Tag: "Al Bunch"
CBS RADIO VP Sports Programming Mike Thomas Signs Contract Extension. Programming pro Mike Thomas signs a multi-year contract extension with CBS RADIO to continue his roles with the company as corporate vice president of sports programming and VP of programming for the Boston cluster. CBS RADIO EVP of programming Chris Oliviero states, “Mike is an accomplished programming executive whose outstanding talent has led our company to success across both music and spoken word formats, which is a rare feat in our industry. I look forward to partnering closely with Mike for years to come on growing our Boston properties along with our industry leading sports platform coast to coast.” Thomas’ almost-20-year management resume includes work as PD for classic rock WZLX, rock WBCN and sports talk WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub.”
The Triad’s WSJS Officially Launches as Sports Outlet. The change from news/talk sports to full-on sports talk on Curtis Media’s WSJS, Winston-Salem officially took place on Friday (9/1). Curtis Media Triad general manager Al Bunch comments, “Local sports fans have been asking for a forum like this. ‘WSJS SPORTS’ is the Triad’s new destination for sports talk. Our roster of a local afternoon sports talk show, local high school football, NC college sports, NASCAR, and popular FOX Sports Radio hosts is unmatched. We’re excited to offer this untapped audience to local businesses market-wide.” The program schedule includes “Outkick the Coverage with Clay Travis” for mornings, followed by Dan Patrick. The regionally syndicated David Glenn show airs from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm, followed by local personality Kyle Schassburger in PM drive. “WSJS SPORTS” airs on four stations and their FM translators: WSJS, Winston-Salem/W267AM; WMFR, High Point/W285EU; WCOG, Greensboro/W229CH; and WSML, Graham/W283BT.
Binnie Media and Gen Media Partners Announce Strategic Alliance. Station owner Binnie Media announces it is shifting its national ad sales representation to Gen Media Partners. The companies state that this move is “part of a unique strategic alliance to drive regional and national ad revenue.” As part of the agreement, Binnie Media’s Boston office will handle all national business for Gen Media Partners, giving both companies, as well as Gen Media Partners’ other station partners, expanded Boston and New England presence and increased regional opportunities. Binnie president Lee Kinberg comments, “Considering where national and regional business has been heading, we were looking for a partner open to a new kind of relationship that would capitalize on each company’s platforms to grow revenue. We needed a sales and marketing team that was open to breaking down the lines of the traditional rep-station relationship without the inherent conflicts of interest that sometimes arise in the national representation business.” Sales pro Jimmie Vereault will handle national ad sales for Gen Media Partners out of their Boston office and use the combined Binnie Media-Gen Media Partners’ platforms to drive regional as well as national business.
KJR-AM, Seattle Sports Talker Mitch Levy Nabbed in Prostitute Sting. A prostitution sting in Bellevue, Washington netted 110 “Johns” – among them was KJR-AM, Seattle morning drive sports talk personality Mitch Levy. According to The Seattle Times, Bellevue Police and the King County Sheriff’s Office orchestrated the sting in a condominium complex. Levy, who was arrested and charged with misdemeanor patronizing a prostitute, told the detectives he’d been playing golf earlier in the day was there to receive a massage. iHeartMedia has not issued a public statement on the matter.
TALKERS News Notes. The 2017 NFL regular season begins on Thursday and NCAA football season is already underway. This year, Focus 360 and Sports USA are again offering a slate of NCAA football games to affiliate stations. Focus 360 announces that it has partnered with Gen Media Partners for national ad sales. The Sports USA schedule includes 16 regular season games plus four bowl games: Sun, Outback, Las Vegas, and Independence…..Westwood One is airing this Thursday night’s matchup between the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots and the Kansas City Chiefs. In the booth are Kevin Harlan and Boomer Esiason with Tony Boselli. Jim Gray hosts the pregame and halftime with contributions from Pats’ quarterback Tom Brady and Cardinals’ wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald…..SiriusXM is offering subscribers comprehensive coverage of the NFL season, featuring live broadcasts of every game. In addition to live play-by-play, subscribers get daily NFL talk on SiriusXM NFL Radio.
North Korea Bomb Test, Threat of Hurricane Irma, Utah Nurse Arrest Incident, Trump’s ‘Dreamer’ Decision, Harvey Aftermath, Senator Menendez Trial, Elon Musk’s WWIII Prediction, Labor Day Holiday, MLB Action, and NFL Roster Cutdowns Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. North Korea’s detonation of its largest nuclear warhead yet and threats to launch another ICBM test; Florida braces for a possible hit from Hurricane Irma; the viral video of a Utah nurse being arrested for following hospital procedure; President Trump to end DACA or the “Dreamer” act within six months; the aftermath of Hurricane/tropical storm Harvey; U.S. Senator Robert Menendez’s corruption trial; Elon Musk predicts World War III in the race to develop the most powerful artificial intelligence; the Labor Day holiday weekend; Major League Baseball action; and the cutdown to 53 for NFL clubs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to research from TALKERS magazine.
National Radio Hall of Fame Recognizes 100 Years of American Radio. The National Radio Hall of Fame announces that it will debut its “100 Years of Radio” exhibit housed in Chicago’s Museum of Broadcast Communications in fall 2019 – the year leading up to the official anniversary in 2020. A press release says, “To create a tribute worthy of the medium, the current space will undergo renovation, creating an interactive experience through emerging technologies and architecture. Patrons of the museum will have access to audio performances and histories of inductees as well as valuable artifacts ranging from microphones of iconic personalities to instruments from live radio theater productions.” National Radio Hall of Fame chairman Kraig T. Kitchin adds, “This is an exciting time as we get to innovate and modernize the presentation of our medium’s rich history. Plus, we’re looking forward to bringing the ceremony to New York City, especially since we received great feedback when we brought it to Los Angeles in 2014.”
Deep in the ‘Hot’ of Texas. Broadcasters and netcasters are in Austin this week for the NAB + RAB Radio Show, and today’s RAIN Summit. TALKERS magazine conventionista contributore Holland Cooke (pictured above) reports all this week.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Chicago radio personality Gary Spears revealed to his listeners on CBS RADIO’s classic hits WJMK, Chicago “K-Hits 104.3” that he’s leaving the station in mid-October to relocate to Florida. He’s been with WJMK since 2011 and had worked at a number of Chicago stations during his career, including CBS’ CHR WBBM-FM…..iHeartMedia names Nikki Corl marketing director for the Charlotte market and the Carolinas. She was most recently with the company’s Richmond, Virginia cluster as promotions director. iHeartMedia EVP of programming for the Northeast Division Meg Stevens says, “Nikki is a proven leader. She is the right choice to lead a very diverse and creative team in The Queen City.”…..iHeartMedia’s KVDU, New Orleans shifts from classic hits to adult hits as “104.1 The Spot.” The station says its core artists created hits during the 70s, 80s and early 90s and include: Madonna, Boston, Bon Jovi and Duran Duran. KVDU program director Joseph Sergio comments, “New Orleans has a classic rock station and we have an easy listening station, but ‘104.1 The Spot’ will take the best from those worlds, sprinkle in some more recent favorites and play all of the hits, non-stop, 24/7.”…..Alpha Media Dayton installs the “Jack FM” format on former adult contemporary WGTZ as “92.9 Jack FM.” WGTZ had been airing a soft rock AC format. Alpha Media VP of programming Ronnie Stanton says, “What a fun day for Dayton! Turning on a new ‘Jack’ is always a happy day and we have high hopes for this one. A great new radio station in one of America’s great cities.”…..Blaine Thompson’s Indiana Radio Watch reports that DLC Media drops sports talk and the ESPN Sports Radio affiliation on WFNF, Brazil, Indiana/W258BA, Terre Haute, and begins airing the adult standards format from Westwood One. DLC changes the call letters of WFNF to WAMB and begins using the new brand, “Timeless 1130 and 99.5 WAMB.”…..Programming pro Deon Cole joins Music Choice as manager, urban programming. During his career, Cole has served with urban contemporary WGIV, Charlotte “Streetz 103.3”; hip hop WPEG, Charlotte; and Beasley Media Group in Charlotte.
WW1: Advertiser Interest in Podcasting Rising Dramatically. Syndicator Westwood One releases new data from its Westwood One State of Podcasting 2017 report. The company says that the report “provides an in-depth look at listening behaviors and demographics of the podcast consumer, plus insight into how marketers and agencies view podcast advertising.” In looking at advertiser perceptions of podcasting, the report indicates, “The proportion of advertisers and agencies who have discussed podcast advertising for potential media investments has soared from 41% in September of 2015 to 68% in May of 2017.” Additionally, “The marketers and agencies who say they will definitely advertise in podcasts in the coming six months has increased threefold (10% to 27%) since September, 2015.” WW1 president and Cumulus Media EVP, corporate marketing Suzanne Grimes states, “We knew that advertiser sentiment for podcast advertising was growing, as we have seen a significant increase in advertising spend on the Westwood One podcast network. The Westwood One State of Podcasting 2017 report quantifies the conversation, consideration, and intention among marketers to place their brands in the expansive podcast programming environment. It’s great news for all of us in the fast-tracking on-demand space.” The report includes data from Edison Research’s “Share of Ear” and “Infinite Dial” studies, IPSOS, and Advertiser Perceptions. See more from the study here.
Radio Continues Fundraising Efforts for Harvey Relief. The fundraising efforts for Harvey relief by radio stations and radio companies continue with Beasley Media Group announcing Naples-Fort Myers stations CHR WXKB “B103.9,” WRXK “96KRock,” and AC WJPT “Sunny 106.3” are partnering with the local chapter of the American Red Cross to collect donations during today’s “MUSIC THON. The morning air personalities from all three stations will stay on the air to play special song requests for donations…..Disney/ABC is launching a network-wide telethon and call-to-action today (including sports talk radio network ESPN Radio). Disney Media Networks co-chairman/president Ben Sherwood said, “With this ‘Day of Giving’ across all our networks and platforms, the men and women of Disney/ABC, ESPN and the A+E Networks are answering the call to stand up and support the communities hit hardest by Hurricane Harvey. In 2012, we rallied to support relief efforts after Hurricane Sandy, helping raise more than $18 million dollars. Now, we stand alongside the residents of Texas and the Gulf states who are battling the floods and devastation of Harvey.”…..Mid-West Family Broadcasting’s Springfield, Illinois radio stations are partnering with Sinclair Broadcasting’s local TV stations to raise funds and supplies for victims of Harvey. Tomorrow (9/1), both broadcasting groups will stage a daylong event at a local Walmart taking donations – with an emphasis on monetary donations – to the Salvation Army. Sinclair is promising to match those donations up to $100,000. Mid-West Family Springfield GM Harvey Wells comments, “While we are a locally owned and locally focused broadcasting company, we have an obligation to use our reach to help in times of national crisis.”
Paul Curran Named CMG Orlando Market Manager. Media sales and management pro Paul Curran is promoted to market vice president for Cox Media Group’s Orlando cluster that includes news/talk WDBO “News 96.5,” sports talk WDBO-AM “ESPN Orlando,” classic hits WMMO, urban contemporary WCFB, hip hop WPYO, “Power 95.3,” and Spanish “107.3 Solo Exitos,” plus television stations WFTV-TV and WRDQ-TV in what CMG calls this “converged market.” Curran has been serving as VP and general manager of the two TV stations. He says, “The opportunity to bring together the talented people and dynamic products of CMG Radio and CMG TV under one entity in Central Florida is an exciting one. No other media company can match our combined TV, radio, and digital footprint here, and the possibilities to build on collaboration and improve the experience for our viewers, listeners, and customers are limitless. I can’t wait to get started.”
WSJS, Winston-Salem Transitioning to Sports Talk. According to a report in the Winston-Salem Journal, Crescent Media Group is going all sports talk on WSJS, Winston-Salem, eliminating the news and non-sports talk. Morning drive personality J.R. Snider and news anchor Ed Skurka are exiting the station after today’s broadcast and the sports programming schedule takes effect tomorrow (9/1). Station GM Al Bunch tells the paper the decision was about serving sports fans. “They crave a place to talk about sports and listen to sports being discussed, and we feel that’s being underserved in the Triad. We’re going to give them what they’ve been asking for.” The station will air ESPN Radio content until 12:00 noon when it carries the Raleigh-based David Glenn program. The afternoon drive show will be the local “One on One With The Schass,” with host Kyle Schassburger.
PodcastOne Launches Sports Division. Podcast platform PodcastOne is launching a new lineup of original sports programming under the banner of PodcastOne Sports. PodcastOne executive chairman Norm Pattiz says, “This new network demonstrates PodcastOne’s interest in dramatically expanding our already successful portfolio of sports-related programming to build a singular hub for sports fans and brands. I can think of no better way to launch our new network than with coach Jim Harbaugh. Jim represents an established, well-respected voice in sports, and his vision for this show is certain to become a must-listen for sports fans everywhere.” PodcastOne Sports debuts September 5 with the launch of “Attack Each Day: The Harbaugh’s Podcast,” hosted by University of Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh. Other personalities joining the lineup with original programs will include legendary sports broadcaster Dick Enberg, sports radio and television host Rich Eisen, sports broadcaster Suzy Schuster, football analyst Dave Dameshek with top podcaster Adam Carolla, popular sports personality Lilian Garcia, sports host and comedian Jay Mohr, and top sports writers from around the nation.
NAB Defends AM/FM Radio from NYU Scholar’s White Paper. The NAB’s response is quick to point out up front that the white paper – Paradigm Shift: Why Radio Must Adapt to the Rise of Digital by New York University’s Larry S. Miller, director of the Steinhardt Music Business Program – is backed by digital performance rights organization SoundExchange, which NAB EVP of communications Dennis Wharton says is “bankrolled in part by giant record labels pushing a radio ‘performance tax.’” The bulk of Miller’s paper is dedicated to analyzing the effect digital availability of music is having on the radio industry and Wharton challenges his arguments. Specifically, Wharton takes aim at Miller’s contention that young people are turning away from AM/FM radio as a source of music discovery. Wharton cites Nielsen data that suggests “millennials are listening in greater numbers than ever before, not just to over-the-air programming, but also to local radio on digital platforms…87.9% of Americans aged 12-17 turn to radio each week, and they spend nearly 10 hours a week listening to local radio. Even when they use streaming services to find new songs, younger generations continue tuning in to radio to listen to their favorite music.” Interestingly, Miller notes early in his paper that the issue of whether radio actually provides adequate promotion for the sale of records in exchange for free air play – as the NAB has argued for decades defending radio’s exemption from the performance fee – is not within the scope of his paper. But then he goes on to mention the matter several more times. You can see Miller’s paper here.
TALKERS News Notes. Just a couple of months after a contentious public divorce from Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze, popular conservative Internet personality Tomi Lahren joins FOX News Channel as a contributor. The Associated Press reports the story and says that “Lahren will have a ‘signature role’ on a digital product under development and be a commentator on the network’s opinion programming. Her primary home will be on Sean Hannity’s show, where she was to debut on Wednesday.”…..InsiderNJ.com recently published its 2017 “Insider 100 Media Power List” in which it, as the title suggests, ranks the 100 most powerful media personalities in New Jersey. WPG, Atlantic City morning host Harry Hurley ranked #17 on this year’s list. Hurley’s entry on the list states, “You like breaking news from Atlantic City and South Jersey? Then you must be familiar with the well-connected, well-sourced and popular Hurley who breaks most (or at least many) of the dock-front political stories – and has a must-read column with Shore News Today.” See the whole list here…..Changes come to the nationally syndicated evening talk radio show “Connections” as host and co-founder Al “Blackjack” Spry leaves the program. This comes as the show is dropped from the schedule at iHeartMedia’s talk WTKS-FM, Orlando “Real Radio 104.1.” The program continues to air on its other affiliates with hosts Melissa Foxx and Glenda “G-Love” Chauncy…..CFRA, Ottawa’s Evan Solomon is going national as Bell Media syndicates his daily talk show across other company news/talk stations, effective September 5. The program will be heard on CFRB-AM, Toronto; CJAD-AM, Montreal; CKFR-AM, Kelona, BC; CFAX-AM, Victoria; CKLW-AM, Windsor, CJBK-AM, London, Ontario, and CKTB-AM, St. Catharines. Solomon comments, “I’m very excited to launch this new, national forum for thought-provoking debate and discussion, highlighting compelling people who are making a difference in Canada. There’s nothing more important to a free society than public opinion, and this show will be a platform for Canadians to share their thoughts on the most pressing issues of the day, at home and around the world.”
Harvey Devastation/Relief Efforts, Trump Tax Reform Plan, Trump-Russia Investigation, Antifa Violence, FOX News Poll Results, U.S.- North Korea Tensions, Texas Sanctuary Cities Ban Blocked, MLB Action, and NFL Pre-Season Activity Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/30). The devastating flooding in Texas and Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, including analysis of President Trump’s handling of the disaster; Trump begins promoting his tax reform plan; the investigation into possible connections between Trump operatives and Russian agents; criticism of violence against conservatives by “antifa” agents; the results of a new FOX News poll showing poor marks for Congress and President Trump; the military tensions between the U.S. and North Korea; a judge’s temporary blocking of a Texas law banning sanctuary cities; Major League Baseball action; and NFL pre-season activity were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Local singer and entertainer – and famed season 7 “The Voice” contestant Chris Jamison – is joining CBS RADIO Pittsburgh as a weekend and holiday personality on hot AC WBZZ “100.7 The Star.” Jamison will be heard Sundays from 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm and on holidays. Jamison first got to know the staff at WBZZ back in 2014 when the morning drive “Bubba Show” became his official hometown cheerleaders. He appeared at station events, including its “O Starry Night” concert.” WBZZ program director Dave Anderson says, “Chris is a talented, standout entertainer with rich local ties. We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to grow with him as he takes this next step as part of the ‘100.7 Star’ team.”…..Beasley Media Group announces two new “BOUNCE” ambassadors. Air personalities Cortney Hicks and A.P., a.k.a. The Absolute Princess, join the air staff of hip hop WMGC, Detroit “105.1 The BOUNCE.” Hicks will host the 10:00 am to 3:00 pm show on Saturdays and Sundays and A.P. takes to the air at 7:00 pm on both weekend evenings. WMGC program director Al Payne comments, “Our goal is to assemble a team of the finest in Detroit radio, as well as the best hip hop personalities, to navigate our fans through each experience listening to this iconic music. That’s why all of our announcers are known as ambassadors. Cortney and A.P. are shining examples of this mission and I look forward to what they have in store.”…..As part of International Overdose Awareness Day (8/31), Premiere Networks host Nikki Sixx will dedicate four hours of “Sixx Sense with Nikki Sixx” to raising awareness of the U.S. opioid crisis. Sixx, who detailed his near-fatal drug addiction in the best-selling book The Heroin Diaries, will welcome Dr. Oz, Louisville Courier-Journal writer Beth Warren, and Erik Gunn, a former drug addict and dealer who recently shared his story with Warren for a Courier-Journal series on addiction and recovery…..Cumulus Media announces country WNSH, New York’s “Boots on the Boardwalk” end-of-summer bash, giving “NASH FM 94.7” listeners a chance to party one last time this summer season! This free event, featuring performances by Scotty McCreery, A Thousand Horses, NASH Next 2016 Winner Todd O’Neill, and Elizabeth Lyons, takes place at Jenkinson’s Pavilion in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey tomorrow (9/1) from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm…..In Detroit, classic rocker WCSX and morning host Big Jim are trying to raise at least $10,000 for Holy Cross Children’s Services via the Big Jim’s House Million Penny Roof Sit, taking place at the 2017 Ford Arts, Beats & Eats festival in Royal Oak this weekend. The station is asking listeners and patrons of the festival to donate their pocket change to change the lives of children in need. Big Jim says, “We are excited to be working with Holy Cross Children’s Services to raise money for kids in need. The kids receiving care from Holy Cross deserve to have opportunities to be successful in life, and every penny can help.”…..According to a story in the Boston Herald, rock WAAF, Boston “Hill-Man Morning Show” host Greg Hill is considering a run for congress for the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas. Hill’s spokesman is local attorney Lawrence Army Jr., who tells the paper, “Greg is exploring all of his options, including running for the open congressional seat.” Citing Hill’s philanthropic efforts via the Greg Hill Foundation, Army adds, “Public service would be a logical next step for Greg. He is considering whether it would be the best way to give back to a community that’s given him so much.”