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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

| August 24, 2016

WXYT-FM Detroit’s Terry Foster Sidelined by ‘Minor Stroke.’ One half of the “Valenti & Foster” show on CBS RADIO’s WXYT-FM, Detroit will be off the air until October 3.  Terry Foster announced on the station’s websitefosterterry that “I suffered a minor stroke but I am going to fully recover.  I can already feel a difference in how I speak and how I type.  My fine motor skills are a little messed up in my right hand and I am not ready to throw a pitch from the pitcher’s mound.  But I feel a little better every day.”  The former Detroit News and Detroit Free Press writer has been partnered with Mike Valenti on the highly rated show since 2004.

iHeartMedia Brings Tom Sheridan Aboard.  Sales pro Tom Sheridan – formerly a GSM and director of sheridantomsales for E.W. Scripps’ crosstown operations – joins the iHeartMedia’s Milwaukee station group to serve as a senior account executive.  Sheridan brings his quarter century of sales experience in the market to iHeartMedia’s cluster that includes: country WMIL, urban contemporary WKKV, classic hits WRIT, news/talk WISN, CHR WRNW, and sports talk WOKY.

TED Talk and Audible Partner on New, Anonymous Audio TED Talks. The success of TED has not only led to the expansion of the TED Talks online but to the TEDx initiative that allows free licenses to local organizers to organize their own TED-like events.   Now, TED curator Chris Anderson is announcing a new audio TED logoplatform – in conjunction with the folks at Audible – featuring anonymous, audio TED Talks.  In a post at TED blog, Anderson notes the special nature of audio only – he says the “picturelessness” connects us more intimately than any other medium.  But the reason for the new anonymous TED Talks is to offer the chance to connect with others to people with knowledge that matters who might not otherwise because of the repercussions of going public.  He writes, “Imagine ghostwriters, witnesses, wise souls who’ve survived something profound.  A public figure living with mental illness.  Someone who secretly gave up a child for adoption.  A teenager who fought back against bullying and won.  A parent who found a way to balance the needs of an autistic child and a neurologically normal one.  A doctor living with a life and death mistake.  An illegal immigrant with ideas on how to change the system.  A CEO who knows exactly how and when companies go wrong.  Someone living a double life.”  You can read Anderson’s entire blog post here.

The Presidential Campaign/Clinton Family Foundation Questions, Syrian Conflict/Iran Boots Russian Air Force, Obama Visits Louisiana, Sinking Oil Prices, Putin Offers Middle East Peace Talks, an MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/23).  The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and allegations donors to the Clinton Family Foundation were given access to Clinton while she was Secretary of State; the ongoing Syrian conflict and Iran’s decision to rescind Russia’s access to its air bases; President Obama’s visit to flooded regions of Louisiana and criticism he waited until his vacation was over; the sinking price of crude oil; Vladimir Putin offers to host Middle East peace talks; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

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Yappy Fever!  The colorful host and owner of talker WCRS-AM/FM, Greenwood, South Carolina – the irrepressible Anne Eller – is pictured above doing prep for her forthcoming interview this week with Bernadette Duncan, author of the book that has the talk industry buzzing, Yappy Days: Behind the Scenes with Newsers, Schmoozers, Boozers and Losers (AuthorHouse/Talkers Books, 2016).  The book chronicles Bernadette’s 26-year career as a producer for big-time talk hosts (such as Sally Jessy Raphael, Larry King, Tom Snyder, Lou Dobbs and Gil Gross) during the golden era between 1983 and 2009.  It is an insider’s personal perspective of the good, the bad, and even a bit of the ugly sides of the business and people hosting the shows and guesting on them.  A parade of hundreds of contemporary personalities is dissected in this compelling collection of anecdotes and insights.  Bernadette has embarked on a national tour of radio and is receiving rave reviews on both the book and her performance as a fascinating guest.  For info about the book, please click here.  To book Bernadette as a guest, please call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallWho the Heck Is Marvin Robert Klopfenstein?  He’s one of the most seasoned and storied radio professionals in the business – better known throughout the industry as Bob K – and he’s this week’s guest on the PodcastOne award-winning hit series, “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”  Today, the former (self-described) “nerd” from Chino, California – who took accordion lessons, owned a ventriloquist dummy, had a pet duck and pushed around an AV cart in high school – maintains a relatively modest profile as the owner/operator of the Boston-based production company, Bob K Sound & Recording.  But back in the day, he programmed and/or managed some of the most important music and talk stations in the nation (KABC, KOA, KFWB, WIND, KING, KOB, KMPC, WBZ and more) and coached some of the biggest-name talent (Jerry Williams, Larry Glick, TombobK16KelseyGrammer Leykis, Doug Stephan and the legendary Alan Berg to name a handful).  The conversation between Harrison and Klopfenstein is a radio geek’s delight!  They talk about Bob K’s experience serving as the radio consultant on the successful, multi-Emmy Award-winning “Frasier” television sitcom back in the 1990s – and is still playing to huge audiences on Netflix. It starred Kelsey Grammer as the pompous Seattle radio psychiatrist Dr. Frasier Crane.  One of the many assets that made “Frasier” one of the best TV shows of all time was its atypically accurate depiction of the radio station, studio and employees – due in large part to then-KABC program manager Bob K’s expertise and participation in designing the set and coaching the actors.  Fans of the classic TV series will love this podcast.  Harrison and Klopfenstein also talk about the late Alan Berg (whom Bob K hired at KOA), the liberal/Jewish personality murdered in cold blood by anti-Semitic, white supremacists in 1984, who inspired the Eric Bogosian/Oliver Stone play and film, “Talk Radio.”  To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column of every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

Odds & Sods.  There’s a three-hour Labor Day special for news/talk stations available from Our American Network titled, “Our American Stories.”  The host is Lee Habeeb, who also hosts the nightly version of the magazine-style show of the same name.  Included in this special are segments with actor Robert De Niro detailing his climb to superstardom in entertainment and what he thinks are important tools to success, racing superstar Mario Andretti, and 5-Hour Energy Drink developer Manoj Bhargava…..Mapleton Communications does a frequency swap between its news/talk and sports talk properties in the Redding, California market.  News/talk is now heard on KQMS-FM, translator K289BT, Anderson at 105.7 FM and KQMS-AM at 1670 AM as “News Talk Superstation.”  Sports talk KNRO “FOX Sports Redding” moves down the AM dial to 1400 and is simulcast on translator K263BP, Bridgeport at 103.9 FM…..Alpha Media’s news/talk KFOR, Lincoln, Nebraska is honored withkforaward16LG five Excellence in Broadcasting Awards from the Nebraska Broadcasters Association.  The station took home two gold awards for Spot News and Service to Agriculture, as well as three silver awards for Best Newscast, Service to Children, and Service to Government, Business, Industry, and Education.   Pictured here are KFOR’s Jeff Motz (left) and Chris Goforth (right) with their gold award in Spot News for their severe weather coverage of 2015.  Motz also won the silver award for Best Newscast along with Charlie Brogan.  Dale Johnson won the gold award for Service to Agriculture with his “Lincoln Live” discussion about the future of Ag Journalism.

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SRN Prepares Special Ebola Report.  Pictured above is Salem Radio Network vice president, news & talk programming Tom Tradup in West Africa gathering content for the SRN News week-long special focusing on the 2014 Ebola outbreak titled, “Ebola: The Crisis Prayer Conquered.”

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

| April 13, 2016

levinTV4-16Mark Levin TV Show Gets Seven-Year Extension.  Conservative media personality Mark Levin’s recently launched digital video program is off to such a good start that production firm CRTV (parent company of Conservative Review) is extending its deal with LevinTV through 2022.  CRTV chief content officer Chris Crane states, “From day one, we were confident that America was looking for a show like LevinTV.  LevinTV has hit it out of the park, and we’re convinced that his audience will only continue to grow.”  The 40-minute, nightly program is available on a subscription basis ($7.99 per month). The HD-quality video is produced at CRTV’s “bunker” themed state-of-the-art 3,000 square foot studio.  CRTV describes the program that launched back in February, calling it “a commercial-free explosion of Mark Levin’s engaging personality, unique intellect and passionate commentary about history, economics, philosophy and the latest political and current events.  With more than 40 minutes of original content every weeknight, the show also features exclusive, long-form interviews with compelling guests from all walks of life, as well as questions and comments from fans via social media.”  Levin adds, “This seven-year deal is positive proof that America has long wanted a show where people can have their principles, beliefs and values reinforced rather than attacked.  We knew that an unabashedly pro-American TV show would resonate throughout America.”

ppmunitNielsen Audio Releases Second Round of March 2016 PPM Data.  The second of four rounds of March 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Washington, Boston, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Minneapolis, San Diego, Tampa, Denver, Baltimore, and St. Louis.  The March 2016 survey period covered February 25 – March 23.  You can find the complete ratings from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

elliswendyCumulus LA Names Wendy Ellis to New Marketing Post.  The full title of Wendy Ellis’ new position with Cumulus Media in Los Angeles is director of marketing, strategic and creative partnerships.  This is a return to radio for Ellis who started her career in music as marketing director for iHeartMedia’s rock KXXR, Minneapolis “93X.”  In 2006 she joined music management and productionkabc logo company The Firm as tour director.  In 2009, she was named marketing director at Goldenvoice, and has worked the last two years in Goldenvoice’s festival division.  Now she’ll be working with classic rock KLOS and news/talk KABC.  Cumulus Los Angeles VP/market manager Dawn Girocco says, “We are very excited to have Wendy on our team.  Her unique experience will help us grow both of these incredible brands and her understanding of talent, events and marketing partnerships will be invaluable to us and to our listeners, customers and partners.”

The Presidential Race, Brexit Threats, Increased Afghanistan al Qaeda Activity, 9/11 Documents Declassification, and Hawking-Led Search for Alien Life Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/12).  The activities of the candidates for president; the potential exit of Great Britain from the European Union; the increased activity of al Qaeda in Afghanistan and the U.S.’ plans for military intervention; President Obama’s plans to review the possibility of releasing classified 9/11 documents that some say show Saudi Arabia’s role in the attack; and Stephen Hawking’s plan to search for alien life with backing from Mark Zuckerberg and Russian billionaire Yuri Milner were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TRN Files Anti-Trust Suit Against Multiple Parties.  The 44-page complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Oregon is long and a bit complex but a summary is as follows: the several Talk Radio Network companies are suing eight defendants – Cumulus Media, Westwood One, Compass Media Networks, Compass Media Marketing, WYD Media Management, WYM Media Management, Lew Dickey, and Charles Steinhauer – alleging conspiracy to monopolize, and actual monopolization of, the independent national syndication ad rep market.  There are 15 causes of action listed in the complaint.  They address certain defendants in groups or individually but basically allege that in addition to the conspiracy to create a monopoly noted above, they’ve committed restraint of trade; tortious interference with contractual relations; breach of fiduciary duty; breach of contract; and more.  TRN alleges it was not paid properly for the ads sold by Westwood One as its ad rep.  It claims all defendants conspired to create the illusion of competition and alleges Westwood One, Cumulus and Steinhauer converted funds that were rightfully TRN’s to their personal uses.  TRN is seeking injunctive relief, triple damages, interest from monies owed and attorneys’ fees.

Odds & Sods. The Stanley Cup Playoffs begin today (4/13) and CBS RADIO’s sports talk WFAN and all-news WCBS in New York will be airing the New York Islanders’ playoff games when their first series begins on Thursday against the Florida Panthers…..New York sports talk hosts Alan Hahn (MSG Knick’s analyst) and Rick DiPietro (former Islanders goalie)  will be featured in video format this summer as MSG Networks will air a one-hour highlight program from the duo’s midday “Hahn & Humpty” show heard on ESPN O&O WEPN, New York “ESPN 98.7.”  Starting May 23 and running through September 8, the show will air at 7:00 pm…..Marketing pro Thomas Mancusi joins AudioBoom in the newly created position of vice president, sales and development role where he’ll lead the launch of its premium ad sales unit.  Mancusi is charged with developing personalized campaigns that maximize listener engagement opportunities from the biggest podcasts and radio brands in the AudioBoom network.  Mancusi will work with AudioBoom’s podcast content creators and advertisers on bespoke sponsorships, live reads, endorsements, and more. The company already delivers pre- and post-roll advertising options on itswibwvan16 network, which includes on-demand audio from NBC Sports Radio, Associated Press, The BBC, Russell Brand Podcast, and Undisclosed…..Alpha Media’s Topeka news/talk WIBW recently worked with the Kansas Ag Network and Kansas Farm Bureau to assist ranchers affected by the devastating wildfire in Kansas.  The fire that spread over more than 500 square miles injured or killed many cattle, separating calves from their mothers.  So, 1,110 pounds of calf milk replacer were purchased and delivered via the WIBW station van (pictured here) to the relief center four hours away.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

| November 5, 2015

womentalkart15The State of Women on Talk Radio: Part 4.  Today (11/5), TALKERS magazine continues its multi-part story looking at the status of women on talk radio in 2015.  Written by special features correspondent Jeff McKay, it addresses one of the most-asked questions TALKERS editors hear: Why aren’t there more women on talk radio?  Today we explore the question: What is the future for women on talk radio?  Consultant Valeriegellervalerie Geller says that developing shows hosted by women, like most new programs, takes time.  “Oprah’s audience was made for women, hosted by a woman and got a huge female audience.  You also have to give shows time to grow and find their audience.  Both Rush and Sean had that.  Many female hosts are given an opportunity, but management gets scared and pulls the plug too soon — shows take time to grow — you have to be willing to believe in, develop and then give a talent the time it takes to grow, male or female.”   At Tribune’s WGN, Chicago, VP/content and programming Todd manley, toddManley says his station has numerous female voices – both in news and on talk host positions – and they’ve been brought aboard because they have specific attractive qualities.  Wendy Snyder co-hosts middays and Patti Vasquez hosts solo at night.  Manley says, “Wendy is just simply curious.  She flies into every show without pretense.  Plus, she has an engaging lack of filter, which works for her because she’s loving.  Patti has an investigative gene and she’s quickly becoming Chicago’s favorite community activist.  You throw in her comic genius and you get great laughs with the tears.”  Read the entire piece here.

iheartmedia logo smalliHeartMedia Q3 Consolidated Revenue Down 3.1%.  For the third quarter of 2015, iHeartMedia is reporting that although its consolidated revenue increased slightly during the period, unfavorable impact from movements in foreign exchange rates caused its reported consolidated revenue to drop to $1.57 million – down 3.1% compared to the same period a year ago.  The iHeartMedia segment, excluding Americas Outdoor and Internation Outdoor, saw revenue increase $22 million, or 3%, excluding political advertising revenues.  On a reported basis, revenue increased $16 million, or 2%, during the third quarter 2015 as compared to the third quarter 2014 driven primarily by sponsorship revenue related to the iHeartRadio Music Festival, barter and trade revenue and digital revenue.  Partially offsetting these increases was a decrease in political advertising revenues, lower core broadcast radio revenue and prior year revenue from the radio towers sold this year during the second quarter of 2015.

townsquare logoTownsquare Media Q3 Revenue Up 4.2% on Pro Forma Basis.  There are a number of ways to look at the third quarter financial numbers announced by Townsquare Media and the company’s acquisition of non-radio assets is important in sifting through the numbers.  The 4.2% increase in net revenue on a pro forma basis means “pro forma for the acquisitions of WE Fest and NAME [North American Midway Entertainment] on October 31, 2014 and September 1, 2015, respectively, as well as for the divestiture of certain of our towers on September 1, 2015.”  However, thepricesteven company’s net revenue for Q3 increased over the same period a year ago by 9.7% (excluding the NAME acquisition) and 7.1% including NAME and on a constant currency basis.  In a press release, chairman and CEO Steven Price states, “We believe our third quarter performance again demonstrates the strength of our diversified strategy.  Our results were in line with our guidance and our strong cash flow generation also allowed us to strengthen our balance sheet through the voluntary repayment of $20 million of our outstanding term loan debt.”  Looking a little closer, local advertising net revenue increased just $0.6 million, or 0.7% over the same period a year ago.

bellart15Art Bell’s ‘Midnight in the Desert’ Clears on KABC, Los Angeles.  Many in the talk radio industry are by now aware that late-night paranormal talker Art Bell has returned to hosting a nightly program that is being offered in syndication to AM/FM stations.  The former host of “Coast to Coast AM” is putting his show on the internet via his ArtBell.com but recently began affiliate efforts.  Now, TALKERS learns the show is now being cleared on Cumulus Media’s KABC, Los Angeles, delayed by an hour from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am PT.  Bell recently spoke with TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison on Harrison’s hit podcast for media freaks called “Up Close and Far Out” on the PodcastOne platform.  Listen to it here.

radioonelogoRadio One’s Radio Segment Down 6.6% in Third Quarter.  Chief executive officer and president Alfred Liggins says the radio segment of Radio One continues to be challenged with its stations underperforming.  The dip of 6.6% in net revenue compared to the markets in which they operate – down just 2.2% — should change in the future.  “We are seeing some signs of stabilization in our Washington, DC and Houston clusters, as well as strong performances from Dallas, Philadelphia and St Louis.  During the quarter we experienced double-digit ratings growth in 11 of our 15 markets, and our four largest markets showed ratings growth of 15% on average from July to September.  This positiveligginsalfred ratings momentum should lead to improved monetization in 2016.”  The company’s TV One and Reach Media have performed better, helping to offset the radio sector’s performance.  The company as a whole reports net revenue up 3.3% for the quarter.  Liggins adds, “Fourth quarter core radio advertising revenues, excluding political advertising, are currently pacing (8.3%) YTY.  We remain focused on correcting our underperforming radio clusters, while delivering increased cash-flow through overall cost containment, and revenue growth in the cable television business.  I am excited that David Kantor has accepted the role as CEO of our radio platform, including our local stations, network and syndication business.  Bringing together all of our radio assets under one leadership structure will enhance our ability to compete and transform our business for the future.”

sagaSaga Communications Q3 Net Revenue Down 1.6%.  The third quarter report from Saga Communications, Inc. shows the company’s net revenue was down 1.6% on income of $33.8 million.  The company also reports that free cash flow increased 11.3% to $5.5 million for the quarter and station operating expense decreased $2.0 million to $24.3 million.  For the nine month period from January through September 30, net revenue was down just 0.4% on income of $97.3 million.

carollaadamAdam Carolla Re-Ups with PodcastOne.  One of podcasting’s most successful personalities is continuing his relationship with the Norm Pattiz-founded PodcastOne advertiser-supported podcast network.  Carolla Digital and Adam Carolla ink an exclusive sales and marketing deal for anpodcastone b additional five years.  On top of repping the Carolla Digital lineup of programs, the companies will work closely on production and development of new programming.  Carolla has been represented by PodcastOne since the company launched.  The terms of the deal were not disclosed.   Pattiz comments, “I learned one lesson very early in life – if you want to do something, do it with the best.  I’ve been working with Adam since his ‘Loveline’ days and I hope that my obituary is read on his show first.”

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Harrison Talks About the State of Journalism with CBS News Radio VP, Harvey Nagler.  In the latest installment of the international hit PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out,”  Michael Harrison engages in an in-depth conversation about electronic journalism in the digital age with CBS News Radio VP Harvey Nagler.  Nagler is one of the most respected and decorated executives in the realm of radio journalism. The two discuss the role of news on radio today as well as radio’s changing role in the convergence of traditionalnaglerharvey platforms.  It is a substantive conversation covering everything from media responsibility and the impact of citizen gatekeepers on the state of truth to the evolving mission of journalism schools and emerging opportunities for young people entering the field of news in this very new environment.  Harrison and Nagler reflect upon the legacy of Edward R. Murrow and compare what he did in the 1940s and 50s to today’s multimedia 24 hour news cycle.  Yes, they even mention Donald Trump and the public’s ever-increasing fascination for politics as an entertaining spectator sport in the current presidential election cycle.  To listen to the entire conversation, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” player box located in the right-hand column of every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

kabclogoKABC, Los Angeles to Be Subject of Panel Discussion at SoCal Media Convention.  The convention at the Holiday Inn Media Center in Burbank is being presented by SPERDVAC – the Society to Preserve and Encourage Radio Drama, Variety And Comedy and it takes place this weekend.  In addition to a lot of recreations of Golden Age of Radio theatre and celeb appearances, there will be panel discussions.  One will feature talk about legendary Los Angeles station KABC.  Moderating it will be radio pro and former KABC host Bill Moran.  On the panel will be Eric Tracy, Carole Hemmingway, Tommy Hawkins, Royale Oaks, George Green, Ira Fistell, and TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (via Skype).  Moran says they discuss what made KABC legendary and how the station’s talk programming has changed since it assumed the spoken-word format in the 1960s.  For more information about the convention, visit sperdvac.com.

CCraneRibbonCuttingC. Crane’s Impressive New Building.  The family-owned-and-operated C. Crane company has been in business since it was founded at the Crane family’s kitchen table in 1983 selling AM antennas for the love of talk radio.  Pictured here, you see the staff of the AM/FM radio and accessories vendor posing during the ribbon-cutting outside C. Crane’s newly remodeled 14,000 square foot facility.  Local dignitaries and employees decided they might as well celebrate Halloween at the same time since a big move like this is kind of scary.  Company founder Bob Crane says the new digs provide improved efficiency and better access for customers to the new showroom.  He says, “Our ability to design and manufacture new proprietary radio products has dramatically accelerated with the new facility.”

2016 Presidential Race, Tuesday’s Election Results, Russian Airline Crash, Syria-Russia Relationship, Illinois Cop Case, European Migrant Troubles-U.S. Immigration Policy, and Quentin Tarantino Controversy Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/4).  The activities of the candidates for president in 2016, including the controversy surrounding Donald Trump’s scheduled appearance hosting “Saturday Night Live” this weekend; the results of various gubernatorial and mayoral elections on Tuesday; the investigation into the crash of a Russian airliner in the Sinai and the possibility ISIS is responsible; the military relationship between Syria and Russia; the case of the Illinois cop, at first thought killed by attackers and now believed to have committed suicide to hide his theft of funds; the ongoing migrant troubles in European countries and U.S. immigration policy; and the flap over director Quentin Tarantino’s support of a rally against deadly police violence were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, August 10, 2015

| August 10, 2015

Fox_News_Channel_logoMonday Trivia Question. Granted, this deals with television, but it most definitely could have talk radio implications. Here goes: What is the most-watched cable news telecast in history? Your hint is that viewership for this broadcast is estimated to have been 24 million. Give yourself a pat on the back if you guessed last week’s GOP presidential debate on the Fox News Channel. Among adults 18-49, the roughly two-hour debate drew 7.9 million. More than 20 million debate-related interactions appeared on Facebook. According to The Hollywood Reporter, by way of perspective, the first Republican primary debate in 2011 attracted 3.2 million viewers to FNC, and that channel’s coverage of the final 2012 presidential debate between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney reached 11.5 million.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison comments, “The amazing numbers attracted by the Fox debate certainly underscore the power and potency of politics as an area of interest in America.  Those who are loudly touting the death of politics, in general, as a viable genre within the talk radio universe are missing the point.  The question should not be IF politics belongs as a mainstay topic of news/talk radio – but HOW it should be done going forward.”  Harrison adds, “And that, of course, is not to say that talk radio cannot benefit by tapping into so many other topics of concern to people today beyond politics… but this election is proving that politics is here to stay and to abandon it would be throwing the proverbial baby out with the bathwater.”

iheartmedia-logo-small22KFI, KLAC Add HD2 Coverage. Sports KLAC “AM 570,” Los Angeles will simulcast on the HD2 channel of co-owned iHeartMedia alternative cluster-mate KYSR “Alt 98.7,” while talker KFI will simulcast on the HD2 channel of adult contemporary sibling AC KOST “Coast 103.5.” Senior vice president of programming Andrew Jeffries comments, “Exposing our premiere talk brands of KFI and KLAC to a wider audience on HD is an exciting progression for our programming. It is in our listeners’ best interests to have these stations on every platform they desire, from the AM frequencies, on the iHeartRadio app, and now HD2.” No HD channel for any company appears in Nielsen Audio‘s July 2015 PPM report for Los Angeles. Among persons 6+ in July, KOST’s main “Coast 103.5” channel places #1 overall (5.4); KFI is #8 (3.4); KYSR is tied for #19 (2.4); and Los Angeles Dodgers‘ flagship KLAC is #31 (.9).

Radio OneNet Q2 Radio One Revenue Grows to $119.8 million. That represents a gain of 10.5% from $108.4 million in 2014. Meanwhile, station operating-income shows a 14.3% improvement (from $41 million) to $46.9. Radio One president and chief operating officer Alfred Liggins, however, comments, “Core radio advertising business was soft for the quarter, although in line with our expectations, and partially offset by the strong performance of our network and syndication business – Reach Media. On a combined basis, radio plus Reach Media revenue was +8.6% versus Q2 2014, or -3.2% after adjusting for the timing of major events. Third quarter core radio advertising revenue is currently pacing down mid-single digits, but we expect this decline to be more than offset by the continued strong performance of TV One; we are working diligently to turn around radio performance in our key markets.”  Television advertising for the company was up 13.7% for the quarter, and affiliate revenues were +27%. Compared to $10.8 million or 23 cents per share a year ago, Radio One’s net earnings grow to $13 million – or 27 cents per share.

GiffordRemembering Frank Gifford. He wore #16 for the New York Football Giants and was one of the NFL‘s premier players in a career that spanned a dozen years (1952 – 1964). Owing to his rugged good looks, Frank Gifford transitioned to broadcasting when his playing days were over. Perhaps seen by some as a pretty boy, the University of Southern California All-American – who died today (Sunday, 8/9) of natural causes in his Connecticut home – constantly burned and embarrassed defenses as a halfback, receiver, or he could even run the option. Not only was Gifford on the Giants’ 1956 championship team, he was the league’s MVP that year and the Pro Bowl MVP two years later. In 2008, Gifford, along with Peter Richmond, wrote “The Glory Game: How the 1958 NFL Championship Changed Football Forever.” The Baltimore Colts beat Gifford’s New York Giants in that game, 23-17. Several particular things worth noting about Santa Monica-born “Faultless Frank” are that, while virtually everyone recalls him for his fame in television, he actually cut his media teeth in radio. Moreover, while most former athletes-turned-broadcasters did (and do) so in the capacity of analyst, Gifford adroitly took charge in the play-by-play role. Others did it before and since, but Gifford was one of the very first who looked and sounded like a professionally-trained broadcaster. In addition, in the overwhelming number of cases, ex-athletes in the booth tend to be one-trick ponies, covering only the sport they played. Not Gifford: He handled multiple sports and was an integral part of ABC-TV‘s “Olympics” coverage. During his playing days, he worked at CBS Radio in several capacities and would go on to anchor a nightly CBS Radio Network sports roundup. Gifford continued his relationship with CBS, doing sports on New York City owned & operated WCBS-TV (channel 2), ultimately graduating to calling Sunday games on CBS-TV. Many would say the huge break for Gifford was shifting to ABC-TV for that network’s “MNF” games. He replaced Keith Jackson in 1971, joining Howard Cosell and “Dandy” Don Meredith. His wife of 29 years, “Today Show” host Kathie Lee Gifford (Frank & Kathie Lee at right), is among those who survive Gifford and she took to Twitter to note she is “deeply grateful to all [for your]Frank & Kathy Lee Gifford outpouring of grace.” CBS Radio Los Angeles CHR KAMP “Amp” morning personality/host of NBC-TV‘s “The Voice” Carson Daly tweets, “My heart breaks for the loss of Frank; we are praying and thinking of [his family] today.” Kathie Lee’s “Today Show” co-host, Hoda Kotb, writes she is “heartbroken.” Also in “The Today Show” family, Al Roker notes that he will “always remember Frank Gifford’s grace, self-deprecating wit and love of his family – so much to so many.” Frank Gifford met Kathie Lee when they guest-hosted “Good Morning America.” That show’s former co-host Joan Lunden writes, “Great guy, great couple.” According to Kendall Jenner, it is a “very sad day. Rest in peace to my Godfather – the legend, Frank Gifford.” Frank and Kathie Lee Gifford have a son and daughter; the 1977 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee had three other children from a previous marriage. This coming Saturday (8/16), Frank Gifford, would have turned 85 years old.

FCC LogoOver $4 Million Generated From FCC FM Auction 98. Results after 10 days and more than 50 rounds find 59 qualified bidders scoring 102 permits, with the FCC taking in slightly more than $4.1 million. It is all part of FM Auction 98, as the FCC auctions FM construction permits. The Erie Company, LLC boasts top bid honors ($714,000) for a Westfield, New York permit, while Iris Media, LLC proposes $421,000 for a Columbia, Missouri permit. Alpha Media remains active by offering more than $400,000 for a permit in Harper, Texas.

WGN LogoTribune Tower Continues Its Brick Collection. When he was Tribune‘s publisher and company president (1911-1955) Robert R. McCormick requested that his correspondents bring back stones from their travels to add into the base of Chicago’s Tribune Tower. That tradition lives on this Friday (8/14) at 11:30 am when bricks from Wrigley Field (home of the Chicago Cubs) and Comiskey Park (Chicago White Sox) will permanently be installed into the limestone exterior of Tribune Tower. WGN-AM host Bob Sirott will host the ceremony, which will include interviews with Cubs president of business operations Crane Kenney and White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf. The bricks will join 148 stones from around the world and all 50 states that are already part of the Tribune Tower’s façade. Artifacts included are from The Alamo, Great Wall of China, Taj Mahal, and Abraham Lincoln’s original tomb. Last added to the building were tiles from the Sydney Opera House in May 2006. Tribune-owned talker WGN-AM, of course, was the longtime radio flagship of the Cubs, whose games – as of this year – air on CBS Radio‘s news-formatted WBBM-AM; CBS Radio-owned WSCR “The Score” is the White Sox flagship, but that will change next year when the pale hose shift to Cumulus Media talker WLS-AM.

KOIL-AMOdds & Sods. KOIL “The Mighty 1290,” Omaha joins the Kansas City Chiefs’ 65-affiliate radio network. Executive producer Dan Israel notes, “Eastern Nebraska is a vital part of the ‘Chiefs Kingdom’ and we are very excited to welcome KOIL as the new exclusive home of Chiefs coverage for Omaha.” KOIL operations manager Dave Tepper states, “We are honored to join one of the NFL’s most passionate fan bases in cheering on the Chiefs.” The NRG Media talker begins its coverage by airing the team’s first preseason game this Saturday (8/15) against the Arizona Cardinals.

Westwood One HOF Pic 2Eight Inducted into Pro Football Hall of Fame. The ceremony from Canton, Ohio’s Pro Football Hall of Fame was held this past Saturday (8/8). Those honored were Jerome Bettis, Tim Brown, Charles Haley, Junior Seau, Will Shields, Mick Tingelhoff, Bill Polian, and Ron Wolf. Westwood One Sports had live coverage and then continued by airing the Hall of Fame Game the next day between the Minnesota Vikings (14) and Pittsburgh Steelers (3). Shown here are Westwood One’s Scott Graham, 2015 inductee/six-time Pro Bowl selection Jerome Bettis, and Westwood One analyst, Hall of Famer James Lofton.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Harrison Chats with Former FEMA Director (and Current KHOW, Denver Talk Host) Michael D. Brown as 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina Approaches.  It was almost a decade ago (August 23-31, 2005) that Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast of the United States with winds of up to 175 mph and flood waters of biblical proportions rising from the ocean and falling from the sky — leaving in its wake almost 1,900 fatalities, $108 billion in damages, and countless casualties and lives upended.  Michael D. Brown – the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at the time and Under Secretary of Homelandbrownmichael Security (“Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job”) became the official poster boy for everything that went wrong with the federal government’s too-little-too-late response to one of the greatest disasters in American history.  Some of the criticism that fell upon Brown was deserved – but much of it wasn’t.  After all, it was an epic crisis and involved numerous overlapping agencies, governments, and politicians charged with making things right.  Brown took a severe beating from the media as well as a proverbial bullet for the team and stepped down from his position with the Bush Administration.  A lawyer by trade, Brown went on with his life, taking away an enormous amount of wisdom and experience from the episode.  Undaunted, he began speaking to groups around the country about the insidious side of politics, and the human complexity of management and team play. He wrote a candid book about his role (and responsibility) in Katrina — Deadly Indifference: The Perfect (Political) Storm, Hurricane Katrina, the Bush White House, and Beyond (Taylor Trade, 2011).  He also began a successful talk show hosting career in Denver – first at KOA and then at KHOW, where he presently presides over a daily program 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm MT.  In the newly posted installment of the weekly international hit podcast “Up Close and Far Out” (8/4), Brown is interviewed by RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison about inside-Washington politics, the war on terror, the nature of the political mind, the psychological profile of presidents, the general state of media and journalism as well as what his life is like as a big market talk show host 10 years after Katrina.  To hear this must-listen conversation, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player located in the right hand column on every page of RadioInfo.com.

SagaCool Job Opening for News Reporter/Anchor.  Award-winning news/talker WSVA in Harrisonburg, Virginia has an opening in its news department.  They are looking for a hard working reporter/anchor to be part of their afternoon drive show and cover and report on local news.  Send audio and resume to fwilt@harrisonburgradiogroup.com or mail to Frank Wilt, WSVA Radio, 1820 Heritage Center Way, Harrisonburg, VA  22801.   Harrisonburg Radio Group.  EOE.

Monday, May 18, 2015

| May 18, 2015

nielsen logoNielsen: News/Talk Format Top in April PPM Survey.  That’s from Nielsen Audio’s analysis of its own data from the April 2015 PPM survey.  News/talk wins the format race – calculated based on average quarter hour share – with an 8.8 share of persons 6+.  When it comes to persons 25-54, news/talk lands in fifth place with a 6.2 share.  Ahead of the format in that demographic are (from first to fourth) are: pop/CHR, country, AC and hot AC.  View the rest of Nielsen’s report here.

alphamedia logoAlpha Media to Acquire 36 Signals from Morris Communications.  With the announced intent to buy 36 stations in eight markets from Morris Communications, Alpha Media says it’s on track to hit the 135-station mark.  Morris operates radio stations in: Topeka; Salina, Kansas; Amarillo, Texas; Palm Springs and Victor Valley, California; Anchorage; Wasilla, Alaska; Grays Harbor-morriscommunicationsHoquiam, Washington and Wenatchee-Columbia River, Washington.   Alpha chairman Larry Wilson comments, “What a wonderful thing it is to combine with such a fine stable of radio properties.  They bring heritage radio stations to our platform that will truly enhance our growth opportunities extensively.”  Morris Communications chairman and CEO William S. Morris III says, “We are pleased to enter into this agreement with Larry Wilson and his exceptional team.  They are experienced operators that will maintain the ongoing success of these stations.  We take comfort in knowing we have superior employees in each market that will continue to serve these wonderful communities.”  George Reed of Media Services Group is the broker for Alpha Media.

fontanadannyFormer Charlotte Radio Host Danny Fontana Dies at 65.  As reported by the Charlotte Observer’s Mark Washburn, former financial talk host and station owner Danny Fontana has died at age 65.  The Observer reports Fontana’s wife Mary found him dead in his study on Friday evening (5/15).  Businessman-turned-stock broker-turned radio personality Fontana started in the radio business doing financial/economic commentaries on WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte.  He then did the afternoon show there for four years, starting in 1995.  In 2000 he started co-hosting with Al Gardner on WBT’s morning show.  In 2005, Fontana bought WDYT-AM, Charlotte and ran the station for four years before tough financial times forced the station to go dark in 2009.

2015 NYC 150Talkers New York 2015 Sponsor C. Crane to Provide all Speakers at this Year’s Conference with a Radio.  One of America’s leading independent manufacturers and distributors of radios and radio-related products, C. Crane, will be providing each of the approximately 65 speakers at Talkers New York 2015 with a brand new radio.  The gesture, hailed by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison as “really boss,” is a symbolic display of support for the continuing importance of over-the-air broadcasting as a basic American communications platform.  Continuing beyond his retro-ese blurt, Harrison states, “C. Crane is not only a major force in keeping the concept of over-the-air radio alive and well, the company has long been a fabulous friend to the radio industry through its numerous, long-term sponsorships of stations, networks andccrane logo programs.”  Harrison adds, “Company president Bob Crane knows that the best target consumer group for superb new radios are people who are already listeners to and fans of the medium.  We can all take a lesson from that simple and obvious observation in terms of giving people who already know how to use this elegant little system known as ‘AM/FM radio’ compelling reasons to stick around.”  C. Crane is one of 15 sponsors of Talkers New York 2015 that include (in alphabetical order): ABC News Radio, American Family Farmer, Broadcasters General Store, Comrex Corporation, C. Crane, The Ric Edelman Show, The Sean Hannity Show, Life Coach Media, Newsmax, Premiere Networks, Radio America, The Dave Ramsey Show, Talk Radio News Service and A Touch of Grey (radio show).  Although registrations for the 18th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest running and most-important annual convention are sold out, several major sponsorship opportunities are still available.  For information please call 413-565-5413.  Talkers New York 2015 is a one-day event that takes place on Friday, June 12 at the historic India House in New York’s financial district.  For the latest agenda please click here.

Odds & Sods.  Former Boston talk radio producer Jeremy Leahy is now hosting his own show on the Cleveland, Tennessee-based digital station “Red State Talk Radio Network.”  Leahy’s program, “Standing Ground,” premieres on Thursday, May 28 at 7:00 pm ET.  During his career, Leahy has worked with conservative talk hosts including Jay Severin, Laura Ingraham and Bill O’Reilly…..NPR vice president for programming Eric Nuzum is exiting the public radio corporation for SVP of original programming for Amazon.com-owned Audible.com…..Radio personality Mark West’s oldies and talk morning show on WALL, Middletown, New York ends.  West had been brokering the time on the station and the rest of the dayparts had flipped to a regional Mexican format.

Cool Job Opportunity. Are you ready to go back to school?  Montclair State University Radio in beautiful, suburban Montclair, New Jersey, is looking for a new general manager.  Reporting to the director of the school of communication and media, the general manager is responsible for overseeing the 24/7 operation of WMSC-FM.  The GM will work closely with students, administration, faculty, staff, and alumni to develop a presence for the university radio station, which serves campus and local communities as well as a more global audience through the Internet. S/he will teach courses and workshops for students, fostering a rich learning environment and enabling the development of skills in all key areas of radio programming and production. S/he will also be responsible for maintaining full Federal Communications Commission compliance for the university’s licensed radio station.  Click HERE for more information and to apply online.