Entercom Acquires 45% Stake in DGital Media. What we don’t know from the press release from Entercom about this deal is how much the 45% stake in DGital Media cost the company. Nonetheless, this is a big deal for several reasons. The specifics of the investment aside, the deal will give DGital Media “in addition to the investment, significant annual marketing and promotional support” across Entercom’s AM/FM radio stations. It also includes a “multi-year services agreement under which DGital Media will dedicate significant resources to create world-class, original on-demand audio content leveraging Entercom’s deep roster of local talent and relationships in the world of sports, news, politics, music, comedy, and technology.” Additionally, DGital Media will serve as Entercom’s exclusive, third-party ad sales representative for all of its podcasts and other on-demand audio. Entercom president and CEO David Field states, “We are delighted to enter into this important relationship with DGital Media that enables us to partner with the premier on-demand audio content company in the U.S. and will scale our capabilities in this rapidly growing space. Upon close of our CBS RADIO merger, Entercom will be the clear leader in creating original audio content and we are committed to reaching our listeners in any way they wish to engage with us, whether through live over-the-air broadcasts, streaming audio, on-demand audio or in-person events and experiences. DGital Media has an impressive track record of developing and producing podcasts and growing audiences for their content partners. This partnership will strategically enhance our ability to deliver compelling audio to the public, wherever and whenever they please.”
iHeartMedia Second Quarter Revenue Up 1.9%. The second quarter 2017 financial report from iHeartMedia notes that consolidated revenue was up “1.7% after adjusting for a $15.5 million impact from movements in foreign exchange rates and the $36.1 million impact of the outdoor businesses sold.” Looking at the iHeartMedia segment (separate from the outdoor business), revenue there increased $16.5 million, or 1.9%. Revenue increased $17.8 million, or 2.1%, excluding political revenue. Included in the report were a number non-financial announcements including the launch of Smart A/V Audiences, an expansion of the SmartAudio suite of advertising products “that combines data from both iHeartMedia and Fox Networks Group enabling advertising partners to leverage audio and visual as one integrated platform to create custom audiences.” iHM says this brings “the precision and immediacy of digital advertising to the scale of broadcast radio and television.” The company also reports that “podcast listening on iHeartRadio increased by 20% year-over-year in the quarter, with more than 7,500 podcast publishers now distributing their content over the platform.” This is illustrated by podcasts like “Label Defiers with Zico Coconut Water” – produced through a marketing partnership between iHeartMedia and Coca-Cola – featuring well-known iHeartMedia personality Elvis Duran of WHTZ, New York “Z100” and his syndicated stations doing one-on-one interviews with artists. iHeartMedia COO and CFO Rich Bressler states, “To date, the iHeartMedia segment has delivered 17 consecutive quarters of year-over-year revenue growth. We remain committed to balancing financial discipline with investments to grow our businesses while continuing to work on our capital structure.”
WGOW-FM, Chattanooga Morning Host Jim Reynolds Charged in Domestic Incident. According to a report by ABC9 in Chattanooga, WGOW-FM morning personality Jim “J.R.” Reynolds was arrested and charged with aggravated assault and aggravated child abuse on Wednesday (8/2) after an incident involving Reynolds’ wife and two daughters. The police report indicates Reynolds was arguing with his eldest daughter about her cell phone usage and a fight the girl had been having with her younger sister when Reynolds – according to a statement from his wife – pushed the girl onto a couch. Reynolds disputes the details but admitted to police he physically touched his daughter and police told him that’s all that is required to constitute domestic violence. Reynolds co-hosts “The Morning Press” on Cumulus Media’s news/talk WGOW-FM alongside Jeff Styles and Bill Lockhart. Read the ABC9 account here.
Trump Phone Transcripts Leak Top News/Talk Story This Week. The leak of transcripts of President Trump’s conversations with world leaders was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week of July 31 – August 4, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the sanctions against Russia and the relations between the U.S. and Russia. Coming in at #3 was the fate of ObamaCare and the GOP’s efforts to craft a new health care plan, followed by the recent West Wing staff changes at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio 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.
Comrex to Display at IBC 2017 in Amsterdam. When the IBC 2017 media, entertainment and technology show gets underway in Amsterdam on September 15, Comrex will be there displaying some of its featured products, including the latest audio IP codec in its ACCESS line – ACCESS NX (pictured here). Other products being displayed at the show will include Opal, a new IP audio gateway, and LiveShot, a video-over-IP and bonded cellular solution. Comrex says that ACCESS NX is “the result of a decade of IP audio transmission advancements and is refined for the ultimate remote experience. Perfect for a wide range of applications – including ENG, sports announcing, talk show hosting, community outreach, and more…ACCESS NX runs on CrossLock, Comrex’s custom reliability layer that enables both powerful error correction and network bonding.” See more about the ACCESS NX here.
TALKERS News Notes. Last night’s Westwood One radio broadcast of the NFL Hall of Fame Game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Arizona Cardinals was the opener of the 31st consecutive season that the syndicator has been the exclusive, national network radio partner with the NFL. WW1 EVP corporate marketing for Cumulus Media and president, Westwood One Suzanne Grimes comments, “Everyone’s listening to the NFL on Westwood One because we unequivocally offer some of the best play-by-play and commentary in all of sports programming. No one touches Westwood One Sports’ commitment to quality programming and organic advertiser integrations. We are thrilled to extend our longstanding partnership with the NFL and can’t wait to kick off another season of unparalleled sports action.” Pictured at right are Pro Football Hall of Famers James Lofton (left) and Jason Taylor (right) in the broadcast booth for last night’s game. Taylor is replacing Lofton as Westwood One’s “Sunday Night Football” analyst, as Lofton slides over to duties at CBS-TV. Taylor with be enshrined in to the Pro Football Hall of Fame tomorrow night (8/5), alongside fellow WW1 analyst Kurt Warner…..The FCC has five commissioners once again. The U.S. Senate confirmed Republican Brendan Carr and Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel to their posts yesterday (8/3). They join Republican chairman Ajit Pai, Republican Michael O’Reily, and Democrat Mignon Clyburn. Rosenworcel returns after previously serving on the Commission and exiting at the end of 2016 as her term expired. Clyburn’s term expired in June but she’s allowed, by rule, to stay on through 2018 if she chooses. However, it’s reported that she may be considering a run for the U.S. House seat in South Carolina currently held by her retiring father, U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn.
Mary Quass Named MIW’s ‘Trailblazer.’ The Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio Group names NRG Media chairman and chief executive officer Mary Quass recipient of the 9th annual MIW Radio Group Frances Preston Trailblazer Award. Quass will receive the honor on September 6 at the 2017 Radio Show in Austin. The MIW Radio Group Trailblazer Award is presented annually to a woman who, through her leadership and success in the media industry, creates opportunities for other women in radio.
Washington-Based Executive Producer and Radio Engineer Sought by Courtside Entertainment. Two positions are currently open at Norm Pattiz’s Courtside Entertainment. The first is an executive producer position based in Washington, DC. This position is with “one of the nation’s most popular conservative talk radio programs” and requires a “driven, intelligent, and organized person to oversee the day-to-day production of the show.” For application information and to see more about this position, click here. The second opening is for a radio engineer. That person “shall install, configure, and maintain radio broadcasting equipment as needed.” The candidate must have “relevant technical knowledge with good people skills and have excellent written and verbal communication skills.” For application information and to see more about this position, click here.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Paul Cannell comes home to New Orleans to join Cumulus Media as program director for alternative rock WZRH “Alt 92.3” and country WRKN “NASH FM 106.1,” effective August 14. Cumulus Media New Orleans VP/market manager Pat Galloway says, “Paul will be a great addition to an incredible team and will lead us on to incredible success for both ‘Alt 92.3’ and ‘NASH 106.1.’ I am fortunate to have already worked with Paul in the past and love his collaborative management style. Paul knows New Orleans, Baton Rouge and the Gulf South and loves the area! ‘Alt 92.3’ is simply on fire in the ratings and I’m confident Paul will only enhance its performance.”…..San Francisco radio personality Shan Berries re-ups with CBS RADIO CHR KMVQ “997 NOW” in a new, multi-year deal, according to CBS RADIO SVP Michael Martin…..In Phoenix, air personality Charlie Huero inks a deal with CBS RADIO to continue hosting the afternoon show on classic hits KOOL-FM. Huero has been with KOOL since 2011 when he joined the station as assistant program director and midday jock. CBS RADIO Phoenix SVP of programming Tim Richards says, “Charlie is an incredible talent with unmatched passion and experience. We are excited to renew his agreement.”…..Air personality Lady La joins iHeartMedia Phoenix to host shows on hot AC KMXP “Mix 96.9” and CHR KZZP “104.7 KISS FM.” She’ll be the evening personality on KMXP and will handle weekends/fill-ins on KZZP. iHeartMedia EVP programming, West Division Steve Geofferies comments, “Lady La will flourish in iHeartMedia’s creative and collaborative environment. Not only is she highly regarded on the air, but her social media following is among the best. The goal of adding the country’s top talent to our team continues.” Lady La was previously heard in the market on CBS RADIO’s crosstown CHR KALV and on Riviera Broadcasting’s hip hop KKFR.….Cumulus Media appoints Jim Day executive producer for the “Bob and Marianne in the Morning” show at adult contemporary WRRM-FM, Cincinnati “Warm 98.5.” Morning radio pro Day’s career has taken him to such stations as WIL-FM, St. Louis; KWEN, Tulsa “K955”; WSM-FM, Nashville “95.5 The Wolf”; and WHKO, Dayton “K99.1.” WRRM PD Brian Demay says, “[outgoing producer] Zach Stone set a high bar producing for Bob and Marianne, so finding someone with Jim Day’s experience is like an answer to prayer.”…..As a result of the departure of programmer Johnny Maze from the Adams Radio Group operations in Salisbury-Ocean City, Maryland, new PD roles are assigned. Adams Radio president Ron Stone announces that Stacy Gantt, a.k.a. Carolina, is named PD for rock WZBH “93.5 The Beach,” Rob Johnson takes on the PD role at rhythmic CHR WOCQ “OC 104,” and Laura Lee is named PD for classic rock WGBG “BIG 98.5.” Finally, country WHKI PD Larry “Big Red” Stephens is promoted to operations manager for the entire cluster. Stone says, “I could not be more excited about these changes. These folks bring heart and soul to the game and have proved it for us, in some cases now in more than one market for Adams. I love their energy and desire to win…and most importantly, their team spirit.”…..The iHeartRadio app is being made standard on dashboard infotainment systems in select 2018 Chevrolet, Cadillac and GMC vehicles, including the just released Chevy Traverse. iHeartMedia says that this provides driver-friendly access to its digital music and streaming radio service…..SiriusXM is broadcasting this weekend’s Lollapalooza festival from Chicago, beginning today (8/4) at 2:00 pm ET and running through Sunday. Coverage will include live performances and backstage interviews with artists including: Arcade Fire, blink-182, Muse, The Killers, Lorde, Cage The Elephant, and more.
For WQAM – Three’s A Crowd in PM Drive. Today’s arrival (Tuesday, 8/11) of Channing Crowder will transform the afternoon drive program (2:00 pm – 6:00 pm) of CBS Radio-owned WQAM “Miami Sports Radio 560” into a three-person affair, as the former Miami Dolphins linebacker joins Marc Hochman and Zach Krantz. Regarding Crowder, program director Ryan Maguire comments, “His insight as a former college and professional football player – as well as his one-of-a-kind brand of humor – will be a great addition to what Marc and Zach bring to the table every day. This is going to be a very unique, locally focused program that will be entertaining and insightful.” Crowder remarks, “I am excited for the opportunity to work with ‘Hoch’ and Zach. We are going to bring listeners a different kind of show they won’t be able to find anywhere else.” A former all-South East Conference player at the University of Florida, Crowder began at WQAM in 2009 as a contributor. Prior to becoming part of “Hochman, Crowder, & Krantz,” he co-hosted the station’s mid-day (1:00 pm – 3:00 pm) program.
Pittsburgh Broadcaster in Online “Crowd-funding” Campaign. The “Don’t Spy on Me” project, which began last Monday (8/3) and ends in three weeks (9/1), creates an internet show for Pittsburgh talk host Dimitri Vassilaros. Online programs, of course, are not subject to Federal Communications Commission regulations, so callers are able to speak freely. Vassilaros tells TALKERS, “Forgoing short-term revenue to create long-term value has helped many internet startups become desirable to investors. This new radio show will provide people with a platform where they can express their thoughts, amplify their voices, and talk back to all authoritarians. Internet freedom means unlimited choices, not government restrictions. Your right of privacy is worth fighting for.” Vassilaros’ background includes being a talk show host on Pittsburgh stations KDKA-AM and WTAE, as well as a columnist/reporter for The Pittsburgh Tribune Review.
“Something To Think About” Notes Affiliate Benchmark. Seven months after its debut, the weekday vignettes that its syndicator – Westwood One – labels a “slice of Americana” eclipse the 150-station mark. In fact, the station count for the segments voiced by former Michigan congressman/ex-FBI agent Mike Rogers that stations air thrice daily is up to 156. Westwood One senior vice president of affiliate sales Dennis Green states, “We have been searching for a strong voice that provides a common sense and thought-provoking take on relatable topics that concern all Americans. Mike Rogers brings that home in his commentary, which gives listeners a chance to pause and reflect on the ideals that are important to us all and are without any political bias.” Outgoing House Intelligence Committee chair Rogers remarks that surpassing the 150-station mark so fast is “really exciting” and that listener feedback is inspiring. “It truly is an honor to be welcomed into cars, homes, and businesses of so many people across the country. Sometimes, it is the simplest message that has the greatest impact.” Among those airing the commentaries are Cumulus Media New York talker WABC; co-owned Chicago talker WLS-AM; San Francisco talk sibling KSFO; iHeartMedia-owned Miami talk outlet WIOD; and CBS Radio Pittsburgh talker KDKA-AM.
Odds & Sods. The lucky guy who is all smiles is McGraw Milhaven. The KTRS, St Louis morning man recently took 40 listeners on a 12-day, six-country, 11-city tour of Europe including stops in Berlin, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and London. Milhaven is seen here capturing a memory at the Tower Bridge over the Thames.
Beck in the War Room. Sporting an orange ball cap, Premiere Radio Networks host Glenn Beck was among hundreds who turned out last night (Monday, 8/10) in Dallas for the world premiere of the Kendrick Brothers’ film “War Room.” Salem Radio Network vice president of news & talk programming Tom Tradup (on Beck’s left) interviewed Beck, as well as area dignitaries and “War Room” cast members. The red carpet event was held at Dallas’ Majestic Theatre.
Barack Obama, Donald Trump and Megyn Kelly were the Most Talked About People on News/Talk Radio Yesterday (8/9). Top topics included GOP Debate(s) on Fox, the Iran Nukes Deal and Immigration Reform. According to TALKERS research, fallout from last week’s audience record-breaking GOP debate on Fox News Channel continues to dominate conversation on news/talk radio across America. Other hot topics include the presidential election in general – especially Bernie Sanders’ encounters with the Black Lives Matter movement, Hillary Clinton’s email controversy and Jeb Bush’s problems gaining (or holding onto) traction.