Tag: "WYAY"

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?

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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.

Monday, November 18, 2013

| November 18, 2013

milhaventornadocoverageTornado Damage Reported Via Multi-Media on McGraw Milhaven Show.  The series of tornadoes that swept across the Midwest on Sunday left serious damage in New Minden, Illinois – about an hour East of St. Louis.  The photo you see here is from the video component of KTRS, St. Louis morning host McGraw Milhaven’s online platform.  Since the spring, Milhaven has been partnering with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s StlToday.com site to present his program in a video format.  Today, he used that medium to his advantage as reporter Michael Golde was able to report back to the studio via Skype and show viewers scenes from the storm-damaged town and converse with Milhaven and news anchor Kelly Jackson.  In posting the video on YouTube, Milhaven comments, “KTRS Radio in St Louis is the only radio station in the country to show live video of storm-damaged areas of Ill. to listeners on laptops, desktops and smartphones as well as the radio.”

wrcnlogoJVC Media to Flip Rock WRCN, Long Island to News/Talk After Christmas.  Longtime rocker WRCN, Riverhead, New York has stopped playing “everything that rocks” and has gone Christmas music through the holidays.  But after Christmas, the station will emerge as a news/talk outlet dubbed “LI News Radio 103.9.”  JVC Media president and CEO John Caracciolo explains the company’s thinking in a statement: “WRCN has a long history and heritage on Long Island – many of us have grown up with the station and it has become an intricate part of our lives.  But as our lives change so does our soundtrack.  What we listened to growing up is not necessarily what we listen to now and what was important to us as teenagers maybe doesn’t seem so important anymore.  That’s why we made the decision to change WRCN and develop and program a radio station that fits the needs of Long Island…Long Islanders are starving for local news and information.  Why should we have to wait 22 minutes to hear about the world when all we really want is Islip to Southampton?  What’s the traffic like on the 347 merge or Sunrise Highway in Oakdale?  This station will not only serve as your information source but it will be your sounding board for issues that influence your life, your community and your business.”  Talent that has been announced to be part of the new format includes Premiere Networks nationally syndicated star Sean Hannity and Cumulus Media Networks personality Mark Levin as well as local hosts Ernie Fasio, Vic Fusco, John Gomez, Kevin Law, Steve Levy, Frank McKay, and Jay Oliver.

thomaslindaLinda Thomas to Exit KIRO-FM, Seattle.  Morning news anchor and reporter Linda Thomas announces she will be leaving Bonneville’s news/talk KIRO-FM, Seattle at the end of the year for a new opportunity that, as she says, “doesn’t involve being at work by 2:00 am.”  In a blog post at the company’s Mynorthwest.com, she writes, “My Bonneville Seattle bosses understand and support my decision too, even though they don’t want me to leave.  That’s what family members do.  I’ll always be grateful for them, and for you.”  Thomas first worked at KIRO in 1988 as an overnight editor and became morning drive anchor in 1993.  She left the station to work as a freelancer but returned to KIRO-FM as morning anchor in 2010.  She adds, “KIRO’s news, talk and online teams are the best in the business.  It’s been an honor to work alongside amazing talent.  I’ve learned a lot from all my co-workers.  They encourage me, challenge me, and make me laugh on a daily basis. I really do love them.”

wrightmichelleMichelle Wright Let Go from All-News WYAY, Atlanta.  The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho tips us that morning drive co-anchor Michelle Wright has been let go from Cumulus Media’s all-news WYAY, Atlanta “All-News 106.7.”  Andy Rose remains in AM drive solo.  The speculation is that the recent hiring of Kim “The Kimmer” Peterson to host a talk show in middays and the acquisition of Atlanta Braves baseball required some cuts in other areas of the station and Wright was the unfortunate victim.  She was one of the original staffers when Cumulus decided to turn WYAY into an all-news station in May of 2012.  She had previously worked at Atlanta-based CNN Radio before joining Cumulus.

pittmanbobCEOs Make the Grade.  Clear Channel’s Bob Pittman and EmmisJeff Smulyan were both the subjects of feature stories in newspapers over the weekend – Pittman in The New York Times and Smulyan in thesmulyanjeff Indianapolis Star.  In a Q&A titled, the Value of Dissent, Pittman says he encouraged dissenters in his organization because they serve a valuable purpose.  “I want us to listen to these dissenters because they may intend to tell you why we can’t do something, but if you listen hard, what they’re really telling you is what you must do to get something done.  It gets you out of your framework of the conventions of what you can and can’t do.”  Read that piece here.  Jeff Smulyan tells the Star in his Q&A that the best piece of advice he’s received has to do with employer-employee relationships, “Attract the best people, treat them well, and let them do their job.  If you want people to go through walls for you, you have to go through more walls for them.”  Read that story here.

millerchrisThe View of Radio from the Digital World’s Perspective.  Noted radio digital consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller writes, “Those of us in digital media know that our world will continue to change drastically, over and over again.  We also know that we will be bigger and better three years…five years…10 years from now.  Plus, we hear how radio compares itself to online listening choices, and we see how you use your digital platforms.  And here’s what we think.”  In a new column posted today (11/18) Miller goes on to state that digital-only people still have “transmitter envy” and that even though more and more people and media are moving online, the stick is still a formidable asset.  Regardless, he points out that many digital-only professionals think that over-the-air radio companies are “crazy” for cutting talent, still selling 60-second commercials, and not being cognizant of just how much entertainment is changing.  He clearly explains what digital pros see as radio’s “dangerous assumption.”  He observes, ”I look at a lot of different radio social media, websites, database emails and texting programs, and it’s clear you’re making some dangerous assumptions.  Digital content doesn’t work like you think it should.  It doesn’t work like you wish it did.  It works like it works.  We see you on Facebook and Twitter talking about almost anything…except what people really love about you.  Your websites are a mish-mosh of broad-based content, but if you look at your web stats, there are fewer than half-a-dozen features at your site that, combined, get the lion’s share of your page views.  There is nothing special or exclusive about the emails you send your listeners, and your open rates prove it.  Radio people know a lot about how people use radio.  Meanwhile, you are using all these other media as if knowing how they work doesn’t matter.  One key thing we’re doing to drive our online success is to track everything we can to see what really makes a difference.  We don’t have the luxury of having opinions about what should work.  Either the clicks are there, or they aren’t.  What we do either works, or it doesn’t.  If it doesn’t, you dig in, diagnose the problem, and adjust.”  To read Chris Miller’s entire column, please click here.

rhodesrandiPremiere Reverses Course; Keeps Randi Rhodes on Syndication Menu. There are no reports indicating just what happened between Randi Rhodes and syndicator Premiere Networks but the latter is confirming the widely reported news that Rhodes will continue to be syndicated by Premiere, at least through 2014.  Premiere SVP of affiliate relationspremierenetworks logo Peter Tripi emailed affiliates, “In a happy turn of events, we are pleased to announce that Premiere Networks will continue to produce and distribute the Randi Rhodes show.  In an industry of constant change, it’s a pleasure to provide good news about a talk talent we think so highly of.  We apologize for any inconvenience the previous announcement caused, but look forward to a very successful 2014 with the Randi Rhodes show.”  Several weeks ago, Rhodes began telling her audience she was foreseeing the end of her program and later Premiere notified affiliates the relationship would be ending.

herskovitzalIt’s Pop-Up Time.  No, not the kind of pop-up we associate with websites – pop-up ads – but those retail stores that “pop up” in vacant storefronts during the holiday shopping season.  Sales maven and H&H Communications president Al Herskovitz writes about getting these seasonal businesses advertising on your station this year.  He notes that many of these retailers are big name brands that choose to expand their physical space during this time of year and they include Vera Bradley, Louis Vuitton and the National Football League.  Read Al Herskovitz’s entire column here.

abcnewskennedyABC News Radio Offers Kennedy Assassination Programming.  As the nation marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, ABC News Radio is offering a two-hour special broadcast, “Three Shots Rang Out: An ABC News Special – The JFK Assassination 50 Years Later,” anchored by ABC News’ Diane Sawyer.  It’s an audio-only program that will be heard by ABC News Radio affiliates.  In addition, a special expanded show will be available via download at Audible.com as part of a new digital audio relationship between ABC News Radio and Audible.  The Audible.com version of this program will include an additional 40 minutes of historical audio available exclusively to Audible listeners.

ruthronRon Ruth Passes.  Former 19-year Radio Advertising Bureau executive vice president of stations Ron Ruth died early Saturday (11/16) in Florida of a heart attack.  The 75-year-old Ruth had been struggling with health issues the past two months.  CBS Radio president and chief executive officer Dan Mason was among those quickly noting their sympathies regarding Ruth’s passing. “I just spoke with him at the Radio Show this past September in Orlando,” Mason writes on Facebook. “He was so up and happy – I am sad tonight.”  Also on that social media platform, Tom Birch notes, “Ron lived life to its fullest and was a joy and inspiration to everyone who had the opportunity to know him.  Ron was the midwife to Birch Research.  He opened doors for me, encouraged me and guided me.  I am deeply honored to have worked for Ron at WQAM, Miami in the 1970s, and to have remained friends with him for the next three decades.” According to former RKO General eastern vice president Perry Ury, “Ron Ruth was a friend and our house skeptic at RKO.”  Former Tele Media Broadcasting vice president and chief operating officer Ira Rosenblatt adds, “We’ve lost a friend and true broadcaster.”  Doing afternoon drive in Boston early in his radio career, Ruth roomed with two other on-air talents who went on to stardom – George Carlin and Jack Burns of Burns & (Avery) Schreiber.  He held sales manager positions for Unistar Radio Networks, as well as at the local level in markets such as New York (WOR-FM), Chicago (WNUS), Washington, DC (WGMS), and Buffalo (WYSL).  Ruth left Unistar to join the RAB in 1992.  Most recently, he was consulting the Radio Advertising Bureau.

wmalbonginoA Man of His Word.  The man having his head shaved live on the air on Cumulus Media’s WMAL, Washington, DC is former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino.  Not too long ago, Bongino said on the WMAL airwaves that he would shave his head if President Obama apologized for the gaffes in the rollout of the Affordable Care Act.  And since the president did offer an apology of sorts, Bongino agreed to honor his statement live on the air and did so on Friday, November 15.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

| November 13, 2013

petersonkimWYAY, Atlanta Host Kim Peterson Recovering from Heart Attack.  A week after returning to the talk radio business on Cumulus Media’s all-news (now mostly news with Peterson’s midday show) WYAY, Atlanta “All News 106.7,” Kim “The Kimmer” Peterson is off the air and recovering from what doctors say was a serious heart attack.  The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho reports Peterson felt what he described as a “gripping pain” in his chest while driving on Sunday, pulled over and proceeded when the pain subsided.  Though he didn’t feel completely better on Monday, the former Marine did the Veterans Day show but finally checked himself into the hospital on Tuesday morning and learned about his condition.  It’s not known when he’ll be ready to return to work but producer and sidekick Pete Davis hosted the show on Tuesday and former producer Wayne “No Offense” Kitchens may help out as a substitute host.

premierenetworks logoRandi Rhodes and Premiere to Part.  Though an official statement from Premiere Networks has not been issued, it’s been confirmed that the company will not renew its deal with the progressive talk host and her show will cease being distributed in January.  Randi Rhodes started the chat about her relationship with Premiere on herrhodesrandi show and listeners took to her website’s message board lamenting the demise of the show.  Rhodes has been syndicated by Premiere Networks for more than four years and is heard on approximately 40 affiliate stations.  She went national during the movement to develop progressive talk radio in the early 2000s after enjoying success in the South Florida market.  She was one of the original personalities that worked for the ill-fated Air America and continued her national efforts after its demise, finally joining Premiere.  Her last live show for Premiere will be December 13.

murphysteveWCCO, Minneapolis News Anchor Steve Murphy Robbed on Way to Work.  The CBS Radio news/talk station’s sister TV outlet WCCO reports morning news anchor Steve Murphy was jogging to a bus stop on his way to the radio station on Thursday, November 7 when he noticed a white SUV driving slowly past him.  After changing his route the vehicle caught up with him and three men jumped out, grabbed him from behind, choking him and took his wallet while pinning him to the ground.  He was able to get on the bus where the driver insisted he should go to the hospital since it was on the route.  He was treated for cuts and bruises.

kleinaaron34-Year Old WABC Weekend Talk Show Host Making Waves Across Planet.  WABC, New York weekend talker Aaron Klein simply breaks all of the stereotypes of today’s news/talk show hosts.  He’s just 34-years old.  He does not lean liberal or conservative, nor does he speak in political talking points.  He does not love or hate President Obama, or stand on the ground of anyone’s political party.  He’s an accomplished author – the writer of six books – and he has another blockbuster book on the way.  His radio show doesn’t just talk about the news – in many cases it breaks the news – broadcasting half a world away.  According to TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, the radio industry should know more about this outstanding young journalist.  In an exclusive story posted today (11/13) by special features correspondent Jeff McKay, TALKERS presents an in-depth profile of Aaron Klein.  To read it, please click here.

ukrabstudyBritish RAB Study Shows Effectiveness of Radio Advertising.  A new study from the United Kingdom RAB, which calls it a “world first,” evaluates radio advertising effectiveness in detail in terms of revenue return on investment (ROI) across a broad dataset.  Executed by the firm Holmes & Cook, the study used confidential ROI data supplied by nine econometrics agencies representing all major media agency groups, covering over 2,000 individual media campaigns across 517 separate advertising campaigns.  For radio sales practitioners, the nugget to show to clients comes from the study’s conclusion that “On average radio advertisers get their money back 7.7 times over, although some categories show exceptional performance, notably automotive and retailer brands, as well as impulse products.  This makes radio the medium with the second-highest return on investment (TV is first), out-performing press, outdoor and online.”  The study also suggests that since radio (in Britain) carries 6% of all advertising budgets,  if budgets were reallocated to give radio a 20% share of total spend – with no increase in overall expenditure – the total campaign ROI raises by over 8%.

brucedamonKNBR, San Francisco Host Damon Bruce Returns.  Off the air for a couple of days after a rant about the negative effects of women on the world of sports, KNBR sports talk host Damon Bruce is returning to work with Cumulus Media San Francisco saying that while Bruce’s words were “regrettable,” he is contrite and will not lose his job over the incident, although he is being taken off the San Francisco 49ers pre-game show.  Local media – especially the San Francisco Chronicle – picked up on the story and took Bruce to task for his words but reports indicate he also received a fair amount of support as well.

cookehollandConsumer Electronics Show Sneak Preview.  Radio consultant Holland Cooke offers TALKERS readers a glimpse into the coming Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January.  Cooke is an annual attendee covering the event, wading through the truly massive amount of consumer electronics displayed and deciphering just what the trends in consumer technology-related behavior mean to radio operators.  He was in New York yesterday for the Consumer Electronics Association‘s annual “Holiday Sales and End-of Year Trend Analysis” and writes about that event here.

grandephilPhil’s Gang Returns to Southern California Markets.  Nationally syndicated financial talk radio program “Phil’s Gang,” hosted by Phil Grande, is returning to Southern California on Ontario Broadcasting’s KSPA, Ontario “Financial News & Talk” and on North County Broadcasting’s KFSD, Escondido.  A statement from the Phil’s Gang organization says, “The ‘Phil’s Gang’ radio show expanding affiliate roster shows unprecedented growth, recently in major markets.  This partnership with ‘Financial News & Talk’ will provide ‘Phil’s Gang’ an even broader listening audience so the show’s host Phil Grande can spread dependable, up-to-date news and all the information that Wall Street and the government don’t want you to know.”

nj1015malloybigjoeNew Jersey 101.5 Personalities Go Head-to-Head in Culinary Challenge Benefit.  Tonight (11/13) WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5” personalities Big Joe Henry (left) and Dennis Malloy (right) will compete against each other in a culinary challenge dubbed “The New Jersey 101.5 Cook-Off” at L’Affaire Fine Catering, in Mountainside, New Jersey.  Attendees will pay $15 for admission to sample food from participating New Jersey restaurants and view the cook-off, which will include cooking demonstrations of appetizers and main entrées by the two popular radio personalities.  Ten attendees will be randomly picked from the audience to judge Dennis and Big Joe’s appetizers and then entrées.  At the end, a winner will be crowned best chef at New Jersey 101.5!  A portion of the proceeds will be donated back to the Chef Romanowski Memorial Fund, a 501c3 charity that provides individuals with a passion for the culinary arts the help they need to get into a culinary school.  NJ101.5 brand manager Eric Johnson states, “We’re all very excited to see the cook-off in action.  The trash talking has been escalating on air for weeks now and will culminate tonight.”

ObamaCare Implementation, Iran Nukes Deal, Philippines Typhoon Aftermath, Toronto Mayor Drug Case, Fate of Amnesty Legislation, and Alec Baldwin Stalker Case Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/12).  Scrutiny of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act; the possibility of a John Kerry-brokered nuclear arms deal between the U.S. and Iran; the aftermath of deadly Typhoon Haiyan; new turns in the drug use admission case of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford; the question of whether Congress will address the Obama Administration’s legislation to provide amnesty to illegal immigrants; and the happenings at the trial of Alec Baldwin’s alleged stalker were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

| October 24, 2013

theblazealllargeGlenn Beck’s TheBlaze to Debut Philly-Focused Online Station with FM Promotional Campaign.  The talk radio audience in Philadelphia is being targeted by Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze as the company is creating a stream specifically for Philly listeners that will feature TheBlaze Radio Network’s national talk radio programs but with local Philadelphia elements including, news, traffic and weather twice hourly and four times hourly during drive times.  TheBlaze president and chief content officer Joel Cheatwood says, “TheBlaze Radio Network has built a strong daily lineup and a loyal following in a short period of time.  We are excited to continue our growth by bringing our programming with a local flavor to Philadelphia, which Glenn once called home.”  During the week of October 28 to November 1, the programming will air on WWIQ, Philadelphia prior to that station’s flip to religious content on November 4.  The programming heard on WWIQ next week will include: Beck from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon, Buck Sexton from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm, Jay Severin from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm and Doc Thompson from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  During the week, TheBlaze personalities Doc Thompson and Skip LaCombe will broadcast live from O’Neals Irish Pub & Restaurant in Philadelphia.

wjfkfmDon Geronimo Returns to WJFK-FM, Washington.  When Don Geronimo said goodbye to his fans on sports talker KHTK, Sacramento after the cancellation of his midday program there, he said he and CBS Radio were talking about another project for him and now we know that he’ll be heading back to his old stomping grounds at the geronimodoncompany’s sports talk WJFK-FM, Washington “106.7 The Fan.”  As announced yesterday afternoon (10/23) on the LaVar & Dukes program, Geronimo will be hosting the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm ET show, the Saturday morning 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program and will also be part of the station’s Sunday football coverage.  The station had teased a major announcement prior to revealing Geronimo’s new role with the line: “Who says you can’t go home again?”  This was a reference to Geronimo’s tenure with the station from the early 1990s through 2008 as co-host of the Don & Mike show (with Mike O’Meara) that was also syndicated via Westwood One.

petersonkimWYAY, Atlanta Adds Talk Show to Middays with Market Pro Kim “The Kimmer” Peterson.  Cumulus Media is adding a midday talk show to the programming at WYAY, Atlanta “All News 106.7” beginning November 4 as longtimewyay logo market talk pro Kim “The Kimmer” Peterson joins the station for the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot.  Peterson says in a statement, “It feels like coming home for the holidays.  I’m really thrilled…We want to bring back a little common sense to the news/talk business and do some serious fooling around, too.  We’re bringing back the team – Jim Gossett’s ‘Newsmaker Line’ and sports with Pete ‘Snake’ Davis — so nobody is safe from ridicule.  Sounds like fun.”  Peterson was a fixture on Clear Channel’s crosstown news/talk WGST before his show was cancelled in 2006.  He’s been off the radio since then.  This is the second non-news program to be added to WYAY.  Last week the station announced that Braves baseball will also be heard on the station beginning with the 2014 season.

suarezginaGina Suarez to Manage Affiliate Sales at Sun Broadcast Group.  Gina Suarez comes to SBG from Warner Music Group’s Ryko Records where she was manager of label operations.  At Sun, she’ll serve as manager of affiliate sales, based in New York City, where she’ll report to VP of programming and affiliate sales Nick DeGregorio.  Suarez is being chargedhennermarilu with leading and supervising the affiliate strategy for the Marilu Henner show and “will work with all affiliate stations to promote and improve Sun’s burgeoning group of products and services.”  DeGregorio states, “It happened in the blink of an eye.  As soon as we met Gina, we knew she was a perfect fit.  We wanted her enthusiasm and professionalism to be a part of the Sun Broadcast Group family.  Gina is a master in managing relationships and is immediately a cornerstone of our growing affiliate sales team.”  Suarez adds, “It’s a thrill and an honor to be part of the dynamic Sun Broadcast Group family!  CEO Jason Bailey, EVP Steve Gallagher, Nick and the entire team are among the most passionate and dedicated in the business.  I share their vision of bringing compelling programs like the Marilu Henner show to the fore.”

eastlanratings logoEastlan Ratings Begins Doing Business in 11 New Markets.  Medium and small market ratings company Eastlan announces it will begin providing radio ratings in 11 new markets including:  Abilene, Texas; Casper, Wyoming; Cheyenne, Wyoming; Lake Charles, Louisiana; gouldmikeLawton, Oklahoma; Lufkin/Nacogdoches, Texas; Mankato/New Ulm, Minnesota; Odessa/Midland, Texas; State College, Pennsylvania; Texarkana, Arkansas; and Wichita Falls, Texas.  Eastlan president and CEO Mike Gould says in a statement, “We know where our bread is buttered and we are extremely thankful.  Eastlan is a 100% radio-focused brand.  Our future is inexorably linked to the success of small- and medium-market radio broadcasters.  Local radio is in the middle of resurgence as new ownership groups revitalize the industry in step with forward-thinking established broadcasters.  Our purpose is to be certain the power of local radio is not diminished by research companies geared toward television or personal jukebox services like Pandora or Spotify.”

flemingtomAdLarge Media Brings Tom Fleming Aboard as VP of Midwest Sales.  AdLarge Media announces the expansion of ad sales presence in the Midwest with the hiring of Tom Fleming as vice president, Midwest sales.  The company calls Fleming “a high-performing sales executive” who “brings over a decade of experience to AdLarge’s growing sales force, including expertise in digital sales.”  Fleming will be based in AdLarge’s Chicago office and report to Don Wachsmith, chief revenue officer, radio sales.  Wachsmith states, “Working with Tom again is something I always hoped would happen.  Tom knows the advertising community in Chicago and the Midwest, and he knows that servicing clients and helping them find solutions to their marketing needs are a formula for success.  He is a perfect fit for what we are doing as a company at AdLarge.”  Wachsmith and Fleming had worked together at Westwood One/Dial Global.  Fleming adds, “Don is a great sales leader, and I jumped at the opportunity to work with him again.  AdLarge’s reputation for fostering a culture of innovation was a big draw for me.  It is a fast-growing company known for its exceptional customer and client service.  I couldn’t be more thrilled about joining the AdLarge team.”

huntsmanjonOdds & Sods.  Kim Komando’s WestStar announces it is offering its immensely popular “An American Christmas” program on a barter basis.  It’s hosted by Mannheim Steamroller‘s founder, Chip Davis and is a highly produced, 12-hour show consisting of the stories and legends surrounding the holiday – all keyed to today’s popular and traditional Christmas music…..Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman (also the former U.S. Ambassador to China) begins a weekly radio program on Sirius XM Radio called, “No Labels Radio with Jon Huntsman.”   The one-hour program is being produced in conjunction with No Labels, the growing movement of Democrats, Republicans and independents committed to the politics of problem solving.  It’ll air this Saturday, October 26 at 10:00 am ET on the POTUS channel.

doylepeterPeter Doyle Appointed VP of Broadcasters Foundation.  The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces the appointment of Peter Doyle to the position of vice president in which he’ll share responsibility for planning and executing the Foundation’s fundraising events and assisting in the overall fundraising and outreach efforts with Jim Thompson, president of the Broadcasters Foundation.  Doyle is widely known in broadcasting for his leadership of McGavren Guild, and subsequently other Interep initiatives, for more than 30 years.  Thompson states, “Peter brings a unique dynamic to the Foundation.  He has a keen understanding of the broadcasting business, and has been a staunch supporter of the Broadcasters Foundation.  As we continue to provide more aid to more broadcasters, Peter will be invaluable in helping us secure the funds that are essential to advancing our mission.”  Doyle adds, “I look forward to concentrating my efforts on raising money to support this great cause.  I have always believed in giving back to my community and to this industry that has been so good to so many of us.  The Foundation’s major fundraising events are well known and help generate the money we need.  There are a plethora of opportunities for expanding our reach across the industry so that we can continue to help our colleagues in need.”

mazerbillNew York Sports Media Legend Bill Mazer Passes.  Sports radio and television pioneer Bill Mazer died in Danbury, Connecticut on Wednesday (10/23) at age 92.  Mazer is remembered in the radio business for his pioneering sports radio program on WNBC as well as his longtime general talk and interview morning show on WEVD.  Mazer worked at WOR radio hosting a general interest talk show as well as serving as sports anchor on WNEW-TV for some 20 years.  He finished his broadcasting career on WVOX in New Rochelle from which he retired in 2009.

bernieremilymillerMarc Bernier’s Embry-Riddle Interviews Now Online.  WNDB, Daytona Beach talk show host Marc Bernier (left) is pictured here interviewing Washington Times opinion page editor and author Emily Miller (right) at the President’s Speakers Series Live Town Hall at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.  Miller is author of the book Emily Gets Her Gun (Regnery 2013). Bernier tells TALKERS magazine that his interviews in this series – which are also simulcast on WNDB – are being made available in video on YouTube and on his new ROKU channel “Book Marc.”  Photo: Arthur J. Byrnes.

HealthCare.gov Hearings, Teacher Slayings, Immigration Legislation, Trimming of Federal Workforce, Scope of NSA Spying, Fired White House Tweeter and the World Series Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/23).  The looming hearings investigating the problems at the HealthCare.gov site; the two recent slayings of teachers; President Obama’s forthcoming immigration legislation; the size of the federal workforce and what might be targeted in future cuts; the fired National Security Council tweeter; and the Red Sox versus Cardinals World Series were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

| October 22, 2013

cohenkevenSouth Carolina Talk Personality Keven Cohen to Lease Columbia Signal for New Talk Outlet.  Longtime WVOC, Columbia, South Carolina talk show host Keven Cohen is getting into the radio station operation business under the aegis of his company Capital City Media LLC.  Cohen – who was let go from Clear Channel’s WVOC last fall after a 19-year career there – is leasing WQXL (AM 1470) and its translator W240AX (at 95.9 FM) from religious broadcasters Glory Communications which will be branded “The Point” and will debut on Monday, October 28.  In a story in The State, Cohen says he mortgaged his home to launch the company and he will be one of those hitting the streets to sell advertising.  “People should know every dollar spent on ‘The Point’ will stay in Columbia.  It won’t be going to some big corporation in another city.”  Cohen will host the morning show with the rest of the day featuring syndicated programming including: Cox Media’s Herman Cain, Courtside Entertainment’s Laura Ingraham, Compass Media’s Todd Schnitt and Lars Larson, independently syndicated progressive host Leslie Marshall, WYD Media’s Phil Hendrie and Cumulus Media Networks’ “Red Eye Radio.’  Cohen’s venture is a great example of broadcasters pushed out of the business due to systems beyond their control getting back in via the entrepreneurial spirit.

rosellidaynaNews/Talk KXNT, Las Vegas Adds Dayna Roselli to AM Drive Program.  CBS Radio’s Las Vegas news/talker KXNT is going with a three-person morning program with the addition of Dayna Roselli alongside Joe Gillespie and Nathan Tannenbaum.  KXNT program director Andrew Paul states, “Dayna is a special talent, who is extremely well connected in the community.  Her fans love her, evidenced by her 15,000-plus Twitter followers.  She has great knowledge, experience, enthusiasm and a love for Las Vegas.  We are excited to have her join the KXNT team!”  Roselli most recently worked at the Las Vegas CBS affiliate, KLAS-TV, as morning news anchor and entertainment reporter.  She adds, “I’m really thrilled to be a part of this team and take on the world of radio.  I love this community and all it has to offer.  It’s nice to have a voice and make a difference by bringing the people of Southern Nevada the news and information they need.”

arnoldchrisChris Arnold Returns to ‘GBag Nation’ on ‘105.3 The Fan’ in Dallas.  According to a report in the Dallas Observer, sports talk host Chris Arnold returned to the air on CBS Radio’s KRLD-FM, Dallas on Monday afternoon, a week after basically admitting to plagiarizing much of a column that appeared on the station’s website.  The company has not made a public statement about the incident but Dallas Observer writer Eric Nicholson writes that it appears Arnold was given “a week’s vacation.”  However, it’s unclear if Arnold was paid for the week he was off the air.  Last week, TALKERS reported that Arnold’s use of football writer Scott Kacsmar’s work had ended in Kacsmar calling him on it and Arnold apologizing and asking Kacsmar to come on the radio show.  Kacsmar declined but asked for an apology on the radio.

traberjim

Jim Traber Gets New Deal at ‘The Sports Animal’ in OK City.  Former Oklahoma State quarterback and Baltimore Orioles first baseman Jim Traber has been an important part of WWLS, Oklahoma City “The Sports Animal” and management is rewarding him with a new, three-year contract, according to a report from NewsOK.com.  The site reports that Cumulus Media market manager Larry Bastida says corporate is putting a “real investment in sports talk radio.  They believe it’s one of the formats of the future.  They give us a lot of support here.”  Traber is also heard on other stations in Oklahoma across the “Sports Animal Radio Network” including KYAL-AM/FM, Tulsa; KBIX, Muskogee; KADS, Elk City; and KSIW, Woodward.

bax&oRITVSpoken Word Marks Significant Component of Rock Radio Morning Fare.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication in the music radio arena, RadioInfo, has posted (10/22) a video feature delving into the nuances of Saga Communications’ sister rock stations in Springfield, Massachusetts - classic rocker WAQY “Rock 102” and active rocker WLZX “Lazer 99.3.”  The reason we are bringing this to the attention of TALKERS readers is the significant role talk programming plays in the morning shows of each of these consistently successful operations…which is reflective of this position at numerous rock stations across the nation.  TALKERS/RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison speaks with Rob Cressman, brand manager for both stations who discusses the state of the classic rock and active rock formats in addition to sharing insights into the nuances of these outstanding outlets.  Harrison also visits with “Rock 102” morning team Bax & O’ Brien (Michael “Bax” Baxendale, right, and John O’ Brien, left) as well as “Lazer 99.3” morning star Leslie who also discuss the importance of talk in their respective AM drive presentations.  To view this video located in a box marked RadioInfoTV in the upper right column on the RadioInfo.com home page, please click here.

hrrn logoSun Broadcasting Group to Rep Horse Racing Radio Network.  A new partnership has been struck that has Sun Broadcast Group, Inc. serving as national sales rep for the Horse Racing Radio Network, LLC, effective immediately.  The on-air content will include the Triple Crown races of the Kentucky Derby, Thesunbroadcastgrouplogo Preakness and The Belmont Stakes along with the Breeders Cup World Championships.  This deal expands the growing sports products being offered by Sun.  The Horse Racing Radio Network is heard in over 50 markets and on SiriusXM.  SBG EVP Steve Gallagher states, “At Sun Broadcast Group, we are committed to unique, quality programming our clients and customers want to be associated with.  Our partnership with the Horse Racing Radio Network represents our dedication to excellence and we are thrilled to be a part of The Triple Crown, thoroughbred horse racing’s ultimate prestige event.  Mike Penna and his team have an unrivaled passion for horse racing and plan to broadcast more than 100 of the nation’s best thoroughbred races.”

envision radio networksAdLarge Media to Rep Envision Radio Networks.  The immediate upshot of that deal is the movement of inventory already measured in Nielsen Audio’s RADAR service to AdLarge’s Return on Investment (ROI) Network.  AdLarge states, “This news comes just a month after AdLarge Media Logo - 10-23-13AdLarge’s ROI Network debuted in RADAR as one of the largest advertising networks within the ratings service.  Envision Radio Networks has been part of RADAR for more than 10 years and has significant major market coverage, including all of the top 25 measured markets.”  AdLarge co-founder and CEO Gary Schonfeld says, “Our arrangement with Envision Radio Networks brings top-performing stations and large market coverage to our portfolio.  Envision CEO Danno Wolkoff and COO Laura Orkin share our vision of innovation and entrepreneurship and our dedication to developing customized solutions for advertisers.”  Wolkoff adds, “Gary and Cathy [Csukas] and their team at AdLarge will increase our presence in the national advertising arena.  They are very familiar with our programming, services, and online audio products, and can help national advertisers understand the scope of our network’s reach and frequency, and the amount of impressions we can deliver on a daily basis.”

deanmichaelwNeed A Mic? Consider the Classic Electro Voice.  Talk radio personality Michael W. Dean – co-host of the nationally syndicated “Freedom Feens” program that also features Neema Vedadi – says radio performers considering a microphone for the home studio would do well to invest in the Electro Voice RE-20.  The price point may be a bit high for some, but the sound and the sturdy build make it a wise investment.  Read Dean’s discussion about EV mics here.

braves logoDickey Broadcasting Renews Braves Deal.  Atlanta sports talk WCNN “680 The Fan” has been the flagship station for Atlanta Braves baseball since 2010 and will remain so as station owner Dickey Broadcasting and the team renew their deal.  Under the terms, games will air on WCNN (and its Cumulus-owned FM translator W229AG at 93.7).  But this year, instead of games also airing on Cumulus Media’s rock WNNX, they will be heard on Cumulus’ all-news WYAY “All News 106.7.”  Dickey will manage the Braves Radio Network throughout the Southeast.  Dickey president David Dickey states, “”We are proud to be the official radio home of the Atlanta Braves.  ‘680 The Fan’ is the dominant sports station in the region, and we believe our association with the Braves has greatly contributed to our incredible growth over the past four years.  We will continue to work with the Braves to deliver the best coverage and more team-focused content throughout 2014 and beyond.”

glassiraTuneIn to Feature “This American Life” Channel.  Digital audio aggregator TuneIn is soon to be the exclusive home of the archive of PRI’s Chicago Public Media-produced “This American Life” with host Ira Glass.  The company reports that the 24/7 station will contain episodes from the show’s 18-year history featuring more than 500 hours of content.  TuneIn CEO John Donham states, “TuneIn is devoted to bringing listeners access to the best programming available in the world.  ‘This American Life’ has always been a fan favorite, and we are happy ‘This American Life’ has chosen TuneIn as its partner to launch the 24/7 station.”

patchjonOdds & Sods.  Jon Patch, who’s been with Business TalkRadio Network for much of the past 20 years, exits the company where he’s been working in affiliate sales and programming as well as hosting “Talkin’ Pets.”  He’s seeking his next opportunity and can be reached at jonpatch@talkinpets.com…..Brett Jensen is a casualty at CBS Radio’s sports talk WFNZ, Charlotte “610 the Fan” where he hosted the midday program from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon.  To fill the gap, Frank Garcia’s program now airs from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm and “The Drive with Taylor Zarzour and Marc James” begins at 2:00 pm…..It’s nice to have a World Series taking place in your market, just ask the folks at Entercom‘s sports talk WEEI, Boston.  The station announces it is giving away World Series tix on Wednesday (10/23) on the Dennis & Callahan morning show and the Salk & Holley PM drive program.

ObamaCare Website Problems, GOP Infighting, State of the Economy Poll, Chris Christie’s Gay Marriage Stance, Nevada School Shooting, and Washington Redskins Controversy Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/21).  The massive problems with the government’s Affordable Care Act website; the discussion over whether the GOP is splintering; the results of a recent poll in which Americans express less confidence in the economy;  New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s changed stance on gay marriage; the death of a teacher in a Nevada school shooting; and the ongoing controversy over the Washington Redskins’ name were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

November News Nuggets

| December 20, 2012

By Mike Kinosian
TALKERS
Managing Editor/West Coast Bureau Chief

LOS ANGELES — Given the extraordinary nature of what has been happening of late, it is highly appropriate to follow up our recent massive talk radio overview with a similar piece on all-news operations.

There is however one obvious difference: Talk can claim tonnage honors, whereas news is one of radio’s most sparsely-represented formats.

Each PPM market has at least one talk outlet within in its top 20 (6+, November 2012), compared to news accomplishing the same feat in only 15 of the 48 electronically measured metros for a conversion rate of just over 30%.

Read More

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

| October 10, 2012

Michael Savage Tells San Francisco Chronicle His Return to Radio is Imminent.  The San Francisco Chronicle reports former Talk Radio Network nationally syndicated talk star Michael Savage (who won his freedom from TRN in arbitration recently) plans to be back on the radio within two weeks.  Savage tells the paper, “I’ve got to get back before these (presidential) debates are over.  And when I do, it will be bigger than ever.”  Savage’s attorney, Daniel Horowitz, says Savage is in negotiations with three “major players” but wouldn’t say which ones or what station might serve as a flagship.

President Obama Calls in to Tom Joyner Show this Morning. This morning (10/10) on the Tom Joyner Morning Show President Barack Obama called in and spoke to Tom Joyner and Sybil Wilkes about the debate, the importance of voting, his focus on the African American Community, and his thoughts on winning this tight election.  In the opinion of the TALKERS editors, the President made several powerful news making comments.  To read a key excerpt from this exclusive interview, click here.

Programmer Marshall Adams Exits All-News WYAY, Atlanta.  Before joining the Cumulus Atlanta all-newser early this year, Marshall Adams served as program director at CBS Radio’s KDKA, Pittsburgh.  Now, the word is Adams has exited the fledgling all-news operations.  There’s no word from Cumulus who will take over the programming role at WYAY.

Mancow Show in Pre-Recorded Mode During Move to New Studios.  The Chicago-based and TRN-FM nationally syndicated Mancow program is airing taped shows this week as the program prepares to launch in its TV-radio simulcast format on October 22, according to Time Out Chicago’s Robert Feder.  Mancow’s show will emanate from the studios of Fox TV-owned WPWR-TV, Chicago with the 6:00 am to 8:00 am hours being simulcast on TV.  Also, Feder reports that former “Ebert & Roeper” program executive producer Don Dupree has been hired as director and produce of the Mancow show.  Mancow’s program had been produced at Cumulus Media’s Chicago studios.

The Future of PDs: Brand Managers.  Perhaps the headline of this story should read the “present” of program directors as an increasing number of companies are adopting the title “brand manager” to describe the role of the radio station/group position historically known as “program director.”  With the likes of so highly respected and forward thinking a company as Saga Communications joining the ranks of those using this more expansive title RadioInfo recognizes the movement is shifting from trend status to a significant paradigm shift.  The concept is articulated by Saga Communications executive vice president Steve Goldstein in the following memo received by the company’s program directors in all formats, talk and music:

I have some very important and exciting news…

We truly live in a multi-platform world.  As a Program Director, you are now spending an increased amount of your time thinking about and working with our various digital platforms.  Whether it be the station website(s), social media such as Facebook, Twitter or crafting emails and texts, it’s all now a part of the PD’s day.  This is in addition to managing the external marketing feel and visual aspects of the brand.

And of course, all of this is on top of creating vital and compelling on-air radio with all of the moving parts of morning shows, music, talk programming, news, sports, etc.

So, we’ve been thinking a lot about how vastly different the job of the Program Director is in 2012 and where it is likely to go in the coming years.

We’ve been thinking about how successful programmers are morphing their skills to become proficient at not just managing the on-air product, but the overall brand.  And conversely, it has exposed the vulnerability of Program Directors who are not learning and growing as we become more digital.

When you drill it all down, what it really means is that the PD is no longer just a PROGRAM DIRECTOR, but a multi-platform BRAND MANAGER.

And so with the notion that things will continue to evolve, we are making a formal title change for all of our PDs from Program Director to Brand Manager.    This change is intended to not only reflect how people in our business think about the position of PD but how PD’s think about themselves.

Managing the assets of a brand is what you do today, and we think this new title better reflects the change in responsibility and overall outlook.

We discussed this during our recent General Manager meeting in Florida and it met with tremendous approval.

Congratulations BRAND MANAGER.

Saga Communications owns and operates more than 100 broadcast stations in 29 markets.

ESPN Confirms Central Florida Affiliates.  ESPN Radio remains on the Central Florida markets of Orlando – on Cox Media’s WDBO-AM beginning November 12 – and in Tampa Bay on Clear Channel’s WDAE.  The moves come after Genesis Communications elected not to renew its affiliation with ESPN radio on WBHO, Tampa and WHOO, Orlando.  As we reported yesterday, Cox Media is flipping the AM side of WDBO-AM/FM to sports as “ESPN 580 Orlando” and will carry the ESPN Radio lineup including Mike & Mike, Colin Cowherd, and SVP & Russillo.  WDBO has not announced a local PM drive talent as this time.  ESPN senior vice president, production, business divisions Traug Keller says, “We’re pleased to team with Cox to broadcast ESPN Radio content on WDBO-AM 580, one of the strongest signals in the Southeast, and with Clear Channel to provide ESPN programming on 620 WDAE.  Our new affiliates in both Tampa and Orlando are a huge step up in signal strength, business acumen and our drive to grow our business with the best in the business.”

Tom Bauerle Re-Ups with Entercom’s WBEN, Buffalo.  Buffalo talk host Tom Bauerle is becoming synonymous with talk radio in the market as the Buffalo native signs a long-term contract extension to remain with WBEN hosting the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon program.  Bauerle has been with WBEN since 2002.  He started his career in the market at Entercom sister WGR in 1982.  We worked for a few years outside the market at WTKN, Tampa-St. Pete and KMOX, St. Louis before returning to Buffalo in 1991.

XEPRS, San Diego “ESPN Radio 1700” Renews with ESPN for Three Years.  San Diego sports outlet ESPN Radio 1700 announces it strikes a deal with ESPN Radio to continue airing its programming in the market for another three years.  XEPRS is owned by Broadcasting Company of the Americas and carries Mike & Mike, “The Herd with Colin Cowherd,” Hill & Schlereth, overnight and weekend programming as well as MLB and college sports play-by-play. Broadcasting Company of the Americas VP/market manager Norman Feuer states, “We’re thrilled to continue our partnership with ESPN Radio.  As San Diego’s sports leader, it’s only fitting to have a strong bond with the ‘Worldwide Leader in Sports.’  Programming the quality of ESPN Radio deserves a home in San Diego. We are proud to have our stations as that home.”

WSSP, Milwaukee Adds Ted Davis to PM Drive Show.  Ted Davis has served as the voice of Milwaukee Bucks basketball for the past 15 seasons.  Now, he adds a regular role at Entercom’s sports talk WSSP “Sportsradio 1250” where he’ll be part of “The Big Show” afternoon program with Steve “Sparky” Fifer, Ramie Makhlouf and Gary Ellerson.  Program director Tom Parker says Davis will begin during the basketball season adding hoops analysis.  “Ted will weigh in on the day’s top Wisconsin sports stories.  Of course he’ll share his unique perspective on Milwaukee basketball.  Ted is a sports talk pro who knows what fans want and will tell it like it is.”

Odds & Sods.  Entercom promotes WEEI-FM, Springfield, Massachusetts and WEEI-AM, Worcester, Massachusetts general manager David Oldread to director of sales and operations for the Worcester, Springfield and WVEI-FM Providence outlets for the Boston-based WEEI sports talk brand…..SiriusXM will broadcast a special “town hall” broadcast with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell live from SiriusXM studios on October 22.  NFL great Michael Strahan (also co-host of ABC TV’s “Live with Kelly and Michael” and analyst on “Fox NFL Sunday” ) will interview Goodell and the commissioner will take questions from the live studio audience…..CBS Radio’s WIP-AM/FM, Philadelphia donates $5,000 to Michael Vick’s Team Vick Foundation.  Vick says, “The city of Philadelphia embraced me, welcomed me here when the Eagles signed me – giving me a second chance to play the game that I love.  We at Team Vick Foundation are thankful to CBS Radio for supporting our work in the community and look forward to lasting partnership.”…..Tribune’s WGN, Chicago will air abbreviated editions of its “Sports Night” program to carry the two remaining presidential debates as well as the vice-presidential debate.  The VP debate is Thursday, October 11 and the two presidential debates are on October 16 and 22.

KDKA, Pittsburgh Hosts Marcellus Shale Expo.  The possibility of large natural gas reserves in the Marcellus Shale is a major ongoing story for Western Pennsylvania and CBS Radio’s KDKA is hosting a Marcellus Shale Expo on Thursday, October 11.  The event is sponsored by Range Resources, a developer of natural gas extraction technology.  The day’s events will include panel discussions hosted by KDKA’s Mike Pintek and Robert Mangino and will include representatives: Frank Brooks Robinson, Jr., of the Governor’s Action Team; Petra Mitchell from Catalyst Connection and Rep. Jim Christiana from Beaver County.  Afternoon session panelists include Alan Eichler of District Oil & Gas Operations; Rep. Marc Gergely from Allegheny County and John Ubinger from PA Environmental Council.  Matt Pitzarella from Range Resources will serve on both panels.  Mike Pintek will broadcast his program on site from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.

Hearst Television President David Barrett to Receive Broadcasters Foundation of America’s 2013 Golden Mike Award.  Awarded annually to a broadcasting executive who has championed the BFoA’s mission, the 2013 Golden Mike Award will be given to Hearst Television president and CEO David Barrett at a gala black-tie fundraiser at the Plaza Hotel in New York City on February 25.  Broadcasters Foundation of American chairman Philip J. Lombardo states, “David has been a vigorous champion of the Foundation’s mission to help broadcasters who are in desperate need.  David’s exemplary leadership at Hearst, his commitment to the Foundation’s charitable cause, and his dedication to community service have earned him this acknowledgement.  We are proud to honor him.”

Newt Talks Politics with Alan Stock.  Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (and recent presidential candidate) poses for a photo with KDWN, Las Vegas morning drive host Alan Stock at the Beasley news/talk station’s studios.  Gingrich appeared on Stock’s program to talk about the presidential race and took calls from listeners.

Presidential Race Polls, Obama ‘Big Bird’ Ad Controversy, Romney Foreign Policy Speech, and Jerry Sandusky Sentenced Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/9).  New polling data showing Mitt Romney gaining on or pulling ahead of President Obama; the controversy of the use of the Children’s Television Workshop’s Big Bird in an Obama ad; Mitt Romney’s recent foreign policy speech; and the sentencing of former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

| May 29, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

| May 16, 2012

Howard Stern’s Debut on “America’s Got Talent” Gets Mixed Ratings Results.  Although billed as a “judge,” iconic talk radio star Howard Stern’s debut on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” was one of the most-judged elements on the program.  The show’s season opener was one of Monday’s top shows with a 3.6 average rating in the 18-49 demo but that number was down from the program’s debut episode last season when it scored 4.3 average rating.  TVbytheNumbers reports the program faced stiffer competition this year.  Ratings for reality talent and music competition programs are down pretty much across the board this season and Stern’s effect on “America’s Got Talent” will be hard to judge.  The TV industry is dealing with softer ratings in prime time for almost all programming this season.  Meanwhile, TALKERS editorial board members report noticing that it seemed strange seeing Stern in the role of prime time TV ”celebrity team player,” as opposed to being the focal point of his own edgy show.  Those expecting anything approaching “The Howard Stern Show” came away disappointed — including media watchdog groups.

Cumulus to Move Atlanta All-Newser Closer to the City.  Cumulus Media’s WYAY-FM, Gainesville, Georgia – soon to be the company’s new all-news outlet in the Atlanta market – will move from 106.7 to 106.5 and take Sandy Springs as its city of license if the FCC grants approval for the changes.  The move would put the new station’s tower much closer to the downtown area.  Currently, WYAY-FM’s class C signal emanates from a tower location about halfway between Atlanta and Athens to the east.

Social Media Ad Spending to Near $10 Billion by 2016.  That’s from BIA/Kelsey’s U.S. Local Media Forecast and it predicts that ad spending on social media will climb from the 2011 level of $3.8 billion spent to $9.8 billion in 2016.  The local segment of that revenue will go from 2011’s $840 million to $3.1 billion in 2016.  BIA/Kelsey’s Jed Williams states, “Better performance, coupled with richer formats and creative elements, like video, will be the principal social ad market growth drivers.  Social advertising’s local business penetration will steadily increase as SMBs’ understanding of social media deepens, and as the networks continually improve the ease of onboarding and campaign management.  Facebook opening its Ads API to more partners, including those that work with SMBs, and Twitter’s self-serve platform will help to ‘democratize’ social ads, which will ultimately lead to more local growth.”

Emmis Stock Continues to Be Traded on the NASDAQ.  Emmis’ listing on the NASDAQ was in jeopardy after falling under the $1 threshold late last year earning a de-listing notice from NASDAQ.  But Emmis stock rose above the $1 mark in late April and even hit $1.63 on May 2.  Emmis stated its case to a NASDAQ panel and the company was just informed it will continue to be traded on the board.

ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt Agrees to New Multi-Year Deal.  Twelve-year ESPN personality Scott Van Pelt agrees to a new multi-year extension with ESPN to remain a SportsCenter anchor and host his eponymous daily sports talk radio program.  Van Pelt joined ESPN in 2001 as its lead professional golf reporter.  He says he’s thrilled how his career at ESPN has turned out.  “I’ve always been a guy who was kind of on the wave wherever it took me.  And somehow it took me to where it did and I’m thankful.  I’m happy to stay in this boat, on this wave, until they’re done with me. . .None of this was even thinkable but here we are.  It’s baffling to me.”  The details of the new contract are not being disclosed.

WQAM, Miami Seals Contract Extension with University of Miami.  The Beasley Broadcasting sports talk station agrees with Hurricane Sports Properties to a five-year contract extension to keep football and men’s basketball games on WQAM.  The financial terms of the deal were not released.  The deal also calls for a certain number of baseball games to air as well as the weekly coaches’ shows with Joe Zagacki.  WQAM vice president and general manager Joe Bell states, “UM sports have been a huge part of WQAM for over a decade and we’re excited to continue that relationship.  Our listeners have come to expect the best from WQAM and it doesn’t get any better than Hurricane sports.”

ESPN Radio Unveils New App for iPhone, iPad and iTouch.  The sports entertainment giant announces it is releasing a new ESPN Radio app touting it as its “single, most definitive ESPN Radio app optimized for iPhone, iPod touch and – for the first time – iPad.  The app, sponsored by Lowe’s, creates a seamless, personalized sports listening experience both live and on demand and includes a new feature that allows fans to build their own sports stations. Additionally, fans now have the option to rewind live audio streams, including ESPN Deportes Radio.”  ESPN digital and print media vice president Marc Horine says, “With this update, fans now have complete control over their listening experience as the app provides the functionality to customize specifically by sports, teams and athletes they care most about.”

Euro Zone Tensions, Financial Markets Activity, 2012 Presidential Race, Obama Gay Marriage Stance, and Trayvon Martin Case Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/15).  The possibility of  Greece’s exit from the EU; the European effect on world financial markets; the 2012 presidential race; President Obama’s stance on gay marriage; and new information about George Zimmerman’s injuries in the Trayvon Martin case were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.