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Archive for December, 2015

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

| December 23, 2015

TALKERS magazine Closed for the Holidays.  The offices of TALKERS magazine will close on December 24 and will reopen on Monday, January 4.  During this holiday break, we will monitor all calls to our offices at 413-565-5413 and emails to info@talkers.com.  We wish all of our readers, business partners and friends working in the radio industry a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

simonmichaelCBS Appoints Michael Simon to Senior Advisor Post.  The actual title of Michael Simon’s new position with CBS RADIO is senior advisor, data analytics and political advocacy.  Previously, he led Barack Obama’s presidential campaign’s analytics team.  In this role with CBS, he’ll work closely with senior management to enhance CBS RADIO’s overall data analytics capabilities, as well as create new data-driven ad products and strategies for political campaigns, candidates, and relatedcbsradio logo committees and organizations.  CBS RADIO president Andre Fernandez says, “Michael is one of the foremost experts in data analytics whose expertise will quickly elevate our efforts in transforming our vast collection of user information into more meaningful business applications.  The ongoing assessment and development of cutting-edge data collection systems will lead to smarter programming and marketing decisions, and optimized advertising purchases in the future.  With the 2016 election race underway, now is the ideal time to develop new efficiencies across our data management platforms and business-to-business application tools.”  Simon is a data analytics entrepreneur based in New York City.  He is a regular commentator on big data, politics and business intelligence, and has been featured in media including The New York Times, “PBS NewsHour,” USA Today, CNBC, the Wall Street Journal, Buzzfeed, Mashable, Slate and the Cook Political Report, and has been an invited guest speaker at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and the World Economic Forum of Young Global Leaders.

entercomKauffman Upped to DOS at Entercom Sacramento.  General sales manager at the Entercom Sacramento station group since March of this year, Stacey Kauffman is promoted to director of sales.  Sacramento VP and market manager Lance Richardkauffmanstacey comments, “In a short time, Stacey has made a powerful impact with Entercom Sacramento.  Her business and sales management skills have enabled us to improve our sales execution, develop more impactful advertising campaigns for our clients and grow our business and market share.  I am thrilled to be able to promote from within and reward Stacey’s success.”  Before joining Entercom, Kauffman held various management and sales positions with Hubbard Broadcasting in Chicago, Emmis Communications and Merck.

ppmunitRound Two of December PPM Data Released.  The second of four rounds of December 2015 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  The survey period was November 5 – December 2.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Twelve Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

ellerXmas15Christmas in Greenwood.  It has been a busy holiday season for WCRS, Greenwood, SC co-owner and morning host Anne Eller.  The industrious, talented and entrepreneurial woman operates not only a dynamic local talk station in the beautiful “small town America” market, but a unique jewelry store as well.  Eller spices up her programming on WCRS synergizing the two assets with on-air jewelry and collectible items auctions that have been wildly successful over the Christmas gift-giving season.  Eller is pictured at left in the eclectic store – Sharp Facets Gallery – with the famous and beloved WCRS mascot, Gracie.

2016 Presidential Race, Battle Against Islamic State, Black Lives Matter Minnesota Protest, the Christmas Holiday, Refugee and Immigration Policy Criticism, and NFL Action/Odell Beckham Suspension Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/22). The activities of the candidates for president in 2016 and the results of the most recent polls; the ongoing battle against Islamic State military forces; the legal case over Black Lives Matter’s wish to protest at the Mall of America near Minneapolis; the coming Christmas holiday; the U.S. policies concerning refuges from Syria and the nation’s larger immigration matter; the playoff push in the NFL and the controversial suspension handed to Odell Beckham Jr. were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

| December 22, 2015

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallJim Bohannon Guests with Michael Harrison on This Week’s ‘Up Close and Far Out.’  One of the longest-running major league stars in talk radio, Jim Bohannon of Westwood One, is the special Christmas-week guest on the new installment of the Podcast One international hit “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” posted today (12/22).  Bohannon – who has been a radio broadcaster since 1960 — recently announced that he isbohannonjim retiring from his 31-year morning job as host of the syndicated “America in the Morning” news magazine, but will continue at the helm of his 10:00 pm to 1:00 am ET iconic talk program, “The Jim Bohannon Show” which has roots dating back to when he took over the seat previously occupied by Larry King on the old Mutual Broadcasting network.  Bohannon is also moving his home and base of operations from Washington, DC to a small town in South Carolina.  Michael Harrison catches up with the Vietnam War veteran at this important juncture in his life and the two discuss a wide variety of issues from the secret to his remarkable longevity in broadcasting to the frenetic nature of contemporary politics and how it is covered by today’s media.  To listen to the entire conversation, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player boxes located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

nielsen logoRound One of December PPM Data Released.  The first of four rounds of December 2015 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey).  The survey period was November 5 – December 2.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Twelve Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

kdizSalem’s Twin Cities Business Talker Changes Frequencies.  The recent purchase of the Radio Disney signal KDIZ, Minneapolis by Salem Media Group gives the latter another AM signal in the market and Salem is using the station to improve the coverage of the market by its business talker.  The company is moving the format from KYCR at 1570 to KDIZ at 1440 and is re-branding the station “Business 1440.”  KYCR’s daytime power is 3,800 Watts and KDIZ’ is 5,000 Watts.  (We’re assuming Salem will also ditch the KDIZ calls soon.)  Salem Twin Cities general manager Nic Anderson states, “By moving to AM 1440, we’ll service a larger portion of the Twin Cities with our exclusive business news and financial format.  This allows us to reach more listeners with our on-air partners including Dave Ramsey, Bloomberg, Lou Dobbs, and ‘Bring Me The News Business Updates.’”   As for KYCR, Salem is teasing a new format.  “Salem Media Group Twin Cities has more exciting and groundbreaking news to come in early 2016 for its now-open AM 1570 frequency.  Salem Media Group Twin Cities will launch the first-of-its-kind format in January of 2016.  More details will be made available in the coming days and weeks.”

stockOrlando15Brothers in Arms.  Las Vegas talk radio host Alan Stock (left) enjoys a bro hug with singer Tony Orlando (right) in the studios of CBS RADIO Las Vegas.  Stock hosts the afternoon drive program on news/talk KXNT and he reports he had a great on-air conversation with the Las Vegas performer.

Democratic Debate Analysis/2016 Presidential Race, Las Vegas Hit-and-Run Case, Miss Universe SNAFU, U.S. Refugee and Immigration Policies, Christmas Holiday, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/21).  Saturday night’s Democratic primary debate and the activities of the rest of the candidates for president in 2016; the case of the woman who killed one and injured more than 37 in a Las Vegas assault with her car; the mix-up by host Steve Harvey that accidently crowned the wrong person in the Miss Universe pageant; the matter of U.S. policy regarding the acceptance of refugees from Syria and the related issue of immigration regulations; this week’s Christmas holiday; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, December 21, 2015

| December 21, 2015

bloomandyAndy Bloom Exits WIP-FM and WPHT, Philadelphia OM Post.  This is being termed a budget-related move as programmer Andy Bloom – until Friday the operations manager for sports talk WIP-FM and news/talk WPHT – exits the CBS RADIO Philadelphia station group.  There’s lots ofwiplogo speculation in the Philly media about why Bloom was let go and what this will mean for WIP and WPHT.  Bloom tells Philly.com, “It is part of another restructure and strictly a budgetary move.  That has happened across the industry over the past several years.  It’s been an incredible 8 years with CBS Philly.”  Philadelphia Business Journal wpht logowonders what this means for news/talk WPHT citing its November 2015 PPM (6+ AQH share Mon-Sun 6A-12M) rating of 1.5.  The mag reports Bloom previously noted the current lineup has only been in place for a year and needs time to gel.  Local news and opinion site Crossing Broad wonders what Bloom’s exit will mean for WIP, especially afternoon drive personality Josh InnesKyle Scott opines that Innes’ future at WIP could be affected by this change, “[H]e was Bloom’s guy and given a long leash with which to do his sometimes-sports thing.  I’m assuming a successor will not be as lenient as Bloom.  One would wonder if Josh would even want to stick around.  A general turmoil has surrounded the station since he came on-board, and most of Bloom’s decisions since can be traced to Innes’ presence.”

cumiaanthonyAnthony Cumia Arrested on Domestic Battery Charges.  New York radio personality Anthony Cumia was arrested on Saturday on charges of strangulation, criminal mischief, unlawful imprisonment and assault.  He’s pled not guilty to all and his attorney tells the New York Post, “Mr. Cumia emphatically denies the allegations brought against him and is optimistic that when the truth comes out he will be exonerated.”  This comes after a woman described as Cumia’s girlfriend used the app Periscope to request police assistance at Cumia’s Long Island home after claiming Cumia broke her hand, took her phone when she tried to call police and held her captive.  The woman uses the handle Dani Golightly.  Cumia was released on his own recognizance and ordered to stay away from the woman.  Cumia was fired from SiriusXM’s Opie & Anthony show last year after he authored a series of racist Tweets and they went viral.

kdsp logoiHeartMedia Goes Sports in Denver on Former ‘Real Talk 760.’  The calls change from KKZN to KDSP and the new sports talker is branded “Denver Sports 760.”  Local programming will include longtime iHeartMedia Denver personality Dave Logan co-hosting the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon program with Susie Wargin and Andy Lindahl hosting the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm show. (Lindahl also hosts “PrimeTime Sports” on sister KOA from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm.)  Also airing on the station will be: Dan Patrick from 7:00 am to 10:00 am; “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm; “Jay Mohr Sports” from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm; “Ferrall On The Bench” from 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight; Ben Maller from 12:00 midnight to 4:00 am; and “FOX Sports Daybreak with Andy Furman & Mike North from 4:00 am to 7:00 am.  iHeartMedia Denver market president Tim Hager states, “We’re excited to serve our listeners, partners and advertisers with a new station featuring original Denver Broncos content and the biggest names in sports.”

kscoCalifornia Environmental Regulations Preventing KSCO, Santa Cruz from Addressing Flooding Problem.  KSCO, Santa Cruz, California station owner Michael Zwerling is in a tough situation, stuck between California environmental laws and the need to keep his station on the air with current weather conditions creating flooding problems for his transmitter.  Zwerling was prevented by sheriffs from digging a trench that would allow flood waters to drain as they usually do after a citizen complained to police about potential violations of the environmental laws.  A look into the law indicates Zwerling will have to try to convince officials that his station – as a facility licensed to serve the public – is worthy of protection as well.  KSCO has long been recognized as one of the nation’s most community-involved as well as marketing-innovative local talkers in the nation.  Zwerling says the solution does not involve harm to the beach or the marine life but activists have risen to challenge his desire to do the minor excavation necessary to abate flood waters.  Hear his appeal, broadcast over the KSCO airwaves, here.

karterkenardKarter Named Radio One Cincinnati OM. Inbound from iHeartMedia Chicago urban contemporary WGCI-FM, Kenard Karter will assume operations manager duties of Radio One Cincinnati. Radio One vice president of programming Colby Tyner comments, “We are excited to be working with Kenard; he is a very smart programmer with a lot of creative energy. Our team in ‘Cinci’ can’t wait to get started.” Station manager Mitch Galvin notes, “Kenard will be bringing strong leadership to our station cluster and a drive to win.” According to Karter, “I am truly humbled and excited about the opportunity to lead the Cincinnati radio brands that the Radio One family has afforded me. I am proud to join a team that is so full of passion and promise.” Prior to his WGCI-FM stint, Chicago native Karter – who begins his Cincinnati duties in three weeks (1/11) – spent four years at San Francisco urban contemporary KMEL, where he was the station’s assistant program director/mid-day talent. Radio One Cincinnati consists of urban contemporary WIZF “101.1 Cincinnati’s Hip-Hop & R&B,” urban-rhythmic oldies WOSL “Old School 100.3,” and WDBZ “Your Talk Station 1230 The Buzz.” According to 6+ stats in the latest (November 2015) Nielsen Audio PPM report for Cincinnati, WIZF ranks #8 with a 4.6 (+.7) from October and its best performance since June (also 4.6); WOSL is #13 (2.5); and WDBZ is #22 (.4). The (6+) market leader is iHeartMedia talker WLW (10.2).

mccartytoddCumulus Brings New HR Exec Aboard.  Human resources pro Todd C. McCarty comes to Cumulus Media from his most recent position as SVP of global human resources for Las Vegas Sands Corporation.  Cumulus CEO Mary Berner says, in making the announcement of McCarty’s appointment, “Cumulus has tremendous assets with our reach to 245 million listeners across 90 markets and our outstanding audio content and brands.  However, it’s critical that, as we move quickly andcumulus logo efficiently to build on our strengths, we retain and attract top performers on and off-air, and support and motivate them to deliver exceptional performance across all disciplines and markets.  Todd stands out among his peers in terms of qualifications and experience and we are fortunate and delighted that he will be leading our effort to consolidate and centralize our key human resources disciplines into a department that has the capabilities and focus to deliver the services and solutions we need to grow our business.”  McCarty has served in similar positions at The New York Times Company and The Reader’s Digest Association, Inc.

Odds & Sods.  The nationally syndicated Stephanie Miller show is now being aired on the CRN Digital Talkmillerstephanie Radio network from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET.  Miller’s show is syndicated WYM Media WW1Barclays15Managemen…..Live radio coverage of the CBS Sports Classic college hoops event from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn was provided by Westwood One Sports.  Pictured here calling the games for the network are WW1 sports announcer John Sadak (right) and CBS Sports Radio personality Doug Gottlieb (left) as North Carolina beat UCLA 89-76 and Ohio State upset Kentucky 74-67.  WW1 reports more than 300 affiliate stations carried thepochandi games…..Andi Poch joins CBS Local Digital Media to serve as SVP Sales.  Poch is being charged with managing and executing the overall digital advertising sales strategy for the division.  She’ll work closely with the local digital sales teams for CBS RADIO’s 117 stations and the 29 CBS Television stations, as well as the entire national sales group.  She comes from Townsquare Media where she was SVP, integrated/digital sales and strategy…..At Townsquare Media, the company brings Susan Kravitz aboard to serve as SVP, head of national digital sales and will oversee the company’s national digital and branded entertainment sales efforts.   Kravitz was most recently head of global sales at Say Media.

entercomEntercom Offers New Employee Benefits.  Beginning in 2016, Entercom Communications Corp. will begin offering qualified employees three significant new additions to the benefit plan designed to further enhance the quality of life for its staffers.  They are: 1) Personal Volunteering Time – a half-day off each quarter to volunteer for a non-profit organization of their choosing; 2) Discounted Stock Purchase Program – Entercom employees will be able to purchase Entercom stock at a 15% discount through a payroll deduction plan; and 3) Student Loan Reimbursement Program – $1,000 per calendar year to reduce outstanding student loans for employees who have graduated within the past eight years.  Company CEO David Field states, “We are always looking for ways to improve ourselves and make Entercom a better and stronger organization, and that includes enhancing the quality of life for our team.  We have examined benefits programs from leading companies all across the country in a wide range of industries and have honed in on a few highly compelling programs that we think will make outstanding additions to life at Entercom.  We are very excited to be delivering these new benefits to our people.”

kdwnXmas15Making Merry in Vegas.  Pictured here enjoying the festivities over the weekend at the Beasley Media Group Las Vegas holiday party are (from left to right): director of sales Cory Cuddeback; market manager Tom Humm; news/talk KDWN program director John Shaffer; and nationally syndicated talk host Dr. Daliah Wachs.

Democratic Primary Debate, Star Wars Film Opens and Miss Universe SNAFU Among Top Weekend News/Talk Stories.  The coverage of and the aftermath of Saturday night’s Democratic candidates’ debate; the record-breaking opening weekend of the new Star Wars film; and Steve Harvey’s mistake misidentifying the winner of the Miss Universe pageant, were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend on stations airing live talk shows.

Friday, December 18, 2015

| December 18, 2015

bloomberglogoBloomberg and CBS RADIO Partner to Make WNEW-FM, Washington into ‘Bloomberg Radio.’  A new agreement between CBS RADIO and Bloomberg results in the launch of “Bloomberg Radio” on WNEW-FM, Washington.  The transition from CBS RADIO-programmed all-news to Bloomberg’s programming means the station will deliver “business and financial newswnewlogo along with non-partisan coverage of politics, policy, power, and influence to Washington, D.C.”  The programming will also be heard on WJZ-HD2 at 105.7.  In a press statement, Bloomberg says this deal “marks the launch of Bloomberg Radio on its first FM station.  Led by Bloomberg’s Washington bureau and the company’s global news operation, Bloomberg 99.1 will draw upon the strength of reporting from 2,400 journalists in 150 news bureaus across 73 countries.  Bloomberg News, one of the world’s leading financial news organizations, produces 5,000 stories a day and has received more than 800 awards since it was founded in 1990, including the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting.”  The station will also air an audio simulcast of Bloomberg TV’s “With All Due Respect” with hosts Mark Halperin and John Heilemann.  Global head of Bloomberg Television & Radio Al Mayers comments, “As we enter this critical election year, there’s no better time to introduce Bloomberg Radio to Washington.  On the heels of recent expansions in Europe and Asia-Pacific, this launch marks an important step in our mission to extend the reach of Bloomberg Radio into the most important regions of the world.  We will tap into the deep expertise of our Washington bureau to provide insights and analysis on policy and politics that listeners cannot easily find elsewhere.”

cosbyritaWABC, New York Names Rita Cosby Political Editor.  This new title comes with expanded duties for Emmy-winning journalist Rita Cosby at Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York.  As political editor, Cosby will “cover the 2016 U.S. presidential race and other major political stories, bringing the freshest angles and key newsmakers to WABC Radio, including exclusive interviews with the most important andwabc logo intriguing candidates.”  WABC says Cosby will continue to host her eponymous Sunday morning show and will debut a new weekly election round-up show, “Election Central with Rita Cosby,” on Sunday, December 20, at 7:00 pm.  Her first guests will include GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.  She’ll oversee a weekly political column for “Election Central,” 77 WABC Radio’s weekly political e-newsletter, and contribute interviews to Westwood One News Network.  WABC program director Craig Schwalb says, “Rita’s vast political experience and unparalleled access to the major political players continue to make her a huge asset to 77 WABC in this expanded position.”

biakelseyBIA/Kelsey Releases 2016 Local Media and Advertising Predictions.  Advertising and marketing research and advisory firm BIA/Kelsey is releasing its predictions about local media advertising for 2016.  The company says that this report “contains more than 20 predictions for the year ahead, offering insights for BIA/Kelsey’s key coverage areas, including mobile, social media, online media, search, online video, programmatic advertising, software, print media, small-business marketing, local media sales, broadcast media, publishing and the on-demand economy.  As a teaser, the firm offers its Top 10 predictions (the whole report can be purchased) for 2016.  The Top 10 highlights selected nuggets on the impact on local media and advertising by millennials, mobile payments, Facebook, Google, data-driven ad sales, yellow pages, ad attribution, programmatic advertising, the on-demand economy and online video.  Some of the highlights investigated in the report include predictions that: Millennials will drive the next wave of marketing innovation; data-driven local ad sales becomes the new normal; the march of programmatic continues; and more.  See more here.

mikeandmike‘Mike & Mike’ to Be Inducted into NAB Broadcasters Hall of Fame.  At the NAB Show Radio Luncheon in Las Vegas next April 19, Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg, hosts of ESPN Radio’s daily morning show “Mike & Mike,” will be inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Broadcasting Hall of Fame. The program celebrate its 15th anniversary in March of this year.  NAB EVP of Radio John David comments, “Golic and Greenberg, with their mix of sports savvy and humor, have been informing and entertaining fans for more than 15 years.  The two have seamlessly combined their passion for sports with radio, and we are honored to add them to our distinguished Hall of Fame.”

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Medved Discusses His Battle Overcoming Throat Cancer and Other Compelling Issues.  Nationally syndicated Salem Radio Networks talk star Michael Medved gets “Up Close and Far Out” with Michael Harrison on the new installment of the hit PodcastOne series posted today (12/15).  In a touching, candid conversation, Medved talksmedvedmichael about his battle against throat cancer this past year that threatened not only his voice, but his life as well – including how it opened a whole new vista of understanding and appreciation to his thought processes and philosophy.  In addition, Medved and Harrison talk about Donald Trump and his impact upon the Republican Party and the conservative movement in America.  They also get into a broader conversation about Medved’s alternate career as a movie critic including the role he played in bringing awareness of Ed Wood’s “Plan 9 from Outer Space” to historic infamy as the worst picture of all time.  To listen to this not-to-be-missed media freaks’ delight in its entirety please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player boxes located in the right-hand column of every page on Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

foxsportsradio logoKGMZ, San Francisco Adds FOX Sports Radio Programming.  San Francisco sports talk outlet KGMZ “95.7 The GAME” is adding FOX Sports Radio show to its program schedule.  The Entercom sports talker will add the Ben Maller show to its late-night daypart airing from 11:00 pm to 3:00 am as well as “FOX Sports Daybreak with Andy Furman & Mike North” airing from 3:00 am to 6:00 am.  Additionally, KGMZ is airing FOX Sports Radio weekend programming from personalities including: Anthony Gargano, Lincoln Kennedy, Michael Harmon, Jason McIntyre and others.

talkersten logo2016 Presidential Race/GOP Debate Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of December 14-18.  The activities of the candidates for president in 2016 and Tuesday’s GOP primary debate tied for the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 were the terror threats school districts including New York, Los Angeles, and Houston received.  Coming in at #3 was the battle against Islamic State, followed by the U.S.’ refugee and immigration policies at #4.  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.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

| December 17, 2015

cainhermanDGital Media Partners with Cox to Distribute Herman Cain Show.  The WSB-AM, Atlanta-based Herman Cain show will be syndicated and marketed by DGital Media beginning January 4, 2016.  Cox Media Group and DGital Media are agreeing to have DGital Media serve as the exclusiveDGitalMedia logo advertising sales representative and its affiliated company WYM Media be the exclusive distributor, handling affiliate marketing.  CMG director of branding and programming Pete Spriggs comments, “It is great to be working again with [DGital Media president] John Murphy and the rest of the DGital Media team.  My particular experience with them is they are the most original thinkers of any audio company I’ve had the privilege of working with.”  Cain’s program is currently heard on some 120 affiliate stations.

deptrojohn‘For Our Daughters’ Re-Ignites Campaign Against WPRO’s John DePetro.  According to a piece at GoLocalProv.com, the organization For Our Daughters is renewing its efforts to get late morning talk host John DePetro off the air at Cumulus Media’s WPRO-AM, Providence.  This battle is an old one and the organization, which according to GoLocalProv.com is led by a number of prominent union leaders, is one with whom DePetro’s clashed on issues in the past.  Organization chairwoman Maureen Martin issued the following statement, “Since we started, we estimate we have cost the station close to $150,000 in lost advertising revenue.  However, we are disgusted that John DePetro is still allowed to spew his hate speech on the air at WPRO-AM.  The lack of action by station management on this issue shows their willingness to empower a unrepentant misogynist.  Their continued employment of Mr. DePetro implies their tacit assent to DePetro’s statements.  Since our campaign started two years ago, DePetro has continued to berate women and minorities on a daily basis.  This can no longer be tolerated.  To that end, we have decided to ramp up our campaign to once and for all remove Mr. DePetro from the air.”  For his part, DePetro says, “I host a very popular, successful, daily talk show where I allow the public to speak out on current events in the news.  The content of my show is family friendly, and I speak with people of all ages and backgrounds.  Once again, a group of union supporters and other ultra-liberal individuals, have targeted me and in an attempt to silence me.”  Read the GoLocalProv.com piece here.

meiergarryChicago Talker Garry Meier to Begin Digital Venture.  Chicago radio legend Garry Meier – 13 months removed from his most recent gig at Tribune’s wgn.fm digital platform – is entering the world of digital audio on his own with an online radio show and podcast beginning in 2016.  He recently posted his plans on his website.  He writes, in part: “As I examined the media landscape, I decided to do something that a great friend and mentor told me to do 10 years ago…onto the Internet…and while I wasn’t ready to make the leap a decade ago, I thought the time is right now to go digital, since everything in the media world is migrating there.  It is migration that just about every state will accept.  At this point in my career, I want to try something completely new that offers me more control and freedom and also is the wave of the future.  While gas prices remain low, my excitement heading into this new chapter is very high. Another familiar voice will be part of the broadcast, as Leslie Keiling returns to do news.  I’m happy to have her join me.  It might not be the way you listened on traditional radio but breaking away from all of that, I think, is a good thing…so hello from the 50 trillion-watt WIFI.”

podcastone bPodcastOne Shows Honored with iTunes Awards.  This year, seven programs from PodcastOne are being honored in the iTunes Best of 2015 selections.  The competitive list, compiled from a collection of more than 250,000 worldwide podcasts, features “The BIG Podcast with Shaq,” named one of the Best Recent Debuts, and “Steve Austin Unleashed” and WNYC-produced “Here’s the Thing,” named with the Best Classics.  Celebrating the Most Downloads are “The Adam Carolla Show,” which recently re-upped with PodcastOne for five additional years, as well as “The Dan Patrick Show” and WNYC-produced “Freakonomics” and “Radiolab.”   PodcastOne chairman and CEO Norm Pattiz states, “We are very proud of the network roster we have built in the last few years.  From production, to distribution and advertising partnerships, all of our programs deliver compelling content that keeps all eyes (and ears) on our collective 200 podcasts.”

Odds & Sods.  News/talk KLZ, Denver is adding David Leach’s “The Strident Conservative” commentaries to its programming.  The Crawford Broadcasting-owned station is also featuring Leach as a regular contributor to its daily afternoon drive program…..A new podcast featuring Yahoo! Sports personality Adrian Wojnarowski is being produced, distributed and repped by DGital Media.  Titled, “The Vertical Podcast with Woj,” the weekly program will focus on the NBA.  DGital Media chief content officer Chris Corcoran says, “As a fan of the NBA, and as a fan of audio, I’m always searching for incredible storytellers who will provide a credible and intimate take without all the noise.  We are incredibly honored to partner with a game-changing talent like Woj and a top brand like Yahoo! Sports.”…..The web series “Brown Bag Wine Tasting with William Shatner” takes three honors at the recent 7th Annual TASTE Awards.  Shatner, CRN Digital Talk Radio, and producer Scott Sternberg partnered to create the show and sold it to Ora TV.  CRN Digital Talk Radio CEO and president Michael J. Horn – who is also a sommelier – assists in the selecting and procuring of the wines…..SiriusXM is broadcasting 38 live college bowl games beginning with this Saturday’s Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl.  The satcaster is also airing the College Football Playoff Semifinals and National Championship.

adlargeTorertta15AdLarge and Touchdown Radio at the Heisman Dinner.  Pictured here at last weekend’s 2015 Heisman Dinner are executives from AdLarge Media and 1992 Heisman Trophy winner Gino Torretta.  The former University of Miami star and AdLarge are partners in Torretta’s Touchdown Radio for which AdLarge serves as exclusive ad rep.  From left to right are: chief revenue officer Don Wachsmith; Torretta; co-founder and co-CEO Gary Schonfeld; and VP of business development Frank DeSantis.

2016 Presidential Race/GOP Debate, Freddie Gray Mistrial, Obama Gun Control Plans, Battle Against Islamic State, School District Terror Threats, Fed Ups Interest Rates, and Federal Student Drug Use Report Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/16).  The activities of the candidates for president in 2016 and Tuesday evening’s GOP primary debate in Las Vegas; the mistrial in the first of six police officers to be tried in Baltimore in the death of Freddie Gray; President Obama’s meeting with former New York Governor Michael Bloomberg in formulating new gun control orders; the military campaign against Islamic State and concerns about radical Islamists among Syrian refugees; the terror threats being received by school districts in the U.S.; the hiking of interest rates by the Fed for the first time in nine years; and the just-released federal report on high school student drug use indicating marijuana use tops cigarette smoking for the first time were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Former Baltimore Talk Radio Figure Brian MacDonald Dead at 67.  Heart failure is the reported cause of death for former WBAL and WCBM, Baltimore programmer and personality Brian MacDonald.  MacDonald got his start in radio programming Baltimore Community College-owned public station WBJC-FM.  He served as PD and afternoon host at WBAL from 1975 to 1985, then worked at crosstown WCBM on air for three years before leaving the radio industry.