Tag: "Edward F. McLaughlin"
Ed McLaughlin Dies at 91. The man who founded EFM Media Management and launched Rush Limbaugh into national syndication – and consequently changed the face of radio – has died at the age of 91 after a long illness. Edward F. McLaughlin was in a hospice facility in Palm Beach, Florida. As TALKERS magazine reported earlier this week, the Broadcasters Foundation of America announced it would be honoring McLaughlin with its 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award on March 5 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City during its Golden Mike Award event. During McLaughlin’s 14-year career leading the ABC Radio Networks, McLaughlin oversaw the acquisition of “American Top 40 with Casey Kasem,” launched “American Country Countdown with Bob Kingsley,” and grew the affiliate base of the Paul Harvey programs to some 1,000 stations. In 1984, he formed EFM Media Management and began syndicating the Dr. Dean Edell show. After hearing Rush Limbaugh on KFBK, Sacramento he moved him to WABC, New York and began syndicating his 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm ET program. It provided the launch pad for Limbaugh’s rise to syndication success. He sold the Rush Limbaugh program to Jacor Media in 1997. McLaughlin’s work in national radio syndication included numerous achievements, including his teaming ABC with CBS and NBC in 1980 to establish the first digital satellite distribution system — Americom Digital Delivery System (ADDS) — which replaced telephone lines in connecting networks with affiliated stations, the antiquated system that had been used since the early 1940s. He also guided the creation and distribution of network music and entertainment programming circa 1979. Prior to that it had largely been news and information. McLaughlin was a chairman emeritus of the Broadcasters Foundation of America. He succeeded Ward L. Quaal as chairman. BFoA president Jim Thompson says, “He was a genius at creating content and talent development.” Whitney Global Media chairman William O’Shaughnessey says, “He was a great raconteur who often held court at the ‘21’ bar where he did a lot of business entertaining out-of-town affiliates.” The McLaughlin family will hold a private service and is planning a memorial celebration in June.
Sabo: ‘Make It Bigger’ Ed McLaughlin. Consultant Walter Sabo writes today about the qualities that made the late Edward F. McLaughlin the legendary broadcaster that he was. First and foremost, says Sabo, was his mandate that for a project to succeed, one had to “make it bigger.” Sabo says, “Ideas that were big enough for Ed inspired him to become fully engaged in the project. He would marshal every resource of ABC to make a project a success — from legal, to financial, to engineering, to marketing, to the television network. When Ed called, the corporation cooperated. He knew that a key part of his job was to give his team access to the resources of the corporation and he was a genius at persuading all of ABC to support the radio network. When he supported a project, he believed it was his job to find the money. And he always found the money.” Read Sabo’s entire column here.
Cumulus Makes Hard Decisions in Chicago. As reported by Chicago media maven Robert Feder, Cumulus Media has announced it is shedding its unprofitable deals to broadcast Chicago White Sox and Chicago Bulls play-by-play. It is also choosing not to acquire music-formatted stations alt rocker WKQX and classic rock WLUP-FM from Merlin Media (Cumulus has been operating the duo under an LMA). As Feder notes, Cumulus is working through Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and president and CEO Mary Berner says in a statement, “As part of our operational turnaround, we have been focused on taking proactive steps to address unprofitable areas of our business. We are taking this action because the economic terms of these legacy contracts guarantee that we lose money and, as such, continuing them in their current form is not in Cumulus’s best interests.”
WOC, Quad Cities Names Dave Levora Morning Host. New WOC, Quad Cities morning personality Dave Levora comes to the station from his most recent position as an account executive for WQAD-TV, Quad Cities. He’s hosted morning radio programs in the market in the past on music-formatted stations, including KJOC, WXLP, and KIIK. Levora will co-host the morning show at the iHeartMedia news/talk station with program director Dan Kennedy. He’ll continue to host the half-hour “Quad Cities Brewed” program on WQAD-TV that explores the Midwestern Craft Brew scene. Kennedy comments, “We’re excited to bring Dave into the WOC ‘News Talk 1420’ family. He’s already familiar with radio in the Quad Cities and I have no doubt that our listeners will love him!”
WSKO, Syracuse Adds New Local Show to Lineup. Programmer Tom Mitchell promotes executive producer Paul Esden to air personality with his own afternoon program called “Drive Time Sports” at Cumulus Media’s WSKO, Syracuse “The Score 1260.” Esden has been the executive producer of the station’s “Bud & The Manchild” late morning show for the past two years. Mitchell says, “This is a marvelous opportunity for Paul. His unique and energetic style, opens up a fresh perspective to cover not only local sports, but also the best in the national sports arena every day!” Esden has also covered Syracuse University sports as a senior columnist for Inside the Loud House for the past two years.
SuperTalk Mississippi Adds Country Star Steve Azar to Lineup. The program is called “A Mississippi Minute with Steve Azar” – a reference to his song “Mississippi Minute” – and airs Thursdays and Fridays from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm. TeleSouth Communications says his show airs on the SuperTalk Mississippi format that’s heard on stations covering all of Mississippi’s 82 counties. SuperTalk CEO Steve Davenport says, “We’re excited to add Steve Azar to the lineup. His passion for Mississippi fits right in with our mission – to serve the millions of people who live in our state.” In a press release, the company says, “Spend five minutes with Steve Azar and you’ll see why he is the Music and Culture Ambassador of Mississippi. His love for the Magnolia State is evident in everything he does. This modern-day Renaissance man is a hit songwriter, recording artist, music producer, golfer, philanthropist and now – radio host.”
Trump’s Alleged ‘Shithole’ Comment and Threat of Government Shutdown Tie for Top News/Talk Stories This Week. The allegations that President Trump called certain Caribbean and African countries “shitholes,” and the threat of a federal government shutdown tied for the most talked about stories on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the status of the Obama era DACA, the Trump Administration’s larger immigration policy, and the issue of the Mexican Wall. Coming in at #3 was the Trump-Russia probe and the related testimony of former White House senior adviser Stephen K. Bannon, followed by the report that 2017 was the warmest year on record at #4. The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio 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.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Classic rock WMMZ, Berwick, Pennsylvania is purchased by Vince Benedetto’s Bold Gold Media Group for $700,000. The class A FM’s primary signal covers a region southwest of the Wilkes Barre-Scranton market. The seller is Joseph Reilly’s Columbia FM Inc. The station switched calls from WHLM-FM to WMMZ last year…..In New England, Townsquare Media begins airing “The Big Breakfast” – with hosts Bill Fox and Kira Lew (based at country WOKQ, Portsmouth, New Hampshire) – on sister station country WPKQ, Portland, Maine “103.7 The Peak.” To make room, current WPKQ morning personality Annie Snook moves to the midday show on the station.
Jennifer Seelig Promoted to Director of News and Programming for KCBS All News in San Francisco. Seventeen-year KCBS-AM, San Francisco broadcast journalist Jennifer Seelig is named director of news and programming for KCBS-AM/KFRC-FM, San Francisco. The UC-Davis grad has been serving the Entercom all-news station as acting news director (and prior to that, assistant news director). Entercom regional president and San Francisco market manager Susan Larkin states, “I’m incredibly excited that Jennifer will be leading KCBS’s strong team and very important brand. KCBS has a legacy of success serving our community and I’m certain that with Jennifer’s talent and direction, we will take it to the next level.” Seeling comments, “I am honored to lead the KCBS team of award-winning journalists. KCBS is justly celebrated for its incisive news stories and coverage. The station has always provided timely news to the public and we will continue and enhance that tradition. We are committed to providing the best news product to both our on-air listeners and digital audience.”
‘LI News Radio’ Adds KC Armstrong for Evening Show. Long Island-based JVC Media announces that former Howard Stern show cast member KC Armstrong is joining its Long Island news/talk station – WRCN, Riverhead, New York “Long Island News Radio 103.9 FM” – to host a one-hour, evening program airing at 7:00 pm. LI News Radio operations director Frank Brinka states, “KC will really round out this news/talk staff. Part of what he learned from Howard Stern is total, non-negotiable honesty at all times and it shows in his interview style and on-air presentation.” Armstrong will host his show from the station’s window studio at Long Island MacArthur Airport. He comes to this gig after battling through serious health problems. He says, “I had a really bad drinking problem. I had pancreatitis. I had been in and out of the hospital over 30 times. I had bled out one time and almost died.” But he says he’s excited for this opportunity. “I am thrilled to be part of such a dynamic, live-and-local radio organization like ‘LI News Radio.’ I am looking forward to bringing out the best in other people on the air. I feel that that’s what my role here is. I know I make a lot of people feel really good. And selfishly, it makes me feel good, too.”
WW1’s Harlan Named ‘Sportscaster of the Year.’ Sports play-by-play pro Kevin Harlan is being named “2017 National Sportscaster of the Year” by the National Sports Media Hall of Fame. Harlan is Westwood One Sports’ “Monday Night Football” announcer – he’ll be behind the mic for Westwood One’s coverage of the NFC Championship game and for Super Bowl LII. He also currently calls play-by-play for CBS Sports’ coverage of both the NFL and NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. This was his 33rd consecutive season broadcasting the NFL and with his additional role as play-by-play announcer for the NBA on TNT, this also marks his 30th season broadcasting the NBA.
Tom Birch Joins Media Services Group as Director. Radio ratings company founder and station owner Tom Birch is joining Media Services Group as a director, effective February 1. Birch is currently owner of the nine-station Lakes Media company. He’s well known in the radio business as the founder and CEO of Birch/Scarborough Research. Media Services Group managing director Eddie Esserman says, “Tom Birch brings a wealth of industry, financial and market research experience to Media Services Group. He has raised millions of dollars in investment capital, authored numerous business and financial plans, was involved in successful radio acquisitions and turnarounds and built a major, industry-changing business. He will be an enormous asset. All of us at Media Services Group are thrilled to have Tom’s experience, perspective and involvement in the industry on our team.” The press release notes that “at its peak in the 1980s, Birch/Scarborough employed more than 1,200 people nationwide and maintained sales offices in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Dallas. The company interviewed over 100,000 persons per month in 260 markets and its client base included major radio broadcast groups such as Clear Channel, CBS and ABC, national advertisers such as McDonalds, Anheuser-Busch and Delta Airlines and major national advertising agencies such as BBDO, McCann-Erickson and Ogilvy & Mather.”
Edward F. McLaughlin to Be Honored with BFoA Lifetime Achievement Award. Legendary radio syndication executive Edward F. McLaughlin is being named the recipient of the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Broadcasters Foundation of America. McLaughlin will be honored at the BFoA’s Golden Mike Award dinner on March 5 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. During his 14-year career leading the ABC Radio Networks, McLaughlin oversaw the acquisition of “American Top 40 with Casey Kasem,” launched “American Country Countdown with Bob Kingsley,” and grew the affiliate base of the Paul Harvey programs to some 1,000 stations. In 1987, he formed EFM Media Management and began syndicating the Dr. Dean Edell show. Shortly thereafter, he put KFBK, Sacramento talk host Rush Limbaugh into national syndication, providing the launch pad for Limbaugh’s rise to syndication success. McLaughlin currently is chairman emeritus of the BFoA. He says, “Receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award from the charitable organization that I have believed in and supported for many years means a great deal to me. I am grateful for the generosity of the broadcasters who make it possible for the Broadcasters Foundation to help our colleagues.” BFoA chairman Dan Mason says, “Ed is a visionary who took chances that led broadcasting into uncharted territory and tremendous success. His dedication and leadership of the Broadcasters Foundation helped advance our mission. It is with great pride that we honor his innovation and recognize his years of service.”
‘WKRP in Cincinnati’ Creator Hugh Wilson Dies at 74. Television writer and producer Hugh Wilson – the man who created the classic radio station sitcom “WKRP in Cincinnati” – died on Tuesday (1/16) at the age of 74. “Radio’s Best Friend” Art Vuolo tells TALKERS magazine, “What most people don’t know is that Wilson never checked to see if there was a WKRP in the Queen City – and there wasn’t – but there is iHeartMedia’s WKRC. It was widely reported that mail that was addressed simply to: WKRP in Cincinnati went to WKRC! Oddly enough there was a station with the WKRP call letters at the time – in Dallas, Georgia.”
Trump DACA Policy-‘Shithole’ Controversy, Government Shutdown Threat, Trump-Russia Investigation/Bannon Subpoenas, Trump-Acosta Incident, North Korea Nuclear Threats, California Captive Kids Case, Dow Hits 26,000, Cryptocurrency Value, Intense Flu Season, NFL Playoffs, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/16). The Trump Administration’s Reversal of the Obama DACA policy and the related controversy over President Trump’s alleged use of the word “shithole” during a cabinet meeting; the threat of a federal government shutdown; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents, and the subpoenas issued to former White House adviser Stephen K. Bannon; President Trump kicks CNN’s Jim Acosta out of presser after Acosta’s aggressive questioning; the North Korean nuclear threat; the case of 13 California children held in prison-like conditions by their parents; the Dow Jones industrial average tops 26,000; the fluctuating value of cryptocurrencies; the intense strain of influenza sweeping the U.S.; the NFL playoffs, and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
‘The Infinite Dial’ Expands to Canada. The annual radio study from Triton Digital and Edison Research titled “The Infinite Dial” is expanding into Canada. The firms say that the study is currently being fielded using a telephone survey representative of all Canadians that “will provide a comprehensive look at the digital media consumption habits of Canadian consumers, including time spent with digital audio, podcasts, smart speakers, social media, video, mobile, and more.” The study was launched to track Americans’ use of audio back in 1998. Edison Research and Triton Digital expanded the study outside of the U.S. for the first time last year with the unveiling of ‘Infinite Dial Australia’ in June. Edison SVP Tom Webster comments, “The ‘Infinite Dial’ studies explore the penetration of online audio and other digital media in a way that no other study does. A wide audience across the world, including broadcasters, ad agencies, and the financial community at large, have come to rely on the insights that the ‘Infinite Dial’ provides year after year. With data derived using the highest-quality research standards, we are proud to be expanding our insights to Canada in 2018, in addition to our parallel work in the U.S. and Australia.”
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Nationally syndicated, ‘Z100’ New York-based morning radio star Elvis Duran is being inducted into the NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame. The induction will take place at the “Achievement in Broadcasting Dinner” on April 9 as part of the NAB Show…..Entercom’s adult contemporary KSWD, Seattle “94.1 The Sound” announces that Seattle radio pro John Fisher is its new morning show host. Entercom Seattle SVP and market manager Jack Hutchison says, “We couldn’t be more excited to announce John Fisher as the inaugural host of mornings on ‘94.1 The Sound.’ With his 20-plus year relationship with the Seattle community, John is morning radio royalty to the Puget Sound.” Fisher first joined Entercom in 1992 as morning host for “103.7 The Mountain” (KMTT), a role he held for over 20 years. Fisher served with Hubbard’s KRWM “Warm 106.9” for three years.