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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

| October 20, 2020

Rush Limbaugh Updates Listeners on Cancer Battle; ‘Under a Death Sentence.’ Talk radio legend Rush Limbaugh gave listeners an update on his battle with cancer at the outset of his Premiere Networks nationally syndicated program on Monday (10/19) and said that after a long period of keeping the cancer from spreading via treatment, recent tests show “some progression of cancer.” He told listeners, “I hate the way I feel every day. It’s tough to realize that the days where I do not think I’m under a death sentence are over. Now, we all are, is the point. We all know that we’re going to die at some point, but when you have a terminal disease diagnosis that has a time frame to it, then that puts a different psychological and even physical awareness to it.” But he went on to say that he still looks forward to going on the air every day. “I feel very blessed to be here speaking with you today. Some days are harder than others. I do get fatigued now. I do get very, very tired now. I’m not gonna mislead you about that. But I am extremely grateful to be able to come here to the studio and to maintain as much normalcy as possible – and it’s still true.” You know, I wake up every day and thank God that I did. I go to bed every night praying I’m gonna wake up.” Limbaugh first announced he’d been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer on February 3.

Industry Shocked by Savage’s Criticism of Limbaugh Cancer Update. Numerous talk radio industry pros – from executives to staffers working “in the trenches” – have told TALKERS magazine today that they are “disgusted” by Michael Savage’s Twitter post in the aftermath of Rush Limbaugh’s on-air update about the progression of his Stage 4 lung cancer and how he’s handling his terminal diagnosis. The tweet came yesterday immediately after Limbaugh’s first segment and read: “Limbaugh’s crying about his cancer on air! Worst 15 minutes in radio history! Spilled a large coffee all over counter and floor. I PROMISE MY AUDIENCE THIS – I WILL NOT DRAG YOU DOWN WITH ME! Best wishes RUSH, but stop and leave the stage with dignity.”  TALKERS founder Michael Harrison even threw his two cents into the discussion stating, “Savage got it all wrong.  Rush tapped the deepest level of the ties that bind talk show hosts to their listeners – the sharing of personal life experiences and feelings – yes, feelings. What Rush bravely did in sharing his first-hand perspective on his circumstances was a gift to his listeners and to the rest of us in radio.  It’s what makes our business a true community and elevates our place as a public forum to an enormously special level in a world awash in superficiality and hype.  Rush shared his heart with us.”

New Deal with CBS Sports for ‘Boomer & Gio.’ A new, multiyear extension is inked between Entercom and CBS Sports to continue simulcasting WFAN-AM/FM, New York’s “Boomer & Gio” morning drive show on the CBS Sports Network. The show co-hosted by Boomer Esiason and Gregg Giannotti airs live from 6:00 am to 10:00 am ET. Entercom New York SVP and market manager Chris Oliviero says, “Boomer and Gio have become a must-listen for New York sports fans to start their day with their unique perspectives, humor and a bit of the unexpected sprinkled in. WFAN is happy to extend our long partnership with CBS Sports Network to let fans nationwide take a peek into their world and join in on the fun each morning.” CBS Sports Network available through all major cable, satellite and telco distributors as well as via OTT streaming service providers YouTube TV, fuboTV, DirecTV and Hulu. Additionally, a live CBS Sports Network stream is available through CBSSports.com and the CBS Sports App by authenticating with select providers.

The Presidential Race/Voting Begins, COVID-19 Stats & Projections, the Economy/Stimulus Talks, Hunter Biden Laptop Case, Social Media ‘Censorship,’ Limbaugh Cancer Update, Russian Cyberattack Charges, and Jeffrey Toobin Zoom Incident Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/19). The November presidential election, the final debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden as well as the early and mail-in voting procedures; the rise in COVID-19 cases across most of the U.S. and Europe and projections for a fall/winter second wave; the state of the U.S. economy and negotiations in congress over a new stimulus package; chatter about the legitimacy of the Hunter Biden laptop matter; complaints by conservative media figures about “censorship” of posts that have locked their accounts; Rush Limbaugh delivers somber update on his battle with cancer; six Russian military officers are charged with cyberattacks by the U.S.’ and New Yorker writer and CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin is suspended after exposing himself during a Zoom meeting were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. According to a story by Neil Best at Newsday, Entercom’s WFAN, New York “The Fan” will – “barring a contractual glitch” – hire former morning drive star Craig Carton within the next few weeks and put him in the afternoon drive slot by January, if not sooner. The New York and Philadelphia media have been watching the sports talk radio scene intensely since Carton was let out of prison early after his fraud conviction in 2018. Most reports have cited sources indicating Carton will be with WFAN before long, but Beasley Media Group’s WPEN-FM “97.5 The Fanatic” in Philadelphia has reportedly been courting Carton…..Salem Radio Network is presenting coverage of this Thursday’s final presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, moderated by Kristen Welker of MSNBC. SRN’s coverage begins at 8:06 pm ET with a special “SRN Debate Preview” hosted by nationally syndicated SRN talk host Hugh Hewitt with special guests including HotAir.com’s Ed Morrissey and an update from SRN News White House correspondent Greg Clugston, who is credentialed and will report from the debate venue at the Belmont University campus in Nashville. Hewitt will also host a 60-minute “Debate Wrap-Up” show immediately following the 90-minute debate…..The Radio Advertising Bureau approved a new slate of officers at its recent Fall Board of Directors meeting. Neuhoff Media chief operating officer Mike Hulvey is the new board chair; Bill Hendrich, EVP, Cox Media Group is vice chair; Jeff Warshaw, CEO, Connoisseur Media, LLC joins as finance chair; Sabina Widmann, VP, general manager/director of sales, Univision Radio is secretary; and Susan Larkin, COO, Entercom Communications is immediate past chair. Hulvey says, “It’s an honor to serve the RAB and radio industry in this capacity. Radio is building a great success story not only of recovery, but revival. Thanks in part to the hard work of the RAB team, radio will accelerate from a new normal to a new better.”

Independent Broadcasters Association Commissions Financial Report. The newly formed Independent Broadcasters Association announces it is partnering with media specialty accounting firm dk east associates to conduct a financial analysis of independent broadcaster operations. Stations can be participants in the financial report at no charge, but they must be members of the IBA by October 31. The IBA says the financial report is the first independent-only analysis of its type. IBA founder and executive director Ron Stone says, “Finally, there will be intelligence that independent broadcasters can use to properly measure performance. We see a lot of information about the industry, but typically it only speaks to larger public companies and it is difficult to use it in a meaningful way for local operations. The IBA was formed to bring shared resources like this to independent broadcasters, along with revenue-generation and cost-saving opportunities.” The completed report will allow participating IBA members to compare and contrast their operations to others of similar size. It also will provide data against 2019 by quarter to allow members to gauge their own performance against similar operations during the COVID-19 crisis. Headcount figures will reflect changes from 2019 to reveal how independent operators are weathering the storm from a human resource perspective. In addition, intelligence on Q4 and 2021 will be gathered to determine how independents are feeling about the immediate future.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Laura G is promoted to program director at Cumulus Media’s country WSJR-FM “NASH 93.7.” She’s been serving as midday personality and will continue in that role. Cumulus Scranton/Wilkes-Barre vice president and market manager Chris Kenney says, “Laura has shown strong leadership and work ethic throughout her career with Cumulus and we are elated to promote her to PD of ‘NASH FM 93.7.’”…..Hubbard Radio names Kelsey Danca promotions director for hot AC WRMF, West Palm Beach. She joins the station from her most recent position as integrated marketing manager for AEG Presents in West Palm Beach.  WRMF program director Randi West comments, “Kelsey’s background in radio, events and digital made her the perfect fit for WRMF and ‘Party 96.3!’ Excited to have her on board to grow these heritage brands to all new levels.”.….Cumulus Media’s Westwood One Nashville is offering a special broadcast to honor American veterans hosted by “American Country Countdown” host Kix Brooks. The annual two-hour holiday music special, “A Salute to Our Military Veterans with Kix Brooks,” includes friends and fellow artists Florida Georgia Line, Chris Janson, Kane Brown, Dustin Lynch, Jon Pardi, and Brantley Gilbert talking about their appreciation for the nation’s military. It’s available for stations to air beginning Saturday, November 7 through Wednesday, November 11 between 6:00 am and 12:00 midnight.

Monday, December 16, 2013

| December 16, 2013

wwrllogoNew York Losing Progressive Talk Outlet WWRL.  Progressive talk host Karel – whose Long Beach, California-based talk show is heard on Access.1’s WWRL, New York – reports the station says it will flip to Spanish-language programming on December 27.  The station airs progressive talk programming including Ed Schultz, Thom Hartmann, Premiere’s Randi Rhodes, and Leslie Marshall as well as non-political shows including Radio America’s Dr. Joy Browne, WYD Media’s Phil Hendrie plus various health and wellness shows.  New York’s Amsterdam News reports the station is telling employees “low advertising revenue” is the reason for the format flip.

browndarrellBrown Boosted to Bonneville International President.  KSL Broadcast Group president Darrell Brown is promoted to president of parent company Bonneville International.  Brown will oversee Bonneville’s 12 radio properties in Los Angeles, Seattle, Phoenix, and Salt Lake City, as well as Salt Lake City television outlet KSL-TV.  “Bonneville International is known across the industry for its integrity and quality,” he comments. “As a group, these stations are committed to serving and building-up their local communities.  I am honored to be part of Bonneville’s legacy.”  Brown joined KSL last August, after having previously spent 28 years at McGraw-Hill Broadcasting.

boomercartonchilisSports Talker WFAN, New York Sponsors Red Hot Chili Peppers-Headlines Show at Barclay Center.  With the Super Bowl just across the river the next day, CBS Radio sports talk giant WFAN, New York is sponsoring a big event across the other river at the Barclays Center titled, “WFAN’s Big Hello to Brooklyn.”  The announcement was made this morning as WFAN morning team Boomer Esiason (left) and Craig Carton (right) welcomed Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith (center) into the studio and announced his band will be headlining the show on Saturday, February 1, 2014.  The concert will also include: New Politics, MS MR, J. Roddy Walston & The Business, and Basic Vacation.  CBS calls it “the biggest weekend in sports and entertainment, and is the exciting conclusion to Barclays Center’s “Kickoff In Brooklyn” series which also includes championship boxing (1/30/2014) and a match-up between the Brooklyn Nets and the Oklahoma City Thunder (1/31/2014).  CBS Radio SVP, strategic events and partnerships Amy Stevens says, “The intersection of sports and music is never bigger than during the weekend of the Super Bowl.  Red Hot Chili Peppers are an American institution and rock ‘n’roll icons, and what better way to celebrate football’s championship than with this incredible lineup of artists for local fans and the thousands in New York from around the world.”

francesamikeWFAN’s Mike Francesa to Exit YES Network.  The New York TV simulcast of WFAN, New York’s Mike Francesa will end on January 31 after the current contract expires and WEPN-FM afternoon drive host Michael Kay’s program will take over the time slot on the Yankees-owned cable channel.  The New York Daily News reports that the change was a financial matter and that CBS Radio was asking more for the rights to the program than YES wanted to pay.  The Daily News piece speculates that cable’s Madison Square Garden Network may have the “inside track” with Francesa as he’s considered close to Garden management.  The story also notes that fledgling cable channel CBS Sports Network, which is airing WFAN’s Boomer & Carton morning show, is not enticing to Francesa because he fears he’d have to change his content to appeal to the national audience.

shapirosteakSteak Added to WCNN Menu.  In addition to existing members Sandra Golden and Brian Finneran, “The Front Row” on Dickey Broadcasting, Atlanta’s WCNN “Sports Radio 680 The Fan” will be comprised of Stephen “Steak” Shapiro as well.  Formerly the 17-year host of “Mayhem in the AM” on Lincoln Financial Media’s crosstown WQXI “790 The Zone,” Shapiro has won numerous Georgia broadcasting awards and starts his daily 9:00 am – 12:00 noon assignment on Januarywcnn logo 2.  WCNN president/general manager David Dickey comments, “I am excited to have ‘Steak’ back on ‘The Fan.’  He is one of the best-known and most-talented sports personalities in the country.  ‘Steak’ will become an important part of what is already the region’s biggest and most-experienced sports-talk line-up.  His homecoming is yet another example of Dickey Broadcasting’s ongoing commitment to invest in the best talent, the best content and the biggest partnerships.”  Shapiro, who replaces Ray Mariner, adds, “‘The Fan’ gave me my start and is the reason I moved to Atlanta [from Boston] almost 20 years ago.  I am ecstatic to be back doing what I love.  ‘The Fan’ has been the number one sports talk station in the south for so many years.  To be able to be a part of such a winning team with so many folks I have worked alongside in the past and consider friends is really thrilling.”  Shapiro founded Big League Broadcasting in 1997 and was its president for roughly 14 years.

millerchrisDare to be Crap-Free.  When it comes to online content, it’s easy to think you have a staffing problem or a time management problem or a resources problem, when what you really have is a crap problem.  In a new column posted today (12/16) by noted digital radio consultant and TALKERS columnist Chris Miller, he writes, “There’s stuff on your site that is irrelevant to your station and is keeping people from finding what they DO want to find there.  Your social media is probably influenced more by what everyone else is doing in social media, rather than what will cause your biggest fans to love you all the more.”  To read how Chris Miller can help you get crap-free and focused on results for 2014, please click here.

jonesmaryOdds & Sods.  Connecticut talk show host Mary Jones announces she’ll retire from Buckley Broadcasting-owned news/talk station WDRC-AM, Hartford as of December 23 in order to spend more time with her husband and enjoy winters in Florida.  Jones tells TALKERS it was a big decision but she is excited about the change…..  WMAL-AM/FM, Washington “Mornings on the Mall” co-host Larry O’Connor is doing some double duty during the holiday season.  O’Connor will sub for WABC, New York-based Geraldo Rivera beginning December 20 through the end of the year (and the end of hisoconnorlarry national syndication run) and will also sit in for WestwoodOne-syndicated personality Dennis Miller on January 2 and 3 – the last two days of his 10:00 am to 1:00 pm airing (the show begins airing from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm on 1/6)…..“Libertarian-conservative” media personality Wayne Allyn Root will be guest host on Cumulus Media Networks’ “Savage Nation” with Michael Savage from December 23 – 30.  Root is author of The Ultimate Obama Survival Guide (Regnery 2013) and serves as a commentator on Fox News Channel and TheBlaze.

bearmanKIONliveshotKSCO, Santa Cruz Personality Ethan Bearman’s Profile Rising.  Talk radio personality and writer Ethan Bearman is getting more recognition in the Santa Cruz market as his locally focused talk show on Zwerling-owned KSCO, Santa Cruz grows in popularity.  Recently, Bearman was a go-to media voice for a KION-TV news piece (captured here) on the anniversary of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.  View that video here.  Also, Bearman, who has intensely covered the hot issue of dirty needles, trash and other refuse in the town’s parks that’s making it unsafe for people to use, was part of a clean-up crew that made the news for its work.  Read about that issue in a piece in the Santa Cruz Patch here.  Bearman is a visible example of a growing trend in news/talk radio in which talk hosts are eschewing monolithic political party doctrine and instead are approaching their programs on an issue-by-issue basis.

hawkinstommyHawkins Scores With CRN Special. Over the weekend (Saturday, 12/14), former NBA player Tommy Hawkins premiered his CRN Digital Talk Radio holiday special “We Wish You a Jazzy Christmas.”  According to CRN chief executive officer Michael Horn, “‘We Wish You a Jazzy Christmas’ is filled with holiday-themed jazz music, along with Tommy’s infectious, warm personality.  His love of jazz and the holidays combine for such a treat.  It is the perfectcrn logo accompaniment for an evening by a Christmas tree.”  Following a standout collegiate career at Notre Dame (where he was a two-year All-American), Hawkins went on to play in the NBA for the Los Angeles Lakers and Cincinnati Royals (now the Sacramento Kings).  He later became vice president of communications for the Los Angeles Dodgers organization.  For approximately 15 years beginning in 1970, “Hawk” was a staple on Los Angeles siblings KABC and KLOS.  As part of his basketball-to-broadcasting transition Hawkins not only became KABC’s sports director, he also did “Sports Snorts” weekday mornings with remarkably talented Frazer Smith on KLOS.  In addition to doing weekends on KKJZ “K-Jazz,” Los Angeles, Hawkins has written “Life’s Reflections: Poetry for the People.”  His CRN special will play throughout the holiday season.

kfxx eventOver $120,000 Raised in KFXX Special Olympics Radio-thon.  Entercom-owned sports outlet KFXX “1080 The Fan” afternoon drive (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm) hosts Isaac Ropp (pictured here at left with some female fans) and Jason Scukanec (second from right) anchored the third annual 28-hour Special Olympics Oregon radio-thon, which brought in more than $120,000.  Program director Jeff Austin comments, “We are proud to partner with Special Olympics Oregon.  The overwhelming support of our station’s staff, our listeners, and advertisers was a testament to the bond Isaac and Suke have with their audience.”  Scukanec (“Suke”) states, “We cannot thank our listeners enough – Portland is a special community and this is a very special cause.  We talk about sports and high-powered athletes every day, but these Olympians are the real athletes.  They are the real champions and we are privileged to honor their spirit and dedication.”  Special Olympics Oregon chief development officer Kim Bergstrom adds, “We are honored to partner with [KFXX]. Isaac and Suke’s radio-thon helps raise funds to support year-round sports training and competition opportunities for thousands of individuals with intellectual disability.  In addition, they generate immeasurable awareness of the importance of Special Olympics Oregon programs for athletes and their families.”  This year’s $120,000 radio-thon total surpassed last year’s mark by more than $45,000.

broadcast electronics logoBroadcast Electronics Bumps Up Bealor To President.  Effective immediately, Broadcast Electronics executive vice president of product development Tim Bealor is upped to president of the Quincy, Illinois-based company.  “I am honored to be asked to lead BE into its 55th year and the next phase of the company’s growth,” he comments.  “Next year is going to be an exciting time for Broadcast Electronics and its customers.”  Bealor began his Broadcast Electronics career as a technician in 1975.  Over the past 38 years, he has held a variety of technical, support, product management, sales leadership, and marketing positions with the company.

Monday, December 2, 2013

| December 2, 2013

boomercartonWFAN-AM/FM, New York’s ‘Boomer & Carton’ to Simulcast on CBS Sports Network.  The video simulcast of the morning drive sports talk show based at WFAN-AM/FM, New York and hosted by Boomer Esiason (left) and Craig Carton (right) had been airing on the Madison Square Garden cable channel in New York.  That deal ended in early October and now CBS announces the video simulcast will appear on itscbssportsnetwork cable and satellite channel CBS Sports Network beginning in January.  The company says, “Combining these two powerful assets within CBS will result in national exposure for the local radio program and premier weekday content for the 24-hour cable home of CBS Sports.”  CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus states, “The addition of the ‘Boomer & Carton’ show significantly enhances our on-air lineup, adding hours of live and relevant programming to CBS Sports Network each morning.  It is great to be able to welcome one of the nation’s top sports talk radio shows to the networks of CBS Sports.”  It is believed the New York Yankees-owned YES Network also was involved in the bidding process as it simulcasts WFAN-AM/FM afternoon personality Mike Francesa’s show.

clearchannelBloomberg: Clear Channel Burning Cash to Delay Reckoning. In a piece published by Bloomberg, Krista Giovacco writes that Clear Channel’s recently announced desire to push the due date on $1.8 billion in borrowings from 2016 to another three to five years into the future and almost double the interest rate buys the company time, but also eats into its cash flow.  Giovacco reports, “While the proposal gives Clear Channel more time to turn around a business that’s posted losses every year after Bain Capital Partners LLC and Thomas H. Lee Partners LP took control in 2008, it also raises the company’s risk of missing interest payments on $20.7 billion of debt, according to Moody’s Investors Service.  After capital expenses, Clear Channel ran a deficit from operations in the year ended June, meaning the company had to eat into cash that’s declined more than 60% since the end of 2010 to $704.2 million.  ‘Refinancing at a higher rate is never a positive,’ Scott Van den Bosch, a New York-based senior analyst at Moody’s, said in a telephone interview. ‘It’s not a cure-all, but it buys them time to improve the balance sheet.’”  Giovacco further states, “Clear Channel is seeking to extend $1 billion of loans to 2019 from 2016 and is proposing to pay interest of as much as 7.5 percentage points more than the London interbank offered rate, compared with 3.65 percentage points more than Libor on the existing debt, according to CreditSights Inc., Clear Channel had a free cash-flow deficit of $69.4 million in the year ended June, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.  On the trailing 12-month basis, the company burned cash for the first time since 2009, the data show.”  Read the entire piece here.

blumalanCBS Radio Creates New Sales Role; Names Alan Blum VP.  CBS Radio announces the unveiling of a new title within the company – vice president of branded content solutions – and announces Alan Blum is stepping into the role immediately.  CBS states that Blum will report to Rich Lobel, executive vice president and CMO, Altitude Group, a team of local engagement experts tasked with helping Fortune 500 brands connect with consumers using CBS Radio and CBS Television Stations along with their digital properties, as well as CBS’s outdoor assets.  It further states that in this new role, Blum will work directly with the nation’s leading marketers to develop cross-platform programs that build brand awareness and favorability for advertisers.  He will identify unique and engaging ways to introduce clients into a range of broadcast and digital programming, as well as out of home media.”  Lobel comments, “Local marketing is rapidly becoming the ‘new black,’ and given Alan’s considerable agency and branded content experience, he is the ideal partner to have as we enhance our commitment to delivering world class solutions to clients who want to own the local market landscape.  He has a fresh perspective in looking at marketing solutions from a consumer point of view, and can see opportunities that have a chance to become sensational.”  Blum comes to CBS Radio from Re:Vision, a New York-based advertising agency he founded in 1993.

duffscottWCPT, Chicago Adds Gay Programming.  Newsweb Radio-owned progressive talk radio outlet WCPT, Chicago announces the addition of programming targeted to the gay community.  As tipped by Chicago media writer Robert Feder, the station is adding a show called “Out Chicago” hosted by Scott Duff to air from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm on Sundays.  In addition, the station will air a series of vignettes – also titled “Out Chicago” – to air daily on the station.  Newsweb Radio consultant Michael Damsky says, “It’s an ideal content and branding overlay for WCPT’s progressive talk format.  WCPT is the only radio station serving the needs of Chicago’s vibrant LBGT community and the only broadcast outlet allowing advertisers to directly target this important market segment.”

mannmichaelWIND, Chicago Names Mann GSM.  Salem Communications’ news/talk WIND, Chicago has a new general sales manager as Michael Mann moves from crosstown WLS to “AM 560 The Answer.”  WIND general manager Jeff Reisman states, “Michael is a proven, respected, and talented leader who has an outstanding track record of nurturing sales talent, driving growth, plus a keen understanding of both local and ad agency business.  I am confident that under his leadership, AM 560’s sales department will rise to new levels.”  Mann adds, “I am thrilled to join Jeff and the entire Salem Chicago team.  I look forward to continuing to work with advertisers in delivering creative and effective campaigns.”

hamiltonhacksawSan Diego Sports Talk Host Lee “Hacksaw” Hamilton Joins U-T.  Lee “Hacksaw” Hamilton, morning drive host at Broadcast Company of the Americas-owned sports outlet XEPRS, San Diego “Mighty 1090,” joins the San Diego Union-Tribune as a sports columnist.  He’ll be authoring his “1-Man’s Opinion” column each Monday.  Hamilton is a 26-year veteran of the San Diego market.  He was the longtime voice of the San Diego Chargers.  Last year, he was voted “Columnist of the Year” while writing for SDNN.com and SWRNN.com by the San Diego Press Club.

wisconsin logoClear Channel Steals Badgers Athletics from Journal.  As University of Wisconsin director of athletics Barry Alvarez notes, Badgers football has been heard on Journal Broadcast Group’s WTMJ, Milwaukee since 1927, but that is changing next season as football, men’s basketball, hockey and women’s basketball and coaches shows will be heard on Clear Channel’s oldies WRIT and sports talk WOKY “The Big 920.”  Alvarez says, “We appreciate the opportunity to move the needle in our history books with Clear Channel, yet at the same time, we’re extremely grateful to Steve Wexler and everyone associated with Journal Broadcasting for building an incredible radio heritage for the Badgers.  We have high expectations for the Clear Channel affiliates and know our fans will continue to enjoy high-quality Badger broadcasts and programming.”  Associated programming will also air on news/talk WISN.  The deal was struck by rights holder Learfield Sports.

Lew Dickey, Sr. Passes at 86.  Broadcaster Lew Dickey, Sr. passed away over the Thanksgiving weekend at age 86.  In a statement, Lew Dickey, Jr. – CEO of Cumulus Media – states, “My dad was an enormously talented broadcaster and, more importantly, a deeply devoted husband, father, and mentor.  He touched the lives of many people and will be dearly missed.”  Dickey, Sr. got his start in radio at Storer Broadcasting’s WWVA, Wheeling, West Virginia and quickly rose through the ranks at the company.  He was promoted within Storer to leadership positions at KDKA-TV, Pittsburgh followed by WAGA-TV, Atlanta.  In 1958, Dickey left a successful corporate career to start Midwestern Broadcasting by acquiring WKWK in Wheeling. In 24 months, he turned around the failing station, and began to expand.  In 1965, he bought WOHO-AM, Toledo and added WWWM-FM in 1973.  Shortly afterwards, he bought WLIO-TV in Lima, Ohio in partnership with the Toledo Blade.  In 1992, he purchased WALR-FM and WCNN-AM in Atlanta.

gardner proposalIcy Proposal Gets Warm Reception.  That young man on his knee on the ice at a recent Fort Wayne Komets game is news/talk WOWO, Fort Wayne morning show producer Loren Gardner and the lovely young lady he’s just asked to marry him is country WQHK, Fort Wayne “K105” afternoon personality Heather Cruise.  Cruise appeared at the hockey game to sing the national anthem and she had no idea that after she finished, Gardner would be there to pop the question.  Needless to say, she was a bit surprised but she did indeed say, “Yes.”

Thursday, September 26, 2013

| September 26, 2013

savagemichaelMichael Savage Makes It Official: Moves to PM Drive in January.  Cumulus Media Networks talk star Michael Savage confirmed to listeners to his Wednesday evening program that he will move to the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm ET slot for the live broadcast of his program beginning in January.  As Savage said to fans last month, he will take over the slot currently held by Premiere Networks’ Sean Hannity on 60 stations owned by Cumulus Media including a number of major market news/talk stations — WABC, New York; WMAL, Washington; WBAP, Dallas; KSFO, San Francisco; WJR, Detroit; and WLS-AM, Chicago.  Clear Channel is promising to clear Hannity in markets where Cumulus currently airs thehannitysean program.  At WLS, the local program “Roe & Roeper” featuring Roe Conn and Richard Roeper airs from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  If, indeed Savage moves to the 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm CT timeslot, something’s gotta give there.  At WJR, Detroit, Hannity currently airs from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm when local host Mitch Albom takes over from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  Even during his long tenure with TRN, Savage’s afternoon broadcast time on the West Coast pushed his live program into the evening hours in the East.  This is his first opportunity for Savage to air live in PM drive in the East.  In an official statement from Cumulus, Savage says, “With this important time slot as well as the iconic Cumulus stations coveted by everyone in radio, I hope to edutain the world.  Politics will always be my mainstay but there is so much more to talk about.  Breaking news and science, religion, films, books have always been my calling cards.  With these new stations, I break out a new deck.”  Commenting on the forthcoming change, TALKERS magazine publish Michael Harrison states, “This move of Michael Savage to afternoon drive on a variety of Cumulus heritage stations coupled with the high-profile accent of Sean Hannity to an almost impenetrable national phalanx of heavyweight Clear Channel sticks such as the legendary WOR, New York, that will welcome his arrival with  major promotion and enthusiasm, is an exciting shot in the arm for news/talk radio in general across America.  Having a choice between Hannity and Savage on the dial during afternoon drive in every major East Coast market (and earlier elsewhere) is sure to increase overall listening and the image of the format for all concerned.”

cainepaulWestwoodOne CEO Paul Caine Speaks on Ad Week Panel.  Speaking on a panel discussion titled, Kings of Content, as part of the events surrounding “Advertising Week” in New York City on Wednesday, WestwoodOne CEO Paul Caine touted the expanding value of audio to advertisers as it moves beyond just the traditional AM/FM radio model.  Caine also echoed the statements made by RadioInfo/TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison during his speech at the NAB/RAB Radio Show last week when he noted that content without the proper platform is not “king,” that a respected and recognized platform is necessary to successfully deliver good content.  Caine stated that the industry needs to build both content and platforms that consumers want.  In explaining the growing nature of audio, Caine said the newer forms of content are those people use when they aren’t able to view a screen or read.  “We have to think about it as long-form, whether that’s an NFL game, which we broadcast, to short-form which is podcasting, to shorter-form which is social audio that can be put into bite-sized content and shared with your friends.”  Caine said the numerous ways in which audio content is now packaged is good for advertisers.  “Companies like ours have been growing in terms of our ability to reach more consumers.”

lm communications logoL.M. Communications Fights Back in Arbitron Copyright Infringement Suit.  Arbitron’s suit for copyright infringement of its radio ratings data against Lexington, Kentucky-based broadcaster L.M. Communications is under order by U.S. District Court Judge Karen K. Caldwell for both sides to meet to see if they can come to a settlement and then file a report with the court.  This comes as L.M. argues Arbitron does not have and cannot own copyright rights to the data.  L.M. states, “Plaintiff… has known, or should have known, that it does not, and cannot, own any copyright rights in any data, information, rankings, or other factual listings, and that it cannot prevent third parties including radio stations from receiving and using this unprotectable data.  Despite this knowledge, Plaintiff has attempted to impermissively extend the scope of any copyright rights it may have, in a calculated campaign to maintain its monopolistic stranglehold on the radio ratings market.  Plaintiff has done so through threats and filing of multiple lawsuits and by improperly manipulating its data to punish nonsubscribers.  This improper manipulation includes, among other things, threatening to gerrymander radio station markets to improperly force subscription to Arbitron’s services, and outright exclusion from the data rankings of non-subscriber stations as if they do not exist at all.  Arbitron has announced plans to implement additional discriminatory practices in the future including combining simulcast data for only subscribing stations to give them an advantage over nonsubscribers.  In doing so, plaintiff has made a mockery of the very ‘facts’ and ‘data’ it seeks to protect.  Plaintiff’s misconduct in engaging in acts of copyright misuse has the effect of rendering Plaintiff’s copyrights, to the extent valid at all, unenforceable.”  According to the judge’s orders, the two sides must have met by October 9 and filed a report by October 19.

boomercartonCBS Sports Network Enters into ‘Boomer & Carton’ TV Simulcast Picture.  The television simulcast of WFAN, New York’s “Boomer & Carton” morning drive show is currently aired on the local MSG Network but that deal ends on Monday.  The New York Daily News is reporting that joining the Yankees-owned YES Network in the bidding process is the show’s parent company-owned CBS Sports Network cable channel.  Although the exclusive negotiation period between the program and MSG has ended, MSG has the right to match any offer.  The Daily News says sources close to the situation say the fledgling cable sports channel was originally interested in simulcasting the CBS Sports Radio Network morning show with Tiki Barber, Brandon Tierney and Dana Jacobson but is now interested in Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton.  As the paper observes, Boomer & Carton are a local show and if they “go national” via CBS Sports Network, would they alter their content to appeal to a national audience?  We’ll probably have the answers to these and other questions before the current deal ends on Monday.

wproWPRO, Providence Takes a Look at Journalism in the Digital Age as Part of Live Debate Series.  The event takes place today from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm at Roger Williams University in Providence with WPRO’s Tara Granahan moderating the discussion.  It’s the fourth in the station’s debate series and it’s titled, “Reading Between the Lines,” andgranahantara examines the complexities of funding and producing journalism in the digital age.  It is being streamed live at 630WPRO.com and will be the center piece of a WPRO Special Report scheduled to air during the “WPRO Morning News with Gene Valicenti” the week of September 30.  Panelists include: Mark Patinkin, columnist for the Providence Journal; Linda Levin, former dean of URI’s Journalism Department; Barbara Meagher, URI professor and former TV reporter; John Howell, owner and publisher of the Warwick Beacon and Cranston Herald; Dan MacGowan, blogger and reporter from WPRI-TV; and Michael Skully, assistant professor of communications at Roger Williams University.

carlsongretchenOdds & Sods.  Fox News Channel unveils new program, “The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson,” to debut in the 2:00 pm ET slot on Monday, September 30.  Carlson left the “Fox & Friends” morning show to focus on this new program.  She was replaced by Elisabeth Hasselbeck.  Carlson says in a statement, “I am thrilled that Roger Ailes has given me the opportunity to host a signature show for Fox that will focus on the real stories of the day.  From in-depth interviews to social media interaction live during the show, I look forward to joining viewers in the afternoon for smart and straight-forward talk.”…..Synergy is going on at CBS Sports Radio Network where Boomer Esiason – co-host of WFAN, New York’s “Boomer & Carton” show and host of the network’s “Sports Minute” feature will call in to the network’s Jim Rome program every Friday at 12:20 ET during football season…..ESPN Radio’s Thursday night game this week is Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech with Bill Rosinski calling the action along with analyst David Norrie and sideline reporter Joe Schad.  Also ESPN Radio’s “SVP & Russillo” will broadcast live tomorrow from the set of ESPN TV’s College GameDay Built by The Home Depot at Myers Quad on the campus of the University of Georgia in advance of the Georgia vs LSU game on Saturday…..SiriusXM debuts a new 24/7 comedy channel called “Just For Laughs” that features over 30 years of stand-up comedy drawn from the comedy archives of the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal, including the work of established comedians, new faces, international superstars, and stand-up from comedians before they were stars…..The New York Times writer Carmen Wong Ulrich joins American Public Media to host the weekend program “Marketplace Money” beginning November 2.

entercomCool Job Opportunity.  Entercom San Francisco (96.5 KOIT, 95.7 The GAME, 102.9 KBLX, 98.5 & 102.1 KFOX) is looking for a web director who can immediately step in and be responsible for developing the voice for all aspects of the organization’s online presence. You must possess the skills to do web design and create and edit high quality video/graphics while maintaining our station’s websites on a daily basis.  In addition to writing, editing, and proofreading site content, this candidate will work closely with the corporate technical team to maintain site standards in regards to new development.  The web director will also be responsible for crafting site promotions, email newsletters and online outreach campaigns.  This job requires prior experience managing online marketing and outreach campaigns, strong attention to detail and an ability to work under tight deadlines.  The ideal candidate must have a STRONG knowledge and love of sports!  Additionally the web director should have an extensive knowledge and understanding of social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), SEO, web analytics and digital marketing best practices.  Logistically, the web director implements web pages, maintains content including user clubs, web design, video editing, audio editing, digital and print ready and graphic.  The ideal candidate will be a brand evangelist who doesn’t just think outside of the box but can create a new one!  To be considered, please send your cover letter and resume to SCunningham@entercom.com and JBarrett@entercom.com. You can also find further details about the job responsibilities and skills required for this position in the careers section on http://www.entercom.com.  No phone calls please.  Entercom San Francisco is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

bfoagolfBroadcasters Foundation of America Raises $235,000 at Celebrity Golf Tourney.  The Broadcasters Foundation of America announces it brought in $235,000 to help broadcasters in need at its 2013 Celebrity Golf Tournament on Monday at the Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, New Jersey.  The organization says the funds come at a time when more broadcasters than ever are in need of assistance.  The Foundation expects to grant more than $850,000 in aid over the next year.  More than 150 broadcasters and celebrities turned out in support of the mission of the Broadcasters Foundation, including 30 sportscasters, athletes, and actors.  Celebrity golfers included Bruce Beck, WNBC-TV; Nick Buoniconti, NFL Super Bowl Champion; Craig Carton, WFAN; Duke Castiglione, Fox 5; Tina Cervasio, MSG Network; Howard Cross, NFL Super Bowl Champion; Maurice Dubois, WCBS-TV; John Franco, New York Mets Hall of Famer; Jay Harris, ESPN; Ann Liguori, WFAN Radio and ESPN; Otis Livingston, WCBS-TV; Sean McDonough, ESPN; Lonnie Quinn, WCBS-TV; Bill Raftery, CBS Sports; Sterling Sharpe, NFL Green Bay Packers Hall of Famer; Mike Woodson, New York Knicks; Chris Wragge, WCBS-TV, and more.

The Effort to Defund ObamaCare, Government Shutdown Threat, Climate Change Controversy, and U.S.-Iran Relations Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/25).  The attempt by members of the GOP to defund the Affordable Care Act; the threat of a federal government shutdown; the controversy over the science behind climate change; and the relations between the U.S. and Iran as the latter approaches completion of its nuclear program were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

| January 29, 2013

schnitttoddSchnitt vs. Bubba: Monday Recap.  After the news of Todd Schnitt’s attorney being arrested on DUI charges and allegations that Bubba The Love Sponge’s attorneys set him up for the arrest became the predominant aspect of the case on Friday and both sides asked for mistrials for varying reasons, Hillsborough County Judge James Arnold on Mondaybubba did not grant a mistrial saying the jury had not been compromised and testimony went forward.  But not before Arnold agreed to throw out five of the 16 defamation counts against Bubba (Todd Clem).  One in which Bubba accused Schnitt of possibly engaging in plug-ola, three in which he called him a “fraud,” and another in which he called him a “snitch.”  The other 11 counts remain.  Schnitt’s team rested its case on Monday and Bubba’s lawyers called michaelsrandyformer Clear Channel Radio president Randy Michaels, under whom both Schnitt and Bubba worked at one time, to the stand.  Michaels first complimented both Schnitt and Bubba for being talented radio performers.  He said that the feud between the two had gotten too intense and he asked them to “tone it down.”  He told the jury the language Bubba used when saying he wanted a funeral for MJ Kelli (Schnitt’s CHR morning show moniker) was hyperbole and not to be taken literally.  Also taking the stand was a former producer for Schnitt who now works for Bubba who testified that Schnitt spoke on the air jokingly about his wife’s “tramp stamp” tattoo – an effort by the defense to ask  the jury that if Schnitt could joke about his wife being a “tramp,” how is Bubba’s calling her a “whore” any different?  The defense is expected to continue its arguments today.

ballentinewarrenNationally Syndicated Talk Host Warren Ballentine Charged with Mortgage Fraud.  The Chicago-based attorney and host of the Warren Ballentine show distributed nationally via Syndication One is being indicted on charges related to an alleged mortgage fraud scheme.  The Justice Department reports that a federal grand jury returned indictments for two counts of bank fraud, two counts of making false statements to lenders and one count each of mail fraud and wire fraud.  The UPI reports the indictment is seeking a forfeiture of some $9.7 million in fraud proceeds.  The feds allege Ballentine plotted with others to obtain more than two dozen fraudulent mortgage loans and that he represented buyers at closings knowing that they weren’t qualified for home mortgages in Chicago and its southern suburbs.  Ballentine is expected to be arraigned next week.  Meanwhile TALKERS sources close to Ballentine say he maintains his innocence and that the truth will come out.  His talk show is currently heard on some 37 affiliates across the country including WVON, Chicago.

barreirodanClear Channel’s KFAN Network Re-Signs Dan Barreiro.  Sports talk host Dan Barreiro and Clear Channel Media and Entertainment agree on a multi-year contract extension for the KFXN, Minneapolis-based sports talk host.  Barreiro hosts the afternoon drive program on the company’s KFAN sports talk brand that is distributed to numerous stations across Minnesota.  CC Minneapolis vice president of programming Gregg Swedberg says, “Dan has been the top afternoon drive talk personality in the market for decades and has many loyal listeners all over the country through iHeartRadio.  We are delighted that Dan will be with us for a long time.”

bakerchrisChris Baker Lands at KFAB, Omaha for PM Drive.  Talk radio pro Chris Baker’s next gig is at Clear Channel’s KFAB, Omaha where he’ll host the afternoon drive program.  Baker – a veteran of the Houston, Minneapolis, Miami and Omaha markets – recently exited the Dan Patrick-owned KSEV, Houston talk outlet.  He says, “Since my family and I are in Omaha to visit friends and relatives on a regular basis, it’s only natural that I would want to put down root here.  KFAB is a legendary Midwest radio powerhouse and I’m excited to work with Gary Sadlemyer and the whole crew.”  His new gig begins February 11.

mcnabbdonovanOdds & Sods.  NBC Sports Radio Network brings former NFL star Donovan McNabb aboard to eventually be part of a daily sports talk show to begin on April 1.  Until that time, McNabb will begin as a weekly contributor as the build-up to the Super Bowl takes place.  McNabb will serve as a lead NFL analyst and will call in to affiliate station programs…..Formerbrandotim Yahoo! Sports Radio personality Tim Brando begins a new gig with SiriusXM Satellite Radio where he’ll host his eponymous program on the SiriusXM College Sports Nation channel.  Brando’s program will continue to be simulcast on cable TV’s CBS Sports Network…..WTOP, Washington news anchor Richard Day has retired from the Hubbard Broadcasting all-news brand.  Vice president of news and programming Jim Farley says Day’s retirement was handled with no fanfare at Day’s request…..Chicagoland Radio and Media reports that WFLD-TV sports anchor Lou Canellis is beginning a regular hour-long, daily appearance on WLS-AM, Chicago’s “Roe & Roeper” PM drive program with Roe Conn and Richard Roeper.  Canellis is now part of the 5:00 pm hour every day to talk sports on the Cumulus Media station.  The blog speculates that the move is part of a greater effort to add sports content to the station to improve its ratings…..The “4th Period Live” program returns to SiriusXM’s NHL Network for its second season beginning Saturday, February 2 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET.  The show is hosted by David Pagnotta, 4th Period‘s editor-in-chief from Toronto and Dennis Bernstein, its Los Angeles-based senior writer.  The show is an extension of TFP’s brand of hockey lifestyle content that includes a highly visited website (www.thefourthperiod.com) and quarterly print magazine available on newsstands throughout North America.

huckabeerenoHuckabee Visits Reno.  Cumulus Media Networks nationally syndicated talk host Governor Mike Huckabee is pictured here with KNEZ, Reno news director and afternoon drive host Sean Patrick at the sparkling new studios of the Shamrock Communications news/talk station.  Huckabee’s program is carried by “KNEWS” – a new FM signal and news/talk brand that Shamrock recently put on the air in the market.

calajoeSouthern California Sports Personality Joe Cala Named to Hall of Fame.  KNX, Los Angeles sports anchor Joe Cala was inducted into the Southern California Sports Broadcasters Hall of Fame at the organization’s 22nd annual awards luncheon at the Lakeside Golf Club in Toluca Lake, California.  Cala has been with KNX for the past six years and spent the previous 32 years at crosstown KFWB.  The SCSB has served as a major forum for recognizing and advancing sports broadcasting in Southern California since 1958.  Its Hall of Fame includes Dick Enberg, Tom Harmon, Don Drysdale, Chick Hearn, Gil Stratton, Stu Nahan, Vin Scully and Jim Hill, to name a few.

millerkevingunsTown Hall Meeting in Boise Addresses Second Amendment.  You’re looking over the shoulder of KIDO, Boise morning drive host Kevin Miller as he addresses the more than 300 area residents who attended the Peak Broadcasting station’s Town Hall Meeting to discuss Second Amendment issues in the wake of the Obama Administration’s call for stricter gun legislation.  Miller tells TALKERS that the event was covered locally by two of the market’s television stations.

mcguireseanKOIL, Omaha Adds Weekend Affordable Care Act Program.  The program is called “America’s Healthcare Challenge” and is hosted by Sean McGuire.  The goal of the program is to provide valuable insight into implementation of the Affordable Care Act and prepare decision makers for looming penalties and taxes in the law.  McGuire states, “This is currently the only radio show of its kind in the US.  Business owners are clamoring for credible information and answers to their questions like how employees’ benefits will change next year and what innovative ways exist to curb rising healthcare costs constantly squeezing bottom lines all over the country…I was a part of the research team for the Senate Finance Committee five years ago.  The law originated conceptually in the Senate and I have read the bill multiple times.  It is my desire to bring my listeners information they need to know as if they were Members of Congress.”

morrisonsotomayorJustice Sotomayor Visits SCPR.  United States Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor (right) poses for a photo with Southern California Public Radio special correspondent Patt Morrison (left) during an appearance at KPCC, Pasadena’s Crawford Family Forum.  The venue was packed with local high school and college students, as well KPCC listeners who came to hear Sotomayor speak about her life and promote her new autobiography My Beloved World (Knopf 2013).  Patt Morrison interviewed Sotomayor as part of the appearance.

greenbergbookESPN Radio’s Mike Greenberg Announces New Novel to Benefit the V Foundation.  Nationally syndicated ESPN Radio and ESPN 2 personality Mike Greenberg announces the publication of his first novel titled, All You Could Ask For (William Morrow 2013).  In making the announcement from the Super Bowl radio row in New Orleans, Greenberg stated that all of the author’s proceeds from the sale of the book will benefit The V Foundation for Cancer Research.  Greenberg says, “I wrote this book to honor the memory of a good friend of mine and my wife Stacy’s named Heidi Armitage, who lost her battle with breast cancer in 2009 at the age of 43.  The V Foundation is an obvious organization to work with.  Mike Golic and I have been honored to be a part of many great V Foundation events over the years.  I’m so proud of our connection to the V Foundation.”

wachsdaliahpodiumDr. Daliah Wachs at the Podium.  Practicing family physician and nationally syndicated talk show host Dr. Daliah Wachs is pictured here at the Nevada Academy of Family Physicians at their conference in Lake Tahoe this past weekend.  About 200 were at this lecture where Dr. Wachs spoke about avoiding pitfalls in family medicine, educating them on the liabilities doctors face and what lawsuits have been successful.  Dr. Wachs’ program is syndicated by Genesis Communications Network.