Tag: "Alex Silverman"
Monday Memo: Say It Shorter. In this week’s concise column, consultant Holland Cooke barely says ANYTHING, “and that’s the point.” Read it here.
The Presidential Race, Biden VP Choice Speculation, Vote-By-Mail Debate, and Stimulus Exec Orders Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend (8/8-9). The November presidential election, speculation over Joe Biden’s pending VP selection, the failure of Congress to arrive at a new stimulus package with President Trump responding by signing contestable executive orders to move the process along as well as the controversy over his ongoing allegation that voting by mail encourages voter fraud were the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio this weekend according to TALKERS research of the most talked about topics on issues-oriented news/talk radio. Other heavily discussed topics over the weekend included the school closing debate and COVID-19 stats and projections.
Pending Business: Talk to the Winners. Sales and marketing consultant Steve Lapa, president of Lapcom Communications, writes about how radio sales professionals should have faith in the resilience of local, small business based on the premise that many WILL survive the COVID-19 era. He suggests that radio sellers seek out those whose innovation clearly has them on a winning track and talk directly to them, customizing campaigns that are in sync with their efforts. Read it here.
Update: WAMU-FM Sexual Harassment. As we reported here last week (TALKERS, 8/5), American University-owned public news/talk outlet WAMU-FM, Washington, DC is in a state of chaos over sexual harassment allegations. WAMU-owned publication DCist ran a Rachel Kurzius-written story detailing allegations of harassment and improper behavior by former WAMU-FM reporter Martin Di Caro. Numerous employees were asking for station general manager J.J. Yore to resign, something he said he was not prepared to do. That situation changed, however, late last week as the station’s six-year general manager has indeed stepped down. Vice president of people and external affairs/chief of staff Seth Grossman states, “American University thanks JJ for his years of service to WAMU; we wish him well as he pursues his next endeavor. We are announcing a series of critical steps designed to address issues in the areas of diversity, equity, inclusion, human resources, and management, as well as how matters of misconduct are handled at WAMU. These actions are a combination of immediate and longer-term steps to accelerate WAMU’s work to enhance culture and workplace. The changes will provide important support to the WAMU staff, who we thank for continuing to focus on producing award-winning journalism that the Washington, DC region relies on amid this period of change. We believe these actions will offer support for the entire WAMU team and provide a foundation for the station’s next chapter.” An interim general manager will be named in “the next four to six weeks.” In addition, a human resources employee relations consultant with “proven experience in improving organizational culture and creating inclusive workplaces” will be put in-place. Interim chief content officer Monna Kashfi becomes the permanent chief content officer, overseeing WAMU and DCist. WAMU’s former chief content officer, Andi McDaniel, left the station last month to join Chicago Public Media’s WBEZ-FM, Chicago as president and chief executive officer; McDaniel begins those duties next month. As indicated in the The DCist piece, McDaniel was well aware of Di Caro’s behavior, having signed off on a “Level III Final Written Warning for Serious Misconduct” given to Di Caro after “almost two years” of complaints.
Coronavirus Affects Cumulus’ Q2 Numbers. Second quarter figures for Cumulus Media include a 47.8% year-to-year revenue decrease to $146 million. The company witnessed its net income transition from a gain of $42.9 million to a loss of $6.4 million and adjusted EBITDA dropping from $61.8 million to -$6.4 million. Despite the pandemic’s material impact on revenue, Cumulus Media president/chief executive officer Mary G. Berner explains, “The company generated over $90 million of cash in the quarter through quick and decisive expense actions, strong working capital management, and the completion of sale of land in Bethesda, Maryland. Ending the quarter with nearly $200 million of cash, we have entered into an agreement to monetize our tower portfolio for more than $210 million, proceeds which will further add to our liquidity and contribute to significant incremental debt paydown.” She adds, “Our demonstrated ability to rise to a challenge, strong liquidity position, and resilient balance sheet are critical assets as we operate through this uncertain environment. We believe we remain very well-positioned to drive long-term shareholder value through continued aggressive debt reduction and the execution of our growth initiatives.” Broadcast station revenue was down 51.6% to $114.2 million. Spot revenue was off 55.6% and network revenue declined by 42.7%. Meanwhile, digital revenue was up .7% to $20.3 million.
COVID-19 “Impacts” Townsquare Q2 Results. Commenting on selected results for the second quarter that ended June 30th, Townsquare Media chief executive officer Bill Wilson remarks that, as expected, the company’s “second quarter financial results were significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.” Net revenue and Adjusted EBITDA declined 34.5% and 93.1%, respectively, as compared to the prior year. Advertising net revenue throughout the quarter, however, “experienced sequential improvement,” Wilson reports. “Together with our Live Events, net revenue has experienced the brunt of the negative business impact.” To Wilson’s point, one second quarter highlight is that, compared to the second quarter of 2019, Live Events net revenue decreased 99.5%. Wilson observes that by the end of the second quarter, “Advertising net revenue had materially improved, from -42.1% in April to -29.6% in June and continued to show improvement through July and early-August.” Townsquare Interactive added approximately 900 net subscribers, ending the quarter with approximately 20,750 subscribers, with Wilson commenting, “Townsquare Interactive’s growth continued in the second quarter, with net revenue increasing 10.5%, at an Adjusted Operating Income margin in excess of 30%, marking the ninth consecutive quarter of 850 (or more) net subscriber additions. During this pandemic, the Townsquare Interactive team became a tremendous resource for their local clients by strengthening online presence and capabilities and powering their online communication strategy. Our thesis has always been, that Townsquare Interactive is a recession-resistant subscription business and will continue to grow its revenue and subscriber base throughout the year.” Wilson explains that Townsquare Media “enacted approximately $1.7 million of monthly fixed cost savings during the second quarter, in addition to the reduction of variable costs related to the decline in revenue, which led to total direct operating expenses declining 14.8%, compared to the prior year. In addition, we have reduced our planned capital expenditures, which declined 30% in the second quarter compared to the prior year. Our board of directors elected to cease paying our quarterly dividend moving forward. Even with all the challenges and unknowns during this pandemic, we have not had to alter our core strategy. Instead, the pandemic placed a spotlight on the need to double-down on executing our existing long term strategy. We believe our ‘Local First’ strategy, together with our talented team and diversified and differentiated product offering, ensures that Townsquare will emerge from this crisis well-positioned for the future. Although a very tough Q2, we believe our revenue, profit and cash flow results will be among the best in the radio – as well as in the local media – industry.”
Why Are “You” Voting? That’s the simple question iHeartMedia is putting forth to listeners, cultural influencers, athletes, and musicians. It’s in advance of the November election, of course, when – in addition to the presidential contest – Americans will be voting for 35 Senate seats and all 435 House of Representative seats. Soundbites start today (Monday, 8/10) and run until Election Day (11/3). President of iHeartMedia entertainment enterprises John Sykes states, “With voter turnout expected to hit record numbers, ‘Why I’m Voting’ presents a rare opportunity for people of all backgrounds and beliefs to have their voices heard by millions of their fellow Americans before we cast our votes.” Listeners can record/submit their own 20 second or less audio or video message. Meanwhile, also debuting today (8/10) and running through Election Day is iHeartMedia’s longer-form “Why I’m Voting” podcast, which will feature conversations with a wide-range of celebrities on why/how this year’s election will shape our future. The podcast will showcase personal stories behind why voting means so much for our nation. The “Why Are You Voting” series of soundbites will air on iHeartMedia’s 850+ broadcast radio stations in 160 markets, podcasts, social media platforms, and the iHeartRadio app.
Podcast Ad Spending to Surpass $1 Billion Next Year. That forecast further predicts that more than one in five digital radio ad dollars will go toward podcasts. By the end of this year, podcast ad spending in the United States will reach $782 million, up 10.4% from last year, giving it a 21% share of the US digital radio ad market. Spending is expected to jump nearly 45% next year to $1.13 billion. Insider Intelligence eMarketer forecasting director Shelleen Shum comments, “Growth in podcast advertising spend will be more resilient this year relative to digital radio advertising as a whole, which will see double-digit declines. The continued growth in podcast advertising is no surprise, as investments have made podcasts accessible to a wider audience. The news genre, a focus of many podcast advertisers, has performed well during the pandemic. While some ad campaigns were paused due to the uncertainty from COVID-19 lockdowns, we expect a rebound in Q3 and Q4. One key challenge in podcast advertising is the lack of uniformity in measurement. [The Interactive Advertising Bureau] has released a set of guidelines to establish a common set of ad metrics for podcasts, which should bring some standardization to the industry and give advertisers more confidence.” This year, 105.6 million people in the US will listen to podcasts, the first time podcast listening will surpass 100 million.
KYW Silences Familiar Sound. Owing to pandemic-related budget cuts, a number of well-known voices on spoken-word and music-intensive formats across the country have been eased off the air. A longtime fixture at Entercom Philadelphia’s KYW “News Radio 1060” is gone, but it had nothing to do with the bottom line or COVID-19 – and it isn’t a human. The station has eliminated the teletype sound effect that – for decades – has been played underneath its news broadcasts. With tongue planted firmly in cheek, KYW program director/brand manager Alex Silverman remarks to The Philadelphia Inquirer, “They stopped making the ribbons for the trusty teletype in 1986 and our supply finally ran out; so, old reliable is out of commission until further notice.” To that, co-owned WIP “Sports Radio 94” brand manager Spike Eskin mocks in a tweet, “Just excuses again from Alex Silverman. Are we to believe he couldn’t find a new one on Ebay, or simulate the sound somehow? Does he think we are fools?” On a more serious note, Silverman states, “As technology has evolved over the years, so has KYW. The sound of the station should reflect the modern, nimble, multi-platform news organization we’ve become.” KYW has recently updated its jingle and logo. Entercom’s other top ten market news and news-talk hybrids include: WCBS-AM and WINS, New York City; KNX, Los Angeles; WBBM-AM & WCFS-FM, Chicago; KCBS-AM, San Francisco; and KRLD-AM, Dallas.
Leadership Training Program Accepting 2021 Applications. Designed to prepare senior-level broadcasters to advance into ownership or executive positions, the NAB’s Broadcast Leadership Training (BLT) program is accepting applications through August 19 for next year’s session. BLT program founder and dean/ ShootingStar Broadcasting founder, president, chief executive officer Diane Sutter states, “As we transition to a hybrid online and in-person model, we look forward to expanding the reach of the Broadcast Leadership Training program. Now, more than ever, it is imperative that we cultivate the next class of diverse industry leaders and equip them with the knowledge and training to advance their careers.” As it moves into its 21st year, this executive MBA-style program teaches the fundamentals of purchasing, owning, and operating radio and television stations to senior-level broadcast professionals. All education sessions planned through the end of 2020 will be held online, with the starting gathering to be held next month (9/24 – 25). Broadcast professionals from all areas of the industry, including general managers, sales managers and department heads, as well as regional and corporate executives, are encouraged to apply. Fellowship opportunities are available for women and people of color. The complete schedule will be made available in early-October.
TALKERS News Notes. Starting one week from today (Monday, 8/17) and lasting through next Thursday (8/20), ABC News Radio is set to cover this year’s Democratic National Convention and plans to do the same the following week (8/24 – 27) for the Republican National Convention. Aaron Katersky and Karen Travers will anchor; Alex Stone, Ryan Burrow, and Jim Ryan are slated to serve as reporters; and Steve Roberts joins for analysis. Multiple one-minute “Status Reports” will air each night, as will the network’s daily Brad Mielke-hosted podcast, “Start Here.” Meanwhile, each day during the conventions, the Karl & Klein-hosted podcast “Powerhouse Politics” will release special editions featuring interviews and analysis … Former iHeartMedia Jacksonville senior vice president of programming Tommy BoDean joins Cumulus Media as operations manager of its four-station Melbourne (Florida) cluster, which includes sports talk WLZR “1560 The Fan.” Cumulus Media regional vice president Pete DeSimone comments, “I am really excited Tommy is joining the Cumulus Melbourne team. He’s going to make an immediate impact – and at a time [when] programming and operational leadership are critical.” BoDean adds, “The world we live in is changing every minute; radio has not just an opportunity, but an obligation, to get plugged in and help. Now is the perfect time to step into a role that both challenges and excites me every day.” In addition to his OM duties for WLZR and classic rock WROK “95.9 The Rocket,” BoDean will be the day-to-day program director for CHR WAOA “107.1 A1A” and country WHKR “102.7 Nash FM.” He previously was operations manager for iHeartMedia Cincinnati and programmed Nashville CHR WNFN “Hot 106.7.” … Effective today (Monday, 8/10), Bustos Media Tucson’s KVOI “AM 1030 The Voice” adds “The Joe Walsh Show” to its weeknight (7:00 pm – 9:00 pm) lineup and shifts “Our American Stories with Lee Habeeb,” which had been in that slot, to 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm … Twenty-year Spokane television and radio journalist Teresa Lukens will return to Morgan Murphy Media Spokane’s KXLY-AM “920 News Now” next Monday (8/17) as morning drive co-host. After three years as a reporter on KXLY-TV’s “Good Morning Northwest,” Lukens transitioned to radio as morning host on co-owned KXLY-FM “Classy 99.9 FM” and then as news anchor on KXLY-AM. Lukens left KXLY-TV in 2010 and hosted “Health Matters” on Spokane public television outlet KSPS.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Every Friday this month, iHeartMedia San Antonio joins forces with San Antonio Metro Health for the “Friday Night Virtual Dance Party” (7:00 – 7:30 pm). Participating stations within the iHM cluster include adult contemporary KQXT “Q-101.9”; CHR KXXM “96.1 Now;” country KAJA “KJ-7″; and Spanish contemporary KZEP “104.5 Latino Hits.” According to iHeartMedia San Antonio senior vice president of programming Jason McCollim, “There is nothing like the power of music. [We] are excited to partner with our friends at San Antonio Metro Health for ‘Friday Night Virtual Dance Party’ [and] look forward to raising our community spirit during these challenging times – all while abiding by the state’s safety guidelines to fight the COVID-19 virus.” Mayor Ron Nirenberg notes, “We want to send an encouraging and positive message to San Antonio to keep doing the things that make our city great, but do them in a safe way so we can continue to stop the spread.” … A country music special hosted by four-time Entertainer of the Year Luke Bryan is among several, three-hour ABC Audio Labor Day weekend specials. “Luke Bryan: Born Here Live Here Die Here” takes listeners through each song on Bryan’s new album, which has produced three #1 singles. “Labor Day Rock Salute: Frontline Edition – From Speakeasy” honors frontline workers who stepped up during COVID-19. Hosted by ABC Audio’s Matt Wolfe, the special features hits from artists including ZZ Top, Alice Cooper, and Stevie Nicks. Top rock artists will also share what they’ve been up to during lockdown. Meanwhile, the Aaron Katersky-hosted news special “How America Works Now” explores how people are coping through the pandemic. It questions what the future of American life and labor may look like, and puts a spotlight on those adapting to the new normal … “CMT After MidNite with Cody Alan” takes over 12:00 midnight – 5:00 am duties in Santa Rosa, California on Amaturo Sonoma Media Group-owned KFGY “Froggy 92.9 Today’s Country.” Alan comments, “Our show is excited to be a part of the ‘Froggy 92.9’ lineup. We already feel like part of the ‘Froggy’ family. I can’t wait to get to Sonoma for a visit to wine country.” Amaturo Sonoma Media Group vice president of programming and operations Jim Murphy notes, “Cody creates unique, multiplatform content that really resonates with country fans; we couldn’t be happier to welcome him to the ‘Froggy’ family. The station’s revised lineup includes: Amber & Tanner (5:00 am – 10:00 am); Jenn (10:00 am – 3:00 pm); Dano (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm); Lia (7:00 pm – 12:00 midnight); and “CMT After MidNite with Cody Alan” (12:00 midnight – 5:00 am) … Former four-year wakeup duo at Hubbard Broadcasting St. Louis’ WIL “New Country 92.3, Bud Ford and Jerry Broadway (“Bud & Broadway”), sign with Houston-based SuiteRadio for morning show syndication, gearing up for next month’s start (9/7). The show will be represented on a market exclusive basis by Colbert Media Group. Prior to exiting WIL this past May, “Bud & Broadway” worked in Tulsa and Dothan, Alabama.
TALKERS and The Epoch Times Co-Present the Second in a Series of Talk Media Forums on US-China Relations at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. In response to the positive feedback received about the recent “Talk Media Forum on US-China Relations” co-presented by TALKERS and The Epoch Times in New York City this past October 1 (see video here), a second installment of the event was successfully presented Tuesday morning (12/10) at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. The conversation again focused on the US-China trade war, the Hong Kong protests, China’s human rights abuses, Huawei and the worldwide battle for 5G dominance, the North Korea nuclear threat, China’s ongoing intellectual property theft, and the long term goals and methods of the Chinese Communist Party, plus more. The 90-minute event featured a panel of three experts on the state of US-Chinese relations including Nan Su of NTDTV, Joshua Philipp and Dr. Dana Cheng of The Epoch Times, plus four leading talk radio hosts – John Fredericks of the John Fredericks Radio Network; Dr. Sebastian Gorka of the Salem Radio Network; Larry O’ Connor of WMAL, Washington, DC; and Doug Stephan of Stephan Multimedia. According to TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, who again moderated the discussion, “The numerous pressing issues that exist under the umbrella of US-China relations promise to be a major component of talk media conversation for years to come and it is important that its practitioners stay on top of these complex concerns free of the spin and propaganda constantly manufactured by the Communist regime in Beijing. Our colleagues at The Epoch Times are firmly situated on the leading edge of the Chinese resistance to the Communist grasp on their homeland and serve the culture’s diaspora in the United States and around the world with bold, truthful reporting of the facts.” The Epoch Times was formed in 2000 by Chinese Americans and is now published in multiple languages around the world. A video of the entire forum will be posted on Talkers.com within the next few days. Pictured below are (from l-r): moderator, Michael Harrison, TALKERS; Dr. Sebastian Gorka, Salem Radio Network; Dr. Dana Cheng, The Epoch Times; John Fredericks, The John Fredericks Radio Network; Doug Stephan, Stephan Multimedia; Larry O’ Connor, WMAL, Washington, DC; Josh Philipp, The Epoch Times; and Nan Su, The Epoch Times/NTDTV. Photo: Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times
KYW-AM, Philadelphia Reporter Barred from Press Conference. Maybe it was a snafu, but the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office’s explanation for KYW-AM, Philadelphia crime and justice reporter Kristen Johanson being barred from the press conference for a criminal case is inconsistent. DA Larry Krasner was asked by fellow FOX 29 journalist Jeff Cole if Johanson had been barred from the conference and he replied, “What I can tell you is I did not bar anybody from coming to a conference. We always enjoy having Kristen Johanson here and if there’s been some kind of miscommunication, then I’m sorry to hear that that has occurred.” The DA offices’ spokesperson later said only reporters who requested comment on the case were notified of the press conference. However, a reporter from the Philadelphia Inquirer who did request a comment was not invited to the press conference either. The spokesperson then said “security protocols” were the reason Johanson was denied access to the conference. KYW program director Alex Silverman says, “A press conference open to some members of the media should be open to all. To deny access to a reporter who covers the crime and justice beat in our city raises serious questions about how the District Attorney’s Office views a free and fair press.”
Opinion: Gen Z Is Excited About Radio. Georgia College lecturer Chad Whittle writes in an opinion piece for TALKERS magazine about the intertest in radio he’s hearing from his students. He says, “This semester, I have had the honor and privilege of getting to teach a course on radio broadcasting to students ranging from freshmen to sophomores. In this course, multiple students are excited about learning more about the radio industry. I know because they told me last semester they were interested and eager to take the class.” Read his story here.
Slater Joins Entercom for Digital Sales Role. Sales pro Andy Slater joins Entercom as SVP of digital sales, East Coast. He was most recently regional VP of sales for Stitcher’s Midroll Media ad sales division. Entercom EVP of digital sales Ken Lagana says, “Andy has a tremendous track record leading sales strategy across numerous digital platforms, most recently in podcasting. His unique combination of experience in broadcast radio and digital will prove to be a major asset as we continue developing and expanding our position as leaders in the digital audio marketplace.”
Articles of Impeachment, Inspector General’s FBI Report, 2020 Presidential Race, Jersey City Shooting, USMCA Trade Deal, and UK Election Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/11). The articles of impeachment against President Trump; the inspector general’s report on the failures within the FBI; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020; the aftermath of the deadly shooting in Jersey City; the Trump administration’s United States-Mexico-Canada trade deal; and Britain’s prime minister election were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
TALKERS News Notes. In Kansas City, Entercom appoints Josh Vernier to the Royals insider position. Vernier had been co-host of the “Show and Vern” midday program on sports talk KCSP “610 Sports Radio” prior to the exit of co-host Ron “Show” Hughley last month. This is a return to the Royals insider position for Vernier, who will also host the pre- and post-game shows for Royals play-by-play on KCSP. He’ll also host the “Royals Hot Stove Show” this winter…..ESPN reports that last month, ESPN Podcasts set a new record for the month with a verified unique audience of 7.3 million, according to Podtrac. ESPN says the total represents an increase of 28% over November 2018 and is the 11th consecutive month of year-over-year growth. In addition, ESPN podcasts had 45.6 million downloads, up 24% from November 2018 and just shy of last month’s all-time record of 46.1 million…..iHeartMedia sports talk WYGM-AM/W245CL, Orlando “FM 96.9 The Game” is hosting a live holiday show special during the “Open Mike” morning show to benefit the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Florida. Former Orlando Magic head coach and current NBA TV analyst Stan Van Gundy will join the show dressed up as Santa Claus and will encourage listeners to stop by, take pictures, and donate new unwrapped toys or cash for children in the local community.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Dustin Matthews is named director of rock programming for iHeartMedia’s Washington, DC stations classic rock WBIG “BIG 100” and alternative WWDC “DC 101,” effective January 13. He comes to Washington from iHeartMedia’s Charlotte operations where he was program director and afternoon drive personality at WEND “106.5 The End.” iHeartMedia regional SVP of programming Jeff Kapugi says, “Dustin is one of the most dynamic rock programmers in the country. His programming expertise combined with his creativity and passion for our rock brands is unparalleled and we look forward to welcoming him to Washington, D.C.”…..Entercom announces that it has signed a new, multiyear deal with WPOW, Miami “Power 96” program director and midday host Miguel “Mijo” Irizarry for him to continue in those roles. Entercom South Florida SVP and market manager Keriann Worley says, “‘Mijo’ has been a strong force in the ‘Power 96’ studio over the last year. We are thrilled that he will continue to lead one of our most iconic brands in our cluster.” ‘Mijo’ joined ‘Power 96’ in August 2017. He assumed the role of program director in October 2018…..Tegna’s adult hits KFMB-FM, San Diego names Soleil Spigelman the new producer of “The Cantore Show.” She says, “Becoming a part of ‘The Cantore Show’ is a big step in joining the San Diego community. I’m from a small surfing town in the San Francisco Bay Area and I immediately feel at home here in SD. I’m looking forward to showcasing my passion for entertaining people and sharing my kooky-yet relatable-personality with this on-air family and our listeners.”
Alex Silverman Promoted to Program Director at KYW, Philadelphia. News radio pro Alex Silverman is promoted by Entercom from his assistant director of news and programming role at WCBS-AM, New York to program director for its Philadelphia all-news, KYW. Silverman joined WCBS Newsradio 880 in 2011 as an anchor. The company says he’s “helped lead the station’s coverage of major news events in New York and around the country, including Hurricane Sandy, the Boston Marathon bombings, and the Orlando nightclub shooting.” He received a 2018 National Edward R. Murrow Award for his coverage of the transportation crisis in New York and he recently helped guide WCBS through a modern refresh and reimage of its iconic Newsradio brand. Silverman comments, “KYW Newsradio is the beating heart of Philadelphia. I’m incredibly excited and honored to lead the top-notch team of news professionals who make it vital, both now and into the future.” Silverman is currently the industry representative to the board of directors for WJPZ Radio in Syracuse, where he provides operational, financial and technical oversight for Syracuse University’s student-run radio station. He has also served as an adjunct professor at Fordham University, where he designed a course titled, “Social Media for Journalists.”
Clay Travis to Host FS1 Sports Wagering Show. Sports talk personality Clay Travis hosts FOX Sports Radio’s daily “Outkick the Coverage” program. Beginning on Monday, September 10, he’ll appear with a group of co-hosts on FS1’s new television sports gambling show, “Lock It In.” The program will air from 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm ET and feature co-hosts Rachel Bonnetta, “Cousin Sal” Iacono, and oddsmaker Todd Fuhrman. FOX Sports says the show “aims to make the avid sports fan smarter and more informed about the world of sports betting. The show stars an eclectic cast of entertaining, sports-obsessed minds that want to make watching that night’s games as entertaining as possible. While fans tune in to see what the experts are saying – and who they are putting their hypothetical money on, they will also get smarter about the biggest sports stories of the day.”
TALKERS News Notes. Milwaukee’s news/talk WTMJ and sister country WKTI are holding a fundraiser tomorrow (8/31) to benefit victims of the August’s historic severe weather and flooding around the state of Wisconsin. Scripps Milwaukee VP and general manager Tom Langmyer says, “Many towns in our state have been ravaged by high winds and major flooding. We want to encourage our listeners to help our neighbors recover from the major damage left in the wake of these powerful storms. Through our Radiothon this Friday, story coverage and grassroots volunteerism, we hope to make a positive and quick difference in our region.” The stations will hold the radiothon from 3:00 pm to 6:30 pm local time…..Sports talk personality Nick Wright joins the Mad Dog Sports Radio channel on SiriusXM when he begins hosting the “What’s Wright” show from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm on Tuesday, September 4. Wright – who began his radio career at KCSP, Kansas City and served for four years with KILT-AM, Houston – joined FS1 in April of 2016 to host the morning show, “First Things First” with Cris Carter and Jenna Wolfe. That show is also heard on FOX Sports on SiriusXM. Wright says, “I couldn’t be more excited to be back hosting a daily radio show and look forward to talking all things sports with SiriusXM subscribers across the country. Mad Dog Sports Radio is a widely recognized national radio brand and boasts an excellent lineup of hosts that I’m honored to join.”…..ABC News Radio is presenting live coverage of Arizona Senator John McCain’s memorial service and ceremonies on Saturday, September 1 at 8:00 am ET. Correspondent Aaron Katersky anchors from New York and digital journalist Ali Rogin reports from Washington National Cathedral. The ABC News Radio team will provide multiple one-minute status reports each hour throughout the morning…..Entercom sports talker WIP-FM, Philadelphia is presenting the annual “Eagles Radiothon,” starting today (8/30) and continuing on Tuesday and Wednesday (9/4 & 5), to benefit the Eagles Charitable Foundation dedicated to serving low-income children in the greater Philly area. The multi-day auction, sponsored by Santander Bank, offers fans the opportunity to bid on exclusive sports and entertainment experiences, with all proceeds benefitting the ECF. Highlights of the auction include one-of-a-kind sporting experiences, such as a personal passing clinic with Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, a trip to Super Bowl LIII, and a round of golf with Eagles Hall of Fame and SportsRadio 94WIP radio broadcaster Merrill Reese, among others.
McGahn to Exit WH/Fate of Sessions, Trump-Russia Investigation/Trump vs CNN, John McCain Passing, Tuesday Primaries/Midterm Elections, Ex-Cop Convicted in Black Teen’s Death, Aretha Franklin Service, Aaron Rodgers Contract, First Man Film, the NFL’s pre-season, and Major League Baseball Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/29). The announcement that White House Counsel Don McGahn will leave the administration this fall and the related speculation about the fate of Attorney General Jeff Sessions; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the related battle between President Trump and CNN over its reporting of the Trump Tower meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya; the passing of Arizona Senator John McCain; Tuesday’s primary elections and this fall’s midterm elections; ex-cop Roy Oliver is sentenced to 15 years in death of unarmed teen; Friday’s funeral for Aretha Franklin; Aaron Rodgers becomes NFL’s highest-paid player; this weekend’s opening for the film, First Man; the NFL’s pre-season; 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.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. At Entercom’s urban contemporary KHTP, Seattle “HOT 103.7,” Bre Ruiz is named co-host for the Sir Mix-A-Lot morning show, effective September 4. Ruiz was most recently an air personality and music director at the company’s hip hop KSFM, Sacramento. He says of his new gig, “I am so blessed and excited to continue my radio journey with a legend like Sir Mix-A-Lot and to work under such a well-respected program director like Eric Powers. I cannot wait to live the amazing Seattle life and connect with our loyal listeners.”…..The new “Women of iHeartCountry” program hosted by Bobby Bones and Amy Brown debuts this Labor Day weekend. The one-hour program is being produced by iHeartMedia and is devoted exclusively to female artists. Bones is executive producer of the program that will “feature music from both established female artists and promising up-and-comers, with weekly guest appearances by other iHeartMedia female on-air personalities.” It will air on 125 iHeartCountry stations as well as on the iHeartRadio app…..Pictured at left is Premiere Networks personality Angela Yee (center) of the WWPR, New York-based “The Breakfast Club” morning show. She’s with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (left) and First Lady of New York Chirlane McCray (right) as de Blasio names Yee a New York Public Library Ambassador and declared August 28 “Angela Yee Day” in NYC. In this role, Yee will continue her work encouraging members of the public to get library cards and visit their local public library branches to read, learn, and grow. Yee is an avid reader and writer who will also participate in New York Public Library events, campaigns, and programs. She will host her popular “Kickin’ It from The Stoop” book club at library branches across the city. Mayor de Blasio says, “Public libraries help thousands of New Yorkers explore the world outside our five boroughs, something Angela Yee also does through her book club and radio show. We are very lucky to add someone as passionate as Angela to our list of library ambassadors.”…..On-air pro Jax joins CHR WWST, Knoxville “Star 102.1” as evening personality. Jax was most recently with CHR KTXY, Columbia, Missouri…..United Stations Radio Networks reports that its weekly classic rock show “Get the Led Out” will dedicate six full weekly episodes of the show to the 50th anniversary of the founding of Led Zeppelin. Host Carol Miller will focus the program on such events as the group’s first tour, the recording of Led Zeppelin I, and the band’s landing in New York City, among others…..SiriusXM is broadcasting the entire funeral celebration of the life of Aretha Franklin on Friday (8/31) live, beginning at 10:00 am ET. The coverage will be heard on the satcaster’s Aretha Franklin Tribute Channel.
Report: New Allegations of Behavior Issues at CBS RADIO. In today’s New York Post, a story by Kevin Dugan details allegations of inappropriate language on the part of WCBS-FM jock Dan Taylor in which he is accused of using racial and sexually demeaning terms in front of former producer Craig Lenti. The allegations by Lenti are from a diary he kept of his experiences working at the station. This comes a month after sister station WFAN, New York (along with WCBS-FM now owned by Entercom) suspended midday personality Joe Benigno while it investigates allegations of sexual harassment against him made by former sales staffer Lauren Lockwood. The Post piece also notes that six former CBS RADIO staffers have contacted the paper in the last month supporting Lockwood’s claims. The story includes a statement on behalf of Entercom by Sard Verbinnen spokeswoman Liz Zale, who says, “We are deeply offended by this mischaracterization of our culture and work environment. This handful of allegations from former employees of CBS Radio does not reflect Entercom’s culture or work environment.” Read the Post piece here.
Salem Host Joe Walsh Teams with WVON’s Maze Jackson for Live Event Series Titled, ‘Black and White, Uncomfortable Conversations.’ This series of live events featuring former U.S. Representative and current Salem Radio Network and Newsmax TV personality Joe Walsh and WVON, Chicago morning personality Maze Jackson is taking place at four locations around Chicagoland. It’s called “Black and White, Uncomfortable Conversations” and will “feature authentic, uncensored dialogue with respectful, no-holds barred conversation about the issues affecting black and white men and women of all ages throughout Chicago.” Topics such as taxes, gun violence, reparations, religion, family structure, education, “and other political topics that have been hijacked by an agenda-driven media.” Walsh adds, “The ‘Uncomfortable Conversations’ events will help us find common ground, which too many Americans have forgotten how to do.” Jackson comments, “I’m looking forward to having some really uncomfortable conversations on race, politics, and culture with a very unlikely partner, former Congressman Joe Walsh. I’m as pro-Black as you can be and Joe is as conservative one can be, so when we get together, fireworks will erupt. But after we get through the bombastic words we’ll get to the core of finding solutions to benefit us all.” The series takes place on consecutive Saturdays in September in Bolingbrook, Wauconda, Chicago’s south side, and Lake Forest, Illinois.
KSPN, Los Angeles Moves Sedano to Afternoons; Adds Travis Rodgers to Mornings. This new lineup takes effect on September 4. Jorge Sedano, currently part of the morning show with Keyshawn Johnson and LZ Granderson, moves to the open afternoon drive slot hosting his own program from 3:30 pm to 7:00 pm. “ESPNLA 710” is adding Travis Rodgers to the morning show for the newly renamed “The Morning Show with Keyshawn, LZ and Travis.” The midday schedule remains the same with Stephen A. Smith from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon and the “Mason and Ireland” show from 12:00 noon to 3:30 pm. Sedano says, “There’s not a more exciting time to be in Los Angeles covering sports. It’s an honor to take on the task of providing the best content possible for the city’s fans. I’m pumped to be working with a great group both behind the scenes and on the air.”
TALKERS News Notes. On today’s edition of Westwood One’s “The Savage Nation” with host Michael Savage, popular social media personalities Diamond and Silk, a.k.a. Lynnette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson, will appear as special guests. The African American comedy duo, whose pro-Trump social media activity on their YouTube channel “The Viewers View” has more than 180,000 subscribers. They will also interview Savage for their upcoming documentary…..Walter M. Sterling’s “Sterling on Sunday” program – nationally syndicated by Westwood One – is celebrating its one-year anniversary in national syndication. The show – billed as a mix of lifestyle, entertainment, and social conversations – airs live from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am ET and is now heard on more than 60 affiliate stations a year after its August 19, 2017 debut…..As reported by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, former WGN-AM, Chicago sports anchor and reporter Sam Panayotovich is coming back to the Windy City airwaves on Entercom’s sports talk WSCR “The Score” with weekly appearances on the Mike Mulligan and David Haugh morning show. Panayotovich is a host for Las Vegas-based VSiN (Vegas Stats & Information Network). He says, “Following the betting markets really changes the way you watch sports. I can’t wait to go back home for 12 minutes every Friday.”…..NPR is launching a midterm election-focused radio show called, “The Politics Show from NPR,” featuring Scott Detrow, Tamara Keith, and Asma Khalid. It debuts September 14 and runs through November 9. NPR VP for programming and audience development Anya Grundmann says, “We are thrilled to be expanding our platform, particularly at a time when reliable news is vitally important. The 2018 elections will be as consequential as any in recent memory. This show will provide comprehensive fact-based coverage that will help voters make informed decisions at the ballot box.”…..The New York State Broadcasters Association is naming ABC’s “World News Tonight” anchor David Muir its 2018 Broadcaster of the Year. The multiple Emmy and Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist has been with ABC News since 2003 and served as the anchor for the overnight program “World News Now” and as a network correspondent. On September 2, 2014 he became the sole anchor and managing editor of ABC’s “World News Tonight with David Muir.” Muir will be honored at the New York State Leadership and Hall of Fame Luncheon on October 18 at the Javits Center in New York City at a luncheon held in conjunction with the NAB Show NY….Entercom’s news/talk KNSS, Wichita is a big winner at the Kansas Association of Broadcasters annual television and radio awards. KNSS won first place for Complete Sportscast and for Station Website. It grabbed second place honors for Complete Newscast.
WCBS-AM, New York Unveils New Logo and News ‘Anthem.’ The still shot above shows a scene from the recording of the new news “anthem” for Entercom’s all-news WCBS-AM, New York. The station is introducing the new music as well as the new logo seen at bottom left of the photo. WCBS director of news and programming Tim Scheld says the new look and feel are part of the radio station’s strategy to build a brand for the next 50 years. He states, “2017 was all about celebrating the brand that is WCBS Newsradio 880 and 2018 was all about rethinking the brand.” Assistant program director Alex Silverman says of the new music, “We didn’t want the traditional, in-your-face, self-important news music. We wanted a sound that was going to communicate that we are a trusted friend.” The station says that what it got was “an anthem filled with energy, percussion, and the passion with which the news is delivered on New York’s iconic news radio station.” Check out the story and the video of the recording of the new music here.
Paul Manafort Guilty on Eight Counts, Michael Cohen Pleads Guilty, Trump-Russian Investigation, Microsoft Finds Russian Hacking of Conservatives, Rep. Hunter Indicted on Campaign Funds Misuse, Mollie Tibbetts Case Arrest, Argento/McGowan #MeToo Issue, Western Wildfires/Air Quality, NFL Pre-season and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/21). Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is convicted on eight counts in fraud trial; former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen pleads guilty to breaking campaign finance laws; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; Microsoft reports discovering Russian hacking of conservative think tanks; U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter indicted on campaign fund misuse; Iowa college student Mollie Tibbetts’ alleged killer is undocumented alien; the flap over Rose McGowan’s comments about Harvey Weintstein accuser Asia Argento’s reported payoff for having sex with a minor; the wildfires in the U.S. West and the region’s poor air quality; NFL pre-season action and the Major League Baseball playoff push were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
PPM Analysis: Adult Hits. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s July 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on adult hits. Some 67% of adult hits-formatted stations experienced 6+ AQH share growth from the June 2018 survey to the July survey. Comparing ratings from July of last year to this year, about half the stations in the panel were up and the other half were down. Five adult hits stations ranked in the top five in their respective markets with iHeartMedia’s KYOT, Phoenix; Emmis Communications’ KBPA, Austin; Midwest Communications’ WCJK, Nashville; and Entercom’s WSMW, Greensboro ranking #2 in the July 2018 PPM survey. See the entire report here.
WCBS-AM to Celebrate ‘A Night of New York Stories.’ All-news WCBS-AM, New York “Newsradio 880AM” is presenting an event at the PlayStation Theater in Times Square titled, “Celebrating 50 Years of News: A Night of New York Stories,” on August 8. It will be hosted by the station’s Wayne Cabot and Alex Silverman and will celebrate the station’s 50th anniversary by bringing together some of New York’s most notable names in news, politics, sports and entertainment. The evening will close with a special interview and song performance by legendary singer Tony Bennett. CBS RADIO New York SVP and market manager Marc Rayfield says, “‘Newsradio 880’ is a trusted New York City news outlet with a rich history and legacy of delivering up-to-the-minute news. We are proud to be a part of the fabric of New York and will continue to tell the stories of the people, places and happenings from all around this great city. This special night is a chance to gather with listeners, station personalities and prominent figures to celebrate what the station has meant for the past 50 years and will continue to mean well into the future.” Additional station personalities taking part include: Craig Allen, Joe Connolly, Pat Farnack, Brad Heller, Tom Kaminski, Paul Murnane, Steve Scott and Michael Wallace. Among the special guests sharing their New York stories on stage will be Jeff Fager and Lesley Stahl (60 Minutes), former New York Giants co-captain George Martin, “Late Show with David Letterman” bandleader Paul Shaffer, and former New York Mets manager Bobby Valentine.
Capitol Broadcasting Renews ‘The Sports Shop with Reese & Kmac.’ WDNC, Raleigh-Durham “The Buzz” extends its deal with morning drive personalities Erroll Reese and Kevin McClendon for the duo to continue to host “The Sports Shop with Reese & Kmac” for another year. Reese and Kmac call their show “urban sports radio” and the station says it is one of the few sports radio morning shows in the country co-hosted by two African-Americans. Capitol Broadcasting sports radio operations manager/program director Dennis Glasgow comments, “We’re very pleased to give a local voice to all our morning sports radio listeners in Raleigh-Durham, but it’s clear that this diverse show we’ve assembled is giving the listener something different, entertaining and just plain fun every day with Reese and Kmac on Buzz Sports Radio.”
TALKERS News Notes. The host of the radio legal feature “Looking at the Law” is signing off after 42 years of hosting duties. Neil Chayet announces he’s retiring from producing the feature that he and WBZ, Boston have been creating and syndicating across the country. He comments, “While there is an endless supply of court cases and material to continue ‘Looking at the Law’ for years to come, I feel that 42 years is the right number for me and it leaves more time to continue the other passions I’ve worked on tirelessly over the years.” WBZ director of news & programming Peter Casey adds, “You can hear an audible chuckle coming from cars all over New England as they listen to Neil on WBZ.”…..Midroll Media announces three new staffing additions. Amy Fitzgibbons joins Midroll as vice president of marketing. Laura Mayer is the new executive producer, and David Murray becomes vice president of finance and strategy. Fitzgibbons was most recently VP of marketing at PhotoShelter. Mayer was in the podcast production department at Panoply, and Murray moves to Midroll from parent company E.W. Scripps where he was finance business partner…..Program host Kevin McCullough announces that the “Saturday SuperCast Radio Night LIVE!” is now airing on Salem Media Group’s KPXQ, Phoenix starting this weekend…..The NHL’s Boston Bruins and CBS RADIO Boston ink a multi-year extension for sports WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” to continue serving as the flagship radio station for play-by-play. The Bruins have been with CBS Boston since they started airing on all-news WBZ-AM for the 1995-96 season…..Radio Vermont Group owner Ken Squier confirms to Vermont alternative weekly Seven Days that his stations are for sale. Squier says he is looking to sell to an operator who will continue his family’s tradition of local programming. Radio Vermont was launched by Squier’s father Lloyd with WDEV-AM, Waterbury (currently news/talk/sports) in 1931. The company also operates classic hits WCVT, Stowe “101 The One” and country WLVB, Morrisville…..Westwood One nationally syndicated talk show host Mark Levin publishes his fifth book – this one titled, Rediscovering Americanism and the Tyranny of Progressivism (Threshold Editions 2017). He tells the Washington Examiner, “My new book covers a lot of territory — philosophy, history, economics, law, culture, etc. And I look deeply into what is meant by Americanism, republicanism, individualism, capitalism. What do we mean by natural law, unalienable rights, liberty, and property rights? From where do these principles come? Why are they important?”
Trump-Russia Investigation Top News/Talk Story for Week of June 19-23. The special counsel investigation into possible ties between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 was testimony by former Homeland Secretary Jeh Johnson and others about Russia’s attempts to hack the U.S. presidential election. Coming in at #3 was the unveiling of the GOP health care plan, followed by the Georgia congressional race won by Karen Handel 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.
Mike Carruthers to Present Another in Series of Free Online Podcasting Workshops on Wednesday, June 28 at 1:00 pm ET. Following the success of his recent podcasting webinar presented in conjunction with TALKERS magazine, noted broadcaster Mike Carruthers of Perfect Your Podcast will be presenting another free online podcasting workshop titled, “The 3 Essential Ingredients for a Successful Podcast.” The workshop is designed to give instruction and guidance to broadcasters interested in expanding their programming and brand into the podcasting realm focusing on the steps necessary to gain traction in terms of increased listenership and revenue generating potential. Carruthers is well known in radio for the many years of success he enjoyed as producer and host of the syndicated, short-form series, “Something You Should Know,” – now a long-form, lucrative hit on the iTunes chart as a podcast. Carruthers tells TALKERS, “It is amazing how many people WANT to start a podcast – but never quite pull the trigger. There are a lot of reasons why, but mostly it boils down to a lack of confidence, fear of having too much to learn, not knowing where to begin, and concern about the amount of time it can consume. This workshop will greatly help to alleviate these issues.” The free online workshop will take place this coming Wednesday, June 28 at 1:00 pm ET. Space is limited, so those interested in participating should register now. For more information and to register, please click here.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Punk legend and KLOS, Los Angeles disc jockey Steve Jones is receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Cumulus Media notes that the host of KLOS’ “Jonesy’s Jukebox” program and guitarist for the Sex Pistols and Iggy Pop is recognized on Rolling Stone’s list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.” He’s also the only radio personality to be honored with a star for the Walk of Fame Class of 2018…..Cumulus Media’s Detroit hot AC WDVD signs morning personality Blaine Fowler to a long-term contract extension. “The Blaine Fowler Morning Show” has been heard on the station since 2003. Cumulus Detroit director of FM programming Robby Bridges says, “Blaine and Lauren [Crocker] both are special talents and I’m thrilled they’ll make their magic on Detroit’s 96-3 WDVD for a long time to come.”…..Adams Radio Group announces some personnel changes in the Salisbury-Ocean City, Maryland market. Active rock WZBH “93.5 The Beach” program director Johnny Maze assumes the afternoon drive slot on the station, exiting his PM gig at sister classic rocker WGBG “BIG 98.5.” Joining WZBH from the company’s Las Cruces, New Mexico operations is Carolina, who is named music director and midday personality. She takes over for Leah Rantz, who recently joined Saga’s alternative WLZX, Springfield, Massachusetts.
PPM Analysis: Adult Hits. Managing editor Mike Kinosian turns to music formats for the third of his four-part series looking at the performances of radio stations based on data from the May 2017 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio, today looking at adult hits. In analyzing 6+ performances comparing May 2016 to May 2017, he writes, “One of every two adult hits stations on this sample improve (50%) year-to-year; 40% decline; and 10% are flat.” WQSR, Baltimore; WARH, St. Louis; and KJAQ, Seattle all rise more than a full share, year-over-year. KBPA, Austin is the only adult hits station in a PPM market to rank #1 in the May survey. See the rest of the data here.