Tag: "Ben & Skin"
It’s Official: KEGL-FM, Dallas Flips to Hot Talk as ‘97.1 The Freak.’ After a cryptic message from longtime Dallas sports talk personality Mike Rhyner two weeks ago fueled speculation that iHeartMedia would flip rock outlet KEGL-FM “97.1 The Eagle” to sports talk, the company finally reveals that the change will actually be to hot talk. KEGL-FM is now “97.1 The Freak.” The company says that “The Freak” will be “a broad-based personality radio station that connects in a personal way with the DFW audience.” It will feature “The Speakeasy” from 7:00 am to 11:00 am starring Jeff Cavanaugh, Kevin “KT’ Turner, Julie Dobbs and Matt Cather, followed by “The Ben & Skin Show” with Ben Rogers, Jeff “Skin” Wade, Krystina “K-Ray” Ray and Michael “Grubes” Gruber; and “The Downbeat” in afternoon drive hosted by former longtime KTCK personality Mike Rhyner, with Mike Sirois and Michael “Grubes” Gruber. iHeartMedia Dallas regional VP of programming Patrick Davis says, “We’re beyond excited to introduce “97.1 The Freak.” The level of talent is insurmountable, and we’re thrilled for the opportunity to further connect with Dallas-Fort Worth!”
Radio Hall of Fame Announces 2022 Legends of Radio Inductees. The Museum of Broadcast Communications announces the selection of 10 new Legends inductees into the Radio Hall of Fame for 2022, “recognizing the talents and efforts of air personalities, programmers and operators who contributed with greatness to the radio industry and have since passed away.” They are: Doug Banks, nationally syndicated on-air personality; James Brown, legendary singer, to be inducted as a radio station owner of WJBE, Knoxville; Bob Coburn, host of the syndicated “Rockline” show; Chick Hearn, play-by-play announcer/voice of the Los Angeles Lakers; Bernice Judis, owner and general manager, WNEW-AM from the 1930s through the 1950s; Sid Mark, host of syndicated program, “Sounds of Sinatra”; Bobby O’Jay, on-air personality, WDIA-AM, Memphis; Pervis Spann, on-air personality, WVON-AM, Chicago; James Thompson, Group W Broadcasting president and president of the Broadcasters Foundation of America; and Rosalie Trombley, music director of CKLW-AM, Detroit in the 1960s–1970s. Radio Hall of Fame co-chair Kraig T. Kitchin says, “The Radio Hall of Fame is dedicated to recognizing the individuals who have made the greatest impact on our 100-plus-year-old industry. I’m thrilled to see the nominating committee confirm the induction of these 10 individuals who each made such an impact on our industry in their time.” The Radio Hall of Fame recognizes its 2022 class of inductees at the in-person 2022 Radio Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Tuesday, November 1, at Chicago’s Radisson Blu Acqua Hotel.
Derek Wolfe Joins Darren McKee for Afternoons at ‘104.3 The Fan’ in Denver. Television station KUSA-FV “9News” is reporting that recently retired Denver Broncos defensive lineman Derek Wolfe joins Bonneville’s sports talk KKFN-FM, Denver “104.3 The Fan” as co-host of the weekday afternoon sports show “The Drive” with Darren “Dmac” McKee. Wolfe takes over the co-host role on the afternoon drive show after the company did not renew the contract of fellow former Bronco and Colorado Buffalo Tyler Polumbus.
Cumulus Unveils New Morning Show at ‘104.5 The Zone’ in Nashville. Beginning tomorrow (10/5), Cumulus Media’s sports talk WGFX-FM, Nashville “104.5 The Zone” features two new co-hosts alongside Ramon Foster. Kayla Anderson – who’s been sports anchor, reporter and more for WKRN-TV, Nashville “News 2 TV” – joins the program as does current WGFX-FM high school play-by-play voice, Titans post-game show host and fill-in host Will Boling. Station operations manager Paul Mason says, “Ramon Foster has a tremendous natural ability to connect with sports fans in morning radio, and our listeners love him. Bringing Ramon together with experienced television sports anchor and reporter Kayla Anderson and hometown broadcaster Will Boling creates a truly special dynamic that will make for some great morning sports radio!”
BFoA Delivers Aid to Broadcasters Puerto Rico, Florida, and Carolinas. The Broadcasters Foundation of America says it is providing emergency aid to qualifying colleagues in the radio and TV industry who have been personally hit hard by Hurricanes Fiona and Ian. BFoA says that so far, requests have come in from individuals who work at Spanish Broadcasting System, America CV Station Group, Telemundo, and Univision, with the first of those checks going out to qualifying individuals this week. BFoA president Tim McCarthy states, “Our Emergency Grant Program is set up with a streamlined vetting process that allows us to move quickly and get checks to those in desperate need quickly. Broken pipes, power outages, displacement, and more have brought devastation to many of our colleagues.” Broadcasters can apply for emergency aid and see if they qualify by clicking here.
AWM Names Gracies Leadership Awards Honorees. The Alliance for Women in Media announces the seven honorees for the Gracies Leadership Awards that will be presented on Monday, November 14 at Tribeca 360 in New York. Google News Initiative is a presenting sponsor of the awards. AWM says the annual event provides an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the significant impact women have made in the media industry, while also spurring to action and emboldening female leaders in attendance. The list of this year’s honorees include the following: Nancy Daniels, chief of content, TNets, Discovery, Animal Planet, & Science Channel; Marie Donoghue, vice president, Global Sports Video, Amazon; Kim Godwin, president, ABC News; Wendy Goldberg, chief communications officer, iHeartMedia, Inc.; Chesley Maddox-Dorsey, CEO, American Urban Radio Networks; Debra O’Connell, president, Networks, Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution; and Dawn Porter, founder, Trilogy Films. AWM president Becky Brooksstates, “It is an exceptional honor to recognize and celebrate this strong lineup and powerhouse of women leaders in our industry. Soledad O’Brien as our keynote speaker will undoubtedly create an unforgettable event for everyone in attendance.”
TALKERS News Notes. A new deal between SiriusXM and Dan Abrams’ Law&Crime TV network adds the network to the satcaster’s streaming channel lineup. Abrams says, “I’ve loved being part of the SiriusXM family and am thrilled to be expanding our collaboration. We have been talking with SiriusXM for years about a Law&Crime channel that would bring compelling trial coverage and crime content to the platform, so it’s really exciting to see this come to fruition.” In addition to his Law&Crime network, Abrams is also the host of “The Dan Abrams Show” heard from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm ET on SiriusXM P.O.T.U.S. channel as well as the host of “Dan Abrams Live” on NewsNation, the chief legal analyst for ABC News and host of “On Patrol: Live on Reelz.”…..NHPR will be celebrated on Thursday, October 20, 2022, as the recipient of The Nackey S. Loeb School’s Quill & Ink Award. This award is not given annually, but instead is reserved to honor significant contributions to the First Amendment. NHPR is being honored for continuing to produce high-quality accountability journalism in the face of legal threats and vandalism directed at some staff members and their families. NHPR president and CEO Jim Schachter says, “This is a fitting tribute to our newsroom’s outstanding work and our journalists’ courage. I’m glad that it recognizes the entire organization, because it takes everyone at NHPR to make our journalism possible.”
Russia-Ukraine War, Hurricane Ian Aftermath, Inflation/Recession Fears, Trump Legal Issues, November Midterms/2024 Presidential Race, Oath Keepers Trial, and Brazilian/European Politics Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/3). Russian president Vladimir Putin’s move to call up more troops and to attempt to annex parts of Ukraine; the destruction in southwest Florida left by Hurricane Ian; the record-setting inflation and fears of a recession; the legal issues facing former President Donald Trump and his defamation suit against CNN; the November midterm elections and speculation about the presidential nominees in 2024; the Washington, DC trial of several Oath Keepers on seditious conspiracy charges relative to the January 6 Capitol riot; and the political situation in Brazil and in Europe were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Joyce Kaufman Reduces Show to One Hour in New WFTL, West Palm Beach Schedule. Longtime South Florida talk show host Joyce Kaufman is moving to a new start time and will host a one-hour show as Hubbard Radio reveals “News/Talk 850” WFTL’s new program schedule. Kaufman says, “I am definitely not being pushed out. In fact, I wanted to retire, and the station management said you can’t leave completely. So, I am very grateful that they have been so gracious and accommodating.” The new lineup is as follows: “The South Florida Morning Show with Jennifer Ross and Bill Adams” from 5:30 to 10:00 am; FOX News Radio’s “The Brian Kilmeade Show” from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon; Joyce Kaufman from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm; Radio America’s “The Dana Show” from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm; Westwood One’s “The Ben Shapiro Show” from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm; and “The Dave Ramsey Show” from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Hubbard Radio SVP and market manager Elizabeth Hamma says, “Joyce Kaufman has been an important piece to 850 WFTL for nearly 30 years. We are happy she remains part of our very exciting new lineup.”
Former KRLD-FM, Dallas Duo ‘Ben & Skin’ Land at Classic Rock ‘97.1 The Eagle.’ Sports talk duo “Ben & Skin” left Entercom’s KRLD-FM, Dallas “The Fan” in October saying they had a new gig lined up. Now, we learn that the duo is the new afternoon show at iHeartMedia’s classic rock KEGL, Dallas “97.1 The Eagle,” effective Monday (2/10). Ben Rogers and Jeff “Skin” Wade will be on the air from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Kevin “KT” Turner will handle news duties and Krystina Ray will serve as producer. Rogers says, “We’re beyond excited to reconnect with listeners. They’ve always been the fuel for our rocket ship, and we think they’re absolutely going to love this no-holds-barred version of our show. We’ll have complete freedom to combine everything we’re passionate about into three hours of unfiltered comedy, pop culture and sports talk. We plan to explore it all in the funniest and most entertaining ways possible.” Wade adds, “When we were offered the opportunity to be on a station that we grew up listening to, it got our creative juices flowing in a way that we hadn’t felt in a long time. This is huge for us.”
FOX Nation’s Abby Hornacek Debuts ‘Getting Schooled’ Podcast. A new podcast from FOX News Radio launches, hosted by FOX Nation travel, lifestyle and sports personality Abby Hornacek, titled “Getting Schooled.” FNR says, “With a new episode released every Monday, Hornacek will be joined by guests and experts in the field to uncover the origins behind popular buzz words and phrases. Episode one features FOX News Channel’s politics editor Chris Stirewalt as he dives into the definition of ‘caucus’ and why Iowa is the first in the nation to cast their vote and more.” Hornacek is the host of three series on FOX Nation: “PARK’D,” in which Hornacek takes viewers behind-the-scenes of United States national parks; “Ride to Work,” in which she conducts light-hearted interviews with various FOX Nation hosts and FNC personalities as she drives them to work; and “American Arenas,” in which she embraces her passion for sports and travels to the country’s most beloved fields and sporting venues.
Julie Landry Named VP of Consumer Engagement for ‘New Jersey 101.5.’ Marketing and sales pro Julie Landry is named vice president for consumer engagement for Townsquare Media’s WKXW-FM, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.” In this role, Landry will lead Townsquare Accelerate, that works with key local and regional clients to develop creative approaches that will address their business needs. ‘NJ 101.5’ president and chief revenue officer Ron deCastro says, “Julie has a long track record of working across diverse client industries at several NYC advertising agencies and is a leading voice in the influencer marketing and branded content field. She will be leading the process to develop breakthrough, cross-channel programs that deliver results for our key clients.” Prior to joining Townsquare, she co-founded Wellness Amplified, an influencer marketing agency in New York, and was VP group account director at the Integer Group and VP account director at Wunderman in New York. Landry will work with Kristin Roderick, recently named vice president of partnership sales, “in order to help local and regional clients unlock great results, using the full range of Townsquare’s multiplatform marketing offerings.” She says, “I’m looking forward to partnering with Ron, Kristin, and the Townsquare ‘New Jersey 101.5’ sales team to bring Townsquare’s innovative broadcast and digital capabilities to life, to engage consumers and deliver superior business results for our local customers.”
TALKERS News Notes. Broadcast executive and podcast pioneer Gary Leland joins BizTalkRadio as executive vice president, a move the company says “recognizes the need to increase the digital footprint and marketing of the brand. Company COO Scott Miller says, “BizTalkRadio has been a strong option for business and lifestyle content. We continue to grow our radio footprint, but to support our affiliates we felt we needed a stronger digital and social media focus. Gary is well known in the radio podcasting space and is a marketer by nature.”…..Former WOR, New York; WRKO, Boston; and WTKK-FM, Boston talk host Jay Severin comes out of retirement to host a weekly, Sunday evening show throughout the 2020 election cycle on Westport Communications’ WBOQ-FM, Gloucester, Massachusetts. The 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm program will be available as a podcast after broadcast via North of Boston Podcast Services…..The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that University of Kentucky football and men’s basketball radio play-by-play announcer Tom Leach is brokering the three-hour Sunday morning block on iHeartMedia’s WLAP-AM, Lexington in order to continue the “Sunday Morning Sports Talk” show that was cancelled as part of iHeartMedia’s recent workforce reduction. Leach brought back two of the three hosts – Larry Vaught and Anthony White – as Mark Buerger elected not to return. Instead, show producer Curtis Burch is joining Vaught and White. Leach already brokers his daily, one-hour “The Leach Report” show on WLAP-AM and WKJK, Louisville…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that former WSCR, Chicago morning drive personality Brian Hanley has joined Good Karma Brands-operated WMVP “ESPN 1000” to serve as a weekend and fill-in host. He’ll also co-host the weekly “ESPN 1000 Hockey Show.” Hanley co-hosted AMs on “The Score” before exiting 18 months ago…..MLB’s Minnesota Twins sign a multi-year partnership with Skyview Networks to use the company’s Skyview Networks’ AdView inventory management and live read capture software. This allows the process of scheduling ads and reporting them for billing to be fully controlled by the franchise’s broadcast team and front office. Twins senior broadcast manager Andrew Halverson says, “After thoroughly researching the market, it is clear that Skyview Networks’ industry-leading AdView software is best suited to enhance our day-to-day broadcast operations, while also driving greatly-improved efficiencies in our reporting processes. We are eager to partner with Skyview’s team to maximize their resources for the betterment of our broadcasts and our advertisers alike.”
Sun Broadcast Group Acquires Envision Networks. Cleveland-based Envision Networks is being acquired by Sun Broadcast Group, a Gen Media Partners company. SBG says that this acquisition increases its national footprint with an additional 1,300 affiliates in both general market and Hispanic. It also adds to SBG’s portfolio of programming and services “Paul Shaffer’s Day in Rock,” BOB FM, MeTV FM, “The Rooster,” and more. As part of the transaction, Envision co-founders Danno Wolkoff and Laura Orkin become stockholders in the expanded SBG. They also join the executive team with Wolkoff serving as SBG’s chief development officer and Orkin accepting the position of vice president of business operations.
Iowa Caucus Problems/Presidential Race, Impeachment Trial, Coronavirus Concerns/Financial Markets Reactions, State of the Union Address, Rush Limbaugh Cancer Revelation, and Super Bowl LIV Aftermath Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/3). The issues affecting the results of the Iowa Caucuses; the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump; concerns about a possible coronavirus pandemic and the financial markets’ reactions to it; tonight’s State of the Union address to Congress; the talk radio and political world’s reaction to Rush Limbaugh’s announcement of his lung cancer diagnosis; and reaction to the Kansas City Chiefs’ victory over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
PPM Analysis: Adult Contemporary. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on adult contemporary. Needless to say, the Holiday book is generally huge for AC stations that flip to Christmas music. Which AC station made the biggest weekly 6+ AQH share jump from the December 2019 survey? Check out the report here.
More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Cumulus Media’s WFYR, Peoria announces it has re-branded as “97.3 River Country” from its previous “97.3 NASH FM.” The station’s new weekday lineup is: “The Ty Bentli Show” in mornings, Wes from 9:00 am to 10:00 am; Cathy Taylor from 10:00 am to 11:00 am and 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm; Doc Watson from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm; Biscuit from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm; and Brian from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm.
WCBM, Baltimore Announces Programming Changes. Charm City news/talk outlet WCBM “Talk Radio 680” announces a number of coming programming changes. Starting in morning drive, longtime newsman and co-host Frank Luber exits the show but will stay with the station to help with special projects and to continue to serve as a spokesman for some of its major advertisers. WCBM says that Luber and Nicholas Mangione were “instrumental in establishing WCBM as a major news/talk presence in Baltimore.” Beginning November 4, late morning talk host Bruce Elliott joins Sean Casey (who continues to serve as the station’s PD) for “The Morning Drive with Casey & Elliott.” Stepping into the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon talk host role is Derek Hunter, who returns to Baltimore after having served in recent years with the Heritage Foundation, Americans for Tax Reform, and as managing editor at The Daily Caller. The station also adds “The FOX News Rundown” for the 5:00 am to 6:00 am hour and Key Networks’ “The O’Reilly Update” with Bill O’Reilly to air from 11:45 am to 12:00 noon.
Monday Memo: Pronouncers for Announcers. How-you-say what-you-say makes a difference, and (obvious) former high school English teacher Holland Cooke explains in this week’s column. Read it here.
ISIS Leader Dead, Impeachment Inquiry/Ukraine Scandal, 2020 Presidential Race, Rep. Katie Hill Resigns, California Wildfires/Power Blackouts, and Brexit Extension Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi is reported by President Trump; the impeachment inquiry against President Trump and the related allegations of illegal actions against Trump, and Joe and Hunter Biden with regard to the Ukraine; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in 2020, U.S. Rep. Katie Hill (D-CA) resigns her seat after being accused of improper relations with a campaign staffer; the wildfires in California and PG&E’s shutting off electricity to almost 1 million customers; and Boris Johnson gets an extension to January 31 for Britain’s exit from the EU were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Newsmax TV Presents Presidential Town Hall. In conjunction with the League of United Latin American Citizens, Newsmax TV presented a two-hour Presidential Town Hall with top Democratic candidates last Thursday (10/24). Taking part in the Newsmax Town Hall at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines were candidates Bernie Sanders, Beto O’Rourke, Tulsi Gabbard, and Julian Castro. The live Newsmax TV production reached 70 million cable homes.
FOX News Radio Makes ‘Rundown’ Available for Radio Stations. “The FOX News Rundown” launched in 2017 as a podcast hosted by Dave Anthony, Lisa Brady, and Jessica Rosenthal. Now, FOX News Radio is making the program available as an early morning weekday news hour “perfect for setting the stage for your local morning show.” FNR says, “‘The Rundown’ takes a deeper dive into the stories that are important to you and your listeners. Hosted by the anchors of FOX News Radio, the ‘Rundown’ also features voices from FOX News Channel, FOX Business Channel and the world of politics and entertainment.”
Ben & Skin Exit ‘105.3 The Fan’ in Dallas. The midday duo Ben & Skin – Ben Rogers and Jeff “Skin” Wade – have resigned their positions with Entercom’s sports talk KRLD-FM, Dallas for an opportunity elsewhere. They are being replaced in the station lineup by evening duo Kevin Hageland and Cory Mageors. It’s not known if this is a permanent move or not. Regardless, morning drive co-host Shan Shariff tweeted that the duo was not fired and was moving on to another opportunity.
TALKERS News Notes. Former White House press secretary Sarah Sanders will serve as the keynote speaker at the 2020 Todd Starnes Faith and Freedom Celebration to be held at Truett McConnell University in Cleveland, Georgia on April 18, 2020. The annual event has raised more than $300,000 in scholarship money for students at the Christian school. Starnes says, “I can’t say enough great things about Sarah. Our media company is committed to super-serving the communities that broadcast my programs and bringing nationally known speakers to our event is a part of that effort.”…..WODS, Boston morning drive personality TJ Taormina has launched a podcast on Entercom’s RADIO.COM platform called, “Meet My Wife.” Taormina tells TALKERS, “It was an opportunity for me to step up to a blank canvas and create something from scratch. It starts in a music recording studio with a full band and travels from grocery store parking lots, to the middle of Boston Common, to my home living room. I wanted to take a unique approach to the rapidly growing podcast arena and make it something that could complement my daily live radio show.”…..Entercom’s board of directors have approved a clawback policy for five of its highest-paid executives. A clawback is a provision in an employment contract that states money paid to an employee may have to be returned. It’s usually for highly compensated executives and is intended as a sign of goodwill toward investors. In Entercom’s case, stock ownership guidelines were included with this move and require president and CEO David Field to hold Entercom shares equal to at least six times his base salary. It requires CFO Rich Schmaeling, COO Weezie Kramer, chief revenue officer Robert Philips, and EVP/general counsel Andrew Sutor to hold shares of at least two times their base salaries…..Boston public radio news/talk WGBH-FM is adding the NPR-distributed program “1A” to its lineup, airing from 10:00 am to 11:00 am. The program is hosted by Joshua Johnson and focuses on First Amendment issues “related to policy, politics, technology, pop culture, sports, and humor.” The program’s goal is to “act as a national mirror — taking time to help America look at itself and to ask what it wants to be.”
WHAT IS REAL? Former WWE Champion Mick Foley Is Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the most theatrical professional wrestlers of the modern era who blurred the line between reality and fiction as much as anyone who ever played the game, Mick Foley, guests on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Foley created several of wrestling’s most memorable characters, including Cactus Jack and Mankind, participating in physically damaging stunts that took his body past the limits of safety and protection. Although he played brutish, psychotic characters, Foley went on to become a best-selling author, public speaker, and articulate supporter of a variety of charities and social causes. In a fascinating one-on-one conversation, Harrison and Foley discuss the nature of reality TV and the role it plays in today’s political circus citing Donald Trump’s participation in the WWE prior to his presidency as an early example of the Commander in Chief’s penchant for mixing over-the-top theatrics with the semblance of real life storylines. Don’t miss this! To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter or on every page of Talkers.com.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming pro Steve Hoffman is named program director for Beasley Media Group’s hot AC KVGS-FM and assistant program director for sister urban contemporary KOAS, effective October 14. Hoffman has been consulting for the past few years. He was previously on air at KSWD, Los Angeles and programmed KCAL, Riverside for 15 years. Beasley Las Vegas VP and market manager Peter Burton states, “We have been interested in bringing Steve into the fold for quite some time. I had the pleasure of working with him in Los Angeles for five years. Hiring Steve allows us to continue to surround ourselves with the best in the industry.”…..At Entercom’s CHR KAMP, Los Angeles, Chris Booker shifts from the afternoon drive show to AM drive where he’ll work with co-host Chelsea Briggs and Krystal Bee. The new show replaces Edgar “Shoboy” Sotelo. He’d been paired with Brian Moote and Briggs. Briggs exited the station in August. Taking over Booker’s afternoon drive show is midday personality Yesi Ortiz. Moving to middays from weekends is Christen…..iHeartMedia names Adam Rivers program director for its four-station cluster in New Haven. He’d been serving as APD and music director at CHRs WKCI “KC101” and WKSS “KISS 95-7.” He’s now also programming news/talk WELI and sports talk WAVZ “ESPN 1300.” iHeartMedia Hartford Region president Steve Honeycomb says, “Over the past several years, Adam has truly been the backbone here at ‘KC101’ and a staple in Connecticut radio. Adam’s years of experience and the way he engages with his listeners go far beyond his afternoon drive show and we couldn’t be happier to see him evolve into this new role here in New Haven, Connecticut.”
Salem Communications Posts Q4 2012 Total Revenue Increase of 6%. That number is based largely on the strength of its internet revenue – up 25% — and publishing revenue – up 9%. But even broadcast had a good Q4 with revenue up 3%. Salem Communications reports its best political advertising year in the company’s history, taking in $5.5 million during all of 2012. Salem CEO Ed Atsinger says that part of the hike in the company’s internet revenue comes from its conservative news/talk digital efforts. “Our national conservative news talk website saw the biggest growth, posting a 23% increase in revenue. Clearly, political played a role here. The election cycle also produced a significant increase in monthly page views to these sites. While we have seen some falling off of traffic since the election, visits are still up nicely compared to pre-election levels.” Atsinger addressed the company’s secular news/talk initiatives up front in yesterday’s conference call. “We have invested in several new local talk shows, as well as key management personnel for our digital business talk and news/talk formats. These investments are proceeding well. For example, in Q4, KSKY — our Dallas news talk station — had local spot revenue excluding political, up by 36%, as a result of our hiring of Mark Davis earlier in 2012.” Salem CFO Evan Masyr broke down the company’s broadcast performance by format and reported the following: “Thirty-nine of our radio stations are programmed in our foundational Christian teaching and talk format. These stations contributed 35% of total revenue. Total revenue on this format was flat, while block programming increased 1%. Revenue from our 11 contemporary Christian music stations contributed 17% of total revenue and increased 1% for the quarter. Our 27 news/talk stations had an increase of 5% in revenue for the quarter, and these stations contributed 11% of our total revenue. The 7 stations we have programmed in Spanish-language Christian teaching and talk grew revenue by 17%, and this format now comprises 2% of total revenue. Finally, we have 11 stations in a business talk format, and revenue from these stations was down 7%. This format contributed 2% of total revenue.” He also noted that network revenue increased 10% during Q4 and represents 7% of total revenue.
KESN, Dallas Schedule Takes Shape Post-Ben & Skin. The departure of Ben Rogers and Jeff “Skin” Wade from the lineup at ESPN O&O KESN, Dallas after the two did not agree to terms for a new contract with the station has had the following ripple effects: ESPN Radio syndicated host Colin Cowherd is now heard from 9:00 am to 11:00 am; Ian Fitzsimmons leaves the PM drive “Galloway & Company” show to pair up with ESPN Dallas writer Richard Durrett for an 11:00 am to 3:00 pm program. The 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm “Coop & Nate” show featuring Chuck Cooperstein and former Dallas Cowboy Nate Newton disappears. Cooperstein moves to the 6:00 pm talk show on nights when Mavericks hoops or Rangers baseball is not airing. Cooperstein also is the Mavericks play-by-play voice. As for Nate Newton, he stays with the station to handle Cowboys analysis.
KRLD-FM, Dallas’ Greggo Williams Returns to Air After Medical Leave. At CBS Radio’s sports talk KRLD-FM “105.3 The Fan,” afternoon drive co-host Greggo Williams returned to the air yesterday after missing eight days of work to discuss his absence. Williams told listeners he’s been struggling with physical health issues since having a lap-band removed last spring. Williams lamented the time he’s missed due to the physical problems the removal has caused and told the audience he hopes to avoid missing further air time. During his time away, Mike Fisher sat in alongside “The Rage” co-host Richie Whitt.
Good Karma to Acquire West Palm Beach FM. The former CBS Radio station – rhythmic AC WUUB “B106.3” – is being purchased by Craig Karmazin’s Good Karma Broadcasting and the Jupiter, Florida-licensed station is flipped to a simulcast of the company’s “ESPN 760” WEFL, Tequesta, Florida as Good Karma takes control under an LMA. No purchase price has been announced yet. In a statement, Karmazin says, “Our goal is to be able to connect with fans regardless of how they are consuming sports and this allows us another opportunity to connect in addition to AM radio, television, digital and mobile. This new signal will improve both day and nighttime coverage and we are excited to grow our presence throughout the Palm Beaches and the Treasure Coast.”
Odds & Sods. Apex Broadcasting’s rock WZLB “103.1 The Blaze” adds Bubba the Love Sponge for morning drive…..Arbitron announces that after a review of the In-Tab and other performance metrics for Week 2 of the February PPM report period in the winter storm-affected markets of Boston and Providence, the weeklies data will be released and the Week 2 data will be included in the February 2013 PPM report…..Talk radio host Jeff Katz, who tells TALKERS magazine that while hosting PM drive at Greater Media’s WBT, Charlotte he had some of the highest ratings in modern station history, will return to the Queen City for the first time in four years when he delivers the keynote address for the Union County Lincoln Reagan Dinner being held on Saturday, March 9 at Wingate University….. ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes Radio will air select games of the World Baseball Classic, with live broadcasts of the 39 games played in seven venues and four nations from March 2 through March 19. ESPN Deportes Radio will broadcast 18 games through the tournament. Ozzie Guillen will join the ESPN Deportes’ diverse team of experts as analyst for select games during the second round games, the Semi-Finals and Finals in San Francisco’s AT&T Park.
Sports USA to Produce NFL Draft Show. Sports USA expands its coverage of the National Football League with programming from the 2013 NFL draft. The company plans to broadcast the first round of the draft on April 25, 2013, at 7:30 pm ET live from Radio City Music Hall in New York. The draft show will feature analysis from NFL and NCAA experts who will break down the rookie class of 2013. Additionally, local reporters from each NFL city will weigh in to discuss their team’s needs for the upcoming season. Sports USA president Bob Moore states, “The NFL Draft has become a marquee event and we are excited to offer the entire first round of the draft to our partner stations.”
Sequester Issue, Obama Travel Schedule Criticism, The Oscars, John Kerry London Trip, Midwestern Blizzard, and C. Everett Koop Dies Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/25). The looming sequester and its possible effects; the criticism of President Obama’s travel schedule; Sunday’s Oscar Awards; Secretary of State John Kerry’s first trip abroad; the blizzard that paralyzed portions of the Midwest; and the death of former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.
Mike Francesa to Address Industry at Talkers New York 2013. The list of major speakers continues to grow as WFAN, New York afternoon drive sports talk goliath Mike Francesa joins the roster of industry leaders who will be speaking at “TALKERS New York 2013,” the 16th annual installment of talk radio’s longest-running and most important annual convention. Francesa will deliver a solo keynote address titled, “The Sports Talk Radio Phenomenon.” He will discuss how sports talk fits into the general radio industry, where it is going both locally and nationally and how it operates within the business model of the PPM world. Francesa, who has been a major host on WFAN since the late 1980s, is also seen across the nation on the YES Network simulcast of his radio show and hosts a syndicated weekend program “The NFL Now” in addition to participating in numerous other sports broadcasting projects. He is currently ranked number one on the TALKERS Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk Radio Hosts holding the position as the Most Important Sports Talk Radio Host in America. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “The addition of Mike Francesa as the sports talk radio keynote speaker at this year’s conference puts it over the moon. One of the big buzzes of the business is the relentless growth of this exciting branch of the talk radio universe. Who better than the king of the format to give insights into the genre’s place in the scheme of things? We are delighted!” More headliners will be named in the coming days along with the 50-plus speakers that will be participating in the conference. The event is set for Thursday, June 6, 2013 at the Concierge Conference Center on Manhattan’s East Side. Registration for the day including all activities and food service is $199 per person. An advance sellout is expected due to space limitations. Registration is limited to members of the working media and can only be taken via telephone. For registration and sponsorship information call 413-565-5413. Complete agenda details are being posted daily. Stay tuned.
Todd Schnitt Not Giving Up on Bubba the Love Sponge Lawsuit. The Tampa Bay Times reports talk show host Todd Schnitt has fired his legal team, hired a new lawyer and is continuing to pursue legal action against former crosstown rival Bubba the Love Sponge (Todd Clem). The first trial ended in a victory for Bubba as the jury decided not to award Schnitt and wife Michelle damages for defamation over a series of criticisms and accusations Bubba leveled at Schnitt when he competed with Bubba in morning drive as MJ Kelli. Now, Schnitt has fired C. Phillip Campbell and Jonathan J. Ellis and has hired Wil Florin to represent him and his wife. Regular TALKERS readers are aware of the bizarre elements of the previous trial: Campbell being pulled over for DUI while driving the car of a young paralegal who, unbeknownst to him, worked for Bubba’s lawyer’s firm; the tip-off to police that Campbell was driving the car was made by someone from that same firm; and Bubba’s lawyers had possession of Campbell’s briefcase for 18 hours (though they say they didn’t open it). That missing briefcase is the basis for the new suit. How this will end is anybody’s guess, but one thing is for sure: Both Schnitt and Clem are spending a lot of money on legal fees. Yes, they are getting a lot of publicity for their radio programs but it is very expensive publicity.
Laura Ingraham Added to American Forces Network. Courtside Entertainment Group announces today that the Laura Ingraham show is being added to the American Forces Network with the opportunity to be heard by more than one million U.S. service members and their families. Ingraham states, “It is fantastic to be back on the air – and it feels even more special knowing that all of our friends listening on Armed Forces Network can hear us around the globe. The energy and enthusiasm from listeners, affiliates and advertisers since I returned to the airwaves has been overwhelming. From Tucson to Jacksonville, from Washington, DC to Seattle, Americans are energized and enthusiastic about our daily conversation about our country’s past, present and future. Politics is important – but so is the culture around us. As a single parent of young children and a cancer survivor, I have a unique perspective that connects me with listeners of all political stripes. Our conversation is a fun-filled ride that moves beyond the Beltway to the real-life ups and downs we all face.”
Veteran Media Executive Lynne Constantini Joins Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze. The former EVP of affiliate sales and marketing at Scripps Networks Interactive and SVP of programming at Time Warner Cable joins TheBlaze as president of business development. In her new position Lynne Constantini will oversee the growing network’s content distribution efforts, as well as affiliate marketing, advocacy, business affairs and business development initiatives. She previously negotiated TheBlaze’s successful carriage deal with DISH as an outside consultant. Constantini says, “As a cable industry executive and consultant, I have been attracted to the rare independent network that has strong, unique content and a passionate engaged audience that drives results for operators and that is what I have found with TheBlaze. TheBlaze is unlike other start-up networks; it has a built-in loyal audience, a full slate of live, original programming, speaks to an underserved and growing conservative audience and has extensive marketing reach through affiliated media assets including on radio and on the web. I am excited to work with Glenn, Chris Balfe and the rest of the team on building TheBlaze and continuing the network’s success in improving the businesses of its distribution partners.”
Listeners Are Busy and Talent Is Spooked. That’s the assessment of radio consultant and TALKERS columnist Holland Cooke who asks broadcasters the provocative question: “RU@Speed-of-Life?’ In today’s article, Cooke says radio programmers must get up to speed (literally) with the intense pace of modern life which, when coupled with the PPM, puts tremendous pressure to manage air time in a way that is in keeping with today’s breakneck tempo. For example he advises hosts not to begin their shows by listing all the things they’ll be doing before the show ends. He says programming clock designers should go the extra step in designing transitions between programming elements (such as newscaster to talk show host segments) in a completely seamless manner. Never stop the action through over-explanation. Don’t miss this timely and informative piece. Read it here.
Talk Host Ralph Bailey Begins KERN, Bakersfield Program Next Monday. After quitting his talk show at Buckley Broadcasting’s crosstown KNZR on Thursday after an eight-year stint, Ralph Bailey will take over the PM drive program on American General Media’s KERN. Bailey wrote on his Facebook page, “It is official!!! I signed a contract today to join American General Media. I’ll be Scott Cox‘s guest today at three and begin my own 3-6 p.m. drive time show on Monday, March 4. I could not be happier! I have security in a business that is not that secure and for the first time in my life I’m making a little scratch! I’d like to thank Rogers Brandon and Toni Snyder. It is great to feel wanted and appreciated.”
KERN, Bakersfield’s Scott Cox to Anchor The Californian-AGM Morning Show Endeavor. Talk radio personality Scott Cox is moving away from the PM drive slot that Ralph Bailey is taking over in order to host a new morning program that is a joint effort of American General Media and The Bakersfield Californian. The show – “First Look with Scott Cox” – will emanate from The Californian newsroom in which a radio studio has been built. While KERN will provide the producers and technical expertise, the newspaper’s reporters will be regular guests during talk segments. Californian CEO Richard Beene says of the initiative, “The Bakersfield Californian has always prided itself about being on the cutting edge of technology (our website bakersfield.com was launched back in 1995) and we are keenly aware that readers and advertisers are finding new ways to obtain content and reach their advertisers. That’s why change is part of our company culture, and serving our readers and advertisers on multiple platforms is something we talk about every day.” The program will also be streamed live in high-definition video on the paper’s website. Beene writes in his editorial in the paper, “’First Look’ will add to The Californian‘s existing video programming, which includes ‘BVarsity Live,’ live local sports and breaking news. The Californian plans to expand its live video programming later this year. So yes, newspapers are alive and well, changing and evolving. Join us in March for ‘First Look.’”
Not All That Glitters is Gold. According to radio digital consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller, broadcasters should avoid falling under the spell of Facebook “likes” and the impulse to “go viral” — which he describes as “shiny, distracting objects.” He advises, “The number of Facebook ‘likes’ you have is almost completely without meaning. In addition, working to have something go viral is probably taking you away from what you should be doing!” Read Chris Miller’s informative and valuable article here.
ESPN O&O KESN, Dallas Parts Company with Ben & Skin. Sports talk KESN, Dallas and midday personalities Ben Rogers and Jeff “Skin” Wade were not able to come to terms on a new contract and the duo have left the station. They wrote on their Facebook page. “We have declined a final offer from ESPN on a new deal. We’re parting ways with them for now. Future is unwritten. Thank you for your support throughout the years. We are eager to write the next chapter of our adventure. Stay tuned.”
John Sweeney Exits WGDJ, Albany. The former Republican congressman from New York began a one-hour daily talk show at Capital Broadcasting’s “Talk 1300” two weeks ago but has left the station. The Albany Times-Union reports John Sweeney’s exit comes after it became apparent that the 11:00 am to 12:00 noon time slot was too much for the attorney and political consultant. Owner and GM Paul Vandenburgh told the paper too many unforeseen scheduling conflicts have made the show untenable.
TECHNICAL WATCH: Radio Moves Beyond ISDN to Deliver Studio Quality Remote Audio. Welcome to the Age of the IP Codec. Back in the “good old days,” if you wanted to get audio from point A to point B you had basically two choices: a dedicated land line from good old Ma Bell (a.k.a, the phone company) or you sent a tape. Then, Ma Bell decided to get rid of dedicated equalized services – at least interstate. These days, it’s very difficult if not impossible to get a dedicated broadcast service even in the same city. This prompted devices like the Comrex two-line and three-line frequency extender systems. These allowed someone to utilize two or three dial-up lines to get audio from one place to another with reasonable audio quality. The next step was ISDN – a digital dial-up service. With the development of devices such as the Telos Zephyr, FM quality audio was easily passed, with very little audio delay, between two locations. This has been the norm now for close to 20 years. Enter the IP codec – essentially ISDN on steroids. IP codecs utilize the internet as the transport medium. Now, for just the cost of the internet service you already have installed, you can literally transport audio all around the world – in many instances with slightly more round-trip delay than with ISDN, but that is easy to work around using mix minus. Noted radio technical consultant and TALKERS columnist Tom Ray brings us all up to speed on this new era in remote audio delivery in a must-read clear and concise article, here.
Salem Radio News Series Spotlights “The Poorest of the Poor.” SRN vice president/news & talk programming Tom Tradup (pictured here in Guatemala) spent the last week in that Central American country as Salem Radio News prepared a news series titled, “The Poorest of the Poor.” Speaking about his experience there, Tradup tells TALKERS, “Guatemala is only a few hours by plane from the U.S., but living conditions for youngsters are light years away. And the statistics take on heartbreaking new meaning when you actually spend time with children there. We embedded with the American relief agency Food for The Poor to cover both the tragedy and the hope for impoverished children in Guatemala.” Tradup says Guatemala has the highest malnutrition rate of any country in the Western Hemisphere. The week-long SRN News special series will profile the challenges facing government and private agencies targeting ways to reverse the grim statistics on malnutrition and infant mortality in Guatemala.
Odds & Sods. Lisa Bloom – daughter of former radio and television talk show host (and high-profile attorney) Gloria Allred – is joining NBC’s “Today” show as a legal analyst says TVNewser. Bloom hosted the CourtTV show “Lisa Bloom: Open Court” from 2001 to 2009…..Arbitron’s Carol Hanley is named to the Allliance for Women in Media board of directors. Hanley serves as SVP, chief sales officer for Arbitron.
Harlem Shake Takes Over KDKA. The YouTube phenomenon “Harlem Shake” invades the newsroom at CBS Radio’s KDKA, Pittsburgh. This still shot is from a video posted on the KDKA-TV website and shows late morning talk host Marty Griffin (in the Santa hat) leading the rest of the crew – including morning hosts Larry Richert and John Shumway and Shelley Duffy, PM drive host Bill Rehkopf, midday host Mike Pintek, sports reporter and weekend host Rob Pratte and creative services director Kelly Pidgeon – in boogeying to the tune.