Archive for October, 2017
Beasley’s Q3 Pro Forma Net Revenue Flat. Pro forma net revenue for the third quarter of 2017 was flat at $58.7 million, a comparison to the same period in 2016. Actual third quarter numbers for Beasley Media Group show net revenue for the third quarter of 2017 at $58.9 million versus $27.7 million during the same period in 2016. As the company points out, “On November 1, 2016, Beasley acquired 18 radio stations (net of divestitures) (‘the Greater Media stations’). The actual results presented herein reflect the Company’s legacy Beasley Broadcast Group broadcasting and digital operations and the results from the acquired Greater Media stations. On January 6, 2017 the Company completed the sale of WFNZ-AM and three Greater Media stations in Charlotte. On May 1, 2017 the Company completed the sale of six stations in Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville. The pro-forma results presented herein reflect the Company’s legacy Beasley Broadcast Group broadcasting and digital operations and the results from the Greater Media stations, excluding the aforementioned Charlotte and Greenville-New Bern-Jacksonville stations, as if the transaction had been completed on January 1, 2016.” Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley comments, “The operating and financial benefits of the Greater Media transaction are becoming more visible as we continue making progress on our synergy realization and integration initiatives, which are focused on driving SOI margin expansion. Pro forma net revenues were flat compared to the prior year period, despite the non-recurrence of $0.6 million in political revenue, while we reduced pro forma station operating expenses by 5.2% or $2.3 million…Throughout the third quarter, we continued to actively manage our local radio broadcasting platform while implementing our operating disciplines at the acquired Greater Media stations. We remain focused on strong local programming to support our goals of ratings and market leadership. Revenue at Beasley’s combined clusters rose 0.1% in the third quarter, outperforming the overall markets, which declined 0.8% according to Miller Kaplan. Of particular note, our Detroit cluster generated double-digit revenue increases and our Philadelphia cluster rebounded from a transition-related revenue decline earlier this year to an increase of 1% in the third quarter. These increases were offset by declines in our Tampa, Charlotte and Las Vegas clusters.”
John DePetro Leaves WADK, Remains on WNRI in Rhode Island. Longtime Providence, Rhode Island talk show host John DePetro announces some changes to where his show can be heard in the Ocean State. Since the beginning of the year – after exiting Cumulus Media’s WPRO-AM/WEAN-FM – DePetro has been heard on WADK, Newport. Shortly thereafter, DePetro began airing his show on WNRI, Woonsocket. Now, DePetro announces that he’s leaving WADK and expanding his program on WNRI. He says his show will now air live from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. “The time change will allow me to pursue other projects I am working on. WNRI is 95.1 FM and AM 1380. My sponsors are all happy and the listeners are excited.”
Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan to Receive IBJ Award. The annual Mike Carroll Award is bestowed by the Indianapolis Business Journal in honor of a community member who has demonstrated the qualities of determination, humility and devotion to the central Indiana community as exhibited by former Indy deputy mayor and civic leader Mike Carroll. This year Emmis Communications founder, chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan will receive the award at the IBJ’s upcoming “Engage Indiana” event on Friday, December 8. IBJ publisher and president Greg Morris says, “Jeff Smulyan’s contributions to central Indiana extend far beyond what he has achieved at Emmis Communications. He cares deeply about the community and as a result is always happy to help out organizations large and small.”
Hollins Named Research Director at Jacobs Media. Media research pro Jason Hollins is joining Jacobs Media as research director. The company says that Hollins will work closely with Fred and Paul Jacobs to lead its expanding research initiatives in radio, digital media and beyond. Hollins has spent his entire career with Edison Research, including 12 years as vice president. Fred Jacobs states, “We are proud and excited to bring someone of Jason’s talent and experience to the Jacobs Media team. He’s spent nearly two decades working in radio and media research, both broadcast and digital, and has been integral in helping a vast array of companies better understand their current consumers, as well as helping them stay ahead of the curve on emerging media.”
Mueller Investigation Charges/Clinton-DNC Funding of Russia Dossier; GOP Tax Reform Bill; North Korea Nuclear Threats; Spain-Catalan Independence Battle; Dodgers-Astros World Series; NCAA Football; and NFL Anthem Protests-Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Special counsel investigator Robert Mueller announces filing of first charges in investigation into Russian attempts to influence the U.S. election and last week’s news that the Clinton campaign and the DNC funded the Trump-Russia dossier; the Republican tax reform bill; North Korea’s threats of nuclear attacks on the U.S.; Catalan’s declaration of independence from Spain; the Los Angeles Dodgers-Houston Astros World Series; Saturday’s college football action; and Sunday’s NFL anthem protests and the game action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
An Oral History of Sex on Talk Radio. This week’s edition of the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” is an information-packed sizzler. Joining the TALKERS founder is notable spoken-word radio newcomer (and “romantic boutique” owner) Beth Liebling who hosts a truly groundbreaking, weekend sex talk show, “Love and Laughter with Beth” on, of all things, a sports station – ESPN 97.5 FM, Houston (KFNC owned by Gow Communications). Actually, the podcast is built around a conversation between the two that took place on Liebling’s show where Harrison appeared as her guest this past weekend. Harrison and Liebling talk with remarkable candor about the changing role of sex talk down through the decades on licensed broadcast media subject to FCC regulations. They talk about changing community standards, taboo words, and the evolving societal attitude about sex as reflected on what has commonly been referred to as the “public airwaves.” The conversation includes discussion of such names as Lenny Bruce, George Carlin, Howard Stern, Leslie Gold, Bill Balance, Dr. Laura Schlessinger, Dr. Joy Browne, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, Dr. Drew Pinsky, Dr. Daliah Wachs, and more. Reflecting upon the podcast, Harrison says, “What Beth Liebling is doing on her little weekend show is indeed groundbreaking and, if nothing else, the radio industry should know about her. We had a heck of a 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.
Investigative Reporter and Former Talk Show Host Mark Shaw Weighs in on Released JFK Files. Investigative reporter, author, and former radio talker Mark Shaw, author of the best-selling book about the untimely death of ‘50s/’60s media icon Dorothy Kilgallen, The Reporter Who Knew Too Much: The Mysterious Death of What’s My Line TV Star and Media Icon Dorothy Kilgallen (Post Hill Press/Simon and Schuster, 2016), tells TALKERS founder Michael Harrison this morning (10/30) that he is disappointed at the limited information being made available by this first round of released government files containing information about the JFK assassination as it pertains to the widespread suspected connection to Kilgallen’s death. In an audio conversation with Harrison, he discusses his findings, suspicions, and expectations. According to Harrison, “Mark Shaw has done a fantastic job of digging into the story of one of the most important-but-largely-forgotten multi-media figures of 20th century talk radio and newspaper journalism – Dorothy Kilgallen. If there is the possibility of a cover up pertaining to the murder of JFK, you can be sure she had gotten to the bottom of it.” To listen to the conversation between Harrison and Shaw, please click here.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Retired Topeka, Kansas radio personality Marlena Adkinson was inducted into the Kansas Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame. Adkinson spent all 41 years of her career at Alpha Media’s country KTPK-FM. She has served in traffic, news, production, promotions, and programming. At the time of her retirement in March, she was the production director and midday personality…..CBS RADIO is presenting an electric roster of New Year’s Eve weekend shows at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Beginning Friday, December 29 and lasting into the early morning hours of 2018, the company will present four shows headlined by Foo Fighters, Duran Duran, and Zac Brown Band, with a special performance by Sir Rosevelt…..Beasley Media Group’s Charlotte stations – country WSOC, CHR WNKS “Kiss 95.1,” hip hop WPEG “Power 98,” urban contemporary WBAV “V 101.9,” classic hits WXRC/W234BY “94.7 SMOKE,” adult contemporary WKQC “K 104.7” – are partnering with Hendrick Automotive Group and Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina to host a massive food backpack collection on Saturday (11/4). The event benefits local children in need of weekend meals. Employees from the six Beasley Media Charlotte stations and Hendricks Automotive Group will come together to fill more than 1,000 backpacks with nutritious, easy-to-prepare and ready-to-eat, non-perishable food items for children who do not have regular access to food outside of school…..SiriusXM is preparing to launch eight commercial-free holiday music channels on Wednesday (11/1). The channels will offer listeners a variety of traditional holiday songs, classical Christmas carols, country Christmas classics, contemporary holiday tunes, soul music, Hanukkah music and Latin seasonal music.
iHeartMedia and Debt Holders Continue to Negotiate But Differences Remain. The biggest hurdle in resolving the massive debt that iHeartMedia is shouldering is that the group of lenders led by Franklin Resources is seeking a pre-packaged bankruptcy that would leave senior bondholders and term loan lenders with the bulk of the shares of the radio and outdoor businesses. But, iHM wants to restructure about $15.5 billion of the $20 billion of debt out of court. iHM’s counter-offer reportedly includes about 50% equity in iHeartMedia and an even greater stake in Clear Channel Outdoor, but no “pre-pack.” The New York Post reports that “one person close to the talks said, with the current proposal not being well received, there is a 75 percent chance of a court-supervised restructuring.” The Wall Street Journal says that where the two sides are in agreement is that senior creditors holding some $12.8 billion in priority guarantee notes and term loans would receive between $6 billion and $7 billion in new secured notes.
CBS News Radio Reveals New Programming at First-Ever Upfront Presentation. This is the first upfront presentation – taking place at the CBS Broadcast Center in NYC – by CBS News Radio to advertising executives and it includes the unveiling of new original news, finance and entertainment programming. Among the new offerings that will launch on January 1, 2018 are: daily one-minute features from CBS Television programs “Entertainment Tonight,” “Inside Edition,” “The Doctors,” “Dr. Phil,” and “Rachael Ray”; a daily one-minute feature and a two-hour weekend show hosted by CBS News business analyst Jill Schlesinger called “Jill on Money”; a one-minute feature and two-hour weekend show produced by veterans for veterans and their families called “Eye on Veterans”; and a new 90-second commentary from Dave Ross. CBS News CFO Charles Pavlounis comments, “We’re excited to share these new and exclusive program offerings, as well as our continuing lineup of original reporting with our colleagues in the advertising community and our affiliate stations. These programs allow our affiliated stations to deliver original, engaging content to their dedicated listeners, while our clients are able to gain maximum exposure for their messages on news, talk and music formats around the country.” “Welcome Home” is the theme of the upfront event that is being co-hosted with Skyview Networks, the distribution, inventory management and sales partner of CBS News Radio.
Townsquare Media Signs Kevin Miller to Four-Year Extension. Talk radio pro Kevin Miller will continue serving as brand manager and morning drive personality at Townsquare Media’s KIDO, Boise for the next four years after signing a contract renewal with the station. The station says, “For Miller, radio is community, using his daily show and digital platform to find solutions for the many Treasure Valley community needs. He’s been known to go ‘all in’ on issues dear to his heart, including a week-long, live-in fundraising campaign for the Canyon County Animal Shelter when it faced the threat of closure. The ‘Kevin In the Kennel’ live broadcast was nationally recognized by Rachael Ray and the ASPCA, resulting in a $25,000 donation to save the shelter and thousands in pet adoptions.” Townsquare SVP Kevin Godwin comments, “Kevin Miller epitomizes what we look for in live and local talent. His work ethic, his commitment to providing quality local content to our audience and his ability to connect to those things most important to the community is second to none. The extraordinary current political, financial and cultural events of the time demand experience and a greater commitment to our listeners, advertisers, and the business community at large. I’m certain Kevin and ‘KIDO Talk Radio’ will continue to deliver on that commitment.”
Bob Ramsey Returns to St. Louis Airwaves on KTRS. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Dan Caesar reports that market sports media figure Bob Ramsey is returning to the radio after an absence of about 18 months. He’s joining the KTRS evening show hosted by sports director Brendan Wiese. It airs from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm and Ramsey is expected to be a co-host “two or three times a week.” Post-Dispatch sports columnist Ben Frederickson is also joining the program. Caesar reports that Ramsey has been working with crosstown KFNS owner Randy Markel as a “point man for a youth baseball complex…Markel is trying to develop near the Lake of the Ozarks.” Read the Post-Dispatch piece here.
TALKERS News Notes. The Sporting News’ Michael McCarthy is reporting that there are more job cuts on the horizon for ESPN – including the radio division – and the reason is the need for cost-cutting. McCarthy’s report says between 40 and 60 positions could be eliminated in late November or early December and that they could be both on-air TV/radio people and production staffers…..Legendary sports media figure Dan Patrick is getting his name on an institute of higher learning, specifically, his partnership with Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida will open the Dan Patrick School of Sportscasting at the college. Through the school, students will be able to earn undergraduate bachelor degrees. The FOX Sports Radio and NBC Sports personality consummated the deal via his agents at Playbook, Inc. Patrick is expected to call on his numerous contacts in the industry to participate in guest teaching roles…..Jacobs Media’s Seth Resler is launching a new podcast dedicated to the renaissance of Detroit titled, “The D Brief.” With co-host and local stand-up comic Mike Geeter, Resler will focus on the arts and entertainment scene, covering everything from concerts to comedy to film, festivals, food and drink. Fred Jacobs comments, “When Seth first moved to Detroit to join Jacobs Media, he took a six-month lease. He never envisioned living here permanently, but fell in love with Detroit. He’s been a podcaster since the early days, and marrying his passion for the Motor City with his podcasting skills is a perfect match.”
Trump Tax Cuts Top News/Talk Story for Week of October 23-27. The tax reform proposal from the Trump Administration and the GOP was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the Clinton campaign and DNC funded Trump-Russia dossier story. Coming in at #3 was the variety of sexual harassment accusations being leveled against various public figures, followed by the Obama Adminstration’s deal with Russia-backed Uranium One at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. View this week’s entire chart here.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Boston triple A WXRV “The River” names Massachusetts native Annalisa its new afternoon drive host. Annalisa previously spent 20 years in the Bay Area hosting the midday show at Cumulus Media’s triple A KFOG. In the Boston market, she’s also served with rock WAAF and hosted the morning show at classic rock WZLX. WXRV general manager Donald St. Sauveur states, “Annalisa’s such a wonderful talent and a passionate professional. She has an encyclopedic knowledge of the thousands of artists and bands that ‘The River’ features on a daily basis. She shares stories about the songs that are the soundtrack of our audience’s lives in an irreverent and witty way that’s authentic and approachable.”…..Rock KISW, Seattle is presenting its third annual “Live Day” at the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma on November 16. On this “Live Day,” both the morning drive “BJ & Migs” and the PM drive “The Men’s Room” will be performed completely live – nothing at all will be recorded – commercials, sound effects, nor music. The show hosts will be assisted by a cast of local musicians, Foley artists (the ones who make sound effects), and comedians. Entercom Seattle VP, programming and operations Dave Richards states, “Doing two full shows completely live clearly wasn’t enough of a challenge for KISW. This year, we’ll take ‘Live Day’ to a full stage production in front of a live audience.”…..Beasley Media Group announces Gregory Simonson is named the general sales manager for the company’s Fayetteville, North Carolina cluster that includes: adult contemporary WAZZ, country WKML, urban contemporary WZFX, rhythmic oldies WUKS, and adult hits WFLB. Most recently, Simonson has been Southeast regional VP at Inc.’s iAd division…..Milwaukee’s hot AC WMYX “99.1 The Mix” hopes to cheer up Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers – out for the season nursing a broken collarbone – by getting fans to sign the banner you see at left being held by morning show hosts Elizabeth and Radar…..WAY Media Network program director Todd Stach announces that Steve Shore is named network music director. Shore is a WAY Media and Christian music radio industry pro, having served in various roles at WAY-FM for the past 15 years. He will continue his role as assistant network program director while adding music director duties.
Freddie ‘Boom Boom’ Cannon on KTHO, Lake Tahoe. Rock ‘n’ roll legend Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon (right) is pictured in the studios of KTHO, South Lake Tahoe, California with the station’s Insane Darryll Wayne (left). Wayne says, “Freddy’s latest single, ‘Svengoolie Stomp is fangtastic! Boom Boom’s stories of Elvis, Frank, Led Zeppelin, and of course MeTV Horror host Svengoolie, lit up our airwaves. Freddy ‘Boom Boom’ Cannon, creeps it real.”
Will November 16 Be the Day the Radio-Newspaper Cross-Ownership Ban Dies? Testifying before the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Communications and Technology yesterday, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai explained that serval proposals to ease regulations on broadcasters will be taken up at the Commission’s November 16 Open Meeting, the cross-ownership ban among them. Radio operators and newspapers have long sought to end the ban on cross-ownership of their media platforms and it seems likely – with a 3-2 Republican majority on the Commission – that the 42-year-old rule will be eliminated. Arguing that the rule – designed to ensure a diversity of news sources for consumers – is outdated, Pai told the subcommittee, “If you believe as I do that the federal government has no business intervening in the news, then we must stop the federal government from intervening in the news business.” Pai said the media landscape has changed dramatically over the years and pointed to Google and Facebook and an example of that. “Online competition for the collection and distribution of news is greater than ever and just two internet companies claim 100% of recent online advertising growth. Indeed, their digital ad revenue this year alone will be greater than the market cap of the entire broadcasting industry.”
Westwood One Unveils Radio’s First ROI Guarantee. In an effort to build confidence in the power of radio to give a return on investment to advertisers, Westwood One is announcing the “first-ever, industry-wide ROI Guarantee in the audio space based upon irrefutable evidence of radio’s powerful return on advertising spend.” WW1 says that “the results, as proven by Nielsen, have continually shown exceptionally strong evidence of radio’s positive ROI across 23 national studies measuring sales results for multiple brand category campaigns.” The press release explains how the program works. “Westwood One will partner with qualifying clients to accomplish their business objectives. Additionally, because campaign creative influences 50% of sales lift, the commercial creative will be pre-tested and benchmarked against industry audio creative test norms to ensure consumer impact and resonance. Nielsen will measure return on advertising spend on behalf of the radio campaign, which includes all media that run across the entire broadcast radio landscape, as well as Westwood One, by matching Media Monitors ad occurrences with Portable People Meter listening, Nielsen credit card data and in-store CPG purchase data from Nielsen Catalina Solutions. If ROI is not positive, Westwood One will run no-cost supplemental media weight sufficient to deliver the guaranteed ROI.” Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes says, “We have seen stunning radio ROI data across the board and are convinced of radio’s ability to generate a positive return, so much so that we are offering the ROI Guarantee to our advertisers. Given secular trends across the media landscape, brands are deeply concerned over ad fraud, viewability, and questionable metrics. Marketers demand solutions that reach their target customers and generate results. The Westwood One ROI Guarantee elevates radio as the measurable mass reach medium that, simply put, delivers.”
Cumulus Offers Preliminary Operating Results for Third Quarter. Ahead of the November 9 release of official financial figures and the subsequent investor conference call, Cumulus Media is presenting some “preliminary operating results” along with some commentary from CEO Mary Berner. Today’s press release says the company expects to report net revenue in a range of $286 million to $288 million with net income in a range of a loss of $0.3 million to a gain of $1.7 million…Adjusted EBITDA performance for the three months ended September 30, 2017 is expected to show growth in a range of 3% to 6% year-over-year. Berner states, “The strong preliminary results for the third quarter provide further evidence that our turnaround plan is taking hold. We are encouraged by our continuing operating and financial momentum in the face of negative industry trends. This quarter, we delivered our seventh straight quarter of ratings share growth at the station group along with revenue share gains for our fifth straight quarter at the station group and third straight quarter at Westwood One. Most importantly, it was the second straight quarter of year-over-year growth in revenue and Adjusted EBITDA. While the company has ample cash to operate our business, Cumulus continues to be constrained by an excessive debt load. With the assistance of outside advisors, we are proactively exploring a range of alternatives with our lenders and noteholders to restructure the balance sheet and reduce debt. Our objective is to be able to redirect more of our time and resources to where they can have the greatest impact on our future – investing in our employees, in key technologies and in initiatives that drive growth.”
SiriusXM Q3 Revenue Up 8%. Reporting on third quarter results, SiriusXM announces that its revenue for the period was up 8% over the same period a year ago. Revenue for the quarter was $1.4 billion. The company reports, “Net income totaled $276 million in the third quarter 2017, up 42% from $194 million in the third quarter 2016….free cash flow in the third quarter 2017 grew 22% to $434 million, compared to $357 million in the third quarter 2016.” SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer states, “SiriusXM delivered a very strong third quarter despite headwinds from slowing auto sales and the impact of severe weather in many parts of the United States. We recorded our best-ever quarter for adjusted EBITDA and its corresponding margin — which reached 39.9%. SiriusXM is pleased to once again raise our full-year guidance for revenue, adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow. In September, we also completed our $480 million strategic investment in Pandora and recently announced a 10% hike in our quarterly dividend.” SiriusXM says total subscribers reached 32.2 million during the quarter and 27 million self-paying subscribers.
Radio Talent to Appear on C-Endorsement Videos for Cumulus. The power of radio talent endorsements is being harnessed by Cumulus Media for its C-Endorsement Videos – “local personality-branded video endorsements will appear as pre-roll video ads before content on popular and reputable third-party websites visited by consumers within a local advertiser’s specific target audience including age, gender, geography, and behavioral characteristics.” Cumulus VP, digital operations and business development Larry Linietsky states, “Radio personality endorsements are effective marketing solutions because of the trusted relationship listeners have with their favorite local DJs and hosts. With audiences spending up to four hours every day with these personalities, research shows that nearly 80% trust on-air personalities like friends. Given the combination of the time spent and the trust built, it is no wonder that over 50% of the audience reports their favorite personalities influence their opinions. Now is the perfect time to harness the tremendous influence our talent has with local audiences into the digital world via C-Endorsement Videos as part of the growing Cumulus Digital C-Suite.”
Sean Hannity Executive Producer of Faith-Themed Film, Let There Be Light. Actor and director Kevin Sorbo tells FOX News about his new film called, Let There Be Light, a production involving FOX News Channel and Premiere Networks superstar Sean Hannity. Sorbo tells FOX that he and Hannity have known each other for years and Hannity approached him about doing a project together because he likes Sorbo’s movies. Sorbo says the protagonist is an atheist who undergoes a transformation after the death of his son and his failed marriage. Hannity calls the film a real-life emotional rollercoaster. “If you want to avoid the typical formulaic Hollywood movie model of sex, violence and cartoon characters and watch a movie that can truly impact your life, this is the movie for you and your entire family.” See the FOX News piece here.
Menendez Promoted at WGN, Chicago. Windy City news pro Stephanie Menendez is being promoted by Tribune news/talk WGN to director of news and operations for the station. Menendez joined the station in 2008 as a producer. She then was elevated to executive producer, assistant program director and operations manager. She is quoted saying, “I am excited for this opportunity to lead our news team as we continue to curate strong content 24/7. We have the best team of journalists, hosts and producers in the city and I look forward to seeking innovative ways to further expand WGN Radio’s presence in the digital space.” WGN vice president of content & programming Todd Manley states, “Stephanie has the zest our team needs to tell remarkable Chicago stories. Every day I’m grateful for the way she leads and collaborates.”
NPR Seeing Growth in Content Consumption. It wasn’t that long ago that The Current, the trade publication that reports on public media, wrote a piece detailing the listenership woes the content provider was experiencing: an aging listenership to NPR Member stations and five years of declining listenership to its morning and afternoon programs. That article was published in October of 2015. Today, NPR is gleefully reporting that via radio, podcast listenership and visits to NPR.org, it is reaching 99 million people per month. Moreover, NPR states that, based on spring 2017 numbers from Nielsen Audio, “the total weekly listeners for all programming on NPR stations reached an all-time high of 37.7 million.” The Fall 2016 election cycle brought a lot of listeners to news and news/talk radio stations. NPR says it still isn’t seeing any falloff almost one year later. “Both ‘Morning Edition’ and ‘All Things Considered’ retained the remarkable growth seen during the Fall 2016 election cycle. Their weekly audience is at 14.63 million and 14.6 million listeners, respectively. NPR is also happy with its younger demos, reporting that 28% of all 25-54 year olds listened to an NPR Member station at least once a month, 16% listened at least once a week, and 6% of all 25-54 listened at least once a day.” Read more here.
Clinton-DNC Trump Dossier Case, Trump Tax Overhaul, Sexual Harassment Accusations, North Korea Nuclear Threats, Uranium One Investigation, Deadly Niger Ambush, and MLB World Series Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/25). The revelation that the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee funded the Trump-Russia dossier; the Trump-GOP tax overhaul process; the numerous public allegations of sexual harassment; North Korea’s nuclear threats against the U.S.; the investigation into the Obama Administration’s deal with Russia-backed Uranium One and whether the Clinton Foundation benefitted from the deal; the aftermath of the ambush on U.S. troops in Niger that left four dead; and the Dodgers-Astros World Series were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
WHO, Des Moines’ Van Harden and Bonnie Lucas Spend Night in Scariest Place Ever. Pictured here are WHO, Des Moines morning personalities Van Harden (right) and Bonnie Lucas (left) broadcasting from the place Google ranked the scariest place in America. The two spent the night in the Villisca, Iowa home of the Moore family who, along with two house guests, were bludgeoned to death with an axe in 1912. The killer(s) of the eight victims were never found. Harden tells TALKERS, “Very odd things have been happening in the house ever since the murders. We were not allowed to sleep on the beds, so we slept on the floor in sleeping bags, although between creepy sounds, unexplained happenings and the radio engineer’s loud snoring, there wasn’t much sleep. Axe marks still remain on the walls and the case remains unsolved. Footsteps were heard in other parts of the house when all the broadcast crew was accounted for. Weird things popped up on cell phones, including a picture of a room ceiling with 2 arms hanging out of it. And when play balls were put on the floor, they mysterious started moving on their own in different directions.”
Kelsea Ballerini Thanks the NASH Folks! Country sensation Kelsea Ballerini is pictured above on the NASH Campus of Cumulus Media in Nashville presenting a platinum record in recognition of her debut album, The First Time (Black River Group). Pictured here are (from l-r): John Shomby, NASH director of programming and PD for WKDF “NASH FM 103.3”; Ballerini; Mike McVay, EVP, content & programming, Cumulus Media and Westwood One; and John Kilgo, VP, label relations, Cumulus Media.
Pamplin to Sell News/Talk KPAM, Portland. According to a story at OregonLive.com, Pamplin Media Group is selling news/talk KPAM and adult contemporary KKOV-AM and the new owner — Intelli LLC — is expected to flip KPAM to a Vietnamese-language station. The story notes that KPAM staffers posted on social media that the sale was taking place. A call to the station connected to a recording that says the stations will spend the next three to six months (the time expected for the FCC to approve the sale) on a “farewell tour.” Pamplin also owns the Portland Tribune and a number of suburban community newspapers in the Portland area. In addition to airing syndicated programming, KPAM features the morning drive “First Edition” show with Tim Hohl and Terry Travis, and the afternoon drive show, “Afternoon Northwest” with hosts Michael Herrington and Eric Peterson.
Nielsen Reports Third Quarter Net Revenue Up 4.5%. Reporting on third quarter financial numbers, Nielsen Holdings plc says its net revenue was $1.6 billion, an increase of 4.5% over the same period in 2016. Nielsen divides its services into two segments – Watch and Buy – with ratings services under the Watch banner. Nielsen CEO Mitch Barnes states, “In Watch, Total Audience remains our priority as we drive adoption and arm our clients with the critical tools and data they need.” Revenues within the Watch segment for the third quarter of 2017 increased 10.1%, or 9.7% on a constant currency basis, to $838 million, compared to the third quarter of 2016. Excluding the acquisition of Gracenote completed on February 1, 2017, Watch revenues increased 2.4%, or 2.0% on a constant currency basis. Audience Measurement of Video and Text revenues increased 16.9%, or 16.5% on a constant currency basis. Excluding the acquisition of Gracenote, Audience Measurement of Video and Text revenues increased 5.0%, or 4.6% on a constant currency basis, primarily due to our ongoing investments and continued client adoption of our Total Audience Measurement system. Audio revenues decreased 7.3% on a reported and constant currency basis for the quarter due to timing of deliveries.
Chris Edge Promoted to Area SVP at iHeartMedia. Programmer Chris Edge is being promoted to area SVP of programming for Raleigh and Greensboro, a position in which he’ll oversee programming of 10 iHeartMedia stations, including news/talk WTKK, Raleigh and WPTI, Greensboro. Edge has been handling programming strategies for the Raleigh stations for the past five years. iHeartMedia EVP of programming for the Northeast Meg Stevens says, “Chris has had exceptional success in Raleigh and we’re thrilled he’s taking on a larger role for our brands in the area. His leadership skills and dynamic personality make him right for the job.”
Skyview to Provide Turnkey Distribution for Clemson Tigers Network. The collegiate marketing firm JMI Sports owns the multi-media rights to Clemson University sporting events. That firm has just struck a deal with Skyview Networks for the Clemson Tigers Network to use Skyview’s distribution services and satellite receivers. This includes broadcasts of Clemson football, baseball, and men’s and women’s basketball. JMI’s Scott Morris says, “The expanded distribution of Clemson’s sports programs made possible by Skyview will allow fans to follow their Tigers from across the region and beyond. We are proud to make these improvements in our first year as the multi-media rights holder for Clemson athletics.” Skyview Networks says the distribution service is a cost-effective solution for the Clemson University Tigers. It will offer the resources necessary for JMI Sports to expand their affiliate base and provide those affiliates with the most up-to-date features, including record and store technology, copy-split spot insertion, and time shifting broadcasts to fit their format.
Fourth Annual Mahindra-Limbaugh Military Salute Giveaway Taking Place. This will be the fourth year that Premiere Networks superstar Rush Limbaugh and Mahindra North America will honor Veterans Day and acknowledge the service and sacrifice of U.S. military service members via the Mahindra Military Salute Giveaway. The contest gives all active and former military service members who enter the chance to win a Mahindra 750S camo Flexhauler utility vehicle. Entries are being accepted for the utility vehicle giveaway through November 5. The winner will be selected in a random drawing on November 9, 2017. Limbaugh says, “Thanks to Mahindra, the makers of the toughest utility vehicles on Earth. And God bless each member of our military, and their families, who protect our freedom.”
TALKERS News Notes. A friendly wager is taking place between iHeartMedia talk show hosts Michael Berry and Bill Handel. Although Berry’s program is broadcast to 20-some affiliates stations, his home base is KTRH, Houston and Handel’s is KFI, Los Angeles. Since Berry loves his Houston Astros, he’s challenged Handel to a bet over the Dodgers-Astros World Series: the host whose home team loses has to send $1,000 worth of local products to the host whose team wins. Both are making appeals on social media and on air to their listeners, asking for ideas on products that represent the home city…..A number of iHeartMedia news/talk stations will be airing the podcast “Inside Psycho” as a one-hour special adapted from Wondery’s hit podcast with Mark Ramsey throughout this weekend and leading up to Halloween. Stations airing the special program include: WOR, New York; KOA, Denver; WIOD, Miami; WISN, Milwaukee and more than 70 others. iHeartMedia says this marks the first time a made-for-podcast show will air across broadcast radio, introducing podcasts to millions of new listeners…..ABC-TV’s “20/20” and ABC Radio are teaming up to present new details on the 2002 murder of Christa Worthington in Truro, Massachusetts, a crime that rocked the idyllic Cape Cod town. The reports take a look at all the evidence in the case, investigating whether the right man is behind bars. The ABC Radio six-part, podcast begins with the first episode today (10/25), hosted by ABC Radio’s Mark Remillard. The two-hour television special, “20/20: A Killing on the Cape,” airs on ABC TV on November 24.
Giordano Interviews O’Reilly. This was a live audience event and not broadcast on CBS RADIO’s WPHT, Philadelphia. WPHT talk host Dom Giordano (left) spoke with former FOX News Channel star Bill O’Reilly (right) about his newest book, Killing England (Henry Holt and Company, 2017), his time with FNC, and his future plans. O’Reilly also took questions from the sellout crowd of more than 900 at The Broadway Theater in Pitman, New Jersey.
Gallagher and Prager Lead Salem Listeners on ‘Stand with Israel’ Tour. More than 500 Salem Radio Network listeners are taking a tour of Israel, led by network talk show hosts Mike Gallagher and Dennis Prager. The trip is part of Salem’s commitment to “Stand with Israel.” Gallagher and Prager have been to Israel in the past but both say this trip has been a “life changing” one for them and their listeners. Gallagher, who is originating his talk show from Israel each day, is pictured here speaking to the group of listeners at the ancient Caesarea amphitheater.
Trump Tax Plan, Jeff Flake Campaign Decision, Trump-Corker Feud, Clinton Campaign and DNC Funded Trump Russia Dossier, North Korea Nuclear Threats, Obama DOJ Settlement Policy, Sexual Harassment-Weinstein/Toback Cases, World Series, and NFL Ratings, Anthem Protests and Games Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/24). The Trump Administration’s tax reform plan; Arizona Senator Jeff Flake’s decision not to run for re-election in 2018; the re-ignited feud between Senator Bob Corker and President Trump; the revelation that the Clinton Campaign and the Democratic National Committee funded the efforts to create the Trump-Russia dossier; North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and threats against the U.S.; the Obama Department of Justice’s policy of steering settlement monies away from organizations with conservative connections; sexual harassment and the Harvey Weinstein and James Toback cases; the Dodgers-Astros World Series; and NFL ratings, attendance, anthem protests and Sunday action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
TuneIn Names Holly Lim CFO. Digital audio service TuneIn announces it has appointed Holly Lim chief financial officer. Lim will be based at the company’s San Francisco headquarters and will oversee finance, legal, HR, workplace and corporate development. She most recently was CFO at Soundcloud and has also served with such firms as Google, Stetson, Comedy Central, and New Line Cinema.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. New York City rock radio legend Shelli Sonstein celebrates her 40th anniversary on the Big Apple airwaves by inking a new, four-year deal to continue co-hosting the “Jim Kerr Rock and Roll Morning Show” on WAXQ “Q104.3.” Sonstein recently won a Gracie Award for best radio co-host and a second one for best public affairs show. She’s been co-hosting Kerr’s program since 2003. Sonstein first partnered with Kerr on the radio on WPLJ from 1977 to 1989. Sonstein also hosts “Sonstein Sunday” and “Sonstein Sessions” on the iHeartRadio app. She also serves as an advisory board member of the Asbury Park Music & Film Festival…..iHeartMedia announces that Alex Mac is the new afternoon jock at KDXA, Des Moines “ALT 106.3” and the evening personality at KLLT, St. Louis “ALT 104.9.” He’s also going to serve as music director at KDXA. He comes to Des Moines from the company’s Richmond station group where he was evening host at “XL102.”…..Radio One promotes radio pro Tim Davies from vice president and general manager of Radio One Atlanta to regional vice president. The company says Davies’ promotion reflects “his success in talent and market management, revenue growth, and high-performance team development.” Radio One and Reach Media CEO David Kantor states, “Tim is a proven market leader who has been consistently progressive in his business acumen, sales strategy and people management skills. His steadfast leadership has continued to position our local stations and nationally syndicated shows to win. It’s a pleasure to announce his well-deserved promotion.”