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Thursday, July 30, 2020

| July 30, 2020

Herman Cain Dies After Battle with COVID-19. Business executive, talk radio host, and former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain has died after an almost monthlong battle with COVID-19. Cain, 74, was admitted to the hospital around July 2. He’d traveled from his home base of Atlanta, appearing at President Trump’s Tulsa rally (where he was photographed not wearing a mask) and also visited the Phoenix area. The Herman Cain website states, “We knew when he was first hospitalized with COVID-19 that this was going to be a rough fight. He had trouble breathing and was taken to the hospital by ambulance. We all prayed that the initial meds they gave him would get his breathing back to normal, but it became clear pretty quickly that he was in for a battle.” Cain had a history of cancer. For years, he hosted a radio talk show on Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta — taking over the late morning daypart previously occupied by Neal Boortz — and was in national syndication for a period of time. Recently, he’d been doing a talk show available via his website. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “We in the talk media industry have lost one of our own with the tragic passing of Herman Cain.  He was not only a luminous example of the African American entrepreneurial spirit and largely unheralded conservative political influence, but he was also an accomplished, dedicated talk show host who rose to the heights of the Heavy Hundred for his successful work at WSB and presence in national syndication.  He was on the verge of adding yet another chapter to his talk media career with a new show on Newsmax TV.  It is a shame our industry has lost such an important voice and yet another stark example of why we must take this wretched virus seriously.”

Urban One Reports Second Quarter Net Revenue Down 37.5%. The first big radio company out of the gate with Q2 2020 financial data is Urban One, Inc. – parent of Radio One. The company reports that net revenue was approximately $76 million, a decrease of 37.5% from the same period in 2019. Broadcast and digital operating income was approximately $30.2 million, a decrease of 33.1%. Operating income was approximately $20.4 million compared to approximately $29.1 million for the same period in 2019. Urban One CEO and president Alfred C. Liggins, III says, “The economic impact of Covid-19 is fully evident in our second quarter numbers: radio advertising was down 51%, and event revenues were -96% year over year. Our TV and digital businesses fared better, with TV advertising revenue down 4.4% and digital -20%, highlighting the benefits of our diversified media asset base. We had to make tough decisions to reduce costs, and I am proud of how our team, including on-air talent, made sacrifices and worked diligently to keep us operating smoothly through the pandemic. With the issue of racial equality featuring so prominently around the world, it is critical that diverse voices continue to be heard and I thank all our staff and talent for their exceptional work engaging with our audience and clients. The outlook for the rest of 2020 remains uncertain, but I anticipate a similar pattern of strong performance from our TV business offsetting some of the weakness in radio advertising and events. On a same station basis, our Q3 core radio business is currently pacing -41% and we continue to see sequential improvement. Our cost saving measures remain in place, liquidity is strong with $70 million of cash on the balance sheet, and I firmly believe that Urban One will continue to successfully navigate our way through these unprecedented times.”

Good Karma Brands Recognizes Mike Golic’s ESPN Radio Career. Tomorrow (7/31) is the last day of ESPN’s “Golic and Wingo” morning radio program as the company’s new radio programming schedule begins on Monday (8/3). While Trey Wingo’s future with the company is unknown at this time, Mike Golic is transitioning to a position as a college football analyst with ESPN and in recognition of his radio work, Good Karma Brands’ ESPN radio stations are celebrating his 22 years in mornings on ESPN Radio with “22 hours of Golic.” Good Karma Brands’ ESPN stations in Chicago, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Madison, and West Palm Beach will be featuring memories, pictures, videos, and stories from his career. Additionally, Golic will also be interviewed on 850 ESPN Cleveland’s “The Really Big Show” with Tony Rizzo and Aaron Goldhammer today (7/30). Golic played football at St. Joseph’s High School in Cleveland before heading to Notre Dame and the NFL.

CBS Audio and Skyview Networks Renew Partnership. After two years of their network sales and distribution partnership, Viacom’s CBS Audio Network and Skyview Networks announce they are renewing to continue their relationship. In a press release, the companies say, “Since partnering in 2018, the CBS network’s audience and revenue have grown through expanded programming and content integration campaigns that generate enthusiastic support and strong results from the advertising community. In the next phase of the partnership, the companies will further develop the CBS sales strategy that leverages its personalities and influencers in both long-form and short-form programming.”  CBS Audio Network and CBS News Radio vice president and general manager Craig Swagler says, “Our CBS Audio Network partnership with Skyview Networks strengthens our ability to drive sales efforts. This collaboration continues to assure our 23 million weekly listeners that they will continue to get the highest level of quality journalism they are accustomed to, while also providing for new opportunities for growth.”

Industry Mourns Bob McCurdy. Radio sales and management pro Bob McCurdy died yesterday (7/29) after a long battle with cancer. The All-American basketball star at University of Richmond got into radio at WLEE, Richmond in 1976. He joined Katz Radio in Chicago in 1980 and, several years later, moved to New York to lead that office for Katz. In 1990, he was named president of Katz Radio. In recent years McCurdy returned to his roots in local radio taking on a leadership position with Beasley Media Group. Beasley CEO Caroline Beasley says of McCurdy, “Bob was a trusted confidant, a valued advisor, and an incredible ambassador on behalf of the Beasley Media Group family and the radio industry. His love and passion for the business could be seen and heard in everything he did within our company as well as the industry. Bob will be greatly missed and will be forever remembered as a beloved member of our family.” In a recently completed book about leadership, culture, and sales, McCurdy wrote, “It has often been said that one can never tell where a teacher’s influence ends. The same is true with leaders. As leaders, we are teachers and as with teachers you can never tell where an effective leader’s influence ends. That makes for an amazing legacy.”

Gordon Hastings: McCurdy. Retired Katz Television/Radio president Gordon Hastings writes a tribute to the late Bob McCurdy. He says, “I am not exactly sure why but he was always simply, ‘McCurdy.’  Stu Olds would say, ‘Get McCurdy in here.’  Jim Greenwald, ‘Who’s this guy McCurdy everyone talks about?’  ‘McCurdy taught me,’ said many of the dozens of ‘survivors’ of McCurdy’s legendary sales training program.” Read the complete tribute here.

COVID-19 Statistics & Projections, School Opening Debate, GOP Stimulus Bill, Tech CEOs Before Congress, Presidential Race, BLM Protests/Federal Troops, and U.S. Pro Sports Leagues Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/29). The rising number of positive COVID-19 cases in numerous U.S. states and in other countries, plus the projections for future cases; the debate over opening schools in the fall; the wrangling over what will be in the final Republican stimulus bill; CEOs from Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple appear before the House Judiciary Committee; the November presidential election; the Black Lives Matter protests and the controversial use of federal troops; and the issues pro sports leagues are facing playing games were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. Sports talk personality Dan Sileo says he’s launching a new, national program on Monday (8/3) via USA Radio Networks that will air 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight ET. He says it’s debuting on stations in Dallas and Miami. Sileo says he’s also hosting a local show on Cielo Media Holdings’ WNMA, Miami “1210 The Man” from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm….. GCN-syndicated talk radio host Dr. Daliah Wachs tells TALKERS magazine she’s had a busy summer having just published her 7th and 8th books. She says, “Generation Alpha: They’re Alpha for a Reason is a book on the generation that follows Generation Z, temporarily called Generation Alpha. It describes how their generation may be the most challenged when it comes to identity, social interactions, education, and health. The Art of the BooBoo is a guide written by me, some former students who are now physicians, and my own kids, for parents on how to navigate through minor illnesses, or booboos, their children may incur.”…..ESPN Audio says it is collaborating with voice-over artist and host Cayman Kelly “to bring his contemporary sound to the network.” Kelly will work with ESPN Audio on a variety of sound for the network’s programming including updates, promotions, and more. Kelly’s career has included work across ESPN and other TV networks, radio stations of all genres, video games, live concerts and events and corporate presentations.

Multi-talented Talk Personality Steve Trevelise Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  He’s a news/talker heard weekday evenings on one of the most innovative radio stations in America – New Jersey 101.5. He’s also a sports/talk host heard weekends on one of the leading radio stations in that genre – WIP, Philadelphia.  And he’s an established stand-up comic who’s opened for some of the greats for the past decade-plus at top clubs and venues all over the Delaware Valley.  Steve Trevelise is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Born and raised in the Garden State, Trevelise is described by TALKERS founder Michael Harrison as being “a real Jersey boy who, although not a member of the Four Seasons, is a man for all seasons.” Harrison and Trevelise take the listener on an insightful tour of today’s politically polarized society, the mask debate, similarities and differences between 1968 and 2020, the long-lasting impact of John Lennon and the Beatles, the state of pandemic-era sports, and the challenges faced by humorists during an age of hyper-political correctness. 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 on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Detroit, programming pro Scott Jameson is named director of programming for Beasley Media Group’s cluster there that includes: rock WRIF-FM, classic rock WCSX-FM, hip hop WMGC-FM, urban contemporary WDMK-FM and the Praise Network. Jameson most recently was vice president of classic rock programming, program director of classic rock KQRS-FM and operations manager of KQRS-FM, KXXR-FM & WGVX-FM in Minneapolis for Cumulus Media. He says, “Joining Beasley Media Group in Detroit is a terrific opportunity. The Midwest is home for me, so it’s a natural fit. The legendary WRIF-FM and heritage WCSX-FM, joined with ‘The BOUNCE,’ ‘KISS,’ and ‘PRAISE’ boast exceptional talent across all five brands. Adding Beasley’s commitment to the community, along with an aggressive digital presence, turns listeners into fans. I’m thankful to Justin Chase for approaching me about the Detroit situation and grateful to Mac Edwards and Brian Beasley for their endorsement.”…..Also at Beasley Media Group, the company announces that Al Beck adds evening jock duties at WRXK-FM, Fort Myers “96 K-ROCK.” Beck currently serves as the producer of the “Dave and Chuck The Freak Morning Show” at WRIF-FM, Detroit, is co-host of the Nerd Radio podcast, and can also be heard evenings on WBOS-FM, Boston “ROCK 92.9.” Beasley Media Group Southwest Florida operations manager Adam Star says, “We are excited to add Al Beck to our on-air line up at WRXK. Al’s on-air rock presentation is stellar, plus his connection with our syndicated morning show, Dave and Chuck the Freak, doesn’t hurt either! We felt bringing him on the air made perfect sense to embrace the Fort Myers rock world.”

Friday, May 12, 2017

| May 12, 2017

WKNR, Cleveland Cuts Sabrina Parr After She Accuses Browns Draft Pick of Substance Abuse. According to a story at Cleveland.com, part-time personality Sabrina Parr was let go by sports talk WKNR, Cleveland after her comments on “The Really Big Show” that implied Cleveland Browns draft pick Jabrill Peppers would fail with the team because of drug abuse issues.  Before the draft, Peppers tested positive for a “dilute sample” – too much water, not enough urine – which the NFL considers a failure because drinking lots of water can help beat a drug test, but it does not mean drugs were found in the sample.  “The Really Big Show” co-hosts Tony Rizzo and Aaron Goldhammer challenged Parr but she insisted Peppers is “on the Lean and the Molly” and “high out of his mind,” and wouldn’t back down.  Read the Cleveland.com story here.

Cumulus Announces Promotion, Contract Extension in Chicago.  Programming pro Troy Hanson rises to vice president, operations for Cumulus Media’s four-station cluster in the Windy City that includes news/talk WLS-AM, classic hits WLS-FM, alternative WKQX, and rock WLUP-FM.  Hanson has been serving as PD for WKQX and is VP of programming, rock formats – positions he will maintain.  At the same time, the company announces that WLS-FM programmer Brian Thomas is given a multi-year contract extension.  Thomas also serves Cumulus as corporate program director for the country format and is VP, programming, classic hits.

Analysis: Moms & Media 2017. Radio consultant Holland Cooke sat in on yesterday’s webinar from Edison Research and Triton Digital, presented by Edison vice president Melissa DeCesare, titled, Moms & Media 2017.  The study was the result of interviews with 248 moms – defined as a woman with at least one child living at home – and explores their media habits.  As Cooke points out, moms are the Secretary of the (family) Treasury and that makes them desirable targets for marketers.  To see how the media habits of moms are evolving, check out the story here.

Trump’s Firing of Comey/Russia Investigation Top News/Talk Story for Week of May 8-12.  The firing of FBI Director James Comey and the related investigation into possible connections between Russian agents and Trump campaign officials were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the GOP plan to replace the Affordable Care Act.  Coming in at #3 was North Korea’s nuclear program and threats against the U.S., followed by the controversial removal of Confederate memorials in New Orleans 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.  View this week’s entire chart here.

The Fourth Annual Unite IE Conservative Conference in Riverside.  Pictured above are some of the participants in the recent KTIE, San Bernardino-produced Unite IE Conservative Conference – this year recognizing the first 100 days of the Trump Administration – at the Riverside Convention Center. From l-r are: Jen & Don show co-host Don Dix, Jen & Don show and KRLA/KTIE’s The Morning Answer co-host Jennifer Horn, Breitbart senior editor Joel Pollack, Salem Los Angeles GM Terry Fahy, Salem Radio Network hosts Larry Elder, Dennis Prager, and Hugh Hewitt.

TALKERS News Notes. On-demand audio creator DGital Media announces its partnership with “entrepreneur, online education guru and world class lacrosse champion” Paul Rabil to launch his “Suiting Up” podcast.  The program will consist of conversations with “many of the biggest names in sports, business and entertainment talking about how they create, balance and tackle the issues and opportunities of success on the field, in the board room and in the business world.”  New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick and tennis great Venus Williams are among the first guests when it launches on May 15…..Spotify listeners can now hear CBS Radio News programs including “World News Roundup,” “Face the Nation,” “Tech Talk,” “The Takeout,” “The CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley,” and “CBS This Morning” on the service.  CBS Radio News general manager Constance Lloyd says, “CBS Radio News is committed to bringing our content to as many people as possible.  This agreement allows us to expand our reach to a whole new group of listeners who may not have considered listening to our podcasts previously.”…..At SiriusXM, two shows are added to the SiriusXM Progress channel.  “The Young Turks” – featuring Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian – will air from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm ET, following the new, three-hour Dean Obeidallah show.  Obeidallah previously hosted a one-hour program on the SiriusXM Insight channel…..Also at SiriusXM, CNN legal analyst, former federal prosecutor, and bestselling author Laura Coates will begin hosting a live, two-hour talk show on the satcaster’s Urban View channel.  This comes at the same time as SiriusXM announces that Karen Hunter, who is an award-winning journalist and hosts a SiriusXM program, is taking on an expanded role as a programming consultant to the Urban View channel.  Hunter will oversee the direction of the channel, “further positioning it as the radio home of diverse African American programming and elevating the national conversation to be reflective of the complexity of the African American community.”  Hunter states, “Laura Coates joins SiriusXM’s Urban View as we expand the channel’s range and add fresh voices to its already compelling talk programming.  Laura’s gift for translating complex issues and ideas, and demystifying legal issues, is remarkable and we can’t wait for her to engage with our growing family of listeners.”

Covering the Symetra Tour in Greenwood, South Carolina. WCRS, Greenwood, South Carolina owner and talk personality Anne Eller (right) is pictured here with 22-year-old Danish golfer Nanna Madsen (left) at the Symetra Tour at the Links of Stoney Point Golf Course.  Eller says the young golfer has already won one tournament on the tour and hopes this will be a launch into the LPGA.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On tonight’s edition of the Westwood One-syndicated Zach Sang show, recording star Miley Cyrus will sit in as guest host.  WW1 says in addition to talking with Sang’s crew and her fans, she’ll play her new single, “Malibu,” and talk about the record…..Also from Westwood One, the syndicator is celebrating the 30th anniversary of U2’s timeless fifth album, The Joshua Tree, by presenting a two-hour program airing this weekend on more than 100 radio stations.  KFOG, San Francisco personality Matt Pinfield (who also hosts the syndicated “2Hours with Matt Pinfield” program) interviewed U2’s Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen, Jr. for the special…..Longtime New York and SiriusXM rock radio personality Dan Neer is launching his new website DanNeer.com.  He says, “After 40 years on radio, I am unshackled from restrictions and am creating a weekly podcast featuring the best new music I can find mixed in with other songs from various times and genres.  Podcast #27 is ready for your listening pleasure!  Also find my latest National Interview Shows like the new Paul McCartney interview, and coming soon, Roger Waters, as well as all past shows.”…..Spanish Broadcasting System announces that Donny Hudson is named general manager and vice president of SBS Miami, supervising all operations at WXDJ-FM “EL NUEVO ZOL 106.7FM,” WRMA-FM “RITMO 95.7FM,” WCMQ-FM “ZETA 92.3FM,” and the LaMusica app…..The Tom Kent Radio Network brings radio pro Harve Alan aboard to oversee its digital initiative.  Kent says, “Here’s a little secret just between us girls.  Other than our website and our request lines, we have never used social media.  We’ve purposely waited and studied our audience for the best ways to engage them.  Harve’s wealth of experience in this arena makes him uniquely qualified to deliver the results that will drive our digital presence into the stratosphere and beyond!  Also, did I mention…he’ really smart which doesn’t hurt.”

Friday, October 21, 2016

| October 21, 2016

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Dave Ramsey’s Smart Money Tour Hits Kansas City.  Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar and best-selling author Dave Ramsey brought his “Smart Money” event to KC this week, presenting last night (10/20) at Church of the Resurrection.   Ramsey also hosted his EntreLeadership 1 Day event in KC on Wednesday.  Ramsey, along with best-selling author Chris Hogan and Ramsey personality Christy Wright, presented common sense principles that Ramsey practices in his own company of more than 550 team members.  This is the first time EntreLeadership 1 Day was made available by live stream and was broadcast to more than 13,000 participants.  Ramsey combined forces with local affiliate news/talk KCMO to promote the event.  Pictured above are Cumulus Media Midwest regional VP Donna Baker (left), Ramsey, and Cumulus KC operations manager Lance Tidwell (right).  Baker comments, “The KCMO “Talk Radio” team continues to expand relationships with our audience and clients thanks to our partnership with Dave, resulting in sold-out events both days in KC!  Our ‘Evening with Dave’ event is a special opportunity to bring like-minded clients together.  We hear feedback about how much it means to share time with Dave, make new friends and business contacts, and spend a fun evening with our programming and sales teams.  This event ranks high on our list of favorites and has a meaningful impact on increasing revenue and ratings.”

Hooley to Exit WKNR, Cleveland.  Afternoon personality (and former Cleveland Plain Dealer sportswriter)hooleybruce Bruce Hooley Tweets that he’s exiting Good Karma’s Cleveland sports talk outlet WKNR “ESPN 850 Cleveland” for a new gig that’s yet to be announced.  He did indicate that he’ll be heard in Cleveland “and elsewhere.”  Hooley handled the 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm show, sandwiched between “Golden Boyz” with Aaron Goldhammer and Emmett Golden (heard from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm) and Mark “Munch” Bishop’s “Cleveland Tonight.”  There’s no word from Good Karma what its plans are to fill the gap.

Sports Talker KKSE, Denver Announces New Program Lineup.  In Denver, KSE Radio Ventures-operated KKSE “Altitude Sports Radio 950” has a new air talent lineup.  The “Vic and Kyle” show breaks up with Vic kkseLombardi moving from afternoons to the 7:00 am to 10:00 am show and Kyle Keefe exiting the radio side (he remains an “Altitude Sports TV” personality).  Scott Hastings and Tom Helmer leave the morning daypart to host 10:00 am to 1:00 pm in place of the syndicated Rich Eisen show.  Marc Moser is partnered with Julie Browman for the 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm show, and the afternoon show hosted by Nate Kreckman and Tom Nalen moves to 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.

talkersten-logoThe Presidential Race/Wednesday’s Debate Top News/Talk Story for Week of October 17-21.  The 2016 presidential race remains at the top of TALKERS magazine’s weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week.  Related stories follow with voter fraud and election tampering concerns at #2 and the lingering backlash of the Hillary Clinton email server case at #3.  Coming in at #4 was the military campaign against Islamic State in Iraq to retake the city of Mosul.  The Talkers Ten TM is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  You can this week’s entire chart here.

Odds & Sods.  Longtime, former WOR, New York general manager Bob Bruno is taking to the airwaves for a weekly, two-hour show on Whitney Media’s WVOX-AM, New Rochelle, New York.  Bruno’s program is titled “The Best of Everything” and he promises “eight fabulous decades of the greatest pop music ever recorded from Sinatra to Springsteen.”…..The weekly, Doug Stephan-hosted “American Family Farmer” talk program is added to the schedule at KRFE-AM, Lubbock, Texas.