no secret that Francesa is unhappy with his relationship with CBS.  NJ.com reports that Russo told Kay he handled his 2008 exit from WFAN and the Francesa partnership poorly and wishes he’d been more up front about the situation.

vandirkDirk Van to Retire from Westwood One’s ‘First Light.’  For 26 years, Dirk Van has been the only host of Westwood One’s early morning news magazine “First Light,” but he announces that Thursday, July 30 will be his last day.  The company says he “leaves with a legacy of accomplishments and awards.”  Dirk also hosts “The Week in Review” news program and has anchored morning drive newscasts throughout his successful career.   Van says of his 35-year radio career, “Radio is all about people, and I’ve had the great fortune to work with the best in the business, following in the footsteps of my father, Lyle Van – awestwood one NEW radio legend at NBC and WOR — and others greats like Lou Adler, Nick Verbitsky, Tom O’Brien, Ron Nessen, and Bart Tessler.  Hosting our morning magazine, ‘First Light,’ has been an amazing experience and has allowed me to work with talented broadcasters for more than a quarter century.  Talking to listeners on a daily basis has kept me grounded, and hopefully provided a window into what America is thinking.  And to think — we started way back when talk radio was ‘new.’  Helping to create an exciting, new product, Westwood One News, has been especially rewarding, and being a part of its success is a great way to cap a career.  And talk about ‘sailing off into the sunset’— that’s exactly what I plan to do, with my beautiful wife, Paula, who has put up with those agonizing broadcasters’ hours all these years.  To all my friends at Westwood One, thank you!”

valentinephilTalk Host Phil Valentine Wins Screenplay Competition.  Nashville-based talk show host Phil Valentine picked up first place honors at the Colorado Film Festival in the screenplay competition.  The Westwood One-syndicated personality’s “Derek Dickens & The Dream” screenplay is a fictional story of one man’s mid-life crisis that turns him into an international pop sensation when he takes on an imaginary persona through which he lives out his lifelong dream. This 50-year-old fabricates a 20-something British band, with himself at the lead, and it takes the world by storm.  He realizes no one is prepared for this kind of success, at any age.  Noting that the Colorado Film Festival is watched by industry pros, Valentine jokes, “I’ve been sitting by the phone waiting for a call from Hollywood.  I already have Robert Downey, Jr. planned for the lead.”  This is not the first accolade for this screenplay; it was a finalist in nine other film festivals, including the Beverly Hills Film Festival, the American Movie Awards, and the Atlanta Film Festival.  Valentine has been dabbling in film alongside his radio career for several years now.  He recently wrote and produced the award-winning documentary, “An Inconsistent Truth.”

biztalkradioBizTV and BizTalkRadio Enter News Game.  The business news reports that will be available to air from 9:00 am to 5:05 pm daily are being produced by Little Rock-based Independent News Network.  It is a five-minute, top-of-the-hour product that gives stations the option of running the whole cast or choosing from headlines, market reports or business stories.  BizTV and BizTalkRadio EVP Scott Miller says, “We felt there was a void in the marketplace for business news.  There are several great resources for news, but our TV and radio affiliates wanted a news product that follows the stock market and provides business centered news stories.”

Odds & Sods.  Morning show personality Sergeant Sam Cox is retiring from his gig at Emmis-owned news/talkcoxsam KLBJ-AM, Austin.  Cox has been with the station for 28 years.  He served with the Austin Police Department for 31 years and retired from the force in 1995…..WKGN, Knoxville is flipping from regional Mexican to sports talk after Hodges Media purchased the station from Richardo Espinosa for $225,000.  The station is using Fox Sports Radio Network programming in addition to local shows.  The station will work with the Tennessee Volunteers platform GoVols247.comNate Hodges and mcmanusadamexecutive producer Brad Matthews will host the 7:00 am to 10:00 am show and Tom Poisal will host the afternoon drive show…..Talk radio pro Adam McManus sits in for WPGP, Pittsburgh “AM 1250 The Answer” morning personality Rose Tennant August 17-21.  He recently did fill-in work for KMJ, Fresno where PD Blake Taylor says, “Adam did a great job filling in at KMJ – lots of energy and thought-provoking topics.  Generated tons of calls!”…..Three-time Super Bowl Champion and ESPN analyst Mark Schlereth begins producing a new, weekly podcast on PodcastOne called, “The Stinkin’ Truth.”  PodcastOne chairman and CEO Norm Pattiz says, “What a great addition to our network of sports programming.  A great athlete and communicator, Mark joins Shaq, Dan Patrick, Steve Austin, Ross Tucker and so many more on that list.  Mark’s podcast will be a stand out, and we expect it to deliver a significant audience and become a featured attraction in the podcast world.”

2016 Presidential Candidates, Iran Nuclear Deal, Chattanooga Killings Aftermath, New Planned Parenthood Video, Illegal Immigration-Kate Steinle Death, ‘El Chapo’ Escape-Mexican Corruption, and Sandra Bland Case Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/21).  The activities of the candidates for president in 2016; the fragile state of the Iran nuclear deal and the response from nations around the world; the investigation into terrorist ties to Chattanooga shooter Mohammed Abdulazeez and the aftermath of the slayings; the surfacing of a second video showing a Planned Parenthood doctor haggling over the price of fetus body parts; ongoing talk about the state of the U.S.’s immigration policy and the death of Kate Steinle; talk about Mexican corruption in the wake of drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s escape from prison; and the arrest and subsequent death in jail of Sandra Bland were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

| April 28, 2015

WBALBaltimore Protests Turn Violent. Owing to that fact, Hearst talker WBAL-AM, Baltimore advanced yesterday (Monday, 4/27) to “continuous coverage,” after a weekend of “extensive coverage.” According to WBAL-AM president and general manager Cary Pahigian, “We are sharing resources with our sister station, WBAL-TV (Channel 11), which is flying their helicopter almost nonstop. Our goal is to keep the community up-to-the-minute and to provide an opportunity to discuss and analyze the situation with WBAL-AM talk hosts in a responsible manner. It is very fluid, so we are staying nimble and flexible.” The unrest in the Maryland city increased following the funeral of Freddie Gray, a young black man who died just over one week ago (4/19), after suffering spinal injuries while in police custody. At least one Baltimore building has been torched; several of the city’s police cars have been set on fire; and protesters have thrown bricks at Baltimore police officers. Six Baltimore police officers have been seriously injured in Monday’s violence. Maryland governor Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard, while Baltimore mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake states every possible resource is being deployed to “gain control of this situation.”

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallWFAN Sports Giant Mike Francesa Is Extremely Bullish on Radio – Says the Medium Is Here to Stay on Michael Harrison’s “Up Close and Far Out” Podcast.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison interviews WFAN sports talk superstar Mike Francesa on this week’s installment of the international hit podcast series, “Up Close and Far Out.”  In an exclusive 30-minute conversation, Harrison and Francesa cover a variety of fascinating topics including authenticity in broadcasting, internet critics, digital era audiences, radio versus television, changes in pop culture, the phenomenal growth of sports and the future of radio in a world of screens.francesamike  Francesa credits the authenticity, for which Harrison praises him, in part, to being on the air an unusually long five-and-a-half hours per day, pointing out that you can’t be live on radio that long every day without being your real self.  According to Francesa, one of the big changes faced by hosts in both sports and general talk programming today is the audience has as much, if not more, access to information as you do – which means merely presenting news is not enough.  A host’s success is dependent on having an interesting “take” on the events of the day.  He says the internet has made it much easier to break into broadcasting but much more difficult to get noticed.  Of his critics, he states the worst thing that can happen is to be ignored.  “If you are ignored, you are dead.”  Francesa tells Harrison that he very seldom responds to his critics – refusing to give them the exposure of his larger platform that they seek.  In addition to having a growing national following due to television and radio syndication, Mike Francesa has long been one of the highest profile media figures in New York and has been ranked by TALKERS magazine for the past two years in a row in the #1 spot on its “Heavy Hundred” of sports talk radio (“The 100 Most Important Radio Sports Talk Hosts in America”).  After several years of being carried by the YES Network, Francesa’s daily local radio show is presently simulcast nationally on Fox Sports 1.   In comparing radio to television, Francesa says, “Television is a director’s medium.  Radio is a performer’s medium.”  He explains, “Radio is unvarnished.  It is visceral.  It is emotional.  Television is more packaged and homogenized.”  Regarding the survival and future of radio, Francesa states, “Radio will be here long, long past us.  People have been trying to kill radio since the first days of television.  They’ve tried to kill radio 40 different times in multiple generations.  They will never kill it because its appeal of being live, local, personal and mobile will never be equaled.”  Francesa sees the rise of mobile digital media as actually being a good thing for radio, acknowledging that “radio will change.”  He confidently says, “It will be enhanced because of the smart phone.  It is the new transistor radio. Who carried a transistor radio for the past 30 years?  Now everyone does.  THAT is an opportunity!”  In describing Mike Francesa, Michael Harrison states, “I know Francesa has his share of critics – but that comes with the territory of being ‘out there’ the way he is and being a compelling radio talk show host in the modern era, sports or otherwise.  What makes him so successful is he has that special ‘something’ that only a handful of performers have ever had in this business – he rises above technique!  All he needs to do is bring his authentic, unique personhood to the airwaves each time he’s on and that – at least to this point – is enough.  He is one of my handful of all-time favorites and I am delighted that he is still going strong.”  To listen to Mike Francesa on “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” please click here or click on the special player box in the right hand column of every page on Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

guptashow placardDr. Sanjay Gupta Reports from Nepal for Westwood One.  Internationally known medical doctor and media figure Dr. Sanjay Gupta is in Nepal doing both media work and helping doctors there deal with the overwhelming number of casualties from Saturday’s earthquake.  In addition to his work covering the aftermath for CNN, Dr. Gupta is also doing live hits for Westwood One affiliate stations.  His “A Better Life with Dr. Sanjay Gupta” is syndicated by Westwood One.  Dr. Gupta was called into action in the operating room, asked to help perform brain surgery on a 15-year-old girl in Kathmandu after a wall of her family’s home fell on her as she collected water outside.

siriusxmSiriusXM 2015 Q1 Revenue Up 8%.  Satellite radio operator SiriusXM delivered its 2015 first quarter financial numbers today (4/28) and, compared to the same period a year ago, revenue was $1.08 billion – up 8%.  Net income was $106 million, up 12% from $94 million in the first quarter of 2014.  Net income per diluted common share was $0.02 in the first quarter of 2015 and 2014.  Adjusted EBITDA was $399 million in the first quarter of 2015, up 19% from $335 million in the first quarter of 2014.  The satcaster says that it added 431,000 net new subscribers in the first quarter, a 61% increase from the 267,000 net new subscribers added in the first quarter of 2014.  Sirius CEO Jim Meyer says, “The year is off to a fantastic start at SiriusXM. We are increasing our subscriber guidance to approximately 1.4 million net additions and revenue guidance to approximately $4.47 billion after reporting our best first quarter for self-pay subscriber additions since 2008.  Our results demonstrate that SiriusXM’s bundle of live news and sports, exclusive talk and comedy, and curated, commercial-free music is resonating with more and more consumers every day,”

Odds & Sods.  Nationally syndicated, WABC, New York-based morning personality Don Imus announced to his listeners his simulcast on cable’s Fox Business Network will end on May 29.  The program has been airing onimusdon both since 2009.  Though Imus didn’t elaborate on the reason for the change, The New York Daily News reports Imus and wife Deirdre plan to spend the summer at their new ranch in Texas and that property has no TV uplink facilities.  Read the Daily News story here…..Atlanta real estate broker Bryan Crabtree crabtreebryanis adding a daily show on Salem Communications’ business talk WAFS, Atlanta “biz 1190,” debuting May 4 and airing from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  Crabtree and his wife Mackenzie have been hosting the “Housedog.com Real Estate Show” on both WAFS and sister news/talk WGKA on weekends and that show will continue on both outlets.   WAFS station manager Adam Wattenbarger says, “We are so excited to bring Bryan aboard to add to our live and local lineup.  biz 1190 is committed to giving the Atlanta community something we’ve been lacking for years – real talk about real issues affecting ourbrandotim neighborhoods.”…..Sports talk personality Tim Brando is wrapping his daily, eponymous show heard on SiriusXM’s College Sports Nation channel.  The final show is this Thursday.  Brando will continue to be heard on the radio via FOX Sports Radio as he’ll handle play-by-play for college football and basketball as well as the network’s coverage of this June’s US Open golf tournament…..The program “Entertainment This Week” is joining the America’s Talk Radio Network effective May 3.  “Mr. Hollywood” Shannon Rose and co-host James Lowe will discuss Hollywood gossip, comics, movies, television, pro-wrestling, and so much more during the “fastest hour on national radio.”

wtmj logoWTMJ, Milwaukee Helps Raise Funds for Accessible Playground Equipment.  Last Saturday, Scripps-owned news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee unveiled new accessible playground equipment at a local elementary school for which the station helped raise funds.  The need for the equipment came after the station learned of eight-year-old Ben Nelson who uses a wheelchair due to his Spinal Muscular Atrophy.  Ben’s family began raising funds for the equipment and WTMJ joined forces with the family and was able to – through the help of listeners – raise $50,000.   WTMJ Radio VP/GM Tom Langmyer says, “WTMJ firmly believes we do well by doing good.  We serve Wisconsin – and we’re getting behind our air personalities by giving them a month where we use our resources to give back to our community.  [Morning host] Jodi Becker is first on our team to lead in this new community betterment initiative.  We are pleased to help – and we thank our listeners and great businesses for helping to build this wonderful playground.”

limbaughrushLimbaugh and Mahindra Partner on Tractor Giveaway.  For the second year in a row, Rush Limbaugh and Mahindra USA have joined together to give away a Mahindra eMax 22HST with loader to an active duty service member or U.S. military veteran.  The winner will be selected in a random drawing on May 26.  Last year, more than 4,500 service men and women entered for an opportunity to win a Mahindra tractor.  It was awarded to Lieutenant Colonel Mike Petzinger of Elizabethtown, Kentucky, who has served his country for 25 years in the Army.

beckandrewwkMusic and Pop Culture Figure Andrew W.K. to Host Weekly Show on TheBlaze Radio Network.  New to the weekend lineup at Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze Radio Network is the show “America W.K.,” hosted by musician, writer, TV host and lecturer Andrew W. K.  TheBlaze Radio Network says the show will be a “raw and penetrating discussion of what it is to be alive – meaning, motivation, mindset, and making dreams come true, all included in a celebration of life itself – and all with a positive and honest outlook. Andrew will also field questions and input from the audience, adding an engaging interactive component.”  Andrew W.K. is probably most known for his 2001 rock album titled, I Get Wet, the cover of which featured a photo of him with a bloody nose.  During his musical career he’s penned a number of rock anthems that have appeared in video games, movies and as pro sports team themes.   Andrew W.K. (pictured here at left with Glenn Beck at right) says, “When Glenn asked me to do my own radio show on TheBlaze, I was shocked but excited, as I knew he would allow me the unrestrained freedom to say exactly what I wanted.  I’m very dedicated to exploring and learning from different people in different places, and always with an open heart.  If people never went outside their own box, life would be boring.  After all, why would I only want to talk with people who already think exactly like me?”

Baltimore Protests, White House Correspondents Dinner, Bush Criticism of Obama Foreign Policy, Nepal Earthquake Aftermath, SCOTUS Hears Same-Sex Marriage Argument, Clinton Foundation Scrutiny, James Holmes Trial Begins, and the Bruce Jenner Transgender Case Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/27).  The intensifying, violent protests in Baltimore after the death of Freddie Gray in police custody; the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner and President Obama’s performance; former President George W. Bush comments on Obama Administration’s foreign policy; the devastation in Nepal after Saturday’s earthquake; the Supreme Court’s hearing of arguments as anti-gay marriage statutes in four states are challenged; ongoing scrutiny of the Clinton Foundation financial operations; the opening of the trial of Aurora, Colorado movie theater killer James Holmes; and the chatter about Bruce Jenner’s sex change procedure and his recent interview were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

| March 18, 2015

bouvardpierreBouvard Joins Cumulus Media as CMO. Former president of sales for ArbitronPierre Bouvard – is named chief marketing officer of Cumulus. The New York City-based media research, sales, and marketing expert will direct Cumulus’ strategy for its local and national brands. Cumulus president and chief executive officer Lew Dickey comments, “Pierre is one of the radio industry’s most effective advocates. He understands the power of our great medium and is uniquely positioned to leverage audience insights to help advertisers take full advantage of our platform to deliver national scale with local activation. Incremental data beyond ratings is rapidly becoming the most important component in advertising decisions; we are excited to have Pierre leading our effort to help our clients achieve a superior return on investment.” Bouvard – who begins his new assignment today (Wednesday, 3/18) – states that, “Cumulus is America’s fastest growing major radio group. Over the last ten years, their national revenues have grown tenfold from $50 million to $500 million. They have transformed themselves into a major market, cross-media national platform through the merger of Westwood One and Cumulus Radio Networks; launch of the ‘Nash’ country music lifestyle brand; and the Rdio onlineCumulus radio partnership. Radio is the soundtrack for the American worker and ‘king of the road.’ Cumulus has impressive solutions for advertisers and agencies to reach the right audience and accomplish their brand and sales objectives.” Most recently, Bouvard was senior vice president of sales for TiVo Research & Analytics. Prior to his lengthy Arbitron tenure, Bouvard was executive vice president of Coleman Insights.

nrgmediaJack Taddeo Joins NRG Media’s Waterloo/Cedar Rapids Operations.  Consultant and radio management pro Jack Taddeo is the new general manager for NRG Media’s Waterloo and Cedar Rapids, Iowa stations: rock KFMW, Waterloo; classic hits KOKZ, Waterloo; sports talk KWLO, Waterloo; and news/talk KXEL, Waterloo.   NRG Media chief operating officer Chuck DuCoty comments, “We couldn’t be more pleased to have Jack Taddeo on board.  He is an outstanding broadcaster who demonstrates strategic vision, outstanding coaching skills and great leadership.”

giffordRDEshotLarry Gifford: Radiodays Europe 2015 – Day Three.  The overriding theme of the just-concluded three-day radio conference in Milan, Italy was the future of content distribution, according to consultant and talent coach Larry Gifford, who filed a series of special reports for TALKERS magazine.  “Talk of the future of radio and audio was pervasive. ‘The connected age,’ ‘second screens,’ and ‘visualizing radio’ were some of the buzz phrases heard throughout the three days.  Everyone seemed to be talking about how important it is to embrace video, studio cams, and social media,” Gifford writes.  Get more of Gifford’s summary of the event, including some insight into how one Australian morning show is embracing the digital platform, here(Pictured here is Gifford delivering his “30 Ideas in 45 Minutes” session on Tuesday. Photo by James Cridland.)

boldgoldmediagroup logoBold Gold Media Forms Foundation for Training Tomorrow’s News/Talk Broadcasters.  The broadcasting company that operates nine commercial radio stations in Northeast Pennsylvania and Upstate New York is announcing a new effort “to help prepare tomorrow’s frontline communicators.”  Bold Gold Media Group is establishing the Bold Gold Broadcast and Media Foundation – a non-profit organization that is an altogether separate and distinct entity from Bold Gold’s commercial broadcast operations.  Bold Gold says the Foundation will focus its efforts on providing funding and resources to educational organizations that train tomorrow’s broadcast and media leaders.  While the Foundation encourages young people in all areas of broadcasting, it is currently placing particular emphasis on supporting the advancement and training in the various spoken-word andbenedettovince informational formats such as news and talk.  Bold Gold president Vince Benedetto states, “Radio broadcasting is the most powerful, informative, and persuasive medium in the world, and the news and talk formats are extremely demanding, and like all media, evolving… and we need the best and brightest communicators of tomorrow to begin preparing for these fields today.  Investing in the future providers of our communication needs is imperative.  The most trusted broadcasters have always been those who could provide timely, reliable and compelling information and entertainment you couldn’t find anywhere else… they were live and they were local.  That’s still true and even more important than ever, but powerful broadcasting is now about being on-air, online, mobile, social, live and local!  That’s what future leaders in our medium need to be preparing for, and the Foundation intends to support efforts that seek to do just that.”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “This is a very exciting initiative.  Vince Benedetto is a rising young star among station group owners who are passionate about radio and dedicated to having it continue to grow to the fullest extent of its potential.”  The Bold Gold Broadcast and Media Foundation will be having its Inaugural Fundraising Event on Tuesday evening the 19th of May at Mohegan Sun Pocono in Wilkes-Barre, PA, and will feature citizen-journalist James O’Keefe, of Project Veritas, as the guest speaker.  To support the work of the Foundation and to purchase tickets to the May 19th event, go to www.BoldGold.org, or email the Foundation at:  info@BoldGold.org.  Meet Vince Benedetto at Talkers New York 2015 on Friday, June 12.  To register, call 413-565-5413.

ppmunit altNielsen Audio Releases Second Round of February 2015 PPM Data.  The second of four rounds of February 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington (D.C.), Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  The February 2015 survey period covered January 29 through February 25.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS magazine and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

newsmax logoNewsmax Feed Network Achieves 67 Million Uniques in February.  According to data from comScore, Newsmax Media’s Newsmax Feed Network posted a record 67.4 million unique visitors last month.  The Newsmax Feed Network is a proprietary syndicated headline box that is carried on more than 2,000 websites, making more than 1 billion page impressions monthly.  The Feed Network box carries unique Newsmax content headlines along with sponsored advertisements.  Newsmax reports that it “has gained enormous traction recently, and a bevy of well-known publisher brands make up the network, including National Review Online, Boston Herald, Breitbart News Network, dozens of local ABC, NBC, and CBS News affiliates via independent television station groups Gray, Nexstar, and Schurz Communications, as well as community newspaper networks Horizon Publications and Gatehouse Media.”  Newsfeed Network manager Kevin Mallon comments, “We are very excited about the latest comScore numbers.  More and more publishers are choosing to implement the Newsmax Feed because of the relevant and quality content we provide, while yielding them robust revenue from our sponsors.”  Company VP of business development Matt D’Lando adds, “Our Feed Network focuses on a clear demographic of 45-plus baby boomers, the largest demographic group in the nation with the highest disposable income.”

cookecantilloWTOP PD Alumni Club.  Two former program directors of all news WTOP, Washington, DC – Laurie Cantillo and consultant Holland Cooke — pose for a selfie today at Inside Music Media publisher Jerry Del Colliano’s annual Media Solutions Conference in Philadelphia.  Cantillo is a guest speaker at the full-day event discussing methods of increasing radio station website traffic, something she has proven to be able to do quite well before leaving her position at WTOP last week.

Odds & Sods.  The internet-based talk show “Behind Enemy Lines Radio” – hosted by NYC Republicans, attorney Gene Berardelli and Army combat veteran Russell Gallo – is joining the AM/FM platform as it will be heard Thursdays at 1:00 pm on Forsythe Broadcasting’s WNJC, Washington Township, New Jersey (Philly market).behindenemylines logo  The show joins the “Conservative Commandos Radio Network” in creating a block of conservative programming heard every day from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm on WNJC…..CBS Sports Radio programming will emanate from Indianapolis beginning April 2 for coverage of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four.  Shows airing from the Indiana Convention Center will include Doug Gottlieb and Tiki & Tierney…..Joining the Yahoo Sports Radio national lineup for a daily 10:00 am program is former Carolina Panthers general manager Marty Hurney and his sports talk radio partner Lanny Ford.  Together, they host “Inside the Lines,” heard on WZGV, Charlotte “ESPN 730.”…..New to SiriusXM’s Insight channel is a new show called “The Briefing Powered by Dartmouth College,” – an “all-new radio show giving listeners a lively hour that dissects the history, facts, and perspectives shaping the week’s news.”  The bi-weekly show will be hosted by Michael Mastanduno, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and Nelson A. Rockefeller Professor of Government at Dartmouth.

boomercartonTAZ15Pluggin’ Podcasts on Boomer & Carton.  Former pro wrestler Taz, a.k.a. Peter Senerchia (center), enjoys a mock choke-hold from Boomer Esiason (left) as he appeared on WFAN, New York along with Craig Carton (right) to promote his new wrestling podcast titled, “The Human Podcast Machine” that is available on Play.It, CBS RADIO and CBS Local Digital’s podcast platform.

Ken Birdsong Celebrates 50 Years in Radio.  WENG, Englewood, Florida morning drive host Ken Birdsong is celebrating 50 years in radio on March 27.  He started his career when he was just 15 at his hometown station KWOC, Poplar Bluff, Missouri.  He then went on to work for stations in the Show-Me State cities of Kennett, Jefferson City, Moberly, and Osage Beach. He also put in a stint in Mt. Airy, North Carolina (the heart of Andy Griffith country) and did afternoons in Las Vegas.  In 2002, he joined WENG and served as general manager until 2012.

Iran Nukes/GOP Letter, Israeli Elections/Netanyahu’s Future, Hillary Clinton Email Probe, 2016 Presidential Prospects, OU Racist Song Case, and Dick Cheney Playboy Interview Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/17).  Iran’s nuclear program and the controversy over the letter sent to the nation by GOP senators; the Israeli elections and Benjamin Netanyahu’s status on the world stage; the ongoing probe over Hillary Clinton’s use of private emails for State Department business; the potential candidates for president in 2016; the furor over an OU fraternity’s videotaped racist song and the university’s reaction; and Dick Cheney’s criticism of President Obama in his recent Playboy interview were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

| March 14, 2015

Joe McDonnell #2Joe McDonnell: LA Saddened at Giant-Size Talent’s Passing. How “big” was Joe McDonnell in Los Angeles? Consider this: Friday’s (3/13) lead item for several newscasts on the city’s only all-news station, CBS Radio‘s KNX, was that the 58-year-old McDonnell – widely-known as “Big Joe” or “The Big Nasty” – had passed away. “Big” references regarded his weight, approximately 700 pounds at one time; however, the sports talk host underwent gastric bypass surgery and lost roughly more than half of that. “Nasty” became a handle owing to his highly opinionated nature. The overwhelming majority of those familiar with McDonnell’s exemplary on-air work in Los Angeles would quickly associate him with being a “legendary” or “iconic” sports talk radio “fixture” and that would certainly be accurate. He was, however, among the rarest of on-air talents in the country’s second-largest market, in that, in addition to doing a nightly (7:00 pm – 11:00 pm) sports program (“The Joe McDonnell Experience”) on Clear Channel‘s (now iHeartMedia) KLAC, he also did a Sunday (12:00 noon – 2:00 pm) political talk program (“The Joe McDonnell Show”) on co-owned KTLK-AM (now KEIB). Most recently, McDonnell did fill-in work at KNX. Reaction to his death has continued virtually nonstop, with a who’s who in local and national media, as well as executives of major sports franchises, offering condolences. Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia knew McDonnell ever since Scioscia first came up as a catcher in the Dodgers’ organization. “He was a good friend who will be missed. It’s sad,” Scioscia states. On Twitter, Keith Olbermann writes, “Heartbroken to learn of death of LA radio legend, my friend, Joe McDonnell. He leaves us having never held a grudge.” Ken Rosenthal comments, “So sad to hear about the passing of Joe McDonnell, a one-of-a-kind sports personality in Los Angeles and a reporter at heart.” Several years ago, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian, then the special features editor for Inside Radio, did an extensive profile of McDonnell, who freely used the word “idiot” to describe someone with whom he disagreed. It was a trademark of the bombastic on-air persona of “The Big Nasty” and customarily delivered in vitriol by the dean of Los Angeles radio sports talk hosts. McDonnell garnered legions of dedicated fans. Once – to benefit charity – he accepted the challenge of co-workers and successfully completed a four-hour shift without uttering one negative. In his profile, Kinosian shattered the myth about McDonnell and let the truth be told that in real-life, McDonnell was a far cry from the manic personality listeners were accustomed to hearing. Pensive and completely conscientious McDonnell qualified as a native Angelino, havingJoe McDonnell - Josh Hamilton relocated from Philadelphia in 1959 at age three with his parents. “I loved radio and wouldn’t go anywhere without it,” he fondly recalled to Kinosian. “I’d go to bed listening to it and wake up with it. I went through radios [as others] went through socks. Even when doing homework, I had the radio on.” Although thoroughly enthralled by the medium, McDonnell at that time never thought about pursuing a career in it. Family members urged him to be a lawyer, but McDonnell formulated sportswriter aspirations while attending L.A. Valley College and Cal State – Northridge. His radio career was, in his words, “a total accident.” A high school buddy McDonnell hadn’t seen in a while told him he received academic credit for working at a radio station. That was all it took for McDonnell: He scored an interview for a newsroom opening at KGIL in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley and his first day was September 18, 1975 – the day they arrested Patty Hearst. “I was so excited to be there and hung around to watch what everybody did. Then the story broke and I wound up staying until 10:00 pm. I fell in love with radio my first day and knew this was for me.” Freelance sports opportunities later surfaced for him at Mutual, AP Radio, and UPI Radio and he adroitly transitioned into a daily field correspondent. Play-by-play was briefly tinkered with, but long enough for McDonnell to know it didn’t captivate him. Something else did and as he flatly asserted to Kinosian, “My interest in politics is equal to my interest in sports. They are jobs but they are [also] passions. I love being able to show another side of my life. I am very liberal but do not [rubber-stamp] everything simply because that is what [other liberals] say you should do. I take things on a position-by-position basis. It is impossible and disingenuous to be one way on every subject. No one can ever accuse me of being a phony.” The first Gulf War was underway when he hosted a general talk show on KFI, Los Angeles. America’s first casualty came as a result of friendly fire. Soon after that, the victim’s widow drove to KFI one Sunday afternoon and McDonnell did two hours with her. “It was the most gut-wrenching, yet most fulfilling, thing I’ve done on radio,” he told Kinosian. “Quite honestly, I didn’t know I was capable of pulling it off. People heard me do sports and wondered what I knew about [politics]. I had to win them over.” Multiple Golden Microphone award winner McDonnell toiled in the Southland at KMAX and KWNK between 1994 – 1997; won raves doing sports updates for (then-all news) KFWB; and was part of the original 1992 staff transitioning KMPC to all-sports – although the outbreak of the L.A. riots was the considerably more monumental story the night of the format flip. For numerous personal and professional reasons, a five-year run beginning in 2000 as KSPN “ESPN 710,” Los Angeles’ assistant program director and afternoon driver profoundly affected him. “My first three years there were great,” McDonnell declared to Kinosian. “I had a say in what went on and helped build KSPN from the ground up with [KABC & KSPN OM] Erik Braverman who was my KFI producer. Unfortunately when Erik decided he wanted to concentrate on KABC, they brought in people who didn’t share our ideas.” It was one different concept after another and became the beginning of the end for McDonnell there. “They killed morale and dissolved everything we did. I wanted to leave every day the last two years I was there but made so much money I would’ve been put in a mental institution if I quit.” From the minute McDonnell walked into the Burbank offices of KLAC to interview with KLAC general manager/program director & KTLK program director Don Martin, he sensed something different. “This might sound crazy – but I really liked that they made me earn my position. Don put me on KTLK and let me do some KLAC fill-in. It meant a lot when he said I assimilated with the audience and staff. People have this idea you expect everything be given to you.” Being a sports talk host was a 24 hour-a-day job for McDonnell because, “Information doesn’t stop.” His shows were frequently punctuated with “24” and “Da Ali G” clips and laced with abundant/energetic hip-hop tracks as bumpers. At first, longtime “McDonnell – Douglas” partner Doug Krikorian wasn’t part of the equation for the “Joe McDonnell Experience,” although the Long Beach Press-Telegram sportswriter joined the ensemble to deliver weekly “K-Files” reports. After all, it was Krikorian who hung the “Big Nasty” moniker on McDonnell when Big Joe collared/disposed of a rowdy patron one night at their favorite hangout. Naturally, the subject of McDonnell’s weight came up in the Kinosian profile of him and McDonnell said that even before the gastric bypass procedure, the heavy burden he was carrying didn’t really bother him. He did however eventually begin slowing down, getting sick, and spending more time at home. “I stopped going to games because it was uncomfortable. My doctor told me I had to do something. Any addict – and I’m definitely a food addict – thinks you can do it on your own.” That’s the fallacy and something an addict desperately wants to believe but McDonnell stressed it can not be done alone. “It got to the point where I realized I was going to die. I had the surgery and lost 300 pounds. On Christmas Day, I put slabs of turkey and prime rib on a plate [surrounded with] potatoes, stuffing and cranberry sauce. I took it to the table and had a bite of each. Hey look – I’m a food addict and always will be.” The old Joe most likely would’ve avoided on-air surgery mentions. If it did pop up, he probably would’ve been brutal in challenging the person referencing it. A much mellower McDonnell made a conscious decision when he left KSPN that the “Big Nasty” had died. “It was a great vehicle for what I needed – but – that really isn’t me,” he emphasized to Kinosian. “I’m opinionated and will raise my voice but I’m a nice guy and like to have fun. One reason I love my job is it allows me to hang with people.” Conceding it was a “shortcoming” on his part as a talk show host to refrain from mentioning much about his personal life, McDonnell declared, “You can’t be isolated and expect to reach your audience; you have to let them in on your life. For the most part, I refused to do that. Don Martin and I had a long talk about that and he said the best on-air people let you know about them.” A happy, healthy, and exuberant McDonnell chatted up his March 30, 2007 wedding to KLOS’ lovely Elizabeth Cohn (now working at cross-town Bonneville-owned KSWD “The Sound”). “I finally met someone who will put up with me and I [married] the most Joe McDonnell #3wonderful person in the world,” McDonnell emphasized in that profile. Joe and Elizabeth worked together for four years inside ABC Radio Los Angeles (now Cumulus Media) and basically didn’t say a word to each other. “She understands I’ll occasionally make fun of her on-air and exaggerate things but my life is now an open book.” Numerous health ailments – some nearly life-threatening – plagued McDonnell and he frequently credited Elizabeth as being the rock who held him together. An avowed movie junkie, McDonnell would go to as many as three or four in one day. It was his way to relax and escape. “One of the biggest benefits of losing weight is I can fit into theater seats. That was honestly a problem before.” Such McDonnell segments as “Who Do You Want To Kick Out Of LA?” gave him a Northeast-sounding vibe, but his entire nearly 40-year career was spent in Los Angeles. The ardent WWE fan told Kinosian, “It would take a million dollar offer for me to leave Los Angeles. In the early-1990s, I had a chance to work for a friend in Nashville and had a big offer to go to Seattle in 1994 but my mother had cancer so I wasn’t about to leave town. There was a preliminary discussion years ago with WFAN, New York about being a reporter/weekend host but Los Angeles is my home. I’m part of the radio landscape.” Eerie now, but McDonnell confided to Kinosian in that lengthy printed conversation, “All the stuff I’ve done is leading up to something. I’ve always felt there was a bigger plan for me and a different path. God has kept me around for a reason – but I don’t know what it is. With what I’ve put myself through, any other person would have been dead by now.” Even at his heaviest, the voracious reader managed to stay in “fairly good shape.” The only weakness until recently was with his knees. According to McDonnell, “The ultimate moment for me would be to somehow find out who really killed John F. Kennedy.” As for the once “Big Nasty,” no cause of death was reported; several reports – including the one on KNX – said he died at Los Angeles’ Good Samaritan Hospital after a “brief illness.” A two-hour Friday night (3/13) Jeff Biggs-hosted show on KSPN paid tribute to McDonnell, who typically aired hisJoe & Elizabeth McDonnell “Kick Out” segment Fridays. Poignant, touching, and chillingly appropriate, the final word was given to Elizabeth McDonnell who somehow managed to summon up the strength in her voice to utter she wanted to kick Joe out of LA. Dramatic, goose-bump radio. “When I die,” McDonnell once told Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News, “I want to be cremated and then have a plane spread half of my ashes over Dodger Stadium and the other half over the [ex-home of the Lakers] Forum.”

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

| September 17, 2014

hamburgjoanJoan Hamburg to Host Weekend Show on WABC, New York.  After a long career at crosstown heritage AM news/talker WOR, Cumulus Media announces that New York radio personality Joan Hamburg is joining its news/talker 77 WABC to host a weekly Saturday program to air from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.  Cumulus says on the show Hamburg “will continue discussing the most important social, economic and political issues that impact listeners’ lives each week.  Hamburg will also interview major celebrities and powerful political figures on the program.”  In addition, the deal calls for Hamburg to produce weekly features and exclusive programs available in digital formats.  Hamburg comments, “How excited I am to join legendary WABC radio and work with Kim Bryant, Craig Schwalb and the rest of the Cumulus family. And what a treat to join their roster of the best talk talent in the country.  New York get ready — the conversation is about to begin.”

villanuccijimTalk Host Jim Villanucci Resigns from KXL, Portland.  There is little known at this time about what has transpired to cause midday talk show host Jim Villanucci to resign from his position with Alpha Media’s KXL, Portland but a Tweet from KXL’s Lars Larson states simply that Villanucci has resigned for “personal reasons” and that Larson wishes him well.  Filling in during the daypart is Victoria Taft.

francesamikeTension Between WFAN’s Mike Francesa and Management Over Fox Sports Simulcast.  According to a story by Neil Best in Newsday, WFAN, New York afternoon drive superstar Mike Francesa has been ordered by CBS RADIO management – under threat of lawsuit – not to gripe publicly about the simulcast of his show being bumped from cable’s Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2 for live sporting events.  Best reports that while Francesa didn’t talk specifically about the Fox Sports simulcast issues, he said on his radio show that in contrast to a corporate statement to the contrary, he has been threatened with legal action if he speaks publicly about anything that costs the company money, with the implication being the Fox Sports arrangement.  In other words, he could be held liable for any income CBS loses if the Fox Sports relationship dissolves.  Read Best’s piece here.

cottociscoCisco Cotto Joins CBS RADIO’s WBBM-AM, Chicago.  Newsman and talk show host Cisco Cotto is becoming part of the staff at CBS RADIO’s all-news WBBM-AM and WCFS-FM, Chicago, according to Chicago media writer Robert Feder.  Cotto has worked in the Chicago market his entire career.  He started at CBS’ former all-news WMAQ and has served as news anchor at Cumulus Media’s crosstown WLS-AM (where he also went on to host a talk show) as well as at Salem’s news/talk WIND, and the Moody Bible Institute’s Christian talker WMBI.  His position at WBBM and WCFS is anchor/reporter.   Read Feder’s entire column here.

krennjimKDKA-AM, Pittsburgh Adds Comic Jim Krenn to Friday Program.  Joining the “KDKA Morning News with Larry Richert and John Shumway” each Friday is Jim Krenn, a popular Pittsburgh radio personality and comedian.  KDKA-AM program director Jim Graci says, “KDKA is delighted to have Jim Krenn on the station each Friday morning.  It’s like adding another big bat to an all-star lineup, and will give KDKA listeners another reason to smile heading into the weekend.”  Krenn is a Pittsburgh native who worked successfully in Steel City radio for 24 years.  He is currently producing a weekly podcast titled, “Jim Krenn: No Restrictions.”

nrglogoDreyer Named Director of Integrated Media for NRG.  Appointed to the newly created position of director of integrated media for NRG Media is Erica Dreyer.  In making the announcement, NRG president and CEO Mary Quass noted that Dreyer recently served in the same post for both Maverick Media of Rockford, Illinois and Mid-West Family Broadcasting of Rockford for the past seven-plus years.  Quass states, “Digital media offers the greatest potential revenue growth for radio today.  Erica Dreyer has earned seven awards for excellence in the digital arena.  Dreyer’s the maverick we need to lead this new department.”  In this position, Dreyer will be responsible for infusing new inventory and pricing techniques into NRG’s interactive portfolio.  Dreyer will also train and educate sales departments in the station group to produce more sophisticated, high-value integrated solutions for clients and help educate advertisers about integrated solutions for their business needs.  Dreyer starts with NRG on September 30.

wpht logoWPHT, Philadelphia Speaker Series Hosts Senator Ted Cruz.  Tonight’s event at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia is the latest in the WPHT Speaker Series and will feature Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) discussing the First and Fourth Amendments.  The program takes place in observance of Constitution Day and WPHT morning drive personality Chris Stigall is moderating the discussion.

espnwomenThe Big Issue of the Day.  Pictured here are ESPN personalities (from left to right) Jemele Hill, Jane McManus and Cari Champion in the studio during the production of the podcast “espnW Presents: The State of the NFL on ESPN Radio.”  The show was a joint effort by espnW and ESPN Radio.  Also appearing on the program were espnW personalities Kate Fagan and Sarah Spain.  ESPN host Keith Olbermann and National Organization for Women president Terry O’Neill joined the conversation as guests.

The NFL and Domestic Violence, U.S.-Led Coalition Against ISIS, Mid-Term Elections, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 Presidential Run, New Benghazi Investigation,  Ebola Virus Pandemic Threat, Scotland Succession Referendum, and Obama Amnesty Issue Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/16).  The ongoing furor over the domestic violence issues plaguing the NFL; debate over the potential effectiveness of the U.S.-led coalition to combat ISIS; the looming mid-term elections and how they may affect majorities in Congress; Hillary Clinton’s weekend appearance in Iowa and her possible run for president in 2016; the new Benghazi investigation; the status of the Ebola outbreak in Africa and the potential for a pandemic; Thursday’s referendum on whether Scotland breaks away from the U.K.; and Senator Ted Cruz’s effort to prevent amnesty action by President Obama were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Headlines

| September 9, 2014

By Richard Neer
WFAN, New York
Talk Show Host

neerwriterNEW YORK — We’re all trying to find our way in this new digital world of ours. Conventional means of promoting our ideas may no longer work. Everything needs to be fresh, immediate, provocative. The attention span of our audiences have shortened and I’m not just talking about millennials. With the constant bombardment of information that we are under, even the most patient of us has a hard time giving every issue the attention it deserves.

Instead, we are expected to have instant reactions — black or white with no shades of gray. There is little time for deep discussions. There is no tolerance for asking questions that have no easy answers. Certain stories are reported from only one angle. Anyone who carefully parses a statement that the press declares politically incorrect is defined as supporting the dark side. Forget nuance, once you are attacked by the consensus bullies, you can only surrender and apologize, lest you lose your livelihood.

Read More

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

| September 9, 2014

nagleraward14Radio Television Digital News Association Honors Nagler. This past Friday night (9/5) in Nashville, CBS Radio News vice president Harvey Nagler received the Radio Television Digital News Association‘s John F. Hogan Distinguished Service Award.  The honor recognizes an individual’s contributions to the journalism profession and freedom of the press. During his acceptance speech, Nagler stated, “Schools must be incubators for innovation in a field that desperately needs it.”  Many years ago, those in radio, television, and print, Nagler remarks, were “the messengers,” who decided what Americans would know.  “Today it is the reverse,” he opines.  “Everyone can publish – everyone can, at least, perceive themselves as journalists.  Content is ubiquitous.  It is often hard to discern the big picture from individual snapshots of information that flood our devices.  To place context on stories, many still seek out journalistic entities with traditional values.  In the end, it proves we still need to be able to turn to journalists and news organizations we can trust.”  Believing that the public’s “appetite for news has never been greater,” Nagler emphasizes, “It is our job, our responsibility, our mission to maintain that trust as we broaden our roles on new platforms, while continuing to serve our audiences on our traditional platforms.”  Prior to becoming vice president of CBS Radio News nearly 17 years ago, Nagler is credited with establishing the phrase, “traffic and weather together on the eights” when he was director of news programming for CBS Radio New York’s WCBS-AM.

neerrichardA Case for Accurate Headlines.  A story published today in TALKERS magazine by WFAN, New York sports talk host Richard Neer underscores the position talk hosts often find themselves in today when taking on a delicate – and complicated – issue.  Neer accurately points out that in today’s media culture, where all content must be immediate, fresh and provocative, there is little time for anything that isn’t black and white or that involves any depth.  Neer writes that for the talk host, “There is no tolerance for asking questions that have no easy answers.  Certain stories are reported from only one angle.  Anyone who carefully parses a statement that the press declares politically incorrect is defined as supporting the dark side.  Forget nuance, once you are attacked by the consensus bullies, you can only surrender and apologize, lest you lose your livelihood.”  He points to one of the culprits in this matter: the news headline.  Neer says so many headlines are misleading and are written purposely that way to tantalize to get people to read the story.  But often times, upon closer inspection, it becomes clear the headline is misleading or even the exact opposite of what the text of the story shows.  Still, what readers (assuming people actually go on to read the story) often come away with is a “glib conclusion based on the headline.”  Read his entire piece here.

joycebrianBrian Joyce Show Gets Permanent Billing on WGOW, Chattanooga.  Mid-afternoon talk show host Brian Joyce tells TALKERS magazine that the 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm time slot on Cumulus Media’s WGOW, Chattanooga “Talk Radio 102.3” is now officially called the Brian Joyce show.  Since he took over wgow logothe slot in April of 2012, the daypart had been called “Live & Local.”  Joyce also reports that since he began hosting his show, that daypart has gone from 10th in the market among Men 25-54, and 15th in the market among Persons 25-54, to among the top three in both demos, making it the first time in station history that this has been accomplished.

wgwg logoTribune Sports Talker WGWG-LP, Chicago Announces Changes.  A couple of changes to report at the sports talk outlet WGN Radio programs on low-power FM WGWG, branded “The Game 87.7 FM.”  In conjunction with Tribune Media, the station announces Chicago Bears’ cornerback Tim Jennings and safety Ryan Mundy will join as on-air contributors appearing on segments during the “Kap & Haugh” and the “Jarrett, Harry & Spike” shows, as well as Jennings co-hosting the weekly hour-long program, “The Jennings & Jarrett Show,” with The Game’s Jarrett Payton.  Jennings and Mundy will also provide updates on WGN-TV during the morning and evening news.  At the same time, as Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports, Howard Griffith goes to part time with his duties at the station, due to his workload at the Big Ten Network.  Griffith had been sharing equal billing with Alex Quigley and Ben Finfer on the station’s afternoon drive program.

clipinteractiveClip Interactive Announces Revenue Successes in Portland and Indy Markets.  Saying that it measures its success based on the new advertising dollars that its interactive radio apps bring to its station partners, Clip Interactive announces its apps developed for Alpha Media and Salem Broadcasting in Portland and Cumulus Radio in Indianapolis have generated more than $1 million in new revenue to date in 2014.  Further, the company says Clip Radio-powered stations are producing $100,000 of new revenue within 30-45 days of launch and Clip says this shows not only that radio advertising works, but also proves that an innovative and revenue-generating mobile solution is now available and radio advertisers embrace it.  Moreover, Clip says this net new revenue is coming from multiple sources including advertisers who are completely new to radio and returning advertisers who previously left radio for digital media.  Alpha Media’s president and CEO Bob Proffitt comments, “We are now able to attract advertisers that had previously abandoned the medium for alternative digital solutions.  Through the Clip Radio-powered apps, we are able to build a stronger relationship with both our listeners and our advertisers, providing both groups with compelling content that they cannot find anywhere else. We are eager to expand our interactive radio capabilities to our other Alpha Media markets.”

TALKERS Affiliate Roundup.  KNEI-FM, Cedar Rapids adds Envision Networks-distributed VirtualNWS Weather Reports featuring meteorologist Laura Huckabee…..The Sun Broadcast Group-syndicated Marilu Henner show joins the programming at KUSH-AM, Cushing, Oklahoma and KJFF, Festus, Missouri.

Obama ‘Theater of Being President’ Comment, Obama Drops Immigration Changes, Ray Rice Cut and Suspended by NFL, U.S. ISIS Strategy-Wednesday Press Conference, Global Warming Controversy, Midwestern Child Respiratory Virus Mystery, Bruce Levenson Scandal, and Joan Rivers Funeral Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/8).  Criticism of President Obama’s comment on “Meet the Press” that the “theater of being president” doesn’t come naturally to him; Obama’s decision to not pursue immigration law changes via executive order before the mid-term elections; the Baltimore Ravens cut Ray Rice and the NFL suspends him indefinitely after the full video of him punching out his wife in an elevator is revealed; Wednesday’s scheduled press conference during which President Obama will address the US’s ISIS strategy; increased scrutiny of the global warming theory; the mystery of a respiratory virus affecting thousands of Midwestern children; Atlanta Hawks owner Bruce Levenson’s admission of a racist email forces sale of team; and the weekend funeral of comedienne Joan Rivers were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, August 29, 2014

| August 29, 2014

whptlogoCox Revamps ‘102.5 The Bone’ in Tampa – without Bubba the Love Sponge.  Saying that it is “taking the station in a different direction,” Cox Media Group Tampa announces the redesign of talk outlet WHPT, Tampa “102.5 The Bone” and moves afternoon personality Mikecaltamike Calta to AM drive.  The rest of the day looks like this: Billy Madison from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon; Shannon Burke from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm; “In Your Face with Drew Garabo” from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm followed by “The Bone Daily Rewind Show” from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm.  CMG Tampa VP and market bubbamanager Keith Lawless states, “CMG periodically changes direction, talent and format of its various media programs in order to provide our audiences with fresh perspectives and compelling content.  ‘The Bone’ has proven to be one of America’s most outspoken radio stations.  Tampa Bay can expect ‘The Bone’ to continue to deliver ‘Real, Raw, Radio’ every day.”  The station says that although it is discontinuing the Bubba the Love Sponge show, it will continue to be the technical head end to the Bubba Radio Network through the end of 2014.  The Bubba the Love Sponge Show is heard on KRZQ, Reno; WTRS, Ocala; WRXK, Ft. Myers; WZLB, Ft. Walton Beach; WYBB, Charleston, South Carolina; and WRSO, Orlando.

facebooklogoSocial Media Dominator? Facebook. According to NuVoodoo‘s latest “Ratings Prospects Study,” Facebook remains the prevailing social media outlet of choice among those who are 14 – 54 years old.  Moreover, as NuVoodoo vice president of research Leigh Jacobs states, “Despite all the hype surrounding them, both Snapchat and Vine are comparatively small players overall. While other players get more coverage, Instagram has the deepest penetration among teens [14 – 17] after YouTube and Facebook; it is getting traction among [those] 18 – 34.  We found continuing positive momentum for Facebook, even among 14-17-year-olds.  Other platforms have stronger momentum, but given its tremendous reach, Facebook remains a powerful tool for connecting with listeners.”  NuVoodoo executive vice president of marketing Mike O’Connor comments that, “Radio marketing is about influencing the most likely ratings respondents at the lowest cost possible.  It is clear from our findings that heavy users of both broadcast and Pandora can be reached in numbers on Facebook and YouTube that rival the home phone of a decade ago.  Imagine knowing the exact music taste of everyone and then only calling the most likely listeners.  It is that precise targeting and cost-efficiency that makes social media the great equalizer.”  NuVoodoo interviewed nearly 1100 respondents, ages 14-54, in all PPM markets for this study.

krantzwhitmireBrad and Britt Join WJZY-TV, Charlotte for Commentary Duties.  Radio talk show hosts-turned-podcasters Brad Krantz and Britt Whitmire – formerly of WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte – are now part of the weekend staff at Fox TV O&O WJZY-TV, Charlotte as they begin handling commentary duties on the new show, “Good Morning Carolinas.”  They report they will be offering takes on politics and happenings of local and national importance.  They’ll also be on the station’s “Ten O’Clock News” on Wednesday (9/3) to offer analysis of the first debate between Senator Kay Hagan (D) and challenger Thom Tillis (R).  Of course, they will continue their daily podcast, which is available on iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, SoundCloud, and BradandBritt.com.

ERE_banner_575x112

wfan logoWFAN, New York Names Argaman GSM.  Promotions in the sales department at CBS RADIO’s sports talk WFAN, New York include WFAN/Yankees Radio Network sales chief Sean Argaman being named general sales manager for WFAN effective immediately.  At the same time, CBS RADIO EVP of operations Scott Herman announces Brian Rooney has been promoted to sales manager and will assume additional responsibility working alongside Argaman.  Steve Kalman takes over the role of head of Yankees sales.

berryPTSDcheckMichael Berry Helps Raise More than $200k for PTSD Foundation of America.  Houston-based talk show host Michael Berry – the “Czar of Talk Radio” – helped raise a total of $207,598 for the PTSD Foundation of America, an organization for which he is the national spokesman.  Partnering with Gringo’s and Jimmy Changas, popular Tex-Mex restaurants in the Houston area, and calling upon his listeners to join him at four concerts the restaurants underwrote, Berry and his cohorts donated all ticket revenue to the cause.  Berry says, “Live radio has the ability to bring together listeners, show sponsors, and people in need, in real time, and make magic.  When the roll is taken up yonder of the effect of radio in communities in America, we should tally all the work being done by local hosts across the country who are doing this in their cities every single day.  Every year, I listen to Rush speak from his heart about leukemia and lymphoma during his Cure-a-Thon.  And it makes me think that we all need to do more, and use our powerful microphone for good.  THIS is what makes radio fun.”  Pictured here at the presentation ceremony are (from l-r): Berry, Camp Hope executive director David Maulsby (Camp Hope is run by the PTSD Foundation of America); two unidentified veterans who received peer counseling at Camp Hope; and local restaurateur Russell Ybarra who donated $125,000 and hired the bands to help raise the rest of the money.

beasleyawards14Beasley Broadcast Group Announces Corporate Award Winners.  At its annual management meeting held at the corporate offices in Naples, Florida this week, Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc. gathered corporate management and station leadership from the eleven markets in which it operates to celebrate achievements and contributions from individual employees and radio stations over the preceding twelve months. The 2014 honorees include: WXKB-FM, Fort Myers-Naples – Radio Station of the Year; Brad Beasley – General Manager of the Year/Fort Myers-Naples; Donna Williams – Business Manager of the Year/Augusta, Georgia; AJ Lurie – Sales Manager of the Year/Fort Myers-Naples; Tee Gentry – Program Director of the Year/Augusta; Lamar Smith – Engineer of the Year/Las Vegas; Natalie Conner – CEO Award of Excellence/Executive Vice President.  Founder, chairman and CEO George Beasley states, “It is a sincere privilege each year to honor our company’s highest achievers.  The level of professionalism within Beasley Broadcast is tremendous.  The ladies and gentlemen we recognize for 2014 worked very hard to earn this recognition, and for that they have also earned my respect.  I am very proud of each of them.”  Pictured here at the corporate meetings are (from left to right): VP of programming Justin Chase; EVP of operations Brian Beasley; VP market manager Kent Dunn (Augusta); chairman and CEO George G. Beasley; president and COO Bruce Beasley; EVP and CFO Caroline Beasley; VP of engineering and CTO Mike Cooney; VP market manager Brad Beasley (SW Florida); retiring VP market manager Natalie Conner (Philadelphia); VP of sales Heather Monahan; director of sales AJ Lurie (SW Florida).

WXKS-AM, Boston Augments UMass Sports Coverage. In Beantown, Clear Channel-owned WXKS-AM “Bloomberg Radio 1200″ signs a three-year deal with the University of Massachusetts department of athletics and multimedia rights holder UMass Sports Properties and Learfield Sports.  The pact begins with the 2014 – 2015 athletic season and allows 50,000-watt WXKS-AM to air all UMass football games and men’s basketball contests that do not conflict with Bloomberg programming.  Learfield Sports regional general manager Pam Batalis comments that WXKS-AM is “the perfect complement to an already thriving UMass sports network.  When you combine the positive momentum building around UMass football with the national attention achieved by our men’s basketball program, the timing was right to deliver these two teams to our significant fan base in the metro-Boston area.”  UMass director of athletics John McCutcheon states, “We are very excited to bring [WXKS-AM] on-board as one of our radio partners for football and basketball.  The partnership gives us a great home in the Boston media market and really gives those programs fantastic exposure in eastern Massachusetts.  When looking at the package and a multi-year agreement, we feel very strongly that this relationship will help us reach our fans and alumni in the eastern-half of the Commonwealth.” Josh Maurer returns for his seventh season handling play-by-play duties for both “Minuteman” football and men’s basketball.  Three UMass graduates will join him on football broadcasts: analyst Matt Goldstein, sideline reporter Cody Chrusciel, and program host Adam Frenier.  In addition to WXKS-AM, the UMass sports network includes Entercom Boston flagship (sports) WEEI-FM, Entercom sports WVEI, Worcester, and Marshfield Broadcasting adult contemporary WATD-FM, Marshfield.  The affiliation begins with tomorrow’s (Saturday, 8/29) football opener against Boston College.

cosbyritaOdds & Sods.  With election season kicking into high gear, Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York is presenting the second in a series of exclusive “Election Central” roundtables on Saturday (8/30) at 3:00 pm ET.  The program is being hosted by Rita Cosby and features a preview of the November mid-term elections with a discussion featuring some of New York’s most influential political reporters: WNBC’s Andrew Siff, NY1’s Errol Louis, and WPIX 11’s Marvin Scott.  The roundtables can also be heard on the “Election Central” page at wabcradio.com…..As in seasons past, CBS RADIO’s WIP, Philadelphia “SportsRadio 94WIP” will produce the “Howie Roseman Show” each Monday during the NFL season.  WIP afternoon host Anthony Gargano and Eagles play-by-play announcer Merrill Reese will co-host the program with the Eagles GM live from Chickie’s and Pete’s in South Philadelphia from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm…..Yahoo! Sports Radio announces the debut of its weekend football programming that begins with “Rivals Saturday” and wraps up Sunday night with “Postgame” with Peter Brown.

ISIS Campaign/U.S. Military Policy in Iraq and Syria Top News/Talk Story for Week of August 25-29.  Landing atop the Talkers TenTM this week is the ISIS campaign in Iraq and Syria and the Obama Administration’s military policy there.  At #2 this week is the mid-term elections and the prospects for the 2016 presidential race.  Coming in at #3 is the plans by President Obama to bypass the Congress to sign a global climate change treaty and to use executive orders to pass immigration legislation followed by the Michael Brown death aftermath at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a 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.

Monday, August 18, 2014

| August 18, 2014

wgn-720-logo 125Wanna Buy a Fantastic Radio Station Mobile Studio?  Well. If you do, here is a rare opportunity to pick up a real gem.  The legendary WGN, Chicago is letting go of its phenomenal mobile broadcast studio and tow truck.  Seems it is too big to be conveniently used in the congested Windy City.  But in a market where there’s space to move around, it is a fully-equipped, mind-blower that could put your station in front of everybody, boost sales, and significantly increase the value of your broadcasting asset.  To learn more, please click here.

KOY LogoKOY Transitions From Business Talk To Mainstream Talk. Clear Channel Phoenix replaces its one-year business talk format on KOY “1230 The KFYI Business Channel” with mainstream talk under the “KFYI 2: The Next Generation of Talk” moniker. As KOY’s handle underscores, the station continues its association with co-owned mainstream talker KFYI. Program director Neil Larrimore states, “This is an exciting brand to put under the KFYI umbrella. Our approach of heavy digital messaging, new hosts, and more moderate content is geared toward the evolution of the information format.” The on-air roster for “KFYI 2” is Armstrong & Getty (6:00 am – 10:00 am); Dana Loesch (10:00 am -1:00 pm); Casey Bartholomew (1:00 pm – 3:00 pm); “America Now” (3:00 pm – 6:00 pm); “TMZ Live” (6:00 pm – 7:00 pm); “Ground Zero” (7:00 pm – 10:00 pm); and Bloomberg Radio (10:00 pm – 6:00 am). Having the distinction of being Arizona’s first radio station, KOY received its broadcast license in 1922 with the calls KFCB – “Kind Friends Come Back.” KFYI ranks seventh this July (4.3, 6+); Bonneville talker KTAR-FM finishes #14 (3.0); and Rio Salado College‘s KJZZ (NPR) is #19 (2.1). KOY does not appear in the July 2014 report.

compton ann smallForty-One and Done For Ann Compton. Being the first woman assigned to cover the White House fulltime by any network was — in Ann Compton‘s opinion — an advantage since the President could not miss seeing her. The Chicago native, who began covering that demanding beat nearly 40 years ago, wants to devote more time to other things, such as being a grandmother. So, on September 10 — the anniversary of her 41st year with ABC News — she will retire. Click here for an in-depth feature piece by TALKERS managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian to find out what Compton believed were her most challenging things early-on; vivid reflections on 9/11/2001; and why — and who — made being inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame especially memorable.

brown joy new 8-14Dr. Joy Browne Switching Networks to GCN.  Longtime TALKERS Heavy Hundred syndicated star Dr. Joy Browne’s show will be moving from present distributor Radio America to Genesis Communications Network (GCN) beginning Monday, September 8.  The program will continue to air during its regular time slot of 12:00 noon – 3:00 pm ET. GCN will also syndicate Dr. Joy Browne’s “Best Of” weekend program, which will air Saturdays, 1:00 am – 4:00 am ET.   Browne, a licensed clinical psychologist, hosts the longest running relationships program of its kind in syndication, airing on over 100 stations across the country including WNYM, New York.  Her show offers listeners advice on issues ranging from relationships and marriage to finance and career. (She even reviews movies and comments on theater.) Regarding Browne’s show, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “With interest growing among talk radio broadcasters in expanding the menu beyond politics and getting back to a number of areas that have long been mainstays of spoken word commercial radio during its golden days, I suspect we will see the stock of a show like Joy Browne’s take a significant upward turn.  After all, she’s remained a serious player on stations across the country during a period in which relationship shows have had tough going.  Considering she is still the best in the genre, watch out world – Dr. Joy will be riding high for years to come.”  Interested stations can contact GCN affiliate relations at (877) 996-4327, Ext. 241, 148 or 123 for more information.

murphy owenKFWBKFWB Recruits Murphy as PD. When KFWB, Los Angeles flips from talk to sports next month, the station will be programmed by Owen Murphy, who has been working as a talent coach and sports radio consultant for several hosts. KFWB Asset Trust trustee Diane Sutter comments, “Owen has built great relationships with some of America’s premiere sports talents. He has a unique perspective and will provide a fresh approach for sports radio fans in Los Angeles.” Murphy remarks, “I cannot adequately express how excited I am to be part of a team that is going to serve the Los Angeles sports radio audience in a manner never before heard. Having [CBS Sports Radio’s] Jim Rome as a centerpiece of the station’s new lineup is a thrilling base to build upon for the passionate sports fans of Southern California.” Rome will be heard on KFWB 9:00 am – 12:00 noon. Murphy’s resume includes a 2009 – 2010 stint programming KIRO-AM “710 ESPN,” Seattle. He previously was an ESPN Radio producer for “Mike & Mike in the Morning” and was executive producer of “The Dan Patrick Show.” Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio‘s July 2014 PPM report, KFWB ranks #42 (.2). Its all-sports competitors are KSPN (1.2 in July, #28); KLAC (.9, #32); and KLAA (.3, #40).

ESPN RAdio - NBA LogoNBA, ESPN Audio – Teammates for a 20th Season. For the 20th successive year, ESPN Audio will broadcast games of the National Basketball Association. This year’s ESPN – NBA schedule — which will feature 29 regular-season games — tips off in slightly more than two months (Tuesday, 10/28), with Tim Duncan and the defending NBA champion San Antonio Spurs hosting the Dallas Mavericks. ESPN Audio will broadcast a Christmas Day doubleheader, which will showcase San Antonio against Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder. Immediately following that will be LeBron James’ first game back in Miami as the Cleveland Cavaliers visit the Miami Heat. ESPN Audio will air the NBA Playoffs and NBA Finals, as well as the 64th All-Star Game. Returning as ESPN Radio’s lead play-by-play voice and prime analyst are Kevin Calabro and Jon Barry, respectively. Calling/analyzing select games are Marc Kestecher and PJ Carlesimo.

Westwood-One-LOGO 7-15-2014 125townsend steveWestwood One Taps Townsend as Senior Account Manager.  Former Clear Channel New York sales manager Steve Townsend joins Westwood One‘s sales division as senior account manager. New York City-based Townsend reports to senior vice president of network sales Darrin Klayman, who states, “Steve has a proven track record and he comes with an immeasurable wealth of sales expertise. His multimedia experience and passion fit well into our desired DNA as we strive to build a team that will provide integrated multi-platform solutions for our clients.” Townsend meanwhile comments, “Westwood One is at the forefront of delivering solutions and driving revenue for clients. From its customized content, events, talent endorsements, local activations, digital initiatives, and geo-targeted programs, it is clearly the place to be; I am thrilled to be part of the momentum.” Townsend’s Clear Channel New York sales manager responsibilities were for adult contemporary WLTW “Lite-FM” and classic rock WAXQ “Q-104.3,” as well as managing sales for the “Automotive” category for the company’s entire New York group. He previously was sales manager in New York City for then-Citadel-owned (now Cumulus) hot AC WPLJ; CBS Radio‘s WXRK (now CHR WBMP); and he was an account executive and national sales manager for classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM.

smith gordonsmulyan jeffConclave Confirms Smith As Keynoter — Smulyan to Speak as Well.  The 39th annual Conclave Learning Conference – presented in partnership with the Minnesota Broadcasters Association (MBA) – will feature a keynote address by National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) president and chief executive officer Gordon Smith. Conclave chair Mark Bolke comments, “Whether you are in programming, news, sales, or station management, what happens in Congress and at the Federal Communications Commission directly impacts our collective future. Gordon Smith’s keynote will instill in all of us the ongoing need to protect our industry’s interests and preserve its status as America’s premier source for music, entertainment, news, and emergency information.” MBA president and chief executive officer Jim du Bois states, “With the broadcasting industry facing unprecedented legal, regulatory, and competitive challenges, Gordon Smith and the NAB are leading the charge in Washington. We are honored that he is taking time from his busy schedule to share his insights on key issues facing radio and television broadcasters. We are also looking forward to hearing his vision for the industry’s future as it adapts to rapidly changing media consumption habits and a shift to mobile distribution platforms.” Smith is scheduled to deliver his keynote on (Saturday) November 15 at 9:00 am onsite at the Conclave, which will be held at Minneapolis’ Crown Plaza Hotel Airport. Smith is a former United States Senator. The Oregon Republican served two terms in the Senate and was appointed NAB president/CEO five years ago (9/2009). The Conclave’s day-and-a-half learning conference begins (Friday) November 14 with a “Radio & TV Career Fair and Air Check Clinic,” followed by a special keynote from Emmis president and chief executive officer Jeff Smulyan on the NextRadio mobile platform.

wachs daliah“Dr. Daliah” Accepts Daunting Task. Radio stations and personalities constantly are being enlisted to support a number of worthwhile endeavors. An especially challenging fundraiser involves Dr. Daliah Wachs. The syndicated talk show host and Las Vegas television personality has been asked to build the pediatric wing of Community Outreach Medical Center, which will serve thousands of underserved and uninsured Las Vegas children. “This is a huge undertaking but it will get done,” Dr. Wachs promises. A board certified family physician, Dr. Wachs (University of Nevada – Las Vegas, University of Nevada – Reno, and UCLA) originates her daily “Dr. Daliah” program from Las Vegas talker KDWN; iHeart Radio carries it daily 9:00 am – 12:00 noon PT. In addition to her radio show, Dr. Wachs is the medical expert on KVVU-TV, Las Vegas.

sbs 125SBS Reports 12% Q2 Revenue Gain for Radio. Primarily owing to a boost in special events revenue and network sales, revenue for Spanish Broadcasting System‘s radio division increased 12% in the second quarter to $3.8 million. SBS’ consolidated net revenue grew from $36.1 million in 2013 to $40.9 million (+13%). Consolidated OIBDA fell 22% to $9.9 million, compared to $12.7 million; radio OIBDA decreased 10% to $1.5 million. Spanish Broadcasting System reported a net loss of $3.23 million (44 cents per diluted share), versus a loss of $1.23 million (17 cents) in the year-prior period.

Odds & Sods.   After the success of his first non-fiction book, “FM, the Rise and Fall of Rock Radio” (Villard 2001), Richard Neer of WFAN, New York has written and published his first novel “Something of the Night” (Amazon 2014).  It features a detective on the Jersey shore whose colleague and best friend is a radio talk show host. Originally tasked to find a missing small town author, the plot evolves into something much deeper, threatening the entire metropolitan region. A suspenseful page turner, the twists are non-stop.  Neer has been told that social media is the only way to move books today. However he still believes in radio’s power and will promote it mainly through our medium. Interview requests will be honored by emailing novelistcafe@windstream.net.  To access the book, please click here. ….. Mark Wainwright is filling in this week (8/18 – 8/22) for morning host Joe Galuski at Clear Channel-owned talker WSYR, Syracuse.

 

Questions We Should Be Asking About Political Correctness

| July 31, 2014

By Richard Neer
WFAN, New York
Talk Show Host

 

neerwriterNEW YORK — I rarely have a problem with “political correctness.”  I believe that avoiding words or phrases that even a small minority find offensive, is a good thing.  Why hurt people because we are insensitive or too lazy and set in our ways to change?  It’s easier just to amend our vocabulary and apologize when necessary.  Using racial or sexist epithets to make a point is not acceptable and these words should bear consequences.  WEEI and Sirius have recently dealt with those situations.

What I do fear is that a “gotcha” mentality is running amok, looking to punish anyone who has the temerity to take an unpopular stand.  Recent examples are Mark Cuban and Stephen A. Smith.

In Cuban’s case, he was honest about his own shortcomings, illustrative of the fact that we all have prejudices.  He made it very clear that he thought society would be better off if we could rid ourselves of these destructive impulses but that we are not there yet, despite all the progress made so far.  He used himself as an example, citing how out of concern for his safety, he would avoid characters who dressed like thugs.  He implied that if we are honest with ourselves, we might all admit to the same feelings.

Read More

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

| March 26, 2014

sportstalkboston logoInside SportsTalkBoston.com.   The surprising exit of longtime WEEI sports talk personality Glenn Ordway last year and the departure some months later of station programmer Jason Wolfe saw big changes in the Boston sports talk scene.  Those changes are becoming even more high profile with the debut of Ordway’s new multi-platform sports talk destination wolfejasonSportsTalkBoston.com.  Regular TALKERS readers are aware Wolfe is signing on with the venture to serve as chief content officer.  In this exclusive story, Wolfe goes into a bit more detail about not only what the future will bring to SportsTalkBoston.com, but he writes about Ordway’s place in the hearts and minds of Boston sports media fans and how that plays into the execution of the content.  As Wolfe says, “Personality breeds engagement.  Engagement breeds loyalty.  Loyalty breeds ratings and ratings breed revenue.  That is the formula hosts and shows need to embrace today if they want to win.”  Read this entire piece here.

wtoplogoWTOP, Washington Takes ‘Top Biller’ Crown for Fourth Year Straight.  The annual top radio billers report from BIA/Kelsey is out and although Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP, Washington dropped a little over $1 million in billing from 2012 to 2013, at a reported $63.5 million it still was the nation’s #1 biller, beating Clear Channel’s CHR KIIS-FM, Los Angeles by about $2 million.  KIIS-FM had a good year, adding almost $5 million to its revenue total to report in at $61.6 million.  Rounding out the top 10 for 2013 were:  Clear Channel’s CHR WHTZ, New York “Z100” at $51 million; CBS RADIO’s all-news WCBS-AM at $50 million; Clear Channel’s AC WLTW, New York “106.7 Lite FM” at $45.5 million; CBS RADIO all-news WINS at $45 million; Clear Channel’s hot AC KBIG, Los Angeles “104.3 MYfm” at $44.5 million; CBS RADIO’s sports talk WFAN, New York “The Fan” at $43 million; CBS RADIO’s alternative KROQ, Los Angeles at $42.8 million; and CBS RADIO’s all-news WBBM, Chicago wraps the top 10 at $42 million.

mckinneygregEntercom Loosens Load on ‘ESPN Upstate’ Personality Greg McKinney.  In addition to his work at Entercom Greenville’s sports talk duo WORD-AM/WYRD-AM “ESPN Upstate” where he’s host of “In The Huddle with Greg McKinney” from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm, McKinney had been doing mornings on sister AC WSPA “Magicespnupstate 98.9.”  (He also handles anchoring the “College Football Today” pregame show on rock WTPT “93.3 The Planet.”)  The company adds “Murphy, Sam and Jodi” on WSPA for morning drive and relieves McKinney of the daily double duty.  Entercom Greenville VP and market manager Steve Sinicropi comments, “Our sports coverage in terms of talent, teams and signal coverage is unmatched in this market.  We are thrilled that the person who will become the local face of ‘ESPN Upstate’ was already in our stable.  Putting Greg McKinney on ESPN with a live and local show, not only plays to his strengths and talents, but it provides our clients with an additional and valuable touch point to connect with a highly sought after consumer.”

entercomEntercom Sets Milwaukee and Madison Managers.  Former Cumulus Mobile vice president/market manager Chuck Sullivan is tapped for similar duties at Entercom Milwaukee, while Entercom Madison director of sales Ed Schulz is elevated to vice president/market manager of that Wisconsin market.  They succeed Michael Keck (see next story), who was overseeing both markets.  Regional president Michael Doyle comments, “Entercom is proud to add two of the strongest people in radio to our leadership team.  Chuck and Ed bring with them a wealth of experience, unique perspectives and a passion to make their powerful brands and their clusters not only the strongest in the state, but in all of radio.”  Meanwhile, Sullivan remarks, “Entercom Milwaukee has some of the most powerful and iconic brands from [CHR WXSS] ‘Kiss-FM’ to [hot AC WMYX] ‘Mix’ to [WSSP] ‘SportsRadio 1250.”  Schulz adds, “Madison is a special place and Entercom has distinct brands that not only connect with the community, but deliver results for our clients.  I am proud of what we have accomplished in Madison and am excited for the future.  Before joining Cumulus, Sullivan spent nine years as managing partner of Wilmington, North Carolina’s Ocean Broadcasting.  Schulz joined Entercom two years ago and will be responsible for adult alternative WMMM “Triple M,” classic hits WOLX, and hot AC WMHX “Mix 105.1.”

keckmichaelCBS RADIO Twin Cities Names Keck VP/DOS.  As referenced in the story above, sales pro Michael Keck moves northwest from Entercom Milwaukee to the Twin Cities where he’s the new vice president/director of sales at CBS RADIO Minneapolis, effective April 7.  The company says that in this role, he will be responsible for overseeing sales in the market for news/talk WCCO, adult hits KZJK “104.1 Jack FM,” and country KMNB “BUZ’N@102.9.”  Keck will work closely with Michael Weiss, CBS RADIO’s president of sales and report to Mick Anselmo, senior vice president and market manager for the Minneapolis cluster.  Keck comments, “I am thrilled to be coming back to the Twin Cities.  It’s a tremendous privilege to be associated with two powerful FM stations and one of America’s most legendary and successful AM brands in WCCO.  I can’t wait to be a part of the CBS RADIO team in this vibrant radio and media marketplace.”

envisionnetworks newSun Broadcast Group to Rep Envision Networks’ Spanish Content.  An exclusive ad sales agreement has been struck between Sun Broadcast Group, Inc. and Envision Networks for Sun to rep Envision’s Spanish-language inventory that includes: CNN en Español, Fox Deportes and AccuWeather ensunbroadcastgrouplogo Español.  Envision president and CEO Danno Wolkoff states, “Jason Bailey and his team at Sun Broadcast will increase our presence in the Spanish advertising arena.  They will represent our programming, services and online audio product lineups to Hispanic advertisers and maximize the scope of our network’s reach and frequency and the amount of impressions it delivers for clients.”

pretzellodebbieBeasley Honors Pretzello with President’s Club Award.  This in-house sales award for the calendar year 2013 goes to Beasley Broadcast Augusta senior account executive Debbie Pretzello for the third time.  The President’s Club consists of Beasley sales executives inducted annually for their abilities to meet or exceed individual and market goals, attain accreditation from the Radio Advertising Bureau as Certified Radio Marketing Consultants (CRMC), and over-deliver their clients’ expectations on a daily basis.  One account executive in each market in which Beasley operates is named to the Club monthly.  At year’s end, each market names a winner based on overall performance.  Additionally, the individual with the highest ranking from this notable pool of top-performers is named Beasley’s “President’s Club Overall Winner” for the previous calendar year.  Beasley EVP of sales Heather Monahan says, “We are thrilled that Debbie Pretzello continues to lead our Augusta sales team and is recognized for her third time as our ‘Overall President’s Club Winner.’  Retaining talent in our business is of the utmost importance to Beasley.  Debbie forges ahead year after year, raising the bar for our sales organization.  Her ability to win multiple awards signifies her vast talent for delivering results for her local clients.  Debbie Pretzello earned the title ‘Overall President’s Club Winner’ again this year by providing ROI for her customers, that’s something that makes us very proud.”

robbinsmarkleyOdds & Sods.  When the New York Yankees’ season kicks off on April 1, Spanish-speaking listeners in the New York area will be able to hear the games in Spanish on Univsion-owned WADO, New York.  CBS RADIO’s WFAN-AM/FM – the new rights holder for Yankees games, agrees to the deal that will have WFAN producing the games with Rickie Ricardo and Francisco Rivera in the booth for the Spanish-language broadcast…..WMBD, Peoria afternoon duo “Robbins & Markley” – (pictured here) Scott Robbins (l) and Jamie Markley (r) – are sitting in for the vacationing Jim Villanucci on Alpha Broadcasting’s KXL, Portland this week…..The weekly two-hour “Both Sides Now” program – hosted by Mark Green and featuring talk media personalities including: Ron Reagan, Katrina van den Heuvel, Eliot Spitzer, Bob Shrum, Jonathan Alter, Mary Matalin, Erick Erickson, David Frum, Rich Lowry and Torie Clarke – signs up with Focus 360 to handle ad sales for the program.

elswickettingerTackling Big Issues.  KARN-FM, Little Rock program director and afternoon drive host Dave Elswick (right) poses for a photo with former Israeli Ambassador Yoram Ettinger (left) after two spoke on Elswick’s program about Israel and the country’s complex relationship with the U.S., Iran and the Palestinians.  Ettinger served as Minister for Congressional Affairs at Israel’s Embassy in Washington.  Elswick will be speaking on the “Big Picture” panel at Talkers New York 2014 in New York City on Friday, June 20.

ObamaCare Criticism, Michelle Obama in China, Hague Nuke Summit, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Fate, Mid-Term Elections/ 2016 Presidential Race, NSA Bulk Data Collection Policy and Nick Cannon ‘Whiteface’ Controversy Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/25).  Scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act; coverage of First Lady Michelle Obama’s trip to China and her speech about America’s discriminatory past; President Obama’s comments about Russia and a possible NYC nuclear threat made at the Nuclear Security Summit at the Hague; the possible fate of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370; prognostication about the fall mid-term elections and the 2016 presidential race; the fate of the NSA’s bulk data collection policy; and musician/TV personality Nick Cannon’s “whiteface” photo controversy were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

| March 13, 2014

francesamikeWFAN, New York’s Mike Francesa Gets Video Deal with Fox 1.  After exiting the YES Network for the TV simulcast of his radio show in early February when his contract ran out, New York sports talk icon Mike Francesa’s WFAN show will land on Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2 in a deal just announced.  The companies say they’ve reached foxsports1a “multi-year, multi-media agreement.”  Fox Sports 1 and 2 general manager and COO David Nathanson says, “We are thrilled to add Mike Francesa to our Fox Sports family of channels.  Mike is without question one of the most popular sports personalities in New York and has maintained a significant national reputation through his syndicated NFL show and his WFAN program…He’s knowledgeable and opinionated with an ability to attract top-name guests who appeal to sports fans everywhere.  This is a fantastic addition to FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2.”  The simulcast begins on March 24 when it will air from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm on Fox Sports 1 and then from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm on Fox Sports 2.  It will also be streamed live via Fox Sports GO through participating video providers.  Francesa will deliver the Sports Keynote Address at the Talkers New York 2014 conference on Friday, June 20, 2014.

weei logoSalk Exits WEEI-FM, Boston After a Year.  The homecoming for Boston-bred sports talk personality Mike Salk lasted just about a year.  Salk has left the station for a new gig elsewhere (reportedly back to KIRO-AM, Seattle where he was co-hosting with Brock Huard).  The changes at WEEI-FM since former afternoonsalkmike drive personality Glenn Ordway was forced out have been numerous: program director Jason Wolfe exited and the general manager who brought Salk to WEEI – Jeff Brown – abruptly left in September of 2013.  Boston Globe writer Chad Finn analyzes the situation and states that although Salk was raised in the area and worked at other Boston AM signals for a time, “his homogenized style, honed during his time at ESPN radio, made him seem like an outsider.”  Finn reports the station will begin pairing up a rotating cast of co-hosts for Michael Holley in the PM drive slot as is works to find a permanent replacement for Salk.

ktth logoKTTH, Seattle Produces ‘Panel Series’ to Debate Policy Issues.  Seattle news/talker KTTH is beginning a panel series aimed at “encouraging robust discussion of important issues in Western Washington,” and it will start with an April 9 debate over the proposed $15 minimum wage.  Afternoon talk host Ben Shapiro will take part in the debate and morning drive personality David Boze will moderate.  Also taking part in the debate will be Seattle City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant, National Employment Law Project deputy director Rebecca Smith, and Washington Policy Center vice president for research Paul Guppy.  The debate is open to the public.

catsimatidisWNYM, New York to Air ‘The Cats Roundtable.’ New York business mogul and former mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis begins hosting an hour-long Sunday morning program on Salem Communications’ WNYM, New York “AM 970 The Answer” this weekend.  The station says the show will feature interviews, listener call-ins and John’s unique take on the news affecting New York.  Catsimatidis is CEO of The Red Apple Group and Gristedes Foods.  His first guests on the 3/16 program will include former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former New York Governor George Pataki.  Catsimatidis comments, “I’m incredibly excited about this.  After the mayor’s race, I was struck by how many New Yorkers from all walks of life were anxious to continue the conversation about how to improve our city.  As a lifelong fan of local radio, I’m convinced that this is the best way to do that.”

smithrandySmith to Named to GSM Post at Cox Tulsa.  Moving over from the television side of Cox Media Group’s Tulsa operations is Randy Smith who is named general sales manager for the group that includes classic rock KJSR, AC KRAV, news/talk KRMG-AM/FM, and country KWEN.  Cox Tulsa general manager Gene Vidler says, “I am excited to have Randy join our radio cluster.  I have known Randy for many years, first as a competitor and more recently as a colleague with our sister TV stations.  Randy’s knowledge of the market and his relationships in Tulsa will be a great fit to help our radio cluster continue to grow.  Randy is very well respected and well known in the media community.”

knxgridlockKNX, Los Angeles to Air Daylong Programming on Region’s Traffic Problems.  Southern California’s traffic problems are legendary and CBS RADIO’s all-news KNX “1070 NEWSRADIO” is presenting what it calls a “comprehensive and unprecedented examination of Southern California’s infamous traffic congestion that often turns the region’s freeways and streets into a continuum of parking lots.”  It’s a day-long series titled, “Driven to Gridlock: L.A.’s Never-Ending Sig Alert,” airing on Thursday, March 27 from 5:00 am to 7:00 pm.  The station says, “Producers Charles Feldman and Laraine Herman, along with KNX 1070’s award-winning news staff, will explore the past, present and future of SoCal’s traffic situation with help from urban planners, civic leaders, technology experts, law enforcement and commuters.  Among the topics to be covered in 26 special reports will be the evolution of our region’s car culture; why traffic congestion will likely worsen before it improves; the future of mass transit; the financial impact of traffic jams on business; coping with an aging infrastructure and growing population; the impact of past ‘solutions’ such as signal synchronization, car pool lanes, ridesharing, and toll lanes; and more-recent ideas like congestion pricing popular in Europe and flexible work schedules.”

conwaysimonOdds & Sods.  Hard-working talk radio personality Simon Conway – afternoon drive host at Clear Channel’s WHO, Des Moines – is continuing his fill-in work subbing for Premiere Networks nationally syndicated host Andy Dean.  Iron-man Conway is used to double-duty having hosted the morning show at WFLF, Orlando for six days earlier this month…..Public radio WNYC, New York welcomes Sean Bowditch to the organization as executive editor.  Bowditch has served in the past as senior producer for “Marketplace Morning Report,” and producer at NPR and WBUR, Boston…..ESPN Radio is expanding its “SportsCenter All Night” program to seven nights a week.  Joining veteran ESPN Radio “SportsCenter” host Jay Reynolds, who will continue to host SportsCenter All Night Sunday into Monday through Thursday into Friday, will be John Brickley, who will serve as host of the late Friday and Saturday shows.

mhruddygroupPosh Palm Beach Pow Wow!  Noticing that more than a handful of his talk radio pals were in Florida’s Palm Beach County at the same time, Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy invited them all to dinner and conversation last evening (3/12) at Donald Trump’s palatial Palm Beach Island estate, Mar-A-Lago.  The result was a real yak-fest.  Among the many topics of conversation — which ran the gamut from industry gossip to the future of radio in the digital age – was inside-information about Newsmax’s forthcoming plunge into the news/talk television wars.  Pictured (l-r): Rush Limbaugh show producer James Golden; WRKO, Boston personality Howie Carr; WFTL, Fort Lauderdale VP/GM Steve Lapa; former U.S. Rep. (R-AZ), talk show host and Newsmax TV contributor J.D. Hayworth; TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison; and Ruddy.

katz mg logoKatz Media Group Helps Raise $170,000 for Broadcasters Foundation of America.  After its 5th annual membership drive to support the Broadcasters Foundation of America, Katz Media Group announces this year’s contributions bring Katz’s total support to more than $170,000.  The BFoA provides financial assistance to those in the radio and television profession who find themselves in acute need.  Katz Radio Group president Mark Gray states, “The Broadcasters Foundation does incredible work for those in need.  Every year, our company looks forward to the opportunity to come together and make a difference.  I’m enormously proud of our employees continued dedication, which to date has raised more than $170,000 over the past five years.  The contributions have even more meaning for Katz as it supports the Stu Olds Memorial Fund, in honor and memory of our former president and CEO.”

ObamaCare Criticism, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Mystery, Obama vs. Putin/Crimea-Ukraine Crisis, 2016 Presidential Race, Winter Weather/Global Warming, and Overtime Pay Hike Proposal Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/12).  Scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act; the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane and the theories of its disappearance; President Obama’s standoff with Vladimir Putin over the Crimea-Ukraine crisis; speculation about possible candidates in the 2016 presidential election; the latest bout of winter weather hitting the East and debate over global warming; and President Obama’s proposal to enact mandatory hikes in overtime pay were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, February 10, 2014

| February 10, 2014

francesamikeWFAN, New York’s Mike Francesa Show to Air on Cable’s Fox Sports 1.  According to a report by Neil Best in Newsday, sources indicate the cable TV simulcast of New York sports talk icon Mike Francesa’s afternoon drive sports talk program will be Fox’s fledgling Fox Sports 1 cable channel.  The deal that had Francesa’s program simulcast on the Fox-owned and Yankees-operated YES Network for the past 12 years ended last week and though the MSG Network was anticipated being the eventual destination for Francesa’s show, the official news of the Fox Sports 1 deal could come sometime this week.  Best writes that Fox presumably wants Francesa’s show to help raise its visibility even though it’s a New York-centric show.  Interestingly, WEPN-FM’s afternoon host Michael Kay is now seen in Francesa’s old slot on YES and if Francesa does land on Fox Sports 1, the two shows will appear on side-by-side channels 69 and 70 on New York’s Cablevision system.

compasslogoWall Street Journal and MarketWatch Radio Networks Outsource Affiliate Relations and Marketing to Compass Media Networks.  Executive editor for the Wall Street Journal and MarketWatch Radio Networks John Wordock says in a memo to affiliate stations, “We are deeply committed to our audio business and appreciate our partnership with your station…The Wall Street Journal and MarketWatch Radio Networks will continue to provide the best money news coverage in the business, from Wall Street to Main Street to your street.  Together, Dow Jones and Compass look forward to working with you and your station and we’re both dedicated to providing top-notch customer service.”  This move to take the affiliate relations and marketing department out of house is not entirely unexpected after the cuts the company made in the fall eliminating executive positions within that department.

levinmarkMark Levin to Keynote Tea Party Anniversary Celebration.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Mark Levin will serve as the keynote speaker at the five-year anniversary celebration of the Tea Party Patriots taking place in Washington, DC on February 27.  Levin, whose program is syndicated by Cumulus Media Networks, says, “The Tea Party, which consists of millions of hard-working taxpayers, is to be celebrated not condemned.  The ruling class must be trounced and its media cheerleaders must be exposed if the republic is to survive.  The Tea Party is our only hope.  It’s a great honor to be asked to speak to such outstanding and courageous patriots.”  Other high-profile participants include: Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), and Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of Tea Party Patriots.

schnitttoddTodd Schnitt: Not the Same-Old, Same-Old.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Todd Schnitt credits his background in CHR radio and his passion for finding the topics that intrigue him that he believes will also intrigue his listeners for making his show a different-sounding sort of conservative talk radio show.  TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian’s profile of the man who worked for years as the successful “MJ Kelli” at Clear Channel’s WFLZ, Tampa before branching into drive time talk radio at sister station WFLA delves into the mind of a personality working to grow his national program in the post-Sandra Fluke era.  Schnitt says, “My feelings have been bolstered by many experts and consultants in the field regarding the burn on conservative talk radio…You hear the same pounding on Democrats and liberals every single day.  It is to the point with a bunch of hosts in my space where you can pull one of their shows from last month and it would sound the same as what they are saying today.  I have always approached a talk radio show so that it fits on any conservative radio station, but with more of an intrinsic entertainment value.”  Read Mike Kinosian’s story here.

mckayjeffTALKERS Launches Three-Part Special Today, Tomorrow and Wednesday (2/10-12) Spotlighting Danno Wolkoff and Envision Networks.  Like many people who go to college with a plan for what they want to do when they graduate, Danno Wolkoff went to Syracuse University with a goal of winding up in television production.  Fate, and the prodding from senior management at MJI Broadcasting instead sent him in the direction of sales and affiliate relations.  Wolkoff discovered he had a gift for sales, and doubled his income in one year.  It was through sales and affiliate relations work that he climbed the corporate ladder at MJI, expanding and growing their sales offices nationwide.  When Clear Channel acquired MJI and merged it into Premiere Radio Networks (now simply “Premiereenvisionnetworks new Networks”), he became VP of affiliate relations.  However, it wasn’t long before he began to realize that the hands-on and creative approach he had at MJI wasn’t translating to the growth concepts and business model of Premiere and Clear Channel.  Wolkoff faced a career crossroads and would make a decision that would change his life and become an important source of programming and services for radio.  His vision was “Envision Radio Networks,” (now simply “Envision Networks”) — a highly successful and forward-thinking company that creates over four wolkoffdannodozen content products and services for radio stations and media outlets nationwide, customizing solutions for clients, producers and affiliates.  It was a company literally founded after another syndication and programming company decided they had a good product that despite making money, didn’t make enough money for their bottom line.  What Wolkoff has accomplished in the span of just 10 years is inspiring and a textbook example of creating a force for productivity and jobs in an industry.  He took the biggest gamble of his life, grabbing a program and three people laid off by an established firm that would become his largest competitor, and growing an independent syndication empire serving over 1,500 radio stations with everything from prep services to music shows, local news and information to weekend talk shows.  His staff has grown over 20-fold in a decade to include an array of producers, salespeople and contract staffers researching, producing, creating and selling more than four-dozen products to radio stations in both the largest and smallest markets.  Now known simply as Envision Networks (they dropped the word “Radio” this past week – more on that later) continues to not only grow, embracing new technology and catering to those needs, but in the process has become an independent force in syndication.  In the words of Michael Harrison, “The emergence of special individuals like Danno Wolkoff is the force that propels an industry such as ours forward.  I’ve seen this movie many times before.  Danno is the kind of guy who has the makings of being a true giant 10 years down the pike, taking his place among the biggest of the big.”  To read part one of TALKERS special features correspondent Jeff McKay’s extensive profile “The Vision of Envision: The Rise of Radio Syndication Entrepreneur Danno Wolkoff and an Emerging Independent Powerhouse” please click here.

cbslocalmediaCBS Reports Record Digital Traffic Month.  It’s a new record for a single month as CBS Local Digital Media reports its websites and mobile applications attracted 56.8 million unique users during January topping the previous all-time high of 50.6 million in April 2013.  The January 2014 number was up 37% compared to a year ago.  CBS Local is happy with its performance in this arena last year reporting year-to-year growth of 21% in average unique users per month.  CBS Local Media COO Anton Guitano says, “Our continued integration of digital into all parts of our local business is yielding dividends.  The great mobile presence our stations have via mobile websites, Radio.com and CBS Local apps creates a presence that gives the consumer a great user experience.”

larsonlarsLars Larson’s Busy Week: Subbing for KVI’s John Carlson; Keynoting Nevada Republican Dinner.  There are few in the talk radio business who work harder than talk show host Lars Larson.  Lars tells TALKERS that in addition to his regular radio programs – middays on Alpha Broadcasting’s KXL, Portland and nationally syndicated from 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET via Compass Media Networks – he’s filling in on morning drive today and tomorrow (2/10-11) on KVI, Seattle for John Carlson.  This evening he’ll be hosting a station event for KXL and then heads to Reno on Thursday to do both regular shows from affiliate KKFT-FM before keynoting the Washoe County Republicans’ annual Lincoln Dinner on Friday.  Lars reports he’ll be able to fly home in time on Friday to spend Valentine’s weekend with his “very patient wife,” Tina.

smerconishmichaelMichael Smerconish Jumps to CNN.  The SiriusXM talk show host is leaving MSNBC and will join up with CNN for a role that includes regular appearances during the week providing analysis and commentary plus a weekly Saturday morning program, reports the Washington Posts’s Eric Wemple.  In a release, CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker says, “We are thrilled to have Michael join CNN.  At a time when the cable news landscape has become increasingly polarized, his independence and passion for reasoned dialogue makes him the perfect fit for CNN.”  Smerconish joins CNN at a time of flux.  Zucker has been making programming changes to reverse the cable news/talk channel’s floundering ratings.  CNN announced recently it is cancelling Anderson Cooper’s “AC 360 Later.”

comptonawardHonoring Ann.  ABC News Radio White House correspondent Ann Compton (left) is pictured here at the Washington Press Club Foundation’s 70th Annual Congressional Dinner on February 5 at which she was honored with the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award.  The award recognizes an individual whose outstanding accomplishments promote the journalistic profession and enhance the role of women journalists.

richertlarryOdds & Sods.  The Akron Beacon Journal reports that weekend and fill-in host Bob Early resigned from his position with WNIR-FM, Akron after a disagreement over a guest for his weekend talk show.  Early hosted the Saturday and Sunday evening show on the station and he tells the paper he and management were not in agreement about Early booking the owner of an erotic goods chain on his program.  Read the whole story here…..Patrick Ryan joins Magnum Broadcasting to serve as general manager for talk WEEO-FM,ryanpatrick Chambersburg, Pennsylvania/ Hagerstown, Maryland and corporate brands strategist.  Ryan was most recently local sales manager at Albany Broadcasting.  He says, “I’m thrilled to put my talk radio expertise back to work and look forward to buying-building new brands with Michael Stapleford and his incredible team.”…..KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh morning host Larry Richert announced that Pittsburgh Pirates president Frank Coonelly will serve as the keynote speaker at his “Larry Richert Honors Our Hometown Heroes” event at the Lexus Club at PNC Park on Thursday, March 6.  The annual even created by Richert honors five ordinary individuals in the community who have done extraordinary things and it benefits the Wounded Warrior Project.

Monday, February 3, 2014

| February 3, 2014

sileodanSports Talker Dan Sileo New AM Host at ‘The Mighty 1090’ in San Diego.  Sports talk personality Dan Sileo – who’s been working at stations in Florida for the past several years – joins Broadcasting Corporation of the Americas-operated XEPRS, San Diego “The Mighty 1090” where he’s the new morning drive host beginning today (2/3).  Sileo most recently was hosting a show at James Crystal Radio’s WMEN, West Palm Beach but was fired from that station in early November of 2013 after shooting off a controversial tweet.  Sileo has also worked at Beasley’s WQAM, Miami and Clear Channel’s WDAE, Tampa.  He takes over the morning show at “The Mighty 1090” from market pro Lee “Hacksaw” Hamilton who will remain with the station in another capacity.  Program director Mike Shepard says, “I am thrilled to welcome Dan to ‘San Diego’s Sports Leader, The Mighty 1090.’  Dan is a passionate, outspoken, engaging and incredibly knowledgeable sports radio personality.  His track record of major market success is remarkable and Dan is a perfect addition to the Mighty 1090’s top-rated, all-star lineup.”

wilc logoNew Talk Station to Air in DC Market.  The Laurel, Maryland-licensed WILC flips from Spanish music to a hybrid of talk and oldies.  The ZGS-owned signal is being operated by Wallis Communications under an LMA and the new format debuts today (2/3).  In a statement, the company says the program schedule is not complete but the station will be “libertarian and conservative talk radio.”  Chief operating officer and general manager Bryan Berner says, “All of us at WILC and Wallis Communications look forward to serving the people of the region and bringing a common sense, fresh perspective to talk radio in the Washington, DC market.”  Programming will include Premiere NetworksGlenn Beck, Wallis Communications’ “The Dr. K Show,” “The Capitol Hill Show with Tim Constantine” and WestwoodOne’s Dennis Miller.  Overnights will showcase vintage radio as the digitally remastered Wolfman Jack will air.

gallaghermikeMike Gallagher Causes Stir with Hoffman Death Observations.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Mike Gallagher’s observations in the aftermath of the untimely death of actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman caused such reaction that his post to his MikeOnline.com site logged more than 50,000 views and drew threats to him, his family and even his dog.  Speaking about the suspected heroin overdose that took Hoffman’s life, Gallagher stated, “Another senseless death. This time, one of the greatest actors of our time.  I wonder if he started with marijuana…If you want to get pot lovers mad, dare to even ask the question if an Oscar-winning movie star who is found dead in his bathroom with a needle stuck in his arm started with marijuana.”  Gallagher has stood firm in his stance against the legalization of marijuana as some states move to legalize and decriminalize the drug.

millerchrisTo Get Listeners to Your Website, Don’t Threaten to Bore Them!  Digital media consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller wonders why we tend to turn the marketing part of our brains off when we go “online.”  We can write good, tempting ad copy for radio but all we’ve learned goes out the window when it comes to our websites.  Miller says that one of the worst ways to get someone to your website is to offer them “all of the details” when they get there.  Not very tempting is it?  More details.  Instead, put your marketing skills to work in the same way you would with a spot.  “A good commercial will do a better job getting business through a client’s front door than a bad commercial will.  It’s the exact same thing getting people to go from your broadcast to one of your digital platforms…or move from one digital platform to another.  Opportunity is knocking.”  Read Miller’s entire piece here.

hannityseanClear Channel Tweaks Lineup at WVOC, Columbia.  The South Carolina news/talk station drops the early evening “Sports Talk” show syndicated by Learfield Sports that aired in afternoon drive and adds Premiere NetworksSean Hannity for the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm slot.  The “Sports Talk” program is hosted by Phil Kornblut, Kevin McCrarey and Tom Hayes.  According to The State, Learfield’s “Sports Talk First Edition” – which aired on CC’s sister sports talk station WXBT “560 The Team” from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm – is also being replaced.  A local sports talk show featuring former South Carolina footballer Rick Sanford will air in the time slot instead.  Learfield tells the paper it is working to place the shows on new affiliates in the market.

francesamikeMike Francesa Fans (and a Few Critics) Gather for FrancesaCon in NYC.  Sports talk pioneer Mike Francesa – afternoon drive host on CBS RADIO’s WFAN-AM/FM, New York – said after learning of the weekend event that the participants would probably be half fans, half critics.  How the numbers came down is unclear but the fact that an estimated 400 gathered at an Upper East Side bar on Saturday (2/1) to celebrate, imitate and even mock Francesa, shows how big he is in New York.  A piece by Jim Baumbach in Newsday tells the story but the short version is as follows: 23-year-old friends Michael Leboff and Ron Haraka came up with the idea of FrancesaCon as a gathering of Mike Francesa fans.  Little did they know that not only would people show up in droves, but they came dressed as Francesa, carried the appropriate props (Diet Coke cans), and did some very good imitations of the man himself.  Some even came dressed as Francesa’s longtime former partner Chris “Mad Dog” Russo and classic Francesa-Russo back-and-forths took place in the bar.  Check out Baumbach’s story in Newsday here.

fccnewFCC Grants Tribune Cross-Ownership Waivers.  The license renewals for several Tribune-owned television stations were being challenged by the United Church of Christ, the Media Alliance and the Teamsters.  The commission handed down rulings on Friday that granted renewals for the licenses though it also granted the petition for reconsideration to the UCC and Media Alliance.  The FCC also reaffirmed the permanent waiver for Tribune in the Chicago market where it owns the Chicago Tribune newspaper, WGN-TV, and WGN-AM.  In making the decision, the commission ruled that “Given the ‘uniquely long-term symbiotic relationship between [Tribune’s] broadcast stations’ and the Chicago Tribune that provides a special benefit of continued cross-ownership, coupled with the slight cost to diversity in Chicago’s massive media market of continued cross-ownership, Tribune has in fact shown sufficiently ‘unique or special circumstances’ to justify the granting of a permanent waiver of the NBCO (newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership) Rule to its Chicago licensees.”

L&L logoL&L Closes on Border Media Trust Stations.  Seven Texas radio stations that were in the Border Media Trust are now owned by Larry Wilson’s L&L Broadcasting.  The stations include San Antonio-licensed outlets news/talk KTSA, sports talk KZDC, adult hits KJXK “Jack 102.7 FM,” regional Mexican KLEY-FM, Jourdanton, regional Mexican KJAH-AM/FM, Pearsall, and CHR KTSM, Floresville.  The station group cost L&L $31 million and puts the company into market #28.

Civility

| January 28, 2014

By Richard Neer
WFAN, New York
Talk Show Host

 

neerwriterNEW YORK — Would you bet your career on winning the lottery?

Unfortunately, that’s what many of us are doing. Let me explain the analogy.

Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks won the lottery.  His rant after the NFC championship game hit all the viral markers: it was loud, it was outrageous and it reached a huge audience at exactly the right time.  Sherman went from a fine-but-obscure cornerback to a national figure literally overnight.  Blogs, tweets, Facebook pages and every other form of social media either supported or vilified him.  The fame he achieved might last the traditional fifteen minutes, or with clever marketing, catapult his off-field career to new heights.

Read More

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

| January 28, 2014

wftl logoJames Crystal Radio Misses Payroll.  According to a report in Jose Lambert’s column in the Miami Herald, staffers at the James Crystal Radio Group stations in West Palm Beach – news/talkwmen logo WFTL and sports talk WMEN – have not been paid since January 1 due to the holder of a $17 million loan to the company freezing its account.  The company is operated by Jim Hilliard and when contacted by the paper, general manager Steve Lapa stated that Hilliard is working from “6:00 am to 10:00 pm daily to resolve the situation.”  Lapa reports the staffers have missed only one pay period up until this point.  Between the two stations it’s estimated there are approximately 75 employees.

davisdarrenClear Channel Creates Networks Group; Names Davis President.  In a corporate re-alignment move, Clear Channel Media + Entertainment creates a new unified Networks group to take full advantage of its “power, reach and scale to deliver more compelling content opportunities to its partners, affiliates, advertisers and consumers, as well as providing a unique platform to its content partners and talent.”  Darren Davis, most recently EVP and GM for the national programming platforms, will lead this effort as president, Clear Channel Networks Group.  The company says that in his new role, Davis will oversee and ensure the success and close integration of the networks — Premiere Networks, Total Traffic and Weather Network, the 24/7 News Network and the iHeartRadio Network.  This new position underlines Clear Channel’s continued commitment to further expanding and transforming its business, introducing innovative new products, moving onto exciting new platforms and delivering even more unique opportunities and content to its audiences and its talent.  Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman states, “This new unified Networks group will enable us to better capitalize on our powerful relationships, creative talent and unparalleled capabilities across all platforms and maximize our infrastructure in an entirely new way to take these networks to a higher level, as well as develop new ones.  Darren is an innovative and effective leader of teams and has been a success at every role he has played at this company from the beginning as a programmer through his role as EVP and GM for the National Programming Platforms (NPP) group with Tom Poleman.  His extensive and diverse experience makes him the perfect candidate for this important new leadership role.”

grandephilPhil Grande to Appear at Rumsfeld Book Event.  In conjunction with news/talk WLSS, Sarasota, Florida, nationally syndicated financial talk personality Phil Grande – host of the “Phil’s Gang” program – will make a presentation and appear with former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld at Rumsfeld’s special event and speech at the Hyatt Regency on February 13.  Rumsfeld is touring the country promoting his new book, Rumsfeld’s Rules: Leadership Lessons in Business, Politics, War and Life (Broadside 2013).

neerrichardSports Talk: How Important Is Civility?  Unlike the Seattle Seahawks’ Richard Sherman, sports talk hosts “need to be liked.”  That’s what WFAN, New York sports talk host Richard Neer says in his column published today (1/28).  Neer writes (while referencing the notoriety being enjoyed by Sherman in the aftermath of his recent rant), “If you are talented or lucky enough to win that lottery by catching the public imagination at precisely the right moment, you can thrive by being what polite society deems ‘uncivil.’  But you’re treading a narrow line and making a lot of enemies in the process.  One misstep could end your career as suddenly as a torn ACL could end Sherman’s.” Read Neer’s entire column here.

crninternational logoCRN International Debuts Events Division; Names Kelly Travers Director.  Integrated radio marketing solutions company CRN International is establishing a new Events Division for the growing number of live functions it manages as part of client campaigns.  The company says the move will allow it “to execute with optimum efficiency for the many events it coordinates for consumer brands, ranging from local radio station appearances to high-profile nightclub galas.”  To head up the new venture is Kelly Travers who is named director of retail strategies and activation.  CRN president and founder Barry Berman states, “Live events are used when they help solve a client objective, and they have to be well executed in every detail if they hope to deliver the expected business outcome.  Establishment of this new operating unit will allow our clients to sleep at night knowing all logistics are being addressed thoroughly.”  Travers notes that CRN International orchestrated more than 300 events as part of client marketing strategies last year alone.  Among the companies that have used live events engineered by CRN as an offshoot of their radio-triggered campaigns are Fiat and Petco, to name a few.

wxgiRed Zebra’s WXGI, Richmond to Simulcast on WZEZ-FM.  In a deal that will begin on February 1, Red Zebra-operated sports talk WXGI, Richmond “ESPN 950” will expand its reach by simulcasting on WZEZ at 100.5 FM.  The agreement between Red Zebra Broadcasting and Delmarva Educational Association gives “ESPN 950” reach to the northwest of the market.  General manager Buck Albritton states, “We could not be more excited to move our dynamic on-air lineup onto the FM frequency.  Most importantly, we are increasing our signal reach to serve more sports listeners.”  The stations will begin their relationship with the broadcast of Super Bowl XVLIII on Sunday.  Program director Mitchell Bradley states, “Not only is this an opportunity to serve a greater number of listeners, we will increase the number of games that we can broadcast.  We’ll be able to carry one play-by-play lineup on our AM station while featuring another program event on the FM signal.”  Red Zebra is controlled by Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder.

radiohealthjournal logoOdds & Sods.  The syndicated public affairs program “Radio Health Journal” is celebrating the airing of its 1,100th episode this week.  The program began in 1992 and is now heard on more than 480 stations across the country.  Produced by MediaTracks Communications and hosted by Reed Pence, the show provides listeners with a wide variety of health topics, including consumer safety, healthcare, drug abuse, mental illness, food safety, and youth at risk.  Pence states, “From the start, we cared about the information that we were providing to the listener.  We’ve always concentrated on providing important and useful information in a consumer friendly way.”…..SiriusXM talk host Joe Madison will attend tonight’s State of the Union Address as a guest of Congressional Black Caucus chair Marcia L. Fudge (D-OH).  On Wednesday, Fudge will appear on Madison’s program to discuss the president’s address…..The NFL’s Baltimore Ravens will be heard on Clear Channel’s classic rock WBIG, Washington, DC next season.  Last season the team’s games were heard in the DC market on Hubbard Radio’s WFED, Washington.

espnmikemikebradshawSports Talk Frenzy in NYC.  It’s Super Bowl week in New York City and ESPN – along with the other major sports radio networks including Fox Sports Radio Network, CBS Sports Radio Network and NBC Sports Radio Network – is there.  Pictured here is Fox Sports analyst Terry Bradshaw (right) on ESPN’s Mike & Mike show this morning with Mike Golic (center) and Mike Greenberg (left).  ESPN enjoys the advantage of its fabulous Times Square studios for this year’s Super Bowl.  All this week at the nearby Sheraton Hotel in Manhattan, some 90 radio stations are broadcasting from the Super Bowl XLVIII radio row.

millergovernorDown on Main Street.  Always getting out into the community, KIDO, Boise morning drive host Kevin Miller (center) takes his show out to Ed’s 50 Café where he hosts a roundtable breakfast chat with Idaho Governor Butch Otter (right) and EntreLeadership director of coaching and community John Felkins.  EntreLeadership is part of talk superstar Dave Ramsey’s organization.  Felkins’ job involves meeting with business leaders from across the country and helping them generate improvements to their companies by applying the EntreLeadership way of doing business.

comrexACCESSComrex Rolls Out Switchboard Traversal Server.  Don’t get freaked out by the engineer-speak, this is a very cool new feature for Comrex’s ACCESS and BRIC-Link IP audio codecs.  This major upgrade to the company’s popular BRIC Traversal Server (or BRIC-TS) service for ACCESS and BRIC-Link IP audio codecs allows for presence notification, status and connection help (NAT Traversal) via a cloud-based service which is free to use for Comrex ACCESS IP codec customers.  The feature is included in all Comrex ACCESS IP Audio codecs and can be unlocked on Comrex BRIC-Link codecs for a small license unlock fee.  The company states that it will be migrating all existing BRIC-TS accounts to the new Switchboard TS today (1/28) and the changeover will be seamless for existing users.  While customers will experience an improved graphical user interface, they should note two main improvements to the management tools in Switchboard.  Specifically, “Contact Lists” and “Shares” have simplified the task of managing a large fleet of ACCESS and BRIC-Link codecs.  What this all really means is that Switchboard TS is designed to allow your BRIC codecs (such as ACCESS) to connect with each other without having to have an IT guy onsite everywhere you go!  To contact Comrex by phone, call 800-237-1776.

Cool Job Opportunity. Heritage News/Talk station in the northeast has a rare opportunity in a top 100 market.  Now accepting applications for a combo News Director/Program Director.  Great company and a great opportunity for the right person with strong forward thinking programming ideas and strategies.  Must have experience in both news and programming with a multi-platform distribution approach to include on-air, online and mobile.  Please email a resume along with any supporting materials to Gabe Hobbs at gabe@gabehobbsmedia.com.  Or you can place your materials in my DropBox at https://www.hightail.com/u/GabeHobbsMedia. No calls please.  EOE/MF

State of the Union Address, NSA Spying Controversy, Hillary Clinton in 2016, More Icy Winter Weather, 56th GRAMMYs, and Super Bowl XLVIII Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/27).  The president’s annual State of the Union address to be delivered tonight; more revelations about the extent of the NSA spying operations; speculation about Hillary Clinton’s 2016 political ambitions; the next round of frigid winter weather set to hit the Midwest, East and South this week; the 56th GRAMMY awards held Sunday; and the run-up to Super Bowl XLVIII were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, January 24, 2014

| January 24, 2014

kaymichael‘ESPN New York 98.7’ Host Michael Kay to Simulcast on the YES Network.  That’s the afternoon drive slot on the New York cable channel owned by the New York Yankees that’s been home to WFAN, New York’s Mike Francesa for the past 12 years ( a portion of that with former co-host Chris “Mad Dog” Russo).  This was not unexpected as the YES Network announces the multi-year deal that begins on February 3.  This is a good fit for YES as Michael Kay has been the play-by-play man for YES’ New York Yankees telecasts, and the host of the network’s “CenterStageyes logo with Michael Kay” interview show, since the network launched in March 2002.  He also hosts various programming specials on YES.  Network president of production and programming John J. Filippelli says, “Michael Kay is a New York sports institution, having covered the New York sports scene for more than 30 years.  Michael personifies the New York sports scene.  He boasts a constant stream of A-list guests, and gives passionate New York sports fans a platform to exchange their views.  Michael fits in perfectly with our programming lineup.  We also thank Mike Francesa for his 12-year partnership with YES.  Mike – along with Chris Russo when they co-hosted our simulcast for the first six years – played an important role in the launch and growth of YES.  We wish him all the best.”  Kay comments, “I’m really happy Don LaGreca and I are going to be simulcast on YES.  We have a great time doing the ESPN Radio show and that will come through even more with the visual aspect.  While it is still predominantly a radio show, I don’t think you should ignore the camera in the room and we are going to have fun with that.  The national reach of YES is going to allow even more people access.  And the people at YES, where I have worked since the onset, do everything first class so I’m sure the show is going to be presented in a great manner.  I can’t wait.”

nielsen logoNielsen’s ‘Connected Life Report’ Indicates Connected Car Becoming More Important.  The results of a new study by Nielsen dubbed the “Connected Life Report” shows consumers buying new vehicles are increasingly aware of the connected car and for many it is an important feature in buying a new car.  Nielsen says its study reveals “63% of connected car drivers said they looked for built-in features during the car-buying process.  Among those who purchased connected cars, the features drivers said were important included internet-enabled navigation (79%), safety alerts (76%), vehicle diagnostics (74%), and entertainment connectivity such as voice controls for communications and streaming audio (80%).”  When it comes to which connected car features were important to consumers, 42% stated that entertainment connectivity was “very important.”  (Fifty-one percent said emergency connectivity was “very important” and 49% stated internet-enabled navigation was “very important.”)

wherearetheynowEnvision’s ‘Where Are They Now?’ Comes to Madison.  At Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s sports talk WOZN, Madison, Envision Radio Networks’ “Where Are They Now?” with Ahmad Rashad joins the programming.  The company says the daily, 60-second vignette “tracks down all of the big names in sports and gives you their whereabouts since leaving the game.”  With “The Zone 1670 AM” now carrying the program, “Where Are They Now? with Ahmad Rashad” joins over 100 affiliates on the Envision Sports Network.

ricardorickieCBS RADIO’s WIP, Philadelphia to Broadcast ‘Wing Bowl 22’ in Spanish.  In keeping with this year’s theme of “doubles” due to this being the 22nd “Wing Bowl,” the action taking place at the Wells Fargo Center on Friday, January 31 will also be broadcast in Spanish on WIP’s HD3 channel.  WIP host Rickie Ricardo will be the Spanish play-by-play announcer for the world-famous chicken wing eating contest produced by the sports talk station.  Ricardo comments, “It’s an honor for me to be the first Spanish-language voice of this grand event known as ‘Wing Bowl 22!'”  Neither the World Series in baseball nor the postseason action of the NFL has the worldwide impact of the battle between Man vs Chicken Wing.  This will be a monumental moment in my career as well as for the huge Hispanic fan base.  I pledge to add the spice and heat of our culture to each mouthful.”  Ricardo is a radio veteran of 33 years and one of the country’s most high-profile bilingual air personalities.  Ricardo has been the play-by-play announcer for the Philadelphia Phillies Spanish broadcasts for the past seven years.  He is also the Spanish-language voice of the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles and programming consultant for cable’s Music Choice Television Networks.

americanpublicmediaPublic Radio Chiefs Support FM Chip Push.  The chief executive officers of both NPR and American Public Media co-authored an opinion piece in the public media trade mag Current.org in which they express support for the move to activate FM chips in smartphones.  NPR acting president and CEO Paul Haaga and American Public Media CEO Jonnpr McTaggart write that because of the public’s need to have access to information during emergencies, the need is critical.  “Because of public radio’s role as a trusted media and information resource and an essential public-safety asset, we hope all stations will join us in calling upon the mobile phone industry to install and activate FM chips in all cellphones and smartphones.”  The two ask public stations to do two things: sign their stations up for NextRadio so listeners already using the app can identify and listen to said stations; and encourage listeners to contact their cell carriers and request they install and activate FM chips in smartphones.  Read the entire piece here.

Chris Christie Scandals Top Talkers TenTM.  The most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week of January 20-24 was the Chris Christie scandals.  Coming in at #2 was the scrutiny and criticism of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act.  At #3 was New York Governor Andrew Cuomo‘s and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s attacks on conservatives and following at #4 was the Eastern freeze and Western drought tied with global warming.  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.  To view this week’s entire chart, click here.

levinmarkTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  Cumulus Media Networks announces the Mark Levin show is added to the schedule at KNTF, Chico, California and the “Red Eye Radio” show joins the programming at KKAT, Salt Lake City and KBHS, Hot Springs, Arkansas…..Radio America’s Peter Schiff show joins the following stations: KFNN, Phoenix; WCKG-AM, Chicago; KLPW, St. Louis; WRSB, Rochester; WBNR, Poughkeepsie; KRAC, Marysville, California; KWBG, Boone, Iowa; and WLNA, Beacon, New York…..The XtreMedia-syndicated Kevin McCullough show is now airing in PM drive at WSHO-AM New Orleans.

wtmj logoCool Job Opportunity.  The Journal Broadcast Group is seeking an executive producer, news/web for news/talk WTMJ Radio/WTMJ.com in Milwaukee.  This full time job requires a bachelor’s degree in journalism, communication, media or related field.  Skills required include: Strong news judgment; ability to work and make vital decisions under pressure; must have sound knowledge of journalistic standards and libel laws; excellent written and verbal communication skills necessary; strong interpersonal, organizational and leadership skills essential; digital/web skills; on-air abilities commensurate with market.  Must have a minimum of 3 years as a reporter/anchor.  Assistant news director, news director or similar background preferred.  Duties will include: lead news staff and day-to-day operations of the news department.  Ensure that news vision, disciplines and standards are effectively implemented and monitored.  Schedule employees to ensure optimum staffing of the 24-hour news operation.  Oversee story assignments.  Report and anchor daily newscasts.  Supervise and participate in severe weather coverage.  Personnel management, maintain budgets and respond to other duties as assigned by the director of programming and news.  Send cover letter, links and resume to: Tom Langmyer, 720 E. Capitol Drive, Milwaukee, WI 53212 or tlangmyer@jrn.com.  Journal Broadcast Group is an equal opportunity employer.