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Cumulus Makes Over KWQW, Des Moines. Gone is the “Wow FM” brand and in is “98.3 The Torch – Common Sense Radio” on Cumulus Media news/talker KWQW. New program director Robert Rees takes over the morning drive slot on air and WMAL, Washington-based Chris Plante as well as Cox Media’s Herman Cain make way for Westwood One’s Dennis Miller and Premiere’s Glenn Beck in middays. About his new gig, Rees says, “I’m excited to be here in Des Moines to get people to talk about and laugh about all aspects of life during their morning drive. Plus, we’ll get them all of the traffic, news and weather information they need to start their day!”
Joe Pags Returns to KPRC, Houston. Beginning on Monday, April 28, WOAI, San Antonio-based Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo will also be heard on Clear Channel’s Houston news/talk KPRC as his afternoon show will be simulcast on both stations from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm. In addition to his daily work on WOAI and KPRC, Joe Pags is also heard on Clear Channel’s syndicated “The Weekend” on Saturdays and on KOA, Denver from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm on Saturdays.
Syndication Reality: Measurable Audience Needed. The latest piece from Global Media Services founder Tony Garcia published in TALKERS today (4/23) focuses on the reality that some broadcasters with syndication programming ideas don’t want to hear: It takes measureable audience to get the attention of agency people. Garcia writes that for any general interest radio program, the fact is that “media buyers look for large audience metrics.” Garcia says that means listeners, not necessarily affiliate stations. For more, read Garcia’s column here.
RTDNA Names Regional Murrow Award Winners. The complete list of winners is too extensive to print here. You can check out the full list, by region, here. But some of the stations who took a moment to promote their victories included Cumulus Media’s KGO, San Francisco which won the 2014 Regional Edward R. Murrow Award for Overall Excellence which includes the categories of breaking news, continuing coverage, features and in-depth web and digital media presence. KGO OM Ron Escarsega comments, “There were lots of big stories to cover in 2013: the Asiana plane crash at SFO in July, two BART strikes that disrupted commutes for thousands of people and the U.S. Supreme Court decision that led to the resumption of gay marriages in California. But there were other stories, too, everything from the opening of the new span of the Bay Bridge to features, like the one about a guitar prodigy struggling with ALS. I’m very proud of the entire news team for coming together to provide comprehensive coverage for our listeners.” Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington was also honored for Overall Excellence in addition to being recognized in the following categories: Breaking News – Coverage of the Navy Yard Shooting; Feature Reporting – “V-E Day” by Reporter Kristi King; Sport Reporting – “Capital’s Dentist” by Sports Reporter Jonathan Warner; Hard News Feature – “United Pets” by Lori Lundin; WTOP senior news director Mike McMearty adds, “It is always an honor to be recognized with an Edward R. Murrow award. It’s especially gratifying when you win more than any other station in, what I believe is, one of the most competitive markets in the country. These awards are a reflection of the hard work and dedication of the entire WTOP newsroom staff and would not be possible without the freedom to experiment granted by our program director Laurie Cantillo.”
Premiere Networks Distributing TheBlaze Memorial Day Special. The title of the show is, “Freedom: Love It or Lose It,” and it’s a production of Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze Radio Network. It’s an “exclusive three-hour Memorial Day radio special…featuring the hosts, writers and editors of TheBlaze and TheBlaze.com, including: Doc Thompson, Buck Sexton, Jay Severin and others. From personal stories to conversations about the meaning of the holiday, listeners will be treated to a special tribute to those who fought and gave their lives to defend our freedom, and the loved ones who support them.” Premiere says it’s available for news/talk stations to air between May 24 and 26.
Emmis’ Jeff Smulyan Sits Down for NASDAQ Interview to Promote Radio Business. Some of the crew of Emmis Communications’ New York stations rang the closing bell at the NASDAQ last Friday and while visiting the exchange, CEO Jeff Smulyan sat down with journalist Kelsey Hubbard to appear on NASDAQ’s CEO Signature Series. Smulyan promoted his company’s efforts behind getting the FM chips in cell phones activated and in pushing the NextRadio platform. When asked about his company’s ability to prosper versus competitors including SiriusXM and Pandora, Smulyan stated that SiriusXM is a subscription service and implied it will always face challenges because of that. As for Pandora, he said his company has been streaming for 18 years and he’s yet to meet anyone who’s making money at it. “The cost structure is very different and I think that’s at the heart of it.” Watch the video here.
Lionel to Appear at Big Apple’s Cutting Room with Live Talk and Music Show. Maverick radio and television talk personality Lionel will be “playing” at the Cutting Room, an innovative midtown New York City nightclub owned by actor Chris Noth, and known for its dedication to excellent live music and performances. Lionel, whose commentaries are seen by New Yorkers on WPIX-TV channel 11, tells TALKERS, “Don’t call it stand up!” Lionel’s in-person presentation consists of a unique mixture of spoken word and music – described as “extreme thought and critical thinking” — along with the live music of his bluegrass trio, Lock ‘n Load. The one-night performance takes place at the Cutting Room, 44 East 32nd Street in Manhattan on Saturday, May 10 at 8:00 pm. Tickets are $30 in advance, $35 at the door. For more information call 212-691-1900 or click here.
This is High School Radio Day. More specifically, it is the third annual such event. WBFH, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan (suburban Detroit) station manager Pete Bowers is credited with founding/scheduling the inaugural High School Radio Day in May 2012, as well as last April’s follow-up. Estimating there are 200 high schools in the nation with an over-the-air non-commercial, educational radio station or an internet-only or online radio station, Bowers comments, “The number of terrestrial stations is dropping, but the number of online stations is increasing. Some of those are applying for LPFM construction permits. That is why we must unite on High School Radio Day and make the public aware of what we do, how we do it, and the service we provide our communities.” In 2012, 31 schools from 16 states registered for the event, compared to 52 schools from 32 states last year. Today’s activities planned by participating stations are found at www.highschoolradioday.com. Also on the website are names of participating high schools with links to their websites and online streams of their programming.
Celebrating CBS RADIO’s Move to DC. On Monday, TALKERS reported the plans CBS RADIO has to move its six-station cluster from its current offices in Lanham, Maryland to a newly re-developed part of Washington, DC – the Capitol Riverfront. Pictured here at the Monday afternoon press conference at the site of the office building on Half Street SE are (from left to right): Mayor Vincent C. Gray, senior vice president/market manager of CBS RADIO Washington, DC, Steve Swenson, and CBS RADIO president and CEO Dan Mason.
CBS Philly Partners for ‘Broad Street Run.’ The coming Blue Cross Broad Street Run on May 2-4 is being sponsored in part by The City of Philadelphia Department of Parks & Recreation and CBS RADIO Philadelphia. The company’s five radio stations are providing marketing, media and programming support as well as secure sponsorships for the famed race to grow the event “Beyond Broad Street.” This marks the run’s 35th anniversary. City official Michael DiBerardinis states, “The megaphone the CBS RADIO stations and CBSPhilly.com bring to the event is unparalleled. They have a proven track record working as close business partners with some of the City’s most iconic events such as the Stotesbury Cup Regatta and the Philadelphia Flower Show. We are excited to have them as partners.”
Russian Aggression in Ukraine/U.S. Troops Exercise in Eastern Europe, SCOTUS Affirmative Action Decision, U.S. al Qaeda Drone Strikes, 2016 Presidential Race/Mid-Term Elections, and South Korea Ferry Disaster Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/22). Growing concerns over Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and the arrival of U.S. troops in Poland as exercises in Eastern Europe begin; the Supreme Court’s decision to again strike the Affirmative Action policy in Michigan; the United States’ use of drones to hit al Qaeda targets in Yemen kills 55 suspected terrorists; speculation about the candidates for president in 2016 and the looming mid-term elections this fall; the crew of the South Korean Ferry that capsized faces charges after allegedly failing in its duty to passengers were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.