Archive for August, 2017
WW1: Advertiser Interest in Podcasting Rising Dramatically. Syndicator Westwood One releases new data from its Westwood One State of Podcasting 2017 report. The company says that the report “provides an in-depth look at listening behaviors and demographics of the podcast consumer, plus insight into how marketers and agencies view podcast advertising.” In looking at advertiser perceptions of podcasting, the report indicates, “The proportion of advertisers and agencies who have discussed podcast advertising for potential media investments has soared from 41% in September of 2015 to 68% in May of 2017.” Additionally, “The marketers and agencies who say they will definitely advertise in podcasts in the coming six months has increased threefold (10% to 27%) since September, 2015.” WW1 president and Cumulus Media EVP, corporate marketing Suzanne Grimes states, “We knew that advertiser sentiment for podcast advertising was growing, as we have seen a significant increase in advertising spend on the Westwood One podcast network. The Westwood One State of Podcasting 2017 report quantifies the conversation, consideration, and intention among marketers to place their brands in the expansive podcast programming environment. It’s great news for all of us in the fast-tracking on-demand space.” The report includes data from Edison Research’s “Share of Ear” and “Infinite Dial” studies, IPSOS, and Advertiser Perceptions. See more from the study here.
Radio Continues Fundraising Efforts for Harvey Relief. The fundraising efforts for Harvey relief by radio stations and radio companies continue with Beasley Media Group announcing Naples-Fort Myers stations CHR WXKB “B103.9,” WRXK “96KRock,” and AC WJPT “Sunny 106.3” are partnering with the local chapter of the American Red Cross to collect donations during today’s “MUSIC THON. The morning air personalities from all three stations will stay on the air to play special song requests for donations…..Disney/ABC is launching a network-wide telethon and call-to-action today (including sports talk radio network ESPN Radio). Disney Media Networks co-chairman/president Ben Sherwood said, “With this ‘Day of Giving’ across all our networks and platforms, the men and women of Disney/ABC, ESPN and the A+E Networks are answering the call to stand up and support the communities hit hardest by Hurricane Harvey. In 2012, we rallied to support relief efforts after Hurricane Sandy, helping raise more than $18 million dollars. Now, we stand alongside the residents of Texas and the Gulf states who are battling the floods and devastation of Harvey.”…..Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s Springfield, Illinois radio stations are partnering with Sinclair Broadcasting’s local TV stations to raise funds and supplies for victims of Harvey. Tomorrow (9/1), both broadcasting groups will stage a daylong event at a local Walmart taking donations – with an emphasis on monetary donations – to the Salvation Army. Sinclair is promising to match those donations up to $100,000. Mid-West Family Springfield GM Harvey Wells comments, “While we are a locally owned and locally focused broadcasting company, we have an obligation to use our reach to help in times of national crisis.”
Paul Curran Named CMG Orlando Market Manager. Media sales and management pro Paul Curran is promoted to market vice president for Cox Media Group’s Orlando cluster that includes news/talk WDBO “News 96.5,” sports talk WDBO-AM “ESPN Orlando,” classic hits WMMO, urban contemporary WCFB, hip hop WPYO, “Power 95.3,” and Spanish “107.3 Solo Exitos,” plus television stations WFTV-TV and WRDQ-TV in what CMG calls this “converged market.” Curran has been serving as VP and general manager of the two TV stations. He says, “The opportunity to bring together the talented people and dynamic products of CMG Radio and CMG TV under one entity in Central Florida is an exciting one. No other media company can match our combined TV, radio, and digital footprint here, and the possibilities to build on collaboration and improve the experience for our viewers, listeners, and customers are limitless. I can’t wait to get started.”
WSJS, Winston-Salem Transitioning to Sports Talk. According to a report in the Winston-Salem Journal, Crescent Media Group is going all sports talk on WSJS, Winston-Salem, eliminating the news and non-sports talk. Morning drive personality J.R. Snider and news anchor Ed Skurka are exiting the station after today’s broadcast and the sports programming schedule takes effect tomorrow (9/1). Station GM Al Bunch tells the paper the decision was about serving sports fans. “They crave a place to talk about sports and listen to sports being discussed, and we feel that’s being underserved in the Triad. We’re going to give them what they’ve been asking for.” The station will air ESPN Radio content until 12:00 noon when it carries the Raleigh-based David Glenn program. The afternoon drive show will be the local “One on One With The Schass,” with host Kyle Schassburger.
PodcastOne Launches Sports Division. Podcast platform PodcastOne is launching a new lineup of original sports programming under the banner of PodcastOne Sports. PodcastOne executive chairman Norm Pattiz says, “This new network demonstrates PodcastOne’s interest in dramatically expanding our already successful portfolio of sports-related programming to build a singular hub for sports fans and brands. I can think of no better way to launch our new network than with coach Jim Harbaugh. Jim represents an established, well-respected voice in sports, and his vision for this show is certain to become a must-listen for sports fans everywhere.” PodcastOne Sports debuts September 5 with the launch of “Attack Each Day: The Harbaugh’s Podcast,” hosted by University of Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh. Other personalities joining the lineup with original programs will include legendary sports broadcaster Dick Enberg, sports radio and television host Rich Eisen, sports broadcaster Suzy Schuster, football analyst Dave Dameshek with top podcaster Adam Carolla, popular sports personality Lilian Garcia, sports host and comedian Jay Mohr, and top sports writers from around the nation.
NAB Defends AM/FM Radio from NYU Scholar’s White Paper. The NAB’s response is quick to point out up front that the white paper – Paradigm Shift: Why Radio Must Adapt to the Rise of Digital by New York University’s Larry S. Miller, director of the Steinhardt Music Business Program – is backed by digital performance rights organization SoundExchange, which NAB EVP of communications Dennis Wharton says is “bankrolled in part by giant record labels pushing a radio ‘performance tax.’” The bulk of Miller’s paper is dedicated to analyzing the effect digital availability of music is having on the radio industry and Wharton challenges his arguments. Specifically, Wharton takes aim at Miller’s contention that young people are turning away from AM/FM radio as a source of music discovery. Wharton cites Nielsen data that suggests “millennials are listening in greater numbers than ever before, not just to over-the-air programming, but also to local radio on digital platforms…87.9% of Americans aged 12-17 turn to radio each week, and they spend nearly 10 hours a week listening to local radio. Even when they use streaming services to find new songs, younger generations continue tuning in to radio to listen to their favorite music.” Interestingly, Miller notes early in his paper that the issue of whether radio actually provides adequate promotion for the sale of records in exchange for free air play – as the NAB has argued for decades defending radio’s exemption from the performance fee – is not within the scope of his paper. But then he goes on to mention the matter several more times. You can see Miller’s paper here.
TALKERS News Notes. Just a couple of months after a contentious public divorce from Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze, popular conservative Internet personality Tomi Lahren joins FOX News Channel as a contributor. The Associated Press reports the story and says that “Lahren will have a ‘signature role’ on a digital product under development and be a commentator on the network’s opinion programming. Her primary home will be on Sean Hannity’s show, where she was to debut on Wednesday.”…..InsiderNJ.com recently published its 2017 “Insider 100 Media Power List” in which it, as the title suggests, ranks the 100 most powerful media personalities in New Jersey. WPG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley ranked #17 on this year’s list. Hurley’s entry on the list states, “You like breaking news from Atlantic City and South Jersey? Then you must be familiar with the well-connected, well-sourced and popular Hurley who breaks most (or at least many) of the dock-front political stories – and has a must-read column with Shore News Today.” See the whole list here…..Changes come to the nationally syndicated evening talk radio show “Connections” as host and co-founder Al “Blackjack” Spry leaves the program. This comes as the show is dropped from the schedule at iHeartMedia’s talk WTKS-FM, Orlando “Real Radio 104.1.” The program continues to air on its other affiliates with hosts Melissa Foxx and Glenda “G-Love” Chauncy…..CFRA, Ottawa’s Evan Solomon is going national as Bell Media syndicates his daily talk show across other company news/talk stations, effective September 5. The program will be heard on CFRB-AM, Toronto; CJAD-AM, Montreal; CKFR-AM, Kelona, BC; CFAX-AM, Victoria; CKLW-AM, Windsor, CJBK-AM, London, Ontario, and CKTB-AM, St. Catharines. Solomon comments, “I’m very excited to launch this new, national forum for thought-provoking debate and discussion, highlighting compelling people who are making a difference in Canada. There’s nothing more important to a free society than public opinion, and this show will be a platform for Canadians to share their thoughts on the most pressing issues of the day, at home and around the world.”
Harvey Devastation/Relief Efforts, Trump Tax Reform Plan, Trump-Russia Investigation, Antifa Violence, FOX News Poll Results, U.S.- North Korea Tensions, Texas Sanctuary Cities Ban Blocked, MLB Action, and NFL Pre-Season Activity Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/30). The devastating flooding in Texas and Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, including analysis of President Trump’s handling of the disaster; Trump begins promoting his tax reform plan; the investigation into possible connections between Trump operatives and Russian agents; criticism of violence against conservatives by “antifa” agents; the results of a new FOX News poll showing poor marks for Congress and President Trump; the military tensions between the U.S. and North Korea; a judge’s temporary blocking of a Texas law banning sanctuary cities; Major League Baseball action; and NFL pre-season activity 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. Local singer and entertainer – and famed season 7 “The Voice” contestant Chris Jamison – is joining CBS RADIO Pittsburgh as a weekend and holiday personality on hot AC WBZZ “100.7 The Star.” Jamison will be heard Sundays from 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm and on holidays. Jamison first got to know the staff at WBZZ back in 2014 when the morning drive “Bubba Show” became his official hometown cheerleaders. He appeared at station events, including its “O Starry Night” concert.” WBZZ program director Dave Anderson says, “Chris is a talented, standout entertainer with rich local ties. We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to grow with him as he takes this next step as part of the ‘100.7 Star’ team.”…..Beasley Media Group announces two new “BOUNCE” ambassadors. Air personalities Cortney Hicks and A.P., a.k.a. The Absolute Princess, join the air staff of hip hop WMGC, Detroit “105.1 The BOUNCE.” Hicks will host the 10:00 am to 3:00 pm show on Saturdays and Sundays and A.P. takes to the air at 7:00 pm on both weekend evenings. WMGC program director Al Payne comments, “Our goal is to assemble a team of the finest in Detroit radio, as well as the best hip hop personalities, to navigate our fans through each experience listening to this iconic music. That’s why all of our announcers are known as ambassadors. Cortney and A.P. are shining examples of this mission and I look forward to what they have in store.”…..As part of International Overdose Awareness Day (8/31), Premiere Networks host Nikki Sixx will dedicate four hours of “Sixx Sense with Nikki Sixx” to raising awareness of the U.S. opioid crisis. Sixx, who detailed his near-fatal drug addiction in the best-selling book The Heroin Diaries, will welcome Dr. Oz, Louisville Courier-Journal writer Beth Warren, and Erik Gunn, a former drug addict and dealer who recently shared his story with Warren for a Courier-Journal series on addiction and recovery…..Cumulus Media announces country WNSH, New York’s “Boots on the Boardwalk” end-of-summer bash, giving “NASH FM 94.7” listeners a chance to party one last time this summer season! This free event, featuring performances by Scotty McCreery, A Thousand Horses, NASH Next 2016 Winner Todd O’Neill, and Elizabeth Lyons, takes place at Jenkinson’s Pavilion in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey tomorrow (9/1) from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm…..In Detroit, classic rocker WCSX and morning host Big Jim are trying to raise at least $10,000 for Holy Cross Children’s Services via the Big Jim’s House Million Penny Roof Sit, taking place at the 2017 Ford Arts, Beats & Eats festival in Royal Oak this weekend. The station is asking listeners and patrons of the festival to donate their pocket change to change the lives of children in need. Big Jim says, “We are excited to be working with Holy Cross Children’s Services to raise money for kids in need. The kids receiving care from Holy Cross deserve to have opportunities to be successful in life, and every penny can help.”…..According to a story in the Boston Herald, rock WAAF, Boston “Hill-Man Morning Show” host Greg Hill is considering a run for congress for the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas. Hill’s spokesman is local attorney Lawrence Army Jr., who tells the paper, “Greg is exploring all of his options, including running for the open congressional seat.” Citing Hill’s philanthropic efforts via the Greg Hill Foundation, Army adds, “Public service would be a logical next step for Greg. He is considering whether it would be the best way to give back to a community that’s given him so much.”
Radio Coming to Aid of Harvey Victims in Form of Fundraisers. Radio stations and radio companies are concentrating their efforts to assist those in Texas affected by Harvey by raising money on-air, mostly for the American Red Cross. Today at 4:29 pm, more than 30 Chicago area radio stations will simultaneously air a spot for the Red Cross urging Chicagoans to contribute to relief efforts. The move was orchestrated by the Radio Broadcasters of Chicagoland. Chairman Matt Scarano says, “We are using the power of radio in both English and Spanish to help out those in need. In a time of crisis, Chicago radio is willing to help in any way we can.” Premiere Networks’ nationally syndicated Bobby Bones country morning show kicked off its fourth annual Joy Week celebration on Monday, and has raised more than $150,000 to benefit the Hurricane Harvey relief effort through the sale of #PimpinJoy apparel, (as well as more than $50,000 benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital). Country stars Maren Morris and Brett Eldredge have appeared on the show encouraging listeners to choose joy, spread happiness and do good things for others. Limited-edition neon #PimpinJoy apparel was made available for purchase with proceeds benefiting Hurricane Harvey victims. Summit Media’s classic rock WBPT, Birmingham “106.9 The Eagle” is airing a “Pay to Play” on-air donation drive today from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm. The station is asking listeners to call and make a $25 minimum donation to the American Red Cross along with their song request. No matter the request or genre, if the station can find the songs, they will play the music. E.W. Scripps’ Springfield, Missouri cluster – country KTTS, news/talk KSGF, CHR KSPW, and adult hits KRVI – raised $7,151 for Harvey victims after a three-hour event today (8/30) at the Battlefield Mall. Money raised will go to Convoy of Hope.
CBS RADIO Houston FMs in Constant Storm Mode. In order to provide information about storm updates, evacuation info, and disaster relief, CBS RADIO’s Houston stations have been in storm/disaster mode since Saturday. The company says the cluster is running a four-station, commercial-free simulcast of long-form coverage across KILT-FM/AM, KHMX-FM and KKHH-FM. Meanwhile, sports talk KIKK is airing a continuous loop of evacuation information, routes and shelters. KIKK was granted Special Temporary Authority by the FCC to run for 24 hours during this emergency period. Also, Spanish-language station KLOL-FM is airing a commercial-free simulcast of Telemundo until further notice. CBS RADIO Houston SVP/market manager Sarah Frazier states, “Our employees are 100% dedicated to broadcasting the latest information to help evacuate Houston residents, keep them safe and connected to loved ones. This is a difficult time for everyone in the area but we are all working together to get through it. In emergency situations such as this, the power of local radio is undisputed, unparalleled and reaches everyone in the community. We are all proudly #HoustonStrong.” At Cumulus Media Houston, CHR KRBE program director Leslie Whittle reports that her station’s live, local coverage continues. “The whole crew is at the station, so Kevin Quinn, Freddy Cruz, Corinna Delgado and Phoenix (who have all been on the air since Sunday morning), are finally able to get some rest. At one time, we had over 600 reported areas of significant high water around the city, so of course one of the biggest services we continue to provide are road closure/high water updates at least twice an hour. We remain focused on keeping our listeners safe and informed, and I couldn’t be more proud of the job the entire KRBE team has done serving our great community.”
Harvey’s Devastation, Trump Visits Texas, Tax Reform Plan, North Korea Nuclear Threats, Transgender Troops Issue, Feinstein’s Trump Comments, MLB Action, and NFL Pre-Season Activity Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/29). The devastation caused by Harvey and the storm’s second landfall that’s bringing more rain to the region; analysis of President Trump’s visit to Texas; the Trump tax reform plan to be promoted today in Missouri; North Korea’s continued threats against the U.S.; the Trump edict preventing transgender citizens from serving in the military and the responses by U.S. military leaders; Diane Feinstein astonishes San Francisco crowd by saying Trump could be a “good president”; Major League Baseball action; and pre-season NFL activity were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
August Cable News/Talk Ratings Out; FOX News Channel and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Winners. That may seem like a contradiction, but the upshot of the August Nielsen ratings for the cable news/talk channels is that MSNBC personality Rachel Maddow was the most-watched cable talk host in both total viewers and in the 25-54 demographic. She was just ahead of FOX News Channel’s Sean Hannity in total viewers for the month – 2.783 million to 2.679 million. But FOX News Channel was still the most-watched network in total viewers in prime time, averaging 2.2 million. That continues FNC’s 14-month streak as the most-watched cable news/talk network in prime time and its 188-month streak as most-watched in total day and prime time. Back to the individual shows, after Maddow and Hannity in the top two slots for total viewers, FOX News Channel’s Tucker Carlson was third with 2.483 million, MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell finished fourth with 2.352 million and FOX News Channel’s “The Five” followed with 2.351 million. Tallying the prime time numbers for the 25-54 demographic, FOX News Channel was in first place with a 466,000 (average over the month), CNN came in second with 418,000, and MSNBC was close behind with 410,000.
Former WBSM, New Bedford Personality Stan Lipp Passes. New Bedford, Massachusetts radio legend Stan Lipp died on Monday (8/28) in Florida at the age of 89. Lipp is remembered in the area for hosting the WBSM talk show “Open Line” from 1964 through 2001.
Radio Veteran Bob Shannon Releases Updated Edition of His 2009 Classic, Turn It Up! American Radio Tales 1946-1996 (Eckhartz Press, 2017) as an eBook. The book that Michael Harrison describes as “one of the most important books ever written about music radio of the second half of the 20th century” has just been released (in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley) as an updated eBook. Radio veteran Bob Shannon’s Turn It Up! American Radio Tales 1946-1996 (Eckhartz Press, 2017) features in-depth stories about 58 great radio talent and programming figures. The full list includes: Lee Abrams, Jack Armstrong, Dick Biondi, Chuck Blore, Jerry Boulding, Scotty Brink, Kent Burkhardt, Al Casey, Ron Chapman, Dick Clark, Frank Cody, Larry Daniels, Rick Dees, Tom Donahue, Ken Dow, Bill Drake, Paul Drew, Chuck Dunaway, Bill Figenshu, Alan Freed, Jack Gale, Les Garland, Bob Henabery, Dan Ingram, Ron Jacobs, Tom Joyner, Casey Kasem, Murry the K, Art Laboe, Larry Lujack, Bill Mack, Gordon McLendon, John McRea, Ruth Meyer, Robert W. Morgon, Bruce Morrow, Pat O’Day, Gary Owens, Dewey Phillips, Dick Purtan, Bobby Rich, Steve Rivers, Art Roberts, John Rook, Dr. Don Rose, Tom Rounds, Ed Salamon, John Sebastian, Scott Shannon, Rick Sklar, Michael Spears, Gary Stevens, Todd Storz, Charlie Tuna, Rusty Walker, Todd Wallace, Fred Winston, and Wolfman Jack. In addition to updated information, the book features a forward by RAB president/CEO Erica Farber. Shannon tells TALKERS, “The book is a compilation of columns I wrote for Radio & Records (“Legends with Bob Shannon”) and allaccess.com (“All Them Big Dogs”) between 2001 and 2008. Secretly, I always thought of it as a public service to radio folks who weren’t familiar with our history, the second golden age of radio when top 40 was king, and FM was about to ascend to the throne. As for why I decided to release an eBook this year, it’s pretty simple – since the book came out in 2009, 13 of the people I wrote about have died.” Shannon adds, “The stories in Turn It Up! don’t focus on industry wide initiatives. Instead, they offer a behind-the-scenes look at the folks on the front line, the men and the women who created the radio stations that inspired so many to, as Paul Harvey once said, ‘run away and join the radio.’ Between the lines, a picture emerges of a time gone by, one that will never be repeated, when radio was an important part of American life, disc jockeys were stars, and their listeners cared about them.” Shannon concludes, “I believe that media in the 21st century offers unlimited possibilities, but I also believe that it would be sad to forget, or worse yet, to never know what came before, and how and why it set the stage for the future.” Shannon can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the book, please click here.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Radio management pro Mark Thomas is named market manager for Alpha Media’s Saginaw, Michigan cluster that includes news/talk WSGW-AM/FM, urban contemporary WTLZ, hot AC WGER, and country WCEN. Thomas has served with iHeartMedia in the Riverside, California market and with Regent Communications and Townsquare Media in Flint and Grand Rapids, Michigan. Alpha EVP of the Midwest Region George Pelletier says, “Mark has great experience as a local market manager. He brings an exceptional understanding of local programming, sales and community broadcasting to the Alpha team in Saginaw. We are happy to welcome Mark ‘home’ to Michigan.”…..SAG-AFTRA and Spanish Broadcasting System are at odds over alleged labor law violations. The union held an event at the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor to draw attention to what it says is SBS’ disregard for its staffers. SAG-AFTRA says some SBS employees at KLAX “La Raza 97.9 FM” and KXOL “MEGA 96.3 FM” were unlawfully terminated after a 2016 majority vote to unionize. The union also says SBS has “failed to negotiate a fair contract with the union, and refuses to engage in good faith bargaining over economics, including wages.” SAG-AFTRA delivered a letter to California Labor Commissioner Julie Su requesting her department “vigorously investigate the rampant violations of California wage and hour laws at SBS. Over the past 12 months, the company has also engaged in extensive and severe unfair labor practices, which are currently pending before the National Labor Relations Board. It has also done everything possible to hamper its negotiations with SAG-AFTRA.”…..In Denver, Entercom promotes part-timer Rosa Jad to full-time evening personality on rhythmic CHR KQKS “KS1075.” Jad has been with the station for four years and says, “I’m super excited to be the new night show host for ‘KS107.5!’ It’s been a dream of mine for years! I’m looking forward to putting on an entertaining show for the city!”…..SiriusXM announces today The National will perform a special, intimate show exclusively for SiriusXM on Friday, September 8, to celebrate the release of their new album, Sleep Well Beast. The performance live from the Bowery Ballroom in New York City will air on the SiriusXMU channel.
KTRH, Houston’s Michael Berry Reports In; ‘Proud of Station’s Efforts.’ The radio stations that are on the air in Houston are all working around the clock to get information out to listeners, but iHeartMedia’s KTRH – the well-recognized news/talker in the market – is “the station the nation is turning to,” according to KTRH talk show host Michael Berry. He tells TALKERS magazine his personal story as a resident of the area with a family whose job is to be at the station keeping the public informed. “We’re going through what our listeners are suffering also. I put my family up at the Omni Hotel. Then the Omni had to be evacuated. I was visiting our affiliate in Louisiana doing a fundraiser there. I couldn’t get back into the city due to road closures. My wife and kids had to be rescued by boat and waded in chest deep water. This is my whole world in the picture you see here – that’s my wife and my two kids on a boat driven by a good Samaritan who pulled them from the hotel and deposited them on the freeway. From there a volunteer put them in the back of a truck and drove them to high ground. Getting to be on the radio these last few days and help other people is actually cathartic. My own home flooded on the first floor and it took until today (8/28) to be able to get to see it. But despite all of this we are seeing the best of our people as we come together as a community.”
Broadcasters in Gear Raising Funds for Harvey Victims. Just a sample of the Harvey relief efforts underway at radio stations and radio groups across the country include the work of E.W. Scripps’ Milwaukee duo news/talk WTMJ and country WKTI (and sister television station WTMJ-TV) leading a fundraiser. Yesterday afternoon (8/28), the stations hosted a fundraising phone bank to collect donations for the American Red Cross. Vice president and GM for the Milwaukee stations, Tom Langmyer, states, “People in Wisconsin are looking for a way that they can help the victims of the Hurricane. Using the power of local media, we can combine our efforts to enable giving on a large scale and truly make a difference to support the American Red Cross.” Urban One’s Reach Media has been using its radio talent to call attention to the needs of Harvey victims. Nationally syndicated personalities including Tom Joyner, Rickey Smiley, Willie Moore Jr., Darlene McCoy, Erica Campbell, Russ Parr and Ed Lover have been interviewing people affected, news people covering the storm, and elected officials. The “Tom Joyner Morning Show” launched the BlackAmericaWeb.com Relief Fund to provide financial support to families impacted by the storm Hurricane Harvey.
WDAE, Tampa Returns to Local Morning Show. Tampa sports talk outlet WDAE returns to live and local mornings, dropping ESPN’s “Mike & Mike” show and sliding late morning duo Ronnie “Night Train” Lane and Tom “TKras” Krasniqi into the daypart. The iHeartMedia station fills the late morning slot with FOX Sports Radio/DirecTV’s Dan Patrick. It was just last October that the station in what was seen as a budgetary decision, let Tampa Bay Times sportswriters Rick Stroud and Tom Jones go and installed the “Mike & Mike” program.
Boston’s Emerson College the Site of Next Summer’s Radio Talent Institute. Next summer, Beasley Media Group is partnering with Xperi and Marketron Interactive and the National Radio Talent System to present the 10-day Beasley Radio Talent Institute program at Emerson College in Boston. The immersion program will bring broadcasting students together with more than 30 radio professionals who teach classes based on their individual areas of expertise. Session topics will range from on-air, production, news, sports, interactive to social media, engineering, promotions and sales, and includes the Radio Advertising Bureau’s “Radio Marketing Professional” certification course. WERS, Boston general manager and Emerson adjunct professor Jack Casey states, “The Radio Talent Institute builds upon the quality education students are already receiving at their academic institutions and through working at their college radio stations. We are grateful to Beasley Media Group for providing this incredible opportunity, along with other forward-thinking companies such as Xperi and Marketron Interactive.”
TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that longtime Chicago sports talk personality Mike North has announced he’s retiring from sports talk radio. North is famous for having been a hot dog stand owner who morphed into one of the first personalities on CBS RADIO’s sports talk WSCR. He exited “The Score” in 2008 and for a time co-hosted “FOX Sports Daybreak” with Andy Furman on the FOX Sports Radio Network. Feder reports that North told WTTW-TV, Chicago’s Phil Ponce, “I’m heading in another direction because I think the timing is right. I’m not leaving broadcasting. I’m leaving sports radio.” Read Feder’s column here…..Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch is reporting that ESPN Radio personality Ryen Russillo is serving a two-week suspension after an incident at a Wyoming condominium in which a drunk Russillo entered the unit of another couple and basically passed out on a bed in a state of partial undress. He was charged with misdemeanor criminal trespass and ESPN reportedly says he’ll return to the air on September 5…..CBS RADIO’s all-news KNX, Los Angeles is prepping for the NFL season with its daily “Pro Football Insiders Report” that will feature five pro football experts giving their reports four times per day. Former Chargers great Dan Fouts’ reports air on Mondays, FOX broadcaster Chris Myers airs on Tuesday, former Rams star Jackie Slater’s reports air on Wednesday, broadcast pro Andrew Siciliano’s reports air on Thursdays, and Rams great Vince Ferragamo’s reports air on Fridays…..Ed Esposito is retiring from Rubber City Radio where he’s been serving as vice president/information media. Esposito handled news duties on Jeff Kinzbach’s morning program on rock WONE, Akron in addition to his responsibilities managing the news and public affairs on sister stations country WQMX, and news/talk WAKR. Esposito is also a former chair of the Radio Television Digital News Association…..SiriusXM and ESPN announce their deal to serve college sports fans via ESPNU Radio on SiriusXM. The channel launches on Thursday (8/31)…..FOX Sports Radio’s NFL insider Jay Glazer is hosting a special three-hour football season preview tomorrow (8/30) during the Doug Gottlieb show. Glazer will be joined by FOX Sports Radio host Dan Beyer. Glazer recently renewed his multi-year deal with FSR to serve as its NFL insider and he’ll appear regularly across the network’s programs…..TuneIn is offering free coverage of live play-by-play of college football all season long. TuneIn features the home and away calls of every game for more than 140 schools. This programming comes via partnerships with ESPN, FOX Sports, IMG College, JMI Sports, Learfield, and Outfront…..AdLarge Media brings Gina Suarez aboard as director of affiliate marketing and promotes Frank DeSantis to SVP of business development…..iHeartMedia news/talk KALZ, “PowerTalk 96.7 and AM1400” is serving as the official Los Angeles Chargers affiliate for Fresno and Visalia. “PowerTalk” program director Jay Bohannon states, “We’re always looking for ways for ‘Powertalk 96.7’ to diversify our programming, particularly on a stage as large as the NFL. It’s a dawn of a new era for the Chargers franchise and their fans and we’re thrilled to be a part of it.”
WPHT’s Chris Stigall Hosts Sharyl Attkisson at Live Event. Pictured above are WPHT, Philadelphia morning personality Chris Stigall (right) speaking with Emmy award-winning journalist and author Sharyl Attkisson (left) before a sold-out audience at the Colonial Theatre. Stigall tells TALKERS the conversation was “a blunt assessment of journalism today.” Attkisson greeted fans and signed copied of her book, The Smear: How Shady Political Operatives and Fake News Control What You See, What You Think and How You Vote (Harper 2017).
Harvey Hammers Houston, Federal Flood Insurance Troubles, Trump’s Pardon of Joe Arpaio, North Korea’s Nuclear Threats, Trump-Russia Investigation, ‘Game of Thrones’ Finale, Mayweather-McGregor Aftermath, MLB Action, and NFL Pre-Season Activity Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday. Houston’s challenge dealing with the effects of Harvey and the threat of more rain; the shaky state of the federal flood insurance program; reactions to President Trump’s pardon of former Maricopa County sheriff Joe Arpaio; North Korea’s nuclear threats and the launch of a missile over Japan; the investigation into possible connections between Trump operatives and Russia including the recent allegations Trump was looking into building a Trump Tower in Moscow; the season finale of “Game of Thrones”; the aftermath of the Floyd Mayweather–Conor McGregor fight; Major League Baseball action; and NFL pre-season activity 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. WAXQ, New York morning duo Jim Kerr and Shelli Sonstein are celebrating 40 years together on the New York City airwaves. Kerr’s career began 50 years ago at the tender age of 21 hosting mornings on WPLJ. On August 29, 1977, Sonstein became Kerr’s morning drive partner. As Kerr puts it, one morning Sonstein surprised him by showing up at the WPLJ studios. “I saw this woman and I didn’t know what she was doing there. No one told me who she was and why she was there!” Sonstein says, “When people ask Jim and me when we plan to retire, we both respond the same way, ‘why would we ever want to stop doing what we love?’”…..Changes take place at Meruelo Media’s Los Angeles operations as rhythmic AC KDAY/KDEY program director Adrian Scott resigns and hip hop KPWR PD Jimmy Steal becomes vice president of programming for KDAY/KDEY…..Purchased from the SLC Divestiture Trust for $1.1 million by Aerostar Communications is former Simmons Media Group signal KEGH-FM, Salt Lake City. With that station come four booster signals: KEGH-FM1, Ogden; KEGH-FM2, Bountiful; KEGH-FM3, Salt Lake City; and KEGH-FM4, Provo. Aerostar is operating KEGH-FM under an LMA airing a Spanish music format…..SiriusXM is debuting a new, monthly show called “Off the Cuff,” hosted by Keith Richards’ daughter Theodora Richards. The program will feature Richards chatting with musical guests and friends such as Sean Lennon, The Rolling Stones back-up singer Lisa Fischer and musician Peter Wolf, as they “discuss their love of music, latest obsessions and biggest musical influences.” She’ll play music from a diverse range of artists such as Howlin’ Wolf, Luther Vandross, Chuck Berry and The Rolling Stones.
How Radio Is Handling Harvey. Tropical storm Harvey was a hurricane when it hit the Gulf Coast of Texas on Friday evening and is being called the strongest hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. in more than 10 years. Obviously, the intense rain brought by the storm has caused widespread flooding in the region and Houston has been the recipient of some of the most serious floodwaters. iHeartMedia’s Houston news/talk KTRH “News Radio 740” is being simulcast across all of the company’s Corpus Christi stations. In Houston, talk KPRC is off the air due to water damage to its transmitter, but “Sunny 99.1,” “94.5 The Buzz,” “93.7 The Beat,” KTRH, and “Sports Talk 790 AM” have been broadcasting around the clock since Friday morning. The company says the region lost a station vehicle and numerous employees’ homes have been affected by the storm, on-air talent, operational staff, sellers and managers are on-site to answer phones and direct listeners to the appropriate community resources. Also, the Red Cross is featured across all of iHeartMedia’s station websites letting people know where to find information and to encourage donations. Salem Media Group’s Salem Radio Network News and Townhall News have been airing round-the-clock appeals for donations for the non-profit relief organization Save The Children, already on the ground in Texas and Louisiana. SRN vice president/news & talk programming Tom Tradup says, “With SRN based in Dallas — and Salem radio colleagues operating in Houston and San Antonio — this critical national news story took on an even more compelling, personal nature because Hurricane Harvey was devastating our friends, colleagues, and families throughout the region.” Tradup says Salem deployed veteran talk host Sam Malone in Houston and SRN News southwest correspondent Val DeOre in Corpus Christi to offer analysis and perspective on the impact of Harvey’s high winds and 25-30 inches of rain.
Broadcasters Foundation of America Comes to Aid of Broadcasters. Broadcasters affected by Hurricane Harvey are being encouraged to find out if they qualify for emergency aid from the Broadcasters Foundation of America. Broadcasters can complete the emergency grant request form on the website at https://broadcastersfoundation.org/emergency-grant-form/. The Broadcasters Foundation’s emergency relief program distributes one-time grants of $1,000 each after a disaster, such as a hurricane, tornado, fire, flood, or other serious misfortune. The expedited emergency grant application process is streamlined to provide assistance as quickly as possible. BFoA chairman Dan Mason says, “The Broadcasters Foundation is a safety net in an emergency. When a colleague’s roof is suddenly blown away, their belongings destroyed, or their families displaced, the Broadcasters Foundation can step in quickly. We need everyone in our business to help us ensure that all broadcasters in need are aware of the Broadcasters Foundation.” The BFoA works closely with state broadcast associations to ensure that colleagues who are in need know about the foundation and that they can apply for aid. The Texas and Louisiana Broadcasters Associations already have been contacted and are working with the Broadcasters Foundation to get the message to broadcasters in their area who might need help. Following last year’s floods in Louisiana, the Broadcasters Foundation awarded nearly $100,000 to radio and TV professionals, including account executives, on-air personalities, producers, program, music, and traffic directors, and more. The Broadcasters Foundation also delivered aid to colleagues who were struck by Hurricane Sandy in the New York area in 2012, the tornadoes in Joplin in 2011, and Hurricane Matthew in the Carolinas last year. Following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the Broadcasters Foundation awarded a total of $250,000 to 250 broadcasters.
Westwood One Reveals Audience Demos for On-Demand Listening. The data indicating who is using on-demand audio comes from Nielsen’s Total Audience measurement delves into the demographics of those listening to its local on-demand content from Cumulus Media-owned radio stations and national on-demand content from Westwood One syndicated programs. Cumulus Media EVP of corporate marketing and Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes says, “It’s hard to believe, but this is the first ever study of the demographic profile of on-demand radio content. Our biggest finding is that on-demand content skews more female than AM/FM radio content across all genres. This is an incredible insight for brands and content creators, as it opens up new opportunities to connect with women.” Other key findings include: Information-based on-demand shows (news/talk, sports) skew younger than the AM/FM audience, while entertainment-based on-demand shows attract a similar audience to AM/FM; the median age of news/talk on demand listeners is eight years younger than the AM/FM audience, and the sports audience is seven years younger; among adults 25-54, more than 40% of on demand news/talk listeners are women, compared to 30% of AM/FM listeners; and the younger the listener, the more likely they are to consume on-demand content on a mobile device. See more here.
FOX Sports Radio Adds R.J. Bell for Weekends. Las Vegas sports-betting pro R.J. Bell – who is also founder and CEO of Pregame.com – joins FOX Sports Radio to host weekend programs for the network. “Straight Outta Vegas with R.J. Bell” debuts on September 1, airing live Fridays from 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET and on Saturdays from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET. FSR says Bell and Las Vegas radio personality Steve Cofield, along with Pregame.com’s top analysts, will give listeners the true Vegas perspective on all the leading sports stories and the major games, including how breaking news and injury updates affect the odds. Bell will continue to serve as a contributor to FOX Sports Radio’s 24/7 lineup, including Colin Cowherd’s “Blazing Five” podcast, the “JT The Brick Show with Tomm Looney,” and “Steve Gorman SPORTS.” Premiere Networks and FOX Sports Radio VP of sports programming Scott Shapiro says, “We’re excited to welcome R.J. Bell to FOX Sports Radio, adding to the strongest lineup of sports-talk personalities in the industry. There has never been more demand for the Vegas perspective in the world of sports. R.J. has proven to be a credible national voice for years who brings a uniquely interesting outlook for both casual and hardcore sports fans.”
TALKERS News Notes. Listeners to Hearst’s news/talk WBAL and rock WIYY “98 Rock” for Baltimore Ravens programming this year will hear four former Ravens on the radio. Dennis Pitta, Todd Heap, Justin Forsett and Jarret Johnson will appear for four games each, joining play-by-play team Gerry Sandusky and Stan White…..SiriusXM is announcing the addition of former NFL quarterback Phil Simms to the Mad Dog Sports Radio channel where the longtime CBS Sports television color man will join host Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo each week for “Simms and the Mad Dog,” an hour-long program where the duo will discuss the news from the league that week and preview the coming weekend’s matchups. Simms will make his debut on Thursday, September 7 from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm ET…..Also, former Florida State and NFL quarterback Danny Kanell is joining SiriusXM as a daily host on the college sports channel. Beginning today (8/28), Kanell will host “Playbook” every weekday afternoon from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET with co-host Jason Horowitz. Kanell says, “I’m honored and thrilled for the opportunity to join the SiriusXM family and I look forward to contributing to a company that is made up of such incredible people.”
Harvey Hits Texas, Trump Pardon’s Arpaio, Trump Targets China Tariffs, Berkeley Rally Violence, ‘Game of Thrones’ Season Finale, MTV’s Video Music Awards, Mayweather-McGregor Fight, MLB Action, and NFL Pre-Season Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Hurricane Harvey dumps enormous amounts of rain on Texas hitting Houston and the Gulf Coast particularly hard; the reaction to President Trump’s pardon of convicted former Maricopa County sheriff Joe Arpaio; Trump reiterated desire for tariffs on Chinese imports to level trade imbalance; “anti-facists” attack conservative protestors at rally in Berkeley, California; the finale of this season’s “Game of Thrones” series; Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards and the politically oriented speeches at the event; Saturday’s Floyd Mayweather–Conor McGregor fight; Major League Baseball action; and NFL pre-season activity were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend.
Brian Joyce Serves as PA Announcer at Chattanooga Lookouts Game. Pictured above is WGOW, Chattanooga and WYAY, Atlanta talk show host Brian Joyce in the broadcast booth at AT&T Field. After hosting his 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm show on WGOW, then his afternoon drive show on WYAY, Atlanta “Newsradio 106.7,” Joyce hustled down to the ballpark to serve as PA announcer for the Lookouts’ game against the Mississippi Braves.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Taking on the assistant operations manager position at Cumulus Media’s Peoria station group is Brian Scott. As of September 5, he’ll be working with country WFYR “NASH FM 97.3” and CHR WZPW. Cumulus Peoria OM Matt Bahan says, “We’re thrilled that Brian Scott is taking the programming reigns in Peoria with WFYR and WZPW. His passion is obvious, and his attention to detail and history of great ratings and success speak for themselves. Brian will be a tremendous asset to our already strong programming team.”…..WPRI-TV, Providence is one of a number of media outlets reports that religious broadcaster Educational Media Foundation has signed a deal to buy FM signal WBRU, Providence. The station has been affiliated with Brown University since the 1960s as a rock and alternative rock outlet. The station was put up for sale in the spring after the not-for-porofit Brown Broadcasting Service board determined was not a viable business under the current operating structure. It’s expected EMF will install the “K-Love” format on the station, possibly as early as Friday (9/1)…..From Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch comes news that, “after roughly six weeks, Tiny exits as morning host at Swick Broadcasting-owned hot AC WLKI, Angola, Indiana” ( in the northeast corner of the state). Mike Scott will take over the morning show. He’ll also voice-track airshifts for the Swick Broadcasting-owned Local Radio Networks country and classic hits 24 hour formats…..Indiana-based Woof Boom Radio acquires a five-station cluster in Lima, Ohio from Childers Media Group. The company is acquiring CMG from principal Matt Childers who will continue to manage the Lima cluster for Woof Boom. Childers bought the stations from Maverick Media four years ago…..iHeartMedia Portland launches the new “Alt 102.3, Portland’s New Alternative” and brings in the syndicated “The Woody Show” to anchor mornings. The station is fed from the HD2 channel of iHeartMedia’s CHR KKRZ to translator K272EL at 102.3 FM. Program director Ben Marcotte says, “Portland has an avid alternative rock fan base and ‘The Woody Show’ has built an incredibly compelling and entertaining brand that we can’t wait to share with our listeners.”…..Marc Radio closes on purchase of classic hits WXJZ, Gainesville from JVC Broadcasting. Marc paid $500,000 for the station and says in a press release that it is “bullish on the Gainesville-Ocala market.” Marc Radio says it has no plans to change the format. General manager Dave Cobb comments, “What’s especially important about this purchase is that it provides our company with yet another signature item on the menu for advertisers to reach the audiences they covet.”…..“Radio’s Best Friend” Art Vuolo has posted a video tribute to late actor and radio personality Jay Thomas, who passed away last week at age 69 of cancer. See the video here.
By Mike Kinosian
LOS ANGELES — The fourth and final installment of our special feature July 2017 ratings overviews addresses the format with the most qualifying stations of any musical genre – country.
Our previous analyses dealt with all-news (Tuesday, 8/22); MLB flagships (Wednesday, 8/23); and classic rock (yesterday, Thursday, 8/24).
This summary is comprised of PPM-market country facilities that rank in the top 20 (6+) in the July 2017 ratings period, which covered June 22 – July 19.
Bottom-line matchup: On average, a PPM-market country station in July 2017 registers a 6+-share of 4.54 and finishes in eighth- or ninth-place (#8.63). By way of perspective, among the four aforementioned groupings we have summarized, country’s July 2017 (6+) rank and AQH-share stats are second – in both cases – to classic rock’s 5.17 and #6.34.
Nielsen Audio only releases audience estimates for facilities that subscribe to its services. Owing to that reason, ratings stats in this exclusive analysis are limited to stations that pay Nielsen Audio for its data.