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Archive for January, 2014

Friday, January 31, 2014

| January 31, 2014

westwoodone logoCuts at Cumulus-Owned WestwoodOne Happening; SVP Amy Bolton Exits.  The names of those being let go are coming out as Cumulus Media begins the cuts at WestwoodOne that have been expected since the acquisition of then-Dial Global closed.  Numerous high-level executives are beingboltonamy shown the door – in many instances where there are duplicative positions between WestwoodOne and the Cumulus Media Networks.  Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey is promising investors he can realize $40 million in synergies and eliminating these positions is one of the ways he hopes to accomplish that.  WestwoodOne  SVP and general manager of news & talk Amy Bolton – who’s been with the organization going back when it was Jones Radio Networks – is let go.  Also reportedly out in this round of cuts are: chief marketing officer Christina Albee; EVP/Eastern director Eileen Decker; and SVP of research Paul Bronstein.

lionelLionel Joins TalkersRadio in Development of New Show to Launch This Weekend.  One of the most original personalities in the business, radio talk show host Lionel, is launching a new program on TALKERS magazine’s online radio station, TalkersRadio, tomorrow morning (2/1).  The self-titled show “Lionel” will air live on the “experimental” talk show platform Saturday mornings between 9:00 am and 10:00 am ET and run as a regular weekly series.  It will feature the intellectually stimulating talk media star in an hour of free-form conversation and reflection about the wide variety of topics that fall within his realm of interest.  Lionel describes his plans for the new program as “spoken thought not spoken word” telling TALKERS, “The show will be the editorial cartoon versus the editorial.  Broadcast idea topiaries.  Stream of consciousness meets targeted subject selection.  No left-right paradigm blather.  No bumper sticker, talkersradio logoplaybook, echo chamber drivel.  As I feel, as I want, as I please.”  A veteran of such major outlets as WABC and WOR, New York among others, as well as being a podcast pioneer at lionelmedia.com, the quirky, satirical and extremely original observer of the human condition has been enjoying tremendous success conceiving, writing, producing and performing daily commentaries on the heritage WPIX-TV, Channel 11 in New York City.  The ex-prosecutor Lionel has also added his insight and experience as its resident legal analyst.  However, he has not forgotten his roots in and love for radio and promises that his 9:00 am to 10:00 am Saturday show will provide Lionel enthusiasts around the country with a version of his work that is “like nothing they have ever heard before.  This will truly be Lionel unchained!”  On making the announcement of Lionel’s joining the station, TalkersRadio general manager David Bernstein says, “Lionel joining this ‘audio workout space’ is a perfect example of what TalkersRadio is about and hopes to achieve – and that is to provide select people in this business as well as potentially outstanding newcomers with the opportunity to try and develop things that are not being done in the traditional on-air space for the sake of moving the industry forward.”

kono-am logoCox Flips KONO-AM, San Antonio to Sports Talk.  The AM side of the KONO-AM/FM simulcast flips to sports talk using the CBS Sports Radio Network after more than 20 years airing the classic hits format of sister KONO-FM.  Cox Media Group San Antonio vice president and market manager Dan Lawrie states, “We’re excited to bring this level of quality sports programming to San Antonio.  Additionally, South Texas sports fans should be glad to welcome the return of the Jim Rome show after a two-year absence in the market.”  CBS Sports Radio program director Eric Spitz adds, “We’ve put together a tremendous lineup of experienced hosts with strong opinions and personalities who perfectly capture the passion and excitement of the sports fan.  With sports, the action never stops, and CBS Sports Radio provides listeners with cutting-edge analysis, high-profile interviews and late breaking news.”

harrisleslieWCKG-AM, Chicago Names Leslie Harris Director of Community Programming.  At the Matt Dubiel-run DuPage Radio LLC, market personality Leslie Harris is named director of community programming and host at the suburban talk station.  Harris recently exited NextMedia’s suburban rocker WERV “95.9 The River” and Dubiel comments, “Leslie was the full addition I made at WERV and I am over the moon excited to have a Downers Grove rock mamma as part of our local team.”

wtjk logoGood Karma Sells Janesville, Wisconsin Stations to Local Operator.  Two stations in the Janesville, Wisconsin market – rock WWHG “105.9 The Hog” and sports talk WTJK “ESPN Radio 1380” – are being sold by Craig Karmazin’s Good Karma Broadcasting to Scott Thompson who operates stations in nearby Monroe, Wisconsin and Freeport, Illinois.  The Janesville Gazette reports that Thompson plans to keep the staff already in place at both stations and possibly add an employee.  He tells the paper WTJK may air less ESPN content and more local news.  Thompson takes over under an LMA while the transaction works its way through the FCC approval process.

weeidirtywaterWEEI-FM, Boston Begins Friday Night Promotion.  In a partnership with local watering hole The Greatest Bar and local media sources Dirty Water TV and DirtyWaterNews.com, Entercom sports talk WEEI-FM begins broadcasting the “Planet Mikey” show with Mikey Adams live from The Greatest Bar Friday, February 7 from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm.  The show will feature celebrity guests from the world of sports and entertainment.  WEEI brand manager Kevin Graham, citing the bar’s proximity to the TD Garden, states, “It’s a natural fit to partner with the Dirty Water brand and The Greatest Bar.  Combining Mikey’s unique entertaining style, the Dirty Water connections for guests and content, and the proximity to the TD Garden will make for a fun atmosphere and a great listen on ‘93.7FM WEEI’ and the WEEI Sports Radio Network.”  Bill Fairweather is co-owner of The Greatest Bar and creator of Dirty Water TV.  He says WEEI-FM is the perfect radio partner for Dirty Water’s growing array of media entities. “When we decided to add radio to the growing menu of media options that our brand delivers to Greater Boston and beyond, WEEI – with its strong sports focus – was a natural partner for us.  Entertainment and celebrity mix very well with sports and The Greatest Bar is the perfect location to bring those topics together.  We’re excited to have the opportunity to add these new dimensions to WEEI’s radio offerings.”

Odds & Sods.  In honor of Rosa Parks Day on February 4, the Premiere Networks-syndicated Comedy 24/7 format will air special clips of comics of the civil rights era talking about the issue.  African American comedians including Dick Gregory, Godfrey Cambridge and Slappy White were outspoken about necessary changes to be made in our society during that time and the format will air special tracks by these comedians and others as they spoke out in the language of the times at :57 after the hour all day on February 4…..Former NFL coach and executive Mike Holmgren will serve as a football analyst with Clear Channel’s sport talk KJR, Seattle next season after handling the same duties in 2013…..Milwaukee Brewers radio play-by-play voice Bob Uecker will step back a little bit from his duties with the team beginning this season as he’ll call fewer road games for flagship WTMJ, Milwaukee.  Uecker, who turns 80 this year, will still call all home games and be present for spring training in Arizona.

traduphaitiJoy and Hope Amidst the Misery.  Pictured here with children in Port Au Prince, Haiti is Salem Radio Network VP/news & talk programming Tom Tradup.  He tells TALKERS he is there with Salem Radio News documenting conditions in Haiti on the fourth anniversary of the devastating 2010 earthquake that left 300,000 dead and millions homeless.  He’s embedded with the relief organization Food for the Poor and has been visiting slums, orphanages and feeding centers for the news network’s five-part special series on “The Poorest of the Poor.”  Tradup reports that Salem VP/director spoken word format Phil Boyce (who also is serving as operations manager of the New York stations) is there working on documenting the trip for a New York market broadcast.

deacesteveTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  New York-based XtreMEDIA announces a number of affiliates joining three of the company’s offerings.  First, the daily Kevin McCullough show is added to the program schedule at WCIS-AM, Morganton, North Carolina; WCST-AM, Berkeley Springs, West Virginia; WGEA, Geneva, Alabama; and KNLB-FM, Blythe, California.  The nightly Steve Deace program joins the lineup at WGTK-AM, Louisville; WTOH-FM, Columbus; and WWTC, Minneapolis.  Finally, the weekend “Baldwin/McCullough” show is now heard on WMRC, Milford, Massachusetts and WYPV-FM, Mackinaw City, Michigan…..The GCN-syndicated “America Tonight” with Kate Delaney joins the program schedule at WKVL, Knoxville.

The State of the Union Address Top Talk Radio Story This Week.  According to the Talkers TenTM, the president’s State of the Union Address was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week of January 27-31.  At #2 this week was criticism of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act.  Following at #3 was new immigration legislation and the prospect of amnesty and at #4 was the extreme winter weather affecting much of the nation.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week.  It is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

| January 30, 2014

beasley logoBeasley Broadcasting Reports Q4 Revenue Down Slightly; 2013 Up 4.7%.  Political advertising – or the lack thereof in the fourth quarter of Beasley’s Q4 – led to a mildly down quarter as net revenue dropped a half of a percent compared to the same period in 2012.  Station operating income was down 5.2% quarter over quarter.  However, for the year, Beasley reports net revenue was up 4.7% and net income per diluted share was up 6.3%.  Further, the company states that “lower net revenue in the 2013 fourth quarter and a $0.4 million, or 2.5%, increase in station operating expenses related to operating KVGS-FM in Las Vegas which was acquired in September 2013, as well as a rise in sales and programming expenses, caused fourth quarter 2013 station operating income (SOI), a non-GAAPbeasleygeorge financial measure, to decrease by $0.6 million, or 5.2%, to $10.2 million, as compared to the 2012 fourth quarter.”  Chairman and CEO George Beasley comments, “Beasley Broadcast Group’s fourth quarter net revenue decline primarily reflects a reduction in political spending as in the fourth quarter of 2012 we recorded approximately $1.2 million in political advertising revenue.  While we were not able to fully offset the cyclical impact of political revenue, the fourth quarter radio advertising environment in our markets remains healthy and on an actual basis we reported just a slight decline in net revenue compared with last year.  Excluding the benefit of political advertising in the year-ago quarter, Beasley Broadcast Group’s 2013 fourth quarter same station net revenue rose approximately 2% and, reflecting our success throughout 2013, actual full year net revenue rose 4.7% while same station net revenue for 2013 was up 1.9% versus full year 2012.  Overall, for our five markets that report to Miller Kaplan – which represent approximately 76% of total fourth quarter revenue – Beasley station cluster revenue declined by 2.6%, which again was primarily attributable to the cyclical nature of political advertising, while the total revenue for all reporting radio stations in these markets decreased by 4.1% for the quarter.  Beasley Broadcast Group’s out-performance relative to our markets again highlights the benefit of our organization-wide focus on strong core programming and targeted localism.  Our planned investments in sales and programming and the expansion of our digital offerings, combined with the revenue decline, led to fourth quarter 2013 SOI which was 5.2% below year-ago levels.”

sliwacurtisSliwa Child Support Case Creating ‘Tabloid’ Sensation in NYC.  The child support case currently in the courts in New York involving WABC, New York talk show host Curtis Sliwa has been fodder for the city’s tabloid newspapers.  Recently it was the New York Post.  Now it’s the New York Daily News.  The most recent court filings by Sliwa’s ex-wife Mary charge Curtis Sliwa was having an affair with now-Queens Borough president Melinda Katz prior to his marriage to Mary – and that he even spent the night before his wedding to Mary with Katz.  Sliwa was in court late last year contending he can’t afford the $13,000 per month he had agreed to pay Mary Sliwa for their now-10-year-old son because his salary had been slashed to $200,000 from its high of almost $700,000.  (That was when he worked for Salem, he now works for Cumulus and his current salary has not been published.)  Sliwa now lives with Katz and their two children and he pays $10,000 to Katz for child care even though they co-habitate.  Court documents allege that – via voice mails – Mary Sliwa can show Curtis Sliwa was having an affair with Katz for a long period of time although the two deny it started before 2011.  Mary Sliwa is also contesting the claim by Katz that her children were the product of frozen sperm donated by Sliwa.  Whereas this ordeal is no doubt causing financial and personal pain for the parties involved, the buzz factor generated by a scandal of this nature cannot help but draw priceless and timely publicity to Sliwa’s radio presence in the competitive New York market as he reunites with his former longtime co-host Ron Kuby on WABC.  Read the most recent New York Daily News story here.

haehlkentTV News Net Exec Joins Clear Channel Seattle as Market President.  The new market president at Clear Channel’s Seattle cluster is Kent Haehl.  The former Channel One Network chief executive officer will report to executive vice president of operations Hartley Atkins, who comments, “We are fortunate to bring someone onto our team who has such an expansive leadership and experience base.  Kent’s extensive knowledge of television, media, and the industry as a whole will immediately bring additional value to our advertisers and listeners as we continue to provide a greater reach than any other media outlet in Seattle.”  Haehl, who replaces Lisa Decker in the role, remarks that he is “extremely grateful” to begin working with “such a talented team of professionals.”  He adds, “I am looking forward to leading the market to continued success and to unlocking the full potential of our brands in one of America’s greatest cities.”  Prior to his tenure at Channel One, a daily global television news network, Haehl held senior sales and marketing positions at In-Store Broadcasting Network and Meredith Broadcasting Group.

bartleydavidBartley Joins WICC, Bridgeport, Connecticut.  Air personality and programmer David Bartley is named assistant program director and producer at Cumulus Media’s news/talk WICC, Bridgeport, Connecticut.  Bartley – who serves with the cluster as weekend and fill-in personality on the company’s sister AC WEBE – will produce the “Talk of the Town” program hosted by Jim Buchanan.  He will continue his role with WEBE.  In a statement, Bartley says, “I am very thankful to Danny Lyons and Ann McManus for giving me this awesome opportunity to help program ‘Fairfield County’s News and Information Leader’ WICC 600 AM, and I am also looking forward to working daily with Jim Buchanan.”

kxtg logoPortland’s KXTG to Air AFL Thunder Games.  As a result of a multi-year partnership agreement, Alpha Broadcasting, Portland’s sports-formatted KXTG “The Game” will be the flagship station for the Portland Thunder, the city’s Arena Football League team.  Senior vice president and market manager Milt McConnell notes, “We are excited to be a part of bringing the high-scoring Arena Football League’s Portland Thunder to our community.  This is an entertaining brand that extends Alpha’s ‘live and local’ focus.”  Portland Thunder owner Terry Emmert adds, “Sports fans in Oregon know that ‘The Game’ is the premiere sports radio station in the State.  We are thrilled to have partnered with the station and Alpha Broadcasting in airing the inaugural season of Portland Thunder Arena Football.  The AFL franchise will play 18 games, including nine at home at the Moda Center.  KXTG is also the flagship of the Oregon Ducks and Major League Soccer‘s Portland Timbers.

dukedrLong-Running Syndicated Health Show ‘Duke & The Doctor’ Ends.  One of the nation’s longest-running syndicated health talk shows is ending after tomorrow’s broadcast.  The “Duke & The Doctor” program – co-hosted by Dr. Jan McBarron (right) and her husband Duke Liberatore (left) – has been in national syndication for more than 15 years.  The couple is putting the wrap on the show at the same time they are selling their chain of six health food stores in North Georgia to Utah-based Nutraceutical.  Long-time readers of TALKERS magazine and industry pros who attended TALKERS’ New Media Seminar in New York City in the late 1990s and early 2000s are familiar with the colorful couple who were regular attendees at the event during those years.  With the show ending and the health food store chain being sold, Dr. McBarron is focusing on her medical practice and Liberatore will become more involved with the Columbus Lions Indoor Football team of which he and McBarron are part owners.

broomheadvetVeteran Recognized at SOTU Featured in KFYI, Phoenix Program.  When President Obama recognized US Army Ranger Sergeant First Class Cory Remsburg at the end of Tuesday’s State of the Union Address, Americans were applauding a man who was also recognized as part of news/talk KFYI, Phoenix’s “My Military Hero” promotion.  Remsburg (pictured here at left with KFYI’s Mike Broomhead), was the August 2013 military hero of the month who was featured on a local billboard in the Phoenix metro and received a $500 Visa gift card courtesy of sponsor Rio Salado College.  As part of the program, Mike Broomhead (heard on KFYI weekdays 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm) meets with each hero (or their family) each month to personally thank them for their service and presents them with their winnings including a mini digital billboard.

wallacechrisRTDNF Names Wallace Host of First Amendment Awards.  This year’s host of the Radio Television Digital News Foundation (RTDNF) First Amendment Awards is Fox News Channel’s Chris Wallace.  The event will be held at Washington, DC’s Grand Hyatt Hotel on March 12.  Honorees include CBS News Bill Plante (RTDNF “Lifetime Achievement Award”); NBC NewsLester Holt (Leonard Zeidenberg “First Amendment Award”); Gannett Broadcasting‘s David Lougee (“First Amendment Leadership Award”); ABC NewsRobin Sproul (“First Amendment Service Award”); and The Associated Press (“First Amendment Award”). RTDNF chair Vincent Dully states, “We are delighted to have Chris Wallace as our master of ceremonies.  We invite everyone to join us in Washington to honor our award recipients and support the Foundation’s work for the First Amendment.”  Wallace received the organization’s Paul White Award in 2013, the group’s highest honor for a lifetime of achievement and service.

gauthiergaryFormer Tampa-Area Talk Host Arrested on Racketeering and Fraud Charges.  Using the religious station as a backdrop for his program “It’s God’s Money,” Gary L. Gauthier convinced 38 people in the Tampa area to invest in his Ponzi scheme and, according to the St. Petersburg Tribune, bilked them out of about $6 million.  During 2005, Gauthier’s program aired on Salem Communications-owned stations WTBN and WGUL, though it’s not clear if Salem owned the stations at the time Gauthier’s program aired.  According to the charges, Gauthier worked with local accountant David George Dreslin on the ploy.  Dreslin has also been arrested and charged.  The paper’s report indicates that many of the victims said they trusted Gauthier because he was broadcasting on a Christian radio station.

delaneykateOdds & Sods.  The “weigh-in” for WIP-FM, Philadelphia’s “Wing Bowl 22” takes place this afternoon at Chickie’s & Pete’s as Al Morganti and Rhea Hughes broadcast live from the restaurant in a prelude to the actual sold-out “Wing Bowl” that happens Friday morning at the Wells Fargo Center…..Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington adds popular Washington Post columnist Clinton Yates to its lineup as a contributor with a daily commentary called, “My Take.”  It’ll air at 5:35 and 8:35 each morning, Monday through Friday.  Yates says, “Radio is the original journalism media that I fell in love with as a kid.  The opportunity to work with a powerhouse station like WTOP is tremendous.”…..Multi-talented broadcaster Kate Delaney – host of the syndicated “America Tonight” show – sharpens her sports talk skills as she sits in for Newy Scruggs on the NBC Sports Radio Network’s midday show on Tuesday, February 4.

State of the Union Address, ObamaCare Criticism, Immigration Legislation, U.S.-Afghan Relations, Snow Paralyzes South and Financial Markets Activity Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/29).  Analysis of President Obama’s State of the Union Address; scrutiny of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act; criticism of House Speaker John Boehner and plans for immigration legislation that includes amnesty; the worsening of relations between the U.S. and Afghanistan’s Hamid Karzai; the winter weather that hit the South and the activity on the world’s financial markets were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

| January 29, 2014

journalbroadcastgroupTom Langmyer Promoted to VP/GM of Journal’s Milwaukee Radio Ops.  Radio programming and management pro Tom Langmyer rises to vice president and general manager of Journal Broadcast Group’s Milwaukee operations.  In this new post he’ll oversee news/talk WTMJ, adult hits WLWK “94.5 The Lake” and thelangmyertom company’s radio sports play-by-play operations in Milwaukee.  Langmyer, who’s served as VP/GM of WGN, Chicago; VP/GM of KMOX, St. Louis and vice president of news/talk programming for CBS RADIO, to name a few, came to Journal as vice president, news/talk programming in August 2013.  His promotion comes as Journal EVP – Radio Steve Wexler moves into that new role and away from his day-to-day general manager role to focus on Journal’s 35-station radio division.  Wexler comments, “Tom is a trusted leader with a well-known track record of success.  Our radio stations are in excellent hands with Tom at the helm.  Tom has already made significant contributions to our company, and I’m thrilled to have a broadcaster of his caliber running our flagship stations.” Langmyer will continue to support Journal’s spoken-word stations as vice president of news/talk programming.

wls-am logoWLS, Chicago Re-Tools 5:00 pm Hour.  As detailed in a column by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Cumulus Media Windy City news/talk WLS-AM will end the sports-focused 5:00 pm hour of the Roe & Roper show after today’s broadcast.  The “89 WLS Sports Pregame Show” during which Roe Conn and Richard Roeper are joined by “Fox 32” sports anchor Lou Canellis ends after a year during which Feder reports “listeners tuned out in droves.”  Under new operations manager and program director Peter Bolger, the drive time hour will revert to news/talk programming.  Read Feder’s column here.

goldenmikeawardThe ‘Golden Mike’ Awards Set for February 24 in NYC.  The annual black-tie fundraiser presented by the Broadcasters Foundation of America takes place on Monday, February 24 at the Plaza Hotel in New York with an all-star cast of guests and performers.  This year’s “Golden Mike Award” honors BMI president Del Bryant.  This annual gala is one of the biggest fundraisers for the BFoA – the charity that helps TV and radio professionals whose lives have been affected by serious illness, accidents, and other life-alteringschiefferbob circumstances.  The evening will be hosted by Bob Schieffer, the acclaimed anchor and moderator of CBS’s “Face the Nation.”  Entertainment will feature the legendary Kris Kristofferson, recent recipient of a GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award and a Country Music Hall of Famer who ranks kristoffersonkrisamong the most versatile of American talents.  Also joining the program in honor of Bryant is culinary and home style expert Sandra Lee, who will be a presenter.  The evening is also attracting famed singer/songwriters from rock to country, including Michael Bolton and Mac Davis.  Bryant has spent more than four decades at BMI, working with singer/songwriters and broadcasters alike.  He played the leading role in re-engineering and modernizing BMI’s royalty distribution system.  Bryant directed the implementation of the structure introduced in 1987 as part of an aggressive writer acquisition campaign that marked a sharp turn-around at BMI and attracted many of the best new writers across key genres of music.  Heralding from a musical family, Bryant is the son of noted songwriters Boudleaux and Felice Bryant, who penned such classics as “Bye, Bye Love,” “Wake Up Little Susie,” and “All I Have To Do Is Dream.”  The Broadcasters Foundation of America has distributed millions of dollars in aid to hundreds of broadcasters who lost their livelihood through a catastrophic event, debilitating disease, or unforeseen family tragedy.  Individual membership is only $150 a year and can make a difference in the life of a colleague who has fallen on desperate times.  Donations can be made as a personal gift to the Foundation and corporate contributions are accepted through the Angel Initiative.

sekoffroySekoff to Keynote NAB Show Disruptive Media Conference.  At the Digital Media Wire-co-produced Disruptive Media Conference segment of the coming NAB Show in Las Vegas, Huffington Post founding editor Roy Sekoff will present the keynote address on Wednesday, April 9.  Sekoff’s keynote will address how the rise of online video and viewers’ growing desire to engage with content is significantly impacting programming, distribution and advertising in media and entertainment.  Before helping to launch HuffPost and HuffPost Live, Sekoff was a writer and on-air correspondent for Michael Moore‘s “TV Nation.”  His writing has appeared in numerous publications, including The Village Voice and The London Times.  Sekoff is a frequent guest on a wide-range of TV and radio shows, including MSNBC and Fox News.  The Disruptive Media Conference, produced in partnership with Digital Media Wire, gathers professionals who oversee the digital and interactive divisions within their companies to explore developments in online video, mobile and branded entertainment.

charestbrettAmerican Target Network Expands Radio Initiative.  The American Target Network “creates unwired media networks that deliver flexible, customizable national, regional and local advertising buys at deeply discounted rates.”  The company announces it is expanding its radio initiative by hiring Brett Charest as vice president of radio networks.  Charest was most recently media buying director at Barrington Media Group.  He began his career in radio at Hartford’s WMRQ-FM and then moved into marketing and promotion with Clear Channel, where he was responsible for four stations.  Charest then jumped to the agency side, becoming operations manager at Mediaworx LLC.  ATN vice president of ad sales Kevin Hayes states, “With Brett’s strong experience in packaging results-oriented radio campaigns with major market radio stations and national ad agencies, he is the ideal executive to lead American Target Network’s radio expansion.  He has established himself as one of the foremost experts on the direct marketing side of radio, and we know that his relationships, strategic planning and astute buying expertise will open the doors we need to create a new level of leadership in this arena.”  Charest will operate out of American Target Network’s West Coast office and be primarily responsible for network development and affiliate relations.

micscarfOdds & Sods.  A new podcast is being offered by Sports USA featuring sports agent Leigh Steinberg.  Sports USA president Bob Moore says of the new “Leigh Steinberg on Sports,” “Leigh is an American sports icon and the preeminent sports agent of all time.  His experiences over more than 40 years working with America’s top athletes will power this exciting weekly show. ‘Leigh Steinberg on Sports’ will cover anything and everything about sports, the personalities involved, and the most important issues of the day.”…..That “boing” sound from your spring-loaded mic stand bothering you?  “Freedom Feens” co-host Michael W. Dean has a quick solution (see photo): “Wrap a scarf around the springs of a microphone scissor arm to prevent ‘boing!’ sounds from leaking into the mic when you move it.  Plus it looks totally rock ‘n’ roll, kind of 70s freeform FM music radio. Plus, visual cues can inspire shifts in talk style.  An influence of 70s freeform FM music radio can be fun and useful in talk radio.”

WW1graymanningMedia Day at Super Bowl XLVIII.  As America gears up for Sunday’s game, Tuesday saw the players and the media converge during Media Day.  Pictured here is WestwoodOne Sports reporter Jim Gray (left) interviewing Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (right) for broadcast over the radio network.  While it looks like Gray and Manning are having a good coxmohrsportsconversation, Media Day is often looked at as drudgery by the players and a source for very little new or insightful commentary from the media’s perspective.  Fox Sports Radio’s Jay Mohr decided to challenge his crew to have some fun with it as they tried to inject as many “Jay Mohr Sports sound drops” into their questions for the players as possible.  Anchor Dan Beyer and associate producer Matty Cox (pictured here at right interviewing Denver Broncos linebacker Wesley Woodyard) competed to see who could sneak the most sound drops into their conversations.  Phrases such as “dead giveaway,” “that’s terrific,” “Long Liland,” “New York City” (accent included), and “Jonathan Quick – there’s a reason why that is his last name.  What’s that for?  Because he’s quick,” were used.

State of the Union Address, Winter Weather, ObamaCare Rollout, Financial Markets Activity, Immigration Legislation, and Super Bowl Run-up Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/28).  The anticipation of the president’s State of the Union Address; the cold and snow hitting the Midwest, South and East; criticism of the rollout of the Affordable Care Act; activity in the world’s financial markets; immigration reform legislation that includes amnesty for illegal aliens; and the run-up to Super Bowl XLVIII were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio on Tuesday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Civility

| January 28, 2014

By Richard Neer
WFAN, New York
Talk Show Host

 

neerwriterNEW YORK — Would you bet your career on winning the lottery?

Unfortunately, that’s what many of us are doing. Let me explain the analogy.

Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks won the lottery.  His rant after the NFC championship game hit all the viral markers: it was loud, it was outrageous and it reached a huge audience at exactly the right time.  Sherman went from a fine-but-obscure cornerback to a national figure literally overnight.  Blogs, tweets, Facebook pages and every other form of social media either supported or vilified him.  The fame he achieved might last the traditional fifteen minutes, or with clever marketing, catapult his off-field career to new heights.

Read More

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

| January 28, 2014

wftl logoJames Crystal Radio Misses Payroll.  According to a report in Jose Lambert’s column in the Miami Herald, staffers at the James Crystal Radio Group stations in West Palm Beach – news/talkwmen logo WFTL and sports talk WMEN – have not been paid since January 1 due to the holder of a $17 million loan to the company freezing its account.  The company is operated by Jim Hilliard and when contacted by the paper, general manager Steve Lapa stated that Hilliard is working from “6:00 am to 10:00 pm daily to resolve the situation.”  Lapa reports the staffers have missed only one pay period up until this point.  Between the two stations it’s estimated there are approximately 75 employees.

davisdarrenClear Channel Creates Networks Group; Names Davis President.  In a corporate re-alignment move, Clear Channel Media + Entertainment creates a new unified Networks group to take full advantage of its “power, reach and scale to deliver more compelling content opportunities to its partners, affiliates, advertisers and consumers, as well as providing a unique platform to its content partners and talent.”  Darren Davis, most recently EVP and GM for the national programming platforms, will lead this effort as president, Clear Channel Networks Group.  The company says that in his new role, Davis will oversee and ensure the success and close integration of the networks — Premiere Networks, Total Traffic and Weather Network, the 24/7 News Network and the iHeartRadio Network.  This new position underlines Clear Channel’s continued commitment to further expanding and transforming its business, introducing innovative new products, moving onto exciting new platforms and delivering even more unique opportunities and content to its audiences and its talent.  Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman states, “This new unified Networks group will enable us to better capitalize on our powerful relationships, creative talent and unparalleled capabilities across all platforms and maximize our infrastructure in an entirely new way to take these networks to a higher level, as well as develop new ones.  Darren is an innovative and effective leader of teams and has been a success at every role he has played at this company from the beginning as a programmer through his role as EVP and GM for the National Programming Platforms (NPP) group with Tom Poleman.  His extensive and diverse experience makes him the perfect candidate for this important new leadership role.”

grandephilPhil Grande to Appear at Rumsfeld Book Event.  In conjunction with news/talk WLSS, Sarasota, Florida, nationally syndicated financial talk personality Phil Grande – host of the “Phil’s Gang” program – will make a presentation and appear with former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld at Rumsfeld’s special event and speech at the Hyatt Regency on February 13.  Rumsfeld is touring the country promoting his new book, Rumsfeld’s Rules: Leadership Lessons in Business, Politics, War and Life (Broadside 2013).

neerrichardSports Talk: How Important Is Civility?  Unlike the Seattle Seahawks’ Richard Sherman, sports talk hosts “need to be liked.”  That’s what WFAN, New York sports talk host Richard Neer says in his column published today (1/28).  Neer writes (while referencing the notoriety being enjoyed by Sherman in the aftermath of his recent rant), “If you are talented or lucky enough to win that lottery by catching the public imagination at precisely the right moment, you can thrive by being what polite society deems ‘uncivil.’  But you’re treading a narrow line and making a lot of enemies in the process.  One misstep could end your career as suddenly as a torn ACL could end Sherman’s.” Read Neer’s entire column here.

crninternational logoCRN International Debuts Events Division; Names Kelly Travers Director.  Integrated radio marketing solutions company CRN International is establishing a new Events Division for the growing number of live functions it manages as part of client campaigns.  The company says the move will allow it “to execute with optimum efficiency for the many events it coordinates for consumer brands, ranging from local radio station appearances to high-profile nightclub galas.”  To head up the new venture is Kelly Travers who is named director of retail strategies and activation.  CRN president and founder Barry Berman states, “Live events are used when they help solve a client objective, and they have to be well executed in every detail if they hope to deliver the expected business outcome.  Establishment of this new operating unit will allow our clients to sleep at night knowing all logistics are being addressed thoroughly.”  Travers notes that CRN International orchestrated more than 300 events as part of client marketing strategies last year alone.  Among the companies that have used live events engineered by CRN as an offshoot of their radio-triggered campaigns are Fiat and Petco, to name a few.

wxgiRed Zebra’s WXGI, Richmond to Simulcast on WZEZ-FM.  In a deal that will begin on February 1, Red Zebra-operated sports talk WXGI, Richmond “ESPN 950” will expand its reach by simulcasting on WZEZ at 100.5 FM.  The agreement between Red Zebra Broadcasting and Delmarva Educational Association gives “ESPN 950” reach to the northwest of the market.  General manager Buck Albritton states, “We could not be more excited to move our dynamic on-air lineup onto the FM frequency.  Most importantly, we are increasing our signal reach to serve more sports listeners.”  The stations will begin their relationship with the broadcast of Super Bowl XVLIII on Sunday.  Program director Mitchell Bradley states, “Not only is this an opportunity to serve a greater number of listeners, we will increase the number of games that we can broadcast.  We’ll be able to carry one play-by-play lineup on our AM station while featuring another program event on the FM signal.”  Red Zebra is controlled by Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder.

radiohealthjournal logoOdds & Sods.  The syndicated public affairs program “Radio Health Journal” is celebrating the airing of its 1,100th episode this week.  The program began in 1992 and is now heard on more than 480 stations across the country.  Produced by MediaTracks Communications and hosted by Reed Pence, the show provides listeners with a wide variety of health topics, including consumer safety, healthcare, drug abuse, mental illness, food safety, and youth at risk.  Pence states, “From the start, we cared about the information that we were providing to the listener.  We’ve always concentrated on providing important and useful information in a consumer friendly way.”…..SiriusXM talk host Joe Madison will attend tonight’s State of the Union Address as a guest of Congressional Black Caucus chair Marcia L. Fudge (D-OH).  On Wednesday, Fudge will appear on Madison’s program to discuss the president’s address…..The NFL’s Baltimore Ravens will be heard on Clear Channel’s classic rock WBIG, Washington, DC next season.  Last season the team’s games were heard in the DC market on Hubbard Radio’s WFED, Washington.

espnmikemikebradshawSports Talk Frenzy in NYC.  It’s Super Bowl week in New York City and ESPN – along with the other major sports radio networks including Fox Sports Radio Network, CBS Sports Radio Network and NBC Sports Radio Network – is there.  Pictured here is Fox Sports analyst Terry Bradshaw (right) on ESPN’s Mike & Mike show this morning with Mike Golic (center) and Mike Greenberg (left).  ESPN enjoys the advantage of its fabulous Times Square studios for this year’s Super Bowl.  All this week at the nearby Sheraton Hotel in Manhattan, some 90 radio stations are broadcasting from the Super Bowl XLVIII radio row.

millergovernorDown on Main Street.  Always getting out into the community, KIDO, Boise morning drive host Kevin Miller (center) takes his show out to Ed’s 50 Café where he hosts a roundtable breakfast chat with Idaho Governor Butch Otter (right) and EntreLeadership director of coaching and community John Felkins.  EntreLeadership is part of talk superstar Dave Ramsey’s organization.  Felkins’ job involves meeting with business leaders from across the country and helping them generate improvements to their companies by applying the EntreLeadership way of doing business.

comrexACCESSComrex Rolls Out Switchboard Traversal Server.  Don’t get freaked out by the engineer-speak, this is a very cool new feature for Comrex’s ACCESS and BRIC-Link IP audio codecs.  This major upgrade to the company’s popular BRIC Traversal Server (or BRIC-TS) service for ACCESS and BRIC-Link IP audio codecs allows for presence notification, status and connection help (NAT Traversal) via a cloud-based service which is free to use for Comrex ACCESS IP codec customers.  The feature is included in all Comrex ACCESS IP Audio codecs and can be unlocked on Comrex BRIC-Link codecs for a small license unlock fee.  The company states that it will be migrating all existing BRIC-TS accounts to the new Switchboard TS today (1/28) and the changeover will be seamless for existing users.  While customers will experience an improved graphical user interface, they should note two main improvements to the management tools in Switchboard.  Specifically, “Contact Lists” and “Shares” have simplified the task of managing a large fleet of ACCESS and BRIC-Link codecs.  What this all really means is that Switchboard TS is designed to allow your BRIC codecs (such as ACCESS) to connect with each other without having to have an IT guy onsite everywhere you go!  To contact Comrex by phone, call 800-237-1776.

Cool Job Opportunity. Heritage News/Talk station in the northeast has a rare opportunity in a top 100 market.  Now accepting applications for a combo News Director/Program Director.  Great company and a great opportunity for the right person with strong forward thinking programming ideas and strategies.  Must have experience in both news and programming with a multi-platform distribution approach to include on-air, online and mobile.  Please email a resume along with any supporting materials to Gabe Hobbs at gabe@gabehobbsmedia.com.  Or you can place your materials in my DropBox at https://www.hightail.com/u/GabeHobbsMedia. No calls please.  EOE/MF

State of the Union Address, NSA Spying Controversy, Hillary Clinton in 2016, More Icy Winter Weather, 56th GRAMMYs, and Super Bowl XLVIII Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/27).  The president’s annual State of the Union address to be delivered tonight; more revelations about the extent of the NSA spying operations; speculation about Hillary Clinton’s 2016 political ambitions; the next round of frigid winter weather set to hit the Midwest, East and South this week; the 56th GRAMMY awards held Sunday; and the run-up to Super Bowl XLVIII were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.