Tag: "WIBC"

Friday, November 17, 2017

| November 17, 2017

FCC Bids Adieu to Cross-Ownership Ban.  As expected, at yesterday’s meeting of the Federal Communications Commission, the 42-year-old regulation that prevented (in all but a few grandfathered cases) the cross-ownership of broadcast facilities and newspapers was eliminated on a party line vote of 3-2.  The majority under Republican FCC Chairman Ajit Pai say the change will “provide broadcasters and local newspapers with a greater opportunity to compete in the digital age.”  The Commission also struck the Radio/Television Cross-Ownership Rule, and the Television Joint Sales Agreement Attribution Rule.  In his statement, Chairman Pai says, “It’s a simple proposition: the media ownership regulations of 2017 should match the media marketplace of 2017.  That’s the proposition the FCC vindicates today — nothing more, nothing less.  And it’s about time.  For few of the FCC’s rules are staler than our broadcast ownership regulations.  Notwithstanding the congressional command that we review and update these rules every four years, they have remained stuck in the past.  After too many years of cold shoulders and hot air, this agency finally drags its broadcast ownership rules into the digital age.”  Lastly, in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the Commission decides to establish, and seeks comment on how to implement and structure, a new incubator program in which established broadcasters would help facilitate entry by new voices into the marketplace by providing access to capital and/or technical expertise to new entrants and small businesses.  The program has broad support and will help promote ownership diversity in the broadcast industry.

The Entercom-CBS RADIO Merger Closes.  The deal that merges the venerable CBS RADIO stations with Philadelphia-based Entercom has closed.  The merger that’s been the subject of so much industry news – and a lot of speculation throughout the process – creates a new Entercom that operates 235 radio stations.  For some industry watchers, the fact that it also means the end of the CBS RADIO company as we’ve known it for all these years brings about some mixed emotions.  Though certainly the end of an era, the general consensus is that the CBS radio stations were languishing in a company whose stated main focus is video content.  In announcing the closing, Entercom president and CEO David Field states, “We are thrilled to officially close our transformational merger with CBS RADIO and welcome their talented employees and iconic brands to Entercom.  We look forward to capitalizing on our unique positions in sports, news, music, podcasting, live events, digital and more to provide outstanding experiences for our listeners and compelling integrated marketing opportunities for our advertisers.  We now have the scale and capabilities to drive meaningful growth and to compete more effectively with other media for a larger share of advertising dollars.  We also look forward to helping to elevate the radio industry, which remains massively undervalued by advertisers despite having emerged as America’s #1 reach medium, delivering outstanding ROI to customers.”

Entercom Grabs Twins Baseball for WCCO-AM.  After several years airing on alternative KQGO (owned by the Pohlad family’s Northern Lights Broadcasting), Minnesota Twins baseball play-by-play is returning to news/talk WCCO-AM, beginning with the 2018 season.  The Pohlad family also owns the team and apparently was ready to admit that their own alt rock station and Twins baseball weren’t a great match.  Entercom says that sister stations adult hits KZJK “104.1 Jack FM” and country KMNB “BUZ’N @102.9” will also cover Twins’ players, coaches and broadcasters year-round.  Entercom president of sports Mike Dee states, “We are thrilled to welcome the Twins back to their iconic home on WCCO.  As the unrivaled leader in local audio sports rights across the nation, Entercom is committed to growing our play-by-play roster where it makes smart, strategic sense.  Clearly the Twins are a blue-chip franchise on the rise.  As a newcomer to the Minneapolis-Saint Paul market, we are especially grateful to the Pohlad family and [Twins president and CEO] Dave St. Peter for their confidence in us.  With the addition of the Twins, we are proud to be the flagship home for 45 professional teams across the four major sports, including 14 in Major League Baseball.”

Entercom Unveils New Business Practices.  Among the numerous press releases regarding format flips on the first day of the new Entercom (see those below in the music radio section), the company says it is implementing three new business policies which “better reflect radio’s strong value proposition as America’s #1 reach medium and Entercom’s position as the leading provider of live, original, local audio content.  These policies will enable the company to provide greater value for advertisers while improving the listener experience.”  The changes are: 1) Reduce commercial advertising inventory by 5% in order to improve the listener experience and increase the entertainment to ad ratio for Entercom’s advertising partners; 2) Prohibit cash infusion advertising deals which the company views as a poor business practice and inconsistent with its strategic goals; and 3) Eliminate future sales of advertising with spot resellers which like cash infusion deals, the company views as a poor business practice and inconsistent with its strategic goals.  Entercom COO Weezie Kramer adds, “With our enhanced platform and scale, Entercom is committed to evolving our business practices for the benefit of Entercom’s listeners and advertising partners.”

Matt Shepard Returns to WDFN, Detroit.  As reported by the Detroit News, Motor City sports media personality Matt Shepard is returning to the airwaves at iHeartMedia’s sports talker WDFN, some seven months after he exited the station.  His “Shep, Shower ‘N’ Shave” program will air from 6:00 am to 9:00 am daily.  Shepard had been on the station since 2001, but was ousted in a round of budget cuts back in April.  iHeartMedia Detroit SVP of programming Tony Travatto states, “We’re excited to have Matt back on WDFN.  Nobody in Detroit sports radio has more access to what’s really happening in the locker rooms than Matt.”

ESPN Wraps 18 Years of ‘Mike & Mike.  Industry eyes are all over the EntercomCBS RADIO closing and some of the immediate changes the new Entercom is making, but another end-of-an-era event took place today as Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic did their last morning radio show together, signing off the ESPN Radio’s “Mike & Mike” show.  In addition to talking sports, the duo also aired messages of well-wishes from fans, including Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts and Michael Strahan, Adam Schefter, Dick Vitale, Dan Patrick, President Bill Clinton and more.  ESPN president John Skipper appeared on the program to announce that ESPN and The Walt Disney Company will build a children’s playground in honor of Mike & Mike at a location to be determined, in collaboration with the non-profit organization KaBOOM.  On November 27, the new “Golic & Wingo” show will debut featuring Mike Golic, Trey Wingo and Mike Golic Jr. (who joins for the 6:00 am hour).  Mike Greenberg is staying with ESPN for television duties.

Emmis Names New Indy Execs. In its home-base market, Emmis Communications announces Bob Richards is the new vice president and market manager for Indianapolis.  The city is home to heritage news/talk WIBC-FM, sports talk WFNI “1070 The Fan,” country WLHK “97.1 Hank FM,” and adult contemporary WYXB “B105.7.”  At the same time, Taja Graham rises from director of sales for music to vice president and director of sales for the entire cluster.  Emmis president Patrick Walsh comments, “Bob’s leadership has been instrumental in building our dominant position in the Indianapolis market.  His reputation for building great teams and winning content strategies is legendary.  We look forward to Bob applying his ample skills to fortify our culture and performance in the coming years.”  Richards takes over for Chuck Williams who had joined Emmis Indianapolis as VP/market manager in August of 2016.

Courtemanche Appointed DOS at Alpha Media West Palm Beach.  At the West Palm Beach cluster of Alpha Media stations, Jason Courtemanche is named to the director of sales position, effective December 4.  The station group includes news/talk WFTL and sports talk WMEN “640 The Hurricane.”  During his career, Courtemanche has been a VP of sales for Cumulus Media in Los Angeles and iHeartMedia in Chicago.   He also held the sales manager title at WBBM in Chicago.  Alpha Media West Palm Beach market manager Elizabeth Hamma says, “Jason is a natural leader who brings a depth of knowledge in marketing, digital and events that will help us further drive results for our listeners and clients.  His vision, leadership, enthusiasm and innate ability to coach will take our cluster to the next level.”

Kilmeade at WPHT Speaker Series.  Pictured above is WPHT, Philadelphia afternoon drive personality Rich Zeoli (left) chatting with FOX News Channel and FOX News Radio star Brian Kilmeade (right) before a live audience as part of the 1210 WPHT Speaker Series.  In addition to talking about issues, Kilmeade promoted his new book, Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans: The Battle That Shaped America’s Destiny (Sentinel, 2017).  Kilmeade signed every attendee’s copy of the book.

Roy Moore Sexual Conduct Allegations Top News/Talk Story for Week of November 13-17.  Accusations of sexually predatory behavior by Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, ranking #1 on the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week is the various celebrities and Al Franken sexual assault allegations.  Number three on the chart is the Republican tax reform plan, followed by the GOP proposal to eliminate the ObamaCare individual mandate 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.

 

 

New New Entercom Flips Two CHRs – WBMP, New York and KVIL, Dallas – to Alternative.  Two of its first major moves post-closing for Entercom is to drop the CHR format on WBMP “AMP 92.3” and KVIL “AMP 103.7” and replace them with alternative rock.  Regarding the NYC flip, the company announces, “Alternative rock returns to radio for the first time since 2011 in the largest media market in the country with the launch of ‘ALT 92.3 FM, New York’s New Alternative.’”  Entercom president of programming Pat Paxton states, “In a city where alternative music is a way of life, we are thrilled to finally fill the void in radio in New York City.  With the launch of ‘ALT 92.3,’ we will cater to the passionate audience who have helped define the genre for decades – and we couldn’t be more excited to turn up the volume.”  KVIL is being branded “ALT 103.7” and both stations are playing 10,000 commercial free songs in a row.

Chicago’s WJMK Drops Classic Hits for Classic Hip Hop.  Another format flip by post-merger Entercom comes in Chicago where WJMK becomes classic hip hop and R&B as “The New 104.3 JAMS, Chicago’s #1 for Throwbacks.”  The station aims to “capture the essence of Chicago from when the Bulls won six NBA championships, to when locals like Oprah and Barack Obama became homegrown heroes.”  Entercom president of programming Pat Paxton says, “The time has come to usher in a brand new chapter in Chicago radio — a station that is designed by Chicagoans exclusively FOR Chicago.”

 

 

John DeBella Celebrates 35 Years on Air.  Philadelphia radio legend John DeBella – pictured above with the staff of Beasley Media Group’s classic rock WMGK-FM – celebrates 35 years on the air in the City of Brotherly Love.  The staff, led by program director Bill Weston and Beasley Media Group Philadelphia vice president/market manager Joe Bell burst into the studio and surprised DeBella while he was on the air.  Weston says, “It’s a testament to John’s talent and passion that he continues to connect with his audience in such a powerful way and is still going strong 35 years into the game.”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  At Des Moines CHR KKDM “107.5 KISS FM,” iHeartMedia names Eric White afternoon personality, music director and imaging director, effective November 27, 2017.  iHM Des Moines SVP of programming Greg Chance says, “Eric has skills in a lot of different lanes of our business.  We look forward to working with him, driving his passion for radio and to build his career. I trust this will be another great chapter and member of ‘107.5 KISS FM.’”  White has been serving the company at its Philadelphia cluster…..Bonneville International – operating CHR KMVQ, San Francisco “99.7 NOW” under an LMA from the Entercom Divestiture Trust – names “Jazzy” Jim Archer program director.   He’s been serving as APD and music director of the station since 2011…..The results of the #Change4Change Radiothon produced by the Premiere Networks-syndicated urban morning show “The Breakfast Club” are in and more than $700,000 was raised to benefit the The Gathering for Justice social justice advocacy organization. The radiothon featured on-air personalities DJ Envy, Angela Yee, and Charlamagne Tha God encouraging listeners to donate in support of the organization that sponsors movements including The Women’s March, Justice League NYC and Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp…..SiriusXM announces the coming launch of a classic hip hop channel programmed by LL Cool J.  The channel, expected to launch in early 2018, will feature a wide range of classic hip hop content, music, interviews and in-depth retrospectives curated and presented by LL Cool J, as well as other innovators of hip hop music.….ABC Radio is offering a three-hour, country music special, “My Kind of Christmas Countdown,” hosted by Grammy Award-winning country superstar Reba McEntire.  In the program, McEntire will count down to Christmas by looking at seasonal favorites, including traditions, decorations, presents, and some of this year’s best holiday music.  In addition, Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton, Brett Eldredge, Kelsea Ballerini, Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood share their own holiday favorites and memories.

Duane Doobie Jr’s Occasional Picks: Don’t Miss This Exciting New Christmas Album from Australian Sensations, The TEN Tenors – and the Proceeds Benefit St. Jude Children’s Hospital.  When Australia’s world famous musical export, The TEN Tenors, decided to make a Christmas album, they weren’t content with just putting out an album of their wildly popular blend of traditional and seasonal favorites – they decided to make it a fundraising tool to help children.  Partnering with Children’s Hospital in Brisbane, the album shot to #1 and has gone on to raise over $1 million.  Now, the group brought the project to America, partnering with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital contributing to their joint mission as well as charting top 10 on the Billboard classical and crossover charts.  St. Jude Children’s Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Support from musical groups like The TEN Tenors helps ensure families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.  The Ten Tenors are returning to the United States this December for an 18-date tour of the East Coast and Midwest. The Australian vocal group, whose voices generate “pure electricity and undeniable drama” according to the Los Angeles Times, will be performing repertoire from their album Our Christmas Wish.  Selections from this great and timely album include traditional standards such as “Joy to the World” and “O Holy Night,” as well as John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s “Happy Xmas (War Is Over),” “Feliz Navidad” by José Feliciano, “White Christmas” by Irving Berlin, and “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” the Mariah Carey hit that’s become a holiday evergreen.  Watch TTT perform a medley of songs from Our Christmas Wish by clicking here.  Now enjoying their 20th year together, The Ten Tenors playfully blend rock, pop and opera, and are “truly incandescent when performing at the full strength of 10,” according to VarietyThe New York Times says their “unique mix of the traditional and unconventional offers a fresh and highly-original take on the staid traditions of opera.”  To download songs from Our Christmas Wish for airplay on your station, please click here.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

| May 3, 2017

WIBC, Indy Lays Out New Programming Lineup. Recently, Indianapolis talk personality Greg Garrison announced he’s stepping down from his daily midday show on Emmis Communications’ news/talk WIBC, Indianapolis.  Now, the station announces the complete programming changes – effective June 12 – that come with filling his role.  Morning drive host Tony Katz adds a two-hour, 11:00 am to 1:00 pm show to his duties; the station moves “Chicks on the Right” to the mid-morning 9:00 am to 11:00 am slot and moves the “Hammer & Nigel” show from evenings to the 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm daypart.  WIBC program director David Woods states, “There is no replacing an icon like Greg.  “You ask, ‘what is the best way to serve, inform and entertain our growing audience?’ What we arrived at is a lineup that offers familiar personalities with the addition of energetic voices that will continue to engage listeners in spirited conversation and conservative viewpoints…Tony Katz coming back on from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm will allow us to syndicate his show via Network Indiana and possibly other outlets.  And ‘Hammer & Nigel,’ the newcomers to our daytime lineup, have become popular voices on WIBC, as frequent guest hosts for the Chicks and the nationally syndicated Chad Benson show.”  Woods says that in other programming news, Abdul-Hakim Shabazz “has decided to step away from his daily show to spend more time on his expanding website, indypolitics.org and other business interests.  He will continue to host a weekend show and be a regular contributor to wibc.com.”

Tomi Lahren and TheBlaze Settle.  Conservative media figure Tomi Lahren and Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze have reached a settlement, ending their legal tussle over Lahren’s employment.  The case was set in motion by Lahren’s appearance on “The View” in which she revealed she’s pro-choice.  That move apparently rankled Beck and TheBlaze management.  She claimed that as a result, she was fired and kept from her Facebook page.  TheBlaze countersued, claiming Lahren was not fired but actually suspended with pay and that Lahren was in violation of her employment agreement.  Now, both sides agree to a settlement in which she gains control of her Facebook page and she agrees to return video she shot for TheBlaze to the organization.  The rest of the settlement terms are confidential.

Free Speech, the Law, and Alex Jones. TALKERS magazine legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman writes today about talk show host and Infowars chief Alex Jones’ recent legal matters.  While battling his ex-wife for primary custody of their three children, Jones was sued by yogurt maker Chobani for statements he’s made about the company and its operations in Idaho that Chobani says were made with reckless regard for the truth.  See Weisman’s analysis of the case here.

Feature: Sky’s the Limit.  In today’s feature story, TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian writes that, “within the professional and collegiate sports worlds, Skyview Networks is vastly well-known, but the company is seeking to float its nameplate wider in hopes of achieving a higher profile.”  He quotes Skyview founder and president Ken Thiele, who says, “We want to get a message out there to content creators, whether it be national syndication or focusing on content, that we provide a distribution platform and a sales force to help monetize what they create.”  Even more, Thiele tells TALKERS that Skyview is a “turnkey experience” for clients that has more to offer than its competitors.  “They do not have the software and systems that we can provide to create the efficiencies…Skyview is the only one that can deliver a custom-form experience to its clients.”  Thiele defines his company as one that’s heavily involved in satellite distribution, network automation, affiliate relations, inventory management systems, and national audio sales – a full-service company to advertisers, syndicators, and broadcast networks.  Read more here.

Hugh Hewitt to Host 2017 Bold Gold Foundation Event. Nationally syndicated talk host and conservative media commentator Hugh Hewitt will serve as the keynote speaker at The Bold Gold Broadcast and Media Foundation’s 3rd Annual Event and Dinner on Tuesday, June 27.  The Foundation, formed by Bold Gold Media Group president Vince Benedetto, is working to help young professionals enter broadcast media fields, with an emphasis on news and talk formats.  Hewitt’s Salem Radio Network show airs on Bold Gold’s WTRW-FM, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and WPSN-AM, Honesdale, Pennsylvania in morning drive.  At the event, the Bold Gold Foundation will honor local NEPA business leader Brandon Igdalsky, president & CEO of Pocono Raceway, with a special citizenship award.

TALKERS News Notes. A shakeup takes place at The Heritage Foundation in Washington, DC as the board of trustees, by a unanimous vote, asks for and receives the resignation of president and CEO Jim DeMint.  The board then elected founder Ed Feulner president and CEO while it searches for a permanent successor.  This change comes after a “comprehensive and independent review of the entire Heritage organization” in which the board “determined there were significant and worsening management issues that led to a breakdown of internal communications and cooperation.  While the organization has seen many successes, Jim DeMint and a handful of his closest advisers failed to resolve these problems.”…..More big numbers for FOX Sports Radio’s Colin Cowherd.  The network reports that total podcast listens for “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” grew to a new record high of 6.8 million across all platforms for the month of April, as measured by ART19.  FSRN says this number is the result of more than a million additional podcast listens since last month and comes as the AM/FM broadcast hits the 150-affiliate mark…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that WLS-AM, Chicago afternoon host Steve Dahl is off the air due to yesterday’s surgery for diverticulitis.  Dahl hopes to be back on the radio next week…..Alpha Media announces its news/talk KGLO and standards KRIB won a total of 11 awards in the Small Market Division of the 2016 Iowa Broadcast News Association contest.  KGLO news director Bob Fisher picked up 10 awards, including three 1st place honors.  KGLO and/or KRIB have won 89 awards over the past 13 years.  Alpha Media Mason City market manager Dalena Barz comments, “Our Mason City news and sports team have again been recognized as some of the best news professionals in the state.  Bob Fisher, Tim Fleming and Jesse Stewart earned 11 awards…it’s an honor to work alongside broadcasters of this caliber!”…..KNSS-AM/FM, Wichita adds “Take Your Health To Heart,” featuring nationally recognized cardiologist Dr. Joseph Galichia, to its Saturday program schedule…..During the last month Compass Media Networks reports adding new affiliates for nationally syndicated talk host Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo, who picks up KZNG-AM, Hot Springs, Arkansas; KIUL-AM/KYUL-AM, Garden City, Kansas; and KSIS-AM, Sedalia, Missouri.  The nationally syndicated Lars Larson show also is added to the program lineup at KSIS-AM.

Hillary Clinton Interview, GOP Health Care Proposal, North Korea Threats, Colbert’s Trump Attack, Jimmy Kimmel Health Care Rant, Fenway Racism Incident, MLB, NBA, and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/2). 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour and President Donald Trump’s reaction; the GOP proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act; North Korea’s nuclear program and Kim Jong Un’s threats against the U.S.; Stephen Colbert takes heat for anti-Trump rant; the controversy over Jimmy Kimmel’s monologue about health care and his son’s emergency surgery; the case of racist taunts leveled against the Orioles’ Adam Jones at Fenway Park; and MLB, NBA, and NHL action 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. In Fresno, Steve Pleshe leaves the record promotion business to return to Cumulus Media’s country KSKS “KISS Country” to serve as program director.  Pleshe started at “KISS Country” in the early 1990s as a part-timer and worked his way up to PD in the summer of 2004.  He’s been in record promotions for the past nine years.  Cumulus Fresno VP and market manager Patty Hixson says, “I am thrilled to welcome Steve back to ‘KISS Country!’  Having worked with him in the past, I consider him one of the brightest and most creative program directors in the business.  He will elevate KISS Country’s programming with his unique perspective and create some of America’s best Country radio!”…..WVXU.org’s John Kiesewetter is reporting that iHeartMedia Cincinnati market president Chuck Fredrick is a victim of the staff cuts ongoing at the company.  Yesterday, we reported that SVP of programming and rock WEBN and CHR WKFS programmer Bo Matthews had been let go…..Chicago media write Robert Feder reports that at Cumulus Media’s classic hits WLS-FM, Chicago, the station will be filling the evening shift by rotating jocks Tom O’Toole and Danny LakeJeff Davis had been in the slot since John Records Landecker’s 2015 exit, but he’s moving back to weekends and fill-ins.  Read Feder’s column here…..Twenty-year media sales pro Della Berning is joining Cumulus Media’s Baton Rouge four-station cluster to serve as sales manager.  Previously, she served with Baton Rouge’s Velocity Agency.  She’s also worked in radio, serving as LSM and NSM for WBRZ, Baton Rouge…..Entercom is putting the KISW, Seattle-based afternoon show “The Men’s Room” into syndication via a deal with Westwood One.  The program features Miles Montgomery, Steve “The Thrill” Hill and Thee Ted Smith, as well as producers Robin Foxx and Mike Hawk.  WW1 president Suzanne Grimes comments, “For 51 consecutive books, ‘The Men’s Room’ has been No. 1.  Our partnership will extend this impressive performance coast to coast. We are excited to welcome The Men’s Room to our national audience of listeners and advertisers.”…..Reigning ACM and CMA Vocal Group of the Year Little Big Town is hosting Westwood One’s annual “Summer Kick Off” Memorial Day special.  The four-hour program will feature band members Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Jimi Westbrook, and Phillip Sweet.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

| August 9, 2016

williams, chuckWilliams Appointed SVP/MM of Emmis Indianapolis. Eleven-year Radio One Indianapolis market manager Chuck Williams joins cross-town Emmis as senior vice president and market manager of its four-station cluster as well as its statewide news service, Network Indiana. Williams succeeds Charlie Morgan, who served in that capacity the past seven years before being named interim market manager of Emmis New York earlierEmmis this year. Emmis president and chief operating officer Patrick Walsh explains, “We have competed against Chuck throughout his career and always viewed him as a gifted, high integrity leader uniquely positioned to build on our foundation of success in Indianapolis. We are thrilled he has agreed to lead our team. With his deep knowledge of the Indianapolis radio market and the advertisers it serves, we expect him to jump right in and assist our talented team to continue to grow and prosper.” Williams comments, “I have long been an admirer of the Emmis culture, their people and their unfailing pride and leadership in the industry and their communities. Charlie Morgan built outstanding heritage stations with very talented people. I am looking forward to joining [Emmis Indianapolis vice president of sales] Tracey Bean, [VP/programming] Bob Richards, and the whole team at Emmis.” Before joining Radio One, Williams was general manager of Bonneville Chicago; he is the past chair of the Indiana Broadcasters Association. With each station’s share and market rank in parenthesis, here’s how the four Emmis Indianapolis outlets performed in the July 2016 Nielsen Audio PPM report: adult contemporary WYXB “B-105.7” (6.4, #4, 6+); country WLHK “Hank” (5.1, #7, 6+); talk WIBC (3.8, #11, 6+); and sports WFNI “The Fan” (2.1, #15, 6+).

Wilkow-Majoritywilkow, andrewConservative Talker Andrew Wilkow Celebrates 10th Anniversary on SiriusXM.  Today (8/9) marks the 10th anniversary of talk show host Andrew Wilkow‘s “The Wilkow Majority” on SiriusXM’s “Patriot Channel.” Wilkow carved out his niche over a period of time, then expanded upon it in the 12:00 noon ET to 3:00 pm ET time slot as an alternative to Rush Limbaugh.   A member of the TALKERS 2016 “Heavy Hundred,” Wilkow has become one of the biggest stars created by SiriusXM.   He tells TALKERS, “I am honored and delighted to be on Sirius for so long, and appreciate my extremely loyal and passionate audience.”  He says that the show’s nickname, “The Next Generation of Great Talk Radio,” still applies 10 years later.

stolz, sueBott Radio Network Extends Mid-Missouri Footprint. Adding three FM signals in Columbia (at 100.9); Fulton (92.5); and St. Robert-Fort Leonard Wood (106.5), Bott Radio Network (BRN) expands its Christian talk network in mid-Missouri. All are rebroadcasting BRN’s 50,000-watt station at 89.9 FM from Bott-Radio-NetworkColumbia and Jefferson City. Mid-Missouri area manager Sue Stoltz comments, “These three new signals will be a blessing to many in mid-Missouri and the surrounding area where even more people can now hear quality Christian talk radio. I am excited about how this will benefit mid-Missouri families and our business sponsors.” BRN president and chief executive officer Rich Bott notes, “We are excited about this opportunity to reach more people with God’s word. This is a wonderful step forward to strengthen families and change lives through Bott Radio Network’s quality bible teaching, Christian news and information programming.” The addition of the new signals brings BRN’s number of stations nationwide to 107, including 46 in Missouri.

Silver 2Silver Sensations. American divers Steele Johnson and David Boudia proudly display their silver medals to Steve Mason (left) and Kevin Kugler (second from the right), who are covering the Rio Olympics for Westwood One Sports.  

jordan, heatherOdds & Sods. Anchor/producer Heather Jordan (formerly Heather Martinez) exits Cox Media Group Orlando talker WDBO-FM to succeed Libby Denkmann as afternoon news anchor for “The John & Ken Show” on iHeartMedia Los Angeles’ KFI. Her lengthy radio resume includes stops in Dallas (KRNB); Miami (WEDR “99 Jamz” and WHQT “Hot 105”); Denver (KDJM “Jammin’ 92.5”); Kansas City (KPRS “Hot 103 Jamz”); and Des Moines (WHO). In addition, Jordan has done television work for WBBM-TV, Chicago; KTVT-TV, Dallas; and WFOR-TV, Miami ….. Longtime Pittsburgh Penguins radio producer pagsRay Walker (Ray Weitzel), 56, passed away Sunday (8/7) of complications from lymphoma. He joined the NHL team’s broadcasts in September 1999. His wife is iHeartMedia classic hits-oldies WWSW “3WS,” Pittsburgh on-air talent Sheri Van Dyke ….. Recently added affiliates to Joe Pagliarulo‘s “Joe Pags Show” are: KUIK, Portland; WPTR, Albany, New York (Empire News Network); WAIX, Albany, New York (Empire News Network); WHBY, Appleton, Wisconsin; WAAM, Ann Arbor, Michigan; KERV, Kerville, Texas; WDMJ, Marquette, Michigan; and WIAN, Ishpeming, Michigan. Pagliarulo is now on more than 60 stations.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

| February 9, 2016

furstalanEntercom’s Furst Choice to Program KC Talk Combo. Self-described “freelance programming advisor/consultant” Alan Furst is tapped to program Entercom Kansas City siblings KMBZ-AM “Talk 980” and KMBZ-FM “News/Talk 98.1.” Entercom Kansas City vice president and market manager Dave Alpert remarks, “We are very pleased to welcome Alan. He brings with him a wealth of experience, possesses a passion for the on-air product, and a passion for winning.” Furst – who begins his newKMBZ AM & FM duties next Monday (2/15) – comments that he is “very excited to join one of the truly great news talk brands, KMBZ.” He went on to thank Alpert and Entercom president of programming Pat Paxton “for the opportunity to be part of the outstanding staff at Entercom Kansas City. I look forward to helping both stations continue to grow.” Prior to opening his programming consultancy in October 2014, Furst spent nearly two years as program director of Radio One Houston’s KROI. His varied resume includes hands-on operations manager and PD experience at San Antonio country and CHR duo KAJA “KJ-97” and KXXM “Mix 96”; WLW, Cincinnati; and WIBC, Indianapolis. In addition, he was senior vice president of content for DMX Music; Cumulus Media’s country format director; group program director for the Australian Radio Network; senior vice president of programming for Clear Channel, AMFM, and Capstar Broadcasting; national program director for NewCity Communications; and a programming consultant for Shane Media Services. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s “Holiday” 2015 PPM report, both KMBZ-FM (3.3, #14) and KMBZ-AM (2.6, #18) were down one-half share from December 2015.

tuurihowardHoward Tuuri Named VP/GM for Genesis Communications.  Radio executive Howard Tuuri joins Genesis Communications to serve as vice president and general manager for the company’s four Florida stations – news/talk WWBA, Tampa; sports talk WHBO, Tampa; Spanish WMGG, Tampa; and sports talk WHOO, Orlando – as well as its two Internet publications.  Tuuri, who will report to Genesis president and CEO Bruce Maduri, previously served with Cox Media Group as a VP/GM for its Tampa operations.  Maduri states, “Howard’s background and quality of experience are a tremendous fit for our organization.  He has been a valuable member of our Leadership Team, and this appointment confirms our commitment to grow and realize the vision of a truly integrated media content company.”

The Presidential Race, Low Oil Prices/Financial Markets Activity, Battle Against Islamic State/Syrian Civil War, North Korean Missile Launch, Zika Virus, and Super Bowl 50 Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/8).  Today’s New Hampshire primary and the activities of the candidates for president; low oil prices and the effects on the world’s financial markets; the battle against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and the effects of the ongoing Syrian civil conflict; North Korea’s weekend launch of a satellite missile; concerns over a potential pandemic of the Zika virus; and Sunday’s Super Bowl 50 and controversy over the Doritos commercial were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

rabRAB/Borrell: Radio Digital Revenue to Rise 14%.  According to a study by Borrell Associates on behalf of the Radio Advertising Bureau, the radio industry’s digital ad revenue rose 11.4% in 2015 to more than $550 million.  The study also predicts radio’s digital revenue will improve by 16% this year.  This fourth annual report is titled, “Benchmarking: Local Radio Stations’ Online Revenues,” and concludes the average market cluster made $951,756 in digital sales last year, with the average station making $231,210.  Borrell Associates CEO Gordon Borrell summarizes, “All signs point to the radio industry mobilizing even more in the interactive space.  Eighty-two percent believe there is strong potential – the highest we’ve ever seen; 62% believe that their sales teams’ ability to sell digital products is solid – up from 52% a year ago; and 37% believe their digital strategy is headed in the right direction – up from 27%.”  The full study is available to RAB members, but here are some of the juicier takeaways: One-third of stations surveyed believe their sales reps are talking to the wrong buyers when trying to sell digital products.  Three years ago, two-thirds believed that was the case; Only 16% believe that radio sales suffer because reps are forced to sell digital advertising.  That’s down significantly since 2014, when more than half felt that way; Conversely, 24% believe that digital sales suffer because reps focus on radio advertising.  Three years ago, twice as many felt that way; And the average radio cluster received 0.26% of all locally spent Internet advertising.  There were some, however, achieving 15 times that – up to nearly 4%.   RAB president and CEO Erica Farber states, “Digital continues to be radio’s fastest growing sector.  Stations that are laser focused on increasing revenue beyond their core broadcast business are experiencing the benefits.  The results from this study provide us with insights of where efforts are paying off and what additional training is needed for radio to continue with this trajectory.  The RAB is here to help with that knowledge and training.”

WW1SBSound16Service King and Motel 6 Win Westwood One Super Bowl Sound Awards.  This was the third annual Westwood One Super Bowl Sound Awards designed to recognize excellence in audio creativity and celebrate brand advertisers and radio creative.  Westwood One asked listeners to vote on their favorite audio commercials airing in the Westwood One Super Bowl 50 broadcast.  In addition, Westwood One commissioned a Nielsen study of 3,030 consumers who rated all 45 commercials on a series of key attributes.   Listeners voted for Service King’s “Mission 2 Hire” ad as their favorite Super Bowl commercial.  The ad promotes Service King’s Mission 2 Hire program, which is dedicated to hiring 500 veterans at Service King locations around the country.  Hear the ad here: http://thesoundawards.com/service-king/Motel 6 was rated the most likeable ad in the Westwood One-commissioned Nielsen study.  The brand’s “Designer Dogs” ad features long-time Motel 6 narrator Tom Bodett, who promotes Motel 6’s great rooms and low rates while poking fun at trendy dog breeds with silly names.  The Motel 6 ad also received top consumer ratings for relevance, engagement, and memorability. Here is a link to hear the ad: http://thesoundawards.com/motel-6-3/.

Monday, July 20, 2015

| July 20, 2015

cbsradio logoScott Herman Promoted to COO of CBS Radio.  President Andre Fernandez announces EVP of operations Scott Herman has been promoted to chief operating officer for CBS RADIO.  The company says that in this new role, Herman will continue to report to Fernandez and lead local operations across the division’s 117 major market stations.  CBS RADIO’s market managers will now report to Herman.  Fernandez states, “Scott has ahermanscott tremendous reputation in the industry, and is a distinguished representative for radio.  He understands CBS RADIO’s vision for the future and will provide strength to our senior leadership team as we move forward with a variety of key growth initiatives.  Having someone with Scott’s experience collaborating directly with our station management will result in new value for CBS RADIO and our partners.”  The company notes that, because of this experience, Herman “works particularly close with the division’s news and talk stations, and his expertise in this area has allowed CBS RADIO to retain its leadership position in the format.”  Herman was promoted to EVP, Eastern Region for CBS in 2003.  Prior to that, he was senior vice president, market manager for the division’s New York properties, including all-newsers WINS and WCBS plus sports talk WFAN.  Herman was vice president and general manager of WINS from 1994-2003 and WNEW-FM on two different occasions during the 1990s.

trn logoTRN Loses Appeal of Back Pay Judgement in Savage Case.  The appeal of the ruling by an arbitration panel that the Original Talk Radio Network Inc. owes talk host Michael Savagesavagemichael $800,000 in back pay is unsuccessful after the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco ruled Friday in Savage’s favor.  A small victory for TRN, though, as the Court denied Savage’s request for sanctions against TRN for filing a “frivolous appeal.”  This latest court action stems from Savage’s original suit against TRN to void his contract with the syndicator after the relationship between the two parties had soured and Cumulus Media’s Westwood One pursued Savage’s services.

espnradioEarly Line on Cowherd’s Replacement at ESPN Radio: Le Batard.  According to TALKERS sources, there are two scenarios for filling the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm slot on ESPN Radio after Colin Cowherd does his final show for the network before departing for FOX Sports.  The first is that Dan Le Batardlebatarddan moves to the slot and Jorge Sedano slides down from his 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm show to assume Le Batard’s 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm slot.  The second possibility is that ESPN keeps Le Batard where he is and moves Sedano into the midday program.  TALKERS sources also say ESPN is high on Bomani Jones, who hosts sedanojorgethe 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm show and potential talent shuffles could involve a better daypart for his show.  As for Cowherd, reports indicate that he was making about $2.5 million with ESPN and that FOX Sports will pay him approximately $6 million per year.  Just what FOX Sports’ plans are for Cowherd are not set in stone and the company hasn’t been specific, but it’s expected he’ll host a nationally syndicated radio show and host a TV show on Fox 1, possibly at 6:00 pm to compete with ESPN’s “SportsCenter.”

wibclogoEmmis’ WIBC-FM, Indianapolis Adds Radio America’s Chad Benson Show for Evenings.  Saying the show has a “Gen-X perspective,” WIBC-FM, Indianapolis programbensonchad director David Wood announces the Radio America-syndicated Chad Benson show joins the station’s lineup for the 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm slot.  Wood says, “I was looking for something unique and contemporary for evenings.  I found it in Chad Benson.  Chad’s show has a great energy and Gen-X perspective, but still with conservative sensibilities.  Plus he’s got the best set of tattoos in talk radio.”  Radio America says Benson’s sense of showmanship and entertainment was developed from years in music radio and has had a huge influence on him as a talk host.

digilionickWGN, Chicago’s Nick Digilio Returns to the Air; Explains Stomach Ailment Exacerbated by Alcohol.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports on the return to the WGN airwaves of overnight personality Nick Digilio, who was back hosting his show today (7/20) after an absence of a month.  Digilio explained to his listeners that he landed in the hospital after complicating existing stomach troubles by consuming too much alcohol being unable to eat much food.  He explained that he came down with a stomach ailment in May that made it difficult to eat.  His overconsumption of alcohol caused him to spend five days in the hospital. Now, he says he’s done drinking.  He admits it was a stupid thing to do and blames no one but himself.  Read Feder’s piece here.

pasacritawalterWalter Pasacrita to Host Local Show on Sports Talk KONO-AM, San Antonio.  The station had been an oldies outlet before flipping to sports talk in January of 2014.  Now, the Cox Media Group-owned station is adding a local show by market pro Walter Pasacrita, who previously co-hosted a sports talk show with Jeff Vexler on iHeartMedia’s crosstown KTKR.  Pasacrita will host the afternoon drive show on KONO-AM.  He tells the San Antonio ExpressJeanne Jakle he is prepared to take on the competition on crosstown sports talkers KTKR and KZDC.  “I have more experience on the radio in San Antonio than the rest of those people.  I’m more passionate about sports than the rest of those people.  I don’t sugarcoat anything. . .and don’t let relationships get in the way of what should be stated.  I tell it like it is.”

kvet-am logoSean Adams and Chip Brown to Host Mornings on KVET, Austin.  A new, local sports talk show replaces ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike on iHeartMedia’s KVET, Austin.  Sean Adams moves from his early afternoon “Adams Theory” show to the morning slot alongside Chip Brown for “The Bottom Line with Sean Adams and Chip Brown.”    Brown was most recently with crosstown Total Austin Sports Radio-owned KTXX-FM.  The two worked together from 2007-2010.

talkersradio logoTalkersRadio’s “Vox Animali with Lori Lundin” Posts Second Installment.  The second installment of the groundbreaking, experimental talk show, “Vox Animali” hosted by award-winning radio journalist Lori Lundin is posted today (7/20) after receiving widespread positive response to its pilot episode last month.  The series – the latest offering of TalkersRadio’s “laboratory” workshop – is dedicated to raising awareness of the plight of animals that are institutionally abused and tortured at the hands of humans and foster respect for the dignity of all earthly creatures.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “I am so pleased that we are able to address a deeply important cause that hardly gets its due share of attention in the media – including talk radio – and when it does get attention, it is usually in the form of ridicule.”  Harrisonlundinlori continues, “We are very happy to have a brilliant and talented radio journalist of Lori Lundin’s caliber spearheading this project.”  Lori Lundin – who has received a number of prestigious industry honors including a Gracie this year – is an anchor with WTOP, Washington, DC and a reporter/podcaster with the Washington Examiner.  Harrison adds, “Lori, who is a breast cancer survivor and an all-around inspirational human being, brings a level of intelligence, sensitivity and empathy to her work that takes it beyond today’s typical newsroom fare in connecting to the heart as well as the brain.”  TALKERS general manager of broadcast operations, David Bernstein adds, “This is a heck of a show.  It has the potential to become a very influential vehicle for consciousness-raising for the animal rights movement, one of the fastest growing areas of public sentiment in America today.  And that’s what TalkersRadio is all about – developing spoken-word programs that address issues and interests outside the rigid boundaries of everyday broadcast radio.”  The new installment of “Vox Animali” features a look at the abuse and suffering of chimpanzees and presents an interview with Laura Bonar of Animal Protection of New Mexico.  Another current show under development on the TalkersRadio platform is “Healed Planet” hosted by Fox News Radio/Fox News Channel personality Alan Colmes that explores the human consciousness movement.  A recent “graduate” of TalkersRadio is the weekly “American Family Farmer” hosted by Doug Stephan.  Its mission is to champion the beleaguered small farmers of the nation being pushed out by the alliance of Big Agriculture and Big Government.  It has now cleared about 30 stations and is adding new ones daily on the GCN and Radio America platforms.  Bernstein says, “TalkersRadio is not set up to compete with broadcast radio or develop long-term hit shows for its own sake… but rather, as an experimental theater… a laboratory… to help new ideas develop to the point that they find a regular home on broadcast media.”  To listen to TalkersRadio, please click here.  For more information, contact David Bernstein at 413-565-5413.

Odds & Sods.  There’s a new, two-year contract for some 400 NPR staffers represented by SAG-AFTRA.  The union announces the new pact will provide 2 ½ % salary increases at the start of each of the next two years.  Other provisions include NPR paying 70% of health care benefits and a contribution of 7% of workers’ pay into the retirement plan…..Hubbard Broadcasting donates $5 million to the Newseum in Washington, DC and gets naming rights to the concourse level of the building.  Hubbard chairman and CEO Stanley Hubbard comments, “Our family has always been a strong advocate of a free press.  Because it is the only institution solely devoted to educating the public about the fundamental value of First Amendment freedoms and free expression, the Newseum is a great gift to the nation and the world.  It’s an honor for our family and our company to help support this noble cause.”

WachsWalkerDr. Daliah Wachs Welcome’s Scott Walker.  Nationally syndicated talk host and practicing physician Dr. Daliah Wachs (right) welcomes Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (left) to Las Vegas.  Walker – a just-announced candidate for president in 2016 – visited the Silver State a day after announcing his candidacy.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

| October 10, 2013

TalkersLA2013Talkers Los Angeles 2013 Takes Place Today.  More than 250 broadcasters from the talk media industries will be gathering in Hollywood, California today to hear more than 57 speakers analyze the key issues facing talk radio and talk internet at Talkers Los Angeles 2013.  Among them, Alpha Broadcasting and L&L Broadcasting CEO Larry Wilson, who will deliver the keynote address, “Radio at the Crossroads,” and Courtside Entertainment, LLC CEO Norm Pattiz and TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison who will engage in a keynote conversation, “Okay…Now What?” at the sold-out event.  Talkers Los Angeles 2013 — a presentation of TALKERS magazine in association with the Los Angeles Press Club — takes place today between 9:00 am and 6:15 pm at the Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood, California.  Full coverage of the conference will be provided at Talkers.com in the coming days and weeks.  To see the up-to-date, power-packed agenda, please click here.

podcastone logoPodcastOne Signs Kathie Lee Gifford to Deal for One-Hour Program.  Bringing marquee talent to the podcast genre is what Courtside Entertainment Group CEO Norm Pattiz promised when he debutedgiffordkathielee PodcastOne.  Now, the company signs “Today” co-anchor Kathie Lee Gifford to host a one-hour podcast on the platform.  When the show debuts on October 23, Gifford will host with her former “Live with Regis and Kathie Lee” partner Regis Philbin.  Gifford says, “I’m so looking forward to this new podcast adventure.  I feel like I’m in an episode of the Jetsons, soaring into unknown territory on my podcast.  It will be the first time for me in a 45-year career where I’ve been able to completely control the content.  And best of all?  I won’t need my hair or makeup done and there’s no need for Spanx!”  Pattiz adds, “What can I possibly say about Kathie Lee Gifford that hasn’t already been said?  How about this – bringing Kathie Lee to on-demand audio via PodcastOne is a very big deal.  We’re doing business with the best of the best, and that list just got better.”  Other PodcastOne personalities and brands include Adam Carolla, Dr. Drew Pinsky, Steve Austin, Dennis Miller, Ron Paul, Jay Mohr, Jillian Michaels, NPR New York, NPR Los Angeles, and “60 Minutes.”

loeschdanaKFTK, St. Louis Personality Dana Loesch Joins Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze.  St. Louis-based talk radio personality and writer Dana Loesch has subbed for Glenn Beck in addition to her full-time work on Emmis’ KFTK, St. Louis and WIBC, Indianapolis.  Now, she’ll serve as a contributor and host for TheBlaze.  In addition to continuing to fill in for Beck, what audio or video contributions Loesch will make remains unclear at this time.  Loesch says, “I’m excited to join TheBlaze team.  I love the fight in this group and their dedication to creating the best content available on multiple platforms.  They’ve been at the forefront of new wave media…I can’t wait to get started.”  Glenn Beck said of her on his TV program, “We are thrilled to have her.  She is one of the people that is on the front lines fighting the good fight.  We have wanted to have her as a part of TheBlaze for a very, very long time.”  Loesch founded the St.Louis-area Tea Party and previously worked as an editor at Breitbart.

mcconnellmikeMike McConnell Exits Tribune’s WGN, Chicago.  Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that talk radio personality Mike McConnell – off the AM 720 signal at Tribune’s WGN since early October and relegated to airing a show on wgnradio.com – is leaving the company.  McConnell came to WGN from Clear Channel’s WLW, Cincinnati where he worked with former Tribune CEO Randy Michaels when Michaels was running WLW and later serving as president of Clear Channel Radio.  When Jimmy de Castro took over the reins of WGN earlier this year, it was suspected that the on-air lineup might change dramatically and that’s what’s happened.  Bill Leff and Wendy Snyder were brought in for the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon shift and Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano took over the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show.  Feder reports that sources say McConnell and Tribune have a tentative settlement on the remaining two years of his reported $500,000 annual salary but there’s no official word from Tribune at this time.

dennisshaneKFH, Wichita Brings Shane Dennis Aboard for PM Drive.  Entercom sports talk radio outlet KFH-AM/FM, Wichita the addition of a new live and local sports talk show hosted by Shane Dennis beginning October 21. Dennis comes to the station with a sports pedigree.  He was director of baseball operations for 13 years at Wichita State.  During that time, he worked with Mike Kennedy as color analyst for WSU baseball games.  He pitched for the WSU Shockers from 1991–1994 and earned All-American honors in 1994.  Program director Tony Duesing says, “We’re excited about adding Shane to our powerful sports lineup on KFH.  Shane is a big sports radio fan and he is a great personality who will only make people want to tune in.”

kcoh logoFormer KCOH, Houston Talk Radio Personality Files Civil Suit Against Station President.  Recently, TALKERS reported the case of Houston urban talk radio personality Michael Harris quitting his position at KCOH after alleging station president (and local minister) Jesse Dunn was misusing station funds.  Now, according to a report in the Houston Chronicle, Harris is filing a civil suit against Dunn and the South Houston Community Development Corporation.  The paper reports that in the suit, Harris says Dunn made false representations to induce him to secure two personal lines of credit totaling $130,000 for station financing and back a $38,000 loan for equipment.  Harris also alleges that Dunn was able to acquire a debit card to use on one of the lines of credit and that Dunn has been using those funds for personal expenses including trips to Las Vegas and Louisiana.  Harris’ attorney says no contract exists between the two men and states, point blank, that his client “got hustled.”  Dunn had previously said whatever money he used was his and is currently running recorded announcements on the station assuring listeners that the station’s finances are strong and that claims to the contrary are misrepresentations.

iab logoInternet Advertising Bureau: Digital Ad Revenue Hits $20.1 Billion in First Half of 2013.  According to the Internet Advertising Bureau, that total for the first half of 2013 marks an increase of 18% over the 2012 first-half-year total.  Some other highlights from the organization’s report include:  Report highlights include:  Mobile revenues soared to $3 billion in the first half of 2013, representing triple-digit growth at 145% from $1.2 billion in the same period last year; Digital video, a component of display-related advertising, took in $1.3 billion in revenue during the first six months of 2013, an uptick of 24% over the first half of 2012 at $1.1 billion; Search revenues in the first half of 2013 totaled $8.7 billion, up 7% from $8.1 billion in the first half of 2012; Display-related advertising revenues in the first half of 2013 totaled $6.1 billion, accounting for 30% of revenues in the time period, up 9% from $5.6 billion in the first half of 2012; and the top three advertising verticals accounted for 46% of advertising revenue, including Retail at 20%, Financial Services at 14% and Automotive at 12%.  IAB president and CEO Randall Rothenberg states, “Digital has steadily increased its ability to captivate consumers and then capture the marketing dollars that follow.  Mobile advertising’s breakneck growth is evidence that marketers are recognizing the tremendous power of smaller screens.  Digital video is also on a positive trajectory, delivering avid viewership and strong brand-building opportunities.”

J.D. Hayworth in for Huckabee.  Former U.S. Congressman J.D. Hayworth (and former KFYI, Phoenix talk host) sits in for Cumulus Media Networks nationally syndicated talk personality Mike Huckabee on Friday, October 11 from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET.

Debt Limit/Government Shutdown, ObamaCare Implementation, Obama Approval Ratings, Financial Markets Activity, and Baseball Playoff Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/9).  The struggle in Washington to come to agreement on a debt limit and to undo the government shutdown; the failure of the Obama Administration’s Affordable Care Act website; the sinking approval ratings for President Obama; the response to the government shutdown by the world’s financial markets; and the MLB playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

| May 28, 2013

burnsgenePioneering Talk Radio Host Gene Burns Dead at 72.  Longtime talk radio host and broadcasting pioneer Gene Burns has died, succumbing to a long illness marked by a series of strokes.  In the words of TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison, “Gene was one of the greatest of the great and classiest of the classy – a true ‘wordsmith’ and gentleman who symbolized everything good about talk radio and served as one of the major engines that drove the ascent of its modern era.”  Until recently forced by illness into retirement from on-air performing, Burns had spent a decade and a half as a key host on KGO, San Francisco where he did a general news/talk program as well as a very popular restaurant and entertainment show.  The veteran of a number of great stations, he made his mark in the late-1980s and early-1990s as a member of the legendary lineup at WRKO, Boston that also included the late Jerry Williams. That was followed by a brief but high-profile stint at WOR, New York and national syndication on the WOR Radio Network.  Harrison adds, “Gene Burns practiced a brand of libertarian-based, intellectual populism in his approach to political news/talk that set the standard for the format’s emergence as a voice for the average person to stand up to big government, big business, big media and big anything.  Although ‘conservative’ in his orientation, he eschewed blatant partisanship, avoided banal cookie-cutter left-versus-right talking points and dealt with each issue in an academically probing and credible manner.”  Burns’ ground breaking work in the early-1990s stood as the inspiration for TALKERS magazine’s annual Freedom of Speech Award and the tradition of the annual State of the First Amendment Address delivered at the publication’s conventions. He is ranked the 23rd most important radio talk show host of all time by TALKERS in its “Heaviest Hundred” feature which is updated twice a decade.  Harrison concludes, “His rich, baritone voice coupled with the artistry of his word selection and ability to construct a logical argument was about as close to music as one could hear within a spoken word context.”  A special honoring the life and work of Gene Burns aired on Sunday, May 26 on KGO hosted by David Weintraub and a special tribute will be presented honoring his legacy at Talkers New York 2013 on Thursday, June 6.

millerchrisAdult Contemporary is a Relatively Low-Involvement Format on Facebook.  According to digital radio consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller, “There are several major-market adult contemporary stations on Facebook who have a ton of followers, but very little interaction going on.  As a former AC programmer, I absolutely feel their pain; AC is a low-involvement format.  At the same time, most of these stations have fallen into a rut about what they post.  The quality of the post is in the level of engagement you get from it.  When thousands or tens of thousands follow you, and you get two or three ‘Likes’ on your posts, you gotta shake up your thinking.”  In a new column posted today (5/28) Miller suggests that although consistency is basically a good and necessary thing, there is a dark side to it and to avoid falling into a rut, radio broadcasters of all formats should make changes to approximately 10% of their posts on a regular basis.  To read the details and Miller’s entire piece, click here.

sterlingkentKent Sterling Returns to Indy on Sports Talk WFNI.  News/talk and sports radio pro Kent Sterling re-surfaces on the air at Emmis’ sports talk WFNI, Indianapolis for a weekend program with Chris Hagan called, “Ahead of the Curve with Hagan and Sterling.”  He most recently served with Bonneville at its St. Louis sports talker WXOS but exited that post to return to Indianapolis.  Prior to his work at WXOS, Sterling served as program director at Emmis’ news/talk flagship WIBC-FM, Indianapolis.  Sterling’s and Hagan’s weekend program airs from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm on Saturdays.

nba logoNBA on Radio Is a Different Breed of Sports Play-by-Play.  Major League Baseball is the sport that could be called radio’s best friend and the NFL’s astounding popularity makes its games and surrounding programming popular with listeners.  While the NBA’s regular season games are not generally thought of as “programming gold” across the country, it appears that having even a moderately successful team combined with a flagship station with a strong nighttime signal, can be a recipe for success with basketball play-by-play.  According to information from Arbitron based on PPM data from 27 NBA teams in 25 PPM markets, certain places are simply basketball towns – the Los Angeles Lakers rule Los Angeles on KSPN with average game estimates larger than the Dodgers, Angels, Kings and Ducks grabbing a 4.0 share with Men 25-54 (average of all 82 games).  And perennial contenders the San Antonio Spurs dominated on WOAI with a 9.8 share with Men 25-54.  However, less successful teams on strong flagships performed well during the regular season:  the Milwaukee Bucks just squeaked into the playoffs but on heritage WTMJ garnered a 10 share with Men 25-54; the Cleveland Cavaliers missed the playoffs yet grabbed a 9.7 share (M 25-54) on WTAM; and the Detroit Pistons also missed the playoffs but notched an 8.0 (M 25-54) share on the highly rated WXYT-FM.  Considering games in the East and Midwest air in the evenings, numbers for the stations cited above – and others not cited here – are impressive nighttime ratings.

pendlchrisFlagship Stations Should Capitalize on Cross-Promotional Opportunities within Baseball PBP.  According to Bonneville Seattle creative director Chris Pendl, “If you’ve made the investment on play-by-play sports on your station, it’s important to maximize the return on your investment by trying to recycle that audience to another daypart on your station.”  Arbitron reports that MLB drives cume increases as much as 50% to 65% during baseball season.  Pendl tells TALKERS, “This influx of audience is one of the reasons we pay rights fees, share revenue, or give up inventory to carry this programming.  In a climate with little or no external marketing dollars, I’ve often joked that our promotional time within baseball play-by-play is the closest thing we’ll get to an interstate billboard or TV campaign.”  In an exclusive article posted today (5/28) Pendl describes and shares a production/promo technique conducted by Bonneville to cross-promote the station via the baseball audience that he calls “situation baseball return liners.”  To read the entire piece and hear examples of its execution, click here.

kyzz logoBuckley to Sell KYZZ, Salinas, California to Mt. Wilson FM Broadcasters.  Buckley Communications announces it is selling sports talk KYZZ, Salinas, California to Mt. Wilson FM Broadcasters.  The price is yet to be announced.  KYZZ is the FM side of the sports talk simulcast that also airs on Buckley’s KIDD, Monterey and Buckley says it will continue with its ESPN Radio affiliation on KIDD.  Mt. Wilson has not announced its format plans for KYZZ.  Saul Levine’s Mt. Wilson also owns country KKGO, Los Angeles and classical simulcast KMZT-AM, Beverly Hills and KMZT-FM, Big Sur, California.

weismanstevenWTOP Hacking: Why You Should Worry.  TALKERS legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman writes about the recent hacking of the websites of Hubbard Broadcasting’s WTOP, Washington and its sister WFED “Federal News Radio.”  Weisman is one of the nation’s foremost experts on scams, he operates the website Scamicide that presents up-to-date information about scams, fraud and identity theft, and is the author of The Truth About Avoiding Scams (FT Press 2008).  In this column, Weisman explains the methods used by the WTOP hackers and explains the steps users can take to avoid becoming the victim of similar attacks.  Read Weisman’s entire piece here.

Odds & Sods.  Martz Communications’ WPDM, Potsdam, New York flips from a simulcast of FM sister WSNN to sports talk using CBS Sports Radio Network…..Wilks License Company’s sports talk WZOH, Columbus becomes part of the Cleveland Browns radio network based at CBS Radio’s WKRK, Cleveland…..WTOP, Washington crowns Nathan Stanford from Harrington, Delaware the 2013 winner of “Commuter Idle” – an “extreme commuter” competition for listeners experiencing the daily horrors of commuting in and around Washington.  Stanford’s commute begins with a 3:00 am alarm and a one-hour drive.  He then boards a commuter bus for a 90-minute ride from Kent Island to Foggy Bottom, rides the Metro, and hustles on foot to his office in Rosslyn.  Stanford’s travels from Delaware to Virginia average more than five hours a day, though the commute can be much longer in the summer months with Friday beach traffic.  He receives $1,000 in gas money and will enjoy a limo ride to and from work from Reston Limousine.  WTOP program director Laurie Cantillo says, “The question that we hear most often is, ‘Why do these people do it?’  It’s fascinating to hear their personal stories and accompany them on their crazy commutes.  We feel their pain, and as DC’s traffic authority we’re here to help.”

koilmulberryKOIL, Omaha’s Mulberry Lane Meets the Beach Boys and John Stamos.  Musical act Mulberry Lane opened for the Beach Boys (which includes actor and musician John Stamos) in Council Bluffs, Iowa on Saturday, May 25.  Pictured here are (from l-r): Bo Mulberry, Bruce Johnston, Rachel Mulberry, Mike Love, Allie Mulberry, and John Stamos.  The Mulberry sisters – based in Nebraska – also host a weekend talk show on NRG Media’s KOIL, Omaha called the “Mulberry Lane Radio Show.”  The station describes the ladies’ program saying the sisters “decided to bring their busy lives to live radio with a show based on sisterhood, womanhood, motherhood, and the humor and mishaps of trying to juggle it all – woven together with music, harmony and a dash of wit.”  It airs Saturdays from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon.

Longtime KNX, Los Angeles Anchor Harry Birrell Dies.  Longtime Los Angeles news personality Harry Birrell died on May 26 after a battle with lung disease at age 85 in Thousand Oaks, California.  Birrell was an anchor at all-news KNX, Los Angeles for more than three decades – beginning in 1968 when the station flipped to the all-news format and ending with his retirement in 1999.  Birrell switched from his anchor role at the station to Ventura County correspondent in 1993.

millerbeckKevin Miller Stops By TheBlaze.  KIDO, Boise morning drive talk show host Kevin Miller was visiting Dallas – home of Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze – and took some time to stop by the studios to check out the production of the Glenn Beck program.  Here’s a shot of Beck (l) and Miller (r) inside the spacious former movie/TV studios that are home to Beck’s Mercury Radio Arts production facility.

Friday, December 14, 2012

| December 14, 2012

Don Wade and Roma Won’t Return to WLS, Chicago; Bruce Wolf and Dan Proft to AM Drive.  Time Out Chicago’s Robert Feder broke the news late yesterday that longtime morning drive duo Don Wade and his wife Roma won’t return to the air at Cumulus Media’s WLS-AM, Chicago as they continue to focus on Don’s health.  Wade had surgery in September to remove a cancerous brain tumor and treatment for the condition continues.  In a statement via agent Eliot Ephriam, the couple said, “The daily stress of rising each day at midnight to prep for our 5:00 am show does not help the healing process.  So we are choosing a different path and focusing on what’s really important for us right now.” Late morning hosts Bruce Wolf and Dan Proft have been filling in since Wade’s surgery and were permanently named to the AM drive post yesterday.  Weekenders Jake Hartford and John Kass have been subbing in Wolf and Proft’s 9:00 am to 11:00 am slot and they assume the permanent roles there.  Feder reports Cumulus COO John Dickey visited Chicago recently to meet with Ephriam about the Wades and was keen to get them back on the air.  It’s widely believed that Don and Roma were a profitable program for WLS due to the high number of endorsement spots the show carried.  In a statement, Dickey said, “Don and Roma are Chicago, and 27 years waking Chicago up is an amazing feat.  The focus and strength it takes to do live radio every day on one of the world’s biggest stages will serve Don well as he continues to heal.  We wish Don and Roma the best and will always keep a mic open for them.”

Todd Schnitt Exiting WFLA, Tampa?  Not So Fast…Nationally syndicated talk host Todd Schnitt – whose program is distributed by Compass Media Networks and since its inception in 2002 has been based at Clear Channel’s WFLA in Tampa – will remain based at WFLA after all.  Schnitt had recently announced a deal with Clear Channel to remain in the PM drive slot there had not been achieved.  But now, Schnitt and the company have come to terms.  Clear Channel announces it has signed Schnitt to a new multi-year contract for his “top-rated” program.  CC vice president of programming for Tampa Doug Hamand states, “We are thrilled to extend our relationship with Todd Schnitt and ‘The Schnitt Show.’”  He is a staple of the community in Tampa Bay, broadcasting for more than 19 years with 11 of those on WFLA.”  Schnitt gave up his AM drive CHR show on sister WFLZ (on which he was M.J. Kelli) earlier this year to focus on the PM drive talk show.  On his new contract, Schnitt says, “I’m thrilled to announce my new, multi-year deal with Clear Channel Tampa.  970 WFLA has been The Schnitt Show’s home for 11 years.  I really appreciate the outpouring of support from my loyal listeners.”

Programmer Alan Furst Heads to Radio One’s All-News KROI, Houston.  Current WIBC-FM, Indianapolis PD Alan Furst is leaving the Emmis news/talker and heading back to Texas to program Radio One’s all-news KROI, Houston “News 92 FM.”  Radio One flipped the station to all-news in the late summer of 2011 and it has been programmed by consultant Ed Shane and Radio One executive programmers.  Furst, who has worked in Houston and previously worked with Ed Shane’s consulting firm, says he’s excited to get back.  “I’m thrilled to return to Houston and join ‘News 92 FM.’  Radio One has put together a great team and the energy in the building is electric.  We’re going to build something very big and very special that will become a force in the nation’s fourth largest city.”

Baseball Stations: Plan Now for Spring Training.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke says that too few stations that carry their local MLB team establish a presence at their team’s Spring Training facility.  “Smart baseball stations are cheerleaders, and really smart baseball stations start cheering a month before Opening Day, when every team is in 1st place.”  Cooke writes that there are (at least) five very good reasons for jumping on this before the regular season starts, including some documented ratings upticks for stations that do get on board during Spring Training.  Read his entire piece here.

Odds & Sods.  Spanish-speaking New York Mets fans will be served by ESPN O&O station “ESPN Deportes Nueva York 1050 AM” (WEPN) as the station will broadcast 150 regular season games, select exhibition season games and (should the unlikely happen) postseason games, in Spanish.  ESPN New York’s David Roberts states, “Our commitment to serving the Hispanic sports fan is a top priority for our company.  We are delighted to join forces with the Mets organization for this comprehensive and wide reaching opportunity.”…..CBS Radio O&O all-news WNEW-FM, Washington will begin airing the audio of CBS Television’s “60 Minutes” on Sunday, December 16.  SVP/market manager Steve Swenson states, “Each week, CBS News and ’60 Minutes’ bring to life incredible investigative pieces, interviews, and features that are renowned all across the world.  Many local residents find themselves in a car traveling home on Sunday evenings not able to watch the program on WUSA-9.  With this simulcast we can provide listeners with access to their favorite news program.”….. Actor, author, former “Dancing with the Stars” champ and retired U.S. Army soldier, J.R. Martinez, ventures into the world of talk radio as he fills in from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm today on KFI, Los Angeles for the vacationing Bill Carroll.

Are You Prepared for the End of the World?  No, the editors of TALKERS do not actually believe that next Friday, December 21 will be the end of the world, regardless of what the Mayan calendar says or doesn’t say – or where the sun will be in relationship to the center of the Milky Way galaxy.  But we DO believe that this topic will be one of great interest next week in terms of pop cultural fodder and will be in the news in a variety of ways that will run from the serious to the silly, encompassing science (astronomy), parapsychology (astrology), history, politics and conspiracy theory — all of which make for juicy entertainment.  According to well-known radio-friendly psychic healer Kathleen Milner, the coming long-anticipated date will NOT mark the end of the world, but rather the end of a dark age in human events and the beginning of a golden one.  Talk show hosts and music format morning gabbers should be prepared for the end of the world by booking people like Ms. Milner and others to spice up on-air conversation.  After all it is a once every 26,000 years opportunity!  Kathleen Milner can be phoned at 571-926-8158.  For more information click here.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  Kate Delaney’s independently syndicated “America Tonight” program is added to the program schedule at KSCB, Liberal, Kansas.

‘Fiscal Cliff’ the Top Story on News/Talk Radio for Fourth Straight Week.  The battle in Washington over solving the “fiscal cliff” issue was the most-talked-about-story on news/talk radio during the week of December 10-14, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  Coming in at #2 was the Michigan “right to work” law controversy.  At #3 was the Portland mall shootings followed by North Korea’s rocket test at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio across America.  It is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS and is published every Friday at Talkers.com. See this week’s complete chart here.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

| September 27, 2012

Big Changes in Atlanta Talk Radio: Clear Channel to Flip WGST-AM/FM, Atlanta to Spanish or Comedy and Rush Limbaugh Moves to Cox’s WSB-AM/FM.  Exactly what format Clear Channel Media and Entertainment will flip longtime news/talk WGST-AM (which is simulcast on an FM translator at 92.3) to – whether it will be a Spanish format or a comedy format – remains to be seen.  But talk pro Rusty Humphries, who handled PM drive for the station is gone and Premiere’s Glenn Beck ran in his place Wednesday.  The status of morning hosts Rob Johnson and Dave Merlino is not known, however WGST is airing “The Wall Street Journal This Morning with Gordon Deal” in place of Johnson and Merlino.  Humphries, who hosts a separate program that is nationally syndicated via Talk Radio Network, tells TALKERS magazine, “It is always sad to see a news/talk facility such as WGST change to another format but I am grateful for the time I had there and was able to spend doing local radio in Atlanta.  The people at Clear Channel are fine people and I enjoyed working with them.  For me, the good news is that I will have a lot more time to devote to my nationally syndicated TRN program which is growing by leaps and bounds.”  Attempts by TALKERS to get response from Clear Channel management in Atlanta confirming the format change have not been successful.  Meanwhile, across town at Cox Media’s WSB-AM/FM, the station announces Rush Limbaugh, who is heard on WGST, will move to WSB beginning Monday, October 1.  At the same time WSB announces a new long-term deal with Premiere’s Sean Hannity for the PM drive slot and the return of “Atlanta’s Evening News” airing from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm hosted by Erick Erickson.  Cox Media’s Clark Howard will still emanate from WSB for his nationally syndicated program heard on some 200 affiliates across the country but will move to the 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm slot on WSB.  In order to accommodate the Limbaugh acquisition, the Neal Boortz program moves to the 8:30 am to 12:00 noon slot.

Armstrong & Getty Return Today.  KSTE, Sacramento-based morning duo Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty are back on the air this morning with Armstrong telling Sacramento TV station KTXL “Fox40” that the reason the duo was off the air on Tuesday and Wednesday was due to an “internal” reason and not because of their call to have listeners post cartoons, photos etc. that criticize Islam.  It had been widely reported the two had been suspended for the incident.  In fact, Armstrong tells the TV station the audio file of Monday’s controversial show will return to the online archives soon.  He says they will address the matter first thing today on the program at 6:00 am PT.

Talk Host Phil Valentine Decries Political Correctness.  Writing that the fear of offending those groups of people from which terrorists have sprung has put the shoe on the other foot and now the media is being terrorized, nationally syndicated talk host Phil Valentine laments the state of the media in America.  He says, “I’ve often joked that the only two groups we in talk radio can get away with offending are the deaf and the Amish.  Other offenses might require throwing yourself at the mercy of Jesse Jackson or apologizing to some LGBT group.  Now there is an offense from which you may never come back and that is offending a Muslim.”  Valentine penned this piece for TALKERS after hearing about the case of Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty.  Valentine’s piece is an interesting look at the intersection of politics and media in our current age.  Read it here.

Media Blogger Rich Lieberman Stands By Ronn Owens Story.  Rich Lieberman, who operates the 415 Media blog, wrote a post recently predicting that KGO, San Francisco talk legend Ronn Owens would have his contract – which expires at the end of this year – bought out and he would disappear from KGO early with the station moving in a newsier direction.  TALKERS reported this and Owens responded that Lieberman’s report is “totally made up.”  He also told TALKERS Lieberman has been attacking him for the past year for the changes that have taken place at KGO since Cumulus Media took over the station.  Now, Lieberman tells TALKERS he stands by his story.  “My sources are strong and I believe in them.  This has been a story I have sat on for nearly three weeks.  I finally went with it after talk and e-mailing Bay Area broadcast people familiar with the subject at hand.  I do NOT just dish out any speculation and innuendo without first trying to get it right.”  Apparently, only time will tell what the future holds for Ronn Owens at KGO.

20 Years and Going Strong.  Nationally syndicated talk superstar Dave Ramsey is pictured here holding the pewter statuette of a classic radio microphone given to him by his staff in honor of his 20th anniversary in the talk radio business.  Ramsey’s “official” anniversary is tomorrow – September 28 – and commemorates the day he and some friends took to the air on WWTN-FM, Nashville in a brokered time deal with the then-bankrupt station.  On Friday, a special episode of the program will air and include well-wishes from celebrities, friends and family; glimpses into the party at Ramsey’s Financial Peace Plaza; a look back at the history of the show; and calls from long-time listeners and second-generation callers.  Video of the show will be streamed live online.   Ramsey says, “I’m still surprised and honored that people call me at some of the most difficult and personal moments in their lives.  Giving people hope for their future and seeing lives changed is why I do this every day.”  He also credits his team for helping him achieve the success he has.  “I didn’t do this on my own.  Our producer, Blake Thompson, associate producer, Lara Johnson, engineer Matt Aaron and many other people have made it what it is today.  I have the best crew in radio, and we’ve been together for a long time, which is unheard of in the radio industry.”

The Young Guns of Talk Radio.  Ask anyone, especially those working for the consumer media, and they’ll tell you that personalities working as hosts on news/talk stations are all old, white men.  Radio’s general lack of a “farm system” doesn’t help that misconception much, but the truth is there are young people – some men and some women – working in news/talk radio today.  TALKERS executive editor Kevin Casey writes about some of the young broadcasters working in news/talk now.  Not all of them agree that by being young, they have the ability to attract a younger audience to the format.  But some believe it can be a factor.  KNST, Tucson host and PD Garret Lewis, for example, says, “The fact that I’m 35 and my friends are around my age gives me an advantage because I know what makes a person in their late 20s and 30s get fired up emotionally and what interests them.”  Hosts talk with Casey about the issues of the demographic, who inspired them, how they approach their programs and what, if anything, can be done to get young people into the talk business.  Read this story here.

Looking for Political Ad Dollars.  Getting those political ad dollars – even getting them late – is a nice boost to a station’s or group’s revenue.  TALKERS magazine managing editor/West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian talks with Portland Radio Group president and general manager Cary Pahigian about status of political money.  Pahigian says if you’re not in a potential swing state, the numbers (at least for presidential dollars) for radio are not rosy – at least not yet.  “With the exception of a few states, there does seem to be a lull,” Pahigian says.  He says the same pattern has developed over the past few election cycles.  “Depending on the landscape and circumstances, television is first in line and radio is second.  Everything changes though if there are issues and/or a tight race going on.”  Read Mike Kinosian’s full story here.

Three Senators and a Hopeful.  WIBC, Indianapolis late morning host Greg Garrison was visited by three U.S. Senators and one who hopes to become the next senator from the state of Indiana on his program on Wednesday during a campaign swing through the state capital.  Pictured here (from l-r) are: WIBC’s Todd Meyer, Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), Garrison, Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), Indiana State Treasurer and senatorial candidate Richard Mourdock, and Senator Dan Coats (R-IN).

Presidential Campaign Polls, Libya-al Qaeda Connection, Iran/Middle East Tensions, and NFL Referees Status Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/26).  The conflicting presidential election polls; the continuing query into the cause of the Libya terrorist attack; the state of Iran’s nuclear weapons program and the political climate in the Middle East; and the status of the NFL’s referee situation were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

The State of News in News/Talk Radio

| May 21, 2012

By Kevin Casey
TALKERS magazine
VP/Managing Editor

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — It’s understood by anyone in the radio business that the big news stories of the day – whether they are local or national stories – generate the topics that drive the conversation on news/talk radio.  But what are the roles of the newsroom, the reporter and the regular newscasts on today’s news/talk stations?  The move of all-news to FM signals, the development of more national and regional radio news products and the addition of newswheel programs to some of the country’s most respected talk stations seem to indicate radio news has received a shot in the arm.  But the decimation of many radio news departments that occurred in conjunction with consolidation still affects many radio operations and raises questions about the relevance of news elements to the successful operation of the modern news/talk station.

Read More

Thursday, March 8, 2012

| March 8, 2012

Clear Channel Los Angeles to Air “Diverse L.A.” on Progressive Talk KTLK; Black Media Alliance Not Satisfied.  As part of Clear Channel Los Angeles’ program to increase diversity at the cluster, a three-week block of programs titled, “Diverse L.A.” will air on progressive talk outlet KTLK during the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon daypart beginning March 12.  The program will be hosted by cluster producer and political commentator Morris O’Kelly.  Clear Channel is currently seeking community members interested in appearing on the program and is taking suggestions and applications via e-mail at DiverseLA@clearchannel.com.  In a statement, Clear Channel Los Angeles market manager Greg Ashlock says, “These 45 hours of prime programming will feature local hosts and guests discussing a wide variety of issues associated with the spectrum of experience of all Angelenos.”  The programming is part of the response to the negative feedback sister station KFI received after PM drive hosts John & Ken were suspended for comments about Whitney Houston.  Morris O’Kelly states, “This is about Los Angeles hearing voices and viewpoints less often heard while also addressing communities historically underserved.  ‘Diverse L.A.’ will highlight new personalities and newsmakers for the KTLK audience but, more importantly, provide a platform for inclusive, substantive dialogue in the public square.”  The Los Angeles organization Black Media Alliance responds to the initiative disappointed that Clear Channel has “relegated our concerns to a struggling station that has neither the cachet nor reach of their more profitable outlet.”  In a statement, the BMA quotes longtime member and media personality Kevin Ross saying, “The efforts of Clear Channel are important, but it’s not enough…There needs to be diversity on all of their stations, on- and off-air and we are prepared to provide Clear Channel with an extensive list of African-American radio professionals who fit into their current program formatting needs.”

Sacramento Bee Editor Apologizes for Obscene Call to KHTK, Sacramento’s Don Geronimo Show.  Sacramento Bee sports editor Tom Couzens has apologized in the paper for making obscene calls to the Don Geronimo morning show at CBS Radio’s sports KHTK, Sacramento that he, at first, denied making.  The brouhaha appears to have been the culmination of an ongoing feud between Couzens and Geronimo.  The Sacramento News & Review reports Couzens had been critical of the format of Geronimo’s morning drive show and Geronimo – who is a pro at turning that kind of controversy into PR for his show – vowed to “get” Couzens for his criticism of the show.  Couzens admits he let Geronimo get to him and his bosses at the Bee are saying it is a personnel issue that is being handled internally.

WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte Names Bo Thompson Co-Host of AM Drive Show.  Greater Media news/talk WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte announces Bo Thompson joins morning drive host Stacey Simms as co-host of the “Charlotte’s Morning News.”  Thompson is currently producer of WCCB-TV, Charlotte’s “Fox News Edge” program hosted by Greater Media personalities Matt Harris and Ramona Holloway.  Thompson begins his duties alongside Simms, news anchor John Stokes, sports anchor Jim Szoke and traffic reporter Chuck Roads at WBT on March 19.  Thompson says,I began my radio career at WBT 22 years ago and this is my home.  I always knew I’d be back one day.  It’s an honor to carry on the torch from Al Gardner.  Many of my radio idols have held this job.  I can’t wait to be a part of CMN’s next chapter.”  Gardner left the station to work with Merlin Media as it prepares to launch a new format on WKDN-FM, Philadelphia.

Clear Channel Adds Local Show to Hartford FM Sports Talker.  This week Clear Channel split the simulcast that had been sports talk WPOP and WUCS-FM in Hartford.  As reported earlier, WPOP has become a Fox Sports Radio Network affiliate and WUCS-FM carries programming from ESPN.  Now, WUCS-FM – positioned as 97.9 ESPN – adds a local PM drive show to the program schedule hosted by Mike Bower.  Comedian and talk personality Bower temporarily filled the slot WTKK-FM, Boston had open when it let talk host Jay Severin go in April of last year.

Michael Juliano Takes Over Director of Sales Role at Entercom Boston.  Shuffling in the management at Entercom’s Boston cluster opens up the director of sales position and VP/market manager Jeff Brown announces Michael Juliano is brought in to manage the cluster’s sales efforts.  Juliano most recently served as regional vice president of sales for Metro Traffic in the New York and Pennsylvania markets.  In his new duties, he’ll oversee all revenue for sports WEEI-AM/FM, news/talk WRKO and rock WAAF as well as the Red Sox Radio Network, the Celtics Radio Network and New England Patriots special programming.

Emmis’ WIBC-FM, Indianapolis Raises Funds for Tornado Victims.  Emmis Communications news/talk WIBC-FM, Indianapolis partnered with WRTV-TV, Indianapolis to raise funds for the victims of the recent tornados that swept through southern Indiana.  The Tornado Relief Drive was done in a “drive-through” method on Tuesday, March 6 with local Jiffy Lube locations taking part.  During that 12-hour drive some $46,000 was collected. The money is being distributed via the Salvation Army Indiana Division.  The familiar red kettles are continuing to being used at the Jiffy Lube locations.  During the Tuesday drive, WIBC-FM personnel were stationed at various locations throughout the city with the red kettles.

GOP Primary Race, Rush Limbaugh Controversy, Intensified Syria Violence, Iran Nuclear Ambitions, Solar Storm Heads to Earth, and Sarah Palin Movie Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/7).  The Mitt RomneyRick Santorum race for the Republican nomination; the aftermath of Rush Limbaugh’s controversial language; the intensified violence against Syria’s citizens; continuing international debate over Iran’s nuclear weapons program; the massive solar storm that could disrupt Earth’s communications systems; and the HBO Sarah Palin movie set to air this weekend were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday.

Bill Bradley Meets George Lucas.  SiriusXM is presenting a special program in which former Senator Bill Bradley (l) interviews filmmaker George Lucas (r).  The satcaster states during the program “Lucas discusses a variety of topics throughout the interview, including: his evolution as a filmmaker and storyteller and the role technology played on this journey; his philosophy on education in America; what inspired him to make “Red Tails” and the importance of sharing the history of the heroic Tuskegee Airmen with the youngest generation of African-Americans in our country today; and the spiritual life lessons woven into the “Star Wars” saga.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

| January 10, 2012

Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio to Feature Greater Media Stations.  First it was Cumulus Media striking at deal with Clear Channel to have its radio stations available nationwide via the iHeartRadio digital radio platform, now Greater Media climbs aboard.  Beginning in April, Greater Media’s 22 stations in Boston, Philadelphia, Detroit, New Jersey and Charlotte will be available via the iHeartRadio app.  Greater Media CEO Peter Smyth states, “We are thrilled to be able to provide our listeners with even greater access to our stations  anywhere they may be listening throughout the country with this exciting platform.”  Clear Channel president and CEO John Hogan says, “Adding Greater Media to iHeartRadio only improves our leading digital destination for consumers, expanding their ability to find the best and most complete online radio experience anywhere.  Clear Channel Radio and Greater Media understand that radio connects local businesses to consumers like no other medium can, and this agreement offers more choices for our listeners which is what they want.”

Don Martin Promoted to Senior Vice President, Sports Programming for Premiere Networks.  This is a promotion from his role as vice president and general manager for Fox Sports Radio Network which has been a division of Premiere Networks since it began collaborating on sports programming with Fox Sports more than 10 years ago.  In this new role, Martin oversees all sports programming and operations for Premiere.  Martin reports to Premiere president of content and affiliations Julie Talbott who says, “This is a well-deserved promotion, as Don’s leadership has been instrumental in the growth and strength of the Fox Sports Radio Network.  His expertise, as well as his passion and dedication to this industry, make him a tremendous asset as we expand in the sports arena.  With Don at the helm, I’m confident we will continue to see the positive impact and success of our programming.”  Under Martin’s watch, FSRN has reached an all-time high of 400-plus affiliates.  He continues in his role as general manager and program director of Clear Channel’s KLAC, Los Angeles.  TALKERS magazine’s Mike Kinosian recently spoke with Don Martin about his work with Fox Sports Radio and KLAC.  See the video in the Talkers TV box on the right side of this page.

KFTK-FM, St. Louis Adds More Local Talk;  Expanded Shows for Dana Loesch and Dave Glover.  Emmis Communications’ news/talk KFTK-FM, St. Louis is adding more live and local programming to its daily schedule with the expansion of the Dana Loesch and Dave Glover shows.  Loesch moves from the 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm slot to the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot beginning January 30.  Dave Glover, the station’s longtime PM drive host, adds an hour to make his show live from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  Program director Jeff Allen says, “Now with more Dana and Dave we can better cover the issues that matter to our St. Louis listeners.  This is just another step in our commitment to respond to the local audience and to better cover breaking news anytime it happens.”  The expansion of the two shows means TRN’s Laura Ingraham program will exit the station.  Dana Loesch also does a live hour on Emmis’ WIBC-FM, Indianapolis from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm and Allen says that will continue.

Compass Media Marketing Announces Executive Staff.  The newly formed advertising representation firm being organized by Compass Media Networks founder and CEO Peter Kosann announces Paul Gregery is installed as president of sales & marketing; Mary Giesen is named VP of sales planning; and Laura Peyer is New York account manager.  The appointments are effective immediately and Peter Kosann says, “We are extremely fortunate to have these executives join us.  This is a tremendous first step for our sales organization.”  Paul Gregery served at Westwood One for more than eight years in a variety of capacities, including president of sales.  Before that, he managed West Coast sales for the AMFM Radio Networks prior to its being acquired by Premiere Networks.  Gregery also worked for more than a decade at the ABC Radio Network in a variety of sales positions.  He will work out of Compass’ Los Angeles offices.  Mary Giesen also worked at Westwood One where she quickly rose through the sales management ranks, ultimately serving as VP of sales planning, traffic & continuity, managing the sales planning staff and overseeing the management of the commercial inventory.  She will work out of Compass’ New York offices.  Laura Peyer previously served as the sports network sales executive at Skyview Networks, managing advertising relationships with clients throughout the New York, New England and the Midwest markets.  Prior to Skyview, she held positions as national broadcast supervisor at MPG and sales planner at Westwood One.  She also will work out of Compass’ New York offices.

Glenn Beck’s GBTV to Debut New Roundtable Show.  In association with Glenn Beck’s internet news site The Blaze, GBTV will feature “Real News from The Blaze” airing weeknights from 7:00 to 8:00 beginning January 18.  GBTV personality Amy Holmes will moderate the roundtable discussion of the day’s news.  Participants will include Blaze editor-in-chief Scott Baker, Buck Sexton, Will Cain and S.E. Cupp.  GBTV president of programming Joel Cheatwood says, “While GBTV is and will remain an information and entertainment network, we saw a real opportunity to provide the news that our audience is looking for and is too often ignored by the mainstream media.  We are passionate about offering our audience a deeply reported and engaging look at the news and are excited to be able to draw on the incredible editorial resources at The Blaze.”

WIP, Philadelphia Brings Brian Haddad Aboard for Creative Services Director Post.  The former KDKB-FM, Phoenix morning drive host is named creative services director and part-time host at the CBS Radio sports talk station.  Operations manager Andy Bloom says, “We embarked on a three-plus month search to find the person who would make WIP the best-produced station in the country.  There is no question we found the most creative mind and talented person to help us accomplish that goal.  We view Brian as our new secret weapon.”  Brian “Sludge” Haddad joined Sandusky’s rock KDKB-FM in June of 2010 to host the morning show.  Previously, he’d worked at Cox Media’s WDYL-FM, Richmond.

KFNS, St. Louis Host Kevin Slaten Goes Solo After Ashlee Feldman Exits.  The PM drive show on Grand Slam Sports’ KFNS, St. Louis will go with Kevin Slaten solo for a while after former MTV reality show star Ashlee Feldman exited the program.  STLToday.com reports Feldman – a former college basketball player and star of MTV’s “Real World New Orleans” – missed her family in the East and decided to leave the program after a year.  Slaten tells the site he’s not certain if he’ll remain solo or be paired up with another partner.

Fisher Communications’ KVI, Seattle Loses PD Travis Box to Home Life.  Program director and producer Travis Box announces he’s leaving Fisher Communications to begin the most difficult job he’ll ever undertake – stay-at-home dad!  Box has been producing the KOMO-AM/FM “Newsline” program and programmed KVI as it made the recent transition from oldies back to talk.  KVI talk host Scott Carty will serve as interim PD.

New Hampshire Primary, Iran Nuclear Ambitions/American Sentenced to Death, Obama Chief of Staff to Exit and Tebow Rallies Boncos Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/9).  The GOP New Hampshire Primary race, Iran’s nuclear weapons program and its sentencing to death  American Amir Mirzaie Hekmati on charges of being a spy, the Obama Administration’s chief of staff Bill Daley to exit and Tim Tebow’s rallying the Broncos to victory over the Steelers were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

| November 23, 2011


Clear Channel Names Jason Furst PD at WHAM, Rochester.  Jason Furst adds programming oversight of Clear Channel’s news/talk WHAM, Rochester and sports WHTK-AM/FM to his duties.  Furst programs WSYR-AM/FM, Syracuse and will continue in that role.  He will, however, give up the PD reins at CHR WWHT, Syracuse.  Furst fills the vacant programming position in Rochester that opened when Jeff Howlett was let go from the station he’d been working at for the past 25 years.

Emmis’ WIBC-FM, Indianapolis Partners with WRTV-TV for News and Weather.  Emmis Communications’ news/talk WIBC-FM, Indianapolis announces a partnership with McGraw-Hill’s local ABC affiliate WRTV-TV for news and weather coverage.  Emmis VP and market manager Charlie Morgan says of the new deal, “In our 21st-Century world of news and information consumption, it just makes sense for our TV and radio newsrooms to work together to ensure we are delivering the most relevant information to our consumers wherever they are…at home, at work, in their cars, wherever.  This partnership will allow us to provide Indianapolis viewers and listeners with the latest information wherever they are, whether they are listening to the radio, watching TV, going online or on their mobile phones.”  WRTV meteorologists Kevin Gregory, Todd Klaassen and Stephanie Ortmann will provide forecasts throughout the day on WIBC.  They will also provide live updates during severe weather situations.

Buckley Broadcasting Adds FM Signal to KNZR, Bakersfield.  The Buckley Broadcasting news/talk outlet at 1560 on the AM dial states on its website, “KNZR made Bakersfield radio history by being the first news/talk station in the market to simulcast on the FM dial.  Our market leading 1560 AM news/talk programming is now also heard on 97.7 FM.  The move to simulcast on FM allows us to better serve our local community as well as provide increased audience reach and value to our advertisers.”  To accommodate the move, Buckley drops AC music on KSMJ licensed to Shafter, California.

WTOP-FM, Washington Hires Former CNN Correspondent.  Jeanne Meserve worked at cable news giant CNN for the past 20 years – most recently as homeland security correspondent.  Hubbard Radio’s WTOP-FM, Washington brings her aboard as a freelance anchor.

 

 

KTRH, Houston’s Matt Patrick Has Busy Black Friday.  It’s safe to say KTRH, Houston morning drive host Matt Patrick will not be at the shopping mall on Friday.  Patrick hosts his regular AM drive show on KTRH from 5:00 am to 9:00 am, then fills in for Bill Cunningham on WLW, Cincinnati from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm.  But wait there’s more!  Patrick will sit in for fellow Clear Channel Houston host Michael Berry on KTRH from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

Thanksgiving Holiday, 2012 Presidential Race, Euro Zone Debt Crisis, Super Committee Failure, Immigration Law Challenges Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/22).  The Thanksgiving holiday weekend, the GOP contenders for president in 2012, the ongoing Euro Zone debt crisis, the effect the Super Committee’s failure to address U.S. debt and challenges to states’ immigration laws were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS.