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Archive for May, 2013

Talk Hosts are Wise to Add Writing to their Communication Toolbox

| May 31, 2013

By Lisa Wexler
WFAS-AM, Westchester, NY
Talk Show Host

wexlerlisaWESTCHESTER, NY — “Honey, you’re famous,” my husband Bill called upstairs to me on Saturday morning. Really, why so? “Rick the shoe man says he read your op-ed in the Connecticut Post and he agrees with you. He wants me to tell you that. He thinks you are right, told me to thank you for writing it.”  Made my day. I haven’t seen Rick the shoe man in about three years. He doesn’t live or work within my radio range. Unless he takes the trouble to find me on iHeartRadio or on-line, I don’t reach this man. Not unless I make the effort to write as well as speak.

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Friday, May 31, 2013

| May 31, 2013

cumulusOKCumulus Media Raises Close to $4 Million for Oklahoma Tornado Relief.  This number could keep changing as more pledges come in after the Wednesday effort that saw all 525 Cumulus Media-owned stations soliciting funds for tornado relief via the United Way of Oklahoma City that so far has totaled $3.77 million.  Cumulus SVP of programming Mike McVay reports the company’s 84 country outlets aired a special, one-hour edition of “American Country Countdown” hosted by Kix Brooks live from the “Healing in the Heartland” concert on Wednesday evening that aired on NBC-TV.  Numbers aren’t final for pledges received during the televised concert fundraiser but are reported to be in the $6 million range.

cellalertEmergency Alert for Cell Phones PSA Violates FCC Regulations.  TALKERS columnist and broadcast engineer Tom Ray of Tom Ray Consulting reports a public service announcement touting emergency alerts sent to cell phones raytomthat some stations may be airing violates FCC regulations.  Ray tells TALKERS, “A PSA was released today about the emergency alerts you can receive on your cell phone.  It uses the EAS two-tone alert.  Airing this PSA would be a blatant violation of FCC regulation 47CFR11.45 which specifically prohibits the use of the EAS code bursts or the two-tone alert signal unless they are transmitted as part of an actual EAS alert or EAS test.  And according to the Ad Council website…this PSA is sponsored by FEMA.  Shame on them!  They should know better.”  Ray advises stations not to air the PSA.

eff logoPatent Holder Personal Audio Targets Podcasters; EFF Takes ‘Patent Troll’ Fight to U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.  If you’re a podcaster and you’ve been approached by a company called Personal Audio claiming you’re using patented technology and you have to pay up, you’re not alone.  According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), podcasters including Adam Carolla and “How Stuff Works” have been “shaken down” by Personal Audio which claims it holds a patent on technology used by podcasters.  The EFF is fighting back, saying it is “is mounting a new, focused campaign to bust the dangerous patent” the company has been employing against end users – including podcasters. carollaadam Here’s what EFF says: “Claiming it owns the patent that broadly covers podcasting technology, Personal Audio is the classic example of a patent troll that neither makes nor sells anything, but uses its patent as a weapon to threaten lawsuits and extort settlement fees.”  EFF staff attorney Julie Samuels says, “Patent trolls have been wreaking havoc on innovative companies for some time now.  But this particular breed of troll — targeting end users, small businesses, startups, and even individuals like podcasters for simply using everyday products — is a disturbing new threat.”  Wondering what part of the process on which this company claims to hold the patent?  The TALKERS legal department tells us that the patent generally relates to a system whereby a server provides media content to client devices over the internet.  On the server, the provider maintains a ‘compilation file,’ which is essentially a list of available media files.  The compilation file generally includes the URL for each available media file in a series and may also include descriptive text.  This compilation file may be static, such as a simple web page with links to each available file to which new files are added, or may be customized for a particular user, perhaps only showing them content from feeds to which they have subscribed.  The claim that has been asserted against podcasters to date is called Claim 31.  The EFF goes on to say, “As with so many patent troll cases, the troll is asking for money despite having contributed nothing to the industry.  By its own admission, Personal Audio tried and failed at its attempt to make an audio player.  Having failed at actually making something, it became a shell company that does nothing but sue on its patents.  And now it wants a handout from those who worked hard to create popular podcasts.”  EFF is organizing a Help Save Podcasting campaign.  You can find that information here.

kqrs logoFormer KQRS, Minneapolis Personality Michael Gelfand Sues MetLife and Cumulus Media Over Disability Claim.  Michael Gelfand was formerly part of the Tom Barnard morning show on Cumulus Media’s classic rock KQRS, Minneapolis.  He exited the station after his medical condition made it impossible to function and now he’s suing Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and Cumulus Media for long term disability benefits.  Gelfand suffers from delayed sleep-phase syndrome – a condition that throws off the body’s circadian rhythm – and prevents him from functioning well or maintaining physical health working the early morning drive shift.  In brief, MetLife denied the claim and Gelfand is suing both companies seeking retroactive long term disability benefits.

barksingaInga Barks Exits KMJ-AM, Fresno.  Bakersfield-based talk show host Inga Barks recently joined the program schedule at Buckley Brodcasting’s KNZR, Bakersfield for the 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm program but she’s no longer with Peak Broadcasting’s KMJ-AM, Fresno where she’s been hosting a show since 2005.  The Fresno Bee reports Peak management is not commenting on Barks’ exit but notes the station added Cumulus Media NetworksMark Levin show in place of it.

wexlerlisaGracie Award Winning Talk Host Advises Colleagues to Add Writing to their Communications Toolbox.  WFAS, Westchester host Lisa Wexler says that writing op-ed pieces for newspapers is an excellent way for talk show hosts looking to expand their net and make a difference.  In a piece posted today (5/31) Wexler says, “If you are going to be a thought leader, then simply speaking on the radio is not enough.  The written word carries a different kind of weight.  Radio is a rush — there is nothing like the spontaneity of an actual conversation, the nuance and humor of the human voice communicating through the airwaves to the lone listener on the other end.  But radio is also ephemeral; despite podcasts and the ease of reaching audio files, people rarely re-listen to the same broadcast.  They do, however, read an article more than once, and pass it on to friends.  Your column has the potential to go viral in a way your radio show may not.”  To read Lisa Wexler’s entire article, click here.

lewisbretKFWB, Los Angeles Sports Anchor Bret Lewis Retires.  Today is the last day at KFWB, Los Angeles for sports anchor Bret Lewis who is retiring from the station.  The longtime Los Angeles broadcaster will be replaced by Bill Seward, currently afternoon sports anchor.  Bob Harvey will assume Seward’s afternoon role.  During his career, Lewis has served as a sports anchor on the TV side at KNBC-TV and KCBS-TV.  He also hosted a talk show at crosstown KLAC.

gaskinsjohnKNTK, Lincoln Names John Gaskins Program Director.  Home Field Communications announces “Gaskins and Stephens” show co-host John Gaskins is named program director for sports talk KNTK, Lincoln “93.7 The Ticket.”  The station also fills its PM drive slot with former KCSP, Kansas City personality Mike Welch who will host his “Drop the Mike” beginning June 5.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  “Free Talk Live” hosted by Ian Freeman and Mark Edge adds new affiliates WPNN, Pensacola; KYRO, Troy, Missouri; and KCAA, Loma Linda, California…..Talk Radio Network-syndicated “Watchdog on Wall Street” with host Chris Markowski is added to the program lineup at WLEE, Richmond…..Cumulus Media Networks’ “Red Eye Radio” with Eric Harley and Gary McNamara reaches the 200-affiliate mark with the help of recent partners KTAR-FM, Phoenix; KBET, Las Vegas; WTMJ, Milwaukee; WFTL, West Palm Beach; and KJCE, Austin.

rosenjamesDOJ Investigation of Journalists Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of May 27-31.  The Department of Justice’s investigation of journalists – from Fox NewsJames Rosen to the Associated Press – and Attorney General Eric ap logoHolder’s request for an off-the-record meeting with news organizations was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week.  At #2 this week was the IRS’ targeting of conservative organizations seeking tax exempt status.  Following at #3 was the rise in the number of Americans on disability and at #4 was the Chinese hacking of U.S. weapons systems.  The Talkers TenTM is a chart of the top stories and people discussed on talk radio during the week, is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  See this week’s entire chart here.

etheridgegracieMelissa Etheridge Brandishes Her Gracie. Musician and radio show host Melissa Etheridge (r) is pictured here with Rory Kennedy (l) (who won for her documentary film “Ethel” about her mother) at the annual Gracie Awards Gala in Los Angeles where she won a Gracie Award for her nationally syndicated program, “The Melissa Etheridge Show.”  Etheridge won in the Outstanding Talk Show – Entertainment/Information category.  Etheridge says, “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.”  Etheridge’s five-hour daily show is syndicated by Benztown.

Ben Fuchs: An “Alternative” Approach to Health as Well as Radio Syndication

| May 30, 2013

By Jeff McKay
TALKERS
Special Features Correspondent

5154164 croppedNEW YORK — While conservative political talk radio still dominates the AM/FM commercial spoken word air waves, pharmacist Ben Fuchs proves syndication, and talk radio in general, can come in many forms.  In the case of Fuchs, the host of the nationally syndicated Genesis Communications Network (GCN) radio program “The Bright Side,” he has become a thorn in the side of the pharmaceutical industry by becoming an advocate for better nutrition and a natural healing approach, because, as he says, “I look at the human body as a healing and regenerating system.”

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

| May 29, 2013

trn logoCalifornia Judge Sends TRN Anti-Trust Suit to New York; Courtside Interference Allegation Dismissed.  There’s been some action in the suit filed by Talk Radio Network against the 14 defendant entities as United States District Judge Jesus G. Bernal moves the case from the Central District of California to the Southern District of New York.  At the same time, Judge Bernal grants Courtside Entertainment Group’s motion to dismiss based on Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction.  In a nutshell, the judge ruled that since the bulk of the defendants are headquartered in New York, that’s where TRN’s case arguing anti-trust practices against Dial Global, Compass, and WYD should be heard.  As for the suit against Courtside for allegedly interfering with talk hosts Michael Savage and Laura Ingraham (then under contract to TRN), the judge ruled that allegation is not related to the anti-trust case and he dismissed it without prejudice.  TRN could file a separate suit against Courtside in that matter if it so chooses.

talkersradio logoTALKERS Magazine to Launch TalkersRadio – Debut to Broadcast Entire “Talkers New York 2013” Live.  TALKERS magazine announces the launch next week of “TalkersRadio” – a 24/7/365 streaming spoken-word internet radio station that will be available to listeners on the trade publication’s website, www.talkers.com and feature a unique brand of stationality that, as publisher Michael Harrison describes, “views the world through the lens of the talk media industry.”  TalkersRadio’s mission will be to serve as 1) a laboratory for interesting new concepts and talent in talk; 2) a farm system to help develop deserving up-and-comers; 3) a real-time stage for talent to audition for specific jobs and opportunities; 4) a platform for “bridge shows” – a new device by which suddenly terminated AM/FM talk show hosts can do a series of final shows to say goodbye to their listeners and/or announce their upcoming plans within a radio show context; 5) a vehicle for “orphan shows” – programs that do not conveniently fit into prevailing AM/FM station format categories; 6) a showcase for new and adventurous programming concepts and ideas; and 7) a medium to exclusively broadcast TALKERS magazine live events such as the annual convention next week and Talk Radio Day at the United Nations the following day.  TalkersRadio will also carry several “regularly scheduled” programs to give it, as Harrison describes, “the feel and consistency” of a real radio station.  Some of these will be talk shows about the industry and others will just be talk shows about life in general.  “The key,” according to Harrison, “is most of the programming will be the type that is unavailable elsewhere.”  TalkersRadio has been in development for the past year and a half and is a joint project between TALKERS parent company Talk Media, Inc. and Westborough, Massachusetts-basedbackboneMH communications firm Backbone Networks Corporation.  It will feature a leading-edge concept in broadcasting technology developed by Backbone that makes it extremely convenient and affordable for talk show hosts to do a fully produced program – with live callers and guests – from an amazingly simple technical remote and portable set up.  According to Harrison, “Our partners at Backbone are technical wizards.  Having them power this operation will give us the flexibility and means to really make a significant contribution to talk radio as both a cultural art form and a 21st century-rooted business — the ongoing mission of TALKERS magazine.”  Further developments about TalkersRadio will be posted in the coming days and weeks.  Pictured at the recent deal signing are (l-r): Richard Cerny, Backbone CEO/president; Michael Harrison, TALKERS publisher; George Capalbo, Backbone VP/CTO; and Paul Kamp, Backbone VP/business development.

ccme horiz logoClear Channel Study of Consumers Indicates Media Attitudes.  A recent study of about 1,000 Americans conducted by Vision Critical for Clear Channel Media and Entertainment came to a number of conclusions about how consumers view media and media devices.  Some of the takeaways from this study include:

  • Media multitasking is now mainstream across all media channels.  65% of respondents have been online while watching TV at the same time; 59% have been online while listening to music; and even 25% of respondents watch TV and listen to music at the same time.
  • When it comes to smartphones and tablets, women are actually more likely than men to own these gadgets — 52% of women have smartphones vs. 43% of men; and 31% of women have a tablet or e-reader compared to 25% of men.
  • Only one in ten consumers (11%) think it is “no big deal” if they accidentally leave their smartphone at home for the day.  A large majority (78%) keep their smartphones in the bedroom at night, with 60% keeping their phones within arm’s reach on the nightstand.
  • Respondents would rather keep their computer and give up their TV, smartphone and tablet if they could only use one device for a year.

parksandyAndy Parks’ Washington Times Radio Show Moves to Salem’s WRC, Washington.  The talk radio initiative between The Washington Times and longtime DC talk radio personality Andy Parks moves from Metro Radio-owned WTNT where it aired in afternoon drive to Salem Communications’ crosstown WRC for an 11:00 am to 1:00 pm air time.  In a statement, Parks says, “The combination of the resources of The Washington Times and WRC 1260 provides a greatwrc logo opportunity to explore the news of the day, examine the big issues and break stories.  I look forward to bringing those elements of the show to the listeners at WRC.”  Salem Washington DC market manager Thomas Moyer states, “The Washington Times is the only Washington-based newspaper that is committed to conservative American values.  WRC 1260 is the only Washington-area talk radio station committed to similar conservative American values.  This is a partnership that makes sense.  This is a unique opportunity coming to our lineup.”  Parks was a fixture for many years on Cumulus Media’s crosstown news/talk WMAL.

focus 360 logoFocus 360 and Radio America’s Dr. Joy Browne Agree to Exclusive National Ads Sales Deal.  The sales and marketing firm Focus 360 has signed a deal with Radio America nationally syndicated talk show host Dr. Joy Browne to serve as exclusive national ad sales representative.  Focus 360 ad sales VP Dick brownejoySilipigni states, “An alternative to political talk radio, Dr. Joy’s dynamic personality, combined with her no-nonsense advice on issues ranging from relationships, marriage, finance, work and career, has garnered her millions of devoted listeners.  The addition of Dr. Joy’s show to our repertoire creates more opportunities for our advertisers to reach engaged listeners.”  Based for many years at the WOR Radio Network, Dr. Joy Browne’s program is now syndicated by Radio America whose chief operating officer Mike Paradiso says, “Dr. Joy’s show has been a successful ratings winner for over 15 years.  Partnering with Focus 360 will increase our revenue from national advertisers.  We look forward to working with them as we continue to grow the Dr. Joy Browne radio program.”

kuhnerjeffWRKO, Boston Adds Hour to Jeff Kuhner’s AM Drive Show.  Entercom’s Boston news/talk outlet WRKO announces it is adding an hour to morning drive host Jeff Kuhner’s program and shifting “The Financial Exchange” with Barry Armstrong to the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon slot.  Previously, “The Kuhner Report” aired from 6:00 am to 9:00 am with Armstrong’s show airing from 9:00 am to 11:00 am and Kuhner returning for an 11:00 am to 12:00 noon program.  Vice president of programming and operations Jason Wolfe states, “Jeff Kuhner is one of the hottest talents to hit Boston talk radio in years.  He’s got great energy, passion and tremendous credibility discussing the issues that matter most to this community and to the country.  Barry Armstrong is Boston’s foremost financial expert and since he’s started with us, has provided top-notch commentary on a program that provides important information to our audience.  Adding another hour to ‘The Kuhner Report’ in morning drive and shifting ‘The Financial Exchange’ to start at 10:00 am allows the station a seamless transition from show to show throughout the day.”

hunterrobKTAR-FM, Phoenix Moves Rob Hunter to Middays with Karie Dozer.  The Bonneville news/talk station announces long-time producer and weekend talk host Rob Hunter moves into the midday slot on KTAR-FM alongside Karie Dozer for the newly named “Rob & Karie Show.”  The station says Rob and Karie will be an opinionated and interactive look at the most topical and locally relevant news stories of the day.  The show will include listener calls and heavy social media integration.  Bonneville Phoenix vice president of content and operations Ryan Hatch states, “Rob is a rising star.  He and Karie will have diverse and interesting points of view that will bring a thought provoking jolt of energy to the KTAR middays.”  Hunter takes over for current midday co-host Chuck Powell who takes his creative talents to a new digital content position in which he will contribute to all three Bonneville Phoenix media brands.  He will also host a sports podcast with his former sports radio partner Vince Marotta on arizonasports.com.

kingRTLarry King to Join Cable News Channel RT for Political Show.  Russian news/talk cable TV network RT America announces the debut of a new Larry King program that is scheduled to begin airing in June called, “Larry King Now.”  The program is described in a press release as a “mold-breaking political talk show.”  In a video accompanying the release featuring King himself talking about the new show, he says, “I would rather ask questions of people in positions of power instead of speaking on their behalf.”  The program is being produced by King’s own Ora.TV and will be recorded in RT’s Washington, DC and Los Angeles studios.

bott logoBott Radio Network Joins CC’s iHeartRadio.  Christian talk radio content creator Bott Radio Network announces it is providing its programming to Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio for distribution on the digital audio service.  Bott Radio Network shows are heard on approximately 90 stations across the country.

Odds & Sods.  ABC News Radio names Scott Goldberg staff correspondent.  He will split his time between reporting and anchoring newscasts.  ABC says Goldberg’s work has taken him around the globe, from the U.S. to Latin America, Western Europe and Asia.  For several years Scott was a freelance correspondent for NewsOne after spending nearly a decade covering business, political and breaking news for local stations in the South and Midwest…..SiriusXM teams with Relevent Sports to bring the 2013 Guinness International Champions Cup to its listeners.  The tournament opens on July 27 and will feature eight club teams – including Inter Milan, Juventus, Los Angeles Galaxy, Real Madrid and others – that will compete over seven days at different venues across the United States.

Record Number of American’s on Disability, Justice Department Journalists Investigations, Radical Islamist Attacks, and Chinese Hack U.S. Weapons Systems Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/28).  Data indicating that more than 10 million Americans are on disability; the Justice Department’s investigation into journalists; the recent spate of attacks on soldiers by radical Islamists; and the alleged hacking of U.S. weapons systems by Chinese hackers were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

BQparadeBlanquita Cullum Emcees National Memorial Day Parade.  Veteran radio talk show host, former member of the U.S. Broadcasting Board of Governors and host of the television program “The Hard Question,” Blanquita Cullum is pictured here (c) with National Memorial Day Parade marshalls Gary Sinise (r) and Joe Mantegna (l) on Constitution Avenue in Washington, DC on Monday, May 27.  Cullum served as an emcee for the parade alongside Mark Kesseler, who serves as the Washington Redskins stadium announcer.

“Situational Baseball Return Liners” Maximize Play-by-Play Promotional Potential

| May 28, 2013

By Chris Pendl
BONNEVILLE SEATTLE
Creative Director

SEATTLE — If you’ve made the investment on play-by-play sports on your station, it’s important to maximize the return on your investment by trying to recycle that audience to another day part on your station.

Arbitron tells us that MLB drives cume increases anywhere from 50%-65% on flagship stations when the baseball season starts.  This influx of audience is one of the reasons we pay rights fees, share revenue, or give up inventory to carry this programming. In a climate with little or no external marketing dollars, I’ve often joked that our promotional time within baseball play by play is the closet thing we’ll get to an interstate billboard or TV campaign.

A few years ago in Seattle, we decided to take a different approach to how we used our in-game promotional inventory during Mariner broadcasts.  We wanted something that was more dynamic than a recorded promo — something that cut through and made the listener feel like someone was watching the game with them.

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