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Monday, December 20, 2021

| December 20, 2021

Monday Memo: Happy NEWS Year? “Not likely,” consultant Holland Cooke predicts; adding “that spells opportunity…for now. THEN what?” In this week’s column, HC suggests how recent Chris Wallace and Brian Williams sign offs point to what might be “talk radio’s next format.” Read it here.

 

Pending Business: What You See Is What You Get. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa says that despite the significantly increased traffic on our roads as more people return to working away from home – which means more people listening to radio in their cars – radio sales pros may still have plenty of inventory to sell. He says it’s time to review four basic concepts that help any talk radio seller fill those avails. Read it here.

Audacy Renews Employment Agreements with CEO David Field and COO Susan Larkin. The company has entered into new employment agreements with president and CEO David J. Field and EVP and chief operating officer Susan Larkin. In a filing with the Securities Exchange Commission, Audacy reports that Field will continue to serve as the company’s president and CEO and becomes effective January 1, 2022. The Field agreement has an initial term of three years with automatic one year extensions following the initial term unless either party provides prior notice of non-extension. Field’s annual base salary will be $1,350,000 and a target annual performance bonus of up to 200% of Field’s base salary. Field is eligible to receive a one time “EBITDA Bonus” of $3,000,000 only if, prior to December 31, 2024, the company’s EBITDA for the immediately preceding consecutive 12-month period exceeds $400,000,000. Field is also entitled to an equity grant of 1,000,000 restricted stock units (“RSUs”), subject to the company’s shareholders’ approval of a new Company equity incentive plan at the 2022 annual shareholders meeting. Seventy five percent (75%) of these RSUs have performance-based vesting conditions while the remaining twenty five percent (25%) have time-based vesting conditions. Fields’ performance-based RSUs come after achieving company stock price increases. He receives 250,000 RSUs for hitting the stock price of  $6.00; 250,000 for hitting $9.00 per share and 250,000 for reaching the $12.00 per share threshold. Audacy also retroactively amended EVP and COO Susan R. Larkin that increases her annual salary to  $750,000 and applies retroactively from June 1, 2021 through May 4, 2023. Her agreement further amends the provision related to future equity grants so that Larkin will be entitled to an increased amount of future grants of restricted stock and/or stock options with an aggregate annual target amount of $500,000.

KBOI-AM, Boise to Add FM Signal. Effective January 3, 2022, Cumulus Media’s Boise news/talk KBOI-AM will have an FM simulcast as current sports talk KTIK-FM becomes KBOI-FM. The sports talker keeps its FM signal (a simulcast of KTIK-AM) on FM translator K237HA at 95.3 FM. In a statement, KBOI program director Nate Shelman says, “Being a part of any positive station launch or new venture is exciting. Our audience has asked for this over the years and it’s exciting to see KBOI return to the FM dial after KBOI-FM switched call signs to KQFC in 1985. The growth in the Treasure Valley and changes in technology have warranted the need for an FM outlet. Interference from powerlines being the most prevalent.”

KABQ-AM, Albuquerque to Flip to Sports Talk. Albuquerque talk station KABQ-AM is flipping to sports talk as “FOX Sports 1350 AM”, effective Monday, January 3. The iHeartMedia station will broadcast FOX Sports Radio programming around the clock on weekdays and weekends. “FOX Sports 1350 AM” will feature “Two Pros and a Cup of Joe with LaVar Arrington, Brady Quinn & Jonas Knox,” “The Dan Patrick Show,” “The Doug Gottlieb Show” “Straight Outta Vegas with R.J. Bell,” “The Odd Couple with Chris Broussard & Rob Parker,” “The Jason Smith Show with Mike Harmon” and “The Ben Maller Show.” iHeartMedia market president Hope Romero says, “We’re thrilled to be able to bring the sports talk leader back to Albuquerque. FOX Sports Radio leads the industry with the biggest names and best shows.”

Audacy Names Sarah Foss Chief Technology Officer. The company promotes Sarah Foss to chief technology officer, a role in which she’ll spearhead Audacy’s efforts to innovate and differentiate its products and services via new technological capabilities. The company says that Foss will manage Audacy’s key technology initiatives including: software development, ad tech, business intelligence and analytics, data solutions, and Audacy’s recently acquired live and on-demand audio streaming business, AmperWave. Foss had been serving as Audacy’s chief information officer since joining the company in 2020. Audacy CFO and EVP of strategic initiatives Rich Schmaeling comments, “Audacy continues to invest in technology to create innovative offerings for its listeners, advertisers and clients. We are excited to have Sarah leading these critical areas to drive our transformation faster and further.” Foss states, “Audacy is in the enviable position that we have unique content, great platforms, and an appetite for transformative growth. I am excited that technology is seen as an accelerant and differentiator for us at Audacy.”

Biden’s Build Back Better Plan/Economy, COVID-19, January 6 Investigation, Civil War Fears, Russian Ukraine Aggression, Kim Potter Trial, Ghislaine Maxwell Trial, and Spider Man Film Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. Negotiations over Joe Biden’s Build Back Better plan between the White House and Senator Joe Manchin break down and the cooling predictions for the U.S. economy; the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, vaccines and mandates; the House investigation into the January 6 attack on the Capitol; retired U.S. generals warn of possible U.S. civil war; Russia’s military aggression toward the Ukraine; the trial of former police officer Kim Potter; the defense rests in the trail of Jeffrey Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell; and the new Spider Man movie’s blockbuster opening were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

| March 11, 2020

WABC PD David LaBrozzi Added to Bold “Super Panel” Designed to Address Existential Industry Question at TALKERS Convention. The TALKERS editorial board is pleased to announce the addition of WABC, New York/Red Apple Media, Inc. director of programming, content & branding David LaBrozzi to what is being described as a “bold super panel” to tackle the existential industry question, “Can Radio Be Saved and, If So, How?” at the forthcoming TALKERS Convention in New York on Friday June 5. TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey says, “This 90-minute session will feature an extraordinary lineup of seven individuals reflecting a wide perspective on the past, present and potential future of radio’s role in society.” In addition to LaBrozzi, the panel consists of (in alphabetical order): MediaVision CEO, Lee Abrams; RAB president and CEO, Erica Farber; Radio Hall of Fame chairman and Soundmind LLC partner, Kraig Kitchin; SiriusXM Satellite Radio host, Joe Madison; and former CBS Radio/Entercom executive VP of programming, Chris Oliviero. One more panelist will be named shortly along with an introducer. Michael Harrison will serve as moderator. For more information about the forthcoming TALKERS Convention see story below.

Sean Hannity to Head All Star Lineup of Speakers at 23rd Annual TALKERS Convention Set for NYC on Friday June 5. In what has become an annual tradition, Premiere Networks and FOX News Channel superstar Sean Hannity will reprise his role as one of the key speakers at the forthcoming TALKERS Convention. He will also again host the morning networking event, “Breakfast with Hannity.” Hannity will engage in the popular presentation, “A Fireside Chat with Sean Hannity” hosted by Michael Harrison.” VP/executive editor Kevin Casey states, “This year’s 23rd annual convention is a celebration of TALKERS magazine’s 30th anniversary and we are pleased to report that we’ve lined up an extraordinary roster of about 60 speakers and a powerful agenda to make it a truly meaningful life changing and career enhancing event for each and every one of our attendees. Details about the agenda and sponsorship opportunities will continue to be posted here on Talkers.com daily. This year the event is titled, Talkers 2020: The Rise of the Media Station, and takes place at the ultra-modern Helen Mills Event Space and Theater located in the colorful Chelsea district of Manhattan. Speakers are being recruited from all aspects of the spoken-word media industry — including talent, programmers, managers and owners and the agenda focuses on talk radio and its role in the rapidly accelerating digital age including fundamental changes in the platforms upon which it is carried and distributed. Full registration, including all functions, meals, and refreshments, costs $329 per person. Attendance is only open to members of the media industry and communications students and an advance sellout is expected. Non-refundable registrations can only be obtained via telephone with credit card. To register or obtain sponsorship information, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. To make reservations at the “official” hotel of the event, the Hilton New York Fashion District (located across the street from the venue) and receive a discount (while rooms last) please click here.

Unique Trophy: Red Apple Launch Party for WABC at NYC Opening of ‘Cats.’  The 77WABC launch party to celebrate the much-anticipated closing on the former Cumulus Media-owned station by John Catsimatidis’ Red Apple Media took place Monday evening (3/9) at the legendary outlet’s studio in New York City.  During the packed event that included 77WABC air personalities and executives as well as representatives from the ad buying community, Catsimatidis was welcomed into radio industry ownership with the presentation of the “Beacon” – a recently replaced 77WABC tower obstruction light.  During a brief speech, Catsimatidis reassuringly told the gathering, “We only buy companies, we do not sell them.  We are here to stay!”  Pictured above are (from l-r): John Catsimatidis Jr., John Catsimatidis, the “Beacon,” Red Apple Media/77WABC president Chad Lopez, and Margo Catsimatidis. Photo: Jillian Nelson

iHeartMedia Issues Coronavirus Memo to Staff. Company CEO Bob Pittman and COO Rich Bressler sent a memo to the entire iHeartMedia staff regarding the coronavirus epidemic.  Here’s what it said: Team, at iHeart, our two most important priorities are serving the communities across America in which we live and work and protecting the health and safety of our employees. iHeart reaches nine out of 10 Americans – more than any other media company — and our reach comes with the responsibility to be a voice for information, context and trusted companionship.  Like you and like our listeners nationwide, we see increasing daily media coverage about the coronavirus (COVID-19), and as a company we want to make sure we do the right thing.  In addition to the work we do around the specific health risk, as media industry leaders we are also concerned that anxiety and excessive worry over the virus can have its own negative impact.  We also know that some of you and your family members are feeling this anxiety personally.  The latest information suggests that coronavirus can be very serious if you’re older or sick, just as the flu can.  But, like the flu, its effects seem to be relatively mild for the majority of people who catch it, with the exception of older people, those with respiratory ailments or those with compromised immune systems.  To put the coronavirus into some perspective, the country did not experience the same anxiety-fueled reaction around diseases like measles, Zika, SARS, West Nile, Ebola or Bird Flu, to name a few examples, and health professionals say those were all likely more dangerous than the coronavirus although maybe not as widespread.  For your own personal health and the health of those around you, if you’re sick, please stay home and don’t expose yourself to others; that’s the same request we have if you have the flu or a bad cold or any other contagious disease – plus wash your hands often and follow CDC recommendations about disease prevention and guidelines about when to stay at home after travel to any “hot spot” countries or contact with anyone who has a confirmed case of coronavirus.  Right now, the potential for panic is an additional concern we need to address.  We know that for people to remain calm they need information on a continuing basis about what’s going on.  We also need to make sure we disseminate accurate and timely information to help the health professionals manage this outbreak, and to that end we will also be airing daily coronavirus updates on our stations to help supply that necessary information to our communities.  At iHeart, we will continue to operate with our usual business practices, and we will adjust them as needed.  Because we want to make our workplaces as safe as possible, we ask that you quickly contact HR4U@iheartmedia.com or (855) 722-4748 if you or anyone in your offices has contracted, or come into direct contact with, coronavirus and we will deal with each situation individually and appropriately.  As a company we adapt and react quickly, and in this situation, that’s never been more critical.  Our focus is on serving our communities, our listeners and our employees, and we are dedicated to using our assets for the public good in every single community we serve.  As leaders in our communities and in media we have a responsibility to help put the coronavirus in perspective by disseminating information and context for our listeners, and we feel this will have the additional benefit of calming anxiety and the ill effects on society that could result from that.  We’re monitoring the situation closely, and as we learn more, we’ll keep you informed.  Thanks for your strong commitment to serving our communities, our listeners and our partners at a time when they need us more than ever.

Tom Gresham’s ‘Gun Talk’ Celebrates 25 Years in Syndication. The nationally syndicated weekly program “Gun Talk,” hosted by Tom Gresham, is celebrating its 25th year on the air.  Gresham says of his guns and shooting sports program, “‘Gun Talk’ radio is perhaps more important today than when it started 25 years ago.  Whether it’s helping the first-time gun buyer sort out what she needs to buy or exposing politicians who claim to be supporters of the Second Amendment while putting restrictions on this right, there’s plenty to talk about.  Responsible gun ownership is strong, and I’m glad to be part of the movement.”  “Gun Talk” airs live each Sunday from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm ET.  In addition to his radio show, Gresham has created and hosted “Personal Defense TV” and “Gun Talk TV” and has written magazine articles and books about firearms safety and training.

PPM Analysis: Ratings ‘Extra.’ TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents this “extra” look at radio station performances based on data from Nielsen Audio’s January 2020 PPM survey.  Which stations gained the most weekly, 6+ AQH share compared to the Holiday 2019 survey and which stations lost the most shares?  See it all here.

The Coronavirus Epidemic, the Democratic Primary, Financial Markets React to the Coronavirus, Putin Power Grab Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/10). The status of the COVID-19 epidemic and the debate over the best policies to contain it; Tuesday’s primary elections and Joe Biden’s lead in the Democratic primary race; the world’s financial markets’ reactions to the coronavirus epidemic; and Vladimir Putin’s move to secure his role as leader of Russia through 2036 were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. The “Jalen & Jacoby” podcast from ESPN Audio, starring Jalen Rose and David Jacoby, is planning another live recording of the program at the historic Gramercy Theatre in New York City on Tuesday, April 21.  ESPN says the “Jalen & Jacoby” podcast first began as a passion project for the guys under ESPN’s Grantland banner.  As the podcast developed into a hit in the summer of 2011, it grew to include a YouTube show, then to a national ESPN radio show.  From the radio show, “Jalen & Jacoby” grew – yet again – into a late-night TV show before landing in the afternoon on ESPN2 and, where it airs currently at 4:00 pm ET on ESPN.…..The University of Washington athletics department and exclusive multimedia rightsholder Huskies Sports Properties, announces today a new, five-year broadcast agreement with iHeartMedia sports talk KJR-AM, Seattle to run through the 2024-2025 athletic season.  The deal means KJR will provide comprehensive coverage for all Huskies sports including men’s basketball, women’s basketball and football game broadcasts.  Promotional support will happen on KJR-AM and sister stations classic hits KJR-FM, adult hits KJAQ-FM “96.5 JACK-FM,” and sports talk KFNQ-AM…..The “Joy on Paper” radio show hosted by Patzi Gil and dedicated to the world of books, celebrates its 5th anniversary on March 17.  Last year, on the program’s fourth anniversary, Gil’s guests were the writing couple Andrew Grant and Tasha Alexander, both popular authors.  This year they’ll return with breaking news that Andrew Grant is now two writers in one – the talented author of the Paul McGarth series will join his brother Lee Grant (a.k.a. Lee Child) to carry on the Jack Reacher series.  Gil says, “I don’t know how I will introduce him now.  But, whether he is Andrew Grant or Andrew Child, he is a fabulous writer and I am proud that he and Tasha will be joining me.  Tasha is the New York Times best-selling author of the ‘Lady Emily’ mystery series.”

Emmis Communications Announces Non-Broadcasting Acquisition. The acquisition of Lencore Acoustics Corporation – a Long Island-based business in the sound masking industry – gives Emmis Communications Corporation a foothold in a non-broadcasting business.  According to the press release, “Sound masking technology introduces barely perceptible background sound into a space to make environments more comfortable, ensure speech privacy, and increase workplace productivity.”  It adds that Lenore does business in nearly every U.S. state, and Europe (London).  Lencore’s 33 employees become Emmis staffers immediately.  Emmis chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan says, “Today’s announcement is the product of a long process, looking for the right place to infuse the Emmis hallmarks of sales and marketing excellence.  Emmis’ experience in building best-in-class operations, coupled with its unique people-first culture is the perfect fit to complement the talented Lencore team, and will give them the resources and support necessary to grow the business.  We believe that the continued move toward open-concept offices makes effective sound masking solutions more and more important.  We’re excited about where this business can go.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Multimedia pro Joey Fortman is named morning drive personality and digital media specialist for Bonneville’s adult contemporary KOIT, San Francisco.  In addition to her past experience as a radio personality, Fortman is the founder of “Reality Moms,” a multimedia digital influencer agency.  Bonneville Bay Area director of programming operations Brian Figula says, “Joey Fortman is a very unique talent who excels at both on-air and digital content creation.  She is the perfect fit to connect our listeners to our advertisers and sell their products on-air and via our fast-growing digital channels.”…..The husband-and-wife duo of Robby Bridges and Rochelle Gagnon are joining MacDonald Garber Broadcasting’s CHR WKHQ, Traverse City, Michigan to host the morning show. Additionally, Bridges will serve as station program director and Gagnon will take on promotions director duties.  The duo recently served at iHeartMedia’s WDVD, Detroit.  Bridges says, “We’d like to thank Trish and Peter Garber, Diane Hansell and Gary Berkowitz for this awesome opportunity to join their team to create big, fun, live and local radio in one of America’s premiere vacation cities.”…..Central Florida Educational Foundation promotes Dean O’Neal to vice president of operations in which he’ll oversee the organization’s seven Christian radio stations.  O’Neal was most recently program director for non-commercial Christian contemporary WPOZ-FM, Orlando “Z88.3.”  As the same time, Therese Romano is named PD for WPOZ.

Monday, October 29, 2018

| October 29, 2018

Galaxy Media Promotes Carrie Wojtaszek to COO. The chief operating officer position is a new one at Galaxy Media and the company promotes Carrie J. Wojtaszek, adding COO to her existing role as general manager of Galaxy events.  Now, Wojtaszek will be responsible for the company’s 13 radio stations, digital division, and sports marketing organization.  Galaxy president and CEO Ed Levine says, “It’s hard to quantify the impact that Carrie has had on Galaxy. Carrie and Pam Levine have built Galaxy Events from nothing to a nationally known brand.  I’m excited to watch the impact that she will have in all of our divisions in the coming years.”  Wojtaszek’s appointment comes as Galaxy has completed a near-$10 million refinancing of the company.  Levine adds, “Our balance sheet has never been stronger and with the buying out of our former private equity partners, Galaxy is truly poised to become the pinnacle of a locally owned modern media company.”

ESPN Reports ‘Record-Setting’ Podcast Listening in September. Saying that downloads of its podcasts have risen 50% in a year and that its unique audience is up 36%, ESPN calls September a record-setting month for its podcasts.  The company says, “ESPN podcasts set a record for any month in September with 39.3 million IAB compliant downloads, breaking the record of 36 million set in May of this year, as measured by RawVoice.  ESPN podcasts tallied a total of 5.47 million US Unique Audience, as measured by Podtrac.”  ESPN’s top podcast performers also include many ESPN radio and television shows.  The Dan LeBatard show led the way with 8.2 million downloads, followed by “Fantasy Focus Football,” then “First Take” and “538: Politics” at 2.8 million, “Pardon the Interruption” with a new monthly record of 2.7 million, “Golic & Wingo” at 2.2 million, “Jalen & Jacoby” at 1.3 and the Stephen A. Smith show at 1.2 million.

iHeartRadio Now Heard South of the Border. Through a deal with Mexican broadcaster Grupo ACIR, iHeartMedia is now making the iHeartRadio platform
available throughout Mexico.  iHeartRadio Mexico is available now in beta with the official launch November 3 at the iHeartRadio Fiesta Latina.  iHeartRadio Mexico will include all 56 Grupo ACIR and 850 iHeartMedia live broadcast radio stations from across Mexico and the U.S., iHeartRadio’s digital only programming and Grupo ACIR’s own offer of digital-only stations featuring the most popular genres in Mexico.

An Interview with George Noory. Nationally syndicated late-night talk show host George Noory is the subject of an interview with public relations executive Ryan McCormick, who also hosts his own radio program titled, “The Outer Limits of Inner Truth.”  In this interview McCormick and Noory talk about Noory’s succeeding Art Bell, the phenomenal success of “Coast to Coast AM,” and more.  Read it here.

TALKERS News Notes. On Election Day – Tuesday, November 6 – FOX News Radio is presenting special election night coverage for affiliates beginning at 6:00 pm ET anchored by Jared Halpern, along with analysis and the latest on key races.  Guy Benson and Marie Harf – co-hosts of “Benson & Harf” (6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET) – are hosting a three-hour, live midterm election special in addition to participating in FOX News Channel’s “AEHQ: 2018 Midterms.” Additionally, FOX News Headlines 24/7 will provide updates every 15 minutes on SiriusXM with correspondents reporting live from around the country.….The murder trial of Steven Avery in Wisconsin in 2007 was the subject of the popular podcast “Rebutting a Murderer.”  Now, iHeartRadio announces that part two of that investigative crime podcast “Rebutting a Murderer” premiered on Friday with new episodes.  The podcast is hosted by reporter Dan O’Donnell, who covered the trial, and continues to explore the controversial case that was chronicled in a Netflix show that gained a massive cult following…..Entercom’s Philadelphia radio stations – including sports talk WIP-FM, news/talk WPHT, and all-news KYW – have partnered with the Travis Manion Foundation’s Operation Legacy Service Project in Abington, Pennsylvania to renovate the home of Iraqi War veteran Matthew Renner.  Entercom Philadelphia SVP and market manager David Yadgaroff  says, “As a partner with the Travis Manion Foundation since 2011, Entercom is proud to support and empower veterans to get back on their feet and achieve their goals. Supporting Iraqi War veteran Matthew Renner and the Operation Legacy Service Project is something we are honored to be a part of.”…..Pictured below is Tom Griswold of the syndicated “Bob & Tom Show” made up for his role as the Haunted Sportscaster at The Children’s Museum Guild’s 55th Annual Haunted House in Indianapolis.  As a celebrity haunter, Griswold will greet about 60,000 haunted house visitors to help raise funds for The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.  Last year, The Children’s Museum Guild raised $722,000 through its haunted house, which has been an Indianapolis tradition since 1964 and has raised a total of $12.7 million over the years.

The Production and Distribution of Food in the 21st Century Is Topic of Harrison Podcast.  One of the nation’s leading experts on the production and distribution of food in the 21st century, Michael Olson, is a guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.”  In addition to his current position as GM of news/talk outlets KSCO and KOMY in Santa Cruz, California, Olson is the host/producer of a long-running, nationally syndicated talk radio show titled, “Food Chain Radio.”  He’s written feature stories about the subject in the San Francisco Chronicle and San Francisco Examiner, participated in producing network television documentaries for NBC Magazine with David Brinkley, authored several award-winning books, including MetroFarm and Tales From A Tin Can.  He has spoken and consulted about food domestically and internationally.  Olson joins Harrison in an informative discussion about the growing food crisis.  Our food is increasingly being produced on farms and in factories, far from our home communities and the transportation infrastructure by which we receive it is indeed fragile.  We don’t know what’s in the food in terms of chemicals, pesticides, preservatives, and other toxic substances.  Then again, many of us do know the scary truth and often feel powerless to do anything about it.  Then, there’s the GMO issue which most of us don’t fully comprehend.  Are we being poisoned by a short sighted, greedy system?  Are we poisoning ourselves through ignorance and distraction?  To listen to this timely podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS newsletter and on every page of Talkers.com.

Pittsburgh Synagogue Slayings, Democrat-Targeted Mail Bombs, Midterm Elections, Migrant Caravan, Hillary in 2020?, NFL Action, and World Series Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The deadly assault on a Pittsburgh synagogue that took the lives of 11; the case of mail bomber Cesar Sayoc; the November midterm elections and the battle for control of the House and Senate; the migrant caravan making its way through Mexico to the U.S. border; speculation about whether Hillary Clinton will run for president in 2020; the weekend’s NFL action; and the Boston Red Sox triumph over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World series were some of the stories discussed on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Rochester, Entercom promotes Chris Debbins to assistant program director at CHR WPXY.  He will continue his current roles as music director and afternoon drive personality. Speaking about his new role, Debbins says,“I am honored to be able to grow my career with this new role at ‘98 PXY.’ I look forward to working closely with program director Mike Danger as we continue presenting our listeners with fresh top 40 programming each and every day.”  Debbins joined ‘98 PXY’ in April 2014 as producer for the station’s morning show…..At Southern California hip hop duo KDAY/KDEY, Paulina is named host of the 10:00 am to 3:00 pm program.  She began with Meruelo Media working on the “Power 106/KDAY” street team.  Meruelo vice president of programming Jimmy Steal says,  “Paulina has been filling in middays and has done an awesome job both on air and on site.  She will be a great asset to both KDAY sales and programming.  This is another great example of great in-house talent at Meruelo Media being promoted from within.  Paulina has worked hard on her skillset, focused on building her equity, and moved up within our KDAY/Power 106 ecosystem.”…..At Alpha Media’s WHBC-FM, Canton, Ohio, Gabe Carrillo is named program director and afternoon drive host, effective November 1.  Carrillo comes to WHBC from his most recent position with Saga Communications CHR WNRG, Milwaukee “Energy 106.9.”  Carrillo says, “I’m very excited to be joining a true hall of fame station like ‘Mix 94.1.’  The dream of any broadcaster is to work with a station that is a cornerstone in its community and I’m beyond thankful to Alpha Media, Bo MatthewsLarry Gawthrop, and Phil Becker for giving me the opportunity to join this great team.”

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

| July 26, 2016

marconiimage small2016 Marconi Award Finalists Announced; News/Talkers Dominate Legendary Station of the Year Category.  The finalists for this year’s Marconi Radio Awards from the National Association of Broadcasters have been announced.  The winners will be announced September 22 at the NAB Marconi Radio Awards Dinner & Show at the 2016 Radio Show in Nashville.  News/talk stations dominate the Legendary Station of the Year category.  The finalists are: KRLD-AM, Dallas; WBAL-AM, Baltimore; WBT-AM, Charlotte; WDBO-FM, Orlando; and all-news WINS-AM, New York.  Two Premiere Networks sports talk hosts are finalists in the Network/Syndicated Personality of the Year – Jay Mohr and Dan Patrick – along with Premiere’s Delilah and Elvis Duran plus Entravision’s Erazno y la ChokolataCBS RADIO’s Mike Francesa (WFAN, New York) and Toucher and Rich (WBZ-FM, Boston) are finalists in the Major Market Personality of the Year category along with KFI, Los Angeles’ Tim Conway Jr. and music radio personalities Mark Curry of KBLX, San Francisco and Woody from KYSR, Los Angeles.  See the rest of the finalists here.

beasleybrianBrian Beasley Promoted to Chief Operating Officer of Beasley Media Group. The company announces Brian Beasley is promoted to chief operating officer of Beasley Media Group, Inc. from his EVP of operations post.  He comments, “This COO position is a great honor, considering my entire life has been dedicated to the radio business.  I’ve benefitted greatly from my hands-on experience at all levels of this business and I’ll be continuing to contribute to the successful operations of our stations for many years to come.”

harrisonUpCloseFarOutsmallGeorge Noory Interviewed by Michael Harrison.  The nation’s leading late-night talk show host, George Noory is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne hit “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison,” posted today (7/26).  The multi-talented Noory, who has hosted Premiere Networks’ “Coast to Coast AM” for the past 14 years, talks about how the show has evolved and expanded from primarily covering the paranormal (UFOs, ESP, time travel, astral projection, etc.) to now include the paranoid (conspiracy theory, thenooryNightTalk Illuminati, special interest groups, etc.).  Harrison and Noory discuss the impact of digital age technology and modern communications on the human nervous system and society.  The podcast is coordinated with today’s release of prolific author Noory’s first novel, Night Talk (Forge 2016) – a thriller that tells the story of a late night talk show host (“Greg Nowell”) who gets himself entangled in a web of intrigue that involves the same elements as the subject matter covered by its real life author.  To listen to this fascinating podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column of every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.

Progressive Talker Nicole Sandler Battling Lung Cancer.  A YouCaring fundraising account has been set up to help defray the cost of the medical bills that she says will not be paid by insurance.  Radio pro and progressive talk personality Nicole Sandler recently relaunched her Internet radio show in a partnership with fellow talk hostsandlernicole Randi Rhodes, whose show follows Sandler’s on the stream.  But now she’s facing a diagnosis of adenocarcinoma – Non Small Cell Lung Cancer.  Sandler is blogging about her experience – and keeping followers well-informed about her struggles with her insurance company – and she says the cancer does not appear to have spread beyond the one lung but that other tests are pending to determine if that’s the case.  You can visit Sandler’s YouCaring page here.

Entercom Launches Late-Night, Syndicated Paranormal Show ‘Beyond Reality Radio.’  The program – Entercom’s first syndication effort – launches on August 1 on 10 company-owned news/talk stations live from hawesjason12:00 midnight to 2:00 am ET.  It stars Jason Hawes, co-founder of The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS) and creator and star of Syfy’s blockbuster hit “Ghost Hunters,” and JV Johnson, ajohnsonjv longtime paranormal investigator and current publisher and editor of TAPS paraMagazine.  Entercom stations airing the program are: KJCE, Austin; WRKO, Boston; WBEN, Buffalo; KEZW, Denver; WSKY, Gainesville; WYRD, Greenville; KMBZ, Kansas City; WWL, New Orleans; KNSS, Wichita; and WILK, Wilkes-Barre.  JV Johnson says, “Radio has a long history of programs about the paranormal, dating back to the 1920s, so it’s very exciting to bring ‘BRR’ to the airwaves with Entercom and continue this tradition, but with a contemporary twist.  We’ll be engaging with our listeners not only through call-in, but through our digital platforms.  So while we’re reaching a larger audience, we’re also creating a community with which we’re intimately connected.”

The Presidential Race/Democratic National Convention, Verizon-Yahoo! Deal, Rio Troubles/Russian Doping Scandal, Cuomo NC Ads Controversy, SoCal Wildfires, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/25).  The aftermath of the Republican National Convention, day one of the Democratic National Convention, and the activities of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump; the acquisition of most of Internet pioneering firm Yahoo! by Verizon; the troubles facing Rio De Janeiro as it prepares to host the Olympics and the related Russian doping scandal; New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s state-paid ads aired in North Carolina that critics say violate the Hatch Act; the wildfires affecting Southern California; 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.

Odds & Sods.  The regular CBS RADIO Pittsburgh promotion “eat.drink.SUMMER” is taking place on August 12 from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the Lodge at North Park.  Attendees can enjoy samples from some of Pittsburgh’s finest restaurants along with new products, spirits, beers and more.  On-air personalities from the CBS Pittsburgh stations will be in attendance throughout the evening…..In the Greenville, South Carolina market, Entercom Upstate – with seven radio stations in the market – is being honored by the Greenville Health System for Entercom’s support and promotion of the Children’s Hospital over the last 10 years. The GHS Children’s Hospital is dedicating its fifth floor Family Room to Entercom Upstate to recognize how the stations have helped the hospital through the Children’s Hospital Radiothon, an annual fundraising event that has raised more than $2.6 million to date and supported thousands of children.  The 9th Annual Radiothon will take place on August 4…..The RAB announces the retirement of SVP, research Andy Rainey.  Rainey has led the research team at the RAB for the last 23 years.  At the same time, Annette Malave, vice president of business development is promoted to SVP, insights, effective August 1.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

| May 5, 2015

berrymichaelMichael Berry Renews with iHeartMedia.  Houston-based talk show host Michael Berry inks a new long-term deal with iHeartMedia that runs through 2020.  Berry’s program is based at news/talk KTRH, Houston and is heard on iHeartMedia stations in 13 additional markets.  The former Houston city councilor started his talk radio career with the company in 2005.  Berry states, “While I’m loyal to the company I’ve worked with for so long, this agreement is about the future, not the past. From Bob Pittman, our chairman and CEO, and Rich Bressler, our president, COO and CFO, to Kelly Kibler, my EVPO; Eddie Martiny, my market manager; and Marc Sherman and Bryan Erickson, our programming directors in Houston — every single one of them is committed to our show, our team, and the way we do things.  They’ve provided a platform for me to serve my sponsors, entertain our listeners, and raise money for Veterans, and I’m incredibly excited about our future.”  Bob Pittman comments, “Michael is a great talent, and his audience loves and relies on him – both for the news and important information he provides every day, and for his strong commitment to his community of listeners and the causes important to them.  We are very pleased that Michael will continue his strong work for us, and delighted that he’ll continue to be such a key part of our team.”

lewisloriCumulus Brings Digital and Social Media Pro Lori Lewis Aboard.  This new relationship brings industry-respected digital and social media maven Lori Lewis together with Cumulus Media as she becomes the company’s new vice president of social media.  A press release says in her new position, she’ll work with Cumulus’ programming and sales teams to develop integrated social media strategies for the company’s radio stations and the Westwood One network.  She will also provide social media solutions to Westwood One’s affiliate partners as part of the company’s Enterprise Solutions Group.  Lewis will report directly to president and CEO Lew Dickey.  Lewis was most recently with consulting firm Jacobs Media.  Lew Dickeycumulus logo comments, “Lori is our industry’s foremost authority on social media.  She has architected successful social strategies for many of the biggest brands in radio.  We are excited for Lori to bring her unique experience and expertise to our station group as well as to our affiliate partners at Westwood One.”  On joining Cumulus, Lewis says, “I am honored to take this newly created role within Cumulus, and to create real value and impact socially for our audiences, advertisers and affiliate partners.  Many mistake social for volume, when in fact it’s about differentiating.  This move, on behalf of Lew Dickey and [Cumulus SVP] Gary Pizzati, speaks volumes of their leadership and foresight in moving Cumulus forward, and I thank them for that.”

entercomEntercom Promotes Kramer to COO, Names Levy to Board of Directors.  Station group president Louise Kramer is promoted to chief operating officer for Entercom Communications Corp.  In a press statement, the company says, “Kramer is a media veteran who has been withkramerweezie Entercom since 2000, most recently serving as station group president.  In this role, she spearheaded the company’s reinvention efforts, focusing on enhancing the company’s future growth and directly overseeing several of the company’s markets.  Ms. Kramer is a member of Entercom’s operating committee and, since 2013, has served as chairperson.  Entercom president and CEO David Field comments, “Weezie is an enormously talented and effective leader who has made a huge impact on our organization since she joined Entercom in 2000.  Like so many great leaders, she is totally and selflessly committed to her team’s success, bringing levydavidher vast energy, intelligence, creativity, and high standards to our entire organization.  I am thrilled to see her continue to rise to the highest levels of our company.”  Also, the company reports that David Levy is named to the board of directors.  Levy has served as president of Turner Broadcasting System since 2013.   In this role he oversees all creative and business activities of the Turner signature entertainment networks —TBS, TNT, Turner Classic Movies, truTV, Cartoon Network, Boomerang and Adult Swim — and their digital brand extensions, as well as Turner Sports.

wmal logoCumulus Has a Buyer for WMAL, Washington Transmitter Site.  According to Bethesda Magazine, Cumulus Media has a deal with two prominent area home builders who will turn the Bethesda, Maryland site of WMAL-AM, Washington’s transmitter into a 76-acre housing development.  Winchester Homes and Toll Brothers are reported as the buyer but no sale price has been announced yet.  According to real estate firm CBRE, the land could hold up to 300 homes on quarter-acre lots in accordance with current zoning regulations.  Cumulus will relocate the WMAL-AM transmitter.

younglarry and cohostsRadio One Revamps WOLB, Baltimore’s Larry Young Show.  The urban morning drive talk show lead by radio personality Larry Young is now being simulcast on Radio One’s translator W291BA at 106.1 FM.  That signal airs Christian music and is branded “PRAISE 106.1.”  Joining Young (center) and co-host Coach (left) is former WWIN, Baltimore “Magic 95.9” midday personality Tim Watts (right).  The station says, “We’re combining the best of the Praise format with the information, entertainment and ‘ground level’ interaction that our listeners already expect from Larry’s show.  For additional color, we’ve welcomed Tim Watts back to be part of this daily roundtable of all things Baltimore and our community.”

gordonmaryGordon Named Sales Manager for iHeartMedia Tampa. The appointment of Mary Gordon as sales manager for iHeartMedia‘s Tampa cluster takes effect in four weeks (6/1). Senior vice president of sales Fernando Bauermeister comments that, “Mary’s experience of leading successful teams made her a natural choice for the position. We are excited to have Mary join our staff and we look forward to her helping our clients grow their business.” Gordon states, “I am extremely excited to be given the opportunity to join the team of talented professionals at iHeartMedia Tampa. I look forward to utilizing the amazing assets that iHeartMedia has in its arsenal to find solutions to the key marketing objectives in the west Florida region.” Gordon’s background includes a stint in sports marketing for IMG (International Management Group), as well as being general sales manager – and later director of sales – for Cumulus Media Atlanta’s country WKHX “Kicks 101.5” and WYAY. The eight-station iHM Tampa cluster includes: urban contemporary WBTP “The Beat”; WDAE “Tampa Bay’s Sports Radio”; talk WFLA; CHR WFLZ “The Hit Music Channel”; country WFUS “US-103.5”; talk WHNZ “Impact Radio”; hot AC WMTX “Mix 100.7”; and WXTB “98 Rock.”

hoyttomHoyt Heads to Louisville as Salem Media Group GM. Founder-president of Missouri-based AdAbilities Tom Hoyt – is named general manager of Salem Media Group Louisville talk outlet WGTK “The Answer” and WFIA “The Spirit – Christian Talk & Praise.” Salem vice president of operations Mike Moran notes, “We were looking for a general manager with a combination of strong leadership skills, management experience, and a proven sales orientation. I believe with Tom we found a man who delivers on all those fronts and brings the additional benefit of knowing and loving the city of Louisville.” Hoyt comments, “I cannot imagine a more ideal opportunity than this position with Salem Media Group in Louisville. The stations are heritage properties with a veteran staff. I am thankful that Mike has selected me and I am looking forward to building on the success the team has established.” Hoyt – who succeeds Tim Hartlage at the Louisville talk combo – previously worked in the market for Cox Media Group; was vice president and chief sales officer for CommunityLink Publications; general sales manager of Emmis St. Louis; and director of sales for Barnstable Broadcasting‘s stations in Greenville, South Carolina. Hartlage continues working for Salem, focusing on local ministry.

sagaSaga Communications Q1 Revenue Down 1.2%; Radio Division Dips 2.6%.  For the first quarter of 2015, Saga Communications is reporting net revenue decreased 1.2% on income of $29.1 million.  Revenue for the radio segment was $24, 276,000 – a decline of 2.6% compared to the same period a year ago (the TV segment was up).  Other data reported included free cash flow up 5.2% to $3.6 million for the quarter ended March 31, compared to $3.4 million for the same period last year.  Station operating expense decreased 0.8% to $22.8 million (station operating expense includes depreciation and amortization attributable to the stations) compared to $23.0 million for the same period last year.  Operating income was $3.8 million.  Net income for the period was $2.1 million ($0.36 per fully diluted share).

Odds & Sods.  Philadelphia news/talker WPHT will play a role in the local appearance of Kentucky Senator and presidential candidate Rand Paul.  After his press conference at the People’s Plaza on Independence Mall onwpht logo Monday, May 18, the senator will make a special appearance at the Independence Seaport Concert Hall for a discussion focused on his book, Taking a Stand: Moving Beyond Partisan Politics to Unite America.  WPHT host Dom Giordano will moderate…..Longtime WGN, rosenbergmiltChicago radio host and current WCGO, Chicago personality Milt Rosenberg was recently honored by the City of Chicago for among other things, “bringing the world of ideas to millions of listeners, combining a scholar’s understanding of the humanities broadened our citizens’ engagement with the humanities, or helped preserve and expand Americans’ access to important resources in the humanities.”

2016 Presidential Prospects, ‘Prophet Drawing Contest’ Shooting, Clinton Family Foundation Scrutiny, Baltimore Aftermath, and California Drought Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/4).  The influx of new candidates for president in 2016 including independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, and Republicans Carly Fiorina, Ben Carson and Mike Huckabee; the aftermath of the weekend’s shooting of two purported ISIS followers at a “prophet drawing contest” in Garland, Texas; Bill Clinton’s dismissal of criticism of the Clinton Family Foundation finances; the civil and political situation in Baltimore and questions about how Freddie Gray died; and the worsening drought in California and the battle over water policy were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.