May 7, 2021 | TALKERS magazine - “The bible of talk media.” : TALKERS magazine – “The bible of talk media.”

Archive for January, 2013

Thursday, January 31, 2013

| January 31, 2013

weismanstevenFree Speech Isn’t Always Pretty.  The jury that heard arguments in the case of Todd Schnitt versus Todd Clem (Bubba the Love Sponge) didn’t believe that the actions by Clem on his radio program rose to the level of recklessbubba disregard for the truth that would have been required to find him guilty of defamation.  TALKERS legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman writes that because all parties were public figures by virtue of their occupations, the bar is set higher for them than it would be for private citizens.  “Clem’s attorney argued to the jury that the case was a matter of free speech and that no one listening to a radio talk show host who specializes in bombastic rhetoric would take what is said as a serious representation of fact,” states Weisman.  Schnitt’s legal team tried to make the connection that some incidents in which Schnitt and his wife felt physically unsafe during and after encounters with Clem’s fans – members of the Bubba Army as they are known – but apparently the direct connection to Clem’s on-air rhetoric was not strong enough.  Read Weisman’s analysis of the case here.

malzbergtvsetNewsmax Broadcasting’s Steve Malzberg Program to Air on SiriusXM.  The new radio and internet talk program developed by Newsmax Broadcasting and featuring talk personality Steve Malzberg will also be featured on SiriusXM’s America’s Talk channel from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm beginning February 4.  Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy states, “Our surveys show a very significant part of the Newsmax audience subscribes to SiriusXM.  This new outlet will allow SiriusXM subscribers and our online viewers to easily enjoy ‘The Steve Malzberg Show’ in their car anywhere through America’s Talk.”  Newsmax recently announced the launch of this program – a new nationally syndicated radio show that will be simulcast on Newsmax TV, an online media station that features news, commentary, lifestyle and entertainment programming.

wipwingbowl21The Super Bowl Means Wing Bowl for WIP, Philadelphia.  This is the 21st year that CBS Radio’s sports talk WIP, Philadelphia “SportsRadio 94WIP” will present the “Wing Bowl” chicken wing eating contest.  The promotion begins this afternoon at 5:00 pm when WIP’s Al Morganti and Rhea Hughes host the official “weigh-in” for all 27 contestants live from  Chickie’s and Pete’s in South Philadelphia.  The actual contest takes place Friday at 6:00 am at the Wells Fargo Center.  What started as a smallish radio promotion 21 years ago has developed into one of the world’s largest wing eating contests and provides WIP with enormous visibility.  A portion of the proceeds from the sold-out event will go to charity.  Here’s the list of prizes in this year’s competition:  $20,000 cash prize, a one-of-a-kind Wing Bowl Champion ring and a gold medal from Steven Singer Jewelers; a 2013 Nissan Pathfinder S-L from Montgomeryvillle Acura; a new Harley Davidson 883 Sportster Motorcycle from Barb’s Harley Davidson, West Collingswood, NJ; earrings and necklaces from Steven Singer Jewelers; and all inclusive Apple Vacations to the new Barcelo Bavaro Beach in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

mohremmittsmithJay Mohr Broadcasts Virtually from Super Bowl Media Week.  That’s Fox Sports Radio Network personality Jay Mohr on the video monitor chatting with NFL Hall-of-Famer Emmitt Smith who’s seated on the Fox Sports set in New Orleans.  Mohr is on the road this week on a comedy tour and he’s taking advantage of his travels to visit some affiliate stations while doing his program virtually from the media center at the Super Bowl.  Mohr’s program – airing live from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET on FSRN – has reached the 100 affiliate mark adding stations including WDFN, Detroit; WINZ, Miami; KRKO, Seattle; KGME, Phoenix; KLSD, San Diego; WDAE, Tampa; KPOJ, Portland; KTKR, San Antonio; WSAI, Cincinnati and more.

mahlerdaveKJR, Seattle Moves Dave “Softy” Mahler to PM Drive.  Clear Channel’s Seattle sports talk duo of KJR, Seattle and KNBQ, Centralia announces midday personality Dave “Softy” Mahler moves to the PM drive slot that opened up when longtime station personality Mike Gastineau retired from the station in December.  Taking over the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon program are Seattle Times columnist Jerry Brewer and former Gastineau co-host Elise Woodward.

kdkawarmathonKDKA, Pittsburgh to Hold 5th Annual Warmathon.  CBS Radio’s news/talk KDKA, Pittsburgh is broadcasting the 5th annual Warmathon – a live, two-day broadcast in conjunction with Dollar Energy Fund, Inc. on February 7 and 8 – to benefit Dollar Energy Fund’s Hardship Program. The program helps limited-income families maintain or restore basic utility service.  The event has raised more than $1.15 million since 2009 and more than 3,500 limited-income families in the greater Pittsburgh region have benefited from the generosity of Warmathon donors.

wlni logo3 Daughters Media Files Petition to Deny in WLNI, Roanoke-Lynchburg Acquisition.  Gary Burns-led 3 Daughters Media has filed a petition to deny with the FCC contesting the pending acquisition of talk outlet WLNI, Lynchburg by Mel Wheeler Inc. from Centennial Licensing LLC.  Burns contends that if Mel Wheeler is allowed to acquire WLNI, it will put him in control of 48% of the market revenue – well over the 40% rule.  The fact that the two cities of Roanoke and Lynchburg are some 60 miles apart but are part of the same market for sales purposes adds confusion to the situation but Burns maintains the designation is flawed and points to the Commission’s forcing Cumulus to spin off stations in Flint, Michigan and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania as comparable examples.

Cool Job Opportunity.  Talk Radio Producer/Guest Booker extraordinaire required.  The successful candidate has access to A-level guests, stars and newsmakers.  They have demonstrated initiative delivering breaking news in context and have shown innovation generating unique angles to Topic A stories, as well as original topics that connect with target listeners or viewers in personal ways.  They have major market experience producing entertaining news and talk programs in television or radio stations or network newsrooms.  They live and breathe current events, business, politics, pop culture, social media, new technology, etc.  Please send resume & cover letter to: talkradioproducer@live.com.  Do not attach audio files.  Los Angeles-area applicants with a giant Rolodex are strongly preferred.  We are an EOE.

Immigration Reform, 4th Quarter GDP Drop, Giffords Gun Testimony, Chuck Hagel Confirmation Hearing, and Israel-Syria Tensions Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/30).  The debate in Washington over immigration reform; the unexpected drop in the U.S.’ GDP in the fourth quarter of 2012; former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ testimony at gun legislation hearing in Washington; Chuck Hagel’s pending Senate confirmation hearing; and Israel’s attack on suspected weapons inside Syria were among the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Free Speech Isn’t Always Pretty

| January 31, 2013

By Steven J. J. Weisman
TALKERS 
Legal Editor

TAMPA — The circus has left Tampa, Florida.  Four years after statements by Tampa talk show host Bubba The Love Sponge (Todd Clem) ignited a lawsuit by rival morning show host MJ Kelli (Todd Schnitt) and two weeks of trial, a jury took a mere three hours to reject Schnitt’s and his wife’s claims of defamation and dismissed all 24 counts of  the complaint.

The bizarre case became even more bizarre when during the trial, one of Schnitt’s lawyers, Charles Campbell Jr., was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.  A motion for a mistrial was denied when the judge was satisfied that the jury had not heard of the charges.  It was even alleged by the Schnitt legal team that Campbell had been set up for the arrest after drinking with a paralegal who unknown to him worked for the law firm that represented Clem.

Read More

Blogging to Grow your Tribe

| January 30, 2013

More Thoughts from the Recent New Media Expo

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — In olden times, radio, like other ad media, sold exposure, audience tonnage. Sales reps would show-off ratings rankers… which I always thought was daffy. Would you go to a job interview with nine other applicants’ resumés?

• But there our call letters were, in black and white, atop the page of whichever-demographic-we-sorted. Reps recited the Reach + Frequency spiel, promising that a radio ad schedule would help the retailer “build brand.” “We’ll make you the best-known” among all-who-sell-what-you-sell. Repetition, y’know?

• Fast forward to present day: Mere message exposure doesn’t do it anymore. The E-word en vogue is engagement, and money is flowing to digital opportunities that talk-with customers, rather than simply talk-at-‘em.

Read More

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

| January 30, 2013

cookehollandBlogging to Grow Your Tribe.  Radio personalities and station programmers have great opportunities to use social media and blogging to build more interactivity and loyalty with fans and P1s, writes radio consultant Holland Cooke.  In today’s piece, Cooke passes on some very salient points from the recent New Media Expo.  He notes that the old paradigm of radio sales is passé and radio personalities are positioned to take advantage of the new paradigm.  “The E-word en vogue is engagement, and money is flowing to digital opportunities that talk-with customers, rather than simply talk-at-‘em.”  Cooke states that blogging has concrete benefits for anyone in the personality business.  “If you’re an on-air host, blogging can deepen your connection with listeners, especially if you’re working music radio, and keep hearing ‘keep it moving.’  Blogging can also become the digital ‘inventory’ that agencies now expect to see included with on-air spots…or for you to monetize yourself.”  Read Holland Cooke’s entire piece here.

duncanchrisChris Duncan Returns to WXOS, St. Louis After Near Four-Month Absence.  Former St. Louis Cardinals star and current member of “The Fast Lane” PM drive program on Hubbard Radio’s WXOS, St. Louis “101 ESPN,” Chris Duncan returned to his full-time position after almost four months.  Duncan has been dealing with intensive surgeries, treatments and physical/occupational therapy for a brain tumor, which was diagnosed in 2012.  He has been absent from his full-time co-host seat since October 8, 2012 but recently has been appearing on “The Fast Lane” for brief interviews during his treatment.  He expresses his gratitude for all of the listener and fan support during his ordeal.  “I’m really excited and grateful to be back on ‘The Fast Lane’ with Randy [Karraker] and D’Marco [Farr].  I’m blessed to work at a great place like ‘101 ESPN’ with such outstanding people, and the timing couldn’t have been better with spring training a couple of weeks away.”  Program director Kent Sterling states, “Having Chris back makes the station whole again.  He’s such a positive person on ‘101 ESPN’ and in the halls that he was missed on many levels.  To have him back every day makes everyone smile around here, and hopefully the same is true for listeners of ‘The Fast Lane’.”

ramseydaveDave Ramsey Takes Over Evenings in Memphis.  Nationally syndicated financial talk superstar Dave Ramsey will be the evening talk talent at Clear Channel’s WREC, Memphis on April 19 when “The Daily Wrap” from The Wall Street Journal Radio Network ends.  WREC program director Forrest Goodman states, “Dave has a powerful track record on radio.  I am excited to add him to the station, where we feature the strongest names in talk, like RushHannity and Beck.”

gallaghermikeWelcome Back to Mike Gallagher After Recent Hospitalization.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Mike Gallagher returns to the air today after being hospitalized in Greenville, South Carolina for double pneumonia early last week.  The Salem Radio Network host tells TALKERS, “It was like Christmas in January for Piers Morgan, Bill Maher and Alan Colmes — Mike Gallagher with no voice.  But I’m tanned, rested and ready to fight the good fight again starting Wednesday.”

kynsMapleton Shifts KYNS, San Luis Obispo from Progressive Talk to All-News.  Mapleton’s KYNS, San Luis Obispo has been a progressive talk outlet since the days of Air America but now the signal is airing an all-news format under the brand “SLO Radio News 1340.”  The station is using the long-form news blocks from America’s Radio News Network.

madisonjoeOdds & Sods.  Talk personality Joe Madison will be the host for SiriusXM’s “Roots Town Hall” featuring original cast members from “Roots,” the groundbreaking television mini-series.  Madison will interview LeVar Burton, Leslie Uggams, and Louis Gossett, Jr. before a select group of listeners at the SiriusXM studios in New York City.  The program will commemorate the start of Black History Month and air live Tuesday, February 5 at 2:00 pm ET…..Buckley Radio names Mary Lou Gunn general manager of its Bakersfield cluster that includes hot AC KLLY, news/talk KSMJ, news/talk KNZR, and rhythmic oldies KKBB…..Clear Channel’s WTAM, Cleveland renews its agreement with Major League Baseball’s Cleveland Indians to be the flagship station through the 2017 season.  As part of the deal, CC will air 144 of the games on FM rock station WMMS…..ESPN Audio prepares to debut a new podcast on February 4 featuring Michael Smith and Jemele Hill called, “His & Hers with Michael Smith and Jemele Hill.”  Smith is host of “Numbers Never* Lie,” and Hill is an ESPN.com columnist and frequent contributor on various ESPN shows.

Immigration Reform, Kerry Confirmed/Hillary in 2016?, New Pro Athlete Doping Probe, North Korea Nuke Threat, and Gun Control Debate Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/29).  The debate over immigration reform legislation; John Kerry’s succeeding Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State and Clinton’s possible run for president in 2016; the latest pro athlete doping probe; North Korea’s nuclear threat; and the controversy over gun control proposals were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

| January 29, 2013

schnitttoddSchnitt vs. Bubba: Monday Recap.  After the news of Todd Schnitt’s attorney being arrested on DUI charges and allegations that Bubba The Love Sponge’s attorneys set him up for the arrest became the predominant aspect of the case on Friday and both sides asked for mistrials for varying reasons, Hillsborough County Judge James Arnold on Mondaybubba did not grant a mistrial saying the jury had not been compromised and testimony went forward.  But not before Arnold agreed to throw out five of the 16 defamation counts against Bubba (Todd Clem).  One in which Bubba accused Schnitt of possibly engaging in plug-ola, three in which he called him a “fraud,” and another in which he called him a “snitch.”  The other 11 counts remain.  Schnitt’s team rested its case on Monday and Bubba’s lawyers called michaelsrandyformer Clear Channel Radio president Randy Michaels, under whom both Schnitt and Bubba worked at one time, to the stand.  Michaels first complimented both Schnitt and Bubba for being talented radio performers.  He said that the feud between the two had gotten too intense and he asked them to “tone it down.”  He told the jury the language Bubba used when saying he wanted a funeral for MJ Kelli (Schnitt’s CHR morning show moniker) was hyperbole and not to be taken literally.  Also taking the stand was a former producer for Schnitt who now works for Bubba who testified that Schnitt spoke on the air jokingly about his wife’s “tramp stamp” tattoo – an effort by the defense to ask  the jury that if Schnitt could joke about his wife being a “tramp,” how is Bubba’s calling her a “whore” any different?  The defense is expected to continue its arguments today.

ballentinewarrenNationally Syndicated Talk Host Warren Ballentine Charged with Mortgage Fraud.  The Chicago-based attorney and host of the Warren Ballentine show distributed nationally via Syndication One is being indicted on charges related to an alleged mortgage fraud scheme.  The Justice Department reports that a federal grand jury returned indictments for two counts of bank fraud, two counts of making false statements to lenders and one count each of mail fraud and wire fraud.  The UPI reports the indictment is seeking a forfeiture of some $9.7 million in fraud proceeds.  The feds allege Ballentine plotted with others to obtain more than two dozen fraudulent mortgage loans and that he represented buyers at closings knowing that they weren’t qualified for home mortgages in Chicago and its southern suburbs.  Ballentine is expected to be arraigned next week.  Meanwhile TALKERS sources close to Ballentine say he maintains his innocence and that the truth will come out.  His talk show is currently heard on some 37 affiliates across the country including WVON, Chicago.

barreirodanClear Channel’s KFAN Network Re-Signs Dan Barreiro.  Sports talk host Dan Barreiro and Clear Channel Media and Entertainment agree on a multi-year contract extension for the KFXN, Minneapolis-based sports talk host.  Barreiro hosts the afternoon drive program on the company’s KFAN sports talk brand that is distributed to numerous stations across Minnesota.  CC Minneapolis vice president of programming Gregg Swedberg says, “Dan has been the top afternoon drive talk personality in the market for decades and has many loyal listeners all over the country through iHeartRadio.  We are delighted that Dan will be with us for a long time.”

bakerchrisChris Baker Lands at KFAB, Omaha for PM Drive.  Talk radio pro Chris Baker’s next gig is at Clear Channel’s KFAB, Omaha where he’ll host the afternoon drive program.  Baker – a veteran of the Houston, Minneapolis, Miami and Omaha markets – recently exited the Dan Patrick-owned KSEV, Houston talk outlet.  He says, “Since my family and I are in Omaha to visit friends and relatives on a regular basis, it’s only natural that I would want to put down root here.  KFAB is a legendary Midwest radio powerhouse and I’m excited to work with Gary Sadlemyer and the whole crew.”  His new gig begins February 11.

mcnabbdonovanOdds & Sods.  NBC Sports Radio Network brings former NFL star Donovan McNabb aboard to eventually be part of a daily sports talk show to begin on April 1.  Until that time, McNabb will begin as a weekly contributor as the build-up to the Super Bowl takes place.  McNabb will serve as a lead NFL analyst and will call in to affiliate station programs…..Formerbrandotim Yahoo! Sports Radio personality Tim Brando begins a new gig with SiriusXM Satellite Radio where he’ll host his eponymous program on the SiriusXM College Sports Nation channel.  Brando’s program will continue to be simulcast on cable TV’s CBS Sports Network…..WTOP, Washington news anchor Richard Day has retired from the Hubbard Broadcasting all-news brand.  Vice president of news and programming Jim Farley says Day’s retirement was handled with no fanfare at Day’s request…..Chicagoland Radio and Media reports that WFLD-TV sports anchor Lou Canellis is beginning a regular hour-long, daily appearance on WLS-AM, Chicago’s “Roe & Roeper” PM drive program with Roe Conn and Richard Roeper.  Canellis is now part of the 5:00 pm hour every day to talk sports on the Cumulus Media station.  The blog speculates that the move is part of a greater effort to add sports content to the station to improve its ratings…..The “4th Period Live” program returns to SiriusXM’s NHL Network for its second season beginning Saturday, February 2 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET.  The show is hosted by David Pagnotta, 4th Period‘s editor-in-chief from Toronto and Dennis Bernstein, its Los Angeles-based senior writer.  The show is an extension of TFP’s brand of hockey lifestyle content that includes a highly visited website (www.thefourthperiod.com) and quarterly print magazine available on newsstands throughout North America.

huckabeerenoHuckabee Visits Reno.  Cumulus Media Networks nationally syndicated talk host Governor Mike Huckabee is pictured here with KNEZ, Reno news director and afternoon drive host Sean Patrick at the sparkling new studios of the Shamrock Communications news/talk station.  Huckabee’s program is carried by “KNEWS” – a new FM signal and news/talk brand that Shamrock recently put on the air in the market.

calajoeSouthern California Sports Personality Joe Cala Named to Hall of Fame.  KNX, Los Angeles sports anchor Joe Cala was inducted into the Southern California Sports Broadcasters Hall of Fame at the organization’s 22nd annual awards luncheon at the Lakeside Golf Club in Toluca Lake, California.  Cala has been with KNX for the past six years and spent the previous 32 years at crosstown KFWB.  The SCSB has served as a major forum for recognizing and advancing sports broadcasting in Southern California since 1958.  Its Hall of Fame includes Dick Enberg, Tom Harmon, Don Drysdale, Chick Hearn, Gil Stratton, Stu Nahan, Vin Scully and Jim Hill, to name a few.

millerkevingunsTown Hall Meeting in Boise Addresses Second Amendment.  You’re looking over the shoulder of KIDO, Boise morning drive host Kevin Miller as he addresses the more than 300 area residents who attended the Peak Broadcasting station’s Town Hall Meeting to discuss Second Amendment issues in the wake of the Obama Administration’s call for stricter gun legislation.  Miller tells TALKERS that the event was covered locally by two of the market’s television stations.

mcguireseanKOIL, Omaha Adds Weekend Affordable Care Act Program.  The program is called “America’s Healthcare Challenge” and is hosted by Sean McGuire.  The goal of the program is to provide valuable insight into implementation of the Affordable Care Act and prepare decision makers for looming penalties and taxes in the law.  McGuire states, “This is currently the only radio show of its kind in the US.  Business owners are clamoring for credible information and answers to their questions like how employees’ benefits will change next year and what innovative ways exist to curb rising healthcare costs constantly squeezing bottom lines all over the country…I was a part of the research team for the Senate Finance Committee five years ago.  The law originated conceptually in the Senate and I have read the bill multiple times.  It is my desire to bring my listeners information they need to know as if they were Members of Congress.”

morrisonsotomayorJustice Sotomayor Visits SCPR.  United States Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor (right) poses for a photo with Southern California Public Radio special correspondent Patt Morrison (left) during an appearance at KPCC, Pasadena’s Crawford Family Forum.  The venue was packed with local high school and college students, as well KPCC listeners who came to hear Sotomayor speak about her life and promote her new autobiography My Beloved World (Knopf 2013).  Patt Morrison interviewed Sotomayor as part of the appearance.

greenbergbookESPN Radio’s Mike Greenberg Announces New Novel to Benefit the V Foundation.  Nationally syndicated ESPN Radio and ESPN 2 personality Mike Greenberg announces the publication of his first novel titled, All You Could Ask For (William Morrow 2013).  In making the announcement from the Super Bowl radio row in New Orleans, Greenberg stated that all of the author’s proceeds from the sale of the book will benefit The V Foundation for Cancer Research.  Greenberg says, “I wrote this book to honor the memory of a good friend of mine and my wife Stacy’s named Heidi Armitage, who lost her battle with breast cancer in 2009 at the age of 43.  The V Foundation is an obvious organization to work with.  Mike Golic and I have been honored to be a part of many great V Foundation events over the years.  I’m so proud of our connection to the V Foundation.”

wachsdaliahpodiumDr. Daliah Wachs at the Podium.  Practicing family physician and nationally syndicated talk show host Dr. Daliah Wachs is pictured here at the Nevada Academy of Family Physicians at their conference in Lake Tahoe this past weekend.  About 200 were at this lecture where Dr. Wachs spoke about avoiding pitfalls in family medicine, educating them on the liabilities doctors face and what lawsuits have been successful.  Dr. Wachs’ program is syndicated by Genesis Communications Network.

If I Were the CEO of YouTube

| January 28, 2013

A modest proposal by Walter Sabo

By Walter Sabo
Sabo Media
Chairman

NEW YORK — First, I will never be the CEO of YouTube because I could not pass the battery of Google employment tests. Math was not my strength. Also, based on a visit to their NY offices, their hallway labyrinth would keep me lost all day.

But here’s why I should be CEO:

Why do you look at YouTube? The primary reasons are to see cats, music videos, your kids and “web stars.” I am perfectly comfortable with these crowd pleasers. Why? Because they please the crowd.

About 18 months ago YouTube announced a multi-million dollar initiative to pay for premium video content created by “top producers” and Hollywood stars. At the time I explained to my annoyed relatives and friends that this was an insane waste of money and it wouldn’t work. It wouldn’t work because it violated a key axiom of show business:

Read More

Monday, January 28, 2013

| January 28, 2013

schnitttoddSchnitt vs Bubba: A Crazy Friday.  There are two aspects of the Todd Schnitt vs Bubba the Love Sponge (Todd Clem) defamation suit to report from Friday: First was Michelle Schnitt’s testimony, the second was the circus revolving around Schnitt attorney Charles Philip Campbell, Jr.’s arrest on DUI charges two days prior.  On Friday, Michellebubba Schnitt took the stand while the prosecution played recordings of Bubba calling her a “whore.”  She testified that he meant she was sexually promiscuous and unfaithful to her husband and said it was “the most disrespectful thing you could say about somebody.”  She told the jury she was very worried about public reaction to the accusations.  She stopped practicing law to raise their children but testified that she believes her professional reputation has been harmed.  Also at issue is whether Michelle Schnitt is a public figure because she appeared regularly on Schnitt’s MJ Kelli program.  She denies making any money from the appearances.  She also denied having anything to do with getting Bubba charged with felony animal cruelty while working as an assistant state’s attorney – something Bubba accused her of on the radio and in his defense in court.  Meanwhile…Schnitt’s attorney asked for a mistrial and the judge is expected to rule on that request today.  Here’s why:  According to the Tampa Bay Times, Clem’s lawyers had possession of attorney Charles Campbell, Jr.’s briefcase for almost a day, having access to transcripts, depositions, notes and more.  How they got it is straight out of a TV law drama.  Campbell and fellow attorney Jonathan Ellis were at a steak house having dinner and drinks when they met a pretty paralegal named Melissa Personius who chatted them up.  She said she worked at a firm other than the one she really does, but they didn’t know that at the time.  Campbell talked about the case to the young woman.  The two left together in Melissa’s car and were pulled over with Campbell behind the wheel.  He refused a breathalyzer and was booked. Melissa was set free.  The Times reports that an attorney at Adams & Diaco (which represents Bubba and for whom Melissa actually works) called the police to report a man (Campbell) about to the leave the restaurant drunk.  In the back of Melissa’s car was Campbell’s briefcase.  She later retrieved her car with the briefcase.  Adams & Diaco denies ever opening the case before Campbell got it back some 20 hours later.  On Friday, Personius took the stand to answer questions by the judge but she pleaded the Fifth to each question.  Ironically, Personius’ driver’s license has been suspended for a prior DUI and other moving violations.  The obvious conclusion is that Campbell was set up by Melissa Personius, but whether her bosses put her up to it is not known since she pleaded the Fifth.

perryjenniferCumulus Media’s All-News WYAY, Atlanta Names Jennifer Perry PD.  Cumulus Media’s all-news WYAY, Atlanta “All News 106.9” announces Jennifer Perry is named program director.  Perry most recently worked with Talk Radio Network’s Rusty Humphries on his local WGST, Atlanta afternoon drive program before the station flipped to Spanish sports talk.  She has also served as news director at WLAC, Nashville.  In announcing the hire, Cumulus corporate PD of news/talk/sports Jim Mahanay says, “We’re fortunate to have someone of Jennifer’s credentials to lead the team at ‘All News 106.7.’ She is one of the most talented people in the news business.  She brings vast experience as a journalist, anchor and administrator.  She is a great fit for our all news operation in Atlanta.”

sabowalterIf I Were the CEO of YouTube.  Media consultant Walter Sabo offers a “modest proposal” about what he would do if he were CEO of YouTube.  In this piece, Sabo explains that each medium creates its own stars and pushing them to other media platforms rarely works.  In the case of YouTube, web stars have blossomed on the service and Sabo says the key to success and making money on the web involves integrating advertising into the programming these web stars have created.  Sabo believes media platforms must not try to be something they are not.  Maybe there’s a lesson for radio in this, too.  Check out the five things Walter Sabo says he would do if made CEO of YouTube in his piece here.

westcottpaulTalk Host Paul Westcott Moves to WTAG, Worcester for Mornings.  Radio personality Paul Westcott has been with Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s WGIR and WQSO in Manchester, New Hampshire for the past two years.  Now, he’s making the move South to take over the morning drive show at the company’s news/talk WTAG, Worcester.  Westcott states, “WTAG has a great heritage with unlimited potential to find a younger and broader audience both locally and regionally.”  Westcott spent three years at Clear Channel digital headquarters in New York and created a channel called the “White House Brief” which he’ll continue to produce.  CC regional programming manager Rob Anthony says. “We couldn’t be happier to have Paul joining the team at WTAG.  He has a very strong political background and a wonderful concept of how important it is to be local.”  Westcott replaces Jim Polito who left to join Fox TV O&O WFXT, Boston.

bearmanbigDynamic Coast-to-Coast Conversation.  The power of issues-oriented talk radio and its unlimited positioning options were amply demonstrated this weekend as two fresh-on-the-scene mavericks hooked up on the phone and showed that there can be more to this medium than predictable partisan polarization.  Shown at left, GCN syndicated weekend talent Ethan Bearman, a relative newcomer to the field located in his Northern California studio yesterday, interviewing Jonathan Miller (right) in the Washington, DC offices of No Labels.  Miller, a former two-term Kentucky State Treasurer, is co-founder of the DC-based, bi-partisan political organization dedicated to finding common ground between today’s political extremes.  Their slogan is, “Stop fighting, start fixing.”  Bearman, described recently by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison as “the Colin Kaepernick of young talk show hosts,” positions his independent brand of politics as “left, right and forward.”  His program airs live on Sundays from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm PT.  The industry should take note.

nbcsportsradio logoNBC Sports Radio Is in New Orleans for Super Bowl Coverage.  Fledgling sports talk network NBC Sports Radio is taking its stars and production to New Orleans to originate from the site of Super Bowl XLVII.  The Dial Global and NBC Sports initiative announces it will have a “major presence in New Orleans as the excitement builds for Super Bowl XLVII.  There will be live talk, reports, highlights and features throughout the week from Super Bowl Radio Row, Super Bowl Media Day and the NBC Sports Network television set.”  NBC and Dial Global report that the Erik Kuselias show will air live every evening from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm ET.   “Amani and Eytan,” featuring former NFL pro Amani Toomer and Eytan Shander, will air live each evening from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am ET.  “Speaking of Sports with Rob Simmelkjkaer” will air the morning of Super Bowl Sunday from 8:00 am to 9:00 am in addition to other NBC Sports Radio weekend shows.  NBC Sports Radio Update anchor Kay Adams will also contribute interviews during the week.

dominickpeteSiriusXM Broadens Pete Dominick’s Role with AM Drive Show.  Comedian Pete Dominick has been hosting a PM drive program on the satcaster’s politically oriented POTUS channel.  Beginning February 11, he’ll move to morning drive on the newly re-named Indie channel for a new show called “Stand Up! with Pete Dominick.”  With the change in dayparts, Dominick will be allowed to go well beyond political issues to a more broad selection of topics.  Dominick began working at Sirius in 2006 on the Raw Dog comedy channel.  The new gig will mean he has to give up his daily job warming up the crowd at Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report.”

wbez promotionWBEZ, Chicago Devises Promotion to Get New P1s (and Have Them Make Some More!).  Working with creative partner Xi Chicago, public station WBEZ, Chicago is executing a promotion called “Radio for the Curious Class” designed to gather P1s based on the fact that they are interesting people – and encouraging them to make more interesting people via their “Go Make Babies” campaign.  The station says the campaign is being dubbed the “2032 Membership Drive” and inspires interesting people to hook up with interesting people and make more interesting people, thereby creating the next generation of listeners.  This campaign aims to populate the curious class with a call to action to visit www.GoMakeBabies.com, where people can take an “Interesting Assessment.”  Visitors will then be offered up links to current WBEZ content based on their tastes, along with potential mates who share their interests.  The app also features a Future Viewer gallery where people can upload photos of their interesting child/future listener and in return receive a “Future Curious Class Member” onesie.  The campaign elements include local print outlets, WBEZ.org promotion and mobile experience; digital banners, Pandora and Facebook ads; contextual out of home, wallscapes, train platforms, bus shelters and street decals, taxi tops and bumper stickers and T-shirts with messaging and taglines such as:  Do it. For Chicago; We want listeners tomorrow. Go make babies today; Hey Interesting People, get a room already. And then put a crib in it; To anyone NOT currently running a virtual farm: GoMakeBabies.com; and You’re an interesting person. Pass it on. Like, literally. Through your DNA.  Chicago Public Media vice president Daniel Ash says, “We tasked Xi with developing an attention-getting campaign that speaks directly to young adults who’ve never heard of WBEZ and who respond positively to tongue-in-cheek irony and playfulness.  Certainly it’s a different approach than what one would expect from a public media station but we hope this will reach, and resonate with, younger news consumers who’ve never heard of us.”

wxos logoHubbard’s WXOS, St. Louis Announces “Sportscaster Factor” Contest.  Sports talk outlet “101 ESPN” WXOS, St. Louis is conducting a promotion to give a lucky and talented St. Louisan a chance to become a weekend talk host on the station.  Unlike some of the other contests for sports talk gigs, auditioning for this one won’t start in a bar or restaurant.  The first rounds take place at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.  Participants who audition will get the chance to present their on-air delivery and show hosting skills alone in a room via a microphone with the judging panel present.  During these initial auditions, listeners will be given a “yes” or “no” vote by each of the judges, and those who impress the panel of experts during the preliminaries will be invited back for the Final Round.  The Final Round of the “Sportscaster Factor” will be held on Saturday, March 2 at the Main Gym inside the Vadalabene Center on the SIUE’s campus, and the general public is welcome to attend this final set of auditions.  During the Final Round, those participants deemed “the best of the bunch” will be given tips and pointers by the 101 ESPN pros, before being given a chance to make their last best impression with the judging panel.  After a detailed evaluation of all the finalists conducted at the conclusion of the Final Round of auditions, the “Sportscaster Factor” winner will be named that evening, with a weekend show of their own on 101 ESPN to follow in the near future.

haljaybrianestridgeWBAP, Dallas’ Hal Jay and Brian Estridge Credited with Saving a Life.  A Dallas-area man is saying information he heard about the signs of a stroke while listening to Hal Jay and Brian Estridge on Cumulus Media’s WBAP, Dallas caused him to go the hospital because he believed he was having a stroke.  Turns out he was and he may be alive today as a result of that broadcast.  Several weeks earlier Hal and Brian did a broadcast from North Hills Hospital where they discussed the signs of a stroke.  The man happened to be listening that morning and it very well may have saved his life.

conradrobertCRN Digital Talk Radio Star Robert Conrad Attends Hollywood Collectibles Show.  Television star and CRN Digital Talk Radio personality Robert Conrad appeared at the recent “The Hollywood Show,” film and TV collectibles event at the Westin Los Angeles Airport Hotel.  Along with Larry Manetti – co-star of the “Magnum P.I.” series and a fellow talk show host with CRN Digital Talk – Conrad greeted hundreds of fans who waited in line to meet him, get autographs and chat about his career.  Conrad says, “I’m very honored and excited to be asked to participate in this show and I’m especially happy to see so many fans who came out to give me a wonderful welcome.”

Radio’s Biggest Star: Baseball

| January 25, 2013

By Holland Cooke
News/Talk/Sports Radio Consultant

St. LOUIS — Do the math. For six months when habitual listening dips as listeners vacation and otherwise alter their lives, baseball brings:

• Long-TSL tune-in (“vertical maintenance” in Arbitron-speak), to…

• 162 three+ hour shows (“horizontal maintenance”), by…

Read More

Friday, January 25, 2013

| January 25, 2013

schnitttoddSchnitt vs Bubba Trial Delayed for One Day After Schnitt’s Attorney Arrested for DUI.  It’s a rather bizarre twist in what is a high-profile case in Tampa.  The judge in the case granted a one-day delay in the trial after Charles Philip Campbell, Jr. was taken into custody Wednesday evening on suspicion of DUI.  He refused to take a blood alcohol test andbubba was released on $500 bond.  The trial will resume today as nationally syndicated talk host Todd Schnitt is suing Bubba the Love Sponge (Todd Clem) for defamation.  Schnitt spent most of two days on the witness stand Tuesday and Wednesday.  Clem’s attorney tried to score a few public sympathy points telling Fox 13 Tampa, “I’m shocked that the case was continued.  I feel horrible for this jury that has been sequestered and pulled from their jobs, their lives and their families.”  He told the TV station he didn’t understand why Schnitt’s other attorneys couldn’t handle the case.

martinezjrKFI, Los Angeles Adds J.R. Martinez for Sunday Evening Program.  The “Dancing with the Stars” champ, best-selling author and retired U.S. Army soldier begins his permanent role as host of the 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm Sunday program on Clear Channel’s KFI, Los Angeles this Sunday.  J.R. Martinez was deployed to Iraq in 2003 and, shortly after arriving, his Humvee hit a roadside bomb that trapped him inside the burning vehicle.  He suffered severe burns over 34% of his body and spent 34 months at Brooke Army Medical Center recovering.  In October of 2012 he published Full of Heart: My Story of Survival, Strength and Spirit (Hyperion 2012) that became a New York Times best-seller.  KFI program director Robin Bertolucci says, “He’s so inspirational and dynamic.  He filled in for Bill Carroll during the holidays and I just had to have him join our line up!  I’m thrilled he jumped at the opportunity and I’m excited to see what he will do with his own show.”  Martinez replaces the David Cruz program.  Cruz is concentrating on his four-hour daily program on sister progressive talk station KTLK.

wcnnfrontrowWCNN, Atlanta Goes Local in Late Mornings.  Dickey Broadcasting’s sports talker WCNN, Atlanta “Sports Radio 680 The Fan” is adding the new local show “The Front Row” for the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon daypart.  The show stars Ray Mariner, Sandra Golden and Brian Finneran (pictured here from left to right).  Golden and Finneran are also part of the “Rude Awakening” AM drive show (which will be trimmed by an hour to a 9:00 am stop beginning Monday).  Mariner was co-host of the morning show on Lincoln Financial Media’s crosstown CHR WSTR “Star 94” until he exited that post back in May of 2012.  The show replaces Fox Sports Radio/DirecTV’s Dan Patrick program.

cookehollandAre You Ready for Some Baseball?  Okay, so much of the country is in Super Bowl mode right now, but radio consultant Holland Cooke reports to TALKERS that with so many news/talk stations (as well as sports talk signals) carrying MLB play-by-play in their markets, now’s a good time to begin preparing to take advantage of those expensive rights.  Cooke writes about ways to take ownership of the play-by-play beginning during spring training.  Once the season starts, use brief promotional slots – like top-of-the-hour IDs – to promote the next game.  Check out more on this in Holland Cooke’s Friday piece here.

esiasonboomerBoomer Esiason Tackles TV and Radio on Super Bowl Sunday; Dial Global Handles Exclusive Radio Coverage.  The NFL’s Super Bowl is usually the biggest TV event of the year but for the millions of Americans who can’t be near a TV, Dial Global’s exclusive radio play-by-play delivers the game.  This year, Boomer Esiason and Kevin Harlan will be in the booth calling the game for Dial Global.  But Boomer is also a CBS Sports employee (in addition to his AM drive work on WFAN, New York) and he’ll be on CBS TV as part of the pre-game show and the halftime broadcast.  After he finishes the pre-game show from the field, he’ll move upstairs to the radio booth to call the game with Harlan.  Talk about a busy day for Boomer!  Dial Global’s coverage of the event also includes such experienced talent as James Lofton, Mark Malone, Jim Gray and Scott Graham.  Joining Jim Gray for pre-game and halftime programming are NFL stars Tom Brady and Larry Fitzgerald.  Hall of Fame defensive back Rod Woodson will also be part of the extended pre-game program.

wfva logoWFVA, Fredericksburg, Virginia Returns to News/Talk on Monday.  After two years as an adult standards-formatted station, Centennial Broadcasting’s WFVA, Fredericksburg returns to airing a news/talk format using largely syndicated talent.  The program schedule will include: Cumulus Media NetworksDon Imus, Mike Huckabee, Mark Levin and Michael Savage as well as Premiere NetworksGlenn Beck.  Ten year WFVA veteran Ted Schubel will continue as the station’s news director and will also host a one-hour local program titled, “Town Talk With Ted,” airing weekdays at 8:00 am.  The show will introduce listeners to local businesses, non-profit leaders, and political figures who influence the Fredericksburg region.  Centennial Fredericksburg market manager Tom Hamilton says, “It has been nearly two full years since WFVA changed from a news/talk station to adult standards format.  During that time, we have paid attention to what our listeners have said.  Overwhelmingly, they told us they wanted news/talk back on WFVA.  By providing many of the most-listened-to talk show hosts in the nation, along with community involvement, local news and public affairs programming, we will better serve our listeners, our local businesses and our community.”

jonesalexKFNX, Phoenix Adds New Syndicated Programming.  Genesis Communications Network’s Alex Jones is part of the new lineup at Francis Battaglia-owned KFNX, Phoenix where he airs in the overnight time slot.  Also added to the station’s program schedule is Dial Global and Cox Media’s Herman Cain from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm; Dial Global’s Dennis Miller from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon; and Cumulus Media NetworksMichael Savage who returns to the station to air in the 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm slot.

Obama Second Term Agenda Top News/Talk Story During Week of January 21-25.  The second term agenda of President Obama as outlined in his Inauguration Day speech was the top story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  Following at #2 this week was Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi testimony.  At #3 was the battle in Washington over reducing the deficit and at #4 was the North Korea nuclear threat.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio across America and is based on ongoing research from TALKERS.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

| January 24, 2013

hold2013“Hold Their Feet to the Fire” Washington Radio Row Scheduled for April 17-18.  The annual convergence of radio talk show hosts on Washington, DC to raise awareness about the United States’ immigration policies will take place this year on April 17 and 18.  The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) is organizing the radio row at which talk hosts from across the country will broadcast live for two days from Capitol Hill debating immigration reform while interviewing members of Congress, law enforcement officials, experts, activists and citizens who live along the border.  FAIR says that since the spring of 2007 when “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” successfully helped defeat the McCain-Kennedy Amnesty Bill, the event has grown each year due to mounting public concerns about illegal immigration and talk radio’s expanding influence on the public policy process.  The organization also states that with an illegal alien bill likely in spring, this year’s event is expected to be the largest yet with 60 or more hosts attending.  FAIR communications director Bob Dane tells TALKERS magazine reservations are required and hosts/producers should call now.  There is no cost to attend and all technical engineering, ISDN lines and long distance is included.  Silver Lake Audio of New York is the official engineering firm for “Hold Their Feet to the Fire.”  Congressional guests, activists, high-profile media personalities, and immigration experts will be in attendance and available throughout the event for wall-to-wall interviews.  Dane or event manager Kristen Williamson can be reached at 202-328-7004.

spittlegavinProgrammer Gavin Spittle Returns to Dallas as VP of News/Talk/Sports for CBS Radio.  Sports and talk programmer Gavin Spittle lets go of the reins at CBS Radio’s sports talk KILT-AM, Houston “SportsRadio 610” to move back to the company’s Dallas cluster to oversee sports talk KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan,” KRLD-AM “NewsRadio 1080” and the Texas State Networks beginning February 4.  Three and a half years ago, Spittle left his VP of news and talk post in Dallas where he programmed KRLD-AM and KRLD-FM when it was hot talk “Live 105.3.”  Spittle also oversaw the change of the station to sports talk.  On returning to Dallas, SVP and market manager Brian Purdy says, “Under Gavin’s leadership, ‘SportsRadio 610’ dominated Houston sports talk.  During his time with the station, ratings among Men 25-54 more than doubled.  We’re fortunate to have Gavin as part of our CBS Radio family, and we’re looking forward to having him back in Dallas-Fort Worth.”

wallsteveTalk Radio Network Welcomes Steve Wall as National Affiliate Consultant.  Joining TRN Syndications Ltd. is radio pro Steve Wall as national affiliate consultant.  TRN notes that Wall is a “veteran with over 30-years of experience including programming some of America’s highest-rated radio stations across multiple formats in many markets including San Diego, Kansas City, Monterey, Bakersfield, Richmond, and Spokane.”  Chief executive officer Mark Masters states, “I am pleased to have Steve in our affiliate department.  With our recent launch of ‘The Andrea Tantaros Show’ and the new times for ‘The Jerry Doyle Show’ and ‘The Rusty Humphries Show,’ the timing is perfect to expand our affiliate department to better serve our growing affiliate customer base.  Steve is a proven radio professional who can help stations realize their true potential with quality programming.”

schnitttoddSchnitt vs Bubba: Day 5.  On the fifth day of testimony in the trial in which Compass Media Networks talk show host Todd Schnitt is suing Bubba the Love Sponge (Todd Clem) for defamation, Schnitt was on the witness stand for the second day.  Schnitt and his lawyers are trying to convince the jury that Bubba’s “radio war” against him (Schnitt’s MJ Kelli CHR morning show competed against Bubba’s program in the Tampa market) went over the line and fans – known as Bubba’s Army – harassed him and his family.  During Schnitt’s testimony Wednesday, he said the incidents where a Bubba fan triedbubba to run him off the road or accosted him at a supermarket in front of his daughter made his family more reclusive and it changed their lifestyle.  According to Tampa Bay Online, he testified he should be compensated in the suit to prevent Bubba “from ever doing this in the future.”  Schnitt also states that Bubba’s accusation Schnitt rigged a national contest negatively affected his professional integrity.  Under cross examination Schnitt admitted he and his family do go out but he said he makes limited public appearances because of the harassment.  Before the cross examination he stated, “There’s no amount of damages that will compensate me, my wife my family, for what we experienced.  But the jury should award damages that will enable us to believe we did all we could possible to clear our good names.”

bakerchrisChris Baker Exits KSEV, Houston PM Drive Slot.  Talk show host Chris Baker is exiting Dan Patrick-owned news/talk station KSEV, Houston where he’s been PM drive host since February of 2011.  The station is bringing market pro Edd Hendee back to the airwaves for the morning drive show.  Hendee has been out of radio since the untimely death of his son in February of 2010.  Taking over the afternoon slot is Mack Machowicz.  The Houston Chronicle’s David Barron reports Baker is not announcing where he may go next but had nothing but good things to say about owner Dan Patrick.  “He has been the most gracious and accommodating guy that you could ask to work for.  Dan always wants people to better themselves.  In this day and age and in this industry, it is rare to have a manager who will always root for peoples’ success.”

bashirmartinOdds & Sods.  MSNBC host Martin Bashir has been slowed by a brain tumor diagnosed back in 2008.  The Huffington Post reports Bashir missed his regular slot on MSNBC last Friday as the result of a small growth on his pituitary gland.  Bashir told DC Fishbowl that when the tumor was diagnosed doctors advised him to take no action but to monitor it monthly…..CNN names Dana Bash chief congressional correspondent.  TVNewser reports Bash has been on the Capitol Hilltrumpdonald beat since 2006.  CNN Washington bureau chief Sam Feist says in a memo to staff, “Week in and week out, Dana’s reporting and analysis make our air better.  And we saw it again yesterday with Dana’s relentless efforts to land interviews in the Capitol Rotunda during our Inauguration coverage.”…..New York Magazine is reporting that Donald Trump is exploring ways to purchase The New York Times.  The piece, written by Joe Hagan, notes that “Trump has engaged in more than one meeting to discuss how he might buy the Grey Lady.  Details of Trump’s strategy remain scant.  And it seems unlikely, to say the least, that the Sulzberger family, which controls the company’s voting shares, would welcome his offer.”

kgmz luckybreakKGMZ, San Francisco Holds Sports Talk Host Contest.  Entercom’s 95.7 The Game in San Francisco is executing a sports talk host competition promotion called “Lucky Break 2” – “the return of the Bay Area’s only sports reality competition, where local sports fans compete for the chance of a lifetime: to get paid to host a sports talk show on the radio.”  Program director Jason Barrett says, “After seeing the amazing talent and passion that Bay Area sports fans brought to ‘Lucky Break’ last year, we had to bring ‘Lucky Break’ back for 2013.  ‘Lucky Break’ is a chance to win one of the best jobs in the world: becoming a sports radio talk show host in a major U.S. market.”  ‘Lucky Break 2’ begins with the first open audition on February 5 Halftime Sports Bar in Oakland.  It’s being hosted by KGMZ’s Guy Haberman and Gianna Franco and contestants will be coached by Dan Dibley from ‘The Rise Guys’ and Chris Townsend from ‘Bucher & Towny.’  Judges include KGMZ PD Jason Barrett, host John Lund and celebrity athletes from local Bay Area sports teams.  Last year’s celebrity judges included Golden State Warriors forward David Lee, San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco 49ers TE Delanie Walker and more.  Last year, more than 600 contestants showed up to audition for ‘Lucky Break 1,’ which was eventually won by Daryle “The Guru” Johnson, who can be heard weekends on “95.7 The Game.”

madisonjoeSiriusXM’s Joe Madison to Interview Activist Harry Belafonte.  As part of the satcaster’s Town Hall series, talk show host Joe Madison – whose program is also heard on terrestrial station WOL, Washington – will sit down with actor, singer and activist Harry Belafonte at SiriusXM’s New York City studios.  Belafonte will also take questions from the audience.  The premiere of the program is Friday, January 25 at 5:00 pm ET.

woki logoDick Broadcasting Wins Decision in 12-Year-Old Case.  The upshot is that the Tennessee Supreme Court is sending Dick Broadcasting’s suit against John Pirkle’s Oak Ridge FM over WOKI, Knoxville back to a lower court where Dick can sue for damages.  (By the way WOKI is currently owned by Cumulus Media.) Here’s the background: In 2000, Dick sold 11 stations to Citadel for $300 million, of which WOKI would have been one.  At the time Dick had a time brokerage agreement with WOKI owner Oak Ridge FM to operate WOKI with a clause that gave Dick the right of first refusal to buy the station.  Oak Ridge refused to consent to the transfer of the station and honor the transfer.  A year later Dick sued Oak Ridge but lost in a lower court but the appellate court ruled the lower court judge should not have dismissed the case.  Oak Ridge challenged that at the Tennessee Supreme Court where the six judges ruled unanimously that the appellate court had it right and Dick can sue for damages.

bqhardquestionColorful Broadcaster and Host Blanquita Cullum Returns to Talk Media with New TV Series, “The Hard Question™.”  Veteran talk industry figure, Blanquita Cullum (pictured here at the podium) launched ‘The Hard Question™’, her new signature TV series devoted exclusively to the issue of energy in the 21st century, last night (1/23) before a packed audience of well-wishers and reporters at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.  The videotaping consisted of two back-to-back lively discussions collectively titled “Setting the Course on Energy” that delved into the future of American energy policy with points of view expressed by panels of diverse experts in the field.  The pilot programs were aired on June 24 and July 15 of 2012 on KTRK-TV (ABC) in Houston, Texas and won the top spots in their time periods (visit www.thehardquestion.com to view).  The network version will be a weekly debate series on MHz Networks hosted by Cullum.  MHz Networks reaches over 42 million households nationwide.  “The energy industry is going through a renaissance; it is full of hope,” Doug Cain, CEO of Lake Truck Lines, who served on the first panel: “The President’s Agenda – the Future of Traditional Energy versus Alternatives,” expressed in an interview following the panel discussion.  In addition to Cain, the panelists included: W. Herbert Hunt, Petro-Hunt; John Hofmeister, former president of Shell and founder of Citizens for Affordable EnergyKevin Book, Clear View Energy Partners;  Vice Admiral Dennis McGinn, ACORE; David Martineau, Chairman TIPR and Bruce Vincent, Swift Energy.  The second panel addressed the question: “Climate Change – Science or Hype?”  Panelists included Leighton Steward, Plants Need CO2; former NASA scientist Harold Doiron; Scott Sklar, The Stella Group; Daniel Weiss of the Center for American Progress; Kevin Book, Clean View Energy Partners and David Kreutzer of the Heritage Foundation.  Blanquita Cullum, who was a high-profile, nationally-syndicated, “Heavy Hundred” host in the 1990s and early 2000s, left day-to-day radio to become a presidentially appointed, Senate-confirmed governor on the United States Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees all U.S international broadcasting, where she served for a number of years followed by a series of public policy consulting projects.  “No issue touches people across the globe like energy, and ‘The Hard Question’ will never shrink from tackling the real-life obstacles of such a life-changing issue,” she tells TALKERS. “Now, as we embark on a new era with the historic re-election of President Obama, the country will set a course on energy that will have critical implications for this planet for decades to come.” Photo by Jamie Cullum.

wood logoCool Job Opportunity.  Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s “Newsradio WOOD 1300 & 106.9 FM” is looking for its next great News Director.  Applicant must have a minimum of three years of experience in a news/talk environment plus be a digital-first (web, mobile, and social media), community-focused leader in covering and reporting local and regional news, traffic and weather.  Candidate will also possess excellent communication, leadership, and organizational skills, as well as the ability to coach and lead individuals within our award-winning news operation.  Email cover letter and resume to michelejohnson@clearchannel.com. No phone calls please.  Clear Channel Radio is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi Testimony, North Korea’s U.S. Threats, Deficit Reduction Battle, U.S. Military Opens Combat Roles to Women and Manti Te’o Case Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/23).  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s testimony before Congress on the Benghazi attack; new nuclear threats against the United States by North Korea; the battle in Washington over reduction of the deficit; the opening of combat roles to women in the U.S. military and the Manti Te’o phony girlfriend saga were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio according to ongoing research from TALKERS.