Tag: "Ed Atsinger"
Salem Media Group Q4 Broadcast Net Revenue Down 2.9%. While Salem Media Group’s total revenue decreased from $70.7 million to $67.2 million – a decrease of 4.9% — the broadcast division’s revenue dipped from $52.2 million to $50.7 million – a decline of 2.9%. For the entire year of 2017, Salem’s broadcast division net revenue was also down 2.9%, from $202 million to $196.2 million. Salem Media Group breaks its operations into broadcast, digital and publishing. In the fourth quarter of 2017, digital was down 12.8% and publishing was down 5.8%. For the whole of 2017, digital decreased 7.9% and publishing dipped 4.3%. Salem CEO Ed Atsinger says one of several factors impacting the fourth quarter decline in the broadcast segment was the lack of political advertising compared to the same period in 2016. Broadcast reported $500,000 less in that category from Q4 2016 to Q4 2017.
Neuhoff Media Debuts Sports Talker in Lafayette, Indiana. The new FM translator is being branded “101.7 The Hammer” and is fed by Neuhoff Media’s WASK-AM, Lafayette. The station airs programming from ESPN Radio but the Journal Courier reports that a local show called “The Hammer Down Show” will debut on Monday featuring former WLFI-TV Lafayette sports anchor Clayton Duffy and Jared Jesulaitis. Neuhoff VP of programming Mike Shamus is quoted saying the program will include local content plus talk about Indianapolis and Chicago sports teams. “We are excited to enter the world of local sports. We feel it is something our region has needed for a long time and we are happy to bring it to Greater Lafayette.”
iHeartMedia Moves to Sooth Inevitable Concerns During Chapter 11. As with any company that’s entering Chapter 11 intending to exit a leaner, more agile company, iHeartMedia is working to ensure staff, vendors, agency partners, etc., that it is able to conduct business as usual within the framework of bankruptcy regulations. In a FAQ sheet the company is distributing, it answers many of the questions usually asked during the bankruptcy process. For venders who do business with iHeartMedia, it notes that “we intend to continue working closely with our vendors. We can and will pay for goods delivered and services rendered after the Chapter 11 filing (called the “postpetition” period) in the normal course. In Chapter 11, amounts owed for goods delivered and services rendered after the Chapter 11 filing are deemed “administrative priority claims.” The company must pay these claims in full before it can pay any vendor/service provider expenses incurred before the Chapter 11 filing (called “prepetition” claims).”
TALKERS News Notes. Longtime television news pro Shepard Smith is staying with FOX News. He and the company are agreeing to a new multi-year deal. FOX News executive chairman Rupert Murdoch comments, “Shepard Smith is an exemplary journalist whose skill in anchoring breaking news is unrivaled. His powerful storytelling on both television and digital platforms has elevated our entire news gathering process.” Smith says, “I am incredibly proud to be part of a group of journalists who helped build the FOX News division from scratch 22 years ago and am extremely thankful for the opportunity to continue to lead our breaking news coverage for years to come.”…..WABC, New York personality Sid Rosenberg gets some ink from Newsday as he and co-host Bernard McGuirk prepare to assume the morning drive program at the station after the final “Imus in the Morning” show on March 30. He tells the paper it is “surreal” to be replacing Imus, whom he listened to as a youngster on the way to school. Read the piece here…..At Radio Vermont’s full service WDEV in Waterbury-Warren, Vermont, Dana Jewell returns to the station after 10 years working in the sales field. New owner Steve Cormier calls Jewell “a staple of WDEV for a number of years — greeting listeners each day with his friendly style. We have many listeners who remember Dana and will be happy to hear him on WDEV again.”…..Former iHeartMedia Fort Collins sales pro Jen Parker is named executive director of public radio outlet, taking over for James Lopez…..Jewish News in Arizona reports that Seth Leibsohn — one half of the “Seth and Chris Show” that airs in afternoon drive on Salem Media Group’s news/talk KKNT, Phoenix “960 The Patriot” – is running for the U.S. House in Arizona’s 9th Congressional District as a Republican. Leibsohn co-hosts the show with Chris Buskirk. Liebsohn is also an attorney and an author…..ESPN personality is launching a new podcast via ESPN Audio called “Marty Smith’s America…The Podcast.” ESPN says Smith is known for his unique storytelling style and revealing, in-depth interviews with sports figures and newsmakers on SportsCenter and other ESPN platforms.” It debuts Monday (3/19) with country music superstar Jason Aldean as the first guest…..Pictured below is ABC Radio’s Matt Friedlander (right) posing for a photo with ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons (left) after chatting about the band’s upcoming summer tour with John Fogerty.
Trump-Russia Investigation Top News/Talk Story for Week of March 12-16. The investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the Trump Administration changes. Coming in at #3 was the Inspector General’s investigation into the FBI’s handling of the Clinton emails case and Andrew McCabe’s status, followed by the Stormy Daniels matter at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. View this week’s entire chart here.
TALKERS magazine Presents the 2018 Edition of ‘The 100 Most Important Sports Talk Radio Hosts in America.’ This is the sixth annual edition of “The 100 Most Important Sports Talk Radio Hosts in America” from the editors of TALKERS magazine. The list, also known as the Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk, ranks sports talk radio hosts – both national and local – from 1 to 100 based on a number of hard factors, such as ratings and revenue, as well as soft factors including impact, recognition, talent and others. To qualify for inclusion on the list, hosts must be working a regularly scheduled show at a terrestrial radio station or on satellite radio at the time of its publication. See the 2018 Heavy Hundred of Sports Talk here.
Superstar Crooner Steve Tyrell Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. One of the world’s leading purveyors of the Great American Songbook – and recent holder of the number one position on the Billboard Jazz Album Chart – Steve Tyrell is this week’s guest on the award winning PodcastOne series, “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Tyrell, who also hosts a daily three-hour program on KKJZ-FM (K-Jazz), Los Angeles discusses his colorful history that goes back to the early 1970s Brill Building era when he was a songwriter, producer and label A&R director, through his present-day career as a major star in the popular standards genre. This conversation, somewhat of a departure from the usual political fare, is a music-lover’s delight and not to be missed by aficionados of popular culture. Harrison says, “I loved speaking with this fascinating artist. It gave me a chance to revisit some of my old music radio chops and explore something that I have learned having been in this business for so many years – everything old is new again and nothing is inherently hip.” To listen to the entire podcast, please click here or click on “The Michael Harrison Interview” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Tallahassee radio pro Jeff Horn joins Adams Radio of Tallahassee as operations manager and program director for country WWOF “103.1 The Wolf,” taking over for Gregory “Big Moose” Juszczyk. Adams Radio Tallahassee vice president and general manager Hank Kestenbaum says, “We are thrilled to have Jeff on our team. Jeff has spent 30 years in Tallahassee radio and his prior experience in country radio and in similar positions made him the perfect candidate for us, not to mention we have a prior history together. I guess you could say we put the band back together!”…..Ashlee Sleek is appointed morning drive co-host at Bicoastal Media’s CHR KDUK, Eugene, Oregon. She’ll also serve as promotions-social media director. She takes over for Amanda McGraw, who recently exited to join KBEB, Sacramento…..In the Harrisburg market, Cumulus Media flips frequencies of two of its stations. CHR WWKL-FM (formerly known as “HOT 93.5 FM”) moves to the more powerful 106.7 FM frequency and becomes “HOT 106.7.” Accordingly, the company’s country WZCY moves to the 93.5 FM frequency and is now “93.5 NASH FM, Your Neighborhood Country.” It will adopt a more gold-based country format with core artists including Shania Twain, Carrie Underwood, Garth Brooks, Blake Shelton, and George Strait. Afternoon personality and program director Charles “Chachi” Angelo is now co-hosting the morning show with Jenna Clay. Midday personality Alex Harley moves to afternoons, followed by “NASH Nights Live” in evenings and “The Blair Garner Show” in overnights.
Salem Q4 Revenue Climbs 2.2%; Broadcast Up 1.3%. For the fourth quarter of 2016, Salem Media Group’s publishing division was flat; the digital division was up 7% on revenue of $12.7 million; and the broadcasting division was up 1.3% on revenue of $52.2 million. For the whole of 2016, broadcast was up 2.4% ($202 million) and all divisions totaled $274.3 million – an increase of 3.1%. During yesterday’s investor conference call, Salem CEO Ed Atsinger said the company is very pleased with is its free cash flow – up 33%. But political ad revenue was not what it was expected to be, bringing in less than $1 million in the broadcast division in Q4 of 2016 compared to the $1.9 million it got during the 2012 election cycle. Reporting on Salem Radio Network, Atsinger said, “We had another solid quarter for our network, with revenues up 12.2%, which is due in part to the continued increase in prominence of our national hosts. Our syndicated lineup consists of Hugh Hewitt, Mike Gallagher, Dennis Prager, Michael Medved, Larry Elder and Eric Metaxas. And it is hard to find a day when one of them is not featured on FOX News, CNN and NBC or other network television programs.”
Infinite Dial 2017. For the 19th consecutive year, Edison Research, in conjunction with Triton Digital, has been researching the use of media and technology by consumers and presenting it as the Infinite Dial study. The data for 2017 has just been released and media consultant Holland Cooke offers his quick summary of this year’s study. Obviously, the growth of the use of the smartphone – which didn’t exist when the annual study began in 1998 – has greatly changed the way consumers use media. The development of the smart speaker/home assistant – think Google Home or Amazon Echo – offers another technological avenue by which consumers can access media. Ownership of these devices (among those 12+) is at just 7%, but awareness of the product is 63%. See Cooke’s entire summary here.
TALKERS News Notes. This year’s March Madness is being aired on SiriusXM – with the help of Westwood One, the exclusive radio rights holder for the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. In addition to the play-by-play content from the First Four on March 14 and 15 through the Final Four and national championship game in Phoenix on April 1 and 3, analysis and coverage will happen on the SiriusXM College Sports Nation channel…..It’s been a while since Bonneville International aired sports talk on KMVP-AM, Phoenix – it programs sports content on KMVP-FM “Arizona Sports 98.7” – but now the station that’s been brokered for the last several years is being sold to Spanish-language operator Farmworker Educational Radio Network, Inc. Kalil & Co. is the exclusive broker…..Cumulus Nashville is presenting cluster-wide promotion called Sports Fest Saturday, April 15 at Nissan Stadium (home of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans). Cumulus says listeners and their families can take part in numerous activities, including visiting with representatives from sports teams around Middle Tennessee, playing catch on the field, listening to interesting speakers and joining the Easter Egg Hunt.
If You Missed Wednesday’s TALKERS-PerfectYourPodcast.com Master Class Podcasting Webinar, View/Listen in for Free. On Wednesday, TALKERS magazine and PerfectYourPodcast presented a free master class webinar for radio professionals. It’s titled, “How to Launch and Grow a Successful Podcast.” PerfectYourPodcast.com was founded by well-known broadcaster Mike Carruthers, host and creator of the long-running, successful syndicated radio series, “Something You Should Know” (now also a top iTunes-charted podcast), who conducted the webinar. It was designed for the professional radio broadcaster who is serious about profiting from podcasting. If you missed it, you can view/listen in on a recording of the webinar through 3:00 pm ET today by clicking here.
The Overhaul of ObamaCare Top News/Talk Story for Week of March 6-10. The Trump Administration’s and the GOP’s move to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was President Trump’s accusation that President Obama ordered the wiretapping of Trump Tower during the campaign. Coming in at #3 was WikiLeaks’ recent document dump that contained hacking techniques used by the CIA, followed by the Trump Administration’s immigration-deportation policies and the related reports that illegal border crossings are down 40% at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio during the week and is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS magazine. It is published every Friday at Talkers.com. View this week’s entire chart here.
Sitting Down with Press Secretary Sean Spicer. Earlier today (3/10), CBS News Radio White House and Congressional correspondent Steven Portnoy interviewed White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, the full audio of which will be featured on the CBS News Weekend Roundup podcast. Topics discussed included the administration’s American Health Care Act and allegations that President Obama ordered the wiretapping of Trump Tower during the election.
Cool Producer Gig. In Milwaukee, WTMJ Radio is seeking a full-time producer/board-op to join its award-winning team on “Wisconsin’s Afternoon News.” This board-op/producer is a versatile, high-level thinker and multitasker that can produce impactful show content for on-air and online. He/she will book guests, generate topics and develop a strong working relationship with our hosts, producers and news department. The producer will also manage digital efforts for “Wisconsin’s Afternoon News.” Becoming part of the Milwaukee community, creating relationships with city leaders, law enforcement, state lawmakers, community advocates, business leaders, etc., are all critical aspects of the position. Must have strong written and editorial judgement, excellent written and verbal communication skills required, solid understanding of producing local enterprise content, proficient use of the digital platform, high work ethics and standards, ability to meet deadlines and detail orientation, knowledge of newsroom computers required along with familiarity of areas across southeast Wisconsin. Must have a valid driver’s license, clean driving record and proof of insurability. College degree preferred. Minimum two to four years of prior broadcast experience required. Apply to: Eric Brooks, director, programming and news. E.W. Scripps Company is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
‘Power 98’ in Charlotte Announces Staff Moves. At Charlotte hip hop outlet WPEG “Power 98,” operations manager Jeff Anderson announces two additions to the staff and a shuffle. Afternoon personality Brian “Mr. Incognito” Robinson moves to the “Maddhouse Morning Show,” John “Sport E. Odie” Adams is named afternoon host and Ya Girl Nikki assumes the evening show. Nikki comes to the station from Beasley Media Group’s sister station WZFX, Fayetteville where she was a part-time air staff member. Anderson says, “Robinson will continue his role as music director for the station, “Mr. Incognito has proven himself as a creative and multi-talented team player. His addition to the morning team is not only a major move, but he also complements the team for a thriving future as an elite live and local morning show.” Anderson adds, “Sport E. Odie brings his impressive work ethic and passion for branding, which he has already seen major success with in Charlotte. With his infectious energy and work he is already doing in the community, he is more than ready to take our team to new levels of success!”
Beasley’s Urban Contemporary WBAV Adjusts Talent Lineup. At the same time as sister station hip hop WPEG makes changes (see story above), urban contemporary WBAV, Charlotte “V101.9” does the same. Music director and air talent Cortney Hicks moves from afternoons to middays. Filling her role in afternoons is Tone X. He’s been a writer and talent on BET’s “The Mo’Nique Show” and was a member of WPEG’s “No Limit Larry and the Morning Maddhouse” for 12 years. Derrick “Fly Ty” Jacobs – the station’s former afternoon host – returns to Beasley. Listeners may hear Fly Ty during the morning show. Kenneth “DJ Rham” Blackmon returns to the Charlotte market – he was previously with Radio One at crosstown WQNC and WPZS – to serve both WPEG and WBAV as production/imaging director. Finally, Stu “Hanna’s Baby Boy” Robinson joins WBAV to track the evening show.
WMIL, Milwaukee Creates New Morning Show. Senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia Milwaukee Kerry Wolfe announces the morning show at country WMIL “FM106.1 Milwaukee’s Best Country.” Moving afternoon personality Ridder to mornings with current AM talent Scott, and adding five-year staffer Shannen, the station unveils the new “Ridder, Scott and Shannen” show. Wolfe says, “This trio has the energy and humor to get your mornings started. Their knowledge and passion for the Milwaukee community and country music make them a perfect team for FM106.1.”
More Music Radio News and Career Moves. WKSE, Buffalo “KISS 98.5 FM” names Greg Cypin the station’s new music director and afternoon drive time personality. Cypin was most recently with Townsquare Media’s country KAWO, Boise “Wow Country 104.3” as afternoon host. Entercom Buffalo operations director Sue O’Neil states, “I am thrilled to bring someone with his skill level to the already talented staff at Buffalo’s number one hit music station.”…..Country outlet WKDF, Nashville “NASH FM 103.3” is hosting the Country Kick Off Party on Tuesday, June 6, 2017, at Nashville’s Cannery Ballroom. At this event, Brothers Osborne, special guests Runaway June and NASH Next 2016 Winner Todd O’Neill will perform in a benefit for Musicians On Call, a groundbreaking non-profit organization that brings live and recorded music to the bedsides of patients in hospitals across the country…..SiriusXM announces that Everclear frontman Art Alexakis will host a new weekly music show on its 90s rock Lithium channel. SiriusXM says Alexakis’ show will feature a diverse lineup of 90s alternative and grunge as well tunes from his personal archives. The show will also feature Alexakis sharing personal stories about his music as well as stories from his 30 years in the entertainment industry. “I have been in love with radio as long as I can remember…So having my own weekly radio show on SiriusXM’s Lithium…is a big deal!”…..iHeartMedia’s hip hop WKKV, Milwaukee “V100.7” is holding its sixth annual FREE Family Affair Expo presented tomorrow (3/11) from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm at The Wisconsin Center in downtown Milwaukee. The expo aims to make a positive impact on Milwaukee families and it will feature local exhibitors focused on finance, education, small businesses, job recruitment, health and wellness.
Cumulus Michigan Promotes Sabrina Carpenter Mall Appearances. The photo above shows Hollywood Records artist Sabrina Carpenter and her guitarist performing in one of three Michigan Malls on Wednesday (3/8) in Grand Rapids, Flint, and Saginaw. Cumulus Media Michigan stations promoted the appearances that drew more than 2,500 fans.
TALKERS 2016 Conference to Feature Podcasting Panel. Attendees at this year’s TALKERS 2016 Bridging the Generations conference at Hofstra University on Friday, May 20 will have the opportunity to hear PodcastOne chairman and founder Norm Pattiz moderate “The Podcasting Session.” This panel will feature: Panoply/The Slate Group chief content officer and co-founder Andy Bowers; WOR, New York program director Tom Cuddy; Hubbard Radio SVP of programming Greg Strassell; and Edison Research VP of strategy Tom Webster. This panel discussion will delve into the issues relevant not only to the podcasting platform itself, but also into issues AM/FM broadcasters who are also producing podcasts are dealing with. TALKERS magazine executive editor Kevin Casey says, “Podcasting is obviously a hot topic in the radio industry right now. Talk radio practitioners are eager to learn about the best practices for producing and selling this digital content and this panel discussion, led by industry pioneer Norm Pattiz, will send them home with actionable information on this nascent form of broadcasting.” TALKERS 2016 Bridging the Generations is nearing a sellout. For complete agenda information click here. To register or for sponsorship information, call 413-565-5413.
Emmis Fiscal Q4 Revenue Down 6%. The Indianapolis-based company functions on a fiscal calendar and its 2015 fourth quarter ended on February 29 of this year. Emmis Communications reports its radio net revenue was $36.4 million, down 6%. For the full fiscal year of 2015, radio revenue was $169.2 million, compared to $176.3 million in the prior year, a decrease of 4%. President and CEO Jeff Smulyan states, “Emmis’ fourth quarter was weak, mostly due to expected underperformance in Los Angeles. The good news is our first quarter is much improved and currently pacing flat to the prior year. New York’s performance has been stellar, ratings in LA have begun to grow again, and ratings across our other radio markets are very strong. NextRadio is coming off a fantastic National Association of Broadcasters convention, and momentum is building. At NAB, it was announced that PRSS, the distribution network for public radio, is being integrated into NextRadio. Carrier and handset conversations are robust, and advertiser interest is high. In addition, we will launch in our first international market, Peru, in the coming weeks. I couldn’t be more pleased with the efforts of Paul Brenner and his team in bringing NextRadio to our industry and to listeners everywhere.”
Salem Media Group Broadcast Revenue Rises 4.2%. It was a quarter of increases all the way around for Salem Media Group. Its total revenue increased 4.4%. The broadcast segment saw revenue rise 4.2%. Digital media was up 4.6% and publishing revenue increased 6.5%. CEO Ed Atsinger says the 4.2% broadcast sector increase “compares favorably to the market generally which was up about 1.7% at least in the markets in which we operate according to Miller Kaplan. Our block programming had another solid quarter, up 7.1%, local spot revenue grew 3.6%, network revenue grew by 16.7%. And geographically, we had a strong market performance in Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, while facing some weakness in the Dallas market.”
Radio One Reports First Quarter Revenue Hike of 3.1%. Company president and CEO Alfred Liggins III says the good first quarter news is continuing into the second quarter. For Q1 of 2016, Radio One net revenue was approximately $109.1 million, an increase of 3.1% from the same period in 2015. Station operating income was approximately $39.6 million, an increase of 10.1% from the same period in 2015. Liggins states, “We saw a sequential monthly improvement in our radio revenues as the first quarter progressed, and that positive momentum is continuing into Q2 where we are pacing up low single digits. Political revenues were strong, which augurs well for the fourth quarter when we historically receive the bulk of political radio advertising. TV One had a strong first quarter, with growth in both advertising (+3.5%) and affiliate revenues (+12.3%). All four of our reportable segments posted year-over-year, double-digit adjusted EBITDA growth. Overall I was pleased with our 13% growth in consolidated adjusted EBITDA, the stabilization of our radio revenues, and growth of radio cash flow.”
Saga Communications Net Revenue Up 12.7%. For the radio segment of Saga Communications, the pro forma net operating revenue was up 4.6% on revenue of $27.5 million for the first quarter of the year. The company closed on its purchase of classic rock WLVQ, Columbus during the quarter and had been operating the station under an LMA since last November. Saga reports that free cash flow increased 35.4% to $4.9 million and operating income increased 40.1% to $5.3 million.
Sports Talker John Lund Crosses Street to KNBR, San Francisco. The Bay Area sports talk personality leaves Entercom’s KGMZ “95.7 The Game” to become co-host of the afternoon drive show at Cumulus Media’s KNBR with Tom Tolbert. John Lund co-hosted the midday “Papa & Lund” show with Greg Papa at KGMZ. He’s also worked at KXTG-AM, Portland; KESN-FM, Dallas; WXYT-FM, Detroit; WEAE-AM, Pittsburgh; and KZNS-AM, Salt Lake City. KNBR program director Lee Hammer says, “John brings a wealth of sports knowledge and experience to KNBR. He’s worked in San Francisco for several years, and has keen insights into our Bay Area teams. KNBR fans are in for a real treat when he’s teamed up with Tom Tolbert in afternoon drive. It will definitely be ‘appointment listening.’”
Ramsey, Rich Headlining Radio Show. In a vCreative-sponsored session, financial expert/radio host Dave Ramsey will keynote this year’s Radio Show. Part of his “Cutting Edge Trends in Marketing” address at the confab, produced by the Radio Advertising Bureau and the National Association of Broadcasters, will include a conversation with country music artist John Rich (right) of the duo Big & Rich. According to RAB president and chief executive officer Erica Farber, “We are delighted and honored that Dave Ramsey and John Rich will join us at this year’s conference. These two incredible innovators will share some great ideas. Radio Show attendees will walk away with tremendous takeaways they can then put to use immediately.” NAB executive vice president of radio John David comments, “The power of radio has contributed to the successful careers of both Dave Ramsey and John Rich. We are pleased to present these talented and engaging individuals at the Radio Show.” Ramsey’s daily syndicated eponymous radio program is heard on more than 550 stations, while his “Financial Peace” and “Total Money Makeover” books have sold more than a combined 10 million copies. He was inducted into the NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2013 and into the National Radio Hall of Fame two years later. The Radio Show will be held in more than four months (9/21 – 23) at Nashville’s Omni Hotel; The Ramsey-Rich session takes place the first day of the conference, Wednesday, September 21.
PodcastOne and MediaDC Launch Two New Podcasts. Two new shows are debuting on the PodcastOne platform. MediaDC, publisher of The Weekly Standard and Washington Examiner, is working with PodcastOne to present “Examining Politics by Washington Examiner” and “Weekly Standard Confab.” Washington Examiner senior congressional correspondent David Drucker hosts “Examining Politics” which will revolve around the publication’s editorial content. It’ll feature Drucker and a roundtable of staff. “The Weekly Standard Confab” is hosted by managing editor Eric Felton, who will be joined by a different guest each segment to talk about topics ranging from politics, policy and international affairs, to arts and culture. PodcastOne chairman and CEO Norm Pattiz says, “There’s just too much going on this election season for PodcastOne not to be part of it. In partnering with MediaDC to produce and distribute podcasts from The Weekly Standard and Washington Examiner, we’ve accomplished our mission.”
Odds & Sods. The USA Radio Networks-syndicated “Trending Today USA” with Rusty Humphries moves to the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET daypart and adds a new affiliate in iHeartMedia’s WGST, Atlanta. Station PD Dan Hunt says, “Rusty has a great history in Atlanta and we are excited to have him back on Talk Radio 640 WGST. ‘Trending Today USA’ provides our listeners with the latest news and information in real time, while bringing a fresh perspective that can’t be duplicated anywhere else in the market.”…..KCSP, Kansas City sports talkers Danny Parkins and Carrington Harrison were disturbed by the Kansas City Chiefs’ decision to draft Tyreek Hill after the football player had pleaded guilty to hitting and choking his pregnant girlfriend. They decided to do something positive about it and started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for the Rose Brooks Center domestic violence shelter. So far they have raised more than $12,000.
The Presidential Race, Hillary Clinton Email Server Case, Battle Against Islamic State, North Korea Nukes, Russia-NATO Tensions, California Ups Legal Cigarette Purchase Age, and NBA-NHL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/4). GOP candidate Donald Trump secures the nomination with a victory in the Indiana primary election; allegations by Romanian hacker Guccifer that he accessed Hillary Clinton’s private email server; the death of a Navy SEAL in Iraq and the ongoing battle against Islamic State; the reported build-up of nuclear weapons by North Korea; Russia’s military posturing and threats against NATO; California becomes the second state to make tobacco purchases legal for those 21 and older; and the NBA and NHL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Hedgecock 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 his 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 and 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.
Weekends: 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.
McMahon: 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.
John 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. The 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 role 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.
Round 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.
Salem 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.
Flores 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 stations 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.”
Johnston 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’s 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.
Cool 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.
RAB 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.”
ABC 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).