Tag: "Fox & Friends"
Entercom Announces Sale of $100 Million in Second Lien Senior Secured Notes. These notes are being offered as additional notes under an existing indenture, dated April 30, 2019, pursuant to which the Issuer previously issued $325 million in aggregate principal amount of Entercom Media Group’s 6.500% senior secured second-lien notes due 2027. Net proceeds from the additional $100 million offering will be used to partially repay existing indebtedness under its senior secured term loan facility. They have the same terms as the existing notes. They are offered and sold only to persons reasonably believed to be qualified institutional buyers.
AJ Lurie Assumes New Post with Beasley XP. Sales and management pro AJ Lurie is promoted to the newly created position of director of local market integrated partnerships at Beasley XP, Beasley Media Group’s recently created esports division. Lurie began his career with Beasley Media Group in 2007 in Fort Myers and most recently served as the as vice president and market manager of its Wilmington, Delaware radio cluster. In his new role, Lurie will be responsible for overseeing all of Beasley Media Group’s local market esports and gaming revenues by leveraging the company’s content and local market gaming-oriented events. He says, “Beasley Media Group’s entrance into the esports industry is transformative for our company and I am honored to be a part of this initiative. Leveraging our company’s assets will present tremendous growth opportunities. I’m excited to work with some of Beasley’s best to help build this division for our organization.” As Lurie moves to his new position, BMG Philadelphia vice president and market manager Joe Bell will add the Wilmington radio cluster management duties to his current responsibilities under the new structure.
Fatherly Talk Radio Advice from Bob Lonsberry. WHAM, Rochester and WSYR, Syracuse talk radio personality Bob Lonsberry’s son Lee begins his new talk radio show on Bonneville’s KSL-AM/FM, Salt Lake City today (12/11). In the time honored tradition of fathers imparting advice to their sons, Bob Lonsberry offers his son his views on what it takes to become a successful talk radio host. He says, “Be you. Know who you are, what you stand for, what your values and priorities are, and build a genuine radio character around that. Don’t pretend, don’t act. Entertain, yes. Accentuate, absolutely. Pose, no.” Read all of his advice here.
House Files Articles of Impeachment, Trump’s Pennsylvania Rally, Deadly Jersey City Shooting, USMCA, 2020 Presidential Race, Patriots Video Controversy Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/10). The Democrat-led House files articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump; the president appears at a rally in Pennsylvania; a shooting at a Jewish market in Jersey City claims the lives of six, including a police officer and the two shooters; the House agrees on the Trump administration’s US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement; the Democrats hoping to challenge President Trump in 2020; and the controversy over the taping of the Cincinnati Bengals’ sidelines by a film crew hired by the New England Patriots were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Rush Limbaugh Announces $5 Million-Plus Raised for Tunnel to Towers Foundation. During an appearance on FOX News Channel’s “FOX & Friends” morning program, Premiere Networks nationally syndicated talk radio legend Rush Limbaugh announced that sales from his “Stand Up for Betsy Ross!” merchandise surpassed $5 million dollars. All proceeds benefit The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation that provides financial assistance to military heroes and their families, as well as first responders. Limbaugh first launched the line of merchandise with a single T-shirt in July and quickly raised $2 million dollars for Tunnel to Towers. It paid off the home mortgages of six fallen American heroes. Limbaugh subsequently decided to expand the merchandise and continue the fundraiser through the end of 2019. On the program, Limbaugh said, “Our fulfillment center is working around the clock. The orders have not stopped coming in. We owe a debt to the people who have participated in this.”
Armstrong & Getty Raise More Than $1 Million for Warrior Foundation-Freedom Station. Sacramento-based, syndicated morning drive duo Armstrong & Getty – Jack Armstrong and Joe Getty – announce that the show’s annual “Warrior Foundation-Freedom Station Radiothon” raised approximately $1.2 million to benefit the Warrior Foundation-Freedom Station charity that purchases plane tickets for injured warriors so they can spend the holidays at home and with their families. Getty says, “We feel compelled to give back to those who served our country. We owe it, as Americans, to support these guys.” Armstrong adds, “In all kinds of different ways, WFFS creates a buffer zone between combat and civilian life, providing our injured warriors with sanctuary, a sense of community and the tools they’ll need to rejoin society.”
TALKERS News Notes. The regionally syndicated late morning talk radio show hosted by Erick Erickson begins airing on Cumulus Media’s WMAC-AM, Macon, Georgia, effective December 16. Erickson hosts the afternoon drive show on Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta and he launched the 9:00 am to 12:00 noon show in September to focus on Georgia politics and issues. He says, “Macon is home. My family goes to church in Macon. Our kids go to school in Macon. I broadcast from Macon. We live here. Now, I finally have an answer for people when they ask when they can hear me on the radio here.”…..iHeartMedia’s news/talk KFI, Los Angeles raised a new record of more than $435,000 and 109,000 pounds of pasta during the ninth annual “KFI PastaThon” to benefit Caterina’s Club, a charitable organization that feeds 25,000 underprivileged children, five days a week in more than 30 cities throughout Southern California. During the 17-hour live broadcast on December 6, all KFI – including Bill Handel, Jennifer Jones Lee, Gary Hoffmann, Shannon Farren, John Kobylt, Ken Chiampou, and Tim Conway Jr. were on site at the Christ Cathedral in Garden Grove encouraging listeners to donate money along with pasta and pasta sauce to help feed underprivileged children that live in motels without access to a kitchen…..Count former WEEI, Boston morning drive personality Gerry Callahan as the latest radio host to move into the podcast space. Callahan, who was let go from his longtime morning gig in at the Entercom sports talk station in July, will post new shows Monday through Thursday, beginning January 6. He announced the new venture on Kirk Minihane’s podcast. Callahan and Minihane co-hosted the WEEI morning show for several years before Minihane’s exit from Entercom last year. Callahan says the subtitle of his show will be “Politics, Sports, and Revenge.”…..cabana announces it has inked a deal with Critical Frequency Network to exclusively handle podcast ad sales representation. Critical Frequency was founded by science and gender writer and journalist Amy Westervelt and features a diverse community of hosts – all women, people of color, and/or LGBTQ…..Condolences to the family and friends of former KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh morning news anchor Bob Kopler, who died yesterday (12/10) at the age of 81. He worked in the Pittsburgh market for more than 40 years and at KDKA from 1988 through his retirement in 2007.
Talking Cryptocurrency on WBZ-AM. On Tuesday (12/10), iHeartMedia all-news WBZ-AM hosted some of Boston’s foremost experts in cryptocurrency to help explain what the savvy businessperson needs to know about the future of commerce. More than 300 WBZ listeners joined the panel for breakfast as WBZ business reporter and AM drive news anchor Jeff Brown moderated the conversation. Pictured above (l-r) are: Brown; Sir John Hargrave, author of Blockchain for Everyone; Christian Catalini, head economist at Calibra; Manasi Vora, head of product strategy at Sia; and Frank Makrides, founder & CEO of Tunnel.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. At All Pro Broadcasting’s hot AC KHTI, Riverside “HOT 103.9,” midday host Sabrina Ruiz takes on music director duties, effective immediately. Station PD Rick Shaw comments, “It is with great pleasure that I can announce that Sabrina has accepted the position of ‘HOT 103.9’ music director. Sabrina’s knowledge and passion for the music that we play on ‘HOT’ makes her the perfect person for the task.”…..On-air pro Kayla Morgan joins SummitMedia’s CHR WWST, Knoxville “Star 102.1” as evening personality. Morgan was most recently with Entercom’s Detroit cluster as a personality on adult contemporary WDZH “98.7 The Breeze.” SummitMedia Knoxville market president Chris Protzman states, “We are delighted to welcome Kayla to Knoxville and ‘Star 102.1’ nights. Her personality and passion for the music is infectious. Knoxville is in for a real treat!”
PPM Analysis: News/Talk. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s November 2019 PPM survey, today focusing on news/talk. Compared to the October survey, 37% of news/talk stations saw their 6+ weekly AQH share go up, 34% were down and 29% were flat. A year-over-year comparison indicates 53% of news/talk stations were down, with 39% seeing a ratings increase. Just two news/talk stations ranked #1 in their respective markets during the November survey: Cox Media Group’s WSB-AM/WSBB-FM, Atlanta and WOKV-FM, Jacksonville. iHeartMedia’s WLW, Cincinnati ranked #2 in November, as did Townsquare Media’s WKXW, Trenton “New Jersey 101.5.” See the entire report here.
Impeachment Proceedings, Inspector General’s Report, Afghanistan Report, Czech Hospital Slayings, Golden Globe Nominations, and New Zealand Volcano Eruption Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (12/9). The Democrats’ plans to announce articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump today; the inspector general’s report on the FBI’s “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation; the report detailing the opinions of numerous government and military officials kept from the American people that the Afghanistan war was unwinnable; the deadly rampage of a gunman in a Czech hospital that took the lives of six patients; the Golden Globe nominations and the controversy over the absence of female director nominees; and the eruption of a volcano in New Zealand that killed at least six tourists were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Brendan Walsh Joins Cumulus Media and Westwood One in New Sales Role. Sales pro Brendan Walsh joins Cumulus Media to serve in the newly created role of SVP, feature sales and marketing, in which he’ll manage Cumulus’ local and national features and Westwood One’s FYI Network. Walsh has served with iHeartMedia’s Total Traffic Weather Network, Charter Media, and KPLR-TV, St. Louis. He’ll be based in St. Louis. Cumulus/WWO president, national and network sales Bryan Forbes says, “Brendan is the perfect fit for this revenue growth initiative. He has a stellar track record of revenue generation, understanding a customer’s needs, building solutions that deliver ROI, and knows what it takes to win in a competitive marketplace.” Walsh comments, “I am honored to join the team and am excited for the opportunity to build a mass scale business at an organization as dynamic as Cumulus Media and its 428 radio stations and Westwood One, the largest audio network in the US.”
Westwood One to Distribute and Rep Associated Press Podcasts. A deal between Cumulus Media’s Westwood One and The Associated Press will see the former exclusively distributing and handling ad representation for three of the AP’s podcasts. The three programs are: “The All New Ground Game” with AP Washington bureau chief Julie Pace that explores the top issues in American politics; “AP’s Top 25 College Football” with host Ralph Russo; and “AP’s Get Outta Here” with Warren Levinson designed for the causal or veteran traveler. Cumulus EVP marketing and president of Westwood One Suzanne Grimes says, “The Associated Press is an incredibly strong brand, showcasing talented hosts with a fresh point-of-view. From Julie’s energetic and engaging news coverage, to Ralph’s experience, and Warren’s amazingly creative way with words, these shows will drive discussions and discovery in politics, sports, and travel today.”
TALKERS News Notes. Chicago media maven Robert Feder reports a couple of notes TALKERS readers may find interesting. First, Feder says Chicago broadcaster Bob Sirott – who, along with his wife Marianne Murciano, exited Cumulus Media’s WLS-AM two years ago – is in talks with Nexstar’s WGN-AM, Chicago for a possible role there. Second, Feder reports on the dual remote broadcast taking place Friday morning with WSCR, Chicago and WSSP, Milwaukee personalities at The Brat Stop in Kenosha, Wisconsin in advance of Sunday’s Packers-Bears game in Green Bay. Entercom programmer Mitch Rosen, who serves as program director for both stations, is calling it “Brat Bowl 1.”…..The Desert Sun reports that KNWQ-AM/K232CX, Palm Springs, California “K-News 94.3 FM” morning personality Bill Feingold returned to the air yesterday (12/9) after taking a medical leave in August to battle stage four liver cancer. Feingold re-joined co-host Kevin Holmes and told his listeners he’s still undergoing chemotherapy. “For the time being, I’ve really beaten down the cancer, but it’s still there and active. I have a whole new outlook. My outlook is that I have cancer and as long as I can do the show, I’m going to do the show. It keeps me going.”…..The podcast “22 Hours: An American Nightmare” – a collaboration from Hubbard Radio’s all-news WTOP, Washington and PodcastOne – scored the #2 rank on The Associated Press’ Top 10 Podcasts of the Year list. The show is reported, written, and produced by award-winning WTOP journalists Megan Cloherty and Jack Moore and recounts the brutal torture and murder of three family members and their housekeeper in Washington, D.C. in 2015. The victims were held hostage inside the family’s home for 22 hours before they were murdered and the house set on fire. The Associated Press called the podcast “superior” and said it made its list because it “carefully, respectfully, and responsibly reported about a horrific crime and sets an example for how true crime should be handled.”…..WABC, New York “TALKRADIO 77” personalities Bernard McGuirk and Sid Rosenberg of the “Bernie & Sid in the Morning” show and Curtis Sliwa and Juliet Huddy from the midday “Curtis & Juliet” show will host a holiday “Radiothon for the Kids” live from Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park, New York on Friday, December 13. Funds raised during the radiothon will be used to improve life-saving patient care and equipment, pediatric research, Child Life services and charitable cases. All money raised during the radiothon will go directly to Cohen Children’s Medical Center and will be used to benefit the children and families of their community…..Radio software firm Mr. Master announces it is promoting Maria Laing to senior vice president and Roger Nadel joins the company as executive director of affiliate sales. In these newly created positions, Laing will play a key role in Mr. Master’s overall growth, driving innovative initiatives and business opportunities for the company, while Nadel will be responsible for enhancing the affiliation strategy for Mr. Master’s Automation Import Manager software and servicing its 3500 affiliates…..WBUR, Boston launches its new podcast, “Food, We Need To Talk,” on Monday, December 23. In this 10-part series, show host Juna Gjata undertakes a journey toward redefining her relationship with food. She’s guided by noted Harvard Medical School lifestyle medicine expert Dr. Eddie Phillips, using solid science, clinical knowledge, and common sense. Along with her, listeners learn how to eat better, and most importantly, how to feel better about their food choices.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Legendary radio personality Tom Joyner is celebrating 25 years as a leader in the entertainment industry as he prepares to retire from broadcasting this Friday (12/13). All week long, Joyner is being joined by surprise guests calling in that include: Arsenio Hall, Bill Clinton, Magic Johnson, Emmitt Smith, April Ryan, and Lionel Richie…..Cox Media Group announces that Reach Media nationally syndicated “Rickey Smiley Morning Show” will replace “The Tom Joyner Morning Show.” Smiley’s show will air on all of CMG’s urban AC brands in Florida – including the Miami, Orlando, and Jacksonville markets. CMG vice president of content and audience Tim Clarke says, “We are thrilled to continue our long-standing relationship with Reach Media to bring Rickey Smiley’s new show to listeners in Miami, Orlando, and Jacksonville markets. Rickey has been a fantastic partner to Cox Media Group for many years and we are so excited to see him begin this new chapter.”…..Hubbard Radio Seattle announces Jeff Dubow is named the new executive producer for the “Brooke & Jubal in The Morning” show on KQMV “MOViN 92.” Dubow has been with the station for nine years and moved into the assistant producer position seven years ago. He says, “I am extremely grateful to everyone at Hubbard to be given this incredible opportunity with the ‘Brooke & Jubal’ morning show. It’s an honor to be able to work alongside such a talented group of unique and dynamic personalities, both on the air and behind the scenes. We will continue to push ourselves to find new and creative ways to make our listeners laugh, and bring a little wackiness and entertainment to the mornings.”…..iHeartMedia announces that adult contemporary KKCW, Portland “K103” morning personalities John Erickson and Bruce Murdock are retiring as on-air hosts of the “K103 Morning Show,” effective December 20. In celebration of their last day on the air, ‘K103’ will air a special live Christmas themed broadcast from the iHeartRadio Theater in Portland on December 20. The event will feature a live studio audience and an array of special guests. Murdock has hosted the “K103 Morning Show” since 2004 and Erickson has been delivering news and information to Portland radio listeners on K103 since 1985…..Premiere Networks nationally syndicated personality Delilah returned to the Dr. Oz television show on Friday (12/6). During the program, Delilah and Dr. Oz (pictured below) shared a powerful conversation about life, love, loss, faith, and resilience, including how Delilah found the strength to carry on after the tragic loss of two sons.
Gregg Henson Named WRVA and WRNL, Richmond Program Director. Talk radio pro Gregg Henson is named program director for Richmond stations news/talk WRVA and sports talk WRNL “FOX Sports 910.” Entercom Virginia SVP Bennett Zier comments, “We are very excited about the addition of Gregg to the Richmond team. Entercom is the leader in news and sports radio and we’re confident Gregg’s extensive industry experience will ensure that we continue to bring the most engaging content to our listeners.” Henson has worked in sports talk in Detroit as well as in news/talk in markets including Dallas, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.
Townsquare Media Sells North American Midway Entertainment Back to Previous Owner. Three years ago, Townsquare Media, Inc paid $75.5 million for North American Midway Entertainment and it was the lynchpin of the company’s Entertainment division. Now, Townsquare is selling the mobile amusement company back to previous owner Danny Huston for $23.5 million. Townsquare has made no secret of the fact that the investment hasn’t panned out, so the sale is not surprising. In addition to the cash sale price, Townsquare also stands to benefit if Huston sells the company within the next 10 years. It would get a 15% residual interest in any future proceeds of a sale. Townsquare says it will hang on to the net proceeds from this sale, “pending future investment.” For the year ended December 31, 2017, NAME generated net revenue of $92.2 million and a net loss of $33.7 million.
Alex Jones Sued by Sandy Hook Families. The anger in Newtown, Connecticut – and beyond – over talk show host and InfoWars chief Alex Jones’ assertions that the deadly shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School was a hoax has boiled over into a new lawsuit against the broadcaster filed by four families of the slain children, two families of killed educators, and one FBI agent. The suit also names Wolfgang Halbig and Cory Slanka – who assisted in video production and website management – as well as Jones radio syndicator Genesis Communications Network. The suit – filed in state court in Connecticut – alleges that Jones does not believe that the massacre was a hoax but continued to promote the narrative on his program and on his website. “Jones is the chief amplifier for a group that has worked in concert to create and propagate loathsome, false narratives about the Sandy Hook shooting and its victims and promote their harassment and abuse…the Jones defendants concoct elaborate and false paranoia-tinged conspiracy theories because it moves product and they make money. Not because they truly believe what they are saying, but rather because it increases profits.” The five counts in the suit are: invasion of privacy by false light; defamation; intentional infliction of emotional distress; negligent infliction of emotional distress; and unfair trade practices. Jones addressed the suit on his radio program this week saying the allegations in the suit are “out of context.” Jones is also being sued in Texas state court by two other families of Sandy Hook victims.
Entercom Promotes Nine in Senior Management. President and CEO David Field says, “We are fortunate to have such a talented team of leaders at Entercom and it is a pleasure to be able to promote several of them today in recognition of their increasing roles and responsibilities. These are exciting times at the company and as we roll ahead with our investments and execute our transformational plans, we will continue to offer meaningful professional growth opportunities for our top performers.” The promotions include the following: Fred Bennett, senior vice president, Traffic Weather Information Network; JD Crowley, chief digital officer; Mike Dash, senior vice president and deputy general counsel; Liana Huth, senior vice president, programming innovation; Jen Morelli, senior vice president, events and experiences; Jenny Nelson, senior vice president, ad sales marketing; John Pacino, senior vice president, product and engineering; Sam Rogers, senior vice president, national sales; and Jeff Sottolano, senior vice president, radio and Radio.com programming. Chief operating officer Weezie Kramer adds, “This is a strategic move to position ourselves for success in the long-term. We are making great progress and we are excited about where we are headed. With this new, elevated leadership structure, we are poised to maximize our capabilities and scale as one of the best radio broadcast operators in the industry.”
Canceled North Korea Summit Top News/Talk Story This Week. The canceled summit between President Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the Trump-Russia Investigation. Coming in at #3 was U.S.-China trade and military relations, followed by the state of the Iran nucleal deal 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 News Notes. June 30 is the last publication day for most Cox Media Group’s sports verticals, including SECCountry.com, Landof10.com, and Diehards.com. CMG has not explained the reason behind the move. Usually, lack of revenue is the reason for shutting down a business, but SEC Country’s Christopher Smith tweeted, “The Cox Media Group sports verticals grew traffic 36.9 percent in 2018 compared to 2017. We were rocking it. Even our Facebook traffic was up.”…..This morning (5/25), WFAN, New York morning team Boomer Esiason and Greg Gionnatti broadcast their show live from Headliner in Neptune, New Jersey for their “Boomer and Gio’s Kickoff to Summer” show. The program featured the live music of Mike DelGuidice & Big Shot. It also included a “Hairiest Back Contest” during the broadcast…..In conjunction with NBC Sports and NBC Sports Radio, Westwood One is presenting live play-by-play of the NHL’s Stanley Cup Finals between the Vegas Golden Knights and the Washington Capitals. Kenny Albert and Joe Micheletti are booth announcers for the series and former NHL center Ray Ferraro will serve as rinkside reporter with Florida Panthers announcer Steve Goldstein hosting the pre-game, intermission, and post-game reports.
Brian Kilmeade Scores Exclusive POTUS Interview. When President Trump spoke at a forum in the Long Island community of Bethpage Wednesday (5/23) discussing the problem of violent MS-13 gang-related activity in that town and across the country, FOX radio and TV talk personality Brian Kilmeade was on hand to cover it. In the process, Kilmeade scored an exclusive stand-up interview with the president that covered a variety of issues pertaining to gang violence and the broader topic of border security and immigration reform. The president defended his recent comment describing gang criminals as “animals” by describing MS-13 members as being “stone cold killers…vicious killers.” The extensive interview ran yesterday on the FOX News Channel’s morning show “Fox & Friends” co-hosted by Kilmeade along with Steve Doocy and Ainsley Earhardt.
Radio Historian and Videographer Art Vuolo Is This Week’s Guest on Harrison Podcast. Noted radio historian and videographer Art Vuolo is this week’s guest on the award-winning PodcastOne series “The Michael Harrison Interview.” Vuolo has been chronicling radio conferences for nearly 30 years and archiving the very best radio personalities on video since 1979. He has recorded video of some of the greatest on-air legends in studio doing their shows. In many cases, these are the only recorded documents of these figures in existence. His entire library will be featured in a permanent exhibit soon to be unveiled at the National Radio Hall of Fame in Chicago. Harrison describes Vuolo as “the biggest devotee of American radio that I have ever met.” He was aptly dubbed “Radio’s Best Friend” by legendary DJ (and current WCBS-FM, New York morning host) Scott Shannon in the early 1980’s… a moniker that has stuck over the years. On June 8, Vuolo will be the recipient of the prestigious 2018 Lifetime Achievement award at the annual TALKERS convention in New York City, TALKERS 2018: Full Speed Ahead! Harrison and Vuolo take a deep-dive conversation into the golden era of radio’s top 40/personality stations and then some. This interview is a radio freak’s delight. To listen to the entire podcast, please click here or click on the player box marked “The Michael Harrison Interview” located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.
TALKERS Magazine Posts the 2018 Heavy Hundred. The 2018 edition of TALKERS magazine’s “100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America” has been posted. This annual list – compiled by the editors of TALKERS and known informally as the Heavy Hundred – ranks American radio talk show hosts in importance from one to 100. Today, TALKERS presents the 24thedition of this prestigious list in which the editors use a number of hard and soft factors in creating the ranking, including: ratings, revenue, courage, effort, impact, longevity, potential, recognition, service, talent, and uniqueness. TALKERS magazine executive editor Kevin Casey says, “Our editorial staff works very hard to consider all of the numerous personalities who qualify, and then whittle it down to just 100… a difficult task. This list is admittedly subjective to one degree or another but we at TALKERS take the task very seriously. Congratulations to all of the radio talk show hosts who made this year’s Heavy Hundred!” See the list here.
PPM Analysis: Classic Hits-Oldies. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents his analysis of the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s April 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on classic hits-oldies. Kinosian reports that 59% of qualifying classic hits-oldies stations in PPM markets saw their 6+ numbers go up from April 2017 to April 2018. There were nine stations that ranked #1 (6+) in their respective markets and 21 that ranked in the top three. iHeartMedia’s WWSW, Pittsburgh “3WS” wears the April crown for the highest 6+ market share at 11.2%. See the whole report here.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. The campaign to get a Detroit street named after Bob Seger continues as Beasley Media Group’s classic rock WCSX-FM promises to play 24 hours of Seger’s music on June 2 to drum up support for the effort. The “Big Jim’s House Morning Show” challenged WCSX-FM program director Jerry Tarrants, saying they could get more than 9,470 likes on the brand new “Make Bob Seger Boulevard” Facebook page. Within only a few days, Bob Seger fans from all over the world made their voices known with likes for the page going well over the 9,470 likes needed. As a result, listeners will be able to enjoy 24 hours of Seger on the station…..In Rochester, Entercom’s classic rock WCMF is hosting the annual Roc City Rib Fest – a BBQ and music festival featuring nationwide and local food favorites. The four-day, family-friendly festival will feature live music from Sean Patrick McGraw, Branded, and Kid Kurry, among others…..iHeartRadio is presenting holiday weekend-themed content. Today it launched a suite of playlists “perfect for kicking back and enjoying this weekend. From playlists to enjoy the unofficial start of summer to patriotic anthems to reflect and honor those who give everything for our freedom, iHeartRadio has what you are looking for.”
Connoisseur Names Cameron Maxwell Regional Vice President. Twelve-year Connoisseur Media staffer Cameron Maxwell is promoted to regional vice president for the company. Connoisseur CEO Jeffrey Warshaw says, “Cam has been a key part of our success in Billings, handling the day-to-day operations. We are thrilled to promote him into this new role. As regional vice president, he will have the opportunity to pursue regional synergies that will enrich our current operation and benefit our company throughout the region.” Maxwell will continue to head up the company’s Billings, Montana station group. Connoisseur Media owns and/or operates 38 radio stations in 11 markets with stations in Montana, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.
ESPN Announces 150 Job Cuts; Effect on Radio Division Unclear. The sports media giant officially announces what’s been rumored for several months now – that it will eliminate some 150 positions. In a memo to employees, ESPN president John Skipper says the cuts will affect those in “studio production, technology and digital content” positions. This move comes seven months after it laid off about 100 people back in April. The company recently announced its new ESPN Radio Network lineup for 2018, so those on-air workers are safe. It remains unclear if any off-air radio staffers will be affected by this latest round of cuts.
Sean Hannity Subject of Huge New York Times Profile Piece. Talk media superstar Sean Hannity is the subject of a lengthy profile piece in The New York Times by Matthew Shaer. The piece delves into Hannity’s early support of Donald Trump, his childhood growing up on Long Island, and of course, the politics of his radio and television shows. But, for industry insiders, it also offers some tactical glimpses of how Hannity’s Premiere Networks and FOX News Channel programs are produced. Reacting to the NYT article, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison stated at this week’s editorial meeting, “Putting politics aside, from a purely broadcasting industry perspective, Sean Hannity’s accomplishments as a talk media host both on and off the air are nothing short of phenomenal. After decades of consistent performance, he has done something few talents are capable of pulling off. He’s made it to the top in both radio and television. He is the highest-rated cable news/talk television show host in America and one of the driving engines that has gotten the FOX News Channel through its most vulnerable period of crisis.” Harrison continued, “And on the radio side, although specifically ranked #2 on both the TALKERS listenership survey that reflects metrics and the Heavy Hundred chart that reflects influence, he has been locked in a statistical-tie at the top with the great Rush Limbaugh year after year for the past decade-and-a-half. Whether he admits it or not, the enormous influence he has on and relationship with the sitting President of the United States, coupled with the aforementioned facts, clearly establishes Sean Hannity as one of the most important on-air broadcasting figures of the modern era.”
Second NPR Exec Ousted After Allegations of Sexual Impropriety. As reported by NPR’s David Folkenflik, NPR chief news editor David Sweeney has exited the public media company after the corporation heard allegations of sexual harassment from at least three female journalists. Sweeney’s exit comes not long after NPR SVP of news and editorial Michael Oreskes was forced to resign his position earlier this month over similar allegations.
North Korea ICBM Test, GOP Tax Reform Plan, Roy Moore Case/DC Sexual Impropriety Allegations, CFPB Ruling, Trump Pushes Clinton Email Matter, Giants Bench Eli/Down NFL Ratings, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/28). North Korea tests a new ICBM that is deemed capable of reaching the U.S. mainland; the ongoing push by Republicans to pass their tax reform bill; the U.S. Senate campaign of embattled former Alabama judge Roy Moore and the related accusations of sexual misconduct by Senator Al Franken and Congressman John Conyers; a judge rules in favor of President Trump on his Consumer Financial Protection Bureau appointment; President Trump wants investigation into the Hillary Clinton emails matter after former Intelligence Community Inspector General Charles McCullough III claims Democrats harassed him for investigating the matter; the New York Giants bench Eli Manning and the latest NFL ratings; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
TALKERS News Notes. Museum of Broadcast Communications founder Bruce DuMont announces he’s leaving his position as president of the Chicago museum when his term expires at the end of this year. Robert Feder reports that the 73-year-old DuMont “notified the museum board Tuesday that he will relinquish the leadership position he has held since he founded the non-profit institution in 1983.”…..The nationally syndicated radio show “Free Talk Live” – hosted by Ian Freeman and Mark Edge – announces new affiliates. Now airing the program are: KKGX-AM/K256CU, Palm Springs; KVBR, Brainerd, Minnesota; WOKR-AM, Canandaigua, New York; WTNW-AM, Jasper, Tennessee; and KABQ-AM, Albuquerque.
WZFG, Fargo’s Scott Hennen Brings Listener Group to FOX & Friends. WZFG, Fargo “AM 1100 The Flag” morning host Scott Hennen (left) stands with the “FOX & Friends” morning show (l-r) Steve Doocy, Ainsley Earhardt, and Brian Kilmeade surrounded by a group of more than 60 WZFG listeners who made the trek to New York to watch a broadcast of the show.
WFAN, New York Sports Talk Host Richard Neer’s Alternate Career as a Murder Mystery Novelist Continues to Grow. Those who follow WFAN, New York sports talker Richard Neer’s illustrious career recognize that he is somewhat of a pop cultural renaissance man. For more than a half century he has been a familiar figure to Big Apple radio fans as one of the legendary hosts on the old album rock giant WNEW-FM where he developed a widespread reputation as a popular music guru, and in later decades as one of the mainstays of WFAN as a highly respected sports commentator. His non-fiction best-seller FM: The Rise and Fall of Rock Radio (Villard, 2001) remains one of the definitive works on the album era and in recent years he began a new career as a prolific murder mystery novelist, penning a series of books about the adventures of detective Riley King. Now, Neer has returned to the book charts with a special Christmas short story about this character titled, King’s Christmas, which at press time ranks #4 on Amazon’s list of short stories in the mystery/thriller category. For a short time, it will be available for free download on several platforms at RichardNeer.com.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Washington adult contemporary WASH-FM names Jill Kempton to the program director position. Kempton moves from iHeartMedia’s AC WLTW, New York where she was APD, music director, and imaging director. iHeartMedia Washington SVP of programming Jeff Kapugi comments, “There’s been a lot of momentum on WASH-FM this year and Jill has been a part of that remotely. Now she gets to build on that here in Washington to dominate the very competitive AC format.”…..Service Broadcasting extends the contract of hip hop KKDA, Dallas “K104” morning personality DeDe McGuire for another four years. McGuire was the co-host of the syndicated Doug Banks afternoon program before she exited in October of 2014 to join KKDA. Her “K104” co-hosts include Lady Jade and Michael Shawn. As part of the new deal, the company is exploring a syndication effort for McGuire’s program…..Radio pro Scott Miller returns to the business after most recently serving as a regional brand manager for Harley Davidson to program iHeartMedia’s adult contemporary WRVF, Toledo “101.5 The River” and serve as afternoon drive personality at sister rock WIOT. During his time with Harley Davidson, Miller had been doing fill-in work on the company’s news/talk WTAM, Cleveland.
Report: CBS RADIO IPO Coming by End of the Month. That’s the story from Bloomberg News after it became aware of a prospectus for senior notes for CBS RADIO due in 2020. The piece notes that this is an indication it does not have a qualified buyer interested in the 177-station group valued at approximately $2.9 billion. Industry watchers did not expect a single buyer to appear and the sell-off was widely anticipated, but now we know it’s happening soon. Read the Bloomberg piece here.
Hillary Clinton Email Investigation, The Presidential Race, Weekend Terror Attacks in Baghdad, Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh, Battle Against Islamic State, Rio Olympics Troubles and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (7/5). The FBI’s decision not to indict Hillary Clinton over her use of a private email server for State Department business; the activities of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump; the aftermath of weekend terror attacks in Baghdad, Saudi Arabia, and Bangladesh; the efforts to stop Islamic State forces in the Middle East and to prevent IS-inspired terror attacks abroad; the reported troubles facing the Rio De Janeiro Olympic Games; 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.
Nielsen Audio Releases First Round of June 2016 PPM Data. The first of four rounds of June 2016 PPM ratings data from Nielsen Audio has been released for 12 markets including: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nassau-Suffolk (Long Island), Riverside, San Jose, and Middlesex-Somerset-Union (New Jersey). The June 2016 survey period covered May 19 to June 15. You can find the complete 6+ ratings numbers from subscribing stations here. Additionally, TALKERS/RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian provides his “Twelve Takeaways” from this group on the main page of our sister publication here.
Entercom Boston VP/Market Manager Phil Zachary Joins Michael Harrison This Week on ‘Up Close and Far Out.’ In what Michael Harrison describes as “an amazing conversation” about radio, music, politics, sports, media and the generational divide, he and Entercom Communications VP/Boston market manager Phil Zachary engage in a candid, illuminating dialogue on this week’s episode of the PodcastOne award-winning show, “Up Close and Far Out.” As market manager of Entercom’s Boston properties, Zachary oversees tremendously important and influential properties including legendary rock emporium, WAAF-FM; heritage news/talker WRKO-AM; groundbreaking hyper-local sports talk giant WEEI-FM; ESPN Radio 850 AM; and the Boston Red Sox Radio Network. Harrison says, “I am particularly delighted to have Phil Zachary as my guest on this program. He is a seasoned 43-year veteran of many formats of radio who has served as a programmer, manager and executive with such major operations as CBS, iHeart, Curtis and now Entercom. Phil is clearly one of the smartest people in the business and really has the opportunity to expound deeply on a wide variety of topics within the format of this podcast. This conversation is a ‘media freak’s delight!” To listen to the entire podcast, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player boxes located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com and RadioInfo.com.
Former Fox News Personality Gretchen Carlson Files Sexual Harassment/Retaliation Suit Against Roger Ailes. Eleven-year Fox News Channel personality Gretchen Carlson exited the network on June 23 and today is announcing she’s filing a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit against Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes. Carlson was part of the three-person morning show “Fox & Friends” from 2005 through 2013. Since leaving that program she’d been hosting “The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson” from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm daily Among the allegations Carlson levels against Ailes is that after complaining about workplace inequality, Ailes made sexual advances toward her – which she rebuffed – and as a result was “fired” from the “Fox & Friends” show and moved to the less-watched afternoon daypart. The suit is filed in Superior Court in New Jersey and details a list of allegations of sexually-charged comments and other wrongful behavior by Ailes. Ailes and Fox News have not publicly responded to the suit.
William J. Kelly Hosts Middays at WCGO, Chicago; Adds Sales Manager Duties. At the Kovas Family GST Trust-owned talk station WCGO, Chicago, William J. Kelly’s “The Citizen Kelly Show” program moves into the midday slot and Kelly adds station sales manager duties to his responsibilities. Kelly comments, “I’m thrilled to be moving to middays at WCGO. To me, this move represents an opportunity to make Chicago radio great again. Great like it once was but isn’t now. With ‘The Citizen Kelly Show,’ first, we will capture the hearts and minds of people throughout Chicagoland and then…the world.”
Odds & Sods. The Atlanta-Journal Constitution’s Rodney Ho reports that WVEE, Atlanta “V103” morning personality Ryan Cameron is joining Mike Conti on sister sports talker WZGC “92.9 The Game” for Atlanta Falcons pre-game shows this fall. Ho reports the urban contemporary personality has been making recent appearances on WZGC shows to talk sports. Cameron will work from the Georgia Dome for home games and from the WZGC studios for away games…..Former WLW, Cincinnati personality Marc Amazon is launching a podcast titled, “Surviving the Startup.” In describing the show, Amazon says, “Think ‘Shark Tank’ minus the investing part.” Each show will feature Amazon, along with a successful entrepreneur co-host, hearing pitches for startups. The co-hosts will rotate with each episode. The podcast will be available via iTunes, Stitcher and Google Play.