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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

| April 1, 2015

westwood one NEWWestwood One Adds Ficke, Hurley. New to the company’s Chicago sales office as vice president of strategic partnerships is Zack Ficke, and as vice president of national partnerships and digital activation, Midwest is Kelli Hurley. The former Premiere Networks’ staffers will report to another Premiere Networks alum – Westwood One executive vice president of Midwest sales Doug Johnston – who states, “I am thrilled to be back together with these two very talented sales individuals.  They will be instrumental as we build a customer-centric Midwest region.”fickezack According to Westwood One president Steve Shaw, “Doug Johnston has put together an incredible team of sellers in our Midwest region.  Zack and Kelli will only enhance our efforts to be the best client partners in hurleykellithe business.  We are moving the mark and delivering results across all of our assets.” Ficke comments, “Marketers are increasingly seeking experiential, cross-platform marketing solutions that are both innovative and engaging.  Westwood One is uniquely positioned to meet this demand with national scale and local activation opportunities across an impressive array of programming.  I am ecstatic to be joining such an accomplished sales organization.  I look forward to working more closely with the entire sales organization.” Hurley remarks, “Westwood One’s digital platforms are incredibly dynamic and they offer highly engaging experiences to consumers and advertisers alike.  I look forward to leading Westwood One’s digital efforts in the Midwest, while continuing to service clients and agencies in the network radio marketplace.” For the past seven years, Ficke was a Premiere Networks’ national account manager, and he previously had the same title at SiriusXM.  Prior to that, he held various sales and account management positions at Marriott’s vacation club division and IT consulting firm Apex Systems. Most recently, Hurley was a Premiere Networks’ national account manager.  She previously worked for United Stations Radio Networks and is returning to Westwood One. In addition, she is a former director of sales for TargetSpot.

handelmanallanAllan Handelman Exits WSJS, Winston-Salem.  The afternoon drive show radio pro Allan Handelman hosted for Curtis Media Group’s WSJS, Winston-Salem, North Carolina has been cancelled.  Handelman – host of the nationally syndicated weekend talk program “Rock Talk with Allan Handelman” – tells TALKERS magazine he’s thankful for the time spent entertaining the station’s listeners.  “My afternoon show on ‘600 WSJS’ has come to an end.  I want to thank WSJS and especially the listeners for being a part of the best audience in the world. They have been great.  Watching the audience grow in the afternoon, while simultaneously witnessing the increased response to my sponsors (the Pet Pantry and C.Crane) has really meant a lot to me.  When the right opportunity comes along to reach North Carolina listeners on a daily basis I’ll be there.  In the meantime, my weekend syndicated show continues without interruption on FM radio stations across the country and online.”  Handelman says he’ll keep fans up to speed on his next move via his website: www.ifitrocks.com.  There’s no immediate word from WSJS what will air in the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm daypart.

BIAKelseyTopRevenueStations14BIA/Kelsey Reports 2014 Top-Billing Radio Stations; KIIS, Los Angeles Takes Honors.  Each year, media consulting firm BIA/Kelsey publishes its list of the top revenue-producing radio stations in America.  This year, iHeartMedia-owned CHR KIIS-FM, Los Angeles ousts Hubbard Radio LLC’s all-news WTOP, Washington – the leader for the past four years – by billing $65.9 million during 2014.  Simultaneously, the firm reports that the industry billed $14.9 billion last year.  The source is BIA/Kelsey’s 2015 Investing In Radio® Market Report.  BIA/Kelsey notes that 2014 over-the-air radio revenues were $14.3 billion, with online generating $636 million.  The firm forecasts both sources of radio income to continue growing at a slight pace over the next few years, reaching $16.2 billion overall in 2019.  BIA/Kelsey chief economist and SVP Mark Fratrik comments, “Local radio stations continue to maintain an important position in the local media marketplace.  Last year, a slight decline in over-the-air revenues was offset by an increase in online revenues, resulting in steady overall revenues.”  See the chart above to get a view of the top 10 revenue-producing radio stations in the U.S.  For more information, broadcasters can visit BIA/Kelsey’s website here.

ingrahamcasualsmallReport: Ingraham to Launch News Site.  Politico’s Dylan Byers is reporting that Courtside Entertainment Group-distributed talk radio personality Laura Ingraham (pictured here) is preparing to unveil a news-oriented website.  Byers says insiders say it will be a “conservative news and opinion website.”  Byers goes on to write, “One source said that Neil Munro, the political reporter who resigned from the Daily Caller this week, will serve as the site’s editor, though that could not immediately be confirmed.  Neither Ingraham nor Munro responded to a request for comment on Tuesday.”  Read his piece here.

22everyday‘22 Everyday’ – An Important, Powerful Song by Rising Country Star T.J. Bebb Pertinent to News/Talk Radio for Interviews.  Subscribers to TALKERS magazine’s sister trade publication in the music arena RadioInfo’s daily email headlines received a download of an outstanding song this morning (4/1) designed to advocate awareness, prevention and education of the tragic fact that there are more than 22 military suicides in America every 24 hours.  T.J. Bebb has recorded the song “22 Everyday,” which deals with this alarming statistic.  A recent analysis by News21, an investigative multimedia program for journalism students, found that the annual suicide rate among veterans is about 30 for every 100,000 of the population, compared with the civilian rate of 14 per 100,000.  The analysis of records from 48 states found that the suicide rate for veterans increased an average of 2.6% a year from 2005 to 2011 — more than double the rate of increase for civilian suicide.  Numerous other academic and journalistic studies have corroborated this sad state of affairs.  According to RadioInfo music co-editor Duane Doobie Jr., “’22 Everyday’ is a MUST add for every country radio playlist.  Not only is it an excellent song by a wonderful artist – it carries a message that should be heard by every American who cares about their country and the brave men and women who courageously defend it.”  Born and raised in eastern Pennsylvania, T.J. Bebb now calls Nashville home. Bebb has opened up for numerous national acts including: Loretta Lynn, George Jones, and Craig Morgan among others.  He has just released his first Nashville-produced album… a tribute to some of the greatest country singers of all time and also just wrapped up a tour in Brazil where they fell in love with his voice and performance.  T.J. has toured with bands and plays solo acoustic shows as well.  To learn more about this consciousness-raising initiative, download a copy of “22 Everyday” and, perhaps, arrange to interview T.J. Bebb about the 22 Everyday Task Force and Crisis Line (800-273-2855) please click here.

Odds & Sods. WVON, Chicago names Micae Brown host of the “Urban Business Roundtable” program.  The locally produced, 30-minute business program airs three times during the week on WVON and is produced forbrownmicae sponsor Ariel Investments…..The next edition of “KNX On Your Corner,” from CBS RADIO’s all news KNX, Los Angeles takes place in northern Los Angeles County for an in-depth look at the Santa Clarita Valley on Friday, April 24 from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm.  The live remote broadcast begins at 1:00 pm from the knxonyourcornerSalt Creek Grille with Frank Mottek hosting the “KNX Business Hour.”  Jim Thornton and Diane Thompson will anchor the afternoon news from 2:00 pm until 7:00 pm from the restaurant…..Gay rights activist Michelangelo Signorile will be comic and actress Rosie O’Donnell’s guest on SiriusXM’s next “Town Hall” show being produced tomorrow  (4/2) in the satcaster’s New York studios before an audience of SiriusXm listeners.  The show will air on Monday, April 13 4:00 pm ET and on Thursday, April 16 at 2:00 pm ET.

kelleyshannonBeasley Promotes Shannon Kelley to Director of Digital Content.  The services of Shannon Kelley were acquired by Beasley Broadcast Group along with the Charlotte stations it got in a swap with CBS RADIO.  Now, Beasley ups Shannon Kelley to corporate director of digital content.  She’ll work out of the Charlotte offices and in this position will focus “on designing and implementing an actionable digital content strategy with the intention of expanding the company’s brands in the digital space, while increasing traffic to websites, streams and apps.  She reports to vice president of programming Justin Chase.  You can congratulate Shannon at: shannon.kelley@bbgi.com.

Indiana Religious Freedom Law Flap, Comedy Central’s Trevor Noah Problem, Iran Nuclear Program Negotiations, Hillary Clinton Email Probe, Germanwings Flight 9525 Investigation, Boston Marathon Bombing Trial, 2016 Presidential Prospects, and Final Four Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/31).  The controversy being created over Indiana’s religious freedom law and Governor Mike Pence’s vow to fix the law; criticism of “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah’s anti-Semitic jokes and Tweets; the negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program; the ongoing investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of her personal email for State Department business; the probe into the downing of Germanwings Fight 9525 and the mental state of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz; the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in connection with the Boston Marathon bombing; the potential candidates for president in 2016; and the NCAA Men’s hoops tourney were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Monday, February 23, 2015

| February 23, 2015

radioamerica newHedgecock Gives Way to Benson on Radio America.  After many successful years in national syndication – which followed a long reign as the king of talk radio in San Diego, Rodger Hedgecock is ending his daily long-form radio show to focus on hishedgecockroger work as a TV commentator and elections coverage specialist for KFMB-TV, San Diego “CBS 8” and his production of the two daily reports he does for KFMB, San Diego.  Radio America COO Mike Paradiso states, “Roger has been a strong leader in Radio America’s lineup for years bensonchadand I want to thank him for his hard work and dedication.  He will be missed.”  Taking over Hedgecock’s nationally syndicated program is Chad Benson, whom Radio America describes as “a rising star from the Next Generation of talk hosts.”  Benson debuts on March 30 from home base at Alpha Media-owned KUFO, Portland “Freedom 970.”  About Benson, Radio America says the 44-year-old is “an accomplished talk show host boasting over 22-years-experience in the entertainment industry.  He started in music radio in the 1990s at the legendary KRTH, Los Angeles as the executive producer of the Robert W. Morgan show and has also been featured on Los Angeles radio stations such as KZLA-FM and KNCI-FM and KWOD-FM in Sacramento.  Chad has also honed his skills as a voice artist for several Hollywood productions, as fans of ‘Droopy the Dog’ hear Chad’s voice as the signature Hanna-Barbera character.”  Alpha Media San Antonio OM/PD Greg Martin says, “Chad Benson is not the usual talk host.  His entertaining style and passion for talk radio helped develop him into a great talent.  He’s not afraid to go places the average talk host will not tread.  Very unique.”  Benson’s show will air 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET.

cookehollandWeekends: Healing Talk Radio’s Achilles Heel.  In a new article posted today in TALKERS, radio consultant Holland Cooke boldly states: “At too many stations – some with once-proud call letters – weekends are an embarrassment.  Through utter neglect, stations injure ratings and leave money on the table.”  He goes on to offer advice and insights designed to help programmers and management maximize weekends – including brokered programs – to improve station ratings, revenue and image in the community.  He also appears on the latest installment of TalkersTV (upper right column box on every page of Talkers.com) with valuable information about how talk stations can make their Saturday and Sunday programming truly “Solid Gold Weekends.”  To see TalkersTV, please check out the upper right box on every page of Talkers.com.  To read Cooke’s new column, please click here.

mcmahonbillMcMahon: Determining How Long it Will Take for a Radio Show to Succeed.  Just how long to give a new radio show to “take off” has been a debate in the radio business almost since the medium debuted.  All parties would love the answer to be, “almost instantaneous,” but that’s not realistic.  Bill McMahon, CEO of The Authentic Personality, writes in a column published in TALKERS magazine today that programmers must get realistic expectations from their superiors.  But once the timeline is known, there are things that can be done to make success happen as quickly as possible.  “Coaching focused on perfecting talents and strengths and highlighting appealing personal traits will significantly speed up the development process.  Nothing slowed the development of the superstars of radio, true originals, like Howard Stern, Rush Limbaugh, and Larry Lujack more than bad coaching from PDs and management that didn’t recognize and support their unique talents and strengths.  Each was fired multiple times.  All were told to fit into some current standardized success model and be anything but themselves.  They refused.  Each had his own instincts and ideas about the kind of show he wanted to do.”  Read the rest of this enlightening piece here.

2015 NYC 150John Dickey and Michael Harrison to Conduct “Fireside Chat” at Talkers New York 2015.  The agenda is being set for Talkers New York 2015 and one of the highlights of what promises to be a power-packed day of relevant discussions, presentations, and addresses will be a conversation between Cumulus Media executive vice president of content & programming, John Dickey and TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison.  Thedickeyjohn presentation will be conducted in the informal, one-on-one “fireside chat” format.  John Dickey is responsible for Cumulus’ sales, programming, marketing, promotion and engineering and will be able to offer comments, opinions and information about a wide variety of issues presently facing talk radio, as well as the entire spectrum of radio formats.  Conference director Michael Harrison states, “There are few people as ‘plugged into’ both the day-to-day operations as well as the big picture of commercial radio in America today than John Dickey.  He has extensive, first-hand knowledge about what’s happening in the business and plays an enormous harrisonmichael2015role in influencing policy – plus he has a true passion for radio and its position in our society.  I look forward to this session with enthusiasm and plan on it providing our attendees with a lot of valuable takeaways.”  Save the date and register early.  The 18th annual installment of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important annual convention will take place on Friday, June 12, 2015.   It will be located at the historic India House Club dramatically situated at One Hanover Square in the heart of Manhattan’s financial district.”  The all-day event – 9:00 am to 6:00 pm — is again expected to be a quick sellout.  Registrations are priced at $299 per person with an early bird, discounted cost of $249 available until 5:00 pm ET on Friday, February 27.  Registrations, which are only open to professionals currently or recently employed in media-related industries, include all sessions, presentations, exhibits and breakfast/lunch/refreshment/and social networking activities. The heavyweight, non-stop agenda will include approximately 65 speakers and 500 attendees are again expected.  Registrations can only be taken over the phone and paid for by credit card.  For registration, sponsorship and hotel information, please call 413-565-5413.  Again, an early sellout is expected, so avoid being shut out by registering now!  Speakers, panelists and agenda updates will be announced here in the coming days.

ppmunit altRound Four of January PPM Data Released.  The fourth of four rounds of January 2015 PPM data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: Austin, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Providence, Raleigh, Norfolk, Nashville, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford.  The survey period was January 1-28.  TALKERS magazine’s sister publication RadioInfo has all of the numbers from subscribing stations here.  In addition, managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his “Ten Takeaways” from this batch of ratings on the main page at RadioInfo.com here.

salemmediagroup logoSalem Incorporates ‘Media’ into New Corporate Name.  As a corporation with multiple media platforms, Salem Communications Corporation decides to change its name to Salem Media Group to better reflect “the dynamic growth” of its multi-media business.  Salem CEO Ed Atsinger says, “Salem’s mission has always been to serve our two core audiences – Christian and conservative – with engaging and meaningful content.  That mission brought us into radio, and it has guided our growth ever since.  As more and more of our audience seek new ways to get information and inspiration, we have added new media platforms to our traditional radio offerings.  Now nearly one-third of our total revenue comes from non-broadcast sources.  This rebranding of Salem acknowledges our evolution and confirms our commitment to serve our market.”  Salem says that in addition to its 106 radio stations and syndicated programs, it “owns several of the most influential brands in the Christian and conservative media space, including Crosswalk.com, GodVine.com, Christianity.com, BibleStudyTools.com, TownHall.com, HotAir.com, RedState.com, Human Events.com, the Conservative Book Club, and Regnery Publishing.

floresreneeFlores Appointed High Desert Broadcasting LSM. Former Lazer Broadcasting Oxnard-Ventura national and regional sales manager Renee Flores joins High Desert Broadcasting as local sales manager for its seven-station cluster in Lancaster, Palmdale, and the Antelope Valley (Southern California). High Desert president Miles Sexton comments that Flores, “brings a rare combination of experience in both product marketing and broadcast sales to this position, along with proven team leadership accomplishments. We are thrilled to have her join our management team to oversee the sales operation of this dominant radio cluster.” Flores points out that she has lived “in this exciting and growing portion of the Los Angeles metro area. It is great to be returning with such a wonderful opportunity to grow and serve the diverse business community here.” Flores’ prior background includes being general sales manager for Lazer Broadcasting’s three Oxnard-Ventura stations, as well as handling sales for the company’s 25 California and Nevada stations. High Desert’s seven stationsHigh Desert Broadcasting are KOSS “NewsTalk 1380”; regional Mexican KCEL “Que Buena 96.1”; hot AC KGMX “K-Mix 106.3”; alternative KKZQ “The Edge”; classic rock KQAV “The Quake”; KMVE “Classic Top 40”; and regional Mexican KUTY “La Mera Mera 1470.”

johnstondougJohnston Joins Westwood One in EVP Role.  Joining the company as executive vice president, Midwest division in the network sales department is Doug Johnston.  The company says he’ll “oversee revenue development and multi-platform brand integrations across all Westwood One assets, including network sales, spot sales, platform, digital, and events.  Johnston is based in Chicago and reports directly to Westwood One president Steve Shaw.”  He comes to WW1 from his most recent post as SVP, sales, central region, for Premiere Networks.

Odds & Sods.  Adding another daily show to his current role as afternoon drive personality on iHeartMedia’sconwaysimon legendary WHO, Des Moines, is Simon Conway.  Today (2/23), he begins hosting the 9:00 am to 11:00 am program on the company’s WMT, Cedar Rapids…..Fusion and ESPN Radio are announcing an agreement in principle for the former to simulcast the Dan Le Batard radio program beginning this spring.  The three-hour broadcast will air weekday afternoons from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm ET.

wtmj logoCool Job Opportunties.  Several outstanding career opportunities are currently open at Journal Broadcast Group‘s news/talk/sports WTMJ, Milwaukee.  WTMJ has taken traffic reporting in-house, after working with an outside vendor, and is building its own 24-hour on-air/digital traffic center.  There are opportunities for traffic reporters.  The station also has a rare opportunity for a sports anchor/sports talk host.  WTMJ is also searching for an experienced digital content producer/morning show producer.  In sports marketing, WTMJ is adding another sports account manager position to sell Green Bay Packers football and Milwaukee Brewers baseball.  See these and other great opportunities at Journal Broadcast Group’s Milwaukee Operations here.

rabRAB on 2014: Off-Air and Digital Help Bolster Spot and Network for Flat Revenue Year.  The annual report on radio’s revenue for the previous year from the RAB is released and the organization states that radio ended Q4 and full year 2014 with revenue comparable to those reported at year-end in both 2013 and 2012.  Radio’s digital and off-air sectors delivered impressive growth rates throughout the year, which also saw slight dips in the spot and network sectors.  For all of 2014, spot revenue was down 3% and network revenue dipped 4%.  Those decreases were offset by the rise in digital (up 9%) and off-air revenue (up 16%).  RAB president and CEO Erica Farber comments, “Radio held its own in 2014 with radio revenue remaining steady despite an economic climate which saw some businesses tightening their spending in Q4 due to reduced consumer confidence.  Digital revenue growth indicates that radio is meeting marketers’ growing commitment to reach consumers via all digital ad channels, and this continued growth confirms radio’s position as a true marketing partner.”

abcNathansonKevinHartABC News on the Red Carpet at the Oscars.  At last night’s 87th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, ABC News was on the red carpet interviewing the stars in advance of the annual awards program.  Pictured here is ABC News’ Jason Nathanson (right) speaking with comic, actor and record producer Kevin Hart (left).