Dave Ramsey: Digital Audience Passes 2.5 Million Mark. Tallying up the various digital platforms on which the nationally syndicated Dave Ramsey radio show is heard, Ramsey’s organization reports that his “weekly digital audience already exceeds 2.5 million users.” Ramsey’s digital content is heard via daily podcasts, a dedicated channel on iHeartRadio, online audio streaming, and an online video channel. Ramsey Media vice president Brian Mayfield states, “While our main focus will remain on the continued growth and development of our program on radio, we must also be in constant evaluation, exploration, and development of new technologies and ways of reaching new audience. Forming strong working relationships with companies such as Spotify and Google are what we hope is just the beginning of our potential growth in the digital space as well as in radio.”
New, Locally Owned Brunswick, Georgia Talk-Music Hybrid Launches. Local attorney Denise Esserman is the licensee of WBQO, St. Simons Island, Georgia “93.7FM,” which launched on Friday (10/23) with an eight-minute promo montage that looped all weekend and included morning host Gordon Deal explaining, “Hello Golden Isles! We’re your new radio station.” The lineup includes such national talent as Deal, SRN’s Mike Gallagher, Cox’s Clark Howard, Dave Ramsey and Westwood One’s Phil Valentine. Esserman and radio consultant Holland Cooke fashioned the station to be unique in the marketplace and are using the talents of music radio and imaging pro Nick Michaels for the evening show. Esserman says, “At the end of the day who wants to hear about politics? And we didn’t want to be a jukebox. My teenage daughter must have 1,000 songs on her phone. So we wanted to do something special.” Michaels’ weekly classic rock show “The Deep End” is airing nightly from 7:00 pm on the station. Cooke tells TALKERS that “ever since Nick launched ‘The Deep End’ I’ve been telling him that it’s bigger than a weekend syndicated show, it’s a format! Now he and I are calling each other’s bluff.” WBQO’s weekend lineup includes: Doug Stephan, Dr. Ken Kronhaus, Dave Graveline, Larry Kudlow, “The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show,” “Real Estate Today,” Cigar Dave, Jill Schlesinger, Tom Gresham, Bob Brinker, and a “Meet The Press” simulcast.
WGIR, Manchester-based Jack Heath to Air on Binnie Media’s WNNH, Concord, New Hampshire. The WGIR, Portsmouth and WQSO, Rochester, New Hampshire-based “NH Today” with Jack Heath is now being heard in morning drive on Binnie Media’s Concord, New Hampshire stations WNNH and WEMJ. WGIR and WQSO are owned by iHeartMedia. NH1-Binnie Media EVP Lee Kinberg comments, “‘99.1 NH1 Newsradio is proud to join the ‘NH Today’ network. As we head into one of the most important elections in history, both for New Hampshire and the country, there is no better morning host to entertain and inform Granite Staters than Jack Heath, and we are pleased to have him in the 99.1 NH1 Newsradio lineup.”
Round Three of October PPM Ratings Released. The third of four rounds of October 2015 PPM data from Nielsen Audio is released for 12 markets including: Portland, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Orlando, and Columbus. You can find all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here. Additionally, TALKERS and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his Twelve Takeaways from this round of data at our sister publication’s site here. The October 2015 PPM survey covered September 10 through October 7.
Salem Radio Network (SRN) Provides Satellite and Production Services to Independent Shows and Producers. Known throughout the industry as a producer/supplier of some of the most successful and highest-profile national, long-form and short-form talk programming with such talent as Bill Bennett, Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, Michael Medved, Hugh Hewitt, and Eric Metaxas, among others, Salem Media’s Salem Radio Network also provides state-of-the-art satellite, production and distribution services to independent talent, shows, and producers looking to reach radio stations across America. The company has been doing this from Dallas since 1993, reaching both general market (AMC-8 – XDS platform) and religious (SES-2, formerly AMC-3 – Wegener Unity platform) radio stations. SRN exec Derek Anderson tells TALKERS, “Our distribution services are utilized by producers of many varieties of programming including general talk, political, sports, home and garden, health, and lifestyle genres.” Anderson adds, “We also have full, in-house studio production capability for live and pre-recorded audio, live web streaming, and podcasting services.” What makes SRN special in this arena? Anderson explains, “What separates SRN from the pack is our ability to hit multiple satellite platforms and provide turn-key radio broadcasts allowing a host to operate a fully functioning broadcast from a home studio (or on the couch) using our 24/7 production facilities. Connect with SRN over ISDN or IP codecs and we will play your elements, integrate your commercials, and manage your listeners’ phone calls while hitting any satellite platform or web streaming to your specific audience.” SRN’s roster of satisfied clients includes syndicated columnist and Fox News contributor Cal Thomas who says, “Salem Radio Network has been distributing my daily commentary for more than a decade. I have found them to be professional and attentive and would highly recommend their services to anyone who is looking for a first-rate network with which to work.” To learn more about SRN’s satellite, production and distribution services, please click here or call Derek Anderson at 972-707-6904.
Hillsdale College Dedicates New Campus Station WRFH-LPFM. On Monday (10/26), Hillsdale College dedicated its new campus college radio station, WRFH 101.7 FM. The dedication was emceed by Professor John J. Miller, director of Hillsdale College’s Dow Journalism Program, and included remarks from Vince Benedetto, president and CEO of Bold Gold Media, and Dr. Larry P. Arnn, Hillsdale College president. The new station – which can be heard within a five-mile radius of the Hillsdale, Michigan campus, was made possible through a gift from Benedetto. Miller states, “The new campus radio station offers another great opportunity for our students here at Hillsdale. This station will give our students first-hand experience in the art of communicating over the airwaves to larger audiences. We are extremely grateful to Mr. Benedetto and his team for their gracious efforts in making this possible.” Benedetto comments, “We’re excited about the value this station will bring, not only to the students of Hillsdale as they learn the art and craft of radio broadcasting, but to the community as well. I can think of no college better deserving of this than Hillsdale. Their educational outreach defending liberty is something everyone in America needs to hear.”
National Radio Hall of Fame Announces Guest Presenters. The induction ceremony for the National Radio Hall of Fame’s class of 2015 is next Thursday at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago and the slate of guest presenters has been announced. National Radio Hall-of-Famer Neal Boortz presents to Clark Howard; fellow Nashville resident Blair Garner presents to nationally syndicated talk star Dave Ramsey; former KGO, San Francisco president and GM Mickey Luckoff presents to KGO’s Ronn Owens; iHeartMedia’s Tom Poleman presents to WHTZ, New York-based personality Elvis Duran; Dan Mason Jr. presents to his father, former longtime CBS RADIO president Dan Mason; two longtime “Big Boy” radio show producers, William “Fuzzy” West and Jason Ryan, present to KRRL, Los Angeles’ Kurt “Big Boy” Alexander; former WFBQ, Indianapolis GM Chris Wheat and current iHeartMedia Indianapolis market manager Rick Green present to the Bob & Tom show’s Bob Kevoian and Tom Griswold; and WXRT, Chicago program director Norm Winer acknowledges Scott Muni, the late, legendary air personality of WABC-AM and WNEW-FM in New York.
Madison Rising to Headline U.S. Marines Anniversary in Philadelphia. The patriotic rock band Madison Rising – whose videos have opened the last two Talkers New York conferences – will be headlining the Philadelphia Street Fair on November 10, marking the 240th anniversary of the U.S. Marines. Philadelphia is regarded as the birthplace of the Marine Corps and some 2,000 Marines and former Marines are expected to be in attendance. Madison Rising is in the midst of a 70-city national and international tour which included recent appearances in Japan and Korea.
CNN ‘Hero of the Year’ Candidate Joins Michael Harrison This Week on ‘Up Close and Far Out.’ TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison describes Chicago-based orthopedic surgeon Dr. Daniel Ivankovich as “one of the most diverse, knowledgeable, articulate and all-around fascinating guests I’ve ever interviewed… he provides a one-stop, extremely substantive conversation covering health care, race relations, economics, government corruption, journalism, media and blues music – a truly amazing man.” Ivankovich is one of the 10 finalists in CNN’s annual “Hero of the Year” award for 2015. The Yugoslavian-born Ivankovich also goes by the nicknames of “Dr. Dan” or “Chicago Slim” and besides operating three clinics that serve some of the poorest residents in the most dangerous neighborhoods of Chicago, he also does his best to aid blues musicians and help them get proper coverage from the health system to suit their needs. He co-founded the Chicago Blues All-Stars (in which he sings and plays guitar) and it was through this that he came in direct contact with veteran blues musicians who, in spite of their fame and musical talent, are impoverished and in need of better health care. He often helps provide free care for them through his non-profit One Patient Global Health Initiative. Ivankovich is the guest on the newly posted (10/27) installment of the Podcast One international hit “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” To listen to the entire podcast, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column of every page on Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.
Romney Rules. Appearing at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s President’s Speaker Series, Ann Romney (right) chats with WNDB, Daytona Beach talk host Marc Bernier (left). This was the 125th event in this series of broadcasts. During the discussion, the wife of former presidential candidate Mitt Romney spoke about her battle with MS, life with Mitt, family, the Romney’s hopes for old friend and new Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, and the nature of politics today. Photo: Chi-Valry Wu.
2016 Presidential Race/GOP Debate, Congressional Budget Deal, South Carolina School Arrest Case, Russia Threatening Transcontinental Cables?, Iran Invited to Syria Talks, U.S. Math and Reading Scores Dip, LA and NYC Cop Unions Boycott Tarantino Films, and World Series Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/28). The run-up to Wednesday evening’s GOP debate in Colorado and the activities of the candidates for president in 2016; controversy over the two-year budget deal agreed to in Congress; the aftermath of the arrest of a high school student in South Carolina and the firing of the officer who made it; concerns by the U.S. military over Russian subs detected near undersea communications cables; Iran is invited to talks with the U.S. and Russia over the Syria civil war; reaction to the dip in math and reading test scores of U.S. students; the Los Angeles and New York police unions boycott Quentin Tarantino films after the director calls police murderers at a rally; and the Royals-Mets World Series were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.
Ed Schultz Drops Three-Hour Radio Show; Moves to One-Hour Web Format. In a surprise move announced at the end of his MSNBC show on Wednesday (5/21), radio and television personality Ed Schultz announced he’s putting the wraps on his three-hour AM/FM radio program and will begin a new, one-hour format program that will be available via his website wegoted.com with no subscription fee. His last three-hour radio show will be tomorrow (5/24) and the digital initiative begins on Tuesday (5/27). Saying that commentary and newsmaker interviews will continue to be the focus of his new format, Schultz adds, “This change will give me more flexibility to be on the road, to do the kind of shows I want to do here for ‘The Ed Show’ here on MSNBC.”
Bruce Johnson Out at ‘Voice of Central Jersey.’ It appears news and sports director Bruce Johnson is a victim of budget cuts at Greater Media’s WCTC, Brunswick, New Jersey. According to NewJersey On-Line, Johnson was told money is the reason he’s leaving the station after 34 years. Johnson is a former Rutgers University football play-by-play voice who became part of the station in 1980. He was upped to news director in 1987. He tells NJ On-Line, “I love radio. It’s been my life. I want to be able to keep on doing it. If not, I want to keep on working, so I don’t want people to think I’m going to be fading away into the sunset.”
STRATA Study Shines Light on Suspicion Over Web Metrics. Radio sales pros have long wondered if the love affair the advertising world has with all things digital is overblown, some of the conclusions of STRATA’s most recent study of advertising agencies may show there is truth there. While the advertising industry is largely bullish on the ad business right now – the study finding that 62% of agencies polled say they see business increasing this quarter compared to the same time last year – they also are suspicious of web traffic analytics. More than half the agencies polled – 56% — reported they do not trust web traffic numbers provided by the publishers with whom they advertise. Further, when asked if they agreed with an earlier report indicating 36% of web traffic is fraudulent, 31% of the agencies surveyed feel the fraudulent number is actually higher. STRATA president Joy Baer comments, “Ad agencies revealed an interesting dichotomy within the advertising industry; agencies are displaying high levels of confidence and are increasing their ad spend while they question the accuracy of reported Web traffic numbers and the inflated CPMs they may command. Another interesting parallel was the optimism many agencies felt while they looked cautiously at rising ad costs as a major concern. The strength that our clients are reporting bodes well for the rest of the year.”
Sportscasting Seminar Adds Albert, Costas. The third annual “One Day Ticket to Sportscasting Success” seminar adds Bob Costas and Marv Albert to its lineup. The event – which will take place in just over two weeks (Monday, 6/9) in Salisbury North Carolina – is part of the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association‘s 2014 awards weekend. NSSA Hall of Famer Costas hosts NBC‘s “Football Night in America”; was the primetime host of that network’s Olympic games coverage (although sidelined for a time with pinkeye); and co-hosts NBC’s coverage of the U.S. Open, Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. He has also broadcast the World Series and the NBA Finals. Albert is also an NSSA Hall of Famer. He has been the play-by-play voice of seven Stanley Cup Finals, six Super Bowls, and the NBA Finals. Sportscasters Talent Agency of America chief executive officer Jon Chelesnik is the organizer of the seminar. He comments, “This year’s seminar includes presentations, panel discussions, opportunities for attendees to have their work critiqued by the pros, outstanding networking opportunities – and you don’t have to be an STAA client to attend.” Other seminar speakers include three-time “National Sportswriter of the Year” and NBC football anchor Peter King; NFL, NBA, and NCAA broadcaster Ian Eagle; ESPN Radio Network senior director Scott Masteller; Auburn University play-by-play broadcaster Rod Bramblett; and executives from Learfield Sports and IMG.
Odds & Sods. Talk radio host Adam McManus is lining up some summer fill-in work as he’ll be sitting in for Joe Walsh on Salem Communication‘s WIND, Chicago “AM 560 The Answer” on May 27 from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm. He’ll also sub for KTSA, San Antonio midday host Jack Riccardi on June 19-20 and July 7-11…..Bernard Bokenyi exits the PD role at Alpha Media’s sports talk KXTG-AM, Portland “750 The Game” after 13 months in the position…..ESPN Deportes is broadcasting the 2014 UEFA Champions League Final live on Saturday, May 24 beginning at 2:00 pm ET. The final features two teams from the same city: Real Madrid vs. Atletico Madrid.
VA Scandal, ObamaCare Criticism, Russian Military Aggression, Thai Military Coup, NSA Data Mining Policy, Cong. Garcia ‘Communism Works’ Flap, NFL Painkiller Suit Controversy, and NBA/NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/21). The growing Veteran’s Administration scandal; scrutiny of the effects of the Affordable Care Act; Russia’s military incursion into Ukraine and Vladimir Putin’s promise to remove troops from the country; the military coup taking place in Thailand; the NSA’s data mining program and proposed changes to its scope; the flap over Florida Congressman Joe Garcia’s comment that “communism works”; the suit against the NFL by former players alleging the league distributed illegal painkillers to players; and NBA and NHL playoff action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.