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Archive for July, 2017

Sabo’s Solid Sterling Resume

| July 31, 2017

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

 

NEW YORK — Prevalent, perceptions of programming consultants unfortunately tend to be highly unflattering.

Fast-talking, blue-sky selling, out-of-towners with disingenuous “I’m here to help you” patter and an altogether insincere demeanor is how some will often times erroneously paint the typical briefcase-toting advisor.

At the same time, a running industry punchline further diminishing the aura of this brutally competitive occupation was that each out-of-work program director and air talent was only hours away from hanging out his or her consulting shingle.

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Monday, July 31, 2017

| July 31, 2017

Beasley Pro Forma Net Revenue Dips 3.3%; Pro Forma SOI Rises 17.5%.  The second quarter 2017 financial report for Beasley Broadcast Group isn’t straightforward from a comparison standpoint due to the recent acquisition of the Greater Media stations as well as the divestiture of its Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville, North Carolina operations.  The company states, “The $33.2 million, or 119.7%, year-over-year increase in net revenue during the three months ended June 30 reflects the operation of stations in Boston, Philadelphia, Detroit and New Jersey acquired from Greater Media, partially offset by the disposition of the Charlotte and Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville clusters.”  Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley adds, “Following our second full quarter of results including the Greater Media markets, we are beginning to realize the benefits from this transaction in terms of scale and opportunity, as reflected by the 119.7% increase in consolidated net revenue and 100% rise in SOI compared to the prior year.  In the second quarter, we continued to actively manage our local radio broadcasting platform while implementing our operating disciplines at the acquired Greater Media stations and extracting valuable synergies from our enhanced scale to drive SOI margin expansion.  The 9.1% reduction in pro-forma second quarter operating expenses, which included $1 million of severance related to the Greater Media markets, was partially offset by the 3.3% decline in pro forma revenue, which was attributable to political spending levels and declines in national revenues, as well as certain specific integration-related issues.  As a result, Beasley generated a 17.5% year-over-year increase in second quarter pro forma SOI with SOI margins reaching 26.6% up from 21.9% in the year-ago period.  With the financing of the Greater Media acquisition, our total outstanding debt as of June 30 was approximately $225 million, compared to $240 million at March 31.  We made voluntary debt repayments of $4 million in the second quarter and applied 100% of the $11 million in net proceeds from our Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville cluster divestiture toward debt reduction, resulting in a total $15 million reduction in debt.”

WBZT, West Palm Beach Flips to Sports as ‘Sports Radio 1230 The Zone.’ Dropping news/talk for sports, iHeartMedia West Palm Beach introduces the new WBZT as “Sports Radio 1230 The Zone.”  The station will feature a local morning drive show – “Defo in the Morning” – hosted by Jeff Deforest, Mike “Lubie” Lubitz and The Greek.  The station will air play-by-play including NFL football, the Miami Marlins, Florida Gators basketball and the 2018 Winter Olympics.  Program director Brian Mudd comments, “We are excited that ‘Sports Radio 1230 The Zone’ will be the Palm Beaches’ new home for all things sports.  Our all-star lineup featuring South Florida’s own ‘Defo in the Morning,’ The Greek and Jim Rome will bring the biggest games, the best sports conversation and sports updates you need to know.”

John Oliver Again Targets Alex Jones on Last Night’s ‘Last Week Tonight’ (7/30).  Satirist John Oliver again targeted controversial InfoWars host Alex Jones on his HBO series “Last Week Tonight,” citing TALKERS magazine’s most-listened-to hosts audience estimates of 5.9 million per week.  To view the scathing commentary please click here.

KOA, Denver’s Steffan Tubbs Arrested on Domestic Violence Charge. The iHeartMedia news/talk station has issued no comment at this time after the local reports of KOA morning personality Steffan Tubbs’ arrest on the charge of domestic violence, disturbance via phone.  FOX 31 Denver reports the 48-year-old Tubbs was arrested on Sunday morning outside the apartment of an unidentified woman who called police.  The story notes that Colorado is a mandatory arrest state, meaning that if police are called and there’s probable cause, an arrest of the accused is made and that person must appear before a judge prior to posting bond.

TALKERS News Notes. The new executive producer of the “Jason and John” show – featuring John Martin and Jason Smith – on Entercom’s WMFS-FM, Memphis “92.9 FM ESPN/680AM” is Bennett Doyle.  He’s been producing programs on the station – filling in on the Geoff Calkins show, the Eric Hasseltine show, and the Gary Parrish show – in addition to working with “Jason and John.”  At the same time, the station announces that Ashley Cahill is named promotion and events manager…..News anchor Frank Settipani retires from CBS Radio News after a 36-year stint with the news organization.  Before joining CBS Radio News in 1981, Settipani had worked at WNEW-AM and WINS-AM in New York, UPI, and Dow Jones…..RTDNA joins with the Society of Professional Journalists and a score of other journalism groups, urging the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee to hold a hearing on the state of media in the United States.  The groups say an informed public is crucial to democracy and they want to work together to ensure the public has an informed opinion of the press and its role. Because the Commerce Committee oversees the Federal Communications Commission, it plays an important role in broadcast media licensing, communications networks and more.  The organizations say an open discussion about journalism will hopefully help to rebuild trust in the profession. See the letter here…..CBS RADIO’s Spanish music outlet KLOL, Houston “Mega 101 FM” will be the new home of the Houston Texans Spanish radio broadcasts on game days…..Salem Radio Network personality Mike Gallagher (pictured at left) takes a selfie in front of the stage at Citi Field in New York where the Doobie Brothers are performing on stage.  The event also featured Steely Dan, Fleetwood Mac and Earth, Wind & Fire. Gallagher says the show was “my soundtrack from high school.”…..CBS Sports Radio host Jim Rome crowned the winner of the 2017 Smack Off, naming Leff in Laguna the eventual winner in what was described as a very crowded field.  Leff takes home $5,000 and eternal bragging rights.  Rome comments, “This was the best Smack Off ever and the toughest one to decide a winner, but Leff in Laguna won it with a great call that somehow included an incredible in-studio reunion of the guys from the 1996 SI photo shoot.  Truly an amazing moment in show history and one that I will remember forever.”

Profile: Walter SaboTALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a profile of radio’s Walter Sabo – currently focusing his efforts on his weekly Sunday night talk show on CBS RADIO’s WPHT, Philadelphia.  Sabo’s weekly show diverges a bit from what some would term formulaic conservative political talk, and Sabo thinks there’s room for that on news/talk radio.  “I strongly believe there is a great opportunity for talk stations today to increase what they offer [however] I am not saying to get rid of political talk shows.  It’s good if a station has a gifted talk show host – but make sure [he or she is] entertaining.  The most response I get from my show is when I talk about trouble with the in-laws – that’s when the phones and emails go crazy.  It is what you talk about with your friends, so why wouldn’t you put it on the air? This is what someone like Elvis Duran [highlights on his morning show originating from iHeartMedia New York City CHR WHTZ ‘Z-100’ and syndicated on Premiere Radio Networks]. Stations that just talk about politics are so afraid to talk about anything else and there is no reason to.”  Read Kinosian’s piece here.

ABC Radio and Skyview Renew. Partners since 2014, ABC Radio and Skyview Networks announce they’ve signed an early extension of their content, ad sales, affiliate sales and audio distribution agreement.  The companies say that “this early renewal through 2026 positions ABC Radio and Skyview Networks to continue their growth in audio syndication and sales, while preparing ABC Radio and Skyview Networks to expand their relationship with news and entertainment brands seeking strategic partnerships that generate strong results.”  Skyview president Ken Thiele comments, “Skyview Networks is proud to extend our partnership with ABC Radio.  This early renewal speaks to the success of our collaboration and allows us to continue our joint initiative to deliver quality content to radio stations and provide the media community impactful advertiser opportunities.  We look forward to deepening our relationship, as we further explore options that will expand the ABC Radio offering.  We feel privileged to have ABC Radio at our side as Skyview Networks continues to experience healthy, sustainable growth.”

Futuri Appoints Three to New Positions.  Three new staffers join media technology firm Futuri Media at the company’s new Cleveland-area headquarters.  Radio pro Chris Huneke is named partner integration specialist.  In this role, the former WNNF, Cincinnati “NASH FM 94.1” program director will be a partner to programmers who use Futuri’s audience engagement products, helping them develop new ways to drive ratings and revenue.  Alison Stubbendieck is named national account manager.  She comes to Futuri after spending the last 11 years with digital marketer NeoFillJames Hunziker also joins as national account manager. He previously served with YP.com and CBS RADIO Cleveland before joining Futuri.

Jim Bohannon Delivers University of North Georgia Commencement.  Pictured here at the podium is Westwood One nationally syndicated radio talk host Jim Bohannon delivering a speech at the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega, Georgia on Saturday (7/29).

The MBA Radio Talent Institute Begins Today.  This edition of the Missouri Broadcasters Association Radio Talent Institute begins today at Northwest Missouri State University.  The 10-day institute is made possible with financial commitments from the school and the MBA, plus broadcast companies including: Hubbard Radio-St Louis; Eagle Communications-St. Joseph; Emmis Communications-St. Louis; Zimmer Radio and Marketing Group of Mid Missouri-Columbia, Jefferson City; iHeartMedia-St. Louis, Springfield, Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Davenport; Cumulus Media-Kansas City, Columbia, Jefferson City; and Mid-West Family Broadcasting-Springfield.  Students will travel to the Kansas City Chiefs training camp in St. Joseph for a session on sports broadcasting from Chiefs play-by-play announcer Mitch Holthus. The field trip will continue in Kansas City with a play-by-play session from the Royals’ Denny Matthews.  On Friday morning, Kansas City’s “Taylor and Brady Morning Show,” from KZPT “99.7 The Point” will broadcast live from the institute.

Trump Ousts Reince Priebus/Cabinet Changes, Future of ObamaCare, Putin Orders U.S. to Cut Diplomatic Staff, North Korea Nuclear Threats, Venezuela Elections, Sunday’s GoT Episode, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The ouster of White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly named his replacement, plus the arrival of White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci; the GOP’s efforts to vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with a plan crafted by Republicans; in retaliation for the Congress-approved sanctions against Russia, Vladimir Putin orders U.S. to remove 755 diplomats from Russia; the ongoing threats against the U.S. by North Korea; the weekend elections in Venezuela that Nicolas Maduro says give him complete control of the nation’s government and military and other nations’ refusal to accept the elections as legitimate; the current season of “Game of Thrones” and anticipation of Sunday night’s episode; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Continue Posting Today (7/31) with Memorial Tribute To Dr. Joy Browne by Jim Bohannon.  The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and its sessions are being posted to Talkers.com – one event per day.  Already posted are:

–          The “Welcoming Remarks” by WMAL, Washington, DC afternoon drive host Larry O’ Connor (including an introduction by TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein).

–          The special presentation “You HAVE Options” by consultant Holland Cooke (including an introduction by Yappy Days author Bernadette Duncan).

–          The “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity (with introduction by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon).

–          The “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS managing editor  Mike Kinosian and WFAN, New York sports talk show host Mike Francesa (with introduction by Sabo Media CEO Walter Sabo).

–          The special presentation “The Trump Effect: Latest Research of Interest to News/Talk Radio” by Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce (with introduction by Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host Brad Shepard).

–          The special presentation “Podcasting and Local Radio” by PodcastOne excutive chairman Norm Pattiz (with introduction by Hubbard Radio SVP/programming Greg Strassell).

–          The first, second and third in a series of three consecutive “one-on-one” sessions discussing the topic “Maximizing Talk Radio’s Multi-Platform Potential for Reach and Revenue” featuring conversations between WABC, New York, PD Craig Schwalb and KGO, San Francisco host Ethan BearmanBold Gold Media Group president/CEO Vince Benedetto and DGital Media managing partner Ron Hartenbaum, and nationally syndicated host Dr. Asa Andrew and TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein.  All three sessions are facilitated by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio host Karen Hunter.

–          A “one-on-one” dialogue titled “Radio That Makes a Difference” featuring the SiriusXM Satellite Radio husband/wife team of host Joe Madison and executive producer Sharon Madison (introduced by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio VP/GM talk programming Dave Gorab).

–          A “Fireside Chat” featuring former CBS Radio president/CEO and Broadcasters Foundation of America chairman Dan Mason being interviewed by WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley (with introduction by BOB-FM, London morning host Graham Mack).

–          A “Fireside Chat” featuring Emmis Communications CEO/chairman Jeff Smulyan being interviewed by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey (with an introduction by Bentley University professor/TALKERS legal editor Steve Weisman).

–          The series of four “one-on-one” dialogues titled “The Challenges of Doing Talk Radio in 2017.”  They feature a conversation between WYD Media syndicated host Thom Hartmann and Cumulus Media corporate PD/WMAL, Washington PD Bill Hess(introduced by Moceri Media president Greg Moceri), a conversation between morning co-host of WAQY-FM (Rock102), Springfield, MA  Mike “Bax” Baxendale and morning host of WOLB, Baltimore Larry Young, and a conversation between Cumulus Media EVP programming and content Mike McVay and Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott (facilitated by ABC News Radio VP/GM Steve Jones).

–          The series of four “one-on-one” dialogues collectively titled, “Where Does Talk Media Go From Here?” featuring a conversation between WRHU, Hofstra University OM John T. Mullen and WRFH, Hillsdale College GM Scot Bertram; a conversation between The New Normal CEO/founder/host Tom Leykis and syndicated host Michael Berry; a conversation between The Weiss AgencyEVP Heather Cohen and Fox News Radio/Fox News Channel host Brian Kilmeade; and a conversation between WPHT, Philadelphia host Dom Giordano and GCN syndicated host Dr. Daliah Wachs  (facilitated by WOR, New York APD Scott Lakefield). At the conclusion, Dr. Wachs is presented the TALKERS “Humanitarian of the Year” award by Michael Harrison.

–          TODAY (7/31) we posted the third of a series of three memorial tributes by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon dedicated to major talk show personalities and longtime TALKERS Convention participants who passed away this past year:  Tom MarrDr. Joy Browne and Alan Colmes.  Today’s posted tribute is for Dr. Joy Browne.  (Introduction by Stephan Multimedia CEO/host, Doug Stephan.)

Within the following days and weeks, every session will be posted and will remain on Talkers.com for the rest of the year.  The Talkers 2017: A New Era video page is sponsored by Backbone NetworksBroadcasters General Store and Comrex Corp.  To view the video page of Talkers 2017: A New Era, please click here.

 

 

Westwood One Realigns 24/7 Formats Organization.  President of programming Kirk Stirland says the streamlining of Westwood One’s 24/7 formats organizational structure “includes the promotion of many talented team members, and we are committed to continually optimizing our systems and station support as we advance our technology and content delivery solutions.”  The company says the structure gives every affiliate a single point of contact with a senior programming executive supported by a dedicated team of experts including a program operations manager, music and promotion director, and system operator.  “The new organization supporting VPs of programming George King/country, Cheri Marquart/contemporary, and David Felker/gold formats can respond to the more than 1,800 affiliates swiftly and conclusively with the singular goal of providing a top-notch product and white-glove service.”  Effective immediately, Dave Carey and Melody Morgan are promoted to program operations managers.  Al Vertucci and Gerry Dixon are promoted to music and promotion directors, for gold and contemporary formats respectively, and Bill Thorpe is promoted to system operator.  In a related move, Heather Martinez, a 13-year veteran of Westwood One’s 24-Hour Formats, is promoted to promotion manager.

Travis Moon to Program ‘K-Bull 93’ in Salt Lake City.  Country radio pro Travis Moon is joining Cumulus Media to serve as the program director for KUBL, Salt Lake City “K-Bull 93.”  Moon was most recently with iHeartMedia as director of country operations at KAJA, San Antonio and KASE and KVET in Austin.  Joining KUBL is a return to the station for Moon.  Earlier in his career, he was afternoon drive personality and APD.  Cumulus Media Salt Lake City Pat Reedy says, “To have someone of Travis’ experience, knowledge and track record of programming winning country radio stations is very exciting.  Can’t wait to get him in the ‘K-Bull’ stable and let him work his magic.”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programmer Kenny J is named program director at Cumulus Media’s urban AC KMJK “Magic 107.3.”  He comes to Kansas City from Kennelwood Radio’s hip hop KWBT, Waco, Texas “94.5 The Beat.”  At KMJK, Kenny J will also host the midday show.  Cumulus Kansas City operations manager Lance Tidwell states, “We are excited to have Kenny at the helm of ‘Magic 107.3’ in Kansas City.  The station is poised for significant growth and will benefit from Kenny’s leadership and deep knowledge of the urban AC format.”…..Cumulus Media launches a new CHR station, flipping from sports talk on WNMQ-FM, Columbus-Starkville, Mississippi.   The station takes on the brand “Q103.1 FM The Golden Triangle’s Hit Music.”  In morning drive, the station will use the syndicated “The Bert Show.”…..iHeartMedia Phoenix names Vinnie Del Rosso the new executive producer and on-air talent on adult contemporary KESZ’s “Beth and Friends” morning show. Area SVP of programming Paul Kelley says, “I’m excited to add Vinnie’s personality and perspective to the ‘Beth and Friends’ morning show. Vinnie and Beth have a great rapport and he will bring tremendous energy to the show.”

Friday, July 28, 2017

| July 28, 2017

Entercom Reports Second Quarter Net Revenue Rises 3%.  With the pending EntercomCBS RADIO merger front-and-center in the radio news these days, when Entercom president and CEO David Field talks, people listen.  Analysts and industry watchers were no doubt eager to hear what Field had to say about the merger process and here’s what he told them on this morning’s conference call.  “We’ve made good progress towards completing the transaction. We’re well along in our post-merger integration work, developing our plans to optimize our structure, practices and strategies to ensure we move quickly and effectively to capitalize on the opportunities in front of us.  And we have entered into letters of intent on all of our planned divestitures with strong interest from a significant number of various parties for the various stations and we’re pleased with the outcome of this process.  That said, we’re still working to achieve approval from the Department of Justice on the divestiture plan and are in the midst of that process.  We believe we’ll remain on schedule for closing in the second half of this year.”  To the numbers, Entercom reports net revenue of $125 million during the second quarter of 2017, an increase of 3% compared to the same period a year ago.   Same station net revenue was up 1%, excluding political.  In a statement, Field says, “We continue to make great progress in our planning for our transformational merger with CBS RADIO that will make us the #1 provider of original, local audio content in the U.S. and create the scale to compete with other media for a larger share of ad spending.  As we meet with clients, agencies, and strategic partners, we are more confident than ever about the value-creating opportunities ahead.  Second quarter revenues increased 3% as reported, and up 1% on a same-station basis ex-political.  Expenses were up more than usual due to our acquisition in Charlotte, some significant one-time-only expenses and additional costs related to building the organization in anticipation of the merger.  We expect expense growth to recede in the third quarter and look for meaningful margin expansion post-closing.”  As of June 30, Entercom had outstanding $467.6 million of senior debt under its credit facilities and $27.7 million in perpetual cumulative convertible preferred stock.  The company reports $8.6 million in cash on hand.

SiriusXM Q2 Revenue Up 9%; Subscribers Top 32 Million. Satellite radio operator SiriusXM is reporting 2017 second quarter financial numbers, led by “record” revenue of $1.3 billion, up 9% compared to Q2 of 2016.  Net income was $202 million in the second quarter, up 16% from $175 million in 2016.  The company’s free cash flow rose 6% to $417 million.  During the quarter, SiriusXM added 466,000 net new self-pay subscribers, putting its total self-pay subscribers at nearly 26.7 million.  SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer states, “In the second quarter, SiriusXM continued its strong track record of execution and demand for our premium content bundle pushed our listener base to an all-time high of more than 32 million paying subscribers. We are pleased to raise our full-year guidance for net self-pay subscriber additions, revenue, and adjusted EBITDA. We also made tremendous progress on strategic initiatives in the second quarter with the closing of our recapitalization of SiriusXM Canada, our acquisition of Automatic Labs, and our agreement to acquire a minority stake in Pandora Media.”

TALKERS Hears: Westwood One Signs Syndication Agreement with Walter Sabo.  TALKERS magazine hears that, according to unconfirmed inside sources, Westwood One has signed an agreement to syndicate a three-hour radio show hosted by Walter Sabo.  Sabo, CEO of the New York-based consultation firm Sabo Media, has been hosting a live, weekly two-hour talk show at 11:00 pm on Sunday nights on CBS O&O WPHT, Philadelphia for the past several years.  He uses the on-air name Walter Sterling.  The pact is the result of conversations between CBS RADIO and Cumulus Media to make the Walter Sterling Show (a CBS property) available to Cumulus stations and others in the late night weekend slot including an extra third hour.  TALKERS editors who have been listening describe the show as a departure from typical “left versus right” political news/talk fare focusing largely on social, family, and cultural issues of current life.  Noted radio impresario Kraig Kitchin is reportedly managing Sabo’s emerging on-air career and negotiated the deal. NEXT WEEK:  TALKERS will be presenting a special feature story by managing editor Mike Kinosian detailing the history of Walter Sabo’s colorful career from being a wunderkind 20-something radio executive in the 1970s and 1980s with ABC and NBC through his work as a leading consultant in the 1990s and early 2000s – culminating with his emerging presence as an on-air talent today.

Longtime KTRS, St. Louis Personality Frank O. Pinion Exiting.  After more than 20 years onFrank the St. Louis talk station, afternoon drive host Frank O. Pinion, a.k.a. John Craddock, will wrap his deal with CH Holding’s KTRS on September 14. The St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that Craddock told his listeners that the parting was not amicable – he’s resigned – and that he’s not retiring either.  The paper reports that Craddock is not a KTRS employee but an independent contractor who brokers the show, getting inventory to sell.  Read the Post-Dispatch story here.

Jon Kelly Takes Control of SummitMedia LLC.  The company announces that shareholder and private investor Jon Kelly reaches an agreement to purchase the controlling interest in SummitMedia LLC held by Highpoint Holdings.  SummitMedia chairman/CEO Carl Parmer states, “Jon has been our largest individual shareholder since inception and we are delighted he will become our controlling shareholder, pending FCC approval.  Not only is he a good friend, but he and his family have a long and incredibly successful history in broadcasting in the United States.  His commitment to SummitMedia positions us to take advantage of strategic opportunities and grow our platform in the years ahead.”

Conclave 42.  Consultant Holland Cooke (pictured above with conference chair Lori Lewis, VP/social for Cumulus Media/Westwood One) reports from Minneapolis with his notes on the Conclave Summer Learning Conference.  Among the topics discussed at this year’s conference were: the possibilities for radio with the growth of smart speakers, podcast strategies for radio personalities, the future of radio’s place in the car, and more.  See Cooke’s coverage here.

Salem Hosts at the White House.  Pictured above are some of the Salem Radio Network personalities and some of the hosts whose shows air on Salem Media Group-owned news/talk stations at this week’s “Made In America” radio remote from the White House.  Clockwise from left: Kevin McCullough (WNYM, New York), Joe Piscopo (WNYM, New York), Salem SVP spoken word format Phil Boyce, Craig Silverman (KNUS, Denver) and his son, SRN’s Eric Metaxas and Larry Elder.

Talking Issues with Jon Lovitz. “Saturday Night Live” alum Jon Lovitz (right) is pictured here with talk radio star Lars Larson (left) at Alpha Media’s KXL, Portland studios. Larson tells TALKERS magazine that Lovitz appeared on his radio show and talked “Trump, guns, Caitlyn Jenner and a lot of other things.”

TALKERS News Notes. With the goal of making its 34 radio stations in 13 states available on to Amazon Alexa-supported devices, E.W. Scripps enlists XAPPmedia.  XAPP VP of sales Ryan Higbie says, “We are honored to work with Scripps to bring Amazon Alexa users access to its radio stations’ original audio content.  The technology offers an immersive experience for users to listen to their favorite radio programs on demand.  XAPP is committed to helping Scripps make the most of this new distribution channel and build deeper listener relationships at the same time.”…..SiriusXM announces comedian and actor Godfrey begins hosting a daily show on the Urban View channel on Monday (7/31).  “The Power Hour” will air daily from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm and feature “dynamic and often provocative conversations on politics, pop culture, and social issues in Godfrey’s relaxed, comedic style.”

ObamaCare Repeal and Replace Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of July 24-28.  The GOP’s attempts to vote on the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and efforts to craft a replacement health care plan tied for the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week.  At #2 was the threat by new White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci to fire the entire West Wing to stop leaks to the press.  Coming in at #3 was President Trump’s ban on transgender soldiers in the military, followed by the announcement by Foxconn of plans for a new plant in Wisconsin 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.

TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Continue Posting Today (7/28) with Memorial Tribute to Alan Colmes by Jim Bohannon.  The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and its sessions are being posted to Talkers.com – one event per day.  Already posted are:

–          The “Welcoming Remarks” by WMAL, Washington, DC afternoon drive host Larry O’ Connor (including an introduction by TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein).

–          The special presentation “You HAVE Options” by consultant Holland Cooke (including an introduction by Yappy Days author Bernadette Duncan).

–          The “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity (with introduction by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon).

–          The “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS managing editor  Mike Kinosian and WFAN, New York sports talk show host Mike Francesa (with introduction by Sabo Media CEO Walter Sabo).

–          The special presentation “The Trump Effect: Latest Research of Interest to News/Talk Radio” by Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce (with introduction by Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host Brad Shepard).

–          The special presentation “Podcasting and Local Radio” by PodcastOne excutive chairman Norm Pattiz (with introduction by Hubbard Radio SVP/programming Greg Strassell).

–          The first, second and third in a series of three consecutive “one-on-one” sessions discussing the topic “Maximizing Talk Radio’s Multi-Platform Potential for Reach and Revenue” featuring conversations between WABC, New York, PD Craig Schwalb and KGO, San Francisco host Ethan BearmanBold Gold Media Group president/CEO Vince Benedetto and DGital Media managing partner Ron Hartenbaum, and nationally syndicated host Dr. Asa Andrew and TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein.  All three sessions are facilitated by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio host Karen Hunter.

–          A “one-on-one” dialogue titled “Radio That Makes a Difference” featuring the SiriusXM Satellite Radio husband/wife team of host Joe Madison and executive producer Sharon Madison (introduced by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio VP/GM talk programming Dave Gorab).

–          A “Fireside Chat” featuring former CBS Radio president/CEO and Broadcasters Foundation of America chairman Dan Mason being interviewed by WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley (with introduction by BOB-FM, London morning host Graham Mack).

–          A “Fireside Chat” featuring Emmis Communications CEO/chairman Jeff Smulyan being interviewed by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey (with an introduction by Bentley University professor/TALKERS legal editor Steve Weisman).

–          The series of four “one-on-one” dialogues titled “The Challenges of Doing Talk Radio in 2017.”  They feature a conversation between WYD Media syndicated host Thom Hartmann and Cumulus Media corporate PD/WMAL, Washington PD Bill Hess(introduced by Moceri Media president Greg Moceri), a conversation between morning co-host of WAQY-FM (Rock102), Springfield, MA  Mike “Bax” Baxendale and morning host of WOLB, Baltimore Larry Young, and a conversation between Cumulus Media EVP programming and content Mike McVay and Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott (facilitated by ABC News Radio VP/GM Steve Jones).

–          The series of four “one-on-one” dialogues collectively titled, “Where Does Talk Media Go From Here?” featuring a conversation between WRHU, Hofstra University OM John T. Mullen and WRFH, Hillsdale College GM Scot Bertram; a conversation between The New Normal CEO/founder/host Tom Leykis and syndicated host Michael Berry; a conversation between The Weiss AgencyEVP Heather Cohen and Fox News Radio/Fox News Channel host Brian Kilmeade; and a conversation between WPHT, Philadelphia host Dom Giordano and GCN syndicated host Dr. Daliah Wachs  (facilitated by WOR, New York APD Scott Lakefield). At the conclusion, Dr. Wachs is presented the TALKERS “Humanitarian of the Year” award by Michael Harrison.

–          TODAY (7/28) we posted the second of a series of three memorial tributes by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon dedicated to major talk show personalities and longtime TALKERS Convention participants who passed away this past year:  Tom MarrDr. Joy Browne and Alan Colmes.  Today’s posted tribute is for Alan Colmes. Dr. Joy Browne’s tribute will be posted on Monday.  (Introduction by Stephan Multimedia CEO/host, Doug Stephan.)

Within the following days and weeks, every session will be posted and will remain on Talkers.com for the rest of the year.  The Talkers 2017: A New Era video page is sponsored by Backbone NetworksBroadcasters General Store and Comrex Corp.  To view the video page of Talkers 2017: A New Era, please click here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Charlotte, air personality JT Bosch is named the afternoon drive host and assistant program director at iHeartMedia’s country WKKT “96.9 The Kat.”  Effective August 14, Bosch begins hosting the 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm show.  Bosch was most recently with the company as APD/evening personality at WMZQ, Washington.  iHeartMedia Virginia-Carolina Region president Dave Carwile states, “I’m excited to have JT in Charlotte and involved in the programming of WKKT.  He is familiar with the area and his experience in both programming and on-air is unrivaled.”…..Carson Daly is resigning from his morning show duties at CBS RADIO’s KAMP, Los Angeles “97.1 AMP Radio,” in order to focus on his television projects and his other radio work.  He told his radio listeners that his desire to spend more time with his wife and three kids was a big factor in the decision.  “I just want to have breakfast with my kids,” he said.  Daly will still produce the weekend radio countdown show “Daly Download” while handling television duties that include hosting “The Voice,” anchoring on the “Today” show, and hosting “Last Call with Darson Daly.”…..The mystery surrounding the April disappearance of Kathy Hart from WTMX, Chicago’s popular “Eric & Kathy” AM drive show may soon be revealed to some degree or another, according to Chicago media writer Robert Feder.  He writes today that sources say action on her relationship with the station should come soon and it sounds as though she’s negotiating an end to her contract.  However, everyone seems mystified as to what caused her to choose to take a leave from the highly rated program 12 weeks ago, including radio partner Eric Ferguson.  Read Feder’s piece here…..Entercom’s WLNK, Charlotte “The Link 107.9” inks a new deal with Bob Lacey and Sheri Lynch (pictured at right) for the two to continue hosting their syndicated “Bob & Sheri” show on the station.  Entercom Charlotte VP/GM Matt Hanlon states, “This is the top-rated show in the market and one of the best, most unique morning shows in America.  We’re fortunate to have the caliber of talent and creative engagement the ‘Bob & Sheri’ show brings to the airwaves every day.”

#Conclave42

| July 28, 2017

By Holland Cooke
Media Consultant

 

MINNEAPOLIS — Each year, “The Conclave Summer Learning Conference” draws a largely Midwest crowd; so – with all the great radio in the region – it’s an opportunity to talk shop with genuinely enthused broadcasters.  Applause to Cumulus/Westwood One VP/social Lori Lewis, this year’s conference chair.

Opening Session: “Ask Me Almost Anything”

Did I say “enthused?”  Sound bites from the suits:

Greg Strassell, SVP/programming, Hubbard Radio

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Thursday, July 27, 2017

| July 27, 2017

Vince Coglianese Joins Mary Walter for WMAL’s ‘Mornings on the Mall.’ The Daily Caller editorial director Vince Coglianese is named the new morning drive co-host at Cumulus Media’s Washington, DC news/talk outlet WMAL-AM/FM.  The station says Coglianese will join current morning personality Mary Walter on the “Mornings On The Mall” program from 5:00 am to 9:00 am.  He’s the former editor-in-chief of The Daily Caller and regularly appears on the FOX News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, the FOX Business Network, and CNBC. Prior to joining The Daily Caller, Coglianese served as web editor for Carolina Coast OnLine, and hosted a talk show on WTKF/WJNC, Morehead City, North Carolina.  WMAL program director and Cumulus Media VP of News/Talk Bill Hess states, “Vince is the perfect WMAL personality – knowledgeable, plugged-in, entertaining, and a strong storyteller.  He and Mary had immediate chemistry and we’re excited to bring this fresh new sound to mornings on 105.9 FM and AM630 WMAL.”  Coglianese fills the slot left vacant when Brian Wilson departed the station.

iHeartMedia Launches Denver Broncos Station ‘Orange and Blue Radio.’  Sports talker KDSP, Denver is tweaked by owner iHeartMedia and will now be a station dedicated to all things Denver Broncos.  KDSP takes on the brand “Orange & Blue 760.”  iHeartMedia says the station “will broadcast Broncos sports talk with Tyler Polumbus, Steve Atwater, Dave Logan, Andrew Mason and more throughout the day.  Listeners can tune in 24/7 to hear breaking team news reports, live coverage of all Broncos’ news conferences as well as exclusive Broncos content just for ‘Orange & Blue’ radio listeners.”  This is being reported by numerous Denver news outlets as a “50/50 relationship” between the NFL club and the station, although whether that refers literally to sharing revenue or, less literally, about working together to create content – or some mix thereof – is not clear.  Denver Broncos chief commercial operator Mac Freeman adds, “Our longstanding partnership with iHeartMedia Denver continues to evolve and we are committed to finding new ways to engage Broncos fans across the fast-changing media landscape.  ‘Orange and Blue Radio’ will allow us to bring Broncos fans more content, more often, in more places.”

Nielsen’s Q2 Net Revenue Up 3%.  Ratings and research giant – and parent of radio ratings subsidiary Nielsen AudioNielsen Holdings plc announces financial figures for the second quarter of 2017.  Revenue was $1,644 million in Q2, up 3.0% (or 4.1% on a constant currency basis) compared to the second quarter of 2016.  Nielsen CEO Mitch Barns comments, “Our revenue in the quarter reflects solid growth in Watch, robust growth in Buy emerging markets and the contribution from our recent acquisition of Gracenote.  This was partially offset by continued softness in our U.S. Buy business which reflects the challenging operating environment for our large, fast moving consumer goods clients.  Our rigorous cost and commercial discipline in the quarter enabled us to deliver margin expansion, while also investing in our key growth initiatives.”

WEEI’s Minihane Takes ‘Personal Time’ After Criticizing Red Sox Ownership. Coincidence or not?  That’s the question the Boston Herald’s Jessica Heslam is asking after WEEI, Boston morning personality Kirk Minihane disappeared from the morning show the day after lashing out at Boston Red Sox ownership.  What set Minihane off was a statement the organization made in response to a piece by Britni De La Cretaz published at DigBoston.com that examines the history of the MLB club’s racist past and suggests that racism is still alive and well in “Red Sox Nation,” including at the team’s longtime radio partner, WEEI.  Part of the Red Sox’s statement included the following: “None of the opinions or sentiments expressed on WEEI or any of the 57 radio affiliates throughout New England are those of the Boston Red Sox.  We understand the frustration of those who feel the opinions expressed are offensive and out of line.  At times, we feel the same way.”  Minihane responded saying, in part, “There is an institutional arrogance from the Red Sox.  It starts at the top and it bleeds all the way down to the bottom.  All we did was say we don’t believe that Red Sox fans are inherently racist.  The Red Sox disagree.  Red Sox fans, your organization thinks you’re racist or, by and large, think many of you are racist.  The Red Sox are pandering and it starts with John Henry, with Linda Pizzuti, who’s another panderer, goes to Tom Werner and goes all the way down, slides all the way down, takes a stop at John Farrell.”  The station told Heslam that Minihane is not suspended, just “taking personal time this week.”  Read Heslam’s story here.

Charlie Pallilo Returns to Houston Airwaves.  The Houston Chronicle reports that Houston sports talk radio personality Charlie Pallilo will be back on the radio on August 21 on Gow Media’s KGOW, hosting the 11:00 am to 1:00 pm show.  Pallilo was most recently with iHeartMedia on KBME “Sports Talk 790” but was let go last October to make room in afternoons for Josh Innes (currently hosting the morning drive show on KBME).  The Chronicle reports that Pallilo will also make appearances on Gow’s sister station KFNC-FM and contribute to Gow Media’s CultureMap and SportsMap websites.  Gow Media’s David Gow is quoted saying, “I’ve been trying to hire Charlie for years, but he wasn’t available until his departure from 790.  We’ve been looking for the right fit and spot in our lineup for him.  We think he is one of the top sports talk hosts in the city.  He is really thoughtful and insightful and has a great rapport with his listeners. His analysis and his ability to talk about the details of sports and why things are taking place is unparalleled, and I know people will enjoy listening to him on our airwaves.”

TALKERS News Notes.  The start date for Nashville sports talk host George Plaster’s return to the market’s airwaves is this Sunday (7/30) on Grand Ole Opry-owned country WSM-AM. The 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm “Sports Night” program will be Plaster’s return to the radio after exiting crosstown WPNT “102.5 The Game” to become the athletic director at Belmont University, a position he continues to hold.  WSM-AM program director Jonathan Shaffer will serve as co-host for the show…..CBS RADIO announces that Chris Wittyngham is the new co-host for the Miami Dolphins pre-game show on WQAM “Sportsradio 560” alongside former Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder.  Wittyngham currently works for CBSSports.com as a digital channels host.  He also works for BeIN Sports Television Network as a soccer play-by-play announcer.  WQAM program director Ryan Maguire comments, “Chris has already established himself locally as a talented, versatile sports media professional.  We’re thrilled that he’s agreed to work with us more extensively during the football season.”

GOP Health Care Strategy, U.S. Military Transgender Ban, Foxconn Announces U.S. Plant, Scaramucci Threatens Leakers, Trump-Russia Investigation, North Korea Nukes Program, Sessions Status, Western Male Sperm Counts Down, Ohio Fair Ride Fatality, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/26).  The Republicans’ attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with a GOP-crafted plan; President Trump issues ban on transgender soldiers in the U.S. military; Taiwan-based Foxconn announces plans for Wisconsin factory and 3,000 initial jobs; new White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci’s threat to punish White House leakers; the investigation into connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; North Korea’s ICBM program and its threats against the U.S.; President Trump’s criticism of Attorney General Jeff Sessions; a new report indicating sperm counts are down among Western males; a fatality and severe injuries from an amusement park ride at the Ohio State Fair; 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.

TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Continue Posting Today (7/27) with Memorial Tribute To Tom Marr by Jim Bohannon.  The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and its sessions are being posted to Talkers.com – one event per day.  Already posted are:

–          The “Welcoming Remarks” by WMAL, Washington, DC afternoon drive host Larry O’ Connor (including an introduction by TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein).

–          The special presentation “You HAVE Options” by consultant Holland Cooke (including an introduction by Yappy Days author Bernadette Duncan).

–          The “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity (with introduction by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon).

–          The “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS managing editor  Mike Kinosian and WFAN, New York sports talk show host Mike Francesa (with introduction by Sabo Media CEO Walter Sabo).

–          The special presentation “The Trump Effect: Latest Research of Interest to News/Talk Radio” by Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce (with introduction by Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host Brad Shepard).

–          The special presentation “Podcasting and Local Radio” by PodcastOne excutive chairman Norm Pattiz (with introduction by Hubbard Radio SVP/programming Greg Strassell).

–          The first, second and third in a series of three consecutive “one-on-one” sessions discussing the topic “Maximizing Talk Radio’s Multi-Platform Potential for Reach and Revenue” featuring conversations between WABC, New York, PD Craig Schwalb and KGO, San Francisco host Ethan BearmanBold Gold Media Group president/CEO Vince Benedetto and DGital Media managing partner Ron Hartenbaum, and nationally syndicated host Dr. Asa Andrew and TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein.  All three sessions are facilitated by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio host Karen Hunter.

–          A “one-on-one” dialogue titled “Radio That Makes a Difference” featuring the SiriusXM Satellite Radio husband/wife team of host Joe Madison and executive producer Sharon Madison (introduced by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio VP/GM talk programming Dave Gorab).

–          A “Fireside Chat” featuring former CBS Radio president/CEO and Broadcasters Foundation of America chairman Dan Mason being interviewed by WPGG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley (with introduction by BOB-FM, London morning host Graham Mack).

–          A “Fireside Chat” featuring Emmis Communications CEO/chairman Jeff Smulyan being interviewed by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey (with an introduction by Bentley University professor/TALKERS legal editor Steve Weisman).

–          The series of four “one-on-one” dialogues titled “The Challenges of Doing Talk Radio in 2017.”  They feature a conversation between WYD Media syndicated host Thom Hartmann and Cumulus Media corporate PD/WMAL, Washington PD Bill Hess(introduced by Moceri Media president Greg Moceri), a conversation between morning co-host of WAQY-FM (Rock102), Springfield, MA  Mike “Bax” Baxendale and morning host of WOLB, Baltimore Larry Young, and a conversation between Cumulus Media EVP programming and content Mike McVay and Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott (facilitated by ABC News Radio VP/GM Steve Jones).

–          The series of four “one-on-one” dialogues collectively titled, “Where Does Talk Media Go From Here?” featuring a conversation between WRHU, Hofstra University OM John T. Mullen and WRFH, Hillsdale College GM Scot Bertram; a conversation between The New Normal CEO/founder/host Tom Leykis and syndicated host Michael Berry; a conversation between The Weiss AgencyEVP Heather Cohen and Fox News Radio/Fox News Channel host Brian Kilmeade; and a conversation between WPHT, Philadelphia host Dom Giordano and GCN syndicated host Dr. Daliah Wachs  (facilitated by WOR, New York APD Scott Lakefield). At the conclusion, Dr. Wachs is presented the TALKERS “Humanitarian of the Year” award by Michael Harrison.

–          TODAY (7/27) we posted the first of a series of three memorial tributes by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon dedicated to major talk show personalities and longtime TALKERS Convention participants who passed away this past year:  Tom MarrDr. Joy Browne and Alan Colmes.  Today’s posted tribute is for Tom Marr. (Introduction by Stephan Multimedia CEO/host, Doug Stephan.)

Within the following days and weeks, every session will be posted and will remain on Talkers.com for the rest of the year.  The Talkers 2017: A New Era video page is sponsored by Backbone NetworksBroadcasters General Store and Comrex Corp.  To view the video page of Talkers 2017: A New Era, please click here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves.  In Los Angeles, CBS RADIO makes Chris Ebbott program director of CHR KAMP “97.1 AMP” in addition to his current PD role at classic hits KRTH “K-EARTH 101.1.”  CBS says this move allows cluster SVP of programming Kevin Weatherly to hand off the KAMP programming duties to Ebbott and “focus more broadly on the strategic direction and approach of the market’s five music formats. CBS also operates KTWV “94.7 The Wave,” KROQ, and KCBS-FM “93.1 JACK FM.”  Weatherly will continue to serve as program director of KROQ and KCBS-FM…..A piece published in the Providence Journal gives a status report on the sale of alternative WBRU, Providence.  The station is a commercial alt rocker owned by the non-profit Brown Broadcasting Services – linked to Brown University.  The student-staffed station was put up for sale by the board of directors who cited the challenges of operating a radio station in the current media climate as the impetus to sell.  The ProJo piece quotes a board spokesman saying the broker handling the sale is in active negotiations with a potential buyer but that no names are being released at this point…..Jacobs Media brings Chris Firmage aboard as an associate consultant.  Jacobs says Firmage joins the company after “a long and successful run at KFMA in Tucson.”  Jacobs Media president Fred Jacobs comments, “We continue to invest in new ideas and approaches for our clients.  Chris brings us a solid history of success. He’s knowledgeable in many areas and I expect that he will have a positive impact for all our clients.”

Suicide by Commercial

| July 26, 2017
Al Herskovitz
H&H Communications
President
BRADENTON, Fla. — If I were an advertiser using commercials on some talk shows, I’d ask for my money back.  There seems to a be a rash of spots currently on the air that are over-jammed with information containing unneeded details and presented at break-neck speed.  There even are some where the show host opens each commercial by re-identifying him/herself within the body of his/her own program each time even when three “live” commercials are aired back-to-back. That’s an ok technique if the spots are recorded and run separately elsewhere during the day where it is an implied endorsement. But within his/her own show?

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