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Wednesday, July 1, 2020

| July 1, 2020

WABC, New York Begins Simulcasting on WLIR-FM, Hampton Bays. The Red Apple Media-owned news/talk station begins simulcasting on VMT Media’s WLIR-FM, Hampton Bays on Long Island. Red Apple is operating the signal under an LMA. The addition of the signal means listeners on eastern Long Island will now be able to hear the station over the air. WLIR-FM had been airing a classic rock format. Red Apple chairman and CEO John Catsimatidis says, “When we bought WABC, I said we were in radio to stay. Our expansion with this LMA and simulcast is just the beginning. We’re going to deliver news and information that will keep listeners informed with the truth of what’s really going on in New York, Washington, and the world.” Coincidently, this iteration of WLIR-FM, although having gone through ownership and frequency changes over the years, is the artistic and cultural descendent of the original WLIR discussed in this week’s installment of “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Listen to it here.

WFAN, New York Celebrates Sports Talk Anniversary. All weekend long, Entercom sports talker WFAN, New York is celebrating its July 1, 1987 birth as the nation’s first sports-only radio station with programs hosted by former WFAN air personalities. Some of the personalities hosting shows this weekend include: Richard Neer (Sat. 6:00 am to 10:00 am) a WFAN host since 1988; Howie Rose (Sat. 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm) the station’s first evening host in 1987; Ed Coleman and Dave Sims (Sat. 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm), Eddie C is now WFAN’s Mets beat reporter, but Coleman and Sims were WFAN’s midday team in the early-1990s; Jody McDonald (Sat. 11:00 pm) was an original WFAN host back in 1987, and still hosts shows on the station occasionally while also working for CBS Sports Radio; Bob Salter (Sun. 6:00 am to 7:00 am) has been WFAN’s public affairs director since 1994, and hosts this timeslot every Sunday; Ann Ligouri (Sun. 7:00 am to 8:00 am) was also an original WFAN host and now covers golf and tennis for the station; Rick Wolff’s “Sports Edge” (Sun. 8:00 am to 9:00 am) is another Sunday morning staple on WFAN, airing in this timeslot since 1995; Suzyn Waldman (Sun. 9:00 am to 1:00 pm) was the first voice heard on WFAN, giving the first sports update at 3:00 pm on July 1, 1987, and these days she serves as the analyst for Yankees Baseball on WFAN. She has also served as both the Yankees and Knicks beat reporter, and co-hosted WFAN’s midday show with Jody McDonald as well; Steve Somers & Russ Salzberg (Sun. 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm), Somers is the only host who has been on the station full time since Day 1 in 1987! He and Salzberg hosted the midday show as “The Sweater and the Schmoozer” in the mid-1990s; and the Best of Mike and the Mad Dog (Sun. 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm), WFAN’s legendary afternoon team for nearly two decades (1989-2008).

Harry Hurley Marks 29 Years on the Radio. WPGG-AM, Atlantic City morning drive talk host Harry Hurley is celebrating his 29th year at the Townsquare Media news/talk station. It was July 1, 1991 that the “Hurley in the Morning” program launched on the station. Hurley says, “It’s been a privilege in every way. I want to thank our many loyal and faithful listeners, who have made it all possible, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year and decade after decade. I also want to thank our fiercely loyal clients who have been with us for decades. It is still amazing, new and fresh to sign on every day at the same radio station where it all began almost three decades ago. My sincere thanks and appreciation to my employer, Townsquare Media for their incredible support. We still have so much work to do. I’m excited about our continued future together.”

Edwards Media Launches Sports Talk Station in Waco Market. The station is being branded “CBS Sports Central Texas” and will air on the HD2 channel of hip hop KWBT-FM “94.5 The Beat.” Edwards Media LLC general sales manager and sports director Rich Richardson says, “We look forward to the opportunity to change the sports radio scene in Central Texas with the best in local, national, and play-by-play sports talk. The current situation in the country has changed the sports scene throughout the world, but there are more chances than ever for hosts and listeners to express their opinions, frustrations, even hypotheticals as to what happens next.  As live sports come back, we plan to do our best to keep listeners informed and entertained on a weekly, daily, and hourly basis while still allowing them to voice their opinions.” In addition to programming from CBS Sports, the station’s afternoon drive daypart will feature “Go Big or Go Home” with local host Big Rich.

Bob Long Retiring from GCN’s ‘Auto World.’ Citing health concerns that for the past few months have kept him from hosting the “Auto World” program distributed by Genesis Communications Network, Bob Long announces he’s retiring from his radio hosting duties. Mark Evans is taking over as permanent host of the program. GCN chief Ted Anderson says, “Bob Long has spent his years in broadcasting building the ‘Auto World’ radio show and will be missed by his fans. Bob has been a long friend of the Genesis Communications Network and we wish him success and health.” Mark Evans has been an “Auto World” contributor for many years and is a master technician who holds a patent on an automatic transmission cooler called Transguard that sells world-wide. Evans has filled in for Long over the years.

TALKERS News Notes. WGN-AM, Chicago announces it is adding the program “WGN Showcase” to its Saturday overnight schedule. It will air from 10:00 pm to 5:00 am, beginning July 11 and will feature highlights of weekday shows and excerpts of interviews with celebrities and newsmakers conducted by Bob Sirott, John Williams, Anna Davlantes, and Roe Conn. The Nexstar Media Group station says that it will continue a partnership with “WGN Radio Theatre,” which previously ran in the timeslot and presented classics from the golden age of radio, and the show’s host Carl Amari for special themed times throughout the year. Amari has spent decades licensing and preserving classic radio broadcasts from the 1930s, 40s, and 50s and founded Radio Spirits, the world’s largest marketer and distributor of these programs…..The deal between Mr. Master – the company that produces Automation Import Manager (AIM) – and Cumulus Media is expanded to put the software to use in all of Cumulus’ 424 local stations across 87 markets. Cumulus Media SVP of revenue strategy and operations John Kaufman says, “We were answering a call from our markets, which were looking for a way to improve the network continuity process and save meaningful time. Mr. Master’s AIM software offers a great solution for all Cumulus markets.”…..ESPN announces that it has reached a multi-year contract extension with host and commentator Bomani Jones to continue his ESPN Podcast, “The Right Time with Bomani Jones,” twice per week (Tuesday and Thursday). As part of his deal, Jones will also make regular guest appearances across ESPN Radio sports talk programming. Jones will play a significant role on “Highly Questionable” alongside Dan Le Batard, appearing three or four days each week. He will also continue to be a key contributor across ESPN’s television studio lineup, including “SportsCenter,” “Get Up,” “Outside the Lines” and as a panelist on “Around the Horn.”…..“The Todd Starnes Show” adds new affiliate stations WDMJ, Marquette; WMIQ, Iron Mountain; and WIAN, Ishpeming; all in Michigan. In addition to carrying the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm talk show the stations will also carry the short-form feature “Todd Starnes News & Commentary.”

COVID-19 Statistics & Projections, Russian-Taliban Bounties Issue, BLM Movement/Public Monuments/Mississippi Flag, China’s Hong Kong Crackdown, Mary Trump Book Blocked, and Sports Leagues Plan Openings Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/30). The rise in COVID-19 cases in numerous states and projections for future infections; the controversy over the reports of Russia offering bounties to the Taliban for U.S. soldiers killed in Afghanistan; the Black Lives Matter protests, the movement to take down Confederate and Colonial-era monuments, and changes to the Mississippi flag; China begins cracking down on dissent in Hong Kong; a judge issues a temporary block of Mary Trump’s book; and U.S. sports leagues plan to open or restart their seasons were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Legendary Rock/Sports Broadcaster Richard Neer Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Legendary WFAN, New York personality Richard Neer is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Weaving a colorful radio story, Harrison and Neer reminisce about a shared experience they had in the very early days of their long careers that had a tremendous influence on their lives and the history of album rock radio. Tomorrow (7/1) marks the 50th anniversary of the launch of the progressive rock format at WLIR on Long Island.  On that Wednesday in the summer of 1970, the station transitioned from being an obscure suburban FM station that programmed a block format consisting of “beautiful music” and “easy listening” orchestras, along with classical music and show tunes into one of the most ground-breaking and longest-running FM rock giants of the past half century.  The station has been fertile ground for programming innovations, pop cultural evolution and the individual radio careers of countless personalities.  Harrison and Neer were a couple of college kids instrumental in making the historical transition happen and they engage in a remarkably candid conversation reconstructing the events between 1967 and 1971 that led up to and followed that meaningful format flip that changed their lives forever.  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 on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Digital platform RADIO.COM is celebrating Independence Day with two exclusive music events on July 3 and 4 to remind everyone to register to vote. This is a partnership between Entercom and When We All Vote, whose mission is to “increase participation in every election and close the race and age voting gap by changing the culture around voting, harnessing grassroots energy, and through strategic partnerships to reach every American.” Both events are being streamed live nationwide on-air on select RADIO.COM stations and on the RADIO.COM app and website. “Party In Place” airs July 3 at 10:00 pm ET across all RADIO.COM alternative stations nationwide and features exclusive sets from: deadmau5, Disclosure, Major Lazer, ODESZA, RÜFÜS DU SOL, and Toro y Moi, as well as a world premiere and unreleased music from Flume and Rezz, with a special career-spanning mix from Porter Robinson, all performing virtually from their home studios. On July 4, “Summer Bash,” will feature performances by: Marshmello, Black Eyed Peas, Dillon Francis, Diplo, Kygo, Lil Jon, and Steve Aoki. Entercom SVP of programming and music initiatives Michael Martin says, “We’re looking forward to virtually coming together to enjoy incredible performances that will bring the festival experience right to listeners’ homes. We’re especially proud to celebrate Independence Day by supporting When We All Vote’s important mission to increase voter participation, one of the most patriotic acts we can do for our country.”…..TALKERS magazine confirms that Bob Lawrence has resigned his position as vice president of programming for Saga Communications. There’s no word from Saga on his replacement or a timetable for filling the corporate role. Lawrence took over the position in 2015 after Steve Goldstein exited the company.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

| May 5, 2016

Talkers2016 logo lgTALKERS 2016 Conference to Feature Podcasting Panel.  Attendees at this year’s TALKERS 2016 Bridging the Generations conference at Hofstra University on Friday, May 20 will have the opportunity to hear PodcastOne chairman and founder Norm Pattiz moderate “The Podcasting Session.”  This panel will feature: Panoply/The Slate Group chief content officer and co-founder Andy Bowers; WOR, New York program director Tom Cuddy; Hubbard Radio SVP of programming Greg Strassell; and Edison Research VP of strategy Tom Webster.  This panel discussion willpattiznorm delve into the issues relevant not only to the podcasting platform itself, but also into issues AM/FM broadcasters who are also producing podcasts are dealing with.  TALKERS magazine executive editor Kevin Casey says, “Podcasting is obviously a hot topic in the radio industry right now.  Talk radio practitioners are eager to learn about the best practices for producing and selling this digital content and this panel discussion, led by industry pioneer Norm Pattiz, will send them home with actionable information on this nascent form of broadcasting.”  TALKERS 2016 Bridging the Generations is nearing a sellout.  For complete agenda information click here.  To register or for sponsorship information, call 413-565-5413.

emmis logoEmmis Fiscal Q4 Revenue Down 6%.  The Indianapolis-based company functions on a fiscal calendar and its 2015 fourth quarter ended on February 29 of this year.  Emmis Communications reports its radio net revenue was $36.4 million, down 6%.  For the full fiscal year of 2015, radio revenue was $169.2 million, compared to $176.3 million in the prior year, a decrease of 4%.  President and CEO Jeff Smulyan states, “Emmis’ fourth quarter was weak,smulyanjeff mostly due to expected underperformance in Los Angeles.  The good news is our first quarter is much improved and currently pacing flat to the prior year.  New York’s performance has been stellar, ratings in LA have begun to grow again, and ratings across our other radio markets are very strong.  NextRadio is coming off a fantastic National Association of Broadcasters convention, and momentum is building.  At NAB, it was announced that PRSS, the distribution network for public radio, is being integrated into NextRadio.  Carrier and handset conversations are robust, and advertiser interest is high.  In addition, we will launch in our first international market, Peru, in the coming weeks.  I couldn’t be more pleased with the efforts of Paul Brenner and his team in bringing NextRadio to our industry and to listeners everywhere.”

salemmediagroup logoSalem Media Group Broadcast Revenue Rises 4.2%.  It was a quarter of increases all the way around for Salem Media Group.  Its total revenue increased 4.4%.  The broadcast segment saw revenue rise 4.2%.  Digital media was up 4.6% and publishingatsingered revenue increased 6.5%.  CEO Ed Atsinger says the 4.2% broadcast sector increase “compares favorably to the market generally which was up about 1.7% at least in the markets in which we operate according to Miller Kaplan.  Our block programming had another solid quarter, up 7.1%, local spot revenue grew 3.6%, network revenue grew by 16.7%. And geographically, we had a strong market performance in Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, while facing some weakness in the Dallas market.”

radioonelogoRadio One Reports First Quarter Revenue Hike of 3.1%.  Company president and CEO Alfred Liggins III says the good first quarter news is continuing into the second quarter.  For Q1 of 2016, Radio One net revenue was approximately $109.1 million, an increase of 3.1% from the same period in 2015.  Station operating income was approximately $39.6 million, an increase of 10.1% from the same period in 2015. Liggins states, “We saw a sequential monthly improvement in our radioligginsalfred revenues as the first quarter progressed, and that positive momentum is continuing into Q2 where we are pacing up low single digits.  Political revenues were strong, which augurs well for the fourth quarter when we historically receive the bulk of political radio advertising. TV One had a strong first quarter, with growth in both advertising (+3.5%) and affiliate revenues (+12.3%).  All four of our reportable segments posted year-over-year, double-digit adjusted EBITDA growth.  Overall I was pleased with our 13% growth in consolidated adjusted EBITDA, the stabilization of our radio revenues, and growth of radio cash flow.”

sagaSaga Communications Net Revenue Up 12.7%.  For the radio segment of Saga Communications, the pro forma net operating revenue was up 4.6% on revenue of $27.5 million for the first quarter of the year.  The company closed on its purchase of classic rock WLVQ, Columbus during the quarter and had been operating the station under an LMA since last November.  Saga reports that free cash flow increased 35.4% to $4.9 million and operating income increased 40.1% to $5.3 million.

lundjohnSports Talker John Lund Crosses Street to KNBR, San Francisco.  The Bay Area sports talk personality leaves Entercom’s KGMZ “95.7 The Game” to become co-host of the afternoon drive show at Cumulus Media’s KNBR with Tom TolbertJohn Lund co-hosted the midday “Papa & Lund” show with Greg Papa at KGMZ.  He’s also worked at KXTG-AM, Portland; KESN-FM, Dallas; WXYT-FM, Detroit; WEAE-AM, Pittsburgh; and KZNS-AM, Salt Lake City.  KNBR program director Lee Hammer says, “John brings a wealth of sports knowledge and experience to KNBR.  He’s worked in San Francisco for several years, and has keen insights into our Bay Area teams.  KNBR fans are in for a real treat when he’s teamed up with Tom Tolbert in afternoon drive.  It will definitely be ‘appointment listening.’”

ramseydaveRamsey, Rich Headlining Radio Show. In a vCreative-sponsored session, financial expert/radio host Dave Ramsey will keynote this year’s Radio Show. Part of his “Cutting Edge Trends in Marketing” address at the confab, produced by the Radio Advertising Bureau and the National Association of Broadcasters, will include a conversation with country music artist John Rich (right) of the duo Big & Rich. According to RAB president and chief executiveJohn Rich officer Erica Farber, “We are delighted and honored that Dave Ramsey and John Rich will join us at this year’s conference. These two incredible innovators will share some great ideas. Radio Show attendees will walk away with tremendous takeaways they can then put to use immediately.” NAB executive vice president of radio John David comments, “The power of radio has contributed to the successful careers of both Dave Ramsey and John Rich. We are pleased to present these talented and engaging individuals at the Radio Show.” Ramsey’s daily syndicated eponymous radio program is heard on more than 550 stations, while his “Financial Peace” and “Total Money Makeover” books have sold more than a combined 10 million copies.  He was inducted into the NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2013 and into the National Radio Hall of Fame two years later. The Radio Show will be held in more than four months (9/21 – 23) at Nashville’s Omni Hotel; The Ramsey-Rich session takes place the first day of the conference, Wednesday, September 21.

podcastone bPodcastOne and MediaDC Launch Two New Podcasts.  Two new shows are debuting on the PodcastOne platform.  MediaDC, publisher of The Weekly Standard and Washington Examiner, is working with PodcastOne to present “Examining Politics by Washington Examiner” and “Weekly Standard Confab.”  Washington Examiner senior congressional correspondent David Drucker hosts “Examining Politics” which will revolve around the publication’s editorial content.  It’ll feature Drucker and a roundtable of staff.  “The Weekly Standard Confab” is hosted by managing editor Eric Felton, who will be joined by a different guest each segment to talk about topics ranging from politics, policy and international affairs, to arts and culture.  PodcastOne chairman and CEO Norm Pattiz says, “There’s just too much going on this election season for PodcastOne not to be part of it.  In partnering with MediaDC to produce and distribute podcasts from The Weekly Standard and Washington Examiner, we’ve accomplished our mission.”

Odds & Sods.  The USA Radio Networks-syndicated “Trending Today USA” with Rusty Humphries moves tohumphriesrusty the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET daypart and adds a new affiliate in iHeartMedia’s WGST, Atlanta.  Station PD Dan Hunt says, “Rusty has a great history in Atlanta and we are excited to have him back on Talk Radio 640 WGST.  ‘Trending Today USA’ provides our listeners with the latest news and information in real time, while bringing a fresh perspective that can’t be duplicated anywhere else in the market.”…..KCSP, Kansas City sports talkers Danny Parkins and Carrington Harrison were disturbed by the Kansas City Chiefs’ decision to draft Tyreek Hill after the football player had pleaded guilty to hitting and choking his pregnant girlfriend.  They decided to do something positive about it and started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for the Rose Brooks Center domestic violence shelter.  So far they have raised more than $12,000.

The Presidential Race, Hillary Clinton Email Server Case, Battle Against Islamic State, North Korea Nukes, Russia-NATO Tensions, California Ups Legal Cigarette Purchase Age, and NBA-NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/4).  GOP candidate Donald Trump secures the nomination with a victory in the Indiana primary election; allegations by Romanian hacker Guccifer that he accessed Hillary Clinton’s private email server; the death of a Navy SEAL in Iraq and the ongoing battle against Islamic State; the reported build-up of nuclear weapons by North Korea; Russia’s military posturing and threats against NATO; California becomes the second state to make tobacco purchases legal for those 21 and older; and the NBA and NHL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.