The State of Talk Programming to Be Explored at Talkers New York 2014. The 17th annual installment of the talk radio and media industry’s longest running and most important national convention is less than one month away and about a week from being a sellout. One of the highlights of the power-packed day will be a general panel titled “The State of Talk Programming,” which will tackle and shed light on some of the key issues facing the format today. Speakers include (in alphabetical order): Michael Berry, host, The Michael Berry Show (syndicated); Phil Boyce, VP/spoken word programming, Salem Communications; Bill Hess, PD, Cumulus Media’s WMAL, Washington, DC; Gabe Hobbs, CEO, Gabe Hobbs Media; Craig Schwalb, PD, Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York; and Eric Stanger, VP/operations & affiliate marketing, Sean Hannity Show/Premiere Networks. The session will be introduced by Alan Colmes, host, Fox News Radio and moderated by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey. Topics to be covered will be the direction and future of political talk; working within a PPM system; navigating the cross currents of controversy and political correctness; productively co-existing with sales; balancing syndication with local programming; recruiting and nurturing new talent; expanding or contracting the boundaries of stationality; and integrating on-air processes with digital platforms and social media. The panel is sponsored by WestwoodOne. In discussing the session, Kevin Casey states, “This will be a fast-paced, extremely comprehensive ‘brain-storm.’ I am particularly interested in exploring 2014’s definition of talk radio stationality and where we are going as a genre in effectively tapping into compatible programming options to take the general notion of what constitutes ‘talk radio’ forward.” There will be more than 65 industry leaders in speaking roles at Talkers New York 2014 which takes place on Friday, June 20 at the iconic India House in the heart of New York City’s historic Financial District. Registration is only open to professionals (and broadcasting students) working in radio and related media. The cost is $249 per person which includes all sessions, receptions, food and refreshments. Registrations can only be booked over the phone with credit card. Call 413-565-5413. Again, a sellout is expected shortly. For up to the minute agenda information and further details please click here.
WPRO, Providence Talk Host Buddy Cianci for Mayor…Again? In a New England Public Radio story by Ian Donnis, former Providence mayor and current WPRO-AM afternoon drive talk show host Buddy Cianci is reported to be considering joining the race for mayor. The 73-year-old former mayor – beloved by many Rhode Islanders even after serving five years in prison on a racketeering conspiracy conviction – has been hosting a show on Cumulus Media’s news/talker since shortly after leaving prison in 2007. He has until June 25 to file to join the race. Rhode Island political wonks speculate that this year’s field of five democrats could be split and taken advantage of by Cianci, hence his considering the run. As for his radio gig, Cianci is a colorful character who’s been – by most accounts – a successful talk radio personality in the market and a run for office could open a plum slot at a heritage talk radio brand. Read the whole NEPR story here.
WIP, Philadelphia and Chickie’s and Pete’s Kick Off Summer with Toll-Free Rides to Jersey Shore. The kick off summer promotion sponsored by Philly-area sports bar and restaurant Chickie’s and Pete’s includes a live broadcast this afternoon (5/23) by WIP-FM, Philadelphia’s afternoon team Anthony Gargano and Rob Ellis from the Farley Service Plaza on the Atlantic City Expressway where they will offer a “toll-free” ride on the highway for families headed to the Jersey Shore. The event will feature giveaways, special guests, free food, and safety demonstrations by several New Jersey transportation agencies to ensure a safe and memorable summer at the shore. As part of the promotion, Chickie’s and Pete’s will pay all eastbound tolls on the AC Expressway at the Egg Harbor Toll Plaza from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm.
Odds & Sods. Sports talk station WRSO-AM, Orlando — owned by Star Over Orlando – hires the independent rep firm The Tacher Company to rep the station…..Wisconsin broadcasters will benefit from bill just signed into law that allows a tax exemption on the purchase of machinery, supplies, fuel, electricity and equipment necessary for broadcasting. It’s estimated that the new tax break for Wisconsin broadcasters will be about $2.2 million.
WTOP, Washington Names ‘Winner’ in ‘Commuter Idle’ Contest. This is the third annual “Commuter Idle” promotion Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP, Washington has executed, designed to reward the listener whose long commute makes him or her the most “extreme commuter.” This year the $1,000 in gas money and a one-time limo ride to work goes to Thurmond Alford, Jr. whose commute begins at 4:00 am south of Richmond. He drives from his home in Chesterfield County, VA to a commuter lot in Stafford County, where he stands in the sluglines before carpooling to the Pentagon. From there Alford boards the Metro, taking two rail lines before arriving at Metro Center. After finally reaching Metro Center he walks to his office where he is a project manager for the Department of Justice. Alford’s commute averages more than seven hours a day, although it can be much longer if complicated by road construction, wrecks, inclement weather or Metro rail issues. WTOP program director Laurie Cantillo says, “We never cease to be amazed by the sacrifices our listeners make as they juggle work and family. We feel their pain! Our goal is to tell their stories and arm them with the region’s best traffic information to make their lives a little easier.”
Goldberg Program Joins PodcastOne. Former WWE star, NFL lineman and motor sports enthusiast Bill Goldberg joins PodcastOne to produce and host his “Who’s Next with Goldberg” program. Goldberg’s first guest was racing legend Tony Stewart. Goldberg’s show features him talking “to his celebrity friends every week as they share the real stories behind some of their real life adventures.”
Chicago Talk Host Bill Berg Dies. From a report in ChicagoRadioandMedia.com, Bill Berg, a longtime market talk radio personality, died this week at age 77. Berg worked at WIND and WGN during his career. He first joined WIND as a jock in 1966 but soon was hosting what may have been the city’s first “sporty” radio show in the evenings on which he would play music, chat about sports stories and deliver scores and highlights. He moved to Tribune’s crosstown WGN in 1971 and hosted the afternoon drive show there through 1982.
TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup. “Free Talk Live” featuring Ian Freeman and Mark Edge joins the programming at three Washington State signals: KITZ, Silverdale; KGTK, Olympia, and KUJ-AM, Walla Walla…..The weekly Ethan Bearman show – syndicated by Genesis Communications Network – is added to the Saturday program schedule at KVLI, Lake Isabella, California…..The Leslie Marshall show is added to the program schedule at the following affiliates: KPHX, Phoenix; WNYY, Syracuse; WXXM-FM, Madison; KABQ-AM, Albuquerque; KTRC, Santa Fe; KBAI, Bellingham, Washington; WZON, Bangor, Maine; WBSM, New Bedford, Massachusetts; KGOE, Eureka, California; KVOT, Taos, New Mexico; and KNFO, Basalt, Colorado…..WCLT, Newark, Ohio is the newest affiliate for Yahoo! Sports Radio.
VA Hospitals Scandal Top News/Talk Story This Week. The expanding scandal engulfing Veteran’s Administration hospitals across the country was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week of May 19-23, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was criticism of the Affordable Care Act. Following at #3 was Russian military aggression and at #4 was the controversy over global warming. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. View this week’s entire chart here.