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Thursday, September 14, 2017

| September 14, 2017

Craig Carton Resigns from WFAN.  A day after releasing his first public statement declaring his innocence relative to the federal fraud charges filed against him, radio personality Craig Carton has resigned from his position as morning host alongside co-host Boomer Esiason on CBS RADIO’s WFAN, New York.  As most TALKERS readers are aware, Carton is charged with being part of a Ponzi scheme that bilked $5.6 million out of investors, ostensibly to pay off gambling debts.  Carton’s attorney says the government’s case is a “gross misunderstanding of what happened.”  Here’s Carton’s statement: “Unfortunately, the unfounded legal issues currently plaguing me will only be a distraction to everyone at WFAN and the show I helped build.  With that in mind, I have submitted my resignation to the station and they accepted.  I am sad to see this chapter of my life close but know that it will allow me to focus on my family, my well-being and clearing my name, while giving the show the best opportunity to succeed without further disruption.  I’ve always felt a personal connection to our listeners and want to thank them for making me a part of their daily routine. I hope they can respect the fact that as much as I want to talk about the allegations against me I can’t at this time. There will come a time when I will be able to speak directly about the case and I hope our listeners will be there.”  In accepting Carton’s resignation, CBS RADIO issued the following statement: “We appreciate all of his contributions over the last decade and wish him and his family well during this next phase.  We are especially grateful to our dedicated employees, sponsors and listeners for their continued support of ‘THE FAN.’  The search for a replacement co-host for the morning show will begin immediately.”

PPM Analysis: Public News/Talk. Managing editor Mike Kinosian presents the second of four analyses of the performances of radio stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s August 2017 PPM survey, today focusing on public news/talk.  Kinosian reports that, comparing July PPM figures to August numbers (all 6+ ratings), “six of every 10 stations on this public news/talk panel are up (60%)…while 29% are down; the remaining 11% of the sample is flat.”  Similarly, a comparison of August 2016 ratings to August 2017 shows 60% of stations are up year-over-year.  As far as market rank is concerned, there were four public news/talk stations that ranked #1 in their respective markets in the August survey: KQED-FM, San Francisco (which also ranked #1 in the adjacent San Jose market); WAMU, Washington; KUOW, Seattle; and KPBS, San Diego.  Five other public news/talk stations finished in the top five in their respective markets.  Read the whole report here.

Watkins Named LSM at Cox Atlanta. Sales and marketing pro Mike Watkins is appointed to the local sales manager position at Cox Media Group’s Atlanta radio operations.  In this role, Watkins will “focus on developing talent and driving new business development initiatives” for the cluster’s stations, including news/talk WSB-AM/WSBB-FM.  For the past 20 years, Watkins has been a media consultant for CMG Atlanta.  Prior to that, he spent the first half of his career on the programming side of the business working at legendary stations KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh and WGCI, Chicago.  Watkins came to Atlanta in 1993 as the program director of WALR “Kiss 104.”

WTAR, Norfolk Debuts New Lineup; Local PM Drive Show. On Monday (9/18), Sinclair Communications unveils the new programming lineup at WTAR, Norfolk “Sports Radio 850.”  The schedule will consist of FOX Sports Radio’s “Outkick the Coverage with Clay Travis,” Dan Patrick; “The Herd with Colin Cowherd”; the local Nick Bailey show; and the Rich Eisen show.  Host and PD Nick Bailey says his show will also feature Jason Dick, from “101X” in Austin.  It will also include Tim Murray based in Washington.  Murray is nationally syndicated as part of SBNation.  Bailey states, “We are excited to give the people of Hampton Roads premiere sports talk every weekday.  I think the lineup gives a fresh entertaining spin on sports no matter what time of the day you tune in.  Plus, local sports talk starting at 3:00 pm will be a nice addition to the market.”

Rita Cosby Hosts ‘Pubs and Politics’ Event at The Cutting Room.  This evening in New York City, 77 WABC Radio personality and political editor Rita Cosby hosts “Pubs and Politics” at The Cutting Room on E. 32nd Street.  The evening features three of the top New York City mayoral challengers: Nicole Malliotakis, Sal Albanese, and Bo Dietl.  Also appearing will be former Milwaukee County sheriff David Clarke.  Appearing to discuss the media’s role in the political scene is CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota.  The program will be opened by “Saturday Night Live” cast member Darrell Hammond with remarks and thoughts on the current political environment.  WABC program director Craig Schwalb says, “It’s hard to imagine a better night of political debate and comedy.  The stars come out for Rita, our great listeners, and for WABC Radio.”

Galaxy’s Ed Levine Inducted into Syracuse University’s WAER Hall of Fame.  Pictured above is Galaxy Communications president and CEO Ed Levine (center) during the ceremony inducting him into the WAER Hall of Fame.  Flanking him are Scott MacFarlane (left) and Marv Albert (right). Levin comments, “WAER is where it all started.  It’s where my love for radio was realized, where I met my wife (Pam), and where Craig Fox, Ted Utz and I formulated the plan to start WAQX, which was my first real job in radio.  I couldn’t be happier to be a part of a class that includes Scott MacFarlane and the great Marv Albert.”  Past WAER Hall of Fame inductees include: Bob Costas, Mike Tirico, Lakshmi Singh and former ABC News anchor Ted Koppel.  WAER, once a student-run radio station, is a public radio station based at Syracuse University that maintains a student workforce, primarily in the news and sports departments.

Trump Administration’s DACA Policy, Trump Tax Code Overhaul, Irma and Harvey Aftermath, Hillary Clinton Book, ESPN’s Jemele Hill Controversy, North Korea Threats, Ben Shapiro’s Berkeley Speech, Equifax Security Breach, Apple Introduces New iPhones, ‘Racism’ Banner Unfurled at Red Sox Game, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/13).  The negotiations between Democrats and President Trump on immigration policy regarding ‘dreamers’; the Trump Administration’s efforts to rewrite the U.S. tax code; the effects of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey and the prognosis for long-term recovery; Hillary Clinton’s new book What Happened and her current media tour; the controversy at ESPN over Jemele Hill’s statement calling Trump a white supremacist and the sports media organization’s reaction; the nuclear threats against the U.S. by North Korea; anticipation of protests at UC Berkeley at tonight’s Ben Shapiro speech; the Equifax security breach and criticism of the company’s handling of it; Apple’s introduction of new iPhones, including the iPhone X; protesters unfurl anti-racism banner at Wednesday’s Red Sox game; and NFL 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. Country stations KPLX, Dallas “99.5 The Wolf” and KSCS “New Country 96.3” brought Broken Bow Records artist Dustin Lynch to Cowboys Red River Dance Hall in Dallas on Tuesday (9/12) to raise money for the American Red Cross Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.  Lynch performed a 90-minute set for the nearly 2,600 fans in attendance, raising $25,750 to help those affected by last month’s Hurricane Harvey…..CBS RADIO CHR KLUC, Las Vegas partnered with Zappos For Good, Lyft and the Salvation Army for a three-day broadcast last Wednesday, Thursday and Friday to collect items for Hurricane Harvey and Irma relief efforts. KLUC’s “Chet Buchanan & the Morning Zoo” filled five semi-trucks with donated supplies and hit the road this past Saturday for the 1,200 mile trek from Las Vegas to the Salvation Army Divisional Disaster warehouse in Arlington, Texas…..Envision Networks is partnering with Skid Trax to offer “The Ashley & Brad Show” to affiliates on a barter basis. Ashley & Brad are based at KWSV-LP, Simi Valley, California.  Envision says the show “targets the 25 to 54 audience with current topics and humor.  Radio stations’ music playlists will remain intact – just add Ashley & Brad voice tracks.”…..Jim Dorman joins iHeartMedia to serve as operations manager for the company’s four-station Wichita cluster that includes CHR KZCH, country KZSN, adult contemporary KRBB, and alternative KTHR.  Dorman takes over for the departed Brian Jennings…..Milwaukee hip hop outlet WKKV “V100.7” is presenting the 6th annual Cracker Barrel Sista Strut – a 3K breast cancer charity walk that aims to bring awareness to the importance of breast cancer screenings.  The charity walk will take place on Saturday, October 7.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

| November 10, 2016

What’s Next for Talk Radio?  At this week’s post-election editorial meeting, TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison shared his response to the most-frequently-asked question he has answered since it was announced on Election Night that Donald Trump cracked the 270 electoral votes threshold – What’s next for talk radio?  harrisonmichael16Harrison says, “The answer is simple… talk radio will continue to talk about whatever is happening in society.” Harrison adds, “When things of common interest stop happening, well…that will mark the end of talk radio.  Until then, you can be sure this format will keep on yapping!”  According to Harrison, “It is important for talk broadcasters not to allow SWA (‘spoken word audio’) – the broader genre to which talk radio belongs – to become synonymous in the public’s perception with any singular subject (such as ‘politics’) or with any specific take on a subject (such as ‘conservative’ politics).  This election did talk radio and its hosts a big favor by shaking up dissent among the ranks and even putting broadcasters in challenging struggles with their core audiences.”  Harrison strongly suggests, “Respectful disagreement and unpredictability in search of truth are the engines that power not only talk radio – but democracy in general.  They key word here, however, is ‘respectful.’”

cookehollandNAB Show New York.  Media consultant Holland Cooke is in New York City reporting from the second year of the NAB Show New York.  He notes that although this is not a radio conference, there’s a lot there from which radio can learn. Cooke reports that Facebook’s Bob Gruters said the following: “‘Mobile has changed us’ and ‘mobile has changed business’ he proclaimed.  When he shared that the average person looks at his/her smartphone 30 times a day — and young people 127 times – I felt young again.”   Read Cooke’s report here.

iHeartMedia Madison Bids Adieu to Progressive Talker  “92.1 The Mic.”  Management isn’t saying anything about WXXM, Madison – the former progressive talker “92.1 The Mic” and now, all-Christmas as “92.1 BEST FM” – other than it’s Christmas music through December 25.  There’s no hint of what the format might bewxxmlogo after that.  The Wisconsin State Journal reports that mid-morning host Mitch Henck says he’s not too worried about losing his slot on the station – he streams his show online and says he’s working on getting more radio affiliates.  Ditto for the afternoon program “Devil’s Advocate” with hosts Dominic Salvia and Mike Crute.  Their show is streamed and the paper reports they plan to debut on 20 new affiliates in January.  “92.1 The Mic” had bounced around in the Nielsen ratings (12+) recently, notching a 1.7 share in the Fall 15 book, a 2.9 in the Winter 16 book, a 1.5 share in the Spring 16 survey, and a 2.1 in the recent Summer 16 book.

Comic and Talk Host Steven Crowder Joins CRTV.  Former Fox News Channel contributor, comic, and talk show host Steven Crowder is joining media company CRTV.  CRTV is producing the CRTV Digital Networkcrowdersteven that is the home of the video talk show LevinTV – hosted by Mark Levin – and new shows soon to come hosted by Michelle Malkin and Mark Steyn.  Now, CRTV announces the “Louder with Crowder” host – “notorious for pushing the comedic envelope and ‘triggering’ modern leftists” – is joining the network.  CRTV chief content officer Chris Crane says, “We are excited to have Steven Crowder on the CRTV team.  He is a rare talent that can entertain and educate at the same time.  He is very popular with young audiences, and reaches them in a unique way that very few conservatives can.”

PodcastOne Launches ‘The Chick Show.’  Leading podcast platform PodcastOne announces the launch of “The Chick Show,” featuring actresses (and working moms) Lisa Ann Walter – “Bruce Almighty,” “The Parent podcastone-bTrap” – and Rosa Blasi – “Strong Medicine” “The Thundermans.”  PodcastOne says, “With a 15-year friendship under their belts, the hosts let loose and help each other through cheating husbands, online dating, falling in love, vacations with kids, single-parenting, blended families, and most importantly, balancing life as working moms – all in front of an audience who can learn from the duo’s experiences and advice.”  The first guests to drop by the show are The View’s Sherri Shephard, and Chrissy Metz from the critically acclaimed NBC-TV show, “This Is Us.”

FOX Sports Radio Brings Chris Broussard Aboard.  Sports media pro Chris Broussard joins FOX Sports Radio as a host, opinionist and NBA analyst.  The company says that in addition to making frequent appearances across the network as a guest and contributor, Broussard will launch the first of two weekend programs thisbroussardchris Saturday, November 12.  Co-hosted by FSR personality Brian Noe, the two will broadcast from 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm ET on 200 stations nationwide, plus several digital platforms, including iHeartRadio.  Broussard will add a Sunday radio program in 2017 and will continue his role as FS1’s new NBA analyst.  Broussard says, “I want to thank FOX Sports Radio and FS1 for providing me with the platform to share my sports views and opinions, which have been developed over my 20 years of covering professional sports, particularly the NBA.  I can’t wait to hit the airwaves in my new role with Brian Noe.  Together, we’ll bring listeners a show that is smart, entertaining and insightful.”

Odds & Sods.  The ad sales firm Regional Reps Corp. announces the hiring of Grace Agostino as East Coast regional manager.  New York-based Agostino will cover the East Coast territory for Regional Reps, calling on clients, stations, and advertising agencies.  The firm says Agostino started her sales career with Katz Media Sales in 1996.hobbycaroline  She’s also worked for iHeartMedia, Interep, and SBS…..Westwood One announces new partnerships with Nashville-based musician, TV personality and podcaster Caroline Hobby and KQRS, Minneapolis morning host Tom Barnard.  Both have joined the network’s podcast and on-demand platform via audioBoom.  As part of the deal, Westwood One is providing exclusive ad sales representation for “Hyper Caroline Hobby” and “The Tom Barnard Podcast.”…..Galaxy Communications CEO Ed Levine is named chairman of The New York State Broadcasters Association for 2017.  NYSBA president and executive director David Donovan says, “NYSBA is fortunate to have the most respected and dynamic executives in broadcasting serving on its board of directors. Through their leadership, stewartelizabethcumulusdesmoines16NYSBA will help ensure that radio and television stations in New York meet the challenges of today’s hyper competitive marketplace.”…..College hoops expert Seth Davis is producing an eponymous podcast that’s being made available via a partnership between DGital Media and Time Inc.’s Sports Illustrated Group…..Pictured at left is Cumulus Media Des Moines director of marketing, NTR & integrated sales Elizabeth Stewart at last Sunday’s world record-setting “FriendsGiving” event.  Held in conjunction with Prairie Trail and Jethro’s Barbecue, more than 600 people came out to set a Guinness World Record for the “Largest Number of People Breaking Bread” and enjoyed a traditional holiday meal of turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and pie, as well as games and live music.  The event benefited Hope Ministries, which feeds about 450 people a day. Image: WOI-TV.

Trump Defeats Clinton in Presidential Race and GOP Retaining Control of House and Senate Dominated Discussion on News/Talk Radio Yesterday (11/9).  The victory of Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton for president and the GOP’s retaining control over the U.S. House and Senate were the stories that dominated the discussion on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

| November 2, 2016

Beasley Broadcast Group Reports Q3 Net Revenue Up 5.6%; Caroline Beasley Named CEO.  Today’s third quarter financial report comes the day after Beasley Broadcast Group closed on its acquisition of Greater Media’s stations.  Beasley estimates that going forward, the acquisition will “more than double Beasley’s beasley-logorevenue base.”  This quarterly report reflects the operation of the 52 stations owned as of September 30.   Net revenue for the quarter was $27.7 million, an increase of 5.6% over the same period a year ago.  At the same time as this report is being released, the company announces that, effective January 1, 2017, B. Caroline Beasley will begin serving the company as CEO, removing the interim from her title.  Caroline Beasley takes over for her father, George Beasley, who’s been onbeasleycaroline medical leave.  He maintains his role as chairman of the board.  Also, Marie Tedesco, who presently serves as the company’s vice president of finance, will assume Caroline Beasley’s chief financial officer position, effective January 1, 2017.  Speaking about the Greater Media deal, Caroline Beasley says, “The transaction immediately and significantly broadens our local radio broadcasting and digital platform, tedescomariegeographic footprint and revenue base by adding leading stations and great brands that are complementary to our existing operating base, while presenting the opportunity for synergies with the company’s existing station portfolio.  Specifically, the transaction increases our broadcast portfolio by approximately 33% and more than doubles our audience reach as we enter four new markets with nine stations – Detroit; Middlesex, Monmouth, and Morristown, New Jersey – and adds nine other stations in Philadelphia and Boston where we already operate… Looking forward, we plan to apply our historical focus on strong core programming and targeted localism to the newly acquired stations as these strategies support strong ratings and market leadership.  While we’ll record initial contributions from the new stations in the fourth quarter, Beasley will realize the value of the transaction beginning in 2017 as we extract operating and cost synergies, enhance sales practices, and apply our proven operating disciplines.”

Porth Upped to PD at WPRT, Nashville.  Nashville sports talk duo WPRT “ESPN 102.5 The Game” and WBUZ-HD3/W235BW “94.9 The Game 2” names Ryan Porth program director for the stations.  Porth has been serving as wprtlogoassistant PD and rises with the recent departure of Jeremy BennefieldThe Cromwell Group general manager Jana Hampton states, “It’s great when you can hire from within.  Ryan Porth has exceeded expectations as the APD and has proven himself worthy of the elevated role.”  Porth comments, “There’s a lot of talent with our newly constructed weekday lineup on ‘102.5 The Game’ and I’m looking forward to being a part of the continued growth of our stations.”

WFNZ, Charlotte’s Jim Celania Retires from Sports Talker.  Nineteen-year WFNZ, Charlotte air personality Jim Celania retired from the station on Monday, telling the Charlotte Observer he doesn’t want to be one of “those macattack16lgguys” who hangs around too long.  The 67-year-old media pro tells the paper, “I’ve seen it in TV and in radio – those guys who hang around too long.  I didn’t want to be one of them.  That’s the truth.  It was time to get off the bus.”  Celania (pictured, left) retired the day before Entercom took control of the station under an LMA as it prepares to close on acquisition of the station from Beasley Broadcast Group.  Celania, who worked on several shows at the station over the years, most recently co-hosted “The Mac Attack” morning show with Chris McClain (center) and T-Bone (right).  He worked for WCNC-TV prior to joining WFNZ in 1999.

Galaxy Names Pam Levine Chief of Galaxy Events.  Recently Galaxy Communications announced the creation of a new division – Galaxy Events.  Now, we learn that Pam Levine – the wife and longtime business galaxycommunicationspartner of Galaxy Communications president and CEO Ed Levine is heading the division as president/CEO.  Ed Levine says, “Pam Levine started this division 10 years ago with a vision of what it could become.  A decade of many successful events later, the vision has become reality.  As we now expand across New York State and soon the entire country, this new title is overdue.”  Galaxy Communications owns 14 radio stations in Syracuse and Utica-Rome and also owns many of the area’s biggest community events including Wine and Chocolate Festivals, K-Rockathon, Taste of Syracuse and many more.

Odds & Sods.  WABC, New York personality Sid Rosenberg – co-host of the daily “Bernie & Sid” show – isrosenbergsid hosting the promotion “Sid, Sports, ‘n Stuff” at NYY Steak on West 51st Street in New York City on Monday, November 28.  The 7:00 pm event will consist of a night of sports, sports trivia, steak, guest athletes, special surprise guests, and prizes…..Digital audio service TuneIn is offering play-by-play of all of this season’s NBA games live via its TuneIn NBA station.  It will offer original shows such as “NBA Gametime,” “Open Court,” and “The Starters,” plus is partnering with the Golden State Warriors to launch the “Warriors Sound” radio station.  TuneIn is working with additional teams to create similar stations as a destination for free, unique, team-specific content to fans wherever they are…..SiriusXM is launching a new show hosted by Florida State golf coach Trey Jones on its SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio channel.  The show is called “Beyond the Tips” and will feature co-host Jeff Cameron and Jones each Wednesday at 9:00 pm ET for an hour covering NCAA golf.

Rick Jakle Selling Three Signals to William Pollock.  Broadcaster (and banker) Rick Jakle is selling his three radio stations to William Pollock for an undisclosed sum.  The stations are: WRMN, Elgin, Illinois; WBIG, Aurora, Illinois; and KSHP, Las Vegas.  The move marks Jakle’s 50 years of serving the Elgin community.  Jakle comments, “The greatest privilege in my professional life was coming to WRMN as a young 24-year-oldjaklerick broadcaster in 1966.  I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to build and operate great local radio facilities and I am proud to have created and developed the Radio Shopping Show concept 34 years ago.  None of what we have accomplished would have been possible without my team of dedicated broadcasters.  If there’s any secret to our success — simply stated, it’s our remarkable people.”  William Pollack’s companies own radio stations in Missouri as well as TV stations in California and Louisiana. He also owns movie theaters in various markets.

The Presidential Race, Hillary Clinton Emails Investigation, U.S. House and Senate Races, U.S.-Philippines Relations, the World Series, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/1).  The presidential race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; the FBI’s renewed investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server; the down-ticket races for U.S. House and Senate seats; the state of U.S.-Philippines relations as the result of Rodrigo Duterte’s mercurial behavior; the Cubs-Indians World Series; and the weekend’s NFL Action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

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‘Too $hort’s Boombox’ at Popfest in LA.  The photo above captures the PodcastOne show “Too $hort’s Boombox” being recorded live last Saturday (10/29) at Entertainment Weekly’s Popfest in Downtown Los Angeles.  Also recording their PodcastOne show at the podcast stage on Saturday was “LadyGang,” hosted by the Insider’s Keltie Knight, Glee’s Becca Tobin and fashion designer Jac Vanek.  Pictured above are (from l-r): Bobby “Loco” Spencer, Leli Hernandez, Evelyn Gonzalez, Michael Rapaport and Too $hort.

Monday, October 17, 2016

| October 17, 2016

Wisconsin Talk Host Walks Off Morning Show Citing ‘Hurricane of Hate.’  Longtime Eau Claire, Wisconsin talk host John Murphy walked off his morning drive program in the middle of the show on Thursday (10/13), saying he’s tired of the “political venom” from callers to the program.  Murphy did return to Mid-Westmurphyjohnwayy Family Marketing’s sports-information formatted simulcast WAYY/W286CK in Eau Claire to host a new, non-political show airing from 7:00 am to 10:00 am, appropriately called, “The No Politics Zone.”  The Eau Claire Leader-Telegram reports that Murphy says even rules about no discussion of political races didn’t seem to work – and may not for the new show either.  “We found that no matter what topic we brought up, people used that opportunity to weasel their political opinions in.”  Murphy had been hosting the “WAYY Morning Show” that served as a forum for listeners on local, state and national issues for the past 14 years. Murphy co-hosts the new show with current station personalities Luc Anthony and Dan Kasper.

talkradiodebatecspan16Hillsdale College/TALKERS Magazine Presidential Election Talk Radio Debate in DC Aired Live on C-SPAN2; Available on Talkers TV Now.  The Hillsdale College/TALKERS magazine Presidential Election Talk Radio Debate that took place in Washington, DC this past Friday (10/14) was aired live on C-SPAN2.  For those who wish to see the event, the video is now posted on Talkers TV.  The debate was moderated by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison and the panel of participants included: (in alphabetical order): Thom Hartmann, syndicated host, WYD MediaHugh Hewitt, syndicated host, Salem Radio NetworkJoyce Kaufman, afternoon host, WFTL, Ft. Lauderdale/Miami; Joe Madison, morning host, SiriusXM “Urban View” channel; Larry O’ Connor, morning co-host, WMAL, Washington, DC; and Chris Stigall, morning host WPHT, Philadelphia.  Also appearing on the program were Matthew J. Spaulding, associate VP, Hillsdale College and Vince Benedetto, CEO, Bold Gold Media Group.  The event took place at Hillsdale’s Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship at 227 Massachusetts Avenue, NE, Washington, DC.  To view the entire debate, please click here or click on the Talkers TV box located at top of the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Ed Levine’s Galaxy Communications to Buy Western Massachusetts Radio Group.  Syracuse, New York-Based Galaxy Communications announces it has signed a definitive agreement to buy the six-station radio group operating as Berkshires Media Group from parent company Gamma Broadcasting for an undisclosed sum.  galaxycommunicationsThe stations are: hot AC WBEC-FM, Pittsfield; news/talk WBEC-AM, Pittsfield-AM; classic hits WUPE-AM/FM, North Adams; AC WSBS-AM, Great Barrington; and AC WNAW-AM, North Adams.  Levine says, “These six radio stations do a tremendous job of serving their communities with great local radio. They have thrived under the ownership of Gamma Broadcasting, which has done a wonderful job. I look forward to working with market manager Peter Barry and the entire staff of radio professionals.”  Gamma president Bruce Danziger adds, “We feel confident placing our terrific stations and people in Ed Levine’s capable hands.  This is a special group, led by Peter, and we know Ed’s oversight will continue to bring good results for our people and the community.”

emmisJeff Smulyan’s Go-Private Bid Fails.  The CEO of Emmis Communications extended this offer deadline three times, but that still wasn’t enough for the special committee of independent directors and his $4.10 per share offer to take the company private failed.  As the Indianapolis Business Journal smulyanjeffreports, this was the third time over the last 10 years that Jeff Smulyan had bid to take the company private.  Emmis stock closed at $3.99 on Friday (10/14).  The IBJ also notes that Smulyan’s offer represented a 25% premium to Emmis’ average closing share price over the 90 days prior to the announcement of the deal, but investors obviously felt the offer was way too low.  Smulyan appears to be finished trying to take the company private and writes to shareholders that he looks “forward to continuing to work with you as we move Emmis forward as a public company.”

CBS to Break Out Radio Performance During Quarterly Reports.  As the company states, this is in advance of its separating the CBS RADIO segment from the rest of the company and the expected initial public offering for cbsradiothe new radio company.  The company explains that “beginning with the filing of the Company’s Form 10-Q for the third quarter of 2016, the Company’s previously reported operating segment, Local Broadcasting, will be separated into the following two operating segments: (1) Local Media and (2) Radio.  In connection with this new segment presentation, the presentation of intercompany revenues has been revised, including station affiliation fees paid by Local Media to the CBS Television Network. The following financial information reflects the new segment and intercompany presentations for all periods presented.”  What we’re seeing in the report is that although radio segment revenue has been down slightly over the last six quarters, station operating income has improved.

Odds & Sods.  The Beasley sports talker in Charlotte – WFNZ “610 the Fan” – has been simulcasting on the FM band via translator W273DA at 102.5 leased from the Educational Media Foundation.  Now, Beasley files to buy the translator for $150,000…..…..Jay Morris is exiting his brand manager role with Midwest Communications’ Kalamazoo station group where he programmed alternative WZOX, news/talk WKZO, and sports talk WQLR for a gig outside of the radio biz.  Cluster director of operations and programming Steve Mills assumes PD duties on an interim basis…..Amani Abraham transitions from the anchor/reporter role at Rubber City Radio’s country WQMX and news/talk WAKR in Akron to WKYC-TV, Cleveland to serve as a reporter.

The Presidential Race, WikiLeaks Clinton Doc Dump, ‘SNL’ Election Skits, Battle Against ISIS in Mosul, Kaepernick Starts vs Bills/Anthem Protests, MLB Playoffs, and Sunday’s NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; the dump of emails between Hillary Clinton and her staff by WikiLeaks; Donald Trump’s displeasure of the portrayal of him in “SNL” skits; action in the battle against Islamic State in the Iraqi city of Mosul; the National Anthem protests and counter-protests against Colin Kaepernick prior to his start in Buffalo; the weekend’s MLB playoff action and Sunday’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Friday, September 16, 2016

| September 16, 2016

John R. Gambling Retires from WNYM, New York ‘AM 970 The Answer.’  The Gambling name is legendary in New York radio history – John B. Gambling started hosting mornings on WOR in 1925, his son John A. Gambling took over the show in 1959, and John R. Gambling joined his father as co-host in 1985.gamblingjohnr  Now, the third Gambling is announcing his retirement from his radio show on Salem Media Group’s WNYM, New York “AM 970 The Answer.”  Gambling told his listeners at the start of today’s program (11:00 am ET) that he’s been dealing with problems recuperating from a broken knee cap that is hastening his decision to step down.  Gambling retired from WOR in December of 2013 but later joined WNYM.  WNYM general manager Jerry Crowley tells TALKERS, “His grandfather is often credited with inventing talk radio, his dad was # 1 in all radio ratings surveys and John somehow transitioned that genre to contemporary talk radio with a right-of-center view but absolutely never ticked a guest off.  No one else ever pulled that off.  Radio listeners knew this and appreciated his insightful, courtly way of conducting major league interviews and his amazing insights.  When John left WOR the first time around, we were inundated with sacks of mail not for a day or week but months – amazing.  When I brought him back to Salem NY You could almost hear the thunderous applause reverberate across the region.  John was great in every way and we will all miss his calming, dulcet tones.”

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Dave Ramsey Kicks Off the Fall Tour in Dallas.  It’s the fall “Smart Money” tour, to be more precise.  Nationally syndicated talk radio superstar and best-selling author Dave Ramsey brought his fall edition of his ongoing live event tour to a sold-out crowd in Dallas yesterday (9/15) at First Baptist Church Dallas.  The “Smart Money” program focuses on winning with money, getting out of debt and investing for the future.  Best-selling author and financial expert Rachel Cruze joined Ramsey on stage.  Ramsey combined forces with local affiliate KRLD, Dallas “News Radio 1080” to promote the event.  CBS RADIO Dallas local sales manager Paul Davis states, “Dave’s appearances in Dallas are always a huge deal for our listeners, clients and staff.  He spent quality, one-on-one time with our partners and then entertained us and about 3,000 others at the sold-out Smart Money event!  We wish Dave could come to North Texas more often!” Pictured here are (from l-r): Ramsey; Paul Mann, KRLD news director; Davis and Cruze.

gaffneydangoldenmicA Rare Golden Mic for Dan Gaffney.  In honor of 30 years of serving southern Delaware, WXDE, Lewes “Delaware 105.9” morning personality Dan Gaffney is honored with a golden microphone gifted to him by Kevin Short, owner of local business Mid South Audio.  Short acquired the golden mic from the same artisan who crafted the golden microphones for Premiere Networks talk superstar Rush Limbaugh and Premiere/KIIS, Los Angeles personality Ryan Seacrest.

Arnie States Hosts Afternoon Show at KUUB, Reno.  The former member of the triostatesarnie Rob, Arnie, and DawnArnie States – is back on the air hosting a sports talk show on Lotus Communications’ KUUB, Reno “ESPN 94.5.”  (Rob and Dawn still host mornings on rock KRXQ, Sacramento as “Rob, Anybody, and Dawn.”) States exited the trio in March of 2015.  For a while he was part of KRXQ’s afternoon show before leaving that gig to return to Reno to care for his father.  Now, he’s back on the radio doing sports talk.

galaxycommunicationsGalaxy to Enter Events Consulting Biz.  The New York State-based broadcasting firm Galaxy Communications announces it is starting up a division focusing on creating event partnerships with fellow radio and television broadcasters.  The division is called Galaxy Events Consulting and reports it has commitments to enter 10 new markets in 2017.  They include: Buffalo, Rochester, Binghamton, Watertown and Long Island in New York, plus Philadelphia, Charlotte, Raleigh and Sarasota, Florida.  Galaxy president and CEO Ed Levine states, “This idea has been percolating for some time.  As acknowledged industry leaders in this space, we’ve had many conversations with other radio and TV broadcasters.  We think we’ve come up with a model that can generate guaranteed revenue for the partner broadcaster with no risk.  Experiential/event marketing is a key element for both radio and television’s future revenue growth.  We’ve been in this space for a decade and are now prepared to help other broadcasters navigate these waters.”  Galaxy owns 14 radio stations in the Syracuse and Utica-Rome markets.  Its Galaxy Events division is responsible for many of the biggest community events in Central New York, highlighted by ‘Taste of Syracuse,’ which draws 200,000 people annually.

talkersten-logoThe Presidential Race Again Tops Talkers TenTM for Week of September 12-16.  For obvious reasons, the presidential race is likely to be the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio through the elections in November and this week was no different with the activities of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton at #1.  At #2 this week was the issue of each candidate’s health.  Coming in at #3 was the United States’ refugee policy that calls for an additional 110,000 to be allowed into the country, followed by the National Anthem protests 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.