Tag: "WMEN"

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

| August 13, 2014

foxsportsradio logoClear Channel to Launch Sports Talker on Charlotte Translator.  Telling the Charlotte Observer that “we saw a huge opportunity for sports on the FM dial done the right way. It was the opening in the marketplace,” market manager Charlie Wilkinson announces plans for the company to bring a new sports talk station to the market on W254AZ at 98.7 by the end of this month.  The station will air Fox Sports Radio Network shows, including Dan Patrick’s DirecTV-produced program.  The station will also be available on sister station classic rock WRFX’s HD-2 channel.  WRFX program director Jeff Kent will serve as PD and Wilkinson tells the paper local shows will be added in the future.

robertsblakeWKRC, Cincinnati Weekend Host Blake Roberts Arrested in Shooting of Wife.  The good news is that Misty Seylhouwer was not seriously injured after her husband, Blake “Roberts” Seylhouwer discharged a rifle in the driveway of his suburban Cincinnati home and the bullet struck her.  After initially concluding the incident was an accident, police have reversed course and Blake Seylhouwer is being charged with felonious assault and domestic violence.  Seylhouwer said he accidently discharged the gun while taking it out of the trunk of his car but police later determined he purposely fired in the direction of Misty Seylhouwer and the bullet ricocheted off the driveway and struck her.  She has filed for protection order against Blake Seylhouwer, who hosts the “Small Business Sundays” program on WKRC.  He operates several businesses in the area including a small business consulting firm.

decastrojimmyJimmy deCastro Says He’s ‘Having a Ball.’  In an interview with Chicago media writer Robert Feder, WGN, Chicago president and general manager Jimmy deCastro speaks about the station’s decision to cut ties with the MLB’s Chicago Cubs after 89 years, the move of personalities Jonathon Brandmeier and Garry Meier to the company’s online platform WGN.fm, and the ratings struggles sports talker WGWG is facing.   deCastro has hinted that the company would be interested in purchasing an FM signal in the market but there are no definite plans to do so.  He tells Feder he believes the prices for FM signals will come down but that the company’s willingness to buy one depends on the success of the current operations.  Read the whole interview here.

alzugarayorlandoThe ‘Big O’ Returns to WQAM, Miami.  According to a report in the Miami Herald by Barry Jackson, Orlando Alzugaray, a.k.a. The Big O, will exit WMEN, Ft. Lauderdale “640 Sports” and return to Beasley Broadcasting’s WQAM, Miami in the midday 10:00 am to 1:00 pm slot beginning August 25.  Alzugaray left WQAM in 2010.  The midday show has been hosted by Alex Donno and Brandon Guzio recently and Jackson reports that Donno will move to the evening 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm show and will become part of the Florida Panthers broadcast team.  Guzio and evening host Kevin Rogers have reportedly exited the station.

armstrongdaveArmstrong Announces Retirement. As of the end of next month (September 2014), renowned market manager Dave Armstrong will leave radio after a 50-year career in the industry.  Salem Radio president Dave Santrella comments that, “Dave has been a tremendous leader in our company.  His creative contributions have created legacy attributes that Salem enjoys to this day and will enjoy well into the future.  For that – we are forever grateful.”  Armstrong remarks, “This is the end of another chapter in my workbook, but it is not the final chapter.  I am excited to see what’s next.”  Approximately 40% of Armstrong’s 50-year radio career (20 years) has been spent with Salem, for whom he has managed stations in New York City, Los Angeles, and – for the last eight years – in San Diego.  Salem’s San Diego stations are talk KCBQ-AM and Christian talk KPRZ.  Its Los Angeles cluster consists of contemporary Christian KFSH; talk KRLA; and Christian talk KKLA.  In May 2003, Salem transferred Armstrong, then regional vice president of operations and general manager of Salem Los Angeles, to oversee the company’s northeast radio operations.  That meant Armstrong became general manager of Salem New York’s WMCA and WWDJ, as well as having operational oversight for the company’s Boston-area outlets. Before joining Salem, Armstrong was a program director and sales manager for a number of stations.

nielsen logoNielsen July PPM Analysis Shows Talk in Summer Dip; Expects Improvement.  Reviewing the results of the July 2014 PPM data by format and comparing the results to previous months’ data as well as data from previous years, Nielsen Audio provides a glimpse of how formats as a whole are performing.  The study notes that the news/talk format is enduring a seasonal decline.  Nielsen reports: “The changes in lifestyles, work habits and consumer trends that occur each summer, coupled with news and sports cycles create an annual down-trend for spoken word formats during the middle of the summer.  2014 is no different as July revealed that the 6-plus shares for news/talk dropped to their lowest mark in PPM since we began tracking this data in 2011 (8.1%), all-news stayed flat relative to last summer (2.5%), and sports fared slightly better this July (4.1%) than in 2013 (3.8%).  For all three of these formats, the coming months should bring an upswing in listening as football returns and we head into the mid-term election news cycle.”  Still, as a format in the PPM markets, news/talk finished 5th among persons 25-54 behind CHR, country, hot AC and AC.  See the study here.

rabRAB: Radio Ranked Most Effective Medium Influencing Healthcare Choices.  The results of a recent Finding Consumer Trends report from the RAB, indicate that when it comes to which type of advertising influences healthcare choices, radio was ranked as the most effective medium – especially among 25-44 year olds.  The RAB goes on to state that when it comes to medical care decisions, it is insurance that outranks all other choices – including medical referrals.  RAB president and CEO Erica Farber says, “With changes in medical and insurance coverage top of mind with consumers, this reports confirms radio’s ability as a powerful medium to influence their selection of where and who will provide them with medical services.  Marketers in this category who are trying to reach the 25-44 year olds should look to radio to communicate to this target group.”  More results from the study include the following: 77% of respondents state that a radio personality’s testimonial for healthcare products makes them trust the product the same or more; reputation and positive experiences are the top two reasons that local hospitals are top of mind; and the majority of respondents are currently seeking services by a dentist or orthodontist.  A webinar featuring the national results will be presented by the RAB and Ruth Presslaff of Presslaff Interactive Revenue on August 26, at 11:00 am ET and again at 4:00 pm ET.  Register for the webinar here.

kfbk logoKFBK, Sacramento to Broadcast ‘Honor Bowl.’  Sacramento news/talk outlet KFBK is partnering with The Honor Group, Inc. – a community organization dedicated to educating, empowering and equipping military veterans for success – to air the fifth annual Honor Bowl.  That event is a high school football showcase that educates the community about the needs of military veterans.  KFBK will air two of the five football games that make up the two-day fundraising event.  The broadcasts will help The Honor Group to attract sponsors to the Honor Bowl, and proceeds from the event’s ticket sales will help purchase aftermarket rehabilitation equipment benefiting disabled veterans throughout the country.

Ferguson, MO Troubles, Robin Williams’ Suicide, Hillary Clinton’s Obama Criticisms, IS Campaign/U.S. Iraq Policy, Ebola Pandemic Threat, Russian Ukraine Aggression, and Lauren Bacall Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/12).  The race riots and looting in Ferguson, Missouri in the aftermath of the shooting death by police of an unarmed black teen; actor and comic Robin Williams’ suicide; Hillary Clinton’s criticisms of President Obama’s foreign policy; the IS campaign in Iraq and U.S. military policy there; the threat of an Ebola pandemic; Russia’s continuing attempts to arm Ukrainian rebels; and the death of actress Lauren Bacall were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, February 7, 2014

| February 7, 2014

benztimTim Benz Promoted to Sports Director at CC Pittsburgh.  Programmer and air personality Tim Benz exits his role as morning show host at alternative WXDX, Pittsburgh “105.9 The X” to take the sports director role at Clear Channel’s Pittsburgh cluster.  With the move, WXDX evening host Abby Krizner moves to mornings.  According to Pittsburgh’s Timesonline.com, Benz’s move means he’ll host a show on sister sports talker WBGG but will also continue to contribute to WXDX’s sports content (the station is the Penguins flagship).  In a related move, Benz’s co-host Bob McLaughlin stays with the station as producer of the sports-heavy PM drive Mark Madden program on WXDX.  About his promotion and the expansion of sports programming which will see his commentary used on cluster stations including rock WDVE, CHR WKST “96.1 KISS,” news/talk WPGB “FM News Talk 104.7,” and classic hits WWSW “94.5 3WS,” Benz tells Timesonline.com, “This opportunity to extend sports programming is something we have been discussing for some time and will enhance our platforms.”  He’ll host the daily 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm show on WBGG.

wftl logoJames Crystal Radio Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection.  After reports surfaced in the radio trades (including TALKERS) that James Crystal Radio had missed payroll in January, questions began to arise about the state of the company’s affairs and, sure enough, it’s now publicwmen logo information that the company has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the Southern District of Florida.  In the filing, James Crystal Radio lists assets of between $1 million and $10 million with between $10 million and $50 million in liabilities.  Some of the 20 creditors with the largest claims include: more than $220,000 owned to BMI, more than $1.5 million to various attorneys for fees, plus some $861,000 owed to the IRS in payroll taxes and more than $200,000 in property and local taxes.  This is a particularly unfortunate situation since the company has operated in a very locally focused manner giving opportunities to Florida personalities at news/talk WFTL and sports talk WMEN, both serving the West Palm Beach and South Florida markets.  The company also owns foreign-language WFLL, Fort Lauderdale and gospel KBXD, Dallas.

ramseydaveDave Ramsey Crosses Town to KEIB, Los Angeles.  Nationally syndicated financial talk superstar Dave Ramsey moves from news/talk KFWB, Los Angeles to Clear Channel’s new conservative talk KEIB “The Patriot keib logo1150” where the show will air from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm beginning February 24.  KEIB program director Robin Bertolucci says, “We are delighted and excited to have Dave as part of our lineup.  With his proven track record in LA, he’ll be an excellent addition to our station.”  Currently, local personality Carlos Amezcua airs in the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm slot on KEIB.

kfwbKFWB Expands ‘Money 101’ with Bob McCormick.  With the departure of Dave Ramsey, CBS RADIO operated KFWB, Los Angeles grows Bob McCormick’s “Money 101” program and places it in themccormickbob 10:00 am to 2:00 pm slot on the program schedule.  As a result, “LA’s Morning News with Penny Griego and Phil Hulett” adds another hour, wrapping at 10:00 am.  The station notes that McCormick “is a recognized authority on personal finance issues in Southern California…his fast-paced show features compelling content that goes beyond the headlines and focuses on how these issues influence our lives in Southern California.”  Program director Andy Ludlum says of the changes, “We have enjoyed a great relationship with Dave Ramsey and his team.  They are consummate professionals and Dave did a great job for us.  It was a good partnership, but the opportunity to add more local programming to super-serve our listeners prevailed.”

envisionnetworks newEnvision Networks Announces New Brand.  The new name and branding for Envision Radio Networks is Envision Networks.  The 11-year-old media network, which provides content and services to more than 1,500 radio stations across the country, says it has grown beyond the scope of a radio-only syndication company and that the new name Envision Networks encompasses its heritage radio business as well as its growing digital networks, streaming networks and on-demand listening.  President and CEO Danno Wolkoff states, “Envision Networks is a more accurate representation of our current evolution and growth in radio, digital, streaming and product placement.  The Envision Networks name and branding now reflects everything we supply to radio stations and other media while creating a desirable audience for our advertisers and partners.”

j4 logoBroadcasting Pro Todd Feinburg Launches Boston Traffic Service.  It’s called J4traffic and the Boston-based broadcasting pro tells TALKERS magazine it is a “crowd sourced, all-traffic radio station for Boston, the first radio format being launched by Speaks Mobile, Inc.”  The app is available for free download from the Apple and Android stores.  Todd Feinburg (who co-hosted morning drive on WRKO, Boston for the past five years and currently is doing part-time and fill-in work for WBZ-AM) explains the concept behind this initiative.  “Rush hour is expanding to encompass much of the day in major American cities, and not just on weekdays.  Radio traffic reports lack the frequency, substance and reliability to be effective at easing this pain, and traffic maps don’t go together well with the legal and practical responsibilities of operating a motor vehicle.  Furthermore, traffic data delivered tofeinburgtodd mobile apps lacks the nuance that drivers need to make effective decisions regarding comparative routes – and it’s generally not much fun.  We will correct these problems with The Jay – on-demand traffic talk radio that is informed by the crowd.”  Feinburg says the programming will consist of a traffic report every five minutes.  In between, they’ll broadcast updates reported to them by commuters.  Drivers will share what they see on the road via 15 second mp3s they record on the J4traffic app, or they’ll call in with live reports.  He says they are in “beta” mode right now but once they’re up to speed, they’ll use “Facebook mobile ads and Google keyword ads to push new users to the app in order to speed growth.  In addition, we are optimistic that local media outlets will respond well to a PR campaign emphasizing a new format – all traffic radio – on a platform that has not been used to offer unique, local, radio content – but has been proven successful by companies such as Pandora, Spotify and Apple.”  Feinburg says their positioning will be “as a humble, bootstrap operation looking to solve a problem, because that’s what we are.  We see this as the beginning of a trend – ‘local’ is the power of radio, and local radio has been abandoned by broadcasters.  Now that the threshold to entry has been lowered and anyone can have a radio station, we expect thousands of niche broadcast outlets to appear on the mobile platform.”  Along with Feinburg, the two other principals are Jonathan Roy, an attorney who has left his practice in order to join the startup world.  He gained experience in tech and startups before attending law school 15 years ago.  Aaron Sawyer is a 20-year veteran of Total Traffic and its predecessor, Metro Traffic.  Aaron worked as a manager and announcer for Total Traffic, setting up and rolling out new markets.

nextmedia logoExecutive Changes at NextMedia in Chicago as Sale to Digity Expected to Close on Monday.  The sale of NextMedia’s nine suburban Chicago radio stations to Dean Goodman-led Digity, LLC is expected to close on Monday, February 10 and Chicagoland Radio and Media reports that two executives are being told they will not be retained when the deal is consummated.  General managers Patrick Pendergast and Scott Kosak will reportedly exit the company and NextMedia360 vice president Brian Foster will serve as manager for the entire group.  The Chicago stations are part of a larger deal that encompasses 33 stations becoming assets in Digity, LLC.  The Chicago-area stations include: classic hits WERV-FM, Aurora; country WCCQ-FM, Crest Hill; news/talk WJOL-AM, Joliet; AC WSSR-FM, Joliet; rock WRXQ-FM, Coal City; sports WKRS-AM, Waukegan; hot AC WXLC-FM, Waukegan; rock WIIL-FM, Union Grove, Wisconsin and news/talk WLIP-AM, Kenosha, Wisconsin.

ramseyboiseDave Ramsey Brings Live Events to Boise.  Nationally syndicated superstar Dave Ramsey is pictured here with (from left to right) Idaho First Lady Lori Otter, Townsquare Media regional vice president Kevin Godwin, and Idaho Governor Butch Otter during a visit to the market this week.  Ramsey presented his “Legacy Journey LIVE!” event to a sold-out crowd in on Thursday (2/6) at the Morrison Center for the Performing Arts.  The production presents Ramsey’s philosophy about how to win with money, strengthen marriages and lead your children with confidence. His daughter, Rachel Cruze, joined him on stage. Local affiliate KIDO helped promote the event and Kevin Godwin states, “KIDO’s enthusiasm for the unique opportunity to host Dave Ramsey in Boise is brimming.  It couldn’t have come at a more perfect time, as KIDO is celebrating its 85th anniversary of broadcasting this year.  It’s very special to have one of our most popular talk show hosts here to share this with us and our community.”  On Wednesday, Ramsey hosted his “EntreLeadership 1 Day Event” along with Cruze and speaker Chris Hogan, about how to run a business using the same common sense principles that Ramsey practices in his own company of more than 350 employees.

gallaghermikeTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  In the Riverside-San Bernardino market, Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh is added to the lineup at KTIE, San Bernardino…..“Free Talk Live” featuring Ian Freeman and Mark Edge joins the program lineup at WVFT-FM, Tallahassee; WYOO-FM, Panama Beach, Florida and KGUM-AM, Agana, Guam…..The XtreMedia produced and syndicated Kevin McCullough show is added to the programming at WHEP, Mobile/Pensacola; WTXY, Wilmington, North Carolina; and WROM, Rome, Georgia…..The WYM Media-produced Leslie Marshall show is added to the Indiana Talk Radio Network airing from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm…..Salem Radio Network’s Michael Medved show is added to the lineup at WFBL, Syracuse; WMCR, Oneida, New York; and KVOC, Casper, Wyoming and the company’s Mike Gallagher show joins the programming at KMAX, Colfax, Washington…..“The Graveyard Shift” show announces affiliates for its March launch.  KONR, Anchorage and KDOL, Livingston, Texas will carry the program.

bennettbillreaganlibraryBennett Keynotes at Reagan Event.  Nationally syndicated morning drive host Bill Bennett is pictured here speaking at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California yesterday (2/6).  The Salem Radio Network personality, who served as Education Secretary under Reagan, was keynote speaker at the event commemorating the 103rd anniversary of Reagan’s birth.  Yesterday’s ceremony included a color guard, chaplain, a brass quintet, a 21-gun salute, a flyover, the placing of an official White House wreath on President Reagan’s gravesite and remarks by Bennett.  Prior to the ceremony, Bennett signed copies of his new book, Is College Worth It?

2014 NYC logo 150Sean Hannity to Keynote and Host Special Breakfast at Talkers New York 2014 Set for Friday, June 20.  Nationally syndicated Premiere Networks and Fox News Channel talk media superstar Sean Hannity will again serve as the morning keynote and breakfast host at this year’s installment of TALKERS magazine’s annual New York City-based convention.  The TALKERS magazine annual national talk media industry conference enters its 17th consecutive year as the date and site have been set for the next installment of the industry’s largest, longest-running and most important gathering.  Upon the announcement of Hannity’s participation, TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey states, “Sean’s valuable contributions to this event have become a tradition over the course of its colorful hannityseanhistory.  He transcends politics and even the competition factor at this event and is by far one of the brightest and most popular individuals in a behind-the-scenes sense in the talk industry.  His grasp of ratings issues, sales challenges, the local/national balance equation and changes in the syndication sector is extremely ‘black belt’ in quality and greatly appreciated by his colleagues in the business.”   According to TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, “This will be the most important installment of this can’t-miss conference ever because it will deal with some of the most sensitive and existential issues facing not only the talk side of the business, but all of what we still call ‘radio.’  It should not be missed, plain and simple, by anyone or any company serious about their future in this industry.”  Registrations for the event are limited only to people who are members of the working media (meaning actively or recently employed in the industry or associated industries) and can only be booked by telephone with credit card.  Individual registrations for the entire event including all sessions, presentations, breakfast, lunch, refreshments and receptions are $249.  As usual, because of space limitations and the quality of this long-established event, an early sellout is expected.  Stand by for ongoing information about speakers, agenda and hotel suggestions in the days ahead.  For further registration and sponsorship information, please call 413-565-5413.

2014 NYC logo 150Mike Francesa to Deliver Sports Keynote Address at Talkers New York 2014  - Set for June 20.  WFAN, New York sports talk superstar Mike Francesa will reprise his “grand slam home run” contribution from last year and again deliver this year’s sports keynote address at Talkers New York 2014 on Friday, June 20.  Upon making the announcement, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “Mike Francesa’s speech last year was one of the most memorable highlights of the conference.  He brings the same no-nonsense, unapologetic, common-sense approach to the issues of the industry that he brings to his legion of fans on the radio about their passion – sports — and quite frankly, it is quite refreshing and inspirational to those of us for whom radio is the ‘game’ of our lives.  Francesa is thefrancesaspeaking quintessential local sports talker – the most important in the business – and is a voice that needs to be heard because so much has happened in the sports talk sector since last summer.  He’s the perfect guy to deliver the updated message within the context of continuity.”  Francesa’s address will directly follow the conference’s general morning keynote address delivered by Premiere Radio/Fox News Channel heavyweight Sean Hannity.  More than 60 speakers from the leadership ranks of the industry’s talent, programming, management and sales arenas are being signed up to fill out the power-packed, one-day agenda.  The TALKERS magazine annual national talk media industry conference (known for years as the “New Media Seminar”) enters its 17th consecutive year as the talk radio industry’s largest, longest-running and most important gathering.  Harrison continues, “This will be the most important installment of this must-attend conference ever because it will deal with some of the most sensitive and even existential issues facing not only the talk side of the business, but all of what we still call ‘radio.’  It should not be missed by anyone or any company serious about their future in this industry.”  Registrations for the event are limited only to people who are members of the media industry (meaning actively or recently employed in the radio, television, and press industries or associated industries) and can only be booked by telephone with credit card.  Individual registrations for the entire event including all sessions, presentations, breakfast, lunch, refreshments and receptions are $249.  As usual, because of space limitations and the quality of this long-established event, a very early sellout is expected.  Stand by for ongoing information about speakers, agenda and hotel suggestions in the days ahead.  For further registration and sponsorship information, please call 413-565-5413.

ObamaCare Criticism Returns to #1 on Talkers TenTM.  The most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week of January 3-7 was scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act.  The issue held the top spot on the Talkers TenTM for eight straight weeks last fall and now returns to #1.  At #2 this week was the pending immigration legislation and the amnesty component expected to be included in the bill.  Following at #3 was talk of Hillary Clinton running for president in 2016 with the nation’s and several states’ marijuana laws coming in 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.  To view this week’s entire chart, click here.

Monday, February 3, 2014

| February 3, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

| January 28, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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, November 5, 2013

| November 5, 2013

bellartArt Bell Says Adios to SiriusXM After Six Weeks.  On his website, late night talk radio icon Art Bell writes that he’s leaving SiriusXM where his “Art Bell’s Dark Matter” program was airing after just six weeks for three reasons: SiriusXM’s web player is notoriously unreliable, causing a loss of subscribers and a degraded listening experience for those who remain listening online; for a “caller driven” show, the caller pool for Art’s show is just too small; and international listeners have no legitimate way to hear the show.  SiriusXM has not commented on Bell’s post nor any issues the two parties may be having.  TALKERS editors can’t help but wonder how these points weren’t discovered and dealt with prior to the announcement Bell would be joining the satcaster, especially in light of Bell’s additional comments.  They are: “This is not the first time that we have heard issues relating to the internet platform offered up by SiriusXM.  There have been a host of issues from the functionality to being booted off, to having longer shows reset from the beginning after an hour and a half, making it almost impossible to listen to a two hour show on demand.”  The post is written in third person and continues: “The departure of Bell, as unfortunate as it is, should be a signal to SiriusXM.  The company has a compelling product, great content, and great potential, but in some ways has lost the edge that it once had.  The frustrations of Bell can be heard on other channels as well.  Opie & Anthony, Howard Stern, Jay Thomas, and others have all at times expressed a great deal of frustration.  In some ways, the complaints of on air personalities ring back to the old FM days of terrestrial radio, a path that many consumers and on air personalities could not wait to get away from.”

millerstephanieMichael Medved and Stephanie Miller to Debate in Chicago.  WYD Media Management syndicated progressive talk host Stephanie Miller – based out of KTLK, Los Angeles – and KTTH, Seattle-based Salem Radio Networkmedvedmichael syndicated personality Michael Medved will meet in the Windy City for a debate of the hot issues of the day on Thursday at The Meadows Club in Rolling Meadows, Illinois.   The event is titled “The Great Debate 3” and will be moderated by WGN-TV political analyst Paul Lisnek.  Medved is heard in the market on Salem O&O WIND “AM 560 The Answer” and Miller’s show is carried on WCPT.  Issues debated will include: Will the Affordable Care Act be fully implemented or repealed?  Which is the bigger threat to American prosperity: big business or big government?  Is it constitutional for the NSA to spy on foreign leaders or the American people?

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Sports Talker Dan Sileo Fired from WMEN, West Palm Beach for Tweet.  Yesterday TALKERS magazine reported that Florida sports talk host Dan Sileo – who previously worked for WDAE, Tampa and WQAM, Miami prior to joining WMEN  “640 Sports” – Tweeted that he’d pay $1,000 to whichever player “took out” Florida State player Devonta Freeman because he felt Freeman was disrespecting his alma mater Miami during Florida State’s crushing win over the Hurricanes.  He then deleted the Tweet and apologized but that wasn’t enough for James Crystal Radio which let him go on Monday.  Sileo wrote on his Facebook page: “I want to first start this letter off by saying…We thank 640 AM SPORTS for having us on the station the last few months…was VERY COOL!!….With that…640 and myself are parting ways over a TWEET I made about an FSU player who I thought was DISRESPECTING the UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI…It was a moment of emotion when I said I would like to pay $1,000 for anybody to take him out…..NOW….I NEVER thought ANYBODY would take that serious but they have…a MOUNTAIN of BACKLASH has come against 640 and my family…There are NOW DEATH THREATS against me and my family and I have hired a private COP to protect US….So we UNDERSTAND that some of U took my comment serious…..AGAIN….Was just an EX Player saying a feeling that was wrong….To FSU…we APOLOGIZE…NO WAY would I ever want a kid hurt…..GOOD LUCK TO 640 AND THE CANES!”

sternhowardJimmy Kimmel to Host Howard Stern Birthday Bash on SiriusXM.  The satcaster says that for the first time on satellite radio the infamous Howard Stern Birthday Bash show will be heard on the evening of January 31, 2014 tokimmeljimmy commemorate Stern’s 60th birthday.  Jimmy Kimmel is expected to host the live broadcast from a major New York venue with an audience of VIPs and fans.  As he loves to do, Stern will reveal more about the show – including VIP guests, performers and the special location – over the next few months on his SiriusXM show.  Stern says, “With this birthday bash, we are finally one step closer to making my birthday the national holiday it deserves to be.”  Kimmel adds, “I am honored and excited to take part in a celebration of the life of my friend and hero Howard Stern.  This should be the best BaBa-birthday party ever.”

libertymedia logoLiberty Media Reports SiriusXM Q3 Financials: Revenue Up 11%.  Although Liberty Media acquired a controlling interest of SiriusXM in January of this year, Liberty is reporting the satcaster’s financial numbers separately because it “believes the presentation of financial results as reported by SiriusXM is useful to investors as the comparability of those results are best understood in the context of SiriusXM’s historical financial presentation.”  Highlights of SiriusXM’s earnings include: record revenue of $962 million, up 11% from third quarter of 2012; net income of $63 million; adjusted EBITDA grew 21% to a record $296 million; the company repurchased $1.6 billion in shares from January 1 through September 30, 2013.  Initial 2014 guidance is: revenue of over $4 billion and adjusted EBITDA of approximately $1.38 billion.

kassanmichaelMichael Kassan Media-Focused Feature to Begin on WOR, New York.  The Clear Channel news/talk outlet announces that “Medialinked — Inside Advertising and Media with Michael Kassan” debuts today.  The company says the new show offering industry reports from the highly influential business and media strategist will also be available on iHeartRadio and at wor710.com.  Kassan, who is founder, chairman and CEO of MediaLink and also serves as special advisor to CC chairman Bob Pittman, will provide a daily inside look at the advertising and media worlds featuring exclusive interviews with his personally selected list of major media and advertising figures as well as commentary on significant industry topics.  Special features will also include Kassan’s expert analysis and reports on key industry events including Ad Week, Association of National Advertisers (ANA), American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAA), Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and more.  Clear Channel New York market president Joe Puglise says, “Michael Kassan is an internationally recognized media specialist and his expert opinion will provide WOR listeners inside analysis of the media and advertising industry.  His passion and enthusiasm for the industry will resonate well with WOR listeners and provide an avenue for partners and advertisers to engage in the conversation.”

martinroland newsonenowbig‘News One Now with Roland Martin’ Debuts.  Radio One’s radio and television project featuring former CNN star Roland Martin debuted on Monday.  “News One Now with Roland Martin” is a three-hour radio show being syndicated by Radio One in which the third hour of the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm daily program is simulcast on the company’s TV One cable channel.  On the program’s premiere, Martin discussed topics including the controversial death of Kendrick Johnson; the Detroit mayoral race; Africa’s economic boom as well as spoke with Radio One and TV One CEO Alfred Liggins about minority ownership in the media.  Martin told the Houston Chronicle’s David Barron that this program, especially on the TV side, will bring important black Americans into the media to talk about today’s issues.  “This is a chance for us to show the breadth and depth of black America.  When was the last time you saw a black economist talking on television?  Other than Colin Powell, when was the last time you saw a black general talking about the military?  We can showcase that talent.”

bellaviadavidDavid Bellavia’s Stint at WBEN Buffaloed by Employer.  Last month Entercom announced that frequent fill-in and weekend talk show host David Bellavia was being given his own late night talk show – airing from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am – on news/talk WBEN.  Now, after just two weeks hosting the program, Bellavia has had to step down from the show after his full-time employer objected to his taking the position.  Not only will Bellavia not host his own daily program, he’s apparently not working for WBEN at all, including as the go-to fill-in personality for Sandy Beach and Tom Bauerle when they are away, which he had been doing in the recent past.  Reports from Buffalo indicate that Bellavia’s employer had a change of heart about his work with WBEN.  Michael Caputo is filling in for Sandy Beach and the station is running “Best of” programming in the late night slot.

ObamaCare Criticisms, 2014 and 2016 Elections, Virginia Governor Race, Dolphins Suspend Player for Misconduct, and New Jersey Mall Scare Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/4).  The ongoing scrutiny of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act; speculation about the GOP’s prospects in the 2014 mid-term elections and the 2016 presidential race; today’s Virginia governor contest, the suspension of a Miami Dolphins veteran over allegations of misconduct toward another rookie teammate; and the tensions caused by the suicide of a man at a New Jersey mall were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, August 2, 2013

| August 2, 2013

cclogoClear Channel Posts 2% Revenue Increase in Q2.  That’s for the Media and Entertainment division – the radio stations, Premiere Networks and Total Traffic Network – on revenue of $805.6 million for the second quarter of 2013 compared to the same period a year ago.  During yesterday’s investors’ conference call, chairman and CEO Bob Pittman spoke positively about the growth of iHeartRadio and SVP of investor relations Gregory Lundberg noted that it has 34 million registered users and that represents growth of 162% year-over-year.  Regarding the makeup of the company’s revenue, he stated, “National sales for the stations grew 5%, with local up 1%.  Excluding the impact of political advertising, in both quarters, national sales rose 7% and local was up 2%.  Our strongest performing ad categories remained financial services, retail and telecom.  Digital sales continue to grow in the double digits as we monetize our station’s online presence and keep growing iHeartRadio, where total listening hours were up to 36% in the second quarter.  We also saw good year-over-year growth at Premiere Networks.  Partially offsetting this growth rate were revenue declines in the traffic business from lost contracts and from lower sales resulting from integration activities.  Operating expenses increased $42 million or 9%, reflecting a $21 million expense credit from one of our performance rights organizations, which we received in the second quarter of last year.”  He stated pacing for the third quarter for the stations was up 3% and up 1% for the division as a whole.  Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the transcript.  Members can read it all here.

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xmradio logoClear Channel Sells Its SiriusXM Interests for $135.5 Million.  Way back in 1999 when XM Radio was gearing up its operations, Clear Channel was an initial investor putting in $83.1 million and getting the right to program some of the satcaster’s music and talk channels.  Now, CC sells its interest in the company for $135.5 million – the value of the stock – and that means most of the CC-programmed content will disappear from the XM Radio platform.  That’ll include some of the company’s music FMs such as hip hop WGCI, Chicago; country signal WSIX, Nashville and hot AC WLIT, Chicago.  But two of the CC-radio channels are expected to stay on the XM platform – WHTZ, New York and KIIS, Los Angeles.  It also means the talk radio channel on the XM platform will see talent like Glenn Beck, Bob & Tom, Todd Schnitt as well as Fox Sports Radio programming go away.

arbitronArbitron Reports Q2 Revenue Rises 2.9%.  As it prepares to be acquired by ratings giant Nielsen, Arbitron issues its 2013 second quarter financial reports and states that on revenue of $107.4 million dollars it is reporting net revenue of $7.1 million or $0.26 per share.  The cost of the potential Nielsen deal ate into the company’s earnings before interest and income tax expense (EBIT) as it shelled out $6.1 million during the quarter in preparation for the acquisition.  President and CEO Sean Creamer states, “In the second quarter, we maintained focus on our long-term priorities: investing in and growing our core radio services, evaluating and implementing quality initiatives to enhance the value and utility of our offerings, and exploring emerging opportunities with an emphasis on those that allow us to highlight the power and advantages of radio.  As the media and advertising marketplaces continue to evolve and new technologies permit consumers to consume content virtually anytime and anywhere, it is important we keep pace with these changes to ensure radio gets full credit for its audience – regardless of the delivery platform.  Radio is growing and vibrant – and we are committed to helping the radio industry tell and validate its complete and compelling story.”

sabowalterThe Job of the Program Director in Five Years.  According to noted consultant and TALKERS columnist Walter Sabo, if you want to know which way the job of PD is heading in radio, just take a look at what has happened to the same titled position at television stations.  In a new column posted today (8/2) Sabo writes “As more on-air content decisions are made at the corporate level and delivered from a central source, the program director job will morph to meet the demands of the tasks that must be completed.  Smart companies will evolve the position to one that has been desperately needed: ‘Program and Public Relations Director.’”  Sabo goes on to list other combinations of tasks and responsibilities that will be added to the title “Program Director” on the radio station level.  To read his entire column, please click here.

kbme logoKBME, Houston Ousts Adam Wexler and Matt Jackson from AM Drive; Adds Fox Sports Radio’s Jay Mohr to Middays.  In a realignment of programming at Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s sports talk KBME, Houston, Adam Wexler and Matt Jackson have been let go from the station and their morning drive gig and Lance Zierlein and Adam Clanton take over the AM show.  Zierlein co-hosted the afternoon show with Charlie Pallilo but, as the Houston Chronicle notes, had also worked on the morning drive show alongside Wexler and Jackson in the past.  Adam Clanton has hosted sports talk radio in the market at CBS Radio’s crosstown KILT as well as having worked at KPRC-TV.  The addition of Fox Sports Radio’s nationally syndicated Jay Mohr to the lineup from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm forces some other changes.  Greg Koch and N.D. Kalu now air from 9:00 am to 11:00 am; Charlie Pallilo hosts solo from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm; and Matt Thomas is on the air from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

radioshow2013Michael Harrison to Speak at NAB Radio Show.  In what promises to be a riveting and inspirational hour, TALKERS and RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison will address the forthcoming NAB Radio Show in Orlando (September 18-20) on “Radio’s Evolving Role in Popular Culture.”  Harrison, fresh off a rousing keynote speech at the Conclave, will further elaborate on the theme of the challenges facingharrisonmichael radio in its quest to remain societally iconic in the digital age of the 21st century at a specially scheduled Info-Session sponsored by TALKERS.  Harrison says that for radio to remain competitive with all the emerging “exotic” competition of this “wildly new era,” it must maintain “ownership” of the scenes it addresses whether they are music, politics, news, sports or any other expression of the human condition.  He says radio should maintain a foreground, active position that protects it from being marginalized as a passive delivery system and discusses options and opportunities to carry out the mission.  (To see a brief clip of Michael Harrison’s Conclave keynote speech addressing these subjects please click here.  The full speech will be posted to both RadioInfoTV and TalkersTV shortly, stay tuned.)  Consultant Holland Cooke introduces this popular annual NAB Radio Show session featuring the venerable programmer, air personality, entrepreneur and trade magazine publisher who has been accurately describing radio and popular media’s road ahead for the past 45 years.  The Info-Session is scheduled on Thursday, September 19 between 1:30 pm and 2:30 pm and is open to all attendees of the NAB Radio Show.

davisbobClear Channel Makes Morning Changes at KTCN, Minneapolis.  Morning drive talk show host Bob Davis and Clear Channel Minneapolis part company and the station fills the morning drive slot with former evening hosts Jack Tomczak and Ben Kruse, at least for now.  Bob Davis had been paired up with Tom Emmer for mornings but Emmer exited the station in June to make a run for the congressional seat being vacated by Michele Bachmann.  Davis made national news when, during a discussion about gun control, he said on the air he would tell the Newtown families to “go to hell” for their role in shaping the gun debate.  He later apologized for the tenor of his comments.

radiatemedia logoRadiate Media Promotes Ivan Shulman to President.  Seven months after joining Radiate Media as executive vice president of sales and chief revenue officer, the company promotes Ivan Shulman to president.  CEO Chris Rothey states, “Ivan has a deep shulmanivanbackground in sales, marketing and media, and his leadership experience makes him a great fit for us.  Since joining us in November of 2012, we have experienced quarter-over-quarter revenue growth, including the launch of Radiate360 – our integrated marketing platform to drive hyper-local business.  Ivan will continue to lead that initiative as well as overseeing the day-to -day activities of our broadcast radio, TV and digital lines of business.”  The company is bullish on its new product Radiate360 which it describes as “an easy-to-use, online platform that empowers businesses to expand their reach and connect with their customers.  With Radiate360’s revolutionary suite of tools, businesses can establish an online presence, engage customers through social and mobile media, and promote to the local audience that matters most.”  Shulman says of his promotion, “I joined Radiate because I was excited about future opportunities.  Our growth on both the broadcast and digital side has been phenomenal and I look forward to working with broadcasters to help bridge the gap between digital and traditional media.”

sileodanDan Sileo Takes Over Midday Program at WMEN, West Palm Beach.  Florida sports talk personality Dan Sileo – most recently midday host at WQAM, Miami – moves into the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm slot at JCE Licenses’ WMEN, West Palm Beach “640 Sports” effective Tuesday, August 6.  Sileo – who worked for years at WDAE, Tampa prior to his stint with WQAM – is filling in for Travis Rodgers on KLAA, Los Angeles today and on August 5.  Sileo is, by his own admission, an edgy personality whose willingness to push the envelope has gotten him fired from his last two radio gigs.  He maintains he achieved excellent ratings while with Clear Channel at WDAE and that the station pulled in a lot of revenue from his program.

deggansericEric Deggans to Leave the Tampa Bay Times for Gig at NPR.  Journalist Eric Deggans has covered first music, then media for the Tampa Bay Times for the past 18 years.  Now, he exits the Times to become a TV critic and correspondent for NPR News.  Deggans has been a contributor to NPR in the past but joins the organization full time.  He states in a press release, “For many years, I have been a fan of NPR’s super-smart journalism and I often fantasized of what it might be like to join their ranks as a contributor.  A position like this one is beyond my wildest dreams; I’m honored and excited by the opportunity to help shape NPR’s coverage of television and pop culture.”  Deggans has been an excellent reporter covering the Tampa Bay media scene over the years but also could be viewed as a polarizing writer.  He’s been a critic of talk radio on a number of levels as indicated in his recent book Race-Baiter: How the Media Wields Dangerous Words to Divide a Nation (Palgrave Macmillan 2012).  Photo by Carrie Pratt.

jacksonkevinOdds & Sods.  Dial Global announces it has signed an exclusive terrestrial, three-season deal with London-based talkSPORT to broadcast live coverage of Barclays Premier League, FA Cup and Capital One Cup.  The partnership includes play-by-play commentary of nearly 400 soccer matches per year, in both English and Spanish…..  “The Black Sphere” talk show host Kevin Jackson joins the advisory board of the Steamboat Institute, an institution that “defends freedom and advocates for liberty.”  Jackson says, “Witnessing the progress of the organization first hand, I am overjoyed to be part of the advisory board and play a role in the future direction of the Steamboat Institute, an organization that will undoubtedly mold political discussions and policy in the future.”

gillemdennyTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Update.  Statewide syndicated sports talk host Bill Michaels is added to the lineup at WOZN, Madison, Wisconsin…..Kevin Jackson’s “Black Sphere Radio” show is now airing on WEZO, Augusta, Georgia…..Talk Media Network announces affiliate additions for three of its programs: “Fat Guys At The Movies with Kevin Carr & Kristin Dreyer Kramer” joins WKVL, Knoxville; “The Financial Fitness Show with Chip Cummings & Tony Rubleski” is added to WRSB, Rochester, New York; and “Frontlines of Freedom with Lt. Col. Denny Gillem” joins the lineup at WZFG, Fargo.

ObamaCare Implementation Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of July 29 – August 2.  The implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the cost of the program was the top news/talk topic during the week.  Following at #2 was the Anthony Weiner sexting case and the political fallout.  At #3 was the 2016 presidential race followed by the Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity contracts flap at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio 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 1, 2013

| July 1, 2013

emmisEmmis Delivers “Really Fun” Q1 Earnings Report.  With net revenue up 6% in Emmis’ fiscal Q1, CEO Jeff Smulyan was positively giddy during Friday’s investor’s conference call.  The company reported net revenue of $36.9 million andsmulyanjeff operating income up 536% from $1.1 million to $7 million.  Smulyan said, “More than that, our markets were up 5% and I haven’t seen markets up 5% in the American radio industry in quite some time.  So we think it bodes well.  We are thrilled.  We think it bodes well not only for the company, but for the industry.”  Smulyan was eager to talk about the FM receivers in cell phones project he’s championed and is very excited about where the project stands right now, especially with the support from the broadcasting industry, stating, “From the very largest broadcasters to the very smallest, support has been nearly unanimous.  I think I had one broadcaster in the top 75 group that said I don’t want to support this and I personally talked to probably 60 to 65 of those groups.  The support has been remarkable.  It’s been very gratifying.  I think we are on the verge of a game-changing event in this industry.  I can’t announce specific times, but stay tuned, we will be able to announce industry support and then as we are done with our contractual arrangements, we will be able to announce when all this comes together.  But the first step in that process is coming together, which we now have clearly demonstrated that we’ve done.”

cochransteveSteve Cochran Exits Salem’s WIND, Chicago.  Chicago Media writer Robert Feder tips us that longtime Windy City talk radio personality Steve Cochran has exited Salem Communications’ WIND, Chicago with both sides agreeing not to renew his contract.  Cochran currently also hosts the daily 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show at KTRS, St. Louis from Chicago.  Feder speculates that it wouldn’t be surprising to see Cochran appear on WGN, Chicago as the Tribune news/talk station is in re-tooling mode.  The station recently ousted late night host Turi Ryder and expanded the evening sports talk show hosted by David Kaplan to 7:00 pm to 12:00 midnight.  It also cut “The Noon Show” hosted by Carol Roth.  Cochran was on the air at WGN for 10 years prior to being let go in 2010.

millerchrisDigital Media Expert Chris Miller: “Come up with a plan!”  Noted radio industry digital media consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller says one of the questions he is asked most often by businesses of all types trying to make sense of their place in social media is, “What’s the return on investment?”  The more honest statement he hears is, “I know I need to be doing more with social media, but I don’t know what I should do.”  Miller states, “I see social media and content marketing make the needle move for businesses, but there’s one thing you have to do before you’ll see results with it: do it correctly.”   In a new column posted today (7/1) Miller writes, “The first step in doing it correctly is to come up with a plan.”  He offers four steps to help you create your new, effective social media strategy, especially designed for radio stations. They include 1) stating with your “measurables,” 2) determining who you are, 3) putting your plan into action, and 4) communicating and evaluating.  To read all the details, please click here.

mancowMancow Muller to Co-Star in History Channel Reality Show.  TRN-FM’s Erich “Mancow” Muller will co-star with his brother Mark Muller in the History Channel’s new series, “God, Guns and Automobiles” premiering Mondayhistory channel logo July 8.  The show is described as “an American reality show revolving around the Muller families and an auto dealership named Max Motors. Located in the tiny rural town of Butler, Missouri, Mark Muller makes car deals the old fashioned way.  No trade or sales stunt, no matter how outrageous or controversial, is off the table if it can help him compete against the big city dealers.  Nationally syndicated radio host Mancow Muller is his business partner, and he joins the show with an oddball staff that works the deals.  The Muller’s take pride in Max Motors as the embodiment of the values and spirit of the heartland of America.”

corcoranjcJC Corcoran to Host Late Morning Show on KFNS, St. Louis.  In a story obviously related to last Friday’s TALKERS report about KFNS, St. Louis morphing from sports to guy talk, longtime St. Louis radio personality JC Corcoran – who left the market in March to host the morning drive show at Clear Channel’s classic rock KKRW, Houston “93.7 The Arrow” – will begin hosting the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon show on KFNS on July 8.  Corcoran will follow Tampa-based Bubba the Love Sponge when that show starts clearing on the station.  Corcoran tells the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he’ll do the show from Houston but eventually plans to have a St. Louis-based co-host.  He jokes to TALKERS, “And this time they can’t run me out of town ‘cuz I’m already gone!”

feinburgtoddBoston Talk Host Todd Feinburg Subs on WBZ-AM.  Longtime Boston morning host Todd Feinburg tries his hand at hosting evenings this week as he fills in on CBS Radio’s WBZ-AM, Boston “Newsradio 1030.”  Feinburg sits in Monday through Wednesday from 8:00 pm to 12:00 midnight for Dan Rea.  Feinburg recently parted company with Entercom news/talk WRKO after nearly 10 years at the Boston talker.  He can be reached at todd@toddtalk.com.

ktaram logoBonneville’s KTAR-AM, Phoenix Adds Dan Bickley to Middays; Debuts Live and Local Morning Show.  Bonneville-owned sports talk outlet “Arizona Sports 620” (KTAR-AM) in Phoenix announced additions to its program schedule with the hiring of AZCentral sports columnist and longtime sports radio host Dan Bickley to the midday show beginning July 29.  Bickley will be partnered with Vince Marotta for the 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm program.  Additionally, the station announces the return of Doug Franz and Ron Wolfley to morning drive, moving Dave Burns and John Gambadoro to the afternoons.  Bonneville Arizona vice president and market manager Scott Sutherland states, “It doesn’t get much bigger than adding the highest profile local sports media personality in Arizona to our already powerhouse team of dynamic hosts and insiders.  It’s also a momentous day for the ‘Arizona Sports’ brand as we’re ecstatic to once again offer Phoenix the only live-and-local sports morning show in the market.”

sileodanDan Sileo Subs on WMEN, West Palm Beach.  Sports talk host Dan Sileo sits in for Orlando Alzugary in the afternoon drive slot this week on JCE Licenses LLC’s WMEN, Royal Palm Beach (West Palm Beach market).  Sileo – who worked for years at Clear Channel’s WDAE, Tampa – most recently did an 11-month stint at Beasley Broadcasting’s WQAM.  He notes that he was fired from his last two gigs for controversial statements he made on the air and tells TALKERS, “I’m very excited about the chance to see if I can make it a week without getting fired.”

cclogoClear Channel Spent $1.17 Million on Lobbying in 2013 Q1.  The blog RadioSurvivor tips TALKERS to the fact that Clear Channel’s lobbying tally for the first quarter of 2013 hit $1.17 million as reported in a U.S. House of Representatives disclosure form.  According to the report, CC’s lobbying focused on: “Congressional oversight and legislative proposals regarding the Federal Communications Commission proceedings on broadcast localism MM docket #04-233;  Congressional oversight and legislative proposals regarding the Federal Communications Commission proceeding on local radio ownership rules – MM docket #09-182; Congressional oversight and legislative proposals regarding broadcast decency enforcement; Congressional oversight and legislative proposals regarding tax incentives and loan guarantees to encourage diversity of ownership of telecommunications businesses. H. Con. Res. 16 / S. Con. Res. 6;  ‘Supporting Local Radio Freedom Act,’ all provisions; Congressional oversight and legislative proposals regarding low power FM stations; Congressional oversight and legislative proposals regarding privacy; and Congressional oversight and proposals regarding emergency communications systems as pertaining to EAS and FCC oversight.

istookernestOdds & Sods.  The Fourth of July holiday week provides a number of fill-in opportunities.  Former congressman and talk radio personality Ernest Istook will sit in for Cumulus Media NetworksEric Harley and Gary McNamara who host the “Red Eye Radio” overnight program on Friday, July 5…..Program director Gregg Henson begins hosting a nightly 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm show called “Pittsburgh Sports Night” on Clear Channel‘s news/talk WPGB-FM, Pittsburgh.  Thehensongregg station’s website bills it as a show featuring “the best sports personalities in Pittsburgh, like Mark Madden, Tim Benz, Stan Savran, David Todd and Mike Prisuta…..NRG Media’s KOZN, Omaha secures a three-year deal to air the radio play-by-play for Creighton Men’s basketball as the school transitions to the Big East Conference.  NRG Omaha market manager and KOZN GM Andy Ruback states, “It’s just tremendous to earn the rights as the exclusive partner for Creighton Men’s Basketball. It’s an honor for ‘The Zone’ to serve our listeners, advertisers and Creighton with this winning program.”…..Clear Channel‘s WDAY-AM, Fargo inks a new three-year deal with the University of North Dakota to air the school’s football and men’s hockey games along with other sports play-by-play and associated programming beginning in August…..WZUS, Decatur, Illinois “Talk 101 FM” talk show host Tara Nickerson is honored with the Silver Dome for Medium Market Personality of the Year by the Illinois Broadcasters Association.  She hosts the 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm “Daily Wrap” program.

barberrickLongtime Denver Talk Show host Rick Barber Dies at 67.  The family of Rick Barber – who hosted the overnight show on Clear Channel’s KOA, Denver for 30 years – announces Barber passed away due to complications from ALS.  The family writes to Westword that, after a radio career that began while in the Army in the 1960s, “Barber came back to Denver in 1982 and took a seat in the overnight chair on KOA.  Rick also did television in the Denver market, as well.  ‘The Rick Barber Show’ aired for an unprecedented thirty years.  Rick’s final show on 850 KOA was in early 2012.  ‘He was a facilitator of topics and education — that’s what his show was all about. He always considered his show a radio magazine, and not just a talk show. Dad loved his listeners,’ said son Ian Barber.  In his final interview, Rick Barber talked about his time on the air.  ‘My footprint should be somebody who made you laugh, made you feel comfortable, made you feel good.  That’s how I want to be remembered.  I want them [the audience] to think of me as the guy who did it my way.  Including going out: my way.’”

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

| May 29, 2012

Mark Davis Back to Talk Host Duties in Big D on Salem’s KSKY.  Longtime Dallas media personality Mark Davis returns to the radio in the market on Salem Communications’ KSKY in the 7:00 am to 10:00 am time slot.  Davis, a Dallas Morning News columnist and television political commentator, exited Cumulus Media’s crosstown WBAP after 18 years in April when the two sides could not agree to a contract extension.  Now, Davis will follow Salem Radio Network’s Bill Bennett who airs on KSKY from 5:00 am to 7:00 am.  Salem Communications vice president and director of spoken word format Phil Boyce is also re-branding KSKY “The Answer” as he’s done with KRLA, Los Angeles; KTIE, Riverside/San Bernardino; and WNYM, New York.  Boyce states, “Adding an industry icon like Mark Davis, and re-branding the station as ‘The Answer’ will help take KSKY to the next level.  This station will truly be an answer for so many things going on in the metroplex and the world, with smart hosts who know how to help you understand all of those things, not to mention great news, traffic, weather and information.”  Davis begins his new position on Monday, June 4 and he says, “There’s been a lot of attention paid to talk radio lately, about whether companies and stations are losing the commitment to local shows where a bond can build over the years with listeners.  I love seeing the evidence that there is a company and a station looking to grow, rather than shrink that concept, and I am proud to be a part of it.”

Sid Rosenberg to Return to the Air in South Florida.  Mercurial sports talk host Sid Rosenberg appears headed for a new gig at James Crystal Radio’s WMEN, West Palm Beach (licensed to Royal Palm Beach) according to a recent report in the Miami Herald.  Rosenberg most recently hosted the afternoon drive show at Beasley’s WQAM, Miami but exited that position after a well-publicized DUI arrest.  WMEN general manager Steve Lapa tells the Herald he expects WQAM to let Rosenberg out of his contract that runs through August – in exchange for financial concessions – and allow him to start with the station sooner rather than later but that WMEN would be willing to wait if necessary.  Lapa says Rosenberg is “a talented guy and he wants to work” and after meeting with him has no reservations about Rosenberg’s past issues with drink, drugs and gambling.  Where Rosenberg would fit into the schedule has not been announced.  The station is currently live and local from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm with Chris Perkins in AM drive, Troy Stradford in late mornings, Andy Slater in middays and Orlando Alzugaray in PM drive.

KFI, Los Angeles Engineer Tony Dinkel Exits as Position Eliminated.  He was just a day shy of his 29th anniversary at Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s KFI, Los Angeles when he was notified his position as transmitter site broadcast engineer was being eliminated, but Tony Dinkel has nothing but fond memories of his time with the station.  The 57-year-old engineer tells the Orange County Register’s Gary Lycan he’ll always remember all the great people he worked with at the station.  Dinkel also served as the remote engineer and station staffers praised Dinkel’s ability to get remote broadcasts off without a hitch.  Read more about Dinkel’s time with KFI in Lycan’s column here.

Cumulus Media’s Atlanta All-Newser Debuts Today.  All News 106.7 – the new news outlet Cumulus Media is putting on the air in Altanta – debuts today with a special radio documentary about the news business in Atlanta.  The program will repeat for most of the day and the actual all-news format should be live and running after that.  Cumulus made the decision to remove classic hits from WYAY-FM, Gainesville, Georgia more than a month ago and the station will be the first all-news outlet to serve Atlanta since WCNN back in the late 1990s.

Cox Media Drops Sports/Talk Hybrid “Bulldog 103.7”; Debuts Variety Hits Format.  The FM sports and news/talk station that was home to talk-host-turned-Congressional-candidate Martha Zoller – WXKT-FM, Gainesville, Georgia (licensed to Maysville) – becomes a variety hits music station dubbed “Chuck FM.”  The station morphed into “Bulldog 103.7” last fall featuring a combination of sports talk and news/talk.  Gainesville-based talk host Martha Zoller held down the late morning show until her recent exit from the business to run for the open seat in the newly created Georgia congressional district.

WTOP, Washington Names “Commuter Idle” Contest Winner.  Hubbard Broadcasting’s WTOP, Washington held a contest to find – and reward – the person in the DC area with the worst commute.  And the winner – with a 100 mile, five-hour daily commute to and from work – is Brenda Wells from Sparrow’s Point, Maryland.  WTOP states Wells’ commute “begins at 3:00 am and her commute includes a 45-minute drive (complete with two tolls), a 50-minute train ride, two metro rides, a short walk and a metro bus ride.  Wells is a federal worker with the Department of State in the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, where she assigns special agents to the consulates and embassies around the world.  She is a single mother of three and lives with her parents in Baltimore for financial and child care reasons.”  Wells wins $1,000 in gas money and a future limo ride to and from work courtesy of Reston Limousine.  WTOP program director Laurie Cantillo says, “As the DC area’s #1 traffic authority, we feel our commuters’ pain.  We received hundreds of incredible stories from listeners who cope with crazy commutes just to make ends meet, and crowning a ‘winner’ was a challenge.  Brenda’s multi-faceted commute, the long distance, and the impact on her family are what put her over the top.”

Odds ‘n’ Sods.  Legendary Southern California media personality Charlie Tuna – currently spinning classic hits at K-Earth 101 in Los Angeles – is named the new station voice of KDOC-TV, Los Angeles…..Sports USA announces the first part of the slate of National Football League games it will be offering to stations for the 2012 season beginning with the New England Patriots at the Tennessee Titans on September 9.  Sports USA says it will announce more NFL play-by-play approximately three weeks ahead of each week’s games…..The Nick Carioti real estate, money and business weekly radio talk show prepares to celebrate its one-year anniversary on Star Over Orlando’s WEUS, Orlando in July…..Performance Racing Network’s Wendy Venturini made history this weekend as the first woman to lead a NASCAR radio broadcast at the Charlotte Speedway’s History 300 on 5/26.  PRN paired her with Doug Rice in the radio booth for Saturday’s race.