WCBM, Baltimore’s Tom Marr Dead at 73. Longtime Baltimore talk radio and sports radio personality Tom Marr died early today (7/7) at the age of 73 after suffering a stroke as a result of complications from back surgery. WCBM posted the following on its website: “It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce Thomas A. Marr has passed away today due the severity of his stroke. Please keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers!” Marr had been with WCBM since 1988 when he joined the station as a reporter and political commentator. He later became a talk show host. Prior to joining WCBM, Marr worked at WFBR (now WJZ-AM) as a reporter and news director. While there, he also served as part of the Baltimore Orioles play-by-play team for a number of years. WCBM program director Sean Casey says, “He helped to build this news/talk radio station into the force that it is today. He had a successful career while informing and entertaining listeners in Baltimore and worldwide.” TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison issued the following statement: “All of us at TALKERS are devastated over the loss of our dear friend and broadcasting treasure, Tom Marr. Tom was one of the true greats and a perennial member of the Heavy Hundred. His accomplishments in radio go back well before the modern era of talk radio that he played such an important role in building. He was an outstanding, kind, compassionate man who cared deeply about his fellow human beings – qualities that he brought to the airwaves day-after-day, decade-after-decade. The radio industry has lost one of its greatest players.” Marr is survived by his wife Sharon, five children and 10 grandchildren.
Emmis Radio Division Q1 Net Revenue Flat. Indianapolis-based Emmis Communications is reporting financial numbers from its fiscal first quarter for 2016. As a whole, the company’s net revenue was down 4.2% — but the radio division was up a tick to $42.7 million from $42.6 million in the same quarter one year ago. In a statement, Emmis says, “Excluding the company’s radio station in Los Angeles, which is being negatively affected by a recent format competitor, Emmis’ radio net revenues would have been up 5% in the quarter. Per Miller Kaplan reporting, radio revenues in Emmis’ markets were up 3% in the quarter with and without Los Angeles. For the first fiscal quarter, operating income was up 13%, from $7.6 million to $8.6 million, primarily due to cost reductions the company implemented in January 2016.” Chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan adds, “Our New York radio stations had a stellar first quarter, growing revenues 11% and beating a healthy New York radio market that was up 4% in the quarter. Compared to last year, Emmis’ ratings are up across our portfolio, and we are optimistic this will help drive revenue growth in the second half of the fiscal year. I continue to be amazed and encouraged by the progress the radio industry is making with NextRadio, the radio industry’s initiative to make FM broadcast radio available on smartphones and tablets. The Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge will soon be NextRadio compatible across all major wireless carriers in the United States, and with the support of handset makers BLU, Alcatel, and others, we have launched NextRadio in Canada and Peru.”
TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations – ‘The Big Picture Panel’ Video Posted Today. The Livestream video recording of the panel discussion titled, “The Big Picture,” one of the many highlights of the recent TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations convention, has been posted today (7/7) to Talkers.com. The 19th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important convention took place on Friday, May 20 on the fabulous campus of Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. Introduced by Radio Hofstra University general manager Bruce Avery and moderated by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, the panel members include (in alphabetical order): Heather Cohen, EVP, The Weiss Agency; Alan Colmes, host, Fox News Radio/commentator, Fox News Channel; Evan Cornog, Ph.D., dean, Hofstra University’s Lawrence Herbert School of Communication; Mike McVay, SVP/content & programming, Cumulus Media & Westwood One; Chris Oliviero, EVP/programming, CBS Radio; Joe Sciacca, editor-in-chief, Boston Herald; and Julie Talbott, president, Premiere Networks. The video opens with a brief appearance by convention emcee, Dr. Joy Browne, host, Genesis Communications Network. “The Big Picture” panel is a traditional favorite of the annual TALKERS convention and covers the spectrum of broad-strokes topics facing the radio and talk media industries. To view this video in its entirety, please click here.
The FBI’s Hillary Clinton Email Investigation, The Presidential Race, Baton Rouge and Minneapolis Police Shootings, U.S. Immigration Policy, UK Iraq War Report, and Rio Olympics Troubles Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/6). The FBI’s decision not to pursue criminal charges against Hillary Clinton for using a private email server for State Department business; the activities of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump; the deaths of black men in confrontations with police in Baton Rouge and Minneapolis; US immigration policy including the Senate’s failure to begin debate over a bill to de-fund “sanctuary cities”; the UK report on its involvement in the Iraq War and former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s decision to join the coalition; and the reports of the numerous problems Rio De Janeiro is dealing with preparing to open the Summer Games in August were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Nielsen Audio Releases Second Round of June 2016 PPM Data. The second of four rounds of June 2016 PPM ratings 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 June 2016 survey period covered May 19 to June 15. 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.
Former WABC and WOR, New York Manager Steve Borneman Named COO of Pamal Broadcasting. Management pro Steve Borneman is the new COO at Albany-based Pamal Broadcasting. He exits his general manager role at Times Shamrock Communications’ Scranton station group to take the Pamal gig. Previously in his career Borneman served as general manager for news/talk WABC and hot AC WPLJ in New York. He also managed talk WOR, New York for iHeartMedia after the company acquired the station from Buckley Broadcasting. Borneman will be based in White Plains, New York.
Odds & Sods. At the Norfolk, Virginia Max Media cluster, Mark McKay is named program director for sports talk WVSP “ESPN Radio 94.1.” McKay currently serves as program director for the company’s country WGH “97.3 THE EAGLE.”…..Hearst’s WBAL, Baltimore “NewsRadio 1090” picks up an Edward R. Murrow National Award for Continuing Coverage of the Freddie Gray story. The award is for the station’s coverage of the case, including Gray’s arrest and death, the unrest that followed, and the first trial of the six Baltimore police officers charged in Gray’s death. The award is for nearly eight months of coverage by the station…..ESPN’s radio hosts are taking over ESPN2’s “First Take” show. Next week (7/11-15), a new duo or trio from ESPN Radio will sit down at the First Take desk to give their takes on the day’s top stories from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon ET. Molly Qerim will host all week. Radio hosts and teams appearing on the show include: Steve Mason and John Ireland from KSPN, Los Angeles; Tom Waddle and Marc “Silvy” Silverman from WMVP, Chicago; Peter Rosenberg, Don La Greca and Rick DiPietro from WEPN, New York’s Michael Kay show and the Hahn & Humpty show; and ESPN Radio personalities Freddie Coleman, Bomani Jones, Jalen Rose and David Jacoby…..ABC News Radio is offering affiliate stations live, anchored coverage of the RNC and DNC conventions Monday through Thursday of the respective weeks (July 18-21 and July 25-28). Correspondent Aaron Katersky (right) will anchor nightly coverage joined by special contributor Ann Compton (left), political analysts Steve Roberts and Trey Hardin, correspondents Alex Stone, Jim Ryan, Cheri Preston, Brad Mielke, Rick Klein and Shushannah Walshe.