Wisconsin Talk Host Walks Off Morning Show Citing ‘Hurricane of Hate.’ Longtime Eau Claire, Wisconsin talk host John Murphy walked off his morning drive program in the middle of the show on Thursday (10/13), saying he’s tired of the “political venom” from callers to the program. Murphy did return to Mid-West Family Marketing’s sports-information formatted simulcast WAYY/W286CK in Eau Claire to host a new, non-political show airing from 7:00 am to 10:00 am, appropriately called, “The No Politics Zone.” The Eau Claire Leader-Telegram reports that Murphy says even rules about no discussion of political races didn’t seem to work – and may not for the new show either. “We found that no matter what topic we brought up, people used that opportunity to weasel their political opinions in.” Murphy had been hosting the “WAYY Morning Show” that served as a forum for listeners on local, state and national issues for the past 14 years. Murphy co-hosts the new show with current station personalities Luc Anthony and Dan Kasper.
Hillsdale College/TALKERS Magazine Presidential Election Talk Radio Debate in DC Aired Live on C-SPAN2; Available on Talkers TV Now. The Hillsdale College/TALKERS magazine Presidential Election Talk Radio Debate that took place in Washington, DC this past Friday (10/14) was aired live on C-SPAN2. For those who wish to see the event, the video is now posted on Talkers TV. The debate was moderated by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and the panel of participants included: (in alphabetical order): Thom Hartmann, syndicated host, WYD Media; Hugh Hewitt, syndicated host, Salem Radio Network; Joyce Kaufman, afternoon host, WFTL, Ft. Lauderdale/Miami; Joe Madison, morning host, SiriusXM “Urban View” channel; Larry O’ Connor, morning co-host, WMAL, Washington, DC; and Chris Stigall, morning host WPHT, Philadelphia. Also appearing on the program were Matthew J. Spaulding, associate VP, Hillsdale College and Vince Benedetto, CEO, Bold Gold Media Group. The event took place at Hillsdale’s Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship at 227 Massachusetts Avenue, NE, Washington, DC. To view the entire debate, please click here or click on the Talkers TV box located at top of the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.
Ed Levine’s Galaxy Communications to Buy Western Massachusetts Radio Group. Syracuse, New York-Based Galaxy Communications announces it has signed a definitive agreement to buy the six-station radio group operating as Berkshires Media Group from parent company Gamma Broadcasting for an undisclosed sum. The stations are: hot AC WBEC-FM, Pittsfield; news/talk WBEC-AM, Pittsfield-AM; classic hits WUPE-AM/FM, North Adams; AC WSBS-AM, Great Barrington; and AC WNAW-AM, North Adams. Levine says, “These six radio stations do a tremendous job of serving their communities with great local radio. They have thrived under the ownership of Gamma Broadcasting, which has done a wonderful job. I look forward to working with market manager Peter Barry and the entire staff of radio professionals.” Gamma president Bruce Danziger adds, “We feel confident placing our terrific stations and people in Ed Levine’s capable hands. This is a special group, led by Peter, and we know Ed’s oversight will continue to bring good results for our people and the community.”
Jeff Smulyan’s Go-Private Bid Fails. The CEO of Emmis Communications extended this offer deadline three times, but that still wasn’t enough for the special committee of independent directors and his $4.10 per share offer to take the company private failed. As the Indianapolis Business Journal reports, this was the third time over the last 10 years that Jeff Smulyan had bid to take the company private. Emmis stock closed at $3.99 on Friday (10/14). The IBJ also notes that Smulyan’s offer represented a 25% premium to Emmis’ average closing share price over the 90 days prior to the announcement of the deal, but investors obviously felt the offer was way too low. Smulyan appears to be finished trying to take the company private and writes to shareholders that he looks “forward to continuing to work with you as we move Emmis forward as a public company.”
CBS to Break Out Radio Performance During Quarterly Reports. As the company states, this is in advance of its separating the CBS RADIO segment from the rest of the company and the expected initial public offering for the new radio company. The company explains that “beginning with the filing of the Company’s Form 10-Q for the third quarter of 2016, the Company’s previously reported operating segment, Local Broadcasting, will be separated into the following two operating segments: (1) Local Media and (2) Radio. In connection with this new segment presentation, the presentation of intercompany revenues has been revised, including station affiliation fees paid by Local Media to the CBS Television Network. The following financial information reflects the new segment and intercompany presentations for all periods presented.” What we’re seeing in the report is that although radio segment revenue has been down slightly over the last six quarters, station operating income has improved.
Odds & Sods. The Beasley sports talker in Charlotte – WFNZ “610 the Fan” – has been simulcasting on the FM band via translator W273DA at 102.5 leased from the Educational Media Foundation. Now, Beasley files to buy the translator for $150,000…..…..Jay Morris is exiting his brand manager role with Midwest Communications’ Kalamazoo station group where he programmed alternative WZOX, news/talk WKZO, and sports talk WQLR for a gig outside of the radio biz. Cluster director of operations and programming Steve Mills assumes PD duties on an interim basis…..Amani Abraham transitions from the anchor/reporter role at Rubber City Radio’s country WQMX and news/talk WAKR in Akron to WKYC-TV, Cleveland to serve as a reporter.
The Presidential Race, WikiLeaks Clinton Doc Dump, ‘SNL’ Election Skits, Battle Against ISIS in Mosul, Kaepernick Starts vs Bills/Anthem Protests, MLB Playoffs, and Sunday’s NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; the dump of emails between Hillary Clinton and her staff by WikiLeaks; Donald Trump’s displeasure of the portrayal of him in “SNL” skits; action in the battle against Islamic State in the Iraqi city of Mosul; the National Anthem protests and counter-protests against Colin Kaepernick prior to his start in Buffalo; the weekend’s MLB playoff action and Sunday’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.