Tag: "WIP"

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

| October 30, 2018

Eric Brooks Exits WTMJ, Milwaukee to Join KCBS-AM, San Francisco. As Milwaukee heritage news/talk prepares to change hands from E.W. Scripps to Good Karma Brands on Thursday (along with sister soon-to-be-sports talk WKTI-FM), the station is bidding adieu to director of news and programming Eric Brooks as he joins Entercom’s all-news KCBS-AM, San Francisco as assistant news director.  General manager Tom Langmyer (who himself is leaving the duo when it changes hands on Thursday) says Brooks has “grown tremendously” during his eight years at WTMJ. “As director of news & programming at WTMJ, we’ve counted on his being dedicated and engaged every day on content – and he’s challenged our team to lead on topics, stories, events, and community service.”  Brooks comments, “For someone who has been a news/talk/sports broadcaster, this is a dream come true.  The Bay Area is one of the richest markets for spoken-word formats and I’m beyond humbled to join Jennifer Seelig and the talented team at KCBS.  My thanks to Steve Wexler, Tom Langmyer, and Scripps for the tremendous opportunity and trust in leading this great heritage brand over the past few years. Milwaukee is a very special place with very special people, many of whom are lifelong friends.” Brooks starts at KCBS-AM on November 12. Steve Wexler (taking over for Langmyer) has begun the recruiting process for a new programming leader for WTMJ.

WDEL, Wilmington Makes Programming Adjustments.  Program director Chris Carl announces a new programming lineup on Delmarva Broadcasting’s news/talk WDEL-AM/FM. The syndicated Clark Howard program now airs from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Following Howard is “Delaware’s Afternoon News,” hosted by Carl.  Allan Loudell moves to the late morning daypart hosting “Del-AWARE with Allan Loudell” from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.  Regarding the afternoon drive show, Carl says it will bring listeners “the latest news from Delaware and around the world, TrafficWatch on the 9s, the up-to-the-minute AccuWeather forecast, and sports with “Big” Don Voltz,” as well as “more reporting on health issues, the latest in technology, travel ideas and the award-winning daily commentary from Dave Ross.”  He says Loudell’s program “will focus on news and issues for the First State, but he’ll feature more in-depth coverage, with lengthier reports that allow for deeper digging by the WDEL News team.”

Rick Lewis Re-Ups with iHeartMedia Denver. Radio personality Rick Lewis re-ups with iHeartMedia on a new three-year deal to keep him there through the end of 2021.  Lewis hosts the morning drive show on classic rock KRFX “103.5 The Fox” and co-hosts the afternoon drive program with Dave Logan on sister news/talk KOA.  Additionally, Lewis works Denver Broncos games for flagship station KOA as color analyst.  Lewis says, “I feel very blessed and grateful to iHeartMedia and our market president Tim Hager for the opportunity to do what I love to do and that is make radio magic.  I am also very grateful to the fans that allow me into their homes, cars, and offices daily to be a part of their lives.  This is a performance-based business and without their support I wouldn’t be here.  As long as I stay healthy, continue to do good work and have fun, I’m not going anywhere.  The best is yet to come!”

WIP, Philadelphia Ends Wing Bowl Promotional Event. On this morning’s program on sports talk WIP, Philadelphia, Angelo Cataldi and Al Morganti announced that last February’s Wing Bowl – the 26th edition – was the last.  The station decided to end the mega-promotion that began in 1993.  Program director Spike Eskin explained to the WIP audience that the initial Wing Bowl –held the Friday before the Super Bowl – was borne of the frustration of the Philadelphia Eagles not getting to “the promised land” year after year.  With the Eagles championship last season, it seemed like the right time to go out.  The first Wing Bowl was held in a hotel lobby.  It rapidly grew into a huge event and was packing the Wells Fargo center in its final years.

KPCC, Pasadena Evacuated During Bomb Scare.  As reported by the Los Angeles Times, public radio news/talk KPCC, Pasadena was evacuated – as were nearby businesses – for a period on Monday evening (10/29) after authorities were called to investigate a suspicious device that were affixed to the undercarriage of a U-Haul truck.  The device did appear to actually have been an explosive one but was designed to look like a pipe bomb.  Police detonated the device and the explosion was described as not loud.  Authorities are continuing to investigate the incident.

Elvis Duran’s 4th Annual Art Carney Awards Honors Hollywood’s Great Character Actors. On Sunday evening (10/28), the “most recognizable faces in television and film” were at the 4th Annual Carney Awards, created by nationally syndicated radio host Elvis Duran, Elvis Duran Group CEO David Katz, and his brother Jim Katz and is dedicated to honoring Hollywood’s great character actors. This year’s class of inductees included: Joe Morton, Jessica WalterJoe Pantoliano, M. Emmet Walsh, James Cromwell, and Bruce Greenwood.  Actor Patton Oswalt served as this year’s host, while performers Donny Most (“Happy Days”) and his Orchestra and recording artist Lily Meola lent their musical talents to the ceremony.  Mike Farrell, Harrison FordMarilu Henner, Debbie Allen, Gregg Henry, and Stephen Tobolowsky served as presenters during the show that will be telecast on Tribune Broadcasting’s WPIX, New York on Saturday, November 24 at 8:00 pm ET.  Pictured above are (from l-r): David Katz, Morton, Greenwood, Walter, actor and voice-over artist Brian Carney, Cromwell, Walsh, and Jim Katz. (Photo: Brian Friedman)

‘Red Pilled America’ Podcast Launches on iHeartRadio. New to the iHeartRadio Original Podcast offerings is “Red Pilled America” – created by the husband-and-wife team of Patrick Courrielche (left) and Adryana Cortez (right).  The two, along with Premiere Networks, describe the new program as “a weekly storytelling series that promises only one thing – the truth.  Each episode will search for answers in the stories of forgotten men and women of America. Why is the middle class shrinking? What is causing the homeless crisis in Los Angeles? Is ‘fake news’ really a new phenomenon?”  Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott comments, “Patrick and Adryana are a powerful creative and investigative force.  With their background in journalism and marketing, they’ll expertly guide listeners through the tough questions and topics that Americans face every day in a crowded and often conflicting media landscape.  We’re confident ‘Red Pilled America’ will inform, entertain and enlighten audiences.”

Pittsburgh Synagogue Slayings, Mail Bombs Case, Midterm Elections, Migrant Caravan, Hillary Clinton 2020 Aspirations, Indonesian Jet Crash, NFL Action, and Boston Red Sox beat Los Angeles Dodgers in World Series Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/29). The deadly assault on a Pittsburgh synagogue that took the lives of 11; the case of mail bomber Cesar Sayoc; the November midterm elections and the battle for control of the House and Senate; the migrant caravan making its way through Mexico to the U.S. border; speculation about whether Hillary Clinton will run for president in 2020; the Lion Air flight 610 crash; the weekend’s NFL action; and the Boston Red Sox triumph over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World series were some of the stories discussed on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. After selling its television assets in 2017, Saga Communications said it will consider the acquisition of radio stations if they are seen as beneficial to the company and CEO Ed Christian likes the Ocala-Gainesville cluster owned by Ocala Broadcasting.  Saga is entering into an agreement to buy country WOGK-FM and the three-station “Wind FM” classic rock-formatted properties WNDT-FM, WNDD-FM, and WNDN-FM.  Christian is quoted saying, “A number of years ago we let the Dix family know that these stations would be a great fit for Saga.  It’s not often you get the opportunity to buy stations from the fifth generation of the founding family.  We see a lot of opportunity with these stations and these markets.  We are pleased that the family has decided to entrust Saga with continuing their long-standing heritage of serving the Gainesville-Ocala region with market leading WOGK “K-Country 93.7” and the WIND classic rock trimulcast.   Saga intends to continue building its business in radio by identifying and acquiring middle market stations in dynamic communities.”…..Rock WWSK, Smithtown, New York “94.3 The Shark” announces that Rob Rush is the new program director and morning personality Brian Orlando is taking on assistant program director duties.  Rush has been with the station since 2003, most recently as music director, a role he accepted in August of 2017.  Connoisseur Media SVP regional strategy and market manager for Long Island Jim Condron comments, “It is always a pleasure to be able to recognize and reward talents like Rob and Brian, both of these men live and breathe ‘The Shark.’ We are very fortunate to have two such talented individuals expanding their roles with us.”…..In New York City, Emmis Communications promotes Bethany Kent to director of marketing and events for the radio stations – rhythmic CHR WQHT “Hot 97,” urban AC WBLS, and Gospel WLIB-AM – as well as serving as lead producer for live events including the Summer Jam and Circle of Sisters…..Envision Networks invites the industry to join a free webinar event called, “Music Research in the Age of Digital,” presented by RadioTraks president Hal Fish.  He says, “While the way we interact with radio listeners has drastically changed due to the evolution of digital platforms, our need for actionable data about their preferences has not, making it vitally important to use research strategies that keep pace with this evolution.”  The webinar takes place on November 8 at 1:00 pm ET.

October 2018 PPM Data – Round One. Information for the October 2018 ratings period has been released for New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). Nielsen Audio’s October 2018 survey period covered September 13 – October 10. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  Meanwhile, managing editor Mike Kinosian (Kinosian@TALKERS.com) provides his “Takeaways” from these 12 PPM markets below.

TAKEAWAYS

New York City

Spoken-Word Formats – After losing a collective eight-tenths in four downward moves in a row (2.5 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR bounces back with a cumulative +.6 in September and October (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.3, #19 to #16, 6+); “710 The Voice of New York” was up six-tenths in April. Its March gain of one-tenth ended five straight down or flat reports for a -.4 (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8, 6+). Steady at #23, Townsquare Media’s news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” records its sixth straight month without a loss (1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.1 – 1.3 – 1.4, 6+), while Cumulus Media news/talk WABC is unchanged in both 6+ AQH share (1.1) and 6+ AQH rank (#24). WABC had been without an increase for six consecutive sweeps for a collective loss of three-tenths before picking up two-tenths in September. Bouncing back from a loss of eight-tenths in September with an October increase of one-half share (3.9 – 4.4, 6+), Entercom sports talk WFAN “Sports Radio” jumps from #9 to a three-way tie at #6. The 4.7 logged by the flagship of the Yankees and New York Giants in May, July and August is its best 6+-showing since 5.2 in November 2017. Following three months in succession of posting a 1.4 (July – August – September, 6+), New York Jets flagship WEPN notches a 1.7 (6+) and remains at #21; “98.7 ESPN New York” was locked on 1.7 (6+) in May and June. A combined -2.0 in six consecutive sweeps without an increase (6.2 – 5.5 – 5.0 – 4.8 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.2, 6+), Entercom all-news WINS picks up two-tenths to 4.4 (6+) and is part of the aforementioned three-way logjam with co-owned WFAN. Despite picking up one-tenth, co-owned/similarly-formatted WCBS-AM, which is trending 2.7 – 2.5 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9 (6+), backslides from #13 to #14. In July, WCBS-AM ended three successive down or flat sweeps that accounted for a loss of eight-tenths (3.3 – 2.9 – 2.7 – 2.5, 6+). The rollercoaster ride continues for WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s news/talk WNYC-FM, which lost a cumulative seven-tenths in May, June, and July (3.4 – 3.0 – 2.7 – 2.7, 6+); gained seven-tenths in August; surrendered six-tenths in September; and now recaptures six-tenths in October (2.8 – 3.4, #13 to #11, 6+). Returning the one-tenth it added in September, co-owned news/talk WNYC-AM (#27 to a four-way tie at #29) is back at .5 (6+); prior to September’s .6 (6+), WNYC-AM recorded a .5 (6+) three times in a row.

New York City Music Formats – Even though it surrenders in its entirety September’s increase of four-tenths (7.1 – 7.5 – 7.1, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 Lite FM” is #1 for the 15th successive sweep. An overall -1.6 through three setbacks in succession (8.5 – 7.7 – 7.3 – 6.9, 6+), WLTW was a combined +.6 in August and September (6.9 – 7.1 – 7.5, 6+). Prior to July, the last time “Lite FM” fell below a six-share (6+) was in October 2017 (6.6). A collective +7.1 in five consecutive gains (6.0 – 6.1 – 6.6 – 7.0 – 8.8 – 13.1, 6+), WLTW was -5.1 in January and February (13.1 – 8.5 – 8.0, 6+) but rebounded in March and April with a +.5 (8.0 – 8.4 – 8.5, 6+). Without a decrease for six straight months for an overall +.6 (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 4.0, 6+), rhythmic CHR cluster-mate WKTU “103.5 The Beat of New York” forfeits four-tenths to 3.6 (eighth to tenth, 6+). One-tenth ahead of it is Emmis’ similarly-formatted WQHT “Hot 97 – #1 for Hip-Hop” (3.7, -.2, flat at #9, 6+), which had posted a 3.9 (6+) in four of the last five ratings periods (3.9 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.9 – 3.9, 6+). After four straight modest gains for an overall boost of one-half share (3.5 – 3.6 – 3.7 – 3.9 – 4.0, 6+), “Hot” dropped one-tenth in July. Continuing a down/up pattern that began in December 2017 (3.9 – 3.2 – 3.5 – 3.3 – 3.4 – 3.3 – 3.6 – 3.4 – 3.8 – 3.3 – 3.5 – 3.1, 6+), iHeartMedia urban contemporary WWPR “Power 105.1” drops from #11 to #13. The market’s (6+) hot AC share dwindles by three-tenths as Entercom’s WNEW “New 102.7” is flat at 2.8 (four-way tie at #13 to #15, 6+), while Cumulus Media-owned WPLJ “New York’s 95.5 PLJ” (-.3, #17 to #19) is trending 2.2 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.0 (May through October, 6+). After regaining the two-tenths it lost in August (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.8, 6+), Entercom alternative WNYL “Alt 92.3 New York’s New Alternative” sputters by seven-tenths to 2.1 (#13 to #18, 6+).

Los Angeles

Spoken-Word Formats – Without an increase for the fifth time in a row for a collective loss of seven-tenths (4.4 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 3.8 – 3.7 – 3.7, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KFI “AM 640” slips from sixth to eighth. Stuck on 1.2 (6+) in August and September, Salem Media Group news/talk KRLA “AM 870 The Answer” is up one-tenth to 1.3 (6+), advancing from #27 to a four-way tie at #25. Erasing September’s -.2 with an October +.2 (1.1 – .9 – 1.1, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KEIB “AM 1150 The Patriot” moves from #32 to a three-way tie at #30. “The Patriot” was flat in May (.8 – .8, 6+) and then up one-tenth in June, July, and August (.8 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.1, 6+). Following four months in a row at .4 (6+), Cumulus Media-owned KABC “790 News-Talk-Evolved” is off one-tenth to .3 (#41 to #43, 6+). The flagship of the NL champion Los Angeles Dodgers – iHeartMedia-owned KLAC “AM 570 LA Sports” – has more than quadrupled its 6+ AQH through nine successive sweeps without a loss (.4 – .4 – .5 – .9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.7, 6+), progressing from #27 to #24. Sunday night, the Dodgers lost the 2018 World Series to the Boston Red Sox in five games. KLAC has a four-tenths advantage over similarly-formatted KSPN “710 ESPN,” which is up four-tenths to 1.3 (#32 to #25), its best 6+-showing since November 2017 (1.3, as well). Prior to August’s loss of four-tenths, Los Angeles Rams AM flagship KSPN gained one-tenth in three straight sweeps (.9 – 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.2, 6+). A collective -.4 in September and October (3.1 – 3.0 – 2.7, 6+), Entercom’s KNX “1070 News Radio” slips from #11 to #14; KNX was up four-tenths in August. Off six-tenths in April, the all-news outlet followed with an alternating 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.7 pattern (April – May – June – July, 6+). The eight most recent 6+ postings for Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC “The Voice of Southern California” (#16 to #15) are an extremely steady 2.7 – 2.6 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.6.

Los Angeles Music Formats – Not only is KBIG off for the fourth sweep in a row for an overall loss of one full-share (5.8 – 5.7 – 5.6 – 5.5 – 4.8, 6+), “104.3 My-FM” drops to third, ending five straight months at #1. Furthermore, it is the first time the iHeartMedia hot AC is below a five-share (6+) since “Holiday” 2016’s 4.7. Supplanting KBIG at #1 is Entercom classic hits-oldies KRTH “K-Earth 101,” whose last six (6+) trends are: 5.0 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 5.1 – 5.0 – 5.0. The last time a non-iHeartMedia-owned station was #1 in Los Angeles was November 2015 – and it was “K-Earth” with a 5.7 (6+). Sandwiched between KRTH and KBIG is iHeartMedia adult contemporary KOST “Coast 103.5” (4.6 – 4.7 – 4.9, third to second, 6+). Both of the market’s mainstream CHRs have modest October decreases: iHeartMedia’s KIIS “102.7 Kiss-FM” is off two-tenths in consecutive monthlies (4.6 – 4.4 – 4.2, fifth to fourth, 6+), while Entercom’s KAMP “97.1 Amp Radio” drops one-tenth (2.3 – 2.2, 6+) and departs the top twenty (#20 to #21). An overall -.7 in six consecutive down or flat trends (4.9 – 4.9 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 4.2, 6+), “Kiss” picked up four-tenths in August. Meanwhile, “Amp,” which logged a 2.7 (6+) in May, June, and July before adding one-tenth to 2.8 (6+) in August – handed over one-half share in September. Off a combined nine-tenths in four declines in succession (3.2 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.3, 6+), iHeartMedia’s KYSR-FM “Alt 98.7 – LA’s New Alternative,” picks up one-tenth to 2.4 (6+), progressing from #20 to #18. One-tenth ahead of it is Entercom’s similarly-formatted KROQ, which is a combined -.4 in September and October (2.9 – 2.8 – 2.5, #14 to #16, 6+), after being +.7 in six straight up or flat trends (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+). KROQ is tied with Mt. Wilson FM Broadcasters’ KKGO, which is without a loss for the fifth straight time (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.3 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5, 6+) for a net gain of four-tenths; “Go Country 105” is within 2.0 – 2.9 range (6+) for the 36th time in succession. Following five (slight) decreases in succession that led to an overall loss of eight-tenths (4.4 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 4.0 – 3.7 – 3.6, 6+), Entercom adult hits KCBS-FM “92.3 Jack FM – Playing What We Want” picks up two-tenths (3.8, 6+), progressing from seventh to sixth. Univision Radio Spanish contemporary KLVE “107.5 K-Love” has the same August – September – October (6+) profile as “Jack” (3.7 – 3.6 – 3.8). Tied at #9 are Cumulus Media’s  KLOS “95.5 The Rock of Southern California,” which is up a combined half-share in three straight gains (2.5 – 2.7 – 2.9 – 3.0, 6+), and iHeartMedia-owned urban contemporary KRRL “Real 92.3,” which is +.4 in four successive up or flat trends (2.6 – 2.6 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 3.0, 6+). The June 2018 – September 2018 (6+) topline for KXOL was 2.0  – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.3, but “Mega 96.3” disappears from print in October.

Chicago

Spoken-Word Formats – Albeit flat at 2.8 (6+), Tribune Media news/talk WGN climbs from #16 to #15. The Chicago White Sox key station was down one-half share in August and then up three-tenths in September. Entering the August sweep, WGN posted three consecutive upticks for a combined full-share gain (2.0 – 2.2 – 2.4 – 3.0, 6+). Picking up two-tenths in May, it halted three successive decreases that accounted for a collective -1.3 (3.3 – 3.1 – 2.2 – 2.0, 6+). Flat at #22, Cumulus Media news/talk WLS-AM has a May through October topline trending of 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.7 – 1.5. Its +.2 in July ended four consecutive down or flat moves that accounted for a one-half share loss (2.0 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.5, 6+). Immediately prior to that, WLS-AM registered seven straight up or flat ratings periods and was +.7 in that stretch (1.3 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+). Following a gain of eight-tenths in September, Entercom sports talk (and Chicago Cubs flagship) WSCR returns one-tenth (4.3 – 4.2, 6+) but carries on in sixth-place. Prior to September, “670 The Score” logged a fluctuation of one-tenth in each of the previous three months (3.6 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 3.5, 6+). Up two-tenths in back-to-back sweeps (1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4, 6+), ESPN-owned WMVP continues at #24. “ESPN Chicago 1000” had been without an increase for seven successive sweeps for an overall loss of six-tenths (1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.4 – 1.3 – 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.0, 6+). Following six straight down or flat showings for a collective -.7 (5.3 – 5.1 – 4.9 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.6 – 4.6, 6+), Entercom’s WBBM-AM is a collective +1.0 in September and October (4.6 – 4.8 – 5.6, 6+), as the key station of the Chicago Bears progresses from fourth to second; February’s 5.3 is its finest 6+-stat since March 2017’s 5.4. Chicago Public Media news/talk WBEZ is flat at 2.3 (6+) but advances from #20 to #19. Up one-tenth in September, WBEZ was a combined -.8 in four straight decreases (3.0 – 2.8 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.2, 6+); it was an overall +.8 in March and April (2.2 – 2.5 – 3.0, 6+).

Chicago Music Formats – On the heels of regressing by eight-tenths in September, Hubbard-owned hot AC WTMX “101.9 The Mix” erases a bit more than half that deficit with a one-half share improvement to 4.6 (seventh to fifth, 6+). Entering the September sweep, Chicago’s “Mix” was no higher than 5.1 (6+) and no lower than 4.7 (6+) in each of the previous seven sweeps. In three consecutive upticks, Univision Radio regional Mexican WOJO “Que Buena 105.1” (unchanged at #3) is +1.3 (4.0 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 5.3, 6+). At #1 for the tenth month in a row, iHeartMedia urban AC WVAZ “V-103 Today’s R&B and Throwbacks” repeats September’s 5.7, its lowest 6+-performance since “Holiday” 2017 (5.7, as well). WVAZ was up one-tenth in back-to-back ratings periods (5.9 – 6.0 – 6.1, May – June – July, 6+). Its gain of one-tenth in June halted four straight down or flat trends that produced a -.9 (6.8 – 6.6 – 6.1 – 6.1 – 5.9, 6+). Up or flat the past five months for a +.5 (2.6 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.1, 6+), Hubbard adult contemporary WSHE surrenders the entire half-share increase (2.6, -.5, 6+), slipping from #13 to #16. Not only does iHeartMedia’s WLIT wipe out its combined -.6 in July and August (3.5 – 3.1 – 2.9, 6+) with a collective +.6 in September and October (2.9 – 3.2 – 3.5, 6+), “93.9 Lite FM” is back in the top ten (#12 to #9). On one hand, Venture Technologies Group adult contemporary WRME-LP is within 3.3 – 3.8 range (6+) for the ninth month in a row, but on the other, “FM 87.7 Me TV” loses four-tenths to 3.4 (6+) and departs the top ten (#8 to #11). Moreover, WRME-LP has its consecutive string of up or flat reports that netted one-half share end at three (3.3 – 3.7 – 3.8 – 3.8, 6+). Owing to a -.4 to 5.0 (second to fourth, 6+), Cumulus Media-owned WLS-FM “94.7 Chicago’s Classic Hits” has a similar fate, as it snaps at three a successive streak of improvements that generated a cumulative +1.2 (4.2 – 4.9 – 5.3 – 5.4, 6+). Before surrendering one-tenth in June, WLS-FM was an overall +1.6 in seven straight sweeps without a loss (2.7 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 4.3, 6+). Within 3.0 – 3.9 range for the 15th straight time, Entercom’s WUSN “US-99 Chicago’s Hottest Country” (flat at 3.7, 6+) bumps up from ninth to eighth. Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s WEBG “Big 95.5 – Chicago’s New Country” is an overall -.3 in September and October (1.8 – 1.6 – 1.5,  #23 to #22, 6+). For the fourth time in the last six sweeps, Entercom’s WBBM-FM “B-96 Chicago’s New Hit Music” (#19 to #18) logs a 2.4 (2.4 – 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.4 – 2.4 – 2.4, 6+).

San Francisco

Spoken-Word Formats – A combined -1.0 in August and September (3.4 – 3.0- 2.4, 6+), Cumulus Media news/talk KSFO recoups 70% of that loss with a +.7 to 3.1 (#15 to #11, 6+). Immediately prior to August, KSFO put together four successive increases for an overall +1.3 (2.1 – 2.3 – 2.7 – 3.0 – 3.4, 6+). In an up/down sequence that began in July (1.7 – 2.1 – 1.8  – 2.2, 6+), cluster-mate KGO is an overall +.5 and reenters the top twenty (#22 to #17). August’s increase of four-tenths ended four successive down or flat trends that resulted in a -.3 (2.0 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.7 – 1.7, 6+). Immediately after dropping eight-tenths in September, co-owned KNBR “The Sports Leader” regresses by another four-tenths (2.9 – 2.5, #14 to #15, 6+). The key station of the San Francisco Giants and 49ers gained nine-tenths in April. A combined +.6 in three straight up or flat trends (1.5 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.1, 6+), Entercom’s similarly-formatted KGMZ cracks the top twenty (#21 to #18); “95.7 The Game” was -1.1 in July (2.6 – 1.5, 6+). Before the June report, when it lost one-tenth, KGMZ was up or flat the previous nine ratings periods, nearly tripling (+1.7) its 6+-stat in that timeframe (1.0 – 1.2 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.7, 6+). All-news cluster-mate KCBS-AM (5.3 – 5.6, +.3, 6+) finishes in the runner-up slot for the ninth time in a row. Frozen on 5.4 (6+) in April and May, KCBS-AM was then stuck on 5.5 (6+) in June and July. It is 1.1 shares (6+) behind Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED (6.8 – 6.7, -.1, 6+), which is #1 for the ninth straight month. Its gain of four-tenths in September ended five downward trends in a row that accounted for a -2.5 (8.9 – 8.4 – 8.1 – 7.1 – 6.7 – 6.4, 6+). Having logged a one-half share five times in the previous seven monthlies (.5 – .5 – .6 – .4 – .5 – .5 – .5, 6+), San Francisco Unified School District’s KALW “91.7 Local Public Radio” is up one-tenth to .6 (#32 to #31, 6+).

San Francisco Music Formats – An increase of seven-tenths to 3.9 (6+) by Bonneville adult contemporary KOIT-FM wipes away its collective -.7 in four straight down or flat moves (3.9 – 3.8 – 3.4 – 3.4 – 3.2, 6+). Moreover, “96.5 Today’s Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” vaults from tenth to fourth. In addition to being an overall +1.0 in five straight up or flat sweeps (2.3 – 2.4 – 2.9 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.3, 6+), Cumulus Media classic rocker KSAN “107.7 The Bone” cracks the top ten (#13 to #10). Prior to August, “The Bone” recorded a 6+-share between 2.0 – 2.9 in each of the previous 40 sweeps. Tacking on six-tenths to September’s +.4 (1.7 – 2.1 – 2.7, 6+), Spanish Broadcasting System regional Mexican KRZZ “93.3 La Raza” jumps from #19 to #14. Within 3.0 – 3.2 range (6+) in each of the last four sweeps (3.1 – 3.2 – 3.0 – 3.1, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “Amor 100.3” sputters by eight-tenths to 2.3 (#12 to #16, 6+). A decrease of six-tenths (3.7 – 3.1, 6+) takes mainstream CHR KMVQ “Now 99.7 – New Hit Music” to its lowest 6+-showing since December 2017 (3.1, as well) and out of the top ten (#6 to #11). Without a loss the past four months for a +.5 (3.3 – 3.6 – 3.8 – 3.8 – 3.8, 6+), Entercom-owned hot AC KLLC surrenders four-tenths to 3.4 (6+) and drifts from fourth to ninth. Prior to June’s increase, “Alice @ 97.3” was off eight-tenths via four successive declines (4.1 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.5 – 3.3, 6+). After being an overall +.6 as the result of four straight up or flat trends (4.4 – 4.4 – 4.6 – 4.9 – 5.0, 6+), iHeartMedia adult contemporary KISQ was down four-tenths in three modest dips in succession (5.0 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.6, 6+). In October, “98.1 The Breeze” adds one-tenth to 4.7 (6+) and continues at #3.

Dallas

Spoken-Word Formats – Doubling September’s gain of two-tenths with a +.4 (2.2 – 2.4 – 2.8, 6+),Cumulus Media’s WBAP pushes up from #19 to #15. Immediately in advance of the September sweep, “News Talk 820” posted a 2.2 (6+) in three of the previous five sweeps (2.2 – 2.2 – 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.2, 6+). While level with September’s .9 (6+), Salem Media Group-owned KSKY “660 AM The Answer” advances from #34 to #33. Entering the September sweep, “The Answer” was down or flat the preceding four months for an overall -.3 (1.0 – .8 – .7 – .7 – .7, 6+). Returning September’s +.1 (.4 – .5 – .4, 6+), Cumulus Media’s KLIF-AM “570 News & Information” remains at #35. A gain of four-tenths to 3.2 (#16 to #12, 6+) by co-owned sports talk KTCK “The Ticket – All Sports, All The Time” ends a repetitive 2.9 – 2.8 – 2.9 – 2.8 6+-topline. The +1.2 (2.9 – 3.3 – 4.1, 6+) “The Ticket” racked up in April and May was fully erased in June by a -1.2. Entercom sports talk KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan” picks up one-tenth (2.3 – 2.4, 6+) and progresses from #20 to #18. Prior to August, the flagship of the Texas Rangers and Dallas Cowboys had been down by one-tenth in each of the previous three sweeps (2.4 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.1, 6+). ESPN’s KESN “103.3 ESPN Dallas” (#32 to #30) is a collective +.3 in three straight up or flat moves (.9 – .9 – 1.0 – 1.2, 6+). A consistent 2.1 – 2.1 – 2.3 – 2.2 – 2.2 (6+) from June through October, Entercom news-talk hybrid KRLD-AM “News Radio 1080” is back in the top twenty (#23 to #19). Going back to “Holiday” 2016, KRLD-AM is within a high of 2.8 and a low of 2.0. Prior to August’s +.2, “News Radio 1080” was a collective -.7 through five straight months without an increase (2.8 – 2.6 – 2.6 – 2.4 – 2.1 – 2.1, 6+). North Texas Public Broadcasting news/talk KERA (3.0 – 3.1, +.1, 6+) climbs from #14 to #13. Before September’s +.4 to 3.0, KERA logged a 6+-stat in the two-share range for 37 consecutive sweeps.

Dallas Music Formats – Improving by six-tenths each are Entercom classic hits-oldies KLUV “98.7 K-LUV” (4.0 – 4.6, seventh to third, 6+) and Salem Media Group contemporary Christian KLTY “94.9 Your Life … Inspired” (3.2 – 3.8, tenth to ninth, 6+), which has its best 6+-showing (3.8) since January’s 4.1. At the same time, WAY Media contemporary Christian KAWA, which improved by seven-tenths in September, forfeits eight-tenths in October (1.6 – 2.3 – 1.5, 6+) as “WAY-FM Uplifting-Upbeat-Real” departs the top twenty (#20 to #24). A gain of one-tenth to 4.2 (fifth to fourth, 6+) by Cumulus Media country outlet KPLX “99.5 The Wolf” halts six straight down or flat trends that accounted for an overall loss of three-tenths (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.1, 6+). It overtakes (by one-tenth) co-owned and similarly-programmed KSCS “New Country 96.3,” which is -1.1 in three straight reports without an increase (5.2 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.1, third to fifth, 6+). When KSCS dropped nine-tenths in August, it curtailed seven successive up or flat trends that accounted for a +1.3 (3.9 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 4.5 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 5.2, 6+). July’s 5.2 represents the best-ever 6+ share in KSCS’ PPM history and first time it ever reached the five-share level (6+). Substituting September’s -.4 with an October +.4 (6.4 – 6.2 – 6.6, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KHKS “106.1 Kiss – Dallas/Fort Worth’s Hit Music” – which was +1.1 in August – is on top for the tenth straight time. “Kiss” was a combined -1.4 in June and July (6.9 – 6.3 – 5.5, 6+), after a +1.5 via three upticks in a row (5.4 – 6.0 – 6.7 – 6.9, 6+). Owing to five straight up or flat sweeps, City of Dallas-owned WRR more than doubled (+1.7) its 6+ share (1.4 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 3.0 – 3.1, 6+), but “Classical 101” spirals by -1.1 in October to 2.0 (6+), cratering from the top twenty (#13 to #22). Immediately following five successive sweeps without a loss for a +.7 (2.4 – 2.4 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.8 – 3.1, 6+), Entercom-owned KVIL “Alt 103.7 – DFW’s New Alternative” is now -.9 in September and October (3.1 – 2.7 – 2.2, #18 to #19, 6+).

Houston

Spoken-Word Formats – A combined -.9 in August and September (4.1 – 3.6 – 3.2, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk KTRH “News Radio 740” bounces back with a one-half share increase to 3.7 (#16 to #12, 6+). Among the market’s sports talk competitors, KTRH cluster-mate/Houston Astros flagship KBME “Sports Talk 790” is trending 1.3 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.1 – 1.5 – 1.5 (flat at #22, 6+); Entercom’s KILT-AM “Sports Radio 610” repeats September’s 1.1 (6+) as the Houston Texans’ AM flagship moves from #24 to #23, 6+); and Gow Communications’ KFNC adds two-tenths (.6 – .8, #27 to #26, 6+) as “ESPN 97.5” has its best 6+-showing since May (.8, as well). In three straight down or flat moves, University of Houston news/talk KUHF is off four-tenths (3.4 – 3.2 – 3.2 – 3.0, 6+) and slips from #16 to #17.

Houston Music Formats – As the result of three straight upticks (2.8 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 4.5, 6+), Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KOVE “Amor 106.5” is an overall +1.7 (#13 to #8) and reaches the four-share level (6+) for the first time in exactly two years (4.0, October 2016). Likewise, co-owned regional Mexican KLTN “Que Buena 102.9” strings together three straight improvements for a collective +1.3 (4.7 – 5.0 – 5.2 – 6.0, 6+) to progress from fifth to third. The last time “Que Buena” reached the six-share threshold (6+) was one year ago (6.3, October 2017). It is a bit of a different story though for Entercom hot AC KHMX “Mix 96.5,” which dials up a one-half share increase to 4.0 (#13 to #11, 6+), thus curtailing three successive decreases that accounted for a loss of six-tenths (4.1 – 3.9 – 3.7 – 3.5, 6+). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia adult contemporary KODA continues one streak and ends another. “Sunny 99.1” is #1 for the sixth month in a row, but is off four-tenths to 7.2 (6+), thus interrupting three straight up or flat trends that yielded six-tenths (7.0 – 7.3 – 7.3 – 7.6, 6+). Its 12.5 in “Holiday” 2017 is its strongest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2016’s 10.3 and the first time any Houston station reached double-digits (6+) since that ratings period. Radio One urban AC KMJQ “Majic 102.1 – The People’s Station” (6.4 – 6.1, -.3, 6+) remains in the runner-up slot for the sixth month in a row. Stuck on 7.0 (6+) in January and February, “Majic” dropped to 6.8 (6+) in March; it was tied for #1 in April. After three successive (slightly) up and flat trends (5.2 – 5.2 – 5.3 – 5.4, 6+), Cox Media Group’s KKBQ “Country 93-Q” falters by seven-tenths to 4.7 (third to seventh, 6+), its lowest 6+-stat since “Holiday” 2017’s 4.2. Showing decreases of one-half share each are Liberman Broadcasting regional Mexican KTJM “La Raza” (3.1 – 2.6, #18 to #20, 6+) and Texas Southern University-owned jazz KTSU “Your Community Station – The Heart & Soul of Houston” (1.2 – .7, #27, 6+).

Atlanta

Spoken-Word Formats – In addition to being #1 for the 35th consecutive time, Cox Media Group news/talk WSB-AM is a collective +.7 in September and October (7.5 – 7.9 – 8.2, 6+), after being down three-tenths in July and August (7.8 – 7.6 – 7.5, 6+). When WSB-AM gained three-tenths in June, it halted four consecutive negative moves that accounted for a -2.7 (10.2 – 9.4 – 8.4 – 7.7 – 7.5, 6+). Following August’s -1.0 (2.3 – 1.3, 6+), Cumulus Media’s WYAY was flat in September (1.3, 6+). By gaining two-tenths to 1.5 (6+) in October, “106.6 Where Atlanta Comes to Talk” reenters the top twenty (#21 to #20). WYAY was a collective +.5 in June and July (1.8 – 2.1 – 2.3, 6+). An overall +1.7 in four positive spikes in succession (2.2 – 2.5 – 3.2 – 3.3 – 3.9,  6+), Entercom sports talk WZGC “92.9 The Game” jumps from #15 to #11. The Atlanta Falcons’ flagship was a combined -1.1 in May and June (3.3 – 2.7 – 2.2, 6+), following an April increase of seven-tenths. The April 2018 through October 2018 (6+) topline for Dickey Broadcasting’s WCNN “Sports Radio The Fan” is: 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.4 – 2.0; the AM flagship of the Atlanta Braves carries on at #18. When WCNN lost two-tenths in July, it halted seven successive sweeps without a decrease that netted eight-tenths (1.2 – 1.2 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.0, 6+). Unchanged at #11, City of Atlanta Board of Education news/talk WABE is a collective +.8 in three straight increases (3.1 – 3.5 – 3.8 – 3.9, 6+). This directly follows five consecutive down or flat sweeps in a row for an overall -1.4 (4.5 – 4.5 – 4.2 – 4.0 – 3.8 – 3.1, 6+). April – October stats for Georgia State University news/talk WRAS (#23 to #26) are .6 – .7 – .6 – .8 – .8 – .8 – .6 (6+).

Atlanta Music Formats – It is a mixed bag in October for the market’s country-formatted outlets, including a format change. Specifically, Cumulus Media-owned WKHX “Kicks 101.5 – Atlanta’s #1 For Country Hits” piles on six-tenths to September’s +.1 (3.3 – 3.4 – 4.0, 6+) to enter the top ten (#14 to #10), while iHeartMedia’s WUBL “94.9 The Bull” is -1.1 via three consecutive decreases (4.0 – 3.8 – 3.7 2.9, #12 to #17, 6+). Approximately halfway through the October sweep, Woman’s World Broadcasting-owned WTSH “Your Georgia Country” transitioned to regional Mexican as “La Raza” and is down one-half share (.6 – .1, #31, 6+). Once again, the market’s two mainstream CHRs are on top of each other. Without a loss for the sixth straight time for a cumulative gain of one full-share (3.4 – 3.4 – 3.5 – 4.1 – 4.1 – 4.4 – 4.4, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WWPW “Power 96.1 Atlanta’s #1 Hit Music Station” is steady at #7, while Cumulus Media’s WWWQ “Q-100 Atlanta’s New Hits” is down one-tenth to 4.2 (unchanged at #8, 6+), thus snapping at four a consecutive string of up or flat moves that netted three-tenths (4.0 – 4.0 – 4.2 – 4.2 – 4.3, 6+). A one-half share increase (6.7 – 7.2, 6+) takes Entercom urban contemporary WVEE “V-103 The People’s Station” to its highest 6+-share (7.2) in more than two years (7.3, April 2016). Following a (repetitive 6+) May through August sequence of 4.6 – 4.7 – 4.6 – 4.7, Radio One-owned WHTA  surrenders a combined -1.1 in September and October (4.7 – 4.2 – 3.6, 6+) with “Hot 107.9” exiting the top ten (#9 to #13). Similarly, Salem Media Group contemporary Christian WFSH “The Fish” is an overall -1.1 in September and October as well (5.9 – 5.3 – 4.8, fifth to sixth, 6+). Three gains in a row by “The Fish” netted a +1.9 (4.0 – 4.8 – 5.0 – 5.9, 6+); August’s 5.9 is its strongest 6+-showing since January’s 6.0. Having logged seven straight up or flat moves (1.3 – 1.3 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 1.8 – 2.1, 6+) and finishing #19 in May, Cox Media Group urban contemporary WSTR-HD3 is unlisted for the fifth month in a row.

Philadelphia

Spoken-Word Formats – Steady at #14, Entercom’s WPHT has nearly doubled its 6+ AQH share (+1.4) in six straight increases (1.5 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 2.2 – 2.5 – 2.8 – 2.9, 6+). “Talk Radio 1210” was stuck on 1.8 (6+) in “Holiday” 2017 and January 2018 and then on 1.9 (6+) in February and March, before dropping to 1.5 in April. Regaining half of September’s -.2 (1.5 – 1.3 – 1.4, 6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” continues at #22; September’s 1.3 is its weakest 6+-showing in Philadelphia since December 2017 (1.3, as well). Philly’s FM sports talk format notes a (6+) September 2018 – October 2018 increase of +2.1, with Entercom’s WIP “Sports Radio 94.1” +1.4 (5.9 – 7.3, 6+) and Beasley Media Group-owned WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” notching a +.7 (1.8 – 2.5, #18 to #16, 6+). Moreover, Philadelphia Eagles flagship WIP (key station of the Phillies, as well) jumps from sixth to first. WIP was an overall +2.6 (January); -.8 (February); -2.9 (March); +1.1 (April); -.8 (May); -.5 (June); +.7 (August); and now +1.4 (October). Meanwhile, prior to October, “The Fanatic” was without a gain the past five months for an overall decline of one full-share (2.8 – 2.3 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 1.9 – 1.8, 6+). Picking up four-tenths (5.1 – 5.5, 6+), Entercom’s KYW “News Radio 1060” – which was +.7 in August and -.1 in September – inches up from eighth to seventh. An increase of nine-tenths in March (5.1 – 6.0, 6+) gave “News Radio 1060” its strongest 6+-showing in three years (6.1, March 2015), but it then surrendered one full-share in April, leading to four consecutive down or flat trends (6.0 – 5.0 – 4.7 – 4.5 – 4.5, 6+), accounting for a -1.5. Up one-tenth (3.7 – 3.8, 6+), public news/talk WHYY repeats at #10. An August increase of one-half share interrupted three successive declines for an overall -1.1 (4.4 – 3.7 – 3.6 – 3.3, 6+).

Philadelphia Music Formats – A collective -2.2 in three consecutive decreases (8.5 – 7.8 – 6.5 – 6.3, 6+), adult contemporary WBEB reduces that deficit by roughly 30% with a gain of seven-tenths to 7.0 (6+), as “Today’s 101.1 More FM” jumps from fourth to second. WBEB was on top from March through June before being dislodged in July. In “Holiday” 2017, WBEB achieved its most potent 6+-share since 17.9 in “Holiday” 2016. The longtime Jerry Lee Radio property is now being operated by Entercom under a Time Brokerage Agreement (TBA), until Entercom officially closes on its $57.5 million purchase. Not only does a -1.1 to 6.6 (6+) pull the plug on three straight gains that netted a +1.9 (5.8 – 6.4 – 7.3 – 7.7, 6+), iHeartMedia’s WDAS-FM departs the top spot after just one month there and tumbles to fifth. August’s 7.3 marked the first time “Philly’s Best R&B and Throwbacks” reached the seven-share level (6+) since September 2017’s 7.1. Immediately prior to a loss of one-half share in June, WDAS-FM was an overall +.8 in three straight upticks (5.5 – 5.8 – 6.0 – 6.3, 6+). On the heels of a September gain of four-tenths, Beasley Media Group-to-Entercom’s WXTU “92.5 Philadelphia’s Country Station” surrenders more than twice that increase (5.7 – 4.8, -.9, seventh to eighth, 6+) and has its lowest 6+-showing (4.8) since 4.6 in March. A combined -1.4 in three straight negative trends (8.2 – 7.5 – 7.0 – 6.8, 6+), Entercom classic hits-oldies WOGL “98.1 – Nobody Plays More 80s” – which finished first in August – segues from second in September to third. This comes immediately after six straight gains for a combined +2.9 (5.3 – 6.3 – 6.9 – 7.0 – 7.2 – 7.7 – 8.2, 6+). July’s 8.2 represents its highest-ever 6+-stat in the PPM-era. When WOGL reached #1 in that sweep, it was the first time the station occupied that spot since August 2017.

Long Island

Spoken-Word Formats – Immediately after logging a +1.0 in September, iHeartMedia news/talk WOR “710 The Voice of New York” tacks on an additional eight-tenths (2.8 – 3.6, #13 to 6+), jumping from #13 to #9. By way of perspective, WOR finished at #22 in August and was a collective -1.3 in four straight down or flat trends (3.1 – 2.3 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 1.8, 6+). Cumulus Media news/talk WABC surrenders half of September’s +.2 (1.5 – 1.4, #23 to #25, 6+). Its +.1 in August stopped four consecutive down or flat moves that accounted for a loss of three-tenths (1.5 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.4 – 1.2, 6+). Both of New York City’s major sports talk outlets that penetrate Long Island gain six-tenths in Nassau-Suffolk: Entercom’s WFAN (5.0 – 5.6, 6+) is #1 for the third month in a row, while New York Jets flagship WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” (1.6 – 2.2, 6+) jumps onto the top twenty (#22 to #16). October’s 5.6 is the strongest 6+-showing in Long Island for WFAN since November 2017’s 5.9. WEPN had been off seven-tenths in four straight down or flat trends (2.3 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.6 – 1.6, #22, 6+), immediately after five consecutive upticks for a +1.2 (1.1 – 1.2 – 1.3 – 1.8 – 2.0 – 2.3, 6+). An improvement of six-tenths (2.7 – 3.3, 6+) lifts Entercom all-news WINS from #14 to #13. Prior to the September sweep, WINS showed a month-to-month fluctuation of three-tenths four straight times: +.3 (May); -.3 (June); -.3 (July); and +.3 (August). Stuck on 2.5 (6+) in June, July, and August, co-owned and similarly-formatted WCBS-AM adds a collective three-tenths in September and October (2.5 – 2.7 – 2.8, #14 to #15, 6+). WCBS-AM gained two-tenths in January, halting four straight down or flat trends for an overall loss of one full-share (3.8 – 3.7 – 3.0 – 2.8 – 2.8, 6+). WNYC Broadcasting Foundation news/talk WNYC-FM, which had been trending 1.6 – 1.9 – 1.6 – 1.7 – 1.5 – 1.5 – 1.7 – 2.0 (February 2018 – September 2018, 6+), and ranked #19 in September disappears from print.

Long Island Music Formats – In five straight down or flat trends, Entercom classic hits-oldies WCBS-FM was a collective -1.2 (4.9 – 4.4 – 4.3 – 4.3 – 3.8 – 3.7, 6+), but “101.1 New York’s Greatest Hits” regains all of it (+1.2) in three increases in succession (3.7 – 4.6 – 4.7 – 4.9, steady at #2, 6+). Connoisseur Media classic hits-oldies WBZO “103.1 Max FM,” which gained one-half share in August (4.6 – 5.1, 6+) and dropped four-tenths in September (5.1 – 4.7, 6+), plummets one full-share in October to 3.7 (four-way tie at #2 to #7, 6+). This is its lowest 6+-stat since March (3.7, as well). Registering a loss of six-tenths are Cox Media Group-owned WBAB “102.3 – Long Island’s Only Classic Rock,” a combined -1.3 in three straight drops (5.0 – 4.5 – 4.3 – 3.7, sixth to seventh, 6+) and iHeartMedia rhythmic CHR WKTU “103.5 The Beat of New York” (3.6 – 3.0, #10 to #14, 6+), with its lowest 6+ Long Island stat since January (3.0, as well). Flat at #4, its mainstream CHR cluster-mate WHTZ “Z-100” is flat or down slightly for the sixth straight time for a collective loss of four-tenths (5.1 – 5.0 – 5.0 – 4.9 – 4.8 – 4.7 – 4.7, 6+). Despite being down or flat for the fourth consecutive time for an overall decline of one-half share (2.8 – 2.5 – 2.5 – 2.4 – 2.3, 6+), Emmis rhythmic CHR WQHT advances from #16 to #15; “Hot 97” is within 2.0 – 2.9 territory (6+) for the 48th consecutive ratings period.

Riverside

Spoken-Word Formats – After dropping four-tenths in August to 1.3 (6+), San Bernardino Community College news/talk KVCR adds two-tenths to September’s +.1 (1.4 – 1.6, 6+) and continues at #12. KVCR nearly doubled its 6+-stat in June and July (.9 – 1.1 – 1.7, 6+). Down or flat the past four Inland Empire sweeps (.5 – .5 – .4 – .4 – .3, 6+), Pasadena City College news/talk KPCC doubles September’s .3 to .6 as “The Voice of Southern California” stays at #17. Debuting in July with a .2 (6+), iHeartMedia news talk KKDD “1290 News Talk IE” gained one-tenth in August (.3, 6+); was flat in September (.3, 6+); and is up one-tenth in October (.4, four-way tie at #17 to #18, 6+). Co-owned KPWK “Fox Sports Radio 1350 AM” (formerly KUBE) disappeared from print in June; resurfaced in July (.2, 6+); dropped one-tenth in August (.1, 6+); and adds one-tenth in both September (.2, 6+) and October (.3,  #19, 6+). Los Angeles Angels-owned (LAA 1, LLC)/similarly-formatted KLAA “Angels Radio AM 830” is unlisted for the ninth month in a row.

Riverside Music Formats – On the heels of September’s massive +2.5 (7.4 – 9.9, 6+), Entravision’s KLYY “Jose” returns four-tenths (9.5, 6+) but is #1 for the fifth successive sweep. The loss though curtails five straight upticks that netted a whopping +5.3 more than doubling its 6+-stat since April (4.6 – 6.4 – 6.5 – 6.9 – 7.4 – 9.9, 6+). This follows five sweeps in succession without an increase for an overall -3.0 (7.6 – 7.3 – 5.8 – 5.8 – 5.0 – 4.6, 6+). June 2018 marked the first time “Jose” was in the lead position since “Holiday” 2017 when it scored a 7.3 (6+). Prior to September, KLYY last reached the nine-share level (6+) in February 2017 (9.2). A collective +.9 in three successive monthlies without a loss (6.3 – 6.6 – 7.2 – 7.2, 6+), Anaheim Broadcasting classic hits-oldies KOLA falters by three-tenths to 6.9 (6+), but stays in the runner-up slot for the fifth month in a row. With a 6.5 (6+), KOLA was #1 in May. Its +.3 in July ended four downward trends in succession that generated a -2.1 (8.4 – 7.1 – 6.7 – 6.5 – 6.3, 6+). Flat at #6, LC Media urban-rhythmic oldies KQIE “Old School 104.7” drops four-tenths to 3.4 (6+), pulling the plug on four straight sweeps without a loss that generated a collective +1.3 (2.5 – 3.0 – 3.0 – 3.1 – 3.8, 6+). Not only is Anaheim Broadcasting’s KCAL-FM -1.1 in five straight sweeps without an increase (2.8 – 2.8 – 2.7 – 2.4 – 1.8 – 1.7, 6+), “96.7 Rocks” departs the top ten (#10 to #11). Lazer Broadcasting regional Mexican KXSB “Radio Lazer” is without a gain for the sixth straight month for a collective -.6 (.7 – .6 – .6 – .4 – .3 – .1 – .1, flat at #23, 6+). Entering the August sweep, iHeartMedia Spanish adult hits KFOO recorded a .3 (6+) in three of the previous four sweeps (.3 – .3 – .5 – .3, 6+). “La Preciosa 1440 AM” posted a +.7 to 1.0 (6+), but is unlisted for the second month in a row.

San Jose

Spoken-Word Formats – Progressing from #15 to #13, Cumulus Media’s KGO notches its fourth uptick in a row for a cumulative +1.3 (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.4 – 2.8 – 3.0, 6+). July’s increase discontinued four successive downward sweeps for a -1.4 (3.1 – 2.9 – 2.1 – 2.0 – 1.7, 6+). A gain of one-tenth to 1.2 (#27 to #25, 6+) by co-owned news/talk KSFO applies the brakes to three consecutive downward moves that resulted in the evaporation of exactly half (-1.1) of its 6+-share (2.2 – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.1, 6+). Prior to July, KSFO was without a loss the previous five months for an overall +1.0 (1.2 – 1.5 – 1.9 – 1.9 – 2.0 – 2.2 – 2.2, 6+). After posting a +.8 to halt three decreases in succession that accounted for a cumulative -1.0 (4.6 – 4.3 – 3.9 – 3.6, 6+), sports talk cluster-mate KNBR is a combined -1.2 in September and October (4.4 – 3.4 – 3.2, flat at #10, 6+). “The Sports Leader” was +1.6 in April, as it reached the four-share level in San Jose (6+) for the first time since May 2017’s 4.2. The seven most recent San Jose topline stats for Entercom sports talk KGMZ “95.7 The Game” are 1.0 – 1.1 – 1.4 – unlisted – .6 – .8 – .6 (#26, 6+). All-news sibling KCBS-AM (6.5 – 6.4 – 6.2, 6+) finishes in second-place for the third month in a row. Its -.8 in July curtailed four consecutive up or flat trends that netted +1.4 (5.8 – 5.8 – 6.3 – 6.4 – 7.2, 6+) and its strongest 6+ (San Jose) showing since November 2017 (7.2, as well). Between January 2018 – June 2018, Northern California Public Broadcasting news/talk KQED and KCBS-AM finished first and second, respectively. Bouncing back from July and August’s -1.6 (7.5 – 6.5 – 5.9, 6+) with a +.3 in September to 6.2 (6+), KQED jumped from sixth to fourth but the station is unlisted in October.

San Jose Music Formats – Within 3.0 – 3.7 range (6+) in each of the last ten survey periods, iHeartMedia hot AC KIOI erupts with a +1.2 to 4.4, its highest 6+-stat since December 2017’s 4.5. In addition, “Star 101.3” reenters the top ten (#12 to #8). Making a nearly equal leap is Alpha Media’s similarly-formatted KEZR (5.1, +1.1, eighth to fifth, 6+). “Mix 106 Today’s Best Music” had been +.9 in three straight up or flat trends (4.0 – 4.5 – 4.9 – 4.9, 6+), before becoming -.9 in August and September (4.9 – 4.3 – 4.0, 6+). It’s a stellar month as well for co-owned classic hits-oldies KBAY, which racks up a +.6 to 6.9, its strongest 6+ showing since 7.0 in “Holiday” 2017. Moreover, “94.5 Bay FM – The Bay’s Greatest Hits” marches from #3 to #1, the first time it has held the lead spot since “Holiday” 2015 – when it was an adult contemporary outlet. It dislodges Bonneville-owned KUFX “98.5 K-Fox The South Bay’s Classic Rock,” which had been #1 the past three months, but shifts to third-place. Prior to plummeting by one full share in October (5.9, 6+), “K-Fox” was a collective +1.7 in three increases in a row (5.2 – 6.7 – 6.8 – 6.9, 6+). After registering five successive gains for an overall +2.1 (4.0 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 5.1 – 6.1, 6+), Empire Broadcasting’s KRTY “San Jose Hot Country 95.3” is a collective -1.6 in September and October (6.1 – 5.4 – 4.5, flat at #6, 6+). As a result of three successive increases (1.7 – 2.2 – 2.3 – 3.4, 6+), iHeartMedia-owned KOSF doubled its 6+-share (+1.7); however, “iHeart80s @ 103.7” forfeits six-tenths to 2.8 (6+) and fades from the top ten (#10 to #14). Faltering by six-tenths as well is Univision Radio Spanish adult hits KBRG “Amor 100.3” (6.0 – 5.4, fifth to fourth, 6+). After logging a 2.7 in five of the last six sweeps (2.7    – 2.7 – 3.0 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2.7, 6+), co-owned rhythmic CHR KVVF “Hot” sputters by one-half share to 2.2 (#16 to #17, 6+).

Middlesex-Somerset-Union

Spoken-Word Formats – Over and above being +2.2 in five straight increases (6.0 – 6.4 – 6.8 – 7.1 – 8.0 – 8.2, 6+), Townsquare Media news/talk WKXW “New Jersey 101.5” is #1 for the fourth month in a row. In addition, this (8.2) is its best 6+-share since January (8.3). “New Jersey 101.5” was on top four ratings periods in succession before segueing to #2 in May. Up or flat for the fourth time in a row for a +1.3 (1.7 – 2.0 – 2.0 – 2.3 – 3.0, 6+), iHeartMedia news/talk WOR vaults from #20 to #15. WOR was off a collective six-tenths in May and June (2.3 – 1.8 – 1.7, 6+). Cumulus Media news/talk WABC (#25 to #24) is without an increase for the fourth straight sweep (1.7 – 1.6 – 1.6 – 1.5 – 1.5, 6+). Following four Middlesex-Somerset-Union decreases in succession for a -.9 (4.4 – 4.3 – 4.2 – 3.6 – 3.5, 6+), Entecom sports talk WFAN rebounds with a +.7 to 4.2 (tenth to sixth, 6+). June’s one-tenth setback halted three straight gains that netted a +1.1 (3.3 – 3.4 – 4.1 – 4.4, 6+). Similarly-programmed WEPN “98.7 ESPN New York” is +1.2 through four consecutive improvements (1.7 – 1.9 – 2.1 – 2.5 – 2.9, 6+); the flagship of the New York Jets climbs from #18 – #17. Flat at #22, Entercom all-news WCBS-AM has a March through October topline of: 2.9   – 2.0 – 1.8 – 1.5 – unlisted – 1.7 – 1.9 – 2.2 (6+). Right behind it is all-news sibling WINS, which records a 1.7 (6+) for the sixth straight time; WINS was locked on 1.1 (6+) in March and April. An August gain of three-tenths by WNYC Broadcasting Foundation’s WNYC-FM halted five straight losses (3.4 – 2.6 – 2.5 – 2.2 – 1.9 – 1.8, 6+) that accounted for a nearly 50% erosion of its 6+ share (-1.6). In September, WNYC-FM dropped two-tenths to 1.9 (6+), but it disappears from print in October.

Middlesex-Somerset-Union Music Formats – Down an overall eight-tenths in August and September (4.0 – 3.5 – 3.2, 6+), Beasley Media Group adult contemporary WMGQ “Magic 98.3 – Todays Hits & Yesterday’s Favorites” erases nearly all of it with a +.7 to 3.9 (6+) and is back in the top ten (#14 to #8). Recording its fourth increase in succession for an overall +.8 (4.1 – 4.2 – 4.5 – 4.7 – 4.9, 6+), iHeartMedia classic rock WAXQ “Q-104.3” carries on in fifth-place. Down for the sixth consecutive month for an overall -1.9 (4.8 – 4.6 – 4.0 – 3.9 – 3.5 – 3.4 – 2.9, 6+), Pillar of Fire contemporary Christian WAWZ “Star 99.1” drifts from #11 to #17. Flat at #14, Spanish Broadcasting System Spanish tropical WSKQ “La Mega 97.9” is down or flat for the fourth straight time for an overall loss of seven-tenths (3.9 – 3.8 – 3.5 – 3.2 – 3.2, 6+).

Monday, September 24, 2018

| September 24, 2018

Nielsen Audio Announces Monthly Reporting for Diary Markets Starting in July of 2019. This is a move that broadcasters in diary markets have been waiting for.  Ratings giant Nielsen Audio announces it will “transform the measurement of markets that are measured with the audio diary from a quarterly or two times a year view to year-round measurement with monthly reporting.  This more dynamic measurement solution enables clients to see seasonal shifts and react more quickly to marketplace changes.  With this transition, radio will be able to find new insights and tell its reach story to advertisers each month.”  The implementation of Continuous Diary Measurement will begin in phases with the first starting in July 2019 in the markets currently measured four times a year.  The current four-book markets will convert to 12 currency releases that will comprise three months of data starting with the May/June/July 2019 report period.  Effective with July 2019, approximately 70% of radio’s ad spend will be reported monthly by Nielsen Audio.  Company managing director Brad Kelly says, “Big billion-dollar advertisers leave nothing to chance.  Every decision they make is data driven and updated audience data is crucial for timely decisions.  Nielsen Audio is excited to help diary market clients have a better understanding of the audio landscape and respond faster to dynamic market conditions. Continuous Diary Measurement will help radio reinforce its compelling reach story more often and provide fresh radio data to fuel marketing mix models — the decision tools big advertisers rely on to allocate budgets and evaluate the effect of their ad spend.”  Nielsen plans to deliver monthly reports, covering six months of data in markets with at least 1,000 metro in-tab, and monthly reports covering 12 months of data in the smallest markets.  Currently, Nielsen reports larger diary markets four times a year (winter, spring, summer and fall), mid-sized diary markets twice a year in the spring and fall and the smallest markets with two book averages of Spring/Fall and Fall/Spring.

SiriusXM to Acquire Pandora.  Satellite radio broadcaster SiriusXM announces that it is acquiring internet pure-play Pandora in an all-stock deal valued at about $3.5 billion.  According to today’s statement, Pandora owners will get 1.44 shares of SiriusXM stock for each Pandora share they own.  Both companies issued brief financial statements within the announcement. SiriusXM reiterates its previous outlook of 1.15 million new, self-pay subscribers and an adjusted EBITDA of $2.17 billion for the year.  Pandora reports expected Q3 revenue to be $390 million to $405 million.  SiriusXM says of the deal, “The combination creates the world’s largest audio entertainment company, with more than $7 billion in expected pro-forma revenue in 2018 and strong, long-term growth opportunities.”  SiriusXM says it plans no immediate change in listener offerings but adds that it can “capitalize on cross-promotion opportunities” and leverage its “exclusive content and programming with Pandora’s ad-supported and subscription tiers to create unique audio packages, while also utilizing SiriusXM’s extensive automotive relationships to drive Pandora’s in-car distribution.”  SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer comments, “We have long respected Pandora and their team for their popular consumer offering that has attracted a massive audience and have been impressed by Pandora’s strategic progress and stronger execution.  We believe there are significant opportunities to create value for both companies’ stockholders by combining our complementary businesses.  The addition of Pandora diversifies SiriusXM’s revenue streams with the U.S.’s largest ad-supported audio offering, broadens our technical capabilities, and represents an exciting next step in our efforts to expand our reach out of the car even further.  Through targeted investments, we see significant opportunities to drive innovation that will accelerate growth beyond what would be available to the separate companies, and does so in a way that also benefits consumers, artists, and the broader content communities.  Together, we will deliver even more of the best content on radio to our passionate and loyal listeners, and attract new listeners, across our two platforms.”

Beasley Promotes Buzz Knight to EVP of Strategy and Innovation. Programmer Buzz Knight is promoted from his vice president of programming position to executive vice president of strategy and innovation, effective immediately.  Knight came into the Beasley Media Group organization with the company’s acquisition of Greater Media in 2016.  In his new role, he will be responsible for the company’s existing and future strategic initiatives, along with new opportunities that innovate and diversify its portfolio.  Knight says, “These are transformative times in the company and the media industry.  Beasley Media Group is committed to pursuing and embracing strategy and innovation.  I am grateful to have the opportunity to be a part of helping to shape the company’s next exciting chapter!”

WTAM, Cleveland Adds ‘Geraldo in Cleveland’ Program and Begins 106.7 FM Simulcast. Heritage Cleveland news/talk WTAM unveils a number of programming additions that take effect today (9/24), starting with the AM station’s addition of translator W295DE at 106.7 FM to the station’s signal.  Also, American news and talk icon Geraldo Rivera is launching at daily, one-hour program on WTAM called “Geraldo in Cleveland” that airs at 9:00 am.  The iHeartMedia station says the program will address “a range of local and national headlines, including the latest business, political, and pop culture news.”  Rivera says in a press release, “Cleveland is my home now and so is WTAM.  History put me here by random chance and now I am a part of this great city where I fell in love with my wife of 15 years, Erica Rivera.  I will continue to work on a national level with FOX News [as correspondent-at-large], and I look forward to sharing conversations and perspective locally with you every day.  This is just the beginning of what I hope will be a long relationship with WTAM, iHeartMedia, and most importantly – YOU.”  Also at WTAM, the station adds former Cleveland Indians pitcher and current Indians TV broadcaster Jensen Lewis to the afternoon daypart as co-host of the 6:00 pm sports show “Sports Feed 2.0” with Mike Trivisonno and Nick Camino.  Finally, longtime station personalities Bill Wills – co-host of the morning drive show – and afternoon drive personality Mike Trivisonno have once again renewed their agreements with WTAM, both signing multi-year contract extensions.  Wills will continue his 20-year tenure as anchor of morning drive and Trivisonno will extend his 22-year reign as afternoon drive on-air personality.

Report: Gargano Off Mornings at WPEN-FM.  According to a report by Rob Tornoe at Philly.com, Beasley Broadcast Group’s sports talk WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” is removing Anthony Gargano from his post as host of the morning show and set to replace him is NBC Sports Philadelphia (and former crosstown WIP) personality Marc Farzetta. The story says it’s unclear if current morning show cast members Bob Cooney and producer Jamie Lynch will remain with the new lineup. WPEN has not responded publicly to the report.  Gargano left Entercom’s crosstown sports talker WIP in 2015 to take the WPEN gig.  Gargano is still listed as morning host on the station’s website and spots with his voice are still airing.

‘Savage Nation’ Reinvented for the New Year; One-Hour Radio Show and One-Hour Podcast to Replace Current Show. Starting in January, Michael Savage and Westwood One transition his current three-hour, syndicated talk show into two separate entities – a one-hour version of “The Savage Nation” radio show and a new, original podcast (that will also be available for radio broadcast).  Savage currently releases a podcast version of his radio show.  This new podcast will be original content.  Savage states, “As I move into the next phase of my 25-year radio career I hope to bring even more listeners to the medium of audio with ‘The Savage Nation.’  I will be free to innovate in unique ways on my podcast.  The flexibility of the platform will permit me to expand my storytelling and insights into politics, books, food, cars, and rock and roll.  I’m going to change the way talk radio is spoken and consumed.”  WWO adds that the combination of podcast and broadcast will fuel the audience for both shows, saying Savage will cross-promote across “The Savage Nation” radio show and podcast, which will also be heavily promoted by Westwood One Podcast Network.

Westwood One to Produce New, Two-Hour Ben Shapiro Radio Show. A lot has been made about making conservative media figure and Daily Wire editor-in-chief Ben Shapiro’s podcast available to broadcast radio stations. But, the real innovation in today’s news about Westwood One’s new, two-hour radio show being made available to news/talk stations is that the national spots will be restricted to a “limited number of powerful live reads” just as Shapiro does on his podcast.  The new Ben Shapiro show will air live from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET and debut in January. Shapiro says, “I grew up on talk radio and cut my teeth there.  There’s no medium that allows the exchange of ideas and the explanation of detailed narratives better than talk radio and I can’t wait to bring two more live hours to listeners across the country.  And we’re going to bring the values of podcasts – islands of advertising surrounded by oceans of content – to talk radio, too, merging the best of both worlds. Westwood One is a tremendously innovative partner, and I can’t wait to get started!”

RAB/NAB Radio Show Gets Underway This Week in Orlando.  The 2018 Radio Show opens in Orlando tomorrow (9/25).  Radio consultant Holland Cooke offers a little teaser about Edison Research’s “Share of the Ear” study that will be released at the Radio Show this year.  He also has some insight on the new Echo Auto.  Read his piece here.  Among the numerous happenings at this year’s confab is a live broadcast of “The Bob & Tom Show” Wednesday through Friday.  The broadcasts will take place in the North Foyer of the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek and will feature special guests; Frank Caliendo, Drew Hastings, Pat Godwin, and Greg Hahn.

Kavanaugh Assault Allegations, Trump-Russia Investigation/Rosenstein Status, Midterm Elections, New Illegal Population Study, U.S.-China Trade War, Deadly Iran Parade Attack, NFL Action, and MLB Playoff Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.This week’s scheduled testimony from Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, and the new allegation from Kavanaugh’s Yale years; President Trump’s attacks on the Russia investigation and speculation about Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein’s job security; the coming midterm elections; a new illegal population study that declares real illegal population is 22 million – double previous estimates; the escalating placement of tariffs on goods by the U.S. and China; the attack on an Iranian military parade being blamed by Iran on the U.S. and Israel; the weekend’s NFL Action and the Major League Baseball playoff push were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Las Vegas, Beasley Media Group names Kris Fisher the new brand manager for rhythmic oldies KOAS “Old School 105.7” and hot AC KVGS “STAR 107.”   Fisher was most recently PD at the company’s hip hop WCHZ.  Beasley Las Vegas vice president and general manager Dennis Gwiazdon comments, “We’re thrilled that Kris will be joining our team in Las Vegas.  After a lengthy nationwide search, it is especially gratifying to be able to promote someone from within our company.  “HD98.3” and “Hot 95.5/ 93.1” have achieved some of their highest ratings under his direction.  I’m looking forward to watching Kris work his magic for us here!”…..The nationally syndicated “DeDe in the Mornings” show is being added to the program schedule at iHeartMedia’s WHTY-FM, Columbus, Georgia “Hot 100.”  Compass Media Networks officially launched “DeDe in the Mornings” in partnership with Service Broadcasting’s “K104” in Dallas on July 16.  The program is also heard on WJMR-FM, Milwaukee; KATJ-HD2/K242CS, Victorville, California “HD 96.3”; and more…..Chicago on-air pro Brian Peck is named evening personality on Cumulus Media’s classic hits WLS-FM.  Peck has recently shared evening hosting duties with fellow WLS personalities Tom O’Toole and Danny Lake.  They will continue with their weekend shows along with Erin Carmen and Abby Ryan. Peck arrived in Chicago in 1992 as a morning co-host on WKQX “Q101.”  He’s also worked at WTMX, WSHE, and WJMK.

Friday, August 10, 2018

| August 10, 2018

WEEI-FM’s Minihane Set to Discuss Depression. The genuine intimacy between a radio talent and the audience will most likely again be strongly in evidence when Entercom Boston sports talk WEEI-FM’s Kirk Minihane returns to the air today (Friday, 8/10) on the 5:30 am – 10:00 am “Kirk & (Gerry) Callahan Show.” In a tweet yesterday (8/9) at 2:47 pm, Minihane wrote, “I’ve talked a lot about my issues with depression, and I’ve battled it the last three months or so. Last Thursday night, I checked into the ER at Winchester Hospital with suicidal thoughts. I was then moved to McLean, where I was treated and released earlier this week.” One minute later (2:48 pm), he followed with, “I’ll be back at work tomorrow, and I’m a little nervous about it – but I’m not ashamed or embarrassed. We’ll do what we do – we’ll talk about it.” McLean Hospital in Belmont (suburban Boston) is regarded as one of the country’s best psychiatric facilities. Highly-controversial and opinionated Minihane joined what was then the “(John) Dennis and Callahan” show in 2013. He was suspended for “unsavory” language toward Fox Sports reporter Erin Andrews. He later made headlines when he said the New England Patriots should “hire someone to murder” Roger Goodell over the NFL commissioner’s handling of “deflategate.” Earlier this year, Minihane claimed he would be taking a year off from sports talk radio, insisting he is “tired of being treated like a child” by station management. In Nielsen Audio’s just-released July 2018 Boston PPM results, WEEI-FM is up one-tenth to 4.2 (#8, 6+), while cross-town rival – Beasley Media Group-owned WBZ-FM “The Sports Hub” regresses by one-half share (3.8, #10, 6+).

Stunner: Lanigan Logs Off WTAM. It’s one of those management nightmares when an on-air talent literally quits on the air. It happened in Cleveland two days ago (8/8) when John Lanigan announced Wednesday’s show on WTAM would be his last. For the past four years, Lanigan had done a one-hour (9:00 am – 10:00 am) program called “The Spew” on the iHeartMedia news/talk property. After a segment on the worst presidents in history, however, Lanigan according to a report on WEWS-TV “News 5,” Cleveland “diverted significantly from the show’s scheduled topics” approximately halfway through “The Spew.” Apparently out-of-the-blue, Lanigan ad-libbed to co-host Mike Trivisonno, “Can I talk to you for a second, quickly? I want to tell you what a privilege it has been working with you these last few years. You are the class act in radio. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it [but] I won’t be doing ‘The Spew’ ever again – I’m quitting today. I’m done – I won’t be back. I won’t be on ‘The Spew.’” The 75-year-old Lanigan went on to say (in a clip posted by WKYC-TV, Cleveland) that he’s no longer interested in what the NFL’s Cleveland Browns do and he doesn’t think he’s smart enough to discuss politics. “There’s too divisive an attitude in the country right now; I don’t think I’m qualified to tell listeners what they should be thinking,” Lanigan remarked. WTAM program director Ray Davis finished the rest of that day’s “Spew.” In 1971, Lanigan rather famously replaced Don Imus on Cleveland’s WGAR. For 29 years (1985 – 2014), Nebraska-born Lanigan – a 2013 National Radio Hall of Fame inductee – did morning drive with John Webster and Jimmy Malone on Cleveland classic hits-oldies outlet WMJI.

Entercom Now In TBA With WBEB. Prior to officially closing on its $57.5 million purchase of Jerry Lee Radio Philadelphia’s WBEB “101.1 More FM,” Entercom took over operation of the adult contemporary property yesterday (Thursday, 9/9) under a Time Brokerage Agreement (TBA). It marks the end of an era as WBEB was perhaps the lone genuine standalone property in a PPM-market – no sister station anywhere else. Entercom Philadelphia senior vice president/market manager David Yadgaroff remarks, “I am excited to welcome WBEB, one of the country’s most recognized and awarded stations, to our portfolio of Philadelphia radio stations. The addition of WBEB will be a great complement to our lineup that already includes KYW ‘News Radio 1060’; WIP ‘94 Sports Radio’; WPHT ‘Talk Radio 1210’; [adult contemporary] WTDY; and [classic hits-oldies] WOGL.” Elsewhere in the market, Beasley Media Group approximately three weeks ago (7/23) similarly assumed operations of Entercom’s WXTU “92.5 Philadelphia’s Country Station” under a TBA in advance of finalizing that station’s $38 million purchase. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 Philadelphia PPM report, WBEB regresses by seven-tenths (8.5 – 7.8) to slip from first to second, while WXTU (5.8, sixth to fifth, 6+) is without a loss for the seventh successive sweep for a cumulative gain of +2.2.

Univision Q2: Net Income Up, Radio Ad Revenue Down. For second-quarter 2018, Univision Communications’ net income rose from $106.1 million to $114.3 million; however, radio ad revenue dropped 3.6% to $61.7 million. Overall radio revenue fell 3.1% to $64.7 million, with total radio core revenue off 5.5% to $60.5 million. In addition, Univision’s aggregate revenue declined 2% year-to-year to $749.8 million with total core revenue (excluding political and content licensing revenue) down 3.1% to $730.3 million. Chief executive officer Vince Sadusky observes, “This is a company I have long admired as one of the great franchises in U.S. media and for its important mission to serve the Hispanic community. Despite a rapidly evolving media landscape, the company has a lot to be optimistic about and an incredibly strong foundation to build from. We provide unparalleled access to a coveted and fast growing consumer group with increasing buying power. While our foundation is strong, Univision has gone through a significant amount of change over the last few months. We are starting an exciting new chapter with a singular focus on our core business and mission – to inform, entertain and empower Hispanic America.” Sadusky succeeded Randy Falco as CEO in late-May (2018).

Final Round of July 2018 PPM Data Released. The fourth and final round of ratings information from Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 survey period covered June 21 – July 18. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.

Sir Charles In Charge. Once each year, Charles Barkley co-hosts all fours hours of Mike Missanelli’s afternoon drive show (2:00 pm – 6:00 pm) on Beasley Media Group Philadelphia sports talk outlet WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic.” The former NBA star did so yesterday (Thursday, 8/9) and discussed topics like the Eagles first preseason game; the expectations for the Sixers this season; and if the Phillies can keep up their great play. “The Round Mound of Rebound” spent the first eight years of his 16-year NBA career with the Sixers. He also played for the Phoenix Suns and Houston Rockets. For the past 18 years, Barkley has been a studio analyst for Turner Network Television (TNT), appearing on the network’s NBA coverage during pre-game and halftime shows. Pictured in the photo at the right (from left to right) are Missanelli, Natalie Egenolf, Barkley, and Tyrone Johnson.

TALKERS News Notes. Adding radio duties as co-host (with program director Justin Acri) of “The Zone” (10:00 am – 1:00 pm) on Signal Media Little Rock sports talker KABZ “103.7 The Buzz” is Wess Moore, sports director of Little Rock’s KLRT-TV “Fox 16.” He succeeds Pat Bradley, who exits after 11 years to relocate to his native Boston; Bradley played college basketball for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks. Acri comments, “We are going to really miss Pat in ‘The Zone,’ but certainly understand the draw of family. He has been a huge part of ‘The Buzz’ team and our success for more than a decade. He will continue to be a great featured contributor to the station going forward.  I know he will always consider Little Rock and Arkansas a second home – regardless of where he’s living.” Moore adds, “I am excited to be joining such a successful sports talk radio station with a rich history in Arkansas. ‘The Buzz’ has some of the best personalities in the business – I’m honored to get the opportunity to work alongside them. I look forward to being a part of ‘The Zone’ with Justin Acri, who has created an entertaining, smart show engaging sports fans on all levels.” Moore previously hosted “Game On with Wess Moore” for High Plains Radio Network’s Benton, Arkansas-licensed sports talk KAFN “Fox Sports Arkansas”; he begins his KABZ assignment next Monday (8/13) ….. In partnership with SiriusXM, the Charlotte-based Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) is establishing a permanent “Billy Graham Channel.” Headlined by messages of the late Christian evangelist, “The Billy Graham Channel” debuts one week from Monday (8/20), on SiriusXM Channel 460, becoming the satcaster’s fifth spoken-word “Religion” channel and the first featuring a continuous delivery of evangelistic content. BGEA chief executive officer Franklin Graham comments, “We are excited that SiriusXM will have a permanent Billy Graham channel. Many people have told us how much it has meant to them to hear my father’s timeless messages of truth.” Since last November, “The Billy Graham Channel” has appeared as a limited-run offering on four occasions, including a tribute channel in conjunction with Dr. Graham’s passing in February.

Week’s Top Topics.  The Trump-Russia investigation; Paul Manafort trial;  Ohio special election; various state primaries; midterm elections;  trade wars;  China tariffs;  Russia sanctions;  Rep. Chris Collins indictment;  Alex Jones and social media; LeBron James education initiative; California wildfires and their causes; New Mexico compound child abuse;  TribuneSinclair non-deal;  MLB action; and NFL training camps-pre-season games were the most-talked-about-topics on American news/talk radio this past week of August 6-10, 2018 according to the ongoing research of TALKERS magazine. To see the complete list of top topics and most-talked-about people of the week, please click here.

Harrison Podcast Resurrects 36-Year-Old Interview with Apple I and Apple II Inventor Steve Wozniak. In commemoration of Apple, Inc. reaching the historic milestone of a one trillion dollar valuation, TALKERS founder Michael Harrison dug up a 36-year-old interview that he conducted with Apple, Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak, the designer and inventor of the original Apple I and II personal computers. It is the centerpiece of this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Originally aired in 1982 on the pioneering national cable TV talk show “Harrison’s Mic,” the 24-minute conversation explores the beginnings of Apple Computer, Inc. (as it was then called) from what was a relatively recent perspective (it was only six years old). More importantly, it reveals the prescient thinking and perspective of one of the most important electronic designers and computer scientists of the digital era (and eventual philanthropist) when he was only 32 years old and society had merely scratched the surface of the revolution about to change the way people live and think. This fascinating interview is a must-listen for pop culture enthusiasts and media freaks. Michael Harrison states, “I am only first understanding the level of historical and intellectual gold that exists in the thousands of interviews, specials and broadcasts collecting dust in my archives that go back a half-century. We never realized when this content was being created in those early days that it would be of such historical interest and value. It just seemed like disposable pop content of the moment. This gem of a conversation with the great Steve Wozniak, which I hadn’t heard in more than three decades, is a prime example. I am so happy to share it in 2018 upon the milestone of Apple setting such astonishing records.” To listen to the interview in its entirety, please click here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Dubbed “The most-listened-to woman on radio,” Premiere Networks’ nighttime adult contemporary personality Delilah returned to New York City last Thursday (8/2) to host the annual summer performance, “Broadway in Bryant Park.” Presented by Delilah’s NYC affiliate, iHeartMedia AC WLTW “106.7 Lite FM,” the six-week event takes place at noon every Thursday (July 12 – August 16) and features performances of the biggest hits from the most popular shows on and off Broadway. Highlighted last week, for example, were “Aladdin,” “Frozen,” and “The Lion King.” An inductee of both the National Radio Hall of Fame and NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame, Delilah will be back next Thursday (8/16) to close out the series and welcome performances from “Be More Chill,” “Gettin’ The Band Back Together, “Once On This Island” and “School of Rock.” Pictured here from left to right are “Aladdin” cast members Major Attaway (“Genie”); Arielle Jacobs (“Jasmine”); Delilah, and Telly Young (“Aladdin”) …. Specifically targeting mainstream CHRs, rhythmic CHRs, and hip-hop stations, the five-hour “Dana Cortez Show” is the first result of a joint syndication and sales initiative that was announced four months ago between ABC Radio and Skyview Networks. An ensemble cast is led by one of the first Latinas to host a nationally syndicated show. ABC Radio vice president and general manager Steve Jones comments, “Dana is a transformational talent whose voice connects with a very broad audience and women in particular. We are extremely proud to syndicate ‘The Dana Cortez Show’ and help Dana, [her executive producer and husband] ‘DJ Automatic’ and ‘Anthony A’ [comedian Anthony Almanzar] entertain more listeners and drive affiliate revenue.” Skyview Networks president Ken Thiele remarks, “When we started this collaboration with ABC Radio, ‘The Dana Cortez Show’ is exactly the type of gold we were hoping to find – programs and personality with momentum on the rise. We welcome them to the family.” Cortez adds that, “Partnering with ABC Radio and Skyview Networks is the realization of a lifelong dream. From day one, Steve Jones and his team have championed having a female host as the lead for their morning syndication. It sends a very powerful message and I’m excited to help pave the way. Today’s audience expects authenticity, there are no secrets between us – nothing is off limits. Every morning is brimming with culture and content. Originality is at the core of everything we do. We believe our show is radio reimagined. It’s not what we do, it’s how we do it.” Cortez joined Univision Radio San Antonio rhythmic CHR KBBT “98.5 The Beat” three years ago from similarly-formatted KKSS “Kiss 97.3,” Albuquerque ….. Catapulting from his role of program director of iHeartMedia Myrtle Beach (South Carolina) CHR WWXM “Mix 97.7,” Ron Roberts takes on similar duties at Entercom Atlanta hot AC WSTR “Star 94.” He succeeds Tony Lorin, who exited earlier this year; a successor to Roberts at “Mix” is yet to be named … In iHeartMedia’s San Diego cluster, KGB-FM “San Diego’s Classic Rock” and KIOZ “Rock 105.3” program director Shauna Moran is promoted to director of rock programming for both stations. Meanwhile, KGB afternoon co-host Bob Buchmann becomes KGB’s operations manager/music director. According to Moran, “It has been an amazing week for KGB with the triumphant return home of DSC in mornings and the assembling of a powerhouse line up: Clint August in middays; Bob and Coe [Lewis] in afternoons; and Marc Coppola in nights. It also is a privilege to name Bob operations manager and music director for KGB.” Prior to joining KGB-FM and KIOZ in 1996, Moran spent five years in Denver as promotion director for KAZY, KRFX, and KBPI. Buchmann, who did mornings on KGB-FM before shifting to afternoons, has programmed WAXQ, New York; KLOS, Los Angeles; and was vice president of programming for WBAB, Long Island ….. Starting next month (9/4), changes at Bonneville Denver adult contemporary KOSI “Real-Music-Variety” will find three-year afternoon host Jackie Selby shifting to mid-days, replacing Denise Plante, who departed last month. The afternoon slot vacated by Selby will be taken over by Melissa Moore, who will cross the hallway from country sibling KYGO, where she handles mid-days. Selby’s previous Denver background includes alternative KXPK “96.5 The Peak,” hot AC KALC “Alice 106,” classic hits-oldies KXKL “Kool 105,” and adult standards KTNI “101.5 Martini on the Rockies.” Moore returns to KOSI, where she was morning co-host in the late-1990’s. Her resume includes Orlando’s WWKA “Country “K-92,” Minneapolis hot AC KSTP-FM “KS 95,” and afternoons on the contemporary Christian “WAY-FM” network …..Five-year Radio One Indianapolis CHR WNOW “100.9 Radio Now” integrated media specialist Tony Severino will join crosstown Sarkes Tarzian triple A WTTS “92.3 World Class Rock – Experience The Music” next Tuesday (8/14) as director of sales. “His enthusiasm for our industry and what we can do for clients is outstanding,” states WTTS president and general manager Geoff Vargo, while station manager Brad Holtz notes, “The passion he has for the opportunities that lie ahead for our unique brand of local radio was evident upon our first conversation.” Severino succeeds Daryl McIntire, who has left the station ….. To promote the addition of Premiere Networks morning talent Bobby Bones to its on-air lineup (5:00 am – 10:00 am), iHeartMedia Louisville’s WAMZ “97.5 Kentuckiana’s #1 for Country” partnered with “Field of Screams” to showcase a guitar-playing skeleton and “The Bobby Bones Show” logo. Including a six-acre corn maze, the annual haunted house event is open from September 16 through October 27 in Brandenburg, Kentucky ….. Alpha Media Canton, Ohio hot AC WHBC-FM “Mix 94.1” is the latest affiliate of Envision NetworksEnvisionVirtualServices. According to “Mix” program director John Stewart, [meteorologist] John Wetherbee is mindful of Ohio’s ever-changing weather pattern. If our weather changes, he updates his forecasts.”

Thursday, March 1, 2018

| March 1, 2018

iHeartMedia Moves News/Talk Programming to New Signal in Boston.  The lineup of predominantly Premiere Networks-syndicated news/talk shows moves from WKOX to WXKS-AM in Boston.  WXKS-AM had been leased to Bloomberg for its news radio format, but that deal is not renewed and iHeartMedia elects to shift the conservative talk format from WKOX’s 1430 AM to WXKS-AM’s 1200.  The station continues to be simulcast on WJMN-HD2.  iHeartMedia SVP of programming for Boston Dylan Sprague comments, “We are proud to have the best talent in talk radio on ‘TALK 1200.’  With a more powerful signal, we can now reach a wider audience.”

Michael Holley Exits WEEI, Boston.  Thirteen-year WEEI, Boston personality Michael Holley leaves Entercom’s sports talker for a larger role on cable’s NBC Sports Boston.  His emotional farewell announcement on yesterday’s program probably shocked fans.  The “Dale & Holley Show with Rich Keefe” has been a consistently high-performing show for the station and Holley was offered a multi-year contract extension, but he elected to focus on an expanded role on TV.  For now, the afternoon drive show on the station will be co-hosted by Dale Arnold and Rich Keefe while Entercom seeks a replacement for him.

Cumulus’ WJOX-FM, Birmingham Replaces AM Drive Show with Midday ‘JOX Roundtable’ Program.  “The Opening Drive” show starring Jay Barker, Al DelGreco and Tony Kurre has been canceled by Cumulus Media’s WJOX-FM, Birmingham and is being replaced by the midday “JOX Roundtable” program that features Jim Dunaway (center), Lance Taylor (right) and Ryan Brown (left).  The shift takes effect on Monday (3/5).  Cumulus Media Birmingham VP and market manager David Walls says, “We are extremely excited and pleased to be able to put our most successful show in the mornings and introduce this fantastic program to more JOX listeners. These guys know how to win and with their work ethic and talent, we are expecting great things.”  Program director Ryan Haney adds, “The listener response to the ‘JOX Roundtable’ has been exceptional over the years.  We look forward to continuing to build upon the momentum and passion shared by both the show and its loyal fan base.”

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s January 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk radio.  It’s not surprising that 77% of stations in the panel saw their 6+ shares increase following the Holiday 2017 PPM survey that is so dominated by Christmas music listening.  Comparing January 2017 to January 2018, 61% of stations enjoyed an increase in their 6+ shares.  Just one sports talk station in PPM markets was ranked #1 (6+) during the January survey and that honor went to Entercom’s WIP, Philadelphia – flagship of the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles.  New England Patriots flagship WBZ-FM, Boston “The Sports Hub” ranked #2 in its market as did Minnesota Vikings flagship KFXN, Minneapolis “K-FAN.”  See the entire report here.

iHeartMedia Misses More Interest Payments.  Because it is expecting to enter into some form bankruptcy protection very soon, iHeartMedia has elected not to make interest payments totaling $138 million.  That total is from outstanding 11.25% Priority Guarantee Notes due 2021 — $59.1 million due – and outstanding 9.0% Priority Guarantee Notes due 2021 — $78.8 million due.  This kicks in a 30-day grace period before default, but as the company’s filing with the SEC indicates, it is in continuing negotiations with debt holders over a comprehensive debt restructuring to reduce its more than $20 billion in debt.  This is the second non-payment of interest for the company.  It’s February 1 non-payment on $106 million goes into default after tomorrow (3/2).

TALKERS News Notes.  A new conservative television talk show will hit the airwaves on PBS – at least for an eight-week trial run.  The program, called “In Principle” and starring columnist Michael Gerson and commentator Amy Holmes, debuts on April 13.  As reported by AP, the program “will take its cue from William F. Buckley’s ‘Firing Line,’ which aired from 1966 to 1999.”  It goes on to say that each show will feature interviews with two guests for in-depth discussions about such issues as race, gun control, and more.  Gerson is quoted saying, “I think the Trump era has been a very difficult time for traditional conservative discourse.  I think a lot of institutions and places have been co-opted in this era.  I view conservatism not only as a belief but a state of mind, a respect for tradition but also a respect for facts.”…..Beasley Broadcast Group chief financial officer Marie Tedesco is presenting at next week’s Deutsche Bank Media, Telecom & Business Services Conference in Palm Beach, Florida.  In addition to the presentation, Tedesco will meet with institutional investors at the conference…..iHeartMedia and entertainment industry publication Variety are teaming up to produce a new podcast titled, “PLAYBACK,” a film-focused program hosted by Variety awards editor Kris Tapley.  The weekly podcast will be available on the iHeartRadio platform and feature exclusive, in-depth interviews with the talents behind many of today’s hottest movies.

Hope Hicks Resigns, Trump’s Televised WH Meeting, NRA vs Delta, Trump-Russia Investigation, Parkland Shooting Investigation, FISA Abuse Matter, Oprah Presidential Bid, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/28). White House communications director Hope Hicks’ announcement she’s resigning from her position; President Trump’s televised White House meeting during which he proposes new gun restrictions; the NRA’s battle with Delta over the termination of their business relationship and threats by Georgia politicians to punish the airline; Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the ongoing investigation into the police response to the Parkland, Florida school shooting; President Trump’s attacks on Attorney General Jeff Sessions for asking the Inspector General’s office to look into allegations of FISA abuse; Oprah Winfrey’s statement she’s waiting for a sign from God whether to run for president; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

BFoA to Honor Urban One’s Cathy Hughes.  At the Broadcasters Foundation of America annual breakfast at the NAB Show in Las Vegas on April 11, the organization will honor Urban One founder and chairperson Cathy Hughes as recipient of the 2018 Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award.   The Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award is bestowed annually upon an individual in broadcasting whose work exemplifies innovation, community service, advocacy, and entrepreneurship.  It salutes its namesake Lowry Mays and is underwritten by The Mays Family Foundation.  Hughes’ unprecedented career has spawned a multi-media conglomerate across radio, television, and digital media.  In 1980 she founded Radio One (now Urban One), which became the largest African-American owned and operated broadcast company in the nation.

Michael Harrison Discusses Podcasting.  TALKERS founder Michael Harrison appears as a guest on this week’s installment of the popular podcast, “Viral Podcasting,” hosted by media/financial consultant Kerry Lutz.  Harrison and Lutz discuss the rise of podcasting and its relationship to terrestrial radio.  Harrison says that podcasting (originally a term that originally related to the Apple iPod) is just a word that in a broader sense means “programming on demand.”  He explains how the internet and digital age are undoing the culture of “mass media” that grew out of 20th century technology.  He suggests that to be successful at podcasting “you can’t just mail it in as you could when consumers had fewer choices in terms of media products and platforms.”   To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Three air personalities are returning to Westwood One’s 24/7 Formats division.  The company announces that rock personality Marconi – who’s served with WKQX, Chicago; KUFO, Portland; and KNDD, Seattle – returns to the Rock 2.0 format.  Well-known Los Angeles jock Jay Coffey returns to host middays on the classic hits service.  Tony Scott, who has worked at KLOS, KRTH, and KSWD in Los Angeles, is returning to host the evening show on the classic rock service.  Westwood One also announces that Lynn Briggs is taking on the afternoon daypart on its adult contemporary service.  Westwood One president of programming Kirk Stirland says, “Hundreds of our affiliates, along with their listeners coast-to-coast, are hearing their old friends on radio once again, on a multitude of formats here at Westwood One.  Marconi, Jay, Tony and Lynn are deeply experienced radio pros and I am very pleased to welcome them to the 24-Hour Format where they will bring great value to our customers.”

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

| February 13, 2018

Report: The Daily Wire in Talks to Acquire Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze. According to a report in The Daily Beast, the conservative news and commentary site The Daily Wire – operated by conservative media figure Ben Shapiro with backing from the East Texas billionaire Wilks family – is in talks with Glenn Beck to acquire his TheBlaze news and opinion site.  The piece by Betsy Woodruff and Lachlan Markay reports that TheBlaze did not respond to a request for comment but that Shapiro told them, “TheBlaze welcomed us to the space as allies from the beginning, and we’re always looking for ways to strengthen our partnerships with our allies.”  TheBlaze turns eight years old this year and of late has had to cut costs.  Reports indicate TheBlaze downsized its staff in 2017 in response to fiscal challenges.  Interestingly, the story says the Wilks family was pursuing a purchase of Breitbart but ran into a wall in that effort.  Shapiro has hosted and co-hosted talk radio shows, both at KRLA, Los Angeles as part of the morning show and at KTTH, Seattle as solo host.  Now, he hosts a podcast program available via The Daily Wire.

PPM Analysis: A Yearlong Look at Spoken Word.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents an analysis of how news/talk, all-news and sports talk radio performed over the course of 2017 based on 6+ data from Nielsen Audio. Kinosian’s report illustrates the high and low 6+ rating marks for stations in all three format categories: news/talk, all-news, and sports talk.  In the news/talk format, Entercom’s WTIC-AM, Hartford owned the largest swing – from a high of an 8.8 share in January 2017 to a low of 4.4 in August and the Holiday sweeps.  Entercom sports talker WIP, Philadelphia saw the widest swing in that format – achieving an 8 share in November after chalking up a 3.9 share in February.  Read the whole report here.

Special Screening of Guardian Angels Film Tonight at Cumulus’ Stage 17 in NYC.  There’s a new documentary film out that chronicles the Curtis Sliwa-founded Guardian Angels.  It’s called, VIGILANTE: The Incredible True Story of Curtis Sliwa and the Guardian Angels, and Sliwa’s radio home – 77WABC – is hosting a special screening of the film at the Cumulus Media event space Hackensack Meridian Health Stage 17 tonight at 6:00 pm.  The screening of the film by David Wexler takes place on the 39th anniversary of Sliwa’s inaugural Guardian Angels Safety Patrol into the New York City subway system on February 13, 1979.  Known by their signature red berets, the Guardian Angels expanded from just 13 members in New York City to become an international phenomenon that continues in more than 140 cities in 14 countries.  Sliwa says, “The Documentary gives one an inside look into what it was like to live in New York City from 1979-1992 when crime, crack, and chaos were everywhere.  It was my baptism in hell, yet somehow I survived.”  Sliwa currently hosts the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show, “Curtis + Cosby,” with Rita Cosby on WABC.  In the photo above, Curtis Sliwa (center) is pictured with other Guardian Angels and an actor in a Robocop suit in “the early days” of the Angels.

TALKERS News Notes. Bakersfield market talk show host Inga Barks is joining a new, hyperlocal digital platform designed to serve Kern County, California.  Called Kern Cast, the platform’s studios are based at the Bakersfield Music Hall of Fame building.  Barks was most recently hosting a show on Alpha Media’s KNZR, Bakersfield but was let go in January in a budget-related move.  She also previously hosted a program on American General Media’s KERN, Bakersfield…..Chesapeake-Portsmouth Broadcasting flips WHKT, Portsmouth, Virginia from news/talk to Christian contemporary, due to revenue concerns.  The station had been airing a number of syndicated talk hosts – Salem Media’s Dennis Prager, Courtside’s Laura Ingraham, and Westwood One’s Mark Levin – as well as regional host John Fredericks (still heard on the company’s WPMH, Portsmouth)…..FOX Sports Radio reports that its total podcast listens for the network’s Monday through Friday lineup reached a milestone of 10.25 million across all platforms for the month of January, as measured by ART19.  The company says the latest benchmark is “the result of record growth across FOX Sports Radio’s weekday programming lineup, including: ‘The Herd with Colin Cowherd,’ ‘Outkick The Coverage with Clay Travis,’ the Doug Gottlieb show, ‘Steve Gorman SPORTS!,’ ‘JT ‘The Brick’ with Tomm Looney,’ the Jason Smith show with Mike Harmon, and the Ben Maller show.”  The company says most recent streaming results for FOX Sports Radio also showed impressive gains.  The network experienced a 20% year-to-year increase in December 2017, and each of the past four months (September through December) ranked as the most-listened-to months in FOX Sports Radio streaming history…..SiriusXM is planning to air a never-before-heard interview with late comedian Joan Rivers on its Entertainment Weekly Radio channel Thursday (2/15).  The special is being hosted by Dan Bucatinsky and “Will & Grace” co-creator Max Mutchnick and features PEOPLE and EW editorial director Jess Cagle discussing the conversation.

Farley, Loudon, and Cooke Discuss Talk Radio Content on RT America.  Pictured above (from left to right) are frequent Fox News Channel guest Dr. Gina Loudon, consultant and RT America host Holland Cooke, and radio news pro Jim Farley on Cooke’s “The Big Picture” program discussing “Fake News + Fleeting Attention.”  Farley was an ABC and NBC News executive who also managed ratings and billing all-news radio giant WTOP, Washington and tells the viewers he “was inside the Acela corridor bubble.”  Dr. Loudon urges “committing at least 5% of news/talk consumption time to people who see things differently.”  See the show segment here.

The Trump Budget Plan, Trump-Russia Probe, Porter Exit Fallout, Syria-Israel Tensions, North Korea Nuclear Program, Trump Entitlement Reforms, Official Obama Portraits, PyeongChang Winter Games, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/12).  The details of the Trump budget that adds to the deficit, includes an infrastructure plan, and more money for the military; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents; the White House fallout from the resignation of aide Rob Porter after allegations of domestic violence; tensions in Syria as Damascus warns Israel about further military strikes and Iran’s involvement in the Syrian conflict; President Trump’s charge that Russia has not been helpful in efforts to de-nuclearize North Korea; President Trump proposed overhauling the housing, food stamps and health care programs; reactions to the official portraits of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama; the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea; and NBA 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 Seattle, Hubbard Radio appoints Gus Swanson to the marketing/promotions director position for adult contemporary KRWM “WARM 106.9.”  Swanson was most recently marketing director and event producer for CBS RADIO in Seattle.  Hubbard Seattle market manager Marc Kaye says, “We are so excited to have someone with Gus’s market and business experience join the great team at ‘WARM 106.9,’ it’s a very good day!”…..iHeartMedia announces the return of the “iHeartCountry Festival by AT&T” taking place on Saturday, May 5 at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin.  This is the fifth consecutive year for the festival and acts set to play this year include: Luke Bryan, Keith Urban, Dustin Lynch, Cole Swindell, Maren Morris, Sugarland, Luke Combs, Billy Currington, Dan + Shay, Jon Pardi, and Brett Young, with more to be announced.   Premiere Networks syndicated morning personality Bobby Bones will again serve as MC.  iHeartMedia president of entertainment enterprises John Sykes states, “What makes this festival special is that it is the one night the A-list of country music comes together to perform live, collaborate with friends and spend time together as a family.  Everyone stays to support each other until the last band has walked off stage.”…..Cherry Creek Radio is agreeing to sell classic rock KLMR-FM and country KLMR-AM in Lamar, Colorado, plus oldies KBLJ-AM and country KTHN, in La Junta, Colorado to Aaron Leiker-owned 25-7 Media for an undisclosed sum.  Kalil & Co. is the exclusive broker.

Monday, February 12, 2018

| February 12, 2018

Beasley Media Group Reports Pro Forma Q4 Net Revenue Down 6.9%.  Due to the number of recent acquisitions, sales and asset swaps Beasley Media Group has been involved in, the company’s financial reports can be a bit confusing.  It is reporting a $4.8 million, or 9% year-over-year, increase in net revenue during the three months ended December 31, 2017.  That figure reflects the inclusion of stations acquired from Greater Media in Boston, Philadelphia, Detroit and New Jersey (announced in the summer of 2016), partially offset by the disposition of the Charlotte and Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville stations (to Entercom, announced in the fall of 2016) and strong non-recurring political advertising revenue recorded in the year ago fourth quarter.  But the 6.9% dip in net revenue in the fourth quarter of 2017 is pro forma and reflects the company’s legacy Beasley Broadcast Group operations, the Greater Media stations, and the recent acquisition of sports WBZ-FM, Boston (exchanged with Entercom for WMJX-FM, Boston and $12 million), while excluding the Charlotte and Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville stations and WMJX-FM, as if all transactions had been completed on January 1, 2016.  In a press release, CEO Caroline Beasley states, “Throughout 2017, we continued to actively manage our station portfolio to extract operating and financial synergies from the acquired Greater Media stations, while implementing our proven strategies across our platform, which are focused on delivering strong local programming, diversifying our operations, managing risk and improving financial results.  On a GAAP basis, fourth quarter net revenue rose 9.0% compared to the prior year, primarily reflecting the acquisitions and divestitures to our platform on a year-over-year basis.  Pro forma net revenues for the three months ended December 31, 2017 declined 6.9% compared to the prior year period, reflecting $3.9 million in non-recurring political advertising revenue and softer national advertising revenue. The year-over-year decline was partially offset by a 6.5%, or $3.5 million, reduction in pro forma station operating expenses. As a result, Beasley’s fourth quarter pro forma SOI declined 7.8% year over year while SOI margins were relatively flat compared to the prior year period…Looking ahead to 2018, we intend to continue our strategic priorities of realizing synergy targets, reducing debt and leverage, taking advantage of political revenue opportunities, improving top and bottom-line performance and returning capital to shareholders through our quarterly cash dividend. With enhanced opportunities to monetize our strong core programming and local brands, we remain confident in the radio industry and in Beasley’s growing broadcast and digital platform. We look forward to realizing the strategic benefits of the WBZ transaction in 2018 and remain confident that our ongoing initiatives to drive sales, productivity and efficiency across our platform, combined with prudent management of our capital structure, is a proven formula for sustained long term financial growth and the creation of shareholder value.”

Dennis Miller Back in the Westwood One Fold. Comic, TV star, “SNL” alum, and former radio talk show host Dennis Miller is back with Westwood One, this time delivering two daily, one-minute programs to affiliate stations.  Miller hosted a daily, midday talk show on WW1 for eight years.  Now, he returns to the company with commentaries that present “his idiosyncratic take on topical issues, the culture, and what Americans are talking about in two distinct 60-second programs, Monday through Friday.”  Westwood One EVP of News & Talk Bart Tessler says, “Dennis Miller is a multi-talented, multimedia comic icon and we are thrilled to have him back on Westwood One.  Even with all his success, ‘The Miller Minute’ may be the best format yet for Dennis to entertain and inform listeners with his humor and idiosyncratic style.  He can’t wait to re-engage with his radio audience, affiliates, and advertisers.”

WGR-AM , Buffalo to Roast Bills’ Fred Jackson.  Buffalo sports talker WGR-AM is honoring former Buffalo Bills player Fred Jackson at the 4th Annual WGR Celebrity Roast this Thursday (2/15).  The event is being hosted by WGR morning show host Howard Simon and will feature an all-star panel of former teammates, including: Eric Wood, Aaron Williams, Bryan Scott and Ryan Fitzpatrick, as well as Jackson’s own twin brother, Patrick Jackson.   Entercom Buffalo SVP and market manager Greg Ried states, “The city of Buffalo is incredibly passionate about their hometown Buffalo Bills and Fred Jackson is a respected and beloved figure in the community.  Jackson was a unanimous decision by the WGR team.  For his determination, compassion and drive, on and off the field, we are excited to honor him at this year’s WGR Celebrity Roast.”  The WGR Celebrity Roast has become a signature event in the Buffalo community.  Former WGR Celebrity Roast honorees include former Buffalo Sabres players Marty Biron, Mike Robitaille and Rob Ray, as well as former Buffalo Bills player Andre Reed.

TALKERS News Notes. Former New England Patriots tight end Christian Fauria – now one-third of the WEEI, Boston midday show with Glenn Ordway and Lou Merloni – was suspended from the Entercom station for a week and issued an apology after a bit aired in which Fauria used a stereotypical Asian accent to imitate sports agent Don Yee.  During the bit, Fauria was reading phony texts purported to be from Yee to Boston Herald sportswriter Ron Borges regarding Tom Brady’s contract situation with the Patriots…..In Philadelphia, “SportsTalk 94WIP” personality (and former Eagles player) Jon Ritchie was off the air last Friday (2/9) after being arrested for DUI and simple assault.  According to Philly.com, Ritchie was arrested early Friday morning, hours after the parade in Philly celebrating the Eagles’ Super Bowl victory.  The paper does not explain the circumstances surrounding Ritchie’s arrest.  Ritchie co-hosts the midday show with Joe DeCamara…..Dayton sports talk station WING-AM has a new program director as Justin Kinner is promoted from the interim PD position.  Alpha Media says that Kinner previously worked as the afternoon drive host at WING-AM.  He also has experience as an account executive in the market.  Alpha Media Dayton OM Bo Matthews comments, “It was clear from the moment I arrived that Justin was the guy to become the new PD of WING-AM.  I wish I could bottle up his passion and excitement and pass it around.”…..Twin Cities sports media figure Patrick Reusse is leaving KSTP-AM’s “Saturday Morning Sports Talk” program that he’s been co-hosting with Judd Zulgad.  His role on the program will be taken over by KSTP Vikings reporter Matthew Coller.  Reusse – who also writes for the Minneapolis Star Tribune – continues to host afternoon drive and the one-hour “SportsTalk” show he co-hosts with Joe Soucheray at 3:00 pm on the Hubbard Brodcasting station.

Rob Porter Resignation/#MeToo Movement, Trump-Russia Probe, Dow Selloff, North Korea Diplomatic Overtures, Iranian Drone Case, PyeongChang Winter Olympics, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The aftermath of the resignation of White House aide Rob Porter over allegations of domestic violence and President Trump’s Tweet that the #MeToo movement is ruining careers; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the big Wall Street selloff that saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average lose more than 2,000 points; North Korea’s use of the Olympic games for diplomatic overtures and criticism of the America media’s “fawning” coverage of Kim Jong Un’s sister’s appearance at the Olympic Games; Israel’s shooting down of an Iranian drone modeled after a U.S. drone Iran captured several years ago; the athletic events at the Winter Olympics; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  In Birmingham, Cumulus Media appoints Phillip March program director for urban AC WUHT “Hot 107.7.”  He was previously director of urban programming for Alpha Media’s Louisville, Kentucky stations.  Cumulus Media Birmingham VP and market manager David Walls says, “We are elated that Phillip is joining our team.  He brings experience, passion, knowledge and leadership to our team.  He is a true leader and an outstanding teacher.  It is a huge win for Cumulus Birmingham and for our community as well.”…..Program director Lauren MacLeash exits Entercom’s country KMNB, Minneapolis “BUZ’N” after a stint of more than three years with the former CBS RADIO cluster.  The company is beginning a search for her replacement…..Beasley Media Group inks Terrie Carr to a multi-year deal to continue serving as program director and midday personality at WDHA-FM, Dover, New Jersey.  Carr was elevated to program director last summer.  She says, “I am both energized and honored to continue my career with my Beasley and WDHA family and for the opportunity to help lead the greatest air staff a person could ask for.  The challenges, new pathways to technology, and sheer madness of our business keep me inspired beyond my wildest dreams every day!”…..Keith Barton is succeeding Dave Paulus as general manager for Max Media’s Norfolk cluster…..Curtis Media announces Max Miller and Amy Kay are teaming up for the “Max & Amy in the Morning” program on hot AC WMGV, Greenville-New Bern “V103.3.”  Their program replaces the syndicated “Kidd Kraddick Morning Show.”

Thursday, February 1, 2018

| February 1, 2018

iHeartCommunications Declines to Make $106 Million Cash Interest Payment. This move, like Cumulus Media’s similar tactic last fall, is designed to spur action in the company’s efforts to restructure its debt.  Today, iHeartCommunications, Inc. (iHeartMedia is the parent company of iHeartCommunications) announced that its board of directors elected not to make a cash interest payment of $106 million (due today, 2/1) to holders of its 14% senior unsecured notes due 2021 as active discussions continue among its lenders, noteholders, and financial sponsors regarding a comprehensive debt restructuring.  “The board elected not to make the payment in connection with ongoing efforts to proactively and comprehensively address the company’s capital structure.  The decision will not trigger an event of default under the indenture as the company will utilize a 30-day grace period under the indenture during which it retains the right to make the interest payment to the holders of the notes and remain in compliance with the indenture governing the notes.  The board is considering options as part of its strategy to achieve a comprehensive restructuring of the company’s debt.”

SiriusXM Q4 Revenue Up 8%.  The satellite radio company did take a loss of $37 million in the fourth quarter of 2017, but that was due to a $185 million charge associated with the revaluation of the company’s deferred tax assets as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. For the year of 2017, SiriusXM’s net revenue was positive to the tune of $648 million.  In the fourth quarter, SiriusXM recorded a decrease of approximately $72 million in the fair value of its investment in Pandora, reversing the prior quarter’s unrealized gains.  The satcaster reports that it gained 1.56 million self-pay subscribers during 2017 to put its total self-pay subscribers at approximately 27.5 million.  SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer says, “The fourth quarter capped a strong year for SiriusXM and was our best quarter for self-pay subscriber growth in five years. We exceeded all of our 2017 subscriber and financial guidance, even after increasing these targets during the year.  I am particularly pleased that we achieved this growth in an environment of slowing auto sales.”

‘Radio War’ Gets KBME, Houston Booted from Super Bowl Radio Row.  A good old-fashioned radio war tactic escalated tensions between iHeartMedia’s KBME, Houston “SportsTalk 790” and Entercom’s KILT-AM “Sportsradio 610,” resulting in KBME losing its credentials to broadcast from the Super Bowl LII radio row.  It all started when KBME morning host Josh Innes sent his producer, Jim Mudd, to video KILT-AM’s Seth Payne and Mike Meltser as they did their show.  It had the intended consequence of riling up Payne, who soon was in a verbal argument with Innes.  Audio from the confrontation ended up on both stations’ airwaves.  WEEI, Boston’s Gerry Callahan and Kirk Minihane (mornings on the Entercom sports talk station) were broadcasting their show nearby and captured the donnybrook on video.  After it was all over, the NFL removed KBME from the radio row.  See the Houston Chronicle’s story and the WEEI-shot video here.

KXL, Portland Announces New Afternoon Team. The new afternoon drive team for Alpha Media’s news/talk KXL-FM, Portland “FM News 101” is Lucinda Kay and Cooper Banks.  Kay is promoted from her part-time position with the station.  She has an extensive background in radio and television news.  She launched her career in journalism in 1994, working as a TV news anchor and reporter – in both English and Spanish – for several years.  She hosted her own talk show in Spokane.  She started freelancing for KXL in 2016.  Cooper Banks worked as an afternoon DJ at KWKJ, Warrensburg, Misourri in 2004.  He was hired as news director for KMXL/KDMO, Joplin, Missouri two years later.  He later jumped to KMBZ, Kansas City as a producer, reporter, and news anchor.  Alpha Media Portland content director Bruce Collins says, “I am extremely excited to work each day with Cooper and Lucinda.  They have the talent that will take KXL to a new level in pm drive.”

Westwood One at Super Bowl LII.  The official network radio partner of the NFL and Super Bowl LII reports that it is on the scene in Minneapolis preparing for its coverage of the game.  Westwood One says it’s been busy taping interviews and special features for the coverage.  In addition, its personalities (and some from partner NBC Sports Radio) have been visiting radio row.  Above is Super Bowl XXXI-winning coach Mike Holmgren (center), one of Westwood One’s Super Bowl LII analysts, doing an interview with KKFN, Minneapolis “K-FAN” personalities Dan Barriero (right) and Justin Gaard (left).

26th Wing Bowl Takes Place Tomorrow Morning.  With SportsRadio 94WIP’s Wing Bowl 26 taking place tomorrow morning at the Wells Fargo Center, the official weigh-in takes place tonight, live on WIP, Philadelphia from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm from Chickie’s and Pete’s.   The Entercom sports talk station has scheduled 29 eaters to record their official “eating” weight and record their age, height, and hometown.  Members from each eater’s entourage and Wingettes will be on hand to cheer on their favorite eaters to victory.  This year, WIP personalities Marc Farzetta, Ava Graham, Al Morganti, and Rhea Hughes will also compete in Wing Bowl 26.  The Overall Winner of Wing Bowl 26 gets a 2018 Hyundai Sonata courtesy of Colonial Hyundai of Downingtown, plus Steven Singer Jewelers is presenting $5,000 cash and a custom Championship Medal and Ring.  The First Responders Champion Prize is a Harley Davidson XL 883N Iron Sportster Motorcycle courtesy of Barb’s Harley Davidson.  The Wingette of the Year walks away with $5,000 Courtesy of Dr. Steven Davis & Davis Cosmetic Surgery, and Best Wing Bowl 26 Entourage wins $5,000 cash, courtesy of Steven Singer Jewelers.

NRG Media Names New General Managers in Omaha and Wausau.  There are new general managers at NRG Media’s Omaha and Wausau station groups.   Kurt Luchs leaves the Wausau, Wisconsin station group where he’s been GM for almost five years to lead the Omaha cluster that includes news/talk KOIL and sports talkers KOZN and KOZT.  In Wausau, Aleese Fielder is promoted from director of sales to general manager.  NRG Media president/CEO Mary Quass says, “The goal of NRG Media is to be a destination company for our team to build a career, so I am very excited to be able to promote from within.  These promotions are well deserved, together Kurt and Aleese turned Wausau around and helped make it one of the most successful markets in the company.  We like to reward a job well done and these moves are a definite win-win for two very talented teams.

Major National Programming Executives Set to Speak at TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! The roster continues to grow as the 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most-important national convention continues to name what will be a stellar list of some 50 or more leaders from the programming, talent, sales, management, ownership and technical sectors of the field. Convention organizers have named (in alphabetical order): Canadian radio giant Bell Media national news/talk format head (and PD of NEWSTALK 1010, Toronto), Mike Bendixen; iHeartMedia SVP of news/talk/sports programming, Chris Berry; Salem Media Group SVP/director, spoken word format, Phil Boyce; and Cumulus Media EVP of content and programming, Mike McVay. These outstanding individuals join (in alphabetical order) Beasley Broadcasting CEO, Caroline Beasley; Premiere Networks/FOX News Channel star Sean Hannity; Westwood One president, Suzanne Grimes; PodcastOne founder/executive chairman Norm Pattiz; and Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott as conference speakers. More speakers will be announced here in the days and weeks ahead leading up to the event. For more information about TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! see story below.

TALKERS Convention Early Bird Discount Ends Tomorrow! The opportunity to attend the 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important convention at a significantly reduced registration fee comes to an end tomorrow (Friday, February 2 at 5:00 pm ET). Those registering before the deadline will save $50. TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! will take place on Friday, June 8 at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan. The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the new digital age and at the dawn of a rapidly accelerating era. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology – the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing the modern-day talk broadcaster and broadcasting organization. It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception — all in a single power-packed day! Full agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information will be posted in TALKERS during the days and weeks ahead. As is customary with TALKERS conventions, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students. Because seating is limited, and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments costs $329 per person. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

TALKERS News Notes. In the Winchester, Virginia market, Centennial Broadcasting changes the simulcast of classic country on WZFC-FM, Strasburg, Virginia and will instead simulcast its news/talk WINC, Winchester “Newstalk 1400” on WZFC’s 104.9 FM signal.   Company market manager Larry Weiss says, “Centennial Winchester is excited about the prospects of extending the reach of our highly regarded ‘Newstalk 1400’ station programming further south in the Shenandoah Valley, utilizing the powerful WZFC signal.  This move will allow us to extend the news/talk brand, including our roster of well-established national hosts, south of Winchester into the Warren and Shenandoah County areas.”…..WVLZ, Knoxville “Sports Radio 1180” owner Doug Mathews is selling the station to fellow Knoxville station owner Aaron Ishmael.  He owns crosstown oldies WKCE.  Ishmael begins operating WVLZ under an LMA today (2/1).  The Knoxville News reports that two WVLZ personalities Tony Basilio and Jayson Swain – have ended their brokered arrangements with WVLZ.  It’s not known if Ishmael intends to change the sports talk format…..JVC Media signs an extension to carry Frank MacKay’s two programs – “Breaking it Down” and “52 Players” – on WRCN, Riverhead (Long Island) and WSWN, Belle Glade, Florida (West Palm Beach).

State of the Union Address, FBI Memo Controversy, Trump-Russia Investigation, DACA Status/Immigration Policy, Gowdy to Leave Congress, Flu Epidemic, Social Media Fraud, Black Panther Film, and Super Bowl LII Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/31). Tuesday evening’s State of the Union Address by President Trump; the battle over whether to release the FBI memo that alleges law enforcement abuses and Congressman Adam Schiff’s allegation that Congressman Devin Nunes made changes to the memo; Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives; the status of the Obama-era DACA Act and the Trump administration’s immigration policy; Congressman Trey Gowdy announces he will not seek re-election; the flu epidemic that’s sweeping the U.S.; the social media scandal involving allegations numerous high-profile people bought artificial followers from a firm called Devumi; the new superhero film Black Panther; and the build-up to Super Bowl LII were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Powerful Candid Conversation with WABC, New York Personality Curtis Sliwa on Harrison Podcast. New York City radio icon Curtis Sliwa is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” Sliwa, whom Harrison describes as a “performance artist,” is the founder and leader of the grassroots crime fighting organization the Guardian Angels, as well as serving as the chairman of the New York State Reform Party. Sliwa is a longtime Big Apple talk show host heard mostly on WABC during the past few decades. He is currently recovering from serious surgery in the aftermath of an ongoing battle with Crohn’s Disease and other gastroenterological issues – resulting in him having to dry out from opioid addiction. Harrison and Sliwa talk about a range of subjects including prescription drugs, the state of radio, street crime, politics, Donald Trump and the peculiar nature of ego. Don’t miss this! To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  Some of the performers taking part at the March 11 iHeartRadio Music Awards are being announced by iHeartMedia.  The fifth “fan-fueled” iHeartRadio Music Awards takes place at the Forum in Los Angeles and will feature: Ed Sheeran, Cardi B, Maroon 5, Camila Cabello, Charlie Puth and Backstreet Boys will be among the performers.  The event is being hosted by Hailey Baldwin and DJ Khaled and is being simulcast live on TBS, TNT and truTV at 8:00 pm ET…..Alpha Media Dayton names programming pro Bo Matthews operations manager for the cluster and content director for adult hits WGTZ “92.9 Jack FM” and country WCLI “101.5 Hank FM.”  Matthews was most recently SVP of programming for iHeartMedia Cincinnati.  He began his career in Youngstown, Ohio with then-Jacor and worked his way up the programming ladder at Clear Channel and iHeartMedia.  Alpha Media EVP of content Scott Mahalick comments, “Bo is a world-class, ‘A’-level programmer who is energized, pursues excellence as a habit, and understands the mission and how to achieve it.  We look forward to his leadership on the Alpha content team.”…..Envision Networks announces that its ‘90s rock weekend show “The Core” adds new affiliates, bringing the Envision Rock Network affiliate count to more than 350.  Adding the program are: KUBQ, La Grande, Oregon; WTCX, Ripon, Wisconsin; and WKBH, La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Monday, January 8, 2018

| January 8, 2018

Salem Media to Air Dino Costa-Hosted Sports Talk Show on ‘AM 970 The Answer’ in NYC.  The New York Daily NewsBob Raissman reports that Salem Media Group is bringing controversial sports talk personality Dino Costa to the Big Apple to host a sports talk show on conservative news/talk outlet WNYM “AM 970 The Answer.”  The show will air from 12:00 midnight to 3:00 am and launches tonight (Tuesday, January 9).  Costa tells Raissman, “Obviously there is a lot of great sports radio in New York.  I feel privileged to be a part of the New York sports radio scene and I hope I can do my part to provide another option for sports fans looking for something a little bit different.”  Costa was most recently with Alpha Media’s sports talk KXTG-AM, Portland as afternoon personality.  He joined the station on June 5 but exited two months later after blowback from his on-air comments suggesting motorists should hit Black Lives Matter protesters who block roadways.  During his career, Costa also served with SiriusXM, hosting a program on the Mad Dog Radio channel.

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of stations based on 6+ data from the December 2017 Nielsen Audio PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk radio.  As the NFL regular season winds down toward the playoffs, it’s not unusual to see the flagship stations of playoff-bound teams benefit in the ratings, and that appears to be the case again this year.  Comparing November 2017 data to December 2017, Kinosian says that “six of every 10 stations (60%) on this sports talk panel are down November 2017 – December 2017; 28% improve; and the remaining 12% are flat.”  When comparing station performances from December 2016 to December 2017, “54% of these eligible sports talk stations are up year-to-year, while 34% regress; the remaining 12% are unchanged from a year ago.”  Not a single sports talker ranked #1 (6+) in its market, but five stations ranked in the top five in their respective markets.  Both Entercom’s WIP, Philadelphia and iHeartMedia’s KFXN, Minneapolis ranked #2.  iHeartMedia’s WBZ-FM, Boston and Entercom’s WFAN, New York ranked #4 (WFAN achieved that in the New Jersey market of Middlesex-Somerset-Union counties), and Entercom’s WXYT-FM, Detroit ranked #5.  See Kinosian’s complete report here.

Premiere Networks’ George Noory Celebrates 15 Years as Host of ‘Coast to Coast AM.’  This month marks the 15th year George Noory has been host of the Premiere Networks nationally syndicated late-night show, “Coast to Coast AM.”  This broadcasting milestone comes on the heels of Noory’s renewed long-term contract with Premiere, signed last year.   Noory comments, “I’m so excited about starting year 16 with my same, amazing staff, dedicated advertisers and, of course, our faithful listeners worldwide.”  Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott says, “Entertaining millions of people in the middle of the night is no small feat, but George makes it look easy.  His passion and dedication to delivering the best content for the ‘Coast to Coast AM’ audience is what drives the continued growth and success of the program. We’re proud to celebrate this special milestone with George, and look forward to many more.”

TALKERS News Notes.  The 2018 Consumer Electronics Show gets underway this week in Las Vegas and iHeartMedia is announcing some new integrations for its iHeartRadio digital content platform during the show.  The company says that now listeners will have the ability to access iHeartRadio through a bot for Facebook Messenger; Samsung’s new voice service, Bixby; Jibo, the first social robot for the home; Garmin’s new GPS running watch, the Forerunner 645 Music; and via Roku…..Speaking of the 2018 CES, media consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas covering the show for TALKERS magazine and will be reporting all this week.  Watch for his show notes here at Talkers.com and in our daily emailer…..Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that former longtime WSCR, Chicago midday personality Dan McNeil has been sitting in on the Entercom sports talker recently.  He appeared yesterday morning (1/7) co-hosting with the station’s Danny Parkins.  Feder says McNeil will be back on WSCR next weekend with Tim Doyle.  Feder says that McNeil has been hosting a sports-oriented podcast.  He’s also been the voice of commercials for a Highland, Indiana Ford dealership where he’s on staff as a salesman…..Two former NFL players have been let go by ESPN after an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment.  Donovan McNabb and Eric Davis – both of whom also have worked in sports talk radio since retiring from the NFL – were named in a lawsuit by NFL Network wardrobe stylist Jami Cantor in which she accuses McNabb of sending sexually inappropriate texts and Davis of groping her and making suggestive comments.

Hintz Named Marketing Director at Envision Networks. Syndicator and sales firm Envision Networks announces Dave Hintz returns to the radio industry to serve as the company’s new marketing director.  Hintz has been away from radio for the past 12 years, mostly with Progressive Insurance.  Envision CEO Danno Wolkoff says, “We are thrilled to have Dave join our growing company.  He brings a wealth of marketing and PR experience to our expanding business.  Dave will oversee our marketing team as well as manage additional sales initiatives debuting in 2018.”

Fire and Fury Controversy, Frigid Weather in Eastern U.S., Jeff Sessions vs Legal Marijuana, Computer Vulnerabilities, Golden Globe Awards/#MeToo Movement, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The controversy surrounding Michael Wolff’s new book, Fire and Fury, about the Donald Trump campaign and White House; the extreme cold that affected much of the Eastern United States; Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ move to have the Justice Department reverse the Obama era directive to not apply federal law in states where marijuana has been legalized; the vulnerability of all computers due to flaws in their microprocessors; Sunday night’s Golden Globe Awards and the activism of the #MeToo movement; and the NFL playoff games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Pittsburgh country outlet WDSY “Y108” says it is bringing “Texas Country Music to Western Pennsylvania via a new weekly specialty program, ‘Red Dirt Revival.’”  The new program is airing Sunday evenings from 9:00 to 12:00 midnight, hosted by Waynesburg, PA native and Nashville-based singer-songwriter Jackson Gardner.  The program will feature music by artists such as Aaron Watson, Pat Green, and Eli Young Band.   Entercom SVP and Pittsburgh market manager Michael Young states, “These artists are making great contributions to country music overall and we are pleased to bring their great songs to the airwaves of Western Pennsylvania.”…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Alpha Media’s country WCCQ, Crest Hill, Illinois is rebranding as a classic country outlet, using the moniker “Today’s Country & The Legends.”  His report indicates that the station will emphasize artists from the 1990s and the early 2000s…..Saga Communications announces that Paul O’Malley is appointed president and general manager for the company’s Charleston, South Carolina cluster.   O’Malley was most recently SVP/strategic sales partnerships for Westwood One.  Saga CEO Ed Christian comments, “Paul’s world-class reputation and experience, coupled with his love for Charleston, made this a perfect fit for us and our outstanding team in Charleston.”

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

| December 6, 2017

BIA/Kelsey Releases Annual U.S. Local Ad Forecast; Radio Stagnates Under Weight of Digital Competition.  In its just-released “U.S. Local Advertising Forecast 2018,” BIA/Kelsey indicates that radio’s local ad revenue for 2017 will be $15.5 billion, with $14.1 billion coming from over-the-air ads and $1.3 billion coming from online advertising.  It’s not going to get much better over the next four years as the firm predicts that 2018 ad revenue for radio will be $15.7 billion – an increase of just $200 million over 2017.  By 2022, radio’s total ad revenue will be $16.7 billion and radio’s “slice of the pie” will have dipped to 9.6%.  BIA/Kelsey’s Mark Fratrik says, “Increased streaming audio competitors and increased competitors for advertisers has basically kept the over-the-air advertising stagnant, with online efforts by stations continuing to help support a slight overall revenue growth.”  Where does radio stand in the big picture?  It ranks #4 in revenue behind #1 direct mail (projected to garner 25.4% of the U.S. ad spend in 2018), #2 local TV with 13.8%, and #3 mobile’s 12.6%.  Radio’s slice will be 10.4%.  (Newpapers are predicted to be #5 at 10.2%.)  Fratrik says this year (2017) was “a year of basically no growth in radio over-the-air advertising, with future years also only showing small increases of less than 1% annually…many radio groups are continuing their efforts in online activities which bolster the overall revenue of these stations, as station operators recognize that future revenue growth must come from these sources.”  He also offers that the best region of the country for radio ad growth will be the Southeast which he predicts to grow by 1.1%.

Angelo Cataldi Re-Ups with WIP, Philadelphia.  He’s been the morning drive personality on WIP, Philadelphia for the past 27 years and he’s not stopping anytime soon.  Angelo Cataldi and Entercom Communications are agreeing on a contract extension for him to continue hosting the “Angelo Cataldi and the Morning Team” program.  The program includes cast members Al Morganti, Rhea Hughes, Keith Jones and Joe Conklin.  Recently, Morganti and Jones also renewed their contracts with the station.  Cataldi says, “I’m honored to remain at WIP.  For almost three decades this has been my only home on the radio and I have a great debt of gratitude to everyone associated with the station.  This also keeps alive my dream of being at WIP when the Eagles win a Super Bowl. Go, Eagles. And go, WIP.”  Cataldi transitioned from print to radio.  Prior to joining WIP he earned two Pulitzer Prize nominations as the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Eagles beat writer.  He is also the architect of the now-enormous annual Wing Bowl eating contest.

NRG Media’s Chuck DuCoty to Retire.  After a 53-year career in radio Chuck DuCoty is retiring from the business and his position as chief operating officer of NRG Media, though he’ll continue to work with NRG on special projects in the future.  DuCoty worked his way through the programming ranks, rising to station manager at Hearst’s WIYY, Baltimore “98Rock.” He worked in the news/talk world when he was named vice president and general manager at then-Hearst’s WISN, Milwaukee and sister AC WLTQ.  He joined NRG Media in 2005.  DuCoty says, “I have been blessed with a career in an industry I have loved and have had the opportunity to work with some amazingly talented people.  It has been said if you truly love what you do for a living, you will never work a day in your life, which has certainly been true for me.  At the beginning of my broadcasting journey, if I had been asked to write down what I hoped I would be able to experience and what my life would look like I would have massively shortchanged myself.  I leave the industry and NRG Media with mixed emotions but after 53 years, it is time for the next chapter in my life and for enjoying time with my family and friends.  And I’m living proof that occasionally some of us do get out alive.”

Westwood One and Charles Osgood Extend Partnership.  The daily feature “The Osgood File” has been on the radio since 1967 and with today’s news, it will continue for some time to come.  Westwood One and Charles Osgood announce that the two sides have signed an extension to continue the program.  Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes says, “Charles Osgood is one of the most revered and adored icons in our industry, and since retiring from television in 2016, Westwood One is his exclusive broadcast home.  His massive appeal and ‘theater of the mind’ storytelling style has engaged and entertained both listeners and advertisers for five decades!  As one of his biggest fans, I am thrilled to continue our partnership with Charles and consider him an invaluable member of the Westwood One family.”

TALKERS News Notes.  Taking over the morning drive show hosting duties at Entercom’s news/talk WRVA, Richmond is John Reid.  The position opened back in August when 16-year morning host (and PD) Jimmy Barrett exited the station to assume the morning host duties at iHeartMedia’s KTRH, Houston.  Remember that the Richmond cluster of iHeartMedia stations was recently transferred to Entercom in an asset swap.  Reid has worked on SiriusXM’s Patriot channel and at local television outlet WRIC-TV, Richmond as a news anchor…..At the Salem Media Group Atlanta operations, Aaron Williams leaves his role as program director for the cluster that includes news/talk WGKA “AM 920 The Answer” to take on the brand coordinator role for the local Monday Night Brewing Company.  He is also co-host of “The Beer Guys Radio Show” that airs on Saturdays on WGKA…..Cape Cod Broadcasting Media was recently recognized by the Massachusetts Broadcasters Association for excellence in the categories of news, commercial production and special event/local programming.  In the category of Spot News, the company was recognized for excellence with a Merit Award for its ongoing coverage of the opiate and fentanyl crisis on Cape Cod.  News director Matt Pitta says, “This is a critical issue that we strive to cover accurately and with compassion on a regular basis. This award is a recognition of the work so many in the healthcare, public safety and social service sector are doing to combat the epidemic.”…..Riviera Broadcasting closes on the sale of translator K270BZ, Phoenix at 101.9 FM to Farmworker Educational Radio Network, Inc.  Riviera Broadcasting is headed by Michael Cutchall and owns stations in Phoenix.  Farmworker Educational Radio Network, Inc owns and operates stations in Arizona, California, Nevada, and Washington.  Kalil & Co. was the exclusive broker…..SiriusXM is broadcasting live from the Baseball Winter Meetings in Orlando starting this Sunday (12/10) through Thursday (12/14). Two of SiriusXM’s sports talk channels – MLB Network Radio and Mad Dog Sports Radio – will broadcast live from the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort where club owners, front office executives, managers and many others from the major and minor leagues will be gathered to discuss offseason baseball business.

Conyers Resigns from Congress, GOP Tax Reform Plan, Trump-Russia Investigation, Trump Recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital, Roy Moore Candidacy, Russia Banned from Winter Olympics, North Korea Nuclear Program, SoCal Wildfires, Fox-Disney Deal, NFL Action-Ryan Shazier Injury, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/5).  Michigan Congressman John Conyers resigns his seat in the wake of sexual misbehavior allegations; the status of the Republican-authored tax reform bill; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents; President Trump’s recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the backlash from the Muslim world; the U.S. Senate candidacy of Roy Moore and accusations of sexual predation against him; the IOC bans Russia from participating in the Winter Olympics due to systemic doping among its athletes; North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and threats against the U.S.; the wildfires scorching Ventura County, California; the potential deal between 21st Century Fox and Disney for the latter to acquire several of Fox’s assets; the weekend’s NFL action and the spinal injury suffered by Pittsburgh’s Ryan Shazier on Monday night; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

‘WBBM Newsradio’ Chicago to Hold 22nd ‘Good Neighbor Radiothon.’  This is the 22nd year in a row for the “Good Neighbor Radiothon” broadcast on Entercom all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago.  It takes place this Friday (12/8) live from the Woodfield Mall and benefits the Salvation Army and its Bed and Bread Club.  WBBM director of news and programming Ron Gleason states, “This annual fundraiser is a beloved event for our team as it is a chance for WBBM’s entire news team to report about the positive work being done to provide food, clothing and shelter to neighbors in need within our own community.  Our listeners are among the most informed, caring and generous of Chicagoans and their support each year is a testament to this.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At the Miami operations of Entercom, Andy Holt is named program director for adult contemporary WLYF “101.5 Lite FM” and classic hits WMXJ-FM “102.7 The Beach,” effective January 2.  Entercom South Florida market manager and SVP Keriann Worley says, “I couldn’t be more excited to bring Andy Holt back to Entercom.  His coaching style, leadership skills, and proven track record with the adult contemporary format will ensure WLYF ‘Lite FM’ and WMXJ-FM ‘The Beach’ continue to dominate the Miami market.”  Holt was with Entercom from 2000 through 2013. He was most recently program director at Bonneville’s AC KOSI, Denver…..iHeartMedia’s alternative WRDA, Atlanta re-brands, taking on the “ALT” brand employed by so many of the company’s alt-rock stations.  It’s full brand name is “ALT 105.7, Atlanta’s Rock Alternative.”…..Radio One’s hip hop WKYS, Washington, DC appoints Khalia “Little Bacon Bear” Canty host of the evening show.  The station says the Topeka, Kansas native has “become one of the DMV’s most coveted young DJs” and it “wants to use her platform to promote the continued significance of terrestrial radio in the eyes of artists, DJs, and listeners, while being an example of a successful woman in media.”…..iHeartMedia’s alternative KDXA, Des Moines “ALT 106.3” adds “The Woody Show” to its lineup for the morning drive daypart.  The KYSR, Los Angeles-based show is syndicated via Premiere Networks.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

| November 22, 2017

Cumulus Stock Moves from Nasdaq to OTC.  That stands for “over-the-counter” and means that the stock is traded, instead of via a centralized exchange such as Nasdaq, by a dealer network.  Cumulus Media was notified by Nasdaq of its de-listing due to the stock’s inability to remain above $1 for 30 consecutive trading days – something the company fully expected.  In its 8-K filing with the SEC, Cumulus states, “The Company has been approved to have its Class A common stock quoted on the OTC Markets’ OTCQX market tier, an electronic quotation service operated by OTC Markets Group Inc. for eligible securities traded over-the-counter, and expects that trading of the Company’s Class A common stock will commence on the OTCQX at the open of business on November 22, 2017 under its current trading symbol CMLS.  The transition to the quotation of the Company’s Class A common stock on the OTCQX will have no effect on the Company’s business or operations. The Company will continue to file periodic and other required reports with the SEC under applicable federal securities laws that will be available on the SEC’s website, www.SEC.gov.”

TALKERS News Notes.  Cleveland sports talk personality Mark “Munch” Bishop is getting a beer named after him.  Cleveland.com reports that the WARF “FOX Sports 1350” personality –also heard on WNIO, Youngstown and WNCO, Ashland-Mansfield – has been pining for a local brewery to make a craft cream ale and now the Goldhorn Brewery is stepping up to the plate.  Cleveland.com writer Mark Bona – who appears on Bishop’s program every Friday for a segment called “Beer with Bona and Much, Much More” – writes that the beer is almost ready and soon the brewery will have a name for the cream ale…..Entercom president and CEO David Field made the announcement on the company’s newly acquired sports talker WIP, Philadelphia yesterday morning that the station and the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles have renewed their broadcast rights deal for another seven years.  The renewed deal means Merrill Reese and Mike Quick will call the games for the foreseeable future…..The nationally syndicated “Sterling on Sunday” show hosted by Walter Sterling announces new affiliates, including: KXNT, Las Vegas; WWLZ-AM, Elmira, New York; WQHL-AM/WJZS-FM, Live Oak, Florida; KBAR-AM, Burley, Idaho; and KZNU-AM/KAZZ-AM, St. George, Utah.  Sterling says, “We are adding new affiliates every week and new advertisers.  It is a successful roll out. December 10th marks a special show featuring radio legends telling their stories.  Plus, December 10th will present a major announcement.”

Trump Defends Moore, Sexual Impropriety Allegations/Rose Fired, GOP Tax Plan/Individual Mandate Issues, North Korea Named to Terror List, Net Neutrality Rollback, AT&T-Time Warner Merger Challenged, Mladic Convicted of Genocide, David Cassidy Dies, Trump-Ball Feud, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/21). Embattled Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore receives support from President Trump; the plethora of sexual impropriety allegations against public figures and the related firing of Charlie Rose by CBS; the Republican tax reform plan and the proposal to eliminate the ObamaCare individual mandate; President Trump puts North Korea on the list of state sponsors of terrorism; the FCC’s proposal to roll back the Obama administration’s net neutrality regulations; the DOJ challenges the merger of AT&T and Time Warner; former Bosnian Serb general Ratko Mladic is sentenced to life after genocide conviction; 1970s teen heartthrob David Cassidy dies at 67; the war of words between President Trump and hoops patriarch LaVar Ball over UCLA players shoplifting case; and the week’s NBA 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. Returning to Boston to serve as program director for iHeartMedia’s newly acquired classic rock WZLX is Chris Tyler.  He was most recently programming the company’s rock WMMS and CHR WAKS “KISS FM” in Cleveland.  He’s previously worked in Boston at CHR WXKS-FM “KISS 108” and hip hop WJMN “JAM’N.”  iHeartMedia SVP of programming for Boston Dylan Sprague comments, “I am excited to bring Chris back to Boston to program WZLX.  His knowledge and experience in the format, exceptional leadership and vision and, maybe most importantly, his knowledge of Boston and its legendary radio brands, uniquely qualify him to lead this heritage station and its iconic personalities.”…..In Baltimore, Francesca Presti joins the “Laurie DeYoung Morning Show” as a co-host on iHeartMedia’s country WPOC.  She’ll work alongside Laurie DeYoung and Jeff St. Pierre.  DeYoung says, “Francesca Presti is a force.  Fierce Francesca is what comes to mind when I think of her enthusiasm and unique take on life.  Baltimore will never be the same.” Presti was most recently with hot AC WBMX, Boston on the “Karson & Kennedy Morning Show” as a traffic reporter and associate producer…..Radio pro Ty Bailey is named assistant program director at iHeartMedia’s country WMZQ, Washington.  She returns to Washington from the company’s rock WXTB, Tampa where she was program director and morning show host…..Cox Media Group announces new executive position appointments in seven markets, but only three of those markets have radio stations: Miami, Orlando and Jacksonville. In Orlando, Jason Meder is promoted to general manager of CMG Orlando, where he’ll report to market VP Paul Curran.  Meder comes to Orlando from CMG Tampa where he was most recently director of sales for the radio group.  In Miami, RVP Rob Babin promotes Ralph Renzi to general manager of CMG Miami Radio.  He was most recently director of sales for the Miami radio stations.  And in Jacksonville, market VP Dan Lawrie promotes Bob Longo to general manager of the operations…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Windy City radio pro Brooke Hunter has signed up with Hubbard Radio to host weekend programs on adult contemporary WSHE.  Hunter was most recently on the air in Chicago on iHeartMedia’s AC WLIT…..Alpha Media’s Portland triple A outlet KINK is announcing that it is now “carbon neutral.”  The station says that through a series of eco initiatives and completing an audit from sustainable consulting firm YR&G, it has become the first radio station in the United States to be named “carbon neutral.”  Program director Sean Demery states, “Individuals doing small actions can pay large eco dividends when realized as a large group.  KINK is the loudspeaker, but it’s our community that has the power to make a difference.”

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

| November 15, 2017

It’s Official!  Carlin, Scott & Gray to Replace Francesa; Giannotti Takes Over Carton Role Beside Boomer at WFAN.  Yesterday’s widely reported news about the new WFAN, New York afternoon program turns out to be true and it’s now official as the station announces programming changes to its morning and afternoon dayparts.  First, it will be Chris Carlin (recently of WIP, Philadelphia – see story below), former New York Jets player and WEPN, New York personality Bart Scott, and SI.com and CBS Sports Radio staffer Maggie Gray taking over for NYC sports talk legend Mike Francesa.  That show is being called, “The Afternoon Drive with Carlin, Bart and Maggie.”  Also, Gregg Giannotti has been co-hosting the “Gio and Jones” show with Brian Jones on the CBS Sports Radio Network – and he’s also been filling in on the WFAN morning show this fall.  Now, he moves into the permanent morning co-host seat with Boomer Esiason for the “Boomer & Gio” program.  Both changes officially take effect on January 2, 2018.  Francesa is leaving WFAN at the end of his contract on December 15.  Craig Carton resigned from his position on the “Boomer & Carton” show after being indicted on federal fraud charges.  VP of programming, WFAN and CBS RADIO New York Mark Chernoff says, “With the addition of Gregg to the WFAN morning show alongside Boomer, and with Chris, Bart and Maggie joining us in the afternoon, we’ve assembled a stellar lineup that we’re proud to showcase on WFAN.  New York sports fans are about to be entertained, challenged and engaged like never before.”

WIP, Philadelphia Names Jon Marks New PM Drive Co-Host; Giglio Takes Over Evenings.  With the now-official move of Chris Carlin from WIP, Philadelphia to WFAN, New York to take over for Mike Francesa in place, Philly sports talker WIP names current evening host Jon Marks (right) new co-host of the afternoon drive show alongside incumbent personality Ike Reese (left).  The open evening slot is being filled by Joe Giglio (he’ll also anchor weekday Phillies pre- and post-game shows).  WIP program director Spike Eskin states, “We’re lucky to have Jon Marks here and moving into afternoons on WIP.  He’s honed his craft and worked for this for a long time and we’re excited to have him team with Ike and take us into the future.  He’s the real deal.  Having Joe Giglio in evenings gives us a guy who is smart, informed, funny and has a fantastic work ethic.  I’m glad we can finally give Joe the chance he deserves to shine on a nightly basis.”

Mancow Sues New Boss at WLUP-FM, Chicago.  As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder here, Mancow Muller has filed suit against Marv Nyren, his new boss at Cumulus Media’s classic rock WLUP-FM.  Muller sued Nyren a decade ago, a year after Nyren fired him from the morning show position at then-Emmis’ WKQX.  Muller alleged a pattern of “malicious acts” on the part of Nyren toward him.  That suit reportedly ended in an undisclosed settlement.  Now, Mancow’s lawyer says this action is to “prevent the pattern of retaliation that has occurred in the past from continuing in the future…Mancow is extremely pleased with his position at Cumulus, he feels the show is as good as it’s ever been, and he just loves his job. Then this [Nyren’s hiring] happened.”  Muller assumed the WLUP-FM morning show in 2015.  He’d been syndicated as a talk show host for years via TRN-FM.

Premiere Networks and Glenn Beck’s Mercury Radio Arts Renew. This is the 15th year of national syndication for the Glenn Beck program and syndicator Premiere Networks and Beck’s Mercury Radio Arts are today announcing the renewal of their syndication and ad sales deal.  Premiere says Beck’s radio show “has experienced year-over-year audience gains in markets including: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Minneapolis, Denver, Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Columbus, Norfolk and Memphis in the key demo of Adults 25-54. (Source: Nielsen Audio, PPM, OCT’17 vs. OCT’16, Exact Times, AQH, A25-54).”  As part of the deal, Premiere and Mercury have renewed their longstanding digital partnership in which Premiere provides ad sales representation for the fan portal GlennBeck.com, the daily Glenn Beck Newsletter, as well as the Glenn Beck program podcast and stream.  Beck says, “Premiere remains the gold standard in the industry.  We’ve now been working together for 15 years, and I couldn’t be happier to extend and renew our relationship.  These are increasingly chaotic times. I’ve never been more excited to help the audience cut through the noise by focusing on the things that matter most.”

WPGG, Atlantic City’s Harry Hurley Named to InsiderNJ 100 Power List. The New Jersey political publication InsiderNJ has just released its “InsiderNJ 100 Power” list, in which it ranks “the most muscular players in New Jersey politics across a broad spectrum of industries and disciplines.”  Among media people on the list, WPG, Atlantic City morning drive personality Harry Hurley is ranked #56 this year.  His entry says, “The conservative WPG talk radio show host loves politics and outshines most hosts with his uncanny ability to break news himself – not just opine on what other reporters write about first.  He remains very influential in South Jersey political circles and is right now at the top of his game.  He broke one of the bigger stories of the year when he reported on the 2018 retirement of U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-2).”

ObamaCare Repeal-Tax Reform Plan, Roy Moore Allegations, Sessions Russia Testimony, Deadly NoCal Shooting, Clinton-Uranium One Case, North Korea Nuclear Program, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/14).  The GOP move to tie the elimination of the individual mandate with its tax reform plan; Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore’s fight against charges of pursuing minor girls in the past; Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ testimony before the House Judiciary Committee regarding the Trump campaign’s Russian connections; the Tuesday shooting in Northern California that took the lives of four; questions about Hillary Clinton’s role in the Uranium One deal; North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and the rhetoric between President Trump and Kim Jong Un; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Caroline Beasley Honored at Women Who Lead Luncheon. Among those recognized at Tuesday’s “2017 Women Who Lead Luncheon” presented by the Alliance for Women in Media was Beasley Media Group chief executive officer Caroline Beasley.  She says, “I am humbled to be recognized by AWM with this distinguished honor.  It is a privilege to work with all of the outstanding women who lead on a daily basis at Beasley Media Group.  I am proud to be on THEIR team.”  Pictured above are Beasley (left) and Christal Radio president and AWM chair-elect Christine Travaglini.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Lisa Worden leaves CBS RADIO’s alternative KROQ, Los Angeles to join iHeartMedia in LA to serve as vice president of programming for KYSR “ALT 98.7” and as alternative rock brand manager for the company’s national programming group.  iHeartMedia says that Worden “will work alongside Mike Kaplan, who will continue to serve as program director at ‘Alt 98.7,’ where under his leadership, the station has set new record ratings performances.”  iHM chief programming officer Tom Poleman states, “Lisa is widely regarded as an outstanding leader in the alternative rock world.  Her relationships are fantastic.  She’ll play a key role in helping artists maximize iHeartMedia’s unmatched alternative footprint.”…..Alpha Media announces that KLGR, Redwood Falls, Minnesota is flipping formats from hot AC to adult hits with the JACK FM format.  Alpha Media VP of content Ronnie Stanton commented on the announcement, “What a thrill to bring the iconic, fun and winning JACK FM brand to Redwood Falls.  Great radio has a name, and its name is Jack!”

Thursday, November 3, 2016

| November 3, 2016

It’s Official: WIP, Philadelphia Announces Chris Carlin and Ike Reese Afternoon Show.  As has been rumored for more than a week, CBS RADIO is bringing former WFAN, New York personality and “Mike and the Mad Dog” producer Chris Carlin aboard to co-host the afternoon show with longtime station personality (and formercarlinchris Eagles star) Ike Reese.  Carlin has been working for SportsNet New York hosting the “Loud Mouths” show and as voice of Rutgers football broadcasts.  He also handled sports updates on WFAN’s “Imus in the reeseikeMorning” program for a while.  Carlin and Reese will broadcast the new program weekdays from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm beginning Monday (11/7).  CBS RADIO Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff says, “Chris Carlin understands the passion that major East Coast cities have for their sports teams.  It’s easy to be excited to add a seasoned talker who has hosted great shows.  I know he’ll fit right in at WIP.  Ike Reese has spent the last nine years developing a deep relationship with Philadelphia sports fans.  He’s passionate.  He’s opinionated.  He’s beloved.  We’re thrilled that he’ll be playing an even bigger role at the radio station.”  Carlin comments, “I couldn’t be more excited to come to Philadelphia.  When the opportunity came up, it was a no-brainer.  The passion of the Philly fans is legendary and that’s what I’m hoping to feed off.  Ike’s been a part of it for a long time and he’s got his finger on the pulse of the city.  I know I’ve worked in New York for most of my career, but to co-host in afternoon drive on one of the cornerstone stations of radio in Philadelphia is something I could never have imagined.”

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Ramsey’s Smart Money Event Sells Out in Grand Rapids.  Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar and best-selling author Dave Ramsey sold out his Smart Money event in Grand Rapids last night (11/2) at DeVos Performance Hall.  Ramsey combined forces with local affiliate News Radio WOOD to promote the event.  iHeartMedia local market manager Tim Feagan says, “We are so pleased to have Dave Ramsey back in West Michigan.  Grand Rapids and WOOD Radio have hosted many Ramsey events here over the years and our listeners continue to respond enthusiastically to his fresh take on money and life.  We will again have a great turnout this week and we, and more importantly, our clients, could not be more thrilled to have Dave back.”  Pictured here are (from l-r): Phil Tower, director of content & programming for WOOD and WTKG; Ramsey; Feagan; and Kim Lozano, general sales manager for iHeartMedia West Michigan.

National Radio Hall of Fame Announces The Mix Group Sponsorship.  For this year’s 28th Annual National Radio Hall of Fame Induction ceremony on November 17, radio imaging and production company The Mix Group will serve as the exclusive presenting sponsor.  In a statement from the National Radio Hall of nrhofFame, The Mix Group will also serve as an annual supporter of other upcoming National Radio Hall of Fame events.  Additionally, CBS Radio, Hubbard Radio, Premiere Networks, Westwood One and DTS, Inc. have committed to the efforts of the National Radio Hall of Fame as annual supporting sponsors.  NRHoF chairman Kraig T. Kitchin says, “We’re so pleased to have the most generous support of The Mix Group for this prestigious occasion and the year to come, along with CBS, Hubbard, Premiere, Westwood and DTS.  Together, we’ll shine a light on the best our industry has to offer through this fine institution.”  On November 17, the class of 2016 will be inducted at the Broadcast Communications in downtown Chicago.  It consists of: George G. Beasley, Delilah, Jeff & Jer (Jeff Detrow & Jerry Cesak), Eric & Kathy (Eric Ferguson & Kathy Hart), Steve Harvey, Bob Kingsley, Kidd Kraddick, Tony Roberts, Neil Rogers and Michael Savage.

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Mel Gibson Speaks About Hacksaw Ridge at SiriusXM Town Hall.  Pictured here is Hacksaw Ridge director Mel Gibson (second from right) with actors Vince Vaughn (left) and Luke Bracey (second from left) with SiriusXM’s John Fugelsang (right) at the taping of the SiriusXM Town Hall promoting Gibson’s new film.  The program will air on the satcaster’s “Insight” channel Friday at 4:00 pm ET.  Photo: Cindy Ord, SiriusXM.

Odds & Sods.  New York City radio legend Alex Bennett is releasing his autobiography – in audio form!  Bennettbennettalex calls it a “spoken-word history of my 77 years” titled, “Life in the Passing Lane.”  Bennett tells TALKERS that after being asked over the years when he was going write a book of his life, he finally did it in 67, 30-minute chapters that are available via his Gabnet.net website.  He says, “It covers all my adventures in broadcasting and the people and places I have encountered along the way.  I am very proud of it.”.…..At Magic Broadcasting’s Panama City, Florida station group, Marc Summers rejoins the company to serve as operations manager and program director for CHR WILN, urban AC WVVE, and news/talk WYOO.

The Presidential Race, Hillary Clinton Emails Investigation, U.S. House and Senate Races, Battle Against Islamic State for Mosul, ObamaCare Premium Hikes, European Migrant Troubles, Iowa Cops Slain, the World Series, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/2).  The race for president between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; the controversy over the FBI’s renewed investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server; the races for U.S. House and Senate seats; the fight to re-take the Iraqi city of Mosul from Islamic State; the outrage over premium hikes and plan choice for health care as the result of the Affordable Care Act; migrant-related violence in France and Germany; the slaying of two Iowa police officers; the build-up to game 7 of the World Series; and the weekend’s NFL Action were some of the most-talked about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

| October 27, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, October 20, 2016

| October 20, 2016

Salem Has Deal to Buy KTRB, San Francisco for $5.1 Million.  Camarillo, California-based Salem Media Group has been broadcasting the conservative news/talk format – as “860 Am The Answer” – on KTRB, San ktrbFrancisco since July of this year under an LMA.  Now, Salem’s East Bay Broadcasting is entering into a deal with station receiver Susan Uecker (she assumed control of the station from Harry Pappas in 2010) to buy the signal for $5.125 Million.  Prior to Salem’s LMA of the station, it was airing Spanish sports under the operation of David Jacobs-run Deportes Media.  Salem is programming the station with largely Salem Radio Network personalities including: Hugh Hewitt, Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, Michael Medved, Larry Elder, plus Jay Sekulow, Phil Grande and Steve Deace.

CORRECTION: Yesterday, TALKERS reported that WHPT, Tampa “102.5 The Bone” morning personality Mikecaltamike Calta would begin co-hosting an afternoon show on SiriusXM with Gregg “Opie” Hughes.  That is not the case.  Calta’s agent – Tony Burton of Don Buchwald & Associates – tells TALKERS that Calta may be filling in on Opie’s SiriusXM program in December, schedule permitting, but that’s the extent of it.  Our erroneous report was based on a Tweet sent out by Calta that misled a TALKERS reporter.  Our reporter first learned about the Tweet in an article by Dan Jackson at Thrillist.com alleging the “shock jock” radio style is dead.   You can read that piece here.

WBEN, Buffalo Afternoon Drive Personality Tom Bauerle’s Incredible Tale Told in Canadianbauerletom Publication.  The strange series of events that affected the life of popular Buffalo talk radio personality Tom Bauerle are chronicled in a piece in the Canada Free Press.  This fascinating story of surveillance, cloaking technology and sleuthing that engulfed Bauerle’s life for much of the past five years can be found here.

WIP, Philadelphia Names Joe DeCamara and John Ritchie Midday Hosts.  Philadelphia sports talker WIP-FM is reconfiguring its midday and afternoon shows and announces that former crosstown WPEN-FM personality Joe DeCamara is partnering with sports broadcaster and former Philadelphia Eagles player Jondecamarajoe Ritchie for the 10:00 am to 2:00 pm show, effective October 24.  The CBS RADIO station says that it will make an announcement regarding a new afternoon show in the coming weeks and that it will include current ritchiejonmidday personality Ike Reese, however Michael Barkann exits. CBS RADIO Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff comments, “We are thrilled to add this new show featuring Joe and Jon.  As a player, Jon Ritchie embodied the hard-working nature of our fine city.  As a host, he will connect with the fans and share their passion for our local teams.  Joe has proven himself to be a strong voice for the Philadelphia fans. We are excited to have them.”  After retiring from football, Ritchie has worked at ESPN.  He was co-host on the “Artie Lange Show” on DirecTV, served with NBC Sports Network and currently is on air all day Sundays as the color commentator for DirecTV’s Fantasy Zone channel, part of NFL Sunday Ticket.

dubrowterryheatherTerry and Heather Dubrow Launch ‘Dr. & Mrs. Guinea Pig’ on PodcastOne.  “Real Housewives of Orange County” stars Terry and Heather Dubrow (pictured at left) are starring in a new podcast on the PodcastOne platform called, “Dr. & Mrs. Guinea Pig.”  The show brings the couple’s self-experimentation to the airwaves.  PodcastOne says the couple goes “beyond their authored anti-aging secrets in this interactive show, and take calls to answer listener questions about beauty secrets, plastic surgery, exercise, style and more.  Plus, they’ll share what they’re testing and learning along the way in this variety of categories.  The first episode brings many stories and lots of advice, including conflicting views on weight loss technique.  Most surprisingly, this week’s Housewives Fireball flask wasn’t the first time Heather traded in her “champs” for shots, as the couple reveals their test process of hangover IV hydration therapy.

Anderson New NTR Director at Beasley Tampa.  Tampa radio promotions and sales pro Voncile Anderson is named director of non-traditional revenue sales for Beasley Media Group’s Tampa cluster.  Voncile has workedandersonvoncile in the market for two decades, including beginning as a promotion director at WRBQ, Tampa Bay.  She has worked with notables in the industry, including Q105’s Mason Dixon.  In this new position she’ll be responsible for assessing the area’s special event opportunities and determining the venues with greatest potential to grow revenue for the Tampa Bay cluster.   Speaking about her new gig, Anderson says, “I like to say I have earned ‘market equity’ because I have invested my entire career doing events that entertain, raise money for charities, and help our Tampa Bay businesses grow.  I’m so proud to have been chosen for this new, unique NTR opportunity!”

The Presidential Race/Wednesday Debate Build-Up, Voter Fraud/Poll Hacking Issues, Mosul Campaign, NYC Cop Kills Mentally Ill Woman, Russian Military Role in Syrian Civil Conflict, MLB Playoffs, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/19).  The race for president and the build-up to last night’s debate; the concerns over potential voter fraud and poll hacking; the battle against Islamic State in the Iraqi city of Mosul; the shooting death of a mentally ill black woman by a NYC cop; Russia’s expanding military role in the Syrian civil conflict; the Major League Baseball Playoffs, and NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Odds & Sods.  Former NFL star Dante Hall is leaving his role as one-third of the midday show on CBS RADIO’s KILT-AM, Houston where he worked with sports talk personalities Cody Stoots and John Lopez, according to the Houston Chronicle.  The paper reports that Hall told PD Ryan McCredden that the gig “just wasn’t for him.”  McCredden will not fill Hall’s spot on the show…..SiriusXM names Jeff Cooper vice president, advertising sales sports.  He’ll report to SVP of advertising and sponsor sales Bette Rockmore.  The company says this is the first time it has named an executive to lead advertising sales across its sports related channels.  Cooper joins SiriusXMabcmielkestone16 from ESPN, where he served as publisher of ESPN The Magazine and led advertising efforts for FiveThirtyEight.com, Grantland, and more…..Pictured at right are ABC NewsBrad Mielke and Alex Stone covering last night’s presidential debate from Las Vegas.  ABC News Radio provided coverage of the third presidential debate starting with an 8:00 pm ET preview program anchored wormccarthyrose16by ABC News Radio correspondent Aaron Katersky from New York and continued with post-debate analysis until 11:00 pm ET.  Joining Katersky were Mielke, Stone, Kenneth Moton from Washington, DC, and ABC News Radio political analysts Steve Roberts and Trey Hardin.….The nationally syndicated “Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk” show adds new affiliate stations KKLE, Winfield, Kansas; KELE, Mountain Grove, Missouri; and WNTW, Chester, Virginia in the Richmond market.  Gresham’s program is syndicated by Talk Shows USA.….Earlier this week on the “WOR Sports Zone” with host Pete McCarthy (left), New York Mets radio voice Howie Rose (right) appeared on iHeartMedia’s WOR, New York to recap the 2016 Mets’ season on the flagship station.  Mets fans had the opportunity to call in and talk with Rose who – earlier in his career – hosted a sports talk radio show.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

| October 4, 2016

WTMJ, Milwaukee’s Charlie Sykes to Retire from Radio in December.  Longtime Milwaukee conservative voice Charlie Sykes announces that he will step away from his daily radio show and weekly television show at the end of this year after a 23-year stint hosting the mid-morning show on Scripps’ news/talk WTMJ.  Sykes is also the sykescharliehost of “Sunday Insight” on WTMJ-TV “Today’s TMJ4.”  The station will move current early afternoon host Jeff Wagner into the 8:30 to 12:00 noon slot and will seek a new host for the open 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show.  Sykes states, “It has been both a pleasure and honor to work here.  It has been an extraordinary privilege to be a part of the momentous changes that have taken place in Wisconsin over the last two decades.  This is not a decision that I made either lightly or recently and it was not driven by this year’s political season.  I made this decision moreRadio 620 WTMJ - WRS (662c) than a year ago for both professional and very personal reasons.  My father died when he was 63, and I will turn 62 this year, so this year has always been circled on my calendar.  Frankly, if I was ever going to make a move, it was now.  While I am stepping back from my daily radio duties I intend to remain an active voice.  I want to write more, travel more and pursue new opportunities.”  In addition to his work for Scripps, Sykes created and served as the editor-in-chief of RightWisconsin.com.  RightWisconsin.com is an online community that distributes the conservative perspective on the day’s news through a website, audio, video and a daily newsletter.  WTMJ VP/GM Tom Langmyer comments, “Charlie Sykes is one of the most talented broadcasters in America.  His voice is not only an important one in Wisconsin, but across the country.  His daily impact has influenced public thought for decades.”

Josh Innes Takes Over Afternoons at KBME, Houston.  Sports talk personality Josh Innes returns to Houston to begin hosting the afternoon drive slot on iHeartMedia’s KBME “Sports Talk 790,” effective October 10.  Innes worked at CBS RADIO’s KILT-AM from 2010 through 2013 – partnered with KILT’s Rich Lord for part of innesjoshthat time.  Innes was brought by CBS to its Philadelphia sports talker WIP where he started in evenings and moved to afternoon drive.  Innes exited WIP in August.  Lord is now partnered with Sean Pendergast and Ted Johnson in afternoons on KILT and Innes will be competing with the trio.  Innes tells the Houston Chronicle, “After I left Houston, I missed it.  The opportunity at 790 is perfect.  They said they want me to be who I am and to do what I do, and they will support what I do.”  Innes replaces longtime station personality Charlie Pallilo on the KBME afternoon show.  Read the Chronicle piece here.

iHeartMedia Creates New Southwest Division; Kevin LeGrett Named President.  This realignment will create a new division within iHeartMedia – a Southwest Division that will include many regions formerly in iheartmedia-logo-smallits Central Division.  Other former Central Division Regions will be moved into the West and Midwest/Southeast Divisions to better align them with the right resources and operating structure, according to the company.  Kevin LeGrett, formerly iHeartMedia’s Los Angeles region president, becomes president of the new Southwest Division which now includes the Los Angeles, San Diego/Riverside, Arizona, Red River, Houston, Dallas and Austin/San Antonio regions.  Helegrettkevin will continue to report to Greg Ashlock, president of iHeartMedia West, and will also become a member of the company’s senior executive Operating Committee.  In addition to overseeing the new Southwest Division, Ashlock will add the Denver, Western Great Lakes and Omaha regions to his existing West Division.  The St. Louis, Nashville and Mid-South regions will move to the Midwest/Southeast Division under president Tom McConnell.  The Pittsburgh region, formerly part of the Midwest/Southeast Division, will now move to the Northeast Division under president Hartley Adkins.  Both LeGrett and Ashlock will continue to operate from iHeartMedia West’s headquarters in Los Angeles.

Opie Stays with SiriusXM Reluctantly.  Tweeting about his new contract with SiriusXM, Gregg “Opie” Hughes announces he’s back on the air with the satcaster, but not in his morning drive slot.  He’s now in afternoon hughesgreggdrive.  The New York Post reports Hughes said, “I did not want to leave mornings.  Short-term deal.  They wanted longer. I said, no [bleeping] way.  We do a great show.”  Hughes has been off the air since his previous contract expired and former partner Jim Norton has been co-hosting the morning show with producer Sam Roberts and they reportedly will remain in that slot.  Hughes tells The Post he took a pay cut but remains the third-highest paid talent there.

Veteran Illustrates the Emotional Power of Talk Radio.  During a discussion on SiriusXM’s Joe Madisonmadisonjoe show about PTSD and the suicide rate of U.S. veterans spurred by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s speech to a veterans group in Virginia, a retired Marine Corps serviceman called in to tell his personal story and how his life was saved by Madison’s program.  Listen to the audio here.

harrisonupclosefaroutsmallThe Amazing Kreskin Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  One of the world’s most prolific performers and established pop cultural icons, The Amazing Kreskin, is interviewed on this week’s installment of the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”  Harrison and Kreskin dive into an in-depth conversation about how the power of persuasion can shape the public’s perception.  According to Kreskin,kreskin there is no such thing as hypnosis, per se – but, rather, people can be made to believe things and take action by a charismatic personality who knows how to engage in psychological manipulation.  He points out that the larger the number of people in an audience, crowd, mob or population, the easier it is for them to relinquish individual responsibility for their actions and follow the pack.  This is a compelling conversation of significance to anyone involved in talk media – especially during election season.  To hear this conversation in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

The Presidential Race/Tuesday’s VP Debate, Syria Civil War/U.S.-Russia Tensions, Wikileaks Doc Drop Threat, Oregon H.S. White Privilege Survey, Kim Kardashian Robbery, Hurricane Matthew, MLB Playoffs, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/3).  The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and this evening’s vice presidential debate; the U.S.’ cessation of bi-lateral talks with Syria and Russia over the besieged city of Aleppo and U.S.-Russia military tensions; Wikileaks founder Julian Assange’s threat to begin dropping documents that could be harmful to Hillary Clinton’s campaign; the controversy over an Oregon high school class’ assignment that included a white privilege survey; the widely reported holdup of Kim Kardashian West and theft of $10 million in jewelry; Hurricane Matthew hits Haiti and heads toward the U.S.; the Major League Baseball playoffs begin; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

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Covering Tonight’s VP Debate.  In advance of tonight’s Vice Presidential Debate at Longwood University in Virginia, Lou Dobbs (left) will be delivering his Salem Radio Network financial reports and co-anchoring FOX Business Network’s live coverage of the debate.  After the debate, Dobbs will join Fox’s Neil Cavuto for live, post-debate coverage before filing his early-morning Market Preview for SRN affiliates.  Pictured with Dobbs is Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup.

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Allen Shaw Talks Radio and More with Walter Sterling on WPHT.  Pictured here outside the WPHT, Philadelphia studios are Allen Shaw (right), former president of ABC FM Radio and current vice chairman of Beasley Broadcasting, and WPHT, Philadelphia talk host Walter Sterling (left).  During a discussion of the history of album rock radio, Allen fully credited TALKERS magazine and RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison with creating the format name album oriented rock – AOR – and shared how to sell a new idea to a stubborn company.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

| August 25, 2016

Glenn Beck Producer Refuses to Name Sources in Boston Marathon Bombing Case. According to Politico’s Josh Gerstein, Glenn Beck producer Joe Weasel is refusing a judge’s orders to reveal the two sources the program relied on when it continued to insist that Saudi student Abdulrahman Alharbi was the “money man” in the Boston Marathon bombing.  Alharbi was questioned by police during the investigation and cleared bybeckglenn authorities.  He was also injured in the bombing.  Still, Beck insisted Alharbi was involved even after theblaze logoauthorities cleared him and Alharbi is now suing Beck for defamation.  Beck attorney Michael Grygiel says the sources – reportedly Department of Homeland Security officials – are not being identified for journalistic reasons, and because the sources don’t want to be named.  Beck stated on his radio show that the sources could be harmed or killed and he noted the shooting death of DNC staffer Seth Rich whom some speculate could have implicated DNC officials in the DNC email scandal.   Complicating the matter is that it’s not clear if Weasel, who worked for TheBlaze at the time of the bombing, still works for Beck.  As for Beck himself, he had no contact with the sources, so it’s unclear who might be held in contempt if U.S. District Court Judge Patti Saris chooses that route.  Read the Politico piece here.

WIP, Philadelphia Cuts Ties with PM Drive Personality Josh Innes.  Naturally, CBS RADIO is not offering a reason for letting sports talk personality Josh Innes go four months before his contract expires in December, but the speculation in the Philly media seems focused on his recent ratings slide.  And the cherry on theinnesjosh sundae may have been his criticism of archrival Mike Missanelli at crosstown WPEN-FM over that show’s use of a phony African American regular caller who turned out to be a station insider.  In criticizing Missanelli over the matter, Innes posted a photo of an old actor in blackface and took some missanellimikeheat for it.  Back in July, Philly.com’s Rob Tornoe chronicled Innes’ ratings slide.  Noting that after building a strong Men 25-54 lead over Missanelli in the Nielsen PPM ratings, Tornoe reports that Missanelli had rebounded to beat Innes in eight consecutive PPM monthlies – in the June PPMs by some 3.0 AQH share points.  Innes had dealt with some challenges, to be sure.  Originally partnered with Tony Bruno in the PM drive slot, Bruno abruptly exited the business last summer.  Former Eagles star Hollis Thomas and Philly radio pro Spike Eskin became Innes’ on-air partners.  Then, in January after programmer Andy Bloom was downsized, Eskin left the show to handle programming duties.  For now, WIP is saying that fill-in hosts will appear in the afternoon slot until a permanent show is named.

The Presidential Race/Clinton Family Foundation Questions, Deadly Italy Earthquake, American University Kabul Attack, EpiPen Price Hike Scandal, Iran vs U.S. Destroyer, Leslie Jones Web Attack, MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/24).  The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and the controversy over Clinton Family Foundation donors getting access to Clinton while she was Secretary of State; the earthquake that hit central Italy takes the lives of hundreds; the deadly attack on the campus of American University in Kabul; the controversy over the price hike of the EpiPen by manufacturer Mylan; three Iranian patrol boats harass a U.S. Destroyer; the malicious hacking of actress Leslie Jones’ website; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

NBA’s Golden State Warriors Jump to Entercom’s KGME for Flagship Role.  The NBA franchise thanked Cumulus’ KNBR for the relationship it’s enjoyed over the years while announcing it is moving across town to kgmzEntercom’s KGME “95.7 The Game” for its radio play-by-play and special programming partnership.  According to a story in the San Francisco Chronicle, the reason appears to be so the NBA franchise is treated like the featured pro sports franchise.  It notes that 12 of the team’s 24 playoff games last season were moved to sister KGO to accommodate San Francisco Giants games.  KNBR also is home to the NFL’s 49ers.  Warriors president and COO Rick Welts states, “We’re excited about our new partnership with ‘95.7 The Game’ and the opportunity to provide our fans with increased coverage of the Warriors in a centralized location.  Under the terms of this partnership, virtually every Warriors game – including the playoffs – will be broadcast on 95.7.  Additionally, our fans will benefit from increased programming overall throughout the year, including extended pre- and post-game shows, more in-season programming, a dedicated off-season presence and numerous call-in shows featuring front office staff, players and broadcasters.”

Cumulus Media to Use Twitter’s ‘Moments’ to Curate Station Happenings.  The company says it is “among the first radio media companies to use Twitter’s ‘Moments’ and to curate the very best stories from moments around its 452 radio stations and Westwood One’s syndicated programs.”  As you may already know, cumulus logo“Moments” are collections of Tweets that share the stories happening on Twitter, curated by Twitter and select partners.  Companies granted access to make Moments can use the creative format to tell stories using related, real-time content. Moments unfold across multiple Tweets and involve various points of view, and can be Tweeted or shared via link.  Suzanne Grimes, EVP, corporate marketing for Cumulus and president of Westwood One, says, “We are beyond thrilled to be part of this innovative feature from Twitter. It’s the perfect marketing tool for the network and our stations, who pour their hearts and souls into their shows and their events.  It allows them to connect with and extend real-time relationships with our listeners, our communities, and our advertising partners.”

doylejerryJerry Doyle Tribute Scheduled for September 17 in Las Vegas.  Las Vegas-based, nationally syndicated radio talk show host Dr. Daliah Wachs announces the date and place for the tribute to late talk personality Jerry Doyle is set for No Regrets Bar in Las Vegas on September 17 from 6:30 pm to 11:00 pm.  She says, “Friends and fans want to give him the send-off of a lifetime — music, laugh, love and memories of our beloved entertainer, friend, and brother.”

Odds & Sods.  At this year’s Radio Show in Nashville, FCC Commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Ajit Pai will be speaking.  Commissioner Pai addresses attendees on Thursday at “Keeping Up with the Changing Radio Regulatory Landscape,” and immediately following, will be the session “A Conversation with FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn.”…..Alpha Media’s rock WMFX, Columbia, South Carolina “Fox 102.3” is airing Carolina Panthers play-by-play broadcasts this season.  The station will air full coverage of all games, plus pre-game and post-game shows, “Panther’s Talk” each Monday night at 7:00 pm and daily Panther updates…..Entercom partners with Clip Interactive to use the latter’s interactive radio platform for its 129 stations.  Using Clip-built mobile apps, Entercom stations can deliver interactive broadcast and stream content feeds to listeners.  The Clip platform enables interactivity with all audio content delivered by Entercom stations via broadcast and stream…..SiriusXM is premiering the new album from comedy legend George Carlin.  It’s titled, I Kinda Like It When a Lotta People Die, and is the first original recording since Carlin’s passing in 2008.  It’s airing on the Comedy Greats and Carlin’s Corner channels on September 1 – two weeks before the album is made available for purchase.  Carlin recorded I Kinda Like It When A Lotta People Die at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on September 9 and 10, 2001.  Following the attacks on 9/11, Carlin removed and reworked much of the original act for his 2001 special, “Complaints & Grievances.”  Now, listeners can hear this material as it was originally conceived, raw and uncensored.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

| August 18, 2016

Katz: Study Says Radio Reaches Independents In Battleground States Better.  The study was done by Nielsen and commissioned by Katz Media Group and Katz says it concludes that “customizing radio messages to local markets in key battleground states is the most impactful way to swing young Independent voters in the upcoming presidential election and in critical down ballot races.”  This is the fifth wave of “The Local Vote 2016” that analyzed custom data from Independent voters across seven states (Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, North Carolina,katzmediagroup Virginia, Wisconsin and Colorado.)  Some of the key findings include: One in three battleground Independents spend more time listening to radio than watching television.  On average, these voters listen to over 2 hours of radio daily, while watching less than 1 hour of TV; and radio – across a diverse range of formats – outstrips cable news.  On a weekly basis, more Independents will listen to news/talk/sports radio stations (33%) and music formats such as adult contemporary (43%), rock (40%) and country (35%) than watch cable news channels CNN (23%), Fox News (15%) or MSNBC (10%).  As far as key local radio findings are concerned, the study indicates geographical differences.  For example, in Ohio, Independents gravitate towards different formats depending on the Ohio market they live in.  Adult/classic hits has the highest share of listening with Cleveland schulmanstaceylynnIndependents; adult contemporary garners the highest share in Columbus; and news/talk/sports and country are the strongest formats in Cincinnati.  Katz Media Group’s Stacey Lynn Schulman, EVP of strategy, analytics and research, says, “‘The Local Vote 2016’ continues to unearth important insights to help candidates and political strategists effectively use media to engage the local electorates.  Everyone is voting in the same election, but you need to speak to people where they live.  It’s a national election won by reaching local voters.  And, what we have consistently found is radio delivers better national reach with the ability to connect on a local level than any other medium.”

Trey Ware to Host Special Race Relations Show on KTSA.  The program will air tomorrow (8/19) on Alpha Media’s KTSA, San Antonio at 7:00 pm.  It’s titled “Race Relations in San Antonio and Beyond,” hosted by morningwaretrey drive personality Trey Ware.  The station says, “This is a topic that has dominated local and national news many times in the past with the police officer shootings in Dallas and the Black Lives Matter movement.  The discussion panel consists of well-known religious, law enforcement, and community leaders.  Ware comments, “Everyone has something valuable to contribute.  That is why this event is so important.  People who are different from us have so much to offer, and together we make each other better.”

CBS Philly Inks New Deal with Ray Didinger.  Philly sports media legend Ray Didinger signs a new, multi-year contract with CBS RADIO to continue his weekend program on sports talk WIP (co-hosted with Glen didingerrayMacnow) and take on new duties with the cluster.  The Pro Football Hall of Fame writer’s show will be heard on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm. He’ll continue to make frequent appearances on WIP throughout the year, especially during football season. Additionally, he will also be heard on news/talk WPHT with morning host Chris Stigall on Fridays during the football season, and he’ll do commentary on all-news KYW.  Didinger says, “I’m delighted to continue my relationship with WIP.  I’ve had a great time working with so many good friends, in particular Glen Macnow, my weekend partner for many years.  I enjoy talking sports with the Philadelphia fans and I’m grateful to CBS RADIO Philadelphia for giving me that opportunity.”

iHeartMedia Realigns Northeast Division; Promotes Preacher and Carwile.  This realignment within iHeartMedia’s Northeast division is part of a dismantling of its former Mid-Atlantic region.  The Washington, DCpreachermichael and Baltimore markets will now form the new Washington, DC Region and the Virginia markets will join the existing Carolina region to form the new Virginia-Carolina region.  To lead these new regions, the carwiledavecompany has promoted Michael Preacher – formerly the SVP of Strategic Partnerships to president of the Washington, DC region and government initiatives.  Region president Dave Carwile is now president of the Virginia-Carolina region.  That region consists of the following markets: Richmond, VA; Harrisonburg, VA; Norfolk, VA; Roanoke and Lynchburg, VA; Winchester, VA; Charlotte, NC; Raleigh, NC; Asheville, NC; Greenville, SC; and Greensboro, NC.  Both Preacher and Carwile report to Northeast division president Hartley Adkins.

Bill Kelly ‘Unretires’ with Cumulus Youngstown.  Radio management pro Bill Kelly retired from iHeartMedia in February, ending his career with the company as regional president.  But on October 3 he’ll leave the ranks of the retired and join Cumulus Media as vice president and market manager for the Youngstownkellybill market.  Kelly worked in the Youngstown market for 35 years, beginning with the original owners of heritage AM signal WKBN.  He helped build the six-station iHeartMedia cluster when it was first acquired by Jacor in 1997.  Kelly comments, “After meeting with CEO Mary Berner and other senior leaders at Cumulus, I knew I had to take advantage of this opportunity.  I can’t thank them enough. The Cumulus brands as well as the staff are well positioned.  I look forward to helping them get to the next level.”  Cumulus owns eight stations in the Youngstown market.

nymrad logoNYMRAD Releases Q2 2016 Report.  The New York Market Radio Association releases its second quarter 2016 State of the New York Market Report.  The organization calls it’s a “comprehensive analysis of the NY marketplace…[that] assesses the New York area economy, including business drivers and provides up-to-date consumer research on music consumption, radio usage, and more.”  The report states that “New York Radio revenue showed some positive growth in the first half of 2016. Four hundred and fifty advertisers increased their spending by double-digit percentages.  Fourteen percent of these advertisers more than doubled their radio ad spend, each paying more than $100K for airwaves.  Of these larger spenders, six were in the automotive space and nine were part of the food and beverage sector.  In the entertainment category, advertisers for concerts, theatre, and movies had a 22% increase over the last six months.  Communications/Cellular spending has increased by 7%.”  Read the entire report here.

Odds & Sods.  At the Salem Media Group Denver operations, Scott Curtis is the new afternoon drive newscurtisscott anchor on the Steve Kelley and Krista Kafer program.  Curtis says, “I am excited to finally be working at a great team at Salem Media.  For a radio guy, this is a dream job!”…..NBC Sports Radio is adding tafoyamicheleEmmy Award-winning Sunday Night Football sideline reporter Michele Tafoya as a featured contributor across NBC Sports Radio programming in which she’ll also do interviews with affiliated stations.  She says, “I began my broadcasting career in radio and I absolutely love the medium.  Sports talk radio offers a certain freedom to talk more conversationally than most formats.  NBC Sports Radio has been a fun platform for me over the past couple of seasons, so I’m looking forward to this extended role.”…..CBS Sports Radio unveils its football-intensive weekend programming that begins Saturday (8/20) with the “Eye on Fantasy Football” show.  Other shows this fall will include “Eye on College Football,”  “Sunday Morning Football,” “Fantasy Football Today,” and “Eye onknss Football.”…..Entercom’s news/talk KNSS, Wichita takes the top prize from the Kansas Association of Broadcasters in the Best Complete Newscast category for Large Market Radio in the organization’s 2016 awards.  The station’s Steve McIntosh, Ted Woodward and Jad Chambers, earned honor for their work on the “Day After Hesston, KS Mass Shooting.”

The Presidential Race, Milwaukee Shooting Case, Rio Olympics-U.S. Swimmers Detained, Louisiana Floods/SoCal Wildfires, Battle for Aleppo, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/17).  The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; the aftermath of the shooting death of an armed black man by police in Milwaukee; the Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro and the controversy over U.S. swimmers’ allegations they were robbed at gunpoint; the devastating floods in Louisiana and the Southern California wildfires; the battle to retake Aleppo from Islamic State forces and Russia’s involvement in the Syrian conflict; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

The Conclave Names New Board Members.  Three broadcast executives join the board of directors for The Conclave.  The new members are: Peter Bowen, vice president/market manager, Cumulus Media Chicago; Tony Coles, EVP, programming, iHeartMedia; and Melek Demir, director of radio, National Associationconclave of Broadcasters.   Cumulus Media VP, social Lori Lewis says, “As volunteers, it’s not always easy to find time to give back.  We are all busier than ever.  And because of that, I’m grateful for Peter, Tony and Melek for giving their time to Conclave.  I am also grateful for the current board members that work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure Conclave serves our industry.  We are working on dates for Conclave 42 in 2017 and will have an announcement soon!”

flaherty16cuppingWhat’s Cupping? WHMP, Northampton, Massachusetts morning personality Bob Flaherty – like many watching the Rio Olympics and noticing the dark spots on U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps – was intrigued by the ancient healing practice known as cupping.  But instead of just asking an expert about it, Flaherty decided to get “cupped” live on the air and stream it live on Facebook as well.  Flaherty is pictured here with the small glass globes still on his back while doing his program.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

| January 5, 2016

wabc logoCurtis Sliwa to Host WABC, New York’s ‘The Drive at Five.’  The “Drive at Five” program takes the place of “Right Now with Doug McIntyre” and debuts this afternoon (1/5) from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm on Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York.  The station callssliwacurtis the show a “fast-paced, comprehensive look at the stories and people that have New York talking.”  Curtis Sliwa will continue his role as co-host of “The Curtis and Kuby Show” with Ron Kuby airing from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm.  In September of 2014 the station aired “The Ride Home” with Pat Kiernan and Rita Cosby at 5:00 pm.  Kiernan exited and Cosby did the show solo until moving to weekends with Doug McIntyre (also heard at the company’s KABC, Los Angeles in morning drive) taking over the one-hour show in March of last year.  Sliwa states, “My job will be to take people from their suites to the streets and re-connect them with everything that has transpired while they’ve been working their 9-to-5 jobs.”

eskinspikeSpike Eskin Relinquishes On-Air Duties at WIP-FM, Philadelphia.  According to a report at Philly.com, WIP, Philadelphia program director Spike Eskin is leaving his on-air role on the Joshwiplogo Innes program as he absorbs some of the responsibilities of ousted operations manager Andy Bloom.  In a budget-related move, Bloom’s OM position was eliminated by CBS RADIO.  Eskin and former Philadelphia Eagle Hollis Thomas worked on air with Innes.  Thomas remains on the show and the station moves Marc Farzetta from Angelo Cataldi’s AM drive show to afternoons to handle news updates and other duties on the program.

bubbaSettlement in Nielsen vs Bubba Case ‘Unlikely.’  According to the most recent court filings that detail the schedule for the discovery process and pre-trial hearings in the civil fraud case being brought against Bubba the Love Sponge by Nielsen Audio, the two sides seem to agree on one thing: a settlement in the $1 million lawsuit is “unlikely.”  Nielsen is suing Bubba on civil charges of fraud, conspiracy to defraud, interfering with business and contractual relations and violation of Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Practices Act as the result of his tampering with the PPM ratings process in the Tampa market.  Although Bubba admitted to the tampering he says Nielsen is unable to prove damages and the $1 million figure was pulled out of thin air.  Nielsen wishes to depose Bubba for up to 14 hours over two days and Bubba says he’s not willing to do that so the court will have to rule on the deposition schedule.  If this does go to trial as it’s expected to do, it’ll be in January of 2017.

bannonstephenkWhat do Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Stephen K. Bannon Have in Common?  Answer: They are the only three radio talk show hosts to make the prestigious Mediaite “25 Mostlimbaughrush15 Influential in Political News Media” list.  The list includes leading names from the world of news-gathering and news-delivering organizations including internet, television and radio.  Rush Limbaugh came in at #8; Sean Hannity showed strongly at #15; and Stephen K. Bannon appears at #19.  Bannon, the executive chairman of Breitbart News LLC (parent company of hannitythe Breitbart News Network), is the host of the weekday morning show “Breitbart News Daily” presented on the SiriusXM Satellite Radio Patriot Channel.  The 6:00 am – 9:00 am ET show covers the hottest topics of the day featuring Bannon moderating contributions and features from Breitbart correspondents around the nation and world.  To see the entire Mediaite list, please click here.

brownrobCumulus Names Rob Brown AM Host at WFTW, Fort Walton Beach.  Fort Walton Beach news/talk WFTW “NewsTalk 1260” will launch a new morning drive program next Monday (1/11) featuring longtime local broadcast personality Rob Brown.  His eponymous show will air from 6:00 am to 10:00 am.  Brown has been serving as a field reporter for local station WEAR-TV.  He’s worked in radio in the Florida Panhandle doing news and sports at sports talk WTKE “The Ticket.”  WFTW operations manager Hayden Green says, “Rob Brown is a native of the area.  He knows the players, he knows the people and he knows great radio.  We’re excited to have him on the team and excited about the future of NewsTalk 1260 WFTW.”

entercomEntercom Promotes Three Programmers to Vice Presidents.  Three Entercom Communications programmers are awarded vice president stripes today: Jim Fox in Sacramento, Mike Moore in Portland and Bob Barnett in Rochester, New York are promoted to VP of programming for their respective markets.  Jim Fox joined Entercom in Sacramento as station manager of active rock KRXQ in 2003 and began overseeing all Entercom Sacramento brands as OM in 2013.  Mike Moore joined Entercom to program country KWJJ in Portland and was upped to operations manager for the cluster in January 2013.  He also serves as Entercom’s director of country programming.  Bob Barnett is a 33-year programmer who oversees all programming for Entercom Rochester.  Entercom president of programming Pat Paxton comments, “Jim, Mike and Bob are outstanding leaders with impressive track records of success in their markets.  They have each earned this recognition.  I could not be happier for them and look forward to many more years of working together.”

cookehollandCES 2016: Radio vs Robots.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke reports from Las Vegas and the annual Consumer Electronic Show.  As Cooke says, driverless cars are one of the big “oh wow” items at the show.  How the car of the future will affect our hunger for the information and entertainment radio provides while driving isn’t certain yet, but the possibilities they suggest should cause radio people to think about their product.  Read Cooke’s report here.

Obama Gun Control Policy, 2016 Presidential Election, Battle Against Islamic State, Oregon Wildlife Refuge Standoff, Iran-Saudi Diplomatic Break, World Financial Markets Activity, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/4).  President Obama’s plans to use executive orders to amend gun laws; the activities of the candidates for president this year; the ongoing battle against Islamic State and debate over terror attack prevention; the standoff between armed protestors occupying an Oregon wildlife sanctuary; the break of diplomatic relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia and the growing Shiite-Sunni rift in the Middle East; turbulent world financial markets open the New Year; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

RadiodaysEurope16Michael Harrison set to Address Radiodays Europe Conference.  TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison has been named one of the key solo speakers at the forthcoming Radiodays Europe conference set for Paris, France March 13-15 at Le Palais des Congrès de Paris.  Billed as “The World’s Greatest International Radio Conference,” Radiodays Europe is an annual gathering for radio professionals with 1,300 participants from 60 countries.  It is the meetingharrisonmichael2015 point for the European radio industry, both private and public, and a destination for radio people from around the world.  Harrison’s presentation, titled “Lessons Learned by American Radio at the Dawn of the Digital Era,” will cover both the successes and failures experienced by US radio during its transition into the digital era.  Harrison will offer insight into the radio industry’s challenge of successfully integrating its assets and services into an internet-based culture while preserving and enhancing its iconic role as the primary audio medium.  Can it be done?  Harrison states, “Of course, it can!  I intend to lay out the big picture of radio’s path forward with realistic and cautious optimism.  I look forward to this opportunity to speak with broadcasters from around the world.”  For registration and other information about Radiodays Europe, please click here.

leykisbillboard16America’s First Internet Radio Billboard?  It is according to The New Normal principal Tom Leykis who says the electronic billboard (shown at left) that overlooks the northbound 405 Freeway in Carson, California is the first in America to promote an Internet radio show.  The billboard, which just went up on Monday evening (1/4), promotes Leykis’ daily afternoon program.

Monday, December 21, 2015

| December 21, 2015

bloomandyAndy Bloom Exits WIP-FM and WPHT, Philadelphia OM Post.  This is being termed a budget-related move as programmer Andy Bloom – until Friday the operations manager for sports talk WIP-FM and news/talk WPHT – exits the CBS RADIO Philadelphia station group.  There’s lots ofwiplogo speculation in the Philly media about why Bloom was let go and what this will mean for WIP and WPHT.  Bloom tells Philly.com, “It is part of another restructure and strictly a budgetary move.  That has happened across the industry over the past several years.  It’s been an incredible 8 years with CBS Philly.”  Philadelphia Business Journal wpht logowonders what this means for news/talk WPHT citing its November 2015 PPM (6+ AQH share Mon-Sun 6A-12M) rating of 1.5.  The mag reports Bloom previously noted the current lineup has only been in place for a year and needs time to gel.  Local news and opinion site Crossing Broad wonders what Bloom’s exit will mean for WIP, especially afternoon drive personality Josh InnesKyle Scott opines that Innes’ future at WIP could be affected by this change, “[H]e was Bloom’s guy and given a long leash with which to do his sometimes-sports thing.  I’m assuming a successor will not be as lenient as Bloom.  One would wonder if Josh would even want to stick around.  A general turmoil has surrounded the station since he came on-board, and most of Bloom’s decisions since can be traced to Innes’ presence.”

cumiaanthonyAnthony Cumia Arrested on Domestic Battery Charges.  New York radio personality Anthony Cumia was arrested on Saturday on charges of strangulation, criminal mischief, unlawful imprisonment and assault.  He’s pled not guilty to all and his attorney tells the New York Post, “Mr. Cumia emphatically denies the allegations brought against him and is optimistic that when the truth comes out he will be exonerated.”  This comes after a woman described as Cumia’s girlfriend used the app Periscope to request police assistance at Cumia’s Long Island home after claiming Cumia broke her hand, took her phone when she tried to call police and held her captive.  The woman uses the handle Dani Golightly.  Cumia was released on his own recognizance and ordered to stay away from the woman.  Cumia was fired from SiriusXM’s Opie & Anthony show last year after he authored a series of racist Tweets and they went viral.

kdsp logoiHeartMedia Goes Sports in Denver on Former ‘Real Talk 760.’  The calls change from KKZN to KDSP and the new sports talker is branded “Denver Sports 760.”  Local programming will include longtime iHeartMedia Denver personality Dave Logan co-hosting the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon program with Susie Wargin and Andy Lindahl hosting the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm show. (Lindahl also hosts “PrimeTime Sports” on sister KOA from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm.)  Also airing on the station will be: Dan Patrick from 7:00 am to 10:00 am; “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm; “Jay Mohr Sports” from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm; “Ferrall On The Bench” from 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight; Ben Maller from 12:00 midnight to 4:00 am; and “FOX Sports Daybreak with Andy Furman & Mike North from 4:00 am to 7:00 am.  iHeartMedia Denver market president Tim Hager states, “We’re excited to serve our listeners, partners and advertisers with a new station featuring original Denver Broncos content and the biggest names in sports.”

kscoCalifornia Environmental Regulations Preventing KSCO, Santa Cruz from Addressing Flooding Problem.  KSCO, Santa Cruz, California station owner Michael Zwerling is in a tough situation, stuck between California environmental laws and the need to keep his station on the air with current weather conditions creating flooding problems for his transmitter.  Zwerling was prevented by sheriffs from digging a trench that would allow flood waters to drain as they usually do after a citizen complained to police about potential violations of the environmental laws.  A look into the law indicates Zwerling will have to try to convince officials that his station – as a facility licensed to serve the public – is worthy of protection as well.  KSCO has long been recognized as one of the nation’s most community-involved as well as marketing-innovative local talkers in the nation.  Zwerling says the solution does not involve harm to the beach or the marine life but activists have risen to challenge his desire to do the minor excavation necessary to abate flood waters.  Hear his appeal, broadcast over the KSCO airwaves, here.

karterkenardKarter Named Radio One Cincinnati OM. Inbound from iHeartMedia Chicago urban contemporary WGCI-FM, Kenard Karter will assume operations manager duties of Radio One Cincinnati. Radio One vice president of programming Colby Tyner comments, “We are excited to be working with Kenard; he is a very smart programmer with a lot of creative energy. Our team in ‘Cinci’ can’t wait to get started.” Station manager Mitch Galvin notes, “Kenard will be bringing strong leadership to our station cluster and a drive to win.” According to Karter, “I am truly humbled and excited about the opportunity to lead the Cincinnati radio brands that the Radio One family has afforded me. I am proud to join a team that is so full of passion and promise.” Prior to his WGCI-FM stint, Chicago native Karter – who begins his Cincinnati duties in three weeks (1/11) – spent four years at San Francisco urban contemporary KMEL, where he was the station’s assistant program director/mid-day talent. Radio One Cincinnati consists of urban contemporary WIZF “101.1 Cincinnati’s Hip-Hop & R&B,” urban-rhythmic oldies WOSL “Old School 100.3,” and WDBZ “Your Talk Station 1230 The Buzz.” According to 6+ stats in the latest (November 2015) Nielsen Audio PPM report for Cincinnati, WIZF ranks #8 with a 4.6 (+.7) from October and its best performance since June (also 4.6); WOSL is #13 (2.5); and WDBZ is #22 (.4). The (6+) market leader is iHeartMedia talker WLW (10.2).

mccartytoddCumulus Brings New HR Exec Aboard.  Human resources pro Todd C. McCarty comes to Cumulus Media from his most recent position as SVP of global human resources for Las Vegas Sands Corporation.  Cumulus CEO Mary Berner says, in making the announcement of McCarty’s appointment, “Cumulus has tremendous assets with our reach to 245 million listeners across 90 markets and our outstanding audio content and brands.  However, it’s critical that, as we move quickly andcumulus logo efficiently to build on our strengths, we retain and attract top performers on and off-air, and support and motivate them to deliver exceptional performance across all disciplines and markets.  Todd stands out among his peers in terms of qualifications and experience and we are fortunate and delighted that he will be leading our effort to consolidate and centralize our key human resources disciplines into a department that has the capabilities and focus to deliver the services and solutions we need to grow our business.”  McCarty has served in similar positions at The New York Times Company and The Reader’s Digest Association, Inc.

Odds & Sods.  The nationally syndicated Stephanie Miller show is now being aired on the CRN Digital Talkmillerstephanie Radio network from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET.  Miller’s show is syndicated WYM Media WW1Barclays15Managemen…..Live radio coverage of the CBS Sports Classic college hoops event from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn was provided by Westwood One Sports.  Pictured here calling the games for the network are WW1 sports announcer John Sadak (right) and CBS Sports Radio personality Doug Gottlieb (left) as North Carolina beat UCLA 89-76 and Ohio State upset Kentucky 74-67.  WW1 reports more than 300 affiliate stations carried thepochandi games…..Andi Poch joins CBS Local Digital Media to serve as SVP Sales.  Poch is being charged with managing and executing the overall digital advertising sales strategy for the division.  She’ll work closely with the local digital sales teams for CBS RADIO’s 117 stations and the 29 CBS Television stations, as well as the entire national sales group.  She comes from Townsquare Media where she was SVP, integrated/digital sales and strategy…..At Townsquare Media, the company brings Susan Kravitz aboard to serve as SVP, head of national digital sales and will oversee the company’s national digital and branded entertainment sales efforts.   Kravitz was most recently head of global sales at Say Media.

entercomEntercom Offers New Employee Benefits.  Beginning in 2016, Entercom Communications Corp. will begin offering qualified employees three significant new additions to the benefit plan designed to further enhance the quality of life for its staffers.  They are: 1) Personal Volunteering Time – a half-day off each quarter to volunteer for a non-profit organization of their choosing; 2) Discounted Stock Purchase Program – Entercom employees will be able to purchase Entercom stock at a 15% discount through a payroll deduction plan; and 3) Student Loan Reimbursement Program – $1,000 per calendar year to reduce outstanding student loans for employees who have graduated within the past eight years.  Company CEO David Field states, “We are always looking for ways to improve ourselves and make Entercom a better and stronger organization, and that includes enhancing the quality of life for our team.  We have examined benefits programs from leading companies all across the country in a wide range of industries and have honed in on a few highly compelling programs that we think will make outstanding additions to life at Entercom.  We are very excited to be delivering these new benefits to our people.”

kdwnXmas15Making Merry in Vegas.  Pictured here enjoying the festivities over the weekend at the Beasley Media Group Las Vegas holiday party are (from left to right): director of sales Cory Cuddeback; market manager Tom Humm; news/talk KDWN program director John Shaffer; and nationally syndicated talk host Dr. Daliah Wachs.

Democratic Primary Debate, Star Wars Film Opens and Miss Universe SNAFU Among Top Weekend News/Talk Stories.  The coverage of and the aftermath of Saturday night’s Democratic candidates’ debate; the record-breaking opening weekend of the new Star Wars film; and Steve Harvey’s mistake misidentifying the winner of the Miss Universe pageant, were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend on stations airing live talk shows.

Friday, December 4, 2015

| December 4, 2015

wyay logo newCumulus Media Nabs Rob Stadler for WYAY, Atlanta Mornings.   Market news pro Rob Stadler is joining Cumulus Media’s WYAY-FM, Atlanta “News Radio 106.7” to serve as executive producer and host of “The Morning News.”  Stadler was the voice for morning news and information on crosstown CHR WSTR “Star 94” for almost 30 years.  During that time, he wasstadlerrob named “Atlanta’s Best Newscaster” 10 times by the Achievement in Radio Awards (AIR) while serving as the station’s news director.  He also earned two Edward R. Murrow awards from the RTDNA for broadcast journalism excellence, and was also recognized by the Georgia Associated Press for “Best Newscast.”  He’ll make his inaugural appearance for “News Radio 106.7” as host for the “Making Miracles Marathon” on Friday, December 11, from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm and he’ll begin hosting the morning show on December 16.  WYAY program director Greg Tantum states, “Rob has been a part of the Atlanta morning landscape for nearly three decades – not only on the radio, but with his community involvement.  Rob has the unique ability to blend his deep news background with the understanding of how to keep an audience engaged and entertained while dealing with nightmare commutes in Atlanta.”

price howardPrice: It’s Not IF Anymore…But WHEN.  It may be a reality that no one wants to face, but ABC Television director, business continuity Howard B. Price writes in a column for TALKERS/RadioInfo today (12/4) that radio stations need to prepare for the possibility that an act of destructive violence can happen in their markets.  In reference to Wednesday’s San Bernardino shootings, Price says that local news/talk radio stations he monitored stayed with national programs while the story was breaking.  Yes, those shows were talking about the shootings, but he believes stations in the market should “own” the story in a way out-of-market stations don’t have to.  “Even if we acknowledge the cost constraints that today make it so difficult to sustain a round-the-clock news operation at most stations, in my personal view, operators do a disservice to their communities if they don’t at least have a PLAN for flushing their formats and throwing any and every live body into coverage of catastrophic local events.” Read Price’s column here.

cookehNCC15More from the Nielsen Audio Client Conference.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke (pictured here) reports from the first day of the Nielsen Audio Client Conference (formerly the old “Consultant Fly-In”).  This batch of notes comes from yesterday afternoon’s sessions and covers Dr. Ed Cohen’s presentation of data from his study, “The Class of 2015: Four Years in the Lives of Digital Natives”; podcasting and its relationship with radio; plus more research about the behavior of radio’s P1s.  See Holland Cooke’s notes here.

wiplogoWIP, Philadelphia’s Wing Bowl 24 Scheduled for February 5 at the Wells Fargo Center.  What started as a small promotion 23 years ago has grown into one of sports talk radio’s biggest events that now fills Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center each year.  The annual chicken wing eating contest has evolved to present winners in three divisions: the overall winner, the local winner and the collegiate winner.  WIP morning show co-host Al Morganti, co-founded Wing Bowl 23 years ago with host Angelo Cataldi, and he says, “In a year where everything has seemed to go wrong with sports in Philadelphia, it never goes wrong at Wing Bowl!  We win every year so if you’re disappointed with Philadelphia’s sports teams, you won’t be disappointed with this year’s ‘Game of Bones’ – Wing Bowl 24.”  Tickets go on sale on December 8.  This year’s event is presented by title sponsors Steven Singer Jewelers and SugarHouse Casino.  Prizes this year include: For the overall winner, a 2016 Harley-Davidson FLSTF Softail Fat Boy Motorcycle courtesy of Barb’s Harley Davidson, a custom Wing Bowl 24 championship ring and $10,000 in cash courtesy of Steven Singer Jewelers; the local winner receives a 2016 Hyundai Santa Fe courtesy of Colonial Hyundai of Downingtown; and the top collegiate eater will win $5000 in cash.

Odds & Sods.  After 18 years in morning drive Bob Levy and wife Marianne Levy are shuttering the Bob &bobmarianne Marianne in the Morning show on Townsquare Media’s news/talk WOBM-AM, Lakewood Township, New Jersey.  Marianne Levy will continue her role with the station on the Preferred Home Health Care-sponsored “Preferred Company” show that airs from 9:00 am to 10:00 am on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays.  Taking over mornings on WOBM-AM is Jeremy Grunin, effective January 4.  Bob Levy will continue to host the Sunday “Topic A” public affairs program that airs on WOBM-AM and sister AC WOBM-FM…..An FM translator is boosting the signal of Saga Communications’ sports talk simulcast (now trimulcast!) francesamikeWISE/WYSE in the Asheville, North Carolina market.  “ESPN Asheville” is now heard on W247BV at 97.3 FM…..Legendary New York sports talk radio personalities Mike Francesa and Christopher “Madrussochris Dog” Russo are teaming up for a charity reunion show at  Madison Square Garden to benefit MSG’s Garden of Dreams Foundation.  Sports talk fans have been anticipating some sort of reunion of the two after recent reports of friendly chat between them about the possibility.  They haven’t worked together since their split in 2008 when Russo left CBS RADIO’s WFAN, New York for SiriusXM Satellite Radio.  The reunion event takes place on March 30…..NUVObobandtom labeled managing editor (and Indy radio personality) Ed Wenck conducted an interview with Bob Kevoian of the nationally syndicated Bob & Tom show to mark Kevoian’s retirement from the show and the business at the end of the year.  This cool piece touches on everything from how Kevoian and Tom Griswold became radio partners to how their show took off at WFBQ, Indianapolis in the mid-1980s.  Check it out here.

talkersten logoSan Bernardino Shootings/Gun Control Top Talk Radio Stories This Week.  The most-talked-about story on news/talk radio for the week of November 30- December 4 was the deadly San Bernardino shootings tied with the related topic of gun control, tying atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the 2016 presidential race.  Coming in at #3 was the Paris climate summit followed by Russia-Turkey tensions at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Monday, July 13, 2015

| July 13, 2015

greymichaelMichael Grey Returns to WBBL, Grand Rapids.  The Cumulus Media-owned sports talk station says popular Grand Rapids radio personality Michael Grey returns to the morning show daypart with new co-host Ryan Schuiling.  Grey co-hosted mornings on WBBL, Grand Rapids from 2009 through 2011wbbl logo with Bret Bakita.  He’s also worked at KXSP, Omaha and KIRO, Seattle.  WBBL program director Dave Jaconette says, “We are thrilled to have Michael Grey back on 107.3 WBBL.  After successful stints in Omaha and Seattle, Michael is back to talk with fans about the teams he loves.  And I’m very happy that Ryan Schuiling will be joining him on what will be one of West Michigan’s most exciting sports talk shows.”

espnaudiologoESPN Radio Reports Increased Streaming Numbers.  Referring to second quarter 2015 streaming data, ESPN Radio Network announces it accrued more than 2.5 billion total listening minutes compared to the same period in 2014.  That’s an increase of 31%.  The sports giant also reports that its on-demand audio downloads were up 27% over last year with more than 90 million downloads.  ESPN SVP, production business divisions Traug Keller says, “Sports fans consume audio across multiple platforms and the compelling content that ESPN Audio offers through streaming and podcasts is making an impact on listening.”

missanellimikePhilly Sports Talk Wars Invade Print Turf.  The hand-grenade lobbing between CBS RADIO’s WIP-FM and Greater Media’s WPEN-FM in Philadelphia has moved to the print media with WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” afternoon host Mike Missanelli writing a column for Philly Mag in which he lambastesinnesjosh afternoon host Josh Innes for his on-air style, former host Tony Bruno for similar reasons and suggests the former duo’s ratings successes against his show are not all they seem.  According to a story at Philly.com, Innes lashed back at Missanelli on his radio show saying the piece was “basically the last ramblings of a desperate man who’s trying to politic his way into the hearts of a few people by basically reading comment sections and seeing what appeals to meatballs.”  Read the Philly.com coverage of the feud here.

ppmunitNielsen Audio Releases Fourth Round of June 2015 PPM Data.  The fourth of four rounds of June 2015 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford.  The June 2015 survey period covered May 21 through June 17.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Ten Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

Odds & Sods.  Another personnel move in Philly sports talk as Pat Gallen leaves Greater Media’s WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” to join CBS’ KYW-TV as sports anchor.  Gallen served with WPEN-FM as a sports anchor and reporter.  His move to KYW-TV comes just a week after former NFL great Beasley Reece was let go from his sports anchor post at the station…..After nine years with NAB – the last four as EVP of government relations –colekelly Kelly Cole announces she’s leaving the organization to open her own advocacy firm.  In an email to NAB’s board of directors, Cole said, in part, “Over nine years, I’ve seen NAB make amazing strides.  Gordon Smith is a tremendous leader.  Our relationships with state associations are at an all-time high, and we have EVPs in every department who work cohesively and collaboratively.  NAB is viewed with respect on both sides of the aisle on Capitol Hill, and our government relations team is the strongest it has ever been during my time at NAB. It has been an absolute privilege to be a member of this amazing team, to be a part of NAB history, and to work with all of you.”…..Matt Martinez moves from his most recent position with NPR as senior producer to Pacific Public Media-owned non-com KPLU, Seattle where he’ll serve as director of content…..KNTK, Lincoln, Nebraska sports talk personality Tom Stephens is recovering after suffering a heart attack on June 26.  Stephens co-hosts the midday show with John Gaskins on the Home Field Communications station.  According to the Lincoln Journal-Star, the 51-year-old is undergoing speech and occupational therapy and is anxious to get back on the air.

metaxasRadioCity15Eric Metaxas at Radio City Music Hall.  Author and Salem Radio Network talk host Eric Metaxas appears here on the big screen in Times Square on Friday (7/10)  as the guest speaker at evangelist Luis Palau’s “City Fest” at Radio City Music Hall.  Metaxas’ address was beamed out to the crowd in Times Square.  Palau hosted an event the next evening in Central Park that drew some 60,000 attendees.

Monday, June 22, 2015

| June 22, 2015

mcmeartymikeWTOP, Washington Names McMearty Program Director.  Three months after former programmer Laurie Cantillo and Hubbard Radio parted ways, the company names 23-year staffer Mike McMearty program director for the multi-platform news operation.  McMearty moves up from his news director post to the new position of director of news and programming.  Hubbard Washington SVP/GM Joel Oxley comments, “Mike has been an integral part of our success for more than two decades.  He has led the newsroom to hundreds of industry awards for excellence in journalism, including 18 National Murrowwtop logo NEW 1-15 Awards and more than two dozen honors already in 2015.  I look forward to him taking the department to new heights.”  The station reports that Jim Battagliese continues his role as director of traffic, transit and weather.  Mitchell Miller is promoted to senior news director managing the newsroom weekday mornings, Darci Marchese moves up to a full-time news director weekday afternoons, and Jamie Forzato now will manage news operations on the weekends as weekend managing editor.  Meera Pal moves to social and digital engagement director reporting to Julia Ziegler, who moves from web and operations manager of FederalNewsRadio.com to become the news director of WTOP.com.  All of the changes will take place over the next several weeks.

2015 NYC 150Talkers New York 2015 Videos Begin Being Posted Today (6/22).  Starting today with WFAN, New York superstar Mike Francesa’s opening “Keynote Greeting,” TALKERS will be posting videos of each of the sessions that made Talkers New York 2015’s agenda one of the most successful in the convention’s 18-year history.  A session will be added each business day for the next nine days in a row, in the order that they took place at the event, until the entire agenda, video-recorded by Art Vuolo, is posted in a special Talkers TV feature sponsored by independent station owner, Michael Zwerling’s KSCO, Santa Cruz.  The entire feature will remain posted for the rest of 2015.  To see the opening session with Mike Francesa, please click here.  Tomorrow:  “The State of Radio Ratings” panel moderated by Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel icon Sean Hannity.

talkersnyc2015FrancesaMike Francesa Opens Talkers New York 2015 on Upbeat Note – See Video Today!  In a video posted today (6/22), legendary WFAN afternoon drive personality Mike Francesa sets the tone for what proved to be a realistic, but highly optimistic and solutions-oriented, agenda at the recent industry mega-conference, Talkers New York 2015 (6/12).  The tell-it-like-it-is broadcaster – who has been ranked at #1 on the TALKERS “Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk Radio” for the past two consecutive years – blasted the pessimism that he says permeates the radio industry and offered his assessment of the tremendous opportunities available to radio in the digital era.  Francesa drew applause form the packed house stating, “It’s amazing the amount of negativity that exists no matter what part of the business you’re in… I’m here to tell you that even though I am a little closer to the finish [of my career] than I am to the start, back [in 1987] when I was pounding on the door at WFAN with Jeff Smulyan – it took me 18 interviews to get hired, folks — I would be as bullish on radio and as gung ho about getting a career and feeding my family on radio NOW… as I was back then.”  Francesa discusses the multi-platform nature of programming content today and the need/opportunity to monetize every element of it.  He praises the spread of smartphones as being equivalent to a theoretical resurgence of the old transistor radio and thus providing radio with universal portability… something it hasn’t enjoyed in decades.  He discusses the importance of branding in today’s media environment and vehemently champions the importance of “live and local” being the key to radio’s survival and purpose in the coming era.  To see Francesa’s entire speech, please click here.

russoronWestwood One Names Ron Russo EVP Northeast Sales.  Radio sales pro Ron Russo is named EVP, Northeast Region for Westwood One’s network sales division.  In this position, Russo will “manage and oversee the New York sales office and be responsible for revenue growth and multi-platform brand integrations across all Westwood One assets, including network sales, spot sales, platform, digital, and events.”  Russo will report to Westwood One president Steve Shaw.  In awestwood one NEW statement from WW1, the company notes that Russo comes to them from iHeartMedia where he was general sales manager for the NYC station group.  “In addition to building and overseeing the sales teams, he was instrumental in managing the transition when iHeart purchased WOR-AM from Buckley Broadcasting.  He also played an important role in securing the station’s radio rights to the NY Mets.”  He worked for CBS RADIO at hot AC WWFS, “Fresh 102.7” before joining iHeartMedia.   Russo says, “I am really looking forward to working with this great team of sellers and collaborating throughout the organization as we look for innovative ways to drive and accelerate results for our clients.”

ellismayesBillboard15Rob Ellis Lands at WPEN, Philadelphia.  Former WIP-FM, Philadelphia personality Rob Ellis debuts on crosstown Greater Media’s WPEN, Philadelphia, partnered up with Harry Mayes.  Ellis exited CBS RADIO’s WIP in March after failing to come to terms on a contract renewal with the station.  Ellis, who also hosts “Breakfast on Broad” on cable’s Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, takes over as co-host of the midday show for Eytan Shander, who remains with the company.  Former WIP personality Anthony Gargano also joined WPEN late last year as morning drive personality.

Odds & Sods. Both FOX Sports and ESPN are reporting that former San Diego Chargers player and longtimeWW1EmrichGrahamKuglerCWS2015 radio play-by-play analyst Hank Bauer has been let go from the radio broadcast team.  Bauer served a one-game suspension last season – missing the final preseason game – after he used a Jewish slur during the third preseason game.  He later apologized…..Westwood One presents coverage of the NCAA Division I Men’s College World Series Finals beginning this evening from TD Ameritrade Park Omaha in Nebraska.  The best-of-three championship series between Vanderbilt and Virginia is being covered by (pictured here in front of the famous Road to Omaha statue standing from left to right) Ted Emrich, Scott Graham, and Kevin Kugler.

brownejoyIs15Dr. Joy Browne Tours Israel as Guest of Prime Minister – Meets with Victims of Terror.  Nationally-syndicated (GCN) talk show host and clinical psychologist, Dr. Joy Browne returns to New York today (6/22) after an intense week-long tour of Israel on a fact-finding/counseling mission that brought her into one-on-one encounters with Israeli victims of terror.  Browne (right) is pictured meeting with Israeli citizens at the Jerusalem headquarters of the OneFamily organization during what has been her first visit to the Middle East democracy this week.  According to a report in the Jerusalem Post, during the emotionally charged encounter, which was hosted by OneFamily CEO Chantal Belzberg, Browne met with former residents of the US, Canada, and the UK who were physically and emotionally scarred in terrorist attacks across Israel during the past few years.  “I am delighted and honored to be here,” Browne tells the Post. “After experiencing the aftermath of 9/11, we all share a common echo and I am impressed with the resilience of the people here who have worked or who are working to transcend fear and are getting on with their lives.”  The perennially popular radio personality, in addition to interviewing and counselling victims, also interviewed the organization’s various psychologists and therapists for a future segment on her widely heard program.  Browne’s trip to Israel was sponsored by the Office of the Prime Minister and America’s Voices in Israel. (Photo courtesy of the Jerusalem Post and Sarah Levin.)

ratnerPinkerton15FOX News Commentators Ellen Ratner and Jim Pinkerton Honored by Grenada’s St. George’s University. Media personalities Ellen Ratner and Jim Pinkerton were recognized with honorary doctorates from St. George’s University in Grenada for their charitable works.  Pinkerton and Ratner – who work together as conservative and liberal commentators, respectively, on FOX News Channel’s “FOX & Friends Weekend” on the “Long and Short of It” segment – are known for separate charitable efforts.  Pinkerton has been working with the school assisting with its cure strategy for diseases.  Ratner has been working for years to provide some of the basic tools for subsistence farming to people in South Sudan.  Ratner (third from left) and Pinkerton (fourth from left) are seen here receiving their honorary degrees.

morrisonbobDallas Newsman Bob Morrison Dies.  Former KRLD-AM and WBAP-AM, Dallas newsman Bob Morrison died yesterday (6/21) after a long illness. Salem Radio Network VP, News & Talk Programming Tom Tradup tells TALKERS, “When I served its VP/general manager, I hired Bob as news director of the USA Radio Network in 1999, and he brought a professional demeanor to reorganizing USA that was nothing short of amazing.  His planning and execution of the national political conventions in 2000 remains a highlight, and nurturing his strong delivery and solid journalistic skills will always remain a highlight of my career.”

Friday, March 27, 2015

| March 27, 2015

leetomTom Lee Tapped to Lead LA’s ‘The Beast 980.’  Radio and sports talk pro Tom Lee is being given the programming reigns to KFWB, Los Angeles “The Beast 980” – the recently flipped sports talker owned by the KFWB Asset Trust.  Lee says in a press statement that “Los Angeles sports fans are the greatest and perhaps the most underrated in America.”  Lee will have the opportunity to help bring substantivekfwb sports ratings to a radio format that has historically never really achieved – from a pure ratings standpoint – much in the Los Angeles market.  Lee continues, “Their passion, the distinct LA attitude and our great sports teams will all be represented by ‘The Beast 980.’”  Lee certainly understands successful sports talk as his resume includes some of the industry’s most visible sports talk ventures.  He launched FOX Sports Radio in 2000, leading the programming team that created and developed the 24/7 national sports network.  Lee has also programmed KESN-FM, Dallas ESPN Radio, as well as sports radio stations WIP, Philadelphia and KJR, Seattle.  KFWB Asset Trust Trustee Diane Sutter comments, “Tom has achieved some of the highest ratings of all-sports stations across the country.  Our listeners will benefit from Tom’s invaluable skills in producing relevant content, top-notch talent and his experience in working with sports teams.”  Lee begins his new gig on March 30.

goldsteinsteveSteve Goldstein Exits Exec Role at Saga Communications; Launches Podcast Venture.  After a career with Saga Communications that spanned almost 30 years, Steven Goldstein leaves his executive vice president position and announces that he is forming a company called Amplifi Media, LLC which will specialize in “the development of digital audio-on-demand (podcast) content.”  Goldstein adds, “As connected cars, Bluetooth and smartphones converge, time-shifted audio will grow exponentially.amplifi logo  People will listen to content at a time and place of their choosing, just as is occurring rapidly in the television industry with Netflix, DVRs and on-demand video.”  A press statement from Amplifi says the company will “concentrate on great storytelling, compelling content and fresh voices on a variety of popular subjects, and will adapt, craft and focus the product for the unique needs of the digital audio business.”  Goldstein concludes, “The top of the iTunes podcast chart is dominated by NPR and affiliates.  They have done a tremendous job but there is a world of mainstream topics yet to be explored for on-demand-audio.  That’s where Amplifi will live.”  Goldstein can be reached at 203-221-1400 or via email at sjgoldstein@amplifimedia.com.

colmesalan“Healed Planet” Hosted by Alan Colmes Exploring New Worlds of Radio and Listenership.  One of the new program/projects launched on TALKERS magazine’s experimental radio platform TalkersRadio has been gaining notable traction in terms of expanded programming topicality and new listenership.  “Healed Planet with Alan Colmes” is an experimental talk show conceived and hosted by syndicated Fox News Radio personality Alan Colmes and it serves as a prime example of TalkersRadio carrying out one of its primary missions as a “laboratory/workout gym” for proven talk show hosts to test new concepts and as a showcase for promising newcomers to present their work to the industry.  A new “Healed Planet” program is produced at least once per month and is available to TalkersRadio listeners (primarily members of the radio industry) on demand.  The program features the multi-platform, news/talk figure that gained international notoriety as the liberal co-host on the iconic left-right political discussion show “Hannity & Colmes” during itstalkersradio logo successful 12-year run on Fox News Channel in a role quite different than his regular followers might expect.  (In addition to being heard nightly on his syndicated radio show, Colmes is also still seen on Fox News Channel as a contributing commentator.)  “Healed Planet with Alan Colmes” is an eclectic mix of science, metaphysics, unexplained mysteries, cosmic consciousness and everything else rolling around the fertile mind of Alan Colmes.  He describes it as “presenting stimulating conversations with thought-leaders in the human consciousness movement.”  At present, three episodes of “Healed Planet” are up and running featuring Colmes in conversation with authors Gabe Berman and George A. Hart, plus a discussion with TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison.  On having this new vehicle of expression, Colmes tells TALKERS,” I love having a nightly forum where I can give my political views and takes on the issues of the day, and I love having a forum where politics doesn’t matter and we can all talk as human beings without any ideological prism.”  According to Colmes, he is basically doing this for fun, stating, “Sometimes it is simply cool to do a media presentation just for the heck of it and explore subjects and styles that don’t necessarily fit into the understandably more-rigid confines of our day jobs, even though my daily radio show is on at night.”  TalkersRadio general manager David Bernstein states, “It is fun, fascinating, stimulating and informative for talk listeners and people in the industry to hear all the dimensions that make up the personality, creativity and interests one of the nicest and smartest guys in the business – beyond the paradigm of general news/talk radio and TV where – let’s face it – Alan is quite famous.  And THAT is what TalkersRadio is all about!”  To listen to “Healed Planet with Alan Colmes,” please click here.

spiegelmattWSCR, Chicago Host Apologizes for ‘Childish’ and ‘Crass’ Tweet.  From the “haven’t they been paying attention” department comes this story, chronicled by Chicago media writer Robert Feder here.  In a nutshell, WSCR veteran talk hosts Matt Spiegel and Dan Bernstein were Tweeting critically about the television presence of Comcast SportsNet Chicago anchor Aiyana Cristal when the two veered into the now-all-too-familiar territory visited by many media personalities these days: they commented on her breasts.  To Spiegel’s (and to some degree Bernstein’s) credit, he seems to have realized his error and has apologized profusely via Twitter, admitting that he made a stupid, childish mistake.  Feder reports that sources say Spiegel and Bernstein will not be disciplined for the incident.

wgnhofplaqueWGN, Chicago to Induct 10 into Station WoF.  When Tribune Media’s WGN, Chicago inducts its 2015 Walk of Fame class during the Steve Cochran show on Friday, May 29, 10 broadcasters will be honored.  The ceremony and live broadcast will air from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm at the Tribune Tower.  Those to be inducted include: Steve Bertrand, Lyle Dean, Dave Eanet, Steve King, Franklyn MacCormack, Lou Manfredini, Johnnie Putman, Ward Quaal, Ron Santo and Eddie Schwartz.  They will be commemorated in bronze plaques placed outside the Allstate Showcase Studio.

Odds & Sods.  Bringing a passion of hers to WABC, New York on Sunday nights at 7:00 is Laura Smith who tells TALKERS magazine she’s “psyched” to debut “Above and Beyond with Laura Smith” this weekend.  Smith says the program is a revival of the program she hosted on SiriusXM and on WFAS-FM, Westchester several years ago.  “It’ssmithlaura a passion of mine as it incorporates conversations with some of the world’s most popular thought leaders and then the biggest celebrity psychics, mediums and astrologers giving free readings live on the air.  This Sunday, I have global phenomenon, spiritual teacher and four-time NYT best-selling author, Marianne Williamson plus celebrity medium Thomas John.”…..There’s now an FM signal to complement Delmarva’s news/talk WDEL-AM, Wilmington.  The company announces it is using the newly acquired WJKS, Canton, New Jersey to create at trimulcast of the legendary news/talker.  In the market the station can be heard on WDEL at 1150 AM, on WJKS at 101.7 FM and via HD-3 on WSTW’s 93.7 FM.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  More stations are airing the Compass Media Networks-syndicated Lars Larson show.  New affiliate stations for the KXL, Portland-based talk personality include: WHBY, Green Bay; WLFJ, Greenville, South Carolina; WLEA, Elmira New York; WBRP, Baton Rouge; WNRP, Pensacola; KCRS,larsonlars Odessa; WDRC-AM, Hartford; and KTIP, Porterville, California.  Larson comments on his busy schedule, “I prep from 6:00 am to 12:00 noon on the Left Coast and talk from 12:00 noon to 6:00 pm.  I’ll leave the mic when they drag me away.  I’ll sleep when I get old.”…..Stephan MultiMedia’s “Good Day” with Doug stephandougStephan is also adding affiliate stations and announces it’s surpassed the 300-station mark with the following new outlets: KTFL, Gilbert, Arizona; KVNU, Logan, Utah; WNRI, Woonsocket, Rhode Island; WDNY, Dansville, New York; WQXL, Columbia, South Carolina; KBIZ, Ottumwa, Iowa; WPBQ, Jackson, Mississippi; WEBY, Milton, Florida; KSCB, Liberal, Kansas; WFEA, Nashua, New Hampshire; and KQEW-FM, Fordyce, Arkansas…..“Free Talk Live” with Ian Freeman and Mark Edge joins the daily lineup at KWOR, Worland, Wyoming.

dickeycurtisKubyinfShow Prep with Lew Dickey.  When Cumulus Media president and CEO Lew Dickey is in New York, he’s more than ready to roll up his sleeves and get to work with the talent at legendary news/talk outlet WABC.  Dickey (seated right) is captured here in the office of WABC midday talk duo Curtis Sliwa (seated left) and Ron Kuby (seated floor) as the executive gives Kuby a therapeutic massage to make him more relaxed on the air.  Dickey did, however, draw the line when Sliwa demanded that his be a foot massage.

Germanwings Flight 9525 Tragedy Top News/Talk Story for Week of March 23-27.  The downing of Germanwings Flight 9525 was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week of March 23-27, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program.  Following at #3 was the tense relationship between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and, at #4, was the potential candidates for president in 2016.  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.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

| December 17, 2014

mcintyredougDoug McIntyre Sticks with KABC, Los Angeles.  “McIntyre in the Morning” host Doug McIntyre signs a new deal to remain with Cumulus Media’s news/talk KABC, Los Angeles “TalkRadio 790” for at least the next year.  In addition to his radio work, McIntyre tells TALKERS magazine he’ll also be writing a new weekly column for The Daily Beast in addition to the two columns per week he currently is writing for the LA Daily News.

cataldiangeloCataldi Morning Show Re-Ups at WIP, Philly.  Longtime Philadelphia sports talk personality Angelo Cataldi inks a long-term renewal of his contract to remain morning host at CBS RADIO’s “SportsRadio 94WIP.”  Prior to joining WIP in 1990 as the wake-up personality, Cataldi was the Eagles beat writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer.  He was named to the TALKERS Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk this year, occupying the #9 spot.  In a related announcement, the station also signed two members of Cataldi’s morning show ensemble — Al Morganti and Keith Jones — to new contracts.  About his new deal, Cataldi says, “It’s a true thrill and honor to know that all my years on the radio will be working for WIP.  It’s a rarity for an on-air personality to have their entire broadcasting career, spanning nearly three decades, all at one station.  I am grateful to have a great supporting cast and privileged to work for CBS RADIO which trusts me with the morning show on the best sports radio station, in the greatest sports town anywhere.”

huckabeemike‘Huckabee Report’ to Be Distributed by WYD Media.  With the start of the New Year, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee – also host of his own weekend show on Fox News Channel – is continuing his daily feature, “The Huckabee Report,” to be distributed by WYD Media Management.  The program will be repped by WYD Media Ad Sales.  The show is currently syndicated to more than 500 radio stations via Westwood One but that relationship will end after December 31.  Huckabee comments, “We’ve had tremendous success over the last six years with ‘The Huckabee Report’ thanks to the great partnerships with hundreds of radio stations.  I’m excited about my new partnership and this is a great way to kick off 2015!”  WYD says that the feature will retain its current format with morning, midday and afternoon delivery of three unique, modular reports that allow stations to carry one or three minutes of content per report.  WYD Media Ad Sales president John Murphy says, “Mike Huckabee is truly a beloved national icon with a powerful following.  His ability to connect with his audience and influence public opinion is incredibly valuable to our advertising partners.”  In addition to airing on news/talk affiliates, “The Huckabee Report” is also cleared on country- and classic rock-formatted stations.

hurleyharryWPGG, Atlantic City Morning Host Harry Hurley Serves Up Radio Chat with Governor Christie After ‘Cowboys’ Controversy.  While much of New Jersey’s Philadelphia Eagles fan base was up in arms over Governor Chris Christie sitting in Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones’ luxury box on Sunday evening cheering on the Cowboys over the Eagles, WPGG, Atlantic City morning personality Harry Hurley cut the governor some slack during an exclusive radio interview the following morning.  Hurley is a big Eagles fan but, unlike many New Jersey fans – and the news media – Hurley excused the governor for cheering for his favorite team and noted that many politicians wear whatever “sports cap” they think will help them get votes.  Speaking of votes, Hurley asked Christie if he’s going to run for president and Christie said he and his wife are talking about his options and he’ll decide in 2015 whether to run in 2016.

trn logo2Fourth Hour and New Affiliates for ‘America’s Morning News.’  The Talk Radio Network Entertainment-syndicated “America’s Morning News” program – hosted by radio news pro Matt Ray – adds a fourth hour to its daily broadcasts and now airs live from 5:00 am to 9:00 am ET.  TRNE also announces a number of recent affiliate additions now carrying the programming that’s heard in more than 160 markets across the country.  New stations include:  WJAS, Pittsburgh; KFNY, Riverside; KDWN, Las Vegas; KGED, Fresno; WPNN Pensacola; KMJM, Cedar Rapids; WNZF, Daytona Beach; WGNS, Murfreesboro, Tennessee; KGGF, Coffeyville, Oklahoma; WRTA, Altoona, Pennsylvania; KMED, Medford, Oregon; and four Wisconsin stations in the Heartlands group – WERL, Eagle River; WATW, Ashland; WFER, Iron River; and WPFP, Park Falls.  TRNE CEO Mark Masters comments, “‘America’s Morning News’ continues to deliver a great product every morning to over 160 markets across the U.S., including markets like San Francisco (Cumulus Media’s KSFO AM 560), Seattle (Bonnevilles’ KTTH AM 770) and San Diego (Midwest Television’s KFMB AM 760).  We are very proud of our morning news offering, and its growth is a testament to its quality.”

cbssportsradiologoCBS Sports Radio to Broadcast New College Hoops ‘Classic.’  The inaugural “CBS Sports Classic” college basketball showcase will air on the CBS Sports Radio Network on Saturday, December 20.  The event produced by CBS Sports will be live from Chicago’s United Center and pits North Carolina against Ohio State in the 1:00 pm ET game followed by UCLA versus Kentucky.  It’s the first of three events in the series, as announced earlier this year by CBS Sports.  Gary Cohen, current play-by-play announcer for Mets baseball, Seton Hall men’s basketball and Westwood One’s NCAA men’s basketball coverage, will provide play-by-play for the games.  He will be joined by analyst Alaa Abdelnaby, current college basketball studio and game analyst for CBS Sports Network.  Lance Meadow will contribute to pre-game programming beginning at 12:45 PM, ET, as well as halftime and post-game updates.  CBS Sports Radio director of programming Eric Spitz says, “This showcase is noteworthy for CBS Sports Radio as it marks the first time we will broadcast live game coverage across our stations.  CBS Sports has assembled a group of legendary college basketball teams, and we couldn’t be more thrilled that our play-by-play debut is happening with this distinguished event.”

compasslogoCompass Media Announces Business Programming for New Year.  In a communication with affiliate stations currently carrying Wall Street Journal Radio Network programming (set to cease via WSJRN on 12/31), Compass Media Networks announces it will continue to produce and distribute business and money reports and details the programming.  Anchors for business and money news reports will be Jennifer Kushinka in morning drive, Ray Hoffman in middays and Frank Miller in afternoons.  Kushinka has served as morning drive news anchor for “The Wall Street Journal Reports” for the past nine years.  Hoffman has anchored CEO Radio short-form reports, aired exclusively on WCBS-AM, New York for the past nine years and was the lead talent for BusinessWeek Radio.  Miller has worked for the past six years with Compass providing custom reports to all-news and news/talk stations.  Compass also says that Ron Insana, currently with Compass and senior contributor for CNBC, is available for money news reports and commentaries.

Odds & Sods.  A new face sits on the board of directors at Business Rockstars, LLC.  The corporation announces Andy Schuon has made an equity investment and his joining the board reunites him with Business Roackstars chairman Steve Lehman.  Schuon is co-founder of REVOLT Media & TV with Sean “Diddy” Combs.  He served on theconwaysimon Premiere Networks board in the past…..WHO, Des Moines afternoon drive personality Simon Conway now has a national platform via iHeartRadio.  Conway tells TALKERS that with the 2016 presidential race about to get underway, he’s excited to have his own podcast page on the iHeartRadio platform.  Simon calls his program on WHO “an essential and repeated stop on the campaign trail in the ‘First in the Nation’ state for all presidential wannabes.”…..Comic and television star Jimmie Walker is sitting in for Ray Appleton on KMJ-AM/FM, Fresno today and tomorrow (12/17-18) on the midday program.  Walker is available for fill-in work.  PDs can reach him via his Facebook page.

Obama Amnesty Action, Taliban School Slaughter, Sydney Café Siege, Plummeting Oil Prices/Unstable Russian Economy, 2016 Presidential Prospects, and Congressional Budget Deal Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/16).  Controversy over President Obama’s executive amnesty action and the court ruling declaring some of it unconstitutional; the slaughter of children and teachers in Pakistan by the Taliban; the aftermath of the siege of a café in Sydney by a self-styled cleric; sinking oil prices and their effect on the Russian economy; the potential candidates for president in 2016; and the congressional budget deal being criticized by conservative Republicans were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, December 12, 2014

| December 12, 2014

wiplogoWIP-FM, Philadelphia Holds ‘Tailgate Throwdown’ Final Tomorrow.  Sports talker “SportsRadio 94WIP” in Philadelphia is hosting the final competition tomorrow (12/13) in the six-week promotion to create the best tailgate recipe.  The contest pairs up amateur chefs with the city’s finest executive chefs and WIP personalities Angelo Cataldi, Al Morganti, Rhea Hughes and Glen Macnow.  The six winning recipes are competing in the finals where one team will be crowned winner and receive prizes including a Vermont Castings 5 Burner Gas Grill from Dreifuss Fireplaces and a Big Green Egg Smoker from Queen Appliances.

joycemaglayoutWGOW, Chattanooga Talker Brian Joyce Profiled in Cool Local Mag.  Midday talk personality Brian Joyce – heard from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm on Cumulus Media’s WGOW, Chattanooga “Talk Radio 102.3 FM” – was recently profiled in the local Chatter magazine.  Joyce tells TALKERS he’s thankful for the PR but says he really was excited to be in Chatter because it’s “a glossy mag that’s popular with hipsters, housewives and society-types — great positioning for a young talk host.”  In the piece, Joyce answers profile questions and fills in his personal background info that includes stints as a stand-up comic, financial services worker, and bartender in Ireland (he has dual citizenship in both the US and Ireland).  Joyce also tells the mag that in the two years he’d held the midday slot on WGOW, he’s scored the highest ratings the daypart has seen on the station.  Check out the piece here.

marksidWPHT, Philadelphia Celebrates Sid Mark’s 58th Anniversary.  News/talk outlet WPHT, Philadelphia is honoring the 58th anniversary of the broadcasting career of Sid Mark – host of the legendary “Sounds of Sinatra” program.  The sold-out, special event is taking place tonight (12/12) from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Parx Casino’s 360 Lounge.  The evening will feature a special live broadcast of the “Sounds of Sinatra” program with special guest Frank Sinatra, Jr.  Today also marks what would have been Frank Sinatra’s 99th birthday.  Marc Rayfield, SVP/market manager for CBS RADIO Philadelphia says, “WPHT  is proud to pay tribute to a living legend.  Sid Mark has entertained generations of listeners through the years and it’s wonderful to be able to honor the legacy of Frank Sinatra and celebrate Sid’s amazing career at the same time.”  Mark launched the “Sounds of Sinatra” show in Philly 57 years ago.

Odds & Sods.  On today’s edition of “The Herd with Colin Cowherd,” President Obama is scheduled to be a special call-in guest on the show.  The president will appear on the ESPN Radio show and talk about NFL’s conduct policy,oconnorlarry NBA players wearing “I Can’t Breathe” t-shirts, Obama’s hometown Chicago Bulls and White Sox, and the upcoming healthcare signup deadline……WMAL, Washington personality Larry O’Connor is sitting in for Dennis Miller on his Westwood One-syndicated talk show today (12/12)…..CBS Corp. announces it has extended the contract of president and CEO Les Moonves.  His current deal was set to expire in 2017 but now the terms of the contract will run through June of 2019.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  “The Dougherty Report,” hosted by Elizabeth Doughtery and distributed by Genesis Communications Network, is added to the program schedule at WVNJ, Oakland, New Jersey…..The GCN-distributed Dr. Joy Browne program is being added to the lineup at KLOE, Goodland, Kansas.

Police Killings Protests Top Talkers TenTM for Week of December 8-12.  The ongoing protests over police killings of unarmed black men were the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week.  Coming in at #2 was the release of the CIA torture report.  At #3 was the government shutdown issue followed by the Jonathan Gruber ObamaCare testimony at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. View this week’s entire chart here.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

| December 9, 2014

stephandoug“American Family Farmer” Hosted by Doug Stephan Graduates from Experimental Lab to Terrestrial Platform.   For the second time in its first 15 months of operation, TalkersRadio – the experimental talk radio platform launched in September, 2013 by TALKERS magazine – has spawned a program that has been picked up by terrestrial radio.  The first TalkersRadio program to be acquired by terrestrial radio was “The Brent & Meg Show” hosted by the husband/wife team of Brent Seltzer and Meg McDonald.  Now, “American Family Farmer,” hosted by highly accomplished talk show host Doug Stephan, will launch in January 2015 on two terrestrial syndication platforms — Washington, DC-based Radio America and Minneapolis-based Genesis Communications Network (GCN) – and be available for general radio affiliation.  According to Stephan, the show is specifically geared to stations located in small- to medium-sized rural markets with signals covering locally owned-and-operated family farms.  Although the program is a spoken-word presentation it would fit any number of music-formatted outlets as well as talk because it is only an hour per week and can run any time deemed convenient and appropriate for the station.  “American Family Farmer” is an information and advocacy forum targeted specifically to the beleaguered sector of the American agriculture industry that is comprised of small, independent operators.  What makes Stephan qualified to host such a specifically targeted program?  The answer: In addition to being a dedicated lifelong radio broadcaster, he is also a dedicated lifelong family farmer!  The program’s producers emphasize that this show is being marketed and produced as an entity completely separate from the other Doug Stephan properties.  “American Family Farmer with Doug Stephan” is now available by barter on a market-exclusive basis.  Interested stations should contact Bob K.  Telephone: 774-643-6450.  Email: bobthek@comcast.net.   For the complete details written by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, please click here.

talkersradio logoWhat’s Next for TalkersRadio?  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “The graduation of ‘American Family Farmer’ and ‘The Brent & Meg Show’ to solid terrestrial platforms within the first 15 months of TalkersRadio’s existence is extremely gratifying – especially considering that both programs were conceived as ‘out-of-the-box’ concepts and never would have had the chance to develop into such special properties if it were not for this experimental platform.”  According to Harrison, TalkersRadio will go on a one month “hiatus” for technical updates and improvements and come back in early January, 2015 with a new roster of programs headlined by “Healed Planet,” hosted by Alan Colmes, and “The Lionel Show,” hosted by Lionel.  Harrison says, “‘Healed Planet’ – which deals with the leading edge of the human consciousness movement – shows a side of Alan Colmes’ wide realm of interests and journalistic skills that most people have not yet had a chance to experience.  It’s a truly great radio show ‘in the bud’ and I am enthusiastic about its potential for development.  ‘The Lionel Show’ presents the legendary and iconoclastic broadcaster – Lionel – in an unbridled format totally geared to his verbal genius.  Although what he says neither breaks the rules of taste nor the bounds of legitimate clear thinking, I don’t think there has been a tightly wound terrestrial operation out there with the courage to put him on the air and let him run free without tinkering with the brilliant product that just oozes from his fertile mind… at least not up until now.  I suspect that is about to change and the industry will catch up this year with and gain the benefits of what the ‘real’ Lionel has to offer.”  TalkersRadio is powered by Boston-based Backbone Networks.  Readers interested in learning more about TalkersRadio should contact Michael Harrison at michael@talkers.com.

entercomLincoln Financial to Exit Radio Biz; Entercom to Acquire LFM Assets in Four Markets.  The deal announced this morning will see Entercom Communications Corp. acquire Lincoln Financial Media from Lincoln Financial Group for $105 million plus working capital.  Entercom expects to take over operation of the LFM stations in late January and should close on the purchase in the second quarter of 2015.  The agreement includes 15 radio stations in the Atlanta, Denver, Miami and San Diego markets, and it will expand Entercom’s station portfolio to more than 130 stations in 26 markets.  The deal allows Lincoln Financial to get out of the media business and focus on its “core lines of business.”  Entercom president and CEO David Field comments, “We are excited to announce the acquisition of Lincoln Financial Media and welcome thelfm logo addition of their outstanding brands and talented broadcasters to Entercom.  LFM is a great organization that has done an excellent job serving its listeners, customers and communities over many years and we look forward to building on that tradition.  LFM is a perfect fit for us as it bolsters our position in Denver and expands our footprint into Atlanta, Miami and San Diego with terrific brands that have significant growth potential.  Furthermore, it fulfills our disciplined acquisition criteria as it enhances our company’s competitive position and growth and should be accretive to shareholders in 2015 while having a minimal impact on leverage.”  The stations to be acquired include: Atlanta outlets hot AC WSTR and sports talk WQXI; Denver stations country KYGO, rhythmic CHR KQKS, oldies KRWZ, sports talk KEPN and KKFN, and comedy-formatted translator K276FK; San Diego signals alternative KZBT, country KSON and KSOQ, and adult contemporary KIFM; and Miami outlets AC WLYF, classic hits WMXJ, and sports talk WAXY-AM/FM.  The transaction is structured as an acquisition of the stock of LFM with a tax election that allows Entercom to receive a step-up in the tax basis of the station tangible and intangible assets providing additional future tax shields and enhancing future free cash flow.  The $105 million purchase price will be paid in the form of $77.5 million in cash and $27.5 million in new perpetual cumulative convertible preferred stock that will be issued to Lincoln.  Entercom expects to finance the cash portion of the purchase price through a combination of its existing $50 million revolver, cash on hand, and through other financing sources, if necessary.

napabroadcasting2Napa Valley Radio Promises New Local Content, Music in 2015.  The new digital audio platform Napa Valley Radio – a service of Napa Broadcasting – is promoting new local content plus curated music streaming coming to the site in 2015.  Napa Valley Radio is being led by longtime broadcasting executive Jeff Schechtman.  The station marked its three-month anniversary with a message to listeners touting its local content – local election coverage including long-form interviews with candidates, local arts & music happenings, and promotion of the area’s wine industry – plus promises of the content to come.  In what TALKERS editors consider a creative move, the station has partnered with Napa Community College to bring an infusion of youth to the project.  Napa Valley Radio says the New Year will see more content originate by students at NCC and will also bring music shows of various genres to the station.  It will be interesting to watch this local media venture as music rights fees are added to the station’s expenses but, regardless, this local approach to the digital audio service is one to watch and Napa Broadcasting appears to be dedicated to serving a broad spectrum of the community with a relevant mix of news, talk and music.

sternhowardHoward Stern to Return to “AGT.”  As tipped by the Hollywood Reporter, SiriusXM star Howard Stern will return to NBC TV’s “America’s Got Talent” as a judge.  The show is entering its 10th season.  In a Facebook post, Stern writes, “I decided that a life without ‘AGT’ is not worth living.  America needs a caring, compassionate and wise judge, and who am I to deny the people what they want?  It would be selfish of me to walk away.”

brunotonySports Talker Tony Bruno Heard on BlogTalkRadio.   Philadelphia native Tony Bruno – most recently heard on AM/FM radio on Greater Media’s WPEN-FM, Philadelphia “97.5 The Fanatic” in middays – is podcasting via BlogTalkRadio.  In a statement from BlogTalkRadio, Bruno comments, “Deciding who to partner with was an exhaustive process.  BlogTalkRadio is the ONLY company out there with a fully portable stream and call screener system built into one application and when they approached me with their new PRO STUDIO in full HD hosting platform, the choice was clear.  I am excited to be a part of a company that is striving to bring both innovation and quality content directly to the fans.”  Bruno is producing new shows twice per week, on Mondays and Thursdays.

wipwingbowl15CBS RADIO Announces Wing Bowl 23.  The competitive chicken wing eating event that CBS RADIO’s sports talker WIP, Philadelphia debuted as a promotional prelude to the Super Bowl is in its 23rd year and will be held at the Wells Fargo Center on Friday, January 30 at 6:00 am.  The station is presenting the now-nationally famous contest in conjunction with sponsors Steven Singer Jewelers and SugarHouse Casino.  The station will broadcast the contest on WIP-FM as well as online via CBSPhilly.com.  The $10 ticket price will help benefit the Philadelphia Police Department Survivor’s Fund, The Police Athletic League, the Comcast-Spectacor Charities and other beneficiaries to be named soon.  CBS RADIO says that this year’s competition promises to be the biggest party and the prizes have a different twist.  The overall winner of Wing Bowl 23 wins a 2015 Harley-Davidson FLSTF Softail Fat Boy Motorcycle courtesy of Barb`s Harley Davidson, along with $10,000 in cash and a Wing Bowl 23 Championship ring both courtesy of Steven Singer Jewelers.  For the first time ever, SportsRadio 94WIP and Steven Singer Jewelers will give $10,000 cash to the Overall Runner Up as well. This makes it a $20,000 grand total of cash provided by Steven Singer Jewelers. Once again, WIP has two cars up for grabs: one for the top Local Eater and one for the top College Eater.  The Wing Bowl 23 Local Winner has the chance to win a Chrysler 300 and the Collegiate Eater will win a Chrysler 200 both from Barbera`s on the Boulevard.  The Wingette of the Year walks away with $5000 cash courtesy of Rumer Cosmetic Surgery and a Riviera Spas, Orchid 5 Person Hot Tub from Diamond Pools. PJ Whelihan’s is the official supplier of wings for WIP Wing Bowl 23, their eighth consecutive year as sponsor and supplier.

rathertQatarImportant Guest.  Pensacola talk radio personality Brandon Rathert (left), is pictured here with Qatar Ambassador Mohamed Jeham Al-Kuwari (right) in the WNRP “NewsRadio 1620” studios.  Rathert tells TALKERS magazine that his program was graced with the presence of the Qatar ambassador through the work of the Panhandle Tiger Bay Club and Edward Howard (pictured here at center).  Rather says he and Ambassador Al-Kuwari discussed the differences between the two countries and the similarities of its peoples.  The ambassador shared some thoughts on relations between the Arab nations and the U.S.  Al-Kuwari also made a $10,000 donation to a local charity.

Police Killings Protests, Potential Government Shutdown, CIA Interrogation Report, Rolling Stone-UVA Rape Story, Battle Against ISIS, Gruber and the ObamaCare Hearings, 2016 Presidential Prospects, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/8).  The continuing protests against police killings of black Americans; the looming threat of a government shutdown; the controversy surrounding the CIA interrogation report expected to be released today; the flap over the Rolling Stone story about an alleged gang rape at a UVA fraternity house; the ongoing battle against ISIS; Jonathan Gruber’s appearance before a House committee on the Affordable Care Act; the list of potential presidential candidates in 2016; and the weekend’s NFL action were among the top news/talk stories yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

| March 27, 2014

hannityseanUnusual ‘Ratings Battle’ Between Savage and Hannity Heats Up.  Prior to the rollout of his WestwoodOne-syndicated talk show on Cumulus-owned news/talk stations – many of which had previously carried Premiere NetworksSean Hannity show – Michael Savage took an aggressive stance in both industry and consumer presssavagemichael proclaiming he would beat Hannity in the ratings.  Now, two Nielsen Audio PPM rating periods later, WestwoodOne is waging a PR offensive that many industry watchers note is rarely seen in the syndication business, going so far as to use words like “trounced” and “demolished” with respect to Savage’s ratings versus Hannity’s.  Reporting Nielsen Audio PPM data in the Persons 25-54 demo for major markets New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Dallas, WestwoodOne shows Savage more than doubling Hannity’s AQH share there (NYC 1.1 vs .5, Chicago 1.2 vs .2, San Francisco 1.5 vs .5, and Dallas-Ft. Worth 1.3 vs .5).  Hannity’s camp responds with a memo from premierenetworks newPremiere Networks VP/operations and affiliate marketing for the Sean Hannity show Eric Stanger, who writes, “It’s puzzling that Michael Savage would want to brag about his listening audience.  Despite his claims, the numbers show that Savage is losing thewestwoodone logo audience that he inherited from Sean Hannity in droves, on the radio stations that Sean spent 17 years building.  In New York on WABC as well as on Dallas on WBAP, in the key demo of A25-54, Savage has lost a whopping 49% of the audience that he inherited from Sean Hannity.  Other key markets tell a similar story as you can see below.  All in all, Savage has bled away almost half of the audience on the key stations that were given to him in 2014 (In Los Angeles, where Cumulus has decided not to air the ‘Savage Nation,’ KABC-AM has dropped 27% without Hannity).  Meanwhile, Sean Hannity has more than doubled the total audiences where he has started on new stations after leaving Cumulus in New York, Los Angeles, and Dallas (AQH percentage change December ’13 to February ’14 Persons 12+:  WOR, New York, +108%; KEIB, Los Angeles +172%; and KSKY, Dallas +128%).”  EDITOR’S NOTE:  TALKERS magazine maintains a general policy of not publishing ratings results of contests between individual hosts because there are so many potential situations taking place in the industry it would become editorially unwieldy and impossible to manage accurately and fairly.  This is especially true in regards to reporting on battles between syndicated hosts in which there is often inconsistency from market to market in terms of actual times and number of hours broadcast.  Plus, this publication avoids getting involved in situations hinting of personal vendettas and vitriol between personalities and even competing companies.  In the words of publisher Michael Harrison, “This industry faces enough competitive challenges these days from external sources for us to turn our guns on each other in anything more intense than healthy, sportsmanlike competition.”

eskinspikeCBS RADIO Ups Spike Eskin to PD of WIP-FM and WIP-AM.  Interim program director Spike Eskin is officially the PD at CBS RADIO’s “SportsRadio 94 WIP” and “CBS Sportsradio 610,” the company announces.  Eskin has been filling the role on an interim basis since Jeff Sottolano was named director of programming for CBS RADIO earlier this year.  Previously, Eskin served as sports editor for CBSPhilly.com and did part-time air shifts on WIP-FM, all-news KYW and CBS 3 TV.  Senior vice president and market manager Marc Rayfield says, “Spike is his own person.  He is tenacious, strategic and a proven winner.  We interviewed an extremely talented pool of national and local candidates.  Spike was clearly our best choice.”  Eskin comments, “My career in radio has taken me in many different directions, and has ultimately led me to a job that I feel like I was born to do and I am honored and humbled to have. I’m excited to work with the best air talent in sports radio, and our incredible staff to continue building the legend that is WIP.”

schembrijoeSchembri Upped to VP of Corporate Business Development, Sports Sales and Sponsorships.  This new corporate position lifts Joe Schembri from his VP of business development post.  Now, he’ll be working directly with clients to “create local, regional, and national campaigns that reach and engage consumers by utilizing multiple platforms to drive incremental revenue that include radio, sports play-by-play, event sponsorships, digital, database, mobile and social.”  Entercom station group president Weezie Kramer states, “For years, Joe has been a leader in our company and throughout radio, and I am proud to elevate him to this new position.  Sports has always been a strength of entercomEntercom and, under Joe’s leadership, we will bring a greater platform of products and greater results to our clients.”  Entercom serves as the radio broadcast partner for the Boston Red Sox, Buffalo Bills, Buffalo Sabres, Kansas City Royals, Memphis Grizzlies, New Orleans Saints, New Orleans Pelicans, Oakland Athletics, Oakland Raiders, San Jose Sharks and several NCAA teams, including this year’s #1 NCAA basketball seeds University of Florida Gators and Wichita State Shockers.  Schembri comments, “This is an exciting time for radio, sports and event marketing.  Entercom is powerfully positioned across the country to build dynamic, multi-platform campaigns that engage our fans, connect them to our clients and generate results that make a difference.”

nymrad logoNYMRAD Registers a +3.26%.  According to the Miller Kaplan New York Market Revenue Report, New York Market Radio (NYMRAD) advertising revenue for the first two months of this year increased 3.26%, when compared to last year’s figures.  Total revenue for February – including “digital” and “network”/”NTR”/”other” were up 2.3%.  New York Market Radio Broadcasters Association executive director Deborah Beagan comments, “The New York market is up, despite the series of storms.”  The “automotive” category there is up 11%, with over $10 million of spending.  Three rapidly growing such advertisers are Land Rover, up 153% from $166,000 last year to $420,000 this year; Tri State Ford Dealers – improving by 48% from $458,000 to $680,000; and Mercedes Benz, up 72% from $265,000 to $455,000.  The “communications/cellular” category sees a 20% gain, with over $8 million of spending.  Rapid such growers included Verizon, up 69% from $1.29 million to $2.17 million; Metro PCS – improving 95% from $1.28 million to $2.50 million; and AT&T, up 67% from $917,000 to $1.53 million.

scba logoLos Angeles Radio Revenue Grows in February.  According to data from Miller Kaplan Arase as reported by the Southern California Broadcasters Association, during February, the Los Angeles radio market saw revenue climb by 3.7% for the month and, on a year-to-date basis through February, the LA total market revenue growth is 3.1%.  SCBA president Thom Callahan states, “This substantial market growth reflects the dynamic power of Southern California Radio and our member radio stations’ determination to begin 2014 on very strong footing.”  On the digital side, the report indicates revenue for the reporting stations in February up 16.8% and a YTD growth rate of 14.7%.  The subsequent “X-Ray” report YTD also reveals substantial new business growth with 336 new advertisers spending $12.7 million.  Key category drivers include: insurance – up 141.7%, cellular/communications – up 45.8%, concerts/theatre/movies – up 34.7%, casinos/lottery – up 32.5%, and education – up 32.3%.

starkjaysonStark Reality for Philly’s WPEN-FM.  ESPN.com senior baseball writer – and Philadelphia native – Jayson Stark will host a one-hour eponymous show on select Mondays throughout the baseball season for Greater Media Philadelphia’s WPEN-FM “The Fanatic.”  The two-time Pennsylvania Sportswriter of the Year will continue to be a Wednesday afternoon contributor on the station’s “Mike Missanelli Show.”  Stark acknowledges that, “I may work for ESPN now, but I’m still a Philadelphian, so the only thing cooler than joining my buddy Mike Missanelli every Wednesday is getting my own personal hour of radio.  I will get to talk to my favorite Philadelphians about the Phillies and the sport they play, mix in a little trivia, and do our best to turn this extravaganza into a show that’s even more fun than spending a summer evening hanging out in Ashburn Alley.”  Stark’s program will emanate live from Newtown, Pennsylvania’s Green Parrot; the debut show is one week from Monday (4/7) between 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm.  Stark has written/reported about MLB for ESPN since 2000.  Before that, he covered the Phillies for the Philadelphia Inquirer.  He appears as an analyst on a variety of ESPN radio and television programs.

delcollianojerryJerry Del Colliano’s “Media Solutions Conference” Draws 100-plus to Philadelphia.  More than 100 radio broadcasters from across the country gathered at the classy Rittenhouse Hotel in Philadelphia yesterday (3/26) to attend noted industry observer and analyst Jerry Del Colliano’s fifth annual “Media Solutions Conference.”  The attendees represented various levels of management, talent and ownership from a variety of radio companies — local, regional and national.  In addition to Del Colliano’s in-depth presentation of information about such topics as understanding the Millennial generation, disrupting radio before its media rivals do, separating radio’s main product into unique on-air and online categories, using video to generate additional revenue streams, reinventing the morning show, time-shifting radio, and reducing the liability of commercials while increasing their effectiveness, attendees were treated to presentations by WBEB, Philadelphia “More FM” owner Jerry Lee, Premiere Networks and Fox News Channel talk star Sean Hannity and TALKERS/RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison.  Jerry Lee discussed a number of tactics and philosophies employed by his company to make it one of the most successful ratings and revenue-generating, leejerryindependent music-formatted, stand-alone FMs in America.  He basically told the attendees that you have to spend money to make money and espoused the benefits of heavy promotion, research and putting together a top-notch team of talent and management in order to reap the rewards radio is still capable of delivering.  He also spoke extensively about the importance of creating effective, listenable commercials and limiting the number of spots perharrisonmichael hour to no more than 12.  Sean Hannity discussed the various keys to attracting younger listeners to the talk format on both radio and television (something he has proven to do very well) and was critical of today’s ratings system that largely ignores listenership to radio on the internet and satellite platforms.  Michael Harrison joined Del Colliano at the end of the conference for a free-wheeling Q&A wrap up of the day’s subject matter.  Harrison encouraged the attendees to trust in their own common sense and intuition, pointing out that all forward evolution in the arts and communication begin with someone taking a stand based on their gut instincts.  According to Harrison, “This was one of the most interesting, informative and well-organized conferences I have ever attended.”  Jerry Del Colliano will be a major speaker at the forthcoming “Talkers New York 2014” on Friday, June 20.  For information call 413-565-5413.

borrell logoBorrell Research Projects Hike in Recruitment Advertising.  Just what radio might realize from the projected 5.8% increase in dollars spent by employers seeking workers via broadcast isn’t certain and the category doesn’t break down radio, TV, and cable.  However, as the recruitment advertising report – subtitled The Long, Gray, Line – states, employers will spend $22.9 billion in the category this year.  “Of that, 84% is spent on online media, and of that, half is being spent on so-called digital services like developing websites, search engine optimization, and managing social media.  That services portion is growing at the fastest clip – nearly 50% growth in 2014 and potentially tripling over the next five years.  By 2018, we foresee a future where employers will spend 67% of their recruitment marketing budgets on digital services, 23% on classic digital advertising, and the remaining 10% on traditional media advertising.”  See more about the report here.

RIhof logoWOR, New York PD Tom Cuddy Leads Rhode Island Radio HoF Class of 2014.  The Rhode Island Radio Hall of Fame announces the class of 2014 inductees and they include: current WOR, New York program director Tom Cuddy (who got his start in radio at WPRO-AM in 1980); air personality and programmer Rick Everett (served at WGNG, WSNE, WWLI, WWBB, WRX, and WCTK; current WRNI news anchor/reporter and host Dave Fallon; New England Tech teacher and 30-plus year radio station staffer Paul Perry; the late Carroll “Pappy” Philbrook, who began his career in Rhode Island radio in the 1940s as an engineer at WHIM, WHJJ and WHJY; easy listening pioneer Tony Rizzini; and entertainment icon Saucy Silvia who hosted an entertainment program on WADK for 26 years.  Additionally, the Shepard Award – created to recognize the founders of radio (John and Robert Shepard, owners of the Shepard Department Stores) in the Ocean State and to honor present-day contributors to the industry through leadership, dedication, achievement, innovation and spirit – goes to Janice Skelly.  Skelly began her radio career in 1978, working for WPRO-FM in the sales department, and for most of the next 36 years, she remained a fixture within the sales and business operations of WLKW-AM/FM and WSNE-FM through several ownership changes.

ObamaCare Criticism, SCOTUS Hobby Lobby Case, Mid-Term Elections/2016 Presidential Race, Obama vs Putin/Russian Aggression, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Fate, and NSA Data Collection Policy Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/26).  Scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act; the Supreme Court Case that will decide the scope of religious exemptions for employer-provided health care; speculation about the political ramifications of the mid-term elections and possible candidates for president in 2016; Russian aggression in Eastern Europe and criticism of President Obama’s handling of Vladimir Putin; the fate of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370; and concern over the NSA’s bulk data collection program were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, January 24, 2014

| January 24, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

| January 21, 2014

millerchrisShort Ideas for a Short Week.  As the industry returns from a holiday weekend, digital media consultant Chris Miller offers some quick thoughts regarding your digital efforts.  If you’re still wondering about the changes Facebook made that affect the way content lines up on your news feed, Miller has three items to consider.  Also check out his thoughts on the type of content you put on your station website and whether that content lines up with your brand’s “message.”  Plus, Chris has a final word about attitude.  Check it all out here.

wiplogoPromotions Conflict at Philly Eatery Brings Abrupt End to Live Broadcast.  The Philadelphia Daily News is reporting that the quick shutdown of a WIP, Philadelphia remote broadcast with afternoon hosts Anthony Gargano and Rob Ellis at Chickie’s & Pete’s may not have been the result of an ISDNwpenamfm breakdown but the fact that rival Greater Media sports talker WPEN personality Jon Marks was also at the establishment for a personal appearance.  The paper reports that about 30 minutes into Gargano’s and Ellis’ broadcast, WPEN’s Marks arrived along with rock WMMR jock Matt Cord for a $1,000 MetroPCS giveaway in another part of the pub.  The Daily News goes on to write that Chickie’s & Pete’s management tried to move Marks and Cord to a different part of the restaurant but Greater Media refused.  CBS tells the paper the ISDN problem was the issue and while no one else is commenting, it appears it could have been nothing more than a scheduling snafu that ruffled the feathers of the stations involved.

wmen logoLinder Joins WMEN, West Palm Beach for Afternoons.  The JCE Licenses-owned sports talk station names Jon Linder host of the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm show, replacing Andy Slater who left for Clear Channel’s sports talk WINZ, Miami “The Sports Animal” in December.  Linder joined WMEN as a fill-in host last year.  He’s worked at Beasley’s WQAM, Miami serving as a sports reporter and studio host during Miami Hurricanes football broadcasts from 2010 through 2012.

rizzotonyCleveland Host Faces Jury Trial in Domestic Violence Charge.  WKNR, Cleveland sports talk host Tony Rizzo will appear in Medina Municipal Court on February 27 for a jury trial after being accused of domestic assault by his wife Catherine Rizzo in December.  Rizzo remains on the air at Good Karma-owned WKNR.  The company issued a statement after the incident leading to the charge calling Rizzo “an exemplary teammate and member of the community and his status with us is unaffected.”  Police were called to Rizzo’s home after his wife called them saying she had locked herself in the bathroom after Rizzo choked her and hit her in the face.  Rizzo pleaded not guilty on December 9.

kcaa logoKCAA, Lorma Linda, California First to Accept Bitcoins for Airtime.  The Fred Lundgren-owned news/talk station that serves the Riverside/San Bernardino market is claiming it’s the first radio station in North America to Bitcoins as payment for advertising and airtime.  The station says it signed its first programming agreement purchased with Bitcoin on January 17.  KCAA utilized a service called “Coinbase” to process the payment.  Lundgren comments, “Our first transaction paid us 9.4 Bitcoins, which Coinbase displayed as approximately $7,200.00 USD. These funds will appear in our bank account in two to three business days.”  Lundgren adds, “The value of Bitcoin as a digital currency will grow as more businesses accept it.  I predict it will become a viable alternative to ever increasing bank charges.”

berrymichael2Houston Talk Host Michael Berry Emcees Senate Campaign Fundraiser.  KTRH, Houston-based talk show host Michael Berry is headlining a fundraiser for U.S. Senate candidate Col. Rob Maness (USAF, Ret.) on Friday, January 24, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  Berry’s program is heard on stations across the U.S. including on WJBO, Baton Rouge from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  Maness is running for the Senate seat currently held by Democrat Mary Landrieu.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Sochi Olympics Terror Threats, Syria Torture Allegations, ObamaCare Criticism, Wendy Davis Bio Questioned and Chris Christie Sandy Aid Charge Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/20).  The Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday; concerns over security at the Sochi Winter Games; new allegations of the Assad regime’s use of torture in Syria’s civil conflict; criticism of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act; Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis’ life story disputed by critics; and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie faces charges of misappropriating Hurricane Sandy aid were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

| December 10, 2013

macnowglenWIP-FM, Philadelphia’s Glen Macnow on Vacation While Contract Talks Ensue.  There’s a lot of speculation in Philly about what the outcome of contract talks between CBS Radio and afternoon drive co-host Glen Macnow (who works with Anthony Gargano on “SportsRadio 94”).  First, Macnow tells the Philadelphia Daily NewsMolly Eichel that he left in mid show on Monday (during a live remote from Chickie and Pete’s, no less) to allow Anthony Gargano time to segue into the Howie Roseman show.  “I actually wanted to do it as unobtrusively as possible, just to let people know what was going on.  And I certainly didn’t want to not work today after that great Eagles game yesterday.  I live for shows like today.”  So while he and CBS are in contract talks, Kyle Scott of CrossingBroad.com says he hears Macnow will move to a more part-time role with the station and that the station plans to pair Rob Ellis with Gargano for the PM drive show in the New Year.  The station tells the Daily News it is keeping any and all contract negotiations private.

gardneralAl Gardner Returns to Charlotte for Sports Talk Gig.  Longtime WBT, Charlotte morning drive co-host Al Gardner will be back on the air in Charlotte but this time on HRN Broadcasting’s WZVG, Charlotte “730 ESPN Charlotte” beginning December 16 alongside Lanny Ford on “The Bottom Line” show.  The Charlotte Observer’s Mark Washburn reports that Gardner tells him he’s looking forward to being involved with a local broadcasting endeavor.  “They’re going to grow locally.  That’s what I want to be part of.”  Gardner left WBT more than two years ago to join Randy Michaels’ WWIQ, Philadelphia when the former talk station was launched in 2011.

adamsmarkAdams Returns to Clear Channel Portland as VP/Programming.  CBS Radio Houston vice president of music programming Mark Adams leaves to oversee programming operations for Clear Channel‘s eight Portland stations.  For eight years (2000 – 2008), Adams programmed Clear Channel Portland rhythmic CHR KXJM and was operations manager of then (talk) sibling KXL-AM (now Alpha Broadcasting sports outlet KXTG).  Clear Channel Portland market president Robert Dove comments, “Mark has a proven track record and I know he will lead the Clear Channel Portland cluster to even greater ratings success.” Adams adds, “I am looking forward to working with all the incredible brands and teams in the market, and contributing to their future success.  Portland is one of my favorite cities in the country and it’s exciting to have the chance to return to the Pacific Northwest and do some great radio.”  Prior to joining CBS Radio in April 2008, Adams worked in San Francisco, Milwaukee and Fresno.

bowersbethWSB, Atlanta Ups Bowers to General Sales Manager.  With the promotion of Walt Phillips to director of sales for Cox Media Group’s Atlanta operations earlier this fall, the company boosts Beth Bowers from her local sales manager post at news/talk WSB 750 AM and 95.5 FM to general sales manager.  CMG states that “in addition to continuing the proven tradition of success at news/talk WSB, Bowers will partner with the talented team of GSMs at the other stations in the cluster – ‘97.1 The River,’ ‘KISS 104.1’ and ‘B98.5.’  Together, the team will strategically lead CMG Atlanta’s radio sales organization into the future and offer unprecedented opportunities for advertising clients in the Greater Atlanta market.”  Prior to becoming LSM for WSB in January of 2011, Bowers served as director of marketing for CMG Atlanta.  She comments, “I’m honored to be given the opportunity to lead this legendary station, as well as partner with the most talented sales staff in the country.”

pittmanbobCC’s Bob Pittman Explains View of Media Landscape in AdWeek Essay.  Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman pens a brief piece on his philosophy about dealing with the “disruption” that’s taking place in the media business in AdWeek.  In it, Pittman states that he believes a crucial mistake to make is to follow conventional wisdom and allow yourself to be hyped.  In our business, Pittman says that translates into dumping all other media and putting all your eggs into the shiny new basket that is digital.  Pittman advises to be aware of the behavior of the consumer and further asserts his belief that a mix of media is a winning plan for advertisers in this era.  Read the entire piece here.

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases Select Data from RADAR 119.  The December 2013 RADAR (Radio’s All Dimension Audience Research) is data culled from the 48 PPM markets Nielsen measures between September 13, 2012 to September 11, 2013 and it concludes that “more than 178 million persons 12 and older, or approximately 68% of this demographic, heard one or more network radio commercials in an average week of the survey period.  Keep in mind that RADAR reports estimated audiences to network commercials broadcast by affiliates of the subscribing networks and doesn’t purport to account for listening to all network radio programming.  The study concludes that in the top 25 DMAs (designated market areas), network radio adlargelogodemonstrates extensive reach including: 70.5% of persons aged 12+ (92,593,000 persons); 73.7% of persons aged 18-49 (50,599,000 persons); and 74.5% of persons aged 25-54 (48,331,000 persons).  Subscribing networks are happy to release their success stories and AdLarge Media reports that its ROI Network debuted in this report and was “#1 with Adults and Women 18-49; and Women 25-54, Monday-Sunday and Monday-Friday, 5A-8P.”  AdLarge co-founder and president Cathy Csukas states, “We promised our advertisers an expansive network and the results of AdLarge’s ROI Network debut delivered.  The robust female showing bolsters our commitment to help advertisers westwoodone logoconnect with this hard-to-reach demographic that has strong purchasing power.”  WestwoodOne issues a statement saying that it is “proud to be a part of RADAR’s expanding networks within the audio landscape.  In addition to proving that radio is alive and well and that its audiences are broadening, today’s RADAR 119, released by Nielsen Audio, showcases more diversity in network offerings.”  WestwoodOne COO Charles Steinhauer adds, “Overall growth is positive for the audio category, and for RADAR.  Generally, the December RADAR is a non-event because many networks re-configure their lineups and publish special tabs at this time of year, WestwoodOne included.  It is exciting to welcome a new company into the RADAR marketplace and to the Network Radio Research Council.  We look forward to more diversity in the promotion of network radio audiences.”

grandephilOdds & Sods.  The nationally syndicated talk show “Phil’s Gang” with host Phil Grande is expanding to two hours on Radio Colorado Network’s KRCN, Longmont, Colorado airing from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.  Grande describes his show as “thoughtful economy and investing dialogue with news, stock market updates, timely interviews and only Phil tells you what Wall Street doesn’t want you to know.”…..CBS Radio’s sports talker WIP, Philadelphia “SportsRadio 94” is gearing up for “the most infamous annual radio event in the world” – WingBowl 22 – to be held at the Wells Fargo Center on January 31, 2013.  The sponsors include Steven Singer Jewelers and SugarHouse Casino.  The station says this year it is offering the most prizes in the history of the event, including the top prize: $22,000 from Steven Singer Jewelers.  For the first time ever, the contest offers two cars – one for the top local eater and one for the top college eater (two 2014 Chrysler 200’s from Barbera’s on the Boulevard), two bikes for Wingettes (two Harley Davidson 883 Sportster Motorcycles from Barb’s Harley Davidson) and other incredible prizes.  And for the first time ever, Wing Bowl will have a college division, with the top collegiate eater winning one of the cars…..Minnesota Public Radio today announced that Jim Dwyer and Jean Taylor have been elected to MPR’s board of trustees.  Dwyer is chairman and CEO of Michael Foods, a diversified processor and distributor of food products and one of the largest privately held companies in Minnesota.  Taylor is president of Life is Now, a strategy and consulting firm that she founded in 2010, and a principal at Middle A Restaurants, a franchise development company.

scba logoRecord Number of SCBA Radio Sales Training Graduates.  The Southern California Broadcasters Association (SCBA) has just presented certification awards to 31 new – or newer – sales professionals, sales assistants and individuals seeking a sales career in Southern California radio.  That is a record number of people successfully completing the training classes, which were conducted from September 23 – December 5.  SCBA President Thom Callahan comments, “The SCBA is firmly committed to helping our members train the next generation of professional radio sales executives.  Each class and professional instructor brought a special focus for our students.”  Included in the 10-week training curriculum were “New Business Development,” “Strategic Selling,” “Building Client Relationships,” “Interactive Selling,” and “Cold Calling Techniques.”  The SCBA Sales Training Classes is a collaboration of the SCBA and the GSM Council of Southern California.

ObamaCare Criticism, Nelson Mandela Retrospective, Iran Negotiations, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/9).  The scrutiny of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act; remembrances of the life and times of South Africa’s Nelson Mandela; the instability of negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program and Congress’ plans for renewed sanctions; and the snowy action in the NFL over the weekend were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

| August 22, 2013

cclogoSeven AEs Sue Clear Channel Claiming Civil Rights Violations.  In a suit filed in the Eastern District of Louisiana by seven current and former AEs working at Clear Channel’s New Orleans stations, the group charges that after the economic downturn of 2008, accounts were redistributed at a meeting in Gonzales, Louisiana in February of 2009 in such a way that helped ease the financial hit Caucasian AEs were taking through the redistribution.  The complaint alleges many of the redistributed accounts had been built up by African American AEs.  The complaint – filed jointly by Wil Watson, Gary Watson, Prixie Montgomery, Ave Gaines, Darnetta Mahaffy-Nelson, Dinah Campbell, and Brandin Campbell – details salaries before and after the redistribution and concludes, “As a result of the redistribution of accounts, whether intentional or negligent, African-American account executives were disparately, and negatively, impacted, to their severe economic detriment as compared to their Caucasian counterparts…Overall, African-American account executives lost on average more than 40% of their 2008 income in 2008-9.  On information and belief Caucasian account executives lost no more that about 15% of their 2008 income, on average, during the same period of time.”  Three of the seven were fired, they allege, after complaining about the practices.  The seven seek relief, punitive damages, general damages, attorneys’ fees and statutory remedies.

weei logoIt’s Official: Kevin Graham Named Brand Manager at WEEI, Boston.  As rumored late last week, sports talk programmer and personality Kevin Graham is leaving his PD and co-host role at Cumulus Media’s KFNZ, Salt Lake City “1320 KFAN” to become brand manager at Entercom’s WEEI.  According to his bio on the KFNZ website, Graham was one of the architects of KFNZ as the station was built in 1996.  He’s worked as programmer at KTAR-AM, Phoenix; WXYT, Detroit and other sports talk outlets.  In addition to programming KFNZ, Graham co-hosts the “Gunther & Graham” PM drive show with Kyle Gunther.  Graham has extensive experience in the digital sports arena assisting in building grahamkevinArizonaSports.com in Phoenix and as the founder/editor of SportsMashup.com.  He’ll begin work at WEEI in September, taking over for longtime programmer Jason Wolfe.  Entercom Boston GM Jeff Brown states, “WEEI is more than a radio station; it is an entire sports ecosystem.  From our on-air talent to Red Sox play-by-play to WEEI.com, where we had 1.4 million unique visitors just last month, WEEI is a more complete sports brand than ever before.  We are thrilled to announce today that Kevin Graham will lead WEEI as our new brand manager.  His background both in front of and behind the mic, along with his years of digital sports experience made him the best choice to lead WEEI.  Kevin will bring a fresh perspective to the entire WEEI team and our complete package of digital sports assets.”  Speaking about his new gig, Graham comments, “I am honored and excited to join the WEEI team.  WEEI is one of the most recognizable and powerful sports radio brands in the country.  With great resources, amazing talent, and one of the best digital brands in sports, the sky is the limit.  I can’t wait to get started, especially with the Red Sox in the midst of such a great season.”

TalkersLA2013“The State of News/Talk/Sports Programming” Panel Set for Talkers Los Angeles 2013.  A diverse and powerful panel of front-line programmers has been set for Talkers Los Angeles 2013 that will explore the major issues of programming within the present-day news/talk/sports realm.  Participating panelists include (in alphabetical order): Robin Bertolucci, PD, KFI/KTLK, Los Angeles; Skip Essick, PD, KMJ-AM/FM, Fresno; Andy Ludlum, director of news programming, KNX/KFWB, Los Angeles; Don Martin, senior VP sports programming, Fox Sports Radio/Clear Channel Media & Entertainment; Chuck Tyler, PD, KRLA/KKLA, Los Angeles; and Bill White, PD, KQTH-FM/KFFN-AM/FM, Tucson.  The panel will be moderated by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey who states, “This will be a fast-moving discussion that will really capture the flavor of today’s talk radio programming scene and do so with a solid Western states perspective – which makes this California edition of our two-part national conference so valuable.  It will present a diverse array of formats including news/talk, all-news, and sports talk, as well as company types ranging in size and varied styles of corporate culture.”  This third annual installment of TALKERS magazine’s West Coast convention is set for Thursday, October 10 and is already shaping up to be a blockbuster.  The gathering is closing in on being an advance sellout some six weeks before the event so it is advisable for media professionals interested in attending to register now.  It is again being presented in association with the Los Angeles Press Club and held at the historic Steve Allen Theater on Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm. Registrations – $149 per person – can only be taken over the phone.  For sponsorship information or to register, call 413-565-5413.  More agenda details coming in the immediate days ahead.

wctc logoNew Jersey’s WCTC, New Brunswick Makes Big Local Moves.  Saying “there is a thirst for local content in this market,” WCTC, New Brunswick “The Voice of Central New Jersey” PD Bert Baron announces that the longtime news/talk station will debut a new and completely revamped on-air lineup starting Monday, August 26.  The Greater Media-owned station is making mass changes to its weekday programming, moving Baron from his two-hourbaronbert afternoon slot to morning drive, where he will host “Jersey Central with Bert Baron” from 6:00 am to 9:00 am.  Baron says his show will include “everything you need to know in New Jersey – news, sports, events, entertainment, politics, lifestyle, traffic and weather.”  Following Baron will be the Courtside Entertainment-syndicated Laura Ingraham, who moves up one hour from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm.  From 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm, WCTC will carry “The Tommy G Show,” the first time a terrestrial radio station will simulcast a daily internet radio show in New Jersey.  “Tommy G is very unique and brings a Jersey angle to what is happening here.  He’s a radio name with a great presence in the market.  He gets Jersey,” says Baron.  Tommy G, who was also named to this year’s TALKERS magazine Frontier 50 – A Selection of Outstanding Talk Media Webcasters – tommygtells TALKERS his show is “all about New Jersey and what Jerseyans are talking about,” and says his show could change the face of local talk radio.  “I’m introducing ‘syndi-local’ to talk radio and consulting others on the process, showing thatingrahamlaura companies can save money while talent can build their own business and brands.  It’s a win-win,” says Tommy G, who will be joined on Mondays by the New York Times best-selling author of “The Soprano State,” Bob Ingle.  Following Tommy G and replacing the syndicated Mancow is another new show hosted by longtime New York metro area talent Steve Malzberg.  Malzberg’s show is syndicated by Newsmax, and will be carried live from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  Says Baron, “Steve is a name in the area,” and despite being a national show, it’s expected Malzberg will discuss “a fair amount of local and regional news and topics.”  From 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm, WCTC, which is the flagship malzbergstevestation for Rutgers University sports, debuts “BTN Live,” a sports talk show about the Big Ten, the NCAA conference Rutgers begins competing in this fall.  Baron, who along with Tommy G, is well known for his community involvement, says he believes the changes are not only necessary but that stations must embrace how local content will make them stronger.  “We will be much more local in our approach to serving our listeners – from our shows to remote (broadcasts) and our community involvement.  For us it will be cost effective.  We will make noise in the radio landscape.”

feinburgtoddTodd Feinburg Subs in Boston and Louisville.  Boston-based talk show host Todd Feinburg is filling in for WBZ-AM, Boston’s Dan Rea on the evening program tonight and tomorrow (8-22/23).  Next week he’ll be heard 829 miles away on Clear Channel’s WHAS, Louisville sitting in hosting the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon slot on both Thursday and Friday, August 29 and 30.  The multi-faceted Feinburg spent many years working full time at Entercom’s WRKO, Boston.

wiplogoWIP-FM, Philadelphia Announces Howie Roseman Show.  CBS Radio sports talk outlet “SportsRadio 94 WIP” is announcing Philadelphia Eagles general manager Howie Roseman will make weekly appearances on the afternoon drive show with Anthony Gargano – accompanied by Eagles play-by-play voice Merrill Reese – every Monday from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm live at Chickie’s and Pete’s in South Philadelphia.  The station states, “In addition to discussing each week’s game with Gargano and Reese, Roseman will take calls and talk with fans on site at Chickie’s and Pete’s.  The show is the first of its kind.  It is the only live weekly interactive radio show with an NFL general manager.  The show, sponsored by Miller Lite, can be heard live on 94WIP, online at www.cbsphilly.com and via the Radio.com application for a variety of mobile devices.  The show will debut on Tuesday, September 3 due to the Labor Day holiday and be heard on Tuesday, September 10 due to the Eagles-Redskins Monday Night Football debut on September 9.  From 5:30 pm to 6:00 pm a leading Eagles player will join the show each week.

mohrtysonHangin’ with Mike Tyson.  Fox Sports Radio Network nationally syndicated host Jay Mohr (l) poses for a shot with former boxer Mike Tyson (r) in the Fox Sports Radio studios in Los Angeles.  Tyson visited Mohr’s program to talk about his life after boxing, being a dad and much more.  They also chatted about a recent run-in at a frozen yogurt shop, as well as Tyson’s upcoming FOX Sports 1 cable TV show, “Being Mike Tyson.”

losttrailersCountry Act The Lost Trailers Cuts Custom Theme Music for Dial Global’s “Sunday Night Football.”  The theme music to Dial Global’s “Sunday Night Footbal” this season is a tweaked version of The Lost Trailers’ single “It’s Goin’ Down Tonight” that features football highlights, sound bites and customized lyrics.  The company announces, “The new theme music, performed by The Lost Trailers and powered by Early Shares Music, will debut during the first regular season NFL broadcast on Thursday, September 5 which kicks off at 8:00 p.m. ET.  The highly anticipated season opener between the Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens and the Denver Broncos will feature Kevin Harlan and Boomer Esiason behind the microphones.”  The band’s founding member Stokes Nielson states, “We are truly excited to be a part of the NFL broadcasts on Dial Global.  We are huge sports fans and we can’t wait to help the announcers kick off every Sunday night game, because it’s goin’ down tonight, every Sunday night, all over America!”   The band previously collaborated with Dial Global Sports, customizing their top 10 single “Holler Back” for the network’s opening montage in Super Bowl XLIII.

Bradley Manning Verdict/Gender Issues, OK Thrill Kill Case, Averted Georgia School Shooting, NSA Surveillance Program, U.S.-Egypt Tensions, Syria Chemical Weapons Allegations and ObamaCare Implementation Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/21).  The 35-year sentence handed to Bradley Manning and his desire to begin gender change procedures; the case of three Oklahoma teens suspected of slaying Australian college baseball player Christopher Lane; a Georgia School staffer talks an armed man out of firing and averts a tragedy; the scope of the NSA surveillance program; the U.S. policy regarding Egypt; allegations Syria is using chemical weapons against citizens; and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, March 22, 2013

| March 22, 2013

genachowskiFCC Chairman Julius Genachowski to Step Down.  FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski officially announces his decision to step down from the agency in the coming weeks.  The initial report came from Politico Thursday evening but Genachowski’s departure from the FCC has been expected for some time.  He became chairman in 2009 and has not always been viewed as the friendliest of FCC chairmen to radio as the thrust of his tenure has been promoting broadband as the communications avenue of the future.  Politico reports that there are a number of possible successors to Genachowski and names Core Capital Partners Managing Director Tom Wheeler; current sitting Commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel; former ambassador to Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Karen Kornbluh; former FCC chief of staff and primary author of the commission’s National Broadband Plan Blair Levin; and National Telecommunications and Information Administration chief Larry Strickling.  The NAB‘s Gordon Smith offers the following statement on Genachowski’s departure: “NAB salutes Chairman Genachowski for his years of service at the FCC.  The FCC chair is arguably one of the most difficult jobs in Washington, and yet Julius consistently performed with dedication and focus.  We may have disagreed on occasion, but America’s broadcasters wish him well in his journeys ahead.”

foxsportsradio logoFox Sports Radio Network to Offer Big Ten Football Show in Fall.  Working in conjunction with the Big Ten Network, Fox Sports Radio announces it will offer a third season of “BTN Live” – a daily Big Ten football show.  Beginning August 26, the program will be available for air Monday through Friday, 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET.  FSRN says of the show, “Throughout football season, ‘BTN Live’ will take fans inside every Big Ten locker room as teams prepare for games, and provide the latest news, expert analysis, and interviews with players and coaches.  The nightly show will be hosted by Big Ten Network personalities Dave Revsine, Mike Hall and Rick Pizzo, with Big Ten Network analysts Gerry DiNardo, Howard Griffith and other special guests.

jacksonmichaelLos Angeles Talk Radio Legend Michael Jackson Subs on CRN Digital Talk Radio; Richard Riordan and Roger Moore Guest.  Iconic Los Angeles talk radio personality Michael Jackson sits in for Chuck Wilder on his CRN Digital Talk Radio program that airs at 12:00 noon PT today (3/22).  Jackson will speak with high-profile guests former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan and actor Sir Roger Moore.  Jackson states, “I’m pleased to have the opportunity to fill in for Chuck and talk to one of the all-time, legendary actors in Sir Roger Moore and to also chat with one of the city’s greatest leaders, former Mayor Riordan.  Anytime you have outstanding guests as these, you’re always going to have an exciting and compelling show for the audience.  I’m looking forward to it.”

greggcherriKYW, Philadelphia’s Cherri Gregg to Be Honored by Philly NAACP.  This Sunday, the Philadelphia chapter of the NAACP will honor 104 influential black women from the Philadelphia area.  KYW Newsradio community affairs reporter Cherri Gregg has been named to the list of honorees.  The NAACP is recognizing African American women comprised of elected officials, entrepreneurs, non-profits, civic leaders, educators, labor leaders, members of the clergy, media, health care providers, government agencies and corporate America leaders.  Gregg says, “I am humbled and excited to be named one of the NAACP’s 104 most influential Black women in Philadelphia.  It’s truly an honor to be included on such a distinguished list of African American women, and this recognition will fuel my continued effort to strive for excellence in covering the communities of Philadelphia.”

clarkrussKBLU, Yuma Host Russ Clark Resigns; Moves to Crosstown KCYK.  Yuma, Arizona TV station KSWT-TV reports talk show host Russ Clark resigned from his program on El Dorado Broadcasters’ KBLU on the air, surprising listeners and his employer.  Clark tells the TV station he’s taking his show across town to MonsterMedia’s country KCYK “Outlaw Country 1400” beginning April 2.  “They had no idea. They took away my morning show and gave me a one-day-a-week, which, I think was an effort to keep me somewhat engaged without having me be directly opposed to them or directly in competition.  But, of course, I need to get back on air.  I need to get back to what I was doing.”  Clark says KBLU management wanted more news and less talk in the AM drive.

wiplogoCBS Radio’s WIP, Philadelphia Personalities to Host Comcast SportsNet Philly Program.  All next week, personalities from CBS Radio’s Philadelphia sports talk outlet WIP will guest host the daily 5:00 pm ET show, “Daily News Live,” that’s seen on the Comcast cable network and the Xfinity ON Demand service.  Al Morganti, Rhea Hughes, Anthony Gargano, Glen Macnow, and Big Daddy Graham will handle hosting duties, each sitting in for one day.  CBS Radio Philadelphia SVP and market manager Marc Rayfield says, “SportsRadio WIP has been the authority in Philadelphia sports radio for 25 years so it will be a treat for Delaware Valley sports fans to see some of their favorite hosts set the agenda on ‘Daily News Live.’  We’re thrilled to showcase our talent on Comcast SportsNet.”

patrickmattPatrick in for Cunningham Sunday Night.  Houston talk show host Matt Patrick will fill in again this Sunday, March 24, for Bill Cunningham on the Premiere Networks nationally syndicated “Live on Sunday Night, It’s Bill Cunningham” program.  Patrick, whose “day job” is hosting the morning drive program on Clear Channel’s KTRH, Houston and the afternoon program on sister KPRC, is a regular fill-in host for Cunningham as well as Portland talk host Lars Larson.

Sequester Effects Top Talk Radio Topic for Week of March 18-22.  This is the fifth straight week that the sequester effects and related budget battle have been at the #1 spot on the Talkers TenTM as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio.  This week, at #2 is President Obama’s trip to Israel.  Coming in at #3 is North Korea’s threats followed by Iran’s nuclear ambitions 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.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Friday, October 5, 2012

| October 5, 2012

Entercom’s Sports WEEI Splits AM and FM Signals Today.  The AM and FM signals of Entercom’s Boston-based sports talk radio giant WEEI split earlier this morning with the Boston FM signal at 93.7 continuing the local talk with the established lineup of Dennis & Callahan, Mut & Merloni, “The Big Show” with Glenn Ordway and Michael Holley, and “Planet Mikey” with Mike Adams.  The AM signal at 850 is now “ESPN on WEEI” and features the lineup of ESPN Radio sports talk shows beginning with “Mike & Mike in the Morning,” “The Herd with Colin Cowherd,” SVP & Russillo, “ESPN Today,” Hill & Schlereth or play-by-play, “SportsCenter Tonight,” and “SportsCenter All Night.”  Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic are broadcasting from Gillette Stadium this morning to celebrate their arrival in the Boston market.  ESPN senior vice president, production business divisions Traug Keller states, “We’re pleased to team with Boston’s preeminent sports radio outlet and one of the nation’s best radio broadcasting companies in Entercom to bring the number one national network into New England.  This move, coupled with the existing presence of ESPNBoston.com, provides Boston’s passionate fans the best of ESPN’s national and local coverage and analysis.”

Cox Media Group to Debut Georgia News Service in January.  The multi-media service will be based out of Cox Media Group’s WSB, Atlanta studio and bring together the assets of WSB, the Atlanta-Journal Constitution and ABC TV affiliate WSB-TV to produce news content.  Scott Smith – market manager for Cox Media in Athens, Georgia – is being charged with heading the operation.  Cox Media Atlanta vice president and general manager Ben Reed says, “The Cox name has long been synonymous with excellent news coverage throughout the state of Georgia.  This gives us the opportunity to bring our experience and assets together in order to provide a high-quality news service to outlets across the state of Georgia.  We believe the Georgia News Service will very quickly become an invaluable audio, visual, and digital resource for news outlets across the state.  We look forward to providing them with the high-caliber news coverage that has become a Cox tradition.”  Clear Channel has been operating the Georgia News Network out of former news/talk WGST’s studios but is closing down the bureau.

ESPN Radio Extends Contract of Ryen Russillo; Changes Name of Afternoon Show to ‘SVP & Russillo.’  Ryen Russillo has been the co-host of the 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET Scott Van Pelt show on ESPN Radio since May of 2009.  Now, the sports entertainment giant extends Russillo’s deal and, to give him more visibility, changes the name of the show from “The Scott Van Pelt Show” to “SVP & Russillo.”  He says, “Over the last three years ‘The Scott Van Pelt Show’ has been my number one priority, and I couldn’t be happier that, for the next few years, it will remain my priority.  I believe in the direction of this show and am really looking forward to where we are going.”  In addition to his co-hosting duties with Van Pelt, Russillo also hosts the 12:00 noon to 7:00 pm ET edition of College GameDay during the football season.

Dave Ramsey Goes West.  Nationally syndicated talk radio sensation Dave Ramsey was in Phoenix and Fresno this week for two live events.  First, Ramsey presented his brand new, intimate “Living a Legacy Live Event” in Fresno for the benefit of the audience and affiliate KMJ-FM.  Ramsey discussed how to win with money, strengthen marriages and lead your children with confidence.  His daughter, Rachel Cruze, joined Ramsey on stage.  Peak Broadcasting’s KMJ-FM saw the direct benefits of the live event for their audience and their station.  PD Skip Essick says, “Dave Ramsey has an incredible, loyal following, and selling out Saroyan Theater not only speaks to the quality of talent we have in him, but the drawing power of ‘105.9, The FM KMJ.’”  Ramsey hosted his “EntreLeadership 1 Day Event” in Phoenix on Wednesday for a packed house at Central Christian Church.  Brett Rogers is the sales manager for affiliate KTAR-FM and he says, “KTAR is proud to be a part of bringing this unique training to Arizona’s business community.  Through this event, we’ve been able to bring some of our best local partners and provide them the opportunity to change their business and also personally meet Dave Ramsey and have a money-can’t-buy experience.  This event has given us the opportunity to engage with our clients in a unique, personal environment.”  Dave Ramsey is pictured here with the sales staff of Bonneville’s KTAR-FM.

Brown Corners Hickenlooper.  That’s KHOW, Denver talk show host (and former Undersecretary of Homeland Security in the Bush Administration) Michael Brown in the center with the microphone trying to get Democratic Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper (left) on the air on KHOW during the live broadcast prior to Wednesday’s presidential debate at the University of Denver.  Brown co-hosts “The Rundown” with author, columnist and talk host David Sirota during PM drive on KHOW and program director Dan Mandis tells TALKERS the duo have had a hard time getting Governor Hickenlooper to appear on their program so Brown took advantage of the governor’s appearance at the event to ask some questions.  However, shortly after this photo was taken the governor had to make other appearances and promised to stop by the KHOW remote broadcast booth later but did not.

WIP-AM/FM, Philadelphia’s Angelo Cataldi Donates to Heart Association.  Making good on his pre-season pledge to donate $10 to the American Heart Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania in honor of Richie Ashburn Memorial Homeruns for Hearts for each home run hit by the Phillies this season, WIP morning drive host Angelo Cataldi is pictured here writing the ceremonial check for $1,580 dollars matching the Phillies’ 158 homers.  The Homeruns for Hearts event was designed to give ordinary citizens the chance to live out their major league dreams. It made its debut in 1997, after the sudden passing of Hall of Famer Richie Ashburn, who succumbed to heart disease. In addition, the event also honors longtime Phillies announcer Harry Kalas, who also died of heart disease in 2009.

Stitcher Launches Podcast and On Demand Radio Awards.  The web aggregator Stitcher has announced the launch of the Stitcher Awards, to celebrate the best of on demand radio and podcasts for 2012. Listeners can nominate their favorite shows across 20 different categories – from Best Comedy to Best New Show. Stitcher now has over 10,000 different shows streaming on demand. Nominations will be open until October 19th. Fans can nominate their shows every day for the next two weeks at www.stitcher.com/stitcherawards or on the company’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/stitcherradio.  The finalists will be announced shortly afterwards for each category and the winners will be named live in San Francisco in December.

Rick Kaplan Joins NAB as EVP, Strategic Planning. The National Association of Broadcasters announces that former top FCC staffer Rick Kaplan has been hired as executive vice president, Strategic Planning. In this newly created position that will deal primarily with television, Kaplan will lead NAB’s efforts related to spectrum and innovation policy. His first day is Oct. 22. “We are delighted to announce the hiring of Rick Kaplan, whose credibility and integrity are well-recognized both at the Commission and in telecom circles in Washington,” says NAB president/CEO Gordon Smith. “His expertise on spectrum issues will benefit broadcasters greatly as we work with policymakers to ensure a robust local television business for decades to come.”

Odds & Sods.  Mixed martial arts is a big draw for the young male demo and “UFC on FX” has been good to the Fox-owned cable channel.  Fox Sports Radio Network has been simulcasting “UFC on FX” and continues with tonight’s “UFC on FX: Browne vs. Bigfoot” live from the Target Center in Minneapolis.  After the fights, mixed martial arts expert Larry Pepe hosts a Fox Sports Radio wrap-up show with interviews and call-ins from 7 pm to 10 pm PT…..Talk host Tom Donahue announces he’s ending his daily live internet talk show due to financial considerations but will continue with various multi-media projects including his new YouTube channel, podcasts and blog.  Donahue says he remains available for guest hosting and for guest interviews…..Dave Raymond and Brett Dolan are out as the radio play-by-play announcers for Houston Astros baseball.  The club announces it is beginning the search for their replacements immediately.  Clear Channel’s KTRH, Houston is the club’s flagship station.

NJBA Comments Incorporated into Federal Legislation.  Pro-radio crusader Paul S. Rotella, president/CEO of the New Jersey Broadcasters Association, reports positive progress in his organization’s efforts to influence the interests of the radio industry in government circles. The House of Representatives recently passed the FEMA Reauthorization Act of 2011 (H.R. 2903), which authorizes the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) and makes improvements to the system including language that broadcasters requested in several key areas: 1. The bill creates an IPAWS Advisory Committee to ensure that the various federal agencies that have a part in the governance of the IPAWS are conducting an ongoing dialogue with message disseminators. (Broadcasters will be represented on the IPAWS advisory committee); and 2. The bill establishes a comprehensive and periodic training program to instruct and educate Federal, State, Tribal, and local government officials in the use of the Common Alerting Protocol enabled Emergency Alert System.  Importantly, the bill requires that this training be integrated into the National Incident Management System, which is the Department of Homeland Security’s emergency management doctrine used across the United States to coordinate emergency preparedness and incident management and response.  By incorporating the NJBA’s comments regarding EAS training into the National Incident Management System, state and local emergency managers will have to participate in EAS training in order to receive federal homeland security grant funding. The bill now heads to the Senate, which has been considering its own IPAWS bill.

14.8 Million More Americans Watched the Presidential Debate.  According to a report from TVbytheNumbers, the first presidential debate of the 2012 campaign on Wednesday evening saw a big spike in the number of people who tuned in compared to the first debate in 2008 between Barack Obama and John McCain.  Then, 52.4 million Americans tuned in.  On Wednesday, 67.2 million people watched the debate on one of the 12 networks that carried it.  Of the big three networks that carried it, ABC grabbed the most viewers with 11.2 million.

First Presidential Debate Victory Top News/Talk Story for Week of October 1-5.  The build-up to the first presidential debate and the post-debate analysis was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week and landed atop the Talkers TenTM.  The investigation of the Libya consulate attack that claimed the life of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and others was #2.  At #3 was the controversy over President Obama’s 2007 speech before a black audience in which he questions why the largely African-American victims of Hurricane Katrina didn’t receive the same assistance as victims of other disasters.  Following at #4 was analysis of the presidential campaign polls.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top people and stories discussed on news/talk radio during the week, based on ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

| October 3, 2012

Talkers New Media Seminar LA set for Thursday, October 11 is Sold Out!   The agenda is basically set and most of the sponsors announced for the forthcoming Los Angeles installment of TALKERS magazine’s two-part New Media Seminar 2012 (the first part took place in New York on June 7).   According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “The venue is intimate and even kind of funky making for a very relaxed and informal environment – conducive to the kind of communicative and networking environment we hope to achieve.  The problem, however, is that unlike industry events that are held in convention centers and big hotels, we are working with a finite amount of seating and space which we are obligated by city regulations not to exceed.”  TALKERS New Media Seminar LA is scheduled for Thursday, October 11 between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm in association with the Los Angeles Press Club at the Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood.  Registration has only been open to working media. A registration “stand-by” list is being maintained until this Friday (10/5) for those willing to take a chance. Some sponsorships however are still available.  For stand-by registration and sponsorship information call 413-565-5413.  The agenda for the event is as follows:

9:00 am – 9:50 am
Bagel Breakfast Party
Sponsored by Brent’s Deli 

9:50 am – 10:00 am
Welcoming Remarks

Speaker:  Michael Harrison, Publisher, TALKERS

10:00 am – 10:15 am
Morning Keynote

Speaker:  Norm Pattiz, CEO, Courtside Entertainment

10:20 am – 11:00 am
Panel Discussion

“The Big Picture: Spoken Word Radio”

Moderator:  Michael Harrison, Publisher, TALKERS

Panelists (in alphabetical order):

Phil Boyce, VP/Director, Spoken Word Format, Salem Communications

Ron Hartenbaum, President, WYD Media

Kraig Kitchin, CEO, Sound Mind, LLC

Don Martin, VP Programming, Fox Sports Radio/OM KLAC, Los Angeles

Mike McVay, Senior VP Programming, Cumulus Media

Harvey Nagler, VP, CBS Radio News

11:05 am – 11:20 am
Special Presentation

“Interactivity and Video: The Key to Your Business Future”

Speaker:  Walter Sabo, Chairman, Sabo Media

11:25 am – 11:35 am
Special Presentation

“The Radio Personality as Entrepreneur”

Introduction:  Jeff Wasserman, President, Life Coach Media

Speaker:  Ken Rutkowski, host, “Business Rock Stars,” KFWB, Los Angeles

11: 40 am – 12:20 pm
Panel Discussion

“The Challenges of Hosting a Talk Show in 2012”

Moderator:  Mike Kinosian, Managing Editor/West Coast Bureau Chief, TALKERS

Panelists:

Jerry Doyle, Host, Talk Radio Network

Heidi Harris, Host, KRLA, Los Angeles

Lars Larson, Host, Compass Media Networks/ KXL, Portland

Doug Stephan, Host, “Good Day”

Alan Stock, Host, KDWN, Las Vegas

Eric Weiss, president, The Weiss Agency

12:25 pm – 12:40 pm
Special Presentation

“Woman of the Year Award”

Introduction:  Carole Marks, CEO, Talk Media, Inc.

Presenter:  Stephanie Miller, Host, WYD Media

Recipient:  Robin Bertolucci, PD KFI/KTLK, Los Angeles

Sponsored by TuneIn

12:45 pm – 1:00 pm
Special Presentation

“Database Your Tribe…Now!”

Speaker, Holland Cooke, Consultant, Holland Cooke Media

1:00 pm – 1:50 pm
Lunch
Sponsored by Brent’s Deli 

1:50 pm – 2:20 pm
Panel Discussion

“Making Money in Talk Radio:  Challenges and Opportunities”

Introduction: Michael Zwerling, President, Michael Zwerling Media/Owner KSCO, Santa Cruz

Moderator:  Brent Seltzer, Host, Podjockey

Panelists:

Bob Moore, President, Courtside Entertainment

Rusty Humphries, Host, Talk Radio Network/WGST, Atlanta

Michael Zwerling, President, Michael Zwerling Media/Owner KSCO, Santa Cruz

More TBA

Sponsored by Michael Zwerling Media

2:25 pm – 3:05 pm
Panel Discussion

“The State of Talk Programming”

Moderator:  Kevin Casey, VP/Executive Editor TALKERS

Panelists (in alphabetical order):

Skip Essick, PD, KMJ-AM/FM, Fresno

Kevin LaRue, PD KSL, Salt Lake City

Andy Ludlum, PD, KNX, Los Angeles

Garret Lewis, PD/morning host, KNST, Tucson

Dave Sniff, PD, KFMB, San Diego

Chuck Tyler, PD, KRLA/KKLA, Los Angeles

Sponsored by Premiere Networks

3:10 pm – 3:45 pm
Panel Discussion

“The Modern Day Pioneers”

Moderator:  Patt Morrison, Host/Interviewer, KPCC, Los Angeles; Columnist, Los Angeles Times

Panelists (in alphabetical order):

Ian Freeman, Co-Host, Free Talk Live

Sam Hasson, President/Founder, LATalkRadio.com

Michael Horn, CEO, CRN Digital Talk

Tom Leykis, President/Host, The New Normal

Shadoe Stevens, Host, Mental Radio, Sirius/XM Satellite Radio

Sponsored by CRN Digital Talk

3:45 pm – 4:20 pm
Panel Discussion

“The Art of the Show”

Moderator:  Bill Moran, President, Bill Moran & Associates

Panelists (in alphabetical order):

Jerry Doyle, Host, Talk Radio Network

Bill Handel, Host, KFI, Los Angeles

Karel, Host, KGO, San Francisco

Neil Larrimore, PD, KFYI/KGME, Phoenix

Eric Stanger, VP Operations, The Sean Hannity Show, Premiere Networks

Sponsored by TRN

4:20 pm – 5:00 pm
Afternoon Sessions and Keynote

TBA

SPONSORS

Americans for Limited Government, BMX/XtreMedia, Brent’s Deli, Christie Communications, Comrex Corporation, CRN Digital Talk, Federation for American Immigration Reform, Focus Communications, Inc., Free Talk Live, LATalkRadio.com, Life Coach Media, Podjockey, Premiere Networks, Talk Radio Network, Talk Radio News Service, TuneIn, WYD Media, Michael Zwerling Media.

September PPM Numbers: Some Talk and Sports Highlights.  TALKERS managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian reports on the September PPM numbers rolling in and notes the movement of some stations of interest to talk and sports radio watchers.

  • In market #7 Washington, DC, a nine-tenths August-September improvement helps propel American University‘s WAMU to #1, unseating Hubbard‘s WTOP-FM (#3), which slides -1.1 to 7.1, the news outlet’s lowest point since April’s 6.5.
  • For the sixth straight month, Washington Nationals’ flagship WJFK-FM (CBS Radio‘s “The Fan”) bests Red Zebra format rival WTEM (“The Team”), however, WTEM (#20) gains one-half share and WJFK-FM (#18) is down one-tenth.
  • In market #8 Philadelphia, gaining one-half share are CBS Radio’s “Sports Radio 94 WIP-FM” (3.7, #12) and public news/talk WHYY (3.5, #13).
  • For the seventh straight month, “Newsradio 1060 KYW” is in the 6.1 – 6.7 range (6.5, -.2 from August) and, as in August, the CBS Radio-owned facility is #1.
  • In market #9 Atlanta, in August, WSB-AM had a 4.8, which was its lowest 6+ share since registering a 4.2 in September 2010.  The Cox Radio talk outlet bounces back though with a +.9 to 5.7 and ranks fifth, versus #9 in August.
  • In market #10 Boston, remember “Rush Radio” on WXKS-AM?  That was how the Clear Channel talk station positioned itself for about one year, beginning in March 2010.  In mid-August of this year, Rush Limbaugh surfaced on cross-town WRKO and the Entercom talker gains nine-tenths to 2.4, its strongest 6+-share since March (2.5).
  • For the first time in the last seven monthlies, New England Patriots flagship WBZ-FM (CBS Radio-owned “The Sports Hub”) overtakes Entercom format competitor WEEI-FM.  The two sports properties were tied in March (3.5) with WEEI-FM holding the upper hand from April through August.  In September though, WBZ-FM gains eight-tenths (4.5, #8) while Red Sox flagship WEEI-FM drops two-tenths (4.1, #9).

For more PPM data and ratings analysis, visit the ratings section at our sister publication RadioInfo’s site here.

FCC to Consider Liberty Media Control of Sirius.  The FCC is calling for public comment on Liberty Media Corp.’s application to take de jure (legal) control of Sirius XM Radio.  Sirius did not sign that application, filed in August, but the Commission is deciding to move forward anyway.  Back in May, the FCC turned down a request for de facto (effective) control by Liberty, which now has an effective 48% stake in the satellite radio company.   Petitions to deny are due November 1, initial opposition due November 13, and final rebuttals by November 20, likely to be followed by several weeks of FCC deliberation.  The two companies have been at odds for a long time with John Malone’s Liberty looking to takeover Sirius.  In 2009, Sirius received a $530 million loan from Liberty to avoid bankruptcy.  There’s much speculation about Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin’s plans if Liberty gains control. His contract with Sirius is up at end of this year.  As reported yesterday, Karmazin is speaking at Liberty’s 2012 investor conference in New York on October 10, just two weeks before the first public comments are due at the FCC.

Saga Declares Special Cash Dividend.  The Saga board announces a special cash dividend of about $7 million — a dividend of $1.65 per Class A or B Common Stock.  Shareholders of record on November 15 receive the dividend, funded by cash on the company’s balance sheet, on December 3.  Ed Christian’s Saga, headquartered in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan, owns or operates radio and TV stations in 26 markets and four regional radio networks.

Upgrade to FREE.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke’s latest piece for TALKERS is about some of the tools of the media trade – namely netbooks and tablets.  But it’s about more than that if you step back and look at the big picture.  He points to digital app expert Beth Ziesenis – AskBethZ – as someone who cuts through with her message (and her business) because she’s clearly focused on her objective.  Read what Holland Cooke has to say about these issues here.

 

Odds & Sods. SiriusXM will feature “Pete Dominick’s Electoral College Tour” on its POTUS channel prior to each presidential debate, beginning this evening in Denver.  Dominick is a stand-up comedian and regular on the POTUS channel and his special shows will emanate from the University of Denver, Hofstra University and the University of Virginia in which he’ll host a special one-hour forum with students and faculty – before the presidential debate and live from 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET – to talk about the issues that matter most to them in this election…..Chicago Bulls home basketball games will be heard in Spanish on Univision’s WRTO, Chicago “La Tremenda 1200” through the 2014-2015 season.  Omar Ramos and Matt Moreno have the play-by-play.

Benghazi Security Request Controversy, Presidential Debate Preview, Pennsylvania Voter ID Rule Blocked, and Iran Nukes Threat Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/2).  Controversy over a report the U.S. consulate in Benghazi requested more security but was denied prior to the attack on the Libyan embassy; Wednesday’s coming presidential debate; a part of Pennsylvania’s voter ID law is struck down; and Iran’s nuclear weapons program were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, September 10, 2012

| September 10, 2012

ESPN O&O WEPN-AM/FM, New York Separate Sports Talk Programming.  English-language sports talk is now heard only on the FM at ESPN O&O WEPN in New York as the sports media giant took the AM side Spanish with the debut of ESPN Deportes Radio Nueva York 1050 on Friday, just in time to broadcast the New York Jets season opener victory over division rival Buffalo in Spanish.  Station GM David Roberts says, “We are thrilled to add the New York Jets to our solid roster of play-by-play offerings just in time for our launch.  There is tremendous passion for the NFL among the Hispanic community of New York, and this alliance with an elite franchise will further position 1050 AM as the Spanish-language audio destination for the Hispanic sports fan in New York.”  The station debuts two local sports talk shows today.  The first is “Firma ESPN” from 7:00 am to 10:00 am billed as the only radio program devoted to the New York Hispanic sports fan.  It is hosted by ESPN Deportes Radio veteran Renato Bermudez alongside the renowned Ernesto Jerez, the “signature Spanish-language voice of MLB,” plus Jorge Ebro and many other ESPN Deportes Radio experts. The second program is “Zona ESPN NY,” airing from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm and hosted by Carolina Guillen, Sebastian Christensen, along with Enrique Rojas.

Talk Host Ian Punnett Suffering from Tinnitus; Cuts Back On-Air Hours.  Hubbard Radio morning drive talk host Ian Punnett is cutting his hours on the radio by half in order to curb his exposure to audio that aggravates his tinnitus – a condition he’s been dealing with since 2009.  The Pioneer Press reports Punnett, who co-hosts the morning drive show on KTMY, Minneapolis with his wife Margery, joins her on the air from 7:00 am to 9:00 am.  Margery starts the program at 5:30 with Elizabeth Ries and wraps it up at 10:00 am.  Punnett tells the Pioneer Press he first noticed the intense ringing in his head during a remote broadcast in 2009.  “It never goes away.  It’s the last sound I hear at night, it’s the first sound I hear in the morning.  It often wakes me up in the middle of the night.”  The story notes Punnett and his doctors have decided cutting back on his air time is part of a more aggressive treatment for the condition.

Host Shuffle at ESPN O&O KSPN, Los Angeles.  710 ESPN Los Angeles flips its midday and PM drive shows moving Steve Mason and John Ireland to the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm shift beginning today.  Midday duo Max Kellerman and Marcellus Wiley go to the PM drive slot.  The changes also include the debut of the late morning “ESPNLA Now” show airing from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon and hosted by Mark Willard.

Good Karma’s WKNR, Cleveland Hit with $4k Fine for Contest Violation.  The FCC is hitting Good Karma’s sports talk WKNR, Cleveland with a $4,000 forfeiture order for running what it called a “bogus” contest called “Who Said That?” from November 2007 until September 2009.  The contest involved callers having to identify the speaker of a clip played over the air.  The complainant asserted that the station originally talked about offering prizes and then “dropped talking about prizes.”  Good Karma tried to argue that the programming in question was not a contest but was more accurately characterized as a program.  But the commission ruled that the stations did conduct a contest and didn’t “fully and accurately” and “with sufficient frequency” list the prizes that a contestant could possibly win.

Rare Opportunities at Federated Media’s WOWO-AM/FM, Fort Wayne.  Jon Zimney tells TALKERS magazine that there are two tremendous opportunities at Federated Media’s heritage news/talk WOWO, Fort Wayne.  After the departure of OM and PM drive host Gregg Henson in August, Woody Zimmerman was named PD for the station.  But he’s now been re-assigned to general manager of the company’s Warsaw, Indiana cluster.  In the interim, Zimney, who serves as program director and news director at Federated’s WTRC, South Bend – 95.3 Michiana’s News Channel – is doing double duty programming both stations.  Additionally, WTRC morning host Casey Hendrickson is handling the PM drive duties at WOWO.  Federated Media is looking for two individuals to fill the PD and talk host positions at WOWO.  For the program director position, Zimney is looking for someone who can get the most out of talented talk show hosts and make them even better; has a strong understanding of local news and solid station programming; understands great news writing, presentation, and on-air execution; has a strong sense of news ethics and integrity; embraces and champions new technology in news (web, text, social media, video, etc); has examples of really good marketing, promotion and community involvement projects that they’ve conceived and executed.  For the talk host position, they are looking for “a personality who is well-rounded in politics, social issues and recognizes compelling stories that generate talk.  The ideal host is entertaining, informative and creative…can debate with listeners and guests in a spirited, but respectful manner, follows news like a hawk, expresses passion about local issues as well as national issues and also recognizes how everyday life can contribute to a show that is unique and compliments our winning lineup of Beck, Rush and Sean.”  To apply for either position, e-mail materials to Jon Zimney at: jzimney@federatedmedia.com.

Fox Sports Radio’s Petros & Money End Summer with “Deep V & Capri” Remote Bash.  Fox Sports Radio Network’s Petros Papadakis and Matt “Money” Smith broadcast live from the Hooters restaurant in Anaheim last week for their end-of-summer bash dubbed the “deep V & capri” party.  Papadakis (l) and Smith (r) are pictured here with a couple of listeners sporting their deep v t-shirts and capri pants at the event.

CBS Radio Philadelphia Partners with Clean Air Council for Greenfest Philly.  CBS Radio’s four Philadelphia stations took part in yesterday’s “Greenfest Philly” at Headhouse Square in Philadelphia for the 7th annual event designed to promote sustainable living. All-news KYW, sports WIP-AM/FM, news/talk WPHT and classic hits WOGL all broadcast live from the event that showcased businesses, regional green innovators, and non-profits of all sizes with strong commitments to sustainability.

Spoken-Word Content Aggregator Stitcher Offers Offline Mode.  Stating that 38% of its users indicated they prefer to listen to the service offline to protect against mobile data overages, Stitcher released an offline mode update that enables anytime, anywhere listening for its iPod Touch, iPhone, and iPad apps.  “Listeners can now seamlessly access and discover the best of over 10,000 shows at work, at the gym, anywhere, regardless of cellular or WiFi connectivity,” the company states.  CEO Noah Shanok says, “Our goal is to make on-demand radio more accessible than ever.  Our most requested feature, offline mode, solves the biggest obstacle to listening on the go or when users would prefer to use Wi-Fi and conserve mobile data usage.”  Stitcher bills itself as “the mobile leader in on-demand news, entertainment, sports and talk radio.”

Let Your News/Talk Flow.  WLAC, Nashville-based syndicated talk host Steve Gill is pictured here with the Bellamy Brothers at his studios in Nashville.  The legendary country duo stopped by the show to play some songs from their latest release, including the title track, “Pray for Me.”

Thursday, August 9, 2012

| August 9, 2012

Pioneering Radio Owner Peter Straus Dies at 89.  His Straus Communications owned WMCA, New York when it was a part of the golden age of rock ‘n’ roll radio and after it became a talk radio outlet in 1970 until the time it was sold in 1986.  From a talk radio perspective Straus’ WMCA employed legendary talk hosts including Barry Gray, Barry Farber, Bob Grant and Bruce Williams.  The station is now owned by Salem Communications and broadcasts a Christian format.  Salem Radio Network vice president of news & talk programming Tom Tradup tells TALKERS he has fond memories of working for Straus as executive producer of the talk shows in the early 1980s.  “I worked with Peter at a time when WMCA was a petri dish of talk radio creativity.  Legendary hosts like Barry Gray, Bob Grant, Bruce Williams and Barry Farber were all local hosts on WMCA…and our 5,000-watt station (albeit in the middle of Midtown Manhattan!) was the home of every important New York politician including NYC mayor Ed Koch, New York Lt. Governor (and later Governor) Mario Cuomo, New York city clerk (and future mayor) David Dinkins and many more.  The hallways of WMCA were always full, and it was a rare day one didn’t run into a guest like Marlon Brando or Woody Allen or Tony Randall or Robert Vaughn.”  Tradup says the station was “vibrant but challenged” during his time there as it battled WOR and WABC but Straus was “one in a million.  Peter instituted a ‘first radio in New York’ policy, meaning if an author appeared on another NYC station before WMCA, we wouldn’t book him.  And son of a gun, we started getting all the big authors first because publishers knew he meant it.  This taught me a lesson I’ve never forgotten: If you act as if your radio station is #1, people will treat you like #1.  Peter was a winner, an exceptional leader, and the talk radio industry owes him respect and gratitude.”

Howard Stern Appeals Suit Dismissal in Beef with SiriusXM.  Talk radio legend Howard Stern and agent Don Buchwald are not going to let one dismissal get in the way of their goal of getting some $300 million in stock bonuses they say is due them as the result of the satcaster’s success.  According to the New York Daily News, Stern and Buchwald – through Stern’s 112 Inc. production company – filed suit in the New York Supreme Court Appellate Division.  The Daily News reports the suit hasn’t even been processed yet so the documents aren’t available but we have a pretty good idea what Stern is claiming: That he is owed the $300 million in stock bonuses because his program is responsible for a large degree of SiriusXM’s success, even the success that came after the merger of Sirius and XM.  In April of this year though, New York Supreme Court Justice Barbara Kapnick disagreed with Stern’s logic and dismissed the case ruling the language in Stern’s contract is “clear” and “unambiguous.”  In other words, he’s gotten everything the contract promised him.

Howard Eskin Returns to TV Sports Anchor Role.  Longtime WIP, Philadelphia sports talk personality Howard Eskin goes back to the little screen as sports anchor at WTXF-TV Fox 29 in Philadelphia.  The station says Eskin helped launch its 10:00 pm news back in 1986 and now he’ll be behind the sports desk for the Fox News 29 at 5:00 pm, 6:00 pm and 10:00 pm newscasts as well as “Fox 29 Sports Sunday,” “Game Time Live,” and he’ll contribute to “Good Day Philadelphia.”  After leaving his full-time talk show position at WIP, Eskin continued to work with the station as part of the Eagles pre- and post-game shows and as a sideline reporter.  Eskin will remain with WIP to host programs, the Eagles pre-game show and handle sideline reporting for the station.

Shara Fryer Added to KTRH, Houston AM Drive Show.  Longtime Houston market television news personality Shara Fryer will join Matt Patrick as co-host of KTRH’s “Houston’s Morning News.”  Fryer is currently director of the World Affairs Council of Houston but served as co-anchor of KTRK-TV, Houston’s 6:00 pm and 10:00 pm evening newscasts for more than 25 years.  Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s Houston president and market manager Eddie Martiny says, “Over 25 years of major-market broadcast excellence combined with her commitment to numerous charities in Houston make Shara the perfect choice for mornings on KTRH.”  Fryer says, “I’m excited by the energy and raw spirit of radio.  It’s a brand new world for me…There’s a spark with Matt and the entire KTRH team that I hope listeners will feel and join us weekday mornings.”  She begins her new duties on September 4.