TALKERS 2019: Telling the Story Rocks New York City. The 22nd edition of the TALKERS magazine national convention took place on Friday (6/7) in New York City’s Chelsea District, drawing 400 talk media industry players to the Big Apple. The TALKERS 2019: Telling the Story conference featured more than 65 speakers in a non-stop, power-packed day of solo addresses, panel discussions, presentations, and networking/meal receptions. The entire conference was recorded to video and in the days and weeks to come, most panels and speeches will be made available for viewing at Talkers.com. Visit regularly for details. Pictured above, Sean Hannity (r) being interviewed by Michael Harrison (l) during the convention’s Keynote Fireside Chat.
Kilmeade Accepts Freedom of Speech Award. Pictured above is FOX News Channel and FOX News Radio star Brian Kilmeade delivering his acceptance speech after receiving the 2019 Freedom of Speech Award.
Bill O’Reilly Addresses Conference. Just a little more than a month after the debut of his Key Networks-syndicated “The O’Reilly Update” program returned him to AM/FM radio, Bill O’Reilly addressed the attendees at Friday’s TALKERS conference.
Rome Delivers. Sports talk radio star Jim Rome presented a keynote speech illustrating how he got into the sports talk radio business and how he’s adapted to the evolving talk media industry.
Woman of the Year. Pictured above is TALKERS magazine publisher Michael Harrison (l) with Radio Advertising Bureau president and CEO Erica Farber (r), who received the 2019 Woman of the Year Award.
Humanitarian of the Year. Seen above accepting the 2019 Humanitarian of the Year honor from TALKERS magazine is Bold Gold Media Group CEO Vince Benedetto.
A Legend Is Honored. Pictured above is SiriusXM disc jockey Cousin Brucie, a.k.a. Bruce Morrow, reading his Lifetime Achievement Award presented to the iconic radio personality.
Helping Our Own. WPGG morning host Harry Hurley (r) donating $3,000 to the Broadcasters Foundation of America from the Hurley Morning Show Foundation – a yearly tradition at the Talkers Convention. Renee Cassis (l) accepts the gift on behalf of the BFOA.
Emmis Agrees to Selling Controlling Interest in Austin Cluster to Sinclair Telecable Inc. for $39.3 Million. Indianapolis-based Emmis Communications Corporation has had a controlling interest in the six Austin, Texas radio stations since 2003. Now, it is selling its 50.1% controlling interest in the partnership to Sinclair Telecable, Inc., for $39.3 million. This is not the television company Sinclair Broadcast Group that owns KEYE-TV, Austin. Sinclair Telecable is led by Bob and David Sinclair and the company owns seven FMs, two AMs, and 2 FM translators in Norfolk, Virginia and in Sonoma County, California. The stations and brands involved in this deal are: news/talk KLBJ-AM, classic rock KLBJ-FM, adult hits KBPA-FM “Bob FM,” adult contemporary KGSR-FM “Star 93.3,” alternative KROX-FM “101X,” regional Mexican KLZT-FM “La Zeta,” and music brands “Austin City Limits Radio” and “Latino 102.7.” The Austin cluster will be rebranded as Waterloo Media. Emmis chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan says, “It’s been a fabulous run in Austin, operating in one of America’s best radio markets with such a special team and winning culture. I can’t say enough great things about the performance of our incredible team in Austin. Our focus at Emmis now will be on transitioning to new areas of growth. I’m thrilled to say we didn’t need to look far to find a committed, well-known buyer who feels the same way about the Austin team. The Sinclairs have been great partners and will undoubtedly take the operation to new heights.” Moelis & Company LLC represented Emmis as exclusive financial advisor.
Monday Memo: Digital Diction. As listener attention and advertiser dollars drift digital, radio broadcasters’ tool box gets bigger; and consultant Holland Cooke continues his three-part series of tips from Internet professionals. This week’s Monday Memo focuses on writing for the web. Cooke relays the advice, “Anyone can publish on the Web, but not everyone is publishing material that’s ideal for online reading…writing for digital is different than writing for print. Text that works best on the Web is text that gets right to the point fast and that makes it easy for readers to pick out information.” Get some tips for accomplishing that goal here.
Business Talker Ray Lucia to Retire from Broadcasting. Financial talk pro Ray Lucia is retiring from broadcasting after his last program on June 28. “The Ray Lucia Show” debuted on KFMB-AM in San Diego in 1990. The show was syndicated nationally in 2000 on Business Talk Radio Network, now known as BizTalkRadio. In 2006, the TV version of The Ray Lucia Show debuted on BizTV. Lucia says that after discussing it with his wife, they agreed the time is right. “I have spent decades telling others how to enjoy their retirement years, and it was time to listen to my own advice.” BizTV and BizTalkRadio COO Scott Miller says, “Very rarely does a radio and television program come along that both entertains and informs listeners and viewers. There is no doubt in my mind that thousands of families have benefited from Ray’s wisdom on how to manage money. He is from a generation of broadcasting that will be deeply missed.”
Radio Hall of Fame Names Nominees for Class of 2019. The 24 nominees for the Radio Hall of Fame’s Class of 2019 are named and voting begins today. The nominations in six categories were determined by the organization’s Nominating Committee. Four of those categories will be voted on by a voting participant panel comprised of nearly 1,000 industry professionals. Then, beginning on July 15, listeners nationwide will have the opportunity to vote on the other two categories. Inductees will be announced on August 5. Radio Hall of Fame chairman Kraig Kitchin comments, “Each year we have the privilege of coming together to acknowledge those who have tremendously impacted our industry and the audiences they serve. We’re all proud to present our 2019 nominees.” The inductees in the four categories voted by the industry are: Longstanding Local/Regional (20 years or more): Bob Rivers, Charles Laquidara, Harry Harrison, and Jack Harris. Active Local/Regional (10 years or more): Angie Martinez, Kevin and Bean, Preston and Steve, and Sarah and Vinnie. Longstanding Network/Syndication (20 years or more): Jim Rome, Robert Siegel, Sid Mark, and “Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me!” Active Network/Syndication (10 years or more): George Noory, Glenn Beck, John Tesh, Kim Komando. The two categories voted by the public are: Music Format On-Air Personality: Hollywood Hamilton, Lon Helton, Mark & Brian Show, Ryan Seacrest. Spoken Word On-Air Personality: Joe Madison, Scott Slade, Stephanie Miller, and Suzyn Waldman.
Lis Wiehl Exits WOR. There’s no press statement from iHeartMedia about the change in the evening show on news/talk WOR, New York, but Lis Wiehl has left the “WOR Tonight with Joe Concha & Lis Wiehl” program that aired from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Wiehl and Concha were partnered for the show at the beginning of this year. Concha now hosts the show solo, according to the station’s website. Wiehl is an attorney, best-selling author, and has served as a legal analyst for several media platforms.
Sports KYAL-FM, Tulsa Names RJ Young Host of Midday Show. The station names RJ Young host of the 9:00 am to 11:00 am show, previously titled “The Sports Mix” that featured a rotating cast of hosts. The Tulsa World reports that Young came to the attention of KYAL-FM management after he posted more than 1,000 videos of his sports commentary to YouTube. He tells the paper, “Unbelievable opportunity. If you had told me a few months ago that I would have this platform, I would have kicked you in the shins. I would have laughed. To do sports talk radio in such a great sports state — this is an amazing privilege and honor.” At the same time, the station names market sports personality Erik Gee as co-host of the 11:00 am to 2:00 pm program with Pat Jones.
Hubbard Radio Talent Institute Gets Underway Today. Today the Hubbard Radio Talent Institute begins on the campus of Central Washington University. Over the coming 10 days, students enrolled in the program will hear and meet radio pros from Hubbard, Alpha Media, Bonneville, iHeartMedia, Townsquare Media and others. Each broadcaster teaches in his or her area of expertise, ranging from on-air, sports, news, sales, digital, podcasting, promotions, videography, engineering, and practically all aspects of the business. All sessions are on the CWU campus except for one day in Seattle when students are welcomed to Bonneville Seattle Media Group by VP/market manager David Pridemore, 710 ESPN’s Mike Salk and others, followed by a trip to KIRO-TV. The Hubbard Radio Talent Institute is the third of eight Radio Talent Institutes this summer from the National Radio Talent System, along with the Beasley Radio Talent Institute at Emerson College in Boston; Kellar Radio Talent Institute, Appalachian State University in North Carolina; TAB Radio Talent Institute at the University of Tennessee; Confer Radio Talent Institute at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania; GAB Radio Talent Institute at the University of Georgia; KBA WKU Radio Talent Institute at Western Kentucky University and the MBA Radio Talent Institute at Northwest Missouri State University.
Trump in England/D-Day Anniversary, 2020 Presidential Race, Impeachment Talk, Mexico Tariffs Averted, Hong Kong Protest, U.S.-China Relations, Big Tech Anti-Trust Investigation, and NHL/NBA Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The aftermath of President Trump’s state visit to the U.K. and the 75th anniversary of the Invasion of Normandy; the Democrats vying to face Trump in 2020; the intensification of Democrats’ impeachment talk; Trump pulls back on Mexico tariffs threat; the massive Hong Kong protest against new extradition to China law; U.S. relations with China and Trump’s tariffs; the investigation into possible anti-trust practices by Big Tech firms; and the NHL and NBA 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. In Tampa Bay, iHeartMedia names Nick Wize assistant program director and afternoon drive host at CHR WFLZ-FM. iHeartMedia Tampa Bay SVP of programming Tommy Chuck says, “I’ve known Nick for years and have seen his love for radio up close. He’s creative, driven and has performed at a high level throughout his career. I am excited to have Nick by my side as we continue to build on 93.3 FLZ’s incredible 30-year history!” Wize comes to Tampa after having served iHeartMedia as APD and air talent at the company’s KRQQ, Tucson…..Sad news in the iHeartMedia family as WLLR, Quad Cities afternoon personality Bo J. Spates died in his sleep on Saturday night (6/8). The station is paying tribute to Spates during his show today (6/10).