Entercom CEO David Field Issues Companywide Memo Regarding Merger. In a memo that was also filed with the SEC under rule 425, Entercom president and CEO David Field encourages staffers to stay focused on their programming and sales goals as the company and CBS RADIO move toward the merger, scheduled to close in the second half of this year. Field writes, in part, “We are creating a truly preeminent radio company with an extraordinary platform of the industry’s best local brands, personalities, content and marketing solutions covering virtually all of the nation’s top 50 markets. The new Entercom will be a leading local media and entertainment company with strong positions in radio, digital, events, news, sports, music and entertainment. With close to $2 billion in annual sales, a value of over $4 billion, and a very strong financial position, we will have the scale and resources to compete aggressively with other media for a significantly larger share of advertising dollars…Until the transaction closes, Entercom and CBS RADIO will continue to operate as separate and independent companies and it is business as usual. We ask that you stay focused on delivering great content to our listeners and providing the best media and marketing solutions to our advertisers. With every passing day, I become even more excited about this combination and the opportunities it will create for our listeners, customers, shareholders, the radio industry, and most importantly, our outstanding team. As this process continues, we will do our best to keep you informed, providing you with periodic updates when we are able to do so. As always, thank you for your continued hard work, dedication and leadership.”
iHeartMedia Names Pickett EVP Marketing, Digital Products. Marketing pro Donna Pickett comes to iHeartMedia’s New York offices from her most recent role as VP of performance based media at Cannella Response Television. She also worked at Time Life for more than 20 years, including as senior vice president. At iHeartMedia, she’ll be EVP of marketing, digital products and report to Darren Davis. The company says Pickett will work closely with iHeartRadio chief product officer Chris Williams to “align all marketing and product/programming efforts.”
Only Three Slots Remaining for FAIR’s ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ Radio Row in Washington. Broadcasters wishing to take part in the annual Washington, DC radio row event “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” – produced by Federation for American Immigration Reform – should contact event manager Cassie Williams at email@example.com today! FAIR executive director Bob Dane tells TALKERS magazine, “FAIR’s 11th annual ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ radio row is one for the record books. Over 60 hosts are confirmed to attend this year’s special ‘Let’s Make America Great Again’ broadcast which will evaluate the progress the new administration is making toward securing the border and enforcing immigration laws. Radio row is staged at the Phoenix Park hotel on Capitol Hill Wednesday and Thursday June 28 and 29. Morning drive is now full, but one midday and two afternoon booths are still available. FAIR covers most expenses, hotel accommodations, all equipment and coordinates guests from Capitol Hill and across the country.”
Crawford to Buy WCHB-AM, Detroit for $2 million. Motor City news/talk and jazz hybrid WCHB-AM will be sold by Radio One to Crawford Broadcasting for $2 million. According to Crain’s Detroit Business, the nationally syndicated Tom Joyner morning show will remain with Radio One, airing on translator W260CB at 99.9 FM. Current WCHB-AM personality Mildred Gaddis will move to Radio One’s Gospel WPZR. At this time, it’s unclear if Crawford intends to continue airing talk programming on WCHB.
TALKERS News Notes. Philadelphia’s Crossing Broad is reporting that sports talk WPEN-FM, Philadelphia “97.5 The Fanatic” morning sports update anchor and sidekick to Anthony Gargano, Maureen Williams, a.k.a. MCW, has left the station – possibly in a cost-saving move. It also appears that Gargano is not pleased with management’s actions…..Operations manager John Blake leaves the Cumulus Media Albany, Georgia six-station cluster for a position outside the radio business. Blake’s position included handling operations at news/talk WALG-AM in addition to its five music-formatted sister stations…..The Kevin Jackson show joins the Genesis Communications Network for national syndication, effective Monday (4/17). The program – which originally launched as “The Black Sphere Radio Show” on BlogTalk Radio in 2009 – will air live from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET…..ESPN’s WEPN-FM, New York “ESPN 98.7FM” was honored with three awards from the New York State Broadcasters Association in the large market radio division. The sports talk station won for: Best On-Air Broadcast Personality/Team – “Hahn, Humpty & Canty”; Best Station Sponsored Event – for the Michael Kay show’s “The Great Sports Debate” live at Fordham University; and Outstanding Commercial for a campaign for client New York Sports Clubs.
U.S.-Russia Relations/Syria Gas Attack, North Korea’s Nuclear Program, Trump-Bannon Relationship, Sean Spicer Apology, United Airlines Passenger Removal Scandal, Daily Mail-Melania Trump Settlement, NBA Playoffs, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/12). Tensions between Russia and the U.S. over the two nations’ Syria policies, and the aftermath of Syria’s alleged use of sarin gas on its citizens; North Korea’s nuclear missile program and reports of an imminent bomb test; speculation about the future of presidential adviser Stephen K. Bannon; White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s apology for his remarks about Hitler’s use of gas on Jews; the backlash against United Airlines over its rough removal of a passenger; First Lady Melania Trump’s libel settlement with the Daily Mail; the NBA playoff teams are set; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Alan Taylor on ‘LIVE with Kelly!’ Nationally syndicated auto talk host Alan Taylor (right) poses for a photo with Kelly Ripa (left) – host of “LIVE with Kelly!” – after appearing on the program this week during Auto Show Week. Taylor is appearing all week to show off the top automobiles in all categories. Earlier this week he showcased new vehicles with Ripa and celebrity guest hosts Morris Chestnut, Vin Diesel, and Carrie Ann Inaba.
Dan Mason to Speak at TALKERS 2017: A New Era. One of the most respected broadcasters in the radio business, Dan Mason, has joined the stellar roster of speakers at the forthcoming 20th annual installment of the longest-running and most important annual convention in the talk media industry – TALKERS 2017: A New Era. The convention takes place on Friday, June 2 in New York City. Mason, who retired from his long standing position as CEO of CBS RADIO in 2015, currently serves as chairman of the Broadcasters Foundation of America as well as senior adviser of broadcast relations for iHeartMedia. In addition, Mason has been pursuing his passion for sportscasting as a commentator on women’s college basketball for the CBS Sports Network and a horse racing analyst for NBC Sports Radio and the Horse Racing Radio Network. Mason will participate in one of the exciting series of “fireside chats” that will mark the updated format of this year’s conference. He will be interviewed by WPGG, Atlantic City’s popular morning host Harry Hurley – the recipient of last year’s TALKERS Humanitarian of the Year Award. Hurley will also present Mason with a check in the amount of $1,000 for the BFoA from his Hurley in the Morning Charity. For more information about TALKERS 2017: A New Era please click here.
TALKERS 2017: A New Era to Present Blockbuster Agenda. The agenda for the rapidly approaching 20th annual installment of the talk media industry’s biggest and most important national convention – TALKERS 2017: A New Era – continues to grow and its organizers are saying that it is one of the best in the colorful history of the storied event.
The power-packed, one-day event will take place in New York City on Friday, June 2 at the Helen Mills Theater and Event Space in the Chelsea district of Manhattan.
Speakers include a variety of industry figures from talk media ownership, management, programming, sales, talent, and technology and the topics will focus on the key issues, challenges and opportunities facing the medium at the dawn of what TALKERS founder Michael Harrison describes as “a dynamic new chapter in the history of human communications and the limitless potential of talk media’s position within it.”
New Brisk Format
The speaking sessions will feature a newly developed format consisting largely of keynote fireside chats, solo addresses and intimate one-one-one conversations.
There will be specially curated exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Exhibitors displaying the latest innovations of importance to both on air and online broadcasters include (in alphabetical order): Backbone Networks, Broadcast Bionics, Broadcasters General Store, Comrex Corporation and Wheatstone among others.
The event will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch and a closing cocktail reception.
Convention Faves Hannity and Francesa Return
Reprising their traditional roles at this event as morning kickoff speakers will be Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity and WFAN, New York afternoon drive icon, Mike Francesa. TALKERS VP and executive editor Kevin Casey says, “These giants of talk are extremely popular attractions for the attendees of this convention. Each year, they bring to the table their insights into the leading edge action on the news/talk and sports talk fronts as they consistently maintain their positions as two of the most important players in the game.”
Jeff Smulyan to Keynote
Emmis Communications chairman/CEO/founder Jeff Smulyan will participate in a keynote fireside chat with Michael Harrison discussing his views of audio media’s past, present and future as one of the most visionary leaders in the radio industry. Smulyan is the leading advocate of getting FM-enabled wireless devices in smartphones. He shepherded the unification of the radio industry behind the installation of the Emmis-created NextRadio application in a broad array of FM-enabled wireless devices, allowing consumers to listen to their local radio stations without data charges. He also was the original architect and creator of the all-sports talk format.
Pattiz on Podcasting
Westwood One founder and PodcastOne executive chairman Norm Pattiz will deliver an address about optimizing the relationship between local radio and podcasting, covering programming, sales and promotion.
A Tribute to Dr. Joy Browne, Alan Colmes and Tom Marr
Westwood One syndicated legend Jim Bohannon will deliver a special memorial tribute to three of the industry’s most notable talk show hosts (and popular participants in the TALKERS Convention) who passed away this past year – Dr. Joy Browne, Alan Colmes and Tom Marr.
Heavyweights and Star Power
In addition to the above, TALKERS 2017: A New Era will feature a star-studded roster of more than 50 key industry figures in various speaking roles including (in alphabetical order): Dr. Asa, Dr. Asa Network; Mike “Bax” Baxendale, Rock 102, Springfield, MA; Ethan Bearman, KGO, San Francisco; Vince Benedetto, Bold Gold Media Group; David Bernstein, TalkersRadio; Michael Berry, iHeartMedia; Phil Boyce, Salem Media Group; Howie Carr, Howie Carr Radio Network; Kathy Carr, Howie Carr Radio Network; Kevin Casey, TALKERS; Heather Cohen, The Weiss Agency; Holland Cooke, Holland Cooke Media; Ron Hartenbaum, DGital Media; Bill Hess, WMAL, Washington, DC; Harry Hurley, WPGG, Atlantic City; Brian Kilmeade, Fox News Channel/Fox News Radio; Mike Kinosian, TALKERS; Tom Leykis, The New Normal; Graham Mack, BOB-FM, London, UK; Mike McVay, Cumulus Media; John T. Mullen, Radio Hofstra University; Craig Schwalb, WABC, New York; Doug Stephan, Stephan Multimedia; Chris Stigall, WPHT, Philadelphia; Julie Talbott, Premiere Networks; Steven JJ Weisman, Esq., Bentley University; and Larry Young, WOLB, Baltimore. More speakers will be announced in the days ahead.
The complete agenda 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. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. For hotel information please click here.
Tommy Hilfiger Visits WABC, New York. Fashion legend Tommy Hilfiger appears on this weekend’s edition of the WABC, New York show “Always in Fashion” with host Mark Weber. The program was recorded live during Hilfiger’s appearance at Cumulus Media’s Stage 17. Pictured here are (from l-r): Krantz Media Group president and CEO Gary Krantz, Mark Weber, Tommy Hilfiger, and 77WABC program director Craig Schwalb.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Albany Broadcasting’s CHR WFLY, Albany “FLY 92.3,” the new morning team of Jake Allen and Ashley Marie will begin hosting mornings on Monday (4/17). Allen moves to WFLY from the company’s sister country station WKLI “100.9 The Cat,” and Marie heads north from her most recent gig at Delmarva’s hot AC WAFL, Salisbury-Ocean City, Maryland…..Magic Broadcasting announces that David “No Sleep” Sebastian is the new afternoon drive host at its CHR WILN, Panama City, Florida “Island 106.” Sebastian’s previous stops include on-air gigs at Midwest Family Broadcasting’s hip hop WJQM, Madison “93.1 Jamz,” MacDonald Broadcasting’s hip hop WQHH, Lansing “POWER 96.5,” and CBS RADIO’s CHR WDZH “98.7 AMP Radio.”…..Signal Media’s country KHLR, Little Rock “106.7 The Ride” announces the addition of “promotions guru” and radio personality Matt Cruz to the staff as promotion & marketing director and assistant program director under Mike Kennedy, effective April 24…..Radio One debuts a new Saturday program on WOSF, Charlotte “Old School 105.3” hosted by former Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon called, “At The Table With Cannon.” Cannon just wrapped a year of house arrest after serving almost two years in federal prison for taking bribes from undercover FBI agents while service as mayor…..Adult hits WHCN, Hartford “105.9 The River” morning personality Joseph Aguiar is facing charges of third-degree assault, third-degree reckless endangerment and second-degree breach of peace after being identified as the man on a March 9 security video tape seen attacking another man from behind at a gas station, knocking the victim unconscious. Aguiar is free on $75,000 bond and has a court appearance set for April 25.