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Tuesday, December 8, 2020

| December 8, 2020

Howard Stern Signs Renewal with SiriusXM for Five More Years. During previous investor conference calls, outgoing SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer said he believed Howard Stern and SiriusXM would come to terms on a new deal and today’s announcement bears that out. Under the new agreement, Stern will continue to produce and host “The Howard Stern Show” exclusively for SiriusXM for the next five years, and the Howard Stern archive of audio and video will continue to be licensed to SiriusXM for an additional seven years. Stern says, “Fifteen years ago, I joined SiriusXM, a fledgling group of broadcasters. I had been in a toxic relationship with terrestrial radio. And no matter how well I treated the medium, no matter how successful I made them, they abused me. Going to SiriusXM liberated me. I felt like Tina Turner freeing myself from Ike. And despite the naysayers and the ridicule, we have persevered, and are thriving. I’ve been proven right about satellite radio over and over again. With this contract renewal, I can’t wait to see what else I’ll be right about. Certainly, I have a lot more to say about Metamucil crackers and stepmom porn. Plus, now that I can work from home, I simply don’t have an excuse to quit.” Meyer says, “As the leading audio entertainment company, we couldn’t be happier to have Howard, the leading host in all of radio and audio, continue to make SiriusXM the home for his show, channels, and archives while at the peak of his broadcasting career. Howard’s home has been SiriusXM and it will remain that way, but we’ve expanded SiriusXM in recent years too, and we are excited about finding the right ways that select content from Howard can find audiences on additional platforms. May I add, I consider Howard a close friend and look forward to listening to him for years to come.”

Ron St. Pierre Out at iHeartMedia’s WHJJ, Providence; Jim Polito Takes Over Morning Show. Longtime Providence air personality and programmer Ron St. Pierre has exited iHeartMedia’s news/talk WHJJ-AM, Providence where he hosted the morning drive show. Filling the programming gap is WTAG-AM, Worcester, Massachusetts-based morning personality Jim Polito. In 2016, iHeartMedia dropped the local morning show hosted by Adam Wright and Bo Sullivan on WHYN-AM, Springfield, Massachusetts and began simulcasting Polito’s show there. The WHJJ move puts the Jim Polito show in three of iHeartMedia’s New England markets.

Salem’s KRLA and KTIE Cut Ties with Brian Whitman. Southern California radio pro Brian Whitman exits Salem Media Group’s morning drive show “The Morning Answer” that he co-hosted with Jennifer Horn that was simulcast on KRLA, Los Angeles and KTIE, San Bernardino. Whitman shared the news on his Facebook page on Friday (12/4). He wrote, “I was provided the following from folks at Salem/KRLA this morning. The announcement was sent by the general manager to their kind and hardworking staff, making this news public. I’ll have very personal thoughts to share with members of the ‘Morning Answer Listening Family’ (as I came to know and regard you over many years) very soon. It will be in this space at a time that is more appropriate and comfortable. With all of my love and with the warmest gratitude for every moment that we’ve shared together, I offer words that I know fall far short of my heart’s sentiment. Thank you, thank you, thank you guys.” The message from management was as follows: “After eight years hosting ‘The Morning Answer,’ Brian Whitman will no longer be with us. We wish Brian all the best in the future. Chuck [Tyler] and I echo Phil Boyce who said, “Brian has been a hard-working and extremely talented employee for us for many years. We will always cherish his friendship, and our opportunity to work together at KRLA and KTIE.” Whitman was the liberal counterpart to conservative Horn.

Hubbard Radio Drops Sports Talker Chris Rongey; Re-Aligns Host Lineup. According to a report by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Dan Caesar, afternoon drive sports talk personality Chris Rongey has been let go from Hubbard Radio’s WXOS-FM, St. Louis. Rongey had been part of “The Fast Lane” afternoon show since replacing D’Marco Farr in 2017. The station moves midday host Jamie Rivers into afternoons alongside Anthony Stalter and Brad Thompson and promotes Alex Farrario to the midday show co-hosting with Brandon Kiley.

Talk Radio Host Michael Berry’s Good Month Includes Raising $1.3 Million for PTSD Foundation. KRTH, Houston-based, nationally syndicated talk host Michael Berry had a very good month in which his program helped raise $1.3 million for Camp Hope, the residential treatment center run by the PTSD Foundation of America, of which Berry is the national spokesman. The organization was laying off staff, including the vital folks who counsel suicidal veterans who struggle with re-integration after war. Berry teamed up with sponsor Jim “Mattress Mac” McIngvale, owner of the Gallery Furniture chain, to raise funds. During the whole of 2020, Berry’s efforts have raised $3 million for the organization, almost its entire budget. Additionally, Berry made national news on Monday (12/7) for his interview with Houston-based Goya Foods CEO Bob Unanue, during which Unanue said he gave U.S. Rep. Alexandra Ocasio Cortez the company’s “employee of the month” award. This came after Ocasio Cortez called for a boycott on Goya products because Unanue publicly praised President Trump. However, Unanue says the boycott call produced a counter-protest in which supporters flocked to buy Goya goods. On top of that, Berry has added new affiliates, WPNN, Pensacola, Florida, and KNUW, Silver City, New Mexico and hopes to roll out seven new affiliates before the New Year. In case you missed it, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian profiled Berry back in October. Read it here.

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. The Nielsen Audio PPM ratings survey in the month prior to the November election (October 8 – November 4) was not as generous to sports talk radio stations as it was to news/talk, still TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian reports that 46% of sports talkers were up (weekly 6+ AQH share) from the October 2020 survey. Gainers from October to November were led by RadiOhio’s WBNS-FM, Columbus “97.1 The Fan” (+0.7, 6.2 share) and Cumulus Media’s WGFX-FM, Nashville (+0.7, 6.0 share). Due to the pandemic’s effect on live sports, year-over-year comparisons have not been kind to the sports talk format and November 2019 to November 2020 is not different. 68% of sports talk outlets in PPM markets were down. However, 23% of stations gained with Cumulus Media’s KTCK-AM/FM, Dallas leading the pack (+1.6, 2.8 share). While no sports talkers claimed the #1 rank in their market during the November survey, iHeartMedia’s KXFN, Minneapolis came close, posting a 7.6 share good for the #2 rank. See Mike Kinosian’s complete report here.

WJR, Detroit News Director Dick Haefner to Retire. After a 51-year career in radio news, WJR, Detroit news director Dick Haefner is retiring. Haefner, an award-winning newscaster, reporter, and news director, has been WJR news director since 1989. Cumulus Media says that “his tenure is unmatched by any other Detroit broadcast news director. He is one of the most recognizable news voices in his hometown of Detroit, signing on to radio news in 1969 and signing off on December 11, 2020, Haefner’s last day on-air.” The company goes on to note that “under Haefner’s leadership, WJR News has been honored with nearly every national and local news award in the broadcast business, including: the Peabody Award, Associated Press national award for Best Broadcast Reporting, Edward R. Murrow Awards, and numerous state news awards… Some of Haefner’s projects have changed laws. A series on suburban toxic waste dumps resulted in tighter rules for handling waste. An investigation of fraud at gas stations brought about new regulations on service station inspections and fuel hauling, and even changed the way the IRS taxes the fuel hauling industry. Among the biggest stories Haefner has broken are Coleman Young’s baby, the Nancy KerriganTonya Harding incident heard around the world, and Detroit’s two side-by-side sports stadiums.” Haefner comments, “Anything I may have accomplished is because of other people, my wife Judy, and my family who allowed me to pursue adventures in broadcast news, and especially my co-workers. My most important job was to put them in position to do their best work. What they accomplished every day is my greatest reward. I have had the best job in Detroit radio news for almost 32 years. I’m the luckiest person I know.”

Susan O’Connell Retires from Compass Media Networks; Robert Blum Rises to Senior Manager of Affiliate Sales. Affiliate sales pro Susan O’Connell is retiring from her position as vice president of news/talk affiliate sales with Compass Media Networks, effective December 31. At the same time, the company announces that Robert Blum – a Compass Media staffer since 2011 – is being promoted to senior manager of affiliate sales for news/talk/sports. O’Connell has been in the news/talk affiliate sales business for the past 40 years, the last six with Compass Media. She previously served with the Wall Street Journal Radio Network, ABC Radio Networks, CBS News, and the Progressive Radio Network. She comments, “The best part of my job has always been working with great broadcasters. Thank you all for sharing your time, talent, and friendship over the years. Compass Media Networks was the perfect place to wind up. Representing our stellar news/talk lineup and being part of this team has been an honor and a privilege.” Compass Media Networks CEO Peter Kosann says, “Susan is a total superstar, friend, and treasured colleague. Through hard work, perseverance, and cunning, Susan established Compass Media Networks as a dominant player in news/talk programming with over 750 leading news/talk stations airing over a dozen hours of our daily, live, and original news-talk programming.”

COVID-19 Stats/Vaccines, Trump Challenges, Biden Transition, Stimulus Package, Georgia Runoff Elections, Pornhub Allegations, and Presidential Pardons Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/7). The fast-rising number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the pleas from authorities to follow mask and gathering mandates, and the status of vaccines; Donald Trump continues legal challenges to the results of the presidential election; President-Elect Joe Biden continues his administration’s transition; the debate in Congress over a new stimulus package; the January runoff elections for Georgia’s two U.S. Senate seats; the allegations that porn giant Pornhub has promoted underage actors; and reports of Donald Trump’s pardon plans were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air pro and urban media personality Charlamagne Tha God, a.k.a. Lenard McKelvey, and iHeartMedia renew and extend their relationship. The deal means the co-host of the WWPR, New York “Power 105.1”-based, nationally syndicated “The Breakfast Club” will continue to work with iHeartMedia for the next five years.  He says, “I give my sincerest thanks to iHeart for empowering me over the past decade to be the best talent that I can be, and for honoring me as an owner and executive. I love the audio business and iHeart is the biggest and best audio company in the world. As co-founder and chief creative officer of the Black Effect Podcast Network and now senior creative officer of cultural content and programming at iHeart, all I want to do for the next five years is continue to move the culture of radio and podcasting forward by curating a new era of voices, programming, and events. GOD IS GREAT! Now, it’s time to get back to work.”

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

| June 14, 2016

fccnewDC Court of Appeals Affirms Internet as Utility; Victory for ‘Net Neutrality’ Advocates.  This ruling from a three-judge panel at the District of Columbia Court of Appeals is not likely to settle the matter once and for all, but this is a huge victory for the Federal Communications Commission which had wanted broadband declared a common carrier utility service in order to put under its purview.   Supporters of the ruling say this paves the way for the federal government to prevent broadband providers from creating tiers of services that would give advantage to some at the expense of others.  Critics of the ruling will argue that the common carrier utility aspect of the decision puts control of the Internet into the hands of the FCC.  Regardless, it’s unlikely that we’ve seen the last legal challenge to this.

rtdna logoRTDNA/Hofstra: News Not Primary Responsibility for More Than One-Third of Radio News Directors.  The sixth report in the RTDNA Newsroom Research Project – a survey of local radio and television news – has been released by Hofstra University professor emeritus Bob Papper and this report focuses on the state of television and radio news directors.  It’s probably no surprise to radio people that most news directors have other duties at their station besides news.  Papper’s research indicates that 38.3% of news directors say that news is not their primary station responsibility.  What duties constitute not news?  Forty-six percent stated that other administrative duties made up their non-news responsibilities, 22.4% said on air/DJ/hosting were their primary roles and 5.6% said production or sales came first.  Read more from the RTDNA/Hofstra University study here.

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallMichael Harrison and Steve Weisman Discuss the Dark Side of the Digital Era.  In an intense conversation that pulls no punches, Michael Harrison and noted media attorney and cyber-scam expert Steve Weisman talk about the dangers to privacy and property presently lurking on the Internet.  In the latest installment of the PodcastOne hit series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” such topics as the recent hacking of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s accounts are explained and analyzed, covering a variety ofweismansteven dangers spanning identity theft to fraudulent advertising.  Harrison and Weisman illuminate the problems being caused by criminals Harrison describes as the “dastardly bastards” who prey upon innocent victims (meaning the rest of us) who are becoming increasingly dependent on the Internet for its obvious benefits in all aspects of day to day life.  Harrison also goes off on a rant about his extreme distaste for the widespread and still-growing practice of so-called legitimate websites selling “native” advertising (paid-for editorial content), not to mention the purposely deceptive clutter that leads to unintentional clicks and consequences for the user.  This conversation is not-to-be missed.  To listen to it in its entirety please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

wgn logo 16WGN, Chicago and ABC News Radio Extend Relationship.  Chicago news/talk WGN and ABC News Radio announce they’ve extended their affiliation agreement through May 2018.  At the same time, reporter and multimedia journalist Ryan Burrow is continuing asburrowryan the ABC News Radio national correspondent based out of the Tribune station.  The renewed partnership will bring expanded coverage from the Republican and Democratic National Conventions this July.  ABC Radio VP/GM Steve Jones says, “We’re excited to continue our relationship with WGN Radio, one of America’s iconic media brands!  We’re also proud of the excellent journalism Ryan Burrow has produced as he’s traveled the country for both ABC News and WGN.”

Orlando Club Massacre Aftermath, the Presidential Race, Battle Against Islamic State, Paris Cop and Wife Killed in Terror Attack, NBA Finals and Penguins Win Stanley Cup Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/13).  The aftermath of the slaying of 49 and wounding of dozens more at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, the matter of gun control and radical Islam; the activities of the candidates for president; the battle against Islamic State and the push by Iraq to reclaim Fallujah; the fatal stabbing of a Paris police officer and his wife by an ISIS sympathizer; the Pittsburgh Penguins claiming the 2016 Stanley Cup; and the NBA Finals were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

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whynreunion16WHYN, Springfield Morning Personalities Reunite.  An impromptu “reunion” of the cast of the extremely popular “Brad & Bo Morning Show” that ran for many years on iHeartMedia’s Springfield, Massachusetts talk outlet WHYN recently took place at New England’s legendary “Big Mamou” restaurant. Pictured (l-r, top): Mary Orr, Bo Sullivan; bottom (l-r): Denise Vozella, Brad Shepard.  The picture reportedly received hundreds of “likes” on Facebook from former listeners.  Brad Shepard is now the GM and star performer of the region’s online, hyper-local media station, Pioneer Valley Radio.

Friday, May 13, 2016

| May 13, 2016

whynWHYN, Springfield Cancels Adam Wright and Bo Sullivan AM Show.  Listeners to iHeartMedia-owned news/talk outlet WHYN, Springfield, Massachusetts will be surprised on Monday morning when they hear the local Adam Wright and Bo Sullivan program has been replaced by the Jim Polito show from the company’s sister stationpolitojim WTAG, Worcester – about 50 miles away.  Adam Wright, who replaced popular market personality Brad Shepard in 2014, tells MassLive.com that the ratings for the show were good and he chalks his firing up to the contemporary “nature of the radio business.”  Sullivan had been with the station for more than 20 years. iHeartMedia has been trimming its employee roster gradually, market-by-market over the past month or so, in contrast to making large cuts at the end of the year, as it’s done in the past.  Meanwhile, Jim Polito is no stranger to Springfield.  He served as chief investigative reporter for WGGB-TV, Springfield for a number of years and worked at WFXT-TV, Boston, as well.  It will be interesting to see if programming from Worcester will fly in Springfield.  Meantime, the locally familiar Brad Shepard has launched a Springfield-based, online media station, Pioneer Valley Radio that carries, not only his own daily show, but a wide array of locally oriented, personality public affairs and news programs.

ppmunitNielsen Audio Releases Fourth Round of April 2016 PPM Data.  The fourth and final round of April 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford.  The April 2016 survey period covered March 24 to April 20.  You can find the complete 6+ ratings numbers from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

talkersten logoThe Presidential Race Top News Talk Story for Week of May 9-13.  Once again, the activities of the candidates for president and Tuesday’s West Virginia and Nebraska primary elections were the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 was the ObamaCare funding court ruling.  Coming in at #3 was the controversy over the Iran nuclear negotiations, followed by the allegations Facebook alters its trending topics away from conservative stories 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 magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

cookeRIHoF16Holland Cooke Inducted into the Rhode Island Radio Hall of Fame.  The Ocean State is known for having a long, rich history of great radio and radio stars, including, of course, the late, legendary Walter “Salty” Brine. In a gala dinner at the Twin River Casino in Lincoln, RI that included a veritable who’s who of radio industry notables from all over the country, the Rhode Island Radio Hall of Fame inducted its class of 2016.  Among the inductees, noted talk radio consultant Holland Cooke of Holland Cooke Media.  During his early career, Cooke was an air personality at WPRO and PD at WSNE.  In 1984, Providence-based Outlet Broadcasting promoted him to operations manager of their then-owned all-news WTOP, Washington, DC – a position he held for the next seven years.  From there Cooke went on to a stellar career of innovation and success in many branches of radio and communications including his role as special events correspondent and contributing columnist for TALKERS magazine and RadioInfo.  Cooke will be a featured speaker at the forthcoming TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations convention next week on Friday, May 20 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY.  Other 2016 RI Radio Hall of Fame inductees include Bob DeCarlo, Bill George, Mike Gorman, Bruce Palmer and Debbie Rich.  Special service awards were presented to Karen Kutniewski and Denise Laprise, and the Legacy Station of the Year was presented to JB105.  Pictured at last night’s gala event celebrating with Holland Cooke (l-r): legendary programmer Jay Clark; TALKERS/RadioInfo publisher Michael Harrison; “Good Day” host Doug Stephan; Entercom Boston VP/market manager Phil Zachary; Holland Cooke, “Money Pit” host Tom Kraeutler, CBS News Radio legend Joe Connolly; and retired RAB executive/radio marketing great, Dick Rakovan.

nyfest smallNew York Festivals International Radio Program Awards Announces Finalists.  The winners in all categories will be announced on June 20 at a ceremony at Manhattan Penthouse in New York City.  This competition – since 1982 – has been honoring the World’s Best Radio Programs℠, receiving entries from radio stations, networks, and independent producers from around the globe.  New York Festivals Radio Program Awards executive director Rose Anderson states, “This year’s entries are truly inspiring, they embody creativity, innovation and brilliant storytelling.  These exceptional programs engage, entertain, inform, and transport the listener and are a testament to the power of the human voice.”  NYF’s Grand Jury selected 296 Finalists from entries submitted from 29 countries worldwide.  Entries were judged on production values, organization, presentation of information, creativity and use of the medium.  Finalists from U.S. broadcasters include: ESPN’s “The Death of Lennon Lacy,” Best Investigative Reporting; Westwood One’s “America in the Morning,” Best News Magazine; SiriusXM’s Joe Madison, Best Regularly Scheduled Talk Program; CBS RADIO Boston’s “Too Many Memories: The Bruins-Canadiens Rivalry, Sports & Recreation; SiriusXM’s Opie Radio, Station Promotion; and PodcastOne/Goodphone Communications’ “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” Culture & The Arts.

loeschdanaNew St. Louis Affiliate for ‘The Dana Show.’  The Radio America nationally syndicated “The Dana Show” with host Dana Loesch adds WDSZ, St. Louis “1260 AM The Answer” to its roster of affiliate stations.  Loesch, who began her radio career on Emmis’ crosstown KFTK-FM, launches on the Salem Media Group-owned station on Monday (5/16) from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.  Station general manager Greg Lhamon says, “I’ve watched Dana’s radio show take off since the early days of her career eight years ago.  This is an exciting addition to our lineup.”

Odds & Sods.  WABC, New York recently presented some one-on-one interviews with two of the three remainingwabc logo presidential candidates.  Presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump appeared on the “Imus in the Morning” program discussing his scheduled meeting with House Speaker Paul Ryan and his comments about John McCain’s military service.  On WABC Radio’s “Election Central with Rita Cosby,” Democrat Bernie Sanders stated Donald Trump should release his tax returns, he criticized New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s support of concealed carry permits in the state wachsdaliahand said his focus is on winning a majority of the delegates and then working on the super delegates who favor Hillary Clinton…..Nationally syndicated talk show host Dr. Daliah Wachs collaborated with musician/producer Jacob Gossel to create a new chant song for UNLV’s football and basketball teams.  The tune is called “Rebel Up.”  Wachs – a 1993 grad of the school – says they are working closely with UNLV music professor and band director Tony LaBounty, who says, “‘Rebel Up’ says it all and will help us take it to the next level.”  Hear a bit of the song here…..CBS RADIO St. Louis stations AC KEZK, news/talk KMOX, and hot AC KYKY are presenting “St. Louis Uncorked” on June 3-4 at the intersection of Market and Tucker in downtown St. Louis.  In addition to music from Rachel Platten, Nick Fradiani, Ingrid Michaelson, and We the Kings, local support acts will perform.  Attendees can sample an array of wines, beer, and spirits while tasting food from local vendors throughout the free weekend event.

kfbkdebate16KFBK, Sacramento Holds Mayoral Debate.  Sacramento news/talker KFBK-AM/FM drew about 400 area voters to a mayoral debate on Wednesday (5/11), produced in cooperation with Inside Publications.  The iHeartMedia-owned station’s Kitty O’Neal and John McGuinness hosted the debate along with moderator Bob Graswich at the Clunie Center in Sacramento.  The event was live streamed on KFBK.com and video is available on the station’s website.  Pictured above are (from l-r): McGinness, O’Neal, Graswich, and candidates Angelique Ashby, Darrell Steinberg and Tony Lopez.

Friday, July 11, 2014

| July 11, 2014

weismanstevenDid SiriusXM Have the Right to Fire Anthony Cumia?  A week after satellite broadcaster SiriusXM terminated Anthony Cumia of the “Opie & Anthony” show, TALKERS legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman writes about the underlying legal aspects of the case.  Weisman explains that – although he hasn’t read Cumia’s contract – most performers who sign a contract these days have a morals clause in their deals that give the employer the right to fire employees who do things while off duty that reflect badly on the company.  Weisman offers some history of the morals clause and explains what employees finding themselves in Cumia’s situation might have in their arsenal with which to fight back.  Read Weisman’s entire piece here.

kfbk logoKFBK, Sacramento Gives Gubernatorial Nominee Talk Show Appearance.  In an effort to do what Clear Channel Sacramento VP of programming Ken Charles says is “covering the biggest stories and the most relevant news for Sacramento and California,” news/talk KFBK welcomed Republican gubernatorial nominee Neel Kashkari to the airwaves, allowing him to host a three-hour show last night (7/10) from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm.  Charles said, “We invited both Kashkari and Governor Brown to host a show with us to provide them a unique forum to speak with the citizens of northern California.  We look forward to Kashkari’s appearance tonight and hope we hear from the governor very soon.”

wrightadamWHYN, Springfield to Name Adam Wright Morning Drive Co-Host.  Two weeks after parting company with longtime morning drive co-host Brad Shepard, Clear Channel Springfield, Massachusetts is prepared to announce Adam Hamada Wright will join co-host Bo Sullivan on air for AM drive duties.  Wright operates Westfield, Massachusetts based Advertus Media, a creative and media buying agency, and will continue that business in addition to his radio work.  He says, “WHYN is a heritage news/talk station and I look forward to carrying on an incredible tradition of broadcasting there.  This new additional adventure is the culmination of a lifelong dream of hosting a talk show and the ability to return to radio after 14 years.  I will forever be grateful to Sean Davey and Jerry Hyland for coming up with this insane idea and I will honor those who came before me on this storied station, especially Brad Shepard who I consider an amazing talent and friend.”

kwqw logoDianna Kelly Joins ’98.3 The Torch’ in Des Moines.  Taking on the role of news director for Cumulus Media news/talk outlet KWQW “98.3 The Torch” is Dianna Kelly.  Cumuluskellydianna states that the “experienced broadcast journalist and talk personality has held on-air positions for stations in Kansas City, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Fresno, Jacksonville, Grand Rapids, and suburban Nashville.  She has been honored with six Associated Press awards for her feature reports.”  Kelly says, “What a pleasure to be working with the brightest minds in radio!  The future of radio is here and it’s at Cumulus.  I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of it.”

nielsen logoRound Three of June PPM Data Released.  The third of four rounds of June 2014 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Kansas City, Orlando, and Columbus.  The survey period was May 22 through June 18.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ten Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page of RadioInfo.com here.

costadinoDino Costa Moves Show Base to NYC.  Two months after the former SirusXM sports talk personality Dino Costa began his own internet-based sports talk show at dinocostashow.com, he announces he’s moving his base of operations from Cheyenne, Wyoming to New York City later this summer.  Costa explains on his website that he initially hated life in New York when he first went to work for SiriusXM but, to his own surprise, realized he missed the City after moving back to the West and settling in Cheyenne.  Costa says his show will be MIA for a week when he and his family make the move back to New York.

coxalanOdds & Sods.  Mixing it up a bit is Premiere Networks as the syndicator brings rock/talk WMMS, Cleveland and classic rock WDTW, Detroit personality Alan Cox in to sub for Andy Dean on the “America Now” program on Monday, July 14.  Though Dean is decidedly conservative, Cox likes to operate more in the pop culture/lifestyle arena.  This should be an interesting listen…..A Manhattan street was named for thebrooksstan longtime WINS, New York reporter who passed away last year at age 86, just two weeks after filing his last report for the station.  The New York Daily News reports that the corner of W. 43rd St. and 10th Avenue will bear the name “Stan Brooks Way” as a tribute to the journalist who worked for WINS for almost 50 years.  Brooks and his wife lived near the intersection…..CBS RADIO’s KNX, Los Angeles continues its “KNX On Your Corner” series with a live remote broadcast from northern Orange County on Friday, July 25.  The station says the broadcast will include a series of special reports focusing on important issues in the cities of Brea, La Habra, Yorba Linda and Placentia.  Additionally, local civic leaders will appear as special guests throughout the day as KNX gives listeners insight into the unique attributes of the area.  “Adding to the local flavor of the day, KNX will broadcast live from Arthur’s Coffee Shop in La Habra.  Free refreshments will be offered and the public is invited to meet the people behind the microphones of Southern California’s only all-news radio station.”

freemanedgeTALKERS Weekly Affiliate Update.  “Free Talk Live” featuring Ian Freeman and Mark Edge is added to new affiliate stations WAMT, Orlando; KMET-AM, Banning, California; WGRV, Greeneville, Tennessee; WNNG-FM, Unadilla, Georgia; and WFPA, Ft. Payne, Alabama…..Doug Stephan’s “Good Day” program adds 10 new affiliate stations including KLAV, Las Vegas; WELE, Ormond Beach, Florida; KVNA, Flagstaff, Arizona; and WMXB, Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Child Immigration Crisis Top News/Talk Story This Week.  The influx of minor immigrants from Central America crossing the Southwestern borders and the immigration policy controversy associated with it was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week of July 7-11, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  Following at #2 was the ISIS campaign in Iraq.  At #3 was the Israeli-Palestinian violence and at #4 was the state of President Obama’s approval ratings.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week.  It is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

| June 25, 2014

townsquare logoTownsquare Media to Go Public with IPO Hoping to Raise $144 Million.  The negative spin on this story is that by going public, Townsquare Media becomes another company that must serve shareholders first – with all that that implies.  But the reality is that Townsquare’s backers – Oaktree Capital and GE Capital (with 62% and 18% stakes, respectively) – have poured a lot of cash into building the company’s portfolio of 312 radio stations and number of digital publications.  The company is sitting on $645 million of outstanding debt and the IPO would help put a dent in that if it raises the $145 million it hopes for.  The one aspect of the company’s balance sheet that is turning radio industry watchers’ heads is that, according to its S1 filing, 26% of its revenue is coming from the non-radio end of its operations.  At this point, there is no timetable for the IPO or any report of how much shares will be sold for.

shepardsullivanNew England Radio Pro Brad Shepard Exits WHYN, Springfield.  For the past 11 years, Brad Shepard (left) has co-hosted the morning drive program alongside Bo Sullivan (right) on Clear Channel’s news/talk WHYN, Springfield, Massachusetts.  Now, the station appears to be going with Sullivan alone in the driver’s seat as CC’s Jennifer Powers confirms to Masslive.com that “Brad Shepard is no longer part of WHYN mornings.  We appreciate all of his contributions during his time with us and wish him well.”  Prior to joining Clear Channel Springfield in 2000, Shepard was morning host at crosstown AC WMAS-FM for seven years.  The move appears to be budget related like most of the talent cuts taking place at Clear Channel that TALKERS and RadioInfo have reported this week.

hummtomTALKERS Career Moves.  Las Vegas radio pro Tom Humm inks a new, five-year deal to remain in his vice president and market manager role at Beasley Broadcast Group’s station group there that includes four music stations and news/talk KDWN…..Nicky Sparrow is named the director of sales for the Clear Channel New Orleans station group that consists of six music outlets and news/talk WRNO-FM “Rush Radio 99.5.”

wgn logo newWGN, Chicago to Unveil ‘Walk of Fame.’  This Friday is the day Tribune Company’s WGN Radio will hold the WGN Radio Walk of Fame Induction Ceremony at Pioneer Court in front of Tribune Tower on Michigan Avenue.  The ceremony will be broadcast live on WGN with hosts Steve Cochran and Bob Sirott introducing the 2014 Walk of Fame inductees and interviewing them or their family representatives.  Being inducted this year are: Spike O’Dell, Orion Samuelson, Kathy O’Malley, Wally Phillips (represented by wife, Barbara Phillips), Judy Markey, Quin Ryan (represented by his cousin, Justin O’Brien), Milt Rosenberg, Jack Brickhouse (represented by wife, Pat Brickhouse), Roy Leonard, and Bob Collins (represented by wife, Christine Collins).

nyfest smallThe New York Festivals Announces International Radio Program Award Winners.  Monday evening in New York City, the New York Festivals handed out honors to the winners in the 2014 competition The New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards.  The broad competition included entries from all over the world in a wide spectrum of categories.  Some of the winner from the United States included the American Forces Network; WGBH, Boston; Bloomberg News; and Gary Theroux Productions.  Follow this link and you can search for winners based on country or category.

PodcastOne Targets Young Demos with Brody Jenner Show.  The half-brother of the Kardashian sisters – Brody Jenner – is entering the world of podcasts with co-host andpodcastone logo relationship expert Dr. Mike Dow for a weekly podcast titled, “The Brody Jenner Podcast with Dr. Mike Dow.”  Brody – star of MTV’s “The Hills” – will focus on the love lives of celebrities and the podcast’s audience as they engage them through social media.  PodcastOne founder and CEO Norm Pattiz says, “Brody Jenner has an amazing connection with exactly the target audience we want to build at PodcastOne. We’re now doing business with over 100 of the nation’s biggest brands. We know where we need to go and we’re betting that Brody and Dr. Mike Dow can help get us there.”

deanandyOdds & Sods.  “America Now” host Andy Dean will appear on this Friday’s edition of “Real Time with Bill Maher” on HBO at 10:00 pm ET.  The Premiere Networks-syndicated talk host will be on with journalist Bobby Ghosh and MSNBC anchor Joy Reid…..Former WEEI, Boston sports talk host Glenn Ordway’s digital effort “The Big Show Unfiltered” makes a move on its SiriusXM platform where it is also heard liveordwayglenn from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET.  The show moves from channel 108 to channel 220 for Sirius subscribers but remains on 206 for XM subscribers.  A press release from Ordway’s organization reports the show’s podcasts (which debuted on March 17) “have generated nearly 312,000 listener hours, up from over 252,000 individual listening sessions.  Each of those individual listening sessions, on average, has lasted 1:14, a critical factor in developing listener loyalty.”…..The internet video sports entertainment project 120 Sports debuts this evening at 6:00 pm ET.  120 Sports is collaboration between Time Inc./Sports Illustrated, MLB.com, the NHL, Campus Insiders and Silver Chalice.  120 Sports is described as “a first-of-its-kind network partnership involving multiple leagues and media properties created for the digital generation and the devices it uses most.  In 120 Sports, today’s fans will have access to unauthenticated video programming through a new platform built to intuitively integrate video and data in ways they haven’t experienced before.  The 120 Sports product will debut as free native applications for mobile and tablet devices as well as a web experience at 120Sports.com and other distribution outlets.

Iraq Turmoil-U.S. Military Role, IRS Scandal Testimony, Influx of Illegals in Southwest, Primary Races/State of the GOP, Hillary Clinton Memoir-Financial Status, News Corp Phone Hacking Trial, LeBron James Watch, and World Cup Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/24).  The continuing march of ISIS toward Baghdad and the U.S. military’s potential role in the country’s security; the testimony surrounding the loss of Lois Lerner’s emails by the IRS; the massive influx of minor illegals in the Southwest and concerns about health problems and criminal activity; the primary races for the fall’s mid-term elections and debate over the state of the GOP; Hillary Clinton’s latest memoir and her statements about her financial status; verdicts in the News Corp phone hacking scandal; speculation about the future of NBA star LeBron James; and the hoopla over World Cup action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.