Tag: "WTKK"

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

| October 25, 2017

Pamplin to Sell News/Talk KPAM, Portland.  According to a story at OregonLive.com, Pamplin Media Group is selling news/talk KPAM and adult contemporary KKOV-AM and the new owner — Intelli LLC — is expected to flip KPAM to a Vietnamese-language station.  The story notes that KPAM staffers posted on social media that the sale was taking place.  A call to the station connected to a recording that says the stations will spend the next three to six months (the time expected for the FCC to approve the sale) on a “farewell tour.”  Pamplin also owns the Portland Tribune and a number of suburban community newspapers in the Portland area.  In addition to airing syndicated programming, KPAM features the morning drive “First Edition” show with Tim Hohl and Terry Travis, and the afternoon drive show, “Afternoon Northwest” with hosts Michael Herrington and Eric Peterson.

Nielsen Reports Third Quarter Net Revenue Up 4.5%.  Reporting on third quarter financial numbers, Nielsen Holdings plc says its net revenue was $1.6 billion, an increase of 4.5% over the same period in 2016.  Nielsen divides its services into two segments – Watch and Buy – with ratings services under the Watch banner.  Nielsen CEO Mitch Barnes states, “In Watch, Total Audience remains our priority as we drive adoption and arm our clients with the critical tools and data they need.”  Revenues within the Watch segment for the third quarter of 2017 increased 10.1%, or 9.7% on a constant currency basis, to $838 million, compared to the third quarter of 2016.  Excluding the acquisition of Gracenote completed on February 1, 2017, Watch revenues increased 2.4%, or 2.0% on a constant currency basis.  Audience Measurement of Video and Text revenues increased 16.9%, or 16.5% on a constant currency basis.  Excluding the acquisition of Gracenote, Audience Measurement of Video and Text revenues increased 5.0%, or 4.6% on a constant currency basis, primarily due to our ongoing investments and continued client adoption of our Total Audience Measurement system.  Audio revenues decreased 7.3% on a reported and constant currency basis for the quarter due to timing of deliveries.

Chris Edge Promoted to Area SVP at iHeartMedia. Programmer Chris Edge is being promoted to area SVP of programming for Raleigh and Greensboro, a position in which he’ll oversee programming of 10 iHeartMedia stations, including news/talk WTKK, Raleigh and WPTI, Greensboro.  Edge has been handling programming strategies for the Raleigh stations for the past five years.  iHeartMedia EVP of programming for the Northeast Meg Stevens says, “Chris has had exceptional success in Raleigh and we’re thrilled he’s taking on a larger role for our brands in the area.  His leadership skills and dynamic personality make him right for the job.”

Skyview to Provide Turnkey Distribution for Clemson Tigers Network. The collegiate marketing firm JMI Sports owns the multi-media rights to Clemson University sporting events.  That firm has just struck a deal with Skyview Networks for the Clemson Tigers Network to use Skyview’s distribution services and satellite receivers.  This includes broadcasts of Clemson football, baseball, and men’s and women’s basketball. JMI’s Scott Morris says, “The expanded distribution of Clemson’s sports programs made possible by Skyview will allow fans to follow their Tigers from across the region and beyond.  We are proud to make these improvements in our first year as the multi-media rights holder for Clemson athletics.”  Skyview Networks says the distribution service is a cost-effective solution for the Clemson University Tigers.  It will offer the resources necessary for JMI Sports to expand their affiliate base and provide those affiliates with the most up-to-date features, including record and store technology, copy-split spot insertion, and time shifting broadcasts to fit their format.

Fourth Annual Mahindra-Limbaugh Military Salute Giveaway Taking Place.  This will be the fourth year that Premiere Networks superstar Rush Limbaugh and Mahindra North America will honor Veterans Day and acknowledge the service and sacrifice of U.S. military service members via the Mahindra Military Salute Giveaway.   The contest gives all active and former military service members who enter the chance to win a Mahindra 750S camo Flexhauler utility vehicle.  Entries are being accepted for the utility vehicle giveaway through November 5.  The winner will be selected in a random drawing on November 9, 2017.  Limbaugh says, “Thanks to Mahindra, the makers of the toughest utility vehicles on Earth.  And God bless each member of our military, and their families, who protect our freedom.”

TALKERS News Notes.  A friendly wager is taking place between iHeartMedia talk show hosts Michael Berry and Bill Handel.  Although Berry’s program is broadcast to 20-some affiliates stations, his home base is KTRH, Houston and Handel’s is KFI, Los Angeles.  Since Berry loves his Houston Astros, he’s challenged Handel to a bet over the Dodgers-Astros World Series: the host whose home team loses has to send $1,000 worth of local products to the host whose team wins.  Both are making appeals on social media and on air to their listeners, asking for ideas on products that represent the home city…..A number of iHeartMedia news/talk stations will be airing the podcast “Inside Psycho” as a one-hour special adapted from Wondery’s hit podcast with Mark Ramsey throughout this weekend and leading up to Halloween.  Stations airing the special program include: WOR, New York; KOA, Denver; WIOD, Miami; WISN, Milwaukee and more than 70 others.  iHeartMedia says this marks the first time a made-for-podcast show will air across broadcast radio, introducing podcasts to millions of new listeners…..ABC-TV’s “20/20” and ABC Radio are teaming up to present new details on the 2002 murder of Christa Worthington in Truro, Massachusetts, a crime that rocked the idyllic Cape Cod town.  The reports take a look at all the evidence in the case, investigating whether the right man is behind bars.  The ABC Radio six-part, podcast begins with the first episode today (10/25), hosted by ABC Radio’s Mark Remillard.  The two-hour television special, “20/20: A Killing on the Cape,” airs on ABC TV on November 24.

Giordano Interviews O’Reilly.  This was a live audience event and not broadcast on CBS RADIO’s WPHT, Philadelphia.  WPHT talk host Dom Giordano (left) spoke with former FOX News Channel star Bill O’Reilly (right) about his newest book, Killing England (Henry Holt and Company, 2017), his time with FNC, and his future plans.  O’Reilly also took questions from the sellout crowd of more than 900 at The Broadway Theater in Pitman, New Jersey.

Gallagher and Prager Lead Salem Listeners on ‘Stand with Israel’ Tour.  More than 500 Salem Radio Network listeners are taking a tour of Israel, led by network talk show hosts Mike Gallagher and Dennis Prager.  The trip is part of Salem’s commitment to “Stand with Israel.”  Gallagher and Prager have been to Israel in the past but both say this trip has been a “life changing” one for them and their listeners.  Gallagher, who is originating his talk show from Israel each day, is pictured here speaking to the group of listeners at the ancient Caesarea amphitheater.

Trump Tax Plan, Jeff Flake Campaign Decision, Trump-Corker Feud, Clinton Campaign and DNC Funded Trump Russia Dossier, North Korea Nuclear Threats, Obama DOJ Settlement Policy, Sexual Harassment-Weinstein/Toback Cases, World Series, and NFL Ratings, Anthem Protests and Games Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/24).  The Trump Administration’s tax reform plan; Arizona Senator Jeff Flake’s decision not to run for re-election in 2018; the re-ignited feud between Senator Bob Corker and President Trump; the revelation that the Clinton Campaign and the Democratic National Committee funded the efforts to create the Trump-Russia dossier; North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and threats against the U.S.; the Obama Department of Justice’s policy of steering settlement monies away from organizations with conservative connections; sexual harassment and the Harvey Weinstein and James Toback cases; the Dodgers-Astros World Series; and NFL ratings, attendance, anthem protests and Sunday action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TuneIn Names Holly Lim CFO.  Digital audio service TuneIn announces it has appointed Holly Lim chief financial officer.  Lim will be based at the company’s San Francisco headquarters and will oversee finance, legal, HR, workplace and corporate development.  She most recently was CFO at Soundcloud and has also served with such firms as Google, Stetson, Comedy Central, and New Line Cinema.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. New York City rock radio legend Shelli Sonstein celebrates her 40th anniversary on the Big Apple airwaves by inking a new, four-year deal to continue co-hosting the “Jim Kerr Rock and Roll Morning Show” on WAXQ “Q104.3.”  Sonstein recently won a Gracie Award for best radio co-host and a second one for best public affairs show.  She’s been co-hosting Kerr’s program since 2003.  Sonstein first partnered with Kerr on the radio on WPLJ from 1977 to 1989.  Sonstein also hosts “Sonstein Sunday” and “Sonstein Sessions” on the iHeartRadio app.  She also serves as an advisory board member of the Asbury Park Music & Film Festival…..iHeartMedia announces that Alex Mac is the new afternoon jock at KDXA, Des Moines “ALT 106.3” and the evening personality at KLLT, St. Louis “ALT 104.9.”  He’s also going to serve as music director at KDXA.  He comes to Des Moines from the company’s Richmond station group where he was evening host at “XL102.”…..Radio One promotes radio pro Tim Davies from vice president and general manager of Radio One Atlanta to regional vice president.  The company says Davies’ promotion reflects “his success in talent and market management, revenue growth, and high-performance team development.”   Radio One and Reach Media CEO David Kantor states, “Tim is a proven market leader who has been consistently progressive in his business acumen, sales strategy and people management skills. His steadfast leadership has continued to position our local stations and nationally syndicated shows to win.  It’s a pleasure to announce his well-deserved promotion.”

Thursday, April 28, 2016

| April 28, 2016

rosejimJim Rose Promoted to PD at KFAB, Omaha.  Both players here are part of the KFAB, Omaha morning show.  Longtime KFAB personality Gary Sadlemyer is giving up his program director duties at the iHeartMedia-owned news/talk station.  His co-host Jim Rose is being elevated to the PD role.sadlemyergary  Both will continue as personalities on the “Gary Sadlemyer and the Good Morning Show.”  iHeartMedia Omaha SVP of programming Erik Johnson says, “When Gary made the decision to step down as program director for KFAB, we knew we had big shoes to fill.  Jim’s tremendous background in news radio and his intimate knowledge of both Omaha and KFAB all make him the perfect candidate to take over for Gary, who will remain an important and integral part of KFAB as he continues to focus on ‘The Good Morning Show.’”

kucharzezraEzra Kucharz to Exit CBS Local Digital Media.  Six-year leader of CBS’ local digital efforts, Ezra Kucharz, announces he’s leaving his president of CBS Local Digital Media position and will consultcbslocalmedia as special advisor to the CEO as he explores the next chapter in his career.  Kucharz heads the division that developed a common platform and unified sales effort for its radio and television station websites and digital components.  This comes as speculation about a spin-off of the CBS RADIO division and an IPO is getting more intense.  CBS does not say whether it intends to fill Kucharz’s position.

The Presidential Race, Gender Identification-Bathrooms Issue, N. Korea Missile Tests, Prince Death/Opioid Addiction, Colorado Gay Wedding Cake Case, Dennis Hastert Sentenced, and NBA-NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/28).  The activities of the candidates for president, Ted Cruz’s naming of Carly Fiorina as his running mate, and the looming Indiana primary; the ongoing debate over laws governing public restroom use and gender identification; North Korea’s testing of medium-range missiles; the investigation into the cause of death of Prince and the related topic of opioid addiction; the Colorado Supreme Court’s refusal to hear the arguments of a Christian bakery found guilty of violating a  gay couple’s civil rights; former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert sentenced for crimes related to sexual assault; and the NBA and NHL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

ramseyRaleigh16Dave Ramsey Brings Smart Money Event to Raleigh.  Nationally syndicated talk radio super star and best-selling author Dave Ramsey was in Raleigh yesterday (4/27) presenting his Smart Money event at the Durham Performing Arts Center.   There, Ramsey Solutions personality and youth and money expert Anthony ONeal joined Ramsey on stage.  Local affiliate WTKK-FM helped to promote the appearance.  WTKK-FM program director Brian Taylor comments, “Over two days, Dave’s visit to Raleigh allowed WTKK-FM three wins: revenue, listener/client interaction while also elevating the profile of our local brand.  Adding the Dave Ramsey show to your lineup provides opportunities extending beyond the speakers.”  Pictured above are (from l-r): Ramsey, WTKK general sales manager Jeff Rovinsky, Taylor, and ONeal.

nextradio logoNextRadio: Visually Appealing Stations Get More Listening.  The data from NextRadio indicate stations that “enhance their terrestrial broadcast with visuals and related content average nearly twice the tune-ins and two hours more listening, per listener, per month, in NextRadio vs. stations which only display their station logo.”  The TagStation service that provides stations with artist and title information and interactivity with listeners is provided bybrennerpaul NextRadio developer TagStation, LLC (wholly-owned by Emmis Communications).  The conclusion comes from TagStation’s analysis of 11 million NextRadio listening hours.  NextRadio president Paul Brenner says, “Today, consumers are part of an ever-evolving app world, and they expect to see and engage with content on their smartphones.  By providing local FM radio listeners a live look at what is airing in their market before they tune in, NextRadio provides a compelling, new listener engagement option.  Stations benefit from NextRadio because it doubles listening through the visualization of FM broadcast radio — making listeners more engaged and loyal.  Not only does the data show that these stations experience more tune-ins and overall listening, but it also shows that the listening gap is widening between those that provide enticing visuals and related content versus those that do not.”

Odds & Sods. Chicago news/talk outlet WLS-AM takes home the “Best Newscast” honor in the large marketwlsAward16 category from the Illinois Associated Press Broadcasters Association.  This is the third year in a row the station has won the award.  WLS-AM PD/OM Peter Bolger says, “I’ve been associated with the news business for many years, and I can tell you it is very difficult to win this honor three years in a row – especially in a market as competitive and as rich with talent as Chicago.”  Pictured at right  are (from l-r): news director John Dempsey, anchor/reporter Jennifer Keiper, and anchor/reporter Nick Gale (who picked up a second place honor for his reporting on the Fox Lake shooting)…..The NFL draft gets underway tonight (4/28) and SiriusXM is providing coverage via several channels, including the NFL channel.  Joining the satcaster’s coverage live from Chicago are football experts Gil Brandt, Pat Kirwan, Jim Miller, Phil Savage, and lead host Jason Horowitz…..Fox Sports Radio is beerguysradioalso announcing its coverage of the draft.  Leading the coverage are FOX NFL insider Jay Glazer, FS1 NFL reporter Peter Schrager and lead college football/draft analyst Joel Klatt…..“The Beer Guys Radio Show” – based at Salem Media Group’s WGKA, Atlanta – announces two new affiliate stations in its current expansion efforts.  The show, co-hosted by Tim Dennis and Aaron Williams, begins airing on WTKI, Huntsville and WEKI, Decatur, Alabama on May 7…..Urban news/talk WVON, Chicago is being sued by FameFlyNet for unauthorized use of its copyrighted photos.  In United States District Court in Illinois, the company is suing Midway Broadcasting Corp. for posting two pictures of actress Lupita Nyong’o on its website and is seeking $150,000 in damages per infringement.  Midway is just the latest in a series of broadcasters sued by the company for copyright infringement.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

| April 17, 2014

grahammichaelMichael Graham to Middays on WYAY, Atlanta.  Talk radio pro Michael Graham is saying good-bye to Massachusetts and New England and heading south for the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon show at Cumulus Media’s WYAY, Atlanta “All News 106.7.”  Graham has been hosting a program on the New England Talk Network and on the Boston Herald’s digital audio project since Greater Media flipped WTKK, Boston from talk to urban contemporary (as WBQT).  Cumulus is getting away from the all-news on WYAY – it’s already added market pro Kim “The Kimmer” Peterson to the wyay logoschedule in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm shift – though there’s no indication it has plans to change the drive time news programming anytime soon.  The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho reports the changes but Graham himself bids a fond adieu to New England and a not-so-fond adieu to the Massachusetts political scene which he blames for WTKK’s demise.  He singles out Governor Deval Patrick and you can read that here.

beckglennGlenn Beck Talks About Film Projects to Hollywood Reporter.  Talk radio star and media entrepreneur Glenn Beck tells the Hollywood Reporter that there’s a reason he bought a movie studio in Texas – The Studios at Las Colinas in Irving: He has plans for three film projects with many more hopefully to come.  The facility, where such movies as “Robocop” and “JFK” were filmed, also serves as the base for his radio and digital operations under his TheBlaze banner but his Mercury Radio Arts film division has plans for the three films – one set in ancient history, one in modern history and a third “faith-based” project – that are underway.  Read the Hollywood Reporter piece here.  Meanwhile, Beck also appears irked that he’s pigeonholed as a political right-winger by the media, telling the magazine, “Everybody thinks they know who I am because of my stint on Fox – that was two years of my life.  I’m much more into culture than I am into politics, and that’s where I intend on making my stand.”

cclogoClear Channel Restructures Sales Efforts; Extent of RIF Unknown.  The prospect that Clear Channel Media + Entertainment intended to change the structure of its sales force has been rumored for some time and now the plan has been put into effect.  The exact nature of the realignment is not known but the company released the following statement: “As a policy, we don’t discuss personnel matters.  However, for the last several months we have been flattening our senior management organization to reduce overlap.  Now we are aligning our sales organizations to this new structure and to give more resources, authority, and accountability to the most productive members of our team so we can operate as effectively and efficiently as possible.”

kall logoJohnson to Replace Hanson at Broadway Media.  A number of changes taking effect at Broadway Media in Utah to report.  First, the company announces that its Salt Lake Radio Group market manager G. Craig Hanson is leaving the company after 37 years to enter the ownership end of the business in St. George, Utah.  Taking over for him will be Stephen C. Johnson.  He’ll serve as general manager and CEO of the Salt Lake Radio Group that includes: KXRK, KUDD, KUUU, KEGA, KYMV and KALL.  Johnson spent the last 35 years with Simmons Media.  Other moves include Broadway Media VP/administration Bret J. Leifson exiting to pursue other interests.  Joining the companies is John G. Kimball who will serve as general manager and CEO of Real Media – the division that operates Broadway’s digital, technical, event and entertainment, and outdoor media assets.  Kimball has worked in the market with Bonneville and Real Salt Lake.

nielsen logoSecond Round of March PPM Data Released.  PPM data from the second of four groups of 12 markets for the March 2014 period (February 27 – March 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.

fccnewFCC Issues FNPRM for 2014 Quadrennial Review; Ownership Regs Proposed to Remain, Cross-Ownership Open for Consideration.  The Federal Communications Commission has released its Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that initiates the 2014 Quadrennial Review and chief among the topics are the broadcast ownership rules.  The Commission is proposing to keep the current radio broadcast ownership rules in place but it is open to discussion about relaxing the radio-newspaper cross-ownership ban as well as the radio-television cross-ownership rules.  This has Republican Commissioner Ajit Pai furious in his dissent.  He takes the Commission to task for, 1) failing to complete the 2010 Quadrennial Review and; 2) putting proposals such as the radio-newspaper cross-ownership ban question into the 2014 review.  Here are his words: “Congress has instructed us to review the newspaper-paiajitbroadcast cross-ownership rule every four years and repeal or modify it if we determine that it is no longer in the public interest.  And here is the simple truth: The Commission has not been able to conclude since 2000 that the newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership rule remains in the public interest.  And today, the Commission dodges the issue entirely, putting off the issue until 2016, sixteen years after our last determination! What’s the solution at this point?  While writs of mandamus are not to be issued lightly, I believe that the D.C. Circuit would now be justified in ordering the Commission to remove the newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership rule from our books.  We have had plenty of opportunities to justify maintaining the newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership rule, but instead we have chosen to punt — including today.”  Pai’s sentiment that the FCC works too slowly, especially in an era when changes in technology are happening at an ever-faster pace while government seems to work slower than ever, is one echoed by many in the broadcasting industry.  Consider the Commission’s conclusion regarding how digital media is affecting broadcast media.  It’s important to understand that the quote from the FNPRM is relative to broadcasters’ (TV also) desires to relax ownership regulations.  Whether you agree or not, it’s the Commission’s assessment of the current state of the audio entertainment landscape that indicates its willingness to only see one moment in time, without regard for the future.  “Despite broadcasters’ claims to the contrary, we tentatively find that, for purposes of the Commission’s ownership rules, non-broadcast sources of audio programming are not yet meaningful substitutes for broadcast radio stations with respect to either listeners or advertisers.  While alternate platforms such as satellite radio and Internet-delivered audio are growing in popularity, broadcast radio remains the dominant radio technology.  In 2012, 92 percent of Americans age 12 or older listened to broadcast radio, a figure that has remained essentially constant over the last decade.  Satellite radio still serves only a small portion of the population, even though its subscription rates continue to climb.  And though recent data suggest that a significant portion of adult U.S. broadband households (42 percent) listen to Internet-delivered audio programming, we note that millions of U.S. households continue to lack broadband connections.  In addition, only 14 percent of Internet radio listeners listen in their cars, where most broadcast radio listening occurs.   Thus, we tentatively conclude that Internet-delivered audio programming is not yet a meaningful substitute for broadcast radio listening for most listeners.  We seek comment on this tentative conclusion and invite commenters to provide any more recent relevant information and data.  We believe, moreover, that satellite radio and content delivered via the Internet generally are national platforms that are not likely to respond to competitive conditions in local markets.”  Even if you agree with these conclusions (which, obviously, many do not), will they still be true in 2015, 2016 (when the 2014 Quad is supposed to be delivered to Congress) or 2017?

biakelseyBIA/Kelsey’s New Study Explores ‘Reinvention of Audio.’  The full name of the study from BIA/Kelsey is “The Internet Radio Revolution Has Arrived: Platforms, Services, Audiences and Advertisers Reinvent Audio,” and as the title implies, it works to make sense of the state of audio entertainment and its relationship with the advertising world as it exists today, plus where it’s going in the near future.  The study authors note a five-step process that occurs when a major change affects the media: 1) Fundamental breakthroughs in enabling technologies occur, 2) Entrepreneurs and their investors experiment with getting the right value proposition into the market, 3) Consumers find the winning technologies and begin to use them, 4) Advertisers sensing a new opportunity for connecting with their consumers allocate “experimental budget,” and 5) Media companies and publishers take new platforms seriously.  The report states, “It is only when we reach this last phase that we really get a sense of how fundamentally a technology will impact us in the long run.”  It believes the audio business is entering this fifth phase.  Read the entire study here.

iheartradio newiHeartRadio Gets into Subaru’s STARLINK.  Japanese automaker Subaru was a little late to the party with a digital infotainment system but the new STARLINK is available on many of its 2014 cars and now Clear Channel Media + Entertainment announces its iHeartRadio will be included on the system.  The STARLINK infotainment system is being demoed at the New York Auto Show beginning tomorrow (4/18).  Subaru of America marketing strategy & launch manager David Sullivan, says, “We are thrilled to have iHeartRadio as our first content partner for the STARLINK cloud service application.  The award-winning service brings a huge amount of programming and custom content to Subaru vehicles with a great, easy-to-use interface.”

ObamaCare Criticism, IRS-DOJ Tea Party Connection, Russian Aggression in Ukraine, Sebelius Senate Run, Tax Day, and Bloomberg vs the NRA Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/16).  Scrutiny of the rollout and effects of the Affordable Care Act; the allegation that the Lois Lerner led department of the IRS contacted the Department of Justice about prosecuting the Tea Party; escalating aggression by Putin’s Russian forces in Ukraine; speculation that former HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will run for the U.S. Senate; chatter about the complex U.S. tax code and the number of taxpayers supporting benefit takers; and former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s plans to battle the National Rifle Association were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

| April 16, 2014

2014 NYC logo 150By Popular Demand, “Talkers New York 2014” is Bringing Back the Talk Rumble!  After several years on hiatus, the legendary (and original) “Talk Rumble” will return to the annual TALKERS conference at Talkers New York 2014.  The session features a large group of local and national talk show hosts – representing a variety of ideologies, genders and ethnicities — in a fast-paced, smokin’ debate of the hottest issues of the day.  It is moderated by an individual sworn to uphold the principles of political non-partisanship and philosophical even-handedness.  This year’s choice to serve in that capacity is WPIX-TV Channel 11, New York commentator (and TalkersRadio host) Lionel.  Rumblers include (in alphabetical order):  Alan Colmes of Fox News Radio, Mike Gallagher of Salem Radio Network, Thom Hartmann of WYD Media, Joyce Kaufman of WFTL, Ft. Lauderdale/Miami, Kevin McCullough of XtreMEDIA, Lincoln Ware of WDBZ, Cincinnati, and David Webb of Sirius/XM Satellite Radio.    Talkers New York 2014 will take place on Friday, June 20 at the India House Club located at One Hanover Square in the heart of New York City’s financial district.  More than 60 speakers will be participating in this year’s 17th annual installment of the talk radio industry’s longest-running and most important convention.  The event is always an early sellout and only open to communications industry professionals working in or closely associated with talk media.  Registrations ($249 per person) are only taken with credit card by phone.  Call 413-565-5413.

justicejonJournal’s KQTH, Tucson Re-Brands; Shifts Jon Justice to Late Mornings.  Leaving the station brand “The Truth” behind, Journal Broadcast Group news/talk KQTH, Tucson is making a few adjustments to its air schedule as well.  As per John Schuster’s piece in Tucson Weekly, the station is taking the slogan “104.1 KQTH, Tucson’s News and Talk.”  Jon Justice, who’s been heard in morning drive since the station debuted on the FM dial seven years ago, is moving to the 8:30 am to 12:00 noon slot where he’ll compete with Rush Limbaugh, heard on Clear Channel’s KNST from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.  Taking over the morning show on KQTH is program director Bill White, who will host a news wheel show.

ramseyRaleighDave Ramsey Presents Live in Raleigh.  Nationally syndicated talk superstar Dave Ramsey was in Raleigh on tax day presenting his “Legacy Journey LIVE!” event to a sold-out crowd at the Durham Performing Arts Center.  Ramsey’s presentation focuses on how to win with money, strengthen marriages and lead your children with confidence.  His daughter, Rachel Cruze, joined him on stage.  Ramsey worked with Clear Channel affiliate WTKK “106.1 FM” to promote his appearance.  WTKK program director Brian Taylor comments, “When Dave comes to town it’s a reminder that our format is not inherently niche.  Build it and they will come.  Listeners turn out for Dave.  Identifying issues and concerns is one thing — it’s quite another to offer practical and actionable solutions we can all accomplish.  At WTKK Raleigh, all three numbers are solid: Ratings, revenue and attendance.”  Pictured here are (from left to right): Cruze, Clear Channel Raleigh market manager George Allen, Ramsey, program director Brian Taylor and general sales manager Dave Beecher.

krxa logoKRXA, Carmel Valley Signs Consent Decree in Sponsor ID and Indecency Case; to Pay $15,000.  Progressive talk radio outlet KRXA, Carmel Valley, California is owned by Harold S. Ginsberg and is currently in negotiations to be sold to El Sembrador Ministries (which has filed a contingent application to convert it to a non-commercial station).  The Consent Decree which will have Ginsberg pay $15,000 revolves around a brokered show that aired in 2009 that the FCC ruled was not properly identified as a sponsored program.  Also, the Commission ruled that the same program violated indecency regulations.  Though Ginsberg initially argued against both allegations, he reversed course and, due to financial hardship, is paying the fine and exiting the broadcasting business.

millerhannityWelcoming Sean to Boise.  KIDO, Boise morning drive personality Kevin Miller (right) poses for a photo with Premiere Networks talk star Sean Hannity (left) at the recent 2014 Media Solutions Conference in Philadelphia.  Both Miller and Hannity worked at WVNN, Huntsville early in their careers and now are both part of the lineup at Townsquare Media’s KIDO, Boise as Sean Hannity’s program is heard there in afternoon drive.  Miller tells TALKERS, “Sean has always been great to me since our days at WVNN.  It was a pleasure to welcome him to KIDO.”

mccollummaryMcCollum Promoted at Idaho Media Group.  Local sales manager Mary McCollum is promoted to director of regional and national sales at IdaVend Broadcasting, Inland Northwest Broadcasting and KRPL Inc.  McCollum began her career in media as a marketing manager for Ubiquitel (Sprint Wireless), in 2000.   She moved to neighboring Clarkston, Washington in 2009, taking a position in Lewiston as sales manager at Pacific Empire Radio Corporation.  In 2011, McCollum moved to nationally recognized IdaVend Broadcasting as the sales manager for Inland Northwest Broadcasting and KRPL, Inc. in Moscow.  In addition to national and regional sales, McCollum also specializes in political advertising and sponsorship promotions.

Tax Day, ObamaCare Criticism, Boston Marathon Bombing Anniversary, Russian Ukraine Aggression/Obama-Putin Talks, and Harry Reid and Nevada ‘Cattle Battle’ Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/15).  The deadline for filing federal and state tax returns and the increased tax rates many Americans are facing; the anniversary of the deadly bombings at the Boston Marathon; the ongoing tensions in Ukraine as pro-Russian factions press for return to Russian rule and President Obama’s talks with Vladimir Putin; Harry Reid’s involvement in the controversy between a Nevada rancher and the Bureau of Land Management were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Can the Radio Station Overcome Smothering Debt and Become
a Viable Business Again?

| May 2, 2013

Mike Kinosian, Managing Editor
RadioInfo and Talkers

LOS ANGELES — Chalk it up to misreading the economic tealeaves or perhaps to good old-fashioned avarice, but several radio groups have fallen victim to the, “(S)he who has the most toys, wins” hypothesis.

Debt #1Monopoly Board“Winners” managing to run the board in today’s all too real game of Radio Monopoly are rewarded by becoming further ensconced in deeper, darker, debt.

Administer sodium pentothal to a cross-section of radio managers and the overwhelming majority will vociferously state that, owing to its cookie-cutter nature and mounting pressure to deliver grossly unrealistic percentages to the bottom line, the business is no longer fun. Countless executives at high-billing, strong ratings performing outlets have been unduly placed in the gut-wrenching position of laying off personnel and making other vital cutbacks – forced to share the load of paying for what could be considered out-of-control acquisition sins at the corporate level.

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Monday, February 18, 2013

| February 18, 2013

blazergraceGrace Blazer Lands at Clear Channel Miami.  Former WTKK, Boston program director Grace Blazer is the new PD at Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s news/talk WIOD and sports WINZ, Miami.  She exited the Greater Media talk station when it flipped to rhythmic AC at the end of 2012.  Prior to WTKK, Blazer programmed WPHT, Philadelphia.  In a statement, Blazer says, “The depth of Clear Channel’s resources is phenomenal.  Working for our industry’s leading media company and programming WIOD and WINZ is a superb opportunity.  I’m excited to partner with Alex Tear, Lonny Anger and the talented staffs of ‘News Radio 610/100.3FM’ and 940’s ‘Sports Animal’ to grow these stations.”  The programming position at WIOD and WINZ opened up when Ken Charles moved up to the VP of programming position at Clear Channel’s Sacramento cluster.

cainhermanHermain Cain Joins Fox News Channel as Contributor.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Herman Cain becomes part of the Fox News Channel stable of contributors.  Cain, who took over the late morning slot long held by talk radio pioneer Neal Boortz at Cox Media’s WSB, Atlanta and his national syndication distributed by Dial Global, will make regular appearances on FNC where EVP of programming Bill Shine says in a statement, “Cain’s impressive resume makes him a valuable addition to the Fox News and Fox Business lineup.  As a political expert with business savvy, he brings an important voice to the nation’s debates.”  In addition to his recent run for president, Cain also was CEO of the Godfather’s Pizza chain and held the CEO position at the National Restaurant Association.

wfan logoNY Post Reports CBS Radio New York Weighing WFAN-AM/FM Options.  The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick writes that the brass at CBS Radio in New York City is weighing its programming options for the sports talk tandem of WFAN-AM and FM as the company must be eager to get the fledgling CBS Sports Radio Network programming on in the largest market in the country.  Currently, the full schedule of WFAN programming is heard on both signals but the need to get the new national network some Big Apple exposure is pressing.  A statement from the company to the Post goes, “We have a number of great options and are closely examining each one.”  At issue is the fact that WFAN-AM’s 660 signal is huge and the 101.9 FM signal is decent but nowhere near as far-reaching as 660 AM.  Will the local sports talk remain on 660 AM and the national network appear on 101.9 FM?  Will it be the other way around or a mixture of the two?  As Mushnick hints, you can bet some of the WFAN stalwarts – including PM driver Mike Francesa and AM drive duo Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton – would like to stay on the huge 660 AM signal.  CBS Radio is expected to make a decision within the next few months.

DG-logoHorizontalDial Global to Cease SEC Reporting.  The company cites, among other things, “the relatively limited historical volume of trading in the Company’s common stock and the applicable federal securities laws” as one of the reasons it will suspend its reporting obligations under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  Dial Global’s board of directors determined that such action would be in the best interests of the company.  It says, “In reaching this conclusion, the Company’s Board of Directors considered numerous factors including the compliance costs associated with filing periodic reports with the SEC and the diversion of management attention from other matters that result from being a reporting company.”  Dial Global left the NASDAQ and its stock is traded on OTC Pink.  It states, “There can be no assurance, however, that a trading market in the Company’s common stock through the over-the-counter market or any other market will be maintained.”

landaudavidDavid Landau Gets Nice Severance from Dial Global.  Technically it’s not a severance but regardless, former co-CEO of Dial Global David Landau will receive $600, 000 per annum for the next two years plus other unspecified benefits after the company decided to re-align its corporate management structure and make Spencer Brown sole CEO and former co-CEO Ken Williams president.

stpierreronWPRO, Providence Lets Ron St. Pierre Go.  In a move that appears to be about saving money, Ron St. Pierre exits his role as PM drive host Buddy Cianci’s sidekick/executive producer.  GoLocalProv.com reports that this is the latest in a series of moves at the Cumulus Media station that began with the ouster of Andrew Gobiel from the WPRO morning show and the re-assignment of Tara Granahan from the AM show to other news duties.  The station brought WJAR-TV anchor Gene Valicenti in to host the morning program.  St. Pierre has served at WPRO as program director – the first time in 1988 – as general manager, and as host of the station’s morning show.  Ron can be reached at ron.stpierre@cox.net.

millerchrisGood Writing Is at the Core of Digital Success.  Writing for the internet is a very different art form than writing for the radio.  Noted radio digital consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller says, “Good writing is at the heart of what we do online, and how we communicate with our fans.  Don’t just do it for the art of it; do it because it can help stretch your few thousand Facebook fans into tens of millions of annual impressions.  Do it because it will help get your tweets re-tweeted.  We’re talking about building your numbers here!”  Miller advises TALKERS readers to avoid three common mistakes in writing for the web: 1) over-selling; 2) being boring; and 3) social desperation.  Read his entire piece here.

raytomWINTER ADVICE:  Be Sure to Install Deicers on your Antenna.  It is not too late to do it or to be concerned.  The failure to properly install deicers on your antenna to save a few bucks in the short term can not only interfere with the quality of your signal, it can put you off the air entirely, not to mention cause severe costly damage to your components and even create a major fire hazard.  TALKERS technical editor and noted engineering consultant Tom Ray says, “While money is tight all over, the last thing you need is your transmitter and/or building to be a smoking hulk.  Consult with someone qualified to guide you.  Think of it like buying an insurance policy.  You may not want to spend the cash, but it could save you a bundle in the long run.  Read Tom Ray’s entire article here.

trumpdonaldTrump-Maher Suit “Stretches Credulity.”  TALKERS magazine legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman writes that the $5 million suit Donald Trump is filing against Bill Maher has no chance of success, little chance of getting a day in court and could incur sanctions against Trump and his attorney for filing a frivolous lawsuit.  In case you missed it, Maher went on “The Tonight Show” in January and – based on the color of Trump’s hair – joked that he would donate $5 million to a charity of Trump’s choice if he would produce his birth certificate to show he is not the son of an orangutan.  Read more of Weisman’s account about why this spat is still going on and upon what legal ground the complaint stands (or doesn’t as the case may be).  It’s here.

johnsondanistudioXtreMEDIA Syndicated Host Dani Johnson Profiled in Forbes.  The host of the weekly XtreMEDIA-syndicated Dani Johnson program was profiled on Forbes.com on Thursday and, according to XtreMEDIA CEO Kevin McCullough, the story went viral “with 15,700 shares on Facebook in a little more than a day.  Heading into the weekend it was still the ‘Most Popular’ and ‘Most Read’ piece on Forbes.com.”  McCullough tells TALKERS, “Her story as a broke homeless woman to becoming a multiple millionaire to even now helping others get out of debt, restore relationships, and expand their influence is a story that rocketed her from one affiliate station in January of 2012 to 95 stations and counting in January of 2013.  Dani is the most important voice in all of American media – not just talk radio – that most of the nation still hasn’t heard from.  Hundreds of thousands of lives changed for the better, only proves the point that she has something that real audiences are looking for… connection!”  Read the Forbes story here.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

| February 7, 2013

owensronnRonn Owens Signs New Deal with KGO, San Francisco.  The iconic Bay Area talk radio fixture begins his 38th year in the radio business after signing a two-year guaranteed deal with an option for a third year.  Ronn Owens was reported by Bay Area media blogger Rich Lieberman to be on his way out at the Cumulus Media heritage talker back in the fall – a story TALKERS picked up on – but that did not happen and it appears Owens is likely to mark his 40th anniversary in the business at KGO in a couple of years.  At a time when legendary personalities across the country are being ousted from their programs due to budget cuts and programming changes, it’s nice to see a figure of Owens’ magnitude sign up for a new tour of duty!

eaganbraudeBoston Media Personalities Margery Eagan and Jim Braude Land at Pubcaster WGBH.  Boston Herald columnist Margery Eagan and Boston TV and radio personality Jim Braude will begin hosting a daily 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm talk program on public radio outlet WGBH, Boston beginning February 25, almost two months after they exited Greater Media’s WTKK, Boston due to a format change.   Eagan and Braude hosted mornings at WTKK for much of the 13 years they were at WTKK.  The Boston Herald reports the current midday hosts at WGBH – Callie Crossley and Emily Rooney – will be featured on the new program as well.

paiajitFCC Commissioner Ajit Pai to Address AM Band at NAB Show in April.  The National Association of Broadcasters announces FCC Commissioner Ajit V. Pai will lead a session on AM radio revitalization at the NAB Show in Las Vegas on Monday, April 8.  The NAB states, “Broadcasters are exploring the challenges and opportunities related to revitalizing AM radio while continuing to provide the popular, local programming that millions of listeners rely on daily. This session, held within the Broadcast Management Conference, will address possible options for sustaining and enhancing AM radio as a unique entertainment medium.  Commissioner Pai, who has expressed special interest in the future of AM radio, will moderate a panel of AM radio leaders, engineers and policy experts.”

olivertrevorTrevor Oliver Exits Premiere Networks.  After 15 years with Premiere Networks, Trevor Oliver exits his SVP of operations position.  Oliver tells TALKERS magazine he leaves the company on very good terms and that he’s looking forward to his next opportunity.  Oliver, who joined Premiere in 1998, has an excellent reputation in the industry and TALKERS has no doubt he’ll put his numerous talents to use in the business somewhere very soon.

malonesamTalk Host Sam Malone to Return to Houston Airwaves (and Cablewaves!).  Houston radio personality Sam Malone – most recently heard in the market on Dan Patrick-owned news/talk KSEV – will begin a new program on Phonoscope Cable and the show will be simulcast on a local talk radio station to be named later.  The Houston Chronicle reports that Malone, who is serving as president of Phonoscope New Media, says the idea for a video and audio show grew out of his experience with Phonoscope.  “This is where radio will be going in the future.  We need to get the message to smartphones and iPads, not just car radios.”  In addition to KSEV, Malone has also worked at music outlets KRBE and KHMX in Houston.  He tells the Chronicle he’ll announce the radio station he’ll be on next week but says it’s a station he has not worked for in the past.

sweeneyjohnFormer Congressman John Sweeney to Host Albany Talk Show.  Four-term Republican Congressman John Sweeney begins a daily one-hour talk show on Capital Broadcasting’s WGDJ, Albany “Talk 1300.”  Sweeney joined president and general manager Paul Vandenburgh on his morning program to announce he’ll begin the 11:00 am to 12:00 noon program on Monday, February 11.  Sweeney says, “One of the things I miss about being in the public eye is my day-to-day interaction with the people.”  Vandenburgh states, “John has consistently been a leader in the Capital District.  Our goal from day one has been to provide a local product on a daily basis and John will be a marvelous addition.”

ramseyknoxDave Ramsey Knocks ‘em Dead in Knoxville.  Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey presented his “Building Your Legacy” event to a sold-out crowd in Knoxville recently.  Ramsey talked about how to win with money, strengthen marriages and lead your children with confidence and worked with his daughter Rachel Cruze, who joined him on stage for the presentation.  Ramsey teamed up with local affiliate WNOX-FM to promote this event.  WNOX general manager Ed Brantley states, “Dave Ramsey’s ‘Building Your Legacy’ was a huge success not only for WNOX-FM and our sponsors but for the community.  Dave’s up-close-and-personal approach captured the sold-out crowd.”

la talk radio logoLA Talk Radio Celebrates 5th Anniversary.  The Los Angeles-based internet talk radio station is celebrating its fifth year “on the air.”  Founder Sam Hasson says, “LA Talk Radio has found its success in emerging radio talent in Los Angeles and the rest of the world.  We now provide over 80 shows of quality programming, giving ambitious hosts a vocal platform where they can build their listening audience.”  LA Talk Radio was born on February 4, 2008, as BBS Talk Radio launched in a “small but comfortable office” in a luxurious high-rise building in downtown Los Angeles.  It wasn’t long before Hasson had three daily shows and six weekly shows and soon thereafter began broadcasting 24 hours a day.

patrickmorgan gunsKTRH and KPRC, Houston’s Matt Patrick Faces Off with Piers Morgan on Gun Issue.  Clear Channel Media and Entertainment personality Matt Patrick (r) – whose programs air on KTRH, Houston in AM drive and on sister KPRC in afternoons – is pictured here at a live remote broadcast from Tactical Firearms in Houston.  Patrick tells TALKERS magazine the remote was a “spirited and interactive show to a live audience of listeners.”  Patrick’s program aired live before CNN personality and gun legislation advocate Piers Morgan (c) brought his television show to the same location later that evening to argue for the proposed ban on high volume semi-automatic weapons. “Piers Morgan Tonight” aired from Tactical Firearms after Morgan agreed to come and use the gun range and try to experience why Texans love their guns.  Morgan agreed to appear on the final segment of Patrick’s program in front of a live audience.

kykn gun rallyKYKN, Salem, Oregon’s Bill Post Draws Crowd to Gun Rally.  Willamette Broadcasting’s KYKN, Salem helped draw a crowd of some 3,000 to the Oregon State Capitol on January 19 for a rally dubbed, “Guns Across America.”  A key speaker at the event was 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm talk host Bill Post (at the mic) who addressed the crowd about the gun legislation issue.  The station reports that requests for autographs and photos with Post were overwhelming.

Deficit Reduction Debate; Obama Drone Killing Controversy; Gun Legislation Proposals; Chris Christie Weight Flap and Obama Care Costs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/6).  The debate in Washington over reducing the deficit via tax and spending cuts; President Obama’s insistence on the right to use drones to kill U.S. citizens; the move to enact new gun control legislation; the media flap over Governor Chris Christie’s weight; and the looming costs of the Affordable Care Act were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, February 4, 2013

| February 4, 2013

kochedEd Koch the Broadcaster Remembered.  The passing of former New York City Mayor Ed Koch early Friday morning elicited some remembrances from two people who worked closely with him – John Mainelli, the program director of WABC who hired him, and Curtis Sliwa, one of his fellow talk hosts at WABC, New York.  Mainelli tells TALKERS magazine, “I hired him right after he left office.  It wasn’t long before he was #1 in his time slot (11:00 am to 12:00 noon).  There was asliwacurtis time when both he, Limbaugh and Bob Grant were #1 in their slots.  Ed wanted to know who was the leader of the three, asking me, “How #1 am I?”  He was A-No.1.  A great guy.  A nice guy.  A champ.  I really, really liked him.”  Curtis Sliwa says of Koch’s death, “The passing of Mayor Koch was not only a tremendous loss for our city, but a tremendous loss for the radio dial. Ed Koch was no fan of mine, nor were the Guardian Angels while he was Mayor.  While we were colleagues at 77WABC, and I was his lead-in with Lisa, our relationship improved but you wouldn’t call us friends.  When I got shot in June of 1992, the first image that I saw hovering over my hospital bed in ICU was that of Ed Koch.  Immediately, my first thought was that I’d died and gone straight to Hell without an asbestos suit.  I didn’t die though (I think Ed was almost as disappointed as the Gottis about that) and our relationship continued to improve over the years and for a long time, I’ve been proud to call him a friend.  He was a regular guest on my radio show on WABC and at ‘AM 970 The Answer.’  He was my colleague at NY1 and he was the only person I’d ever met who loved this city more than I did.”  SiriusXM broadcast the special program “Ed Koch: The Voice of Reason,” a two-hour tribute devoted to the life and career of Mayor Koch on its Bloomberg Radio channel on Friday, February 1 at 7:00 pm ET.

kinosianmikeComing to TALKERS This Week: The Talk Radio Watchdog.  There was a time in the early days of the modern talk radio era when most markets could lay claim to at least one talk show host considered to be the local “watchdog.”  He or she was feared by the power brokers in city hall and had a reputation for having the backs of the regular folks.  They are not as prevalent in the format as they once were but they are still out there.  Does the industry still value this breed of talk host?  Does the public still want to listen to them?  Do their station managers support them?  TALKERS managing editor and West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian speaks with some of today’s “watchdogs” to get answers to these and other questions about their craft.  His story comes to Talkers.com this week.

zach and rammerWXOS, St. Louis Adds Bob “Rammer” Ramsey to Mid-Morning Show.  Hubbard Broadcasting’s sports talk WXOS, St. Louis “101 ESPN” moves Bob “Rammer” Ramsey to the mid-morning slot alongside Zach McCrite for the “Zach and Rammer” show.  McCrite has been on the air in the slot with “The Coach” Rick Venturi who exits the station to be closer to family in Indiana.  Ramsey moves to the slot from the evening show he co-hosted with Brian Stull.  Ramsey is also the “Voice of the Billikens” – a position he has held for the past 26 years – handling the play-by-play duties for Saint Louis University’s Men’s Basketball games, along with co-host and analyst Earl Austin, Jr.

grahammichaelMichael Graham Debuts Massachusetts-Wide Talk Show Today.  Former WTKK, Boston talk radio star Michael Graham begins a new, daily midday talk show today that will air on four stations across Massachusetts.  Graham’s program – airing from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm – will be heard on Money Matters Radio’s WBNW, Concord; WPLM-AM, Plymouth; and WESO, Southbridge as well as Carter Broadcasting’s WCRN, Worcester.  Graham hosted the mid-morning program on Greater Media’s WTKK, Boston until the station flipped to a music format after the New Year.

cookehollandHow to Pump Up Your Weekend “How-To” Show.  Talk radio consultant Holland Cooke says, “Few marketing opportunities can generate more new business than local talk radio…if you use it properly.”  Cooke says that weekend how-to shows that are done well provide listeners with two things: information and the chance for interaction.  And, he says the programs have a two-fold purpose. “The well-executed show sets the table for what marketers call ‘conversion,’ moving prospects through the sales funnel.  And the how-to hosts I coach aren’t just producing new leads.  Making what comes out the speaker as engaging and informative and relatable as possible also racks up more Average Quarter Hours for the station.”  Read Holland Cooke’s suggestions for producing quality weekend “how-to” programs here.

walusekmeredithOdds & Sods.  At CBS Radio’s sports talk WHFS, Tampa “98.7 The Fan,” Meredith Walusek exits her role on the Kirk & Dinger morning drive show to join the cluster’s rhythmic CHR WLLD for its Orlando & the Freakshow morning program…..Ryan Giles joins Hubbard Broadcasting’s sports talk KSTP, Minneapolis as director of marketing and promotions.  Giles previously served as promotions director and webmaster at Shamrock Communications’ alternative KMYZ “Z-104.5 The Edge” and classic hits KTSO “94.1 The Sound” in Tulsa…..Hubbard Broadcasting’s WTOP, Washington, DC is honoring the local Easter Seals chapter in its Charity of the Month program.  The Easter Seals serving DC, Maryland and Virginia will receive more than $30,000 in free air-time and in-kind contributions, including on-air promotions and content on WTOP.com.  The WTOP Charity of the Month program highlights one local charity every month in order to raise community awareness, support events and help with fundraising efforts…..WEEI, Boston’s play-by-play of Boston Celtics basketball games is being made available via free streaming on WEEI.com, the WEEI Live mobile app and the new Boston Celtics Mobile App.  WEEI’s Celtics broadcast will also be available via the TuneIn app.

haleyjeffA Conversation with Marketron President and CEO, Jeff  Haley.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison speaks with Jeff Haley, the president and CEO of media industry software solutions and service giant Marketron.  The conversation, which serves as the basis of today’s (2/4) posted TALKERS interview, covers a variety of subjects of importance to radio sales and administrative executives including re-energizing the advertising end of radio and guiding the medium’s evolution into creating integrated cross-platform buys in this new digital era. He talks about the cloud, as well as the new relationship between radio’s front and back offices, the need to reassess FCC regulations moving forward and the balance between local and national programming on the individual station level.   On the subject of dealing with the advertising industry’s reaction to controversy on news/talk radio, Haley tells TALKERS, ” Depends what you mean by controversy – and what your appetite is for it.  Benign controversy can pull listeners in. That said, controversy that reflects poorly on the station can be a turn off and cause advertisers to abandon.  Best to talk to your partners along the way, prepare them, and include them in your decision-making process.”  To read the entire TALKERS interview with Jeff Haley, click here.

bearmanethan“Nerd” Talk Show Host Shares Tips on Pulling Off an Expedient International Remote Broadcast.  One of the brightest young news/talk hosts on the rise today, Ethan Bearman of KSCO, Santa Cruz and Genesis Communications Network shares the story of his recent adventure in simple-yet-effective remote broadcasting in which he conveniently packed a bag of all the gear necessary to capture an interview with a Times of London reporter under the tightest of security restrictions at the Houses of Parliament in London to get an international perspective on the American presidential election.   Check it out by clicking here.

sexyliberalStephanie Miller Returns to Chicago with Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour.  Along with comedy (and radio) partners John Fugelsang and Hal Sparks, WYD Media nationally syndicated talk radio star Stephanie Miller brings her successful “Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour” back to the Windy City for a date at the historic Chicago Theatre on April 13.  The ongoing comedy tour has benefitted from cross-promotion on Miller’s radio program as well as her digital platforms.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

| January 2, 2013

wtkkGreater Media Gives Up on Talk in Boston.  It can’t be said Greater Media didn’t give WTKK, Boston a chance to thrive.  Following a 13-year history of news/talk programming, the station flipped to a rhythmic CHR format at 10:00 am this morning after morning duo Jim Braude and Margery Eagan took to the air say good bye to their audience.  The flip had been rumored for some time and, given the station’s less-than-stellar ratings combined with the expense of programming a news/talk format, it was not shocking the company is opting for a music format on the 96.9 FM signal.  It’s not clear (sincecarrhowie management has made no comment about revenue) how much the “controversial programming” stigma that many talk broadcasters admit can hamper their sales efforts was part of the company’s decision to drop the format.  Industry watchers have been quoted in the Boston media charging the station didn’t achieve stationality with its politically incongruous lineup.  However, crosstown competitor WRKO is programmed conservatively across the board and its ratings over recent years have been in pretty much the same ballpark as WTKK’s; so trying to find one reason for the station’s demise is probably unrealistic.  WRKO afternoon drive host Howie Carr – wooed by WTKK several years ago but retained by Entercom in a highly publicized court battle – writes in his recent Boston Herald column that the programming was the station’s downfall.  Read his column here.

cbssportsradiologoListener Interaction Key in CBS Radio’s New Sports Talk Venture.  The new sports talk radio network that’s been in the works for more than six months takes off today and TALKERS magazine managing editor/West Coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian reports the CBS Radio/Cumulus Media Networks joint venture is based strongly on CBS’ 25 years of sports talk radio experience.    CBS Radio SVP Chris Oliviero tells TALKERS the listener interaction is of paramount importance, “It might be in the traditional way of people picking up a phone, or through social media.  If you listen to some other sports radio networks, it is a great deal of one-way conversations, but we are going to be doing two-way conversations so listeners will be able to talk back.  Yes, we will have interviews and yes, we will have monologs, but that is not all it will be.”  As 2013 kicks off, sports talk radio is front-and-center.  Read part one of Mike Kinosian’s three-part series on sports talk here.

ramseydaveDave Ramsey Renews with WOR, New York.  The changes at Clear Channel’s WOR, New York before Christmas had many wondering what the status of some of its programming would be once the new year began.  One question is answered as Dave Ramsey’s nationally syndicated program will continue on the heritage signal.  Ramsey’s organization announces it has renewed its deal with WOR and the Dave Ramsey program will continue to air in the 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm slot.  Ramsey states, “We’re excited to continue being a part of the WOR team.  We have a great relationship with WOR and their listeners.”

bissingerbuzzBuzz Bissinger Exits WPHT, Philadelphia.  Philadelphia Magazine reports Buzz Bissinger has left his afternoon drive talk program at CBS Radio’s WPHT, Philadelphia.  The Friday Night Lights author and Pulitzer Prize-winning author tells PhillyMag’s Victor Fiorillo he left before the holidays because he missed his writing career and found managing two careers was becoming impossible.  He also said, “While I enjoyed doing talk radio, I had increasingly come to the conclusion that it is fundamentally trivial.”  The end of Bissinger’s six-month talk radio career is said to have been amicable but reports from CBS Philadelphia indicate his penchant for profanity required extra caution and staffing in the control room.  It also reared its head off the air as Fiorillo’s report states Bissinger was charged with “creating a hostile work environment” on at least one occasion.  It’s not clear what CBS Philadelphia’s plans for the PM drive slot are but Steve Martorano and Rich Zeoli have been hosting the program since Bissinger’s departure.

loeschdanaKFTK, St. Louis Talk Host Dana Loesch Sues Breitbart.com in Contract Dispute.  Talk host and blogger Dana Loesch – whose programs air on Emmis Communications’ KFTK, St. Louis and WIBC, Indianapolis – is suing Breitbart.com in a contract dispute that Loesch claims is keeping her with Breitbart, though her work is not being used by the site.  Loesch, stating publicly that her relationship with Breitbart has gone “tragically awry,” contends she tried to end the relationship in September but Breitbart instead extended her contract by a year and refuses to publish any of her work.  She is seeking $75,000 in damages and her freedom.  The complaint notes that the working relationship between Loesch and Breitbart had become strained over time, forcing her to try to end the deal.

wnox logoJournal Broadcast Group’s $6 Million Deal for WNOX, Knoxville Contested.  The purchase of Oak Ridge FM’s news/talk WNOX, Knoxville by Milwaukee-based Journal Broadcast Group announced before the holidays is being contested by Clinton, Tennessee-based M & M Broadcasting.  M & M claims it had an agreement to buy the station from Oak Ridge before Journal stepped in.  M & M owner Ron Meredith tells Knoxvillebiz.com that he went so far as to order letterhead other business tools in anticipation of owning the station.

cookehollandYour NEWS Year’s Resolution.  Getting the point of a news story across to listeners in a “relevant and plainspoken” way is the key to making your newscasts memorable and habit forming, according to radio consultant Holland Cooke.  His advice?  “Apply the ‘who cares?’ test to every story.  Just because it’s on the wire or in the paper doesn’t mean a story has to play on your air.”  And remember, Cooke warns, wire services are controlled by newspapers and tend to be written in past tense.  “Advance stories as much as possible.  Put the very latest aspect, or some interesting wrinkle, right up top; rather than telling the story chronologically.”  Read more of Holland Cooke’s suggestions here.

carrollbillKFI, Los Angeles Talk Host Bill Carroll to Host PM Drive Show for CFMJ, Toronto.  Canadian talk show personality Bill Carroll has been hosting the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm program on Clear Channel’s KFI, Los Angeles for the past three years.  Beginning January 7, Carroll will add another three-hour program to his duties as he’ll hold down the afternoon drive slot on Corus Radio’s CFMJ, Toronto from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  Carroll and his family will remain in Los Angeles.

mckayjeffVeteran Traffic Reporter/Broadcaster Jeff McKay Joins Radiate Media – Will Provide Morning Reports to Cumulus Big Apple Outlets Talk WABC and Hot AC WPLJ.   Former Merlin Media traffic reporter and WEMP, New York APD Jeff McKay – famous among New York commuters for the “McKay Way” joins Radiate Media as the morning reporter for Cumulus outlets WABC and WPLJ.  McKay, who also serves as a special features correspondent for TALKERS magazine and RadioInfo says, “I’m thrilled joining Radiate Media for the honor of bringing traffic to the legendary Scott & Todd Morning Show on WPLJ-FM, and the legendary Don Imus Show on WABC-AM!  I will be working from a custom traffic center built in my home, which only makes the deal even sweeter.  Looking forward to what I hope is a long and beneficial partnership with great folks at Radiate Media and Cumulus Radio.”

blakesleekaylaWOWO, Fort Wayne Names Kayla Blakeslee News Director.  Federated Media promotes Kayla Blakeslee to news director for heritage news/talk WOWO, Fort Wayne.  Blakeslee has been with the company since July of 2011 in various capacities.  She says of her new post, “I’m honored to work with such a legendary station and team.  Fort Wayne is a great town and I’m looking forward to serving my community in this new role.  I’m also looking forward to being around for a while and building new relationships with community newsmakers.”  Program director Ryan Reker states, “Kayla has emerged as an afternoon leader by generating stories, anchoring newscasts and managing traffic for our television partners at ‘21 Alive.’”  Her dedication to the station and community — and as a respected member of the Fort Wayne community – has already created a solid working foundation on which to build.”

wor710Talk Host Robbie Student Describes the Day the Ax Came Down at WOR.  He is considered by industry observers and programmers in the Big Apple as a unique up-and-coming talk show host whose iconoclastic “street-savvy” work has already been heard on such outlets as WNYM (“The Answer”) and most recently the innovative WOR alternative online channel.  Robbie Student, a member of TALKERS magazine’s Frontier Fifty, enjoyed one of the largest talk radio audiences on the internet and is clearly a rising star in the genre.  In his other life, he is well-known in music industry circles as a record producer currently riding a streak of nine number one dance songs in a row.  In an exclusive TALKERS commentary, Student captures the scene and mood at WOR on the afternoon of December 20, 2012 – which he describes as “the day the major overhaul at WOR began in earnest.”  Student writes, “I walked into the station at 4:30 pm. I was there to prep for my M-F 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm internet stream show.  The show’s existence was an anomaly, as the rule of thumb is to carry the entirety of one’s terrestrial programming on one’s primary stream.  I was grateful for the anomaly.  I was greeted by a cacophony of sights, sounds, and most importantly, feelings that were close to overwhelming.”  To read Robbie Student’s complete article, click here.

wfas logoOdds & Sods.  Cumulus Media’s WFAS, Westchester, New York goes news/talk full time after spending most of last year airing a hybrid of talk and AC music.  The station features local talk in the morning, Cumulus Media NetworksGeraldo and John Batchelor, plus Debbie Nigro in middays and Lisa Wexler in afternoon drive…..WQAM, Miami late-morning sports talk host Dan Sileo had been doing some fill-in work at Entercom’s WEEI, Boston during the holidays.  Rumors are that Sileo may be picking up some regular fill-in and/or weekend work on WEEI.

‘Fiscal Cliff’ Debate, House Skips Sandy Aid Bill, Hillary Clinton Health Status, College Bowl Games, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/1).  The debate over legislation to avert the “fiscal cliff”; the bypassing of action on a bill for aid to Hurricane Sandy victims; the health status of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; the weekend’s college bowl games; and the matchups in the NFL’s playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

| December 18, 2012

wgnlogoWGN, Chicago Revamps Program Schedule; Milt Rosenberg Out After 39 Years.  The 87-year-old host of “Extension 720” will do his last program for Tribune’s WGN, Chicago on Thursday evening.  In announcing its new programming schedule set to take effect on January 2, the station is eliminating Milt Rosenberg’s “Extension 720” program that rosenbergmiltbegan in 1973.  New to the schedule will be a late evening show featuring former WLS-AM night host Turi Ryder who’ll ryderturibroadcast from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am.  Other changes include a later start for Jonathon Brandmeier’s morning show – 6:00 am to 10:00 am – and a split shift for midday personality Mike McConnell who’ll host the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon slot and the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm slot.  In between, the station adds “The Noon Show” hosted by author Carol Roth.  Roth is a business strategist and former investment banker who frequently contributes to the topics of business and entrepreneurship on Fox News, MSNBC, Fox Business, and WGN TV.  As for Rosenberg, he tells Time Out Chicago’s Robert Feder he has no hard feelings toward the people at WGN, “It’s certainly amicable as far as my relations with the people I deal with.  There’s been no particular bad feeling, no insults, no shouting.”  And Rosenberg indicates he’ll seek other opportunities to continue his radio career, perhaps with other spoken-word stations in the market.

nielsen logoConsolidation Hits the Ratings Industry; Nielsen to Acquire Arbitron.  Consolidation is not for radio stations only.  Today, Nielsen Holdings N.V. announces it will begin the process of buying Arbitron Inc. through the acquisition of the outstanding common stock of Arbitron for $48 per share in cash, representing a premium of approximately 26% to Arbitron’s closing price on December 17, 2012.  Nielsen has a financing commitment for the total transaction amount.  The transaction has been approved by the boards of both companies and is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory review.  Nielsen had tried to compete with Arbitron in the radio ratings business in the United States in the past but shut down that effort after minimal success gaining enough subscribers to make the project profitable.  Clearly, Nielsen sees value in the radio ratings business as Nielsen chief executive officer David Calhoun states, “U.S. consumers spend almost two hours a day with radio.  It is and will continue to be a vibrant and important advertising medium.  Arbitron will help Nielsen better solve for unmeasured areas of media consumption, including streaming audio and out-of-home.  The high level of engagement with radio and TV among rapidly growing multicultural audiences makes this central to Nielsen’s priorities.”  With cross-platform marketing becoming so important Nielsen sees this acquisition as completing a part of that puzzle for marketers in the U.S.  In a statement, Nielsen says – with Arbitron assets – it intends to further expand its “Watch” segment’s audience measurement across screens and forms of listening. “These integrated, innovative capabilities will enable broader measurement of consumer media behavior in more markets around the world,” says Steve Hasker, Nielsen president of Global Media Products and Advertiser Solutions.  “We will also bring local clients greater visibility to empower more precise advertising placement and campaign effectiveness.”

pastorefrankKKLA, Los Angeles Host Frank Pastore Dies After Motorcycle Accident.  The 55-year-old former MLB pitcher and talk host on Salem Communications’ Christian talk outlet KKLA, Los Angeles died after going into cardiac arrest on Monday, December 17.  He had been in a coma for several weeks after being involved in a motorcycle accident on the 210 freeway near Los Angeles.  Salem Communications president David Santrella issued the following statement: “Frank has been an integral part of KKLA for nine years as our afternoon talk host and, in many ways, as a Salem ambassador to the Christian community in Southern California.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to Gina Pastore, their family and the KKLA family at this time.”

rosejoeBeasley’s WQAM, Miami Inks Joe Rose to Contract Extension.  Morning drive sports talk host Joe Rose – The Big Dog – signs a contract extension with Beasley Broadcasting to remain in the AM drive seat on WQAM for the next three years.  The former Miami Dolphins tight end joined WQAM’s morning show in 1992.  He also serves as color commentator for the Dolphins radio broadcasts as well as sports anchor for WTVJ-TV, Miami “NBC 6.”  Beasley Miami VP/GM Joe Bell states, “Joe Rose is the gold standard for athletes who become broadcasters.  He had a seven-year NFL career, but as good as he was, his broadcast career has eclipsed what he accomplished in the NFL.  Joe is an easy listen…he’s the guy next door that you can talk sports with over the backyard fence.  He has become the face of WQAM and we’re proud and excited to have him on board through 2015.”

TALKERS Presents Massive Four Month News/Talk Radio PPM Overview.  As a follow up to yesterday’s (12/17) analysis by Mike Kinosian about how the non-stop, dramatic events of the past six weeks have presented radio, in general, and news/talk radio, kinosianmikespecifically, with the challenge and opportunity to process an enormous amount of compelling material, TALKERS presents a PPM overview of some 140 stations leading up to and including this period.  Reflecting on the format’s extremely dramatic November (2012) survey, where more than seven of 10 stations in our large sample were either up or steady (6+), compared to their October stats.  Stations qualified to appear in this multi-faceted recap by ranking within the top 20 (6+) in any of Arbitron’s 48 PPM-measured markets (November 2012). Talk has the distinction of being the lone format to have at least one station in the top 20 of all 48 PPM markets. To see the survey please click here.

ucchinorickRick Ucchino Named Sports Anchor at Blue Chip’s Soon-to-Be Sports WCFN, Cincinnati.  When Blue Chip Broadcasting’s WCFN, Cincinnati flips to sports on January 2, local sports talk personality Rick Ucchino will serve as the station’s full-time sports anchor.  WCFN will air the CBS Sports Radio Network programming when the new radio network debuts.  Whether the station will carry all of the network programming is unknown at this time.  Ucchino currently serves at Christian Broadcasting System’s crosstown WQRT “Real Talk 1160” hosting the afternoon drive program.  In a Facebook announcement, Ucchino says, “As some of you might know, MOJO 100.3 is flipping to an all new CBS Sports station starting January 2nd.  And I am happy to announce that I have officially accepted an offer to become their full-time morning sports anchor!  I am grateful for the opportunities ‘Real Talk 1160’ has given me over the years but I am excited for the next chapter of my career!”

meehandougDoug Meehan Exits WTKK, Boston for TV Gig.  It’s tempting to read into WTKK, Boston afternoon drive host Doug Meehan’s departure from the station as being related to rumors Greater Media plans to flip the station from talk to a music format in the near future, but there’s no indication that’s the case.  Meehan, who took over the PM drive slot in 2011 and served as a TV traffic reporter and general assignment reporter at Fox 25 in Boston prior to that, is leaving the station to pursue a “major-market television opportunity” that he’ll announce soon.  While Greater Media has been registering domain names that could indicate a flip to any number of music – or even sports – formats, the company has simply stated it is always considering programming options for its stations.

nbcsportsradioNBC/Dial Global Lays Out Weekend Schedule.  The new NBC Sports Radio network announces its weekend programming schedule that affiliate stations will air beginning Saturday, January 5.  The Dial GlobalNBC Sports Group initiative is already offering “The Safety Blitz with Rodney Harrison” and now announces the rest of the weekend lineup.  It includes the following talent: Brian Webber of NFL Network’s “NFL AM” morning show, Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated and NBC Sports, and Clay Travis, NBC Sports contributor and owner/contributor of OutKicktheCoverage.com.  Also suiting up for the NBC Sports Radio weekends team is  Newy Scruggs, sports director and on-air personality at NBC-5 Dallas/Ft. Worth and formerly of 105.3 The Fan, Dallas; Jason Page, recently withESPN Radio New York, among other stops, and Anita Marks, part ofthe New York Giants TV/Radio broadcast team and formerly of SportsRadio 105.7 The Fan, Baltimore.  Plus, NBC Sports Radio update anchor Jon Stashower, formerly of ESPN Radio, adds a Sunday morning show and NBC Sports’ Rob Simmelkjaer will also host a weekend show.  Other contributors to the programming will include: Hines Ward, Stan Van Gundy, Michelle Beadle, Amani Toomer, and Doug Flutie.  The network has already launched late night and overnight shows and says it will launch the rest of its weekday 6:00 am to 7:00 pm lineup on Monday, April 1, 2013.

costasbobGow-Yahoo! to Offer Bob Costas Programs.  The Gow Broadcasting-operated Yahoo! Sports Radio network is offering affiliate stations two programs featuring Bob Costas.  The first is a weekly “Costas Coast to Coast” program culled from the archives of the syndicated radio show that aired from 1986 to 1996.  Yahoo! Sports Radio CEO David Gow states, “Bob is universally regarded as one of the top sports journalists.  The ‘Costas Coast-to-Coast’ shows offer timeless content delivered in Bob’s inimitable style.  We are thrilled to offer these very special programs to our growing number of affiliate radio stations.”  The second program is a vignette titled “Stars and Stories” and is best-of content from his interviews over the years.  Gow has secured the licensing of this programming via Olympia Networks.

rosefrancisOdds & Sods.  Content aggregator TuneIn offers the 24 college bowl games being played this season and being broadcast by ESPN Radio…..WFED, Washington, DC morning drive host Francis Rose sits in for WYD Media nationally syndicated talk host Michael Smerconish on his program on December 24 and 31.

kirorondonradiothonKIRO-FM, Seattle Raises $500,000-Plus for Local Foster Kids.  During its 24th Annual Holiday Magic Radiothon, Bonneville’s KIRO-FM helped raise more than $500,000 to assist foster children in the Treehouse program.  The money raised will help provide each child in the program with one significant holiday gift along with support for programs and services throughout the year.  Treehouse serves 6,000 foster kids each year through programs that help them succeed in school, fulfill key material needs, and provide important childhood experiences every child deserves.  Bonneville Seattle VP/market manager Carl Gardner says, “The KIRO Radio community has stepped up once again  We’re so grateful to have listeners and partners who care and stand ready to help wherever there’s a need.”  Pictured here are PM drive hosts Ron and Don manning the radiothon mics on Wednesday, December 12.

Newtown Massacre, U.S. Gun Laws, ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Battle, Syria/Egypt Instability, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/17).  The aftermath of the Newtown school massacre; debate over gun laws in the United States; the political fight in Washington over solving the “fiscal cliff” problem; continued violence and instability in Syria and Egypt; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio across the country, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

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