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February 2016 PPM Analysis: News

| March 31, 2016

By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor
TALKERS

kinosian (2)LOS ANGELES A news item posted yesterday (TALKERS, Wednesday, 3/30) indicated that Hubbard Broadcasting-owned news outlet WTOP, Washington (D.C.) reigns as the country’s leading biller for 2015.

Further data from BIA/Kelsey notes that three other all-news facilities placed in the top ten: WCBS-AM, New York at #5; Chicago sibling WBBM-AM (#6); and co-owned WINS, New York at #9.

As a follow-up, and especially in light of the exceptionally intriguing, highly-charged presidential contest, we present a thorough overview to see how news stations performed in PPM-markets in the most recent (February 2016) ratings period.

Facilities that rank in the top 20 in a PPM market (6+, February 2016) comprise the following news scoreboards.

Nielsen Audio only releases audience estimates for stations that subscribe to its services; owing to that reason, ratings stats in this exclusive TALKERS analysis are limited to outlets that pay Nielsen Audio for its data.

An asterisk (*) designates stations that are “news” most of the day and “talk” the remaining hours.

Read More

Friday, December 18, 2015

| December 18, 2015

bloomberglogoBloomberg and CBS RADIO Partner to Make WNEW-FM, Washington into ‘Bloomberg Radio.’  A new agreement between CBS RADIO and Bloomberg results in the launch of “Bloomberg Radio” on WNEW-FM, Washington.  The transition from CBS RADIO-programmed all-news to Bloomberg’s programming means the station will deliver “business and financial newswnewlogo along with non-partisan coverage of politics, policy, power, and influence to Washington, D.C.”  The programming will also be heard on WJZ-HD2 at 105.7.  In a press statement, Bloomberg says this deal “marks the launch of Bloomberg Radio on its first FM station.  Led by Bloomberg’s Washington bureau and the company’s global news operation, Bloomberg 99.1 will draw upon the strength of reporting from 2,400 journalists in 150 news bureaus across 73 countries.  Bloomberg News, one of the world’s leading financial news organizations, produces 5,000 stories a day and has received more than 800 awards since it was founded in 1990, including the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting.”  The station will also air an audio simulcast of Bloomberg TV’s “With All Due Respect” with hosts Mark Halperin and John Heilemann.  Global head of Bloomberg Television & Radio Al Mayers comments, “As we enter this critical election year, there’s no better time to introduce Bloomberg Radio to Washington.  On the heels of recent expansions in Europe and Asia-Pacific, this launch marks an important step in our mission to extend the reach of Bloomberg Radio into the most important regions of the world.  We will tap into the deep expertise of our Washington bureau to provide insights and analysis on policy and politics that listeners cannot easily find elsewhere.”

cosbyritaWABC, New York Names Rita Cosby Political Editor.  This new title comes with expanded duties for Emmy-winning journalist Rita Cosby at Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York.  As political editor, Cosby will “cover the 2016 U.S. presidential race and other major political stories, bringing the freshest angles and key newsmakers to WABC Radio, including exclusive interviews with the most important andwabc logo intriguing candidates.”  WABC says Cosby will continue to host her eponymous Sunday morning show and will debut a new weekly election round-up show, “Election Central with Rita Cosby,” on Sunday, December 20, at 7:00 pm.  Her first guests will include GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.  She’ll oversee a weekly political column for “Election Central,” 77 WABC Radio’s weekly political e-newsletter, and contribute interviews to Westwood One News Network.  WABC program director Craig Schwalb says, “Rita’s vast political experience and unparalleled access to the major political players continue to make her a huge asset to 77 WABC in this expanded position.”

biakelseyBIA/Kelsey Releases 2016 Local Media and Advertising Predictions.  Advertising and marketing research and advisory firm BIA/Kelsey is releasing its predictions about local media advertising for 2016.  The company says that this report “contains more than 20 predictions for the year ahead, offering insights for BIA/Kelsey’s key coverage areas, including mobile, social media, online media, search, online video, programmatic advertising, software, print media, small-business marketing, local media sales, broadcast media, publishing and the on-demand economy.  As a teaser, the firm offers its Top 10 predictions (the whole report can be purchased) for 2016.  The Top 10 highlights selected nuggets on the impact on local media and advertising by millennials, mobile payments, Facebook, Google, data-driven ad sales, yellow pages, ad attribution, programmatic advertising, the on-demand economy and online video.  Some of the highlights investigated in the report include predictions that: Millennials will drive the next wave of marketing innovation; data-driven local ad sales becomes the new normal; the march of programmatic continues; and more.  See more here.

mikeandmike‘Mike & Mike’ to Be Inducted into NAB Broadcasters Hall of Fame.  At the NAB Show Radio Luncheon in Las Vegas next April 19, Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg, hosts of ESPN Radio’s daily morning show “Mike & Mike,” will be inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Broadcasting Hall of Fame. The program celebrate its 15th anniversary in March of this year.  NAB EVP of Radio John David comments, “Golic and Greenberg, with their mix of sports savvy and humor, have been informing and entertaining fans for more than 15 years.  The two have seamlessly combined their passion for sports with radio, and we are honored to add them to our distinguished Hall of Fame.”

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Medved Discusses His Battle Overcoming Throat Cancer and Other Compelling Issues.  Nationally syndicated Salem Radio Networks talk star Michael Medved gets “Up Close and Far Out” with Michael Harrison on the new installment of the hit PodcastOne series posted today (12/15).  In a touching, candid conversation, Medved talksmedvedmichael about his battle against throat cancer this past year that threatened not only his voice, but his life as well – including how it opened a whole new vista of understanding and appreciation to his thought processes and philosophy.  In addition, Medved and Harrison talk about Donald Trump and his impact upon the Republican Party and the conservative movement in America.  They also get into a broader conversation about Medved’s alternate career as a movie critic including the role he played in bringing awareness of Ed Wood’s “Plan 9 from Outer Space” to historic infamy as the worst picture of all time.  To listen to this not-to-be-missed media freaks’ delight in its entirety please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player boxes located in the right-hand column of every page on Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

foxsportsradio logoKGMZ, San Francisco Adds FOX Sports Radio Programming.  San Francisco sports talk outlet KGMZ “95.7 The GAME” is adding FOX Sports Radio show to its program schedule.  The Entercom sports talker will add the Ben Maller show to its late-night daypart airing from 11:00 pm to 3:00 am as well as “FOX Sports Daybreak with Andy Furman & Mike North” airing from 3:00 am to 6:00 am.  Additionally, KGMZ is airing FOX Sports Radio weekend programming from personalities including: Anthony Gargano, Lincoln Kennedy, Michael Harmon, Jason McIntyre and others.

talkersten logo2016 Presidential Race/GOP Debate Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of December 14-18.  The activities of the candidates for president in 2016 and Tuesday’s GOP primary debate tied for the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 were the terror threats school districts including New York, Los Angeles, and Houston received.  Coming in at #3 was the battle against Islamic State, followed by the U.S.’ refugee and immigration policies 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.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Monday, November 2, 2015

| November 2, 2015

womentalkart15The State of Women on Talk Radio: Part 1.  Today (11/2), TALKERS magazine begins presenting a multi-part story looking at the status of women on talk radio in 2015.  Written by special features correspondent Jeff McKay, it addresses one of the most-asked questions TALKERS editors hear: Why aren’t there more women on talk radio?  Before attempting to provide answers to that and other relevant questions, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison explains that when we say “talk radio” in this instance, we’re speaking about “political news/talk” radio.  “Over the years, the popular sub-genre of ‘political news/talk’ radio has hijacked the broader term ‘talk radio’ in the minds of many.  This is unfortunate because there are other viable forms of talk radio out there beyond traditional ‘news/talk’ – and the potential for expansion into even more realms of pertinent topicalitybertoluccirobin is huge.”  In this first part, KFI and KEIB, Los Angeles program director Robin Bertolucci begins to answer the question from her perspective as a veteran programmer.  “News/talk originally evolved around men who were primarily doing political talk.  Many women are not into that.  It’s not that they don’t care about politics or have strong opinions, but the divisiveness of that style can be off putting to many women.  So, more men listening leads to more male-oriented talk which leads again to more men listening.”  Read the entire piece here.

kinosianmikePPM Analysis: MLB Flagship Stations.  TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a final look at the performances of stations serving as flagships for Major League Baseball franchises based on ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s October PPM survey.  Since this report is not based on ratings from actual game time dayparts, it reflects the overall movement of a station with baseball listening as one possible factor.  In this report, see charts illustrating the AQH shares of stations from September 2015 to October 2015, from October 2014 to October 2015, as well as the market ranks and how the flagships stacked up based on MLB divisions.  Click here for the full report.

koaiHeartMedia Gives KOA, Denver FM Simulcast.  There’s no longer an FM simulcast for Marco Broadcasting’s pot-themed classic rocker KBUD, Golden, Colorado “Smokin’ 94.1.”  iHeartMedia is buying Marco Broadcasting’s FM translator K231BQ, Golden for $950,000 and it immediately begins airing the signal of the company’s Denver news/talk KOA.  The news was announced during yesterday’s Denver Broncos pre-game show.  iHeartMedia says in a press release, “The new 94.1 FM signal covers the Denver area.  850 AM is one of the most powerful stations in North America, and will continue to reach areas well beyond Colorado’s Front Range. In the coming weeks, KOA NewsRadio will expand its coverage on 94.1 FM in Boulder, resulting in full market coverage of 94.1 FM in the Denver-Boulder metropolitan area.”

vulpifrankFrank Vulpi Named Market Manager for Cumulus Media Westchester.  Radio management pro Frank Vulpi joins Cumulus Media as vice president/market manager for the company’s Westchester, New York radio stations.  Vulpi comes to Cumulus from his most recent post as a sales executive with Bloomberg, LP.  Prior to joining Bloomberg, Vulpi was VP/GM at United Stations Radio Networks.  On his new position, Vulpi states, “It’s an exciting time to be a part of Cumulus Media.  The company’s depth and breadth of offerings and creative solutions are well positioned to serve the interests of our advertising partners.  I am very impressed with and fortunate to be associated with a team of high integrity managers who are concerned with the positive career growth of their team members.”

hannity Vegas15Sean Hannity Packs Vegas Casino for Live Event.  The Premiere Networks-syndicated talk radio and cable TV superstar was in Las Vegas last Friday doing his show from affiliate KDWN “News Talk 720.”  Later that evening Sean Hannity filled the Orleans Casino Showroom with fans during the “An Evening With Sean Hannity” live event.  The musical guests for the program included Lee Greenwood and Craig Campbell.   Pictured here at the KDWN studios are (from l-r): KDWN morning host Chad Forster, KDWN PD John Shaffer, Hannity and KDWN morning host Dave Carney.

biakelseyBIA/Kelsey: Total Local Advertising Revenue to Grow 3.75% in 2016.  Details from the annual advertising forecast from BIA/Kelsey will be presented at the company’s Future of Local Digital Media conference in Los Angeles in December.  Meanwhile, it says it is forecasting total local advertising revenue in the U.S. to reach $146.6 billion next year – up from $141.3 billion this year.  Online/digital revenue will grow to $42.6 billion in 2016, representing 29.1% of total local media revenue, up from $38 billion in 2015.  BIA/Kelsey says the “power brew” of mobile, social and video are the categories fuelingfratrikmark growth in the local online/digital segment.  BIA/Kelsey chief economist Mark Fratrik states, “Mobile is the primary force behind the continuing increase in digital advertising, largely driven by social advertising.  Mobile spending is growing faster than expected, cutting into the growth of other online advertising.  For example, online spending on ads viewed through desktops is still increasing, but overall only at single digit growth rates as more of the attention of consumers and advertisers alike shifts to mobile.  Local video spending on all platforms — mobile, online, TV over-the-air, cable and out-of-home — will grow, along with local video’s slice of the local advertising pie.”

kravitzpinkyLongtime WOND, Atlantic City Talk Host Pinky Kravitz Dies at 88.  The broadcaster known as “Mr. Atlantic City” died on Saturday (10/31) at the age of 88.  Pinky Kravitz had worked as a talk host at Longport Media’s WOND, Atlantic City since 1958.  He had missed his first ever air shift back in May after undergoing open heart surgery.  Kravitz chose to retire from WOND in August due to ongoing health issues.  New Jersey Broadcasters Association president Paul Rotella says in a statement, “Long before there was a Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity there were broadcasters like our friend Pinky Kravitz, who kept the talk radio format alive and well and indeed vibrant for five decades, thus paving the way for the great talk radio resurgence we witness today.  Legendary broadcasters like Pinky led the way in providing radio audiences with a rich and compelling listening experience.  In the best tradition of broadcast – live and local – Pinky had an engaging warmth with his audience that transcended the airwaves, which he did almost every day for over half a century.”

thompsonfredLawyer, Senator, Actor and Talk Host Fred Thompson Dead at 73.  Although he was best known to most Americans as the fictitious district attorney Arthur Branch on the “Law & Order” franchise, Fred Thompson also worked in spoken-word radio.  His first career was as an attorney. He served three terms as a Republican U.S. Senator from Tennessee.  His radio work began in 2006 when he began with ABC Radio Networks filling in for Paul Harvey.  He joined Westwood One as a talk show host in 2009, taking over the time slot formerly held by Bill O’Reilly’s “The Radio Factor.”  That gig ended in 2011.  Thompson died Sunday (11/1) from complications from a recurrence of lymphoma.  TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian spoke with Thompson twice for profile pieces.  Read Kinosian’s story here.

elliottjoeLouisville Talk Host Joe Elliott’s WGTK ‘970 AM The Answer’ Program Cancelled.  After five years on Salem Media Group-owned WGTK, Louisville, Joe Elliott’s program was cancelled by management.  Elliott hosted the 8:00 am to 11:00 am program and announced his exit via Twitter.  Elliott previously worked in the market hosting the evening program at iHeartMedia’s crosstown news/talk WHAS.

Odds & Sods.  In Minnesota, Hubbard adds KBUN-FM, Blackduck as a simulcast to sister sports talk KBUN-AM, Bemidji which carries the Fan Radio Network programming based at iHeartMedia’s KFXN, Minneapolis…..Former WUCS, Hartford and Maxim Radio host Michael Bower is sitting in for Andy Slater onbowermike iHeartMedia’s sports talk WINZ, Miami today from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm ET…..Actor Danny Trejo was a guest on “Business Rockstars” recently speaking with host Ken Rutkowski about his new venture – a restaurant called Trejo’s Tacos…..The Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame announces next May’s Class of 2016 inductees.  The board of directors and the advisory council have chosen: Harry Chapman, Warren Medley, Dave Overton, Aaron B. Robinson Sr., Charlie Scott and Cal Young Jr. for the next class…..Boston University-owned news WBUR-FM, Boston’s names Anthony Brooks the NPR-affiliate station’s new senior political correspondent.

Monday, May 11, 2015

| May 11, 2015

kabc logoCristina Perez Quits KABC, Los Angeles Gig.  There’s no immediate word from Cumulus Media about what it will fill the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon daypart with now that Judge Cristina Perez has resigned from her five-month-old “Judge Cristina Live @ 9” program.  The Southern California attorney, television personality and erstwhile radio host posted an explanation for her exit on her website, stating, in part, “At this time in my life for personal reasons I’ve decided to step away from this radio opportunity.  Because truthfully, I’m a work-a-holic, with a thriving law practice and TV show, a pending TV project and a third book project as well as the establishment of an arbitration/mediation practice.  And, most importantly, I am the mother of an 11 year old girl – and time will not wait as she grows up. I cannot miss another minute of that.”

wls-am logoWLS-AM, Chicago Eliminates APD/Exec. Producer Post.  According to Chicago media writer Robert Feder, Cumulus Media’s elimination of the assistant program director/executive producer position at its Windy City news/talk station means Tracy Slutzkin exits.  Feder writes that she’d been with WLS-AM for a total of 19 years during two stints.  She began with the station as an intern and worked her way up to producer of the Don Wade and Roma morning drive program.  In 2006 – after time at WFLD-TV’s news department – she returned to the station as APD and executive producer.  Program director Peter Bolger will assume her responsibilities.

mikeandmikeMove to NYC Ahead for Mike & Mike; Qerim to Join as Third Personality.  Sports media giant ESPN is confirming it will move the “Mike & Mike in the Morning” show – simulcast on ESPN Radio and cable’s ESPN2 – its Bristol, Connecticut headquarters to studios in New York City effective February 8.  Parent company Disney says, “Being located directly above ABC’s “Good Morning America” studio will allow for a wider variety of in-studio voices from the world of entertainment and pop culture for Mike & Mike as the shows work together on bookings.  GMA contributors will also appear whenqerimmolly opportunities arise – for example, Robin Roberts on sports, GMA legal analyst Ryan Smith discussing legal matters or ABC News chief meteorologist Ginger Zee on weather impacting sports.  When appropriate, Golic and Greenberg will appear on GMA.”  Sports Business Daily is reporting that current NFL Network host Molly Qerim will exit the league-operated cable/satellite channel and become a third member of the show co-hosted by Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg.  ESPN only says it its press release that additional elements to the show will be announced at a later date.

biakelseyBIA/Kelsey Releases Automotive Industry Local Ad Spending Study.  The media consulting firm estimates that the auto industry will spend $15.1 billion in local advertising this year – of which 77% is estimated to be allocated to traditional media.  BIA/Kelsey believes radio will get 11.6% of that.  In releasing the data from this study, SVP and chief economist Dr. Mark Fratrik notes that by 2019, digital advertising will represent 1/3 of the automotive local ad spend.  He says, “The auto industry and television came of age together as keystones of twentieth-century American culture.  The two industries remain closely tied, with the auto industry being dependent on over-the-air television advertising, and all auto vertical subcategories relying heavily on traditional media to get their message to their audience.”  Pure online advertising, consisting primarily of search, is the largest digital automotive channel.  BIA/Kelsey projects all growth in local advertising for the automotive vertical category will occur on online/digital media, reaching 30% of total local advertising by 2019, up from 12% in 2015.  Industry subcategories featured in BIA/Kelsey’s automotive vertical forecast include auto dealers, other motor vehicle dealers, auto parts and accessory stores, tire dealers, and gas stations.

John PotterRAB’s Potter Set to Retire. Fifteen-year senior vice president of professional development John Potter will be leaving the not-for-profit trade association in about seven weeks (6/26). Radio Advertising Bureau president and chief executive officer Erica Farber comments, “We have been extremely fortunate to have John’s sales/management acumen at the RAB, where he truly leaves an indelible mark across the organization and entire radio industry. I tried to talk him out of this; however, it is now time for John to enjoy quality time with his family, especially his grandchildren. He can travel and indulge his passion for photography.” Potter remarks that, throughout his career, he has, “trained nearly 20,000 salespeople and sales managers across all 50 states. I cherish the friendships I have made with myRAB Logo colleagues and I am truly thankful for the great ride. I am looking forward to the next chapter with my family and on the open road.” A then-18-year-old Potter began his radio career nearly 50 years ago as a recording engineer at Ohio State University‘s WOSU. He went on to hold various sales and management positions with Citicasters; Clear Channel (now iHeartMedia); Cumulus; Great American Broadcasting; Great Trails Broadcasting; Jacor; North American Broadcasting; and Taft Broadcasting.

siriusxmSiriusXM to Launch Career Series Targeting Millennials and Their Parents.  The six-part series – called “Career Playbook Radio” – will be hosted by Jim Citrin, partner at executive search firm Spencer Stuart and best-selling author on leadership and career success.  The show is intended to give millennials, young professionals, and parents of recent college grads expert insight into getting a great job and laying the foundation for a successful career.  SiriusXM says it will be a weekly conversation with top executives, industry veterans, and thought leaders sharing their personal experience and knowledge with aspiring young professionals who are seeking to carve out a distinctive place with their careers in the first decade after graduation.  Guests will include:  Gail McGovern, CEO and president, American Red Cross; Justin Smith, CEO, Bloomberg Media Group; J. Patrick Doyle, CEO and president of Domino’s Pizza Inc.; Laszlo Bock, senior vice president of People Operations at Google Inc.; Lori Goler, vice president of human resources and recruiting at Facebook, Inc.; Kristen Fitzpatrick, managing director, alumni & MBA career and professional development, Harvard Business School; Admiral Eric Olson, retired Commander of U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM); and Soo Hong, chief human resource officer, WeWork.   It launches on May 16 and is available via SiriusXM On Demand on smartphones.

beasley logoBeasley Using Zipwhip Technology for Studio Line Texting. The initial rollout incorporated Zipwhip’s technology that allows the station to send and receive text messages using their existing call-in request or studio line telephone numbers into 18 Beasley Media radio stations across 5 markets.  Zipwhip, Inc. is a cloud texting platform and service provider.  Beasley says that as opposed to the traditional texting option for radio stations, short codes, Zipwhip’s technology enables its stations to create a more seamless conversational texting strategy.  “Texting lowers the barrier separating radio-listening consumers and advertisers in a way that is less pervasive and intrusive than current strategies such as email or online display ads.  Beasley stations rely on two-way messaging to build trust and loyalty and ultimately to increase overall engagement by listeners. An added benefit is that stations can offer a new sponsorship opportunity with their text enabled request or studio line.”

Monday, September 22, 2014

| September 22, 2014

rowlandjohnFormer Connecticut Governor and WTIC, Hartford Talk Host Found Guilty of Campaign Law Violations.  He’d already served 10 months in prison for a 2004 conviction on corruption charges when CBS RADIO’s news/talk WTIC, Hartford hired John Rowland to host a daily afternoon drive radio talk show.  Now, after Friday’s conviction on seven counts of campaign finance law violations, it appears that Rowland is likely headed back to prison.  Sentencing is scheduled for December 12 but his attorneys plan to appeal.  According to the Hartford Courant’s account, Rowland, who resigned from WTIC in April just before being indicted on the charges, chose not to take a plea deal for 18 months jail time and tested his luck with the jury.  It didn’t work as the jury found him guilty of all charges related to his scheme to consult a Republican political candidate in 2012 and hide the fact that he was accepting the cash for those purposes.  Read Edmund Mahony’s Courant story here.

cookehollandLocal On-Air Talent CAN Become Indispensable.  Media consultant Holland Cooke revisits (and expands upon!) the point he made the “pages” of TALKERS four years ago that “if you’re in RADIO, you’re in SALES” in a column published today (9/22).  It’s easy to pick apart the effectiveness of another medium’s advertising components but radio must look in the mirror for, as Cooke writes, criticism of a lot of radio’s not-so-great spots is justified because “at many stations, including some in major markets, there’s no creative department.  Reps write their own copy, a task that’s not sellers’ core competency.”  Effectiveness is directly related to quality, so how to up the quality?  Cooke offers some suggestions and you can check them out here.

jacobsfredConsultant Fred Jacobs Encourages Radio Talent to Learn and Exploit Expanded Array of Available Media Tools.  Reaction and commentary continues to buzz throughout the industry on the topic of the role of the aural media arts (non-visual radio and music) in the increasingly multi-media/visual environment of the digital era – instigated largely last week by comments made by TALKERS and RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison in the aftermath of the Clear Channel name/branding change to iHEARTMEDIA.  According to Harrison, “I am delighted by the enormous number of responses – mostly overwhelmingly positive – that my comments sparked.  Of course, there were those who immediately jumped to theiheartmedia logo conclusion that I am against the word ‘media’ or that I do not believe radio should be involved in internet, satellite or visual media at all.  This is, of course, preposterous!  The name of our company that owns TALKERS is Talk Media, Inc.; the name of our convention was the New Media Seminar way back in 1998; TALKERS magazine’s slogan is The Bible of Talk Radio and the New Talk Media; I have championed a concept known as “The Media Station” for more than a decade and the list goes on.  All I am saying is we should remain sensitive and respectful to the idea that there is a very important place in this emerging mix for pure audio-only radio and music in terms of the fundamentals of these processes – and that by doing so, we will be serving the best interests of our industry, the people who work in it and the consumers who love radio and music on their basic terms.”  Harrison continues, “My friend, noted radio consultant/researcher Fred Jacobs, CEO of Jacobs Media, — also an industry voice who is outspoken on this most compelling issue — has written and posted a blog today (9/22) that I believe adds an important dimension to the subject that warrants attention.  Jacobs makes a case, somewhat counterpoint (but not contradictory) to mine, that I find inspirational.”  In the blog, Jacobs writes, “I started thinking about this notion that the proliferation of screens will narrow the field for talkers, DJs, and hosts who are great with words, but not so wonderful visually.  As he [Michael Harrison] notes, screens of all sizes are becoming dominant parts of how people consume media. Thankfully, radio has been able to participate on most of those screens, whether on smartphones or tablets.  Over time as autonomous driving becomes more common, those who ride in these cars will gravitate to entertainment that is visual in origin – at least at a higher percentage than they are able to consume now while dangerously texting and driving.  So is this the beginning of the end for radio, or is it simply the beginning of the beginning?  Because as we have explored in this blog during the past few years, disruption forces old stars to adapt while bringing new ones to the center stage. Notably, two of the “Best Motion Picture” Oscars in just the past few years have focused on this topic. The King’s Speech starring Colin Firth was a story about changing technology, as the King of England was forced to learn how to communicate on the radio.  Of course, he struggled, but in the end he was able to adapt.  And in The Artist, the film’s silent film star refused to adapt to ‘talkies’ and is eventually displaced by a new brand of movie icons.  Change is uncomfortable and it can be bitter, as depicted in this amazing film.  The ending eventually become a happy one, but the road was arduous and difficult because of the tech disruption caused by the advent of movie sound.  Change is hard, especially for those who have enjoyed the status quo.  It tests everyone in all strata of the organization and the industry. Accepting, adapting, and adjusting is hard work.  It can be quite uncomfortable in workplaces that were once always fun and even kind of easy.  But these are the necessary skills that radio people need to exude in order to make the transition.  We see signs of this every day in broadcast radio.  Those who have the ability to connect with audiences – in person and in social spaces – have a unique edge.  The old paradigm of the DJ hermit, locked down the hall in the air studio, is breaking apart.  Today’s air talent need to be able to mix it up with listeners, clients, and community leaders.  Not every film star is handsome.  The public appreciates an interesting face, whether it’s Peter Dinklage on Game of Thrones or Linda Hunt on NCIS.  They may be exceptions, but they stand out because they’re different, captivating, and worthy of our attention.  They’re also immensely talented actors.  And the same will be the case on the radios of the future.  While good-looking DJs like Ryan Seacrest or Bobby Bones may have inherent advantages, Howard Stern proves that must-hear content trumps a pretty face.  And he’s not alone.  Words matter, and they will continue to in a media ecosphere that is now dominated by visuals. Screens or not, it’s the thought that counts.  These are changes that radio need to roll with.  Let’s open up new visual doors, new avenues, and new paths for our content.  And let’s embrace them because it’s truly a media world.”  To read Fred Jacobs’ entire blog, please click here.

warrenallisonRadio Management Pro Warren Named VP/MM for Cumulus Nashville.  Jumping from the Austin cluster of Entercom where she was director of sales and taking on the vice president and marketwwtn logo manager role at Cumulus Media Nashville is Allison Warren.  Cumulus SVP Jeff Brown comments, “Allison was a key part of my team in Denver some years back.  She did great work there and has since built a portfolio of successes in vibrant radio markets including Austin, Madison and Milwaukee.  Her results-driven, collaborative leadership style will infuse our Nashville operations with the energy and focus needed at this pivotal point in the cluster’s growth.  Allison will be an incredible asset to Cumulus’ leadership team.”  Warren also served with Entercom at its Madison and Milwaukee clusters as well as with CBS RADIO in Denver.  Cumulus operates six stations in the market including news/talk WWTN-FM “SuperTalk 99.7,” sports talker WGFX “104.5 The Zone,” as well as the Tennessee Titans Radio Network.

irn usa logoCross Platform Media Acquires IRN/USA Radio Network.  The president and CEO of Cross Platform Media, Sam Hassell, says the acquisition of IRN/USA Radio Network “rounds out the services of Cross Platform that is already deeply embedded in the national media space.”  Hassell continues, “We are very excited to make this announcement.  We look forward to fulfilling the original vision of USA Radio Network by providing audience-engaging news and content to the independent and group station owners around the country.”  Christian and conservative broadcast pioneer Marlin Maddoux launched the USA Radio Network in 1985 and Hassell adds, “We are very respectful of the Maddoux legacy and proud to continue syndicating ‘Point of View,’ ‘Daybreak USA,’ IRN/USA News and so many other significant programs.”  IRN/USA Radio Network currently produces and/or distributes more than 20 nationally syndicated radio programs with audience-targeted formatting primarily for news/talk and Christian radio (both commercial and non-commercial).

biakelseyBIA/Kelsey Forecast for 2015 Local Media Revenue: Up 1.6%.  But, of course, the increase comes as beneficial for those in the online/digital media realm (+13.1%) and, not surprisingly, traditional media is expected to see another dip (-1.7%).  BIA/Kelsey is presenting these results and more at its Leading in Local: SMB Digital Marketing conference in New Orleans this week.  The company predicts that in 2015, online/digital will account for more than one-quarter (25.2%) of total local media revenues in 2015.  Revenues for online/digital are expected to grow from $31 billion in 2014 to $35 billion in 2015, representing a 13.1% growth rate.  Other forecasts include: Mobile local ad revenues will grow from $4.3 billion in 2014 to $6.6 billion in 2015; Local social media revenues will grow from $2.5 billion in 2014 to $3.6 billion in 2015; Local search revenues will grow from $7.1 billion in 2014 to $7.2 billion in 2015; Local display revenues will grow from $4.3 billion in 2014 to $4.9 billion in 2015; and Local online video revenues will grow from $2.3 billion in 2014 to $3.0 billion in 2015.

dolansexpo9-14Dolans and Seaview Radio Hit Home Run with Live Event in South Florida.  Proving there is life after WOR, New York, the legendary husband/wife money media team of Ken & Daria Dolan (pictured here, Daria at left, Ken at right) joined forces with WSVU (960 AM/95.9 FM/ 106.9 FM), North Palm Beach “Seaview Radio” this past Saturday (9/20) presenting a successful, day-long listener/sponsor event titled, “South Florida Wealth & Health Expo 2014,” at the prestigious Jupiter Maltz Theatre in Jupiter, Florida.  The event brought local businesses and services from the fields of health, finance and better living together highlighted with on-stage financial advice presentations by the Dolans.  Seaview Radio general manager Chet Tart tells TALKERS, “The event gave us a wonderful opportunity to establish new and heightened relationships with sponsors from one of the most dynamic business sectors in the market.  We immediately received positive response with attendees and vendors already asking about next year’s event.  I think we might have to find a larger venue, next time around.”  The Dolans, now based in Jupiter, are best remembered for their stunning run of success at WOR, New York and the WOR Radio Network in the 90s and early-2000s – supplemented by their hosting hot shows on CNN, MSNBC anddolans poster other cable news/talk networks as well as penning best-selling books on the topic of personal finance.  Known for their entertaining banter and solid advice both on air and on stage, the Dolans went into semi-retirement several years ago – but have had difficulty steering clear of offers that keep coming their way for live appearances and their broadcast sales consulting services.  The result has been the birth of the increasingly active firm Dolan Media.  CEO Ken Dolan tells TALKERS, “There are huge revenue and promotional opportunities for local radio stations in live events – especially in the areas that strike home to most people – health and money.  The two go together beautifully as we have just proven at this event in Florida.  Daria and I are strongly considering taking this show on the road and helping stations around the country create a very exciting form of financial and PR synergy so dearly needed by small and middle-sized operators at this time.”  Perennial members of the TALKERS Heavy Hundred during their run at WOR, the Dolans have been ranked #75 on the prestigious Heaviest Hundred list of the “100 Most important Radio Talk Show Hosts of All Time.”  WSVU, North Palm Beach was recently sold by North Palm Beach Broadcasters to JVC Media.  GM Chet Tart – one of the most connected broadcast executives in the market – will stay on as GM of the new expanded operation planned by the acquiring owners, telling TALKERS, “With this transition to JVC, I find myself even more focused than ever… offering leadership, encouragement and inspiration to the staff.  That’s my focus!”   Chet Tart can be reached by email at chet@jvcbroadcasting.com.  Ken Dolan can be contacted at dolanmedia1@aol.com.

schafferdennyOdds & Sods.  At the iHeartMedia Des Moines cluster, alternative KXDA PD Mike Killabrew takes on the programming responsibilities for sister sports talker KXNO, leaving WHO programmer Van Harden to focus on his duties with the heritage news/talker…..Radio personality Denny Schaffer – most recently with iHeartMedia news/talker WRNO, New Orleans and former host at the company’s WSPD, Toledo – is back in Toledo as morning jock on Cumulus Media’s hot AC WWWM “Star 105.”…..Dallas news pro Jim Ryan joins ABC News Radio full time.  Ryan — a current staffer at WBAP, Dallas and part-time contributor to ABC News Radio, makes the switch starting November 1.