Archive for April, 2017
By Holland Cooke
“Now that consumers have tasted freedom with regards to choosing their content, there’s no going back.”
Shira Lazar, who emceed Wednesday’s Ted Talk-style M.E.T. Effect presentations. “Today our phones have become incredibly powerful communication tools and video/photo-capturing devices. It’s now easier than ever to be both a creator and owner of content.”
Thus the way smart radio stations publish-to – promote-on – engage-with – and solicit-content-from smartphone-toting listeners.
2017 NAB Show: Cars, Congrats, and Commish #1. Media consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas covering the 2017 NAB Show for TALKERS magazine. In today’s report, Cooke covers yesterday’s Radio Luncheon where attendees heard Ford Motor Company’s Scott Burnell speak and witnessed Premiere Networks’ Delilah inducted into the NAB Hall of Fame. Also yesterday, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai delivered the keynote address and reassured attendees that he remains “‘fundamentally optimistic about the future of broadcasting’ because of the ‘localism, diversity, and public service’ that distinguishes diligent broadcasters.” Read Cooke’s entire report here.
Hannity Plans Legal Action Against Debbie Schlussel. On his Fox News Channel program last night (4/25), Sean Hannity led off the program by addressing the allegations being directed against him by attorney and conservative media figure Debbie Schlussel. Detroit-based Schlussel stated during an interview on KFAQ, Tulsa’s Pat Campbell program that Hannity propositioned her after a book signing event in Detroit about a decade ago and that, after she rebuffed his advances, she was blacklisted from being a guest on Fox News Channel. Last night, Hannity said, “I have to start tonight by addressing a well-orchestrated effort by the intolerant left in this country that is designed to silence every conservative voice and by any means necessary. Now, I’m speaking out tonight so that you, our audience, will understand what is really happening and what is at stake when it comes to freedom of speech in this country.” He said in a prepared statement that he is planning legal action against Schlussel. “This individual is a serial harasser who has been lying about me for well over a decade. The individual has a history of making provably false statements against me in an effort to slander, smear and besmirch my reputation. The individual has not just slandered me over the years, but many people who this individual disagrees with.” Schlussel told NBC News she doesn’t believe Hannity will sue because, “If he did, it could spur other people to come forward and he wouldn’t want that.” NBC News notes that Schlussel is a polarizing media figure, having suggested that President Barack Obama is a “secret Muslim” and that death camps in occupied Poland during World War II were run by Poles and not Germans. Read the NBC News piece here.
Emmis to Sell $80 Million in Assets. Indianapolis-based Emmis Communications will be a different company in July of 2018. The Indianapolis Business Journal reports that under pressure from lenders, the company will shed $80 million worth of its radio assets in order to pay down debt. This is the result of recently renegotiated terms with lenders JPMorgan Chase Bank and Bank of New York Mellon. Emmis CFO Ryan Hornaday tells the IBJ, “We’re confident that we can achieve the $80 million [divestiture] without selling a substantial portion of the portfolio. We do still have some very desirable assets.” The company owns 19 radio stations in five markets: New York, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Austin, and Indianapolis. The IBJ reports that Emmis’ total debt was $221 million as of February 28, 2017. Read the story here.
Nielsen Explores All-News, News/Talk Listening Trends Over Seven Years. There’s been a lot of scrutiny of the audiences for all-news, news/talk, and talk oriented public radio leading up to and since the 2016 election. Over all, according to ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s PPM surveys of radio listening, the three formats have realized increased listenership of late. Now, Nielsen shows how listening to the all-news and news/talk formats has changed over the past seven years, based on PPM data. (Remember, Nielsen includes public talkers in the larger news/talk category.) The result is that listening to all-news has remained fairly steady during that time across the three demos cited – persons 6+, 18-34, and 25-54. For news/talk, the format scored a 10.6 share in March of 2011 (6+), and a 10.2 share in March of 2017. In the 25-54 demo, 2011 saw an 8 share compared to this year’s 7.6 share. And probably buoyed by younger public radio listeners, the 18-34 demo rose from a 4.2 share in 2011 to a 4.6 share this year. See the whole report here.
ESPN Layoffs Coming Today. The names of those who are exiting sports media giant ESPN will begin to trickle out as time passes, but for now only a few of the estimated 100 ESPN staffers – mostly television and radio personalities – are known, with reporter Ed Werder tweeting that he’s been let go. It’s unclear how many of the cuts are from the radio and the television sides of the operation, but ESPN chief John Skipper says in a memo to staff, “A necessary component of managing change involves constantly evaluating how we best utilize all of our resources, and that sometimes involves difficult decisions…we have been engaged in the challenging process of determining the talent — anchors, analysts, reporters, writers and those who handle play-by-play — necessary to meet those demands. We will implement changes in our talent lineup this week. A limited number of other positions will also be affected and a handful of new jobs will be posted to fill various needs.”
TALKERS News Notes. We now know the trial date for the Nielsen vs Bubba the Love Sponge suit in Florida. U.S. District Court Judge James D. Whittemore has scheduled the case to start on January 2, 2018, with a pre-trial conference on December 8, 2017. Judge Whittemore also ruled on Bubba’s motion to exclude Nielsen Audio expert witness David Haas, denying it…..Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that WGN, Chicago director of marketing and digital innovation Jackie Paulus will exit the station and join Jimmy deCastro’s new sports marketing and rep firm After The Whistle as a partner…..Public radio icon Robert Siegel announces he’s retiring as host of NPR’s “All Things Considered” in January of 2018. Siegel assumed that position in 1987. He’s been with NPR since 1976…..Here are some more winners of 2017 regional Edward R. Murrow Awards: In Seattle, Sinclair Broadcast Group’s KOMO “News 1000/FM97.7” is honored with the award for Overall Excellence. The station also took first place for Breaking News for its coverage of the Seattle May Day protests. CBS RADIO’s WCBS-AM, New York; KCBS-AM, San Francisco; WBZ-AM, Boston; WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago and five other stations amassed 25 awards with the four mentioned being honored for Overall Excellence. Bonneville’s KTAR-FM, Phoenix picked up three Murrows, including Overall Excellence.
U.S.-North Korea Tensions, Trump’s First 100 Days, Sanctuary Cities Ruling, Canadian Lumber Tariff, Mexican Wall, Trump’s Proposed Tax Cuts, Michael Flynn Case, Ivanka in Berlin, and MLB, NBA, and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/25). The military tensions between North Korea and the United States and concerns about a full-blown war starting; the judging of the Trump Administration’s first 100 days; a California judge blocks part of President Trump’s sanctuary cities order; talk about the effects of Trump’s tariff on Canadian lumber; debate over whether President Trump’s Mexican wall will actually get funded and built; the tax cuts being proposed by the Trump Administration; comments from House members that it appears Michael Flynn broke the law in accepting payments from Russia; Ivanka Trump attends European conference with Angela Merkel and IMF managing director Christine Lagarde; and MLB, NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Former WJMN, Boston personality Bobby Blaze is joining Beasley Media Group’s crosstown rhythmic AC WBQT “HOT 96.9 FM” to host the afternoon drive show, effective tomorrow (4/27). Blaze says, “I’m so excited to be back on Boston radio and being surrounded by the most talented on-air team in Boston. You only become great when you’re surrounded by great people and that’s what ‘HOT 96.9’ represents.”…..Morning personality Fitz exits Entercom’s country KKWF, Seattle “100.7 The Wolf” and the “Fitz in the Morning” program. Entercom states, “‘Fitz in the Morning’ will no longer be on air on 100.7-FM The Wolf in Seattle as of Monday, April 24. Fitz has been an important part of the station for nearly 12 years, but we have decided to part ways. We wish him well, and we will be conducting a nationwide search for the station’s next morning show.” In the interim, morning personalities Ellen Tailor and Randy The Biscuit will host the program…..The afternoon drive Zepp & Terri show – featuring Brian Zepp and Terri Traen – exits Cumulus Media’s classic rock KQRS, Minneapolis. The two had been partnered on the show for the past year. Traen was formerly part of the Tom Barnard morning show. As a result of the move, Ray Erick is now hosting the 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm slot…..With the departure of Brett Hall from the stations – and the radio biz – Saga Communications names Tom Scott morning drive host at hot AC KJBX, Jonesboro, Arkansas and to voice track the night show at sister country KDXY.
Karaoke for a Cause. Pictured above at Cumulus Media’s Stage 17 in New York City are members of the band Ocean Park Standoff and staffers from Voss Foundation. The band performed for an intimate group of listeners on Monday (4/17). Afterward, WPLJ personality Ralphie Aversa sang karaoke to the group’s new single “Good News” competing against a winning listener. “Karaoke for a Cause” is raising awareness of Voss Foundation and VOSS Water’s annual #31Days to Make a Difference initiative. Voss Foundation is dedicated to providing access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene as a means to enable community-driven development in Sub-Saharan Africa and raising awareness of the ongoing need in the region.
By Holland Cooke
LAS VEGAS — At Tuesday’s Radio Luncheon, NAB Crystal Award Winners were announced. And the winners are: KMOX, St. Louis; WREW-FM, Cincinnati; KRMG-FM, Tulsa; WTOP-FM, Washington; WBLS-FM, New York; WUBE-FM, Cincinnati; WDNS-FM, Bowling Green, KY; WYCT-FM, Pensacola; WHUR-FM, Washington; and WZUS-FM, Decatur, IL.
Also at the luncheon, we heard from jocular Scott Burnell, Ford Motor Company Global Lead for Business Development and Partner Management; or as he explained his job description: “I play with apps.”
“We create habits.”
“People build their habits outside the vehicle,” he explained, “and we help them bring them into the vehicle,” via new-tech dashboards.
By Holland Cooke
LAS VEGAS — Because it’s not just a radio show – not even just a broadcasting conference — I’m impressed to see so many radio people here. They got (or wrote) the memo that just-spots-N-dots isn’t a business any more.
The very first words of Monday morning’s opening session underlined the necessity that broadcasters evolve, when CBS Sunday Morning host Jane Pauley quipped “I come from the 20th Century, when ‘multimedia’ meant 3 networks.”
TALKERS AUDIO EXCLUSIVE: WMAL’s Larry O’ Connor Tells Michael Harrison About His Experience at President Trump’s Meeting Yesterday with Conservative Media Reps. Yesterday afternoon (4/24) at 5:00 pm, President Trump addressed a select group of invited conservative media journalists, commentators and reps to a special “background only” briefing in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. The attendees were mostly comprised of representatives from newspapers and online news websites – however there were several talk radio personalities in attendance: Laura Ingraham of Courtside Entertainment, Mike Gallagher and Cal Thomas of Salem Radio Network, John Fredericks (independently syndicated across Virginia) and Larry O’ Connor of WMAL, Washington, DC. During the course of the meeting, Trump decided to remove the “background only” restriction and allow all statements at the event to be for the record. Larry O’ Connor granted TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison an exclusive interview this morning (4/25), discussing his experience at the meeting and some of the things said by the president. To listen to the entire interview, please click here. O’Connor (left) is pictured here with Red Alert Politics editor Ron Meyer (right).
CBS Announces Launch of ‘Airtime Analytics.’ The company worked with AnalyticOwl to develop what it is calling “a new and exciting measurement tool that illustrates the ROI and effectiveness” of marketing campaigns. CBS RADIO says that Airtime Analytics “measures the impact of audience delivery and engagement to show proven results. An exclusive tool offered only by CBS RADIO in the markets in which it operates, Airtime Analytics evaluates the volume of audience delivered from an over-the-air radio campaign to an advertiser’s website. Those valuable insights are then used to optimize creative content and placement throughout the flight of a campaign to maximize results.” CBS RADIO chief revenue officer Bob Philips adds, “Radio has long been one of the most effective mediums in reaching a targeted demographic and Airtime Analytics is the next step in delivering even greater value to our clients. This exclusive new tool allows us to finally measure an advertiser’s lift in website traffic following a radio spot. Armed with an analysis of consumer movement, we are then able to give our clients a clear understanding of their most successful creative and daypart executions.”
Yogurt Maker Chobani Sues Alex Jones. The nationally known yogurt maker is suing Infowars chief Alex Jones for at least $10,000, claiming that Jones published false information connecting the company to a sexual assault in Twin Falls, Idaho. Chobani filed the suit in District Court in Twin Falls. According to the suit, Chobani claims that Jones has fabricated stories that wrongly suggested a connection between the company and its practice of hiring refugees to the case of three Twin Falls boys – children of refugees – who admitted to the sexual assault of a five-year-old girl. Chobani says the video report was spread via social media and caused a boycott of its yogurt.
TALKERS News Notes. After reporting last week’s news that Radio One is buying two signals from Dan Snyder’s Red Zebra – WWXT-FM, Washington and WXGI-AM Richmond – we learn that the price for the pair is $2 million. Radio One will simulcast urban AC WMMJ on WWXT and retain the sports talk format on WXGI…..For broadcast this weekend, ABC News Radio is offering a one-hour special titled, “The 100 with Brad Mielke,” in which the ABC News correspondent is joined by the ABC News team for an in-depth look at the beginning of President Trump’s term. Correspondent Karen Travers reports from the White House. The special will be available for affiliate use beginning April 28…..AdLarge Media restructures its digital team with new positions and expanded roles for four key team members: Ilwira Marciszek rises to vice president of digital sales strategy from her previous director of ad operations post; Stephanie Vance is promoted to vice president of digital content from her director of revenue planning & development position; Donelle Brown is elevated to vice president of marketing and client solutions from her old director of marketing solutions role; and Rebecca Lam becomes manager of digital ad operations after serving as digital operations coordinator…..SiriusXM is covering this weekend’s 2017 NFL Draft, providing live coverage of every selection from every round, plus four days of special programming, live from Philadelphia. The on-site broadcast team will feature: Gil Brandt, former longtime player personnel executive for the Dallas Cowboys; Pat Kirwan, former NFL scout, coach and front-office executive; Jim Miller, former veteran NFL quarterback; Phil Savage, former college coach and NFL general manager.
Commenting on Trump’s First 100 Days. Yesterday morning (4/24), WDBO, Orlando “News 96.5” morning host Joe Kelley appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning America” with host George Stephanopoulos to speak about President Trump’s first 100 days and his promise to build a Mexico border wall. WDBO is an ABC News Radio affiliate.
NAB Show: Cast Broader. Media consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas covering the 2017 NAB Show for TALKERS magazine. National Association of Broadcasters president and CEO Gordon Smith spoke yesterday and, with the ‘change is inevitable’ theme running through his speech, addressed the FM chip issue, the connected car and more. Read Cooke’s notes here.
North Korea Tensions, Trump’s First 100 Days/Approval Polls, Government Shutdown, French Presidential Race, Canadian Lumber Tariff, Trump Tax Cuts, NOLA Confederate Monument Removal, and MLB, NBA and NHL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/24). North Korea’s ongoing weapons tests and its threats against the U.S.; judging President Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office and his approval ratings; the threat of a shutdown of the U.S. government; the French presidential race between National Front candidate Marine Le Pen and En Marche! candidate Emmanuel Macron; President Trump seeks a tariff on Canadian lumber; the proposed tax cuts by the Trump administration; controversy over the removal of some Confederate statues by the city of New Orleans; and MLB, NBA and NHL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Rock programmer Derek Madden inks a contract extension with Cumulus Media to continue his roles with the company. Madden serves as program director for Twin Cities rock outlet KXXR “93X” and as corporate programmer, rock & alternative. Madden’s been with “93X” since March of 2015, arriving from KLOS, Los Angeles where he was also PD. Cumulus Minneapolis VP and market manager Shelly Wilkes comments, “Derek is a great rock PD and a terrific guy to work with. Looking forward to years of continued success with Derek at the helm of ‘93X.’”…..In Worcester, Massachusetts, morning personality Jen Carter of Cumulus Media hot AC WXLO is named “Best Radio Personality” in Worcester Magazine’s Best of Worcester 2017 special issue. Carter has been co-host of the “XLO Morning Show” since 2000. WoMag’s “Best of Worcester Awards” are determined by readers who vote for their local favorites…..Alpha Media launches a new classic hip hop and R&B station in San Antonio on the HD-2 channel of CHR KTFM and simulcast on translator K277CX at 103.3 FM. Core artists on “G103.3” will be The Notorious B.I.G., Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, 2Pac, Destiny’s Child and many more. Alpha Media VP of programming Phil Becker comments, “As the other San Antonio operators show their lack of commitment to classic hip hop, Alpha Media sees this as an opportunity to super serve those who truly love the format. To put it simply, Yo! We got all the HOT throwbacks now!”…..Traffic woes in already commuter-challenged Atlanta have gotten worse since part of I-85 has been shut down due to the recent fire that caused a portion of the road to collapse. But, WNNX “Rock 100.5 FM” morning personalities Bailey and Southside are coming to the rescue of some lucky listeners via their “Free Ride Fridays” promotion. Each week, Bailey and Southside will qualify listeners via their website for a chance to get a free ride to and from work in a premium black sedan every Friday until the interstate is fixed…..Last Thursday (4/20), Westwood One – with the assistance of Home Depot – helped spruce up Patriot Place in Madison, Tennessee. Patriot Place is a 34-unit apartment complex that provides permanent supportive housing to formerly homeless veterans. The Home Depot Foundation provided a grant to help build the facility and volunteers were there to make it feel more like home. Westwood One executives Steve Shaw, Jim Daunais, Ron Russo, and Pierre Bouvard, plus “NASH Nights Live” personalities Elaina Smith and Shawn Parr, and “Ty, Kelly & Chuck” host Ty Bentli, joined more than 250 volunteers from The Home Depot Foundation and its vendor partners to paint, landscape, install fencing, and improve recreation spaces at the Patriot Place facility.
John Fogerty Visits ‘NASH Nights Live.’ Rock ‘n’ roll legend John Fogerty (center) poses for a pic with “NASH Nights Live” hosts Shawn Parr (right) and Elaina Smith (left) as the show broadcast live from the Country Music Hall of Fame in support of Brad Paisley’s new album, Love and War (Arista Nashville). Fogerty worked on Paisley’s album along with Timbaland, who also appeared on last night’s program, as did Paisley himself. They also discussed Paisley’s new partnership with Sarah Cannon’s Band Against Cancer.