Legendary DJ “Cousin” Bruce Morrow to Receive TALKERS 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award. Legendary radio personality “Cousin” Bruce Morrow– an icon from the golden era of hit radio on WABC, New York and current star of SiriusXM’s 60s on Six channel – has been selected by the TALKERS editorial board to be the recipient of the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award. Morrow’s impressive career includes not only his work as a radio personality on some of America’s biggest stations but radio station ownership and television work, as well. TALKERS magazine executive editor Kevin Casey says, “Bruce Morrow is a symbol of the great disc jockeys of the golden era who paved the way for radio to connect to people’s hearts and minds and that set the stage for modern talk radio to be the bastion of personality that keeps this medium so vital. The fact that ‘Cousin Brucie’ takes calls and does such wonderful interviews is a tribute to this man’s talent, pertinence, and longevity.” Morrow says, “I am honored to receive this award from TALKERS, especially since so much of my show and work at SiriusXM now consists of talking to callers and artists on the air about their lives and careers and what the music and culture has meant and continues to mean to them. This is tremendously gratifying.” The “Lifetime Achievement” award will be presented to “Cousin” Bruce Morrow at Talkers 2019: Telling the Story on Friday, June 7 in New York City. The convention is just a day away from being completely sold out. To register, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413 or click here for more information.
Report: WMVP, Chicago Not Happy with Nielsen Ratings Error. Chicago media reporter Robert Feder has the story. Yesterday, TALKERS alerted you to Feder’s initial report about Nielsen Audio admitting it failed to include the online listening for sports talk WMVP “ESPN Chicago” in the April PPM survey and it issued new numbers for the station yesterday. While the ESPN-owned station went up from a 1.2 to a 1.3 share with Persons 6+, vice president and general manager Jim Pastor says in the key demo – Men 25-54 – certain shows were affected by as much as 50%. Moreover, Pastor tells Feder, “The real story here is that it’s remarkable Nielsen’s PPM device captured any digital listening at all. By their own admission, PPM technology is inadequate at best when it comes to measuring digital.” Read Feder’s account here.
TODAY IS THE LAST DAY TO REGISTER: Talkers 2019: Telling the Story Nearing a Sellout! The 22nd annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention is on the verge of being sold out. The final deadline for registrations being accepted is today (5/24) at 5:00 pm ET. According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “In order to maintain the intimacy and effectiveness of this heritage event, it must be open only to members of the media industries and be in a special type of venue with limited seating and capacity. We have resisted the impulse to grow this event beyond that level of efficiency. That is one of the reasons it is so popular and has enjoyed such amazing longevity.” To obtain registration information and avoid being shut out before the deadline, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. For an up to the minute agenda, please click here.
ESPN Radio Changes Roles for Jason Fitz and Sarah Spain. Next week, ESPN personalities Jason Fitz and Sarah Spain expand their roles at the sports media giant. Fitz becomes a regular part of ESPN Radio’s weekday morning lineup as a regular contributor on the morning drive “Golic and Wingo” show that features Mike Golic, Trey Wingo, and Mike Golic Jr. Fitz will continue to contribute to ESPN’s live, on-site digital presence at major events. Spain begins hosting a new weeknight radio show, “Spain and Company,” that will air nightly from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET. Co-hosts on the show will include ESPN Radio’s Jason Goff and ESPN college basketball analyst Jordan Cornette. Fitz says, “Working with Sarah has been incredible and it has – frankly – made me better being partnered with her every day. Looking ahead, I’m beyond excited to bring my energy and voice to the fans in the morning with the amazing ‘Golic and Wingo’ team and before that, provide an hour of my perspective on ‘First and Last.’” Spain comments, “I’ve really enjoyed working with Jason, creating a fun and unique show based on our shared sensibilities and interests. Going forward, it’s a thrill for me to lead the way on ‘Spain and Company’ with a great cast of co-hosts.”
Sterling: Women in Talk – Is This an Issue? Nationally syndicated talk radio host Walter M. Sterling bristles at the question, “Is this the year of the woman? (in talk radio)” He says the better question is, “Is this the moment when men will get out of the freakin’ way and let the proven success of women in talk radio flourish again?” The two women in the photo at right were superstars of New York City talk radio in 1955. Find out who they were and read the rest of Sterling’s piece here.
Five Appointed to NAB Radio Board of Directors. The National Association of Broadcasters announces that, in accordance with its by-laws, Radio Board chairman Randy Gravley makes five appointments to the NAB Radio Board of Directors, effective at the beginning of the June Board meeting, to be held June 10-12. Reappointed for another two-year term as Designated Representatives are: Amador Bustos, president, Bustos Media Holdings, LLC; David Field, chairman, president, and CEO, Entercom Communications Corp.; and Bill McElveen, regional president, Alpha Media LLC. Appointed for a new two-year term as Designated Representatives are: Mary Berner, president and CEO, Cumulus Media and Kevin Perry, vice president/general manager, Perry Publishing and Broadcasting Company.
TALKERS News Notes. Progressive talk radio personality Thom Hartmann is credited as writer/consultant on the new film, Ice on Fire, that addresses the melting of the polar ice cap and global warming. The film features actor Leonardo DiCaprio as narrator and will air on HBO on June 11. Hartmann, DiCaprio, and director Leila Connors also worked together on the 2011 film The 11th Hour. See The Hollywood Reporter’s review here…..Chicago public radio news/talk outlet WBEZ-FM announces a new local program to air in middays. Windy City media writer Robert Feder reports that the Chicago Public Media radio station is debuting a local talk show starring Jenn White to air from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. White moves from “The Morning Shift,” a position she’s been in since January. CPM CEO Goli Sheikholeslami says, “Midday listening is becoming increasingly important as people check in on what’s happening in the world, particularly with the rise in streaming audio. We’re meeting this need by investing in new, indispensable programming that will drive the daily Chicago conversation during the key midday listening hours.”
Premiere Networks Celebrates Gracie Winners. Pictured above celebrating their Gracie Awards victories are “The Sean Hannity Show” producer Lynda McLaughlin and “The Breakfast Club” host Angela Yee. They were honored along with all the other winners at the 44th annual Gracie Awards at the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles. McLaughlin won the National Talk Radio Producer honor and Yee won in the National Radio Host/Personality category. Pictured (from l-r) are: Premiere Networks EVP and director of personality sales Dan Metter, McLaughlin, Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott, and Yee.
Trump’s Stonewalling Top News/Talk Story for Week of May 20-24. The president’s refusal to answer to subpoenas as the Democrats continue to try to investigate him was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the effort by the state of New York to provide the president’s state tax returns to congress. Coming in at #3 was the Democrats’ increased momentum to begin impeachment proceedings against the president, followed by the 2020 presidential race 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. See this week’s entire chart here.
Progressive Talk Host and Pundit Bill Press Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the major players on the struggling liberal side of commercial talk radio, Bill Press, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Press is a pioneer in the “progressive” genre on both radio and cable TV. He was the liberal voice in the historic CNN debate show “Crossfire” from 1996 to 2002. Today, he is a regularly featured talking head on MSNBC as well as CNN and is an opinion contributor to the DC-based political publication, The Hill. He is also a prolific author and critic of conservative talk radio who writes about the virtues of the Democrats and the dangers of Donald Trump and the Republican Party. Press announced last week that he is about to conclude a 14-year run hosting a daily morning radio talk program that been heard on a variety of terrestrial and online platforms and has attracted a respectable critical mass of loyal listeners. In its place, he will be devoting his energies to podcasting and has every intention of continuing to be an active voice in the national conversation as we approach the 2020 election. Harrison and Press talk about the difficulties that have faced the liberal brand of commercial news/talk radio, the emerging field of podcasting and the growing field of candidates looking to make Donald Trump a one-term president. 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 of the TALKERS email newsletter and on every page of Talkers.com.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Gone is Cumulus Media’s CHR WYRG, Indianapolis “Energy 93.9” and in is classic rock “93-9X, Indy’s Rock Station.” Cumulus picked up fellow CHR WZPL back in February in a swap with Entercom. WZPL has consistently outperformed WYRG over the years so the format change is not a surprise. Cumulus corporate PD Troy Hanson says, “We are excited to expand the successful ‘93X’ brand to Indianapolis with the new ‘93-9X.’ Shout out to [KXXR/MSP program director] Derek Madden, our brainchild on this project, as we fill a hole in the marketplace with a much-needed rock station. The partnership opportunities this brand adds to our Indy cluster portfolio and rock platform are limitless.”…..San Antonio hot AC KSMG “Magic 105.3” welcomes Tony Cortez to its airstaff as evening personality. Cortez joins the Cox Media Group from his most recent position with Alpha Media’s crosstown CHR KTFM “Energy 94.1.” Cox San Antonio director of operations Jeff Garrison says, “Tony’s style, experience, and love for our great city make him the perfect addition to our Magic team. He’s sure to bring a new level of fun and energy to our evening listeners.”…..Country radio pro Jessica Tyler – most recently with Cumulus Media’s WDRQ, Detroit “NASH FM 93.1” – is joining Townsquare Media’s New Hampshire country duo WOKQ, Portsmouth and WPKQ North Conway to serve as assistant brand manager for both stations and midday personality on WOKQ.
PPM Analysis: Classic Hits. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s April 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on the classic hits format. From March to April, weekly 6+ AQH share movement was split fairly even, with about half the stations on the panel going up and the other half going down. Gainers were led by Cumulus Media’s WJJK-FM, Indianapolis (+1.7) and iHeartMedia’s WWBB, Providence “B101” (+1.6). Year over year, about 70% of the stations on our panel enjoyed a ratings increase, with WJJK showing an impressive 3.2 share increase and iHeartMedia’s KLTH, Portland and Bonneville’s KRSP, Salt Lake City both notching 2.5 share gains. Meanwhile, 10 classic hits stations ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets in the April survey. Find out which stations they are by reading the whole report here.