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Wednesday, November 28, 2018

| November 28, 2018

Former KPAM, Portland Personalities Win Unpaid Wages Case.  In a case before the Bureau of Labor and Industries in the state of Oregon, former KPAM, Portland personalities Margie Boule and Carl Wolfson prevailed in a decision to pay them back wages.  Pamplin Broadcasting, which no longer owns the station, hired Boule and Wolfson as independent contractors and argued that as such, they were not due overtime wages.  Pamplin argued that, alternatively, that if the two were employees, then they were exempt creative professional employees.  The BLI did not buy Pamlin’s arguments and ordered the company to pay Boule and Wolfson $12,361.52 each.  It also ordered Pamplin to pay $30,700 in civil penalties.  The agency concluded that although the two were called independent contractors by KPAM, they were treated like full-time staffers.  For example, witnesses for KPAM testified that requests for Boule and Wolfson to attend client events, charity fundraisers, and seminars – duties outside execution of their radio show – were “purely optional.” But the BLI ruled that “part of any job is to cooperate with people with whom one works” and claims that requests were optional are not “credible.”

Grappler’s Guide To Grinding Out Pinpoint Podcasts. Managing editor Mike Kinosian talks with pro wrestler and podcaster Brimstone about his new venture, “The Grindhouse Radio” podcast. Brimstone says he’s aware people find the huge number of podcasts out there daunting.  “Some are amazing and others aren’t so good.  Podcasting gives people a taste of the grandeur of show business. People can do it from their phone or from one microphone in their bedroom. It is fantastic that podcasts can be done at so many different levels.  Many other podcasts don’t take pride in sound quality like we do.  Our show is classified as ‘comedy,’ but we are all about popular culture.  While we aren’t comedians, we are fun and funny.”  Read the whole story here.

Entercom Honored for Mental Health Special. The September nationally broadcast special “I’m Listening” earns Entercom a 2018 Community Award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness North Texas. “I’m Listening” was a two-hour live, commercial-free broadcast special to raise awareness around mental health and suicide prevention as part of Entercom’s multi-platform “I’m Listening” campaign. The broadcast aired across all of the company’s stations nationwide on Sunday, September 9, 2018 and via their respective livestreams on RADIO.COM to mark the start of National Suicide Prevention Week.   The special broadcast welcomed medical experts, artists and celebrities connected to the cause to join the conversation about mental health, as well as live calls from listeners.   The year-long campaign also included suicide prevention PSAs, on-air promos and a dedicated website with information and resources to end the stigma around mental health discussions.  Entercom SVP programming innovation Liana Huth says, “‘I’m Listening’ is one of our signature productions meant to save lives.  We know that talking makes a difference and our stations are proud to help remove the stigma around mental illness.  It’s okay to not be okay.  Many thanks to our partners, including the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council. Together we are part of a vast network working every day to help and serve those affected.”

‘Coast to Coast AM’ Christmas Album Re-Released to Benefit Veterans Charity. The holiday album “Holiday Magic Coast Style” is being re-released in time for this year’s holiday season.  Sales of the disc benefit various veterans’ hospitals across the country.  It features traditional holiday songs and poems performed by fan-favorite guests of the Premiere Networks-syndicated radio program, including best-selling author Whitley Strieber, author and paranormal expert Rosemary Ellen Guiley, paranormal investigator Joshua P. WarrenUFO Phil, Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, actor/singer Pat Boone, and others.  “Coast to Coast AM” host George Noory also performs a special rendition of “O Come All Ye Faithful.”  It is produced by “Coast to Coast AM” senior producer Tom Danheiser and TDClark Entertainment and is currently available for purchase on Amazon.

Facebook Takes Big Step in Gaining MRC Accreditation. Considering all the negative press Facebook and founder Mark Zuckerberg have been getting lately, clearing this step in the Media Rating Council accreditation chase is good news. Broadcasters won’t be happy, but Facebook and Instagram have passed an audit of its internal data collection process and that’s a step toward getting accreditation from the MRC for third-party measurement of ad viewability.  The next step in the process is for the MRC to audit the process of Facebook and Instagram getting their data to third-party measurement firms. See the Ad Age story here.

Trump-Russia Investigation/Manafort Plea Deal, Caravan Migrants/Border Wall Issue, Trump Denies Climate Change Report, Russia-Ukraine Tensions, Hyde-Smith Wins Miss. Senate Seat, GM Job Cuts, Pelosi’s House Speaker Battle, Brexit Deal, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/27). The Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents and the related collapse of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort’s plea deal; the caravan of Honduran migrants amassed at the U.S.-Mexico border and the related border wall funding issue; the government’s ominous climate change report and President Trump’s declaration he doesn’t agree with it; Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine; Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith wins the Mississippi U.S. Senate seat race; reactions to GM’s announcement that it will cut U.S. jobs and close plants; Nancy Pelosi’s battle to regain the House Speaker role; the latest action in Britain’s move to exit the EU; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that 11 positions in all and two overnight jocks were let go from Hubbard Radio’s Chicago station group.  The air personalities – Mike Roberts of hot AC WTMX “101.9 The Mix” and Brian Travis of adult contemporary WSHE “100.3” – both hosted the overnight daypart.  While there were criticisms of Hubbard’s decision in the comments section of Feder’s story, he points our that “Hubbard Radio Chicago had been among the last local station groups to broadcast live around the clock at all of its stations.”…..Premiere Networks announces the availability of a country music holiday special hosted by CMT personality Cody Alan.  “Home for the Holidays” is a four-hour, barter-free show highlighted by conversations with country music stars including: Braid Paisley, Maren Morris, and Martina McBride, among others, who will share stories of Christmas memories, favorite gifts, and family traditions.  The radio special will also feature a mix of chart-topping and holiday-themed songs. It’s available for air from December 22-25.

An Interview with George Noory

| October 29, 2018

By Ryan McCormick
Goldman McCormick Public Relations

 

ST.LOUIS — George Noory, host of the nationally syndicated program, “Coast to Coast AM,” says if he weren’t a national radio talk show host he’d be in politics.  Heard by millions of listeners, “Coast To Coast AM” airs on nearly 620 stations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Guam.

While hosting “The Nighthawk,” a wildly successful, late-night program on KTRS, St. Louis, Noory was recruited by Premiere Networks to guest host on “Coast to Coast AM” with Art Bell.  He became the permanent host of the phenomenally successful overnight program on January 1, 2003, following Bell’s retirement.  Since then, Noory’s audience has continued to grow.

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Monday, April 16, 2018

| April 16, 2018

Remembering Art Bell. The somewhat eerie fact that 72-year-old Art Bell died on Friday the 13th (4/13 in Pahrump, Nevada) certainly could not go unnoticed or overlooked. Bell was the founder and original host of the paranormal-themed “Coast to Coast AM,” which Premiere Networks syndicated on hundreds of North American radio outlets. Part of a Bell retrospective on that program’s website details that, “His love of radio led him to working for an English-language station in Japan, where he set a Guinness world record for broadcasting 116 hours straight. This was no mere radio stunt, however, as it served to raise funds to rescue over 100 Vietnamese orphans left stranded by the conflict in their home country.  Upon returning to the United States, he entered the world of talk radio with an overnight program on KDWN, Las Vegas.  After noticing that episodes covering conspiracy theories and paranormal topics generated considerable interest from listeners, Bell transformed the show from political talk to discussion of these often-verboten realms. Syndicated nationally in 1993 [by Talk Radio Network], ‘Coast to Coast AM’ soon became a radio phenomenon.  During the 1990s, when ‘The X-Files’ had people wondering about the world of high strangeness, Art Bell was the voice of that world, introducing millions of radio listeners to a vast array of paranormal topics and the researchers that studied them. As he begins his journey on the ‘Other Side,’ we take solace in the hope that he is now finding out all of the answers to the mysteries he pursued for so many nights with all of us.”  The Jacksonville, North Carolina born former Air Force medic “semi-retired” from “Coast to Coast AM” 15 years ago but could be heard hosting the program on weekends from 2003 – 2007 and was an occasional guest host through 2010.  Bell called his show “absolute entertainment” and did not necessarily accept every guest or caller’s claims but offered a forum where they would not be openly ridiculed. SiriusXM debuted “Art Bell’s Dark Matter” in September 2013 on its “Indie Talk” channel, but that four-hour (7:00 pm – 11:00 pm, PT) Monday through Thursday venture ended after just six weeks. Approximately four-dozen stations carried his 9:00 pm – 12:00 midnight PT “Midnight in the Desert” show, which launched on the Internet in July 2015 on Bell’s Dark Matter Digital Network. Three months later in October of 2015, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison interviewed him for his weekly podcast. The following is a brief excerpt from that long-form conversation in which Bell assesses the state of the radio industry and its future.  To listen to the clip, please click here.  Five months later though, Bell exited, citing concerns about his family’s safety.  Bell was replaced as weekday host of “Coast to Coast AM” on January 1, 2003 by George Noory, who reacted emotionally on air last Friday night to Bell’s passing. “I’m trying to get my composure here, folks,” a shaken Noory admitted. “Art and I were not that close.  We had our differences, but he was one of those instrumental in me being where I am right now.  He was a very heavy smoker and was hospitalized a year or so ago because of [that].  I don’t know if that played a factor in [his death] or not.”  In 1996, KTRS, St. Louis’ Tim Dorsey hired Noory to be “The Night Hawk” and as Bell decided he needed an emergency replacement, Noory gained national exposure by doing his first “Coast to Coast AM” show in April 2001. “As Art’s back problems became more severe, I started doing more shows, until he decided to retire from fulltime work,” Noory told Inside Radio’s then special features editor/current TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian.  Equating the experience of substituting for – and eventually succeeding – Bell on a fulltime basis to pinch-hitting for Babe Ruth, Noory maintained, “It’s sometimes an unreal feeling. I never showed it on the air, but replacing Art Bell was overwhelming for me. I realized there was no way I could replace him. It wouldn’t work if I tried to duplicate him.” The first time Noory heard Bell was in 1996 when he was driving to work at heritage St. Louis news/talker KMOX. “I said to myself that I wanted to do that program,” Noory confided to Kinosian. “After I concentrated on the show, strange events occurred that made it all happen.  Whatever’s out there in the universe that makes things happen for people is real.”  Now living in Lexington, Kentucky, noted spoken-word consultant/programmer Gabe Hobbs is a former vice president/programming – news, talk, & sports for Clear Channel (now iHeartMedia). “What a special talent Art Bell was – truly unique,” Hobbs declares.  “He helped talk radio evolve from the Larry King-era into the modern era of our format.  He is the man that made overnights meaningful and profitable in radio.”  Longtime iHeartMedia Los Angeles adult contemporary KOST “Coast 103” air talent Ted Ziegenbusch notes on Facebook, “I did a late-night show for about 20 years in the 1980s and 1990s. On a family trip to central California one night, I heard Art on a tiny radio station. That was long before he became popular and I was fascinated with his stories about UFOs; ghosts; pyramids on Mars; climate change; and all sorts of quirky subjects. His shows were almost always riveting and impossible to leave for even a moment. When I returned from my trip north, I told my general manager that Art Bell would be perfect for our AM station. Nobody had ever heard of the guy, so my suggestion fell on deaf ears. Later, he would join our team and score enormous success. The story doesn’t end there. Sadly, there were some real ups and downs in Art’s life and his career; [however], he was sure a trailblazer and one-of-a-kind entertainer.” Brian Whitman, who does morning drive in Los Angeles on Salem Media Group news/talk KRLA, recounts, “Many years ago when I was younger and less experienced, I was doing some on-air work at Premiere Radio Networks. I asked the boss if he would consider me to be a substitute host on ‘Coast to Coast’ when Art Bell was absent. I took the opportunity to mention that when those crazy people called, I’d goof on them and do a really funny show. The boss made me smarter [by telling me], ‘Brian, you don’t understand. On ‘Coast to Coast,’ when someone calls to tell you an alien landed in their swimming pool, you don’t make fun. You say, ‘tell me more.’ [That was] the genius of Art Bell. I always say that the most important thing for a radio performer is to find his voice.  Art Bell’s singular voice, brilliant mind, and master showmanship came together to create his own brand. He understood the intimacy that radio can create [and] the lives it can touch.”  An executive producer at iHeartMedia Los Angeles news/talk KFI, Michelle Kube, comments that, “Even if I thought some of the stories were crazy, you couldn’t deny [Art Bell’s] talent.” He was “a true radio pioneer and a great storyteller. He created ‘Coast to Coast AM’ – it’s his legacy.”  For the past 14 years, Kurt Kretzschmar has been director of affiliate marketing – Premiere Networks. The former executive producer of Los Angeles sports outlet KSPN and cross-town news/talk KABC asserts that tapes of Bell’s shows “that air on Saturday nights are some of the highest-rated weekend hours on several affiliates.” Senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia’s Northern Ohio region, which includes WHLO “640 Akron’s News Talk,” Keith Kennedy, was among programmers scheduling Art Bell tribute programming this past weekend. Kennedy wrote on Facebook, “Listen to ‘Somewhere in Time’ Saturday at 9:00 pm – we’ll rebroadcast one of his unique programs.”  Bell studied engineering at the University of Maryland in College Park, but dropped out to become a radio chief engineer/board op/occasional on-air talent.  In May 2008, he sold KNYE, Pahrump to station manager Karen Jackson for a reported $600,000. Inducted to the Nevada Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame (2006) and National Radio Hall of Fame (2008), Bell received Radio & Records’ “Lifetime Achievement Award” in 2007. A July 2016 posting on Bell’s website indicated he was hospitalized for pneumonia and that he suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.  Nye County (Nevada) sheriff Sharon Wehrly described Bell as a “longtime resident” of the area and said an autopsy to confirm the cause of death would be performed later this week. Geller Media International Broadcast Consultants president Valerie Geller proclaims, “May his journey continue in peace.”

WWJ, Detroit Names Brooke Allen PM Drive Co-Host. Detroit all-news WWJ-AM “Newsradio 950” announces that Brooke Allen (right) is returning to the station to co-host the afternoon drive daypart (2:00 pm to 6:00 pm) with current afternoon host Greg Bowman (left).  Allen was most recently the producer and local host of “Morning Edition” on public news/talk WKAR-AM/FM, East Lansing, Michigan.  Entercom Detroit SVP and market manager Debbie Kenyon says, “We are excited to welcome Brooke back to WWJ.  In addition to being an award-winning journalist, Brooke is devoted to our local community.   Her passion for the news and connection to the people of the metro Detroit area will be evident each and every day.”

Johnson Named VP of Sports Sales for iHeartMedia Denver. Denver sales pro Jeff Johnson is promoted at iHeartMedia to vice president of sports sales & partnerships.  In this new role, Johnson is charged with “growing and managing iHeartMedia Denver’s sports partnerships, including the Denver Broncos and Colorado Rockies, as well as its Broncos-centric station, KDSP-AM ‘Orange & Blue 760.'”  iHeartMedia Denver SVP of sales Ryan Clune states, “I’m thrilled for Jeff.  Watching him grow over the years from senior account executive to director of sports sales, and now vice president of sports sales & partnerships has been a highlight of my career.  Jeff’s ability to align advertisers with our exclusive sports content, along with delivering unmatched reach, brand affinity, and ROI for our partners makes him the ideal leader to step into this key position.”

Price: Are You Ready for Atlantic Hurricane Season? Former longtime director of business continuity & crisis management for ABC’s news and technology & operations divisions, Howard B. Price, writes today in a piece for TALKERS magazine about the need to be prepared for the Atlantic Hurricane Season.  Price says that tropical researchers at Colorado State University have issued their predictions for this year and have concluded that there will likely be 14 named storms between June 1 and November 30. Of those, researchers expect seven hurricanes, with three of those likely to be major storms (Saffir/Simpson category 3-4-5, with sustained winds of 111 MPH – plus).  Price provides this nine-point preparedness checklist for broadcasters who could be affected by an Atlantic hurricane or any other natural disaster for that matter.  See it here.

Padres Executive Chairman Opens Up About KEGY Format Tweak.  As reported in the San Diego Union Tribune writer Bryce Miller, San Diego Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler says the team had “significant input and impact” on the format and branding changes Entercom made to KEGY, but not so much as to dictate which air talent should go where.  Union Tribune reports Fowler and the Padres had issues with KEGY’s programming as “97.3 The Machine” before air personality Kevin Klein’s promotional Tweet that referenced the city’s Coronado bridge and its history as a site of hundreds of suicides.  Miller quotes Fowler referencing the station’s programming as “shock-jock” radio.  See Miller’s story here.

Comey’s ABC Interview/Trump-Russia Investigation, U.S. Strikes on Syria, Starbucks-Philly Arrests, Mexico Border Issues, Barbara Bush Health Status, MLB and NBA Playoffs Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Former FBI director James Comey’s interview on ABC-TV in which he discussed the investigation into the Hillary Clinton email matter and opined on President Trump’s fitness for office and the related investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the weekend’s U.S. military strikes in Syria; the controversy over the arrest of two black men for trespassing at a Philadelphia Starbucks; the issue of security at the U.S.-Mexico border; former First Lady Barbara Bush’s failing health; and Major League Baseball and NBA playoffs action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes.  According to the most recent list published by The Hollywood Reporter, Premiere Networks and FOX News Channel star Sean Hannity and multi-media personality Ryan Seacrest are two of the 35 most powerful media people in New York. Regarding Hannity, THR says that he regularly commands the largest audience of any cable news host on television, in addition to reaching millions of listeners on his national radio show.  “He also has the ear (and the eyes) of the president…and has the power to make or break Republican political candidates.”  As for Seacrest, the publication says that since Kelly Ripa tapped him as her co-host in May, viewership of ABC’s “LIVE with Kelly & Ryan” has “risen nearly 15% to 3.2 million viewers each day.”  See the whole list here…..Westwood One announces a strategic partnership with American Public Media to increase sales and promotional opportunities for season two of the investigative podcast, “In the Dark.”  The first season of “In the Dark” has driven nearly 12 million downloads to date and continues to receive downloads more than a year later at roughly 465,000 per month.  In this new relationship, Westwood One is providing broadcast radio show promotion and exclusive ad sales representation…..Pictured below is former White House national security adviser Dr. Sebastian Gorka (left) reviewing documents with Ken Lormand (right), Washington bureau chief of Salem Radio Network News.  As a former Trump adviser, Gorka has insight into administration personnel moves, including CIA director Mike Pompeo’s nomination to become the next U.S. Secretary of State.

TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! to Feature Presentation by Salem VP Phil Boyce Titled, “What Has Donald Trump Done to Talk Radio.” There is no doubt that the ascendancy of Donald J. Trump to the U.S. presidency has greatly impacted news/talk radio and its associated platforms of talk media. Salem Media Group SVP of the spoken word format Phil Boyce will deliver an address, backed up by Harker Research data, exploring this phenomenon in detail during the morning sessions of TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! The presentation will be introduced by highly regarded programmer Greg Moceri, CEO of Moceri Media. The 21st annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running, and most important convention takes place on Friday, June 8 at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater in the Chelsea district of Manhattan. The day opens with back-to-back keynote “fireside chats” conducted by Michael Harrison with Premiere Networks and Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity and Beasley Broadcasting CEO Caroline Beasley. The conference will also include presentations by such industry notables as PodcastOne executive chairman, Norm Pattiz; former WFAN, New York sports talk superstar, Mike Francesa; Amplifi Media CEO Steve Goldstein, panel appearances by Premiere Networks president Julie Talbott, Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes and an afternoon keynote address by Infowars and GCN maverick Alex Jones. There will be panels on programming, sales, digital convergence and more featuring a total of 50-plus speakers from all aspects of the talk media industry. The convention is on a fast-track to being an advance sellout and there will be no registrations sold at the door. For more information and the complete up-to-the-minute agenda, read the story below.

TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Agenda Posted. The TALKERS editorial board is pleased to post the basic agenda for the 21stannual installment of the talk media industry’s longest running and most important national convention – TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! takes place on Friday, June 8 at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan. The conference will feature more than 50 top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry – including talent, programmers, managers and owners – with a focus on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age. This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology as well as the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing modern-day talk broadcasters and broadcasting organizations. It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals. Like its predecessors, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch, and a closing cocktail reception – all in a single, power-packed day! Full up-to-the-minute agenda details, speaker roster and hotel information can be seen here. If you are planning to attend, it would be wise to register NOW. This convention will be an early sellout.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Denver, iHeartMedia names Chelsea Thomas midday host for country KWBL “106.7 The Bull,” effective April 23.   iHeartMedia region SVP of programming JoJo Turnbeaugh says, “An on-air opening with iHeartMedia in Denver always generates strong interest from many talented personalities.  Chelsea was the clear winner. Her authenticity and unique ability to weave storytelling into her show made her the ideal match for the Bull Nation.”  Thomas was most recently music director and air personality at Alpha Media’s CHR WDJX, Louisville…..KAMP, Los Angeles “97.1 AMP Radio” music director and midday personality Michelle Boros exits her position with the Entercom CHR station after an eight-year stint…..Kristina Carlyle signs on with Albany Broadcasting’s country WKLI, Albany “100.9 The Cat” to co-host the morning show and serve as music director. Carlyle – most recently with Scripps’ KVOO, Tulsa – takes over for the departed Dana Race…..There’s a new morning host at California Radio Partners’ triple A KOZT, Fort Bragg “The Coast” as Dred Scott is tapped to work alongside news director Joe Regelski.  Station co-owner and program director Tom Yates says, “We did a job posting and got 41 responses in two days from some really good candidates.  But Dred is a really good fit with the ‘Coast’ crew.”…..At Ingstad Media’s country KXDD, Yakima, Washington, Lindsey Cleveland is promoted from part-time status to full-time as morning drive co-host with Brian Stephenson on “The Good Morning Gang with Brian & Lindsey.” Cleveland fills the role vacated recently by Carey Jacobson…..In Washington, DC, Kala Simmons is named morning show producer for WASH-FM’s “Toby and Chilli” morning show. Simmons has been with the iHeartMedia Washington cluster for the past three years as assistant digital producer for WIHT’s “The Kane Show.”

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

| June 28, 2017

FAIR’s ‘Hold Their Feet to the Fire’ Begins Today. The 11th annual Washington, DC radio row that addresses America’s immigration policies is underway at the Phoenix Park Hotel today through tomorrow.  Federation for American Immigration Reform’s “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” consists of more than 60 talk radio hosts from around the country holding “a national conversation with voters in all 50 states about what is happening, what isn’t happening, and what needs to be done to get things moving” regarding America’s “immigration laws being effectively enforced.”  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “FAIR did another fantastic job of gathering what seems to be a record number of hosts to the radio row this year making it one of, if not the, biggest in history.  The immigration reform issue has obviously emerged as one of the hottest topics on the talk radio agenda and a wide variety of views concerning it are amply on display at this dynamic happening.  It is also, from my perspective, a major demonstration of the First Amendment on display.”  Harrison has been booked as a guest on more than 25 shows for the two-day event.  Pictured above left is Michael Harrison (right) with KCOL, Colorado Springs talk show host Jimmy Lakey (left). Above right is Harrison with FAIR president Dan Stein.

Westwood One and NextRadio Partner on Audience Measurement Tool. This agreement between Westwood One and NextRadio parent TagStation, LLC will provide for the rollout of what is being called “the first, and largest, interactive audience measurement tool of over-the-air FM radio.  This alliance enables Westwood One to deliver consumer insights and intelligence that optimize campaigns and prove ROI to national advertisers.”  The press release says that Westwood One has been testing the NextRadio Dial Report and recently ran a NextRadio campaign for a major retailer on 250 of its radio stations that proved radio drove listeners to retail.  They say one-third of people who heard the ad also viewed the companion ad within the app.  Of those listeners exposed to the campaign, 10% visited the retailer.  Westwood One president Suzanne Grimes comments, “Imagine interacting with broadcast radio and brand content on your smartphone.  What an inspiration for getting consumers to take immediate action.  This capability is now a reality for a quarter of a billion Westwood One listeners who get more control over their experience, while advertisers get massive and actionable insights and results.  In addition, NextRadio’s collaboration with industry partners, including Nielsen, further validates this alliance as transformative for our business.”

George Noory Publishes New Book. Nationally syndicated late night talk show host George Noory has just published his latest book titled, Mad As Hell (Forge Books 2017).  This non-fiction book doesn’t deal with the paranormal, but instead reveals Noory’s concerns about the state of America and his worries about its future.  The host of Premiere Networks’ “Coast to Coast AM” says, “We live in a dangerous world that is sorely in need of an effective political system.  I hope this book will inspire and encourage people to pull together as a society, and put in the hard work it will take to bring back the America that makes us proud.”

TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media maven Robert Feder tips us that WGN late morning personalities Bill Leff and Wendy Snyder have signed contract extensions with the station to continue working there through June of 2020.  The former WLUP-FM and WKQX-FM duo joined WGN in 2013.  Their show airs from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon with an extra hour that can be heard on wgn.com.  Read Feder’s “Robservations” column here…..SummitMedia brings another sports talk station to the Richmond market, flipping former CHR W291CL/WURV-HD2 “HOT 106.1” to “Sports 106.1.”  The station is airing content from CBS Sports Radio…..Panama City, Florida also gets a new sports talk station as Horizon Broadcasting debuts WGSX “104.3 ESPN Panama City” airing programming from ESPN Radio and Fox Sports Radio…..Talk Stream Live is launching its second syndicated network talk show called “Sunday Night Sports Talk with Don and Galen Criqui.”  The program streams live at 9:00 pm ET and is being distributed for AM/FM affiliation by Salem Radio Network…..The popular public radio arts and entertainment show “Studio 360” with host Kurt Andersen is operating under a new partnership.  Since 2000, the program was a cooperative effort of Public Radio International and WNYC.  Now, PRI is teaming with Slate to place the program on the latter’s digital-native podcasting network…..Dave Graveline announces that he has entered into a relationship with Fishnet Syndication to handle affiliate clearing and ad sales for his “Into Tomorrow” consumer electronics and technology talk radio show.

Troopathon 10 to Air in Conjunction with NewsmaxTV. Tomorrow (6/29) is the multi-media simulcast of Move America Forward’s Troopathon 10 – Care Packages for Our Heroes fundraiser to help send care packages to U.S. troops deployed in war zones.  This year, Troopathon is partnering with NewsmaxTV, Wounded Warriors, and Rogers Family Coffee to host the 3:00 pm to 10:00 pm ET fundraising event from its base in Sacramento.  Troopathon executive producer, award-winning talk show host and author Melanie Morgan says, “All Americans can agree that our troops deserve our love and support.  The cause we come together to support is incredibly important.  With thousands of troops still on the ground in Afghanistan, we cannot forget their continued service and sacrifice.  Troopathon remains steadfast in our commitment to supporting our troops in harm’s way!”  Morgan will again work with co-host Rita Cosby from WABC, New York and will be joined by guests including: “Newsmax Now” anchor John Bachman, Dionne Warwick, Chuck Woolery, Tony Orlando and Rich Little.  Special segments will be hosted by syndicated radio stars Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark  Levin, and Laura Ingraham.  Through 2017, Troopathon events have raised nearly $5 million in sponsorships, enabling the group to send more than 350 tons of care packages to troops overseas.

Cumulus Women at the Gracies. Pictured here (at center) is WABC, New York personality Rita Cosby holding her fifth Gracie Award from the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation.  She’s flanked by WNSH, New York “NASH FM 94.7” midday personality Katie Neal (left) and WPLJ, New York morning co-host Jayde Donovan (right) on Tuesday (6/27) at The Gracies Luncheon at Cipriani in New York City.  Cosby was honored for “Best Interview Feature” for her Election Central special on New York Primary Day during which she interviewed all five presidential candidates.

TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Continue Posting Today (6/28).  The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and, beginning yesterday (6/27), its sessions have begun being posted to Talkers.com – one event per day.  Already posted are the “Welcoming Remarks” by WMAL, Washington, DC afternoon drive host Larry O’ Connor.  Today (6/28), the special presentation “You HAVE Options” by consultant Holland Cooke has been posted.  Tomorrow, Thursday (6/29), the “Fireside Chat” between Michael Harrison and Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity will be posted.  Closing out the week on Friday (6/30) the “Fireside Chat” between Mike Kinosian and WFAN, New York sports talk show host Mike Francesa will be posted.  Within the following weeks, every session will be posted and will remain on Talkers.com for the rest of the year.  The Talkers 2017: A New Era video page is sponsored by Backbone Networks, Broadcasters General Store and Comrex Corp.  To view the video page of Talkers 2017: A New Era, please click here.

Trump-CNN Spat/Trump-Russia Investigation, GOP Delays Health Care Vote, Global Cyberattack, SCOTUS Travel Ban Ruling, EU Fines Google, Sarah Palin Sues NYT, Jane Sanders Investigation, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/27). CNN’s retraction of a Trump-Russia investigation story and volley of tweets between CNN and the president, along with the related special counsel investigation into Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s decision to delay a vote on the GOP health care plan; the ransomware attack that engulfed Ukraine and numerous European targets; the Supreme Court’s ruling allowing a portion of President Donald Trump’s travel ban from seven predominantly Muslim nations to take effect; Google is fined $2.7 billion by the European Union for manipulating search results to benefit its own shopping service; Sarah Palin files suit against The New York Times for implying her PAC’s actions resulted in the shooting of then-U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords; the investigation into Senator Bernie Sanders’ wife Jane over a loan deal for the Vermont college she ran; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Al Michaels Feted at Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters. Pictured above at the June 16 Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters luncheon honoring sports media legend Al Michaels are (from l-r): CRN Digital Talk Radio’s Fred Dryer, Michaels, former LA Kings broadcaster Bob Miller, and CRN CEO Mike Horn.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. At CBS RADIO’s adult contemporary KYXY, San Diego, the morning drive Jeff & the Showgram exits.  There’s been no official word from the company but the show’s info has been scrubbed from the website…..Longtime program director and morning show host Jimmy Buff is exiting Chet-5 Broadcasting’s triple A WDST, Woodstock New York “Radio Woodstock 100.1.”  In a message on the station’s website, Buff states, “My decision to move on wasn’t easy.  Radio Woodstock is an extraordinary radio station and it’s been my honor to be part of it for as long as I have been.  The mission to the music, the community and to independent radio here will be ably carried on by my veteran colleagues Greg Gattine and Justin Foy, as well by Rookies of the Year material MK Burnell and Dan Cahill, as well as the rest of the amazing staff.”  Gattine will assume programming duties as well as the host the morning drive program.  MK Burnell will take over music director duties and will host the PM drive shift.  Justin Foy moves to midday host, and Dan Cahill takes over the evening air shift, effective July 5…..Justin K exits Zimmer Radio’s adult contemporary KZWV, Osage Beach, Missouri where he was program director and midday personality…..Former KROQ, Los Angeles jock Rodney Bingenheimer brings his craft to SiriusXM where he’ll host a Sunday night program on Little Steven Van Zandt’s the Underground Garage channel.  For more than 40 years, Bingenheimer hosted his “Rodney on the ROQ” program, championing little-known acts that went on to greatness, including the Sex Pistols, The Ramones, Tom Petty, Blondie, Elvis Costello, Van Halen, The Clash, The Smiths, The Go Gos, The Bangles, The Runaways, and Oasis.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

| May 18, 2016

iheartmedia logo smalliHeartRadio’s Darren Davis Testifies Bankruptcy Threat Is ‘Disrupting’ Company’s Business.  The debt default trial underway in Texas pitting iHeartCommunications against Benefit Street Partners LLC is being covered by Bloomberg’s Laura Brubaker Calkins.  Yesterday’s star witness for iHeart was iHeartRadio president Darren Davis and in his testimony, he painted a picture of a company that was able to make its debt payments as it works to build adavisdarren global digital music service, that is, until the debt default was declared.  Calkins reports that Davis said as it stands now, the company’s line of credit has been reduced, its relationships with partners are strained, and it’s affecting iHeart’s ability to attract top, and in some cases, critical employees.  The upshot is that the debt default issue is hampering the company’s goal of building iHeartRadio into the global content service that it believes it can be.  The case stems from iHeartCommunications’ transfer of $500 million of Clear Channel Outdoor stock into the shell company Broader Media Inc.  iHeart says the transfer was legal, and Benefit Street Partners LL says it was not.  Read Calkins’ Bloomberg piece here.

deptrojohnWPRO, Providence’s John DePetro Ties with Rhode Island Governor as ‘Most Divisive.’  The Rhode Island digital publication GoLocalProv.com published a list of what it calls the state’s “Ten Most Divisive” personalities.  Most of the 10 are politicians or are very involved with the state’s political process.  However, tied for #1 with Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo is WPRO, Providence late morning talk show host John DePetro.  The publication defines the list’s occupants as those who “generate the greatest emotion.”  See the feature here.

The Presidential Race, Islamic State Iraq Bombings, Iran Nuclear Deal Hearing, Bathroom-Gender Laws, Facebook Anti-Conservative Allegations, Brazil and Venezuela Troubles, and NBA-NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/17).  The activities of the candidates for president, the Oregon and Kentucky primaries and Megyn Kelly’s Donald Trump interview; the recent deadly bombings in Baghdad by Islamic State; the House Oversight Committee hearing on the Obama Administration’s Iran nuclear deal; ongoing controversy over public restroom laws and gender identification; allegations Facebook’s trending stories are biased against conservative topics; the political and economic turmoil in Brazil and Venezuela; and the NBA and NHL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

noorygeorgeGeorge Noory to Present Live Stage Version of ‘Coast to Coast AM’ in June.  The event will take place on Saturday, June 18 at Lindenwood University in St. Louis beginning at 7:00 pm local time.  Tickets are available for the show that will include a VIP meet-and-greet.  It’s being produced by Emmis-owned KFTK-FM, St. Louis and Danheiser Entertainment.  Guests on the show will include ufologist and nuclear physicist Stanton Friedman, rock historian and author R. Gary Patterson, St. Louis Radio Hall of Famer Mark Klose of KFTK, and Mark Farley, founding member of the St. Louis Paranormal Society and frequent guest of KFTK’s Dave Glover show.  It’ll be available as a pay-per-view event as well.

boethinheatherCMG Names Heather Boethin to Gamut Sales Director Post.  Named to the director of sales south for Gamut is Cox Media Group sales pro Heather Boethin.  She’s based in Dallas and will oversee the territory of Atlanta, Dallas, and outlying areas.  She’ll also work closely with CoxReps Digital on “driving high-level strategic initiatives between the two companies.”  Gamut is a digital media services company owned by CMG.

wtmjhonorflight16WTMJ, Milwaukee Sends 140 Veteran to DC on ‘Stars and Stripes Honor Flight.’  Last Saturday (5/14), Scripps-owned news/talk WTMJ, Milwaukee sent 140 veterans on a trip from the city to Washington, DC to visit their war memorials.  WTMJ afternoon host John Mercure led a “WTMJ Cares” fundraising project last October and the station’s listeners donated more than $250,000 to fund the flights.  “WTMJ’s Operation Parallel” featured Mercure interviewing Veterans to tell their stories and what a trip to their war memorial would mean to them. The money was donated through two radiothon events and online giving.  Stars and Stripes Honor Flight vice president Karyn Roelke says, “We are humbled by the absolutely incredible support of WTMJ Radio.  Many of our veterans have already told us that, aside from their wedding day and the birth of their children, their Honor Flight day was the best day they have ever had.  We owe such a debt of gratitude to the listeners and staff of 620 WTMJ for making this possible.”  Pictured above are the veterans along with WTMJ staffers.