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Thursday, January 9, 2020

| January 9, 2020

Chad Benson to Join KTAR-FM, Phoenix for Afternoons.  Nationally syndicated talk radio host Chad Benson is not giving up his Radio America-syndicated show – he’ll continue to host it at its new live feed time of 9:00 am to 12:00 noon ET (beginning January 20) – but he’s joining air personality Larry Gaydos on Bonneville’s KTAR-FM, Phoenix “News 92.3 FM” as co-host of the station’s 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm show, effective January 21.  Bonneville Phoenix SVP and market manager Scott Sutherland says, “Chad is one of the most talented and energetic talk show hosts that I’ve ever seen.  I can’t wait for he and Larry to inform and entertain the KTAR audience on their way home each day.”  Mac Watson had been hosting the KTAR afternoon show with Gaydos, but he exited the station in October.  Speaking about his new gig, Benson says, “I am beyond excited to be partnering with Larry Gaydos – one of the most talented men in radio – on one of the most iconic stations in the country.  Here we come Phoenix.”  At the same time, Bonneville says KTAR-FM is adding “Arizona’s Evening News” to its daily lineup – a full hour of news, traffic, and weather starting each weeknight at 6:00 pm.

Report: 60 Million U.S. Adults Own Smart Speakers. According to the latest edition of The Smart Audio Report Winter 2019 from Edison Research and NPR, 24% of U.S. adults own a smart speaker device.  That’s about 60 million people 18+.  That’s up from 21 million at the end of 2018 and 7 million at the closing of 2017.  The report includes video interviews with study panelists who explain how they acquire new smart speaker skills and from where they get recommendations about new content.  As far as discovery is concerned, 45% of those surveyed say they get new skills or actions for their smart speaker from family and friends.  Many panelists said that after the initial ownership period passed, they stopped trying to see what else the smart speaker could do and now rely on it for a handful of the same tasks.  The report found that 69% of smart speaker owners agree they don’t know enough about them to use all of their features.  See more about the study here.

Emmis Communications 2019 Fiscal Q3 Net Revenue Flat.  Issuing financial data for its 2019 fiscal third quarter, Emmis Communications reports net revenue of $10.7 million, flat compared to the same figure in the fiscal third quarter of 2018.  Net revenue for the first three quarters of fiscal 2019 was down 5.3% to $29.3 million, compared to the same period in 2018.  For the fiscal 2019 Q3, Emmis posted an operating loss of $6 million, up 61% from the $3.2 operating loss posted in Q3 of fiscal 2018.  During fiscal 2019, Emmis closed on its sale of its 50.1% interest in Emmis Austin Radio Broadcasting Company, L.P. to Sinclair Telecable for $39.3 million and the sale of its controlling interest in New York’s WQHT-FM and WBLS-FM that netted $91.5 million in cash, a $5 million note, and a 23.72% stake in Standard General’s Mediaco Holdings – the new controlling owner of the stations.

U.S.-Iran Relations/Soleimani Killing, Iran Plane Crash, Trump Impeachment, 2020 Presidential Race, Megxit, Puerto Rico Earthquake Aftermath Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/8).  The relations between the U.S. and Iran after the U.S. killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani; the deadly crash of a Ukrainian jet in Tehran and speculation about the cause; the articles of impeachment against President Trump; the Democrats vying to challenge President Trump in November; Prince Harry and Meghan’s decision to “step back” from senior royal duties; and the conditions in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of recent earthquakes were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. The newest addition to the ESPN podcast lineup is Scott Van Pelt, who launches “SVPod” on January 14.  The late-night “SportsCenter” host’s weekly podcast will include long-form interviews, commentary, and expanded takes on his “One Big Thing” segment on SportsCenter.  Van Pelt says, “As much as I enjoy the ‘SportsCenter’ show we get to do at midnight, it doesn’t always provide the time and space for all I want to get to.  I look at interviews we had with Patrick Beverley, Matthew McConaughey, or Rakim as examples of times when the conversation was so interesting to me that it went on far beyond what we had room for on TV.”…..Compass Media Networks announces its slate of top-ranked, exclusive college basketball broadcasts that begin Sunday (1/12) with defending Big Ten Tournament champions Michigan State taking on Purdue.  Compass general manager for sports Michelle Salvatore says, “Our 2020 college basketball schedule continues Compass Media Networks’ decade-long reputation of excellence.  The teams, storylines, and rivalries cultivated and offered year in and year out are incomparable.  We are proud, once again, to offer our affiliates and corporate sponsors the best of college basketball and look forward to continuing this decade-long distinction.”  Find out more about the entire schedule of games here…..Two new episodes of the podcast “Truth and Lies: Jeffrey Epstein” debut today (1/9).  They are hosted by ABC NewsMark Remillard and are available on numerous platforms.  Also, the two-hour primetime television special, “Truth and Lies: Jeffrey Epstein,” airs tonight from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm on ABC TV.

Newsmax President/CEO Christopher Ruddy Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. The journalist and entrepreneur who launched Newsmax in 1998 and built it into one of America’s most successful and influential multi-media platforms, Christopher Ruddy, is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Newsmax.com ranks consistently as one of the country’s most-trafficked news websites and Newsmax TV has enjoyed a rapid ascent to prominence in the cable news/talk TV arena with a current presence in 70 million cable homes across America. Harrison and Ruddy discuss today’s politics including the election, the state of cable news/talk television and insights drawn from his personal friendship with President Donald Trump. To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the player box located in the right-hand column of the TALKERS email newsletter and every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The urban morning radio show “The Breakfast Club” (pictured below), syndicated nationally by Premiere Networks, adds 10 new affiliates in the New Year, including: WJXM-FM, Meridian, Mississippi; WIBB-FM, Macon, Georgia; and WMNX-FM, Wilmington, North Carolina.  The program — hosted by Angela Yee, Charlamagne Tha God, and DJ Envy — is now heard in 90 markets across the country…..Cumulus Media’s Westwood One is re-branding its evening country radio show, changing the “NASH Nights Live” show starring Shawn Parr and Elaina Smith to “Nights with Elaina,” hosted by Smith.  The program will launch on February 3.  Smith says, “I’ve been lucky enough to have spent the last six years of my life with the best country music fans in the nation every single weeknight, and I’m so excited to have the opportunity to continue connecting with them with a new show, ‘Nights with Elaina.’  If there is one thing I’ve learned that listeners and stars have in common, it’s that we’re all just trying to figure out life and have fun while doing it.”  Shawn Parr is exiting the network…..The nationally syndicated urban show “DeDe in the Morning” adds eight new affiliate stations.  The program, starring DeDe McGuire, is a syndicated effort from Service Broadcasting Group’s KKDA, Dallas “K104” and Compass Media Networks.  Service Broadcasting director of operations and GM and brand manager for the program Geo Cook says, “DeDe’s unique content and strong connection to culture and community are fueling a revolution of perception about how women can lead and dominate ratings in morning drive.  We are thrilled that DeDe’s show is growing rapidly and spreading more laughter and fun in new markets.”  The show is currently heard on 35 affiliate stations…..Envision Networks’ “The Wolfman Jack Radio Show” is now airing on oldies WHRY, Hurley, Wisconsin and oldies WVVE, Grand Marais, Minnesota – home of the “World’s Tallest Indian” – a 52-foot fiberglass statue of tribal leader Hiawatha.  Envision says, “Listeners to the stations are hearing the legendary Wolfman Jack’s famous antics, crazy characters, celebrity interviews, and comedy bits every Saturday from 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm.”…..All Pro Broadcasting names Santiago Romero afternoon drive host at hot AC KHTI, Riverside “Hot 103.9.”  He was most recently with Entercom’s CHR KLUC, Las Vegas handling on-air, imaging and production duties…..On-air pro Eva Matteson is leaving her morning drive co-host role at Saga Communications’ hot AC WMGX, Portland “Coast 93.1” at the end of next month.  Matteson has been dealing with health issues and told listeners she wants to focus on those and spend more time traveling.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

| January 11, 2018

Emmis Fiscal Q3 Report: Pro Forma Revenue Down 3%.   The August sale of KPWR, Los Angeles – along with the sale of some of its magazine assets – don’t allow for a true year-over-year comparison for Emmis Communications.  But, today the company reports that its pro forma radio revenue in the third quarter would have been down 3%.  As it stands, Emmis reports radio net revenue for the third fiscal quarter was $34 million, down from $42.5 million in the fiscal third quarter a year ago.  Emmis pro forma radio revenue per Miller Kaplan (which excludes barter and syndication revenues), was down 4% in markets that were down 2%.   Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan states, “Overall it was a disappointing quarter, but I am encouraged going forward by the ratings trends at our radio stations.  This fiscal year, our radio stations have been growing their ratings vis-à-vis our competitors, which should manifest itself in better revenue performance in Q4 and into the next fiscal year.”  Smulyan also says that he’s pleased with the progress of the NextRadio app.  “This week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, NextRadio announced a first-to-market connected car solution: JVCKENWOOD has adopted NextRadio’s technology to provide an enhanced local FM radio listening experience.  Samsung, the largest Android handset maker in the world, is the latest device OEM to continue its support for NextRadio by unlocking the FM chip in upcoming smartphone models in the U.S. and Canada.  In addition, NextRadio recently had a significant win when a major prepaid wireless carrier in the United States agreed to begin preloading NextRadio on its devices starting in early 2018.  These are terrific wins and sustain our momentum.”

SiriusXM Teases Q4 Financial Numbers.  As it has done in recent quarters, SiriusXM is revealing some general news about its quarterly achievements ahead of its actual quarterly financial report release.  The satcaster signals that it will announce that it’s beaten guidance for both financial measuring sticks – net revenue, free cash flow, EBITDA and more – as well as subscribers.  SiriusXM says it will have wrapped the year 2017 with 27.5 million self-paying subscribers.  The total subscriber base will be 32.7 million.

Save the Date – TALKERS 2018 Set for NYC. The date has been set for the 21st annual installment of the longest-running and most important national talk media industry convention. TALKERS 2018 will take place on Friday, June 8, 2018 in New York City. Initial details covering venue, registration and sponsorship information will be posted here on Talkers.com this Friday. Save the date, this promises to be one of the most exciting and dynamic installments in the history of this iconic radio-oriented event.

Soechtig Named Market Manager for iHeartMedia Tampa.  There’s a change in management at iHeartMedia Tampa Bay as Chris Soechtig succeeds Sam Nein as market president for the cluster that includes news/talk WFLA and sports talk WDAE.  iHeartMedia North Florida Region president Linda Byrd comments, “I am thrilled to bring Chris home to Tampa Bay.  He’s back where he started his career and now as the market president.  Chris is an amazing leader with a track record of success in every position he has held in iHeartMedia. We’re so happy to have him on the North Florida Region team.”  Soechtig most recently served as the market president for the company’s West Palm Beach/Treasure Coast markets.

New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards Announces Call for Entries. The 2018 New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards is now open for entries.  The New York Festivals began in 1982 and annually presents honors to radio programs from numerous platforms and genres.  NYF president and executive director Rose Anderson says, “From podcasts to audio books and every length in-between, today’s radio audiences are thoroughly invested in listening.  Our new categories embrace that dynamic participation and emphasize the wide range of engaging topics storytellers everywhere are exploring.”  New categories for 2018 include: Best Digital Documentary, Best Digital Special Event, Best Original Music and Miniseries.  The competition also expanded the number of categories focusing on journalism to include Best Extended News Coverage, Best Drama Feature, Best Music Feature, Best News Feature, and Best Sports Feature.  See the rules and how to enter here.

Trump-Russia Probe, Trump DACA and Immigration Policy, Bannon-Breitbart Split, Fire and Fury Book, Joe Arpaio Senate Bid/Birther Claim, Oprah Presidential Run Chatter, DOJ Renews Narcoterror Investigations, Government Shutdown Threats, Bezos Wealthiest Man in the World, Deadly California Mudslides, NBA Action, and NFL Playoffs Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (1/10). The ongoing Robert Mueller-led probe into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; President Trump’s decision to deport 200,000 Salvadorans and the administration’s immigration policy; Stephen K. Bannon’s exit from Breitbart News, controversy over the Fire and Fury book; former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio’s bid for the U.S. Senate and his renewing the questions about Barack Obama’s U.S. birth; the chatter surrounding a presidential run by Oprah Winfrey; the Department of Justice creates new team to investigate narcoterror operations; the threat of a federal government shutdown; Amazon founder Jeffrey Bezos is the world’s wealthiest man; the California mudslides that have taken 17 lives; NBA action; and the NFL playoffs were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

TALKERS News Notes. Oklahoma City news/talk KOKC names morning show producer Mac Mullings as co-host of the afternoon drive program “The Ride,” alongside Chad Alexander.  He replaces the departing Jason Doyle.  KOKC program director Tod Tucker comments, “I’m ecstatic that Mac has agreed to split his day and remain with Frosty the Snowflake and me on the morning show, as well.”…..ESPN Audio launches a new podcast called “Sports? with Katie Nolan.”  ESPN says the show will be “curious and fun.  Guests will include sports fans from all sorts of industries: comedy, film, television, and who knows, maybe even science.  Nolan’s first guest is Adam Pally, the actor, comedian and writer who is most widely known for starring as Max Blum in the ABC comedy series ‘Happy Endings’ and as Dr. Peter Prentice in ‘The Mindy Project,’ and who is currently starring in the off-Broadway play Cardinal.”

SRN’s Mike Gallagher Stumps for GOP Candidate.  Pictured above are Salem Radio Network host Mike Gallagher (left) with WIND, Chicago talk host Dan Proft (right) in suburban Chicago yesterday (1/10).  The two were stumping for conservative Illinois state representative Jeanne Ives, who is challenging incumbent Governor Bruce Rauner for the GOP nomination.

Beasley Broadcasting CEO, Caroline Beasley, Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. The chief executive officer of Beasley Broadcast Group is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” In a wide-ranging discussion covering many aspects of radio broadcasting – past, present and future – Caroline Beasley talks to the TALKERS founder about her company’s colorful history and its ongoing plans for continued “disciplined” growth in the future saying, “The last thing we want to do is over-extend ourselves.” She discusses her company’s devotion to its employees, whom she describes as “its greatest asset” as well as its core values as recently expressed in its mission statement. She also emphasizes the importance of air personalities in terms of the future of music radio’s ability to remain competitive. Other subjects include her view of the role of women in broadcasting and the monetization of digital cross-platforms. To listen to this fascinating and informative 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.

MIW Group Mentoring Program Application Window Extended.  The Mentoring & Inspiring Women in Radio (MIW) Group is extending the deadline for applications to January 22, 2018.  This program pairs up-and-coming women who currently work in the radio industry with female professionals recognized as leaders in all aspects of radio broadcasting and media.  A total of four candidates from the radio broadcasting industry – within the sales, marketing, programming and digital disciplines – will be selected for the 2018 program.  Of those, at least one spot will be designated for a programming candidate and one spot designated for a digital candidate. For mentee criteria, and instructions on how to apply, please click here.

 

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. The pop-centric iHeartRadio Music Awards has announced nominees for the 2018 edition of the awards show to be held on March 11 at the Forum in Los Angeles.  As in past years, the program will be simulcast on TBS, TNT and truTV at 8:00 pm ET/5:00 pm PT.  iHeartMedia Entertainment Enterprises president John Sykes says, “We have a guiding principle at iHeartRadio that fans rule.  In our fifth year, we are still holding true to our original vision of staging an awards show that truly reflects the music fans loved listening to on iHeartRadio all year long.”  Artists receiving multiple nominations include Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars, Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee, Justin Bieber, DJ Khaled and The Chainsmokers. See the full list of categories here.…..At KCAL, Riverside, SBR Broadcasting makes changes to the rock station, cutting a number of on-air personalities, including morning drive cast members James “Jimbo” Smith and Tiffany Angelo, as well as morning show producer Steven Kono.  Night jock Michael “Stu Man” Stewart was also let go.  Station GM Jeff Parke says, “The ownership decided they just couldn’t keep operating KCAL with such high expenses.  All of the people we had to let go are like family to me.  This has been really tough, to say the least.”…..The Ace & TJ Show and The Radio Button Network, announces that Tracey Millman is promoted to VP of community relations/sales.  She has been with the show for more than three years in which she has moved from director of operations to this newly created position.  In addition to being lead for network sales for the show and other Radio Button Network partners, she’ll head the outreach program for the newly created charity, Ace & TJ’s Radio Family Charity.