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Monday, December 10, 2018

| December 10, 2018

Report: Cumulus Interested in WGN-AM, Chicago.  According to a report by Chicago media writer Robert FederCumulus Media – owner of news/talk WLS-AM, classic hits WLS-FM and alternative WKQX – is interested in buying legendary news/talk WGN-AM.  Television station company Nexstar has bid to acquire Tribune Media – 42 TV stations, numerous digital properties and cable channel WGN America – for $4.1 billion.  A report in Crain’s Business Chicago indicates that although Nexstar is “in no hurry” to sell WGN-AM, it is not planning to build out a  radio division and will likely sell the station.  None of the major radio operators are up against the AM ownership cap in Chicago so Cumulus, Entercom, Hubbard or iHeartMedia could be contenders to acquire the station.  Feder says that Cumulus Media president and CEO Mary Berner told staffers Cumulus would be interested in the station.

John Hanson Named Program Director for WCCO-AM, Minneapolis.  Taking over after the departure last month of station OM and PD Andy Bloom as program director for news/talk WCCO-AM is John Hanson.  He joins the station from the company’s Kansas City sports talk duo KCSP “610 Sports Radio” and KWOD “1660 The Score.”  Entercom Twin Cities SVP and market manager Shannon Knoepke says, “John brings extensive knowledge of the Minneapolis community to his new role with 830 WCCO. I trust our listeners will enjoy the innovative and exciting programing that he will add to the station.”  Prior to joining Entercom in 2013, Hanson co-hosted “Twin Cities Live” on KSTP-TV, Minneapolis.

Jeff Styles Returns to the Air in Chattanooga. Former WGOW-FM, Chattanooga morning drive personality Jeff Styles is back on the air in the market today on Brewer Broadcasting’s news/talk WPLZ-HD4/W224AZ “NoogaRadio 92.7 FM” for a daily show in the 8:00 am to 10:00 am slot.  Styles was let go from WGOW by Cumulus Media after being arrested during a road rage incident in which he was shot in the arm by the other motorist.  The case was bound over to a grand jury but the charges against him were dropped.  WGOW subsequently named midday host Brian Joyce host of “The Morning Press” with co-hosts Jim Reynolds and Kevin West.  Styles’ new program is called “Fred the Show” – Fred stands for Free Radio Every Day – and Styles says, “I’m excited to have a platform to listen, and talk to, listeners again…I’m chomping at the bit, excited to stir things up!”

Doug McIntyre to Exit KABC, Los Angeles. Longtime KABC-AM, Los Angeles personality Doug McIntyre announces he’s leaving the Cumulus Media news/talk station after his contract expires at the end of this month.  McIntyre is also a columnist for the Los Angeles Daily News.  In a Tweet, McIntyre says, “Time for me to say goodbye.  After 22 years, I will do my last show at KABC this Friday, December 14th.  What a great run and wonderful experience it has been.  This was a tough call, but I appreciate KABC management for for respecting my decision.”

Nielsen Audio: News/Talk Top Format in PPM Markets.  According to data from Nielsen Audio, overall (Persons 6+), news/talk is the most-listened-to radio format of 2018 to this point with 10% of the AQH audience. Looking at the 25-54 demographic, CHR was again the dominant format with 8% of the AQH audience.  Although news/talk’s audience skews older, it still was the third most-listened-to format (tied with adult contemporary) with 7% of the AQH audience.  Keep in mind that Nielsen lumps public radio news/talk in with its commercial brethren and that certainly adds some youth to that figure, as it likely does with the 18-34 demo, in which news/talk scores 4.3% of the AQH share.

The Bob & Tom Show Renews with iHeartMedia for 13 Affiliate Stations. The nationally syndicated “Bob & Tom” show announces it has struck a renewal deal with iHeartMedia to continue being carried by 13 of the company’s radio stations, including home base WFBQ, Indianapolis; WQMF, Louisville; WTUE, Dayton and more.  The program is distributed by Westwood One.  Show host Tom Griswold says, “Thanks to [EVP/GM iHeartMedia national programming group] Brad Hardin and all the folks at iHeart for keeping our long relationship moving forward.  Many of these stations have been with us for years, so they are jewels in the ‘Bob & Tom’ crown.  Actually, we started our syndication at WFBQ and we’re happy to continue our close and unique tie with that special group in Indianapolis.”

Kim Komando Show to Air on Bloomberg TV in January. Beginning on Saturday, January 5, the new, television version of the weekly Kim Komando program will air on the Bloomberg Television Network at 4:00 pm ET.  Komando’s show is produced by her WestStar Multimedia Entertainment firm and the TV show will be produced at WestStar’s $8 million broadcast center in Phoenix.  Komando says, “We’re thrilled to take our content to an international audience.  We’re taking what we’ve perfected on the airwaves over the last 20 years, reaching millions of Americans each week and sharing it worldwide.  How cool is that?”  The press release says that the program “will be expertly produced to speak to Bloomberg’s loyal audience of business executives, industry leaders, investors, and entrepreneurs.”  Komando adds, “We’re all about tech wellness and helping consumers use technology to enrich their lives and improve their businesses.”

TALKERS News Notes. In a report by Paul Farhi in The Washington Post, it’s revealed that NPR employs “an army of temps” that for them creates a “workplace of anxiety and insecurity.”  Farhi writes, “Without temporary workers — who are subject to termination without cause — NPR would probably be unable to be NPR.  Temps do almost every important job in NPR’s newsroom: They pitch ideas, assign stories, edit them, report and produce them.  Temps not only book the guests heard in interviews, they often write the questions the hosts ask the guests.”  Temp workers are covered under NPR’s union contract and they make a base salary as per that contract.  According to the piece, about 20%-22% of NPR’s 483 union staffers are temps…..iHeartMedia and Learfield announce that new Milwaukee sports talk outlet WRNW “97.3 The Game” will serve as the new radio home of the Wisconsin Badger Sports Network in Milwaukee.   iHeartMedia division president Jeff Tyler comments, “We have enjoyed great success with many of our new sports/talk and entertainment brands and are excited about the launch of ‘97.3 The Game’ for Milwaukee and Southwestern Wisconsin.  We are also pleased to continue and expand our longtime partnership with Learfield’s Badgers Sports Properties and the University of Wisconsin with ‘The Game,’ ‘The Big 920’ and all the other Milwaukee stations and of course our iHeartRadio brand.”…..National radio rep firm Gen Media Partners announces its acquisition of  Regional Reps and The Tacher Company.  In a press release, GMP says, “While the newly acquired companies will continue to operate on behalf of the radio stations they represent, Gen Media Partners’ combined roster of 4,000 radio station partners will create more opportunities for national advertisers, particularly when they are looking for scale in radio.”  GMP CEO Kevin Garrity says, “With the increased scale and reach, we can develop more national opportunities and generate more agency business for our independent radio partners, while we continue to provide the exceptional service and support that are our hallmark.”  Regional Reps chairman Stuart Sharpe exits while Greg Tacher and Joe Costello of The Tacher Company and Jeff Slivka of Regional Reps remain with their respective companies and take on expanded roles within the Gen Media Partners organization.

Trump-Russia Investigation, Trump Cabinet, Financial Markets Activity, Charlottesville Murder Conviction, Southeast Winter Storm, Paris Riots, Huawei CFO Arrest, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; changes in the Trump cabinet as William Barr to be nominated for attorney general, Heather Nauert to be UN ambassador; and questions arise about a new chief of staff; the huge stock selloff and the activity on the world’s financial markets; James Alex Fields Jr. is convicted of murder in the death of Heather Heyer at the 2017 Charlottesville protests; a winter storm dumps heavy snow in the Southeast; France continues to deal with violent protests over economic matters; the tense U.S.-China relations after the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver, BC; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

PPM Analysis: Urban Contemporary. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s November 2018 PPM survey, today looking at urban contemporary.  Three PPM market urban contemporary stations had improved more than a share over the November 2017 survey: Urban One’s WQOK, Raleigh “K97.5” (up 1.5); iHeartMedia’s WZRL, Indianapolis “Real 98.3” (up 1.4); and Urban One’s WERQ, Baltimore “92 Q Jams” (up 1.1). There are no urban contemporary outlets that rank #1 in their markets (6+), but WQOK, WERQ, and iHeartMedia’s WUBT, Nashville all ranked #2 in their respective markets in the November 2018 survey. See the whole report here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The Toledo Blade reports a major shuffle of morning show talent at the Cumulus Media cluster in Toledo.   Beginning next Monday (12/17), classic hits WRQN morning hosts Cliff and Lyn will join Gary Shores on country WKKO-FM, 99.9 “K-100.”  Denny Schaffer’s morning team moves from hot AC WQQO-FM to WRQN.   Meanwhile Eric Chase, who handles evenings on WQQO, assumes mornings on the station.  The following Monday (12/21), Jeremy “Pyke” Peterson takes over mornings on classic rock WXKR-FM as Mark Benson retires after a 22-year stint with the station…..In Seattle, Michael Kraig exits Hubbard Broadcasting’s country KNUC where he’d been handling the evening show.

Monday, October 29, 2018

| October 29, 2018

Galaxy Media Promotes Carrie Wojtaszek to COO. The chief operating officer position is a new one at Galaxy Media and the company promotes Carrie J. Wojtaszek, adding COO to her existing role as general manager of Galaxy events.  Now, Wojtaszek will be responsible for the company’s 13 radio stations, digital division, and sports marketing organization.  Galaxy president and CEO Ed Levine says, “It’s hard to quantify the impact that Carrie has had on Galaxy. Carrie and Pam Levine have built Galaxy Events from nothing to a nationally known brand.  I’m excited to watch the impact that she will have in all of our divisions in the coming years.”  Wojtaszek’s appointment comes as Galaxy has completed a near-$10 million refinancing of the company.  Levine adds, “Our balance sheet has never been stronger and with the buying out of our former private equity partners, Galaxy is truly poised to become the pinnacle of a locally owned modern media company.”

ESPN Reports ‘Record-Setting’ Podcast Listening in September. Saying that downloads of its podcasts have risen 50% in a year and that its unique audience is up 36%, ESPN calls September a record-setting month for its podcasts.  The company says, “ESPN podcasts set a record for any month in September with 39.3 million IAB compliant downloads, breaking the record of 36 million set in May of this year, as measured by RawVoice.  ESPN podcasts tallied a total of 5.47 million US Unique Audience, as measured by Podtrac.”  ESPN’s top podcast performers also include many ESPN radio and television shows.  The Dan LeBatard show led the way with 8.2 million downloads, followed by “Fantasy Focus Football,” then “First Take” and “538: Politics” at 2.8 million, “Pardon the Interruption” with a new monthly record of 2.7 million, “Golic & Wingo” at 2.2 million, “Jalen & Jacoby” at 1.3 and the Stephen A. Smith show at 1.2 million.

iHeartRadio Now Heard South of the Border. Through a deal with Mexican broadcaster Grupo ACIR, iHeartMedia is now making the iHeartRadio platform
available throughout Mexico.  iHeartRadio Mexico is available now in beta with the official launch November 3 at the iHeartRadio Fiesta Latina.  iHeartRadio Mexico will include all 56 Grupo ACIR and 850 iHeartMedia live broadcast radio stations from across Mexico and the U.S., iHeartRadio’s digital only programming and Grupo ACIR’s own offer of digital-only stations featuring the most popular genres in Mexico.

An Interview with George Noory. Nationally syndicated late-night talk show host George Noory is the subject of an interview with public relations executive Ryan McCormick, who also hosts his own radio program titled, “The Outer Limits of Inner Truth.”  In this interview McCormick and Noory talk about Noory’s succeeding Art Bell, the phenomenal success of “Coast to Coast AM,” and more.  Read it here.

TALKERS News Notes. On Election Day – Tuesday, November 6 – FOX News Radio is presenting special election night coverage for affiliates beginning at 6:00 pm ET anchored by Jared Halpern, along with analysis and the latest on key races.  Guy Benson and Marie Harf – co-hosts of “Benson & Harf” (6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET) – are hosting a three-hour, live midterm election special in addition to participating in FOX News Channel’s “AEHQ: 2018 Midterms.” Additionally, FOX News Headlines 24/7 will provide updates every 15 minutes on SiriusXM with correspondents reporting live from around the country.….The murder trial of Steven Avery in Wisconsin in 2007 was the subject of the popular podcast “Rebutting a Murderer.”  Now, iHeartRadio announces that part two of that investigative crime podcast “Rebutting a Murderer” premiered on Friday with new episodes.  The podcast is hosted by reporter Dan O’Donnell, who covered the trial, and continues to explore the controversial case that was chronicled in a Netflix show that gained a massive cult following…..Entercom’s Philadelphia radio stations – including sports talk WIP-FM, news/talk WPHT, and all-news KYW – have partnered with the Travis Manion Foundation’s Operation Legacy Service Project in Abington, Pennsylvania to renovate the home of Iraqi War veteran Matthew Renner.  Entercom Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff  says, “As a partner with the Travis Manion Foundation since 2011, Entercom is proud to support and empower veterans to get back on their feet and achieve their goals. Supporting Iraqi War veteran Matthew Renner and the Operation Legacy Service Project is something we are honored to be a part of.”…..Pictured below is Tom Griswold of the syndicated “Bob & Tom Show” made up for his role as the Haunted Sportscaster at The Children’s Museum Guild’s 55th Annual Haunted House in Indianapolis.  As a celebrity haunter, Griswold will greet about 60,000 haunted house visitors to help raise funds for The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.  Last year, The Children’s Museum Guild raised $722,000 through its haunted house, which has been an Indianapolis tradition since 1964 and has raised a total of $12.7 million over the years.

The Production and Distribution of Food in the 21st Century Is Topic of Harrison Podcast.  One of the nation’s leading experts on the production and distribution of food in the 21st century, Michael Olson, is a guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  In addition to his current position as GM of news/talk outlets KSCO and KOMY in Santa Cruz, California, Olson is the host/producer of a long-running, nationally syndicated talk radio show titled, “Food Chain Radio.”  He’s written feature stories about the subject in the San Francisco Chronicle and San Francisco Examiner, participated in producing network television documentaries for NBC Magazine with David Brinkley, authored several award-winning books, including MetroFarm and Tales From A Tin Can.  He has spoken and consulted about food domestically and internationally.  Olson joins Harrison in an informative discussion about the growing food crisis.  Our food is increasingly being produced on farms and in factories, far from our home communities and the transportation infrastructure by which we receive it is indeed fragile.  We don’t know what’s in the food in terms of chemicals, pesticides, preservatives, and other toxic substances.  Then again, many of us do know the scary truth and often feel powerless to do anything about it.  Then, there’s the GMO issue which most of us don’t fully comprehend.  Are we being poisoned by a short sighted, greedy system?  Are we poisoning ourselves through ignorance and distraction?  To listen to this timely podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS newsletter and on every page of Talkers.com.

Pittsburgh Synagogue Slayings, Democrat-Targeted Mail Bombs, Midterm Elections, Migrant Caravan, Hillary in 2020?, NFL Action, and World Series Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The deadly assault on a Pittsburgh synagogue that took the lives of 11; the case of mail bomber Cesar Sayoc; the November midterm elections and the battle for control of the House and Senate; the migrant caravan making its way through Mexico to the U.S. border; speculation about whether Hillary Clinton will run for president in 2020; the weekend’s NFL action; and the Boston Red Sox triumph over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World series were some of the stories discussed on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Rochester, Entercom promotes Chris Debbins to assistant program director at CHR WPXY.  He will continue his current roles as music director and afternoon drive personality. Speaking about his new role, Debbins says,“I am honored to be able to grow my career with this new role at ‘98 PXY.’ I look forward to working closely with program director Mike Danger as we continue presenting our listeners with fresh top 40 programming each and every day.”  Debbins joined ‘98 PXY’ in April 2014 as producer for the station’s morning show…..At Southern California hip hop duo KDAY/KDEY, Paulina is named host of the 10:00 am to 3:00 pm program.  She began with Meruelo Media working on the “Power 106/KDAY” street team.  Meruelo vice president of programming Jimmy Steal says,  “Paulina has been filling in middays and has done an awesome job both on air and on site.  She will be a great asset to both KDAY sales and programming.  This is another great example of great in-house talent at Meruelo Media being promoted from within.  Paulina has worked hard on her skillset, focused on building her equity, and moved up within our KDAY/Power 106 ecosystem.”…..At Alpha Media’s WHBC-FM, Canton, Ohio, Gabe Carrillo is named program director and afternoon drive host, effective November 1.  Carrillo comes to WHBC from his most recent position with Saga Communications CHR WNRG, Milwaukee “Energy 106.9.”  Carrillo says, “I’m very excited to be joining a true hall of fame station like ‘Mix 94.1.’  The dream of any broadcaster is to work with a station that is a cornerstone in its community and I’m beyond thankful to Alpha Media, Bo MatthewsLarry Gawthrop, and Phil Becker for giving me the opportunity to join this great team.”

Friday, September 28, 2018

| September 28, 2018

Talk Personalities, News/Talk Stations Finish Strong in 2018 Marconi Awards. At the 2018 RAB/NAB Radio Show last night, the winners of the 2018 Marconi Awards from the National Association of Broadcasters were announced and talk radio personalities took home four of the five Personality of the Year honors.  Premiere NetworksDan Patrick was honored with Network/Syndicated Personality of the Year; WDBO-FM, Orlando morning host Joe Kelley was named Large Market Personality of the Year; KSRO-AM, Santa Rosa morning host Pat Kerrigan received the Medium Market Personality of the Year award; and WSOY-AM, Decatur, Illinois morning host Brian Byers was honored with the Small Market Personality of the Year award.  Meanwhile, Hubbard Radio’s WTOP, Washington was named News/Talk Station of the Year; Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta took home the Major Market Station of the Year; Cox’s news/talk WDBO-FM, Orlando won Large Market Station of the Year; and Amaturo Sonoma Media Group’s KSRO-AM, Santa Rosa was Medium Market Station of the Year.  Entercom’s WEEI-FM, Boston was the Sports Station of the Year.  See all the winners here.

Alleged Co-Conspirator Fingers Carton in Plea Deal. According to the New York Post’s reportMichael Wright – the man alleged to be former WFAN morning host Craig Carton’s co-conspirator in the alleged concert ticket racket – told a federal judge that Carton directed him to use funds from investors to pay off Carton’s personal expenses, including gambling debts.  Wright has struck a plea deal with prosecutors to testify against Carton at his October 29 fraud trial that alleges Carton and his accomplices used $4.6 million from investors to repay other investors and to pay off debts.  The story says Wright is likely to get a 21- to 27-month sentence instead of the 20 years a conviction could carry.  Carton has maintained his innocence all along and says he expects to show that at his coming trial.

Adams Radio Group Goes with TTWN for ‘24/7 News Source.’ The deal between Total Traffic and Weather Network and Adams Radio Group calls for the former to provide its “24/7 News Source” wire service to Adams’ 24 stations operating in five markets.  The service includes news, sports, show-prep, and audio content. Adams Radio Group president and CEO Ron Stone comments, “Adams Radio Group is live, local, and focused on super-serving our listeners.  TTWN continues to innovate all aspects of its media content solutions.  We’re thrilled to leverage our new partnership with ‘24/7 News Source’ to enhance our on-air and online products.”

Seen & Heard at the Radio Show: Day 3TALKERS magazine special features correspondent Jeff McKay is in Orlando reporting from the 2018 RAB/NAB Radio Show at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek.  In today’s report, McKay reveals the hot topics he’s hearing discussed in the hallways of this year’s conference.  He also shares some thoughts from NAB EVP of communications Dennis Wharton on what he sees for radio over the six to 12 months.  Read his report here.

TALKERS News Notes. As part of the contract extension with award-winning journalist Don Van Natta Jr., ESPN will expand his role across its platforms, including as host of two new series slated to debut in 2019.  Van Natta will increase his contributions to ESPN’s investigative news show “Outside the Lines,” and he’s developing an interview podcast called, “The Triangle.”  Working with executive producer John Dahl, Van Natta will lead a “three-way discussion featuring provocative pairings that explore topics and shared histories with a level of depth, storytelling and, at times, conflict likely to test the comfort zones of all involved.”…..Cumulus Media’s sports talk KTCK-AM/FM, Dallas “The Ticket” extends its deal with the NHL’s Dallas Stars to continue serving as the club’s exclusive radio broadcast home.  Cumulus Houston regional vice president Dan Bennett says, “We are entering our 10th season as the flagship station of Dallas Stars hockey and we are proud to extend our relationship with the Stars for another five years. Thank you to team CEO Jim Lites for his continued faith in the Ticket to represent his great brand.”…..Pictured below is the cast of the nationally syndicated “Bob & Tom Show” performing live in North Foyer of the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek at the 2018 Radio Show.  Host Tom Griswold and the cast, including Chick McGee, Josh Arnold, Kristi LeeDonnie Baker, Allee Breen, Al JacksonGrace Yinger and Jessica Alsman, broadcast live Wednesday through Friday morning.

WOR Morning Co-Host and New York Post Broadway Theater Critic Michael Riedel Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast.  Legendary New York Post Broadway theater critic, Michael Riedel is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  Six months ago, Riedel was named as co-host with sports media veteran Len Berman of the WOR, New York morning show.  Together, these two well-known NYC media figures collegially discuss and dissect the hot issues of the day and interview newsmakers from a friendly left-right perspective (Riedel describes himself as an “Eisenhower Republican with a libertarian position on social issues”).  Harrison and Riedel talk about the process of doing news/talk radio in the Trump era and then take a deep dive into the world of Broadway, newspapers, and theater criticism.  Harrison states, “Michael Riedel is a fabulous conversationalist and a walking-talking history book of the fascinating universe that is Broadway and its role in almost 100 years of American popular culture.  This installment of the podcast is one of my personal favorites because it takes an intelligent and revealing look at the confluence of two of my biggest passions – radio and the theater.”  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.

Talking Content at the Alpha Media Programming PopUp. — Pictured above are Alpha Media programming execs doing a panel discussion at the company’s “Programming PopUp” — a two-day get-together held Wednesday and Thursday at HQ in Portland for some 50 Alpha programmers.  From left to right are: national director of digital content Ernie Martinez, vice president of content Phil Becker, and executive vice president of content Scott Mahalick

Kavanuagh-Ford Hearing Top News/Talk Story for Week of September 24-28.  Thursday’s hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee of testimony from accuser Christine Blasey Ford and Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was the investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents.  Coming in at #3 was President Trump’s addresses at the United Nations, followed by the president’s accusation that China is trying to interfere in the U.S. elections 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. See this week’s entire chart here.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Philadelphia, Entercom names radio sales pro Blaise Howard general sales manager for its recent acquisition, hot AC WBEB “101.1 More FM,” effective October 1.  In a press announcement, Entercom notes that Howard led WBEB for 18 years as vice president and general manager under previous management in which he “created a culture of high performing professionals and consistently maintained the status as one of the top rated and top revenue producing stations in the Philadelphia market.”  Howard says, “I can’t wait to start this new chapter with Entercom and be a part of the team led by Dave Scopinich and David Yadgaroff.  I am excited to take a step forward with a company so positive about our industry, and so committed to the growth of radio.”…..iHeartMedia’s Seattle hip hop outlet KUBE launches the new morning program “The Wake Up Show,” effective October 1. The new show will be hosted by Strawberry, Lizette Love, Jenna and DJ Supa Sam.  Station program director Mark Adams says, “In the few months since the re-launch, Seattle listeners have responded passionately to the return of KUBE and we’re creating noise on-air, online, and on the streets. With the addition of these personalities to anchor our mornings, I’m confident ‘The Wake Up Show’ is going to shake things up.”…..Longtime St. Louis on-air personality DC is moving south to Gulf South-owned CHR WKMX, Dothan, Alabama to serve as afternoon host and brand manager.  DC, a.k.a. Christian Chymes, spent 20-plus years as one half of the “Steve & DC” team with Steve Shannon.  DC comments, “My career began in Alabama and I am so excited to be back.  I’m honored to lead the staff at such a legendary station in the market.  I was sold after meeting [station manager] Bryan Holladay and his team, as well as getting a little taste of the winning atmosphere in the building.  And great BBQ is crucial for a good quality of life!”

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

| April 4, 2017

KOGO, San Diego Adds Higgins to Evening Lineup.  San Diego news/talker KOGO adjusts its evening lineup by announcing that the station’s Marilyn Hyder and Jack Cronin are now co-hosting “San Diego’s Evening News” weeknights from 6:00 to 7:00 and that it is welcoming local personality Ben Higgins back as host of “KOGO at Night,” from 7:00 to 9:00.  Higgins has served with the iHeartMedia station as a talk host, and anchor on the “San Diego’s Morning News” program.  He is also sports director at Scripps TV’s KGTV-TV “ABC 10News,” a position he’ll continue to hold.  Higgins comments, “I’m thrilled to return to my KOGO roots and work alongside San Diego’s top talk radio professionals.  It’s an amazing opportunity to be able to carry on a nightly conversation about the things that make us laugh, shake our heads or make us want to scream.” Program director Brian Long adds, “I’m excited about Marilyn and Jack co-hosting ‘San Diego’s Evening News’ and Ben’s return to the station.  Ben is a smart and versatile talent who brings a lot of experience and a strong sense of community and with these two shows, KOGO will deliver a top-notch evening line-up for San Diego listeners.”

Nielsen: 18+ Consumption of News Spikes in 2016. Election years are traditionally good to producers of news content, and 2016 measured up very well, according to data from Nielsen‘s Total Audience Report.  This latest piece of data does not compare the election cycle of 2012 to 2016, but instead compares 2015 to 2016.  Still, the increase in minutes of news (by persons 18+) consumed jumped 18% year-over-year.  Nielsen reports that last year, adults 18+ spent more than 72.5 billion minutes consuming news in the average week, with most of the increase coming from national cable news networks.  For this report, Nielsen is using its panel methodology for national TV, local TV in LPM markets, radio in PPM markets, and digital.  Measured in billions of minutes, consumption of radio news in PPM markets increased by 0.9, while consumption of news via smartphones was up just 0.5.  As mentioned earlier, national cable news TV consumption spiked by 8.3 billion minutes from 2015 to 2016.  See the Nielsen report here.

CBS Sports Radio Adds Reiter for Nights.  Starting April 17, Bill Reiter begins hosting his “Reiter Than You” sports talk show on CBS Sports Radio from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm ET.  CBS Sports Radio says the show will “feature Reiter’s refreshing style of spirited and insightful commentary and analysis coupled with special guests, including players, coaches and sports experts.”   Director of programming Eric Spitz states, “The talented Bill Reiter will bring a fresh new voice and an energizing perspective to CBS Sports Radio’s already stellar lineup featuring the best sports talk shows and personalities around.  His candid commentary and keen analysis will be a welcome addition to the network.”  The addition of Reiter’s show comes after moves to new dayparts for “Tiki and Tierney” and “The DA Show.”

Freeman Named LSM at Cox Media Group Jacksonville.  Taking on the role of local sales manager at Cox Media Group’s Jacksonville radio cluster is Jacque’ Freeman.  She comes to CMG Jacksonville from her most recent position as sales manager for Beasley Broadcast Group in Charlotte.  In this role, she’ll be responsible for all local sales for the cluster of stations, digital products and events.  She also will focus on new business and growing account managers.  In Jacksonville, CMG operates news/talk WOKV “News 104.5,” adult contemporary WEZI “Easy 106.5,” CHR WAPE, classic hits WJGL “Eagle 96.9,” hip hop “Power 106.1” (W291CI), alternative WXXJ “X1029,” and urban contemporary “HOT 99.5” (W258CN).  CMG Jacksonville director of sales Bob DeBlois comments, “We are so excited to have Jacque join our team.  Her experience, creativity and ‘can do’ attitude is a huge win for our team and for North Florida businesses.”

Bob Kevoian ‘Unretires’ for Open Day Remote Bob & Tom Broadcast.  Pictured above on stage at the JACK Casino in downtown Cincinnati are (from l-r): Tom Griswold, legendary Cincinnati Reds radio voice Marty Brennaman, and Bob Kevoian during yesterday’s special remote broadcast of the Bob & Tom show from Reds Opening Day hosted by longtime affiliate WOFX.  Kevoian retired from the nationally syndicated Bob & Tom show at the end of 2015.  He joined Monday’s broadcast as a special “guest host.”

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Susan Rice-Trump Surveillance Connection, Gorsuch Filibuster, Russian Terror Attack, FOX News-O’Reilly Scandal, Revived GOP Health Care Bill, and Monday Night’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/3). Questions about Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice’s role in unmasking Donald Trump campaign associates in surveillance of Russian operatives; whether or not Senate Democrats will filibuster the vote on Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch; the deadly train bombing in Moscow; a former FOX News contributor asks for an investigation into the news operation’s sexual harassment history after reports of payoffs to Bill O’Reilly accusers surfaces; Vice President Mike Pence’s shopping around a revised health care bill to influential Republicans; and the build-up to Monday night’s NCAA Championship between North Carolina and Gonzaga were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Michael Harrison Candidly Comments on Radio’s Economic Issues on Providence Media StationTALKERS founder Michael Harrison joined “GoLocal LIVE” (4/3), a daily video feature of Providence, RI’s hyper-local media station, GoLocalProv.com, and discussed, via Skype, the near bankruptcy of two of the largest radio groups in America, the state of talk radio in Providence, and the future of media.  Harrison (pictured on screen alongside host and GoLocalProv.com founder Josh Fenton) says that the merger of CBS RADIO and Entercom may change the sports radio scene in Boston as the combined company owns the two leading franchises — WEEI and WBZ-FM “98.5 the Sports Hub.”  He also discusses the future of WPRO-AM post Buddy Cianci and the departure of John DePetro. Cianci died in February of 2016 and DePetro left the station late in the year.  To watch a segment of the discussion, please click here.

TALKERS News Notes. In Washington, DC, regional vice president of operations David Ruleman announces he’s retiring from Salem Media Group at the end of June.  Ruleman moved from the company’s San Diego offices in 1992 when Salem acquired WAVA-FM and turned it into a Christian teaching talk-formatted station.  WAVA-FM station manager Tom Moyer is assuming the station’s general manager role from Ruleman…..iHeartMedia names Rahul Sabnis to the newly created position executive creative director for iHeartRadio.  In this role, the company says he’ll “guide the development of breakthrough content that delivers value for advertisers and brands, and will help iHeartMedia and its clients prove what’s possible across all of the iHeartMedia platforms: Broadcast radio, digital, mobile, video, social and events.”  Sabnis comes to iHeartMedia from MullenLowe Profero, where he was the executive creative director and head of creative.  He’ll report to iHeartRadio president Darren Davis.

Opening Day at Citi Field.  The New York Mets opened the 2017 MLB season at Citi Field and flagship WOR, New York talk talent were on hand for the broadcast.  Pictured here are (from l-r): Mets play-by-play voice Howie Rose, WOR morning drive co-hosts Todd Schnitt and Len Berman, Mets color man Josh Lewin, and Mets pre- and post-game host Wayne Randazzo.

Account Executive Gig Open at Entercom Charlotte.  The Charlotte station group of Entercom is seeking an account executive for the soon-to-be trio of news/talk WBT-AM/FM, sports talk WFNC, and hot AC WLNK.  For information about the position and to apply, click here.

 

 

Casey Carter to Program Country WTQR, Greensboro.  Country radio pro Casey Carter joins iHeartMedia Greensboro to serve as program director for WTQR “Q104.1.”  In this new role, Carter will work closely with on-air personalities and sales to oversee on-air, digital and music programming, as well as booking artist appearances and interviews for the radio station brand and their local events.  Carter was most recently midday personality and APD with the company’s WKKT, Charlotte “96.9 The Kat.”  iHeartMedia Virginia-Carolina region SVP of programming Rich McMillan states, “We are very fortunate to announce Casey Carter as the new program director at ‘Q104.1.’  She is an impressive radio talent and successful programmer who brings tons of enthusiasm and excitement to our building.  I’m anxious to hand her the keys to the station and to introduce her to Lexington BBQ!”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  On-air pro Joe Krauss is named the new morning personality at Milwaukee Radio Alliance’s adult contemporary WLDB, Milwaukee “B93.3.”  Krauss was most recently on CBS RADIO’s WQAL, Cleveland  “Q104” in middays as Average Joe…..Air personality Tara McClure returns to the station where she got her start as an intern when she becomes part of the morning show on Scripps’ CHR KHTT, Tulsa “106.9 K-HITS.”  She’ll work alongside morning host Jacob “Chubbs” Day…..Taylor Morgan returns to the airwaves on Beasley Media Group’s rhythmic oldies WUKS, Fayetteville, North Carolina “Old School 107.7 Jamz.”  Morgan has been serving as off-air program director for the station for the past four years.  She says, “I am honored to be back in the booth!  I have enjoyed working both on-air and as program director at Beasley.  But, to do both is the best!”…..CBS RADIO Las Vegas announces its “SPF” (“SUN.POOL.FUN.”) national concert returns to the city Saturday, May 20 at Boulevard Pool inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas featuring performances by DNCE, Hailee Steinfeld, Jason Derulo, Niall Horan and Post Malone…..Beasley Media Group’s classic rock WCSX, Detroit says it is continuing its 30-year anniversary celebration by giving local fans a concert performance by Detroit’s own The Romantics at the 2nd Annual WCSX Summer BBQ event on Saturday, June 10.  VIP tickets are available for $30 but general admission is free…..iHeartMedia rock KEGL, Dallas “97.1 The Eagle” announces the return of BFD 2017 at Starplex Pavilion on May 28 featuring: Stone Sour, Papa Roach, Three Days Grace, Skillet, The Pretty Reckless, Fozzy and Dorothy.  iHeartMedia regional SVP of programming Patrick Davis says, “BFD has quickly become a summer concert staple.  We are very proud of our lineup this year and excited for our listeners to once again celebrate the season with us and their favorite artists.”…..iHeartMedia launches a new country outlet on translator W227CX in the West Palm Beach market branded “WAVE 93.3.” The station is airing the Premiere Networks syndicated Bobby Bones show, air personality Eric Hunter and others.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

| August 2, 2016

Rush Limbaugh and Premiere Networks Reach Agreement on Extension.  There was little doubt from most industry observers that talk radio superstar Rush Limbaugh and iHeartMedia’s Premiere Networks limbaughrushwould come to terms on an agreement to continue syndicating Limbaugh’s show.  Not surprisingly, today’s announcement from Premiere did not mention the terms of this new deal, but simply called it a “long-term, multi-platform agreement.”  Eight years ago, Limbaugh and Premiere announced a partnership agreement that was widely reported to have been worth $400 million.  The conventional wisdom is that changes in the radio industry and the backlash from the infamous “Sandra Fluke incident” have negatively affected Limbaugh’s ability to earn the type of ad dollars that would justify that kind of money this time around.  At the top of today’s program, however, Limbaugh told his listeners that the deal is for four years and he gets no regular salary but, presumably, a percentage of sales.  He said, “I have to make my numbers.”  In the press release, Premiere stated, “Ad revenue for ‘The Rush Limbaugh Show’ has also increased by 20% over last year, and the show continues to be the number one program in talk radio.”  Limbaugh celebrated his 28th anniversary in national syndication on Monday.  He said in the prepared statement, “After 28 fulfilling years, I seriously considered moving on to something else, but Rich [Bressler] and Bob [Pittman] were very persuasive.  I’m thrilled to be continuing.  And I really want to be on the air if the Russians find Hillary’s emails.”

Former Mercury Radio Arts and TheBlaze Chief Sued by Glenn Beck.  In a case filed in District Court of Dallas County, Texas on Friday (7/29), Glenn Beck is suing his former executive, Christopher Balfe, alleging among other things: Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Faithless Servant, Fraud, Breach of Contract, and more.  The suit mercuryradioarts logodoes not specify how much money Mercury Radio Arts is seeking from Balfe, but states it’s asking for actual, consequential and punitive damages; forfeiture of everything Balfe earned from Mercury since he first breached his duties, and more.  The lawsuit alleges that Balfe earned more than $13 million between 2009 and 2014 and calls it “a shockingly excessive amountbeckglenn that far exceeds appropriate compensation for companies of Mercury and TheBlaze’s size and financial performance.”  It also alleges that Balfe signed a lease for New York office space – the entire 12th floor of Five Bryant Park – for $2 million per year for 10 years that was “motivated by his own self-interest.”  The suit calls the $20 million liability an example of Balfe ignoring his duty to Mercury.  Beck comments on the case on TheBlaze’s balfechriswebsite, saying, “You have all heard me over the last couple of years describing how hard a time it has been.  Between being sick, turning over my company, etc…It culminates in a lawsuit that we filed Friday in Dallas between MRA and the former president.  I am embarrassed and saddened it has come to this.”  It’s difficult to read the suit and not come to the conclusion that Beck hired a man whom he considered a friend who was simply not qualified to serve in the positions in which he did.  Scribd has the complaint and you can read it here.

‘Bob & Tom Show’ Rounds Out Cast with Josh Arnold.  The nationally syndicated “Bob & Tom Show” adds comic Josh Arnold to the cast.  The Westwood One program features show co-founder Tom Griswold,arnoldjosh Chick McGee, Kristi Lee, and now St. Louis native Arnold.  The press release from Westwood One says Arnold “has established himself as one of the top nationally touring feature comedians in the country.  Arnold’s comedy has been heard on Sirius XM Satellite Radio and he’s provided material for Comedy Central’s ‘@Midnight’ and ‘The Burn.’”  Griswold says, “We are thrilled to have Josh join us each day…he is one of the funniest, most twisted people I know.”

Cumulus’ Gary Pizzati Announces His Retirement.  Longtime Cumulus Media senior vice president Gary Pizzati is retiring from the company and from radio broadcasting at the end of August.  Pizzati started his pizzatigarycareer as an air talent and programmer and then moved into sales and management.  He joined Cumulus in 1998 to manage the Augusta, Georgia cluster.  Pizzati says, “The past 30 years in radio and 18 with Cumulus have been extremely rewarding.  I truly love radio and all the amazing people who power this exciting industry.  It’s been a part of my life since my teens and has been a remarkable journey that started from my days on air.”  Pizzati rose to SVP in 2005 with responsibility for 27 markets, including two of the company’s largest.  Cumulus especially commends him for “turning around several major markets and recruiting some of the best talent into the company.”  President and CEO Mary Berner adds, “Known as a strong leader, teacher, and consummate radio guy, Gary’s contributions to Cumulus cannot be overstated.  He will be greatly missed by his Cumulus colleagues.”

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallThe Farmer That Roared: Doug Stephan is This Week’s Guest on ‘Up Close and Far Out.’  Radio talk show host Doug Stephan, whose daily generalist news/talk morning show is the third longest-running weekday syndicated program in the industry having launched in 1988 (behind Rush Limbaugh by a few months and “America in the Morning” by four years), is the guest on this week’s installment of the PodcastOne hit series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.”  Stephan discusses his dual career (and arduous schedule) as both a broadcaster and a dairy farmer.  In his role as host of the rapidlystephandoug growing weekend specialty show, “American Family Farmer” (almost 100 affiliates in less than a year), Stephan has stepped up to the plate as a powerful advocate of the beleaguered people who own and operate small farms in the US, that are slowly but systematically being put out of business by the combined interests of big business (“factory farms”) and big government.   He and Harrison also talk about the growing “locavore” movement that ties into this issue.  (A locavore is a person whose diet consists primarily of locally produced and sold food.)  To listen to this fascinating podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column of every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

nielsen logoNielsen Audio Releases First Round of July 2016 PPM Data.  The first of four rounds of July 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey).  The June 2016 survey period covered June 16 through July 13.  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.

The Presidential Race/Khan Family Controversy, FBI Staffer Guilty of Selling Secrets to China, South China Sea Dispute, Black Lives Matter Movement, Miami Zika Outbreak, Rio Olympics Troubles, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/1).  The activities of  presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, including the public conflict with the Khan family; former FBI employee Joey Chun pleads guilty to being an agent of the Chinese government; the dispute over China’s claim to territory in the South China Sea; the state of the Black Lives Matter movement; the CDC’s warning about a Zika virus outbreak in an area near Miami; reports of poor conditions and lack of preparedness at the Rio De Janeiro Olympics; 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.

talkersrumble16Talk Rumble Video Posted from TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations.  One of the highlights of the recent TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations convention – “The Talk Rumble” – is posted today (8/2) on Talkers.com.  The panel discussion was part of the 19th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention that took place May 20 on the campus of Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY.  Moderated by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and co-moderated by CBS News VP Harvey Nagler, participants include (in alphabetical order): Howie Carr, host, Howie Carr Radio Network; Brian Kilmeade, host Fox News Radio/Fox News Channel; Sid Rosenberg, host, WABC, New York; Dr. Daliah Wachs, host Genesis Communications Network; Lisa Wexler, host, WGCH, Greenwich, CT: Larry Young, host, WOLB, Baltimore; and John Ziegler, host Envision Networks. To view the Talk Rumble in its entirety, please click here.  Stay tuned to Talkers.com for more videos from TALKERS 2016: Bridging the Generations that will be posted in the days and weeks to come.

Odds & Sods.  WAXY, Miami “790 The Ticket” extends its partnership with the NBA’s Miami Heat to continue broadcasting play-by-play through 2021.  The Entercom sports talk station says Mike Inglis and John Crotty will continue to call the games.  Tommy Tighe will provide the pre-game, halftime and post-game reporting and Jonathan Zaslow, host of the station’s morning show, will continue as host of the pre- and post-game shows…..FOX Sports Radio personality Ben Maller will join the minor league baseball Bakersfield Blaze for a night of festivities on August 13 as the team takes on the Lake Elsinore Storm.  Maller says, “Having been a Dodgers fan my entire life, Bakersfield baseball is near and dear to my heart.  My firecracker staff is thrilled to be joining me for this occasion and I’m sure Sam Lynn Ballpark will welcome us with open arms.”