Industry Still Buzzin’ Over Talkers 2017: A New Era – Videos Soon to be Posted. Positive response to the recently held 20th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention – Talkers 2017: A New Era – continues to flow into the Talkers Communications Center. TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey states, “We are extremely gratified and appreciative of the wonderful feedback we continue to receive from industry professionals who attended the event. We are looking forward to posting videos of the key sessions in the coming days and weeks so even more folks can gain benefit from the tremendous information shared last week in New York.” Attendees universally approved of the new fast-paced “one-on-one” and “fireside chat” format that marked a major format departure from the “panel” style of most industry conventions. Also, an exciting aspect of this year’s convention was the significantly increased number of young attendees – college radio students and new names rising in the business. For example, Michael Harrison points out syndicated health show host Dr. Asa, “whose video presentation and live stage appearance elevated this dynamic young man to emerging star status in talk media.” (To view Dr. Asa’s powerful promotional video that impressed the crowd, please click here.) Another unexpected moment that mesmerized the attendees was this year’s choice of opening patriotic video kicking off the day’s events – a Talkers Convention tradition. According to Harrison, “Every year, we either have a special solo singer of musical group perform the national anthem live or play a powerful video of a performance to get our patriotic juices flowing. It pulls all the different political ideologies in the room together in a moment of unity under the banner of our common interest in free speech and broadcasting. We recently blew the crowd away with the rock band Madison Rising’s stunning rendition of the ‘Star Spangled Banner.’ We’ll, this year we went ‘retro’ and opened the convention with a video from black and white TV in the early sixties – the late Judy Garland honoring the recently-slain president JFK with a soul-stirring and timeless rendition of ‘The Battle Hymn of the Republic.’ It is simply one of the most incredible musical performances of all time. It stood out in startling juxtaposition to the extreme modernity of the venue, the forward-focused content of the conference, and the apparent youth of so many attendees!” (To view the video, click here.) To see earlier coverage of the conference, please scroll down this page. The following are newly posted photos from Talkers 2017: A New Era.
The exhibition/meeting area at Talkers 2017: A New Era was always buzzing with activity. Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.
Mike “Bax” Baxendale of WAQY (Rock 102), Springfield, MA (l) and Larry Young of WOLB, Baltimore (r) discuss how local morning shows and stations benefit by creating “community” in their markets. Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.
WMAL, Washington, PD Bill Hess (l) and syndicated star Thom Hartmann (r) talking about the future of radio. Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.
“Humanitarian of the Year” Dr. Daliah Wachs and WPHT, Philadelphia talker Dom Giordano engage in a one-on-one dialogue. Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.
Attorney Steve Weisman of www.scamicide.com warning radio and broadcasters how to protect themselves against digital age internet scams and hacking. Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.
Bernadette Duncan reporting on her recent “Yappy Tour” of shows and stations coast-to-coast. Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.
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Pioneer Valley Radio (PioneerValleyRadio.com) GM/host Brad Shepard discussing hyper-local online radio. Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.
Consultant Walter Sabo addressing the convention. Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.
Michael Harrison (l), Mary Berner (c) and Mike McVay talking about radio at Talkers 2017: A New Era. Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.
The “Woman of the Year” award plaque presented to Mary Berner at the convention. Photo by Matthew B. Harrison.
Report: SiriusXM in PIPE Talks to Invest in Pandora. Reuters is reporting that SiriusXM is in talks with Pandora to negotiate a private investment in public equity (PIPE). The story by Liana B. Baker and Greg Roumeliotis notes that this development happened after talks to acquire Pandora outright did not materialize. The story explains that “a PIPE deal involves the sale of a company’s shares in a private offering, as opposed to a public secondary offering.” Time is critical because the opportunity for Pandora to find an alternative to its agreement with private equity firm KKR & Co LP expires today (6/7). KKR & Co LP has agreed to invest $150 million in Pandora. Reuters’ sources say this is not a done deal and any number of things could crater it. Read the Reuters piece here.
Heather Park Joins WXYT-FM’s ‘Jamie and Stoney’ Show. Detroit sports media personality Heather Park is joining the “Jamey and Stoney” show at CBS RADIO’s WXYT-FM “97.1 The Ticket,” effective Monday, June 12. Park is the in-park host at Comerica Park for the Detroit Tigers. She’s also the past host of “Detroit Sports News” on WWJ-TV and is currently hosting “Michigan Golf Weekly” for the television station. WXYT-FM program director Jimmy Powers says, “Heather’s experience with the Detroit Tigers and WWJ-TV, combined with her personality, makes her the perfect fit for the ‘Jamie and Stoney’ show. I look forward to the evolution of the show with the addition of Heather.”
ABC Radio and Spotify Announce Podcast Deal. A new deal between ABC Radio and Spotify means the latter will distribute ABC Radio podcasts on its platform. This comes as the two companies announce they are collaborating on the production of “Brilliant Minds,” a podcast named after the annual event led by Natalia Brzezinski. She serves as the CEO of Symposium Stockholm, Brilliant Minds – a thought leadership symposium that focuses on the relationship between humanity and technology. Rebecca Jarvis is ABC News chief business, technology and economics correspondent and also hosts the “No Limits” podcast. She’ll co-host a special series of eight “Brilliant Minds” podcasts along with Brzezinski. ABC Radio vice president Steve Jones states, “ABC News is America’s number one news source and Spotify is the global leader in digital audio distribution. We’re excited that ABC News will now help to inform, inspire and empower Spotify users to better understand their world and improve the future.”
FAIR’s ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ Event Three Weeks Away. The 11th annual Washington, DC radio row that addresses America’s immigration policies takes place at the Phoenix Park Hotel on June 28 and 29. Federation for American Immigration Reform’s “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” will consist of more than 60 talk radio hosts from around the country holding “a national conversation with voters in all 50 states about what is happening, what isn’t happening, and what needs to be done to get things moving” regarding America’s “immigration laws being effectively enforced.” FAIR executive director Bob Dane says, “The goal of this year’s event is to call upon President Trump to honor the promise he made to voters in 2016 and demand that the 115th Congress implement real reforms to our nation’s immigration policies. Time is of the essence and the president’s legislative priorities on immigration need to start moving forward.” One of the guests who has been an annual favorite of the talk show hosts participating in “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” is Michael Harrison. The TALKERS magazine founder and publisher has been a key component of the event for years and usually appears on as many as 25 radio shows during its two-day run. Harrison states, “The FAIR event is a veritable ‘First Amendment Festival’ and that alone is enough reason for me not to miss it. Although I stay out of the partisan aspects of the immigration reform issue, I really welcome the opportunity to speak about freedom of speech as well as the nuts and bolts of 21st century communications on what collectively is a gigantic platform – not to mention enjoy visiting with so many of my talk radio friends in one concentrated two-day period.”
TALKERS News Notes. Sales pro Mary Baxter joins Cumulus Media to serve as general sales manager for news/talk KABC-AM, Los Angeles and sister rock station KLOS. Baxter was previously with Crossroads WOW serving as regional sales director. She’s worked in Los Angeles as local sales manager for CBS RADIO’s CHR KAMP “97.1 AMP.”…..Entercom names Jim Clerkin executive producer of news/talk WRKO, Boston’s “Boston Dot Com” morning program with Kim Carrigan and Doug “VB” Goudie…..University of South Carolina Athletics and IMG ink a multi-year deal with Cumulus Media to continue with sports talk WNKT-FM, Columbia, SC “107.5 The Game” as “The Official Flagship Station for the Gamecock IMG Sports Network.”…..ESPN’s “30 for 30” podcast series debuts on June 27 with episode topics including the origin of the “Yankees Suck” t-shirt and Reebok’s 1992 “Dan & Dave” campaign. ESPN says each episode will explore and report on a new sports story that will be a combination of original interviews and archival sound. The first season will include a total of five installments, with one debuting every Tuesday from June 27 through July 25…..With the exit of Neil Larrimore from his post as Arizona region director of spoken word programming for iHeartMedia, Aaron Trimmer will move from his position with the company as director of talk programming at the Richmond, Virginia station group to Phoenix to take over programming oversight of news/talk KFYI and KOY in Phoenix, sports talk KGME “FOX Sports 910” as well as KNST and KTZR in Tucson…..Envision Networks names Kerry Manfredi as a reporter at its Envision Virtual Services News Reports. She was most recently a morning news reporter for WXIS, Johnson City, Tennessee.
Today’s Senate Intelligence Committee Testimony from James Comey, Kamala Harris Questioning Flap, Iran Terror Attack-Trump Condolences Rejected, British General Elections, London Terror Attacks Aftermath, Wonder Woman Film, MLB Action, NBA and NHL Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/7). Today’s testimony before a senate subcommittee by former FBI Director James Comey; criticism of Senator Kamala Harris’ questioning of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein; the recent terror attack in Tehran and the country’s refusal of President Donald Trump’s condolences; today’s British general elections and the fate of Prime Minister Theresa May; the aftermath of last weekend’s terror attacks in London; the runaway success of the new Wonder Woman film; MBL action; and NBA and NHL finals action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
The 42nd Annual Gracies Gala. Pictured above are Alliance for Women in Media Foundation board member and Weiss Agency talent agent Heather Cohen (r), Canadian actress Jessica Parker Kennedy (l) and radio and television personality Kerri Kasem (c) at Tuesday evening’s 42nd annual Gracies Gala in Beverly Hills.
WPHT, Philadelphia’s Rich Zeoli Guests on Harrison Podcast. One of news/talk radio’s rising young stars, Rich Zeoli of WPHT, Philadelphia, is this week’s guest on the PodcastOne award-winning series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” Zeoli, who hosts afternoon drive (3:00 pm – 6:00 pm) on the CBS O&O 50k flamethrower, came to the station several years ago as an accomplished political advisor and public speaking coach who was a regular guest on the outlet. He grew up in New Jersey and spent his career advising candidates in all levels of political office including president, governor, and congress. He was the youngest chair of a political party in New Jersey history. Zeoli is the author of The Seven Principles of Public Speaking: Proven Methods of a PR Pro (Skyhorse Publishing, 2008) and a visiting associate at the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University in New Jersey. Harrison and Zeoli discuss the state of radio and media, along with politics, public speaking, and the challenges and opportunities that come with being on the air during the era of Donald Trump. 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.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the Toledo market, iHeartMedia brings the “Mojo in the Morning” show to town on CHR “92.5 KISS-FM,” effective June 19. The Mojo show emanates from the company’s CHR WKQI, Detroit “Channel 955.”…..Madison, Wisconsin radio personality Aaron Rogers joins Entercom to serve as morning host on the company’s hot AC WMHX “MIX 105.1.” He previously served with iHeartMedia, hosting the afternoon drive program on crosstown CHR WZEE “Z104.”…..More exits from CBS RADIO Philadelphia are being reported, including night jock Jennifer Reed being let go from country WXTU…..Sun Broadcast Group adds Keith Goldstein to its staff as national account manager. He’ll work with the sales department focused on products including Shazam For Radio, “The Hit List with Fitz,” “Little Steven’s Underground Garage,” “The Fitz Show,” Sun Latino Networks, and others…..Benztown appoints affiliate sales pro Maria Musaitef to its affiliate relations team. She joins Benztown from Envisage Radio Group in Los Angeles, where she was vice president, affiliate sales and marketing…..Westwood One celebrates Independence Day with its annual “Celebrate the USA” holiday music special featuring country megastars Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. The duo will play their music and share their Fourth of July memories in a four-hour, all-star program including friends Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Jason Aldean, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, Kelsea Ballerini, and more. Stations can air the show any time Saturday, July 1 through Tuesday, July 4, 2017.