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Archive for February, 2013

Thursday, February 28, 2013

| February 28, 2013

sunbroadcastgrouplogoTalk Radio Network Signs Sun Broadcast Group as Rep Firm.  Boca Raton, Florida-based Sun Broadcast Group and Talk Radio Network agree to have the former provide national advertising salestrn logo representation and assist in station affiliation for all products of Talk Radio Network effective immediately.  Sun CEO Jason Bailey says, “In this day of safe, personality-driven radio, the stable of talent that TRN continues to expand is something we are very proud to present to our agency partners.  From new entertaining talk products to amazingly produced long-form news, I believe the iconic brands that have put their faith and trust in Sun over these last several years will be excited to become part of this new direction in network programming.”  Talk Radio Network CEO Mark Masters states, “We look forward to a long and prosperous alliance with Sun Broadcast Group.  Jason and his team understand what it takes to succeed in radio today.  We are pleased that our products will be well represented with Sun as we continue to grow each and every one of the TRN companies.”

wqso logoClear Channel Simulcasts New Hampshire News/Talk Outlets.  With the arrival of New Hampshire news and talk pro Jack Heath for mornings at WGIR, Manchester and WQSO, Rochester-Portsmouth, New Hampshire two weeks ago, the stations are now a complete simulcast and WQSO re-brands as “News Radio 96.7”  It had been branded “96.7 The Wave.”  Heath joined the stations from WTPL, Concord, New Hampshire where he’d been for the past five years.

franklinharveyKOGO, San Diego Moves LaDona Harvey to AM Drive with Chip Franklin.  Early afternoon talk host LaDona Harvey moves to the AM drive show alongside Chip Franklin at Clear Channel’s news/talk KOGO, San Diego.  Taking Harvey’s place in the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot is evening host Bob “Sully” Sullivan.

beckatom2012Odds & Sods.  Omaha talk show host Tom Becka, who recently returned to the market at NRG Media’s KOIL after a year heading up an FM talk station in Fargo, is profiled in the March/April edition of Omaha Magazine…..WGN, Chicago “Noon Show” host Carol Roth is hired by cable business news/talk network CNBC as a regular on-air contributor.  Roth says she will contribute written pieces for CNBC.com.  She will continue her role at WGN…..Journal Broadcasting’s WTMJ, Milwaukee brings Jon Meerdink aboard as a news reporter.  He comes to Brew Town Bliss Communications’ Janesville, Wisconsin stations.

bfoa2013Broadcasters Foundation of America Raises $375,000 at “Golden Mike Award” Ceremony.  The Broadcasters Foundation of America raised $375,000 to help broadcasters in need at the BFoA 2013 Golden Mike Award ceremony honoring David J. Barrett, chairman and CEO of Hearst Television, Inc at the Plaza Hotel in New York City on Monday evening.  The event was hosted by legendary sports broadcaster and voice of the San Francisco Giants Jon Miller.  Joining him as presenters were popular media personalities Steve Harvey and Dr. Mehmet Oz along with Barrett’s son Casey, former president and CEO of Post-Newsweek Stations.  Also taking part were 2011 Golden Mike winner Alan Frank and Hearst Television president Jordan WertliebEllen DeGeneres provided some laughs via a video presentation, as did Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan.  Singer Darlene Love provided entertainment.  Pictured here are (from l-r): Phil Lombardo, chairman, Broadcasters Foundation of America; Steve Harvey; Jim Thompson, president Broadcasters Foundation; Dr. Mehmet Oz; Darlene Love; 2013 Golden Mike Award Recipient David J. Barrett and Jon Miller.  The Broadcasters Foundation has provided millions of dollars in aid to colleagues who lost their livelihood through a catastrophic event, debilitating disease, or unforeseen family tragedy.  Individual membership is only $150 a year.  Donations also can be made to the Guardian Fund, and corporate contributions are accepted through the Angel Initiative.  For more information, to apply for a grant, or to make a contribution, please visit www.broadcastersfoundation.org or call 212-373-8250.

patrickdanbuffwildDan Patrick Show at Buffalo Wild Wings.  KLAC, Los Angeles “AM570 Fox Sports LA” listeners and DIRECTV viewers turned up nearly 2,000-strong to meet sports media personality Dan Patrick and the cast of his DIRECTV/Fox Sports Radio program at Buffalo Wild Wings in Huntington Beach, California on Saturday, February 23.  Fans lined up to meet Patrick and the Danettes, who spent three hours shaking hands, taking photos, and signing memorabilia during the event.  Attendees were treated to the restaurant’s infamous wings and Patrick even stepped behind the bar to serve a few drinks.  Patrick is pictured here posing with the staff of the restaurant.

Sequestration Battle, Manti Te’o Gay Controversy, ICE Undocumenteds Release, BP Civil Trial, and Cannibal Cop Case Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/27).  The Washington PR battle over the looming sequester; the issue of football star Manti Te’o and homosexuality in pro sports; the release of undocumented aliens in response to the sequester; the BP civil trial; and the cannibal cop case were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

millerkevinnancygraceOld Pals.  KIDO, Boise morning show host Kevin Miller (right) poses for a shot with HLN star Nancy Grace (left).  Miller has contributed to Grace’s program over the years and had the opportunity recently to catch up with her.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

| February 27, 2013

launchpad logoNorm Pattiz’s Launchpad Digital Media Announces Debut of PodcastOne.com.  Calling it “a single, online destination that makes it easier than ever to discover, download and enjoy the most popular podcasts,” Launchpad Digital Media debuts PodcastOne.com.  In a statement, the company says the site is “already home to more than 200 major podcasts including those from some of the biggest names in radio, news and entertainment, such as: Adam Carolla, CBS News, Dr. Drew, Tom Green, Dennis Miller, Ron Paul, Laura Ingraham, Penn Jillette, Maria Menounos and more.”  Chairman of Launchpad Digital Mediapattiznorm and Courtside Entertainment Group, Norm Pattiz, states, “What others have done with music, we are doing with the spoken word – helping listeners discover new programming based on their listening habits.  This is a powerful promotional vehicle for any program looking to grow audience in a big way.  In addition, by delivering talk, comedy, news, sports and entertainment radio as on-demand podcasts accessible via the internet, Podcast One expands the reach of national radio programs to every listener in the country – eliminating void and uncleared markets, while helping radio grow its audience and receive fair value for it.”  Users go to PodcastOne.com, pick their favorite podcasts and add them to their listen list.  Podcast One suggests new shows based on what they already enjoy and the list is continuously updated with the freshest episodes and users can listen online or download and take their favorite shows with them.  Launchpad Digital Media president Kit Gray says, “Podcast One helps people spend less time searching for great content and more time discovering and enjoying it.  The site’s discovery feature and easy-to-use social network interface allow Podcast One to provide programs with unprecedented exposure to a previously untapped audience.”

bohannonjimJim Bohannon to Receive the TALKERS magazine Lifetime Achievement Award.  Veteran Dial Global radio talk personality Jim Bohannon has been named by the TALKERS editorial board as the 2013 recipient of the publication’s prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award.  Bohannon began his illustrious on-air career in 1960 at KLWT in Lebanon, Missouri.  He began working as a reporter at Mutual Broadcasting System in 1983 and went on to become the fill-in host for that network’s pioneering Larry King Show.  In 1993 he took over the hosting reigns of that program which he maintained through its ownership by Westwood One to its present incarnation as a Dial Global property.  Bohannon also hosts Dial Global’s “America in the Morning.”  The recipient of numerous industry awards and honors, Jim Bohannon has been a member of TALKERS magazine’s Heavy Hundred every year since its inception in 1995 and is an inductee in the National Radio Hall of Fame.  He will be presented the TALKERS Lifetime Achievement Award at the forthcoming national convention, Talkers New York 2013 on Thursday, June 6 in New York City.

bloomberglogoClear Channel Brings Bloomberg Radio to WXKS-AM, Boston.  The comedy format currently airing on Clear Channel’s WXKS-AM, Boston – formerly Talk 1200 – will move to WXKS-FM’s HD-2 channel and Friday will see the debut of a full-time business news station.  Bloomberg Radio programmer Al Mayers – who programmed news/talk WRKO, Boston almost 20 years ago – tells the Boston Herald, “There’s been a retrenchment in business coverage and we hope to come in there and fill that void.  Boston’s a great center for the things that our customers are very interested in.”  Mayers says there are 26 Bloomberg journalists stationed in Boston who will contribute to program content.  He says there will be eight hosts and that programming will be guest-driven.  The new venture will also include a relationship with Bentley University to use its faculty for content and commentary.

colmesalanAlan Colmes Show Moves to Earlier Air Time on Fox News Radio.  The late-night talk radio show hosted by Fox News personality Alan Colmes will begin airing live at an earlier time – 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm – starting on Monday, March 4.  The network announces that it will continue to offer a re-feed from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am and that Colmes will do live programming during the later hours during times when there is major breaking news.

melissaetheridgeMelissa Etheridge Wins Gracie Award for Syndicated Radio Show.  Musician and radio program host Melissa Etheridge will take home a 2013 Gracie Award for Outstanding Talk Show in the Entertainment/Information category for her Benztown Radio Networks-produced and syndicated radio program.  The 38th Annual Gracie Awards will be presented on May 21, 2013, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles.  Etheridge says in a statement, “I have won Grammys and an Oscar, but there is something especially meaningful about being recognized with a Gracie.  I love radio, and it’s important to me to bring the voices of women to our audiences, as they share their respective truths about life, love and family — and as I share the same with them.  It’s also a great pleasure to provide a forum where we can connect with each other about the music that moves us.  I’m honored that people are responding to the show across the country and I thank the AWM Foundation for this award.”

heavyhundred logoHeavy Hundred to be Published Next Week.  Hang in there talk radio enthusiasts.  It’s almost here!  The 2013 installment of TALKERS magazine’s signature annual feature, The 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America – otherwise known as “The Heavy Hundred” — is being readied for publication next week.  According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “This feature is always a painstaking task for our editorial board to compile because it takes into account so many variables from the quantitative to the qualitative and plays such an important role in the lives and careers of so many established and rising stars of the industry.”  Casey adds, “It also offers a snapshot impression to industry watchers outside the business of just what makes ‘talk radio’ tick.  It defines its parameters, dispelling the widespread notion that spoken-word radio is any one single slice of a much bigger pie.”

wmcs logoUrban Talk/Music Hybrid WMCS, Milwaukee to Flip Formats.  The All Pro BroadcastingTimes Shamrock venture called Milwaukee Radio Alliance that operates urban talk and music outlet WMCS, Milwaukee says it will flip the station’s format after 20 years targeting the African American community in the market.  The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Duane Dudek writes that Milwaukee Radio Alliance vice president Bill Hurwitz says the station has been losing money for the past 10 years and that the move is a business decision.  He’s quoted saying, “Stations like this, basically super-serving the African American community — especially on AM — don’t exist in this country.”  All Pro Broadcasting is operated by Green Bay Packers great Willie Davis and Hurwitz says if not for Davis, the station would have disappeared long ago.  The move is affecting 15 full- and part-time employees including morning host Eric Von and PM drive talk host Earl Ingram.

albrightjayeThe Conclave Names 2013 Rockwell Award Winners: Jaye Albright and Tom Kay.  The Conclave Learning Conference announces country consultant Jaye Albright and Conclave executive director emeritus Tom Kay are thiskaytom year’s recipients of the Rockwell Award for 2013.  Executive director Bob Shannon says of this year’s honorees, “Jaye Albright represents the best broadcasting has to offer.  Always a student of radio, she’s also one of our best teachers and her influence on country radio is unmatched.”  Regarding Tom Kay, Shannon says, “This is recognition for a job well done.  If it weren’t for Tom, the Conclave wouldn’t exist today. Giving him the Rockwell Award makes all the sense in the world.  I can’t tell you how pleased I am.”  On her receiving the honor, Albright states, “As I think about the past Rockwell honorees, and how much I respect what each of them has given to our business over many, many years, I remain a bit stunned that The Conclave feels that I belong among them.  I’m humbled, surprised, flattered and honored.”  Albright and Kay will receive the Rockwell Award and be honored during “Conclave 38: The Learning Conference” in Minneapolis July 17, 18 and 19.

wnox logoFCC Approves Journal Broadcast Group’s Purchase of WNOX, Knoxville.  When the sale of Oak Ridge FM-owned news/talk WNOX, Knoxville to Milwaukee-based Journal Broadcast Group was announced late last year, M&M Broadcasting said it intended to sue Oak Ridge for breach of contract implying it had a deal to buy the signal.  Now, the FCC has approved the transfer of the license from Oak Ridge to Journal and the speculation about the station’s future format gets more intense.  Based on a scan of recent domain registrations, it appears Journal is considering moving its country WCYQ “Q93” to WNOX’s 100.3 signal and may be prepping a launch of a classic hits format for the 93.1 signal, thereby eliminating news/talk from the mix.  Domain registrations can be intentionally misleading so only time will tell for sure what Journal’s intentions really are.

grandephilPhil Grande’s “Phil’s Gang” Show to Be Distributed on Business TalkRadio Network.  The independently produced and syndicated financial talk show “Phil’s Gang” – hosted by Phil Grande – will be available to Business TalkRadio Network affiliates beginning March 11.

Sequestration Battle, John Kerry in Germany, ObamaCare, Iran/North Korea Nuke Threats, Michelle Obama ‘Automatic Weapon’ Gaffe, and Winter Weather Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/26).  The looming March 1 sequester; Secretary of State John Kerry’s European tour; the implementation of the Affordable Care Act; nuclear weapons threats from Iran and North Korea; Michelle Obama’s “automatic weapons” gaffe; and the winter weather affecting large parts of the nation were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

| February 26, 2013

salemcommunicationsSalem Communications Posts Q4 2012 Total Revenue Increase of 6%.  That number is based largely on the strength of its internet revenue – up 25% — and publishing revenue – up 9%.  But even broadcast had a good Q4 with revenue up 3%.  Salem Communications reports its best politicalatsingered advertising year in the company’s history, taking in $5.5 million during all of 2012.  Salem CEO Ed Atsinger says that part of the hike in the company’s internet revenue comes from its conservative news/talk digital efforts.  “Our national conservative news talk website saw the biggest growth, posting a 23% increase in revenue.  Clearly, political played a role here.  The election cycle also produced a significant increase in monthly page views to these sites.  While we have seen some falling off of traffic since the election, visits are still up nicely compared to pre-election levels.”  Atsinger addressed the company’s secular news/talk initiatives up front in yesterday’s conference call.  “We have invested in several new local talk shows, as well as key management personnel for our digital business talk and news/talk formats.  These investments are proceeding well.  For example, in Q4, KSKY — our Dallas news talk station — had local spot revenue excluding political, up by 36%, as a result of our hiring of Mark Davis earlier in 2012.”  Salem CFO Evan Masyr broke down the company’s broadcast performance by format and reported the following:  “Thirty-nine of our radio stations are programmed in our foundational Christian teaching and talk format.  These stations contributed 35% of total revenue.  Total revenue on this format was flat, while block programming increased 1%.  Revenue from our 11 contemporary Christian music stations contributed 17% of total revenue and increased 1% for the quarter.  Our 27 news/talk stations had an increase of 5% in revenue for the quarter, and these stations contributed 11% of our total revenue.  The 7 stations we have programmed in Spanish-language Christian teaching and talk grew revenue by 17%, and this format now comprises 2% of total revenue.  Finally, we have 11 stations in a business talk format, and revenue from these stations was down 7%.  This format contributed 2% of total revenue.”  He also noted that network revenue increased 10% during Q4 and represents 7% of total revenue.

kesn logoKESN, Dallas Schedule Takes Shape Post-Ben & Skin.  The departure of Ben Rogers and Jeff “Skin” Wade from the lineup at ESPN O&O KESN, Dallas after the two did not agree to terms for a new contract with the station has had the following ripple effects:  ESPN Radio syndicated host Colin Cowherd is now heard from 9:00 am to 11:00 am; Ian Fitzsimmons leaves the PM drive “Galloway & Company” show to pair up with ESPN Dallas writer Richard Durrett for an 11:00 am to 3:00 pm program.  The 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm “Coop & Nate” show featuring Chuck Cooperstein and former Dallas Cowboy Nate Newton disappears.  Cooperstein moves to the 6:00 pm talk show on nights when Mavericks hoops or Rangers baseball is not airing.  Cooperstein also is the Mavericks play-by-play voice.  As for Nate Newton, he stays with the station to handle Cowboys analysis.

williamsgreggoKRLD-FM, Dallas’ Greggo Williams Returns to Air After Medical Leave.  At CBS Radio’s sports talk KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan,” afternoon drive co-host Greggo Williams returned to the air yesterday after missing eight days of work to discuss his absence.  Williams told listeners he’s been struggling with physical health issues since having a lap-band removed last spring.  Williams lamented the time he’s missed due to the physical problems the removal has caused and told the audience he hopes to avoid missing further air time.  During his time away, Mike Fisher sat in alongside “The Rage” co-host Richie Whitt.

wefl logoGood Karma to Acquire West Palm Beach FM.  The former CBS Radio station – rhythmic AC WUUB “B106.3” – is being purchased by Craig Karmazin’s Good Karma Broadcasting and the Jupiter, Florida-licensed station is flipped to a simulcast of the company’s “ESPN 760” WEFL, Tequesta, Florida as Good Karma takes control under an LMA.  No purchase price has been announced yet.  In a statement, Karmazin says, “Our goal is to be able to connect with fans regardless of how they are consuming sports and this allows us another opportunity to connect in addition to AM radio, television, digital and mobile.  This new signal will improve both day and nighttime coverage and we are excited to grow our presence throughout the Palm Beaches and the Treasure Coast.”

bubbaOdds & Sods.  Apex Broadcasting’s rock WZLB “103.1 The Blaze” adds Bubba the Love Sponge for morning drive…..Arbitron announces that after a review of the In-Tab and other performance metrics for Week 2 of the February PPM report period in the winter storm-affected markets of Boston and Providence, the weeklies data will be released and the Week 2 data will be included in the February 2013 PPM report…..Talk radio host Jeff Katz, who tells TALKERSkatzjeff magazine that while hosting PM drive at Greater Media’s WBT, Charlotte he had some of the highest ratings in modern station history, will return to the Queen City for the first time in four years when he delivers the keynote address for the Union County Lincoln Reagan Dinner being held on Saturday, March 9 at Wingate University….. ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes Radio will air select games of the World Baseball Classic, with live broadcasts of the 39 games played in seven venues and four nations from March 2 through March 19.  ESPN Deportes Radio will broadcast 18 games through the tournament.  Ozzie Guillen will join the ESPN Deportes’ diverse team of experts as analyst for select games during the second round games, the Semi-Finals and Finals in San Francisco’s AT&T Park.

sportsusaSports USA to Produce NFL Draft Show.  Sports USA expands its coverage of the National Football League with programming from the 2013 NFL draft.  The company plans to broadcast the first round of the draft on April 25, 2013, at 7:30 pm ET live from Radio City Music Hall in New York.   The draft show will feature analysis from NFL and NCAA experts who will break down the rookie class of 2013.  Additionally, local reporters from each NFL city will weigh in to discuss their team’s needs for the upcoming season.  Sports USA president Bob Moore states, “The NFL Draft has become a marquee event and we are excited to offer the entire first round of the draft to our partner stations.”

Sequester Issue, Obama Travel Schedule Criticism, The Oscars, John Kerry London Trip, Midwestern Blizzard, and C. Everett Koop Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/25).  The looming sequester and its possible effects; the criticism of President Obama’s travel schedule; Sunday’s Oscar Awards; Secretary of State John Kerry’s first trip abroad; the blizzard that paralyzed portions of the Midwest; and the death of former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, February 25, 2013

| February 25, 2013

nms2013logoMike Francesa to Address Industry at Talkers New York 2013.  The list of major speakers continues to grow as WFAN, New York afternoon drive sports talk goliath Mike Francesa joins the roster of industry leaders who will be speaking at “TALKERS New York 2013,” the 16th annual installment of talk radio’s longest-running and most important francesamikeannual convention.  Francesa will deliver a solo keynote address titled, “The Sports Talk Radio Phenomenon.”  He will discuss how sports talk fits into the general radio industry, where it is going both locally and nationally and how it operates within the business model of the PPM world.  Francesa, who has been a major host on WFAN since the late 1980s, is also seen across the nation on the YES Network simulcast of his radio show and hosts a syndicated weekend program “The NFL Now” in addition to participating in numerous other sports broadcasting projects.  He is currently ranked number one on the TALKERS Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk Radio Hosts holding the position as the Most Important Sports Talk Radio Host in America.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “The addition of Mike Francesa as the sports talk radio keynote speaker at this year’s conference puts it over the moon.  One of the big buzzes of the business is the relentless growth of this exciting branch of the talk radio universe.  Who better than the king of the format to give insights into the genre’s place in the scheme of things?  We are delighted!”  More headliners will be named in the coming days along with the 50-plus speakers that will be participating in the conference.  The event is set for Thursday, June 6, 2013 at the Concierge Conference Center on Manhattan’s East Side.  Registration for the day including all activities and food service is $199 per person.  An advance sellout is expected due to space limitations.  Registration is limited to members of the working media and can only be taken via telephone.  For registration and sponsorship information call 413-565-5413.  Complete agenda details are being posted daily.  Stay tuned.

schnitttoddTodd Schnitt Not Giving Up on Bubba the Love Sponge Lawsuit.  The Tampa Bay Times reports talk show host Todd Schnitt has fired his legal team, hired a new lawyer and is continuing to pursue legal action against former crosstown rival Bubba the Love Sponge (Todd Clem).  The first trial ended in a victory for Bubba as the jury decided not to awardbubba Schnitt and wife Michelle damages for defamation over a series of criticisms and accusations Bubba leveled at Schnitt when he competed with Bubba in morning drive as MJ Kelli.  Now, Schnitt has fired C. Phillip Campbell and Jonathan J. Ellis and has hired Wil Florin to represent him and his wife.  Regular TALKERS readers are aware of the bizarre elements of the previous trial:  Campbell being pulled over for DUI while driving the car of a young paralegal who, unbeknownst to him, worked for Bubba’s lawyer’s firm; the tip-off to police that Campbell was driving the car was made by someone from that same firm; and Bubba’s lawyers had possession of Campbell’s briefcase for 18 hours (though they say they didn’t open it).  That missing briefcase is the basis for the new suit.  How this will end is anybody’s guess, but one thing is for sure: Both Schnitt and Clem are spending a lot of money on legal fees.  Yes, they are getting a lot of publicity for their radio programs but it is very expensive publicity.

ingrahamlauraLaura Ingraham Added to American Forces Network.  Courtside Entertainment Group announces today that the Laura Ingraham show is being added to the American Forces Network with the opportunity to be heard by more than one million U.S. service members and their families.  Ingraham states, “It is fantastic to be back on the air – and it feels even more special knowing that all of our friends listening on Armed Forces Network can hear us around the globe.  The energy and enthusiasm from listeners, affiliates and advertisers since I returned to the airwaves has been overwhelming.  From Tucson to Jacksonville, from Washington, DC to Seattle, Americans are energized and enthusiastic about our daily conversation about our country’s past, present and future.  Politics is important – but so is the culture around us.  As a single parent of young children and a cancer survivor, I have a unique perspective that connects me with listeners of all political stripes.  Our conversation is a fun-filled ride that moves beyond the Beltway to the real-life ups and downs we all face.”

constantinilynneVeteran Media Executive Lynne Constantini Joins Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze.  The former EVP of affiliate sales and marketing at Scripps Networks Interactive and SVP of programming at Time Warner Cable joins TheBlaze as president of business development.  In her new position Lynne Constantini will oversee the growing network’s content distribution efforts, as well as affiliate marketing, advocacy, business affairs and business development initiatives.  She previously negotiated TheBlaze’s successful carriage deal with DISH as an outside consultant.  Constantini says, “As a cable industry executive and consultant, I have been attracted to the rare independent network that has strong, unique content and a passionate engaged audience that drives results for operators and that is what I have found with TheBlaze.  TheBlaze is unlike other start-up networks; it has a built-in loyal audience, a full slate of live, original programming, speaks to an underserved and growing conservative audience and has extensive marketing reach through affiliated media assets including on radio and on the web.  I am excited to work with Glenn, Chris Balfe and the rest of the team on building TheBlaze and continuing the network’s success in improving the businesses of its distribution partners.”

cookehollandListeners Are Busy and Talent Is Spooked.  That’s the assessment of radio consultant and TALKERS columnist Holland Cooke who asks broadcasters the provocative question:  “RU@Speed-of-Life?’  In today’s article, Cooke says radio programmers must get up to speed (literally) with the intense pace of modern life which, when coupled with the PPM, puts tremendous pressure to manage air time in a way that is in keeping with today’s breakneck tempo.  For example he advises hosts not to begin their shows by listing all the things they’ll be doing before the show ends.  He says programming clock designers should go the extra step in designing transitions between programming elements (such as newscaster to talk show host segments) in a completely seamless manner.  Never stop the action through over-explanation.  Don’t miss this timely and informative piece.  Read it here.

baileyralphTalk Host Ralph Bailey Begins KERN, Bakersfield Program Next Monday.  After quitting his talk show at Buckley Broadcasting’s crosstown KNZR on Thursday after an eight-year stint, Ralph Bailey will take over the PM drive program on American General Media’s KERN.  Bailey wrote on his Facebook page, “It is official!!!  I signed a contract today to join American General Media.  I’ll be Scott Cox‘s guest today at three and begin my own 3-6 p.m. drive time show on Monday, March 4.  I could not be happier!  I have security in a business that is not that secure and for the first time in my life I’m making a little scratch!  I’d like to thank Rogers Brandon and Toni Snyder.  It is great to feel wanted and appreciated.”

californian logoKERN, Bakersfield’s Scott Cox to Anchor The Californian-AGM Morning Show Endeavor.  Talk radio personality Scott Cox is moving away from the PM drive slot that Ralph Bailey is taking over in order to host a new morning program that is a joint effort of American General Media and The Bakersfield Californian.  The show – “First Look with Scott Cox” – will emanate from The Californian newsroom in which a radio studio has been built.  While KERN will coxscottprovide the producers and technical expertise, the newspaper’s reporters will be regular guests during talk segments.  Californian CEO Richard Beene says of the initiative, “The Bakersfield Californian has always prided itself about being on the cutting edge of technology (our website bakersfield.com was launched back in 1995) and we are keenly aware that readers and advertisers are finding new ways to obtain content and reach their advertisers.  That’s why change is part of our company culture, and serving our readers and advertisers on multiple platforms is something we talk about every day.”  The program will also be streamed live in high-definition video on the paper’s website.  Beene writes in his editorial in the paper, “’First Look’ will add to The Californian‘s existing video programming, which includes ‘BVarsity Live,’ live local sports and breaking news.  The Californian plans to expand its live video programming later this year.  So yes, newspapers are alive and well, changing and evolving.  Join us in March for ‘First Look.’”

millerchrisNot All That Glitters is Gold.  According to radio digital consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller, broadcasters should avoid falling under the spell of Facebook “likes” and the impulse to “go viral” — which he describes as “shiny, distracting objects.”  He advises, “The number of Facebook ‘likes’ you have is almost completely without meaning.  In addition, working to have something go viral is probably taking you away from what you should be doing!”  Read Chris Miller’s informative and valuable article here.

benandskinESPN O&O KESN, Dallas Parts Company with Ben & Skin.  Sports talk KESN, Dallas and midday personalities Ben Rogers and Jeff “Skin” Wade were not able to come to terms on a new contract and the duo have left the station.  They wrote on their Facebook page. “We have declined a final offer from ESPN on a new deal.  We’re parting ways with them for now.  Future is unwritten.  Thank you for your support throughout the years.  We are eager to write the next chapter of our adventure.  Stay tuned.”

sweeneyjohnJohn Sweeney Exits WGDJ, Albany.  The former Republican congressman from New York began a one-hour daily talk show at Capital Broadcasting’s “Talk 1300” two weeks ago but has left the station.  The Albany Times-Union reports John Sweeney’s exit comes after it became apparent that the 11:00 am to 12:00 noon time slot was too much for the attorney and political consultant.  Owner and GM Paul Vandenburgh told the paper too many unforeseen scheduling conflicts have made the show untenable.

raytomTECHNICAL WATCH: Radio Moves Beyond ISDN to Deliver Studio Quality Remote Audio.  Welcome to the Age of the IP Codec.  Back in the “good old days,” if you wanted to get audio from point A to point B you had basically two choices: a dedicated land line from good old Ma Bell (a.k.a, the phone company) or you sent a tape.  Then, Ma Bell decided to get rid of dedicated equalized services – at least interstate.  These days, it’s very difficult if not impossible to get a dedicated broadcast service even in the same city.  This prompted devices like the Comrex two-line and three-line frequency extender systems.  These allowed someone to utilize two or three dial-up lines to get audio from one place to another with reasonable audio quality.  The next step was ISDN – a digital dial-up service.  With the development of devices such as the Telos Zephyr, FM quality audio was easily passed, with very little audio delay, between two locations.  This has been the norm now for close to 20 years.  Enter the IP codec – essentially ISDN on steroids.  IP codecs utilize the internet as the transport medium.  Now, for just the cost of the internet service you already have installed, you can literally transport audio all around the world – in many instances with slightly more round-trip delay than with ISDN, but that is easy to work around using mix minus.  Noted radio technical consultant and TALKERS columnist Tom Ray brings us all up to speed on this new era in remote audio delivery in a must-read clear and concise article, here.

tradupguatemalaSalem Radio News Series Spotlights “The Poorest of the Poor.”  SRN vice president/news & talk programming Tom Tradup (pictured here in Guatemala) spent the last week in that Central American country as Salem Radio News prepared a news series titled, “The Poorest of the Poor.”  Speaking about his experience there, Tradup tells TALKERS, “Guatemala is only a few hours by plane from the U.S., but living conditions for youngsters are light years away.  And the statistics take on heartbreaking new meaning when you actually spend time with children there.  We embedded with the American relief agency Food for The Poor to cover both the tragedy and the hope for impoverished children in Guatemala.”  Tradup says Guatemala has the highest malnutrition rate of any country in the Western Hemisphere.  The week-long SRN News special series will profile the challenges facing government and private agencies targeting ways to reverse the grim statistics on malnutrition and infant mortality in Guatemala.

bloomlisaOdds & Sods.  Lisa Bloom – daughter of former radio and television talk show host (and high-profile attorney) Gloria Allred – is joining NBC’s “Today” show as a legal analyst says TVNewser.  Bloom hosted the CourtTV show “Lisa Bloom: Open Court” from 2001 to 2009…..Arbitron’s Carol Hanley is named to the Allliance for Women in Media board of directors.  Hanley serves as SVP, chief sales officer for Arbitron.

kdkaharlemshakeHarlem Shake Takes Over KDKA.  The YouTube phenomenon “Harlem Shake” invades the newsroom at CBS Radio’s KDKA, Pittsburgh.  This still shot is from a video posted on the KDKA-TV website and shows late morning talk host Marty Griffin (in the Santa hat) leading the rest of the crew – including morning hosts Larry Richert and John Shumway and Shelley Duffy, PM drive host Bill Rehkopf, midday host Mike Pintek, sports reporter and weekend host Rob Pratte and creative services director Kelly Pidgeon – in boogeying to the tune.

Beyond ISDN: Welcome to the Age
of the IP Codec

| February 25, 2013

By Thomas R. Ray, III CPBE, AMD, DRB
Tom Ray Consulting
President
TALKERS
Technical Editor

NEW YORK — I made a Facebook posting last week regarding a radio program I am involved with – Ron Ananian, The Car Doctor.  A friend who has a voice over business posted that he’s heard the show through one of his clients and thought it was a good show and sounded really good.  I posted back that I bet he never would have guessed we deliver the audio to the satellite uplink via an IP codec.  Another voice over friend chimed in wanting to know what codec we were using.  My first friend then said, “what’s an IP codec?”  Uh, oh.

Back in the “good old days”, if you wanted to get audio from point A to point B you had basically two choices: a dedicated land line from good old Ma Bell (aka, the phone company) or you sent a tape.

Then, Ma Bell decided to get rid of dedicated equalized services – at least interstate.  These days, it’s very difficult if not impossible to get a dedicated broadcast service even in the same city.

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