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Monday Memo: Talkers, Listening

| May 11, 2020

By Holland Cooke
Consultant

 

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — Larry King taught us that great talkers are good listeners. So I asked a quartet of our cohorts what they’re hearing.

I asked for ADJECTIVES…

… to describe listeners’ mood while we’ve all been hunkered-down.

  • Gene Valicenti gets it in both ears each day. After hosting morning drive on WPRO, Providence, he anchors top-rated NBC10 TV news at 6:00 pm. People are “in good humor,” he reckons, “but edging toward impatience.”
  • Frustrated. Suspicious” is what Westwood One’s Jim Bohannon hears. “And to a lesser extent I hear ‘determined’ (to gut it out).”
  • Understandably, “the mood is stunned and confused” in Las Vegas, hardest-hit by the shutdown. KMZQ’s Heidi Harris says people there “aren’t getting assurances on when it will end. Will they go back to work? Will their old jobs exist? No one has clear answers.”
  • Also surrounded by closed casinos, WPG, Atlantic City’s Harry Hurley describes folks there as “disgusted (with the stay-at-home order), ‘Anxious,’ ‘Depressed,’ ‘Scared’ (worried about becoming infected with coronavirus).” And like Las Vegans, “worried about whether or not they’ll be able to return to work.”

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Friday, January 6, 2017

| January 6, 2017

cookeces17a2017 CES: Your Elevator Speech.  Media consultant Holland Cooke reports from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and he writes:

Attention is currency. So short sentences rock. And sentence fragments. See?

On a normal day in Las Vegas (oxymoron), it’s already a wall of enticements:

  • “100X odds craps!”
  • “Celine!”
  • A rib joint touts “The Best Rack on The Strip!”
  • Guy Fieri’s restaurant serves up “In Your Face Food & Booze.”
  • “Fire a Machine Gun!”
  • “Girls! Girls! Girls!”

Now, fly-in 165,000 of us, for-whose-attention 20,000 new products compete, and you’re in the graduate school of messaging. Yours will drown in the din unless it’s “SQUIRREL!”

Sound familiar?

Radio has never had more competition for listeners’ attention, and advertisers’ do-re-mi.

So, as I navigate a Las Vegas Convention Center the size of FIFTY football fields, I am struck by how well exhibitors distill their messages, something radio hosts and commercial and promo copy should strive to do.

  • BACtrack is “The World’s First Wearable Alcohol Monitor.”
  • Mevo, The Live Event Camera, enables you to “Edit on the fly. Stream live or share later.”
  • ThinOptics assures that you will “never be without your reading glasses again.” Their “stick anywhere, go everywhere” sleeve adheres to the back of your smartphone.
  • Rem-Fit’s Zeeq Smart Pillow “Streams Music, Stops Snoring, Analyzes Sleep.”
  • You’re “always connected, never apart” with Petcube’s “interactive cameras bringing pets and people closer than ever.”
  • Tablo is “The DVR for Cord Cutters.”
  • Assure Lock by Yale lets you “Lose your keys for good;” and “Answer your door. Anywhere. Anytime.”
  • MightyPURSE “charges your phone.”
  • Without a live demonstration in the booth, we’ll take Willow’s word that their “wearable breast pump” has “no external tubes, cords, or dangling bottles.”

Get the picture? Yes, we see.

Make America Great Again.”

We just elected a most unlikely president whose gift of brevity plays Twitter like a Stradivarius. “Drain the swamp,” “Crooked Hillary,” “Jeb Bush is weak,” “Little Marco,” “Build a wall, and Mexico will pay for it,” and other bumpersticker-length catch-phrases were utterly digestible. Is your message?

Holland Cooke (www.HollandCooke.com) is a media consultant working at the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet, and he covers industry conferences for Talkers. Follow him on Twitter @HollandCooke; and look for his new TalkersTV video “Choose Your Words Carefully” next week at Talkers.com

SiriusXM Ends 2016 with More Than 31.3 Million Subscribers.  Satellite broadcaster SiriusXM will release its 2016 fourth quarter financials early next month, but it announced yesterday that it beat its guidance on net subscriber additions by adding more than 1.7 million during the year to pass the 31.3 million mark.  It also says it siriusxmsmallexpects to meet or exceed its 2016 guidance for revenue, adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow.  CEO Jim Meyer comments, “We continue to make substantialmeyerjim investments in new products, content and technologies, including investments in new satellites, our next-generation 360L platform, wideband chipsets, and new marketing capabilities.  In 2017, we expect to continue our never-ending focus on bringing our customers the best content bundle available, and our strong record of delivering cost-effective growth and returning substantial capital to stockholders through stock buybacks and our recently introduced dividend.”  SiriusXM also issued 2017 guidance for self-pay net subscriber additions (1.3 million), revenue ($5.3 billion), adjusted EBITDA ($2.025 billion) and free cash flow ($1.5 billion).

PodcastOne Debuts Laila Ali Show.  Women’s boxing champ Laila Ali is launching a new show called “Laila Ali Lifestyle” on the PodcastOne platform.  The daughter of the late boxing legend Muhammad Ali joins thealilaila Norm Pattiz-founded entertainment company to offer a show in which fans can join Ali “on her journey to holistic greatness, as she balances mind, body and soul, and shares her passion for helping people achieve their personal best in every aspect of life.”  She will invite guests to appear each week, with new episodes every Thursday.   Pattiz comments, “We’re happy to have someone of Laila’s esteem, experience and class on our network.  She’s a legend in her own right, and it will be great for fans to see a different side of her through the podcast.”

Chris Mack to Host Pirates Pre-and Post-Game Shows.  At CBS RADIO’s Pittsburgh sports talker KDKA-FM “Sports Radio 93-7 The Fan,” station personality Chris Mack will begin hosting the pre and post-game shows for Pittsburgh Pirates baseball beginning in the spring.  Mack currently hosts the station’s weekly “Bucco Talk”mackchris program in addition to a number of shows.  Jack Zduriencik, a former Pirates director of scouting and former Seattle Mariners general manager will work alongside Mack during the shows.  ‘Fan’ program director Jim Graci comments, “Chris is a seasoned talk show host and well versed in the Pittsburgh sports scene.  Elevating him to host our pre- and post-Pirates game broadcasts was a natural progression for him, ‘The Fan’ and our scores of loyal listeners.  We’re excited to have Chris take on this expanded role and look forward to his color commentary and analysis this spring.”

talkersten-logoRussian Hacking Controversy Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of January 2-6.  The debate in Washington over whether Vladimir Putin’s Russia is responsible for hacking the DNC’s email was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM.  At #2 this week was President Obama’s lame duck actions.  Coming in at #3 was the GOP’s strategy to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, followed by the Chicago Facebook torture case 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.

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radioinfo-web-bannerBeasley’s WBRN, Tampa Goes AC; Chadd & Kristi Thomas Named Morning Hosts.  The former “Bubba Radio Network”-branded rock station ditched that moniker last year and transitioned to the “No Rules Rock!” brand.  Then, late last year, Beasley Media Group dropped the Bubba the Love Sponge show in anticipation of a format change.  Yesterday, the company unveiled the new adult contemporary format for WBRN and its new brandwbrn “The New B98.7.”  After a 10,000 songs-in-a-row launch, the station will feature Chadd and Kristi Thomas as its morning team, beginning Monday, February 6.  The duo is well known in the market after years on Cox Media Group’s crosstown AC WWRM “Magic 94.9.”  Kristi Thomas says, “Chadd and I are absolutely delighted to be part of creating a new radio station!  We are excited about our new home for our special brand of radio in Tampa Bay, which is a place we cherish and where we have chosen to raise our family!”  Beasley EVP of programming Justin Chase adds, “For nearly two decades, Chadd & Kristi have developed a deep relationship with the Tampa listening audience and we are thrilled they decided to join us in the process of building a new and great AC brand in the market.”

Johnnie D. Upped to PD of WGCI, Chicago.  In Chicago, iHeartMedia promotes WGCI and WVAZ assistant program director Johnnie D. to program director for WGCI.  iHeartMedia Chicago director of urban programming djohnnieDerrick Brown says, “Johnnie has made a significant impact since joining WGCI in 2015.  His passion and vision for our brand has enhanced our signature concert events like Big Jam and Summer Jam, plus his work in helping launch the city’s only live-and-local urban morning show has made the ‘Chicago Morning Takeover’ a dominant force in the market.  It’s a pleasure to recognize Johnnie’s hard work with this promotion and it certainly comes with great expectations as he manages all facets of the 107.5 WGCI-FM brand.”

kroichrRadio One Jumps on CHR Opportunity in Houston.  With CBS RADIO’s move away from CHR on KKHH to adult hits, Radio One’s only other CHR competition for KROI “92.1 RADIO NOW” will be Cumulus Media’s KRBE.  A format change for KROI was not unexpected after Radio One CEO Alfred Liggins recently commented that classic hip hop and R&B is not a “sustainable format.”  The station is being programmed by cluster operations manager Terri Thomas, who says, “The ‘New 92.1 Radio Now’ will reflect emerging music, trends and culture for the NOW generation of 18-34 year old millennials here in Houston.”   Radio One senior vice president of programming Jay Stevens adds, “We’re excited about this opportunity to bring a fresh innovative approach to top 40 radio in H-Town.”

KBAY, San Jose Names Bruce Scott Morning Host.  Former KOST, Los Angeles personality Bruce Scottscottbruce joins Alpha Media as morning drive host for classic hits KBAY, San Jose, effective January 17.  Alpha Media VP of programming and “Bay FM” program director Ronnie Stanton states, “It’s very exciting to add Bruce to the refreshed sound of ‘Bay FM.’  He brings years of experience and a great radio brain to create an upbeat and fun morning show with the greatest hits of all time for the Bay Area.”

Thursday, January 5, 2017

| January 5, 2017

Emmis Communications Reports 2016 Fiscal Q3 Numbers; Radio Segment Basically Flat.  For the company as a whole – which includes radio, publishing and emerging technologies – net revenue was down 5.7% compared to the same period a year ago.  But publishing took the big hit.  Emmis Communications’ radio emmis-logosegment was basically flat – down 0.4%.  For the first nine months of the company’s fiscal year (March-November), the radio segment was down 1.2%.   In its filing with the SEC, the company explains, “For the nine-month period ended November 30, 2016, our performance exceeded the market average [as per Miller Kaplan data] in St. Louis, but we lagged the market average in New York, Los Angeles, Indianapolis and Austin…Our weak performance in Los Angeles mostly related to a format competitor that began directly competing against our station there in February 2015.  The revenue impact has been most pronounced since the fall of 2015. Emmis expects net revenues in Los Angeles will be up slightly from prior year for the three-month period ended February 28, 2017.” Emmis chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan states, “Emmis Radio is not accustomed to underperforming its markets.  I wassmulyanjeff disappointed in our performance, but remain hopeful that recent ratings gains in Los Angeles and Austin, coupled with continued stellar performance in St. Louis, will lead to better performance in fiscal 2018.  The general sluggishness in the radio industry makes the need for NextRadio all the more important.  NextRadio, the smartphone app that provides free, portable FM radio listening, recently surpassed 10 million downloads and 25 million listening hours.  The Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge are now FM-enabled across all major wireless carriers in the United States and we reached an agreement with Sprint that keeps NextRadio preloaded on their Android devices.  If NextRadio succeeds, as I believe it will, it will help solve major challenges for every radio station, including ours: establishing a one-to-one relationship with our listeners, regaining our portability, and making us relevant to a generation that thinks terrestrial radio is uncool.  NextRadio gives us new, interactive revenue opportunities with current and potential advertisers – and it takes the compelling content created every day and provides a new platform for it.”

WABC, New York Expands ‘Bernie and Sid’ Show.  New York City news/talker 77 WABC Radio officiallybernieandsid17 announces the expansion of the late morning “Bernie and Sid Show” by an hour – now airing from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.  Both Bernard McGuirk (right) and Sid Rosenberg (left) continue their roles on Cumulus Media’s WABC-based “Imus in the Morning” program – McGuirk as sidekick and Rosenberg as sports anchor.  It was a year ago that WABC launched the “Bernie and Sid” show that the station describes as delivering the duo’s “passionate conversation about the biggest topics in New York and across the nation” featuring “incredible guests and interaction with great New York listeners.”   WABC program director Craig Schwalb comments, “Bernie and Sid came out of the chute strong and haven’t slowed down.  We are thrilled to add more time to this great show.”

FNC Moves Tucker Carlson into Megyn Kelly’s Slot.  With Fox News Channel star Megyn Kelly nowcarlsontucker moving to NBC News, the cable news outlet announces that Tucker Carlson will move to the 9:00 pm ET slot held by Kelly.  Carlson launched a 7:00 pm ET show on FNC in November and Fox executive chairman Rupert Murdoch says, “In less than two months, Tucker has taken cable news by storm with his spirited interviews and consistently strong performance.  Viewers have overwhelmingly responded to the show and we look forward to him being a part of Fox News’ powerful primetime lineup.”  Taking over Carlson’s 7:00 pm ET slot is longtime FNC anchor Martha MacCallum.

rtdna17honoreesStan Hubbard, Nina Totenberg, and Steve Jones Honored with RTDNA First Amendment Awards.  The 2017 First Amendment Awards honorees have been named by the Radio Television Digital News Association.  There are five awards that will be presented at a ceremony at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, DC on Tuesday, March 14.  Hubbard Broadcasting CEO, president and chairman Stan Hubbard will receive the First Amendment Leadership Award.  NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg will receive the RTDNF Lifetime Achievement Award.  ABC News Radio VP and general manager Steve Jones will receive the First Amendment Service Award.  Bloomberg Politics co-managing editors Mark Halperin and John Heilemann will receive the First Amendment Award.  And, CBS News correspondent Bill Whitaker will receive the Leonard Zeidenberg First Amendment Award.  RTDNF chair Kathy Walker comments, “At a time when freedom of the press is facing unprecedented challenges, our honorees stand up for values that are critically important to democracy.”

cooke17ces2017 Consumer Electronics Show.  “It’s getting hard to find a computer here.”  Media consultant Holland Cooke reports, from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.  In today’s report, read how one popular Christmas present is both a radio friend and foe.  Click here for more.

Russian Hacking Allegations, Future of ObamaCare, Chicago Torture Case, WaPo Fake News Incident, Trump vs Ford and GM, Obama Lame Duck Actions, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/4).  The debate over whether Russia was involved in the hacking of DNC emails and President-Elect Donald Trump’s backing of Julian Assange’s assertion it wasn’t versus the CIA’s belief it was; the Trump Administration’s intention to repeal the Affordable Care Act; the case of a man with special needs tortured live on Facebook in Chicago; criticism of the Washington Post’s incorrect reporting of the Russian hacking of the U.S. electrical grid via a Vermont utility; Donald Trump’s challenges to automakers Ford and General Motors to not move American jobs to Mexico; the actions being taken by President Obama to preserve his administration’s legislation; and the NFL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Odds & Sods.  In the Orlando market, iHeartMedia announces that talk WTKS-FM “Real Radio 104.1” programbradshawjack director Jack Bradshaw is now also overseeing the programming at sports talk W245CL “96.9 The Game.”…..Sports talk radio programmer Jason Barrett – president of Barrett Sports Media – reports he’s entering the podcasting space with a new, weekly show that will “give media professionals and sports radio and television fans a deeper look into the careers, strategies, and experiences of the industry’s best personalities, contributors, programmers, and executives.”  Barrett’s first episode hits the “air” on February 8…..Pubcaster WBUR, Boston – the market’s NPR affiliate is inviting public radio journalists, age 35 and under, to submit entries for the annual Daniel Schorr Journalism Prize.  Eligible works will have been broadcast or published between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016.  The $5,000 Schorr Prize – sponsored by WBUR and Boston University, and funded by Jim and Nancy Bildner – recognizes a rising star in public radio and seeks to inspire a new generation of journalists to stretch the boundaries of the medium.

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radioinfo-web-bannerEntercom Splits WAAF, Boston Simulcast; Launches Urban ‘The New 97.7.’  For years, Entercom has been simulcasting rock outlet WAAF (licensed to suburban Westborough) on the 107.3 frequency and on WKAF (licensed to south suburban Brockton) on the 97.7 frequency.  Now, the company splits that and launches an urbanwkaf outlet on WKAF branded “The New 97.7, Boston’s #1 For R&B.”  Entercom says for WAAF the simulcast “delivered little appreciable audience beyond the primary station’s booming signal.”   Programming the new urban outlet is Chris Malone, who arrives from Cumulus Media’s WRBO and WKIM in Memphis.  The station is being consulted by Jay Dixon, KBLX/KRBQ, San Francisco director of programming and operations Elroy Smith, and Sean Ross, VP of music and programming for Edison Research.   Entercom New England VP/market manager Phil Zachary says, “Boston has a higher concentration of African-American consumers than San Francisco or Los Angeles, but no rated urban signals.  The prospect of reaching almost 8% of the population with one radio station in a top 10 market is almost inconceivable in 2017.”

CBS RADIO Flips WZMP, Philly to AC as ‘Today’s 96.5.’  The former CHR outlet drops the hit intensive “96.5wzmp AMP’ brand and re-positions WZMP as a workplace-friendly adult contemporary as “Today’s 96.5.”  Bobby Smith is serving as the station’s program director.  He states, “This is a station that will make you forget that you’re still at work, with one great song after another, while delivering on the promise of having fewer interruptions so you can always look forward to hearing another great song.”

iHeartMedia Orlando Promotes Brian Mack and Dwight Ricketts.  At the Orlando cluster ofmackbrian iHeartMedia, Brian Mack is being named the new program director for adult contemporary WMGF rickettsdwight“Magic 107.7.”  In addition, Mack will become the vice president of branding for the cluster.  This is a newly created role in which he’ll oversee the marketing strategy for the company’s nine radio stations.  He will also continue to serve as the program director for CHR WXXL “XL 106.7.”  At the same time, “104.5 The Beat” afternoon personality Dwight “D-Strong” Ricketts is named PD for the hip hop outlet heard on translator W283AN (licensed to Altamonte Springs).

Matt Cord Moves to Mornings at WBEN, Philadelphia.  Making the move from rock to adult hits is Mattwbenfmamshow17 Cord, who is partnered up with Kristen Herrmann for the morning drive show on Beasley Media’s WBEN-FM, Philadelphia.  Cord was most recently evening personality on the company’s sister rock outlet WMMR.   Cord says, “Coming from WMMR, I know how important and powerful morning radio can be.  Moving to mornings on BEN FM is a great opportunity for me to stay with Beasley Media Group and offer another great option for Philly morning radio listeners.  I’m thrilled to work with Kristen, too.  She’s super talented.  We’re going to have a lot of fun.”

More Music Radio News and Career Moves.  In the Denver market, Kroenke Sports Entertainment names Bo Jaxon program director and morning personality (alongside Jenny D) at its country KWOF “92.5 The Wolf.”  Jaxon, who takes over for Ed Hill, continues his role as program director for the company’s hot AC KIMN “MIX 100.”…..In San Francisco, KFOG morning host Matt Pinfield announces he’s taking some time off from duties at the Cumulus Media triple A station to deal with his alcohol abuse issues…..Rick Daniels is named the brand manager at Leighton Broadcasting’s country KYCK, Grand Forks, North Dakota.  He replaces Brandon Young…..At Impact Radio Group in Boise, Curtis Booker moves up from APD and afternoon personality to program director for hot AC KZMG “My 102.7.”

kinosianmikePPM Analysis: CHR.  Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents this analysis of the performances of CHR-formatted stations based on data from the December 2016 PPM survey from Nielsen Audio.  Find out which stations saw the biggest (6+) increases from November to December and from December 2015 to December 2016.  Also, five CHR outlets ranked #1 in their respective markets (6+) in December.  Find out which ones, and more, here.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

| January 4, 2017

ESPN Confirms Reports of Stephen A. Smith’s Return to the Company; LeBatard Show Bumped to ‘ESPN Deportes’ in NYC.  Yesterday, numerous media reports predicted sports media personality Stephen A. Smith’s exit from Mad Dog Sports on SiriusXM and his return to the ESPN Radio platform.  Today, ESPNsmithstephena confirms the matter, stating he’ll bring his current two-hour radio show from Mad Dog Sports to ESPN Radio where it will also air on one of the sports giant’s SiriusXM channels.  In addition to being available nationally in radio syndication, it will air on ESPN Radio O&Os WEPN, New York from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm ET and KSPN, Los Angeles from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon PT, effective Tuesday, January 17.  It will originate from ESPN Audio’s headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut.  The move bumps WEPN’s “Hahn & Humpty” show to the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm timeslot.  But, this addition also pushes the “Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz” off WEPN-FM and over to WEPN-AM “ESPN Deportes” (12:00 noon to 2:00 pm).  Also, back on SiriusXM, the first two hours of Russillo & Kanell (1:00 pm to 3:00 pm) will move to the ESPN Xtra channel while the third hour will remain on the ESPN channel.

Retiring WSCR, Chicago Personality Terry Boers to Host Farewell Toast.  “670 The Score” operations manager Mitch Rosen tells TALKERS that the CBS RADIO sports talk station will bid adieu to retiring Windy boersterryCity sports personality Terry Boers during a special broadcast tomorrow (1/5) from 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm at the Blue Cross Blue Shield Performance Stage inside the CBS RADIO Chicago offices.  Boers is retiring after 25 years with WSCR (the station celebrated its 25th anniversary as a sports talk station on Monday), and he’s hosting the “Toast To Terry” that will include past and present hosts at “The Score.”  A limited amount of fans are able to win tickets while listening to the station.

ces-logoAnalysis: 2017 Consumer Electronics Show.  Media consultant Holland Cooke is in Las Vegas at the gigantic 2017 Consumer Electronics Show reporting for TALKERS magazine.  True, this isn’t a media show, but a lot of what is being displayed at the mega-convention affects the radio business – mostly because of the relationship between the Internet and high-tech automobiles.  Cooke writes, “Cars we’re test-driving here talk to each other…the cars, not the drivers. ‘Texting each other’ actually.  2017 Cadillac CTS Sport Sedans can share information about driving conditions — weather, speed, sudden braking, and accidents.  The term is ‘V2V,’ meaning vehicle-to-vehicle communication, your car’s sensors feeding, and reading, the cloud, to tell you what’s beyond your line of sight. With real-time information, instantly updated, why wait until the 8s for an old-school radio traffic report?”  Read more from Las Vegas here.

Nick Cattles Leaves WVSP, Virginia Beach for Gig at ‘98.5 The Sports Hub’ in Boston.  Sports talkcattlesnick personality Nick Cattles is leaving Max Media’s Newport-Virginia Beach sports station WVSP “ESPN 94.1” to return to his native New England to take an on-air position with CBS RADIO’s WBZ-FM, Boston “98.5 The Sports Hub.”  His last show on WVSP will be Monday, January 9.  WVSP VP/GM Mark McKay tells his staff the station will be “methodical” in its search for Cattles’ replacement and will use fill-in hosts during the interim.  Interested hosts should see the application details below.  Meanwhile, CBS RADIO has not announced Cattles’ arrival yet, so it’s unclear in which daypart he’ll work.

Darnell to Program iHeartMedia’s Connecticut N/T and Sports Stations.  Programmer Ben Darnell joins iHeartMedia Connecticut to handle programming duties for the company’s news/talk and sports talk stations there.  He’s now in charge of programming news/talkers WPOP, Hartford and WELI, New Haven and sports talk outlets WUCS-FM, Hartford “97.9 ESPN” and WAVZ, New Haven “ESPN Radio 1300.”  Darnell was most recently serving with Sunrise Broadcasting’s sports talk WMFD, Wilmington, North Carolina.

hallmarkverleiKCRS-AM, Midland’s Hallmark and Verlei Morning Hosts Retire.  Today (1/4) was the last “Morning Drive” program for co-hosts Robert Hallmark and Kurt Verlei at Ica Radio Ltd.’s news/talk KCRS-AM, Midland, Texas.  The duo is retiring after 14 years on the air together waking up West Texans.  Hallmark has been with the station since 1992, serving in numerous positions including as program director.  The “Morning Drive” show launched in the spring of 2001.  The station has not announced the morning show’s replacement host.

New Affiliates for Stephanie Miller and Thom Hartmann.  The new year brings new affiliates for WYMmillerstephanie Media Management’s Stephanie Miller show and the Thom Hartmann show.  Miller’s program is now heard on KTMS, Santa Barbara; KBZZ-AM, Reno; KTOX, Needles, California; KKNW, Seattle; and KEVT-AM, Tucson.  The Thom Hartmann show also joins KEVT-AM, Tucson as well as KSZL, Barstow, California.

envisionnetworks-newDecember Brings 23 New Affiliates to Envision Networks.  Content and service provider Envision Networks announces it inked 23 new affiliate stations during the month of December for programming and services across numerous formats.  In the talk realm, WKXO, Lexington, Kentucky added “On Air with Doug, Jen, and Victoria.”  Envision also formed a partnership with Sun Broadcast Group to offer Shazam for Radio.  Additionally, it launched new programming including: Today’s Comedy Network, Drive By Funny, and Collin Raye’s Rewind Country.

Obama Lame Duck Actions, GOP Ethics Office About-Face, GOP ObamaCare Strategy, Russian Hacking Allegations, Megyn Kelly Exits Fox News Channel, Jeff Sessions Protests, Trump vs Ford and GM, and NFL Playoffs Chatter Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/3).  The moves being taken by President Barack Obama to prevent President-Elect Donald Trump from undoing some of his legislation; Republican House leaders elect not to try to eliminate the Independent Ethics Office on the advice of Trump; the GOP’s potential strategies for altering the Affordable Care Act; ongoing debate over the allegations of Russian hacking of the DNC’s emails; FNC personality Megyn Kelly announces she’s leaving Fox for NBC; the protests over Trump’s nomination of Jeff Sessions for attorney general; Trump’s fight with Ford and General Motors over expansion of plants abroad versus investment in U.S. facilities; and the NFL playoffs and coaching vacancies were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

wvspCool Sports Talk Gig.  “ESPN Radio 94.1,” a locally owned and operated, top 50 market radio station located in Virginia Beach, VA, is searching for a full-time afternoon sports talk host.  Qualified candidates will have the ability to host solo but also be a strong team player, must be a champion across all social media platforms and go beyond the headlines to create unique and compelling content.  This individual will have relationships with key local and national contacts, as well as the ability to develop and grow new associations.  If this is you, please send resume, air check – mp3 demos of your latest work and anything else to support your qualifications to midatlanticradiojobs@gmail.com.  EEO.

2017-talkers-conference-navySave the Date! Talkers 2017 Set for Friday, June 2, 2017 in New York City.  The editorial board of TALKERS magazine is pleased to announce the date and location of the 20th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention.  Titled, Talkers 2017: A New Era, the power-packed, one-day event will take place on Friday, June 2, 2017 at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan in New York City.  The conference will feature top speakers from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry with a focus on talk radio and its role in the new digital age at the dawn of the Trump Era.  This will include programming, sales, marketing, and technology – the full spectrum of concerns, challenges and opportunities facing the modern day talk broadcaster and broadcasting organization.  It will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, fireside chats, and exhibits of the latest services and equipment available to broadcasting professionals.  The event will also provide its attendees with unparalleled networking opportunities and social mixers including breakfast, lunch and a closing cocktail reception.  TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison states, “As has always been the case with this annual gathering, all the way back to its days as ‘The New Media Seminar,’ Talkers 2017: A New Era will focus on the future.  There is no doubt about it; we are at the dawn of an exciting new era – full of both daunting challenges and fabulous opportunities.  Good things happen at this convention.  We pack three days’ worth of content and activity into one dynamic day and comfortable space. It is not to be missed!”  Complete agenda and hotel details will be posted in the coming days and weeks.  As is customary, Talkers 2017: A New Era is only open to members of the professional media industry and communications students.  Because seating is limited and the event has been an early sellout every year since the 1990s, in order to maintain this policy, non-refundable registrations can only be purchased via telephone with a credit card.  Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments costs $329 per person.  To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413.

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radioinfo-web-banneriHeartRadio Music Awards Nominees Announced.  The list of nominees for this year’s 2017 iHeartRadio Music Awards is announced by iHeartMedia and Turner.  The winners will be announced on Sunday, March 5, at a broadcast event at the historic Forum in Los Angeles.  It will be televised live on TBS, TNT and truTV and will be simulcast on iHeartMedia stations and iHeartRadio.  See the complete list of nominees here.

iHeartMedia Names DZL Program Director for ‘XL102’ in Richmond.  Programmer Chuck “DZL” Thompson is the new program director and midday host for alternative WRXL,thompsonchuck Richmond “XL102.”  iHM Richmond SVP of programming Zac Davis says, “‘XL102’ is an extremely valuable heritage station in our iHeartMedia Richmond market.  We needed to find the right fit to oversee its day-to-day operations – someone who had good relationships with our label partners and had experience in coordinating and managing large-scale events.  ‘DZL’ stood out as someone who possessed this unique skill set and we’re looking forward to having him lead our ‘XL102’ brand.”  Thompson most recently spent eight years at WEND, Charlotte as APD/MD and afternoon personality.

KSHE, St. Louis to Unveil the ‘KSHE 50th Anniversary Real Rock Museum.’  St. Louis rocker KSHE “Real Rock Radio” – which just celebrated its 50th anniversary as an FM rock station – announces it is opening its vaults of rock history to listeners in the form of “The KSHE 50th Anniversary Real Rock Museum” to be launched on January 9 at kshe95.com.  The Emmis station says there are eight wings in the museum: The KSHE 95 Audio Wing is filled with KSHE audio history, including air-checks of air personalities from throughout the decades, fascinatingksherealrockmuseum interviews and listener favorite audio clips; each gallery in The KSHE 95 Photo Wing has a theme such as Air Personalities, Rock Stars and St. Louis Concerts; the KSHE 95 Hall of Fame is made up of videos that each focus in on an artist or band that has had a very special long-standing relationship with the station. In each video, these rock stars share KSHE and St. Louis memories.  The KSHE 95 Video Wing is an amazing collection of videos ranging from moments with rock stars caught backstage at concerts to KSHE events through the years and old KSHE TV commercials.  In the KSHE 95 Essentials Wing, you’ll find what have been selected as albums and songs that rise to the top of all the great rock that has been played on the station since the beginning.  The KSHE 95 John “U-Man” Ulett Wing is a toast to this 40-plus year KSHE air talent.  The KSHE 95 You-seum Wing is dedicated to KSHE listeners.  Listener submitted photos include themes such as Generations of Rock, World Famous KSHE and Show Us Your Schtuff.  The KSHE 95 Collections Wing is a wide array of Real Rock Radio history including: magazine and newspaper articles highlighting KSHE, early KSHE playlists, and unmistakable KSHE humor on display in Sweetmeat’s Gallery.  Station PD Rick Balis says, “So many talented people have contributed, throughout our 50 years, to make KSHE 95 what it is today.  It’s actually, amazing.  More amazing, though, is the incredible listeners that we have had and have today.  It’s rare.  And, we cherish those relationships.  The relationships are ‘generational.’  Grandparents, their kids and the kids of those kids are listeners today.”

Townsquare Media Renews with Compass Media Networks for Syndication of Weeknight Music Radio Shows.  The four evening music shows are produced by Townsquare Media and are affiliated with their namesake websites, also owned by Townsquare.  Under the terms of the multi-year extension, Compass Media Networks will continue to provide advertising sales and affiliate marketing for the rock program “Loudwire Nights,” CHR show “PopCrush Nights,” “Taste of Country Nights,” and “Ultimate Classic Rock.”

More Career Moves and Music Radio News.  In Philadelphia, market radio pro Marilyn Russell joinsrussellmarilyn classic hits WOGL as part of the “Breakfast Club” morning show alongside co-hosts Frank Lewis and Bill Zimpfer.  WOGL program director Anne Gress says, “Marilyn’s got tons of enthusiasm and a rich history of delivering compelling Philadelphia morning radio.  I’m excited about the fresh, new perspective she’ll bring to the show alongside Frank and Bill, and look forward to her contributions both on-air and at our many events.”   The Philly native started her radio career in 1993 at modern rock WDRE…..Chicago radio pro Robin Rock is back hosting middays on iHeartMedia’s adult contemporary WLIT “93.9 MYfm.”  Rock takes over for Brooke Hunter, who exits.  Rock hosted middays at the station until June of 2013 when the company re-branded the station from “LITE FM” to the “93.9 MYfm” and made across-the-board talent changes…..Former news/talk station WOBM-AM, Lakewood Township, New Jersey is now an oldies outlet as Townsquare Media re-brands the station as “BEACH RADIO 1160/1310.”  Townsquare says the format change was made to better serve the influential adult audiences in Monmouth and Ocean Counties…..In the Los Angeles market, Entravision Communications the official launch of its new radio format: La Suavecita.  The company calls is a regional Mexican format focused on playing a mix of grupero and cumbia music from the 80s and 90s.  The format airs on KSSE-FM.

2017 CES: ‘At Home, At Work, in Your Car’

| January 4, 2017

By Holland Cooke
Media Consultant

 

cookewriterLAS VEGAS — Hot buzzwords here at the Consumer Electronics Show are “The Internet of Things,” meaning devices-talking-to-each-other; often referred to as “connected” or “smart” devices. Sensors and software in your home, even your clothing, monitor your environment and your health, and fulfill your needs.

Maybe your washing machine isn’t yet auto-ordering detergent, based on how many loads you’ve run, but new washers already can. Amazon, Sam’s Club, Target, and others are setting up subscription delivery, based on your use patterns. It’s a new-tech throwback to the milkman leaving-and-retrieving bottles from your grandparents’ porch in olden times. And it’s a curveball for the traditional retail advertising broadcasters sell.

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