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TOMORROW IS THE LAST DAY TO REGISTER: Talkers 2019: Telling the Story Nearing a Sellout! The 22nd annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention is on the verge of being sold out. The final deadline for registrations being accepted is this Friday, May 24 at 5:00 pm ET. According to TALKERS VP/executive editor Kevin Casey, “In order to maintain the intimacy and effectiveness of this heritage event, it must be open only to members of the media industries and be in a special type of venue with limited seating and capacity. We have resisted the impulse to grow this event beyond that level of efficiency. That is one of the reasons it is so popular and has enjoyed such amazing longevity.” To obtain registration information and avoid being shut out before the deadline, call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. For an up to the minute agenda, please click here.
Kirk Minihane and Entercom Go Separate Ways. According to a report in the Boston Globe, former WEEI, Boston morning personality Kirk Minihane and Entercom have agreed to dissolve their relationship. This comes on the heels of Minihane’s recent public gripe about Entercom dragging its feet on launching Minihane’s program on the Radio.com platform. Minihane was removed from his role as co-host of the “Kirk & Callahan” show on WEEI last fall. At the time, the company said it intended to put Minihane on Radio.com. Entercom confirmed the separation in a brief statement. Meanwhile, the Globe reports Minihane – via a Periscope video – saying, “What’s next is whatever. I don’t know what the next move is going to be but, but I’m just relieved. And I have nothing good to say about the place I was just at.” Minihane says that although he does not have a non-compete, he has no intention of doing local radio again.
Ben & Woods to Host Mornings on San Diego’s ‘97.3 The Fan.’ San Diego sports talkers Ben Higgins and Steven Woods are landing at Entercom’s KWFN-FM “97.3 The Fan” for mornings, effective June 10. “Ben & Woods” were hosts of the morning show on former crosstown sports talk outlet XEPRS “The Mighty 1090” prior to operator Broadcast Company of the Americas losing its signal lease with the Mexican owners and shutting down the station. The morning drive slot at KWFN opened earlier this year when the station removed Dan Sileo from the morning daypart. Coach John Kentera has been interim host of the morning show since then.
Nielsen to Release New Ratings for WMVP, Chicago. As reported by Chicago media maven Robert Feder, Nielsen Audio is telling subscribers there that it will re-release the April 2019 PPM numbers for ESPN’s sports talk WMVP-AM “ESPN Chicago” to include the station’s streaming numbers that were not made part of the station’s ratings when they were released last week. WVMP’s weekly, 6+ AQH share was 1.2, tying it for 17thplace in the market with three other stations. Nielsen will release the new numbers as 12:00 noon today (5/23).
TALKERS News Notes. The Associated Press Television and Radio Association – representing 13 Western states – recently announced the winners of its 2018 broadcast contest. Big winners in the radio competition were Entercom’s all-news KCBS-AM, San Francisco and Bonneville’s news/talk KTAR-FM, Phoenix. KCBS-AM took home seven first place awards and two second place honors. KTAR-FM grabbed two first place awards and four second place trophies. See the entire list here.….Westwood One reports that the nationally syndicated weekly talk show “Sterling on Sunday” adds two big market affiliates as Cox Media Group’s news/talk WSB-AM/FM, Atlanta and Entercom’s KMBZ-FM, Kansas City pick up the show starring Walter Sterling. It’s now heard on more than 85 affiliate stations…..In Richmond, Entercom adds FM translator W286DJ at 105.1 to the broadcast of sports talk WRNL-AM “910 The Fan.”…..iHeartMedia Hartford announces a new deal with University of Connecticut football and basketball play-by-play voice Mike Crispino to keep him with the school’s broadcasts on WUCN “97.9 ESPN.” Crispino is a member of the UConn Radio Broadcast Team and covers play-by-play for UConn football, UConn men’s basketball and UConn baseball. He says, “I’m thrilled to extend my agreement with iHeartMedia and UConn for the next several years. It’s been a pleasure and a privilege to work with sports broadcast pros like Wayne Norman this past year as well as insightful and charismatic coaches and administrators like Randy Edsall, Dan Hurley, Jim Penders, and David Benedict. I truly look forward to contributing to the expansion of the UConn brand and fan base across the region.”…..Entercom and podcaster Cadence13 are launching a new series called “To War and Back,” on RADIO.COM, the first episode of which explores the lives of three combat veterans and their journeys on the battlefield and on their return home. The full six-episode series will launch on June 10. The program features journalist and Navy veteran Phil Briggs, host of the “Connecting Vets” podcast, traveling cross country to meet three combat veterans – US Marine Corps Sgt. Kirstie Ennis (Ret.), US Marine Corps Major Scott Huesing (Ret.) and US Army veteran Sgt. Boone Cutler – to document their incredible experiences, to war and back. Entercom chief digital officer J.D. Crowley says, “We’re proud to collaborate with our talented partners at Cadence13 on this original series. ‘To War and Back’ is a perfect example of the power of audio storytelling to make a difference in the lives of listeners. Original series like this are also a key part of the growth path of RADIO.COM.”…..Pictured below at the studios of Beasley Media Group sports talker WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub” is high school student Luke D. (center), who got to hang with the “Zolak & Bertrand” midday show as part of Westford Academy’s Job Shadow Day. Luke participates with the Fitchburg State men’s soccer team and hopes to one day pursue a career in sports broadcasting. From left to right are: WBZ-FM host Scott Zolak, Jim Louth, Hardy, host Marc Bertrand, and Tom Morgan.
PPM Analysis: MLB Flagships. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s April 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on stations that serve as Major League Baseball play-by-play flagships. Historically, baseball is a cume builder for flagship stations and the increase in weekly, 6+ AQH share seen in our panel seems to support that. After one month of baseball, Kinosian reports that “nearly four of every five Major League Baseball flagships on this list (79%) improve between March 2019 – April 2019 (6+), while only 14% regress; the remaining 7% are flat.” A 2.3 share increase for Entercom’s St. Louis Cardinals flagship KMOX, St. Louis puts the station in the #1 ranking in the April survey – the lone MLB flagship to enjoy that position. iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati (Cincinnati Reds) and Good Karma Brands’ WTMJ, Milwaukee (Milwaukee Brewers) both ranked #2 in their respective markets. See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.
Trump’s Stonewalling, Trump’s New York Tax Returns, Democrats’ Impeachment Momentum, 2020 Presidential Politics, US-China Trade War, Midwest Storms, and US-Iran Tensions Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/22). The effort by President Trump not to cooperate with any investigations launched by Democrats; New York passes a bill to allow congress to get President Trump’s state tax returns; congressional Democrats continue to push Speaker Nancy Pelosi to launch impeachment charges against the president; the Democrats vying to challenge Trump in 2020; the tariffs the U.S. and China are placing on each other’s exports; the tornadoes that ravaged the Midwest; and the military tensions between the U.S. and Iran were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
44thAnnual Gracie Awards Held in Los Angeles. On Tuesday (5/21), the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation presented the 2019 Gracie Awards at the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Attendees at this year’s awards ceremony included Sheryl Crow as performer, along with “Good Girls” co-stars Christina Hendricks and Retta, Schitt’s Creek’s Annie Murphy and Sarah Levy, Rachel Bloom, Tisha Thompson, Leah Remini, Elizabeth Perkins, Loni Love, Angela Yee, Elaina Smith (pictured at right with Big Machine Records CEO Scott Borchetta), Jayde Donovan, Kellie Rasberry, Jillian Barberie, Lisa Mantineo, Lynda McLaughlin and more. Entertainment Tonight LIVE’s Cassie DiLaura served as the Gracie Awards social media ambassador. Winners in the Radio division included: Angela Yee of “The Breakfast Club” Host/Personality – National; Jayde Donovan “The Jayde Show” Host/Personality – Weekend Program – National; Kellie Rasberry “Kidd Kraddick Morning Show” Co-host – National; Lynda McLaughlin “The Sean Hannity Show” Producer – Talk – National; and Laura Coates “The Laura Coates Show” Talk Show – National. See all the winners here. Pictured below is the board of the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation (from l-r): Kelly Perdomo, vice president: content and partnership marketing, SiriusXM; Heather Cohen, EVP, The Weiss Agency; Lauren Ash, host; Becky Brooks, executive director, Alliance for Women in Media; and Christine Travaglini, president, Katz Radio Group.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Boston radio personality Adam 12 is joining Beasley Media Group’s classic rock WBOS “ROCK 92.9” to host the midday 11:00 am to 4:00 pm show. Adam 12 was most recently with online station Indie617 as a personality, imaging director, and social media director. He’s also served with former market alternative station WFNX-FM and legendary rock outlet WBCN-FM. He says, “‘ROCK 92.9’ captures so many of the sounds I grew up listening to and playing on the air in Boston. I’m looking forward to getting back on the FM dial and helping [programmer] Ken West and the team at Beasley make some noise on the airwaves with ROCK 92.9!”…..Programming pro Joey Tack is the new program director and midday personality at Bonneville’s country KNCI, Sacramento, effective July 1. Tack was most recently program director at SummitMedia’s rhythmic CHR WKHT, Knoxville “HOT 104.5.”…..Entercom names Adam Wolfson director of sales for its CHANNEL Q. The company says that in this role, Wolfson will oversee sales efforts for LGBTQ+ Talk Radio Network – dedicated to celebrating the LGBTQ+ community and their allies. Entercom Southern California SVP and market manager Jeff Federman says, “CHANNEL Q has become such a powerful voice for the LGBTQ community as well as advertisers. Adam has been the catalyst in leading our sales charge across the country. He is the perfect choice to lead sales for the network from coast to coast.”
A Good Listen to a Good Guy
By Mike Kinosian
Managing Editor/West Coast Bureau Chief
LOS ANGELES — Some view their own age and/or that of others as a roadblock – a barrier to achieving an untold number of additional hopes and dreams.
To others, age – more correctly – is merely a meaningless number with no attached strings or restrictions.
It would have been quite easy and understandable for Alex Bennett to take leave and retreat from the business in which he has been an integral part for several decades. After all, the legendary broadcaster was 73 years old when Sirius XM unceremoniously pink-slipped him last June after more than nine years of service at the satcaster (he turned 74 two months ago).
Notwithstanding an imposing and lengthy list of accomplishments and vitae, which the native Californian could trumpet as an entree to retirement, he has become an entrepreneur with “Alex Bennett’s Great American Broadcasts” being the centerpiece of his novel take to talk radio.