Report: PE Firm Silver Lake Partners Interested in iHeartMedia. According to a report in the New York Post, private equity firm Silver Lake Partners is interested in buying iHeartMedia when it emerges from Chapter 11 reorganization. iHeartMedia is expected to exit Chapter 11 in October with a reduced debt load of $10 billion – down from the current $20 billion. The report says Silver Lake is in talks about the purchase with iHM’s creditors, who will own the company upon bankruptcy protection exit. The report adds that leading creditors believe iHeartMedia is worth between $12 billion and $15 billion.
Remembering Ed Schultz. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the talk media career rise of Ed Schultz, who passed away on July 5 at the age of 64. The former college football quarterback spent 15 years doing sports media – mostly on television at WDAY-TV, Fargo – before launching a talk radio career. As most regular TALKERS readers are aware, Schultz was a conservative talker in the beginning, but his politics – and his radio program – morphed in large part due to an encounter with the woman who would become his wife, Wendy Schultz. Read the full piece about Schultz’s life and radio career here.
Dave Bourne Named Operations Manager at KYKN, Salem, Oregon. News/talk KYKN, Salem, Oregon announces Dave Bourne joins the station to serve as operations manager. Prior to joining KYKN, Bourne led the programming at KUIK, Portland. KYKN general manager Mike Frith says Bourne brings his extensive experience developing a “large local footprint.” Frith adds, “Without LOCAL we are just another station. We’ve had a good presence locally and we are going to have a GREAT local presence. We will begin to broadcast high school football and basketball this fall in the Salem metro with a population of 404,000. We are now going to have 150 “live remotes” at local sponsors and events over the next 12 months. We’re pleased that Dave will lead us in this major effort.”
TALKERS Continues Posting Videos Today of the Recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Convention – Today’s Post: Panel Discussion About Generating Talk Radio Revenue in 2018. Today (7/6), TALKERS magazine continues posting individual events from the recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! convention held in New York City on June 8. Each business day, another session will be posted in the order that they originally took place. Today’s ninth installment features the panel discussion titled “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in 2018.” It is moderated by TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey; introduced by Crossover Media Group managing member Ron Hartenbaum; and featuring panelists Asa RX host Asa; Bold Gold Media Group CEO, Vince Benedetto; Howie Carr Radio Network president Kathy Carr; Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes; WBAL, Baltimore president/GM Cary Pahigian; and KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz owner Michael Zwerling. Videos already posted include the special presentation by Amplifi Media CEO, Steven Goldstein titled “Radio Broadcasters and Smart Speakers with an introduction by GCN personality Dr. Daliah Wachs ; a special presentation by PodcastOne chairman and CEO, Norm Pattiz titled “Radio Broadcasters and Podcasting” with an introduction by Voice of America and National Public Radio anchor/reporter, Lori Lundin; a special presentation by WFAN personality Mike Francesa titled “Sports Talk’s Role in Media and Popular Culture” with an introduction by author and former radio producer Bernadette Duncan; Salem SVP Phil Boyce’s address titled “What Has Donald Trump Done to Talk Radio?”; the fireside chat between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley including Harrison’s presentation of the 2018 “Woman of the Year” award to Beasley; Harrison’s fireside chat with FOX News Radio/FOX News Channel mega-star Brian Kilmeade with an introduction by Westwood One syndicated host Walter Sterling and special remarks by Sean Hannity; opening remarks by the convention’s co-emcees, TalkersRadio GM, David Bernstein and Good Day Networks/DJV Show CEO/host, Doug Stephan; KGO, San Francisco host, Ethan Bearman delivering the event’s welcoming remarks and Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host, Brad Shepard introduction of Bearman. Also posted: the presentation of the Gene Burns Memorial Award for Freedom of Speech (“Freedom of Speech Award”) by TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian to SiriusXM Satellite Radio host, book publisher, Hunter College professor, and former New York Daily News/Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, Karen Hunter. To view the page, please click here.
SB Nation Promotes Larson to COO; Announces Lineup Tweaks. Sports radio network SB Nation Radio promotes network program director Craig Larson to chief operating officer. Larson says, “It’s just a joy to wake up and come to work every day. As I enter my 20th year with the network, I am proud of my team and optimistic about our future.” Also, SB Nation announces that the morning show “SB Nation AM” will feature Tony Desiere and Ronn Culver as co-hosts. Desiere has been with the network for six years. Culver joined back in 2014 and currently serves as executive producer. Finally, the network adds “The Gold Standard” with host Alex Gold to the lineup, airing from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am.
Radio Talent Agent Heather Cohen Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the radio industry’s leading talent agents, Heather Cohen, EVP of the Weiss Agency is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Cohen, who is also the co-chair of the Gracie Awards, discusses the state of the radio business as it applies to talent including a look at the status of women in the industry with a fascinating historical retrospective. Harrison and Cohen also discuss the methods available to young people breaking into the radio and television industries going forward. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.
TALKERS News Notes. The company that syndicated the daily, two-hour magazine-style program “Our American Stories” announces the feed time for the program is moving from 9:00 pm ET to 6:00 am ET, effective August 1. American Private Radio CEO and program host Lee Habeeb says the change reflects the desire by many programmers to get a same-day feed for earlier placement in the day. “More than half of our affiliates now carry ‘Our American Stories’ outside of evenings, so it made sense to provide an early morning feed to accommodate stations who wish to run the timely program earlier on the day.” Our American Stories is heard in more than 130 markets…..Benztown is announcing the launch of a new, 30-second daily featuring starring radio and television sportscaster Vic “The Brick” Jacobs titled, “This Day in Sports History.” The show is available to stations through Benztown’s Adrenaline Sports Imaging Library.
Illegal Immigration/Abolish ICE Movement Top News/Talk Stories for Week of July 2-6. Debate about the U.S.’s illegal immigration policies and the related movement to abolish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement bureau were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the open Supreme Court seat and President Trump’s likely three top candidates. Coming in at #3 was the impending meeting between President Trump and Vladimir Putin, tied with the related Trump-Russia investigation, followed by the Scott Pruitt investigation and his subsequent resignation as head of the EPA at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk 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.
Rare Audio File from 2013: The Late Nick Michaels Interviews Michael Harrison About Music and the Golden Age of Progressive Rock Radio. A rare audio interview conducted by the late Nick Michaels (left) with Michael Harrison (below, on WNEW-FM circa 1972) has been located by TALKERS archivists on the website www.thedeependwithnickmichaels.com. The legendary Michaels – the renowned radio imaging master, voice actor, and host of the classic rock syndicated show “The Deep End” – passed away on May 25 due to a sudden heart attack. The unplanned conversation took place between recording sessions when Michaels and Harrison were collaborating on a music radio two-hour special titled, “The Classic Rock Summer of ’13 Kick-Off,” as the temporary team of Michael and Michaels. In this 30-plus minute interview, Michaels asks Harrison about his early days as a pioneer in progressive rock radio and his opinion about various classic artists as well as the state of music radio in general. Students of music radio history and devotees of album rock will find this conversation extremely informative and entertaining. To listen to it in its entirety, please click here.
More Music Radio News and Career Moves. In the Tampa market, evening personality Terry Young “The Motormouth” moves to morning drive at NIA Broadcasting’s rhythmic AC WTMP-AM/W248CA, effective July 9…..Yea Networks’ syndicated “Tino Cochino Radio” program is added to the evening daypart at Mapleton Commuications’ CHR KZBD, Spokane “107.5 NOW.”…..SiriusXM’s Heart & Soul and Kirk Franklin’s Praise channels are broadcasting live interviews from the 2018 Essence Music Festival taking place in New Orleans this weekend. SiriusXM hosts Cayman Kelly, Michel Wright and Meta Washington will be live on the Ford Stage interviewing some of the biggest singers and actors.