Salem Media Group Q4 Broadcast Net Revenue Down 2.9%. While Salem Media Group’s total revenue decreased from $70.7 million to $67.2 million – a decrease of 4.9% — the broadcast division’s revenue dipped from $52.2 million to $50.7 million – a decline of 2.9%. For the entire year of 2017, Salem’s broadcast division net revenue was also down 2.9%, from $202 million to $196.2 million. Salem Media Group breaks its operations into broadcast, digital and publishing. In the fourth quarter of 2017, digital was down 12.8% and publishing was down 5.8%. For the whole of 2017, digital decreased 7.9% and publishing dipped 4.3%. Salem CEO Ed Atsinger says one of several factors impacting the fourth quarter decline in the broadcast segment was the lack of political advertising compared to the same period in 2016. Broadcast reported $500,000 less in that category from Q4 2016 to Q4 2017.
Neuhoff Media Debuts Sports Talker in Lafayette, Indiana. The new FM translator is being branded “101.7 The Hammer” and is fed by Neuhoff Media’s WASK-AM, Lafayette. The station airs programming from ESPN Radio but the Journal Courier reports that a local show called “The Hammer Down Show” will debut on Monday featuring former WLFI-TV Lafayette sports anchor Clayton Duffy and Jared Jesulaitis. Neuhoff VP of programming Mike Shamus is quoted saying the program will include local content plus talk about Indianapolis and Chicago sports teams. “We are excited to enter the world of local sports. We feel it is something our region has needed for a long time and we are happy to bring it to Greater Lafayette.”
iHeartMedia Moves to Sooth Inevitable Concerns During Chapter 11. As with any company that’s entering Chapter 11 intending to exit a leaner, more agile company, iHeartMedia is working to ensure staff, vendors, agency partners, etc., that it is able to conduct business as usual within the framework of bankruptcy regulations. In a FAQ sheet the company is distributing, it answers many of the questions usually asked during the bankruptcy process. For venders who do business with iHeartMedia, it notes that “we intend to continue working closely with our vendors. We can and will pay for goods delivered and services rendered after the Chapter 11 filing (called the “postpetition” period) in the normal course. In Chapter 11, amounts owed for goods delivered and services rendered after the Chapter 11 filing are deemed “administrative priority claims.” The company must pay these claims in full before it can pay any vendor/service provider expenses incurred before the Chapter 11 filing (called “prepetition” claims).”
TALKERS News Notes. Longtime television news pro Shepard Smith is staying with FOX News. He and the company are agreeing to a new multi-year deal. FOX News executive chairman Rupert Murdoch comments, “Shepard Smith is an exemplary journalist whose skill in anchoring breaking news is unrivaled. His powerful storytelling on both television and digital platforms has elevated our entire news gathering process.” Smith says, “I am incredibly proud to be part of a group of journalists who helped build the FOX News division from scratch 22 years ago and am extremely thankful for the opportunity to continue to lead our breaking news coverage for years to come.”…..WABC, New York personality Sid Rosenberg gets some ink from Newsday as he and co-host Bernard McGuirk prepare to assume the morning drive program at the station after the final “Imus in the Morning” show on March 30. He tells the paper it is “surreal” to be replacing Imus, whom he listened to as a youngster on the way to school. Read the piece here…..At Radio Vermont’s full service WDEV in Waterbury-Warren, Vermont, Dana Jewell returns to the station after 10 years working in the sales field. New owner Steve Cormier calls Jewell “a staple of WDEV for a number of years — greeting listeners each day with his friendly style. We have many listeners who remember Dana and will be happy to hear him on WDEV again.”…..Former iHeartMedia Fort Collins sales pro Jen Parker is named executive director of public radio outlet, taking over for James Lopez…..Jewish News in Arizona reports that Seth Leibsohn — one half of the “Seth and Chris Show” that airs in afternoon drive on Salem Media Group’s news/talk KKNT, Phoenix “960 The Patriot” – is running for the U.S. House in Arizona’s 9th Congressional District as a Republican. Leibsohn co-hosts the show with Chris Buskirk. Liebsohn is also an attorney and an author…..ESPN personality is launching a new podcast via ESPN Audio called “Marty Smith’s America…The Podcast.” ESPN says Smith is known for his unique storytelling style and revealing, in-depth interviews with sports figures and newsmakers on SportsCenter and other ESPN platforms.” It debuts Monday (3/19) with country music superstar Jason Aldean as the first guest…..Pictured below is ABC Radio’s Matt Friedlander (right) posing for a photo with ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons (left) after chatting about the band’s upcoming summer tour with John Fogerty.
Trump-Russia Investigation Top News/Talk Story for Week of March 12-16. The investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents 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 changes. Coming in at #3 was the Inspector General’s investigation into the FBI’s handling of the Clinton emails case and Andrew McCabe’s status, followed by the Stormy Daniels matter 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.
TALKERS magazine Presents the 2018 Edition of ‘The 100 Most Important Sports Talk Radio Hosts in America.’ This is the sixth annual edition of “The 100 Most Important Sports Talk Radio Hosts in America” from the editors of TALKERS magazine. The list, also known as the Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk, ranks sports talk radio hosts – both national and local – from 1 to 100 based on a number of hard factors, such as ratings and revenue, as well as soft factors including impact, recognition, talent and others. To qualify for inclusion on the list, hosts must be working a regularly scheduled show at a terrestrial radio station or on satellite radio at the time of its publication. See the 2018 Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk here.
Superstar Crooner Steve Tyrell Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the world’s leading purveyors of the Great American Songbook – and recent holder of the number one position on the Billboard Jazz Album Chart – Steve Tyrell is this week’s guest on the award winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Tyrell, who also hosts a daily three-hour program on KKJZ-FM (K-Jazz), Los Angeles discusses his colorful history that goes back to the early 1970s Brill Building era when he was a songwriter, producer and label A&R director, through his present-day career as a major star in the popular standards genre. This conversation, somewhat of a departure from the usual political fare, is a music-lover’s delight and not to be missed by aficionados of popular culture. Harrison says, “I loved speaking with this fascinating artist. It gave me a chance to revisit some of my old music radio chops and explore something that I have learned having been in this business for so many years – everything old is new again and nothing is inherently hip.” To listen to the entire podcast, please click here or click on “The Michael Harrison Interview” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Tallahassee radio pro Jeff Horn joins Adams Radio of Tallahassee as operations manager and program director for country WWOF “103.1 The Wolf,” taking over for Gregory “Big Moose” Juszczyk. Adams Radio Tallahassee vice president and general manager Hank Kestenbaum says, “We are thrilled to have Jeff on our team. Jeff has spent 30 years in Tallahassee radio and his prior experience in country radio and in similar positions made him the perfect candidate for us, not to mention we have a prior history together. I guess you could say we put the band back together!”…..Ashlee Sleek is appointed morning drive co-host at Bicoastal Media’s CHR KDUK, Eugene, Oregon. She’ll also serve as promotions-social media director. She takes over for Amanda McGraw, who recently exited to join KBEB, Sacramento…..In the Harrisburg market, Cumulus Media flips frequencies of two of its stations. CHR WWKL-FM (formerly known as “HOT 93.5 FM”) moves to the more powerful 106.7 FM frequency and becomes “HOT 106.7.” Accordingly, the company’s country WZCY moves to the 93.5 FM frequency and is now “93.5 NASH FM, Your Neighborhood Country.” It will adopt a more gold-based country format with core artists including Shania Twain, Carrie Underwood, Garth Brooks, Blake Shelton, and George Strait. Afternoon personality and program director Charles “Chachi” Angelo is now co-hosting the morning show with Jenna Clay. Midday personality Alex Harley moves to afternoons, followed by “NASH Nights Live” in evenings and “The Blair Garner Show” in overnights.