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Monday, November 12, 2018

| November 12, 2018

Saga Communications Reports Q3 Net Revenue Up 4.4%.  The third quarter financial report from Saga Communications reveals net revenue for the company was $31.6 million – up 4.4% from the same period in 2017.  Saga reports broadcast and digital revenue separately.  Broadcast net revenue during the quarter was $28.9 million, up 3.7% from Q3 2017 and digital was $936,000, up 1.2%.  For the first nine months of 2018, net revenue for the company rose 5.8%.  In its report, Saga reveals that five of its 26 markets (the company owns 108 stations) represent a large portion of its consolidated net operating revenue and that “an adverse change in any of these radio markets or our relative market position in those markets could have a significant impact on our operating results as a whole.” Those markets and their consolidated net operating revenue for Q3 2018 are: Milwaukee 12%, Columbus 11%, Des Moines 7%, Norfolk 6%, and Manchester, New Hampshire 5%.

John Fredericks Launches New Virginia Talk Station. Nationally syndicated radio talk show host John Fredericks launches a news/talk format on Richmond-area WJFN-FM.  Fredericks says in a statement, “This recently launched Richmond-area terrestrial radio station boasts a lineup of prominent Virginia and national voices offering fresh and diverse perspectives on the news of the day, what it means for the way our government functions, and how it impacts people’s everyday lives. What makes WJFN unique is its commitment to providing an engaging, listener-oriented, interactive experience that enables audience members to directly connect in real time with the Virginia-based hosts of WJFN 100.5 FM programs, and its goal to showcase voices from both sides of the political spectrum to spark lively and ultimately productive conversations.”  Fredericks says the station – a Class A FM licensed to Goochland, Virginia located northwest of Richmond – will serve as the flagship of the John Fredericks Radio Network. Currently, his morning drive program is also heard in Hampton Roads, Lynchburg, Roanoke, Washington D.C., and Jacksonville, Florida.  From 10:00 am to 12:00 noon is “The Fighting Joe Morrissey Show,” hosted by criminal defense attorney Joe Morrissey, a progressive Democrat who is also a former member of the Virginia House of Delegates and Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney.  Republican and former State Delegate Chris Saxman hosts the weekly “Virginia FREE Radio” program; conservative activist Martha Boneta will be a “frequent voice” on the station; and Democrat Gene Rossi – a former U.S. assistant attorney – will also be heard on the station. Syndicated programming will include Salem Radio Network’s Dennis Prager, Larry Elder, and Joe Walsh, along with Westwood One’s Michael Savage and “Red Eye Radio” are on the program schedule. Fredericks adds, “The airwaves are filled with the voices of professional pundits and political prognosticators convinced of their own insight and acumen.  What sets WJFN and its programming lineup apart is that our hosts don’t talk at the audience. We don’t lecture.  We passionately provide news analysis and commentary that is informed by the frequent guests on our programs.  We let the newsmakers do the talking.  Then we ask them the tough, probing questions our listeners want answered…Like our great nation, this station is built on the belief that a robust exchange of ideas from across the political spectrum is a healthy, necessary, and vital part of the American experience, and that we are a stronger, more united people who are better off from having considered other perspectives.”

PPM Analysis: News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s October 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on news/talk.  It was a good survey month for news/talk stations as some 83% of stations in PPM markets saw their 6+ weekly AQH share rise and just 7% lost ground.  Looking at the year-over-year changes, almost 60% of news/talk stations surveyed went up and 34% took a decrease in AQH share.  A total of seven news/talk stations ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets during the October survey: Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta; Entercom’s KMOX, St. Louis; Bonneville’s KSL-AM/FM Salt Lake City; iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati; Scripps’ (now Good Karma Brands’) WTMJ, Milwaukee; Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton; and CMG’s WOKV, Jacksonville.  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Cumulus Media Confirms Shapiro Show to Air on WLS-AM, Chicago. As predicted by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Cumulus Media will air the Westwood One-syndicated Ben Shapiro two-hour live radio show, followed by the one-hour podcast from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm on news/talk WLS-AM.  That covers three of the four hours of the current Steve Dahl program that will end as of December 21.  It’s not clear what WLS-AM will air from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm, but Michael Savage – also a WWO property – is re-tooling his program to one hour of live radio followed by a one-hour podcast and could land in that open hour.

Harrison on Boycotts:  There Has Been Collateral Damage to Smaller Shows and ‘Innocent’ Broadcasters.  The topic of politically motivated advertiser boycotts was discussed this past weekend on television network RT America’s program “The Big Picture with Holland Cooke.”  Special guest, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (pictured above at right) was asked if the recent string of “pop-up boycotts” has had an adverse effect on radio and TV programs hosted by major stars such as Rush LimbaughSean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham.  Harrison answered that these big shows were adversely impacted to a relatively small extent because although there are many advertising agencies and their clients who look to avoid controversy of any kind, there are also a large number of major national advertisers who actually seek to be associated with these types of programs – so it evens itself out.  However, Harrison pointed out that the real victims of these boycotts are the lesser-known, smaller shows, hosts and stations that lose advertisers who completely pull out of the networks and platforms that carry these big shows stating, “There has been collateral damage due to these boycotts to innocent broadcasters who didn’t say anything controversial” but just happen to be on the same stations and networks that are being punished across the board.  To see the entire segment containing this discussion, please click here.

TALKERS News Notes. There are three one-hour specials available to radio stations for the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend from FOX News Radio.  The programs are: “From Washington: The Next Congress” hosted by Jared Halpern – FOX News Radio’s exploration of the impact President Trump had on the elections and will have on the next Congress with the House’s flip from red to blue; “George H.W. Bush: The Patriarch” hosted by Jon Decker – A look at the life and legacy of President George H.W. Bush, from Navy combat pilot to president and father of a president; and “Give Me Some Good News” hosted by Tonya J Powers – keeping in mind the spirit of the holiday season, Tonya shares moving stories that inspire…..A new podcast from ABC Radio is being launched titled, “Journeys of Faith with Paula Faris.”  The first three episodes are being released on Wednesday (11/14) and will feature interviews with Robin Roberts, co-anchor of ABC News’ “Good Morning America”; country music superstars Luke Bryan and Hillary Scott; and talk radio show host, editor and political commentator Ben Shapiro.  ABC Radio vice president and general manager Steve Jones states, “We are excited to welcome ‘Journeys of Faith’ as the newest addition to ABC Radio’s expanding podcast collection.  We love the passion that Paula brings to each interview and believe listeners will enjoy the illuminating discussions featured in each episode.”…..SiriusXM is presenting a weeklong series (daily this week from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm ET) called “Power Women Summit on Stars” that features highlights from The Wrap’s first-ever Power Women Summit, designed to “raise awareness and have frank conversations about gender equity in entertainment and media.”  Included in the program will be “The Boxer Podcast” with former U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, her daughter Nicole and actress and activist Alyssa Milano; “Activism and Empowering the Next Generation” with Dolores HuertaKatie Hill, and Zoe Saldana; “On the Basis of Sex,” with Felicity Jones; and “Leading by Example: A Conversation,” with Jill Soloway and Rebecca SugarThe Wrap’s 2018 Power Women Summit took place in Los Angeles on November 1 and 2 before a gathering of more than 1,500 women from across the media and entertainment industry.

FLA, GA, and AZ Election Challenges, Deadly California Wildfires, President Trump in France, Trump-Russia Investigation Status, Crenshaw ‘SNL’ Appearance, Acosta WH Credentials Case, Migrant Caravan/October Illegal Immigrant Figures, People’s Choice Awards, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The contested or undecided election races in Florida, Georgia, and Arizona; the deadly Woolsey Fire scorching Southern California; President Trump’s trip to France for WWI remembrance and his sparring with French President Emmanuel Macron over “nationalism”; speculation about the status of Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation; Congressman-elect Dan Crenshaw’s appearance on “Saturday Night Live” a week after Pete Davidson’s joke about the war veteran’s missing eye; President Trump’s withdrawal of CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s White House press credentials; the migrant caravan from Honduras and the October figures indicating higher levels of illegal immigration; Sunday evening’s People’s Choice Awards; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Record Producer Robbie Stevens Is Guest on Harrison Podcast.  Get ready for a deep-dive conversation into the history surrounding 20th century musical icon John Lennon and a provocative look back at his 1971 Imagine album as noted record producer Robbie Stevens is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Stevens served as a key member of a team of black belt engineers and producers who remixed selected tracks on the historic album in the recently released Universal box set titled, John Lennon’s Imagine – the Ultimate Collection.  This expansive, re-examined version of the Imagine album has received critical raves and is delighting Lennon, Beatles and pop music fans around the world, giving historians yet another opportunity to assess the extraordinary impact of Lennon and the love of his life – wife and creative partner Yoko Ono – from a fresh perspective.  Harrison opens the podcast with the observation, “As I follow the news in today’s highly polarized society and talk media idea marketplace, I can’t help but think about the late John Lennon and the challenging political struggles he faced during his brief time on this planet.  For a guy whose contributions to his generation and the world were ultimately priceless, he took a tremendous amount of crap in his time from not only the far right, but the far left as well.  And everybody piled on to give him a ridiculously tough time about the major love of his life, the enigmatic Yoko Ono.”  Harrison and Stevens discuss Lennon’s voice, the studio techniques of his time versus today, the lasting impact of the Beatles, the remarkable influence of Yoko Ono (including her recent string of 13 number one songs on the Billboard Dance Club chart) and a whole lot more.  Don’t miss this!  To listen to the entire podcast, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on the TALKERS email newsletter and every page of Talkers.com.

Premiere Networks Personality Delilah Inducted into Adoption Hall of Fame. Late night radio personality Delilah (pictured above) was recently inducted into the Adoption Hall of Fame at a ceremony in Washington, DC.  The Adoption Hall of Fame Award is given by the National Council for Adoption in recognition of outstanding commitment, service, and sacrifice for the cause of adoption by an individual or organization who has positively impacted the practice of adoption. A mother of 13 children, 10 of whom were adopted, the Premiere Networks syndicated adult contemporary personality was honored for her decades-long commitment to children in need of a family, and for using her national radio platform and her non-profit organization Point Hope to celebrate adoption and raise awareness of children waiting to be adopted from the U.S. foster care system.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Mary Ellen Kachinske exits Hubbard Radio’s hot AC WTMX, Chicago “101.9 The Mix,” effective immediately.  Hubbard Chicago VP and market manager Jeff England says, “We thank Mary Ellen for her contributions to the success of ‘The Mix’ and wish her the best in her future endeavors.”  Music director Nikki Chuminatto is serving as interim PD while the station searches for its next program director. Interested candidates can complete the online application at www.wtmx.com/careers-opportunities/ and contact: jaengland@hubbardradio.com…..The lineup on the “new” CHR KBKS, Seattle “106.1 KISS FM” is revealed by iHeartMedia.  Mornings are being hosted by the Carla Marie and Anthony show.  The rest of the day includes Molly Mesnick in middays, Zann in afternoons, EJ in evenings, and Zach “Mayhem” Wellsandt as music director, APD and overnight jock. Station PD and Pacific Northwest SVP of programming Tim Herbster comments, “We could not be more excited to welcome Carla Marie and Anthony to mornings on KBKS.  They are funny, engaging and have built a true emotional connection with Seattle and its passionate radio listeners.”…..iHeartMedia flips rhythmic oldies WISX, Philadelphia to adult contemporary as “106.1 The Breeze, Philly’s Relaxing Favorites,” effective immediately.  The station flipped to Christmas music on November 9 but transitions to the “Breeze” format immediately.  Station VP of programming Brian Check says, “There is a huge appetite in Philly for a softer, relaxed sound, especially during the workday.  I’m happy to say we’re bringing ‘The Breeze’ to Philadelphia.”…..Entercom announces two new personalities on alternative WNYL, New York “ALT 92.3”  Corey Bonalewicz is the new afternoon drive personality.  He previously served with the company at WBBM-FM, Chicago and WEZB-FM, New Orleans. Transitioning from the Saturday evening host to the daily late night personality (10:00 pm to 2:00 am) is Kevan Kenny.  He also holds positions with Billboard and dick clark productions.  Entercom New York SVP of programming Mike Kaplan comments, “As we continue to grow our dynamic team, it’s vital to have talent that can create memorable content across all platforms.  Corey and Kevan’s innovative minds will add to these efforts.”…..In Detroit, Entercom names Tom “Cadillac Jack” Kapsalis as assistant program director and midday host for country WYCD.  Kapsalis was most recently PM drive personality at WQYK, Tampa.  He returns to Detroit after launching his career at WWWW-FM, Detroit in 1997..…iHeartMedia’s alternative WNOH, Hampton Roads, Virginia “ALT 105.3” adds the nationally syndicated “Woody Show” to the programming lineup for mornings.

Monday, June 11, 2012

| June 10, 2012

Right and Left Come Together at the TALKERS New Media Seminar to Denounce the Practice of Organized Advertiser Boycotts.  They might not agree on many things but a love for the business of talk broadcasting and its role as a vehicle for the practice of the First Amendment can indeed make for strange political bedfellows.  In a rare display of unity, two of the highest-
profile and distinctly politically opposite talk show hosts in the business condemned the increased practice of organized advertiser boycotts by political organizations as a means of shutting down voices on radio and television with which they disagree. 
Conservative host Sean Hannity (Fox News Channel and Premiere Networks) and progressive host Ed Schultz (MSNBC and the independently syndicated Ed Schultz show) delivered their powerful remarks at the TALKERS New Media Seminar in New York City on Thursday, June 7.  Hannity included the statement as part of his keynote address which opened the conference.  Schultz presented his opinion while delivering the event’s “Annual State of the First Amendment Address.”  During his presentation at the non-partisan, industry-wide gathering, Hannity played excerpts from a variety of well-known talk show hosts making controversial statements on the air that subsequently resulted in calls for advertiser boycotts and/or the firing of the hosts.  The clips included hosts from all over the spectrum – left, right and popular culture (still referred to by many as “shock jocks”) – with ear-perking clips from Don Imus, Howard Stern, Opie & Anthony, Mike Malloy and more.  Both Rush Limbaugh’s reference to Sandra Fluke and Ed Schultz’s description of Laura Ingraham as “sluts” were included to underscore the point that no single faction of the talk radio universe was exempt from participating in the practice of political or artistic controversy.  Hannity’s remedy: Change the dial.  Schultz concurred.  Both made their cases for the sake and survival of the talk radio industry as well as protecting the spirit of the First Amendment. Stay tuned to Talkers.com for complete coverage of the New Media Seminar in the coming days and weeks.

Cumulus Media Officially Announces Geraldo Rivera Rollout.  This has been expected since shortly after Geraldo Rivera made his talk radio debut on Cumulus Media‘s WABC, New York and KABC, Los Angeles in the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon slot. Now, Cumulus says it will expand the show to the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET time slot and begin a national rollout on August 13. In a statement, Cumulus Media COO John Dickey says, “When Geraldo agreed to host shows for Cumulus stations in New York and L.A. we had a hunch there’d be substantial national listener interest in his incisive and insightful style. And now we’re thrilled that with Geraldo such a success in those two markets, the show will be available across the country.”

Glenn Beck Renews with Premiere Networks for 5 Years and a Reported $20 Million per Year.  That figure is according to The New York TimesBrian Stelter who cites a “person with direct knowledge” saying the deal will pay Glenn Beck $100 million over the course of the new, five-year deal. In addition to handling affiliate and ad sales for Beck’s 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET nationally syndicated radio show, Premiere Networks also assists in ad sales for some of Beck’s non-radio efforts including his internet video channel GBTV on which his daily afternoon talk show is broadcast.

NBC Partners with Dial Global for Syndication of Sports Radio Content as NBC Sports Radio Network.  According to what Rob Simmelkjaer, senior vice president of NBC Sports Ventures and International tells USA Today, the new project will start with hourly sports updates and a couple of short-form features. But Simmelkjaer says NBC hopes to have two three-hour evening sports talk shows (one each for 7:00 pm and 10:00 pm ET starts) ready for syndication by fall. He says, “The goal is to start with a beachhead of programming and gradually expand to 24 hours per day, seven days per week maybe in 3 to 5 years.” Dial Global will handle affiliate and ad sales for the service and Simmelkjaer says it will be sold in tandem with Dial Global’s NFL radio broadcasts.

Brad Krantz and Britt Whitmire Surface at Greater Media’s WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte.  Talk show hosts Brad Krantz and Britt Whitmire had most recently hosted the morning drive show on Curtis Media Group‘s WZTK-FM, Burlington, North Carolina before the station flipped formats to Spanish music earlier this year. Now, the duo will replace Vince Coakley in the PM drive slot beginning July 2. In June of last year, Coakley took over the afternoon show for Tara Servatius who currently hosts mornings on WRNN-AM/FM, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. WBT program director Carl East says, “These guys bring a great sense of energy and fun to the air. Those who have been in Charlotte for a while already know what Brad is capable of. They are very clever observers of the issues of the day, whether they are local or national. The audience is going to love engaging them.” Brad Krantz previously hosted afternoons at WBT alongside Richard Spires for four years from 1999 to 2003.

KXNT-AM/FM, Las Vegas Names Chuck Meyer News Director.  CBS Radio‘s news/talk KXNT-AM/FM, Las Vegas brings news pro Chuck Meyer aboard as news/director and anchor for the station’s PM drive news block. Meyer previously served as news director at WIOD, Miami and KING, Seattle and as program director at KVET, Austin and KCUB, Tucson. KXNT-AM/FM program director Andrew Paul says, “Chuck brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to our staff. We are thrilled to have him lead our news team on multiple platforms.” The move allows former news director Joe Gillespie to focus on his duties as host of the station’s morning drive news program.

Jay Cutler to Join WMVP, Chicago for Weekly Appearance.  ESPN Chicago announces Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler will be live in the studio with ESPN 1000’s Tom Waddle and Marc Silverman each Monday from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm. In announcing the multi-year deal, ESPN 1000 president and general manager John Craven states, “ESPN Chicago could not be more excited to welcome Jay Cutler to our already solid on-air lineup. Waddle & Silvy’s extended access to Jay will give Bears fans his insights into the game and a glimpse of his personality they have never heard before both on air and online.” ESPN has sold the show to Miller Lite, the official beer of the Chicago Bears.

Talk Host Michael Smerconish to Welcome NAB Crystal Radio Award Winners Tonight.  Nationally syndicated WYD Media talk host Michael Smerconish will use the “magic” of technology to gather together all 10 NAB Crystal Radio Award winners at the NAB Education Foundation’s “Service to America” black-tie fundraiser taking place at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC this evening. Smerconish will welcome the winners to the stage and acknowledge their accomplishments.

The End of an Era as NPR’s “Car Talk” Hosts Retire in September.  Hosts of the ubiquitous weekend public radio show “Car Talk” on NPR – brothers Tom and Ray Magliozzi – will retire in September and record no more calls from Americans with questions usually having to do with their cars. But the show will go on for at least a few more years. NPR will continue to produce the show with previously aired audio from the show’s dense library of content. TALKERS magazine spoke with “Car Talk” producer Doug Berman several years ago for a feature story about the production of weekend talk programs. Unlike many shows, car talk is not a “live” call-in show. Calls are recorded during the week or callers are asked to call in at specific production times. As a result, the show has probably gathered more content than necessary at times and, in addition to “repurposed” content, there may be some calls to “Car Talk” that have not seen the light of day. Also, Berman tells the Boston Herald that they’ve reviewed the ratings for new shows and repeats and have found no difference. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison was asked about the future success of “Car Talk” by the Los Angeles Times and he stated, “Not many shows that are maintenance, how-to shows can carry it off where people listen to be entertained. That makes the show extremely potent.”

Odds ‘n’ Sods.  Cox Media Group‘s WSB-AM/FM, Atlanta nabs 11 from the Georgia Association of Broadcasters. Among the accolades WSB picked up include “Station of the Year” large market and “Best Radio Program” and “Best Talk Host” honors for WSB-based nationally syndicated star Neal Boortz…..Beasley Broadcasting‘s news/talk WGAC, Augusta, Georgia wins the Georgia Association of Broadcasters “Radio Station of the Year” award in the mid-sized market category. The station’s personalities also were individually recognized with coveted “Gabby” Awards: News director and morning show host  Mary Liz Nolan won “Best Newscast; sports director Ashley Brown won “Best Sportscast” and “Best Sports Story or Series” and Dallas Reece was honored for the year’s “Best Commercial.”…..WBZ, Boston news anchor Joe Mathieu interviews “CBS Evening News” anchor and managing editor Scott Pelley at the WBZ NewsRadio Business Breakfast about his first year as anchor of CBS’ evening news program Tuesday, June 12 at 8:00 am…..Fox Sports Radio continues its coverage of mixed martial arts with simulcasts of FX‘s “UFC on FX: Fight Night.” FSRN simulcast last Friday’s program and will do it again on June 22 at 9:00 pm ET with a two-hour post-fight call-in show beginning at 11:00 pm ET.

You’re Never Too Old…to Play Pro Football.  That’s 50-year-old Stan Nawalaniec of the Stan & Haney PM drive show on Beasley Broadcasting‘s hot talk WRXK-FM, Bonita Springs, Florida – 96 K-Rock Talk That Rocks – suited up with two unidentified players on the United Indoor Football League‘s Florida Tarpons. Stan signed on for a one-game deal with the undefeated team and was a member for its last regular season game Saturday, June 9 played at Southwest Florida’s Germain Arena in Estero.