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Archive for September, 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011

| September 23, 2011

Target: Spanish Language Talk Radio Market.  Personal finance talk radio mega-star Dave Ramsey has worked very hard to become a household name through his popular daily talk radio show, television efforts, bestselling books and live event programs.  Now his Lampo Group organization is targeting the Spanish-speaking segment of the American population with the national launch of a daily talk show hosted by Andres Gutierrez.  Gutierrez is a successful entrepreneur; small-business owner and radio show host with the goal of helping the Hispanic community win with money.  Ramsey’s organization says “Andres’ successes have come from his passion and his simple, direct way of communicating hope to the hopeless.  His drive for excellence in everything he does enabled his business to prosper.”  Businesses all across America are developing plans to market to the Hispanic community and Ramsey says he’s long been interested in serving this segment of the nation’s population and says he sees the perfect messenger in Gutierrez.  “Andres joined Dave’s team in 2009 and is now helping to spread the message of ‘Paz Financiera’ all over the country — or as Andres would say it, ‘Teaching people how to make their money behave.’”  Ramsey’s organization is launching the Andres Gutierrez daily radio show in national syndication on October 17.

WBZ-FM, Boston Sports Talkers Felger & Massarotti to Simulcast on Comcast SportsNet.  Michael Felger and Tony Massarotti host the PM drive show on CBS Radio’s 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston.  There’s no official start date announced, but this fall the duo’s PM drive show will be simulcast on cable TV on Comcast SportsNet.  Comcast SportsNet EVP and general manager Bill Bridgen says, “Felger, Mazz and the Sports Hub have taken over Boston radio with a rocket launch to the top of the ratings.  Adding Felger’s acerbic nature for four more hours to our lineup and Mazz’s credentials are huge pluses for Comcast SportsNet as we continue to build out our programming which features local, entertaining sports programming from 6:00 am to 1:30 am.”

Tyler Moody Promoted at CNN Radio.  Eight-year CNN Radio veteran Tyler Moody is promoted from executive director to vice president of CNN Radio.  The company says Moody will “oversee the editorial and operations teams, including affiliate services and CNN Radio’s more than 30 anchors, correspondents, producers and staff.  He will also lead the business in strategy, product development and execution.”  CNN lauds Moody for his work guiding the network through award-winning coverage of recent events including the earthquake in Haiti for which CNN won a Sigma Delta Chi award for breaking news coverage.  Moody takes over for Victor Kong who returns to Miami to be near his extended family.

Smith/Sabatino Show Debuts on WNYM, New York.  Emmy Award-winning news anchor and journalist Rolland G. Smith and veteran broadcaster Carl J. Sabatino are teaming up for a Sunday evening talk radio program to air on WNYM, New York called “Smith/Sabatino.”  The new program is described as one that “focuses on what we’re all exposed to in the news and why it’s there.  Smith and Sabatino face issues with a practical slant to events and everyday problems.  Their message is one of a common approach and an understanding of those issues and interests that address our lives in the most significant ways.  The program also presents a light and entertaining side, one that balances the hard issues with conversation and talk about the diversions and distractions of life.”  Smith is well known for his work at WCBS-TV and WWOR-TV in New York.  Sabatino is a former CEO of World Television, senior consultant for CNN Radio, WTFM, and WNEW in New York and broadcast executive for Dow Jones/Wall Street Journal Television.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliation Roundup. The Wall Street Journal Radio Network’s “The Daily Wrap from The Wall Street Journal with Michael Castner” is added to the program schedule at Saga Communications stations WTAX, Springfield, Illinois; KGMI, Bellingham, Washington; WKVT, Brattleboro, Vermont; and WHMP/WHNP/WHNQ, Northampton, Massachusetts.  KICD, Spencer, Iowa and the Northampton, Massachusetts stations also add “The Wall Street Journal This Morning” to their lineups…..America’s Radio News Network gets its news block programming added to Renda’s WMNY, Pittsburgh as the station flips from business talk to a news/talk format.

The Fed’s Bleak Economic Outlook Top News/Talk Story for Week of September 19-23.  The bleak economic outlook announced by the Fed this week was the #1 topic on news/talk radio and landed atop the Talkers TenTM chart.  At #2 is President Obama’s debt reduction plan.  Following at #3 is the 2012 presidential race and the Thursday evening GOP debate and at #4 is the global financial markets activity.  The Talkers TenTM is a chart published weekly at Talkers.com that shows the most-talked-about stories and people on news/talk radio according to ongoing research from TALKERS.  View the entire chart by clicking on the banner below.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

| September 22, 2011

Tara Servatius and Dave Priest New Morning Duo at WRNN-AM/FM, Myrtle Beach.  The Myrtle Beach Sun News reports former WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte talk host Tara Servatius and radio pro Dave Priest replace Steve Porter as host of the station’s morning drive show.  NextMedia Radio market manager Barry Brown says in a release that the station is making changes to better serve the full-time residents of Myrtle Beach.  “WRNN is offering a fresh, new, unique voice to entertain and inform and a new conversation for Myrtle Beach from 6:00 to 10:00 weekday mornings.  WRNN extends a welcome to those who may not regularly listen with the addition of Tara Servatius.”  Porter, who would only say he wishes the station well and is moving on, invested in the station back in 1995 and has been involved in the programming since that time.

GHB Broadcasting’s Sports WIST, New Orleans Adds New Morning Host.  Former Times Picayune Saints beat writer Brian Allee Walsh hosts the morning drive show from 6:00 am to 8:00 am.  WIST general manager Dan Frazier says the show is followed by the Dan Patrick program with the rest of the day featuring local programs:  Larry Holder and New Orleans Hornets studio personality Gus Kattengell host the locally produced “Sports Hangover” show from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm followed by local host Eric Asher from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm and local legend Kaare Johnson from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  The station – the flagship for Tulane University athletics – features a rotating cast of local sports experts and personalities for its weeknight evening programming.

Current TV Names Jason Odell EVP, Technology.  The commentary and information-intensive cable channel announces it brings aboard Jason Odell to oversee IT, web engineering and broadcast engineering.  The company states that Odell “brings two decades of experience in media systems management and broadcast engineering on a number of platforms to Current as the network ramps up its TV and digital programming with a focus on news analysis and political commentary.  Most recently, he consulted for CNN, and helped the network introduce innovations such as augmented reality, and the use of immersive graphics driven by election data, for use in election coverage.”  Odell reports to Current president David Bohrman and says of his new position, “I’m very excited to be a part of Current.  This network has innovation in its DNA.  With the election fast approaching, we have our work cut out for us, but I am confident that with this team and with David Bohrman at the wheel we can get this thing up to ramming speed, and provide viewers with the truth, and a unique, much-needed perspective on politics.”

Genesis Communications Network Adds Two Shows to its Lineup.  GCN begins syndicating the “Common Sense Club” hosted by Scott Hennen airing daily from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET and the Mike Siegel show that airs daily from 11:00 pm to 1:00 am ET.  GCN says of Siegel, “He applies real world expertise delivering solutions to everyday problems.  Mike hails from Brooklyn, and is a communications consultant, a media giant, a big-mouth lawyer, a liberal-turned-conservative and an advocate of business.”  It notes that Hennen, “has been a guest host for Sean Hannity and Jason Lewis.  Named ‘The Rush Limbaugh of the Prairie’ by The Wall Street Journal, Scott has also authored a new book titled, Grassroots: A Common Sense Action Agenda for America about the game-changing force in American politics — the Tea Party movement.”

Media Matters Produces Weekly Show on Sirius XM.  The six-week, two-hour weekly program will air on Sirius XM’s Left channel live Saturdays from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon (with replays on Sunday) beginning September 24.  “Media Matters Radio” will be hosted by Media Matters EVP Ari Rabin-Hart and executive producer Bradley Herring.  The program promises to “systematically analyze a cross section of print, broadcast, cable, radio, and Internet media outlets for conservative misinformation and alert listeners to take action.”

GOP Candidates to Debate, Palestinian-U.N. Statehood Bid, Stock Market Activity and Obama Debt Reduction Plan Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/21).  The 2012 presidential GOP candidates and their debate scheduled for this evening, the Palestinian bid for statehood at the United Nations, Dow drops in trading and President Obama’s plan to reduce the nation’s debt were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research by TALKERS.

Bob & Tom Comedy Bus Tour Kicks Off.  The Premiere Networks syndicated Bob & Tom show kicked off the Bob & Tom Comedy All-Stars Bus Tour this week with an appearance at Cracker’s Comedy Club in Bob Kevoian’s and Tom Griswold’s home base market of Indianapolis.  The tour – now in its sixth year – features a rotating ensemble of comedians appearing on stages all across America.  This tour will hit cities including: South Bend, Indiana; Dubuque, Iowa; Colorado Springs; Salt Lake City; Boise; Richland, Washington; and more.  Pictured here are (from l-r):  Chick McGee, Dan Cummins, Kristi Lee, Bob Kevoian, Tom Griswold, April Macie, Donnie Baker and Shane Mauss.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

| September 21, 2011

WABC, New York’s Joe Crummey Gets NY Radio Pro Patty Steele for Producer/Sidekick.  Late morning talk show host Joe Crummey has a well-known New York radio personality in the producer/sidekick role for the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon program beginning Monday, September 26.  Patty Steele most recently worked in the Big Apple at Cumulus sister FM WPLJ as news director alongside Scott Shannon and Todd Pettengill.  She’s also worked with Elvis Duran at crosstown WHTZ-FM, with Danny Bonaduce at New York’s former Big 105 and as a news anchor at WCBS, New York.  WABC program director Laurie Cantillo says, “Patty is smart, warm, funny and she gets what our listeners care about.  We’re thrilled about the strong news background and big ideas that she’ll bring to 77WABC.”

Internet Talk Radio Company Stitcher Raises $10 Million in New Funding.  Stitcher reports it has closed a Series C round of venture capital financing, led by New Enterprise Associates (whose general partner Ravi Viswanathan joins Stitcher’s board of directors) that allows the company to “fuel growth, build out a direct sales team and drive product development including enhancing its platform for content partners.”  Stitcher offers more than 6,000 different shows encompassing news, sports, entertainment, comedy and more from such personalities as Premiere’s Rush Limbaugh, NPR’s Terri Gross, Adam Carolla and many more.  Stitcher is available on the internet, via smartphone apps and in cars via the Ford SYNC platform and the Buick IntelliLink in-car connectivity system.  Stitcher CEO Noah Shanok tells TALKERS he expects the company to make more announcements about in-car availability in the near future.  He also states that for talk content providers, his service is about the ability to be everywhere.  “In the near term, one of the benefits that the internet provides is the ability to be where the audience is.  As you grow and build a listenership you want to be effectively where it’s most convenient for them.”  Battles between providers to grab headline-making deals for unique content may come down the road, according to Shanok, but for now, “it’s about getting users used to the same benefits they have in their home and on the internet – such as on-demand and personal information – that are now extending to the radio industry and content providers are taking advantage of.”  Shanok acknowledges that, especially for talk, the car is a crucial listening location and his company’s primary goal is to make using the technology as painless as possible for seamless integration into the car.  “We’ve been able to stay ahead and differentiate ourselves by having laser focus on product and technology by focusing on just talk.”  Shanok says content partners benefit greatly by the feedback they get from Stitcher in the form of audience metrics and other data to assist in sales.

Cenk Uygur’s “Young Turks” Lands at Current TV; Leads in to Olbermann.  Talk show host Cenk Uygur, who filled in extensively at MSNBC earlier this year and had hopes of landing a permanent gig there (Al Sharpton got it instead), takes his “Young Turks” progressive talk show to Current TV.  Uygur’s program will air at 7:00 pm ET and leads in to Keith Olbermann’s “Countdown” at 8:00 pm ET.  In a statement, Uygur says, “Current is the perfect home for our show.  We wanted to be in a place that is both independent and truly progressive — not owned and encumbered by a media conglomerate.  Does it get any better for a progressive than working where Al Gore and Joel Hyatt are your bosses and Keith Olbermann is your colleague?  It’s an honor to be the lead-in program for Keith Olbermann.  Add to that we will work with David Bohrman, who has been creating unique and great television programming for decades.  His vision for Current is exactly in line with ours.” The show will debut later this year, according to TVNewser.

ESPN Partners with Slacker for Customizable Listening.  ESPN Audio’s deal with the Slacker personal radio service gives users options for listening to ESPN-created content depending on which Slacker service they subscribe to.  Listeners using the free Slacker Basic Radio service now have access to an interactive, programmed ESPN station.  Slacker Radio Plus and Slacker Premium Radio subscribers have unlimited access to the ESPN Radio integration, including an ad-free programmed station with unlimited skips and the ability to create highly personalized, myESPN Radio sports stations based on favorite sports, teams or ESPN programs. Subscribers also have the option to add hourly “SportsCenter” updates to any Slacker station.

Hubbard Radio’s Federal News Radio in Washington Revamps Web Presence.  Hubbard Radio’s WFED, Washington and FederalNewsRadio.com announces a complete overhaul of its website that it says makes information “more accessible and interactive for information seekers and decision makers of the federal government.”  The radio station and web destination serve the large number of DC-area residents who work for or contract to the federal government.  Program director Lisa Wolfe says, “Our new website is the next step in Federal News Radio’s continuing process to meet the news and information needs of our busy and time-crunched audience.  Our site is better organized, more searchable and has a nice aesthetic.”

KIRO, Seattle Inks MLB’s Mariners to New Play-By-Play Deal.  The length of the contract and the financial terms are not being disclosed but Bonneville Seattle crows its 710 ESPN KIRO will continue to be the place for Seattle Mariners baseball on the radio in the Emerald City for years to come.  Station general manager Dave Pridemore says, “It has been a pleasure working with the Seattle Mariners for the past three years and we look forward to continuing this partnership in the years to come.  Combined with our additional coverage of the team on MyNorthwest.com, we are striving to maintain our status as the number one place for fans to find Mariners news and information.”

Canadian Specialty Sport TV Channel The Score Reportedly for Sale.  Sources say owner Score Media wants as much as $200 million (Canadian) for a business that earned less than $8 million dollars last year.  By the numbers The Score is Canada’s number three cable sports station.  It doesn’t have the deep pockets of rivals TSN and SPORTSNET.  Rather than carry hockey, Major League Baseball and football, The Score generally reports on sports and carries live sports talk programming.  It does broadcast some events including NBA games, WWE wrestling and pro poker tournaments.

Obama Debt Reduction Plan, 2012 GOP Candidates, European Economic Tensions and U.N.-Palestinian Issue Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/20).  President Obama’s debt reduction plan, the field of GOP candidates for the 2012 presidential election, the instability of the European economy as Greece teeters on default and the Palestinian bid for statehood at the U.N. were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

WTOP-FM, Washington Entertainment Editor Joe Barber Dies at 53.  Barber was found dead at his home in Washington, DC on Monday (9/19) and no cause of death has been made public.  Barber served as entertainment editor at Hubbard Radio’s WTOP-FM since 1997.  The Washington Post reports that Barber suffered from diabetes and had been in failing health.

On Tour with Dave Ramsey.  This beautiful custom-wrapped tour bus is carrying nationally syndicated talk star and bestselling author Dave Ramsey around the country as he promotes his latest book, EntreLeadership: 20 Years of Practical Business Wisdom from the Trenches (Howard Books 2011).  Ramsey and company started in New York yesterday (9/20) with an appearance on CBS TV’s “The Early Show” and winds across the country through early November hitting such markets as Phoenix, Los Angeles, Knoxville, Nashville, Dallas, Atlanta and more.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

| September 20, 2011

WGN Informal Tour Now Playing on TALKERS TV.  While TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison was in Chicago last week attending the NAB/RAB Radio Show, he ducked out briefly and headed across the street to the headquarters of the Tribune Company to pay a visit to his friends at WGN.  With video camera in hand, and upon extremely short notice, Harrison was graciously given an informal, off-the-cuff, tour of the facility by the station’s program director Bill White.  The video of that tour makes its TALKERS TV debut today.  Although it offers just a quick and limited slice of the rich world that is WGN – a radio station with a historic pedigree stretching back to the early 1920s – it does capture a provocative glimpse of the heritage station’s unique specialness.  Bill White takes us into the locked and almost forgotten — but still intact – record album and 45 rpm singles library, a fascinating reminder of big time radio as it was back in the day.  We visit the green room where today’s news/talk radio air guests are greeted, seated and offered beverages…a room that has hosted an endless list of the powerful and famous including heads of state.  We watch Leslie Keiling of WGN Traffic Central doing traffic reports and share a few words with her.  We talk with Jackie Paulus, WGN director of marketing & digital strategies about the station’s digital sales initiatives.  We meet assistant program director Alex Quigley in the WGN radio newsroom — situated against the dynamic backdrop of the main newsroom of the Chicago Tribune, located in the same building.  We peek in on the huge main studios of the iconic radio station.  A highlight of the visit is chatting with John Williams during a break during his midday show in the WGN street level Showcase Studio and barging in on the staff prep meeting conducted by afternoon drive star Garry Meier. View this must-see video in the TALKERS TV box on this page.

It’s Official: George Plaster Exits WGFX-FM, Nashville.  Speculation over whether sports talk host George Plaster would stay with the company he sued for his freedom eight years ago (Cumulus) when it became owner of WGFX-FM is over.  Plaster tells The Tennessean he made the decision on Friday, “It’s the toughest decision I’ve ever had to make in radio.  It was very emotional for me because of the people that I’ve worked with.  The people at 104.5 The Zone are as professional as any radio station that I have ever dealt with.  These are friends and we’ve had unbelievable success at this station.”  The new crosstown sports talk station owned by Cromwell Group – WPRT-FM – is a possible destination for Plaster but he says he’ll take some time to decide what he’s going to do next.  There is probably a non-compete that Plaster will have to wait out before going back to radio in Nashville.  At WGFX-FM, “The Allstate Sports Zone” continues on with Willy Daunic and Chad Withrow.

Premiere Networks Announces Goldline Exclusive Precious Metals Dealer Sponsor of Sean Hannity Show.  Sean Hannity’s nationally syndicated radio show – heard on more than 500 affiliate stations – reaches an extremely dedicated core group of conservative talk radio listeners.  That target demo must be exactly what Goldline International Inc. is looking for as it announces it is the exclusive precious metals sponsor of the Sean Hannity show.  Goldline CEO Scott Carter states, “Sean Hannity clearly represents the pinnacle of talk radio with millions of loyal listeners following Sean’s unique take on politics, culture and current events.  Goldline is thrilled to be a sponsor of the Sean Hannity show and help Americans across the country learn more about diversifying with precious metals.”  Speaking about the exclusive advertising deal, Sean Hannity says,I am looking forward to working closely with a gold company that has such a stellar reputation in the industry.  For those who are thinking about investing in gold, the place I highly recommend is Goldline.”

KIRO, Seattle Extends Contracts of Kevin Calabro and Jim Moore.  Bonneville’s 710 ESPN Seattle (KIRO) adds an hour to the Kevin Calabro show – now airing from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm daily – and gives contract extensions to host Kevin Calabro and co-host Jim Moore.  Station GM Dave Pridemore notes the program is currently the #1-rated show in the Men 25-54 demo and says, “We are thrilled to have Kevin and Jim continue to anchor our afternoon drive into the future.  Kevin’s connection to the Seattle sports audience, dedication to the craft and loyalty make him a true professional and advocate for this entire region.”

WTKK-FM, Boston Adds Pollster Scott Rasmussen for Weekly AM Drive Appearance.  Rasmussen is the founder of Rasmussen Reports – the public opinion polling firm – and a frequent guest on cable news/talk TV shows as well as a talk show host in his own right.  Now, Greater Media’s WTKK-FM, Boston announces Rasmussen will make a weekly appearance on its AM drive show with Jim Braude and Margery Eagan every Wednesday at 7:45.  Braude says, “Scott Rasmussen is as good as they come, his insight on topics that Bostonians and New Englanders care about is unmatchable.”  Eagan notes, “He knows what Americans are thinking about, everything from politics to laundry detergent.”

Pop Culture AM Drive Hosts Chaz and AJ Simulcast in New Haven and Norwalk, Connecticut.  Cox Media Group gives talk-intensive rock WPLR, New Haven morning drive hosts Chaz and AJ another market as the duo’s program begins a simulcast on the company’s classic rock WFOX, Norwalk, Connecticut.  The show is described as a mix of humor, politics and water cooler talk.  Keith Dakin, who programs both stations, says, “This move just makes sense.  I am extremely excited to extend the reach of Chaz and AJ to the residents of Fairfield County who have never been able to hear the show.  These guys really deliver for Connecticut and I expect big things from them on WFOX.”

Marty Basch Joins CBS Radio Las Vegas as VP/Director of Sales.  Basch has worked for CBS Radio in the recent past.  He left two years ago to take the EVP/GM position with Kemp Broadcasting.  Now he returns to the company as vice president and director of sales for the six-station cluster that includes news/talk KXNT-AM/FM.

Obama Deficit Reduction Plan, Palestinian-U.N. Issue, European Economic Jitters and 2012 Presidential Race Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/19).  President Obama’s plan to cut the nation’s deficit, the Palestinian plea to the U.N. for statehood, continued jitters in Europe over Greek debt and the GOP contenders for president in 2012 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday.

Talkers TV visits WGN

| September 20, 2011

WGN Informal Tour Now Playing on TALKERS TV. While TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison was in Chicago last week attending the NAB/RAB Radio Show, he ducked out briefly and headed across the street to the headquarters of the Tribune Company to pay a visit to his friends at WGN. With video camera in hand, and upon extremely short notice, Harrison was graciously given an informal, off-the-cuff, tour of the facility by the station’s program director Bill White. The video of that tour makes its TALKERS TV debut today. Although it offers just a quick and limited slice of the rich world that is WGN – a radio station with a historic pedigree stretching back to the early 1920s – it does capture a provocative glimpse of the heritage station’s unique specialness. Bill White takes us into the locked and almost forgotten — but still intact – record album and 45 rpm singles library, a fascinating reminder of big time radio as it was back in the day. We visit the green room where today’s news/talk radio air guests are greeted, seated and offered beverages…a room that has hosted an endless list of the powerful and famous including heads of state. We watch Leslie Keiling of WGN Traffic Central doing traffic reports and share a few words with her. We talk with Jackie Paulus, WGN director of marketing & digital strategies about the station’s digital sales initiatives. We meet assistant program director Alex Quigley in the WGN radio newsroom — situated against the dynamic backdrop of the main newsroom of the Chicago Tribune, located in the same building. We peek in on the huge main studios of the iconic radio station. A highlight of the visit is chatting with John Williams during a break during his midday show in the WGN street level Showcase Studio and barging in on the staff prep meeting conducted by afternoon drive star Garry Meier.

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