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Quinn and Rose Exit WPGB, Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting that Jim Quinn (left) and Rose Tennent (right) were unable to come to terms on a contract renewal with the Clear Channel news/talk station. An official statement reads: “WPGB tried to reach new terms with Jim Quinn and Rose Tennent, but as that was unsuccessful, they will be moving on and we support and thank them for the contributions they have made to Clear Channel Media + Entertainment’s WPGB over the years.” “The War Room with Quinn and Rose” was syndicated to a number of stations including Radio Livingston-owned WYSL, Avon, New York (Rochester market) and that station termed the duo’s departure a firing and said it received 10 minutes’ notice yesterday morning that the show would not be coming. Instead, the station was fed David Bloomquist’s morning program emanating from WWVA, Wheeling, West Virginia. The Post-Gazette reports Bloomquist will be replacing Quinn and Rose on WPGB effective immediately. Quinn and Rose had hosted the morning show on WPGB since it flipped to news/talk in 2004.
PodcastOne Enlists Ellis. Novelist and screenwriter Bret Easton Ellis (“Less Than Zero” and “American Psycho”) debuted his Courtside Entertainment Group‘s PodcastOne podcast yesterday (11/18) with Kanye West as his first guest (the two are pictured here, Ellis on the left, West on the right). “Bret is a writer’s writer with a huge fan base,” declares PodcastOne chairman/chief executive officer Norm Pattiz. “Now, his fans have the unique opportunity to listen and learn how one of the most fascinating minds in popular culture ticks.” Writers, directors, actors, and musicians will join Ellis each week to discuss issues that keep the creative world alive. Other PodcastOne personalities and brands include Dr. Drew (Pinsky), Dan Patrick, Jay Mohr, (“Stone Cold”) Steve Austin, Adam Carolla, Kathie Lee Gifford, Brandi Glanville, Dennis Miller, NPR New York, NPR Los Angeles, and 60 Minutes.
Is This the New Normal for On-Air Talent? Brainstorming for ways to raise money for his New Normal internet radio venture, always-inventive talk host/entrepreneur Tom Leykis put himself up for sale on Ebay. Listeners have been curious how they can spend quality time with Leykis, so the personality asked them to “put their money where their mouth is” and held an auction that began a week ago Sunday (11/10) with an opening bid of $9.99. Five days later (11/15), there were over 90 bids. By shelling out $7,800, the winner will hang out with Leykis for the afternoon, which means getting picked up by the “Blow Me Up” host and taken for a spin in his Tesla “Model S Signature” electric sedan. The experience concludes by being Leykis’ guest in the New Normal Studios in Burbank to watch the host do his live show.
BIA/Kelsey Study Projects Radio’s Over-the-Air Revenue to Decrease Slightly to 10.6% of Total U.S. Local Ad Revenue by 2017. In the midyear update to its Annual U.S. Local Media Forecast (2012-2017), BIA/Kelsey projects total U.S. local media ad revenues to grow from $132.9 billion in 2013 to $151.5 billion in 2017, representing a 2.8% compound annual growth rate, growing faster than the firm originally forecast earlier this year. For over-the-air radio, that 10.6% of total ad revenue amounts to a bit over $16 billion. Not surprisingly, the fastest predicted growth will be in online/digital with a compound annual growth rate of 13.8% from 2013 to 2017. But the fastest growing segment is expected to be location-targeted mobile advertising. The firm expects that to rise from $2.9 billion in 2013 to $10.8 billion in 2017, accounting for 52% of overall U.S. mobile ad spending in 2017. Total mobile ad spending will grow from $7 billion in 2013 to $20.7 billion in 2017. BIA/Kelsey chief economist Mark Fratrik states, “A range of factors will drive local ad revenues higher in 2014 and through the end of the forecast period. A slightly improving U.S. economy, positive outlook by investors, the 2014 elections and Olympics, as well as ad spending around the Affordable Health Care Act, which comes out of the local ad pie, will all contribute to increased local ad spending.” For the first time, BIA/Kelsey’s forecast breaks out the share of ad revenues attributed to print and over-the-air (O-T-A) versus online/digital for Yellow Pages, newspapers, television and radio. The following represent individual media segment shares of the overall local media market by 2017and how those shares have moved from their 2013 position: Newspapers Print: decreasing to 9.1% in 2017; Newspapers Online/Digital: remaining steady at 2.4% in 2017; Yellow Pages Print: decreasing to 1.5% in 2017; Yellow Pages Digital/Online: increasing to 1.9% in 2017; Radio O-T-A: decreasing slightly to 10.6% in 2017; Radio Online/Digital: growing to 0.5% in 2017; TV O-T-A: decreasing slightly to 14.6% in 2017; and TV Online/Digital: growing to 0.7% in 2017. BIA/Kelsey updates its study in advance of its upcoming conference titled, “LEADING IN LOCAL: Interactive Local Media,” taking place December 10-12 in San Francisco.
Tubes? What Century Do You Think This Is? The transition in audio production from analog to digital over the past couple of decades has been a boon for radio. No more splicing tape, no more finding the right tape or piece of tape, and no more of those those dreaded carts. Thankfully they’ve been replaced by a click on the screen. Tape hiss is something none of us miss, either. However, in some ways, digital audio production is too clean. So after ditching tubes and tapes for transistors, integrated circuits and hard drives, some people have gone back to analog for one phase of the audio chain: the pre-amp. Tube pre-amps and compressors have sonic attributes that cannot yet be replicated with digital modeling. Tubes provide a warmth that comes from semi-random, subtle distortion on certain harmonics. That sounds like it would be a bad thing, but it’s actually a good thing. In an exclusive article posted today (11/19), syndicated talk show host Michael W. Dean, co-host of GCN‘s The Freedom Feens, writes, “Tube pre-amps used to be in every radio and music studio. Not so anymore. Tube pre-amps are one reason (of many) why Frank Sinatra and Black Sabbath both sound better than most music today.” Dean concludes, “Tube pre-amps can make today’s talk radio sound better too. And in the past few years, the price of decent tube gear has gone down remarkably.” To read all of Michael W. Dean’s informative article, please click here.
Reynolds and Sorenson Join Harris Broadcast. Steve Reynolds is appointed chief technology officer – where he will be responsible for product development – while Skip Sorenson is named chief financial officer – where he will lead financial and IT. Both men report to Harris Broadcast chief executive officer Charlie Vogt, who comments, “We have built a management team that is laser-focused on the challenges and opportunities facing our industry, customers, and partners. Steve and Skip join an outstanding team that shares a clear vision to lead the market in technology innovation and fuel a customer-first culture.” According to Reynolds, “Harris Broadcast is well-positioned to serve an industry facing transformational change that will require innovative media and networking solutions. Charlie [Vogt, who took over in July] has assembled an impressive management team that is united by a vision and product direction for accelerating our growth prospects.” Sorenson remarks, “Harris Broadcast has a powerful combination of financial strength, strong leadership, an enviable customer roster, and global scale.” Reynolds previously was Comcast‘s senior vice president of Consumer Premises Technology; senior vice president of technology at OpenTV; and he has held executive-level positions at ACTV, Intellocity, and TV Guide. Sorenson formerly was executive vice president/chief financial officer for CompuCom; chief financial officer of Lineage Power; and was senior vice president/chief accounting officer at AECOM Technology.
NAB Supports Patent Transparency and Improvements Act of 2013. The Patent Transparency and Improvements Act of 2013 – introduced by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Committee member Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) – would increase transparency in patent ownership, assist customers who are sued for patent infringement by allowing the case against them to be stayed while the manufacturer litigates the suit, target the widespread sending of frivolous demand letters, and improve resources for small businesses that are targeted in patent infringement suits, among other provisions. Leahy says, “America’s patent system is the envy of the world, but unfortunately some bad actors are misusing the system to sue unsuspecting consumers or extort monetary settlements by making misleading demands.” In one example, a company called Personal Audio, LLC has been serving podcasters with bills for licensing fees claiming it holds the patent on the technology being used to produce podcasts. NAB chairman and CEO Gordon Smith states, “NAB thanks Chairman Leahy and Senators Lee and Whitehouse for their leadership in introducing the Patent Transparency and Improvements Act, legislation designed to combat ‘patent trolls’ that are a drain on both the U.S. economy and the broadcast industry. This legislation deters those entities that acquire patents primarily as a litigation tool while protecting the true innovators who keep our economy moving forward. We look forward to working with these lawmakers and other patent reform advocates on legislation that supports a sensible patent system.”
Odds & Sods. Clear Channel’s news/talk WGST, Atlanta will feature former WSB-TV, Atlanta consumer reporter Dale Cardwell hosting a daily program airing from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm beginning January 6. He’ll also produce features for the company’s country WUBL, “94.9 The Bull” and alternative WRDA “Radio 105.7.”…..CBS Radio’s all-news KNX, Los Angeles continues its “KNX On Your Corner” live remote series on December 13 profiling West Hollywood. In addition to Dick Helton and Vicky Moore anchoring from 5:00 am to 9:00 am, Frank Mottek hosting the “KNX Business Hour” from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm and Chris Sedens and Diane Thompson doing afternoon drive live from The Abbey Food & Bar on Robertson Boulevard, programming will examine WeHo’s economy, key issues, vibrant club scene and distinctive landmarks. Mayor Abbe Land will be among the civic leaders scheduled to appear throughout the special day of programming…..KPBS public radio and television in San Diego votes to join SAG-AFTRA. Fifty-five staffers will join the union and are preparing to negotiate their first contract. KPBS is the second public media station in Southern California to organize with SAG-AFTRA this year. In January, staff of KPCC, Pasadena did the same. SAG-AFTRA also represents public media workers at NPR, KQED in San Francisco, WNYC in New York, and other stations…..In a bit of television news, longtime CNBC business reporter and “Closing Bell” host Maria Bartiromo is jumping to Fox Business Network after her contract expires at the end of this week. Bartiromo spent the past 20 years with CNBC.
KDKA, Pittsburgh Begins Second Annual ‘Hometown Heros’ Search. CBS Radio’s KDKA, Pittsburgh “NewsRadio 1020” and morning drive host Larry Richert are beginning their search for five local men or women to honor for their service to the community. Five heroes will be honored at a dinner on Thursday, March 6, 2014 at the Lexus Club at PNC Park. Each hero will also receive $1000 to donate to a 501(C)(3) charity of his or her choice. Richert states, “In our first outing last year, our heroes were amazing and inspirational people. I was honored to have had the chance to share their stories. Again this year we’re looking for people who do what they do without expecting recognition. These are your friends and neighbors who may have changed a life or lives with a simple act…or something they may do on a daily basis.”
‘American Story’ Host Bob Dotson Visits Embry Riddle and WNDB, Daytona Beach. WNDB, Daytona Beach talk show host Marc Bernier (left) is seen here at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University with NBC’s “Today” correspondent Bob Dotson (right) discussing storytelling before a live audience at the school and simulcast live on WNDB. In addition to his work with NBC, Dotson is also author of the new book American Story: A Lifetime Search for Ordinary Americans Doing Extraordinary Things (Viking Adult 2013). This was Bernier’s 100th edition of his Town Hall series on WNDB. In addition to the live broadcast, Bernier posts the program to YouTube and his own BookMarc ROKU channel.
ObamaCare Criticism, Obama Approval Numbers Sinking, George Zimmerman Arrest, Toronto Mayor Case, Midwest Tornadoes, and the Soaring Dow Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/18). Scrutiny of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act; President Obama’s approval ratings drop; the arrest of George Zimmerman on gun charges; the latest action taken against Toronto Mayor Rob Ford in connection with his drug scandal; the tornadoes that devastated portions of the Midwest; and the near-record close of the Dow were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.