Hillsdale College Launches Talk Radio Initiative. The Hillsdale, Michigan conservative liberal arts college is preparing to bring its low-power FM radio station WRFH into the lives of its students. Operating since this past summer and airing exclusively patriotic music, the station is poised to begin becoming a part of the school’s journalism studies. Although the school does not offer a Journalism major – it prefers all students major in traditional liberal arts — Hillsdale’s John Miller (a former 18-year staffer at The National Review) says the radio station will offer a hands-on approach to this form of broadcasting. “We have a demanding core at the college. You learn journalism by doing journalism — not by sitting in a classroom listening to a professor rattle on about it. We do a little bit of classroom instruction, but we try to put students in a position where they can practice journalism at our campus paper or at the radio station. I teach a class about writing style, but we do not lard up our curriculum with all kinds of courses that justify our jobs. I am one of the few professors on campus who does not possess a PhD. I got this job because of my work experience.” How the station came into being and what the school’s plans are for the station is an interesting story. Read TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian’s piece about “Radio Free Hillsdale” here.
Russ Rollins Re-Ups with iHeartMedia’s ‘Real Radio 104.1’ in Orlando. The ringleader of the “Monsters in the Morning” show on iHeartMedia’s hot talker WTKS-FM, Orlando “Real Radio 104.1” announces he’s inked a three-year extension with the station. Russ Rollins says he’s had offers to go to other stations in other markets but he’s never entertained them because his heart is with WTKS and he’s proud of what his show has accomplished over the past 24 years. “We introduced a multi-cast show that is goofy and fun. With songs, skits, bits, jokes, swerves and live events no radio show has been able to reproduce – a show not meant to change the world, just meant to brighten your day. I’m proud to say this is what ‘Real Radio 104.1’ has become today…Real Radio has been the gold standard and the anomaly in this industry. No other market has been able to reproduce what we at ‘Real Radio’ have created. I’m proud of that.”
KXTG-AM, Portland Signs New PM Show ‘Fletcher and Chop.’ A new afternoon drive sports talk show begins on Alpha Media’s KXTG-AM, Portland “750/102.9 The Game.” Current Alpha Media Portland personalities Fletcher Johnson and Pork Chop sign a multi-year deal to host “Afternoons with Fletcher and Chop.” Johnson has been with Alpha Media since 2009, and Pork Chop since 2011. Alpha Media EVP of programming, Scott Mahalick says, “It gives me great pleasure to once again be able to promote from within the ranks of Alpha Media and showcase the talents of two of our rising knowledgeable sports experts. What sets them apart is the humor, entertainment and unique perspective these two Portlanders bring to the audience.”
Salem Media Group Takes KDZR, Portland Conservative Talk and Business. The former Radio Disney outlet in Portland, Oregon is now airing a conservative talk and business talk format featuring talk shows from Salem Radio Network. Salem announced its intent to purchase the station (along with four other former Radio Disney properties) back in September. The station is airing SRN’s Bill Bennett, Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, Hugh Hewitt, Steve Deace, and Eric Metaxas plus business shows hosted by Ray Lucia, Moe Ansari, Del Walmsley and Bill Gunderson. Station general manager Dennis Hayes says, “We are proud to be launching our new station to serve the Portland community with quality news and business programming.”
Odds & Sods. From New York City, talk personality Kevin McCullough reports that his program “After Hours with Kevin McCullough” is doing well in its new time slot on Salem Media Group-owned WNYM “AM 970 The Answer.” McCullough says his show moved from the 10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight slot to the 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm slot in early November…..There’s a new head of comedy at SiriusXM as the satcaster announces Jack Vaughn is the SVP of comedy programming. Vaughn comes to SiriusXM from his most recent position with New Wave Entertainment where he was SVP, production and distribution. There he was the creator of Comedy Central Records, the Grammy Award-winning record label that was home to comedians such as Mitch Hedberg, Amy Schumer, Jim Gaffigan, Dane Cook, Kevin Hart, Lewis Black, Daniel Tosh, and Denis Leary among others…..ABC Radio is presenting a special series titled, “Countdown to Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” It runs through Friday, December 18 with each feature including “audio from legendary Star Wars cast members, past and present as well as various interviews from celebrities who share their love for the franchise as well as their excitement about the new film.”…..WAMU, Washington public radio talk personality Diane Rehm is retiring after next fall’s presidential elections. Rehm began hosting the midday show on American University’s WAMU in 1979. Her show is syndicated to approximately 200 stations across the country.
Trump ‘Muslim Ban’ Proposal, 2016 Presidential Race, San Bernardino Shootings Aftermath, Islamic State Using U.S.-Made Weapons, Paris Summit-Climate Change Controversy, Star Wars: The Force Awakens Hype, and Golden State Undefeated Streak Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/8). The furor of Donald Trump’s unwillingness to back down on his call to stop all Muslims from being granted entrance into the U.S.; the activities of the rest of the candidates for president in 2016; the ongoing investigation into the background of the two shooters in the deadly San Bernardino slayings; a report that Islamic State is using old, U.S.-made weapons; the negotiations taking place in Paris at the climate summit and the controversy over global warming theories; the intense interest in the new film Star Wars: The Force Awakens; and the NBA’s Golden State Warriors continuing its undefeated season were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.
TALKERS Affiliate Roundup. News from WYM Media states that both the Thom Hartmann show and the Leslie Marshall show are now being heard in the Phoenix market on KPHX. Also, effective today (12/9), the Stephanie Miller show is being heard daily in morning drive on KCAA, Loma Linda, California and its translator K293CF, Moreno Valley at 106.5 FM…..“Into Tomorrow” with host Dave Graveline begins airing on WRKO, Boston on Sunday mornings beginning this weekend.
The Importance of Musical Soundtracks to Films. Two of modern cinema’s leading composers, the multi-award-winning brothers Mychael and Jeff Danna, join Michael Harrison in this week’s installment of PodcastOne’s international hit, “Up Close and Far Out.” The Danna Brothers composed the stunning soundtrack of the new Disney/Pixar animated feature “The Good Dinosaur” and discuss the techniques that went into creating a soundscape for the larger-than-life computer imagery generated in this latest animated epic. The fascinating conversation also delves into the role movie music plays in manipulating the emotions of the viewer as well as the rise of “World Music” as a genre influencing pop culture in Western society. To hear the entire conversation please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player boxes in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.
WGMD, Rehoboth Beach Afternoon Host Sanctioned by SEC. The new PM drive host at Resort Broadcasting’s WGMD, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware – Todd Schoenberger – has been sanctioned by the Securities Exchange Commission for fraud. According to the News Journal, Schoenberger admitted to fraudulent conduct in a case in which he convinced four investors to pony up $130,000 for a hedge fund he said had $65 million under management, but in reality contained no assets at all. Schoenberger began his new gig with the station on June 1 and this story broke later in the week. He was still with the station on Friday (6/5), however it’s unclear what his status with the station will be going forward. Schoenberger has been a regular guest on Fox News, CNBC, CNN and Bloomberg.
WTKS-FM, Orlando Morning Host Russ Rollins Sued by Estranged Wife. The bit aired on iHeartMedia’s WTKS-FM, Orlando “Real Radio 104.1” in which Monsters in the Morning ringleader Russ Rollins was served divorce papers while on the air has led Rollins’ estranged wife Samantha Boomer to sue him. According to the Orlando Sentinel, Boomer, who is being represented by Gloria Allred, is suing alleging defamation and invasion of privacy. The suit seeks damages for emotional distress from the video of the bit and the related social media postings. The complaint states that Rollins (and employer iHeartMedia) “decided to take something that is painful, personal and private and make it public entertainment for profit and ratings. This public disgrace and embarrassment has caused so much pain and disruption that I had to contemplate moving my family from the community that I love.” During the bit, it was implied that Boomer asked that the papers be served while Rollins was on the air. That was not true and iHeartMedia published a retraction on the station’s website but that was too late for Boomer.
Mentally and Emotionally Coping with the Uncertainty of Speech No-Go Zones. According to psychiatrist and TALKERS contributor Renee Kohanski, MD, coping with the uncertainty of “Speech No-Go Zones” can be emotionally challenging to a radio talk show host trying to strike a balance between being provocative, authentic, original and edgy – without falling victim to the often-stifling forces of political correctness that can instantaneously terminate a talent’s career in a puff of controversy. Kohanski offers several tips to talkers on how to manage the stress of this situation and be prepared personally, professionally and even legally for that unwanted knock on the door by the political correctness police. They include such measures as staying up-to-date on industry issues and standards in this regard, keeping documentation of key conversations about artistic expectations with corporate superiors, developing a relationship with a trusted mentor and maintaining a personal support system of advisors and representatives. To read Dr. Kohanski’s entire article, please click here.
Salem Media Group to Buy Two More former Radio Disney Signals. The two stations are in the Dallas and Boston metros. The Texas station is KMKI-AM, Plano, Texas and is a class B with 5,000 watts daytime. The Boston signal is WMKI-AM, another 5,000-watt class B at 1260 on the dial. The prices for the two are $3 million and $500,000 respectively. Salem Media Group already airs its news/talk format in the Dallas market on KSKY and this will be signal number six for the company in that market. As for the Boston station, Salem owns three signals in the market – Spanish Christian teaching on WWDJ, and English Christian teaching on both WROL and WEZE. Will the company bring its news/talk format populated by Salem Radio Network personalities to the market on WMKI? The tantalizing speculation that the company could provide Premiere Networks’ Rush Limbaugh (soon to exit WRKO) with a new home on WMKI if it chooses to go news/talk, is already being discussed by industry watchers. But Limbaugh would likely cost Salem a lot of cash and the company does not have a history of paying big money for a talent like Limbaugh when it has its own stable of quality, conservative talk hosts. Still, eyes will be on Boston as this transaction develops.
WEEO, McConnellsburg, PA Hires Mayor for AM Drive. The Magnum Broadcasting-owned news/talk station serving the Chambersburg, Pennsylvania region is hiring Chambersburg borough Mayor Darren Brown to serve as morning host. A story in Public Opinion News says 35-year-old Brown began doing an “Ask the Mayor” show on WEEO “NewsTalk 103.7 FM” in January of this year and he decided he’d like to try radio full time. Station general manager Patrick Ryan tells the paper he was up for it. “Can you think of a better host for a local news radio show than the mayor? As mayor he certainly knows how to talk. He’s at every ribbon-cutting in town and champions local issues that everyone needs to know about.” The station says he’s currently the “anchor-in-training” for the “First News” program. There’s no word on how the station will handle the equal time issue if and when Brown runs for re-election.
By Walter Sabo
NEW YORK — No station consulted by Sabo Media has ever had paid-for programming on the weekend. Paid-for programming destroys weekday revenue by suppressing audience and aging demos.
The core issue is that Saturday middays is the second highest Homes Using Radio daypart. By default it’s vital.
There is a little known trend indicator that reveals how vital weekends are to weekdays. In diary markets, Saturday midday is predictive of the next rating period. If Saturday midday is up compared to weekdays, the next -overall- rating period will be up. If it is down, the next -overall- period will be down.
Bart Walsh, a very smart radio manager (formerly WKYS-FM, Washington, DC) taught me that.
Rush Limbaugh Camp Fires Back at Media Matters with Scathing Statement. Embattled Premiere Networks talk radio star Rush Limbaugh, via his spokesperson Brian Glicklich in a commentary in Politico, yesterday afternoon issued an official response to the campaign being waged against the show by Media Matters. This is the first lengthy, official statement made about the advertising issue by Limbaugh’s organization since the controversy began and it has the industry buzzing. In Glicklich’s scathing attack on Media Matters’ tactics he writes the end result of the campaign hurts more people than Rush Limbaugh. “By putting small business in the crosshairs of their war on expression, Media Matters is causing real harm. They are hurting these businesses, their employees and their families. As a business owner, imagine waking up one morning and being assaulted by hundreds of coordinated attacks from operatives who never were or will be your customers.” Read Glicklich’s entire commentary here.
Los Angeles City Council Passes Resolution to “End Racist and Sexist Language” on Radio. On Wednesday, the Los Angeles City Council – by a vote of 13 to 2 – passed a resolution that read: “NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that by adoption of this Resolution, the City Council urges all management of radio and television stations in Los Angeles to do everything in their power to ensure that their on-air hosts do not use and promote racist and sexist slurs over public airwaves in the City of Los Angeles.” The wording of the resolution was broadened with an amendment. The original intent and much of the discussion was targeted at Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s news/talk KFI. Though language on the radio was discussed by the council, other discussion involved accusations by critics that lack of diversity in staffing – too few minorities and women in on-air roles, specifically – is to blame for occurrences of what they call racist and sexist slurs.
WTOP, Washington VP News and Programming Jim Farley Named 2012 Recipient of Freedom of Speech Award. The TALKERS editorial board has selected legendary radio news director Jim Farley as the 2012 recipient of the prestigious Freedom of Speech Award. The award will be presented to Farley at the New Media Seminar in New York City on Thursday, June 7. Farley, recently interviewed by TALKERS founder Michael Harrison (see Talkers TV at right and story below), will address “the renaissance of journalism in the new digital broadcasting era” following the presentation of the award. In a statement released Wednesday, March 21 Michael Harrison states, “We are witnessing the rebirth of committed journalism in America on the radio airwaves and its associated digital platforms. WTOP proudly shines as the inspirational example of this positive movement, and Jim Farley’s visionary leadership in bringing it to life on a day-to-day basis would make even Thomas Jefferson proud. The First Amendment is alive and well at WTOP. Jim Farley is a remarkable broadcaster.” The Freedom of Speech Award is a non-partisan honor that has been presented to a wide variety of talk media figures since 1990 whose work has demonstrated the First Amendment in action and raised awareness of its principles. Past recipients have included Brian Lamb, Matt Drudge, Rush Limbaugh, Al Franken, Jack Anderson, Norm Pattiz, Sean Hannity, Alan Colmes, Bob Grant, Alan Dershowitz, Bill O’ Reilly, Gene Burns, G. Gordon Liddy, Howard Stern and more. Last year’s recipient was Juan Williams.
Scarborough Research Releases Study of Entertainment Spending by Baby Boomers. It’s probably not too surprising that the favorite radio formats of the Baby Boom generation are, in order, AC (30%), news/talk (28%), and classic hits (25%). The study includes statistics about how Boomers like to spend their free time – a nod to the types of ad clients likely to benefit from being heard on their favorite stations. It notes, “In the past 12 months Baby Boomers have attended a professional sporting event (36%), attended live theater (22%), visited an art museum (14%), attended a rock concert (12%) and gone to the symphony or opera (9%). And Baby Boomers don’t just have a hunger for entertainment – they are 11% more likely than all American adults to have eaten at a seafood restaurant or steakhouse in the past 30 days.” EVP of commercial development Brian Condon says, “Baby Boomers remain an essential demographic since they reap the rewards of having had long careers and no longer have young children to care for. Baby Boomers represent a segment of the American population that has a thirst for adventure, and the financial freedom to explore that passion.”
KGMZ-FM, San Francisco Adds Billy Beane and Bob Melvin to A’s Coverage. Entercom’s sports talk “95.7 The Game” – KGMZ-FM, San Francisco – announces the addition of A’s general manager Bill Beane and manager Bob Melvin to the station’s coverage of the team. Beane will become part of the Thursday PM drive show with Brandon Tierney and Eric Davis and Melvin will join “Rise Guys” Whitey Gleason, Mark Kreidler and Dan Dibley every Monday morning. PD Jason Barrett states, “Bill Beane is one of the smartest baseball minds in America and has a unique perspective about the game that Bay Area baseball fans won’t want to miss. Bob Melvin has his pulse on the finger of the Athletics and he’ll give Bay Area baseball fans a weekly glimpse inside the clubhouse like no one else.”
“Free Talk Live” Gets Major Market Clear on WWRL, New York. The independently syndicated evening and weekend program hosted by Ian Freeman and Mark Edge enters the New York City market with a Sunday morning clearance on Access.1 Communications’ progressive talk WWRL. Freeman says of the addition, “There aren’t many issues-oriented talk shows that can cross talk platforms. However, we’ve been doing it for years with conservative, progressive, business talk and hot talk stations all airing ‘Free Talk Live.’ I’m excited to announce that ‘Free Talk Live’ welcomes our newest affiliate in America’s largest market: WWRL 1600 in New York City. Thanks to program director Rennie Bishop for allowing us the opportunity to entertain the people of NYC on the country’s most prominent progressive station.”
Peak Broadcasting’s KMJ, Fresno Celebrates 90th Anniversary Tomorrow. 1922 was a big year for the U.S. government granting radio station licenses and another heritage station is celebrating its 90th year on the air this week. KMJ, Fresno is the 38th oldest licensed continuously operating radio station in the country. It was originally licensed to San Joaquin Power and Light Corporation but was sold to McClatchey Newspapers in 1925. CBS Radio bought KMJ in 1987 and then sold it to Peak Broadcasting in 2006.
WTKS-FM, Orlando’s “Monsters in the Morning” Sponsor Habitat for Humanity House. The morning drive crew at Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s WTKS-FM, Orlando led by Russ Rollins is kicking off its First Annual Monster House project in conjunction with the Habitat for Humanity Seminole-Apopka and the City of Sanford. Rollins and Sanford Mayor Jeff Triplett, who on behalf of the City of Sanford, donated the property for the project made the recent announcement. Rollins says, “This is a huge project with our national radio program teaming up with local government and Habitat for Humanity to benefit the community. For every $1 spent on construction, $7 will go back into the local economy. ‘The Monsters’ are looking forward to helping a local family fulfill their dream of home ownership with the First Annual Monster House. We hope to make The Monster House an annual project in partnership with Habitat for Humanity.”
Romney Wins Illinois Primary/2012 Presidential Race, Iran Nukes Program, Saints Staff Penalized for Bounty Program/Tebow Traded to Jets and Afghanistan Tensions Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/21). Mitt Romney’s decisive win in Illinois on Tuesday and the larger issues surrounding the 2012 presidential race; uncertainty over Iran’s nuclear weapons program; the NFL’s Saints, coaches and former coach penalized severely for ‘bounty program’; Tim Tebow is traded to the Jets; and continuing tensions in Afghanistan were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS.