Archive for September, 2017
Michael Harrison Says Talk Radio Is at the Forefront of Radio’s Evolution into the Digital Era. At this morning’s (9/29) weekly meeting of the TALKERS editorial board, the publication’s founder addressed the relationship between talk radio and music radio from a sales perspective saying that the foreground nature of talk radio and the significant influence its talent have over the actions of its loyal listeners gives advertisers a tremendous bang for their buck – “on a dollar by dollar basis, as much as three times the potency of music radio for a wide variety of general consumer products including restaurants, automobiles, appliances, clothing, travel and health care.” According to Michael Harrison, spoken word radio’s influence on keeping the medium pertinent extends beyond advertising power. He states, “Talk show programming is at the forefront of three movements that make it the most formidable force in radio today. These include the transition and expansion of audio media from on-air to online platforms; the delivery of effective direct-response marketing to advertisers; and continuing influence in public policy and the marketplace of ideas. In today’s noisy world, influence is valuable currency unto itself.” Harrison brought the issue up at the meeting after having recently been asked to comment on the subject of selling talk radio for a story being written by a major consumer publication.
Deborah Rodriguez New AM Anchor on WCBS News Radio. Starting Monday (10/2), radio news pro Deborah Rodriguez is the weekday morning drive time anchor for CBS News Radio. Rodriguez will anchor the top-of-the-hour newscasts on the network starting at 5:00 am. She takes over for Frank Settipani, who handled the morning anchor position for the past 10 years. Rodriguez has been with CBS News Radio since 2014 as a writer, reporter and correspondent anchoring such major news events as the San Bernardino terrorist attack, the shooting of five Dallas police officers, the presidential campaign, the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, and Hurricane Harvey. Between 1992 and 2017, Rodriguez also worked at WCBS-AM, New York “Newsradio 880” anchoring middays and the afternoon drive dayparts. She was WCBS-AM news director from 2008 through 2014.
Shelman to Program KBOI, Boise. Afternoon drive talk show host Nate Shelman is adding program director duties to his role with Cumulus Media’s news/talk KBOI-AM. The company had been searching for a new program director and, in a memo to the staff from vice president and market manager Don Morin, Shelman is quoted saying, “I consider it an honor and a great pleasure to continue keeping KBOI as successful as it has been and will work hard with everybody to accomplish and surpass our goals!”
WTIC, Hartford Welcomes Bob Cox Back to Morning Show. Hartford news/talk WTIC-AM “NewsTalk 1080” announces a change to “The Morning Show with Ray Dunaway” as meteorologist Joe Furey exits the show and Bob Cox returns to serve as weekday morning meteorologist. Cox previously held the position from 1992 to 2014. WTIC-AM program director Jenneen Lee says, “Together, Bob, Sam, Steve and AccuWeather will provide important local weather forecasts, without the hype, to WTIC’s loyal listeners throughout Connecticut. We’re thrilled to welcome Bob back to the station and feel great about the dynamic team we have in place.”
iHeartMedia Names Drew Salamon to New Regional Sales Post. Radio sales pro Drew Salamon is moving from iHeartMedia’s Pittsburgh Region to the Virginia-Carolina Region to take on the regional vice president of sales position. iHM Virginia-Carolina Region president Dave Carwile says, “Drew is a natural leader and has a proven track record of success in this role. His experience as the region senior vice president of sales in iHeartMedia’s Pittsburgh Region, oversight of sales efforts with world championship teams like Pittsburgh Steelers Radio Network, back-to-back Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins Radio Network and his tremendous passion for helping clients grow their business makes Drew the perfect choice for this important role.”
TALKERS News Notes. Satellite radio operator SiriusXM announces the appointment of Megan Liberman to the position of SVP, news, talk & entertainment. She comes to the company from the digital world, having most recently served as vice president and editor-in-chief at Yahoo News Group. To this position she brings experience from the print news industry, having served for 13 years with The New York Times, ultimately as deputy news editor. The following executives will report to her: Dave Gorab, VP/GM, talk programming; Tim Johnson, PD, entertainment programming; Steve Sturniolo, PD, entertainment programming; Jack Vaughn, SVP, comedy programming…..The Boston Globe and public radio news talker WBUR, Boston are partnering for a new, daily podcast designed to provide “in-depth analysis and thought-provoking discourse on sports.” Titled, “Season Ticket” (and launching on 10/2), it will be hosted by Globe sports columnist Chris Gasper. A preview episode is available and delves into the NFL protests issues from a local perspective …..WHMP-AM, Northampton, Massachusetts morning drive personality Bob Flaherty is training hard for his October 6 ping pong marathon fundraiser. Flaherty and the Saga Communications news/talk station will be at Zing! Table Tennis in Northampton from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm as Flaherty attempts to play for 12 hours straight — against a number of local politicians as well as regular citizens — while raising cash for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield’s refugees resettlement project. Check out the promo poster at right with Flaherty dressed up like John McEnroe.
Smyth Inducted into Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame. Pictured above are Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley (left) and former Greater Media chairman and CEO Peter Smyth (right) at yesterday’s Massachusetts Broadcasters Hall of Fame Induction Luncheon. Smyth was among the 2017 Inductees recognized for their life-long contributions and commitment to the broadcasting industry. Caroline Beasley commented, “On behalf of the entire Beasley Media Group family, we are thrilled for Peter in receiving this well-deserved honor that celebrates his many outstanding contributions and achievements in the broadcasting Industry.” Beasley Media Group acquired Greater Media’s radio stations in 2016.
NFL Anthem Protests Top News/Talk Story for Week of September 25-29. The protests by NFL players during the playing of the national anthem and President Trump’s admonition of the protesters was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the Trump administration’s tax overhaul plan. Coming in at #3 was the GOP’s attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, followed by Alabama judge Roy Moore’s victory in the GOP Senate special election primary 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. View this week’s entire chart here.
KHOW, Denver Talk Show Host and Former FEMA Director Michael Brown is this Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. The latest installment of the award-winning PodcastOne media series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” posted on 9/26 features a fascinating, wide-ranging conversation between the TALKERS founder and KHOW, Denver host Michael Brown. Brown, a non-practicing attorney, hosts the daily 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm show on the iHeartMedia powerhouse. He gained fame (including a degree of infamy) while serving as head of FEMA during the post-Hurricane Katrina days of the President George W. Bush administration when he became the “poster boy” for all that went wrong in the government’s handling of the devastating crisis. Brown – a member of theTALKERS “Heavy Hundred” – has gone on to become a tremendously successful radio personality. He has also evolved into one of the nation’s leading “go-to” experts on the volatile intersection of natural disasters and politics. According to Harrison, “Michael Brown has evolved into one of the most original, knowledgeable and forthright hosts in talk radio today. His experience in the Department of Homeland Security [that incorporates FEMA], that included a trial by fire in the media in the aftermath of Katrina, has given him first-hand knowledge and extraordinary wisdom in the complex subject of government and personal responsibility during and after natural disasters.” Harrison continues, “He has also developed tremendous savvy about the modern-day issues of the radio business including navigating social media, accumulating workable cross-platform metrics, and balancing local and national content in the age of Donald Trump – topics we explore in this conversation.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. On air pro Shawnda McNeal joins Cumulus Media’s country KIZN, Boise “Kissin’ 92.3” where she’ll be part of the morning show with Cory Mikhals and will also host the midday program from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. During her career, McNeal has worked on air at KDGE, Dallas “102.1 The Edge,” KHMX, Houston “Mix 96.5” and others. Station program director Hank Aaron says, “We did an extensive national search to find the exact right person to join Cory Mikhals for mornings at ‘Kissin’ 92.3.’ Shawnda not only brings morning show experience but the energy, creativity, and passion to win. Can’t wait for them to start this Monday!”…..Envision Networks expands its partnership with Sun Broadcast Group to include additional affiliate sales support for Sun’s nationally syndicated shows, “Little Steven’s Underground Garage” and “Slacker & Steve.” Envision Networks continues its affiliation support for Sun’s Shazam for Radio platform. The two companies have been working closely together for years on various products including advertising sales support for Envision Hispanic and general market products including “Six Second Reviews,” AudioMonky, “Our Auto Expert” and Collin Raye’s “Rewind Country.” Envision president and CEO Danno Wolkoff says, “With the continued success of Shazam for Radio affiliations, we are thrilled to add ‘Slacker & Steve’ and ‘Little Steven’s Underground Garage’ to the list of programming we can offer radio stations. Sun Broadcast Group represents some of the best talent available for syndication and we look forward to expanding their current footprints throughout the USA.”…..Country superstar Kenny Chesney (right) is co-hosting “Country Countdown USA” with Lon Helton (left) this weekend (9/30-10/1). On the program, the two discuss Chesney’s Love For Love City Fund, aimed at helping the residents of the U.S. Virgin Islands, hard hit by Hurricane Irma. Chesney also discusses his recent shows at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, his current hit “All The Pretty Girls,” and his forthcoming album Live In No Shoes Nation.
FCC Chairman Pai Asks Apple to Activate FM Chips. In a statement issued today (9/28), Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai is asking Apple – the lone major smartphone manufacturer holdout – to agree to activate the FM chips installed in phones. Pai says, “When wireless networks go down during a natural disaster, smartphones with activated FM chips can allow Americans to get vital access to life-saving information. I applaud those companies that have done the right thing by activating the FM chips in their phones. Apple is the one major phone manufacturer that has resisted doing so. But I hope the company will reconsider its position, given the devastation wrought by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. That’s why I am asking Apple to activate the FM chips that are in its iPhones. It is time for Apple to step up to the plate and put the safety of the American people first.” There has been no public response to Pai’s statement by Apple.
Price Tag for Entercom-EMF Deal: $57.75 Million. We know the price for the three Entercom radio stations sold to Educational Media Foundation after Entercom filed with the FCC. These three stations are the first of the divestitures required to facilitate the merger of Entercom and CBS RADIO. Educational Media Foundation is paying Entercom $57.75 million for KSWD, Los Angeles; KSOQ, Escondido (San Diego market), and WGGI, Benton, PA (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton market).
WSB, Atlanta’s Condace Pressley Receives Local Honor. The Atlanta Business League has just announced its 2017 list of “Atlanta’s Top 100 Black Women of Influence” and WSB Radio manager of program operations and community affairs Condace Pressley is honored as a member of this year’s list. Pressley was recognized during the “Women of Vision” breakfast on Tuesday (9/26) at the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel. Since 1994, the list has reflected the names of black women in the metro Atlanta community who have reached senior level positions within their profession, are leading entrepreneurs in their industry, or have attained the ability to influence large public bodies politically and in government. WSB-AM/WSBB-FM director of branding and programming Pete Spriggs comments, “Condace quietly and humbly moves through Atlanta’s communities and serves, mentors and leads every day. And, she’s done that throughout her entire career with WSB and ‘KISS 104.’ I am so proud and pleased that she gets this kind of due fanfare.”
Financial Talker Ray Lucia Seeks Supreme Court Ruling to Get Back into Investment Business. Financial talk radio host Ray Lucia is taking his ouster from the securities industry by the Securities and Exchange Commission to the U.S. Supreme Court. The San Diego Reader has a lengthy story on the matter here. The short version is that Lucia was banned in 2013 after the SEC ruled that his “Buckets of Money” investment plan was not “backtested.” He has appealed the ruling to no avail. Now, he’s arguing that the administrative law judge responsible for the decision to kick him out of the industry was appointed unconstitutionally. Lucia’s attorney tells the paper he believes the SCOTUS will hear the case. Lucia’s program is syndicated via the Biz Talk Radio network.
TALKERS News Notes. As part of its “Community Conversation” series, Scripps’ Milwaukee news/talk WTMJ’s news department is presenting a program addressing the controversy surrounding player protests during the national anthem at NFL games. The uninterrupted, one-hour special takes place this afternoon (9/28) at 4:00 pm CT. The conversation will lead directly into WTMJ Radio pregame coverage of the Green Bay Packers vs Chicago Bears game at Lambeau Field. WTMJ director of programming and news Eric Brooks states, “The protests by NFL players during the national anthem have sparked debate and raised awareness of the issues of social justice in the country. WTMJ Radio is the flagship station of the Green Bay Packers and the de facto town hall for the state of Wisconsin. We feel it’s our duty to provide a high-profile place for all sides of the conversation to be heard.” WTMJ hosts John Mercure and Melissa Barclay will moderate the special that is also being streamed at wtmj.com and via Facebook Live…..Dallas talk show host Jon-David Wells announces via Facebook that his talk show “The Wells Report” is soon to be heard in the market on Salem Media Group’s KVCE-AM, Highland Park as it flips from a simulcast of Christian teaching KWRD-FM to news/talk as “1160 AM KBDT – Big D Talk.” Wells says his program, previously heard on Salem’s news/talk KSKY, is also being distributed via USA Radio Network…..Pictured at right is Salem Radio Network East Coast affiliate relations manager Jim Bligh in a still shot from a promo for this weekend’s season premiere of “Saturday Night Live.” Bligh plays a security guard who won’t let guest star Ryan Gosling upstairs without a guest pass. See the video here. When Bligh is not scratching his acting itch (he’s appeared in motion pictures such as Man on a Ledge and Ricki and the Flash), he’s securing new affiliate stations for SRN’s Hugh Hewitt, Mike Gallagher, Larry Elder and others.
PodcastOne and Former Staffer in Legal Tangle. Former PodcastOne producer Raymond Hernandez and company founder and chairman Norm Pattiz have very different views of the issues surrounding Hernandez’s claims against Pattiz. As reported first in Variety, Hernandez is suing PodcastOne for unlawful termination, claiming that he was let go for protesting instructions from Pattiz to “inflate download numbers” of the company’s podcasts. PodcastOne attorney Marvin Putnam, however, says, “Mr. Hernandez was fired for stealing intellectual property from PodcastOne — a theft he has admitted to committing.” In the complaint, Hernandez says Pattiz, who is a reserve sheriff’s deputy, set his revolver on a desk with the barrel pointing toward him in order to intimidate him. Pattiz reponds, “This guy must be crazy. I’ve never met alone with him. I didn’t hire him or fire him. I barely know who he is. The fact that I’m a law enforcement reserve is well known as I have public service awards in my office. I didn’t and would never act in the manner that’s been described… His allegations are absurd.”
Alliance for Women in Media ‘Women Who Lead’ Honorees Named. At this November’s Women Who Lead luncheon, five women media executives are being honored by the Alliance for Women in Media at the Marriott Marquis in New York City. The event “recognizes and celebrates women who have had a significant impact on the media industry, as trailblazers and extraordinary leaders in their chosen field.” This year’s honorees are: Caroline Beasley, CEO, Beasley Broadcast Group; Amy Emmerich, chief content officer, Refinery29; Kathleen Finch, chief programming, content & brand officer, Scripps Networks; Susan Swain, co-CEO, C-SPAN; and Julie Talbott, president, Premiere Networks. For more information about the event or to reserve your seat, click here.
Trump Tax Reform Plan, Roy Moore Victory, NFL Protests, Cost of Illegal Immigration, Puerto Rico Devastation, ObamaCare Repeal Efforts, Hugh Hefner Dies, Rick Pitino Corruption Case, MLB Playoff Push, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/27). The outline of President Trump’s tax reform plan and his speech promoting the effort in Indianapolis; controversial former judge Roy Moore wins the GOP primary in the Alabama U.S. Senate race; ongoing debate over NFL players protesting during the singing of the national anthem; the FAIR study concluding illegal immigration costs taxpayers almost $116 billion per year; the lack of power, potable water and food in Hurricane Maria-stricken Puerto Rico; the efforts by the GOP to repeal the Affordable Care Act with the Graham-Cassidy Bill; Playboy founder Hugh Hefner dies at age 91; the federal investigation into corruption in Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino’s program; the final week of the regular season in Major League Baseball; and NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Cool News Radio Opportunity. WNRP seeks a morning drive news anchor/reporter. “NewsRadio1620 ▪ FM92.3” in Pensacola, Florida has an immediate opening for an experienced AM drive radio news anchor. Join the team that local newspaper readers have twice voted “Best Morning Show.” Includes news on sister station “CatCountry98.7.” Strong writer, fast audio producer, conversational style, plus a passion for local news gathering. Seven Edward R. Murrow awards for local news coverage. FOX Radio News affiliate. Independent and locally owned. Excellent employee benefits, including 401k plan and health/dental/vision insurance. Great lifestyle near beaches in NW Florida panhandle. EOE. Send audio with resume here.
Clive Davis Visits ‘Jonesy’s Jukebox.’ Music biz legend Clive Davis visited Cumulus Media’s classic rock KLOS, Los Angeles on Tuesday (9/26) to chat with “Jonsey’s Jukebox” host Steve Jones about his new documentary film, Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives, that opened in LA at Cinerama Dome/ArcLight Hollywood. From KLOS, Davis also spoke with Matt Pinfield for “Flashback”; with WKQX, Chciago’s Brian & Lou; and WLS-AM, Chicago’s Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano. Pictured above are (from l-r): Evan Saxon of film distributor Abramorama, Davis, Jonesy, and film and music promoter Elliot Kendall. Photo: Mark “Mr. Shovel” Sovel.
More Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Baltimore, rock programming pro Steve Huber moves from Hearst Communications’ WIYY “98Rock” to Times-Shamrock’s crosstown classic rocker WZBA “100.7 The Bay.” The move lifts him from assistant PD to program director and takes effect on October 2. WZBA general manager Jefferson Ward states, “We had a tremendous response to our open PD position and I had the chance to talk to a number of excellent programmers, people that might have easily been hired had Steve not come into our picture. Steve is deeply passionate about radio and has a broad and strong skill set. Those qualities along with his understanding of radio’s opportunities today and his vision about where radio can go made Steve a perfect fit for ‘100.7 The Bay.’”…..Alternative rock WRMR, Wilmington, North Carolina “Modern Rock 98.7” names Laura Lee program director and afternoon drive host. Sunrise Broadcasting sought to replace Paul Cannell, who exited last month to join Cumulus Media’s New Orleans operations. Lee was most recently with Adams Radio Group where she handled promotions director duties in Salisbury-Ocean City in addition to programming classic rock WGBG “BIG 98.5” and serving as music director and midday personality…..As reported in Billboard, Apple is now saying that it has hit the 30 million paid subscribers mark. That compares with Spotify’s 60 million paid subscribers. Neither service offers a free tier as do Pandora and iHeartRadio. The story notes that income from the service is part of Apple’s larger Services segment that reported third quarter 2017 revenue of $7.3 billion, a year-over-year increase of 22%…..Superadio Networks announces an affiliation and sales agreement with Marvin Sapp’s Praise Place, LLC to syndicate his eponymous weekly Gospel radio show. All affiliate and national advertising sales will be handled by Superadio and American Urban Radio Networks.
EMF Acquires Entercom Stations in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Wilkes-Barre. After much speculation about which Los Angeles property Entercom would spin in order to close its pending merger with CBS RADIO, we have learned the answer: It is Entercom’s own classic rocker KSWD “100.3 The Sound,” which will be acquired by Educational Media Foundation. In addition to Los Angeles’ “Sound,” Rocklin (California)-based contemporary Christian broadcaster EMF is also obtaining Entercom stations in San Diego (KSOQ-FM, which simulcasts KSON-FM “New Country”) and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (WGGI, which simulcasts WGGY “Today’s Best Country – Froggy”). This three-station deal marks the first required divestitures in the company’s mega union with CBS Radio. According to Entercom president and chief executive officer David Field, “We have made great progress toward the completion of our merger with CBS Radio and this agreement with EMF brings us one step closer to the finish line. We remain on-track to close the CBS Radio transaction later this year and confident in the value-creating opportunities presented by this transformational combination.” Educational Media Foundation chief executive officer Mike Novak remarks, “We are particularly excited to see what God has in store for the people of Los Angeles, through our new station, ‘Positive & Encouraging K-Love at 100.3 FM.’ The people at Entercom have been a joy making this purchase possible.” Eight months ago, Entercom agreed to combine with CBS Radio in an all-stock transaction. After the deal, Entercom will own 240 stations; non-profit EMF currently owns/operates Christian music networks “K-Love” and “Air1,” as well as approximately 770 FM stations and translators. For the third time in the last six Nielsen Audio ratings sweeps, KSWD “The Sound” registers a 2.4 (PPM, August 2017, 6+) and finishes at #18; its 2.9 (6+) in May 2017 placed it at #11. Stations that will be under Entercom’s Los Angeles banner include smooth AC KTWV “The Wave”; classic hits-oldies KRTH “K-Earth 101”; adult hits KCBS-FM “Jack-FM”; all-news KNX; CHR KAMP “97.1 Amp Radio”; and alternative KROQ. All six are presently owned by CBS Radio. Its San Diego cluster will include KSON-FM; adult contemporary KXSN “Sunny 98.1”; and KBZT “94.9 – San Diego’s Alternative”; as well as current CBS Radio-owned hot AC KYXY and CHR KEGY “Energy 103.7.” In addition to WGGY, Entercom’s remaining Wilkes-Barre/Scranton stations are spring 2017 market leader (CHR) WKRZ “98.5 Today’s Best Music” (10.0, 6+); news/talkers WILK-AM, WILK-FM, WBZU, and WKZN; classic rock WMQX “Max 102”; and WKRF (which simulcasts WKRZ).
Sandy Buttweiler Exits WDAY-AM, Fargo. Fargo market talk radio pro Sandy Buttweiler has retired from Forum Communications’ news/talk WDAY-AM and is moving back to her hometown of Minneapolis to be closer to family. Buttweiler worked in the Fargo market in numerous iterations: at KFGO from 1982 to 1987, 1992 to 2004, and 2006 through 2014. She hosted programs on WDAY in 2005, and most recently from 2014 through her retirement yesterday (9/26). During her career she co-hosted several times with well-known Fargo talk pro Jack Sunday and worked on air with WDAY program director Mike Kapel during this last gig. InForum.com reports Buttweiler saying, “I’ve been here 35 years and it’s time for me to live five minutes from my sister and my aunts and uncles and cousins.”
Talent Shift at WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta. The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho reports that “News 95.5 and AM 750 WSB” program director Pete Spriggs is flipping the show times of Eric Von Haessler’s “Von Haessler Doctrine” and the Herman Cain show. Beginning October 2, Cain assumes the 11:00 am to 12:00 noon hour and Von Haessler moves to the 9:00 am to 11:00 am slot. In January of this year, Von Haessler was promoted from his weekend show to the daily, one-hour program. See Ho’s column here.
KNSS, Wichita’s Steve and Ted Do 5,000th Broadcast. This morning (9/27), KNSS, Wichita morning duo Steve McIntosh and Ted Woodward performed their 5,000th morning show together. News/talk KNSS program director Tony Duesing states, “One of the reasons I’m always excited to go to work each day is that Steve and Ted are on KNSS mornings. They have an exciting show that matters to listeners.” During their time together on the Entercom station, Steve and Ted have won multiple awards from the Associated Press, Kansas Association of Broadcasters, RTNDA, and a Marconi from the National Association of Broadcasters. Jad Chambers serves as producer for the program.
Hollywood Reporter: Hannity Trumps Maddow in Head-to-Head Debut. According to a story in The Hollywood Reporter, FOX News Channel star Sean Hannity bested MSNBC rival Rachel Maddow on Monday night (9/25), the first night the two personalities aired head-to-head at 9:00 pm ET. Hannity moved to the timeslot as part of changes that include the imminent debut of Laura Ingraham’s new 10:00 pm ET show. Maddow has been the cable news/talk ratings leader for much of this year. The story notes that although FNC continues to be the Total Day and Prime Time winner of Nielsen’s cable news/talk ratings – topping CNN and MSNBC – Maddow has been the most-watched show in both Total Viewers and 25-54 during the past quarter. But on Monday, Hannity beat Maddow by 610,000 Total Viewers and 75,000 25-54 viewers. Read the story here.
Trump vs the NFL, Alabama Senate Primary Race, North Korea Threats/Sanctions, ObamaCare Repeal, Tax Reform, Puerto Rico Devastation, Trump-Russia Probe, MLB Playoff Push, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/26). The controversy over President Trump’s calling for NFL players who protest during the national anthem to be fired; the Alabama U.S. Senate primary race between Republicans Luther Strange and Roy Moore; North Korea’s military threats against the U.S. and the most recent sanctions levied on the hermit kingdom; the GOP’s attempt to get enough Senate votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with the Graham-Cassidy plan; the GOP’s plans to craft a tax reform bill; the devastation of Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria; the investigation into former Paul Manafort’s and Michael Flynn’s Russia connections; the playoff push in Major League Baseball; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Broadcasters Foundation of America Establishes Gary Fries Memorial Fund. In honor of recently deceased Radio Advertising Bureau executive Gary Fries, the Broadcasters Foundation of America is establishing the Gary Fries Memorial Fund. BFoA president Jim Thompson states, “Gary was very passionate about radio and the mission of the Broadcasters Foundation to help our colleagues in need. He loved the radio profession, supported it, talked about it, and had many dear friends in our business.” Fries, who died in Scottsdale, Arizona last Friday, was a longtime director of the Broadcasters Foundation. Those wishing to donate in Fries’ honor may visit the Broadcasters Foundation’s website at www.broadcastersfoundation.org, call 212-373-8250, or email email@example.com.
JohnJay Van Es’ #LovePup Foundation Featured in People. Pictured backstage at the T-mobile Arena in Las Vegas at last weekend’s iHeartRadio Music Festival are pop star Miley Cyrus (left) and JohnJay Van Es (right) of Premiere Networks’ syndicated “Johnjay & Rich” show. They are surrounded by rescue puppies from Van Es’ #LovePup Foundation that he was promoting at the festival. People magazine did a piece on the #LovePup Foundation.
More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Cool local props for CHR WNTQ, Syracuse “93Q” and morning personalities Ted Long and Amy Robbins – both winners in the Syracuse New Times’ “Best of Syracuse” reader’s poll. Cumulus Media’s “93Q” was named Top Radio Station, and Ted and Amy were honored with the Favorite Radio Personalities crown. The ever-popular on-air duo has won in the category more than 20 times in the last 25 years…..CBS RADIO Pittsburgh’s WDSY “Y108” is presenting the fifth annual “Y108 Girls With Guitars” concert, this year starring RaeLynn, Carly Pearce, and Danielle Bradbery. It takes place on October 5 at Rivers Casino. CBS RADIO Pittsburgh VP of programming Mark Anderson says, “Y108’s ‘Girls With Guitars’ has become one of the ‘gotta-have-it’ tickets in a very busy country concert marketplace. We are excited to present RaeLynn, Carly Pearce, and Danielle Bradbery to our listeners while also introducing the newest member of ‘Y108’ all in support of Glimmer of Hope and the great work they do. Set against the backdrop of the Rivers Casino, this free show is a great night out for Pittsburgh residents.” Glimmer of Hope funds breast cancer research and programs. Glimmer of Hope will be onsite during the event conducting various fundraising activities, including a silent auction…..iHeartMedia Milwaukee is presenting the inaugural, “Let’s Brunch MKE,” a community food sampling event. It takes place from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm on Saturday, October 28. iHeartMedia VP of programming Kerry Wolfe says, “Brunch is huge in Milwaukee. We’re excited to bring our listeners and the community together with both some of their local favorites and restaurants they may be experiencing for the first time.”
NYPost: How Mike Francesa Almost Didn’t Get WFAN Gig. As Mike Francesa’s historic run as afternoon drive personality on WFAN, New York winds down – he’s assured everyone he is leaving after December 15 – the New York Post publishes a piece by Don Burke that gives CBS Sports play-by-play man Jim Nantz credit for getting Francesa into WFAN when the station had no interest in hiring him. Believe it or not, the Emmis programming executives were turned off by Francesa’s Long Island accent and wanted national-level talent to star on the fledgling sports talk station. But Francesa and Jim Nantz had worked at CBS together and Nantz convinced Emmis exec Luke Griffin to give him a shot and he was eventually – and apparently reluctantly – hired for a weekend show. The rest, as they say, is history. Read the Post piece here.
Cooney Named to Morning Co-Host Post at WPEN-FM, Philadelphia. Longtime Philadelphia sports media pro Bob Cooney is officially the new co-host of “The Fanatic Morning Show” on Beasley Media Group’s sports talk WPEN-FM, Philadelphia. He’s been filling in on “The Fanatic” for the past few months and now joins Anthony Gargano on the AM show. Cooney was a longtime 76ers beat writer with the Philadelphia Daily News but also covered the Flyers, the Eagles and more. The station says he’ll be part of its expanded Sixers coverage. Beasley Philly VP and market manager Joe Bell says, “We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Bob as the new co-host of the ‘Fanatic Morning Show.’ He is no stranger to Philly sports. His reputation is incredible. Bob and Anthony are the perfect team to serve as the official voice of the Philly sports fan!” At the same time, the station announces it has renewed its multi-year partnership with the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers to serve as the flagship radio station. WPEN-FM will present the play-by-play, pre- and post-game shows, plus additional Sixers-related programming.
Bears and WBBM ‘Newsradio 780 & 105.9FM’ Renew. Sports programming is an important format for CBS RADIO and the company – soon to join Entercom in a merger – proves that with the renewal of its deal for all-news WBBM-AM/WCFL-FM “WBBM Newsradio 780 & 105.9FM” to serve as the flagship radio station for Chicago Bears football. CBS RADIO Chicago SVP and market manager Tim Pohlman says, “All of us at CBS RADIO Chicago are thrilled to continue our 17-year partnership with the NFL’s most preeminent franchise. We thank the McCaskey family, Ted Phillips and everyone at the Chicago Bears for their commitment to keeping WBBM Newsradio 780 & 105.9FM as part of this first-class organization for years to come.” Out-of-game programming will include the “Bears Coaches Show” every Monday at 6:30 pm hosted by Jeff Joniak. “Bears All-Access” will air weekly throughout the year on sister sports station WSCR, featuring Tom Thayer and Zach Zaidman. All six CBS RADIO Chicago stations will also air a “Bears Noon Update” daily during the football season.
Chip Franklin’s ‘Inside The Beltway’ Site Off to Positive Start. One month after the launch of the progressive site InsidetheBeltway.com, it’s garnered a million impressions, according to site founder – KGO, San Francisco talk host Chip Franklin. He tells TALKERS magazine that his videos that are available on the site have gotten more than 250,000 shares. Check out the site here.
TALKERS News Notes. Atlantic City talk show host Harry Hurley tells TALKERS magazine that he’s booked Roger Stone – the Republican and Donald Trump campaign strategist who will testify before the House Intelligence Committee – on his program tomorrow morning (9/27). Stone will appear on Hurley’s WPGG program hours before he’ll appear on Capitol Hill to testify regarding the Trump-Russia investigation and Hurley says Stone promises to reveal what his testimony will entail…..The Alabama-based, nationally syndicated Rick & Bubba show got a call from President Trump yesterday morning (9/25) ahead of today’s special primary election for the open U.S. Senate seat there. The president also talked about the Graham-Cassidy Health Care Bill. See CNN’s report on the appearance here…..Salem Media Group promotes Steve Brodsky from general sales manager at Christian teaching KKLA-FM Los Angeles to market manager for the company’s San Diego operations that includes Christian KPRZ and news/talk KCBQ “1170 The Answer.”…..E.W. Scripps-owned news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee is presenting the holiday radio show “WTMJ Saves Christmas” live at Turner Hall on Monday, November 27. It stars WTMJ hosts and other local voices and will be recorded in front of a live audience, with $5 from each ticket sold to benefit the Kids2Kids Christmas charity. “WTMJ Saves Christmas” will feature station personalities: Gene Mueller, Jane Matenaer, Jeff Wagner, Wayne Larrivee, John Mercure, Erik Bilstad, Melissa Barclay, and Steve Scaffidi.
Trumps vs the NFL, Fate of the Graham-Cassidy Bill, Kim Jong-Un and Donald Trump Saber Rattling, Devastation of Puerto Rico, Alabama Senate Primary, Kushner Private Email Issue, Weiner Sentenced, MLB Playoff Push, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/25). The controversy over President Trump’s call to fire NFL players who protest during the national anthem and the league’s and players’ responses; whether or not the Graham-Cassidy health care bill will be put up for a vote in the Senate; the war of words between North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump; the devastation in Puerto Rico caused by Hurricane Maria and its need for help from the U.S. government; the Alabama U.S. Senate primary race between Luther Strange and Roy Moore; allegations that Jared Kushner used a private email server for White House business; Michael Weiner is sentenced to 21 months in federal prison for sexting a minor; Major League Baseball’s playoff push; and Sunday’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Agent Robert Eatman Dead at 65. Talent agent Robert Eatman passed away on Sunday (9/24) in Los Angeles after a battle with cancer. Eatman established his own agency in 1991 and represented some of the radio business’s top talent during the 1990s and 2000s, including Mancow Muller, Opie & Anthony, Shane “Rover” French, and more.
Sitting Down with Dolly. “NASH Nights Live” co-host Elaina Smith (left) visited the Nashville studio of country legend Dolly Parton (right) on Monday (9/25) to chat with Parton about her first-ever children’s album, I Believe in You. During the conversation, that also discussed such topics as women on country radio, Dollywood, sweatpants, both being tiny, working on Miley Cyrus’ new album and more.
More Music Radio News and Career Moves — Country radio pro Matt McAllister is named the new morning personality at Entercom’s KKWF, Seattle “100.7 The Wolf,” replacing the Ellen Tailor-hosted AM program. McAllister comes to Seattle from his most recent position hosting mornings at iHeartMedia’s KNIX, Phoenix. He’s won Personality of the Year awards from both the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association. KKWF program director Drew Bland says, “Matt is creative, innovative, competitive, and laser-focused on bringing audiences compelling content for their morning commute. We are excited to welcome him to our team in Seattle, leading the next chapter of mornings for ‘100.7 The Wolf.’” The station says both a new show name and additional cast will be announced at a later date…..Las Vegas alternative rock KXTE “X107.5” announces that the “Holiday Havoc – Night Two” show scheduled for December 11 at the Palms Casino Resort will feature The Killers, with supporting acts Bleachers and Joywave. A portion of proceeds from the concert will benefit the Nevada SPCA…..Country KTTS, Springfield, Missouri is presenting the “4th Annual KTTS Springfield Country Music Awards Show” at Juanita K. Hammons Hall on October 25. It will feature a concert from Grammy, Country Music Association, and Academy of Country Music Award winner Maren Morris, plus special guest Russell Dickerson. The station says this is Springfield awards show with winners decided by local votes on a ballot at the station’s website. Local and national artist and song category winners will be announced during the awards ceremony portion of the evening.
Steele Returns to ‘FOX News 92.5’ in Naples-Ft. Myers; Radel to Drive Time. Effective today (9/25), Sun Broadcasting’s news/talk WFSX, Naples-Fort Myers “FOX News 92.5” makes changes to its drive time programming, bringing Drew Steele back to the station for morning drive duties and moving Trey Radel to the 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm daypart. About the changes, program director Casey Bartholomew tells the Naples Daily News, “We wanted to better serve the market and what better way than with two live, local shows. And Trey was more than happy to not have to get up (in the early morning).” Steele was host of the morning show on WFSX from 2012 through 2016. He comes back to Sun Broadcasting from Bonneville’s news/talk KSL-AM/FM, Salt Lake City. Radel replaced Steele in mornings when he left for Salt Lake City. Read the Daily News piece here.
Bowen Out at Cumulus Chicago. As reported by Chicago media maven Robert Feder, radio executive Peter Bowen exits the Cumulus Media cluster there after three years as vice president and market manager. As Feder points out, Bowen was responsible for bringing White Sox baseball and Chicago Bulls hoops to WLS-AM. The company told Feder, “Peter Bowen has left the company and we wish him well in his future endeavors. The open market manager role in Chicago is a priority for us and we are working to find the right leader for this important market as soon as possible.” See Feder’s column here.
Steve Dahl Re-Ups with WLS-AM. Also, as reported by Robert Feder, Chicago radio legend Steve Dahl re-ups with Cumulus Media to continue hosting his afternoon show on news/talk WLS-AM for another three years. Dahl hosts the program with cast mates Dag Juhlin and Brendan Greeley. Dahl tells Feder, “I’m proud of the work Dag, Brendan and I are doing every afternoon for WLS AM 890, and gratified that they like it, too. The show is funny, informative and apolitical. We could still use a little marketing, however, so I am currently in negotiations to buy the ‘Kathy’ half of the Eric and Kathy billboards.” Read Feder’s report here.
TRN Files to Appeal Dismissal of Suit Against Industry Syndicators. A year ago, the anti-trust lawsuit brought by Talk Radio Network against several industry syndicators including Westwood One, Compass Media Networks, WYD Media Management, and others was dismissed with prejudice and that dismissal affirmed. TRN is filing to appeal that dismissal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The appellate court will decide if it will hear the case.
TALKERS News Notes. Launching this fall on CRN Digital Talk Radio is a new program titled, “HEAR IT NOW – A Radio Document of Our World,” hosted by Thomas Ross Bond II. Bond calls the show “a program that focuses on the human-side of individuals who made an imprint on our world and the sounds of the times, in hope that another dimension is given to our understanding of our world and the human condition. Unlike other programs concentrating on controversy, we strive to focus on the life of our ‘guest,’ the human side, to find out about ‘them,’ where they grew up, what influenced their life, why they made the choices they did.”…..The Rhode Island political talk radio show, “The Coalition – Talk Radio for Independent Minds,” moves from Cumulus Media’s WPRO, Providence to the digital platform of GoLocalProv.com. The weekly, Friday evening show is hosted by Pat Ford, the chair of the Libertarian Party of Rhode Island and airs from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm…..SiriusXM is presenting comprehensive coverage of the Presidents Cup golf tournament September 28 through October 1 at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, New Jersey.
Trump Calls Out Athlete Protesters, North Korea Nuclear Threats/Sanctions, Graham-Cassidy Health Care Bill, Merkel Re-Election, Maria-Devastated Puerto Rico, Kingsman Film, MLB Playoff Push, College Football, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The issue of athletes protesting during the national anthem after President Trump’s criticism; North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and new sanctions put upon the hermit kingdom; the push by Republicans to pass the Graham-Cassidy health care bill to replace the Affordable Care Act; Angela Merkel wins fourth term as Chancellor of Germany; the devastation of Puerto Rico caused by Hurricane Maria; the new Kingsman film tops It at the box office; the weekend’s MLB games with playoff implications; Saturday’s college football games; and Sunday’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
KXL and Compass Media Talker Lars Larson Co-Starring Regular TV Segment. Pictured here during the “Left Hook, Right Jab” segment on KGW-TV, Portland is news/talk KXL, Portland and Compass Media Networks syndicated talk show host Lars Larson (right). Going against Larson in the debate-style segment is former Portland City Commissioner Steve Novick (left). Larson tells TALKERS magazine he’s been doing the TV segment for a few months now. “They wanted a standard ‘he said, he said’ format but I suggested a chess clock format. Each of us gets 90 seconds. Here’s the difference: we take turns leading off on a different question. You can weigh in for, say 20-30 seconds (or shorter or longer), hit the bell and the other person has to respond. He can go as long or short as he likes and then it switches back. Back and forth until both run out of time. It moves fast. It forces each to get right to the point (like Twitter).”
EXCLUSIVE TALKERS DIALOGUE: Terminated and Embattled KXNT, Las Vegas Talk Show Host Heidi Harris Speaks with Michael Harrison about the Events Leading Up to and Following CBS Choosing Not to Renew Her Contract as Morning Host. In an exclusive TALKERS interview conducted Thursday evening (9/21), TALKERS founder Michael Harrison talks to former KXNT, Las Vegas morning host Heidi Harris about CBS RADIO’s decision not to renew her contract that was about to expire in a few weeks in the wake of a controversial social media comment about gay adoption posted by the broadcaster. Although CBS has not cited the controversy as its reason for choosing not to renew Harris’ contract, the widespread speculation in the press and across the radio industry is that the host was let go because of negative blowback from organized activists in the gay community. Discussing the interview, Harrison states, “I entered this conversation hoping to give Heidi the chance to present her side of the story, but, perhaps, wishfully to see if there was any chance to smoothen out the situation and set the stage for CBS to reconsider its decision if she clarified her position short of actually apologizing. Apologizing is not something I would expect or encourage her to do. But it would be unfortunate if she left the station because of a misunderstanding of terms and today’s tendency for black and white thinking to rule the narrative.” To listen to the interview, please click here.
Yappy Tour Rolls into NewsmaxTV. Pictured above being interviewed by NewsmaxTV‘s John Bachman is Bernadette Duncan, author of one of the most-discussed radio books in the talk media industry, Yappy Days: Behind the Scenes with Newsers, Boozers, Schmoozers and Losers (Talkers Books, 2016). Former producer Duncan chronicles her 26 years as the woman behind the glass on shows hosted by such legends as Sally Jessy Raphael, Larry King, Tom Snyder, Lou Dobbs, Gil Gross, Charles Osgood and others covering a large swath of modern talk radio’s pre- and post-9/11 “golden era.” Plus, she tells stories about behind-the-scenes encounters with hundreds of quirky guests from the worlds of show business, politics, media, business and literature. Due to the strong response by hosts across the nation to the subject and Duncan’s lively air presence, the national “Yappy Tour” will continue to roll on through the remainder of 2017. Duncan has already appeared on more than 85 local and syndicated programs since the book’s release in September of 2016. Hosts and shows interested in booking Bernadette Duncan can do so by calling Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Milwaukee’s WKTI “94.5 KTI Country” brings Brew City radio personality Karen Dalessandro aboard to host the afternoon drive daypart. Dalessandro is a Country Music Hall of Famer and a two-time CMA Personality of the Year who previously was a morning personality on iHeartMedia’s crosstown WMIL “FM 106” until “retiring” from the station back in March. About this new gig, Dalessandro says, “I made the switch to ‘94.5 KTI Country’ to join a staff that is excited about country music, committed to winning and actually living in Milwaukee. It’s refreshing to see this kind of radio still exists. [Scripps Milwaukee ] GM Tom Langmyer and PD Ryan Wild deserve much credit for believing that real people doing real radio is important to the community they serve. I spent 19 years hosting Milwaukee morning radio so to continue my career as music director/afternoons at WKTI is more than I could have imagined!”…..iHeartMedia names Nikki Corl marketing director for its Charlotte market operations and the rest of the Carolinas. She was most recently promotions director at iHeartMedia’s Richmond station group…..In Nashville, iHeartMedia CHR WRVW “107.5 The River” announces that Wells Adams begins hosting the 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm show (starting tonight). The 10-year market pro was most recently on the company’s sister classic rock WNRQ “105.9 The Rock” hosting afternoons. Adams was also a recent contestant on ABC-TV’s “The Bachelorette.” WRVW program director Jonathan Shuford says, “Wells is already a well-known and talented radio personality here in Music City, a reality show star, social influencer, and all-around great guy. It just made sense to marry his pedigree with Nashville’s most-listened to station and we’re excited to launch this new chapter in Nashville radio.”…..CBS RADIO’s WUSN, Chicago is presenting its third annual “Stars and Strings” show in honor of America’s veterans and their families on Wednesday, November 15 at The Chicago Theatre. The all-star lineup features: Brad Paisley, Chris Young, Darius Rucker, Kelsea Ballerini, Lady Antebellum, and Sam Hunt with a special appearance by Lindsay Ell. WUSN morning duo “Stylz & Roman” announced the concert on their program this morning.
iHeartRadio Music Festival Wraps Two Days in Las Vegas. Pictured here are iHeartMedia chief programming officer Tom Poleman (second from left) and iHeartMedia Entertainment Enterprises president John Sykes (right) with singer Demi Lovato (second from right) and an unidentified guest (left) backstage at the iHeartRadio Music Festival at the T-mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Some of the artists that played on Friday and Saturday night included: Coldplay, The Weeknd, DJ Khaled, Chris Stapleton, Lorde, Kings of Leon, Big Sean, P!NK, Miley Cyrus, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Niall Horan, David Guetta, Thomas Rhett, Harry Styles, Kesha and more, plus this year’s ‘Macy’s iHeartRadio Rising Sta’ winner, James Maslow.