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Tuesday, March 2, 2021

| March 2, 2021

Talent Moves at KMOX and KFTK-FM; FM Translator Added to KMOX Signal. Two of St. Louis’ afternoon talk radio pros are swapping stations as Entercom moves longtime KFTK-FM afternoon drive host Dave Glover across the hall to KMOX-AM for the 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm daypart. He fills the time that included the Mark Reardon show (2:00 pm to 4:00 pm) and the station’s newsy “Total Information PM” program (4:00 pm to 6:00 pm). As part of the change, Mark Reardon moves to KFTK-FM to host the 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm show. KFTK-FM will air a “Best of Glover” hour from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm. These changes take place on March 22. On that same date, FM translator K254CR at 98.7 will shift from airing KFTK’s signal to simulcasting KMOX’s signal. Entercom says the translator will allow KMOX to be heard on FM in the city’s business district, including downtown, Clayton, midtown, Creve Coeur, Maryland Heights and Kirkwood. KMOX brand manager Steve Moore says, “Our goal is to serve as the voice of the entire community. It’s important that KMOX is available on multiple platforms in order to keep the listeners in the business district informed with the latest news throughout the city.” Speaking about the changes, Entercom St. Louis SVP and market manager Becky Domyan says, “We are beyond excited to amplify the reach of the one and only KMOX and serve the St. Louis area in a more significant way. We are thrilled for ‘The Dave Glover Show’ to bring over 20 years of success to KMOX with this expansion to FM. Dave and his team have had an unprecedented track record of creating laughter, highlighting thought-provoking topics, and committing to relevant, local content day in and day out.”

WABC’s Curtis Sliwa Off Air During NYC Mayoral Race. In the aftermath of last week’s complaint filed with New York City’s Campaign Finance Board by attorney Nicholas Marricco suggesting that midday host Curtis Sliwa’s daily show was tantamount to an in-kind donation from WABC, the station has taken Sliwa off the air until he’s either elected mayor or exits the race. Red Apple Media CEO John Catsimatidis issued the following statement: “77 WABC celebrates what is great about America. We support our democracy and our right to vote, fair elections, and the American process. It is with that in mind that, while Curtis Sliwa is a candidate for the Office of the Mayor of New York City, his radio show, podcast, and all related contributions to 77 WABC Radio are on hiatus.” Catsimatidis adds, “We wish him and all of the candidates good luck in the upcoming race. If Curtis is not successful, we look forward to him rejoining the WABC family.”

Entercom Names New Market Leaders for Boston and Miami. Taking over the market manager position at Entercom’s Boston cluster that includes sports talker WEEI-FM and WEEI-AM and three music brands is Tim Clarke. He comes to Entercom from his most recent role with Cox Media Group as VP of content and audience. At the same time, Claudia Menegus – currently regional president of Entercom Gainesville, Memphis, Miami and Orlando – is assuming the market manager role for Miami. Entercom Boston regional president Mark Hannon says, “We’re so excited to welcome Tim as Entercom Boston’s market manager. Tim is a proven broadcast executive who brings tremendous insights into content, audience, and data analytics. He’s perfectly suited to lead our six amazing brands and digital assets into the future.” About his new position, Clarke comments, “I am honored and thrilled to join Entercom and work with the incredibly talented team in Boston and across the entire organization. I truly admire Entercom and their forward-thinking strategy as they build the future of audio while also serving their communities and being world-class local broadcasters.”

Crossover Media Group Enhances Its Representation of CBS Audio’s News/Talk Podcast Portfolio. The cross-platform content-production and advertising-sales representation firm Crossover Media Group Sales expands its relationship with CBS Audio. In 2020, CMGS began handling ad sales duties for “CBS News on the Hour,” on the SiriusXM POTUS Channel, and recently added the CBS Audio podcast “Facing Forward with Margaret Brennan,” that debuted on January 22. Now, CMGS adds 10 podcasts from the legendary news franchise to its roster of news and information programming, including “60 Minutes,” “Face the Nation,” “CBS World News Roundup,” “48 Hours,” and “My Life of Crime with Erin Moriarty.” Crossover Media Group Sales managing member Sue Freund says, “Throughout its history, the foundation of what has been called ‘the Tiffany Network’ has been CBS Audio. CBS Audio’s syndication lineup represents a fabulous opportunity not only for us but for advertisers who want to expand their reach and frequency efficiently even if they’re not currently utilizing audio in their marketing efforts.”

TALKERS News Notes. Voiceover pro Steve Kramer signs a new, three-year deal with CBS Audio Network to continue as voice of “CBS News On The Hour.” CBS News says, “Steve is one of the preeminent voices in the news and entertainment business today and is probably most recognized as the 20-year-plus signature voice of CBS Television Distribution’s ‘Inside Edition.'”…..With the change in presidential administrations, Trump Administration National Economic Council director Larry Kudlow returns to his media work, including hosting his “Larry Kudlow Show” from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm on Saturdays on Red Apple Media’s WABC, New York. Red Apple Media chairman and CEO John Catsimatidis and president Chad Lopez report that the program has “shattered streaming records, with listeners increasing over 250% during the show’s hours.” Catsimatidis adds, “Larry Kudlow is an icon and is one of the foremost voices on the economy in the United States. He is well-respected, and his program’s record-breaking success can be attributed to his ability to incorporate some of the brightest economic minds in his programming. We are proud to have Larry aboard and expect this is just the beginning of a long and successful career at 77 WABC Radio.”…..This month, in honor of Women’s History Month, ABC Audio is featuring a four-part video series highlighting pioneering women through the ages in entertainment, science, sports and politics. The series, “Women’s History in a Minute,” will be posted on ABC Power Portal, the on-demand original video service optimized for radio station websites, apps, and social media platforms. Each episode will focus on five women, with new episodes posting Mondays. Videos will be available for download by Power Portal affiliates as white label content, allowing stations to add their logos and sponsor ads to the videos before publication. Some of the women featured include: Viola Davis, the first Black woman to win an Emmy for best actress in a drama; Madonna, the best-selling female recording artist of all time; Florence Griffith Joyner (“Flo-Jo”), the fastest woman in history; Naomi Osaka, the first Japanese player to win the Grand Slam singles title and the highest-earning female athlete of all time; Shirley Jackson, the first Black woman to receive a PhD from MIT; Sally Ride, the first American woman in space; Kamala Harris, the first female, first Black and first Asian American U.S. vice president; Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court; and more.

Kim Komando Assists Charity with Communications System. Nationally syndicated talk radio host and digital expert Kim Komando is helping a listener in Newport News, Virginia with his communications challenge. After hearing the “Kim Komando Show” on local affiliate WNIS-AM, Norfolk, Brother Tim Lukan of the Five Loaves Food Bank (which distributes nearly $900,000 a year in food to the needy in the area) reached out to Kim to help him handle the patrons who were overloading him with calls at all hours. Komando put together the resources needed to set up an auto attendant for the food bank using Google Voice. The auto attendant offers options in both English and Spanish. She is graciously donating and paying the annual Google Voice fee on behalf of the food bank for as long as Brother Tim needs her to do so. Brother Tim says, “[WestStar IT administrator] John Davila and Kim Komando are the BOMB! Because of Kim, John, and all your hard work, we have learned, we have increased our knowledge base of possible solutions to challenges, AND we are going to be able to serve the hungry of the Virginia Peninsula more efficiently and respond to questions faster.”

COVID-19 Stats & Vaccines, Trump at CPAC, Biden Stimulus Bill/Minimum Wage Debate, Capitol Insurrection Investigation, Cuomo Investigation, Wealth Tax, Israel-Iran Tensions, and Sarkozy Convicted of Corruption Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (3/1). The falling number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., concerns about easing up too quickly on restrictions, and the rollout of vaccines; Donald Trump’s Sunday speech at CPAC; the Joe Biden stimulus package heads to the Senate while the $15 minimum wage proposal is considered dead in the water; the investigation into the January 6 Capitol insurrection and FBI Director Christopher Wray’s testimony today; the growing number of women accusing New York Governor Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment; Senator Elizabeth Warren’s proposed wealth tax; the tensions between Israel and Iran after the latter’s alleged attack on an Israeli ship; and former French President Nicolas Sarkozy is convicted of corruption were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

| May 5, 2020

Westwood One: Strategies for Creative and Marketing in COVID-19 Era. The latest Westwood One Blog presents some of the takeaways from a number of studies looking at what makes effective creative and what constitutes a reasonable marketing plan in the throes of the coronavirus pandemic. According to NuVoodoo research, clients should reconsider any copy that includes “We’re all in this together” as 35% of those surveyed are already tiring of it and that number is only likely to grow. System1 finds that ads that delivered a “a strong connection to local community and togetherness” appear to be working well. Other aspects System1 believes are effective include use of “established brand characters, ads that make use of familiar scenarios or taglines, ads set in a specific time and place in the past, ads that highlight the human connection in the current state of ‘betweenness.’” However, coronavirus ads run the risk of not being perceived as unique and marketing pro Mark Ritson laments the generic ads ring as cliched and not “distinctive.” Read the blog here.

Entercom Adds Translator to WYRD-FM, Greenville. The news/talk station gets an FM translator simulcast as W236CD, Seneca, South Carolina begins airing the station’s audio.  Entercom says the addition of this frequency to WYRD-FM’s broadcast “extends the reach of the Upstate’s No. 1 news/talk radio station to Pickens County and into Oconee County, bringing its coverage to additional cities including Seneca, Pickens, and Clemson for the first time.” Entercom Greenville-Spartanburg SVP and market manager Steve Sinicropi adds, “‘106.3 WORD’ serves a vital role as the Upstate’s trusted source of information. We are thrilled to expand the over-the-air signal for ‘106.3 WORD’ to Pickens and much of Oconee County on 95.1 FM during this critical time in which demand for live and local news and talk is rapidly rising. This expansion allows us to maximize our reach in the region and more broadly meet the needs of our listeners and advertisers.”  In 2019, the station expanded to Anderson County on 101.5 FM.

Entercom Files Motion to Dismiss Discrimination and Retaliation Case. Former WIP-FM, Philadelphia account executive Maria McBride is suing Entercom claiming that she was discriminated against and suffered retaliatory actions after complaining to her superiors.  Entercom filed a Motion to Dismiss based on a jurisdictional error (claiming it should have been filed in Eastern Pennsylvania District as opposed to New Jersey District) as well as arguments that McBride failed to sufficiently demonstrate a hostile work environment or a retaliation claim.  In response, McBride’s attorney argues since the bulk of McBride’s clients were located in New Jersey, the suit was filed in the proper district.  Her attorney also lays out arguments that McBride has satisfied pleading requirements for her claims.

COVID-19 Statistics and Projections, States Begin Re-Opening, Lockdown Protests, Pressure on China, Michael Flynn Case, and Presidential Race/Joe Biden Allegations Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (5/4). The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the death toll, and projections for future cases; a number of states begin re-opening their economies; groups of protesters rail against the social distancing requirements in their states; the U.S. and other countries put pressure on China to open up to investigation into the origin of the coronavirus; Republicans seek an investigation into the FBI’s treatment of Michael Flynn; and the presidential race and the allegations of sexual assault against Joe Biden were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

FOX News and Spotify Ink Deal for Podcast Distribution. The new deal between FOX News Media and Spotify will have the latter distributing FOX News Podcasts on its global audio streaming platform.  Effective today (5/5), FNR’s catalogue of more than 20 original series, including three new programs slated to debut in May — “The Trey Gowdy Podcast,” “The Proud American Podcast Series” and “FOX Top 5” — will be made available globally on Spotify, reaching more than 286 million monthly users. FOX News Radio VP John Sylvester says, “Throughout these unprecedented times, FOX News Audio has become a destination for listeners to get up to the minute information, whether it’s the latest on the current coronavirus pandemic, insights from the 2020 presidential campaign or in-depth interviews with leading newsmakers. We are pleased to partner with Spotify, offering their millions of subscribers worldwide access to our best in class content.”

TALKERS News Notes. Rochester producer and radio personality Pauly Guglielmo is leaving the “Brother Wease Show” on iHeartMedia’s classic rock WAIO-FM “Radio 95.1” to pursue his marinara sauce manufacturing career full time. Guglielmo began selling his grandfather’s marinara sauce commercially in 2014. Recently, he had the opportunity to acquire the plant that’s been making the sauce. The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle has the story here…..The latest episode of the podcast “The -30-: The End of the News,” hosted by Save Journalism Project co-founder John Stanton, features Joshua Koran, head of innovation labs at Zeta Global, discussing “the current digital ad marketplace, how dominant players like Google can ‘play by a different set of rules,’ and how Google will continue to engage in the same kinds of data collection and measurement it claims harms the privacy of consumers when others do it.” Listen to the podcast here…..The weekend radio show, “The Radio Free Hillsdale Hour,” from Hillsdale College is being added to the lineup at Starnes Media Group’s KWAM-AM/W300DE, Memphis “The Mighty 990.”

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Nashville CHR WNFN-FM re-brands as “Hot 106.7.” To celebrate, the Midwest Communications station is launching the new brand with its $5K Payday awarding someone in the Middle Tennessee area $5,000.  Station brand manager Joe Breezy says, “I fully expect ‘Hot 106.7’ to be a Nashville powerhouse. Nashville is one of the hottest cities in the country, so it’s about time we turn up the heat with the all NEW, ‘Hot 106.7.’”…..iHeartMedia Chicago stations are honoring Chicagoland teachers and nurses in a weeklong celebration, kicking off on National Teachers Day (today 5/5) and culminating on International Nurses Day on Tuesday, May 12. Throughout the week, each station will feature on-air shout outs for teachers and interviews with school principals, parents and students.  From May 6 through May 8, 103.5 KISS FM’s midday host Showbiz Shelly will host Zoom classroom takeovers to speak directly with students during the week of celebration…..Entravision Communications Corporation announces the launch of Entravision Digital, a division that consolidates its digital reach, data, creative, and programmatic capabilities into a unified solutions offering.  Entravision chairman and CEO Walter F. Ulloa says, “By combining our comprehensive digital capabilities into Entravision Digital, advertisers and agencies have a single source to access a rich combination of audiences, media, performance solutions, and consumer insights. Entravision Digital has a global reach and is an exceptional complement to our television, radio, and digital media assets serving the U.S. Hispanic market.  We are excited to extend the Entravision brand to these businesses and look forward to continued success in the media technology marketplace.”

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

| November 19, 2019

BREAKING NEWS – Masked Intruders Break In and Set fire to Hong Kong Office of The Epoch Times.   Four masked intruders dressed in black (three of which are pictured above in a still from a security camera) set fire to the printing press of the Hong Kong edition of The Epoch Times in the early hours this morning (11/19), marking the fourth attack on the Hong Kong facility of the international news organization since its opening more than a decade ago.  According to a breaking report in The Epoch Times online edition, the manager of the printing press said that the incident took place around 3:40 am HKT at the facility located in the Mong Kok area, as the newly printed newspapers were about to be delivered to the stands.  Moments after staff at the press opened the factory door, however, the men walked into the facility and pointed batons towards the workers, shouting, “All of you don’t move!” Surveillance footage from the printing shop shows two of the men dressed in all black carrying batons, while one of them holds newspapers, and another carries two containers containing a flammable liquid, which he poured onto the factory machines and newspapers.  The other black-clad man then ignited fires with a lighter. The men immediately ran away after the fires started. The whole incident lasted about two minutes. The fire caused the sprinkler system to turn on, and a staff member used a fire extinguisher to put out the fire. The staff then called the police and fire department, who arrived shortly afterward. The Tsuen Wan police bureau has launched an investigation.  Two print machines, four rolls of printing papers, and several stacks of newspapers in the factory suffered damage from the fire. Some papers were also damaged by the water.  In February 2006, thugs broke into the print shop and attempted to smash the presses. In October 2012, the door of the print shop was damaged. In December 2012, seven men carrying multiple tool boxes appeared and began attempting to break through the gate. They fled after police were called.  The Epoch Times has a long history of persecution in which reporters have been arrested and suffered violence at the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.  Talk show hosts interested in booking a spokesperson from The Epoch Times to discuss today’s break-in may do so by contacting Victoria Jones at the DC Radio Company by phone 917-865-3991 or email at victoria@dcradiocompany.com

PPM Analysis: News/Talk (Part 2). TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a second look at the performances of news/talk stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s October PPM survey.  This report delves into commercial news/talk listening by market, comparing data from October 2018 to October 2019.  A review of the 47 PPM markets (Puerto Rico not included), show news/talk listening (based on weekly, 6+ AQH share) was up in 19 of those markets and down in the other 28 PPM markets.  Markets that saw gains were led by Chicago, San Antonio, West Palm Beach, and Memphis.  Markets losing share were led by Denver, Providence, Seattle, and Milwaukee.  Which markets, as of October 2019, are the biggest news/talk listeners?  The top five are: Milwaukee (13.4 share), Cincinnati (12.9 share), Orlando (12.1 share), Minneapolis (11.9 share), Middlesex (10.8 share).  See Mike Kinosian’s entire report here.

Nick Kayal Exits Nashville’s “102.5 The Game.” Morning drive sports talk personality Nick Kayal exits Cromwell Media’s sports talk WPRT, Nashville “102.5 The Game” in a move that appears to be a cost-saving effort.  The show currently stars Braden Gall and former Tennessee Titans wide receiver Derrick Mason.  Kayal joined the WPRT morning show in 2018 after having previously served with WPEN-FM, Philadelphia “97.5 The Sports Fanatic.”  Gall and Mason discussed Kayal’s departure on today’s program and an appreciative good-bye text from Kayal appears on the morning show’s page on the station website.

TALKERS News Notes. The regionally syndicated “John Fredericks Show” – based at WJFN-FM, Goochland, Virginia – is broadcasting today (11/19) live from the White House.  Fredericks says the show will be “no-holds-barred as we delve into White House and GOP strategy for passing USMCA, prescription drug pricing, vaping restrictions, stopping surprise medical billing, and of course, the impeachment witch hunt.”  Guest will include members of Congress as well as press secretary Stephanie Grisham, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, and Vice President Mike Pence…..Sports talk radio personality Matt Jones – whose “Kentucky Sports Radio” program is based at WLAP-AM, Lexington – announces he will not run for the U.S. Senate seat currently occupied by Mitch McConnell.  FOX 17 Nashville reports Jones made the announcement on Friday (11/15).  Jones says he intends to publish a book about McConnell titled, Mitch, Please, sometime in the New Year.  After he made that announcement in August, he was fired from his TV show on WLEX-TV, Lexington.  The station says Jones will not return to air there.  Jones briefly was off his radio show after the Kentucky Republican Party filed a complaint about his candidacy being promoted on the radio…..Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports that he hears Rachel Williamson – currently president of Cox Media Group’s multiplatform advertising organization Gamut – is the odds on favorite to take over for Jimmy de Castro as senior vice president and market manager for Entercom’s Chicago operations.  During her career, Williamson has served as director of digital revenue development for Cox Media Group and director of national ad sales for Cumulus Media, among others…..iHeartMedia adds an FM translator to the WVOC-AM, Columbia, South Carolina news/talk brand.  The station can now be heard on W278CY, Columbia at 103.5 FM…..ABC Audio is presenting three special programs for affiliate stations to air during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.  For news/talk stations there is “America’s Bounty.”  Hosted by ABC News correspondent Aaron Katersky with reporting by correspondents Alex Stone, Jason Nathanson, Jim Ryan, Michelle Franzen, and more, the program takes listeners to an egg farm in New Hampshire, a five-generation livestock farm in South Dakota, and a hydroponic vegetable farm in New Jersey to report on the people who produce what ends up on America’s table.  The program also visits a vineyard in California’s Santa Maria Valley, where sustainable winemaking is their mission…..Public media firm KQED, San Francisco is creating a dedicated news desk to cover the Bay Area’s housing and affordability crisis.  The desk is comprised of journalists Erika Aguilar, Erin Baldassari, and Molly Solomon.  The team’s goal is to provide ongoing coverage of housing and affordability issues in the Bay Area for multiple KQED platforms.  The formation of KQED’s housing desk has been made possible in part by a generous grant from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative…..Last Friday (11/15), Eric Goranson, host of “Around The House With Eric G.” and Jeff “JT” Tracy, host of “Barbecue Nation,” – both distributed in syndication by Envision Networks – led the effort to raise funds for the Clark County Veterans Assistance Center via the “Operation Helping Our Heroes” radiothon on KPAM, Portland “AM 860 The Answer.”  The production netted $51,225 for supporting active military, veterans, and their families in obtaining benefits, services, and resources to meet their basic needs.  Below from left to right are: Tracy, retired Portland and KPAM radio legend Bob Miller, and Goranson.

Entercom Presents Live Event Addressing Addiction Hosted by Dr. Drew Pinsky. The two-hour live event titled, “I’m Listening,” takes place Thursday (11/21) before a live audience at the Entercom Baltimore Performance Studio presented by Recovery Centers of America and hosted by radio host, television host, and addiction medicine specialist Dr. Drew Pinsky.  The program airs live on adult contemporary WLIF “Today’s 101.9” and Facebook Live from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm.  Dr. Drew and a panel of expert speakers will discuss substance abuse, suicide prevention, and information on how to get help.  Entercom Baltimore SVP and market manager Tracy Brandys says, “Millions of people are affected by mental illness.  It is our goal to open up the conversation and help end the stigma surrounding mental health.  We are proud to leverage our platform and voices to help provide the appropriate resources and information to those affected and encourage people to talk.”

Impeachment Hearings/Ukraine Allegations, Trump Hospital Visit, A Warning Book Released, Trump West Bank Reversal, 2020 Presidential Race, Hong Kong University Siege, Prince Andrew Interview, Iran Protests, and Fresno Shooting Aftermath Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/18). The impeachment testimony scheduled for this week and the allegations of President Trump’s impropriety with regard to Ukraine military aid; controversy over President Trump’s unannounced, weekend visit to the hospital; today’s publication of the book A Warning by Anonymous, purportedly a White House insider; Trump’s reversal of the 1978 U.S. policy declaring West Bank settlements illegal; the Democrats hoping to challenge President Trump in 2020; the siege by Chinese soldiers of the protester-occupied Hong Kong Polytechnic University; the aftermath of Prince Andrew’s BBC interview about his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein; the protests in Iran after the government shut off the Internet; and the investigation into the football party shooting in Fresno that left four dead were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air pro Glenn Kalina becomes part of the morning show at Entercom’s classic hits WOGL-FM, Philadelphia alongside incumbent AM drive host Marilyn Russell for the new “Glenn Kalina and Marilyn in the Morning.”  Kalina had been doing weekend and fill-in work for the station.  Kalina has worked on air in the market on WMWX-FM, WIOQ-FM, and the former WLCE-FM…..Actress, model, and radio personality Claudia Jordan exits urban contemporary KRNB-FM, Dallas “Smooth R&B 105.7.”  Air personality Rudy Rush moves from KRNB to Service Broadcasting’s co-owned hip hop KKDA-FM, Dallas “K104” as part of the “DeDe in the Morning” show, led by DeDe McGuire…..ABC Audio presents two music-oriented shows for affiliate stations to air during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.  The three-hour country music special, “Every Girl At Christmas,” is hosted by Trisha Yearwood and includes appearances by Chris Young, Darius Rucker, Thomas Rhett, Carly Pearce, Brett Eldredge, Lady Antebellum, Chris Janson, Keith Urban, Dan + Shay, Luke Bryan, and more.  “Rock & Reelz” is a three-hour program hosted by Journey’s Jonathan Cain that takes a look back at some of the greatest rock songs from popular films such as Goodfellas, Easy Rider, Bohemian Rhapsody, and more.  The special features artists including Led Zeppelin, Elton John, Aerosmith, Bob Seger, Pat Benatar, Blondie, and Journey.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

| July 23, 2019

Blair Garner’s Pete Buttigieg Interview Kept Off Westwood One Show. After Cumulus Media denied nationally syndicated overnight country radio host Blair Garner (left) permission to air segments of his interview with Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg (center) (but allowed him to post it on his personal Soundcloud account) the company is facing public scrutiny over its decision.  Cumulus’s official statement was that equal-time concerns – especially considering the large number of Democratic candidates running – were the only reasons for not allowing the interview on the air. Regarding the equal-time rule, TALKERS magazine legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman says, “As it applies to advertising, the rule means that if a station sells advertising to one candidate, it must offer the same amount of time to other candidates.  Where the rule gets confusing to some is that if the station offers free air time to a candidate, it must offer free air time to other candidates.  However, the [four] exceptions to the rule effectively eliminate this as a concern because free air time to other candidates is not required if the air time being used – as with the Buttigieg interview – is a bona fide news interview.  Other candidates are not required to be given equal time.  Therefore, the position of Cumulus Media that they are not running the interview because the provisions of the equal time rule would require them to provide air time for interviews with all of the other candidates, is an inaccurate interpretation of the rule.”  It’s possible that Cumulus is choosing to avoid the political “can of worms” entirely by not engaging in political content on a country music show.  Some critics, perhaps cynically, are suggesting the company’s true motive centers on the fact that Buttigieg is openly gay and the country music audience is traditionally conservative.  Garner said it all started when he was approached by Buttigieg’s campaign ahead of his appearance in Nashville.  Garner agreed to the interview because Buttigieg requested it.  Garner told Buttigieg during the interview, “I think that our base tends to be more conservative.  And the fact that you, from the Democratic ticket, are the singular candidate to reach out and to say, ‘May I please be on your show?’  That you are reaching out to our listeners, I think we all have to embrace that and be appreciative of that.”

Talkers 2019: Telling the Story Videos Continue Posting Today with the Panel Discussion, “Overcoming Distrust of the Media.  TALKERS is continuing to post key speeches, presentations and sessions from the recent 22nd annual edition of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most-important national convention – Talkers 2019: Telling the Story.  Today’s (7/23) post: the panel discussion, “Overcoming Distrust of the Media” featuring panelists (in alphabetical order) Thom Hartmann, host, WYD Media; Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo, host, the Joe Pags Show; Doug Stephan, CEO/host, Stephan Multimedia; and Rick Ungar, host, the Rick Ungar Program/editor-in-chief, TheDalyCentrist.com.  The session was moderated by Jim Bohannon, host, Westwood One.  Posted yesterday (7/22): the presentation of the TALKERS Freedom of Speech award to Brian Kilmeade of Fox News Radio/Fox News Channel.  Posted Friday (7/19): the discussion “Attracting Younger Demos to Talk Radio” featuring panelists (in alphabetical order) Mike “Bax” Baxendale, morning co-host, WAQY (Rock 102), Springfield, MA; Greg Foster, VP/programming and national news/talk brand coordinator, iHeart Media/PD, KOA, Denver; John T. Mullen, operations manager, WRHU, Hofstra UniversitySid Rosenberg, morning co-host, WABC, New York; and Rich Zeoli, host, WPHT, Philadelphia. The session was moderated by Kevin Casey, VP/executive editor, TALKERS.   Also already posted: discussion “Talk Radio in the Era of Watch What You Say” featuring panelists (in alphabetical order) Michael Berry, host, Michael Berry Show; Grace Blazer, national brand coordinator of news/talk/sports programming and director of AM programming Miami/Fort Lauderdale, iHeart Media;  Karen Hunter, host SiriusXM Satellite RadioBrett Winterble, host KFMB, San Diego; Larry Young, host, WOLB, Baltimore; and Dan Yorke, host WPRO, Providence.  Also already posted: WPG, Atlantic City morning personality Harry Hurley saluting the Broadcasters Foundation of America and Vince Benedetto, CEO of Bold Gold Media Group receiving the Sharon L. Harrison Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service by a Talk Radio Broadcaster (“Humanitarian of the Year”); a special luncheon address by former Trump Administration advisor Sebastian Gorka, now a personality syndicated by Salem Radio Network; panel discussion “Adding the Video Component to Talk Radio” featuring Howie Carr, host of the Howie Carr Show (Howie Carr Radio Network and Newsmax TV), Jared Hart, former PD, WPHT, Philadelphia, and  Art Vuolo, president, Vuolo Video.  The session was introduced and facilitated by Scott Lakefield, APD, WOR, New York.   Also posted: special keynote address delivered by CBS Sports Radio syndicated host Jim Rome with an introduction from Yappy Days author/college professor Bernadette Duncan; the panel discussion, “Generating Talk Radio Revenue in 2019” featuring (in alphabetical order) Asa Andrew, host, AsaRx;  Vince Benedetto, CEO, Bold Gold Media Group;  Suzanne Grimes, EVP/marketing, Cumulus Media and president, Westwood One; and Dave Robinett, chief marketing officer, #250-America’s Mobile Speed Dial – moderated by Erica Farber, president and CEO of the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) and introduced by renown independent station owner Michael Zwerling of KSCO/KOMY, Santa Cruz, CA; the special keynote address by Key Networks syndicated personality Bill O’Reilly; the one-on-one discussion, “Sports Talk Radio’s Role in Popular Culture” featuring a conversation between Mark Chernoff, senior VP/programming WFAN/Entercom, NY and captain/sports format, CBS Sports Radio and Mike Thomas, PD, WBZ-FM “98.5 The Sports Hub,” Boston and brand manager/spoken word, podcasts, esports, Beasley Broadcasting with  Kate Delaney, host, GCN and correspondent NBC Sports Radio, serving as facilitator; the panel discussion, “Broadcasting and Podcasting,” featuring (in alphabetical order) Greg Batusic, chief operating officer, PodcastOneSteven Goldstein, founder/CEO Amplifi MediaMichael Czarnecki, program director, WONK-FM, Washington, DC and iHeartRadio Podcast Channel; and Craig Schwalb, former program director WABC, New York and WPRO, Providence with moderation by Mike Kinosian, managing editor/West Coast bureau chief, TALKERS; the keynote “fireside chat” in which TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison interviews Premiere Networks/Fox News Channel star Sean Hannity in a casual one-on-one conversation introduced by DC Radio Company executive director Victoria Jones; the opening address titled, “Telling the Story,” delivered by Lee Habeeb, host and producer of the successful syndicated program, “Our American Stories;” RAB president/CEO Erica Farber receiving the Woman of the Year award and SiriusXM Satellite Radio star “Cousin” Bruce Morrow receiving the Lifetime Achievement award. The convention took place in New York City on Friday, June 7 and was one of the most positively received in the event’s colorful history.  TALKERS plans to add one or two videos per day to those posted until all the major events of the conference are posted here at Talkers.com where they will remain on view for the rest of the year.  To see the videos and convention video page, please click here.

Gallagher Broadcasts from ‘Teen Student Action Summit.’ Pictured above is Salem Radio Network talk radio host Mike Gallagher (left) speaking with Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk (right) live from the group’s “Teen Student Action Summit” in Washington, DC.  Scheduled speakers at the three-day event include: President Trump, U.S. Senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, plus Gallagher’s SRN colleague, Dr. Sebastian Gorka.

Sports Talk WNDE-AM, Indianapolis Losing FM Translator. According to a piece in the Indianapolis Star, iHeartMedia has new plans for FM translator W248AW at 97.5. Local management is only saying they will debut a new format on the signal “very shortly.”  iHeartMedia Indianapolis SVP of programming Dave Hill tells the paper that the programming on sports talk WNDE-AM remains the same.  WNDE-AM airs FOX Sports Radio programming, the local “Query & Schultz” PM drive show plus Premiere NetworksRush Limbaugh.

Mueller Testimony, Immigration-Asylum Policy, 2020 Presidential Race, U.S.-Iran Tensions, Louisiana Cops’ AOC Threat, $320B Budget Deal/Debt Ceiling Rises, Puerto Rico Protests, UK PM Race, and Brady-Daughter Cliff Jump Flap Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/22). Wednesday’s testimony before the House judiciary and intelligence committees by special counsel Robert Mueller; the Trump administration’s immigration and asylum policies and the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border; the Democrats vying for the nomination to challenge President Trump in 2020; Iran’s claim to have arrested 17 CIA operatives; two Louisiana police officers are fired for social media post suggesting Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez should be shot; the two-year budget deal that raises the debt ceiling and allows for $320 billion in new spending; the protests roiling Puerto Rico over Governor Ricardo Rossello’s leaked chat messages; Britain’s prime minister race between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt; and the flap over video of Tom Brady and his daughter jumping off a cliff into water were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Programming and on-air pro Walter Flakus moves from Cumulus Media’s alternative WKQX, Chicago to Entercom’s KNDD, Seattle “107.7 The End” where he’s taking on assistant program director and afternoon drive duties, effective August 6.  He’d been APD, music director and evening personality at WKQX. Entercom Seattle SVP and market manager Jack Hutchison says, “We’re thrilled to welcome such a talented programmer to the ‘107.7 The End’ team.  Walter brings extensive experience and leadership both on and off the air which will benefit listeners and partners.”…..In Atlanta, Cox Media Group names Chris Centore assistant program director for urban contemporary WALR, CHR WSB-FM “B98.5,” and classic hits WSRV.  Additionally, he’s hosting the PM drive program on “B98.5.”  Centore joined WSB-FM in April of this year.  He’d previously worked in Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC.  He says, “I am excited for this new opportunity with ‘B98.5’ and to work alongside Chris Eagan and the CMGA team.  I look forward to being part of our listeners’ afternoon commute and to help our radio stations continue to deliver the best, most compelling on-air content in Atlanta.”…..Hubbard Radio St. Louis inks morning man Scott Rizzuto to a multi-year contract renewal to stay with alternative rock KPNT “105.7 The Point” with castmates Tony Patrico, Jeff Burton, Phillip Sneed, and Scott McNew.  Hubbard St. Louis VP and market manager John Kijowski says, “Hubbard Radio believes in live and local talent.  The Rizzuto show is undeniable when it comes to connecting with listeners, mirroring their lifestyles, and talking about things that matter locally.  ‘The Rizzuto Show’ love is real!  We’re excited to partner with Scott for another four years.”…..Radio One programming pro Arthur “A-Plus” Willis – currently PD for hip hop WIZF, Cincinnati “The Wiz 101.1” – is adding programming responsibilities for the company’s rhythmic CHR WCKX, Columbus “Power 107.3/106.3.”…..All day today, Beasley Media Group’s classic rock WMGK-FM, Philadelphia is playing exclusively Rolling Stones songs as “102.9MCK – All Stones All the Time” in recognition of the band’s show this evening at Lincoln Financial Field.  “102.9MCK” is also providing complete concert coverage with afternoon drive host Andre Gardner broadcasting live from the venue.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

| June 21, 2018

PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s May 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk.  More than half of the sports talk stations in PPM markets saw their 6+ weekly AQH shares rise compared to the April survey (54%).  Better still, 65% of sports stations realized positive 6+ movement compared to the same ratings period a year ago.  There are no sports talk stations ranking #1 in their market (6+), however Entercom’s WFAN, New York ranked #3 in the Long Island market and the company’s KDKA-FM, Pittsburgh also ranked #3.  See the entire report here.

Bloomberg: iHM Still Open to Takeover Talks After Shooting Down Liberty.  According to a report today by Bloomberg, Liberty Media officially retracted its $1.8 billion takeover offer to iHeartMedia (on 6/15) after some creditors apparently balked at the offer for a 40% equity stake in the company, saying it wasn’t enough.  However, iHeartMedia is still open to takeover talks – including with Liberty Media – as it tries to work its way through Chapter 11 reorganization.  Experts quoted in the piece say they expect Liberty to come back with another offer because Liberty hasn’t been acquiring iHM debt in order to get a fraction of that back in bankruptcy reorganization.  It wants leverage at the bargaining table.

Beasley Adds FM Translator to News/Talk KDWN, Las Vegas.  Las Vegas news/talker KDWN-AM officially begins life on the FM band today (6/21) as Beasley Media Group adds translator K268CS at 101.5 FM to the station’s transmission.  At the same time, the station re-brands as “The New 101.5FM/720AM The Talk of Las Vegas.”  The translator is located “high atop the Stratosphere in Las Vegas.  The decision to create a simulcast broadcast stems from the company’s market research and a desire to offer Las Vegas residents an alternate way to hear KDWN’s locally originated programming, along with a venerable line-up of personalities that will include Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity and Mark Levin.”  Beasley Las Vegas VP and market manager Dennis Gwiazdon adds, “We’re truly excited about this new opportunity to expand KDWN’s presence in the Las Vegas market.  Not only does this provide our listeners with an additional choice to enjoy KDWN’s programming, but an FM simulcast immediately adds value to our advertising customers.”

TRN Seeks Permission to Appeal Case Against Westwood One.  Radio company Talk Radio Network is asking Southern District of New York bankruptcy court Judge Shelley Chapman to give it relief from the automatic stay so it can appeal the Oregon federal court dismissal of its case against Westwood One and others.  TRN says it filed a timely appeal of the previous dismissal but Cumulus Media’s entry in to Chapter 11 last fall put an automatic stay in place that prevented the Eleventh Circuit Appellate Court from taking up the case.  Now that Cumulus has exited Chapter 11, TRN wants to continue the appeal process.  It’s also asking for an extension in which to file its Opening Brief in the Westwood One case.  Fellow defendants in the case are: Compass Media Networks, WYD Media Management, WYM Media Management, Lew Dickey Jr., and Charles SteinhauerMark Masters-led TRN has claimed in a number of previous suits that Westwood One and the other defendants all conspired to monopolize the radio syndication ad sales market and that Westwood One also committed breach of fiduciary duty, among other allegations.

TALKERS News Notes. Award-winning hospitality figure, New York Times best-selling author, entrepreneur, and television personality Jon Taffer is partnering with PodcastOne to present his new podcast, “Jon Taffer: No Excuses.”  The new program debuted this week with fan-voted guest Big Cat from Barstool Sports.  The weekly show “features the Bar Rescue star’s trademark straight talk and unapologetic approach to daily topics, current events and celebrity interviews. In addition to his genuine opinions and in-your-face analysis on these topics, Jon will offer tough-love advice to fans in the interactive program.”…..Conservative media figure Armstrong Williams – who had a long career hosting a radio talk show on AM stations – is putting his SiriusXM program to bed. Williams tells the Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal that he will focus all of his attention on his television station company, Howard Stirk Holdings.  He’s not exiting the performance side of the business entirely as he’ll continue to host his eponymous TV show and will keep producing his podcast…..Scripps executive Tom Langmyer is being honored by the Buffalo Broadcasters Association with entrance into its Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2018.  Langmyer, who currently serves as VP of News, Talk and Sports and GM for news/talk WTMJ and country WKTI in Milwaukee, is a Buffalo native and former WGR-AM traffic reporter.  He’s being honored with the Buffalo Bob Smith Award bestowed upon a native broadcaster who achieves national prominence…..WBUR, Boston announces the winner of its Next Great Show Content and has selected “McSweeney’s Presents.”  The program was submitted – and beat about 400 other program pitches – by McSweeney’s Internet Tendency editor Chris Monks as a way of bringing the online magazine’s humor and insight to radio.  Monks says, “I am thrilled that WBUR chose my idea for the Next Great Show contest.  I look forward to making a radio version of McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and the challenge of not bringing shame upon my family of avid WBUR listeners.”  The program is said to be a “satirical look at the world, from pop culture, to politics, to the playground, featuring work of the country’s best established and up-and-coming writers and comics.”

Illegal Immigration Policy/Peter Fonda Tweet, Trump Trade War, U.S.-North Korea Meeting, Cops Kills Black Teen in Pittsburgh, World Cup, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/20).  The controversy over the separation of children from parents in the crackdown on illegal immigration and the related case of Peter Fonda’s Tweet about separating President Trump’s son from his family; the tariffs being tacked on foreign goods and concerns about  global trade war; the aftermath of President Trump’s meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un; the death of an unarmed black teenager at the hands of a police officer in Pittsburgh; the World Cup tournament in Russia; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

 

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Detroit radio personality Lauren Crocker signs a new contract with Cumulus Media’s hot AC WDVD where she’s co-host of the ‘Blaine Fowler Morning Show.”  She joined the program in 2015.  Program director Robby Bridges says, “It sounds clichéd, but it is the absolute truth.  When Lauren first walked in and interviewed with me seven years ago, I knew then she was going to be a superstar.  To see her flourish as co-host of ‘The Blaine Fowler Morning Show’ alongside Blaine and Matty, become a fixture in the Detroit market, work with local charities and appear on ‘Dish Nation’ and WDIV-TV’s ‘Live in the D’ is just terrific.  Lauren’s star is still on the rise and I’m so glad she’ll be with us at Cumulus into the next decade!”…..In Chicago, Cumulus signs alternative WKQX personalities Walt Flakus and Lauren O’Neil to multi-year contracts.  Flakus is assistant program director, music director, and evening personality.  He’s been with WKQX since 2014.  Midday personality O’Neil is entering her seventh year with the station.  Cumulus Chicago VP and market manager Marv Nyren states, “There’s no greater joy than being able to work with incredibly talented people, and Walt and Lauren are two of the most creative, hard-working, and talented people I’ve had the privilege to work with.  They are an essential part of what truly separates us from our competition every day.  Together, Walt, Lauren and the entire staff make 101WKQX one-of-a-kind.”…..WBBM-FM, Chicago morning personality Kevin Buchar, a.k.a. DreX, is off the air as he recovers from complications that arose from a previous surgical procedure.  In the interim, co-host Nina and producer Gabe Ramirez are handling the show duties…..Colorado Springs classic rock KKFM “Classic Rock 98” appoints Jonathan “J.P.” Peletis afternoon drive host and promotions director.  Cumulus Media Colorado Springs operations manager Bobby Irwin says, “J.P. brings to KKFM and our station cluster an awesome mix of radio rock show, digital marketing and promotions experience, with passion for the Colorado lifestyle.”…..Longport Media agrees to sell Atlantic City CHR WWAC “AC 102.7” to Educational Media Foundation for $570,000.  EMF will convert the station into a non-profit and flip it to a Christian music format…..iHeartMedia and MediaLink combined to host the seventh annual intimate VIP Dinner in Antibes, France during the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.  On Tuesday evening (6/19), the VIP Dinner included a special performance by Jon Bon Jovi.  Attendees included corporate officers from such firms as Unilever, AT&T, Google, Vivendi, Conde Nast and others.  Katie Couric and Ryan Seacrest were also in attendance.  Picture below are (from l-r): Gayle Troberman, chief marketing officer for iHeartMedia; Tom Poleman, chief programming officer for iHeartMedia; Rich Bressler, president, COO and CFO of iHeartMedia; Jon Bon Jovi; John Sykes, president of entertainment enterprises for iHeartMedia; Bob Pittman, chairman and CEO of iHeartMedia; and Tim Castelli, president of national sales and marketing partnerships for iHeartMedia.