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Salem to Hold White House Radio Broadcast. The theme of the July 25 special broadcast from the White House will be “Made in America” and will feature senior members of the Trump Administration as guests on some 20 Salem Media Group radio shows. The press statement from Salem says that the special broadcast day is “part of a larger White House effort to broaden media access and bring in more local and regional media, including talk radio.” Salem’s nationally syndicated talk radio hosts – Hugh Hewitt, Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, Michael Medved, Larry Elder and Eric Metaxas – will be joined by 13 local hosts from Salem Media Group-owned stations and will total 36 hours of live radio programming between the hours of 6:00 am to 9:00 pm ET on that day. Salem Media Group CEO Ed Atsinger comments, “Donald Trump ran an unconventional campaign that reflected a broad public discontent with the status quo, and despite intense opposition and overwhelming odds, he was successful. There is an unprecedented level of public interest in what is happening in Washington, DC…Salem Media Group’s audiences are highly active politically and very interested in both the policy components of the president’s agenda, as well as how the administration is accomplishing its objectives.”
Entercom Recruits Larkin for Regional VP Position. Radio management pro Susan Larkin is joining Entercom as a regional vice president. She’s most recently been serving in the same capacity with Cox Media Group, in charge of the Orlando and Jacksonville markets. During her career she also served with ABC-Disney in the Twin Cities. Entercom COO Weezie Kramer states, “Susan is a highly respected and top-performing radio veteran with a winning track record. At Entercom, we are committed to being a best-in-class organization with A-level talent and we are excited to have Susan on board with us at this transformational time.”
Cumulus Unveils Its ‘Digital C-Suite.’ The Cumulus Digital C-Suite is a “comprehensive portfolio of digital marketing solutions” that Cumulus sellers will represent to local businesses in its 90 U.S. markets. Cumulus says it’s a “flexible local marketing solution, currently featuring digital solutions in three distinct areas that can be used in any combination to achieve a local advertiser’s digital marketing goal. Local businesses can now work with a single point of contact to create stand-alone radio or digital campaigns, or holistic multi-media strategies.” Cumulus Media president and CEO Mary Berner states, “Cumulus is offering local marketers the formidable reach, frequency, and recall of radio combined with comprehensive custom digital marketing solutions that we know engage consumers. We spent the last year in market testing digital solutions with local advertisers and have pulled together the most effective products that delivered the best results. With C-Suite, our advertisers can now work with one partner to coordinate and optimize their campaign, messaging, and creative across multiple platforms.” VP of digital operations and business development Larry Linietsky adds, “We’re evolving our broadcast business to maximize digital and social in support of our local partners’ needs. Our plan is to vigilantly watch the ever evolving digital technology landscape for new products, innovations and opportunities for inclusion in the Cumulus Digital C-Suite.”
Radio Drops Out of Top Five in BIA Kelsey’s Local Media Advertising Forecast. In this mid-year update to the 2017 U.S. Local Ad Revenues Forecast from BIA Kelsey, radio drops from the #5 spot to #6 with forecast total revenue of $15.6 billion. Mobile inches ahead of radio with 11% of the advertising pie, or $16 billion. The five-year forecast report states that total U.S. ad revenue will reach “approximately $174 billion by 2021 (Compound Annual Growth Rate: 3.8%.) This growth will be driven by double-digit increases in mobile and social advertising and local online and mobile video, all slated to experience at least a 17% increase by 2021. For 2017, the firm has slightly decreased their advertising estimate to $147.9 billion. An overall weaker than expected economy in the beginning of 2017 has led to softness in advertising revenues. However, future growth in online/digital advertising revenues will be higher than originally predicted, with a 2016-2021 CAGR of 11.9%. Over the same period, traditional advertising revenues will see a slight decrease in the 2016-2021 period with a CAGR of -0.6%.” See more here.
Meg McDonald Rejoins TalkersRadio with Solo Short-Form Commentary. Longtime public relations specialist Meg McDonald is enjoying a second career as a talk radio commentator. The daughter of a Hollywood show biz couple (actress Elizabeth Fraser and dancer Ray McDonald), she earned tremendous notoriety for many years as one of Southern California’s leading publicists. She ran her own LA-based company, McDonald Media Services, and was married to an accomplished broadcaster, the late-Brent Seltzer, for more than three decades. When Seltzer died almost two years ago, the couple were in the process of co-hosting a new, rapidly-growing, syndicated husband/wife midday chat show “Brent and Meg” on the Genesis Communications Network (GCN) that had gotten its launch as an experimental project on TalkersRadio. Now McDonald is back as a solo performer with a compelling, short-form radio feature simply titled, “MEG!” It’s a 2½-minute feature that showcases her unique and quirky observations about the “things and events” of daily life. TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison describes McDonald as “a female version of the late-Andy Rooney, only far less curmudgeonly.” “MEG!” can be used as a stand-alone interstitial feature or as an accompanying “kicker” for an already-existing radio program. TalkersRadio is an experimental radio lab designed to give talent, programmers and producers a platform and industry showcase to try out new ideas and projects for talk radio. Since its inception in 2013, TalkersRadio has launched a number of programs that have gone on to terrestrial radio success – the most recent being “American Family Farmer” with Doug Stephan, now heard weekends on approximately 150 terrestrial stations across the nation. At the time of his death, Alan Colmes was experimenting with a program titled “Healed Planet” that explored the boundaries of human consciousness. These shows are archived at TalkersRadio which can be accessed by clicking here. For more information about TalkersRadio call GM David Bernstein at 413-565-5413.
TALKERS 2017 Convention Videos Continue Posting Today (7/12) with Joe Madison, Sharon Madison and Dave Gorab. The entire agenda of the recent Talkers 2017: A New Era national talk media convention has been video recorded and its sessions are being posted to Talkers.com – one event per day. Already posted are the “Welcoming Remarks” by WMAL, Washington, DC afternoon drive host Larry O’ Connor (including an introduction by TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein); the special presentation “You HAVE Options” by consultant Holland Cooke (including an introduction by Yappy Days author Bernadette Duncan); the “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity (with introduction by Westwood One host Jim Bohannon); the “Fireside Chat” between TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian and WFAN, New York sports talk show host Mike Francesa (with introduction by Sabo Media CEO Walter Sabo); the special presentation “The Trump Effect: Latest Research of Interest to News/Talk Radio” by Salem Radio Network SVP Phil Boyce (with introduction by Pioneer Valley Radio GM/host Brad Shepard); the special presentation “Podcasting and Local Radio” by PodcastOne excutive chairman Norm Pattiz (with introduction by Hubbard Radio SVP/programming Greg Strassell); and the first and second in a series of three consecutive “one-on-one” sessions discussing the topic “Maximizing Talk Radio’s Multi-Platform Potential for Reach and Revenue” beginning with a conversation between WABC, New York, PD Craig Schwalb and KGO, San Francisco host Ethan Bearman (facilitated by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio host Karen Hunter) as well as the second in that series featuring Bold Gold Media Group president/CEO Vince Benedetto in conversation with DGital Media managing partner Ron Hartenbaum, plus the third in the series featuring a conversation between nationally syndicated host Dr. Asa Andrew and TalkersRadio GM David Bernstein (facilitated by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio host Karen Hunter). Today (7/12) TALKERS has posted a “one-on-one” chat titled “Radio That Makes a Difference” featuring the SiriusXM Satellite Radio husband/wife team of host Joe Madison and executive producer Sharon Madison (introduced by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio VP/GM talk programming Dave Gorab). Within the following days and weeks, every session will be posted and will remain on Talkers.com for the rest of the year. The Talkers 2017: A New Era video page is sponsored by Backbone Networks, Broadcasters General Store and Comrex Corp. To view the video page of Talkers 2017: A New Era, please click here.
Trump Jr.- Russia Meeting, GOP Health Care Plan, North Korea Threats/China Responsibility, ‘Sixth Mass Extinction’ Controversy, Shia LeBeouf Arrest, and MLB All-Star Game Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/11). The controversy over Donald Trump Jr’s meeting with a Russian attorney promising dirt on Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign; the Republicans’ plan to attempt a vote on their health care plan before the August break; North Korea’s nuclear program and China’s statement that the hermit kingdom is not solely its responsibility; the concern of prominent zoologists that the world may be in a “sixth mass extinction” with large numbers of species disappearing; the flap over the arrest of actor Shia LeBeouf on public drunkenness charges; and the Major League Baseball All-Star Game were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
SiriusXM Host Rick Ungar Guests on Harrison Podcast. This week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison” is the animation-heavyweight-turned-progressive-pundit, Rick Ungar. Ungar, a former top executive with Marvel Entertainment and New World Animation, is the liberal co-host, with former Republican National Committee head Michael Steele, of the political talk show “Steele and Ungar” heard nightly on SiriusXM Satellite Radio’s politically moderate POTUS Channel. The show is known for its collegial and civil approach to political left/right debate – a rarity in today’s radio. Harrison and Ungar (who also writes the column “The Token Lefty” for Forbes.com) discuss a wide array of media topics including the moderate approach to political discussion, the POTUS Channel, the state of talk radio, and a whole bunch of cool stuff about superheroes, comics and animation in American popular culture. Not to be missed! To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.
Century Broadcasting Co-Founder George Collias Dead at 89. According to a lengthy obit in the Chicago Tribune, George Collias – co-founder of Century Broadcasting – died of complications from Alzheimer ’s disease at age 89. The Chicagoland native left his law practice in the mid-1960s and formed Century Broadcasting with a partner. They started acquiring radio stations, first in suburban St. Louis (what became the legendary rock station KSHE-FM), then Dallas and Detroit and, in 1966 WFMF-FM in Chicago (currently WSHE-FM). The company continued to buy FM stations in major markets – moves that many in the radio business thought were crazy, since FM was largely the domain of easy listening or Muzak at that time. Few saw the rise of FM rock and pop stations on the horizon. But Collias was proved prescient as the value of those stations skyrocketed in the 1970s. Century began selling stations in the 1980s and by 1997 – a year after the Telecommunications Act of 1996 – Collias had sold his last station. He confessed to the Tribune in a 1997 article that he thought the business would be successful, but he did not know it would reap the rewards it did. Read the Tribune obit here.
Tony & Kris Named WIVK, Knoxville Morning Show. Knoxville country outlet WIVK finds a replacement for the popular “Andy & Alison” morning show, signing Tony Randall and Kris Rochester to handle the wake-up show. Cumulus Media says that after a nationwide search, the station is hiring only the fourth morning show in the history of the station. “Andy & Alison” retired earlier this year after 20 years with the station to leave the radio business. “Tony & Kris” were most recently syndicated via United Stations Radio Networks. They began their career together in 1991 at WHMA, Anniston-Oxford, Alabama. Cumulus Knoxville VP/market manager Ken Salyer states, “The excitement level of the staff at the hiring of ‘Tony & Kris’ speaks to their track record of success.” In addition to hosting mornings, the duo will develop a new, music-based weekend show for WIVK.