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Talkers Los Angeles 2013 a Sold-Out Success

| October 14, 2013

Photos by Matthew B. Harrison

LOS ANGELES — More than 250 radio and associated industry professionals gathered and 55 speakers participated in a non-stop day of speeches, special presentations, and panel discussions tackling the major issues facing the talk media industry at Talkers Los Angeles 2013 this past Thursday (10/10).


Segment of capacity crowd packing seats in the Steve Allen Theater at Talkers Los Angeles 2013.

Among the major issues covered were the growing need for the radio industry to have an accurate cross-platform ratings system; develop new ways to program commercials that generate results for the advertisers without chasing away listeners; explore new spoken-word formats that tap into unfulfilled opportunities; attract younger demos to talk radio; and bring back more live and local programming to the broadcast day.


The event opened with a bagel breakfast party sponsored by the Original Brooklyn Water Bagel Company in the lobby-area of the Steve Allen Theater.  The latest in radio broadcasting gear was displayed in that area by Broadcasters General Store.  Also, adding to the festivities was a display of a wide variety of modern health-minded foods and products (with tasty and valuable samples) presented by Santa Barbara-based PR firm, Christie Communications.


Power breakfast (clockwise l-r):  CBS Radio News VP Harvey Nagler; Take on the Day, SVP programming/marketing Corinne Baldassano; Alpha Broadcasting/L&L Broadcasting CEO Larry Wilson; RAB, CEO/president Erica Farber;  and Flow Communications CEO Paul Wells.


Broadcasters General Store’s Buck Waters setting up his company’s display of the latest in radio broadcasting equipment including microphones and mixing boards among a variety of useful items.


Christie Communications CEO Gillian Christie greets attendees at her company’s display table in the lobby of the Steve Allen Theater.

The event was opened with greetings from TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Los Angeles press Club executive director Diana Ljungaeus.


Michael Harrison greets attendees.


Diana Ljungaeus welcomes crowd to the Steve Allen Theater, home of the Los Angeles Press Club.

As part of the opening events, Premiere Networks / Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity addressed the conference via video from New York discussing radio’s need for a comprehensive and reliable ratings system that accurately reflects total multi-platform listenership.


Sean Hannity addressing conference on video screen from New York City.

Sun Broadcasting group personality and renowned actress and author Marilu Henner provided an uptempo morning greeting for the conference including some fun demonstrations of techniques to improve health.


Marilu Henner energizing the crowd.

TalkersRadio personalities Brent Seltzer and Meg McDonald, hosts of the daily “Brent & Meg Radio Thingie” served as the “official greeters” of Talkers Los Angeles 2013.


Brent & Meg introducing conference’s “keynote conversation.”

The first major presentation of the day was a “keynote conversation” between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Courtside Entertainment, LLC CEO Norm Pattiz in which Pattiz discussed his experience and take on the distribution and marketing of Podcasts via his recently launched platform Podcast One among other key issues facing the radio industry.


Norm Pattiz addressing the conference during keynote conversation titled “Okay…Now What?”

Radio Advertising bureau (RAB) CEO Erica Farber moderated a panel of industry pros working in the sales end of the business that addressed the current struggles talk radio faces in the national and network areas but also pointed to success on the local level.


Radio Sales & Marketing Panel.  Pictured (l-r): Salem Los Angeles VP/GM Terry Fahy; Bonneville Seattle creative director Chris Pendl; WYD/WYM Media CEO Ron Hartenbaum;  Sports USA Media president Bob Moore, WGDJ, Albany, owner Paul Vandenburgh and moderator RAB CEO/president Erica Farber.

TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison moderated an eclectic group of industry leaders that tackled some of the medium’s most pressing philosophical issues in a panel discussion titled “The Big Picture – Part 1.”  The session was introduced by SVP sports programming Fox Sports Radio Don Martin.


Don Martin introducing The Big Picture – Part 1 panel.


The Big Picture – Part 1 panelists (l-r): CRN Digital Talk Radio CEO Mike Horn; CBS News Radio VP Harvey Nagler; and The New Normal CEO Tom Leykis.   


The Big Picture – Part 1 panelists (l-r):  KRTH (K-EARTH 101), Los Angeles deejay “Shotgun Tom Kelly;” Salem Communications VP spoken word format Phil Boyce; and Sound Mind, LLC CEO Kraig Kitchin.

That was followed by two special solo presentations.  The first was titled “The Importance of Personality, Creativity and Originality in Talk Radio” and delivered by WYD Media personality Phil Hendrie with an introduction by TalkersRadio personality Robbie Student.


TalkersRadio personality Robbie Student introducing Phil Hendrie.


Phil Hendrie addressing Talkers Los Angeles 2013.    

The second special solo presentation titled “New Local Talk Radio On-Air Jobs in 2014” was delivered  by consultant Holland Cooke with an introduction by Life Coach Media CEO Jeff Wasserman.


Jeff Wasserman introducing Holland Cooke.


Holland Cooke addressing Talkers Los Angeles 2013.

A delicious lunch sponsored by Sean Hannity and Premiere Networks was provided by the Original Brooklyn Water Bagel Company at which attendees had the opportunity to network in a relaxed and congenial atmosphere.

The afternoon segment of Talkers Los Angeles 2013 was kicked off by the presentation of the Judy Jarvis Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Talk Radio Industry by a Woman – also known as the “Woman of the Year” award.  This year’s recipient was Heather Cohen, EVP of the Weiss Agency.  It was presented by last year’s recipient, Robin Bertolucci, PD of KFI/KTLK, Los Angeles.


Robin Bertolucci introducing the “Woman of the Year” presentation.


Heather Cohen (l) being presented  the “Woman of the Year” award by Robin Bertolucci (r).


Heather Cohen’s parents (l-r) Roberta and Harvey Cohen joined by Cumulus Media SVP programming Mike McVay.

The highly anticipated keynote address titled “Radio at the Crossroads” was delivered by Alpha Broadcasting and L&L Broadcasting CEO Larry Wilson who among a variety of issues discussed the benefits of radio returning to a predominant position of live and local.  Wilson’s address is currently featured on Talkers TV.  To watch his speech, click on the Talkers TV box on the main page here.


Larry Wilson delivering keynote address.

Next on the power-packed agenda was a panel moderated by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey titled “The State of Talk Radio” and featuring a line-up of outstanding programmers from across the nation and Canada.  It was introduced by VP/editor news/talk sports Perry Michael Simon.


Perry Michael Simon introducing programming panel.


“The State of Talk Radio” panel featuring (l-r): KRLA/KKLA, Los Angeles  PD Chuck Tyler; CFRB, Toronto PD Mike Bendixen;  KQTH-FM/KFFN-AM/FM, Tucson PD Bill White; KFYI/KOY-AM/KGME, Phoenix PD Neil Larrimore; KNX/KFWB director of news programming Andy Ludlum; KMJ-AM/FM, Fresno PD Skip Essick; and moderator Kevin Casey.

The next major panel on the agenda was “Hosting and Managing a Career” which was introduced by TALKERS VP/associate publisher Matthew B. Harrison and moderated by TALKERS managing editor/West coast bureau chief Mike Kinosian.  It featured a line-up of outstanding radio talk show hosts.


Matthew B. Harrison introducing the career panel explaining the growing importance of intellectual property in determining the nature of talent/employment contracts.


“Hosting and Managing a Career” panel featuring (l-r): KOGO, San Diego morning host Chris Merrill, WYM Media host Leslie Marshall; Stephan Multimedia host Doug Stephan; KDWN, Las Vegas host Alan Stock; TRN host Rusty Humphries and moderator Mike Kinosian. 

The next special solo presentation titled “Interactivity and Video: The Key to Your Business Future” was delivered by Sabo Media CEO Walter Sabo.


Walter Sabo addressing the conference.

Walter Sabo’s presentation was followed by a panel discussion titled “Specialty Shows, Orphan Shows, Category Busters and Non-Traditional Revenue” introduced by Bill Moran & Associates president Bill Moran and moderated by TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein.  It featured a panel of successful “outside the box” broadcasters.


Bill Moran introducing panel.


Panel discussion, “Specialty Shows, Orphan Shows, Category Busters and Non-Traditional Revenue” featuring (l-r): “The Financial Exchange” host Barry Armstrong;  “The Danielle Lin Show” host Danielle Lin; KSCO, Santa Cruz owner Michael Zwerling; and moderator David Bernstein.

The final panel of the conference titled “The Big Picture – Part 2” also took a broad strokes philosophical view of industry issues.  It featured an eclectic array of industry leaders and was introduced by KSCO, Santa Cruz and GCN personality Ethan Bearman and moderated by Michael Harrison.


“The Big Picture – Part 2” panel featuring (l-r):  XtreMEDIA CEO/host Kevin McCullough; KFI, Los Angeles/CFMJ, Toronto host Bill Carroll; LA Talk Radio CEO/host Sam Hasson; ESPN, Los Angeles/Disney Radio, Los Angeles host LaFern Cusack; and Premiere/Sean Hannity VP of operations Eric Stanger.

Stay tuned to for more story, photo and video coverage of Talkers Los Angeles 2013 in the coming days.

Category: Features