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Thursday, December 17, 2020

| December 17, 2020

Newsmax Media Founder and CEO Christopher Ruddy Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. The CEO of Newsmax Media – the conservative news organization that owns and operates Newsmax.com and Newsmax TV in addition to a number of other platforms and services in digital and print publishing – is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Veteran journalist, entrepreneur, and news executive Christopher Ruddy discusses the history and strategy that has led to Newsmax TV achieving enormous rating gains this year in its juggernaut campaign to provide FOX News Channel with formidable competition in the conservative news/talk cable TV ratings wars. In this revealing conversation, Ruddy tells Harrison his side of the recent story by media writer Ben Smith published inThe New York Times under the headline, “The King of Trump TV Thinks You’re Dumb Enough to Buy It.” He dispels the notion conveyed in that piece that Newsmax TV has strategically flanked FOX to its far right and is telling President Donald Trump’s most ardent loyalists whatever they want to hear regardless of the truth. Ruddy discusses the bigger picture of Newsmax content which also delivers stories and items that are unfavorable to Trump and collectively covers a broader segment of the spectrum best described as center-right, as opposed to far-right. Harrison and Ruddy take a deep-dive into talk media political “positioning” which lies at the very heart of modern competitive programming. They also speculate on the future of American politics and the talk media coverage thereof. True to his unpredictable and often contrarian approach to what many observers consider conventional wisdom, Ruddy states that it appears President-Elect Biden is not veering to the far left as many Republicans and Trump supporters fear he will as evidenced by many of his cabinet picks, and that the 46th president will be far more of a “centrist” than many in both parties are expecting. Ruddy also candidly discusses the balancing act required to maintain a long-standing “friendship” with Trump while not being afraid to criticize his policies on those occasions when he believes such criticism is warranted in addition to outlining his immediate plans to grow Newsmax as a full-service news organization in 2021. This podcast is a must-listen! 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.

Floyd Reese Exiting ‘102.5 The Game’ in Nashville. According to a story in the Nashville Post, former Tennessee Titans general manager Floyd Reese is giving up his sports talk host gig at Cromwell Media’s WPRT-FM, Nashville “102.5 The Game.” Reese co-hosted the afternoon drive program “Jared & The GM” with Jared Stillman for the past five-plus years. Stillman will continue to host the afternoon show now billed as “Stillman & Company” as the station seeks out a new afternoon co-host. The Post cites a press release in which Reese states, “This is something I’ve been contemplating for a while and I feel it’s time for me to take a step back. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my tenure with ‘102.5 The Game’ and doing a show with Jared has been a terrific experience. He and I formed a unique partnership that allowed us to be teammates and friends. I’d also like to thank Cromwell Media owner Bud Walters and [program director] Ryan Porth for their non-stop support over the years. It’s been a good run.” Reese was general manager of the NFL’s old Houston Oilers from 1990-1999 and the Titans (after the Oilers moved from Houston to Nashville) from 1999-2006. He was a senior football advisor for the New England Patriots from 2009-2012. He joined “102.5 The Game” in 2015.

WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte Keeps The Bike Drive Alive. The annual holiday “Bikes for Kids” drive was launched by retired WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte talk host John Hancock 26 years ago. With Hancock’s retirement at the beginning of 2020, the fate of the charitable drive that had provided some 20,000 bikes (as well as gifts, food, clothing and more) to tens of thousands of needy Charlotte-area kids was up in the air. Ultimately, WBT staff, in partnership with the Carolina Panthers, WSOC-TV, Frito Lay, and some other local charitable organizations, worked to get 400 brand-new bikes collected during the “Bike Drive” that took place on Tuesday (12/15). Brett Winterble, who took over the afternoon drive show following Hancock’s retirement, says, “It was an amazing day for Hancock’s bikes for kids. This was my first opportunity since joining WBT in February to interface with this amazing audience in person. The generosity and good cheer of the hundreds of people who showed up yesterday was truly awe inspiring. In gathering hundreds of bikes for well deserving children I forged new friendships with dedicated listeners to WBT. One man named Steve told me he was a 50-year listener of WBT and had attended every one of the bike drives Hancock led. It was an unbelievable show of generosity and good civic pride. I look forward to next year and can’t wait for this to continue to grow!”

Townsquare Media to Offer $550 Million in Senior Secured Notes. In a filing with the SEC, Townsquare Media reveals it has priced an offering of $550 million in aggregate principal amount of its 6.875% senior secured notes due 2026. These notes are being offered to institutional buyers and will be senior secured obligations of the company and will be guaranteed on a senior secured basis by certain of the company’s direct and indirect wholly owned subsidiaries. The closing of the offering is anticipated to take place on or about January 6, 2021. Townsquare says that it intends to use the net proceeds from the offering, together with cash on hand, to repay existing senior secured credit facilities, to redeem all of its outstanding 6.500% senior notes due 2023. It is also terminating its existing senior secured credit facilities, including its existing revolving credit facility.

Skyview Networks and MLB Radio Rightsholders Team Up for Annual Meeting. This year’s annual meeting of Major League Baseball radio rightsholders and Skyview Networks to discuss their broadcast operations and ad sales experiences from the previous season was done remotely. This year’s panels placed a heavy focus on fan engagement and advertising strategies with emphasis on maximizing digital assets under the restrictions of the pandemic. Skyview Networks president and COO Steve Jones says, “The MLB radio rightsholders play a significant role in their teams’ success through broadcast sponsorships. Radio and baseball have always put fans first and this season proved no different. Skyview played an important role in helping teams find creative solutions during the pandemic and we showcased those solutions to the whole league this week.” Skyview says many teams also leveraged the power of social media to engage with fans through promotions from their biggest sponsors, citing proactive communication as their key to success. Putting their followers’ interests at the forefront, these organizations hosted many virtual gatherings through YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and more to encourage listenership and interaction while the season was on a hiatus. Additional panel topics included software and strategies to streamline remote broadcasting, creating awareness for franchises’ ancillary digital content to increase broadcast listening and sponsorship extensions, and monetizing the evolving sports betting opportunities across a radio platform.

New Drive Time Shows on SiriusXM’s P.O.T.U.S. Channel in January. Starting on January 4, the new lineup on SiriusXM’s non-partisan P.O.T.U.S. channel will includeJulie Mason Mornings” (6:00 am to 9:00 am ET) and “The Laura Coates Show” (3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET). Veteran journalist Mason takes over for Tim Farley’s “The Morning Briefing” after Farley’s retirement at year’s end. Coates – a CNN senior legal analyst – moves to the P.O.T.U.S. channel from SiriusXM’s Urban View channel. Julie Mason has more than 30 years of experience covering local, state and national politics, including four presidential campaigns. In more than 10 years at the White House, she traveled internationally and reported from more than 30 different countries. She is a former elected board member of the White House Correspondents Association. In addition to her media work, Coates has served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Columbia and as an adjunct professor at the George Washington University School of Law.

United Stations Radio Networks Names Jim Roberts Director of Affiliate Sales and Marketing for Sports. Sports radio pro Jim Roberts is named director of affiliate sales and marketing/sports content for United Stations Radio Networks. He comes to USRN after a 20-plus years career with Disney/ESPN in which he oversaw the inception and growth of the affiliate network of 500-plus stations for ESPN Radio and ESPN Deportes while also managing Disney owned-and-operated stations in New York City and Dallas. United Stations recently announced a partnership with SportsGarten Network to provide stations with short-form, long-form and daily daypart options in sports and sports wagering content. In his new role, Roberts will market all USRN sports-related programs and services, including the Total Sports Prep service. USRN’s Stefan Jones comments, “At United Stations we are growing our programming, services, and partnerships in the sports and sports-wagering lane. As more and more states are legalizing sports wagering, we want to ensure our company delivers quality options.”

TALKERS News Notes. Sports media personality Rich Eisen and Westwood One reach an agreement for the latter to feature “The Rich Eisen Show” podcast on the Westwood One Podcast Network, beginning on January 4. The deal also calls for the development of a new podcast by Eisen called “Just Getting Started” (scheduled for a February debut) in which Eisen interviews the biggest names from news, entertainment, sports, and pop culture, discussing their career origins and mining their stories on how they got started, in a format where audiences can be inspired by their endeavors…..In Chicago, Nexstar Media’s WGN-AM, Chicago is handing the agribusiness beat over to Steve Alexander with the retirement of Orion Samuelson at the end of this month. Samuelson is putting the wrap on a radio career that spans 60 years. Alexander says, “When I’ve filled in for Orion over the past 12 years, I’ve often joked that he gave me the key to the tractor, and I was able to keep it out of the ditch until he returned. Come next month, I’ll try to keep the tractor upright and continue Orion’s efforts to explain how important agriculture is to all of us.”…..GCN-syndicated talk radio host Dr. Daliah Wachs’ program adds two new affiliate stations as WEOL, Elyria, Ohio and KPRL, Paso Robles, California pick up the show.

COVID-19 Stats & Projections, Vaccines, the Economy & Closings, Stimulus Talks, Ongoing Election Denial, Georgia Runoff Elections, Biden Transition, and Northeast Snowstorm Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday. The fast-rising number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and projections for post-holidays cases; the beginning of vaccine distribution in the U.S.; the state of the U.S. economy and forced business closings; the congressional negotiations over a new stimulus package; the ongoing denial of the election results in the Donald Trump camp; January’s runoff elections for Georgia’s two U.S. Senate seats; the Joe Biden administration’s transition and nominations; and a big snowstorm hits the Northeast 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. There’s a series of holiday programs being made available on Entercom’s RADIO.COM that’s airing from December 18-20. The shows are: “POP Goes Christmas,” featuring Why Don’t We and Ava Max; “Acoustic Christmas,” featuring Kelly Clarkson, Meghan Trainor, Dan + Shay, Johnny Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls, Rob Thomas, Train, Matt Nathanson, Ava Max, and a special performance from Keith Urban; “Country Christmas,” with Keith Urban, Dan + Shay, Lady A, Runaway June, and Russell Dickerson; and “Not So Silent Night” starring Machine Gun Kelly, 24kGoldn, All Time Low, SHAED, and Wallows. Those four shows will culminate in the “RADIO.COM LIVE! Holiday Music Festival,” a free video stream of the concert performances on December 21 at 6:00 pm ET, available nationwide on the RADIO.COM app and website at RADIO.COM/Live. Portions of the show will also be available on Twitch and via RADIO.COM’s social media channels. The performances will be accessible on demand for 72 hours after the show on RADIO.COM and station websites…..SiriusXM announces the rollout of several new pop up channels, holiday specials, live programs for New Year’s Eve, exclusive video, podcasts and best-of live performances. “New Year’s Nation” will launch beginning December 29 as a pop-up channel on SiriusXM dedicated to the ultimate New Year’s celebration songs in pop, rhythm, dance, and hip-hop from across the nation featuring the hottest hits from Harry Styles, Dua Lipa, The Weeknd, Ariana Grande, Drake, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Doja Cat, Taylor Swift and more. New holiday pop-up channels include Top 100 Interviews of 2020, highlighting the top celebrity interviews from the past year. Hosted by SiriusXM’s Jess Cagle and Julia Cunningham, the pop-up channel will feature interviews from shows including “Andy Cohen Live,” “The Hoda Show” and “The Jess Cagle Show” with some of the biggest names in Hollywood including Ben Affleck, Hugh Jackman, Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Laverne Cox, Lily Collins, Lizzo, Ramy Yousef, Sam Smith, Sean Penn, Spike Lee and dozens more.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

| February 4, 2015

wiplogoIt’s Official: Tony Bruno and Josh Innes to Afternoons on WIP-FM, Philadelphia.  Rumor becomes reality as CBS RADIO’s WIP-FM, Philadelphia announces that it is bringing Philly sports talk radio pro Tony Bruno back to the market to partner with current eveningbrunotony host Josh Innes for the 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm show titled, “Innes & Bruno.”  Bruno began his sports talk career as part of the morning show on WIP with Angelo Cataldi and Al Morganti back in 1991.  Most recently, he worked in the market at Greater Media’s crosstown WPEN-FM, but left last June after failing to come to terms on a new deal with that station.  Josh Innes moved from the company’s innesjoshKILT, Houston in 2014.  Replacing him in the evening slot will be current PM drive co-host Rob EllisAnthony Gargano was Ellis’ partner on the show and he exited the station back in December.  WIP-FM and WPHT operations manager Andy Bloom says, “We’re excited about the partnership of ‘Innes & Bruno’ in afternoons on WIP.  Josh clearly understands what makes WIP the legendary station that it is and brings his unabashed approach to covering sports each and every day.  Tony is a Philadelphia legend with roots going back to the earliest days of WIP.  Together the two build a bridge that will allow listeners who have been listening to WIP for 25 years and those just finding us today to enjoy entertaining sports talk on the ride home each day.”

portnoystevenSteven Portnoy Joins CBS Radio News.  The new congressional correspondent for CBS Radio News is Steven Portnoy, whom CBS News vice president for radio Harvey Nagler calls, “one of the finest broadcasters in our industry who has distinguished himself time and time again by reporting on many important stories for ABC Radio News during the last 13 years.”  Nagler goes on to say that Portnoy “trulycbsradionews logo understands the needs of our affiliates and the importance of the role in servicing them.”  On joining CBS Radio News, Portnoy comments, “Under the leadership of Harvey Nagler, who has maintained a standard of excellence first established by Paul White, journalists at CBS Radio News are at the top of our craft.  As a lifelong listener and fan, I am honored and humbled to be joining the extraordinarily talented members of the CBS Radio News team.”  Portnoy is an award-winning journalist who, in addition to his network radio accomplishments, served for three years as a reporter for WMAL, Washington.  He begins with CBS Radio News on February 23.

futuri logoNew Name for LDR Interactive: Futuri Media.  In a two-pronged press release, LDR Interactive announces it becomes Futuri Media and names two new executives to the company’s staff.  Media and technology industry pro Brian Parsons joins Futuri Media as chief information officer.  He has served as an EVP for iHeartMedia and Triton Digital Media.  Veteran broadcast engineer Craig Bowman also joins the company as vice president/support, overseeing client services.  Futuri says Parsons and current chief technology officer Brian Seeders – a founding team member – will lead product innovation and software development.  The newly named company brings several media technology assets under its banner including the LDR (Listener Driven Radio) interactive programming platforms: LDR1™ voting window technology and Takeover®, which is on the air at more than 400 radio stations and networks in 11 countries; TopicPulse®, a real-time social media measurement system for newsrooms and content producers; as well as Futuri Mobile™, which designs custom mobileldrteam features and apps for broadcasters, with more than 150 iPhone, Android, and tablet apps in the marketplace.  Futuri CEO and Co-Founder Daniel Anstandig explains the changes, “We rebranded as Futuri Media and expanded our leadership team to reinforce our commitment to innovation.  The future of media is in leveraging social and mobile technology for broadcasters.  That’s why five years ago we started developing custom interactive broadcast, mobile and web technologies to drive ratings, revenue and digital engagement.  Technology changes overnight and we are passionate about staying ahead of the curve to help broadcast operators connect with their audiences and develop new revenue.  Brian Parsons and Craig Bowman bring tremendous experience and talent to enhance our products and services from day one.  They, Brian Seeders and everyone else on our leadership team have worked as a manager, engineer, programmer or seller at local broadcast. By strengthening our senior information and support tiers, we are bringing our ‘high-tech, high-touch’ approach to every client.”  Pictured here is the Futuri team surrounding Anstandig at center.

westwood one NEWWestwood One Extends CNBC Business Radio Partnership. Expanded content includes addition of a second hourly CNBC Business Radio report. Westwood One will offer hourly reports to stations at :20 and :50, with re-feeds at :25 and :55. Westwood One senior vice president of affiliate sales Dennis Green comments, “Westwood One is delighted to expand the content that we offer affiliates in the business space. CNBC is the best-in-class brand that listeners have grown to trust for many years and it is evident by the number of new stations that are signing up.” CNBC Business News CNBC Business Radiosenior vice president and editor-in-chief Nikhil Deogun remarks, “We are thrilled to be able to broaden our partnership with Westwood One. This will allow CNBC to bring its unparalleled global business content and insight to new audiences across the country. In these volatile times, listeners need to know what is happening with their money during the market day.” CNBC Business Reports currently air on more than 140 stations, including in nine of the top 10 DMA markets and 22 of the top 25.

hurneymartyFormer Carolina Panthers GM Partner in Management of Asheville Sports Talker.  The Charlotte Observer’s Mark Washburn reports that former Carolina Panthers general manager Marty Hurney is partnering with WZGV, Asheville general manager Lanny Ford to lease the station from owner HRN Broadcasting.  Hurney was let go from his post with the NFL club in 2012 and has since reinvented himself as a sports media personality.  He’s been a guest analyst on ESPN’s “NFL Insiders” and, since June of 2014 has been a personality on WZGV “ESPN 730.”  Now, Hurney and Ford will lease and manage both WZGV and sister station news/talk WZGM for the next three years.  Prior to his stint with the Panthers, Hurney was a sports writer for the Washington Times.  Read Washburn’s column here.

andersoncarliHeartMedia Names New Corporate Talk Brand Management Team.  In a memo to staff, EVP and general manager of national programming platforms Clay Hunnicutt announces the new talk brand management team for iHeartMedia, to be led by EVP of programming Midwest Carl Anderson.  He’llblazergrace remain in that role in addition to his new talk brand manager title.  Joining him on the team as brand coordinators are: Grace Blazer, who will continue in her role as director of talk programming in Miami; Greg Foster adds to his duties as vice president of programming in Denver; and longtime Louisville-based programmer Kelly Carls, who will continue as regional programming fostergregmanager.  Hunnicutt comments, “Together under Carl’s leadership, the new talk brand management team will be a vital resource to our programming operations, working with our talented local programmers to deliver the best programming to our listeners.”  Carls takes over the talk brand manager position from longtime company talk PD Ken Charles who exited the company late last year.

Odds & Sods.  The syndicated “Café Mocha” radio show is kicking off Black History Month with a series honoring women titled, #CelebrateHer.  The radio vignettes recognize African American women from the Civil Rights movement to today’s female trailblazers.  Featured in the series are actress, dancer, choreographer, director Debbie Allen, Ebonycafemocha Fashion Fair founder and director the late Eunice Johnson, musical prodigy Janelle Monae, NBC “Today Show” co-anchor Tamron Hall, first-ever African American “Cinderella” on Broadway, KeKe Palmer, Black Girls Code founder Kimberly Bryant, leader and strategist of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee featured in the movie “Selma,” Diane Nash and well-known civil rights activist and mentor to Rosa Parks, Ella Baker (deceased).  “Café Mocha” is hosted by MC Lyte, Loni Love, Angelique Perrin, and Nicole Ari Parker…..There’s a new multi-year deal between MSG Networks and ESPN O&O WEPN-FM, New York “ESPN New York 98.7FM” that will ensure the station continues as the exclusive radio broadcaster of New York Knicks and New York Rangers games.  “ESPN Radio New York 98.7” has broadcast Knicks and Rangers games since 2004…..The PGA and SiriusXM extend their agreement to program and air PGA TOUR Radio for the next three years…..Media and marketing agency pro John M. Zamoiski joins AdLarge Media as chief opportunity officer.  In this post he’ll support the company’s continued expansion into new content acquisitions, while also working on cross-platform, integrated marketing partnerships.

SBSAPooPourriWestwood One Names Super Bowl Sound Award Winner.  The second annual Super Bowl Sound Award from Westwood One celebrates “excellence in audio creativity” for the ads aired on the Westwood One radio play-by-play broadcast of Super Bowl XLIX, as voted by fans.  The 2015 Champion of Sound is the brand Poo-Pourri, with a humorous spot about the Super Bowl.  The spot was custom made for the big game and “it represents a great example of a smaller brand using the power of audio to reach consumers through huge cultural moments such as the Super Bowl.”  The other brands rounding out the top five most votes of the Super Bowl Sound Awards: Motel 6 (with two commercials), Subway, and Exergen.

Renewed Vaccine Controversy, 2016 Presidential Prospects, New Saudi Arabia-9/11 Allegations, Carter Defense Secretary Testimony, Three-Parent Baby Controversy, Gallup Challenges 5.6% Unemployment Figure, Inter-GOP Immigration Battle, and Super Bowl XLIX Aftermath Among Top Stories Yesterday (2/3).  The controversy over mandatory vaccines and Chris Christie’s and Rand Paul’s relative comments; the potential candidates for president in 2016; new testimony from Zacharias Moussaoui about the connection between prominent Saudis and the funding of 9/11; Ashton Carter says ISIS a priority in Defense Secretary nomination testimony; the flap over using DNA from three people for in vitro fertilization; Gallup CEO challenges 5.6% unemployment figure; the battle among Republicans over immigration legislation; and the aftermath of Super Bowl XLIX were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

| August 13, 2013

wbt 2Carolina Panthers 100Charlotte’s WBT-AM/FM Extends Carolina Panthers Partnership. The Greater Media talk combo has been the flagship for 13 of the NFL team’s 18-year history, and a just-signed three-year extension will keep them partners through 2015. “The first touchdown in Panther history was heard on WBT – that tradition will continue into the foreseeable future,” observes WBT AM/FM and Greater Media, Charlotte vice president-station manager Trip Savery. “The Panthers are a significant part of our 90-year history of serving the greater Charlotte region – we look forward to many more years working together.” Executive radio producer David Langton notes that, “With such a long and successful history between our two organizations, we are excited about continuing to look for new ways to improve our broadcasts.” The Panthers’ three-person radio announcing team consists of Mick Mixon (play-by-play); WBT sports director Jim Szoke (color analyst); and former Panther Eugene Robinson.

holtartMEDIA BROKER SPOTLIGHT: Art Holt of Holt Media Group.  In this week’s installment of Media Broker Spotlight, Sandi Bergman of RadioTVDeals.com interviews media broker Art Holt of Holt Media Group in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.  Holt’s long career in radio goes back to being an air talent and engineer in Texas at a variety of stations and markets across the state where he moved his way up to working in Dallas with radio broadcasting legend Gordon McLendon. He eventually wound up owning and operating a 20 station medium market station group for more than three decades and then went on to become a broker.  Holt agrees with this publication’s contention that the time is right for good broadcast managers who have been squeezed out of their positions by consolidation and market conditions to get into first-time ownership on a local level.  He says, “Times have never been better for a buyer to go into medium and small market radio ownership!  The big corporations continue to ignore true localism; they’re focused on cost cutting to service their huge debt hangovers from their spending sprees in the last decade.  The local newspaper is no longer the formidable presence or strong advertising competitor it was in the past.  This is a great opportunity for a local owner!  The conglomerates’ problems have become the local operator’s opportunity!  There are strong opportunities for station turn-around and format changes at neglected stations for the new DIY operator. In selected markets, brokers can offer strong cash flow deals at workable multiples to qualified buyers. Good and talented radio people are being made redundant daily by the giant corporations, and as a result, localism in radio is now pretty much just a memory except when a local owner comes in to take over and super-serve the community.  And, it’s a fact that the best and most advertiser-effective radio is local radio. For displaced radio executives, this is definitely a golden age of radio ownership… with wide open opportunities to fill the need for good local radio, both on the air and on the street.  Local radio markets welcome local owners who become involved in the community and who know the local advertisers on a first name basis.”   Holt offers several opportunities for displaced station managers and first-time entrants looking to roll up their sleeves and take on an ownership project.  To read the entire installment of Media Broker Spotlight, please click here.

KFWB Trojans LiveKFWB, Los Angeles To Debut “Trojans Live.” Produced by Fox Sports West and USC Sports Properties, the weekly, hour-long KFWB, Los Angeles broadcasts will be devoted to University of Southern California sports. Men’s football coach Lane Kiffin, men’s basketball coach Andy Enfield, student-athletes, and other coaches from all USC sports will be featured. There will be game previews, insights and breaking news on “Trojans Live,” which will be done before a live audience from a pub located across the street from the USC campus. According to KFWB general manager Valerie Blackburn, “Coaches, players, and staff will break stories to the legions of passionate USC fans here in Los Angeles and across the country. Fans will hear exclusive news regularly from the people most in the know.” USC athletic director and renowned former quarterback Pat Haden comments, “We are excited to partner with KFWB in this new venture. This comprehensive radio show will highlight not only our football and basketball programs, but all of our men’s and women’s sports. The show’s content will be compelling, up-to-the-minute and something fans won’t be able to get anywhere else.” Former NFL wide receiver and two-sport USC Academic All-American John Jackson hosts the program with USC Athletics director of social media Jordan Moore; Trojans’ radio announcer Pete Arbogast will be a frequent guest contributor. The first broadcast is next Thursday (8/22) at 7:00 pm, with the show moving to 6:00 pm during the basketball season.

k-Mozart LogoKYZZ Trades Sports for Classical. Silent since July 31, Monterey-Salinas-Santa Cruz’s sports-formatted KYZZ (formerly “ESPN 97.9”) becomes classical “k-Mozart 97.9″ under new owner Saul Levine. Buckley Broadcasting purchased KYZZ eight years ago from Wolfhouse Broadcasting and over the years it had been CHR and rhythmic CHR. Levine – whose Mount Wilson FM Broadcasters owns classical KMZT-AM, Los Angeles (as well as country KKGO there) acquired “Mozart 97.9” about three months ago. The market had been without a classical station since 2011, when Mapleton transitioned KBOQ out of the format. Under the sports umbrella for approximately one year, KYZZ is currently airing commercial-free as “k-Mozart.”

CBS-TV LogoTWCCBS-Less Time Warner Customers Are Beginning to Get Antsy. It has been less than two weeks (8/2) since Time Warner Cable yanked CBS-TV programming in New York, Los Angeles, and Dallas in a carriage dispute. Disappearance of The Eye Network is affecting 3.2 million customers and many of them are starting to lose their patience. Interim FCC chair Mignon Clyburn says she will take “appropriate action” if CBS-TV and TWC cannot settle their quarrel, although an FCC spokesperson would not comment further on what that might entail. In a statement, TWC notes, “We agree with the chairwoman that consumers are being adversely affected. We hope that CBS soon will come to a reasonable agreement with us that is fair to our customers and their viewers.” According to CBS, its primetime audience is off by roughly 46,000 viewers, compared with the previous week. It seems that, while programming fees are a principal roadblock, there is a larger issue with digital. TWC reportedly will agree to increase its fee, but wants to keep the same bundle of digital rights it held under the old pact. CBS though wants to be able to sell shows to entities such as Amazon and Netflix. Now that the NFL pre-season is underway and with the fall TV schedule looming, viewer frustrations are bound to heighten even more. According to an Ad Age report, RadioShack has enjoyed “a double-digit spike in high-definition antennas” in those three markets. The Ad Age article states, “It is unclear exactly how many antennas sold that translates into” since RadioShack declined to share “concrete numbers.” In New York, there is a month-long free trial of Aereo, which transmits CBS signals to laptops, mobile devices and computers for $8 a month. CBS programming is free on the CBS mobile app and CBS.com the day after airing; however, CBS is blocking video to those using a TWC IP address. In a separate fee battle that has been going on since July 25, TWC has blacked out Journal Communications‘ NBC affiliate, WTMJ, Milwaukee, to southeastern Wisconsin cable subscribers.