Nielsen and Bubba The Love Sponge Settle $1 Million Suit. The trial was scheduled to begin on July 23 after more than two-and-a-half years of preparation and paying lawyers, but on Friday afternoon (7/6), a settlement was announced and from what we’ve learned, Nielsen came out on top. If you remember, Nielsen sued Bubba Clem for $1 million claiming that his attempts to manipulate the PPM survey in the Tampa market had caused damage to its reputation and the PPM methodology. Bubba countersued claiming, among other things, that Nielsen and competitor Cox Media Group conspired against him. The terms of the settlement are confidential, but in a press release from Nielsen, the company says Bubba will make a cash payment to Nielsen (that amount will likely never be known) and a number of statements from both sides were made public. Bubba’s statement includes the following: “I understand how important it is to the radio industry that the Nielsen ratings be free from bias and I deeply regret interfering with Nielsen’s collection of listening data.” He promises never to do it again and, if he does, “any future infractions by Clem will be punishable by a court-ordered injunction and additional financial damages payable to Nielsen.” One has to wonder what changed for Bubba. He had numerous attempts to settle via mediation. The discovery process should have indicated to him and his lawyers that Nielsen’s case had more merit than his criticism of Nielsen’s methodology and his theory of a conspiracy between Nielsen and Cox. It seems clear the big winners here were the lawyers who notched a lot of billable hours.
TALKERS Continues Posting Videos Today of the Recent TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Convention – Today’s Post: Panel Discussion Titled Adding the Video Component to Talk Radio. Today (7/9), 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 10th installment is the panel discussion titled “Adding the Video Component to Talk Radio” moderated by Livestream head of news, Clayton Rose and featuring panelists Krantz Media Group CEO, Gary Krantz and KTRS, St Louis host, McGraw Milhaven. Already posted: the panel discussion titled “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in 2018” 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. Other 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.
Attorneys Counter Arguments Against Tribune Merger in FCC Filing. The proposed acquisition of Tribune Media by Sinclair Broadcast Group is almost entirely about the merger of two television companies – except for Tribune’s lone radio property: news/talk WGN-AM, Chicago. Responding to those who’ve argued that this acquisition would put too many local television stations under the control of Sinclair, lawyers for both companies write in a petition to the FCC that “contrary to Petitioners’ rhetoric, the sky is not falling. Sinclair’s acquisition of Tribune will not radically disrupt the media marketplace or impede viewers’ access to quality local news, nor will it violate any FCC rules or policies.” They argue – as have many radio operators seeking de-regulation of their industry – that the modern media landscape makes concerns about this level of ownership outdated. “Petitioners ask the Commission to make decisions based on Petitioners’ subjective disagreement with content that airs on Sinclair stations and to review this transaction as if it took place in a time when there were seven TV channels and phones were simply used to call someone to say hello, rather than to watch a full-length movie or live newscast. But today there are hundreds of TV channels, OTT video services are proliferating and being subscribed to by tens of millions of households, and the lines between telephone companies, internet providers, MVPDs, programmers and broadcasters have long since disappeared.” Sinclair currently operates just three radio stations – in the Seattle market: all-news KOMO-AM/FM, news talk KVI, and hot AC KPLZ.
TALKERS News Notes. Longtime all-news KYW, Philadelphia director of news and programming Steve Butler is leaving the Entercom station. In a memo to staffers, Butler assures them that he’s not being forced out. “This is really, really my decision, and a really tough one.” Butler says he wants to enjoy doing things he’s always wanted to explore while still in good health. Butler says he’ll stay on until Entercom Philly market manager David Yadgaroff finds his successor…..New York City sports talk personality and radio voice of the New York Yankees Michael Kay is being inducted into the New York State Broadcasters Association’s Hall of Fame. Kay hosts the afternoon drive show on ESPN-owned WEPN, New York. He’ll be honored on October 18 along with the rest of the class of 2018. Kay states, “I am extremely humbled by this honor. To stand alongside the others who have been inducted to this prestigious hall is somewhat surreal for a kid from the Bronx who started out in this business as a newspaper man. I thank those who voted for me; it is greatly appreciated.”…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM, Chicago afternoon drive traffic reporter Veronica Carter has exited the Entercom all-newser in order to move back to California. Carter has been with the station for the past 12 years. She worked at crosstown WGN-AM before that. Her Facebook message states: “My kids have grown up and now I have zero obligations, so I’m going to do what I want for the next two or three decades! That includes spending a lot of time outdoors, visiting my mother, sisters and other family members, and of course chillaxing on the beach!”…..Comic and SiriusXM personality Dean Obeidallah has won a judgement against neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin and his website The Daily Stormer. The judgement was declared by a federal court clerk in Columbus, Ohio, but Anglin was not present in court – he’s been avoiding the matter. Numerous attempts to personally serve Anglin were unsuccessful. The issue is that Anglin posted a phony story on the website that stated Obeidallah admitted to being the mastermind behind the terrorist attack at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, UK last year.
Herskovitz: Commercial Cycles. Radio sales pro Al Herskovitz writes today about some of the trends in commercial styles and how they’ve changed and, in some case, come full circle. The full-sing spot was at one time very common. Iconic jingles were credited with creating and enforcing brand loyalty for many products over the years. In some current instances, creative is returning to the jingle with some very effective results. Read Herskovitz’s column here.
Confer Radio Talent Institute Opens at Bloomsburg University. This is the sixth annual Confer Radio Talent Institute in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters and it’s taking place at Bloomsburg University in Bloomsburg Pennsylvania beginning today (7/9). Sessions over the 10-day institute cover almost every aspect of radio – from sales to on-air in music radio, sports, news, production, promotions, digital, social media, and engineering. Twenty-two students have been accepted from eight universities, including: Susquehanna University, Clarion University, Temple, Stockton, Alvernia University, Pace University, and California University of Pennsylvania, as well as Bloomsburg University. Pictured here is Kirby Confer addressing some of the students.
Georgia Beasley Named RAB’s Professional Development Manager; Kim Johnson Promoted to Director of Sales. The Radio Advertising Bureau announces that Georgia Beasley has been named professional development manager. In this role, Beasley will work closely with SVP professional development Jeff Schmidt on the overall training curriculum offered at the RAB. This includes the Rising Through the Ranks program – dedicated to the support and advancement of women in radio sales management positions – of which Georgia herself is a graduate. Beasley was most recently director of TopicPulse Strategic Initiatives at Futuri Media. She has also held various sales management positions at Beasley Media Group. At the same time, RAB says Kim Johnson has been promoted to the director of sales position. Prior to this role, she worked with the RAB’s CRM tool as an account development manager. Johnson will be responsible for the sales of the entire suite of RAB’s professional development training courses.
Illegal Immigration Policy, Trump Supreme Court Nominee, Trump-Russia Investigation, Thailand Cave Rescues, Tariffs and Trade War Concerns, North Korea Nuclear Program, MLB and World Cup Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The treatment of families in enforcing illegal immigration laws; speculation about President Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court and questions about the fate of Roe v Wade; special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents; the rescue of five of the dozen boys trapped in underwater caves in Thailand; Trump’s tariffs and concerns about the effects of a trade war; suggestions that North Korea is continuing its nuclear weapons program despite the recent Trump-Kim Jong Un summit; Major League Baseball action; and World Cup soccer were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Los Angeles-based morning drive urban contemporary star Big Boy is heading to the small screen. iHeartMedia and Fuse Media announce they will begin televising the KRRL “Real 92.3”-based, nationally syndicated “Big Boy’s Neighborhood” program on television’s Fuse Music channel beginning July 30. The program features Big Boy and castmates Natalia Perez, Louie G, Ayyde, and DJ VickOne. iHeartMedia president of entertainment enterprises John Sykes says, “This new partnership with Fuse is the continuation of an exciting trend of our iconic iHeartRadio personalities extending their reach to television. Big Boy is a legend in music and this is the next logical step as he extends his brand.”…..At Urban One’s WKYS, Washington, DC, Angie Ange is named new host of the morning drive show, effective July 16. Ange has been hosting the evening show on the station. In mornings, she’ll be joined by Déja Perez and DJ Money. Ange says, “Growing up I would have fun listening to Tom Joyner, Russ Parr, and Donnie Simpson. To reach this height in my career and be in a position to give that same energy while also inspiring and enlightening our listeners as they start their day is the opportunity of a lifetime.”…..Impact Radio Group announces the debut of the new “Joey & Lauren” (pictured at left) morning show on hot AC KZMG, Boise “MY 102.7.” Station program director James Garner says, “After an extensive nationwide search for a quality morning show, my team and I found ourselves right back in the Treasure Valley with Joey and Lauren Jenkins…The easiest option would have been to select a cookie-cutter, ready-made program, but we decided to create a new show from the ground up, with genuine personalities that our listeners can relate to. I am excited to present this fun and unique local morning show to our listeners in the Treasure Valley.”…..In Cincinnati, Tropikana joins Radio One’s cluster as music director for hip hop WIZF “101.1 The Wiz.” Operations manager Bill Black says, “Tropikana is an important part of the puzzle that we are building at ‘The Wiz!’ I am very excited about what she will bring to The Wiz’s team.”