Archive for May, 2018
Joe D’Ambrosio Joins WTIC, Hartford Morning Show. Connecticut sports media pro Joe D’Ambrosio begins his new role with Entercom’s news/talk WTIC-AM as part of the “Mornings with Ray Dunaway” program from 5:00 am to 9:00 am, effective today (5/31). D’Ambrosio is an award-winning sportscaster who has been with WTIC for 27 years. He has been recognized with the Sports Media Association’s “Connecticut Sportscaster of the Year Award” a record nine times and is the recipient of the 2018 “Dean of Sports Award.” Entercom Hartford SVP and market manager Phil Zachary says, “Joe’s deep connection with and expertise of Connecticut’s sports landscape make him among the most respected voices in the field. We are pleased to announce this next phase of our relationship with him. Southern New England has known and respected Joe’s work for nearly three decades and we are looking forward to his full-time presence in WTIC’s masthead morning program.”
Video Game Manufacturer Looking to Partner with Talk Media Stations and Shows. Video game manufacturer, Fowl Play Entertainment, Inc. announces the release of PIGEON HIT SQUAD, an intriguing news/talk media-friendly mobile game designed for Apple and Android devices. It is a game in which players use pigeons to “fire” on a parade of annoying cartoon characters that passes underneath the birds. Proprietary software allows players to paste onto the cartoon targets their own real-life photos of anyone from “frenemies” to politicians or celebrities. The game is free to download and play. Photos cost 99 cents to upload. Broadcasters who wish to use the game as a promotion will receive an exclusive license for promotions within their market or coverage area at no charge. This license includes use of the game name, character likenesses, sfx, and original music tracks, all at no charge. For more information contact email@example.com.
NRHoF Public Voting Begins Monday. The general public will have two weeks to vote for their favorite radio personalities for induction into the National Radio Hall of Fame. Beginning Monday (6/4) and running through June 18, consumers can vote in the Music Format On-Air Personality and Spoken Word Format On-Air Personality categories. Spoken Word nominees this year are: Mark Levin, Joe Madison, George Noory, and Jim Rome. Music Format nominees are: Ellen K, Kid Kelly, Angie Martinez, and John Tesh. NRHoF chairman Kraig T. Kitchin says, “Since reinstituting the nationwide public vote in 2015, we’ve seen a tremendous increase in listener participation which is a testament to the remarkable relationship each nominee has with his or her audience.” Winners of the two categories will be announced June 25.
TALKERS News Notes. In Chicago, changes take place at Entercom’s all-news WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM. Windy City media writer Robert Feder reports that newscaster David Roe is retiring from the station where he was evening anchor after a 25-year career there. The station announces that part-time anchor/reporter Mariam Sobh will take over anchoring that daypart. At the same time, the station makes anchor/reporter Rob Hart a full-time staffer. Hart joined WBBM Newsradio two years ago after having served with Tribune’s crosstown WGN-AM…..Dan Mason tells SportsBroadcastJournal.com that he expects to make an announcement about a new sports-related venture “within the next few weeks.” Since retiring from CBS RADIO in 2015, Mason has been dabbling in his passion for sports, calling games (this past year for Coppin State University) as well as serving with the Broadcasters Foundation of America. He tells the site that the new venture is “sports business related.” Read the interview here.…..San Diego Padres radio play-by-play voice Ted Leitner is taking time off the team’s broadcasts after having been diagnosed with cancer. ESPN is reporting that Leitner is having a kidney removed and that doctors say the cancer has not spread. Tony Gwynn Jr. is filling in on game broadcasts…..AdLarge operated digital audio division cabana is declaring this “the summer of female voices,” and as such, has chosen its favorite female-hosted or female-focused podcasts from cabana’s 200 podcast catalogue and posted them in today’s medium post. cabana says the team of women to run the digital audio division based their choices on “lots of cool stats and emerging trends in audio.”…..Westwood One is reporting that the newly added podcast “83 Weeks with Eric Bischoff” – launched last month – has “rocketed to the top of the Apple Podcasts charts every week” The show features wrestling legend Eric Bischoff and popular wrestling podcaster Conrad Thompson taking a deep dive into the highs and lows of Eric’s unparalleled success in the wrestling business. Westwood One SVP of digital Tim Sabean says, “My goal is to build and acquire the Mount Rushmore of content here at the Westwood One Podcast Network. ‘83 Weeks with Eric Bischoff’ fits that role as we strive to create the best in class of podcasting!”…..High 5 Media, parent company of Dallas-based YEA Networks, announces that it has acquired a majority interest in Spoke Media, a growing podcast company based in Dallas that specializes in branded content. High 5 Media notes that Spoke Media was founded by Keith Reynolds, an award-winning audiobook director who has created audiobooks for Audible, Hachette, Harper Collins, Penguin Random House, and others. Spoke Media says its mission is to “tell great stories and provide a microphone to those who often go unheard.”
‘Roseanne’ Cancellation Controversy, North Korea Summit, Trump-Russia Investigation, ‘Murdered’ Russian Journalist Case, Illegal Immigration/MS-13, Kardashian Visits Trump, MLB Action, and NBA Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/30). The controversy surrounding ABC-TV’s cancellation of the “Roseanne” re-boot; the status of the possible talks between North Korea and the United States; the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the case of the Russian journalist whose death was faked by Ukrainian authorities in order to capture those planning his death; U.S. illegal immigration policy and the threat posed by the MS-13 gang; Kim Kardashian West visits the White House to talk prison reform; Major League Baseball action; and the NBA Finals were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Luck Be a Lady Tonight! Nationally syndicated talk radio host Mike Gallagher is pictured above in final rehearsals for the Lyric Stage’s production of “Guys & Dolls” at the Irving Arts Center in Irving, Texas. The Salem Radio Network personality is cast in the role of Nicely-Nicely Johnson.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Longtime Boise radio personality Mike Kasper has exited Townsquare Media’s hot AC KCIX “MIX 106” where he’d been hosting the morning show for almost 16 years. Prior to that, he’d worked at crosstown hot AC KZMG “Magic 93.1.”…..Sad news from the Steve Harvey program orbit as Bryan Cooke – an assistant to program cast member Kier “Junior” Spates – passed away last Sunday in Atlanta. He was reportedly found in his hotel room after Spates requested hotel staff check in on him…..SiriusXM is presenting broadcast performances and backstage interviews from this weekend’s Governors Ball Music Festival in New York. The exclusive radio broadcast will include backstage interviews and live performances from not only Post Malone and Jack White, but also CHVRCHES, Manchester Orchestra, Margo Price, Vic Mensa, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and many more…..Pictured below is nationally syndicated morning host Rickey Smiley (right) with Birmingham, Alabama student Corey Patrick (left) standing in front of the graduating high school senior’s new car. Patrick – who routinely got up at 4:00 am to catch a 5:00 am crosstown bus to his high school – became an Internet sensation after a bus driver taking Patrick to his graduation ceremony posted a story about the young man’s determination. The Rickey Smiley Show heard about it and, with the help of R&B artist Tyrese and Summit Media’s WBHJ, Birmingham “95.7 JAMZ,” helped get him a new car from University Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Anniston.
Entercom Brings Adam Klug West to Program ‘97.3 The Fan’ in San Diego. Sports programming pro Adam Klug is named program director for Entercom’s San Diego sports talk KWFN-FM “97.3 The Fan” and the San Diego Padres Radio Network, effective June 11. Klug has been serving with CBS Sports Radio in New York City as a producer for national radio and television personalities Bill Reiter and Doug Gottlieb. Prior to that, he spent two years with ESPN Radio. Entercom San Diego SVP and market manager Bob Bolinger comments, “‘97.3 The Fan’ is thrilled to welcome Adam. His extensive career in sports radio will strengthen the team and help us continue to provide engaging content to the San Diego community.”
Nielsen Audio Gains MRC Accreditation for Five New Markets; Loses San Francisco. In a move that brings the total number of PPM markets for which the Media Rating Council has provided accreditation to Nielsen Audio to 30 of the 48 PPM markets. Today’s news is the MRC grants accreditation for the Columbus, Greensboro-Winston Salem-High Point, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, and Salt Lake City-Ogden-Provo. At the same time, the MRC board voted to remove accreditation for the San Francisco PPM market. Nielsen Audio managing director Brad Kelly states, “We are pleased to have achieved MRC accreditation in these additional markets. This demonstrates our continued commitment to quality for the industry’s gold standard audio measurement and it helps enhance our client’s confidence in the currency.” Regarding the San Francisco removal, Nielsen states that it “stands behind the estimates produced for San Francisco and will continue to work with the MRC and clients to regain accreditation in this market.”
KVI, Seattle to Add ‘Markley and van Camp’ to Program Lineup. The “Markley and van Camp” show has been successful on KXL, Portland for several years, and Sinclair Broadcasting’s KVI, Seattle hopes the show is a hit in that Pacific Northwest market, as well. The program, syndicated by Compass Media Networks and starring Jamie Markley and David van Camp, will take over the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon daypart on June 4. The station is moving Kirby Wilbur to the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm slot to make room. Compass says “Markley and van Camp” “has been #1 adults 25-54 on KXL-FM in Portland for 36 straight books and has been rapidly adding affiliates. Now heard in over 15 markets including Seattle, Portland, Orlando, Peoria, West Palm Beach, Oklahoma City and Baton Rouge.
Talk Host Wayne Allyn Root Inks Deal for Trump Book. Nationally syndicated radio talk host Wayne Allyn Root signs a deal with Humanix Books to author a book on “Donald Trump’s business and political success,” due out in early 2019. Root, whose USA Radio Network program is based at flagship stations KBDT, Dallas and KBET, Las Vegas (also simulcast on Newsmax TV) says, “President Trump has achieved awe-inspiring success in business, entrepreneurship, branding, PR, publishing, television and now, of course, politics. I’ve studied Donald Trump’s life for decades (since I graduated Columbia University and started my business career in 1983) and owe much of my own success to the remarkable lessons learned from this man.” Root has authored almost a dozen books in the fields of politics, business and personal development. In addition to his television, radio and author careers, Root is also the national politics opinion columnist for the Las Vegas Review Journal and his articles have appeared regularly at Newsmax.com, FoxNews.com, Breitbart.com,TownHall.com, Blaze.com, RealClearPolitics.com and many others.
TALKERS News Notes. At Entercom in Miami, Brian “The Beast” London adds assistant program director duties for sports talk duo WAXY “790 The Ticket” and WQAM to his responsibilities. London co-hosts the “Tobin, Leroy, and Beast” midday show on WAXY…..Tomorrow afternoon, Scripps’ WTMJ, Milwaukee continues its “Community Conversation” series as WTMJ News addresses the recent, controversial tasing of Milwaukee Bucks shooting guard Sterling Brown. The Thursday 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm special program is being hosted by John Mercure and Melissa Barclay…..Mt. Rushmore Broadcasting announces that its effort to “promote American values” includes airing the nationally syndicated “Our American Stories” program (hosted by Lee Habeeb) across its stations in Wyoming and South Dakota. Mt. Rushmore president Jan Charles Gray says, “This is a wonderful way to air public affairs issues in a format that listeners can understand and embrace.”
ABC Cancels Rosanne, Trump vs Mueller, North Korea Summit, Italy Economic Fears/Financial Markets Activity, China Tariffs, Starbucks Bias Training, Solo Film, MLB Action, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/29). ABC-TV cancels “Roseanne” after Roseanne Barr issues a series of bizarre Tweets; President Trump accuses special counsel Robert Mueller of meddling with fall elections; the status of possible negotiations between the U.S. and North Korea; Italy’s shaky political state and its effects on the European economy and the world’s financial markets; the issue of trade concerns between the U.S. and China; Starbucks’ bias training program; the new Star Wars film Solo; Major League Baseball action; and the NBA Finals 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. On-air pro Elvis, a.k.a. Dan Lay, joins Entercom’s San Francisco alternative rock outlet KITS-FM “ALT 105.3” as morning drive host. He was previously partnered with Jeff Vandergrift on “The Dog House” on “WiLD 107” in the market. Entercom San Francisco SVP and market manager Gregory Nemitz says, “We’re thrilled to welcome Elvis to the Entercom team. His passion and drive for radio and its multiple platforms, coupled with his knowledge and connection to the Bay Area will provide our listeners and partners with the engaging live, local audio content they enjoy daily on ‘ALT 105.3.’”…..Air personality Christy Taylor is the new midday jock, APD, and music director at Go Media’s alternative KQGO, Minneapolis “GO 96.3.” She was previously with Riviera Broadcasting’s hot AC KMVA, Phoenix “HOT 97.5/103.9” hosting the evening program…..In Sacramento, Entercom names Michael “Big Mic” Buhrman program director for hip hop KSFM and announces the arrival of air personalities Mia Amore and SOOSH*E who join the station as on-air hosts, effective immediately. Interim market manager Stacey Kauffman says, “We are excited to welcome Michael’s skill set, dedication, and passion to 102.5 KSFM. His knowledge of the format and reputation in the industry will be an asset to the team. The additions of Mia and SOOSH*E to the KSFM staff solidifies a great line up of talented on-air personalities who understand the importance of being topical, relatable and entertaining to an already passionate listener base.”…..Zander is promoted to operations manager and program director for Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s rock WXRX “104.9 The X” and sister sports talk WNTA “Sportsfan 1330.”…..Pictured below at WPLJ, New York’s holiday weekend remote broadcast are (from l-r): “Todd & Jayde in the Morning” executive producer Joe Pardavilla, Jayde Donovan, Jason Mraz, and Todd Pettengill. Last Friday, the program broadcast from Jenkinson’s Boardwalk in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey. Mraz, along with fellow artists Echosmith, MAX, and John Splithoff performed on the boardwalk.
By Howard B. Price
NEW YORK — The broadcast industry was shaken this week by the deaths of a WYFF-TV, Greenville, SC news crew, crushed when a tree fell on their SUV while they were covering the effects of Subtropical Storm Alberto. Rescuers found anchor/reporter Mike McCormick and videographer Aaron Smeltzer Monday afternoon — in their vehicle, its engine running, and its transmission in drive. According to The New York Times, the WYFF team had been driving on a North Carolina road that had been reopened just a week ago, after mud and debris had been removed following earlier floods.
News managers have two key daily missions: Aggressively, accurately and fairly enterprise news coverage that matters to their audience…and then bring their troops home safely at the end of the day. Whenever a crew is dispatched, reporters or producers are sent into harm’s way, or a when a helicopter or drone is launched – the silent prayer whispered back in the newsroom is: “Please, God, bring them back.”
By Mike Kinosian
Los Angeles – The fourth and final installment of our special feature summary of April 2018 ratings overviews deals with (commercial, English language) news/talk outlets.
All-news was addressed last Wednesday (5/23); Major League Baseball flagships the following day (Thursday, 5/24); and we highlighted classic hits-oldies last Friday (5/25).
Ratings criteria for PPM-market commercial news/talk facilities is at least a .5 (6+) in the April 2018 ratings period, which covered March 29 – April 25. By contrast, eligibility to appear on the all-news and classic hits-oldies panels is based on a top 20 finish (6+, April 2018); there is no (6+) threshold for the MLB flagships.
Nielsen Audio releases audience estimates for facilities that subscribe to its services. Owing to that reason, ratings stats in this exclusive overview are limited to stations that pay Nielsen Audio for its data.
Swenson Out at Entercom Washington; Phil Zachary to Assume Market Manager Role. According to several consumer media reports (including the Philadelphia Business Journal) Entercom Hartford SVP and market manager Phil Zachary is leaving the cluster to assume the same role at the company’s Washington, DC operations. The company has not commented publicly about the change, but the report indicates Zachary will take over the position from Steve Swenson. Zachary moved to the Hartford cluster from the market manager position at Entercom’s Boston operations just after the CBS RADIO deal closed last November. His duties also included oversight of the Providence and Springfield, Massachusetts markets.
Radio Station Imaging Master and Syndicated Show Host, Nick Michaels Dies. Holland Cooke Pens Tribute. One of the radio industry’s most influential voice over artists and musical curators, Nick Michaels, reportedly died of a sudden heart attack in his Pinecrest (Miami), Florida home on Friday (5/25). Michaels was the host, writer and producer of the long-running, American Voice Corporation syndicated classic rock show, “The Deep End,” heard on music stations across the nation and the imaging voice of numerous major/medium market news/talk and all-news stations. He was known for his rich tone and thoughtful – almost poetic – approach to copy that made him one of the most distinguished performers in the radio business. Michaels’ media career began in advertising in his native Canada where success brought him to New York City in the late 1970s. He appeared as the voice in many major national radio and television spots for a variety of major products and television programs. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Nick Michaels joined forces five years ago as Michael & Michaels co-producing a Memorial Day one-time special, “The Classic Rock Summer of ’13 Kick-Off” – a two-hour countdown of the most popular summer songs from the AOR era. Harrison says, “The industry has lost a legend and I have lost a friend. Nick was a one-of-a-kind talent and a passionate proponent of everything good about the kind of radio we grew up with and love.” Media consultant, RT America TV host and special TALKERS correspondent Holland Cooke, a very close friend of Michaels, penned a tribute to the late broadcaster. To read it, please click here. In July of 2015, Nick Michaels appeared as a guest on the PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” To listen to a clip from that conversation, please click here.
WQTX, Lansing Sports Talk Host Suing Fellow Michigan Personality. What sounds like a feud between two sports talk hosts that goes back a few years is now a lawsuit in the state of Michigan. According to the Lansing State Journal, WQTX, Lansing sports talk host Ryan Schuiling is suing WBBL, Grand Rapids-based sports talker Bill Simonson and his employer, Cumulus Media, for defamation. Schuiling alleges that Simonson made “false allegations” in a column he wrote on the blog Detroit Sports Rag, including accusing Schuiling of attempting to “orchestrate some alleged sexual interaction with Mr. Simonson’s daughter.” Schuiling says Simonson sent the link to the story to the IBEW – one of Schuiling’s sponsors – and that the actions have caused him emotional distress and have affected his professional standing in the community. Simonson says the allegations in the suit are untrue and lack merit. See the story here.
PPM Analysis: News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his analysis of the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s April 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on news/talk. Five news/talk stations saw (6+) increases of more than one full share from March to April, and four of those benefitted from the start of the baseball season. They are: Entercom’s KMOX, St. Louis (+2.3); Scripps’ WTMJ, Milwaukee (+1.9); iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati (+1.6); KOA, Denver (+1.4); and Bonneville’s KSL-AM/FM, Salt Lake City (+1.2). Meanwhile, iHeartMedia’s WTKS-FM, Orlando “Real Radio 104.1” is up 2.6 shares since April of 2017, and Emmis’ WIBC, Indianapolis is up two full shares. Four news/talk stations ranked #1 in their respective markets in April: Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta; KOA, Denver; KSL-AM/FM, Salt Lake City; and Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.” Read the whole report here.
Price: Protect Your People, Protect Your Brand. By now, most broadcasters are aware of the tragic deaths of the two young television journalists from WYFF-TV, Greenville, South Carolina who perished while covering Subtropical Storm Alberto over the weekend. While the accident appears to have been a matter of bad timing – a tree fell on their SUV while they were driving – business continuity expert Howard Price writes that it is occurrences like these that should make all broadcasters review their safety protocols to make sure they offer the best safety practices to staffers. Read his piece here.
Radio Journalist Bob Fuss Dies at 64. Former longtime CBS Radio News reporter Bob Fuss died in Falls Church, Virginia on Sunday (5/27) after a battle with a rare form of leukemia. During his long radio news career, Fuss served as Capitol Hill correspondent for 16 years. During that time, he covered the impeachment of President Clinton, the Florida presidential election re-count, and the 9/11 terror attacks. He covered the House and Senate for CBS Radio and reported national political stories until his retirement in 2014. CBS News general manager Craig Swagler writes about Fuss saying, “After his retirement, he wrote a book about his life, Kidnapped by Nuns: And Other Stories of a Life on the Radio, drawing from his work and personal experiences in 50 states and 70 countries. The book briefly addresses what listeners couldn’t see: he was disabled. He writes he was born with defects his parents were told could end his life before adulthood. He beat the odds and described himself as ‘a busy and active kid’ who ‘never let anything slow me down.’ That attitude held true throughout his adult life; unable to walk without crutches, he never allowed the handicap to deter him from attaining his career goals or pursuing activities like snorkeling and skiing.” Swagler adds, “Bob was an extraordinary reporter with a true skill for making complicated stories relatable for everyday people. Not only was Bob an outstanding journalist he was an all-around optimistic and funny person. A true joy to work with.”
TALKERS News Notes. In the Shreveport-Bossier City, Louisiana market, Cumulus Media names Aaron Criswell vice president and market manager for the five-station cluster that includes sports talk KRMD-AM “The Ticket Sports Radio” and four music-formatted stations…..Chris Forgy is promoted within Saga Communications to the newly created corporate position SVP of operations. In making the announcement, Saga CEO Ed Christian comments, “Chris is a world-class broadcaster whose contributions to Saga will be very important and strategic as he joins us in the corporate office.” Most recently, Forgy was president and general manager of the company’s Columbus station group…..The Arizona Broadcasters Association announces that Art Brooks is exiting the president and CEO position after a near 30-year stint. Brooks says, “I leave the ABA proud of the many things we have been able to accomplish together in my nearly three decades of leadership and will remain ever grateful for the many friends I have made in the Arizona broadcasting community. I’m eager to explore my next adventure both personally and professionally.”
U.S.-North Korea Summit, Subtropical Storm Alberto, Ireland Abortion Vote, Starbucks Bias Training, Solo Film, Memorial Day Holiday, MLB Action, and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The off-again, on-again summit between President Trump and Kim Jong Un; subtropical storm Alberto hits the Southeast U.S.; the aftermath of Ireland’s vote to repeal the ban on abortion; Starbucks’ plan to close all stores today (5/29) for companywide bias training; the newest Star Wars film Solo; the Memorial Day holiday; Major League Baseball action; and the NBA Conference Finals were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air pro Rebecca Wilde is becoming a personality on the “Wicker in the Morning” program with Jeff Wicker on Entercom’s hot AC WTVR-FM, Richmond. Entercom Virginia SVP Bennett Zier comments, “We’re thrilled to bring Rebecca back into the Richmond mix and look forward to having her reconnect with our community. Rebecca’s drive and enthusiasm will ensure we continue to deliver the engaging local content our listeners look forward to daily on ‘Mix 98.1.’” She previously worked on-air in the market at hot AC WURV and hip hop WBTJ…..Longtime Myrtle Beach personality David “Prez” Spindler retires from Dick Broadcasting classic rock WYAV “Wave 104.1” Station operations manager Charlie Steele says, “We wish Prez the best with where life takes him next. He’s spent a long time in the radio trenches and will be missed.”