Cramer Says Market Is Wrong About Entercom-CBS Merger. Markets and investment expert Jim Cramer – a former radio talk show host himself – said on his “Mad Money” program on CNBC that the market may be wrong about its ho-hum attitude toward the Entercom–CBS RADIO merger. About the post-merger Entercom he says, “They’ll be the #1 creator of local audio content in America. More important, they’ll also have a gigantic sports business, broadcasting games from 45 professional teams [and] numerous college teams.” He also noted that the new Entercom will become the second-largest radio company by revenue with the best balance sheet in the radio biz. The CNBC.com story says Cramer believes that Entercom “will also create a bustling live events business with some 4,500 live events a year. Cramer says This alone should make the stock a strong play on the rise of the experiential economy, one of his favorite trends.” Read the whole story here.
Not So Fast! Leslie Marshall Show to Stay on AM/FM Radio. Last week’s report from WYM Media Management that progressive media personality Leslie Marshall would be ending her eponymous AM/FM syndication efforts and focus on Internet broadcasting of her radio program was premature. WYM tells TALKERS magazine that they “were able to work out an agreement” with new partner Progressive Voices to feed the program to Marshall’s terrestrial radio affiliates. Progressive Voices will air the show live weekdays from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET beginning October 2 and will continue building relationships with terrestrial radio partners.
Herskovitz: Light in the Darkness. Talk radio sales pro Al Herskovitz writes today about his experience in his Florida home dealing with Hurricane Irma. He points to the importance of radio during emergencies such as catastrophic weather. His story – and so many others like it – backs up what a lot of Americas are saying as they ask smartphone manufacturers – especially Apple – to turn on the FM chip in smartphones. Read Herskovitz’s piece here.
TALKERS News Notes. A new content partnership between NPR and iHeartRadio brings more than 30 of the former’s podcasts to the iHeartRadio digital platform. iHeartRadio says that it has seen a 60% uptick in listenership from its more than 100 million registered users. They are now able to access podcasts including: “Up First,” “Fresh Air,” “Invisibilia,” “Planet Money,” “How I Built This” and more. The addition of the NPR shows means iHeartRadio now offers more than 9,000 shows across 19 different categories…..FOX News Radio announces the premiere of the new podcast “Children of Song.” It is a new show hosted by music author and historian Robert K. Oermann and former New York Times theatre critic Charles Isherwood. Each week, “Children of Song” features interviews with artists who were exposed to the music business through their famous parents, as well as performers who began playing music at an early age. The artists share their backstories and the inspiration behind many of their biggest hits, as well as sing their most memorable songs that highlight those remarkable journeys. Guests featured on the show include: Vince and Jenny Gill, Lorrie Morgan, Pam Tillis, the Orbison boys, Kristin Chenoweth, David Cassidy, Neil Sedaka, Steve Cropper, Felix Cavaliere, and many more.
St. Louis Protest Violence, California Sanctuary State Bill, Irma and Harvey Aftermath/Climate Change Debate, North Korea Sanctions/Trump at UN, Harvard-Chelsea Manning Controversy, Emmy Awards, MLB Playoff Push, College Football, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The arrest of more than 80 after three days of protests in St. Louis after the acquittal of former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley; California’s move to pass a bill making it a “sanctuary state”; the social and political effects of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey and the related debate over man-made climate change; the sanctions levied against North Korea, Kim Jong Un’s threats against the U.S., and President Trump’s appearance at the UN this week; criticism of Harvard University for naming Chelsea Manning a visiting fellow; Sunday evening’s politically laden Emmy Awards show; the MLB’s playoff push; the weekend’s college football games; and Sunday’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend.
BFoA Golf Tourney Raises $250,000. Last week’s Celebrity Golf Tournament benefitting the Broadcasters Foundation of America raised $250,000 to help broadcasters in need. This year, the annual fundraiser took place at Sleepy Hollow Country Club in Briarcliff Manor, New York. BFoA chairman Dan Mason states, “The funds come at a time when more broadcasters than ever are in need of emergency assistance. Our colleagues braved dangerous winds and rain from these massive hurricanes to remain on the air, broadcasting vital, life-saving news and information to their communities. It is up to us to help these dedicated broadcasters now, in their time of need.”
Renee Brady Passes at 68. Media figure Renee Brady, wife of radio industry pro Bill Brady (currently CEO of Futures & Options, Inc.) died recently at age 68 after a battle with cancer. Renee Brady was an “acclaimed astrologer with an impressive media career. She hosted radio programs in the New York, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach markets and appeared on hundreds of radio programs across the country. Her work would also take her to London and the U.K. where she was seen on the nationwide Channel 4 Network and heard on BBC Radio.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Minneapolis radio personality Tom Barnard is being sued by the estate of his late attorney, Ron Rosenbaum. The Ron Rosenbaum Trust – led by his widow Lucy Quinlivan – alleges that Barnard is in violation of his contract with Rosenbaum that requires him to pay five percent of his salary to Rosenbaum through the duration of the contract, which is the end of 2019. Rosenbaum died in May of 2016. Barnard made payments to Rosenbaum, and then the Trust, from January 2015 through February of 2017 for Rosenbaum’s work negotiating Barnard’s current contract with rock KQRS. KSTP-TV reports that Barnard attorney Chris Madel says, “Tom Barnard has done so many charitable things, not only for the Rosenbaum family but for others in the community. To me, this is sad someone else is trying to take advantage of him like this.”…..Radio management pro Lori Heerden joins Alpha Media’s San Jose duo as market manager. She’ll oversee classic hits KBAY “Bay FM 94.5” and hot AC KEZR “Mix 106.” During her career, Heerden has served with CBS RADIO, Beasley Media Group, Americom, and EZ Communications…..KRRL, Los Angeles “REAL 92.3” announces the lineup for its annual “The REAL Show” hip hop concert event. It takes places at The Forum on November 18 and performers will include: J. Cole, French Montana, Yo Gotti, Cardi B, Jessie Reyez, Zoey Dollaz and Cozz, with a special performance from Young California…..Connoisseur Media Connecticut launches alternative rock “Mod 102.3” on FM translator W272DO, fed by WPLR’s HD2 channel. Connoisseur Connecticut operations manager Keith Dakin is programming the station. The company says it made the decision to bring current alternative music to the signal after an extensive music study for sister stations in the New Haven market. The study showed a clear void for the format, making it a natural fit to launch “Mod” on 102.3. Station personalities include Ed Oliveira and Christian Turnquist. Tristan Haller is handling the marketing for “Mod.”
PPM Analysis: Rhythmic CHR. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the fourth and final analysis of radio station performances based on data from the August 2017 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio, focusing on rhythmic CHR. Kinosian reports that “only about three of every 10 rhythmic CHR panelists are up July 2017 to August 2017 (29%, 6+), while more than half (55%) are down; the remaining 16% of the sample is flat.” He adds that comparisons of August 2016 to August 2017 pretty much mirror the month to month changes; 60% of rhythmic CHR stations in the sample are down year-over-year. Entercom’s WJMH, Greensboro is the rhythmic CHR station that ranks highest in its respective market, ranking #3 in August. See the whole report here.