Beasley WMJX-WBZ-FM Exchange Is Complete. The asset exchange between Beasley Broadcast Group and Entercom Communications, in which Beasley gave hot AC WMJX, Boston and $12 million cash to Entercom in exchange for sports talk WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub,” is complete. Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley comments, “The addition of WBZ-FM to our broadcast portfolio highlights Beasley’s focus on premium local programming and content and is complementary to our five other radio stations and digital operations in the Boston market. Throughout Beasley Broadcast Group’s 56-year history, we have actively managed our station portfolio with the goal of serving the communities where we operate with the best local programming and brands, diversifying our operations, managing risk and improving financial results. The addition of WBZ-FM to our portfolio addresses all of these strategic objectives as it strengthens our company’s presence and commitment to locally originated content in the Boston market.”
WABC, New York’s Curtis Sliwa Says Goal Is to Be on the Radio for Christmas. The WABC, New York radio personality recently underwent an eight-hour surgical procedure for Crohn’s disease that resulted in the removal of half of his small intestines and half of his large intestines. Curtis Sliwa tells TALKERS magazine, “I am now taking fentanyl for the pain relief – which is 10 times more powerful than morphine. The goal – as I continue to receive blood transfusions and get fed through an IV – is to be home for Christmas. The surgeons all said that they would be home for Christmas with their families and they agreed that the goal for me should be likewise. Many of our listeners on Christmas have only their terrestrial radio as their friends. Many are older, single, or are shut-ins. Without radio they would be super-depressed. It is for some their only friend. This Christmas will mark 27 years in talk radio for me. I will do a live program with my family on air and in the WABC studios. I’m lucky to be alive and I want to share my Christmas with all those who have no one to share their Christmas with.”
CBS Sports Radio Network to Launch New ‘Taz and the Moose’ Morning Show. The new “Taz and the Moose” show will replace the current “Gio and Jones” program in the 6:00 am to 9:00 am daypart on the network. CBS SPORTS RADIO says the new block of “entertaining, energetic, and engaging sports talk” will be anchored by professional wrestling world heavyweight champion and popular podcast host Taz, a.k.a. Pete Senerchia, and CBS SPORTS RADIO talent and TV host Marc “The Moose” Malusis. Gregg Giannotti of “Gio and Jones” is joining Boomer Esiason for mornings on WFAN, New York, effective in January. CBS SPORTS RADIO director of programming Eric Spitz states, “We’re extremely excited for the debut of ‘Taz and the Moose.’ As the host of an extremely successful podcast, Taz has done an amazing job of transitioning from a successful career as a professional wrestler into sports broadcasting. Moose has hosted two popular weekend shows on CBS SPORTS RADIO since our launch five years ago. I know he is ready for this opportunity.”
Michael Harrison Says “Radio Is Now a State of Mind” in TechRepublic Video. According to TALKERS founder Michael Harrison, the culturally iconic paradigm of “radio” being a closed system consisting of a production company that produces and broadcasts a linear procession of scheduled programs in standardized parcels of time from a local building via a transmitter and tower to a specialized appliance with the capacity of AM/FM reception on a specific frequency licensed by the government is a limited and archaic definition of the term as it applies to the process of popular news, sports and entertainment audio broadcasting in the modern era. In an exclusive video interview conducted by CBS Interactive senior reporter Dan Patterson for Tech Republic posted yesterday (12/19), Harrison says the aforementioned system still has some life in it in terms of audience and revenue but it is increasingly fading on both counts with each passing year in the digital era. It is being replaced by the digital extensions of the original concept that include podcasting, on demand programming and a multi-channel array of branded programs that enjoy the non-standardized and unlimited manipulation of space and time. Harrison says the traditional concept of “radio” that most of its practitioners and fans grew up with is now basically “a state of mind” that simply influences the spirit and flavor of a far more diverse set of products and listening methods. The challenge facing the radio business at this time is dealing with stifling debt accrued during the waning years of the analogue era while comfortably transitioning into a digital revenue model. “The digital age has made it difficult for all media that sells advertising to evolve into the new business model,” Harrison says. “It’s much more difficult to sell advertising for the same amount of money.” He adds, “We haven’t really come up with a way yet to comfortably embed advertising into the digital space. It’s very obtrusive. It’s annoying.” Harrison suggests, “For radio shows to be successful in today’s digital age, they must target an audience that is underserved and passionate about a particular topic and then gain credibility with them. All of the content must be pertinent, good, and credible for people to believe in it.” Harrison sums it up, “The good news for people looking to get into the radio business is that it’s easier than ever to get your foot in the door with the technology that is available today. However, the bad news is that it’s much more difficult to fight through the noise to make your voice heard and brand gain traction. For just engaging an audience, the bar has never been higher.” To view the interview in its entirety, please click here.
GOP Tax Reform Plan, Amtrak Crash, North Korea Nukes/WannaCry, Trump Approval Rating/Hillary Favorable Rating, Jerusalem Capital Recognition, Sexual Misconduct Cases, California Wildfires, and NFL and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/19). The Senate passes the Republican tax reform plan; the investigation into the deadly Amtrak crash in Washington state; North Korea’s nuclear threats and the U.S. government’s blaming the hermit kingdom for the WannaCry computer virus; President Trump’s approval rating sinks to 35% and Hillary Clinton’s favorability rating dips to 36%; U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley warns nations U.S. is “taking names” of those voting for resolution against U.S. recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital; the ongoing discussion about sexual misconduct; the status of the Southern California wildfires; and NFL and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming changes take place at Radio One’s Philadelphia operation as urban contemporary WRNB adds new drive time shows. Beginning January 4, “The Quincy Harris Morning Show with K Foxx” and “The DL Hughley Show” join the roster for mornings and afternoons, respectively. Radio One says Quincy Harris is returning to radio after 15 years. He’s been serving with WTXF-TV, Philadelphia “FOX 29” on the “Good Day Philadelphia” show. Now, after two seasons on that program, Harris is hosting his own “FOX 29” show “The Q” weekdays at 12:00 noon. A statement from the company says, “For the past two years, WRNB programming has ranked 13th to 16th in the 25-54 demo. Although we share in our listeners’ admiration for our impacted talent, as this change wasn’t easy for us either, it is critical that we take calculated risks to re-imagine and reposition this station for long-term success. Radio One’s commitment to the Black community is unwavering. In fact, it is the impetus for our changes and the passion that drives our work daily.”…..At Riviera Broadcasting’s adult contemporary KOAI, Sun City West/K235CB, Chandler “Oasis 95.1 & 94.9” (Phoenix market), Monica Nelson returns to the station to host the 12:00 noon to 5:00 pm show. Director of operations Marc Young comments, “We are excited to welcome Monica back to our company after a brief hiatus. Monica is beloved for her sincere connection to the community and her fans. Her wit, humor, and real-life experiences will once again be enriching the Phoenix radio airwaves.”…..WAY-FM, Louisville adds Ben Smith as community impact director/operations coordinator. Smith has most recently served with Thy Word Radio Network in Evansville, Indiana…..iHeartMedia names Pedro Javier González has been SVP of programming for iHeartLatino. González reports to Enrique Santos, chairman and chief creative officer for iHeartLatino and Brad Hardin, EVP and general manager for iHeartMedia’s national programming group.