More Negative Press for Cumulus Media. The New York Post story published over the weekend and shared across the radio biz didn’t delve into the company’s ratings or revenue numbers, it zeroed in on the biggest problem CEO Mary Berner is facing right now – its abysmal stock price. Last fall’s one-for-eight reverse stock split was designed to prop up the company’s ailing stock, but that has not happened and it closed at 52 cents per share on Friday. Read Claire Atkinson’s Post story here.
Cooke: Bat-Signal from Talk Radio. As consultant Holland Cooke writes today, the death of actor Adam West over the weekend doesn’t have anything specifically to do with radio, but there are lessons for radio practitioners that can be gleaned from pop culture events like this. Cooke writes that Nielsen still rewards horizontal maintenance. “It sure did back then, when ABC-TV struggled to compete with CBS and NBC. ‘Batman’ wasn’t just a mega-hit…it was two. The show aired at 7:30 ET on Wednesday AND Thursday nights. No matter how dire the cliffhanger, it would be resolved ‘tomorrow night, same Bat-time, same Bat-channel.’” Read more here.
TALKERS News Notes. The news that Apple is opening up in-episode analytics for its podcasts could be good or bad news for those selling ads on their podcasts, depending on how compelling those podcasts are. Apple’s move will give podcasters the ability to find out how many people are listening to their content and where and when they stop listening or skip. Obviously, this gives advertisers much more information than simply that the podcast was downloaded or listened to…..SiriusXM presents exclusive national radio coverage of the 117th U.S. Open Championship from Erin Hills in Wisconsin, beginning Thursday (6/15). Live coverage begins each day at 12:00 noon ET on both FOX Sports on SiriusXM and SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio. SiriusXM’s Brian Katrek will anchor the play-by-play broadcast with former PGA Tour pro Mark Carnevale serving as the analyst….Sportscaster Josh Appel, the 2016 winner of the prestigious Jim Nantz Award as the nation’s most outstanding collegiate sports broadcaster, joins Sports USA as a full-time NFL and college football play-by-play announcer…..Denyse Mesnik is named the national spokeswoman for the Mentoring & Inspiring Women in Radio Group, succeeding Kay Olin. Mesnik is president of The Mesnik Group and the former longtime VP of corporate communications for Beasley Media Group. The MIW Group is a volunteer organization helping women in the industry develop strong management and leadership skills and advocating the advancement of women to senior positions in radio broadcasting.
Gallagher at Greatest Generation Celebration. On Friday evening (6/9), the “American Spirit Awards Gala” took place in New Orleans. The black-tie event celebrates individuals and organizations whose work reflects the values and spirit of those who served America during the World War II years. Former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw – author of the book The Greatest Generation – served as emcee. Pictured above is Salem Radio Network talk show host Mike Gallagher (third from left) hosting listeners from Chicago, Dallas, Philadelphia and South Carolina. Each listener donated $3,500 to the National World War II Museum in New Orleans.
WFAN, New York Personality Richard Neer Enjoying Growing Alternative Career as Murder Mystery Author. Does it ever cross your mind on a sleepless night that an angry listener might pull a gun on you, incensed at something you’ve said on the air? That’s what happens to Wally Josephs, the outrageous “guy talk” personality in New York City radio legend (WNEW-FM and WFAN) Richard Neer’s new thriller The Last Resort (CreateSpace Publishing, 2017). The subtext is all radio – the financial troubles our industry faces and the extreme measures some are willing to take to save their careers. It’s Neer’s fourth in his Riley King murder mystery series and, according to reviews, the most compelling to date. See if you can identify some of the real people that the characters are based on and catch all the subtle music references woven throughout. By the way, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison plays himself in the book. About the role, Harrison commented, “When they make the movie, I expect my part to be played by Harrison Ford or perhaps Sean Connery.” It’s available on Kindle and in paperback on Amazon and it’s free to Kindle Unlimited readers. Neer has an extraordinary half-century career as a pioneer in both album rock and sports talk radio. Many TALKERS readers will remember his best-selling work of non-fiction, FM: The Rise and Fall of Rock Radio (Villard, 2001). For samples of all the books in the Riley King series, plus Richard Neer’s thoughts on sports, music and pop culture, or to book him as a talk show guest, check out www.RichardNeer.com.
Stanley Cup Finals, Warriors-Cavaliers Finals, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents, the related firing of FBI Director James Comey and his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee last week; President Donald Trump pushes the positive economic forecast since his inauguration; the fate of British Prime Minister Theresa May in the wake of the recent elections; the death of iconic “Batman” actor Adam West at age 88; the trial of Bill Cosby on rape charges; the success of the new Wonder Woman film; the Pittsburgh Penguins’ victory over the Nashville Predators in the Stanley Cup Finals; the battle between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. After just over a year as the morning show host on Cumulus Media’s triple A KFOG, San Francisco, Matt Pinfield is leaving that gig to focus on his two Westwood One nationally syndicated radio shows – the weekly rock history show “Flashback,” and the nightly program, “Two Hours.” The media personality and rock journalist says, “I’d like to thank my family at KFOG and Cumulus San Francisco, whom I love dearly, for giving me the freedom to concentrate on my two national radio shows for Westwood One, time to focus on my book, and to continue to work on developing TV and film projects. I love the Bay Area and being part of the legacy of such a heritage radio station as KFOG!”…..At Entercom’s Atlanta hot AC WSTR “Star 94,” PM drive jock Mike Marino adds assistant program director duties to his responsibilities, and midday personality Heather Branch takes on the music director role…..KNIX, Phoenix APD and music director Anthony Allen, a.k.a. The AntMan, moves to Austin to begin serving as program director for iHeartMedia’s country duo KASE and KVET. He’ll also hold down the afternoon shift on KASE.
Elvis Duran Chats with Miley Cyrus at iHeartSummer ’17. WHTZ, New York “Z100” and Premiere Networks syndicated personality Elvis Duran (right) chats with pop star Miley Cyrus (left) at the iHeartSummer ’17 Weekend on Friday and Saturday (6/9 & 10) at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach. The event included performances by DJ Khaled, Halsey, Miley Cyrus, Backstreet Boys, Fifth Harmony, Noah Cyrus, Tinashe and Luis Fonsi. Photo: Getty Images for iHeartRadio.
By Holland Cooke
Meanwhile, here inside-the-box, we consultants trip over each other jumping-in-front-of parades like this. It’s one of those non-radio events from which we strain to derive lessons for radio. You may recall Tweets from cohorts explaining how Rachel Maddow’s Trump tax return coup was really a flop. Since then, her sustained ratings romp causes those armchair critics amnesia. Still – hoping I’m first to hit Send – some undeniable analogies.