John McCain Latest Politician to Blame Media for Washington Gridlock. Returning from a medical absence in which he learned he has an aggressive form of brain cancer, Arizona Republican Senator John McCain lashed out at media commentators and chastised fellow legislators for kowtowing to them. He concluded his speech on the Senate floor on Tuesday (7/25) saying, “Stop listening to the bombastic loudmouths on the radio and television and the Internet. To hell with them. They don’t want anything done for the public good. Our incapacity is their livelihood. Let’s trust each other. Let’s return to regular order.” Talk radio hosts won’t be surprised by McCain’s language. For many conservative talk radio hosts, McCain is seen as too liberal. Even during his presidential runs, he was never a darling of the talk radio circuit. Ironically, McCain’s daughter Meghan McCain is a Fox News Channel personality on the daily “Outnumbered” program.
Hewitt, Hannity and More Broadcast from Hillsdale College’s Washington Studio. A number of high-profile talk show hosts broadcast from Hillsdale College’s Boyle Radio Studio in Washington, DC this week. On Monday, Tuesday and today, Sean Hannity, Dennis Prager, Mike Gallagher, Michael Medved, Hugh Hewitt, and Eric Metaxas broadcast their nationally syndicated shows from the facility. The Boyle Radio Studio is located in Hillsdale’s Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship. Pictured above are Salem Radio Network morning personality Hugh Hewitt (left) speaking with Hillsdale College president Larry P. Arnn (right). Hillsdale’s Boyle Radio Studio is available to radio hosts visiting Washington, DC. It is a state-of-the-art facility and uses all commercial grade, industry standard high-end broadcast equipment. It’s equipped with industry standard Comrex technology which allows visiting hosts to connect reliably back to their ‘home’ studios. Matthew Spalding is the vice president and dean of educational programs for Hillsdale College at the Kirby Center and he says, “The Boyle Radio Studio and all that it does is an extension of the teaching mission of Hillsdale College. The studio is available to host broadcasts to visiting radio personalities for no-cost, on an as-available basis.”
WABC’s Curtis Sliwa Arrested Serving Papers to NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio. The photo above is a still from video of WABC, New York talk show host and Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa being arrested by security at Gracie Mansion. Sliwa also serves as The Reform Party chairman and was attempting to serve Mayor De Blasio legal documents regarding the Working Families Party ballot line. Sliwa – who co-hosts the “Curtis and Eboni Show” midday show on WABC with Eboni K. Williams – will be represented at his court appearance by Williams, who is a licensed attorney. See the video of Sliwa’s arrest at wabcradio.com.
Jim Rome’s 23rd Annual ‘Smack-Off’ Airs Friday. This Friday (7/28), the 23rd annual “Smack Off” will take place on the CBS Sports Radio Network-syndicated Jim Rome show. The contest among callers was designed 23 years ago by host Jim Rome to see which caller can talk the best sports smack. Rome says, “The first Smack Off came about because I wanted a day when only the best callers would be invited to call in to compete with each other to determine who was the best. At that time, I had no idea it would become an annual tradition, let alone one that would last for more than two decades. Every year, the callers get bigger, bolder, and more creative with their ideas, so I can’t wait to find out which caller will become the next legend.” This year’s “Smack Off” will feature 25 contestants competing for a cash prize of $5,000. MMA legend and 2012 “Smack Off” champion Chael Sonnen is hoping to win his second title this year, while Yahoo’s MLB columnist and New York Times bestselling author Jeff Passan will be making his “Smack Off” debut.
Burke Named Director of Digital Sales/Operations at Cumulus DC. This is a newly created position at Cumulus Media and digital marketing pro Dahn Burke joins the company from TEGNA Media where she was digital sales manager. She previously worked in radio in the Washington market as senior digital account executive for CBS RADIO. She’ll apply her skills to the digital platforms of news/talk WMAL-AM/FM and hot AC WRQX-FM and represent the digital marketing solutions in Cumulus Digital C-Suite. Cumulus DC vice president and market manager Jake McCann comments, “Dahn Burke has a proven track record of developing digital programs that deliver results for clients. Prior to joining Cumulus, Dahn ran a digital team that was the market leader in performance. We are thrilled to have her leading our new Cumulus Digital C-Suite products offering local marketers with the powerful reach, frequency and recall of radio, combined with comprehensive custom digital marketing solutions that effectively engage consumers.”
New ‘Regular Guys’ Show Launches on Atlanta’s ‘The Fan 2.’ Last week TALKERS reported the tease by “Regular Guys” show founder Larry Wachs that he’s putting the Atlanta radio show back together with new cast members. Now, with the Monday launch of the show on Dickey Broadcasting’s sports talk WFOM-AM/W292EV “The Fan 2,” we know that his show partner is former Atlanta Falcon Bob Whitfield and the staff includes producer Brandon Joseph, and Kaitlyn Henderson. The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho has the whole story here.
WGN, Chicago to Leave Tribune Tower Next Summer. The lease at the venerable Tribune Tower for WGN, Chicago – soon likely to be part of the Sinclair Broadcast Group stable – runs out in June of 2018 and station officials have announced that they have signed a deal to move the news/talk station to new offices in a 28-story building across the Chicago River on Wacker Drive. Chicago media writer Robert Feder has the story and reports that the station will join two other Tribune media units in the offices. Yes, WGN will lose that cool street-level studio on Michigan Avenue, but the new owner of the building wanted to lease the valuable space to a retailer, anyway. Read Feder’s story here.
TALKERS News Notes. Houston talk show host Sam Malone (left) is pictured here on Capitol Hill interviewing House Ways & Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) at Salem Media Group’s “Made in America” day broadcast event. Malone, heard in morning drive on Salem’s KNTH, Houston, was one of 19 personalities to take part in the Washington remote…..California Bears football and basketball will continue to be heard on flagship KGO, San Francisco as Cumulus Media and Learfield’s Cal Bears Sports Properties sign a new deal. Joe Starkey returns as play-by-play announcer for his 43rd season…..Kansas University is looking for a new Kansas City flagship after the school decided it wanted a flagship where it would not get bumped from live coverage by Kansas City Royals games. Entercom’s KCSP, Kansas City “610 Sports Radio” had been the flagship and station VP/GM Dave Alpert said he understands the school’s point of view. “We certainly appreciate their desire to be on a station where they’re not going to be bumped by other sports…I certainly appreciate KU’s desire to have consistency on where their games air.” September and October often saw conflicts between KU football and Royals baseball…..SiriusXM’s “NFL Radio Training Camp Tour” begins tomorrow (7/27). NFL Radio personalities will visit and report from all 32 teams’ summer camps, presenting one-on-one interviews with players, coaches and franchise executives, expert breakdowns of every roster and reports on rookies and veterans.
Suicide by Commercial. Radio sales maven Al Herskovitz writes today about current talk radio spots he’s hearing that are continuing to make the same creative mistakes that have dogged radio advertisers for decades. Spots with too much information, unmemorable phone numbers, and copy read at the speed of light are just a few of the aural assaults that stick in Al’s craw. Read his entire piece here.
GOP ObamaCare Repeal Strategy, Russian Sanctions, AG Sessions Status, Trump Boy Scouts Speech, Trump Ohio Rally, North Korea Nuclear Program, Scaramucci Firing Threat, Former Dem IT Staffer Arrested, Football Brain Injury Report, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/25). Republicans’ attempts to move forward on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act; the House-approved sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea and Russia’s condemnation of the House action; President Trump’s criticism of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and speculation about Sessions being ousted; the controversy over President Trump’s politics-laden speech at the Boy Scouts Jamboree; Trump’s Youngstown, Ohio rally; reports of North Korea’s progress producing ICBMs capable of hitting the U.S.; new White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci’s threat of mass terminations if leaks to the press don’t stop; a former IT contractor for Democrats and Debbie Wasserman Schultz is arrested trying to illegally leave the country; a preliminary report indicating a majority of brains of football players donated to the research project show evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy; 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.
Renowned Ghostwriter Michael Levin Guests on Harrison Podcast. Many talk media hosts are writing books as an invaluable supplement to their branding. A book with a broadcaster’s name on it helps expand his or her media footprint and can be a viable source of non-traditional revenue. Having a book can also help a host attain speaking engagements – in turn, another source of promotion and revenue. It defines their area of expertise and establishes them as a go-to source in the marketplace of ideas. Never before in history has it been simpler to publish a professional-quality book. The digital age has delivered authors the convenience and economic efficiency of on-demand printing and modern platforms such as Amazon have evened the distribution playing field for independent publishers to compete with the big New York City-based houses. Of course, writing a good book can be challenging in terms of the focus, organization, and time it requires to do it properly. Michael Levin, one of the most established ghostwriters in the nation, joins Michael Harrison as this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne hit series “Up Close and Far Out” to address the state of independent publishing in 2017. This New York Times best-selling author is a veritable writing machine who has written, co-written or ghostwritten more than 550 books, of which 18 are national bestsellers. He appeared on ABC’s “Shark Tank” in 2012 and has published with the biggest houses in the business. His works have been optioned for film and TV by some of the industry’s most important studios. Harrison and Levin discuss a variety of aspects about the modern process of book publishing and its relevance to media practitioners. 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.
TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Continue Posting Today (7/26) with Dom Giordano, Dr. Daliah Wachs and Scott Lakefield. 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 Bearman, Bold 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 first two in a 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 first three in a 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; and a conversation between The Weiss Agency EVP Heather Cohen and Fox News Radio/Fox News Channel host Brian Kilmeade (facilitated by WOR, New York APD Scott Lakefield).
– TODAY (7/26) we posted the fourth and final of four in the above series of “one-on-one” dialogues “Where Does Talk Media Go From Here?” featuring a conversation between WPHT, Philadelphia host Dom Giordano and GCN syndicated host Dr. Daliah Wachs (again, 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.
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 Networks, Broadcasters General Store and Comrex Corp. To view the video page of Talkers 2017: A New Era, please click here.
PPM Analysis: Hot AC. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the fourth-and-final format analysis of station performances based on 6+ data from the June 2017 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio. Today’s focus is hot AC. Kinosian reports that the qualifying sample of hot AC stations indicates “not quite half the stations on this panel (45%) are up May 2017 – June 2017; 38% are down; and the remaining 17% are flat.” Looking at changes from a year ago, “virtually the same number of AC panelists falter year-to-year (49%) as improve (46%), while 5% are flat.” iHeartMedia’s KBIG, Los Angeles “104.3 MYfm”; Connoisseur Media’s WALK, Long Island; and Alpha Media’s WRMF, West Palm Beach ranked #1 in their respective markets in June and another 13 hot AC stations ranked in the top 5. See the whole report here.
More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Two moves take place at iHeartMedia’s hip hop WWPR, New York “Power 105.1 FM.” First, Eddie Fennel is promoted to assistant program director for the station, moving up from his executive producer position with “The Breakfast Club.” Next, midday personality DJ Prostyle is upped to music director. He will retain his midday show. Both will report to program director Thea Mitchem…..Programming pro Chuck Geiger is named program director for Alaska Broadcast Communications’ five-station Juneau, Alaska cluster that includes news/talk KJNO, country KYKU, hot AC KSUP, adult contemporary KINY, and classic hits KXXJ. He was most recently with Cherry Creek Radio’s Wenatchee, Washington station group.