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Archive for February, 2016

Monday, February 29, 2016

| February 29, 2016

foxcarolynCarolyn Fox Candidate for WPRO-AM, Providence PM Drive Gig.  That is according to a report from WJAR-TV, Providence.  The station published a feature story about the Providence-born radio pro who’s been – among other things – working lately in the real estate business.  Carolyn Fox, known in the Providence market for her time at rock WHJY, told the television station that she is under consideration for the drive time show at the Cumulus Media news/talker.  It’s part of a “where are they now” story that presents Fox’s colorful radio history in the Northeast.  The afternoon drive show opened up after longtime political figure and radio host Buddy Cianci died in January.

Presidential Race, Run-Up to Academy Awards, Apple vs FBI Case, Syrian Ceasefire, and Britain’s Looming EU Exit Vote Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The activities of the candidates for president; the controversy over the slate of nominees for Academy Awards; the battle between Apple and the FBI over the company’s refusal to hack an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino terrorists; the civil conflict in Syria and the brokered cease fire; and Britain’s June referendum on exiting the European Union were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

cookehollandCooke: Engage in Unconventional Convention Coverage.  For news/talk stations planning to cover the Democratic and/or Republican conventions this summer, radio consultant Holland Cooke has some advice: don’t duplicate the national coverage.  In other words, make your coverage unique and interesting to your listeners and don’t sound like the network news your station is probably also carrying.  Cooke also cautions against airing live reports, instead using your technology to air produced reports with interesting elements.  Read more here.

townsquaremediaTownsquare Media’s Pro Forma Net Revenue Up 5.4% for 2015.  The acquisition of North American Midway Entertainment and the robust performance of Townsquare Media’s live events division contributed to a net revenue increase of 20.4% in the fourth quarter of 2015.  However, for the fourth quarter local advertising net revenue was basically flat (down 0.4%).  Chairman and CEO Steven Price says, “We believe our diversified strategy remains sound, demonstrated by the stability of our local advertising business and the outsized growth in our other businesses.  In addition, we further diversified our business, with approximately half of revenue now derived from sources other than the sale of terrestrial radio advertising.”  For all of 2015, local advertising net revenue (excluding political) increased 1.9% compared to 2014.

Odds & Sods.  Sports talk personality Dino Costa will serve as host of the morning drive show on Randycostadino Markel-owned KFNS, St. Louis “590 The Fan,” although a start date for the show has not been announced.  Costa is currently broadcasting a live, three-hour nightly show via the internet…..Promoted marshalllesliefrom vice president of sales for the Cumulus Pensacola, Florida cluster to vice president/market manager is Davey Willhoit…..Nationally syndicated talk media personality Leslie Marshall is now part of the Worldwide Speakers Group, which describes itself as “a leading global professional services firm providing distinctive performance and innovative solutions in the global lecture industry to corporate, trade, education, and commercial customers worldwide.”

Unconventional Coverage

| February 29, 2016

By Holland Cooke
Radio Consultant

 

cookewriterBLOCK ISLAND, RI — Must-see, if you missed it in theaters, and it’s on Netflix: “The Best of Enemies.”  See how underdog network ABC – outgunned by CBS and NBC — doubled its ratings at the 1968 political conventions, and invented modern political punditry.  They called it “Unconventional Coverage.”

Several stations I work with will travel to cover the Democratic and Republican National Conventions.  Big thanks to networks we’re affiliated with for facilitating coverage.  Parked on radio row, we’ll be lined-up-for the parade of names who hop from interview to interview…saying pretty much the same thing they said at the last table.  Which is fine.  As Woody Allen said, “80% of life is showing-up;” and we’ll be taking pictures for social media and to impress sponsors who fund the trip.

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Friday, February 26, 2016

| February 26, 2016

AlphaAlpha Media Closes on Digity Purchase. This is no ordinary acquisition as Alpha Media balloons to approximately 250 stations in 50+ markets by closing on in excess of 110 Digity properties. Over and above that, Alpha Media becomes the country’s third-largest broadcast company in terms of number of markets and fourth-largest regarding station count. Alpha Media chair Larry Wilson comments, “We are very pleased to get this remarkable transaction done. In our fold is now an exceptional stable of diversified stations and markets, serving not only their towns but surrounding areas and communities. It has been a tremendous pleasure to work with respected broadcaster [Digity chief executive officer] Dean Goodman and his management team. We look forward to joining forces with the phenomenal people at Digity doing radio the right way.” Goodman remarks, “I have been honored to work with the great broadcasters of Digity. They know their roots are in live and local and their future is dynamic. They will excel with Alpha as individual and collective entrepreneurs. We hand off a thriving company, up this year at the top of the industry. I wish Larry [Wilson] and his team all the best; they have assembled a great platform.” Only two of the 28 Digity markets are PPM-metros – San Jose and West Palm Beach. The other facilities are in Missouri: (Bethany-Cameron, Clinton, Farmington-Festus, Moberly-Macon, and Waynesville-Lebanon); Iowa (Fairfield, Fort Dodge, Grinnell-Newton, and Mason City); Minnesota (Albert Lea-Austin, Luverne, Mankato, and Redwood Falls); South Dakota (Brookings, Madison, and Watertown); Illinois (Aurora and Joliet); Nebraska (Columbus and Lincoln); Michigan (Saginaw-Bay City-Midland); North Carolina (Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville); Ohio (Canton); South Carolina (Myrtle Beach); Texas: (North Dallas-McKinney); and Wisconsin (Kenosha-Waukegan). When this deal was first announced in August 2015, the purchase price was reported to be $264 million.

CBS Radio LogoWFAN and Brooklyn Nets Extend Broadcast Rights Agreement. The multi-year deal between CBS Radio New York sports outlet WFAN “The Fan” and the NBA‘s Brooklyn Nets goes beyond NBA basketball to cover other parts of the business at Barclays Center, including select college basketball games, concerts, and live events. As it has since the 2004 – 2005 season, WFAN will continue as the team’s radioBrooklyn Nets Logo flagship. According to CBS Radio president Andre Fernandez, “CBS Radio is proud to continue our association with the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center. We have defined our position in sports broadcasting by delivering the most extensive coverage of local programming and events. We continue to make aggressive investments in exclusive content our audiences can’t find anywhere else.” Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment chief executive officer Brett Yormark comments, “Our relationship with CBS Radio continues to give us a major voice in the nation’s largest market. This new agreement comes on the heels of our recent extension with YES Network, providing the team with premium exposure on two of the country’s most popular sports outlets.” WFAN news sibling WCBS-AM will be the Nets’ secondary radio outlet. Prior to relocating to Brooklyn, the team was called the New Jersey Nets. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s January 2016 PPM report for New York City, WFAN ranks ninth (3.8, 6+); iHeartMedia adult contemporary WLTW “Lite FM” leads the field with a 6.7 (6+).

hyde, coreyHyde Heads to Entercom Sacramento as GSM. Fourteen-month Pandora account executive Corey Hyde joins Entercom Sacramento as general sales manager. Vice president and market manager Lance Richard comments, “It is exciting to add Corey to our team. He has an impressive track record of success and Entercom_Communications_logohe brings experience in developing dynamic, integrated campaigns and long term partnerships for local clients. His leadership skills and experience in this market make him the perfect fit for Entercom Sacramento.” Hyde remarks, “I am thrilled to be joining Lance Richard and the team at Entercom Sacramento. Radio is stronger than ever, and we have the best local stations in the market. I look forward to using our wide array of marketing assets to drive real results for our clients.” In his 13-year radio career, Hyde spent nearly 10 years with CBS Radio Sacramento as a senior account executive and three years with iHeartMedia Sacramento as an AE. Entercom Sacramento consists of KCTC “ESPN 1320″; CHR KDND “The End”; alternative KKDO “Radio 94-7”; KRXQ “98 Rock”; classic rock KSEG “The Eagle”; and hot AC KUDL “Star 106.5.”

baldwin, stephenBaldwin Exits Weekend “Baldwin/McCullough LIVE.”  Effective immediately, actor Stephen Baldwin departs “Baldwin/McCullough LIVE.” The two-hour syndicated weekend program carried by approximately 250 affiliates on Kevin McCullough‘s eight-year-old XtreMEDIA and simulcast on BizTV is rebranded “Radio Night LIVE.” As Baldwin’s work schedule increased the past few months, McCullough explains, “The more difficult it has become for him to make the show. For the past eight years, we have enjoyed the liveliest and – on most nights – the funniest weekend radio broadcast in America. Our listeners will mccullough, kevinimmediately feel the impact of Stephen’s absence from the talk radio airwaves. To be realistic, however, because of his filming schedule in 2015, his workload severely prevented him from being with us even one out of two weeks. This is great for him because his passion is acting. Our staff, our sponsors, and listeners will miss Stephen’s unique humor and spunk. His personality is one-of-a-kind and Stephen will always be welcome to a microphone we have named in his honor; we are thrilled though at this chance to take our broadcast to another level. ‘Radio Night LIVE’ will take the signature humor we have developed over the years, add cutting edge ‘next generation’ guests, experts, and entertainers and explode Saturday night in ways previously unseen.” Baldwin comments, “God has been so good to me and all I want to do is to follow where He is leading me. My time doing the show is something I will always remember. Our listeners brought much laughter and insight into my life.” It is possible that McCullough will utilize a series of rotating guest hosts such as KRLA, Los Angeles’ Elisha Krauss; Karol Markowicz of The New York Post; YouToo America‘s Gina Loudon; as well as Ashley Papa and Kayleigh McEnany. McCullough continues hosting his weekday 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm “After Hours” show on Salem Media Group New York’s WNYM “AM 970 The Answer”; the “Kevin McCullough Show” for Salem Media Group; and “News That Makes You Think.”

WGN LogoFour More Years: WGN, Northwestern Extend Rights Agreement. The union between 50,000-watt WGN, Chicago and Northwestern University will keep Wildcats football and men’s basketball on the Tribune talker through the conclusion of the 2019 – 2020 season. In addition, the voice of Wildcats football since 1990 and men’s basketball since 1996 – Dave Eanet – signs a four-year contract. WGN Radio presidentNorthwestern Wildcats and general manager Jimmy de Castro comments, “We are proud to present Northwestern basketball and football anchored by Dave ‘Mr. Cat’ Eanet. We look forward to bringing our listeners the excitement of Chicago’s Big Ten team in the years to come.” According to Northwestern vice president for athletics and recreation Jim Phillips, “The Northwestern Wildcats and WGN Radio have forged a special relationship over the last two decades. WGN not only is a broadcasting force, but a true Chicago institution. We have shared many thrilling moments through the years, and we look forward to many more memories with WGN Radio as the home of Chicago’s Big Ten team.” Eanet was inducted into the WGN Radio Walk of Fame last year. Former Chicago Bear Ted Albrecht is WGN’s football analyst on Wildcat broadcasts, while former college and pro head coach Joey Meyer provides analysis on basketball broadcasts. WGN has been the radio home of the Wildcats since 1996. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s January 2016 PPM report for Chicago, WGN ranks fifth with a 4.2 – its best showing since last June’s 4.3; CBS Radio‘s all-news WBBM-AM is on top with a 6.8 (6+).

walter, maryLouisville Lineup Changes at WHAS, WKRD. Starting next Monday (2/29), former WKXW “New Jersey 101.5,” Trenton personality Mary Walter will oversee a weeknight 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm program on iHeartMedia Louisville talker WHAS. Of Walter, director of iHeartMedia Louisville’s AM programming Kelly Carls comments, “She is always prepared; keeps her finger on the pulse of the news; and she does a great job connecting with listeners. We are delighted she will be offering her unique perspectives every day.” A WHAS fill-in beginning in 2009, Walter remarks, “I am so excited to be with the WHAS audience on aWKRD regular basis. I have grown to love the local listeners over the years. They are so engaged and informed that it makes the job fun.” She previously worked at radio stations in Washington, DC; Phoenix; Denver; and Omaha. Meanwhile, at co-owned all-sports WKRD “790 KRD,” Howie Lindsey is named 7:00 am – 10:00 am host; contributors Matt Willinger and Katie George will join him. Another change there will find TheCardinalConnect.Com founder Nick Coffey taking on 12:00 noon – 3:00 pm duty. “We are very excited to expand our local sports coverage on WKRD,” notes Kelly Carls. “Mornings, mid-days and afternoons, we now have local sports fans covered with updates, insights, and compelling conversation about the teams and games that really matter.” Lindsey and Coffey will debut one week from Monday (3/7). Among persons 12+ in Nielsen Audio‘s winter 2016 book, WHAS ranks #1 (7.4) and WKRD is #12 (1.2).

Cumulus Media Dallas Sets Fourth Spring Job Fair. Jobseekers and hiring companies will come together in less than Cumulus Media Dallastwo weeks (3/9) as Cumulus Media Dallas presents its fourth annual Putting Texans Back to Work Spring Job Fair at the Plano Centre. In attendance will be representatives from over 100 companies in search of quality candidates from the Dallas, Collin, and Denton County areas of North Texas. No registration is required for job seekers; however, registration deadline for companies looking for qualified individuals is one week from Monday (3/7). The Cumulus Dallas cluster includes sports KESN “ESPN Radio 103.3”; talk KLIF-AM; CHR KLIF-FM “Hot 93.3”; country KPLX “The Wolf”; KSCS “New Country 96.3”; sports KTCK “The Ticket; and talk WBAP.

BTC LogoBTC Begins HD Radio Data Services in Canada. A partnership between the Broadcaster Traffic Consortium (BTC) and exclusive mapping and technology data partner HERE leads to Canada’s first in-vehicle HD Radio Traffic service. Honda is the first brand to offer the service to its customers on certain 2015 and 2016 models. Broadcaster Traffic Consortium president Paul Brenner comments, “The BTC and all of our member stations are excited to be the first to market for HD Radio data services in Canada. Honda and HERE are valued partners that expect constant innovation and quality services regardless of our borders or radio station ownership. Unified broadcasters, collaborating to deliver a common service, bringing innovation solutions to automakers is better for the strategic and long-term viability of the broadcast radio industry. BTC is proud to be a leader in this space.” HD Radio Traffic enables drivers and passengers to view detailed information on local traffic conditions in real time on their vehicle’s audio display screen. The BTC has stations providing coverage in most areas within greater Toronto, Vancouver, and Calgary; the service is expected to expand to additional Canadian markets. Originally founded in 2007 with eight broadcast groups – Beasley Broadcast Group; Bonneville International Corporation; Cox Radio; Emmis Communications; Entercom Communications; Greater Media; NPR; and Radio One – BTC has grown to include 23 broadcast groups in the United States and Canada. It builds a nationwide terrestrial broadcasting network to distribute local traffic and other map-related data via FM and HD Radio technology.

talkersten logoPresidential Race Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of February 22-26.  Primary races and activities of presidential candidates were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  Coming in at #2 was Apple’s refusal to hack the phone of one of the San Bernardino terrorists.  At #3 was the battle over the timeline for replacing Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, followed by Islamic State’s reported threats against Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey at #4.  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 magazine.  View this week’s entire chart here.

fritts, eddieBFA to Fete Fritts with “Excellence in Broadcasting” Award. Former 23-year National Association of Broadcasters president and chief executive officer Eddie Fritts is named this year’s Broadcasters Foundation of America‘s recipient of the Lowry Mays “Excellence in Broadcasting” award. Underwritten by The Mays Family Foundation, the award is given each year to a broadcaster, “whose work exemplifies innovation, community service, advocacy, and entrepreneurship.” Fritts’ past recognitionBroadcasters Foundation of America includes “Broadcaster of the Year” awards at both the New York State Broadcasters Association and the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters. In addition, he is the past recipient of the Broadcasters Foundation’s “Golden Mike” and “Chairman’s” awards. Inducted into the Giants of Broadcasting’s Hall of Fame in 2010, he received the NAB’s “Distinguished Service” award one year later. Fritts – who launched The Fritts Group in March 2006 – will be honored with this particular acknowledgement in approximately two months (4/20) during the NAB Show in Las Vegas. The Broadcasters Foundation has distributed millions of dollars to thousands of broadcasters and their families. Individual donations can be made to the Guardian Fund. Corporate contributions are accepted through the Angel Initiative; bequests can be arranged through the Legacy Society.

Cumulus 2Cumulus Media Florida Outlets Aid in Tornado Recovery. Personal and household items, as well as monetary donations, are being collected by 14 Cumulus Media stations in Fort Walton Beach-Destin, Mobile, and Pensacola (Florida) for those affected by this week’s tornadoes in Century and Pensacola. Radio station staffers will be at various locations for six hours today (Friday, 2/26), nine hours tomorrow (Saturday, 2/27), and four hours on Sunday. Listeners are being asked to help tornado victims with water, personal hygiene items, household cleaning items, tarps, laundry detergent, diapers, wipes, book bags, crayons, pens, pencils, paper, clothing, and non-perishable food items. Cash donations should be directed to the Gulf Coast recovery effort through the American Red Cross and the United Way.

cbsradio-logoCool Job Opportunities at CBS, Los Angeles.  TALKERS has learned that CBS Radio Los Angeles is now looking to fill the following positions as soon as possible at all-news KNX 1070:  news reporter, writer, and news production assistant. For more details and to apply, please click here: WWW.CBSRADIO.COM/CAREERS.

union edgeOdds & Sods. Pittsburgh-based “The Union Edge” adds suburban Minneapolis talker KTNF “AM 950 The Progressive Voice of Minnesota” as its 27th affiliate. KTNF president Chad Larson comments, “KTNF has been a longtime union advocate, covering labor issues since 2004 in the Twin Cities. We look forward to carrying another program focused on the many accomplishments labor has made for our nation as well as the modern threats facing working families and our ability to collectively bargain in the workplace.”

Thursday, February 25, 2016

| February 25, 2016

cbsradioChicagoCBS RADIO Announces Sales Management Appointments for Chicago Stations.  Director of sales Mark Day was let go from the CBS RADIO Chicago cluster in early January (at the same time market manager Rod Zimmerman exited) and now the company is announcing its new sales managers.  Paul Agase is named director of music sales, and John Cravens is the director of news and sports sales.  SVP and market manager Tim Pohlman says, “I am extremely excited to have two senior veterans in the market lead our sales efforts with the great brands of CBS RADIO Chicago.  Paul and John have been leaders in the Chicago market for many years.  Their solid relationships with partners, clients, and our internal team will be key to growing our revenue in the years ahead.”  Agase (who was promoted from within) will oversee sales operations for the market’s music stations – WBBM-FM (CHR ), WJMK-FM (classic hits), WUSN-FM (country), and WXRT-FM (triple A) – while Cravens (former crosstown sports WMVP DOS) will manage sales efforts for WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM (all-news), WSCR-AM (sports talk), and sports play-by-play sales for both the Chicago Bears and Chicago Cubs.

Presidential Race, Apple vs FBI, Immigration Policy, Scalia Replacement, ISIS Threatens Zuckerberg and Dorsey, Syrian Conflict-Russian Military Build-Up, and Oscars Boycott Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/24).  The primary elections and the activities of the candidates for president; the controversy over Apple’s refusal to hack the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino terrorists; the immigration and refugee policies of the U.S. government; the scenarios for replacing Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia; the threats by ISIS against Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey; the conflict in Syria and Russia’s military involvement there; Sunday’s Academy Awards and the planned boycott were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

podcastone bAcademy Award-Nominated Screenwriter Leigh Savidge Launches ‘Straight Outta…The Podcast.’  Joining the PodcastOne platform is screenwriter Leigh Savidge, who is nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for the film Straight Outta Compton.  The podcast is based on the critically acclaimed film and involves Savidge focusing on “the inner culture of the hip hop world, from its inspirational roots, to top current-day artists.  Leigh has spent years in the underground hip hop scene and will invite guests to share eye-witness accounts of rap’s most controversial and intriguing moments.”  The series launches today with guest Alonso Williams, the NWA mentor who assisted the group with their first album.  Original NWA member Arabian Prince joins Savidge next week, followed by a two-parter with Suge Knight’s ex-wife Sharitha Knight.  PodcastOne EVP of content development Mike August states, “We are very excited to have one of the Oscar-nominated writers of Straight Outta Compton in the person of Leigh Savidge joining our PodcastOne family with never-before-heard interviews with the artists, producers and promoters that both created and drive the hip hop music business to this day.”

radioonelogoRadio One Q4 Report: TV Bails Out Radio.  Although the company’s 2015 Q4 net revenue was basically flat (down 0.3%) and revenue from the cable television helped offset a down quarter for radio, president and CEO Alfred Liggins believes the radio side of Radio One is well positioned for 2016.  “Overall, our radio advertising revenue was down 5.2% for the final quarter of 2015.  We underperformed our markets in Atlanta, Baltimore and Houston, but outperformed in Washington DC.  Our audience ratings have generally shown strong growth year-over-year, and I anticipate that we will monetize these audience gains in 2016.  While our gross cable television advertising revenues were up byligginsalfred 11% for the quarter, the liability incurred due to under delivery against rate card meant that overall TV advertising revenue was down by 3.5% for the quarter.  This was more than offset by the 27.5% increase in cable television affiliate fees.  Management remains focused on turning around underperforming radio markets and advancing our digital and cross platform sales strategies.  We have had a number of significant client successes with our One Solution cross-platform sales and marketing effort, and I expect that momentum to continue into 2016.”  Other notable figures from the Q4 report include an operating loss of approximately $11.3 million for the three months ended December 31, 2015, compared to operating income of $19.4 million for the same period in 2014 and a net loss of approximately $24.3 million or $0.50 per share compared to $13.5 million or $0.28 per share, for the same period in 2014.

Kalman Named LSM at ’98.7 ESPN New York.’  Former WFAN, New York play-by-play- sales manager Steve Kalman is named local sales manager at ESPN O&O WEPN, New York.  ESPN notes that Kalman spent more than a decade in the trade events business before moving into managing sports broadcast media sales.  Kalman has managed broadcast play-by-play sales teams for the New York Mets, New York Giants and the New York Yankees.

lundinClinton16Rally for ‘First Dude’ Hopeful.  Former President Bill Clinton spoke at an Old Town Alexandria, Virginia rally yesterday (2/25) for Hillary Clinton at which hundreds of loyal supporters waited in line in the rain to attend.  Pictured covering it for her various platforms is noted Washington, DC-based radio newswoman Lori Lundin (Washington Examiner, NPR and more) who hosts the experimental animal rights program “Vox Animali” for TalkersRadio.  Lundin quickly turns to the TALKERS camera while the former Chief Executive addresses the crowd.

Odds & Sods.  Broadcasting from this week’s National Religious Broadcasters conference in Nashville is Salem Radio Network’s SRN News and Townhall.com.  Both are originating morning drive newscasts from the event in addition to coverage of two separate presidential candidate forums which are being moderated by SRN’s Eric Metaxas…..The winner of Beasley Media Group’s “President’s Club Overall Winner” award for the calendar year 2015 is Beasley Tampa senior account manager Paige Grady.  The President’s Club consists of Beasley salesgradypaige executives, who are honored annually for their abilities to meet or exceed individual and market goals, attain accreditation from the Radio Advertising Bureau as Certified Radio Marketing Consultants (CRMC), and over-deliver their clients’ expectations on a daily basis. Each month throughout the year, one account executive from each of Beasley’s radio markets is named in the President’s Club.  At the end of each year, every market names their winner based on overall performance.  The individual with the highest ranking from this notable pool of top-performers is named Beasley’s “President’s Club Overall Winner” for the previous calendar year…..CBS RADIO reports its PPM market stations – as a whole – saw ratings performance increase comparing January 2016 PPM data to January 2015 numbers.  The company says its stations “across 25 major markets posted a nearly 5% increase in listeners Persons 12+, reaching a total audience in excess of 45 million and an increase of more than two million over the prior year.”  The biggest increases in audience in the top 10 markets were seen at KJKK-FM (Dallas, 48%), KLUV-FM (Dallas, 44%), KTWV-FM (Los Angeles, 44%), WIP-FM (Philadelphia, 32%), WIAD-FM (Washington, D.C., 31%) and WZGC-FM (Atlanta, 30%)…..This week, more than 500 local radio and television broadcasters gathered in Washington, DC for the National Association of Broadcasters’ annual State Leadership Conference.  The event featured speeches from prominent policymakers on federal legislative and regulatory issues affecting the broadcast industry, and provided attendees an opportunity to meet with their legislators to discuss how local radio and TV stations serve their communities.

wbtwlnk duo logoCool Job Opportunity.  Greater Media Charlotte is seeking a continuity and traffic assistant.  Ideal characteristics for this position include: someone who enjoys analytics and puzzles, is innately curious, is meticulous with details, thrives in a fast-paced environment, works calmly and effectively under pressure, reacts quickly to meet tight deadlines, is diplomatic and determined with solid people skills.  To apply, please email your cover letter and resume to hired@gmclt.com .  You may also fax your information to 704-338-3079, attention: Sandra Szoke, director of sales, or mail to: Human Resources – WBT/WLNK Radio, ATTN: Continuity and Traffic Assistant, Greater Media Charlotte, One Julian Price Place, Charlotte, NC  28208.  EOE.

Talkers2016 logo xlg‘Talk Radio: The Big Picture’ Panel Coming Together for TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations.  One of the traditional keynote events at the annual TALKERS magazine conference is the broad-strokes panel session titled, “Talk Radio: The Big Picture.”  Moderated by Michael Harrison, the session addresses a cross-section of the most important issues facing the institution of spoken-word radio in America by tapping into the experience and insights of major players from various aspects of the field.  Already booked for this year’s installment are (in alphabetical order): Vince Benedetto, president/CEO Bold Gold Media GroupHeather Cohen, executive vice president, The Weiss Agency; Tom Langmyer, vice president & general manager, Milwaukee radio operations and vice president, news/talk/sports programming E.W. Scripps Company; Mike McVay, senior vice president/content & programming, Cumulus Media & Westwood OneChris Oliviero, executive vice president programming, CBS Radio; and Joe Sciacca, editor-in-chief, Boston Herald & Boston Herald Radio.  Additional panel sessions to be announced include “The Millennials and Media,” “The Podcasting Session,”  “Generating Revenue in the Digital Era,” and “The Talk Rumble” among others.  Stay tuned for more news about speakers and events.  TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations will take place on Friday, May 20 between 8:00 am and 8:00 pm on the campus of Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY (near NYC).  More details in the stories below.

Stellar Lineup Developing for TALKERS 2016:  Bridging the Generations.  More than 60 leading industry speakers will fill a power-packed day and evening of panel discussions, special presentations, keynote addresses, exhibits, social networking functions, meals and live broadcasts at the forthcoming 19th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention.  TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations will take place on Friday, May 20 on the campus of Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York.  The event kicks off bright and early at 8:00 am with the traditional “Breakfast with Hannity” opening social.  It will conclude 12 hours later with a gala, early-evening reception on the university’s magnificent television soundstage.  Already scheduled: Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity will beharrisonhannityfrancesa interviewed in a morning “Fireside Chat” conducted by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and WFAN, New York sports talk titan Mike Francesa will follow his morning address with a live broadcast (with student participation) of his legendary five-and-a-half hour afternoon drive show via the state-of-the-art facilities of the university’s award-winning radio station.  Pictured: Mike Francesa (l), Michael Harrison (c) and Sean Hannity (r).  Located just outside of New York City, Hofstra University’s Lawrence Herbert School of Communication is nationally recognized as one of the nation’s most respected and influential breeding grounds of great broadcasters.  The NAB honored WRHU-FM in 2015 with a Marconi Award as the first ever “student operated” non-commercial station of the year!  Radio Hofstra University WRHU-FM is also currently ranked number one – best college radio station – by the Princeton Review.  WRHU-FM also earned a Pinnacle Award – station of the year – from the CMA.  Upon making the announcement of this year’s event, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “2016 marks a great leap forward in the rich and colorful history of this legendary conference.  Tapping into the theme ‘Bridging the Generations’ TALKERS 2016 will intensely focus on talk radio’s successful and as seamless-as-possible transition into the digital era concentrating on attracting younger demos, broadening the format menu, modernizing political positioning, enhancing both journalistic and entertainment impact, incorporating all aspects of pop culture, understanding Millennials and the New Authenticity, creating a viable cross-platform presence, embracing the new technology, and of course, podcasting, podcasting and more podcasting.” Harrison adds, “This conference will be inter-generational.  I cannot begin to express the level of excitement and pride we have in partnering this year with Hofstra University, its wonderfully dynamic Lawrence Herbert School of Communication and its famous radio station WRHU – clearly one of the greatest, heritage campus outlets in America.  Their amazing, state-of-the-art resources will provide an exhilarating backdrop and platform for this gathering.  As far as we are concerned, the future of talk media begins now!”  The cost of a full registration is $299 per person with a special student rate of $249.  An early bird registration rate of $249 will be in effect until 5:00 pm ET on Monday, February 29 unless the event sells out prior to that date.  Registration is only open to professionals currently or recently (within one year) employed in media-related industries as well as students enrolled in accredited colleges or universities.  Registration includes all sessions, presentations, exhibits, receptions, and tours as well as breakfast/lunch/refreshment and social networking activities.  Registrations can only be taken over the phone (to verify qualifications) and paid for with a credit card.  As in years past, for the sake of intimacy and productivity, attendance will be limited to 500 and TALKERS 2016 will be an early sellout.  No registrations can be sold after that point.  All registrations are non-transferable and non-refundable. To register or obtain sponsorship information, please call 413-565-5413. Information about special local hotel discounts for attendees is detailed below. Agenda and speakers to be announced in the days and weeks ahead, leading up to the event. Register now!

mariottLIFantastic Group Rate Available at Long Island Marriott for TALKERS 2016. A limited number of rooms are still available for a limited amount of time for the nights of Thursday, May 19 and Friday, May 20 at the fabulous Long Island Marriott hotel located near Hofstra University – the site of TALKERS 2016. To take advantage of the $169 per night rate, book as early as possible by clicking here or calling reservations at 1-800-228-9290 and telling the agent you are with the TALKERS event group.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

| February 24, 2016

nielsen logoNielsen: News/Talk and Sports Experiencing Seasonal Ratings Spikes.  The ratings giant’s own analysis of PPM trends based on the January 2016 survey indicates the news/talk and sports talk formats enjoyed increases in listening during the period.  Nielsen Audio reports, “Sports radio, lifted by higher-than-ever levels of interest in the NFL, matched last January’s 5.1% share among all listeners 6 and older.  The annual rise in sports listening typically begins in the fall with the kick-off of college and professional football, the MLB postseason, and culminates in early February with the NFL playoffs.  But January’s headline is that news/talk registered its highest marks for listener share in several years, no doubt driven by the ongoing drama of the presidential campaigns and primary season now in full swing. News/talk jumped more than a full share-point from the holidays to January among all listeners (6+) (8.6% to 9.7%).  And listener share among listeners 18-34 and 25-54, two key groups for marketers, increased by 14%. The listener share among persons 18-34 increased to 4.1% from 3.6%, while the share among listeners 25-54 jumped to 6.7% from 5.9%. In fact, January’s 4.1% share rating among Millennials is the format’s best showing since November 2012, the last U.S. presidential election.”  See more from Nielsen here.

salemradionetworkSalem Radio Network Names Larry Elder Evening Host.  With Hugh Hewitt’s move to morning drive (Eastern Time) taking over for Bill Bennett, Salem Radio Networks says it’s bringing Larry Elder aboard to host the 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET program.  Hewitt’s move and Elder’s new show take effect on April 4.  Southernelderlarry California-based Elder began his radio career on KABC, Los Angeles.  He was syndicated from 2002 through 2007 by the ABC Radio Network and has most recently been heard on Salem Communications’ KRLA, Los Angeles “AM 870 The Answer” in the 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm slot.  SRN SVP Phil Boyce states, “Larry is truly a unique and needed voice in this country, and I can’t think of a better choice to fill the valuable Hugh Hewitt slot.  Listeners will be riveted to his take on the day’s news, and his insights into the most important issues of our day he will bring them back for appointment listening.”

Presidential Primary Races, Scalia Replacement Debate, Apple vs FBI, Obama Gitmo Closure Plan, Immigration and Refugee Policies, and Sunday’s Academy Awards Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/23).  The primary elections and caucuses in the 2016 presidential race; the debate over the timeline for replacing Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia; Apple’s refusal to hack the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino terrorists; President Obama’s plan to close the Guantanamo Bay detainment center; the policies for deterring illegal immigration and for dealing with refugees; and Sunday’s Oscars awards show were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Odds & Sods.  At digital audio aggregator TuneIn, Kevin Straley is promoted from his VP of programmingstraleykevin position to chief content officer.  Straley – a longtime radio programmer with SiriusXM and WRKO, Boston – has been with TuneIn since 2011.  The company says Straley will lead the content department and be responsible for content acquisition and strategy, and programming management.  It credits him for securing deals with the NFL, MLB, NHL, NPR, CNN and more…..With Sunday’s Academy Awards show as the backdrop, CBS RADIO all-news KNX, Los Angeles is airing a special program titled, “From Watts to Oscar: Race in L.A.,” tomorrow (2/25) at 10:00 am PT.  The station says, “It is one of the most diverse metropolitan areas in the world – but it’s also one of the most segregated.  And, many think Hollywood’s lack of diversity reflects this…hosts Charles Feldman and Chris Sedens examine the entertainment industry and the community, with more than a dozen interviews on diversity, racism and how to change the status quo.  Variety senior vice president and awards editor Tim Gray and noted civil rights attorney Constance Rice will be special in-studio guests.

examinerPoison16Washington Examiner Unveils Flint Water Crisis Podcast Series.  The Washington Examiner is taking an in-depth look at the lead-contaminated water case in Flint, Michigan in a podcast series titled, “Poison in the Pipes.”  The paper calls this an eight-part listening experience that chronicles “the why’s and how’s of the Flint water crisis, its history, and the necessary path to recovery.”  The podcast features energy and environment reporter Kyle Feldscher investigating the story “with on-the-ground reporting and in-depth analysis of the government failures contributing to the current situation.”  You can hear the first episode here.

hannityVegas16Covering the Nevada Caucuses.  Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Sean Hannity (left) poses for a photo with KDWN, Las Vegas program director John Shaffer (right).  Hannity was broadcasting his Premiere Networks-syndicated program from the Beasley Media Group news/talk station on Monday and Tuesday (2/22-23) while covering the Nevada caucuses.  Hannity also held a town hall meeting with GOP candidate Donald Trump during his time broadcasting from Las Vegas.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallNine Years Later: Don Imus Discusses His Regrets About and Lessons Learned from the Rutgers Women’s Basketball Incident in Wide-Ranging Interview with Michael Harrison.  The recipient of the TALKERS 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award, WABC, New York iconic morning personality Don Imus, is the guest on this week’s installment of the PodcastOne hit series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”  Imus looks back at the Rutgers University women’s basketball incident that sparked a national controversy in 2007 resulting in his relatively rapid termination from his syndicated morning show on CBS RADIO’s WFAN, New York and its TV simulcast on MSNBC.  The radio legend expresses regrets about the incident telling Harrison he wasImusCover wrong to make fun of innocent people who did not deserve to be ridiculed and that he came to understand you must pick your targets in a more appropriate manner.  The conversation enters a fascinating realm exploring the thinking behind the inconsistent process of major corporations (in this case CBS and NBC) either standing behind or firing high-profile talents when they become embroiled in politically incorrect controversies due to something they said on the air.  The discussion also covers the radio legend’s successful battle against drug and alcohol addiction, holistic approach to prostate cancer, deep love and respect for his wife Deirdre Imus and their philanthropic work in support of children with cancer, opinion of Al Sharpton and several radio key executives, most interesting guests, as well as his friendship with and view of Donald Trump.  Pictured is the cover of the April 2007 print edition of TALKERS magazine that expressed this publication’s support of Imus keeping his jobs at CBS RADIO and MSNBC during the heat of the Rutgers incident.  The depiction of an Imus-like cowboy figure being hanged from a tree in a figurative lynching was painted by Michael Harrison.  To hear the entirety of this fascinating interview please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player boxes located in the right-hand columns on every page on Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.