Tag: "Bob Romanik"
Talk Radio Plays Role in Build-Up to Jersey Shore Trump Rally. Local talk radio has been front and center during the two days leading up to President Trump’s rally tonight (1/28) in Wildwood, New Jersey. Pictured above is WNTP, Philadelphia “AM 990 The Answer” morning drive personality Chris Stigall – who broadcast his Tuesday morning show from Wildwood – posing for a selfie with some members of the large crowd gathered near the convention center hoping to get tickets to attend tonight’s event. WPGG, Atlantic City morning drive host Harry Hurley hosted Lara Trump – wife of Eric Trump – on Monday’s program to talk about the president’s rally and the intense demand for tickets. Hurley also had the opportunity to interview “Duke” – the man with the unique designation of being the first person in line at the convention center to get a ticket. Hear that interview here. WPHT, Philadelphia late morning talk host Dom Giordano says, “Due to Wildwood being a small resort town, this became Trumpstock. This became a town taken over by Trump supporters. On air, there was a feeling that this was a once-in-a-lifetime event that resulted in huge crowds in Wildwood.”
Senator Sherrod Brown Seeks Answers About iHeartMedia Layoffs. U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) penned a letter to iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman last week asking for information about the recent “employee dislocation.” In the letter, Brown tells Pittman – after pointing to Pittman’s $9 million bonus in 2017 and $9.3 million incentive bonus in 2018 – “It is difficult enough to understand the decision to continue the hollowing out of local media outlets by laying off disc jockeys in smaller communities. But it is particularly difficult to make sense of this decision given that it came after a significant increase in the company’s executive compensation over the last few years.” Pittman is not bound by law to answer Brown’s questions, but TALKERS suspects he’ll do Brown the courtesy of a reply of some sort. Here are the four questions he’d like answered by February 14: 1) How many workers were affected by iHeartMedia’s recent layoff announcement? Of those workers, how many are in Ohio? 2) The company is reportedly giving severance to the affected workers. Please provide details about the severance provided, including whether it includes severance pay and if so, how much and whether it includes health care benefits, and if so for how long. 3) Is the company giving affected workers priority consideration in the hiring process for any currently open positions in the company? Is the company going to give affected workers priority consideration in the hiring process for any positions that become open in the future? If so, for how long will affected workers be given hiring preference? 4) Is the company offering or paying for any training affected workers might seek to help them find new employment? If so, please provide details about the training offered or paid for, including the type of training, the length of time a worker can pursue such training, and, in the case of training paid for by iHeartMedia, the amount the company will pay for the worker to obtain such training.
FCC Close to Dismissing Renewal Applications for Entertainment Media Trust’s St. Louis Market Stations. An FCC administrative law judge is giving Entertainment Media Trust’s Dennis J. Watkins, trustee, until February 18 to comply with a request for information and an order to show cause why the applications for license renewal for four AM stations and an FM translator construction permit should not be dismissed for failure to prosecute. In an Order to Show Cause, Judge Jane Hinckley Halprin outlines the numerous failures to comply with FCC requests on the part of Trustee Watkins – including not showing up for a December 5, 2019 prehearing conference. This comes almost eight years after petitioner Mark Kern challenged the license renewals of KFTK-AM, East St. Louis; WQQW, Highland, Illinois; KZQZ, St. Louis; and KQQZ, DeSoto, Missouri alleging that Robert Romanik – a convicted felon – is illegally controlling the stations. Kern alleges that Romanik – who operates the stations d/b/a Insane Broadcasting Company – helped fund the Trust’s acquisition of the stations although he’s not part of any FCC applications. Romanik hosts a daily show on KQQZ from 10:00 am to 11:00 am. The website says of his show, “‘The Grim Reaper of Radio’ is not politically correct or politically incorrect, he’s politically insane!!”
Round Four of Holiday PPMs Released. The fourth and final round of ratings data from Nielsen Audio’s Holiday 2019 PPM survey has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Greensboro, Memphis, and Hartford. The survey period was December 5 through January 1. Perhaps on the strength of the Green Bay Packers playoff run and the performance of the first-place Milwaukee Bucks, flagship WTMJ – owned by Good Karma Brands – adds two-tenths to its 6+ weekly AQH share for a 5.9 share and the #4 rank. Cox Media Group’s news/talk WOKV-FM, Jacksonville halts a three-survey slide with a two-tenths increase to finish the Holiday survey at an 8.3 share and the #2 rank. See all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Meanwhile, TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his Ratings Takeaways here.
Impeachment/Bolton Manuscript, Presidential Race, Pompeo-NPR Spat, Coronavirus, Kobe Bryant Death, SCOTUS Immigration Ruling, and Grammy Awards/Race Relations Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/27). The impeachment trial of President Donald Trump and the manuscript penned by former national security adviser John Bolton; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in November; Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s anger with NPR over Ukraine line of questioning; concerns over the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus; the death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant and eight others in a helicopter crash; the Supreme Court overrules a lower court’s stay on the Trump Administration’s “public charge” rule for low income immigrants; and Sunday’s Grammy Awards and allegations of bias against black artists 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 Jayn is promoted to the role of music supervisor for Entercom’s hot AC KLLC “Alice @ 97.3” and alternative KITS “ALT 105.3.” She continues as afternoon drive personality and APD for KLLC. Entercom San Francisco SVP and market manager Greg Nemitz says, “Besides being the musical muse behind ‘Alice’ for the past 16 years, Jayn has been an integral part of the ‘ALT 105.3’ music team alongside APD and music director Aaron Axelsen. Jayn and Aaron together are an unstoppable force and will continue to make these two stations leaders in this market.” Jayn joined “Alice @ 97.3” in 2004 as assistant program director and music director. She expanded her role to midday host in 2006 before transitioning to afternoon drive in 2014…..Cumulus Media’s Westwood One announces six new affiliate stations for the nationally syndicated urban AC show “Rick and Sasha.” They include: WGNU-AM/FM, St. Louis; WMXU-FM, Columbus/Starkville, Mississippi; WKZJ-FM, Columbus, Georgia; KVMA-FM, Shreveport; WQVE-FM, Albany, Georgia; and WBXB-FM, Edenton, North Carolina…..On-air pro Kathy Vogel is moving from Rubber City Radio’s classic rock WONE-FM, Akron where she hosted middays to the company’s new adult contemporary WNWV, Cleveland “107.3 JenY FM” as morning drive personality…..Air personality Tim Burger announces via a Facebook post that he’s exited SummitMedia’s country KFDI-FM, Wichita after three years as part of the morning show. He says, “I am so grateful I was able to be part of a heritage radio station that the people in Wichita have turned to for over 50 years.”…..In the Scranton/Wilkes Barre market, Mark Hoover is promoted to program director for Shamrock Communications’ classic rock WEZX “Rock 107.” Hoover has been serving as afternoon host and promotions coordinator. He’ll continue to handle the afternoon shift and manage the promotions department.
PPM Analysis: All-News. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his monthly look at the performances of radio stations based on 6+ ratings from Nielsen Audio’s March 2018 PPM survey. Today’s report focuses on all-news stations. Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington remains the highest-rated all-newser with a 10.4 AQH share (6+). Big gainers include iHeartMedia’s WBZ-AM, Boston; Entercom’s KYW, Philadelphia; and New York news duo WCBS-AM and WINS-AM. The biggest improvement from the March 2017 survey to this March was iHeartMedia’s KFBK, Sacramento – up by 1.4 shares to an 8.1 AQH share. Both KFBK and WTOP ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets in March. See Kinosian’s entire report here.
Francesa: ‘Time to Return to WFAN.’ After yesterday’s report in the New York Post that former WFAN-AM/FM, New York afternoon drive host Mike Francesa is “desperate” to get back on the air in New York comes Neil Best’s story in Newsday quoting Francesa himself saying, “It is time to return to WFAN.” Best reports that WFAN confirmed “ongoing discussions” with Francesa. A source says Francesa would likely be back in a portion of his old 1:00 pm to 6:30 pm slot. A statement from WFAN adds, “We are very proud of our current lineup at WFAN and that any potential future engagement with Mike will not result in any talent departures.” Entercom hired Chris Carlin, Maggie Gray, and Bart Scott for the 2:00 pm to 6:30 pm show that launched in January. The Newsday piece notes that Carlin, Gray, and Scott talked about Francesa’s return on their Tuesday program and admitted that it looks like Francesa will return to some portion of afternoon drive but said they are planning to be with the station “for a long time.” Read the Newsday piece here.
Missouri State Senator Seeks Action on KQQZ, St. Louis Personality Bob Romanik. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Missouri State Senator Jamilah Nasheed has petitioned the FCC to take action against KQQZ-AM, St. Louis and radio host Bob Romanik for language used on his program. Although the story does not report Romanik’s exact words, Jack Suntrup writes that Romanik’s program “has used the n-word and various misogynistic and homophobic slurs over the years.” Nasheed’s letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai states, in part, “Our nation has witnessed a horrific increase in white nationalist activity, due in part to the normalization and toleration of hate-speech. Too often, racist views are turned into violent action through the encouragement of racist personalities like Mr. Romanik and radio stations like 1190 KQQZ-AM.” She is asking the FCC to fine Romanik and revoke KQQZ’s license. The story quotes station assistant GM Bill Thomas saying, “As soon as they take the n-word off all the black radio stations throughout this country — on all the rap stations, on all the comedic routines that the blacks use the n-word — then we’ll quit using it.” Read the story here.
SiriusXM Reports Q1 2018 Net Income Up 6%. Net income in the first quarter of 2018 for satellite radio operator SiriusXM was $289 million, up from $207 million a year ago (an increase of 6%). It added 330,000 total net subscribers and says that it hit the 33 million-mark for total subscribers for the first time. Operating cash flow climbed 34% to $415 million. SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer says, “SiriusXM has come out of the gate strong in 2018. Our 6% growth in revenue would have been 8% absent the change in generally accepted accounting principles that was effective January 1st, and we are pleased with our 6% growth in adjusted EBITDA given the sharp increase in our music royalties also beginning January 1st. We are on-track to meet all of our full-year guidance, and I’m thrilled to announce we topped 33 million paying subscribers.”
WBZ-AM, Boston Reporter Lana Jones Dies Suddenly at 62. The circumstances surrounding her death have not been made public but longtime radio news pro Lana Jones – a reporter for WBZ-AM, Boston – collapsed at her home late Tuesday and died early this morning (4/25). On its website, WBZ-AM wrote: WBZ News Radio 1030 is deeply saddened by the passing of one of their veteran news reporters, Lana Jones. Lana died suddenly this morning at UMass Medical Center in Worcester. She was an outstanding journalist who will be severely missed by her colleagues and friends in the Boston media. “Lana was the consummate professional who could take a hundred-page Supreme Court Decision and boil it down into a concise report for our listeners,” said Bill Flaherty, WBZ Program Director. “She knew everyone and everything. She will be greatly missed.” Alan Chartrand, President of the iHeartMedia Boston Region, said “I’ve always admired Lana’s work on WBZ Radio. She took the tough stories and made them easy to understand. Our deepest sympathies go out to Lana’s family and the newsroom.” Lana Jones was a general assignment reporter for WBZ Newsradio 1030. Jones began her broadcast career in Toledo, Ohio while studying Special Education at Bowling Green State University. A native of Warren, Ohio, Jones moved to Worcester, Massachusetts in 1981 to join the staff of WAAF. There she anchored the news and hosted a weekly talk show on local youth issues. From 1983 to 1988, Jones was a news anchor and reporter for WMJX, Boston. She worked as a reporter for the former WHDH radio from 1989 to 1991. Jones is survived by her husband Steve who resides in Worcester, Massachusetts.
TALKERS News Notes. The acquisition of Tribune’s television and radio assets by Sinclair Broadcast Group is getting a little closer to a done deal after Sinclair agreed to divest of 23 television stations in 18 markets in order to assuage the Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission. As a result, WGN-AM (along with WGN-TV) will be part of the new Sinclair. Previously, the company had planned to sell the Chicago radio and TV stations but operate them via joint sales and shared services agreements…..Entercom Communications will announce its first quarter 2018 financial results on Tuesday, May 8. This will be the first full quarter Entercom has been operating the former CBS RADIO stations since that acquisition closed in November of 2017…..Cumulus Media news/talk WBAP, Dallas “News/Talk 820 AM” is hosting the third annual WeatherCon at the Frontiers of Flight Museum this Saturday, April 28. The event is a free, family-friendly event that features informative and entertaining weather seminars throughout the day, including a session hosted by WBAP chief meteorologist Brad Barton with WFAA-TV chief meteorologist Pete Delkus…..Nationally syndicated “Motley Fool Money” with host Chris Hill adds new affiliate stations WNTK-FM, New London and WUVR-AM, Lebanon in New Hampshire…..The “Financial Focus Radio” show moves from affiliate KUIK to crosstown KBNP in Portland. The weekly show is hosted by Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management partners Troy Reinhart and Tyler Simones…..The long-running “Freakonomics Radio” podcast is moving from the WNYC platform to Midroll Media’s Stitcher platform. Stitcher has inked journalist and best-selling author Stephen J. Dubner to co-produce the podcast and to expand the “Freakonomics Radio” brand through existing and new content.
Trump-Macron Visit, Trump’s Kim Jong Un Comment, Judge’s DACA Decision, Trump-Russia Investigation/Comey Book, Ronny Jackson Nomination, Deadly Toronto Van Attack, NRA-Yeti Flap, and MLB Action and NBA Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/24). The official state visit by French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte with President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania; criticism of President Trump’s statement calling North Korea dictator Kim Jong Un “very honorable”; U.S. District Judge John D. Bates rules against President Trump’s attempt to end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the related book by fired FBI Director James Comey; White House physician Ronny Jackson’s imperiled secretary of veteran affairs nomination due to allegations of professional misconduct; the case of accused Toronto van attacker Alek Minassian; the destruction of Yeti products by NRA members upset over a change in the company’s discount programs; and Major League Baseball action and the NBA playoffs 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. Three programming pros get new roles with iHeartMedia’s Arizona region, all effective May 3. Reid Spivey is named assistant program director and PM drive host for country KNIX, Phoenix. He was most recently APD for sister CHR KZZP and hot AC KMXP. Spivey will work with music director Lois “Double L” Lewis and program director Steve Geofferies. Rameen Madani joins iHeartMedia Phoenix as assistant program director for KZZP and KMXP. David Adams has added duties as program director for KDWR-LP “My 92.9,” where he will be responsible for the day-to-day programming operations and work closely with on-air personalities and sales to oversee the station’s on-air content, digital footprint and music programming. He will continue to serve as senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia Tucson…..Josh Martinez is named program director for iHeartMedia’s CHR WKFS, Cincinnati “Kiss 107.1.” Previously, Martinez served as program director for stations in Dayton and Cedar Rapids and as a music director in Des Moines. Cincinnati market president DJ Hodge says, “We knew this was the right time to promote Josh Martinez to program director. Since the time he arrived, he has made significant inroads to improve both the trajectory of the station and our ability to successfully engage with our growing audience. The future is very bright for both Josh and ‘Kiss 107.1.’”…..Max Kachinske takes on the newly-created position of corporate programming assistant at Midwest Communications. The position is based in Green Bay and Kachinske will leave his evening show gig at Neuhoff Media’s WFMB-FM, Springfield, Illinois. Kachinske says, I’m beyond excited to begin working with such a respected programmer in Jeff McCarthy and the amazing group at Midwest Communications. This is something I couldn’t begin to dream up that became a reality. I can’t wait to get started.”…..Pittsburgh country outlet WDSY “Y108” announces the lineup for the station’s 7thannual “Y108 8 Man Jam” concert. The show will feature: Joe Nichols, David Lee Murphy, Eric Paslay, Jordan Davis, Michael Tyler, Cale Dodds, Ryan Hurd, and Mitchell Tenpenny on Thursday, May 24 at Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh’s North Shore.
Slaten Exits KFNS, St. Louis; Teases Move to Political Talk. Incendiary St. Louis sports talk personality Kevin Slaten has exited the Randy Markel-owned sports talk station KFNS and told listeners on Friday (8/12) that he’s planning to join one of the Bob Romanik-operated stations in the market – either talk-oldies KZQZ or talk-country KQQZ – to host a political talk program. This comes as KFNS is preparing to bring market sports talk pro Tim McKernan aboard on September 1 to serve as director of day-to-day operations. McKernan is also becoming part owner of KFNS. Markel tells the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Dan Caesar that the brokered business model is not making money for him and that has to change. According to Caesar’s report, the Romanik-Slaten deal is not a sure thing. Slaten said if he and Romanik can work something out, he expects to launch a new show in two weeks. Slaten’s co-host Owen Schroyer is moving to Texas to join Alex Jones’ Infowars.com as a reporter.
Daunic Joins Midday Show at WPRT, Nashville. Sports talk personality Willy Daunic is remaining with The Cromwell Group’s WPRT, Nashville “ESPN 102.5 The Game” after his afternoon drive co-host George Plaster recently announced his exit from the station – and the business – to take a position with Belmont University. Last week, the station revealed that Jared Stillman and former Plaster co-host Floyd Reese are the new afternoon drive team. Now, we learn that Daunic is moving to middays to work with Darren McFarland and Derrick Mason on the “3D” show.
The Vertical Podcast Network Programming to Air on SiriusXM. A new programming relationship between SiriusXM and Yahoo Sports’ The Vertical Podcast Network franchise has begun that brings the popular pro basketball driven series, featuring stars Woj, J.J. Redick, and Chris Mannix to SiriusXM. The Vertical Podcast Network is “powered” by DGital Media. SiriusXM VP of sports programming Steve Cohen says, “Adrian, Chris and J.J. offer pro basketball fans exceptional reporting and insight, making ‘The Vertical Podcast’ an excellent addition to SiriusXM. We’re pleased to work with Yahoo Sports and DGital Media to deliver this dynamic content to our subscribers and further enhance SiriusXM as a premier destination for fans who want to get closer to their sport.”
Odds & Sods. KLSD, San Diego “Fox Sports Xtra 1360” launches its new program lineup that consists of Hardwick & Richards in AM drive featuring former San Diego Chargers center Nick Hardwick and station personality Judson Richards; Fox Sports’ Colin Cowherd; the Mark & Rich show with market media pro Mark Willard and former Chargers guard Rich Ohrnberger; and the Loose Cannons remaining in afternoon drive…..Sports media pro Morgan Patrick is back working Carolina Hurricanes radio shows co-hosting “The Stormfront” with Hurricanes play-by-play man Chuck Kaiton and co-hosting “The Aftermath” with Hurricanes TV analyst John Forslund. Patrick co-hosted the team’s pre- and post-game shows from 1999 through 2006…..AdLarge Media is adding popular podcast “The 5 AM Miracle with Jeff Sanders” to its roster of shows for which it provides exclusive ad sales representation…..CBS RADIO is presenting a special edition of “The Taz Show: Bodyslams & Beyond airing after wrestling’s summer premiere event on Sunday, August 21 from 11:00 pm to 2:00 am ET. Taz will host a live, three-hour program on CBS Sports Radio and various CBS RADIO sports stations…..Good Karma Brands’ WUUB, Jupiter and WEFL, Tequesta will air Miami Dolphins football play-by-play in the West Palm Beach market this season. English broadcasts will air on WUUB, and WEFL will air the games in Spanish…..Daniel McDonald, former executive director of programming and consumer research at National Geographic Channels, is the new vice president of research for the National Association of Broadcasters. He takes over for Tanya Van Pool.
The Presidential Race, Milwaukee Violence/Protests, Rio Olympics, NYC Imam Slain, Louisiana Floods, and MLB Action Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The activities of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump; the violence and protests in Milwaukee after police shoot and kill an armed black suspect; the Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro; the murder of a NYC imam and his aid; the historic floods ravaging parts of Louisiana; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Take Me Out to the Ball Game. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison (r) paid a visit yesterday (8/14) to the WEEI, Boston broadcast booth at the legendary Fenway Park before the start of an interleague 16-2 Red Sox blowout of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Harrison is pictured with Phil Zachary (l), Entercom Communications’ VP/market manager for its New England cluster. Harrison was shown around the historic stadium by Zachary, including the press box where he met iconic Boston Globe sports writer and Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Dan Shaughnessy (c). Harrison says, “WEEI does an excellent job of presenting the Red Sox games and the way they maximize their connection to the team in terms of promotion and marketing is nothing short of extraordinary. It is the model radio/baseball relationship in one of the nation’s outstanding sports markets.” When asked why he wasn’t wearing a Red Sox cap, Harrison said, “As you know, although I have a soft spot in my heart for the New England clubs, I try to remain non-partisan – even in sports. Instead, Harrison was wearing a cap promoting “a team we can all get behind – the Broadcasters Foundation of America.”