Roe Conn Extends Deal to Remain with WGN, Chicago. Windy City talk radio personality Roe Conn will be with Tribune’s WGN Radio through the year 2020 after he and the company inked an extension. Vice president of programming Todd Manley says, “Roe’s passion for relevant stories and magnetic characters has turned afternoons on WGN into a must-hear daily ritual. He’s become the ring leader for one of my favorite radio ensembles.” After spending most of his talk radio career at crosstown WLS-AM, Conn began hosting the afternoon drive show on WGN in January of 2015. Daily contributors to the show include WGN-TV news anchor Mark Suppelsa and chief meteorologist Tom Skilling. Anna Davlantes serves as Conn’s co-host. Conn comments, “Being at WGN has been the most special experience of my career. People make the difference and this station has the most diligent, professional and collegial folks I’ve ever worked with. But what continues to amaze me every day is WGN’s dynamic, engaged and loyal audience. It’s an incredible honor to be a part of their day.”
Bewley Named Digital Director for Hubbard Minneapolis-St. Paul. Replacing Jeremy Sinon as Hubbard Radio’s Minneapolis-St. Paul digital director is Jesse Bewley, who will be responsible for the digital strategies for hot AC KSTP-FM “KS95-FM,” talk KTMY “myTalk 107.1,” and sports talk KSTP-AM “1500 ESPN.” Bewley says, “I couldn’t be more grateful to Dan Seeman and the entire team at Hubbard for giving me this incredible opportunity to advance my career. Jeremy Sinon undoubtedly leaves me gigantic shoes to fill, but I’m very much looking forward to leading the team to continued and expanded success in the local digital space.” Sinon was promoted to corporate digital director. Bewley, who most recently served as digital PD for iHeartMedia Minneapolis, starts with Hubbard on June 20.
The Presidential Race Dominates Talkers TenTM for Week of June 6-10. The activities of the candidates for president, the clinching of the Democratic nomination by Hillary Clinton and President Obama’s and Bernie Sanders’ support for Clinton were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week. At #2 was the legal case surrounding Trump University and Donald Trump’s comments about Judge Gonzalo Curiel. Coming in at #3 was the battle against Islamic State. 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 magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. View this week’s entire chart here.
Nielsen Audio Releases Third Round of May 2016 PPM Data. The Third of four rounds of May 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Columbus. The May 2016 survey period covered April 21 to May 18. You can find the complete 6+ ratings numbers from subscribing stations here. Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.
Dan McNeil Exits WDRV, Chicago’s Morning Drive Show. Mercurial Chicago radio personality Dan McNeil exits Hubbard Radio’s classic rock WDRV “The Drive” after 16 months on the morning drive show. McNeil is probably one of the markets most famous – or infamous – sports talk personalities. Over the last 25 years he had talked sports on CBS RADIO’s WSCR and ESPN O&O WMVP. Prior to joining WDRV, McNeil was in contract talks to rejoin WSCR in the midday slot but the two sides couldn’t come to terms. In February of 2015, McNeil was paired up with Pete McMurray to co-host The Drive’s morning show. Recently, McNeil disappeared from the air and, when he returned, was only heard doing brief sports reports. According to several sources, McNeil was upset when Greg Solk was let go from his SVP of programming post and was more upset when he was instructed not to talk about the matter on the show. Apparently, he was given some time off to cool down. Now, the station and he part ways and Hubbard makes the announcement in a press release from Hubbard Radio Chicago vice president/market manager John Gallagher and WDRV program director Rob Cressman. McNeil is quoted in the presser saying, “It was an incredible chapter in my radio tour. I got to be a part of a terrific air staff… some really wonderful people. ‘The Drive’ paid me go to movies, to take listeners to see AC/DC and The Who. I’ve been wanting to write a love letter to rock and roll publicly for years and I got to do it on one of the most sparkling classic rock stations in the country.” Cressman addresses the station’s morning show going forward. “We look forward to what lies ahead for ‘The Drive.’ Pete McMurray and the team have assembled a strong foundation. Our plans include a search for the chemistry and content mix that our audience has clearly requested. The considerable research and appraisal that accompanied the former incarnation of ‘The Morning Drive’ will continue to determine where future opportunities exist to super-serve Chicago’s classic rock enthusiasts in the morning.”
PwC Gives Radio Positive Outlook Over Next Four Years. The new Global Entertainment and Media Outlook 2016-2020 is out from PwC (PriceWaterhouseCoopers) and it presents current ad spend data and predicts where the industries will be in the year 2020. For radio, the news is mixed. PwC scores radio’s ad spend based on AM/FM spot sales, internet streaming and digital revenue, and NTR (or live events). It predicts radio as an industry will rise from its current $21.4 billion in revenue to $23.1 billion in 2020 – a compound annual growth rate of 1.6%. For radio stations and companies already integrating live events into their revenue stream, PwC says the news is good. The study forecasts an almost 5% increase in revenue in the Live Events sector to $11.69 billion by the year 2020. See the study here.