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Archive for December, 2016

Friday, December 23, 2016

| December 23, 2016

The Top News/Talk Stories of 2016.  For more than 26 years, TALKERS magazine research has been tracking the stories and people discussed on news/talk radio stations across the country.  At the end of each year, we publish a retrospective of the stories and people that resonated with talk radio hosts and their listeners during the year and rank them according to the attention they received across the format.  Below is the chart for the top news/talk stories and people of 2016.

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nielsen-logoNielsen Audio Releases Round Four of December 2016 PPM Data.  The fourth and final round of December 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford.  The December 2016 survey period covered November 3-30.  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.

IMPORTANT:  Early Bird Special for Talkers 2017: A New Era Runs Out Today!  If you are planning to attend Talkers 2017: A New Era on Friday, June 2, 2017 in New York City – it pays to register before the end of business today (12/23) at 5:00 pm ET.  That’s when the early bird special registration price will run out.  The early bird price for a full registration is $279.  After that, the price will be $329.  The convention is again expected to be an early sell out – so it pays to register early.  For full details about the event, please see story below.

2017-talkers-conference-navySave the Date! Talkers 2017 Set for Friday, June 2, 2017 in New York City.  The editorial board of TALKERS magazine is pleased to announce the date and location of the 20th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention.  Titled Talkers 2017: A New Era, the power-packed, one-day event will take place on Friday, June 2, 2017 at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan in New York City.  The conference will feature top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry with a focus on talk radio and its role in the new digital age at the dawn of the Trump Era.  This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology – the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing the modern day talk broadcaster and broadcasting organization.  It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals.  The event will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch and a closing cocktail reception.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “As has always been the case with this annual gathering, all the way back to its days as ‘The New Media Seminar,’ Talkers 2017: A New Era will focus on the future.  There is no doubt about it; we are at the dawn of an exciting new era – full of both daunting challenges and fabulous opportunities.  Good things happen at this convention.  We pack three days’ worth of content and activity into one dynamic day and comfortable space. It is not to be missed!”  Complete agenda and hotel details will be posted in the coming days and weeks.  As is customary, Talkers 2017: A New Era is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students.  Because seating is limited and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card.  Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments costs $329 per person.  However, an early bird special ($279 per person) is available for those who register before 5:00 pm ET on Friday, December 23.  To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

talkersten-logoThe Trump Administration Transition Top News/Talk Story for Week of December 19 – 23. The transition of the Trump Administration was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  Following at #2 was the assassination of Russian diplomat Sergey Lavrov in Ankara, Turkey.  Coming in at #3 was the deadly Berlin terror attack, and the “fake news” controversy and the related Russian hacking allegations 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 magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Music Radio Trade Publication RadioInfo to Be Absorbed into TALKERS Magazine.  Beginning January 3, 2017, the music radio industry trade publication RadioInfo will be folded into an expanded incarnation of TALKERS magazine (www.Talkers.com and the daily TALKERS email newsletter) and cease to exist as a stand-alone entity.  According to TALKERS/RadioInfo VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “This has been a transition in the works for a number of months now.  Because, RadioInfo has shared main headquarters and staff with TALKERS for the past five years, there has been a significant degree of duplication between the publications, especially regarding general industry stories that cover all formats.  It makes sense from a standpoint of economy, proficiency and expediency to combine these into one ‘super’ trade journal.  We will continue to provide RadioInfo readers and newsletter subscribers with the latest news events and personnel changes in music radio within the pages of TALKERS.  We also plan on expanding our coverage of the talented talk-oriented hosts heard across America on music station morning programs that we categorize as ‘pop culture talk.’”  Subscribers to the daily RadioInfo email newsletter, not already signed up for TALKERS, will be added to the list so they will continue to receive the service.  RadioInfo was founded as a set of radio discussion boards and an accompanying general online industry news platform in 1999 by young radio enthusiast and entrepreneur Doug Fleming who tragically passed away in 2005 at the age of 25.  The entity, known as Radio-Info.com, continued to be published by Doug’s parents Diana and Rick Fleming until 2012.  At that time, the discussion boards were acquired by trade publication Radio Ink’s parent corporation Streamline Publishing and eventually discontinued.  The trade publication side was acquired by TALKERS magazine’s parent company Talk Media, Inc. and transitioned into the music radio incarnation of RadioInfo.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

| December 22, 2016

Nielsen Audio to Increase PPM Panel Size.  The radio industry has been asking for larger panels for the PPM surveys and yesterday (12/21) Nielsen Audio granted the business that long-sought-after wish.  In a press release, Nielsen announced it will increase “the effective sample size of the panel by 10% across all markets and demographics starting mid-2017.  Nielsen’s enhanced PPM panel will have more than 80,000 installed meters. nielsen-logoThis means that on an average day over 65,000 panelists will contribute to the ratings.  The increase represents more than 6,000 additional panelists on a daily basis across the aggregate of PPM markets.  The sample increase will be distributed proportionally across all demographics.”  President for Nielsen product leadership Megan Clarken states, “Larger sample sizes are important due to the continuing fragmentation of audiences and the need for more granular analysis of the data.  This expansion will be an important step forward in the accuracy and quality of our audio estimates.  Increasing the size of our PPM panel will allow our clients to continue to share their story with confidence and in a way that resonates with advertisers.”  The company also says that the recent acquisition of Gracenote will allow it to explore “ways to leverage Gracenote’s vast footprint in over 70 million car infotainment systems as well as their expertise as the industry standard for automatic content recognition to help expand our measurement of in-car audio and in-car digital listening.”  Managing director for Nielsen Audio Brad Kelly, adds, “An increase in the PPM sample size is the number one priority for our clients.  With this investment, Nielsen is doubling down on its commitment to the radio industry and addressing the needs of our clients.  We are thrilled to rollout this enhancement that will continue to build a stronger radio advertising marketplace.”

ESPN Extends Deal with Bomani Jones.  Sports giant ESPN inks a contract renewal with Bomani Jones.  He currently hosts the 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET slot on ESPN Radio – “The Right Time with Bomani Jones” – and jonesbomaniappears on ESPN television on “Highly Questionable” with Dan Le Batard and Papi weekdays at 4:30 pm.  The company says additional projects featuring Jones will be developed.  Jones says, “I’m really happy to continue my relationship with ESPN.  I’ve spent the last three-and-a-half years working with some of the best and brightest people in sports, and it’s great to know that will continue.  More than that, I’m excited about everything that will be possible in the next few years on television and continuing to build ‘The Right Time’ on ESPN Radio.”

Our American Network Offers Holiday Specials.  The producer of the two-hour, nightly syndicated radio show “Our American Stories” is offering a Christmas special and a weeklong, “Best of 2016” special.  Lee Habeeb hosts and produces “Our American Stories.”  He says the Christmas special “will feature stories about how the song ‘White Christmas’ came to be, along with a superb story about the Bing Crosby and David Bowie duet of ‘Theouramericanstories Little Drummer Boy.’  We will also delve into the origins of many of our greatest Christmas traditions, from the Christmas tree to Christmas lights, and so much more.”   That show airs live from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm on Friday (12/23).  “Our American Stories Best of 2016” will showcase a week of some the year’s most memorable segments from the year.  Habeeb says, “Included are profiles and rare interviews with actor Gene Wilder, musician Merle Haggard, golf legend Arnold Palmer, plus profile segments about Johnny Carson, Frank Sinatra, Annie Oakley and Jimmy Stewart.  It will be the best of the best of ‘Our American Stories.’”  For market exclusivity on the Christmas and/or week-long “Best of” special, contact affiliates@oanetwork.org or by calling 239-470-9297.

iHeartMedia and Jingle Punks Create ‘National Jingle Day’; Honor Barry Manilow for Career Jingle Work.  In collaboration with audio creative agency Jingle Punks, iHeartMedia is debuting the first annual iHeartMedia’s National Jingle Day Presented by Jingle Punks, taking place on Monday, December 26.  The event will debut new jingles from the ACLU, Aloe Gloe, Axe Hair, Band-Aid Brand Adhesive Bandages, Chase natjingledayFreedom Unlimited, Glade, Logitech, musical.ly, Outback Steakhouse, Suave, Ziploc and more.  The two companies partnered with the brands to script, record and produce 13 original jingles, back-to-back in 13 hours.  Select jingles will air nationwide on December 26 across hundreds of iHeartMedia radio stations and on digital platform iHeartRadio.  Also, video social network musical.ly is going to share a selection of the original jingles with its community of more than 160 million users, allowing them to create videos set to their favorite jingle.  Jingle Punks president and CEO Jared Gutstadt comments, “National Jingle Day was created to bring the jingle back into the spotlight in an impactful, disruptive way.  Music is the most powerful way to reach people, so we teamed up with iHeartMedia to create 13 jingles for 13 brands in 13 hours, and ended up with some kick-ass audio creative that celebrates the adventure of sound in today’s modern world.”  In connection with National Jingle Day, Barry Manilow is being honored as the first-ever inductee into the National Jingle Day Hall of Fame for his voice work on iconic brands such as McDonald’s, Band-Aid, KFC and State Farm.

Nielsen Audio Releases Round Three of December 2016 PPM Data.  The third of four rounds of Decemberppmunit-alt 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 December 2016 survey period covered November 3-30.  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.

Odds & Sods.  Portland sports talker KXTG “750/102.9 The Game” adds Seattle Mariners baseball to its programming.  The Alpha Media station announced yesterday that it is adding KIRO-AM-based duo “Brock & Salk” to its lineup and today’s move adds more Seattle-based sports content…..ESPN Radio is adding four new shows to its winter weekend lineup.  The new shows are “Rothenberg & Medcalf” (Saturdays, 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm ET), featuring Dave Rothenberg and Myron Medcalf; “Robin & Reese” (Saturdays, 11:00 pm to 1:00 am) with Robin Lundberg and Reese Waters; “Clinton Yates, Mina Kimes & Domonique Foxworth” (Sundays, 9:00 am to 12:00 noon); and Jordan Rodgers & Jason Fitz (10:00 pm to 12:00 midnight).

Trump Transition, Popular Vote vs Electoral College, Walmart ‘Black Lives Matter’ Case, Iran Involvement in Syria, Search for Berlin Terror Suspect, North Carolina Bathroom Law Issue, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/21).  The Trump Administration’s transition, including Kellyanne Conway’s appointment as counselor to the president; the final presidential election figures showing Hillary Clinton’s popular vote margin of victory; Walmart’s response to request by national Fraternal Order of Police to remove “Black Lives Matter” shirts from its website; new information indicating Iran’s military is playing violent role in Aleppo, Syria; the search for the man German authorities believe was responsible for the deadly truck attack in Berlin; the failure of the North Carolina Senate to repeal the law requiring people use public restrooms that align with their gender at birth; and chatter about the NFL playoff possibilities were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

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Special PodcastOne Live Event.  On Monday (12/19), PodcastOne host Adam Carolla (second from right) invited 100 fans to an advanced screening of the new film, Why Him? on the FOX Studios backlot.  Following the showing, stars (left to right) James Franco, Megan Mullally and Bryan Cranston joined Carolla for a live podcast.  The group covered everything, from growing up to current projects, and culminated with a few questions from audience members.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

| December 21, 2016

WJR, Detroit Brings Motor City Broadcast Pro Guy Gordon Aboard for New Talk Show.  Longtime market television journalist Guy Gordon will debut a new talk show on Cumulus Media’s WJR, Detroit fromwjr 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm beginning January 3.  Cumulus notes that Gordon has been a fixture on Detroit television news gordonguyfor more than 30 years and was recognized with two Emmy Awards for Best Anchor and six Emmy Awards for Best Writing, Reporting, and Documentary.   Cumulus Detroit VP/market manager Tom O’Brien states, “We are thrilled to have a media professional of Guy’s caliber join the WJR team and to kick off 2017 with this vibrant new program.  Guy has covered many of the biggest stories affecting Metro Detroit and its residents over the past three decades and has experienced the triumphs and challenges of our great city from a truly unique perspective and vantage point.  WJR listeners will be captivated by what is sure to be a lively and provocative two hours with Guy and his guests each weekday afternoon.”  Gordon’s show replaces “The Savage Nation” with Michael Savage.

WTMJ, Milwaukee Announces New Year Lineup.  With the New Year come changes at E.W. Scrippsjaglerjohn news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee.  With the retirement from radio of longtime WTMJ personality Charlie Sykes, the station moves midday personality Jeff Wagner to the 8:30 am to 12:00 noon daypart.  Hosting the “WTMJ Today” show from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm on an interim basis will be WTMJ alumnus John Jagler, who is now serving as a Representative for Wisconsin’s 37th State Assembly District.  Previously, Jagler co-hosted “Wisconsin’s Morning News” with Gene Mueller until 2010.  Jagler will work on air with WTMJ’s Erik Bilstad.

‘Brock & Salk’ Show to Air on Alpha Media’s KXTG-AM, Portland.  The KIRO-AM, Seattle-based sports talk show “Brock & Salk” – featuring Brock Huard and Mike Salk – is  branching out to another Northwestsalkhuard market as the show begins a run on Alpha Media’s Portland sports talker KXTG-AM “750/102.9 The Game,” effective Monday, January 2.  The show will air from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon and lead into KXTG’s “The Bald-Faced Truth with John Canzano.”  Dave Pridemore, who manages KIRO-AM “710 ESPN” for owner Bonneville International, comments, “We are excited to expand our Seattle Sports Radio Network into the greater Portland area.”

Cumulus Pays Bonuses to Execs John Abbot and Richard Denning.  Two of Cumulus Media’s executives have received one-time bonuses, according to a filing with the SEC.  The Cumulus board of directors approved one-cumulus-logotime, discretionary bonuses for EVP, treasurer and CFO John Abbot ($421875) and SVP and secretary and general counsel Richard Denning ($165,000).  The filing notes that the bonuses are for “exceptional efforts and contributions made by those executive officers during 2016, both individually and as members of the management leadership team, in the initial phase of the company’s operational turnaround plan and ongoing operational and financial restructuring.”

ppmunitNielsen Audio Releases Round Two of December 2016 PPM Data.  The second of four rounds of December 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 December 2016 survey period covered November 3-30.  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.

‘Dogma Debate’ Launches on PodcastOne.  The popular podcast produced by author and media figure David Smalley is joining the offerings at PodcastOne.  “Dogma Debate” is described by Smalley as “fast-paced with a liberal slant…featuring discussion and debate on topics like atheism, science, politics and civil rights” and “priding itself on respectful debates, the show will make you laugh, cry and, most importantly, think, as you dive into taboo territory with Smalley and his guests each week.”  Smalley comments, “For years, I’ve been aware of the quality and growth Norm Pattiz delivers, so I’m very excited about the future possibilities ‘Dogma Debate’ can have with PodcastOne.”

‘The Union Edge’ Talk Show Partners with the League of Women Voters. The nationally syndicated labor-oriented radio talk show “The Union Edge” announces a new partnership with the League of Women Voters that union-edge-logowill mean League leaders will participating in regular radio segments to discuss voting rights, public policy issues and advocacy.  Program host Charles Showalter says, “We are excited to partner with the League of Women Voters for their strong commitment to voter engagement, voter protection and education.  Union members are Democrats, Republicans and Independents; all should have the unimpeded chance to vote their conscience.  As a non-partisan organization, the League always brings a fresh perspective on the critical issues facing working people across the country.”

Talk Personality Rob Carson Building Digital Platform.  Since recently exiting Cumulus Media’s KCMO, Kansas City, radio personality Rob Carson has been building his own digital platform for his various projects basedcarsonrob out of his new home-based broadcast studio.  He tells TALKERS that in addition to his digital content, he’s doing talk radio fill-in work (he’ll be on WTMJ, Milwaukee and WLS-AM, Chicago next week).  “I now have a fully functional broadcast studio in my home.  Since leaving KCMO a month ago, I was able to crowd-fund a new studio, complete with a Comrex Bric II.  I have built a podcast and am working on a one-stop website for my podcasts, syndicated comedy, social media and dozens of comedy/lifestyle/cooking videos.  As things grow, I’ve already started to talk to food processors and distributors about food products of my design to sell in stores and over the air.”  Check out some of his cooking videos here.

Odds & Sods.  January’s East-West Shrine Game – the nation’s longest-running college all-star football game – is airing on more than 100 stations via SB Nation Radio.  Program director and COO Craig Larson states, “It’s a great honor to air the East-West Shrine game on SB Nation Radio.  I have long supported the amazing work of Shriners Hospitals.  This is a wonderful opportunity to spotlight many outstanding student-athletes and aconwaysimon tremendous organization.”…..One of the busiest talk radio hosts in America is at it again.  WHO, Des Moines afternoon drive personality Simon Conway will host that show, his regular morning show on WMT, Cedar Rapids as well as subbing in morning drive on iHeartMedia sister station WFLF, Orlando today (12/21) through Friday…..The GCN nationally syndicated Dr. Daliah Wachs show is added to the program schedule at D.J. Broadcasting’s WKDE, Altavista, Virginia…..Sports media personalities Woody Paige and Jay Mariotti are launching a daily, 30-minute podcast titled, “Unmuted: The Daily Sports Podcast.”  Paige and Mariotti are well known for their work on ESPN’s “Around The Horn” program.

Trump Transition, Obama Drilling Ban, Berlin Terror Attack, Russian Diplomat Assassination Aftermath, U.S. Embassy in Israel Move, Pulse Victims’ Families Sue Social Media, and NFL Pro Bowl Players Announced Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/20).  The transition of the Trump Administration and President-Elect Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees; President Obama issues order banning drilling in Arctic and Atlantic Oceans; the search for the person responsible for the deadly truck attack in Berlin; the assassination of Russian diplomat Sergey Lavrov in Ankara and its effect on international relations; controversy over the Trump plan to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem; the planned suit against Facebook, Twitter and Google by families of the victims of The Pulse nightclub massacre; and the announcement of the NFL’s 2016 Pro Bowl players were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

| December 20, 2016

MRC Withholds Accreditation of Nielsen’s December PPM Survey.  Ratings giant Nielsen Audio has released the first round of data from its December 2016 PPM survey (November 3-30) but it does so without accreditation for the 26 markets that the Media Rating Council has previously accredited.  This stems from mrc-logoNielsen’s PPM connectivity issues that affected the first week of the December survey.  Here’s what the MRC had to say in a statement: “Since the PPM connectivity disruption, Nielsen has shared information with MRC about the outage, Nielsen Audio’s recovery efforts, and related data analyses Nielsen Audio has performed.  However, MRC believes the data analyses related to this incident with which we have been presented by Nielsen Audio, in addition to Nielsen Audio’s response to a series of questions related to the incident that MRC has raised to Nielsen Audio, are incomplete, and therefore MRC and its Radio Committee and its Board of Directors are unable to conclude as yet on this matter.  Nielsen has committed to continue to work with MRC on this issue.  Therefore, MRC has chosen to withhold its accreditation for the December PPM reports to which it would otherwise have been applicable until we receive responses and appropriate analyses of the impacted data that we deem satisfactory to address these concerns.  We will update the marketplace at a future time should this situation change and we believe these issues have been sufficiently addressed to reinstate MRC accreditation of the December 2016 PPM estimates.”

nielsen-logoNielsen Audio Releases Round One of December 2016 PPM Data.  The first of four rounds of December 2016 PPM ratings 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 December 2016 survey period covered November 3-30.  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.

harrisonupclosefaroutsmallKABC, Los Angeles Morning Host Doug McIntyre Joins Michael Harrison on this Week’s Podcast.  After serving a decade as morning host on KABC, Los Angeles (and 10 years before that developing a powerful, all-night presence on “Red Eye Radio”), multi-media renaissance man, Doug McIntyre has just signed a new, two-year extension to his contractmcintyredoug with the heritage Cumulus-owned West Coast talk outlet.  He is this week’s guest on the award-winning, PodcastOne hit series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”  In addition to radio, McIntyre is a page one newspaper op-ed columnist for the Los Angeles Daily News, and has enjoyed a successful 20-year career as a television and film writer/producer/director.  According to Harrison, “Doug is one of the most original hosts in talk radio today – a potent combination of quirky humor, keen intelligence, unbridled courage and smoldering rage.”  Harrison and McIntyre talk about the state of politics, journalism, fake news, and new media – making this program a must-listen for its worldwide audience of “media freaks.”  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

Mark Anderson Rises to VP of Programming at CBS RADIO Pittsburgh.  At its Pittsburgh cluster, CBS RADIO promotes Mark Anderson to vice president, programming, a move up from his current role as Pittsburgh operations manager and program director of hot AC WBZZ and country WDSY.  Anderson will continue to programandersonmark WBZZ and WDSY and will now “provide operational guidance and oversight as well as leadership in developing new products, partnerships and opportunities for all of the Pittsburgh stations.”  Jim Graci continues his role as program director for news/talk KDKA-AM and sports talk KDKA-FM.  SVP and market manager Michael Young comments, “Mark is a well-seasoned programming executive who has a strong track record of successfully managing the day-to-day details as well as the long-term vision and creativity to develop and advance exciting new concepts.  As our products evolve to engage audiences beyond the airwaves, I am excited about the additional contributions that Mark will make to all of our stations.”

Andy West Appointed Creative Services and Imaging Director for iHeartRadio.  In this new role at iHeartRadio, Andy West will oversee a network of producers to develop and produce fresh, format-specific on-air content for the iHeartRadio app, that airs across iHeartMedia’s network of 850-plus radio stations.  The company says he’ll also collaborate with marketing, operations, sales and senior management to create innovative new features and content for iHeartRadio, as well as manage the imaging for iHeartRadio’s digital only stations.  The Atlanta-based West will work alongside fellow creative services & imaging director Ricky Roo.

Chris Jericho and PodcastOne Launch ‘Beyond the Darkness.’  This new audio exploration of the paranormal comes from Chris Jericho’s podcast network under the PodcastOne umbrella and it’s called “Beyond podcastone-bthe Darkness.”  The podcast is hosted by author and radio host Dave Schrader, and radio producer and host Tim Dennis.  PodcastOne founder and executive chairman Norm Pattiz comments, “Chris has distinguished himself as one of the jewels of the PodcastOne network.  When he started The Jericho Network collection, we knew it would evolve beyond wrestling.  He’s delivered comedians and now takes us into the paranormal with ‘Beyond the Darkness.’”

Doug Stephan Broadcasts from Israel.  Nationally syndicated talk radio host Doug Stephan, co-host of thestephanuri16 “On Air with Doug, Jen, and Victoria,” is pictured here (left) in the Tel Aviv airport with popular illusionist Uri Geller (right).  Stephan reports he’s originating his portion of the program this week from Israel, talking about such topics as President-Elect Trump’s desire to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s tense relationship with President Obama, and more.  Stephan says, “The timing of this visit is extremely newsworthy, and besides, what better week to be in Israel than the week before Christmas!”

Odds & Sods.  At news/talk WFMD and country WFRE in Frederick, Maryland, director of operations Phyliss Betson rises to market manager for the duo.  She takes over for Michael Banks, who is exiting to join Connoisseur Media.…..The NHL’s Minnesota Wild and iHeartMedia’s KFAN, Minneapolis announce a three-year extension of their partnership.  KFAN is currently in its sixth season as the official radio flagship home of the Minnesota Wild…..BizTalkRadio announces the addition of “The Win. With Heather Havenwood” to its Thursday evening lineup.  The program, featuring entrepreneur and digital marketing, email marketing and online publishing business strategies expert Heather Ann Havenwood will air at 7:00 pm ET beginning in January.

Russian Diplomat Assassinated, Monday’s Electoral College Vote, ‘Fake News’/Russian Hacking Allegations, Trump Cabinet Nominations, Terror Attack in Germany, China-U.S. Drone Incident, and Weekend’s NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/19).  The assassination of Russian Ambassador to Turkey Sergey Lavrov by off-duty Turkish police officer Mevlut Mert Altintas; the electoral college vote to officially name Donald Trump president-elect; the ongoing controversy over “fake news” and the related story of allegations of Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential election; the cabinet nominations by President-Elect Trump; the deadly terror attack at a Christmas bazaar in Berlin; China returns an intercepted submersible drone belonging to the U.S. Navy; 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 magazine.

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A Big 2016 for KXNT, Las Vegas’ Alan Stock.  Sin City talk personality Alan Stock – 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm at CBS RADIO’s news/talk KXNT – checks in with TALKERS magazine to share this pic with President-Elect Donald Trump and what he’s been up to all year.  In addition to his radio work, Stock has enjoyed a weekly presence on KLAS-TV, appearing on the station’s “Politics Now” in the program’s “Face Off” segment.  He writes a weekly column for the Las Vegas-based Now Report.  In February, he’ll lead a tour of listeners on a trip to Israel.

Monday, December 19, 2016

| December 19, 2016

Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano to Host Late Mornings at WLS-AM, Chicago.  A little more than a week after the Jonathon Brandmeier show was cancelled, Cumulus Media announces that it is bringing well-known Windy City broadcasters Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano aboard to host the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon program on WLS-AM.  The husband-and-wife team most recently worked on radio at Tribune’s crosstown WGN,sirottmurciano handling the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm show.  Cumulus Chicago VP/market manager Peter Bowen states, “Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano are deeply rooted in Chicago and are well known to the community. With their addition, WLS is more local and more relevant to Chicago listeners and advertisers.”  At the same time, the station announces its new program lineup starting in January: Big John and Ray, 6:00 am to 10:00 am; Sirott and Murciano, 10:00 am to 12:00 noon; Rush Limbaugh, 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm; Steve Dahl, 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm; Mark Levin, 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight.  The host of the 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm show is still to-be-announced.

cookehollandAircheck D.I.Y.  Media consultant Holland Cooke writes today that, due to numerous changes in the radio business, talk radio personalities don’t huddle for aircheck meetings with program directors like they used to. Because of this, talk hosts are often missing a valuable tool for improvement.  If you’re a young programmer with some talk talent to coach, or a music PD who isn’t used to coaching talk talent, Cooke offers this handy primer on airchecking talk radio personalities.   Read more here.

wainwrightmarkWainwright: Make it Part of the Show.  WSYR, Syracuse morning show host Mark Wainwright tells TALKERS magazine that after viewing a recent Talkers TV video from consultant Holland Cooke titled, “Making Money with Endorsement Spots,” he felt compelled to share some of his experiences and strategies for endorsement spots.  Wainwright says his overarching belief about the effectiveness of live endorsements is that they must become part of the show in order to achieve their maximum effect.  Read more here.

WMAL, Washington’s Larry O’Connor Joins The Weekly Standard.  In a memo to the staff, The Weekly Standard editor-in-chief Steve Hayes announces that WMAL, Washington oconnorlarrypersonality Larry O’ Connor is joining the organization as online editor. Hayes calls O’Connor’s arrival at TWS “part of an aggressive expansion of the TWS online presence.”  Hayes goes on to say, “As you might expect, Larry has a very good ear for the kinds of issues that resonate with grassroots conservatives and we’re eager for his input as we continue to improve and expand the digital side of the magazine.”  His previous work in digital media includes time at Hotair.com and Independent Journal Review.  Earlier this fall, it was announced that O’Connor is leaving the “Mornings on the Mall” AM drive show to take over the afternoon drive daypart (3:00 pm to 6:00 pm).

WTMJ, Milwaukee’s Charlie Sykes Pens NYT Op-Ed Piece ‘Where the Right Went Wrong.’  Longtimesykescharlie Milwaukee conservative talk personality Charlie Sykes is stepping down from his role as a talk show host on E.W. Scripps’ WTMJ at the end of this month.  It’s no secret in the industry that Sykes – along with other Wisconsin talk radio hosts – has been a vocal opponent of President-Elect Donald Trump.  In an opinion piece published in The New York Times over the weekend, Sykes lays out why he believes Trump won the election, how the conservative media helped him win and, as the title implies, where he thinks the conservative movement has gone wrong.  Read it here.

John Ziegler Ends Syndicated Sunday Night Radio Talk Show.  Conservative media personality John Ziegler announces he’s ending the live Sunday night broadcasts of his talk show, originally called the “John & Leah zieglerjohnShow” that featured co-host Leah Brandon for most of its run (though he hopes to continue it as a podcast).  Ziegler, a strong opponent of President-Elect Donald Trump, gives shared credit for his decision to shutter the show to Trump’s ascension to the Oval Office, some bad business moves for which he accepts the blame, and the state of the talk radio business.  Ziegler also writes for Mediaite and he lays out his decision for leaving AM/FM radio in a piece in the publication here.

Odds & Sods.  News/talk WOWO, Fort Wayne – with the help of two local co-sponsors – helped raise $343,808 for Community Harvest Food Bank and Super Shot during its recent two-day radiothon.  Program director Ryanwowopennypitch16 Wrecker says, “The generosity was overwhelming this year.”  The Penny Pitch Radiothon raised $171,094 but Brigadoon Fitness and King of Carts matched that to double the total raised.  Community Harvest Food Bank’s Hope for Heroes program focuses on providing groceries at no cost to veterans and military families in need.  Super Shot helps provide vaccinations for low-income, uninsured, under-insured and Medicaid eligible people.  The WOWO staff is pictured at right around the phone bank…..The Salem Media Group Minneapolis cluster – news/talk WWTC “AM 1280 The Patriot,” Christian talk KKMS “AM 980 The Mission,” business talk KYCR “Business Radio 1440,” talk KDIZ “Wellness Radio 1570,” and stream theFishTwinCities.com are presenting a “Crisis & Security Summit” on Thursday, January 26.  It’s a free, informational event that will feature experts discussing topics such as IT security, personal safety, community preparedness, and child protection.  Salem Minneapolis GM Nic Anderson comments, “In this day and age, we must plan ahead, be informed, and ensure personal and community safety from all angles.  We at Salem feel a sense of duty to our local churches and schools.”

Trump Cabinet Nominations, Today’s Electoral College Vote, Allegations of Russian Hacking, ‘Fake News’ Controversy, China Nabs U.S. Submersible Drone, Rogue One Opening Weekend, Cold Snap, and NFL Action Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The transitioning of the Trump Administration and President-Elect Donald Trump’s nominees for cabinet posts; today’s electoral college vote and the numerous pleas from celebrities to not vote for Trump; the allegations that Russia is responsible for hacking the DNC’s servers in order to influence the election; the hot topic of “fake news” and its role in politics; China’s intercepting of a U.S. drone submarine and tensions between China and the U.S. over China’s military build-up in the South China Sea; the opening weekend of the new Star Wars film Rogue One; the bitter cold weather affecting parts of the country; and National Football League action were some of the top stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.