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By Mike Kinosian
LOS ANGELES — On-air personalities have enhanced their “celebrity status” in recent years via personal websites; social media and professional homepages (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.); and by becoming bloggers.
Such platforms have also simultaneously provided a strong voice heretofore largely unavailable to the non-broadcaster.
If not in the traditional over-the-air or satellite-delivered sense, virtually anyone with a computer can achieve their own degree of “stardom” on the internet and there’s been no shortage of those giving it a go through podcasting.
Former KPAM, Portland Personalities Win Unpaid Wages Case. In a case before the Bureau of Labor and Industries in the state of Oregon, former KPAM, Portland personalities Margie Boule and Carl Wolfson prevailed in a decision to pay them back wages. Pamplin Broadcasting, which no longer owns the station, hired Boule and Wolfson as independent contractors and argued that as such, they were not due overtime wages. Pamplin argued that, alternatively, that if the two were employees, then they were exempt creative professional employees. The BLI did not buy Pamlin’s arguments and ordered the company to pay Boule and Wolfson $12,361.52 each. It also ordered Pamplin to pay $30,700 in civil penalties. The agency concluded that although the two were called independent contractors by KPAM, they were treated like full-time staffers. For example, witnesses for KPAM testified that requests for Boule and Wolfson to attend client events, charity fundraisers, and seminars – duties outside execution of their radio show – were “purely optional.” But the BLI ruled that “part of any job is to cooperate with people with whom one works” and claims that requests were optional are not “credible.”
Grappler’s Guide To Grinding Out Pinpoint Podcasts. Managing editor Mike Kinosian talks with pro wrestler and podcaster Brimstone about his new venture, “The Grindhouse Radio” podcast. Brimstone says he’s aware people find the huge number of podcasts out there daunting. “Some are amazing and others aren’t so good. Podcasting gives people a taste of the grandeur of show business. People can do it from their phone or from one microphone in their bedroom. It is fantastic that podcasts can be done at so many different levels. Many other podcasts don’t take pride in sound quality like we do. Our show is classified as ‘comedy,’ but we are all about popular culture. While we aren’t comedians, we are fun and funny.” Read the whole story here.
Entercom Honored for Mental Health Special. The September nationally broadcast special “I’m Listening” earns Entercom a 2018 Community Award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness North Texas. “I’m Listening” was a two-hour live, commercial-free broadcast special to raise awareness around mental health and suicide prevention as part of Entercom’s multi-platform “I’m Listening” campaign. The broadcast aired across all of the company’s stations nationwide on Sunday, September 9, 2018 and via their respective livestreams on RADIO.COM to mark the start of National Suicide Prevention Week. The special broadcast welcomed medical experts, artists and celebrities connected to the cause to join the conversation about mental health, as well as live calls from listeners. The year-long campaign also included suicide prevention PSAs, on-air promos and a dedicated website with information and resources to end the stigma around mental health discussions. Entercom SVP programming innovation Liana Huth says, “‘I’m Listening’ is one of our signature productions meant to save lives. We know that talking makes a difference and our stations are proud to help remove the stigma around mental illness. It’s okay to not be okay. Many thanks to our partners, including the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council. Together we are part of a vast network working every day to help and serve those affected.”
‘Coast to Coast AM’ Christmas Album Re-Released to Benefit Veterans Charity. The holiday album “Holiday Magic Coast Style” is being re-released in time for this year’s holiday season. Sales of the disc benefit various veterans’ hospitals across the country. It features traditional holiday songs and poems performed by fan-favorite guests of the Premiere Networks-syndicated radio program, including best-selling author Whitley Strieber, author and paranormal expert Rosemary Ellen Guiley, paranormal investigator Joshua P. Warren, UFO Phil, Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, actor/singer Pat Boone, and others. “Coast to Coast AM” host George Noory also performs a special rendition of “O Come All Ye Faithful.” It is produced by “Coast to Coast AM” senior producer Tom Danheiser and TDClark Entertainment and is currently available for purchase on Amazon.
Facebook Takes Big Step in Gaining MRC Accreditation. Considering all the negative press Facebook and founder Mark Zuckerberg have been getting lately, clearing this step in the Media Rating Council accreditation chase is good news. Broadcasters won’t be happy, but Facebook and Instagram have passed an audit of its internal data collection process and that’s a step toward getting accreditation from the MRC for third-party measurement of ad viewability. The next step in the process is for the MRC to audit the process of Facebook and Instagram getting their data to third-party measurement firms. See the Ad Age story here.
Trump-Russia Investigation/Manafort Plea Deal, Caravan Migrants/Border Wall Issue, Trump Denies Climate Change Report, Russia-Ukraine Tensions, Hyde-Smith Wins Miss. Senate Seat, GM Job Cuts, Pelosi’s House Speaker Battle, Brexit Deal, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/27). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the related collapse of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort’s plea deal; the caravan of Honduran migrants amassed at the U.S.-Mexico border and the related border wall funding issue; the government’s ominous climate change report and President Trump’s declaration he doesn’t agree with it; Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine; Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith wins the Mississippi U.S. Senate seat race; reactions to GM’s announcement that it will cut U.S. jobs and close plants; Nancy Pelosi’s battle to regain the House Speaker role; the latest action in Britain’s move to exit the EU; and the weekend’s NFL action 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. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that 11 positions in all and two overnight jocks were let go from Hubbard Radio’s Chicago station group. The air personalities – Mike Roberts of hot AC WTMX “101.9 The Mix” and Brian Travis of adult contemporary WSHE “100.3” – both hosted the overnight daypart. While there were criticisms of Hubbard’s decision in the comments section of Feder’s story, he points our that “Hubbard Radio Chicago had been among the last local station groups to broadcast live around the clock at all of its stations.”…..Premiere Networks announces the availability of a country music holiday special hosted by CMT personality Cody Alan. “Home for the Holidays” is a four-hour, barter-free show highlighted by conversations with country music stars including: Braid Paisley, Maren Morris, and Martina McBride, among others, who will share stories of Christmas memories, favorite gifts, and family traditions. The radio special will also feature a mix of chart-topping and holiday-themed songs. It’s available for air from December 22-25.