Chris Russo | TALKERS magazine - “The bible of talk media.” : TALKERS magazine – “The bible of talk media.”

Tag: "Chris Russo"

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

| May 12, 2021

Audacy Names Spike Eskin VP of Programming for WFAN, New York and CBS Sports Radio. Sports and radio programming pro Spike Eskin is being promoted to vice president of programming for Audacy’s WFAN-AM/FM, New York and CBS Sports Radio, effective July 1. Eskin, who has been brand manager for the company’s sports talk WIP-FM, Philadelphia, will take over for longtime WFAN programmer Mark Chernoff, who is stepping down from his roles with Audacy on June 30. Audacy New York SVP and market manager Chris Oliviero says, “Spike has the vision, creativity, and drive to craft the next chapter of the iconic and influential WFAN brand. Along with CBS Sports Radio, his experience will be ideal to fuel our sports production powerhouse of 48 hours a day of original audio, 12 hours of quality television, all alongside a vibrant digital and social experience for both New York and the nation. As a longtime colleague of Spike, I am excited that he has joined our all-star team and have no doubt that he will succeed.” Speaking about his new role, Eskin says, “I’m humbled and excited for the opportunity to help lead WFAN into its next chapter. It’s an iconic station with incredible talent, and I’m looking forward to the challenge. I’m grateful to Chris Oliviero and Audacy for the opportunity. Working at 94WIP over the last decade has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I’m grateful to David Yadgaroff for his belief in me and the staff who stepped up to every challenge.”

Urban One 2021 First Quarter Net Revenue Declines 3.6%. The 2021 first quarter financial results for Urban One, Inc. indicate net revenue was approximately $91.4 million, a decrease of 3.6% from the same period in 2020. Broadcast and digital operating income was approximately $36.4 million, a decrease of 3.3% from the same period in 2020. The company reports operating income of approximately $23.8 million for Q1 of 2021 compared to an operating loss of approximately $27.3 million for the same period in 2020. Net income was $7,000 compared to a net loss of approximately $23.2 million during the first quarter of 2020. Adjusted EBITDA was approximately $28.8 million in Q1 compared to approximately $32.3 million for the same period in 2020. Urban One CEO and president Alfred C. Liggins III, states, “Normalizing for approximately $1.4 million of Richmond gaming chase costs, which were one-time in nature, our Adjusted EBITDA was down approximately 6.3% year-over-year, which was encouraging in the context of pre-COVID radio comparatives for January and February and a lack of political revenues. It is worth noting that compared to Q1 2019, which was a pre-pandemic and off-cycle political quarter, our Adjusted EBITDA was up by approximately 4.1% (and by 9.1% after normalizing for the Richmond gaming project). Our core radio advertising was down approximately 13.7% for the quarter, with January -28.4%, February -19.9% and March +8.8%. Currently for second quarter, core radio is pacing up over 70%, with April finishing at +89%. Our digital business had another strong quarter, with revenues up 64.6% and Adjusted EBITDA up by approximately $3.2 million. Cable TV revenues were down 2.6%, but Adjusted EBITDA of approximately $24.8 million was 14.5% higher than Q1 2019 (approximately $21.7 million), which is a more realistic comparison than the COVID-impacted Q1 2020, during which content production and marketing were effectively shut-off. Under the circumstances, we delivered a solid first quarter, and I anticipate further sequential improvements in Q2.”

Longtime WFAN, New York Programmer Mark Chernoff Named to New York State Broadcasters Association 2021 Hall of Fame Class. One of the four broadcasters joining the New York State Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame this year is longtime WFAN, New York program director Mark Chernoff, who’s been behind the programming helm of the legendary sports talk station for almost 30 years. The NYSBA says, “While known for his sports programming, Mark started his career at music stations including the legendary WNEW-FM from 1985-1989. He was the program director at ‘K-Rock 92.3 FM’ from 1989-1993 which included working with the legendary Howard Stern. Mark again worked as K Rock’s programming director from 2004-2006, where he helped develop the unique ‘Free FM’ format as a response to subscription-based satellite radio services and had the opportunity to work with  Opie and Anthony. He even worked as a rock music DJ for more than a decade. Mark joined ‘The Fan’ in 1993. At WFAN Chernoff oversaw iconic shows such as ‘Imus in the Morning’ and ‘Mike and the Mad Dog.’ Chernoff’s skills were put to the test as he rebuilt WFAN’s programming following Imus’s comments about the Rutgers University women’s basketball team. He managed the legendary Mike Francesa and Chris Russo. Chernoff brought Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton to the station for a morning show that saw ‘Boomer & Carton’ reach No. 1 in the market during their decade-long run. In a recent Newsday interview, Audacy SVP and New York market manager Chris Oliviero stated, “When people think of WFAN, names like Imus, ‘Mike & The Mad Dog’ or Boomer [Esiason] often come to mind, but no name has been more responsible for the consistent excellence of THE FAN than ‘Chernoff.’”

Cumulus Media and Signal Hill Insights Release Podcast Download – Spring 2021. The sixth Podcast Download report from Cumulus Media and Signal Hill Insights is “a comprehensive evaluation incorporating several studies that examine podcast audience and advertiser trends over the past five years.” This sixth installment was released to coincide with the IAB Podcast Upfront as part of Cumulus Media’s commitment to share insights and research findings with the podcast community. Cumulus Media EVP, marketing and president, Westwood One Suzanne Grimes says, “Our new Podcast Download Report underscores the power of the podcast. Listeners look to podcasts for stories, for entertainment, for learning, and for escape, especially in a year of such upheaval. Audiences soared as listeners experimented with a broader array of content genres and used more distribution platforms than ever to listen to their podcasts.” Some of the findings include the conclusion that the pandemic was a podcast listening accelerant. The study reports that among weekly podcast listeners, the COVID-19 pandemic was a catalyst for increased podcast listening. In March 2021, 53% of weekly listeners reported spending more time with podcasts since the pandemic, up +29% from July 2020 (41%). See more about the study here.

WMT-AM, Cedar Rapids Programmer Randy Lee to Retire. According to a report by KGAN-TV, Cedar Rapids, longtime news/talk WMT-AM, Cedar Rapids program director and on-air personality Randy Lee will retire at the end of this month after a 46-year career in broadcasting. Lee has been the program director at iHeartMedia’s WMT-AM for the past 32 years.

SummitMedia Promotes Tom Scott to Vice President of Engineering. Radio engineer Tom Scott is promoted to vice president/engineering for SummitMedia, LLC. In this role, Scott will manage engineering for all SummitMedia Markets throughout the U.S. SummitMedia CEO Carl Parmer says, “We are delighted for Tom to direct all engineering efforts for SummitMedia. It is certainly a well-deserved promotion. His depth of knowledge and strategic vision will be invaluable to us as we continue to innovate and evolve the technical side of our business.”

TALKERS News Notes. A new weekly podcast from CNN Audio titled, “The Handoff,” and starring CNN anchors Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon debuts later this month. CNN says, “Each night during the primetime hours of CNN’s television programming, viewers witness the deep love, honest candor, and respect that these two anchors – and friends – have for one another in their unscripted ‘handoff’ conversations between shows. Now, with no broadcast clock to hold them back, they are stepping out from behind their anchor desks to come together and ignite even more personal and hot topic conversations. Nothing is off limits.”…..Actor Rainn Wilson and author Reza Aslan are teaming up with Kast Media to serve up their podcast, “Metaphysical Milkshake,” set to debut on June 15. Wilson, known for his Emmy-nominated role as Dwight Schrute on the NBC series “The Office,” and Aslan, author of three internationally best-selling books including bestseller, Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, “bring their unique backgrounds, philosophies, and curiosities to create a podcast all about life’s big questions.”…..“The Money Pit Home Improvement Show” – nationally syndicated by Talk Shows USA – adds radio stations KHOB-AM, Hobbs, New Mexico and WGAN-AM /FM, Portland, Maine to it roster of affiliates.

Voting Rights Bill Debate, Cheney vs GOP, COVID-19, Pipeline Hack, Israel-Gaza Fighting, Border Crisis, and Gates Divorce Controversy Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/11). The debate in the U.S. Senate over the For the People voting rights act; Liz Cheney addresses the U.S. House as the GOP prepares to strip her of her leadership role for challenging the “stolen election” narrative; COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in the U.S., mask guidelines, and India’s soaring death toll; the gas shortage in the Eastern U.S. due to the DarkSide pipeline hack; the shelling between Israel and Hamas in Gaza; the migrant crush at the U.S.-Mexico border and the Joe Biden administration’s immigration policy; and the controversy over the Bill and Melinda Gates divorce and the Jeffrey Epstein connection were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Friday, September 30, 2016

| September 30, 2016

ramseyboston16wb

Dave Ramsey Smart Money Tour Hits Boston.  Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar Dave Ramsey brought his 2016  Smart Money tour to the sold-out Lowell Memorial Auditorium last night (9/29).  Ramsey and local affiliate WRKO worked to promote the event.  Entercom New England VP and market manager Phil Zachary says, “The timing of Dave’s visit to Greater Boston could not be better.  While many candidates are politicizing the challenges of America’s working middle class, Dave deploys a program of proven techniques and positive motivation that ensures everyone in attendance will come away with an improved outlook on life.  I just can’t think of a more uplifting experience to offer WRKO listeners.”  Pictured here are (from l-r): radio consultant Holland Cooke, Ramsey, and Zachary.

AdAge and iHeartRadio Partner for Marketing Podcast.  The new program is titled “Tagline” and will be available via the iHeartRadio digital platform and AdAge.com.  iHeartMedia chairman Bob Pittman announced the collaborative effort at an Advertising Week VIP event.  A press release says, “‘Tagline’ will give listeners an insider’s perspective on what the world that influences pop culture is really all about.  The new podcast series will air iheartradio-newtwice a month on iHeartRadio and Advertising Age and feature a rotating series of the most talented and entertaining people in the business, tackling everything from the most pressing questions to the most annoying trends.  The content and the participants will evolve organically as each episode concludes with this week’s Tagline host tagging the next guests via an unprompted phone call.”  AdAge publisher Josh Golden comments,adage-logo “Every day, people in the marketing community are whispering about what’s happened and what’s next – and now ‘Tagline’ will let people all across the industry listen to those otherwise private conversations.  Our audience wants to hear about the real conversations, frustrations, insights and resolutions that happen in the conference rooms late at night and this partnership with iHeart will expose exactly that.”  The first season will launch in November and include 24 podcasts and special edition episodes corresponding with select industry events.

Mike Francesa Confirms End of WFAN Show at Contract’s End.  Once again, New York sports talk legend Mike Francesa has told his listeners that he will be leaving CBS RADIO’s WFAN after his contract ends on December 15 of 2017.  This is not the first time he’s addressed the matter but, obviously, things can change.francesamike  However, according to the New York Daily News, Francesa reiterated that he’ll leave CBS RADIO but that he also promised the station he won’t spend a lot of time talking about it.  Where will he go?  Sounds like he doesn’t know right now.  The Daily News reports he says, “I’m very open to different things.  In broad strokes I have been contacted by some broadcast entities about what I would do.  I won’t be going to satellite, it’s just not something I want to do.  I have a few things that do interest me, that’s not one of them.  It has nothing to do with Dog [Chris Russo] being there.   I wish Dog well there, I know he signed a new contract, so congratulations on that, but it’s not going to have anything to do with me.”

ppmunitNielsen Audio Releases Fourth Round of September 2016 PPM Data.  The fourth of four rounds of September 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford.  The September 2016 survey period covered August 11 through September 7.  You can find the complete 6+ ratings numbers from subscribing stations here.  Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.

talkersten-logoCop Shootings and Train Crash Among Top Talk Stories Behind the Presidential Race for Week of September 26-30.  Once again, the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week was the presidential race, highlighted by Monday’s debate.  At #2 this week was the police killing of a black man in El Cajon, California and the aftermath of the Charlotte shooting and protests. Coming in at #3 was the New Jersey train crash, followed by the Syria civil war and the related U.S.-Russia tensions at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.  It is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

bernadettebo16wb

The Yappy Tour Rolls On.   Former radio talk show producer-turned-author Bernadette Duncan recently brought her “Yappy Tour” to the massive Western Massachusetts audience of classic rocker WAQY-FM, Springfield “Rock 102” by appearing as a guest on the very popular “Bax & O’Brien” morning talk show to discuss her buzz-worthy book, Yappy Days: Behind the Scenes with Newsers, Schmoozers, Boozers and Losers (AuthorHouse/Talkers Books, 2016).  The book recounts Duncan’s 26-year career as a producer of radio talk shows working with such big-name talents as Larry KingSally Jessy RaphaelLou DobbsTom SnyderGil GrossCharles Osgood and many more during modern talk radio’s pre- and post-9/11 “golden era.”  Plus, she tells stories about behind-the-scenes encounters with hundreds of guests from the worlds of show business, politics, media, business and literature. Above, Duncan (c) is pictured with hosts John O’Brien (l) and Mike “Bax” Baxendale (r).  Duncan’s national “Yappy Tour” will roll on through the remainder of the year.  She has already appeared on more than 25 local and syndicated programs.  Hosts and shows interested in booking Bernadette Duncan can do so by calling Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

Monday, June 20, 2016

| June 20, 2016

iHeartMedia Partners with AdsWizz for Programmatic Marketplace for Premium iHeartRadio Inventory.  This programmatic private marketplace provides programmatic buyers access to iHeartMedia’s premium radio inventory across its digital properties on iHeartRadio.  iHM says that “agencies and brands will be kaminskybrianable to programmatically target iHeartRadio’s extensive audience using a combination of first- and third-party data segments.”  Last spring, iHeartMedia unveiled a programmatic and automated ad buying private network for itsadswizz logo broadcast radio stations, powered by Jelli.  This programmatic marketplace for its digital properties uses the AdsWizz platform.  iHM president of programmatic and data operations Brian Kaminsky says, “Audio has a significant and growing role in the lives of today’s consumers and iHeartMedia is committed to evolving the ways marketers can reach and influence their target audience through our audio channels.  Offering a programmatic approach to buying iHeartRadio’s digital listening audiences is a natural extension of our direct sales and broadcast programmatic initiatives and further enables us to capture even more of the $20 billion in ad spending that is projected for 2016.”

The Orlando Massacre Aftermath, The Presidential Race, Battle Against Islamic State, U.S.-Russia Military Tensions, Looming ‘Brexit’ Vote, Southwest Heatwave, and Cavs-Warriors Finals Among Top News/ Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The aftermath of the Orlando massacre including the pending release of Omar Mateen’s cell calls and the push for gun control legislation; the activities of the candidates for president; U.S. policy and strategy in the fight against Islamic State violence; military tensions between the U.S. and Russia in the Syrian civil conflict; This week’s vote by Britons on whether to leave the European Union; the intense heatwave in Arizona, Nevada and parts of California; and the NBA Championship won by the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday night were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

rowlandjohnFormer Connecticut Governor and WTIC, Hartford Host John Rowland Loses Appeal of Corruption Conviction.  Former Connecticut Governor John Rowland was working as afternoon drive personality on CBS RADIO’s WTIC, Hartford when he began to work for congressional candidate Lisa Wilson-Foley via his political consulting firm.  However, prosecutors successfully argued that he attempted to hide his role as a paid consultant and obstructed authorities in their efforts to investigate the matter.  He was sentenced to 30 months in prison in March of 2015 but has been free on bond pending appeal.  Last week a three-judge panel in the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York upheld his conviction.  Now, his options are to ask for the entire judicial panel of the Appeals Court to hear his arguments or ask the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case.  Rowland was previously convicted of bribery in 2004 for actions committed while serving as governor and served 10 months in federal prison.  Rowland hosted a show on WTIC from 2010 through 2014.

nrhofPublic Voting for NRHoF Begins Today.  Today through June 30 is the public voting for radio personalities to be inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in November.  Listeners nationwide can vote in two categories.  The nominees for Music Format On-Air Personality are:  Sean “Hollywood” Hamilton, Tom Kent, The Kevin & Bean Show (Kevin Ryder and Gene Baxter), and Bob Kingsley.  For Spoken Word On-Air Personality, the nominees are Sean Hannity, Mike and the Mad Dog (Mike Francesa and Chris Russo), Diane Rehm and Michael Savage.  Chairman of the National Radio Hall of Fame Kraig T. Kitchin comments, “The listener response we received last year since reinstituting the public voting process after a five-year hiatus was overwhelmingly positive.  Fans want to engage and be a part of the process, which is a tribute to the dynamic personalities of each show.”  Winners of the two categories will be announced July 11.  Fans needing more information can visit each host’s Twitter feed, Facebook page, website, or the National Radio Hall of Fame website:  www.radiohof.org.

njba16New Jersey Broadcasters Association Conference (NJBA) Set to Open this Week.  The 69th Annual NJBA Conference and Gala is set for Wednesday (6/23) and Thursday (6/24) at Caesars Atlantic City.  The theme of the event is “The Power of Broadcast” and it will feature a wide array of speakers from Garden State radio as well as industry leaders from across the nation.  Once again, NJBA’s dynamic president Paul Rotella and his team have organized an exciting agenda with solid speakers.  Topics covered will include programming and marketing in the digital era, the changing nature of automobile listenership, the role of women in broadcasting, the importance of mentoring new talent, the sensitive relationship between music radio and pure plays, and the state of the FM chip, plus more.  There will be the traditional awards ceremony, live broadcasts and displays of the latest technology.  The agenda includes a “Radio Reporters Roundtable,” discussing the state of Atlantic City’s economy and future.  Five-time heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield will deliver the conference keynote address.  For complete agenda and registration information please click here.

hurleygolf16WPGG, Atlantic City’s Harry Hurley Raises More Than $55,000 for Charity.  Atlantic City morning personality Harry Hurley’s 9th Annual Hurley in the Morning Charity Golf Open raised more than $55,000 for his Hurley Morning Show Foundation.  The annual golf event has raised more than $600,000 over the past nine years.  DIY television network star Jason Cameron was on hand to help announce and present a new annual grant – The Thomas J. Hurley vocational trades school grant.  Cameron also played in the event and his foursome won the 2016 Hurley Open Championship with a score of 56.  Pictured here are (from l-r): Margie Hurley, Jason Cameron, and Harry Hurley.

wbtwlnk duo logoCool Job Opportunity.  Greater Media Charlotte, a family-owned company, has a rare opening for a director of sales for WBT-AM/FM and WLNK-FM.  The right candidate must possess a strong desire to win, lead by example, and have a track record of revenue success.  The director of sales must have a strong background in running successful stations.  Candidate must be an exceptional sales trainer, be a creative thinker, and be able to recruit and hire the best in the business.  Primary responsibilities: Oversee all aspects of the sales operation; implementation and compliance with CRM tools; set rates through yield management tools; meet or exceed all revenue goals; work as a coach, leader and problem solver; understand the digital space and present a specific plan for its growth.  Minimum requirements: candidate must be creative and possess an ability for generating local direct business; four-year college degree preferred; three to five years’ experience in radio sales management, preferably in a cluster or multi-station group; can demonstrate a proven track record out-performing the market as reflected in the Miller Kaplan Report on a consistent basis.  Please submit your cover letter and resume to hired@gmclt.com, or mail/fax to: Human Resources WBT/WLNK, Greater Media Charlotte, One Julian Price Place, Charlotte, NC 28208. 704-338-3079 (fax). EOE.

Monday, May 5, 2014

| May 5, 2014

three eagles logoThree Eagles Communications to Sell Stations to Dean Goodman’s Digity.  The growing media portfolio of Dean Goodman continues to grow as his Palm Beach, Florida-based Digity Companies agrees to purchase Three Eagles Communications’ 48 stations in markets in Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota and South Dakota.  Pending FCC approval, the transaction is expected to close during the third quarter.  Three Eagles founder and CEO Rolland Johnson says of the deal, “I think it is an excellent time to be buying stations.  Radio seems to have survived the perfect storm and shoulddigity come out stronger than ever.  While on the NAB Board with Dean Goodman 10 to 12 years ago, Dean talked about his vision of buying stations and rolling them up into a diversified company.  It is great to have a vision like Dean’s and to be able to follow through with it.  Dean is getting a group of hard-working people with award-winning stations who deserve a chance to participate in something as exciting as what Digity offers.  I congratulate him on an excellent purchase.”  Goodman comments, “Digity is on-air, online, on-demand, on-location, and on-the-go.  It connects today’s busy consumers with content they want, people they trust, products they enjoy and things that matter.  We are very pleased to have signed the Three Eagles purchase and Digity intends to continue to grow in all areas of its operations.”  Digity, through Palm Beach Broadcasting, operates four FM stations in the Palm Beach market.  GoodRadio.TV operates 26 radio stations in Midwestern markets.  Digity earlier this year purchased 33 radio stations from NextRadio and operates those stations in San Jose, Chicago, suburban Dallas, Saginaw, Canton, Greenville and Myrtle Beach.

limbaughrushRush Limbaugh Awards Grants in Essay Contest; Tennessee School Reacts.  The essay contest Premiere Networks nationally syndicated talk star Rush Limbaugh conducted earlier in the 2013-14 school year has been completed with three schools receiving a package of books and a cash gift from Limbaugh and his wife Kathryn.  At Hawkins Elementary School in Rogersville, Tennessee, principal Barry Bellamy and first grade teacher Danee Collette are still reeling after receiving a shipment of books from Limbaugh that included American classics The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Where the Red Fern Grows as well as copies of his own bestseller Rush Revere and the New Patriots.  According to the Rogersville Review, Bellamy and Collette were even more shocked to receive a check for $15,000 to use as the school sees fit.  Collette tells the paper her father is a big Limbaugh fan and told her about the essay contest.  She dutifully wrote it and didn’t think much more about it until a Limbaugh staffer called to ask for a shipping address for the books.  Collette says the money will probably be used for white boards, desks and tables for the library.  She tells the paper, “This is so awesome!  I graduated last May, got a job here for the school year, and now this!”

hobermanreaganRemembering Ben Hoberman. Very briefly worded mentions of talk radio pioneer Ben Hoberman‘s passing dotted the internet Saturday and Sunday, but precise details regarding his death are not readily available.  What we do know though is that the longtime ABC Radio executive was 92 when he died on Saturday (5/3).  General consensus within the industry indicates that – with Hoberman at the helm in 1960 – Los Angeles’ KABC-AM was one of the first fulltime talk stations in the country – if not the first.  On John Rook‘s Facebook page, the well-known programmer posted that, “When all of the ABC-owned radio stations were introducing Top 40 programming, [Hoberman] envisioned a new kind of format featuring talk. KABC would become top-rated in Los Angeles for decades, a format that gave birth to KGO’s talk format in San Francisco.  His success elevated him to the presidency of ABC Radio.  Ben Hoberman was a role model for managing radio stations, a total gentleman, and one of the real class guys I have known.  My sincerest condolences to all who mourn his passing.”  In the early-1970s, John Mainelli was a 20-year-old NABET vacation-relief news writer for KABC and the talk radio consultant recounts, “I had just learned what ‘fortnight’ meant and decided to use it in a script the next chance I got.  Mr. Hoberman walked into the newsroom after [KABC morning drive talent] Bob Arthur read the story, saw my name on the filed script, dropped it on my desk and said, ‘If you mean two weeks ago, say it.’  That was ‘Mr. H’ – attention to detail and follow-through.”  Hoberman had been with ABC for close to 40 years, much of that time in Los Angeles, where he had been KABC-AM’s general manager.  He later was based in New York, running the network’s radio division, then consisting of six AM stations and six FM outlets, as well as syndicated programming as “American Top 40” – then hosted by Casey Kasem.  Hoberman, ex-ABC-TV president Elton Rule, and several other investors attempted to raise enough money to take over the entire ABC Radio division.  Hoberman is pictured here at right in an undated photo with President Ronald Reagan.

russochrisSiriusXM’s Chris Russo Stirs Controversy Over Race on Sports Talk Radio.  The flashpoint for a controversy over race and radio was SiriusXM sports talk personality Chris “Mad Dog” Russo’s recent comment to a caller when asked about why there are no black sports talk hosts on his channel.  Russo replied that he has not found one “worthy of doing a national talk show.”  That started a social media flap.  In the New York Daily News’ coverage of the story, Bob Raissman reports that Russo was not apologizing for his comment and told his paper, “The idea that I wouldn’t hire a black talk show host, a Korean talk show host, or a talk show host from Mars is absurd.  If there is any person of any ethnicity who wants to get a job at ‘Mad Dog Radio’ and we feel he or she is capable of doing a national talk show at the highest level, I’d put them on in a second.  Let’s just say we are not being overwhelmed by resumes.”

sabowalterFive Simple Engagement Actions.  Media consultant Walter Sabo, in a column published today (5/5), writes that it’s very important for listeners to feel that your radio station is “special.”  Sabo notes, “It is so important to examine every single second of our programming in every format and ask, ‘How can this be better?’  Too much time is wasted on learning new rules from ‘corporate’ and new organizational structures.  If your company is ‘afraid’ of Pandora and other web companies, the solution is better programming.  It’s always better programming.  Fresh programming ideas come from external sources, solid research and by paying close attention to what audiences do.”  And with that in mind, Sabo offers five ways to better engage your audience.  Read his piece here.

wtmj logoJournal Broadcast Group’s News/Talk WTMJ and Adult Hits WLWK in Milwaukee Honored with WBA Awards.  In the large market category, Journal Broadcast Group’s news/talk WTMJ and adult hits WLWK were recently honored with Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Awards.  WTMJ won the following honors: News & Talk Station of the Year; News Operation of the Year; Best News & Talk Radio Show (AM drive) for “Wisconsin’s Morning News with Gene Mueller”; Best News & Talk Radio Show (9:00 am to 5:00 pm) for “Wisconsin’s Afternoon News with John Mercure”; Best Live On-Scene Reporting, Jodi Becker and the WTMJ News Team (Carroll University Lockdown); Best Spot News, Shooting at Children’s Hospital, WTMJ Radio News Team; Best Feature, “Preserving WWII History,” Erik Bilstad; Best Sportscast, Greg Matzek; Best Continuing Coverage, “Say it Ain’t So, Ryan Braun,” WTMJ Radio News & Sports Team; and Best Use of Audio, “Rain, Rain, Go Away,” Erik Bilstad.  WLWK was honored for: Best Newscast – Music Format, Lake Mornings with Danny Clayton, Vince Vitrano & Andi Miller; Best Promotional Announcement, “Free Fun Night Out,” “The Lake” staff; Best Commercial – Music Station, Flanners/Just Press Play – Jim Gilles; and Best Humorous Commercial Music Station Love Finds A Way – Jim Gilles.

waretreyKTSA, San Antonio Morning Host Trey Ware Mourns Death of 28-Year-Old Son.  At Alpha Media-owned talk outlet KTSA, San Antonio, Trey Ware has handled morning drive for the past 21 years – almost half of his broadcasting career.  But last week Ware and his wife Nancy suffered the devastating loss of their 28-year-old son Justin who died under circumstances that are being kept private at this time.  This is not the first such tragedy for the couple.  Ware and his wife lost their daughter Rebekah in 2009 at age 20.  In the San Antonio Express-News, writer Jeanne Jakle spoke with Ware who said, “We’re taking it day by day, minute by minute, that’s all we can do…They were the only two we had.  April is not a good month for us.  We want to expunge April from the calendar.”  Other KTSA staffers are sitting in for Ware during this time.  Local radio personality Adam McManus has subbed the past few days.

scba logoSCBA Goes on the Offensive in TV vs Radio Ad Spend.  If there’s a radio trade organization doing more to make the case for radio as an advertising vehicle, we’re not aware of it.  The Southern California Broadcasters Association has been very focused on consistently reaching out to the media to present radio’s case versus its competition and in this case, the competitor is TV.  The SCBA is releasing a white paper  titled, “Traditional Appointment Television’s Technology and Viewership Crisis,” and it zeroes in on the decline in appointment viewing replaced by on-demand viewing that largely allows consumers to skip through commercial sets.  SCBA president Thom Callahan states, “The imbalanced ratio of radio to TV ad spending in Southern California is completely unjustified when one looks closely at this SCBA report.  Traditional appointment television is under direct attack from a variety of technology giants such as Google TV, Netflix, Amazon TV, YouTube, Hulu, as well as the ominous DVR.”  Callahan says the report goes on to show that “radio remains the only real time medium with no tape delay or commercial skipping.”  He adds, “Southern California Radio has grown its listenership of Adults 18+ over the past six years by an impressive 7.4% while local general market TV viewership has spiraled downward by -6.5% for early fringe programming and -8.5% for any local news.  We are urging every general market TV advertiser to look at their ad spending and decide if they want to invest in the power of radio and our solid growth trends and commanding reach in Southern California vs. the eroding viewership of traditional appointment TV.”

katzvalleypatriotawardJeff Katz Honored with Journalism Award.  Multi-media personality Jeff Katz was honored recently with an Editor’s Choice Award for his column that appears in the New England-based publication The Valley Patriot.  Katz currently is host of the afternoon drive show at Clear Channel-owned news/talk WRVA, Richmond.  He also writes for the Boston Herald and self-syndicates the nationally distributed “Katz Commentary.”  He is also a public speaker having delivered keynote addresses all over the country.  Katz tells TALKERS all of his media ventures embrace his unique philosophy of life, “Not Left. Not Right. Just Real.”  Katz (left) is pictured here accepting his Editor’s Choice Award from The Valley Patriot publisher Tom Duggan (right).

dickeylewWHcorresSharp-Dressed Men.  The annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner took place in Washington, DC on Saturday evening (5/2) and there was no shortage of media players at the who’s who of news and politics gathering.  Pictured here are (from left to right): Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey; ABC News president James Goldston; and ABC News Radio VP/GM Steve JonesPhoto by Jay Snap, LaDexon Photographie.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

| September 3, 2013

armstrongcarriganBoston TV Anchor Kim Carrigan Joins Barry Armstrong on WRKO Program.  “The Financial Exchange with Barry Armstrong” announces the addition of longtime Boston television anchor Kim Carrigan to the program.  Carrigan – who has worked at Boston TV outlets WHDH, WBZ/WSBK and WXFT – becomes co-host of the 10:00 am to 12:00 noon daily program on Entercom‘s news/talk WRKO effective today (9/3).  Armstrong says of Carrigan, “Kim is a tremendous addition to our program.  She brings intellect, a historical perspective, and a woman’s point of view to topics that require constant attention and interpretation.”  Carrigan, an Emmy award-winning television news anchor, has been recognized with numerous other awards, including: an Edward R. Murrow Award for “Best Newscast in a Major Market,” a Quest Award as one of five outstanding women who have achieved success in their quest for excellence from the New England Women Business Owners Association, and a Gabrielle Award.  She was also honored with the President’s Award from the Northeast Arc, the organization’s highest honor, for her work on behalf of individuals with disabilities.

wqxilogoLincoln Financial Media’s WQXI, Atlanta Names Alge Crumpler and JP Peterson AM Hosts.  Lincoln Financial Media announces the permanent replacement for the “Mayhem in the AM” morning show (Steak Shapiro, Chris Dimino, Nick Cellini) fired in late June after joking about ALS-stricken ex-NFLer crumpleralgeSteve Gleason.  Former Atlanta Falcons tight end Alge Crumpler and media pro JP Peterson will host “The Locker Room” beginning September 5.  “790 The Zone” program director Bob Richards says, “We are excited to launch ‘Locker petersonjpRoom.’   The years of insight and experience Alge and JP bring to the table, coupled with a revamped program format, will help set the tone each morning for how listeners digest the world of sports and set the pace for how topics resonate throughout the day.”  Crumpler has served as an analyst for “790 The Zone” and a co-host for Falcons game-day programs on WGCL-TV and WAGA-TV.  Peterson comes to “790 the Zone” from Tampa, where he spent the past 16 years in sports radio and TV.  Peterson anchored and did sideline work for WFLA-TV’s pre-season Bucs coverage and pre-game shows.  He has also done field reporting for NBC’s “Football Night in America” and hosted the Rays’ “Inside Pitch” and “Extra Innings” radio shows.

cumulus logoDickey: The Network Industry Is an Attractive Vehicle.  Cumulus Media chairman and CEO Lew Dickey tells investors during a conference call this morning that his company sees network radio as an “attractive vehicle” and that “scale is essential for Cumulus to continue to facilitate growth to make the proper investments,” in explaining the deal’s announced last Friday – the company’s acquisition of Dial Global and its shedding of a pack of small- and medium-market stations to Townsquare Media.  The deal alsodickeylew gives Cumulus five stations in Fresno – market #68 – fitting in with the company’s desire to focus on the top 100 markets.  Dickey reiterated last week’s statement about money saved in synergies, “We’re acquiring a leading provider of premium and exclusive content, and it creates an attractive platform for us now for both content creation and distribution and monetization of these various assets.  It’s about $40 million of estimated cost synergies and substantial incremental revenue growth opportunities, which are not being factored in here on the pro forma. It’s deleveraging on the identified cost synergies alone.”  As Dickey explained how the new properties will become part of the larger company, he noted that sports programming – especially the NFL and NCAA play-by-play contracts which have at least several more years on them – were key to the deal and it’s obvious he expects to pull in a lot of revenue from those two properties.  As for how many positions will be eliminated in the above-mentioned “synergies,” Dickey noted it’s not like the Citadel acquisition which was basically 54 “separate” operations.  “This is really one business unit that does essentially the same thing as the business unit that we currently own and operate.  So there are awful a lot of opportunities to — for efficiencies and to combine these efforts and do so in such a way that it’s accretive to growth the same time.”  Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the transcript.  Members can read the entire conference call here.

ktth10yrsKTTH, Seattle Celebrates 10 Years as Conservative Talk Outlet.  Bonneville’s KTTH, Seattle is spending the day thanking its passionate, engaged conservative listeners by airing “Ten Years Strong,” a celebration of it 10-year anniversary, beginning September 3, 2013.  The station states that David Boze, Michael Medved, Sean Hannity and other KTTH personalities will spotlight their favorite political leaders, movies and conservative moments of the past 10 years. They’ll also reflect on the role of conservative talk radio in a blue state.  Program director Jason Antebi says, “AM 770 KTTH is going 10 years strong because the best talk show hosts in America present values-driven conservative thought in a distinctly civil and intelligent way.  We are so proud to be the exclusive Seattle home to David Boze, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Medved, Sean Hannity, Dave Ramsey and Clyde Lewis.  Here’s to another 10 years!”  Bonneville Seattle VP/GM Carl Gardner adds, “KTTH serves a listening audience which is remarkably committed.  They care deeply about preserving the best of our traditional American values and ways of life. The passion of the listeners is what enables KTTH to be so successful.”

hayworthjdJ.D. Hayworth Exits AM Show at ‘Mighty 1090 AM’ in San Diego.  Former U.S. congressman and talk show host J.D. Hayworth exits the morning drive show at Broadcast Company of the Americas’ sports talk XEPRS, San Diego “Mighty 1090 AM” where he was co-hosting with Lee “Hacksaw” Hamilton.  Hamilton remains in mornings with a rotating cast of guests.  Hayworth joined the station earlier this year.  Prior to his foray into full-time sports talk radio, he’d been a news/talk host in Phoenix and had been doing fill-in work at local news/talk stations and on nationally syndicated programs.

weismanstevenDo You Have a Non-Compete Clause?  Depending on what company your work for, in what capacity you serve and in which state you work, a non-competition clause in your contract can greatly affect your ability to move from one employer to the next within a given period of time.  TALKERS legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman spells out the basics of what you should know before you sign a contract.  In some situations there may not be anything you can do about it, but at the very least, you should understand exactly what a non-competition clause means to you in that position with that employer.  Read Weisman’s illuminating column here.

lindsleymikeMike Lindsley and Brian Cady Leave Townsquare Media’s Sports Talk WTMM, Albany.  Management at Townsquare Media’s sports talker WTMM, Albany “ESPN 104.5 The Team” is not saying there was a connection between the dismissal of afternoon hosts Mike Lindsley and Brian Cady and their being snookered by a caller pretending to be former New York Yankees outfielder Shane Spencer who said he had experimented with performance enhancing drugs, but the two are out and a new afternoon show is expected to be announced within the next two weeks, according to a report in the Albany Times Union.  Lindsley had an interview lined up with Spencer and was promoting it but it didn’t happen at the exact time it was supposed to.  Pretty soon the imposter called and Lindsley assumed it was the real Shane Spencer.  After it was determined what happened, all parties apologized.  Regardless, new brand manager Armen Williams debuted on the air on Friday, August 30 – a bit prior to his scheduled September 9 start.

costadinoDino Costa Moves to New SiriusXM Channel.  As reported in the New York Daily News, sports talk host Dino Costa leaves the Mad Dog Radio channel on SiriusXM and will be part of a new sports talk channel on the satellite radio service, reportedly called “SiriusXM Radio Sports Zone 92.”  Costa had been the evening host on the Chris Russo-curated Mad Dog Radio channel.  The Daily News reports the relationship between Russo and Costa may not be as friendly as it once was, possibly leading to the split, although Costa Tweeted his thanks to Russo and his crew for the opportunity to work together.

bergmansandiMEDIA BROKER SPOTLIGHT: Dick Kozacko of Kozacko Media Services.  In this week’s installment of Media Broker Spotlight, Sandi Bergman of RadioTVDeals.com interviews media broker Dick Kozacko of Kozacko Media Services located in Raleigh, North Carolina.  Unlike most of the brokers spotlighted in this popular feature, Kozacko’s background is not directly in broadcasting but rather acquisition management and market research for companies.  He is a graduate of Boston College with an MBA and his experience and education in these areas of business serve him well in today’s station-trading environment.  Kozacko takes a realistic view of the current conditions in the radio deal marketplace stating, “It’s challenging, especially since there are now so many alternatives to radio broadcasting.  If you were driving on a trip, your car radio was your companion.  Then, came eight-tracks, cassettes, and the list goes on with satellite radio, internet, etc.  Buyers have to be creative and think about the future, which is fine.  It would help if more banks returned to the financing area, although we have found more station owners are receptive to ‘terms’ financing.  It would help if the economy could demonstrate stronger and continued growth.” Per the custom of this feature, our spotlighted broker 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.

fisherhouselogoDave Ross to Host New Production of Fisher House Foundation’s “The Gift.”  Fisher House Foundation announces it has begun production on the 2013 edition of its award-winning holiday radio program, “The Gift,” which tells the inspiring stories of wounded warriors and veterans who, with the help of their loved ones, have overcome tremendous obstacles to reclaim their lives.  The program, which is available to radio stations to air at both Thanksgiving and Christmas, consists of three self-contained hours of content.  Among those profiled inrossdave “The Gift” are Sergeant Cory Remsburg, an Army Ranger whose successful battle to recover from a serious head wound has made him an inspiration to President Obama; Father Tim Vakoc, a chaplain who was fatally wounded while tending his flock on the front lines of Iraq; and Para-Olympian Brad Snyder, a Navy Lieutenant who was blinded by an IED and used swimming to rebuild his physical and mental strength.  KIRO, Seattle personality Dave Ross hosts this year’s edition of the program.  Stations that air the program will help raise awareness and funds for the non-profit Fisher House, which provides no-cost housing and other support to the families of wounded warriors and veterans while their loved ones recover at military and VA hospitals. The 2012 edition of “The Gift” was carried on 135 news/talk stations and Sirius/XM and helped drive an increase in donations to Fisher House during the final week of 2012.  “Despite the wind down in Afghanistan, our fighting men and women, and their families, continue to make tremendous sacrifices to protect our freedom and security,” says Fisher House President Dave Coker. “While we should keep them in our hearts every day, it’s especially appropriate to honor their gift of service during the holidays.”  Cumulus Media Networks is handling affiliation and distribution on a pro bono basis.  For more information or to sign up for The Gift, contact Ron Rivlin.

stuchellcharlieCondolences.  TALKERS sends condolences to the family and friends of a number of broadcasters who’ve recently passed away: Capital Cities executive Joe Somerset who died in Boston due to complications suffered after a fall at his home several days prior.  Somerset was a mentor to many in the radio business, especially during the “Golden Age” of top 40 radio.  One of his “students” was longtime Cap Cities executive and station owner Curt Hahn who writes about his mentor in a piece you can read here…..Longtime newsman Charlie Stuchell who passed away at age 64 after a battle with cancer.  He was a news and traffic reporter on Bristol Broadcasting’s WXBQ, Bristol, Virginia…..KSCO, Santa Cruz reporter and anchor Don Husing who died on August 29 at age 71.  Station owner Michael Zwerling tells the Santa Cruz Sentinel that Husing had worked for KSCO for 47 years, surviving three ownership changes.  KSCO personality Rosemary Chalmers tells the paper Husing, who had no surviving family, was diabetic and had complained of flu-like symptoms prior to his death.

millerkennelbobKevin in the Kennel.  If you look closely, you can see that KIDO, Boise morning drive host Kevin Miller (l) is broadcasting from a makeshift kennel to raise awareness and funds to support the Canyon County Animal Shelter.  With him is animal lover Bob Holman (r).  Miller invited his listeners to spend some time with him inside the kennel and, as a result, raised more than $11,000 in one day as the shelter takes part in the “Rachael Ray $100,000 Challenge.”