Tag: "WPG"

Monday, June 24, 2019

| June 24, 2019

Big Changes at KNBR, San Francisco as Gary Radnich and Bob Fitzgerald Exit. Sports talk fans in the Bay Area are shocked by the unexpected tweet from KNBR, San Francisco personality Gary Radnich in which the 27-year station host announced he’s retiring immediately.  He wrote, “Plan was to retire at the end of the year but with my 70th birthday ahead it makes sense now. Thank you audience for 36 years of TV-Radio!”  Radnich has been partnered with Larry Krueger in middays. There’s considerable scuttlebutt in the Bay Area as to whether the sudden retirement was really Radnich being forced out by station owner Cumulus Media.  The announcement comes on the heels of a report in The Athletic that Bay Area sports personality Greg Papa is exiting Entercom’s crosstown KGMZ-FM “95.7 The Game” for an on-air position with KNBR (he’d also handle radio play-by-play for 49ers games).  For what it’s worth, The Athletic writes that Radnich was “let go.”  Shortly after the Radnich news hit, we learned that KNBR also is parting ways with Bob Fitzgerald, who co-hosted the “Fitz and Brooks” show with Rod Brooks.  It appears Brooks will continue hosting the show solo.

Drew Horowitz to Retire from Hubbard Radio.  At the end of 2019, radio executive Drew Horowitz will retire from his president and COO position with Hubbard Radio.  Horowitz has been with the company since it acquired Chicago stations (and clusters in three other markets) from Bonneville in 2011. Chicago media maven Robert Feder broke the news today.  Horowitz says he’ll take some time off after December “and explore other opportunities, including serving on corporate boards, teaching, and taking classes.”  Horowitz began his sales career with WFYR-FM, Chicago in 1976.  During his career he served as chief of Lakeshore Communications, GSM at WCLR (now WTMX) including 19 years with Bonneville.  In a memo to Hubbard staffers, chair and CEO Ginny Morris says, “Drew came to Hubbard Radio as a part of our transformational acquisition of four Bonneville markets in 2011.  Since that time, Drew has been instrumental in helping us further grow the company as we added clusters in Phoenix and Seattle, bolstered our cluster in St. Louis and most recently, acquired our operations in West Palm Beach.”

Monday Memo: Retire ‘Trivia.’ In this week’s edition of the Monday Memo, consultant Holland Cooke recommends that you DO call-in questions that ask listeners to think, but that you DON’T call it “Trivia,” for four reasons.  See what those reasons are here.

TALKERS News Notes. Veteran Philadelphia and New Jersey broadcaster Gary R’nel, guest-hosted last night (6/23) for Walter M. Sterling on the Westwood One syndicated “Sterling on Sunday” show…..Also from Philadelphia, several reports out of that city indicate that the KYW-AM air staff represented by SAG-AFTRA and Entercom have agreed to terms on a new contract for the on-air employees at the all-news station.  The KYW staffers had been working without a contract for the past eight months…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reminds us that Windy City radio legend Garry Meier, who is currently producing his own podcast, is sitting in on Cumulus Media’s WLS-AM all this week for morning drive personality Mancow Muller…..The most recent episode of the “Opie Radio” podcast from Gregg “Opie” Hughes is titled “R.I.P” in which Hughes says his deal with Westwood One for the podcast is ending.  He says he intends to keep producing the podcast…..Westwood One News manager John Stolnis is pictured at right accepting the Society of Professional Journalists’ Sigma Delta Chi Award won by the news staff for breaking news coverage of last year’s Parkland Florida School shooting.  The awards dinner was held Friday night at the National Press Club in Washington, DC…..Entercom’s WSCR, Chicago “The Score” announces the inaugural “McNeil and Parkins Charity Golf Outing” (named for afternoon drive duo Dan McNeil and Danny Parkins) taking place on August 5 at Seven Bridges Golf Club in Woodridge, Illinois to benefit Turning Pointe Autism Foundation.  Entercom Chicago SVP and market manager Jimmy de Castro says, “We’re very excited to launch the inaugural ‘McNeil and Parkins Charity Golf Outing’ and to raise money for a fantastic organization like Turning Pointe. It should be a great day of golfing with ‘The Score’ talent and local sports celebrities.”…..Podcast producer Cadence13 launches the new program “Hacks on Tap,” a weekly podcast hosted by longtime campaign strategists and friends David Axelrod, chief strategist for Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns, and Mike Murphy, a veteran political consultant for Senator John McCain’s presidential campaign and many others.  The two take listeners behind the scenes of top-level American politics and campaigns, offering their insider perspectives and analyses on the state of American politics in the lead up to the 2020 presidential election.

PPM Analysis: Public News/Talk RadioTALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s May 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on public radio news/talk.  Big gainers from April to May are KNPR, Las Vegas (+1.2); KXJZ, Sacramento; KCUR, Kansas City; and WPLN, Nashville – all up 1.0 share.  Both KNPR and KCUR realized big year-over-year weekly 6+ AQH share increased with KNPR rising 3.8 shares and KCUR going up 2.2 shares. Just three public radio news/talk stations ranked #1 in their markets in May: KUOW, Seattle; KPBS, San Diego; and KCFR, Denver.  See the whole report here.

The Harry Hurley Charity Juggernaut Keeps Rolling.  WPG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley’s “Hurley in the Morning” 12th Annual Charity Golf Open held this past Friday (6/21) at the Harbor Pines Golf Club was a huge success.  The event, in conjunction with Hurley’s 11th Annual Charity Dinner at Resorts Casino Hotel (with Fox News personality Todd Starnes) held earlier this year, has raised a record $100,000 thus far in 2019 and has surpassed $900,000 over the past 12 years.  Hurley, a former TALKERS “Humanitarian of the Year” recipient recently named the New Jersey Broadcasters Association “Broadcaster of the Year” for 2019, distributes the funds raised by his charity to worthy causes throughout New Jersey, the Northeast and across the nation.

Partying with Howie Carr.  The two photos here are from the annual Summer Kick-off Party for affiliates, sponsors and industry friends of “The Howie Carr Show.” Howie and Kathy Carr held their annual get-together at their Boston-area home this past Friday evening (6/21).  Above are Howie Carr (left) and TALKERS founder Michael Harrison (right). Below are (from l-r): Yappy Days author, Bernadette Duncan; “Howie Carr Show” producer and on-air personality Grace Curley; and WBSM, New Bedford, morning host Phil Paleologos.

Steve Austin’s New Podcast Tops 1 Million Downloads. Returning from a six-month hiatus, Steve Austin’s latest podcast episode on PodcastOne gets more than 1 million downloads.  PodcastOne founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz says, “Since January, we’ve been running Steve’s classic podcasts from the last five years.  There is no substitute for original content from the ‘global icon and national treasure,’ Steve Austin.  He hits the ground running and is reaching his biggest audience ever.  Welcome home, Steve.”

Three Named to Broadcasters Foundation of America Board of Directors. The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces it has elected John David, senior advisor to the National Association of Broadcasters; Jinny Laderer, co-founder and CEO of vCreative; and Deborah Roberts, award-winning ABC News correspondent for “20/20,” “Nightline,” “Good Morning America,” and “ABC World News Tonight with David Muir,” to its board of directors.   BFoA chairman Dan Mason says, “John, Jinny, and Deborah are industry leaders who have exemplified the Foundation’s philosophy of ‘giving back’ through their tireless efforts to advance broadcasting and to support our charitable mission of helping colleagues in need.  It is with great pleasure that I welcome these highly respected professionals to our board of directors.”

Trump Calls Off Iran Strike, 2020 Presidential Race/Dem Primary Debates, Mayor Pete Town Hall, Immigration Policy/Deportation Ramp-Up, and Boris Johnson PM Bid Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The downing of a U.S. Air Force drone by Iran and President Trump’s calling off a retaliatory strike; the 2020 presidential race and this week’s TV debates between 20 of the Democratic candidates; presidential candidate and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg faces angry constituents over the police killing of a black man; the Trump Administration’s illegal immigration policy and the delay of a deportation program; and the call for British prime minister candidate Boris Johnson to explain a domestic incident in which police were called to his home 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. New York City hot AC WKTU has a new program director as Chris Conley – who also programs sister adult contemporary WLTW “106.7 LITE FM” – assumes the responsibilities.  Conley is also brand manager for AC for iHeartMedia…..In Los Angeles, Taxi License Corporation names Jamillah Muhammad operations manager for urban contemporary KJLH-FM.  She was most recently vice president for the marketing and management firm The Lewis-Kortez Group. She says, “I am extremely excited to join the KJLH family as the new operations manager.  With my passion for radio, serving the community, and improving brands, I know we can lead this heritage station to success.”…..On-air pro Carmine Gialanella moves up from his evening show shift at iHeartMedia’s CHR WLDI, West Palm Beach “WiLD 95.5” to afternoon drive. Market SVP of programming Rad Messick says, “Carmine’s the ultimate team player for ‘WiLD 95.5.’  His enthusiasm and commitment is second to none.  It’s a thrill to reward his performance with this well-deserved new afternoon opportunity.”…..Albany Broadcasting names Jeff Weber market manager for its six music-formatted stations in the Albany market.  Weber joins the company from Charleston, South Carolina where he was general sales manager for a two-FM combo.  Company COO Steve Borneman says, “Jeff has tremendous experience in radio and he has a local connection to Albany which makes him the perfect choice.  We’re thrilled to have him…..Cumulus Media is spending $250,000 in technology to boost the signal strength of Worcester market hot AC WXLO-FM (licensed to Fitchburg, Massachusetts) to reach into the adjacent Boston market.  Cumulus says, “Thanks to MaxxCasting, WXLO has the ability to bring its programming to as many as one million more listeners in the Boston area.”  Cumulus RVP Bob Goodell adds, “We’re excited that the 450,000-plus listeners who tune into ‘104.5 XLO’ on a weekly basis, many of whom commute in and out of the City of Boston, will now be able to hear the radio station on their entire commute.  MaxxCasting has also given us the opportunity to reach new listeners who live in the greater Boston area, giving us the opportunity to expand our footprint.”

Thursday, April 25, 2019

| April 25, 2019

Hubbard Radio’s All-News WTOP, Washington Takes 2018 Revenue Crown. The 2019 edition of the annual BIA Advisory Services Investing in Radio Market Report is released and accompanying that is the ranking of radio’s top revenue-earning stations from 2018. Once again, Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP, Washington was #1, earning $69 million in ad revenue.  As seen in the graphic above, iHeartMedia music-formatted stations in Los Angeles and New York take the next four slots.  But Entercom’s all-newsers in New York and Chicago – along with sports talk WFAN, New York – show their earning power consistency with return appearances at the same spots in the top 10.  One news/talk station – iHeartMedia’s KFI, Los Angeles – makes the list in the #10 spot as it did last year.  BIA notes that over-the-air advertising remained relatively flat at $13.3 billion (down 1.6% from $13.5 billion in 2017).  It was digital advertising platforms at local radio stations that saw revenue growth across the industry.   The report indicates digital income rose 8.1% to $923 million.  Putting over-the-air advertising together with digital revenue gave radio a 2018 revenue figure of $14.2 billion and, BIA says, “positioned radio as the fifth most significant local advertising platform, behind direct mail, mobile, online/digital, and local television.”  BIA Advisory Services SVP and chief economist Mark Fratrik states, “Although local radio stations are still important players in their markets and are managing to maintain their position in the top five advertising platforms, we do expect the OTA advertising revenue of U.S. radio stations to decrease this year by 1% to 2% and through the next few years.”  He adds that combined radio revenues will remain relatively flat for at least the next five years, while digital platforms will hit $1 billion by 2020.  See more about the report here.

PPM Analysis: Public Radio News/Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his analysis of the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s March 2019 PPM survey, today zeroing in on public radio news/talk. A slight dip in weekly 6+ AQH share affects the format as 53% of stations go down and just 38% see a ratings increase from the February 2019 to the March 2019 survey.  The same situation applies to the year-over-year comparison – 53% of stations saw their 6+ number decrease from the March 2018 survey. There were four public radio news/talk stations that ranked #1 in their respective markets in March: KQED, San Francisco; KUOW, Seattle; KPBS, San Diego; and KUT, Austin.  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

iHeartMedia Q1 Radio Biz Revenue Up 2.9%.  In a 10-Q filing with the Securities Exchange Commission, iHeartMedia releases financial data from the first quarter of 2019 that indicates the company’s radio and streaming revenue was $766 million, up almost 3% compared to the same period in 2018.  The company as a whole reports first quarter revenue of $1.38 billion, an increase of slightly less than 1% compared to the first quarter of 2018.  Consolidated operating income dropped from $60.9 million in Q1 2018 to $28.3 million this year due to impairment charges of $91.4 million.

SiriusXM First Quarter Pro Forma Revenue Up 10%. The acquisition of Pandora by SiriusXM adds a little wrinkle to the company’s 2019 first quarter financial report.  The company reports total revenue of $1.7 billion, an increase of 27% over the same period in 2018, that was driven by bringing Pandora into the fold.  On a pro forma basis, revenue increased 10%, hitting $1.9 billion in the first quarter.  But the Pandora acquisition impacted the company’s bottom line as net income was $162 million in Q1 of 2019, down from $289 million during the same period a year ago. During the quarter, SiriusXM added 131,000 net new self-pay subscribers, bringing its total above the 29 million mark.

TALKERS News Notes. Another major national award for Westwood One News comes on the heels of its recent National Headliner honor from the Press Club of Atlantic City. Now, the Society of Professional Journalists is bestowing its Sigma Delta Chi award upon Westwood One News for “Radio Breaking News Reporting” for the network’s coverage of the Parkland Florida School shooting and aftermath in February of 2018.  The award recognizes “resourceful and complete coverage of a major breaking news event, emphasizing both deadline reporting and continuing coverage as the story develops over succeeding days.”  Last year, Westwood One News won the honor for its coverage of the 2017 Las Vegas shooting…..Former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Jarret Johnson is joining the WBAL-AM and WIYY-FM-based Ravens Radio Network as color analyst alongside play-by-play voice Gerry Sandusky for this season.  Johnson worked on game broadcasts during the past two seasons and earns the promotion to the booth.  Cary Pahigian manages the Hearst radio stations and says, “Jarret’s NFL experience, unique insight, and enthusiasm is a major component of our superb Ravens broadcast team.”…..Bay Area public media corporation KQED announces that DeLinda Mrowka is promoted to the newly created position of chief audience officer.  In this executive role, Mrowka is “responsible for extending brand, deepening audience engagement and growth, and strengthening the membership and corporate sponsorship programs for one of the largest stations in public media.”  Mrowka started her KQED career in 2013 as the station’s executive director of marketing and communications before being promoted to vice president of corporate sponsorship in 2015.  In 2017 she was again promoted to vice president of marketing, with broad responsibilities overseeing the audience development, marketing, digital fundraising and corporate sponsorship teams.

PodcastOne Issues Request to Luminary. The subscription podcast start-up Luminary is facing the issue of a number of content creators requesting their shows be removed from its service for various reasons.  PodcastOne is one of those companies.  It made the move when it became aware that Luminary was carrying PodcastOne’s podcasts without permission.  PodcastOne executive chairman Norm Pattiz says, “Since Luminary’s focus has been promoted solely as a paid subscription model, we were surprised to see them also use the free model which they have spoken negatively about and compete against.  If they want to reach our audience to promote their site, then they should do the ‘unthinkable’ and advertise in our podcasts as hundreds of other advertisers do.”

WPG, Atlantic City’s Harry Hurley to Receive Inaugural Broadcaster of the Year Award from NJBA. Atlantic City morning drive personality Harry Hurley – heard daily on Townsquare Media’s news/talk WPGG-AM – is being honored by the New Jersey Broadcasters Association at its 71st Conference and Gala this summer with the first-ever “Broadcaster of the Year” award.  NJBA president and CEO Paul S. Rotella, Esq. says Hurley meets all of the criteria for this award “with a high degree of professionalism and a passionate dedication to his craft and the NJBA is very proud of our inaugural ‘Broadcaster of the Year’ recipient!”

Mueller Report Aftermath/Impeachment Talk, Trump vs Subpoenas, 2020 Presidential Politics/Biden Enters Race, Financial Markets Rally, Southern Border Crisis, Sri Lanka Bombings Aftermath, Putin-Kim Meeting, ‘Jeopardy!’ Record Breaker, Avengers: Endgame Film, NBA Playoffs, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/24). The response to the release of the redacted version of the Mueller Report and Democrats’ debate over impeachment possibilities; President Trump’s rejection of subpoenas from the U.S. House; the Democrats vying to challenge Trump in 2020, including Joe Biden’s entry into the race; U.S. financial markets hit records in latest rally; the state of the migrant influx at the U.S.-Mexico border; ISIS claims responsibility for Sri Lanka bombings; Russia’s Vladimir Putin meets with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un; the record-breaking “Jeopardy!” streak by James Holzhauer; the new Marvel Comics film Avengers: Endgame; the NBA playoffs; 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.

TALKERS CONVENTION SPOTLIGHT:  Panel Discussion to Address the Challenges Facing Talk Radio by Heightened Political Correctness.  One of the many highlights planned for the forthcoming Talkers 2019: Telling the Story on Friday, June 7 in New York City will be an extremely timely and pertinent panel discussion focusing on the challenges being faced by talk radio during the current era of heightened political correctness.  Titled “Talk Radio in the Era of ‘Watch What You Say,’” the session will feature panelists Michael Berry, host, “The Michael Berry Show”; Grace Blazer, national brand coordinator, news/talk/sports programming and director of AM programming Miami/Fort Lauderdale, iHeart MediaBrett Winterble, host KFMB-AM, San Diego; Larry Young, host, WOLB-AM, Baltimore; and Dan Yorke, host WPRO-AM, Providence. The session will be moderated by Bill Hess, VP of news/talk, Cumulus Media and program director, WMAL, Washington, DC.  Talk radio depends on the free-wheeling exchange of ideas, tolerance for controversy, and, most important, a healthy understanding of and respect for the First Amendment in order to operate effectively. These tenets are clearly under assault in the age of advertiser boycotts, righteous indignation and widespread hypocrisy.  This session will earnestly attempt to identify the issues at play and offer solutions to overcome the challenges and obstacles they present. Don’t miss this session!  The TALKERS convention is rapidly heading toward being an early sellout.  To see the entire up-to-the-minute agenda and registration/hotel information, please click here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Phoenix classic hits outlet KOOL-FM adds market radio personality Dee Garcia to its morning drive “The Niko Show” with host Nicholaus “Niko” Petrou.  She joins the Entercom station after having worked in the Valley at such stations as hot AC KMVA-FM and hip hop KKFR.  She says of her new gig, “I am honored to join Niko on ‘The Niko Show’ on KOOL.  Niko and [producer Abe] are positive, fun, and hardworking.  They are exactly the kind of people that you want to share your mornings with.”…..Alpha Media’s hot AC KEEZ, Mankato, Minnesota “Mix 99.1” names Zannie Kaye program director and morning drive personality.  Cluster operations manager Jeff Spence says, “We are more than excited to add Zannie Kaye to our Alpha Mankato team as our new host for the ‘Mix 99.1’ morning show and PD duties.  Zannie has a lot of experience and has had a terrific career in lots of different markets, including Minneapolis.  His energy is contagious and his warm and funny nature will win fans over immediately.”…..SummitMedia appoints sales pro Larry Jennings general sales manager for its Birmingham, Alabama stations that include: urban contemporary WBHK “98.7 KISS FM,” hip hop WBHJ “95.7 JAMZ,” and Gospel WAGG-AM “HEAVEN 610.” SummitMedia market president John Walker says, “Larry is exactly the professional we were looking for to lead our outstanding team. He has a proven track record of team building, talent development, client relations, community involvement, and revenue performance.”…..Beasley Media Group’s Philadelphia rock station WMMR-FM signs morning team “Preston and Steve” – Preston Elliot and Steve Morrison – to a new, multiyear contract extension.  The duo joined WMMR in May of 2005 and Beasley says the show has “maintained the top-rated morning show position in Philadelphia” since it launched.  The company says the show has “led the way in embracing innovative multi-platform initiatives, including creating daily, full-show and highlight episode podcasts, inventing their own ringtone service, producing daily/weekly video programs, and cultivating a formidable social media audience.”  Pictured below (from l-r) are: agent Glenn Goldstein, BBGI president Bruce Beasley, Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley, Elliot, Morrison, Beasley Philly market manager Joe Bell, Beasley EVP of strategy and innovation Buzz Knight, and Beasley rock format brand manager Bill WestonPhoto: BP Miller/Chorus Photography

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

| November 13, 2018

Jim Philips to Retire from WTKS, Orlando; Jim Colbert Show to Fill PM Drive Slot. On-air pro Jim Philips has been hosting the afternoon drive show on iHeartMedia’s hot talk WTKS-FM, Orlando “Real Radio 104.1” for more than 30 years.  On November 20, he’ll host the final live “Philips Phile” show and on November 21, the station will air a “Phinal Philips Phile” tribute program.  During his time as host of the afternoon show, Jim Philips has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Central Florida charities including The Mustard Seed and A Gift for Teaching and has dedicated countless hours to causes including first-amendment issues, adult literacy, mentoring at-risk youth, and championing LGBTQ rights.  The University of Florida graduate has also received numerous awards and honors including the Debbie Simmons Community Excellence Award lifetime achievement honor and has been recognized as the “Best Radio Personality” more than a dozen times by readers of the Orlando Sentinel, the Watermark and the Orlando Weekly.  Philips says, “It has been a great 50-year career and now it is time to move on with the next phase of my life.  I can’t thank the Orlando community enough for letting me into their homes, their cars and their offices for all this time.”  iHeartMedia division president Linda Byrd announces “The Jim Colbert Show” will air in PM drive.  Led by longtime “Monsters of the Morning” cast member “Dirty” Jim Colbert, the Jim Colbert show will include co-host and news director Deborah Roberts, award-winning stand-up comedian Rauce Padgett, and executive producer and 20-year “Real Radio” veteran Jack Bradshaw.  Byrd states, “We are very excited about the Jim Colbert show expanding to five days a week. After 26 years of entertaining morning audiences as part of the ‘Monsters of the Morning’ show on ‘Real Radio,’ Jimmy will now be doing the same in afternoon drive time with his unique comedic take on the world.”  Colbert says, “Before I was in radio I was a longtime listener of Jim Philips and the ‘Philips Phile.’  It is an absolute honor to bring my show to the same time slot on ‘Real Radio 104.1.’”

Longtime KMJ, Fresno Personality Craig Hansen to Retire. Station program director Blake Taylor reports that Craig Hansen – a fixture on the KMJ, Fresno airwaves for 42 years – is retiring from the Cumulus Media news/talk station in December.  Taylor says, “It is with mixed emotions that we announce the retirement of KMJ’s Craig Hansen at year’s end.  For those who don’t know, Craig is a virtual encyclopedia of KMJ’s long history and import to Fresno and the San Joaquin Valley.  Craig’s first day at KMJ was November 24, 1976.  As far as we can tell, Craig’s 42-year tenure is probably the second-longest in KMJ’s 96-year history – second only to Jerry Higgenbotham’s run from 1949 to 1994.  Mr. Hansen has held a number of on-air positions over the decades but is probably best known for his years as our go-to guy on Saturdays hosting news, ‘Autoshop Talk,’ ‘Real Talk,’ and of course ‘Radio Tradio!’  Craig’s final show at KMJ will be Saturday, December 22.  After that, he and his better half will be driving his Corvette out of the mayhem of California and moving out of state to retire in peace.”

Cumulus to Launch Local Ad Guarantee. The company says that it is “doubling down on the industry-leading ROI guarantee of its Westwood One division” and “will launch an innovative program leveraging the proven effectiveness and reach of broadcast radio, combined with the precise targeting capabilities of its digital products.”  Cumulus Media radio station group EVPs Dave Milner and Bob Walker announce the company will support local advertisers’ number one objective: attracting more customers.  Cumulus says it will guarantee participating local advertisers a minimum number of Engaged Potential Customers (EPCs): listeners who have contacted the business as a result of the coordinated program.  Should the program not deliver the guaranteed results, the business will receive free advertising.  Milner says, “Marketers took notice of our commitment to results when we debuted the Westwood One ROI Guarantee and challenged us to deliver something similar to our local advertisers.  After touting the benefits of a combined radio and digital campaign, we’re now putting our money where our mouth is in our local markets with the EPC Guarantee.”  Walker adds, “Using radio’s exceptional 10:1 ROI, and a proven 19% lift when messages are coordinated between media platforms, we are delivering a hyper-efficient brand building and customer generation program all in one.  We’ve known all along that we can be an advertiser’s one-stop shop for results; now we guarantee it.”  The EPC Guarantee will launch in 65 Cumulus markets later this month, in the home and professional services categories, and will be available in all 90 Cumulus markets in 2019.

Entercom Names Sarah Harris VP of Social Impact. This is a new position at Entercom that Sarah Harris will begin on January 2.  She comes to Entercom from Emmis Communications where she was a senior vice president. While there, she founded and led “Incite,” a cause and social marketing division within Emmis.  Previously, Harris served as director of community outreach for Emmis.  She holds an MA in Philanthropic Studies and an MPA in Nonprofit Management from Indiana University and recently completed University of Pennsylvania’s Executive Education in Social Impact Strategy.  In her new role with Entercom, Harris will oversee all aspects of the company’s community engagement initiatives, including its recently launched corporate social responsibility platform, Entercom Cares, as well as Entercom’s government business practice.  Entercom EVP and general counsel Andrew Sutor states, “Sarah is a pioneer in cause and social impact marketing and wholeheartedly believes in the power of media to create positive impact.  With her significant experience and expertise in creating and managing social impact programs and campaigns, Sarah will be a terrific addition to our team.”

NPR to Be Honored at Inaugural iHeartRadio Podcast Awards. When the first-ever iHeartRadio Podcast Awards take place at the iHeartRadio Theater in Los Angeles on January 18, NPR will be the recipient of the iHeartRadio Podcast Pioneer Award.  NPR is being honored as a “driving, innovative force in the creation of the podcasting industry” and the award “will pay tribute to the renowned non-profit multimedia organization’s groundbreaking contributions to podcasting’s expanding role in today’s popular culture.”  The press release notes that NPR launched its first digital-only podcasting predecessor, “All Songs Considered,” in April 2000 and it officially debuted NPR Podcasts in August 2005 with a full slate of 174 programs, including 17 original podcasts.  In less than a year, NPR reached 13 million downloads for all of its podcast programming and reached more than 80 million downloads by February 2007.  NPR SVP for programming and audience development Anya Grundmann says, “We are honored to receive the Podcast Pioneer Award.  Podcasts have been a major source of innovation for NPR.  They have given our reporters the chance to flex their storytelling muscles, pursue creative ideas, and longer stories, and play with form in ways not always possible on a daily show.  They have also helped us connect with listeners in new ways and helped us evolve our sound.”

Adam Clanton Back on the Air in Houston. The Houston Chronicle’s David Barron reports that Houston sports talk personality Adam Clanton – who had been with iHeartMedia’s KBME until being fired last May – joins Entercom’s crosstown KILT-AM to host a regular Tuesday evening program with co-host (and KPRC-TV sports anchor) Adam Wexler as well as to handle fill-in and weekend air shifts.  Clanton tells Barron, “It’s nice to be out of radio purgatory and with a group of true professionals who have welcomed me (back) with open arms.  610 has been amazing to me, and sometimes life really does come full circle.  I’m excited going forward.”

WPGG, Atlantic City’s Harry Hurley Named to Insider NJ’s Top 100 Power List.  Atlantic City morning drive personality Harry Hurley was again named to Insider NJ’s “Top 100 Power List” – landing at #42 this year.  The publication says of Hurley, “The conservative talk radio show host loves politics and outshines most hosts with his uncanny ability to break news himself – not just opine about what other reporters write about first.  He remains very influential in South Jersey politics and is at the top of his game.”

Florida Recounts, Trump-Russia Investigation Status, Whitaker Appointment Challenge, Dow Drops 600 Points, California Wildfires, Michelle Obama Book Tour, Crenshaw ‘SNL’ Appearance, Stan Lee Dies, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/12).  The partisan fighting over the election recounts in Florida; the status of the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; legal questions about the appointment of Matthew Whitaker as acting Attorney General; the Dow dips 600 points; the deadly California wildfires that have claimed 42 lives; former First Lady Michelle Obama’s book tour for Becoming; Congressman-elect Dan Crenshaw’s appearance on “Saturday Night Live” a week after Pete Davidson’s joke about the war veteran’s missing eye; Marvel comics founder Stan Lee dies at 95; 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.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Another “Breeze” is blowing, this time in Detroit as Entercom flips CHR WDZH to adult contemporary as “987 The Breeze.”  This comes on the heels of two recent flips to adult contemporary “Breezes” from iHeartMedia – KBEB, Sacramento and WISX, Philadelphia. Entercom Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon states, “We are excited to launch ‘987 The Breeze’ and to fill this void in the Motor City’s music scene.  We know the station will become a must-listen to make your work day breeze by.”…..Beasley Media Group – after cutting ties with morning personality Bigg Boy, moves afternoon personalities Gello and Joanna to AM drive as “The GELLO Show” and adds former AM drive co-host Shay-Shay to middays.  The station is on the search for an afternoon drive personality…..Urban One adds the WNOW, Indianapolis-based “Joe & Alex” show – Joe Piesz and Alex Clark – to the morning drive daypart on its Houston CHR KROI.  KROI program director Charese Fruge comments, “Joe and Alex are the perfect combination of caring and crazy, the comedy and quirkiness they bring to mornings is infections and is sure to be a treat for listeners in Houston.”…..iHeartCountry and Premiere Networks is offering unparalleled, multi-platform coverage of “The 52nd Annual CMA Awards” tomorrow (11/14).  In addition to programming leading up to the awards show, The Bobby Bones Show’s Amy Brown will provide iHeartCountry mainstream stations with live updates from the red carpet leading up to show time.  Premiere Networks will also provide a live radio simulcast of the CMA Awards show co-hosted by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood.

Monday, September 17, 2018

| September 17, 2018

Newsmax TV to Be Carried on Comcast’s X1 Platform.  In a major move for the Newsmax TV channel, Newsmax and Comcast have signed an agreement for the latter to carry the 24/7 cable news channel on the Xfinity TV X1 platform.  Newsmax TV will initially launch to subscribers of Xfinity’s Digital Starter package that have an X1 device.   Newsmax Broadcasting CEO Michael Clemente says, “Comcast is the largest cable operator in the nation and we appreciate their decision to recognize Newsmax TV as a valuable, independent programmer for their viewers.”  Newsmax TV says it “consistently offers important viewpoints not covered elsewhere and continues to add talent to an impressive lineup that includes: Joe Walsh, Brett Winterble, Howie Carr, Wayne Allyn Root, Todd Schnitt, Joe Pags, and Jesse Lee Peterson, as well as Newsmax anchors John Bachman and Miranda Khan.”  It adds that it is currently available in 50 million U.S. cable/satellite homes and expects to reach as many as 80 million such homes by the end of 2019.  Clemente adds that the network plans to ramp up programming in the coming months as it prepares for 2020 presidential election coverage that will begin in earnest next year.

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s August 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk radio.  Sports talk listening heated up during the August survey as 74% of sports talk stations saw their 6+ weekly AQH share rise compared to the July 2018 survey. Looking at changes from August 2017 to August 2018, 67% of stations were up from a year ago.  Entercom’s WFAN, New York – on the back of a three-tenths increase – ranked #1 (6+) in the Long Island market in August.  The company’s KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh ranked #4, and WFAN, New York and Cumulus’ KNBR, San Francisco ranked #5 in their respective markets.  See the whole report here.

RJ Bell and Chris Broussard & Rob Parker Host New FOX Sports Radio Programs. On the heels of last week’s end of the JT The Brick program and the “Steve Gorman Sports!” show, Premiere Networks today announces the launch of the shows that are rounding out the FOX Sports Radio network program schedule.  Beginning today (9/17), “Straight Outta Vegas with RJ Bell” debuts from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET as what Premiere calls “the first-ever national daily radio show focused on sports betting.”  Las Vegas personality and founder/CEO of Pregame.com RJ Bell hosts the program that also features FOX Sports Radio personality Jonas Knox, plus famed betting experts Brad Powers and Steve Fezzik.  Premiere says the weekday launch of the program comes after a successful year-long run as part of FSR’s weekend lineup on Friday and Saturday evenings.  Also moving up from its weekend status is “The Odd Couple with Chris Broussard (left) & Rob Parker (right),” launching tonight from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm ET.  As part of the changes, “The Jason Smith Show with Mike Harmon” adds an hour, airing from 10:00 pm to 2:00 am ET.  Premiere Networks SVP sports programming Don Martin and VP sports programming Scott Shapiro say in a joint statement, “This historic new lineup further solidifies FOX Sports Radio’s standing as the preeminent sports network in the nation.  It’s now crystal clear that when you’re looking for the best, live sports-talk, this is the place to tune in.  Listeners who want to be entertained, informed, and emotionally invested with the most compelling personalities and storytellers in the industry will be rewarded with every listening occasion.”

Zak Burns Gone from ‘KIRO Nights.’ Talk show host Zak Burns is no longer co-hosting “KIRO Nights” with Gee Scott at Bonneville’s KIRO-FM, Seattle. Burns joined the station two years ago to co-host the evening show with Jason Rantz, who left the program last fall to assume the morning drive show hosting duties at sister conservative news/talk KTTH.  KIRO contributor Drew Barth has been sitting in with Scott since Burns’ departure.

Entercom to Relocate Offices to Philadelphia.  In an interview with David Field in Philly.com, the Entercom president and CEO declined to comment on the “worst-kept secret” in Philadelphia – that the company is moving its corporate headquarters from Bala Cynwyd to a building on the Schuykill River in Philadelphia that it will share with Aramark (according to a recent report in the Philadelphia Business Journal).  However, in the piece written by Bob Fernandez, Field acknowledges the intense work that the CBS RADIO merger has brought Entercom but says he’s happy with what the new-look company has accomplished so far.  Regarding the move, it’s being reported that the new facility will not only be home to the corporate HQ but will also house the various radio station offices currently in numerous sites throughout the Philadelphia area.  Read the piece here.

Rumor Confirmed: Mets Games to Air on WCBS-AM, New York in 2019 Season. The recent reports out of the Big Apple that Entercom has been wooing the New York Mets to bring their play-by-play to all-news WCBS-AM turn out to be true as the company announces it has struck a six-year deal with the MLB club.  Mets games have aired on iHeartMedia’s WOR since the 2014 season.  Entercom regional president and market manager Susan Larkin comments, “We’re pleased to be the new radio home of the Mets. We remain committed to bringing our listeners and partners the most exciting sports content from their hometown teams, especially in the New York metropolitan area, where we will be the radio home for both Major League Baseball clubs beginning in 2019.”  As part of the deal, Entercom’s other New York radio stations – alternative WNYL ALT 92.3,” hot AC WNEW-FM “NEW 102.7 FM,” classic hits WCBS-FM and fellow all-news WINS-AM – will provide promotional support.

Crossover Media Group Sales to Handle Ad Sales Support for Sports Byline USA and BlueWirePods. Cross-platform content production and advertising sales rep firm Crossover Media Group Sales announces it is handling ad sales support for Sports Byline USA network. Sports Byline is led by founder and host Ron Barr and president Darren Peck and serves some 200 U.S. radio affiliates and some 500 additional stations globally as well as satellite radio, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, iTunes, CRN Digital, airlines’ in-flight channels and the American Forces Network.  The company is also working with newly launched podcast network Blue Wire that is aggregating content from sports talk personalities.  Bay Area-based Blue Wire was founded by former KNBR-AM, San Francisco host Kevin Jones.  CMGS managing member Scott Calka says, “CMGS is rapidly becoming one-stop-shopping for marketers to reach a variety of fans across the panoply of sports talk.”

23 Stations Off the Air as a Result of Hurricane Florence.  According to the FCC, as of yesterday (9/16), some 20 FM stations are off the air and three AM stations are off due to the impact of Hurricane Florence.  Also, four television stations report being out of service and 7.2% of the region’s cell towers were reported off-line, with Brunswick, Cumberland, and Carteret Counties in North Carolina reporting the largest loss of cell service.

Kavanaugh Accusation, Florence Drenches the Carolinas, Border Patrol Serial Killer Case, Trump-Russia Investigation, Bob Woodward’s Trump Book, NFL Action, and MLB Playoff Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The sexual assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh; Hurricane Florence’s arrival and the resulting historic flooding in the Carolinas; the case of the U.S. border patrol agent charged in connection with four deaths; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents and the related plea deal of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort; Bob Woodward’s book, Fear: Trump in the White House; 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.

WPG, Atlantic City Morning Host Harry Hurley with Miss America 2019 Nia Franklin. Pictured above is WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley with Miss America 2019 Nia Franklin (Miss New York) during Franklin’s visit to the station today (9/17). Franklin discussed the year ahead for her as Miss America, saying she will continue her work with the performing arts and several children’s charities that’s she supports.  Hurley presented the Miss America Foundation with a surprise $500 grant that will be designated to two charities of Franklin’s choice.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Dallas, Cumulus Media brings Nathan Fast aboard to co-host the morning show on KPLX “99.5 The Wolf” with current morning personality Lisa Taylor.  He was most recently with Entercom’s crosstown CHR KVIL “AMP 103.7” as morning host.   KPLX program director Mac Daniels says, “Nathan is an amazing, creative talent wrapped around the passion and work ethic of four people.  With his leadership skills and winning spirit, we’re excited about the bright future for Nathan Fast and ‘The Wake Up With The Wolf Show’ on one of America’s leading country music brands.  We’re excited to hear him and Lisa Taylor together in the morning.”…..iHeartMedia moves Vladimir “DJ Loui Vee” Scott from its Columbia, South Carolina station group to its Indianapolis offices to serve as program director for hip hop WZRL “REAL 98.3” and hip hop WTFX, Louisville “REAL 93.1.”   iHeartMedia Indianapolis SVP of programming Mike Killabrew comments, “Vladimir possesses the creativity, passion, and leadership we look for in programmers.  His direction and attention to detail will take WZRL and WTFX to the next level.”…..iHeartMedia Raleigh names Joe Johnson program director and afternoon drive personality for classic rock WRDU, Raleigh, effective September 24.  Johnson held the same positions at the company’s WROV, Roanoke-Lynchburg…..Classic hits KGOR, Omaha debuts the “Mornings with Montez & Shari” featuring Montez and Shari Stone.  Stone was most recently digital project coordinator and midday host at Salem Media Group’s crosstown Christian contemporary KGBI-FM. Montez was most recently afternoon host and music director at the iHeartMedia Omaha cluster’s CHR KISO “96.1 Kiss FM.”  The duo say, “Being from Omaha, we both couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to serve our community in a fun way because we love this town.  We can’t wait to entertain every morning and grow our big, radio family.”…..Envision Networks announces that the “Full Metal Jackie” program – hosted by Jackie Kajzer – is now airing on the American Forces Network, broadcasting to United States military servicemembers and their families at home and abroad. AFN Radio director Scott Stover says, “American Forces Network Radio is proud to bring Full Metal Jackie to our US military serving overseas as they listen to our alternative music channel ‘Freedom Radio.’ We thank ‘Full Metal Jackie’ and Envision Networks for partnering with AFN Radio to ‘serve those that serve.’”

Friday, September 14, 2018

| September 14, 2018

PPM Analysis: Public Radio News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a review of the performances of radio stations based on data from the August 2018 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio, today focusing on public radio news/talk.  This survey period was good to public radio news/talk as some 59% of stations went up (6+, weekly AQH share), with just 28% seeing some decline (the rest were flat). Year-over-year, about half the sample stations were up compared to last August and about half were down.  Four public radio news/talk stations ranked #1 in their respective markets during the August 2018 PPM survey: KQED, San Francisco; KPBS, San Diego; KOPB, Portland; and WUNC, Raleigh.  See Kinosian’s entire report here.

WGOW-FM, Chattanooga Midday Talker Brian Joyce Moves to AM Show. Pictured above is Cumulus Media talk show host Brian Joyce (center) with his new co-hosts Jim Reynolds (left) and PD/news director Kevin West (right).  Joyce is now part of “The Morning Press” after serving as midday personality for the past several years.  He’ll continue to host both shows while “Talk Radio 102.3 FM” searches for a replacement for the midday show.  Longtime WGOW morning personality Jeff Styles exited the station recently after an altercation with another motorist led to his arrest on assault charges for which he’s currently awaiting trial.

Westwood One Podcast Network Home to New Jim Rome Podcast. This new podcast starring sports talker Jim Rome is called RPO – for Rome Pryce Opinion (a play on run pass option) – and also features former NFL star Trevor Pryce.  Rome’s daily sports talk radio show is heard on the CBS Sports Radio Network but this podcast is being produced by Westwood One.  The program will “feature Rome and Pryce’s takes on the events and activities of the 2018 NFL season and will offer insight on how an NFL player may be experiencing the season as it unfolds.”  New episodes of this 20-week series will drop every Monday during the NFL season through Super Bowl LIII.  The episodes will be available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Radio.com, CBS Sports Radio’s website, and the Westwood One Podcast Network website and app.  Rome says, “I have always worked alone but when the opportunity to work with a two-time Super Bowl winner and a presence like Trevor Pryce presented itself, I jumped.  He’s hungry, fearless and has takes for days. This one is a no-brainer and I know it’s going to deliver.”

TALKERS News Notes. A new podcast from PodcastOne will launch on September 17 called “Divorce Sucks!” hosted by family law attorney, author and founder of divorce platform It’s Over Easy, Laura Wasser.   New shows will be released weekly.  Wasser is well-known as an advocate for settlements and co-parenting and she provides relatable challenges, advice, inspiration, and solutions.  She’s known for her high-profile and celebrity clientele and her first guest on the September 17 debut is Kris Jenner…..In El Paso, Grupo Radio Centro is flipping KQBU from regional Mexican to sports talk as “Lone Star Sports 920 AM.”  The station is using programming from CBS Sports Radio and is airing play-by-play for Houston Texans and Houston Astros games.

Hurricane Florence and Trump Puerto Rico Statement Tie for Top News/Talk Story for Week of September 10-14.  The anticipation of Hurricane Florence and President Trump’s dispute of the death count in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the new Bob Woodward book, Fear: Trump in the White House, tied with the controversial NYT op-ed piece.  Coming in at #3 was the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents, followed by the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio this week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It’s published every Friday at Talkers.com. View the entire chart here.

Veteran Radio News Exec Harvey Nagler Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  Recently retired, longtime CBS News Radio vice president Harvey Nagler is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Harrison and Nagler discuss this week’s hot news regarding journalism, politics and media, including the anonymous op-ed piece in The New York Times, the new Bob Woodward book Fear, and the #MeToo resignation of CBS CEO Les Moonves.  This fascinating dissection of the state of the news business in the era of Donald Trump is another must-listen in this highly acclaimed series.  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Fantastic News Anchor Opportunity at WPTF, Raleigh. This is a morning news anchor position at Curtis Media Group’s heritage news/talk WPTF, Raleigh.  The station says, “‘The Triangle’s Morning News’ anchor will have a demonstrated record of excellent news judgment, strong writing skills that bring life to our news stories, and a keen appreciation for connection to our listeners!  The ‘star’ of our morning show is breaking news, extended weather, and the most frequent and in-depth traffic reports to service our growing Raleigh area, but we also need great presence to keep this high-paced show on track with a real touch of likeable personality to guide the busy mornings of our region.  Our candidate will have a strong work ethic with the ability to plan shows in advance as well as conduct and prepare interviews for air at any time.  To be clear, the morning anchor is responsible for the generation and preparation of content on the ‘TMN.’ The anchor will have a strong commitment to quality execution of the product being delivered to the listener.”  Interested broadcasters should submit their air checks and resumes to: Rick Martinez at: atrmartinez@curtismedia.com and Liza Weidle at: lweidle@curtismedia.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. A number of changes take place at Entercom’s Milwaukee operations.  First, Molly Cruz – currently midday personality and APD/MD at hot AC WMYX “99.1 The Mix” – adds APD and music director responsibilities for sister CHR WXSS “103.7 KISS-FM.”  Weekend personality JMatt moves up to midday host on WXSS.  He’ll also serve as digital program director for the entire cluster – including sports talk WSSP-AM/W289CB “105.7 The Fan.”  Finally, Aaron Carreno is named the afternoon drive host for WMYX, handling the 1:00 pm to 7:00 pm shift.  Entercom Milwaukee SVP and market manager Chuck Sullivan states, “Big things are happening in the Milwaukee cluster.  Molly is ready to dominate her expanded role as assistant program director and music director.  Aaron is a top-notch personality whose experience will bring improvement to The Mix’s afternoon drive.  And JMatt is going to take our cluster to new heights from a digital perspective.”…..CMT personality Cody Alan is pictured below with Carrie Underwood during her visit to his Nashville studio to promote the release of her new album, Cry Pretty.

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, August 31, 2017

| August 31, 2017

WW1: Advertiser Interest in Podcasting Rising Dramatically.  Syndicator Westwood One releases new data from its Westwood One State of Podcasting 2017 report.  The company says that the report “provides an in-depth look at listening behaviors and demographics of the podcast consumer, plus insight into how marketers and agencies view podcast advertising.”  In looking at advertiser perceptions of podcasting, the report indicates, “The proportion of advertisers and agencies who have discussed podcast advertising for potential media investments has soared from 41% in September of 2015 to 68% in May of 2017.”  Additionally, “The marketers and agencies who say they will definitely advertise in podcasts in the coming six months has increased threefold (10% to 27%) since September, 2015.”  WW1 president and Cumulus Media EVP, corporate marketing Suzanne Grimes states, “We knew that advertiser sentiment for podcast advertising was growing, as we have seen a significant increase in advertising spend on the Westwood One podcast network.  The Westwood One State of Podcasting 2017 report quantifies the conversation, consideration, and intention among marketers to place their brands in the expansive podcast programming environment.  It’s great news for all of us in the fast-tracking on-demand space.”  The report includes data from Edison Research’s “Share of Ear” and “Infinite Dial” studies, IPSOS, and Advertiser Perceptions.  See more from the study here.

Radio Continues Fundraising Efforts for Harvey Relief. The fundraising efforts for Harvey relief by radio stations and radio companies continue with Beasley Media Group announcing Naples-Fort Myers stations CHR WXKB “B103.9,” WRXK “96KRock,” and AC WJPT “Sunny 106.3” are partnering with the local chapter of the American Red Cross to collect donations during today’s “MUSIC THON.  The morning air personalities from all three stations will stay on the air to play special song requests for donations…..Disney/ABC is launching a network-wide telethon and call-to-action today (including sports talk radio network ESPN Radio).  Disney Media Networks co-chairman/president Ben Sherwood said, “With this ‘Day of Giving’ across all our networks and platforms, the men and women of Disney/ABC, ESPN and the A+E Networks are answering the call to stand up and support the communities hit hardest by Hurricane Harvey.  In 2012, we rallied to support relief efforts after Hurricane Sandy, helping raise more than $18 million dollars. Now, we stand alongside the residents of Texas and the Gulf states who are battling the floods and devastation of Harvey.”…..Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s Springfield, Illinois radio stations are partnering with Sinclair Broadcasting’s local TV stations to raise funds and supplies for victims of Harvey.  Tomorrow (9/1), both broadcasting groups will stage a daylong event at a local Walmart taking donations – with an emphasis on monetary donations – to the Salvation Army.  Sinclair is promising to match those donations up to $100,000.  Mid-West Family Springfield GM Harvey Wells comments, “While we are a locally owned and locally focused broadcasting company, we have an obligation to use our reach to help in times of national crisis.”

Paul Curran Named CMG Orlando Market Manager.  Media sales and management pro Paul Curran is promoted to market vice president for Cox Media Group’s Orlando cluster that includes news/talk WDBO “News 96.5,” sports talk WDBO-AM “ESPN Orlando,” classic hits WMMO, urban contemporary WCFB, hip hop WPYO, “Power 95.3,” and Spanish “107.3 Solo Exitos,” plus television stations WFTV-TV and WRDQ-TV in what CMG calls this “converged market.”  Curran has been serving as VP and general manager of the two TV stations.  He says, “The opportunity to bring together the talented people and dynamic products of CMG Radio and CMG TV under one entity in Central Florida is an exciting one.  No other media company can match our combined TV, radio, and digital footprint here, and the possibilities to build on collaboration and improve the experience for our viewers, listeners, and customers are limitless.  I can’t wait to get started.”

WSJS, Winston-Salem Transitioning to Sports Talk.  According to a report in the Winston-Salem Journal, Crescent Media Group is going all sports talk on WSJS, Winston-Salem, eliminating the news and non-sports talk.  Morning drive personality J.R. Snider and news anchor Ed Skurka are exiting the station after today’s broadcast and the sports programming schedule takes effect tomorrow (9/1).  Station GM Al Bunch tells the paper the decision was about serving sports fans.  “They crave a place to talk about sports and listen to sports being discussed, and we feel that’s being underserved in the Triad.  We’re going to give them what they’ve been asking for.”  The station will air ESPN Radio content until 12:00 noon when it carries the Raleigh-based David Glenn program.  The afternoon drive show will be the local “One on One With The Schass,” with host Kyle Schassburger.

PodcastOne Launches Sports Division. Podcast platform PodcastOne is launching a new lineup of original sports programming under the banner of PodcastOne Sports.  PodcastOne executive chairman Norm Pattiz says, “This new network demonstrates PodcastOne’s interest in dramatically expanding our already successful portfolio of sports-related programming to build a singular hub for sports fans and brands.  I can think of no better way to launch our new network than with coach Jim Harbaugh.  Jim represents an established, well-respected voice in sports, and his vision for this show is certain to become a must-listen for sports fans everywhere.”  PodcastOne Sports debuts September 5 with the launch of “Attack Each Day: The Harbaugh’s Podcast,” hosted by University of Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh.  Other personalities joining the lineup with original programs will include legendary sports broadcaster Dick Enberg, sports radio and television host Rich Eisen, sports broadcaster Suzy Schuster, football analyst Dave Dameshek with top podcaster Adam Carolla, popular sports personality Lilian Garcia, sports host and comedian Jay Mohr, and top sports writers from around the nation.

NAB Defends AM/FM Radio from NYU Scholar’s White Paper.  The NAB’s response is quick to point out up front that the white paper – Paradigm Shift: Why Radio Must Adapt to the Rise of Digital by New York University’s Larry S. Miller, director of the Steinhardt Music Business Program – is backed by digital performance rights organization SoundExchange, which NAB EVP of communications Dennis Wharton says is “bankrolled in part by giant record labels pushing a radio ‘performance tax.’”  The bulk of Miller’s paper is dedicated to analyzing the effect digital availability of music is having on the radio industry and Wharton challenges his arguments.  Specifically, Wharton takes aim at Miller’s contention that young people are turning away from AM/FM radio as a source of music discovery.  Wharton cites Nielsen data that suggests “millennials are listening in greater numbers than ever before, not just to over-the-air programming, but also to local radio on digital platforms…87.9% of Americans aged 12-17 turn to radio each week, and they spend nearly 10 hours a week listening to local radio.  Even when they use streaming services to find new songs, younger generations continue tuning in to radio to listen to their favorite music.”  Interestingly, Miller notes early in his paper that the issue of whether radio actually provides adequate promotion for the sale of records in exchange for free air play – as the NAB has argued for decades defending radio’s exemption from the performance fee – is not within the scope of his paper.  But then he goes on to mention the matter several more times.  You can see Miller’s paper here.

TALKERS News Notes.  Just a couple of months after a contentious public divorce from Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze, popular conservative Internet personality Tomi Lahren joins FOX News Channel as a contributor.  The Associated Press reports the story and says that “Lahren will have a ‘signature role’ on a digital product under development and be a commentator on the network’s opinion programming.  Her primary home will be on Sean Hannity’s show, where she was to debut on Wednesday.”…..InsiderNJ.com recently published its 2017 “Insider 100 Media Power List” in which it, as the title suggests, ranks the 100 most powerful media personalities in New Jersey.  WPG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley ranked #17 on this year’s list.  Hurley’s entry on the list states, “You like breaking news from Atlantic City and South Jersey?  Then you must be familiar with the well-connected, well-sourced and popular Hurley who breaks most (or at least many) of the dock-front political stories – and has a must-read column with Shore News Today.”  See the whole list here…..Changes come to the nationally syndicated evening talk radio show “Connections” as host and co-founder Al “Blackjack” Spry leaves the program.  This comes as the show is dropped from the schedule at iHeartMedia’s talk WTKS-FM, Orlando “Real Radio 104.1.”  The program continues to air on its other affiliates with hosts Melissa Foxx and Glenda “G-Love” Chauncy…..CFRA, Ottawa’s Evan Solomon is going national as Bell Media syndicates his daily talk show across other company news/talk stations, effective September 5.  The program will be heard on CFRB-AM, Toronto; CJAD-AM, Montreal; CKFR-AM, Kelona, BC; CFAX-AM, Victoria; CKLW-AM, Windsor, CJBK-AM, London, Ontario, and CKTB-AM, St. Catharines.  Solomon comments, “I’m very excited to launch this new, national forum for thought-provoking debate and discussion, highlighting compelling people who are making a difference in Canada.  There’s nothing more important to a free society than public opinion, and this show will be a platform for Canadians to share their thoughts on the most pressing issues of the day, at home and around the world.”

Harvey Devastation/Relief Efforts, Trump Tax Reform Plan, Trump-Russia Investigation, Antifa Violence, FOX News Poll Results, U.S.- North Korea Tensions, Texas Sanctuary Cities Ban Blocked, MLB Action, and NFL Pre-Season Activity Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/30).  The devastating flooding in Texas and Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, including analysis of President Trump’s handling of the disaster; Trump begins promoting his tax reform plan; the investigation into possible connections between Trump operatives and Russian agents; criticism of violence against conservatives by “antifa” agents; the results of a new FOX News poll showing poor marks for Congress and President Trump; the military tensions between the U.S. and North Korea; a judge’s temporary blocking of a Texas law banning sanctuary cities; Major League Baseball action; and NFL pre-season activity 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. Local singer and entertainer – and famed season 7 “The Voice” contestant Chris Jamison – is joining CBS RADIO Pittsburgh as a weekend and holiday personality on hot AC WBZZ “100.7 The Star.”  Jamison will be heard Sundays from 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm and on holidays.  Jamison first got to know the staff at WBZZ back in 2014 when the morning drive “Bubba Show” became his official hometown cheerleaders.  He appeared at station events, including its “O Starry Night” concert.”  WBZZ program director Dave Anderson says, “Chris is a talented, standout entertainer with rich local ties.  We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to grow with him as he takes this next step as part of the ‘100.7 Star’ team.”…..Beasley Media Group announces two new “BOUNCE” ambassadors.  Air personalities Cortney Hicks and A.P., a.k.a. The Absolute Princess, join the air staff of hip hop WMGC, Detroit “105.1 The BOUNCE.”  Hicks will host the 10:00 am to 3:00 pm show on Saturdays and Sundays and A.P. takes to the air at 7:00 pm on both weekend evenings.  WMGC program director Al Payne comments, “Our goal is to assemble a team of the finest in Detroit radio, as well as the best hip hop personalities, to navigate our fans through each experience listening to this iconic music.  That’s why all of our announcers are known as ambassadors.  Cortney and A.P. are shining examples of this mission and I look forward to what they have in store.”…..As part of International Overdose Awareness Day (8/31), Premiere Networks host Nikki Sixx will dedicate four hours of “Sixx Sense with Nikki Sixx” to raising awareness of the U.S. opioid crisis.  Sixx, who detailed his near-fatal drug addiction in the best-selling book The Heroin Diaries, will welcome Dr. Oz,  Louisville Courier-Journal writer Beth Warren, and Erik Gunn, a former drug addict and dealer who recently shared his story with Warren for a Courier-Journal series on addiction and recovery…..Cumulus Media announces country WNSH, New York’s “Boots on the Boardwalk” end-of-summer bash, giving “NASH FM 94.7” listeners a chance to party one last time this summer season!  This free event, featuring performances by Scotty McCreery, A Thousand Horses, NASH Next 2016 Winner Todd O’Neill, and Elizabeth Lyons, takes place at Jenkinson’s Pavilion in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey tomorrow (9/1) from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm…..In Detroit, classic rocker WCSX and morning host Big Jim are trying to raise at least $10,000 for Holy Cross Children’s Services via the Big Jim’s House Million Penny Roof Sit, taking place at the 2017 Ford Arts, Beats & Eats festival in Royal Oak this weekend.  The station is asking listeners and patrons of the festival to donate their pocket change to change the lives of children in need.  Big Jim says, “We are excited to be working with Holy Cross Children’s Services to raise money for kids in need.  The kids receiving care from Holy Cross deserve to have opportunities to be successful in life, and every penny can help.”…..According to a story in the Boston Herald, rock WAAF, Boston “Hill-Man Morning Show” host Greg Hill is considering a run for congress for the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas.  Hill’s spokesman is local attorney Lawrence Army Jr., who tells the paper, “Greg is exploring all of his options, including running for the open congressional seat.”  Citing Hill’s philanthropic efforts via the Greg Hill Foundation, Army adds, “Public service would be a logical next step for Greg.  He is considering whether it would be the best way to give back to a community that’s given him so much.”

The Power of Live and Local Talk Radio

| June 5, 2017

By Harry Hurley
WPG, Atlantic City
Talk Show Host

 

ATLANTIC CITY — We talk a lot about the highly interpersonal relationship that is forged between a talk radio host and his listeners.

It becomes “family-like.” Something happened today that emphatically illustrates this point so very well.

I was attending the fabulous 20th Annual Talkers 2017 Conference in New York last Friday, June 2, 2017.  This is the same day that a package arrived in the mail to me at the Townsquare Media/WPG studios.

Read More

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

| March 19, 2014

geronimodonDon Geronimo Goes Digital.  After exiting CBS RADIO last month and promising he’d be back with a vengeance after his contract expired, radio pro Don Geronimo announces he’s joining the digital RELM Network to produce his new show that will be available via subscription only.  The new show will be presented live, Monday through Friday, starting in early April, at www.DonGeronimoPodcast.com .  The company says the exact launch date will be announced soon.  A recorded version of the show will be available on that website, shortly after each live show ends.  The cast of the new show will be Geronimo, co-host Drew Hoffar, their sidekick, Joe Ardinger and will feature regular appearances by Geronimo’s longtime pal and newsman Buzz Burbank.  A statement from the RELM Network, says, “As changes in the radio relm networkindustry continue to disappoint listeners, Geronimo looks forward to doing the show he’s always wanted to do, without interference from corporate radio executives or the FCC rules that quashed the medium’s spontaneity and fun.  Longtime listeners especially won’t want to miss the show’s opening week, in which Geronimo will talk about the events that — and people who — led him to do this podcast.” Burbank, who will panel on the show and bring bits of his news, worked with Geronimo nearly thirty years in their days at CBS Radio.  Burbank will continue his daily newscast at www.BuzzBurbank.com.  Burbank is a partner in, and co-founder of, The RELM Network, along with Marc Ronick and Lowell Melser.  The RELM Network now features 17 shows, including “Buzz Burbank News and Comment,” “The Kirk McEwen Show,” “The Marc & Lowell Show,” plus shows focusing on gaming, the arts, interviews, sports, politics — left and right — and more.

weinerlenLen Weiner to Program Lincoln Financial Media’s WAXY, Miami.  South Florida sports talker WAXY-AM/FM, Miami “FM 104.3/AM 790 The Ticket” has a new program director as Lincoln Financial Media announces Len Weiner will join the company beginning March 24.  The company parted ways with PD Tod Castleberry lastwaxylogo November.   Weiner most recently was vice president of programming for Genesis Communications’ stations in the Tampa, Orlando and Melbourne markets.  He’s also served at WGN, Chicago; ESPN Radio Network and KMPC, Los Angeles.  LFM SVP and general manager Maureen Lesourd comments, “I am excited that Len’s joining our ‘Ticket’ team.  His depth of experience as a sports radio programmer, producer and talent developer plus his solid track record for strengthening big brands makes him the perfect choice.”  Weiner adds, “I can’t wait to get started at ‘The Ticket.’  It’s a thrill and honor to join the team and continue to build and grow this great brand.  I would also like to thank Maureen and [LFM SVP of programming and operations] John Dimick for this opportunity.”

riverageraldoGeraldo Rivera Strikes Deal with Blast Applications for Digital Projects.  It’s not clear whether his new deal with Cumulus Media allows him to control his own digital endeavors or whether Cumulus is a silent partner in this but Geraldo Rivera and Blast Applications, Inc. are partnering to bring his radio show live to listeners via mobile devices.  Under the terms of the agreement, Rivera’s 10:00 am to 12:00 noon WABC, New York show will be distributed digitally and Blast Applications is responsible for promoting Geraldo’s upcoming online store that will feature innovative and one-of-a-kind products that will be available for purchase nationwide.  Blast Applications CEO Dino Luzzi states, “It is incredibly exciting to announce our joint revenue agreement with the Geraldo Rivera team to promote their popular radio show and online store.  This agreement is another key milestone in our growth for 2014 as we continue to expand Blast Application’s opportunity to create more revenue in the near future.”  Rivera comments, “With the help of Blast Application, we expect the Geraldo Rivera radio show to experience new growth and revenue opportunities.”

sykescharlieWisconsin Governor Scott Walker Featured at WTMJ’s “Insight 2014.”  The annual live event produced by Journal Broadcast Group’s WTMJ, Milwaukee and talk host Charlie Sykes that features important figures in public policy and media takes place this evening and will be re-broadcast tomorrow (3/20) from 8:30 am to 12:00 noon on the station.  “Insight 2014 with Charlie Sykes” is an annual political state of the state event and this year includes Governor Scott Walker, U.S. Senator Ron Johnson, WTMJ talk host Jeff Wagner and numerous Wisconsin political and media figures.

ramseydaveDave Ramsey to Present Fall ‘Business Gets Personal’ Event in NYC.  Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar, best-selling author and live event producer Dave Ramsey sells out theaters and arenas across the country targeting individuals and families as well as businesspeople with his “Legacy Journey LIVE” and “EntreLeadership” events.  Now, Ramsey is presenting a new businessperson-focused program to take place in New York City on October 2 titled “Business Gets Personal.”  The new event entails Ramsey teaming with marketing experts and best-selling authors Seth Godin and Gary Vaynerchuk to give businessmen and women valuable insight they can use to take their business to the next level.  Ramsey’s Lampo Group says the one-day event will allow attendees the opportunity to learn from some of the best in the business through keynote speeches, Q&A sessions and networking opportunities.  The daylong program takes place at the Rose Theater, Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall, Time Warner Center.  Godin’s latest book is titled, The Icarus Deception (Portfolio Hardcover 2012).  Vaynerchuk works in the family’s liquor sales business and launched Wine Library TV, a daily video blog about wine to much success in 2006.

huffaubreyKGMZ Adds Aubrey Huff to Morning Show.  The new morning show at Entercom’s KGMZ, San Francisco “95.7 The GAME” hosted by Ric Bucher and Chris Townsend adds retired San Francisco Giants star Aubrey Huff to the program’s cast beginning March 31.  Program director Jason Barrett says, “Last week, we announced a new lineup for ‘The GAME.’  Since then, we’ve been fortunate enough to add one of the most entertaining sports personalities in the Bay Area to our team.  It’s hard to improve on the ‘perfect team in the perfect time slot,’ but adding Aubrey Huff does just that.  Make no mistake — this morning show will be different, more informed, and more colorful than any other in the market.”  Huff adds, “I couldn’t be more excited to join ‘95.7 The GAME.’  I had an incredible experience in San Francisco, being a part of two World Championship Giants teams, and now I’m looking forward to joining my brand new team in the Bay Area.”

hurleyharryMichael Harrison Encourages Talk Radio to “Organize Communities, Not Sides.”  In a guest appearance this morning on the Harry Hurley morning show on Townsquare Media’s WPG, Atlantic City “Talk Radio 1450,” TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison – when asked by the popular, long-running AM drive star about the present state of talk radio in America – stated, “Although talk radio continues to be one of radio’s most successfulharrisonmichael formats and the platform that gives rise to the medium’s biggest stars, it might need to adjust its mission and style to perhaps a more positive mode in the days ahead for the sake of improving its image in the advertising community and maintaining influence in the arena of public policy.  I suggest that talk show hosts think more about organizing ‘communities’ that bring people together – especially on the local level where left and right ideology plays less of a defined role – than galvanize ‘sides’ that turn people and communities against each other.”  Harrison added, “There are many ways to target audiences and create critical, marketable masses.  Going forward it is important that news/talk radio explore all its options in this regard and not rely exclusively on the ‘us against them’ paradigm.”

bilstaderikOdds & Sods.  At Journal Broadcast Group’s news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee, Erik Bilstad is promoted to the role of executive producer, news, effective immediately.  The company says that in addition to his current duties as a reporter and news anchor on “Wisconsin’s Afternoon News with John Mercure,” Bilstad’s responsibilities will now include day-to-day management of the news department and personnel, along with story assignments and directing special news and severe weather coverage…..Former Chicago Bears general manager Jerry Angelo joins Tribune’s WGWG-LP, Chicago “The Game 87.7 FM” for a weekly football insider role on the midday show hosted by David Kaplan and David Haugh, according to Chicago media writer Robert Feder…..The Florida Times-Union reports the Jacksonville Jaguars will switch from Cox Media Group‘s WOKV, Jacksonville to Seven Bridges-owned WJXL for play-by-play of the team’s games beginning with the 2014 season.  According to the report, games would also air on Renda Broadcasting‘s country WGNE-FM.  The deal has not been officially announced by the NFL club.

jablonskijackMinneapolis Sports Talker Jack Jablonski Nabs Prom Date with ESPN’s Michelle Beadle.  Twin Cities sports talk personality Jack Jablonski made headlines in 2011 when, as a high school hockey player, became paralyzed from the chest down after being checked into the boards.  Jablonski was hired the following year at Cumulus Media’s “Sports Radio 105 The Ticket” (WGVX and WGVZ, Minneapolis) to host the weekly “Hockey Night in Minnesota” program that airsbeadlemichelle Wednesdays at 5:15 pm.  During his show last Wednesday, Jablonski joined former Vikings offensive lineman Mike Morris and Pioneer Press columnist Bob Sansevere. ESPN anchor Michelle Beadle was also on the air with them, having been booked for the second time by Jablonski.  After some hockey talk, the mood changed as Barry White‘s “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe” started to play.  The 18-year-old Minneapolis celebrity asked Beadle to his high school prom — and she accepted!

nielsen logoSecond Round of February PPM Data Released.  PPM data from the second of four groups of 12 markets for the February 2014 period (January 30 – February 26) has been released by Nielsen Audio.  Those markets include: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all the (subscriber) numbers here.  Managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian offers his “Ten Takeaways” from the report at RadioInfo.com here.

stockwallaceGeorge Wallace Visits KDWN, Las Vegas.  Comedian George Wallace (c) is pictured here in Beasley Broadcast Group’s Las Vegas studios with KDWN program director John Shaffer (l) and KDWN morning drive host Alan Stock (r).  Wallace spoke with Stock about the 10th anniversary of his engagement at the Flamingo Hotel and Casino on the strip.

Obama vs. Putin/Crimea-Ukraine Case, ObamaCare Criticism, Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 Mystery, and Mid-Term Elections/2016 Presidential Race Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/18).  Analysis of the motives of Russian president Vladimir Putin and his battle with President Obama over Russian interests and the Crimea-Ukraine case; scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act; the deepening mystery of the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370; and speculation about changes in Congressional power possible after the mid-term elections and the possible candidates for president in 2016 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.