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Friday, January 18, 2013

| January 18, 2013

diloretodanielBubba-Schnitt Trial: Day Two.  On day two of testimony in the Hillsborough County, Florida courtroom where nationally syndicated talk host Todd Schnitt is suing Bubba the Love Sponge (Todd Clem) for defamation, thebubba questioning surrounded Bubba’s on-air language calling for the “death” of Schnitt – who was hosting mornings at WFLZ, Tampa as MJ Kelli.  Schnitt’s attorney focused on Bubba’s statements that included: “We seek and destroy,” “I will not be happy until I have an MJ funeral in the streets in Tampa, Florida,” and “MJ, that’s the only person I really want to die, seriously.”  On the witness stand for part of the day was former Clear Channel Tampa market manager Daniel DiLoreto who said on the stand that he was “stunned” by Bubba’s comments about schnitttoddwanting Schnitt “to die.”  Schnitt’s attorney is trying to convince the jury that Bubba’s language went beyond typical radio disc jockey feuding to putting Schnitt and his family in fear for their safety at the hands of members of the “Bubba Army,” as Clem’s fans are known.  Clem’s attorney is trying to paint all the on-air talk as simply the words of feuding disc jockeys with no real threat to anyone’s safety.  When questioned by Clem’s attorney if he ever heard Clem actually ask anyone to hurt Schnitt, DiLoreto replied he had not.

oconnelldanielJohn O’Connell Named PD at CBS Radio’s Tampa Sports Stations.  Programmer John O’Connell moves to the Tampa cluster of CBS Radio stations from the company’s West Palm Beach operations where he most recently served as OM and PD.  O’Connell will program WHFS-FM, Tampa “Sports Radio 98.7” and WHFS-AM “CBS Sports Radio 1010.”  O’Connell came to South Florida after spending 15 years working in the Boston market at such outlets as Kiss 108, WBMX and WEEI.  He became program director for alternative rocker WPBZ-FM in 1996 and later increased his responsibilities to oversee several stations in the region.  CBS Tampa SVP and market manager Ben Hill says, “I have complete confidence in John’s experience and leadership, having worked closely with him over the years.  He is confident and ‘walks the walk’ when it comes to achieving results.  And the fact that no one can match what we offer when it comes to sports programming will enable John to create a listener experience that is completely driven by the fans.”

paynesethSeth Payne Joins Midday Show at KILT-AM, Houston.  Former Houston Texan Seth Payne becomes part of the “Mad Radio” midday show at CBS Radio’s sports talk KILT-AM, Houston “SportsRadio 610” beginning Monday, January 21.  Payne replaces Brad Davies who remains with the station on a part-time, fill-in basis.  He’ll co-host the program with Mike Meltser.  KILT-AM program director Gavin Spittle says, “I can’t thank Brad enough for being a part of ‘Mad Radio.’ In one year, we have seen a 100% increase in this time slot and while we will miss him on a daily basis, I’m glad that he wants to remain on the team in a part-time capacity.  Seth is a natural fit and from day one, he’s impressed us. We’re really excited about the all-new ‘Mad Radio.’”  Payne states, “I’m grateful to Gavin Spittle for this opportunity and I appreciate all the guidance I’ve received from him and the talented people at ‘SportsRadio 610.’  I especially look forward to working with Mike Meltser.  He is an extremely talented and intelligent individual, and I know we’ll have a lot of fun.”

johnsonisraelCelebrating in the Holy Land.  XtreMedia nationally syndicated talk host Dani Johnson (pictured here at left with Israeli comic Yisreal Campbell) celebrates her one-year anniversary in talk radio with a trip to Israel.  Johnson, along with fellow XtreMedia talk hosts Kevin McCullough and Stephen Baldwin, were invited by representatives of the Israeli government to come and witness Israel’s progress in agriculture, culture, and technology.  Johnson is producing her weekly radio program from Israel and Campbell will appear on the edition of her program that airs live on Sunday, January 20 from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm.  Johnson’s program is heard on more than 85 affiliate stations.

kucinichdennisFox News Channel Brings Dennis Kucinich Aboard as Contributor.  Liberal ex-Congressman Dennis Kucinich – who served eight terms in the House of Representatives – becomes part of the cable news/talk channel’s contributor corps.  In a statement about his new endeavor, Kucinich says, “Through 16 years in Congress and two presidential campaigns, Fox News has always provided me with an opportunity to share my perspective with its enormous viewership.”

noorytvshotGeorge Noory Debuts On-Demand Video Show.  The Premiere Networks nationally syndicated late-night talk star begins his new weekly internet television program titled, “Beyond Belief with George Noory.”  The program is a project with GaiamTV.com and delivers new episodes every Friday evening at 7:00 and on demand daily.  As you might expect, the program is billed as “dynamic discussions on paranormal phenomena, conspiracies and all things unexplained.”  Noory is pictured here on the set interviewing Dr. Katherine Albrecht for a show about privacy and RFID chips.

kirofm logoKIRO-FM, Seattle Debuts Weekend Pet Show.  Dubbed, “It’s Raining Cats and Dogs with Shawn Stewart,” the program has its premiere airing Sunday, January 20 from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm on Bonneville’s news/talk KIRO-FM, Seattle.  The show features pet experts from the Ahimsa Dog Training Center who will take listener questions regarding everything they need to know about raising their beloved best friends.  “In this case, the tail does wag the dog,” says KIRO Radio’s assistant program director Jason Antebi. “I’ve never seen a city more in love and obsessed with their companions than Seattle! This show is the perfect addition to the KIRO Radio weekends.”

comrexliveshotComrex Moves Full-Force into Digital Video Delivery Market.  Devens, Massachusetts-based Comrex Corporation announces it is shipping its new LiveShot Video IP Codec – the first video product for professional broadcasters in the company’s 51-year history.  Comrex says the new technology provides high-quality, low-latency, full-duplex video and audio over both wired and wireless IP data services, including challenging internet links such as 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi with end-to-end delay as low as 200ms.  Comrex managing director Kris Specht states, “Our core customer for the past several decades has been the radio broadcaster.  It was in response to requests from some of our longtime customers that had worked in radio — and who had subsequently moved over to television — to create a product that would do for TV what our ACCESS IP Audio Codecs have done for radio.  LiveShot provides the small form factor, unmatched reliability, high-quality performance and easy operator experience that Comrex customers have come to expect.”  The LiveShot Video IP Codec system consists of the LiveShot Portable, a small, lightweight, camera-mounted unit that attaches to the camera’s 3-stud or V-mount battery mount with the battery attaching to the outside of the LiveShot Portable.  On the studio side, the LiveShot Studio rack-mount unit interfaces with the facility’s audio/video router or switcher.  The units connect via an IP data connection and utilize Comrex’s CrossLock™ VPN which provides a one-button connection from either the studio or the field once the units have an internet connection.  CrossLock also provides data encryption and intrusion protection for added reliability.  Complete details on the LiveShot Video Codec’s features and specifications can be found by visiting www.comrex.com.

wexlerdrdrewFace Time with Dr. Drew.  WFAS-AM, Westchester personality Lisa Wexler appeared on HLN’s “Dr. Drew on Call” to discuss the case of Jodi Arias – accused of stabbing her boyfriend 29 times – and the Steubenville, Ohio rape case.  In addition to her work as a talk show host on WFAS, Wexler is an attorney and an author.

Filling In.  WFED, Washington afternoon drive host Francis Rose subs for Cumulus Media NetworksJohn Batchelor on his WABC, New York-based program this Sunday evening from 9:00 pm to 1:00 am ET.

allianceforwomeninmediaThe Alliance for Women in Media Announces 2013 Board of Directors.  With Kay Olin, president of Local Focus Radio serving as the National Chair, the 2013 board of directors of the Alliance for Women in Media will convene on January 25 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, for its first board meeting and then will participate in judging the 2013 Gracie Awards on January 26 and 27.  The following individuals will serve as Directors at Large:  Christina Anderson from Silver Spring, MD; Lori Conkling, executive vice president, distribution, A+E Networks, New York; Cyndee Everman, vice president, DW/BI, care and marketing tools, Time Warner Cable, Charlotte; Nancy Giles, contributor, CBS Broadcasting, Inc., New York; Sandy Girard, vice president, brand management and development, SiriusXM Radio, New York; Carol Hanley, chief sales officer, Arbitron Inc., Chicago; Annie Howell, executive vice president, corporate communications and media relations, Crown Media Family Networks, New York; Kimberly Maki, vice president, corporate communications and web strategies, Bright House Networks, Orlando; Janet Noll, national sales director, Rural Media Group – RFD-TV & Rural TV, Omaha; Deborah Parenti, executive vice president of radio, Radio Ink, New York; Roni Selig, senior executive producer/director, health, wellness and medical unit, CNN, New York; Keisha Sutton-James, vice president, Inner City Broadcasting Corporation, New York; Christine Travaglini, president, Christal Radio, New York; and Dr. Nicol Turner-Lee, president and chief executive officer, NAMIC, Inc., New York.

Obama Executive Gun Actions Top News/Talk Story for Week of January 14-18.  President Obama’s executive gun actions landed atop the Talkers TenTM this week as the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio.  Coming in at #2 was the legislative arms debate.  At #3 was the debt ceiling tied with the tax cut battles and following at #4 was the American hostages in Algeria tied with the Mali Violence.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people of the week as discussed on news/talk radio.  It is the result of ongoing research from TALKERS and is published every Friday at Talkers.com.  View this week’s entire chart here.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

| June 20, 2012

Marvin Kalb, Howard Stern Top List of Winners at New York Festivals Radio Awards Show.  Radio legends and new faces shared the stage at New York Festivals’ 30th annual Radio Awards ceremony in Manhattan Monday to honor the most original and innovative work in broadcasting over the past year.  The 2012 edition of the World’s Best Radio Programs featured entries from private stations, public broadcasters and production companies from 28 different countries.  George Washington University’s Global Media Institute was awarded The Grand Jury Trophy for the Best Talk/Interview Special with “The Kalb Report-Anchoring 9/11: The Day and The Decade,” a discussion on the impact of the twin tower attacks with Dan Rather, Brit Hume, Charles Gibson and Frank Sesno.  Host Marvin Kalb attended the awards ceremony, as did his former colleague Richard C. Hottelet, one of the original “Murrow Boys” who covered the Second World War for the CBS Radio News team led by legendary reporter Edward R. Murrow.  (Pictured here is GWU professor and program executive producer Michael Freedman accepting the award.)  Some of the most popular American radio hosts like SiriusXM’s Howard Stern and ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap were also honored.  The Howard Stern Show won a Gold Trophy for “Stern and SNL,” an in-depth special on Saturday Night Live cast member appearances on the hit morning show, while “The Sporting Life with Jeremy Schaap” received the top award for best regularly scheduled sports program.  On the local level, Clear Channel-owned news/talk KFBK, Sacramento anchor Amy Lewis won the Silver Radio Trophy for Best Health Documentary with her acclaimed “31 survivors in 31 days,” a series of interviews commemorating breast cancer awareness month.  Irish state broadcaster RTE had a big night on the international side, winning the Best Broadcaster of the Year Award for the second year running as well as a combined 15 gold, silver and bronze trophies for various segments.  Several public radio programs from Australia, Austria, Canada, the Netherlands, the UK, Romania, New Zealand and South Korea were also honored. (Story by Sam Trudeau of the Talk Radio News Service)

Jacobs Media News/Talk Webinar Set for June 26.  The last of seven format-specific webinars produced by Jacobs Media and coinciding with the release of data from the firm’s Techsurvey 8 study takes place on Tuesday, June 26 at 2:00 pm ET.  This webinar is designed specifically for news/talk practitioners and promises to provide information on the digital, social and media habits of radio listeners from the largest research project in the industry’s history, according to president Fred Jacobs.  He states, “Response to the study has been amazing since we released the top-line findings.  But the story is deeper in the format data because they’re all different.  Each format-centric audience has a digital footprint.”  Broadcasters wishing to take part in the webinar can find registration information here.

TALKERS New Media Seminar in New York Receives Rave Reviews; Sights Now Set on L.A. Event October 11.  The first of two installments of TALKERS magazine’s innovative and economical one-day model for the New Media Seminar seems to have struck the right chord – at least for the approximately 400 industry professionals who recently packed the Concierge Conference Center on Manhattan’s East Side on Thursday, June 7.  Photo, videos and letters of praise clearly indicate that the first half of the talk media industry’s longest-running and most important national convention was a home run that soared, as the saying goes, out of the park.  Now as the editors of TALKERS magazine begin to post pictures, videos and comments from the Big Apple “happening,” the industry begins to anticipate part-two of the exciting event scheduled for Thursday, October 11 in Los Angeles.  See photo gallery and read more here.

Des Moines-Based Steve Deace Becomes Weekly Columnist at the Register.  Syndicated talk radio host Steve Deace is based in Des Moines where his daily two-hour program is heard on Clear Channel’s news/talk WHO.  Sunday, June 24 he begins writing a weekly column for the Des Moines Register that will alternate between Saturdays and Sundays.  Deace says, “I am excited about this opportunity because it gives me a chance to have a bigger platform to specifically address local issues in the community in which I am raising my children, while at the same time it allows me to continue to pursue the goals we have for our syndicated show.”  Deace’s talk program is distributed by The Truth Network.  Although a Christian talk network, many of Deace’s affiliate stations are secular outlets.

Rusty Humphries Headlines Conservative Media Conference.  Talk Radio Network and WGST, Atlanta talk show host Rusty Humphries (pictured here with columnist and media figure Michelle Malkin) was a featured speaker at the recent “RightOnline” conference produced by Americans for Prosperity and held at the Venetian in Las Vegas.  The new media and technology-focused conference spanned two days and Humphries was part of the program at the closing dinner that also included speakers Sarah Palin, Malkin and Scott Rasmussen.

Odds ‘n’ Sods.  WLAC, Nashville-based talk host Steve Gill has published – along with co-authors Noelle Federico and Celeste Triola – a new book called, The Patriots Guide to Prayer.  The 136-page, 30-day devotional contains quotes from the Founding Fathers and the Bible and Gill says, “Our Founders were men of deep faith and conviction.  Almost all of them were well versed in the Bible and relied upon it for both spiritual guidance as well as a foundation for the creation of a new nation.  Their words, and the word of God, are as relevant and instructional today as they ever have been.”…..Journal Broadcast Group’s WTMJ, Milwaukee wins a National Edward R. Murrow Award for sports reporting for Dan O’Donnell’s piece about a young boy killed by a drunk driver and his family’s effort to build a baseball field in his honor.  The company’s KTTS-FM, Springfield, Missouri wins a National Edward R. Murrow Award for continuing coverage of last year’s tornado that destroyed much of Joplin, Missouri…..CBS Radio’s KILT, Houston reports baseball great Roger Clemens chose to give the local sports talk station’s Barry Warner and Shaun Bijani the first exclusive interview following his acquittal on perjury charges earlier this week.  Program director Gavin Spittle says, “I think this is great for local radio and proves that once again, it’s one of the top go-to outlets!”

Public Radio Personality Jim Packard Dies at 70.  Jim Packard was a longtime Wisconsin Public Radio personality and also served as the voice of Public Radio International’s “Whad’ya Know?”  Packard, who’d been suffering from cardiopulmonary disease, became sick while in New York on June 9 to tape the PRI program.  He died on Monday, June 18.  He worked for Wisconsin Public Radio from 1981 through 2010.

Euro Zone Debt Crisis, Eric Holder ‘Fast and Furious’ Standoff, 2012 Presidential Race, ‘Flame’ Virus, G20 Summit, and Obama Youth Amnesty Proposal Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (6/19).  The debt crisis facing the European Union; Attorney General Eric Holder’s standoff with Congress on ‘Fast and Furious’ program; the 2012 presidential race; U.S. and Israel’s alleged work to create ‘Flame” virus to slow Iran’s nuclear program’; President Obama faces Vladimir Putin at the G20 Summit; and the president’s proposal to give amnesty to illegal alien youths in America were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

The Next Generation.  “Into Tomorrow” nationally syndicated talk host Dave Graveline – he’s the tall one on the left – gives a local cub scout pack a tour of the new studios for his consumer electronics and technology program.  Graveline’s program is produced in South Florida.

Friday, May 11, 2012

| May 11, 2012

Entercom Reports Q1 Revenue Down 3%.  Some format changes in several markets and the usual first quarter doldrums can be blamed for the down performance of Entercom in Q1 of 2012, Entercom CEO David Field told analysts during the Q1 conference call.  Field states seven format changes that took place in 2011 – including three in major markets like Boston and San Francisco – have affected revenue.  But Field sees positive things ahead as he tells analysts May and June are pacing up and the third quarter of this year looks healthy.  Political ad spending is a major factor in improving revenue.  Other points mentioned by Field: Entercom cut expenses by 4% and was able to pay down $17.4 million of its senior debt leaving $592 million in senior debt.

Emmis Revenue Down but Jeff Smulyan Promises Greatly Deleveraged Emmis.  During his conference call with analysts, Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan reported net revenue down 11% — down just 3% when excluding the stations majority owned by Merlin Media – for the quarter ending February 29.  But Smulyan says his company is paying down debt – some $1.5 billion to date – and when current transactions are complete Emmis will be one of the least-leveraged companies in the radio business.  With recent transactions, Emmis is now a company operating clusters in Indianapolis, Austin, St. Louis, Terre Haute, and, of course its two major market signals: Hot 97 in New York and Power 106 in Los Angeles.

KILT, Houston Brings Nick Wright Aboard for AM Drive Co-Host Duties.  Currently hosting at Entercom’s KCSP, Kansas City, sports talk host Nick Wright moves south to join John Lopez on the morning show at CBS Radio’s KILT, Houston.  The position opened when Marc Vandermeer took a full-time position with the NFL’s Houston Texans, although Vandermeer will still be heard on the station doing Texans play-by-play.  KILT program director Gavin Spittle says of Wright’s hire, “We’re really excited to welcome Nick to our talented roster of hosts.  He has tremendous energy, passion and a history of ratings success.  His excitement to pair up with John Lopez is equal to our excitement to add him to our number one sports lineup for many years to come.”

Dial Global’s Dennis Miller and Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly Play Town Hall in New York Saturday Night.  As part of the duo’s “Bolder and Fresher Tour 2012,” Dial Global nationally syndicated talk show host Dennis Miller and Fox News Channel star Bill O’Reilly – also heard on the radio via his Courtside Entertainment Group-syndicated “Talking Points” commentaries, will appear at Town Hall in NYC tomorrow night.  During the program each host takes a turn doing a monologue for the crowd.  Then the two sit down together to discuss and riff on the big issues of the day.  Upcoming shows include stops in Indianapolis, Chicago and Atlanta.

New Jersey Talk Host Found Shot Dead in Her Home.  Authorities in Linwood, New Jersey report 47-year-old April Kauffman was found shot to death in the bedroom of her home in that town.  She co-hosted a weekly talk radio show at WOND, Pleasantville, New Jersey during which she advocated for veteran’s causes and other issues.  The Associated Press is reporting that authorities have not made any arrests in the killing.

 

Michelle Jerson to Host Talk Shows at WWIQ-FM, Philadelphia.  Former New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Michelle Jerson is doing some fill-in work at Merlin Media’s new WWIQ-FM, Philadelphia.  She begins today by hosting the 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm slot – eventually to be the home of Rush Limbaugh when the Premiere Networks superstar migrates over from his current Philly home at WPHT.  Jerson, who hosted a relationships program during her time at NJ101.5, tells TALKERS that she’ll do a non-political program today.

WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte to Air UNC Football and Hoops.  Greater Media’s WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte is the official Charlotte affiliate for University of North Carolina football and basketball play-by-play after agreeing to a deal with the university’s rights holder, Tar Heel Sports Properties.  WBT will carry all games plus coaches’ shows featuring football coach Larry Fedora and basketball legend Roy Williams.  Tar Heels Sports Properties general manager Gary Sobba states, “We’re excited about this new partnership and bringing two terrific brands back together.  WBT has a very strong signal and will provide excellent coverage for the Tar Heel faithful in the Charlotte metro area.”

2012 Presidential Race Top News/Talk Story for Week of May 7-11.  The 2012 presidential race landed atop the Talkers TenTM chart of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio for the sixth consecutive week.  Close behind at #2 was President Obama’s gay marriage stance.  At #3 was longtime Indiana Republican Senator Dick Lugar’s loss in the primary election and at #4 was Russian President Vladimir Putin’s snubbing of President Obama by backing out of the G-8 at Camp David.  The Talkers TenTM is based on ongoing research by TALKERS and is published at Talkers.com every Friday.  View the top 10 stories and people as discussed on news/talk radio here.

Dave Ramsey Broadcasts from Tucson.  Nationally syndicated personal finance talk show star Dave Ramsey is pictured here in Tucson conducting his EntreLeadership Master Series at the Westin LaPaloma in Tucson.  Keeping with the theme of the week, today’s broadcast will focus on business and leadership questions from callers to the radio program.  Ramsey’s organization explains that EntreLeadership “combines the innovative spirit of an entrepreneur with the passion and drive of a leader.  This philosophy is how Ramsey has run his highly successful company and trained his leadership team since day one.  At EntreLeadership Master Series, Ramsey condenses 20 years of business and leadership wisdom into a seven day event.  Business owners and leaders who attend walk away with practical ideas that can improve their communication, organization, team culture, finances, negotiating and selling skills, marketing, advertising, and ability to make tough decisions.”  Last September, Ramsey’s latest best-seller, EntreLeadership, debuted at number one on the New York Times bestseller list.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

| April 3, 2012

The FCC and You – Part 2: An Explanation of Obscenity.  TALKERS legal editor Steven J.J. Weisman writes the second in a series of exclusive articles covering crucial regulatory information of which all license holders must be aware.  Here Weisman outlines the three-pronged guidelines to defining obscenity and discusses some of the court cases that have helped codify the FCC regulations as they stand today.  Read more here.

 

Rivers Radio Launches Progressive News/Talk Station in Atlanta.  WGUN, Atlanta debuted as a progressive news/talk outlet yesterday featuring a lineup that includes: Syndication One’s Warren Ballentine, The Ed Schultz Show, Premiere NetworksRandi Rhodes, WYD Media’s Thom Hartmann, and The Mike Malloy Show.  Rivers Radio EVP and general manager Kevin Hemmings states, “Atlanta’s 1010 is excited to be able to offer this incredible lineup to our rapidly growing audience. For the first time in a very long while, the listeners of Atlanta now have a diverse choice of viewpoints and opinions.”  WGUN had been airing an oldies/standards format.

Syracuse Talk Personality Jim Reith Joins Pubcasters for New Shows.  Longtime WSYR, Syracuse talk show host Jim Reith – a 27-year employee of the station who was downsized in October of 2011 – begins a new career in the public media world when he debuts a 30-minute TV talk show on WCNY-TV, Syracuse in May and a radio talk show on WCNY-FM, Syracuse in the fall.  Reith tells the Syracuse Post Standard, “I want to be a local guy doing local topics with local people.  I want to inform people about local issues in a more developed way than you can do with a sound bite.  And I want to entertain people and have some fun.”  Reith’s TV talk show will air daily from 6:30 pm to 7:00 pm starting May 14 and in the fall he’ll begin a daily three-hour radio talk show on classical WCNY-FM’s HD 3 channel.

Cumulus-Finebaum Suits May Reach Settlement Out of Court.  If Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Robert Vance has his way, the lawsuits between WJOX-FM, Birmingham-based sports talk host Paul Finebaum and employer Cumulus Media will be settled out of court.  According to the Birmingham News, Vance has ordered the two sides to get back to the negotiating table in order to settle the contract dispute.  The two sides were in court last week for a hearing before Vance and they appear closer to a settlement.  Finebaum is suing over contractual issues that took place when Citadel owned the station and Cumulus is countersuing claiming breach of contract.

Leland Conway Moves to WRVA, Richmond for PM Drive.  Lexington, Kentucky talk show host Leland Conway leaves his afternoon drive show at Clear Channel’s WLAP after six years to take over the same time slot at the company’s WRVA, Richmond.  Conway fills the slot at WRVA that opened when the station parted ways with Doc Thompson.  Back at WLAP, the station will get assistance from WHAS, Louisville talk host Mandy Connell and others filling in Conway’s afternoon show until a permanent replacement can be found.

WTMA, Charleston Morning Host Richard Todd Resigns.  Citing the difficulty of being a single parent after the passing of his wife from cancer back in January, WTMA, Charleston, South Carolina morning drive host Richard Todd has resigned from the station.  Todd returned to the radio in February after taking some time off subsequent to the death of his wife Mary Todd on January 3.  Todd told his audience he would not be leaving his position had it not been for his wife’s passing.  He said he isn’t able to focus and prepare the way he needs to in order to execute the show the way he’d like.

Former NFL Players Greg Koch and N.D. Kalu Exit KILT, Houston.  The two had been contributors to CBS Radio’s sports talk KILT, Houston where they worked on both its coverage of Houston Texans football and with some of the station’s sports talk shows.  Now, the Houston Chronicle reports the two have resigned from the station and the scuttlebutt is that they will resurface at Clear Channel’s crosstown sports talk KBME.  KILT program director Gavin Spittle tells the paper, “We appreciated the time they were here.  We have been fortunate to build a large staff, and with that will come departures.  And with departures comes rebuilding, and we are excited about our future.”  Greg Koch is an attorney and N.D. Kalu works in the real estate business in the Houston area.

Former Senator Arlen Specter Hangs Up on GCN’s Jason Lewis.  Former Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter grew tired of his time on Genesis Communications Network’s Jason Lewis show – especially of having to sit through commercial breaks – and hung up on Lewis, but not after admonishing him for how the interview was being conducted.  Specter was on the program to promote his latest book, Life Among the Cannibals (Thomas Dunne Books 2012).  GCN reports Specter was upset Lewis didn’t spend enough time with the Republican-turned-Democrat discussing his book.  After the second commercial break he told Lewis, “I gave you 10 minutes. You’ve been over every subject except for my book.  I’ve listened to two rounds of your commercials.  I think it’s insulting.  I’ve been in a lot of interviews in the course of the past 30 years and you are absolutely insulting!  I told you the last time around I wasn’t looking to sit around and listen to your commercials, and I didn’t want to hang up on you.  But I want to tell you this is no way for anybody to run an interview.  I’m as experienced as you are, if not more so.  And that’s all I have to tell you, so goodbye!”

WFED, Washington PM Drive Host Francis Rose Available to Comment on Latest Government Waste Scandal.  A new report from the Inspector General at the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), the agency that buys goods and services for the Federal government, says leadership spent over $822,000 on a conference attended by about 300 people in October 2010 (over $2700 per attendee).  The report says “many of the expenditures on this conference were excessive and wasteful and that in many instances GSA followed neither federal procurement laws nor its own policy on conference spending.”  This story has been gaining traction among government waste watchers and is already huge in the nation’s capital.  Hubbard Broadcasting’s WFED (sister station to WTOP) uniquely targets its programming to Federal employees – particularly the bureaucracy’s movers and shakers – and is all over this breaking scandal.  (See http://www.federalnewsradio.com/445/2812012/GSA-head-Johnson-resigns-two-others-fired.)  Afternoon drive host Francis Rose tells TALKERS he is available for live and taped interviews via telephone on talk shows around the country to provide insight into its outrageous details.  Rose can be reached via e-mail at frose@federalnewsradio.com or by cell at 202-657-9907.

Jim Rome’s New CBS Sports Network Show Airs Tonight.  Sports talk icon Jim Rome begins a new chapter in the TV side of his sports talk career as CBS Sports Network – CBS’ new sports cable channel – broadcasts the first edition of his TV show since Rome parted company with ESPN.  Rome appeared on the “Late Show with David Letterman” last week to promote the new show and talk sports.  Rome’s new TV program airs nightly at 6:00 ET.

GOP Primary/2012 Presidential Campaign, Syrian Violence, ObamaCare Status, Iran Nukes, Gas Prices and NCAA Finals Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (4/2).  The Republican primary race and the 2012 presidential campaign; the drive to end the violence in Syria, the politics surrounding the legal status of President Obama’s 2010 Affordable Care Act, Iran’s nuclear ambitions; the rising price of gas and the NCAA basketball finals were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, December 30, 2011

| December 30, 2011

TALKERS Top News/Talk Stories and People of 2011.  The editors of TALKERS are publishing the annual lists of the most-talked-about stories and people of 2011 as heard on America’s news/talk radio stations.  The year-end lists are compiled from data from TALKERS ongoing research that is used for the weekly charts of news/talk radio’s top stories and people during the year.  It’s important to underscore that many consumer media outlets publish annual lists of top news stories and people and those are often the results of data culled from Western news organizationsTALKERS data is unique in that it reports popular stories and people talked about on American news/talk radio stations.  See the TALKERS year-end charts here.

Penn State Scandal Tops the TALKERS 10 Most Talked About Stories on Sports Talk Radio in 2011.  Like any list, this one comes with qualifications.  What constitutes a major story in New York might get precious little attention in Chicago.  Although we talk in terms of “national pastimes,” the truth is that for the most part, sports interest is local.  With that in mind, the following is the TALKERS list of the most talked about sports stories of 2011.

1. Penn State Scandal. This story dominated sports talk radio throughout the late fall.  A legendary coach is fired and shocking testimony is unveiled — documenting unspeakable acts against minors.  The Syracuse basketball program is rocked in a similar case, but as of this writing, the alleged perpetrator has escaped legal action.   To read Richard Neer’s full list click here.

WAXY, Miami PD Marc Hochman Steps Down from Programming Role to Focus on Dan LeBatard Program.  For the past two years, Marc Hochman has been serving in the dual role as program director for Lincoln Financial Media’s WAXY, Miami and executive producer and second co-host for the station’s Dan LeBatard PM drive show.  Now Hochman says he’ll leave the PD post to concentrate on his role with the program, “It became obvious to me that I would be serving the radio station and radio show better if I were to focus only on one.  There are many opportunities presenting themselves to ‘The Dan LeBatard Show’ so I’ve decided to focus 100% of my attention on the show and its future.  Lincoln Financial Media has been super supportive of my decision.  They’re thrilled I’m going to remain part of the radio station and they’ve asked me to remain in the PD position until they are able to find a replacement.”  WAXY is beginning a search for a new programmer immediately.

Sports KILT, Houston Debuts New Local Midday Show; Premiere’s Jim Rome Exits.  CBS Radio Houston debuts a new midday show called “Mad Radio” featuring Mike Meltser and Brad Davies in the 10:00 am to 2:00 pm slot.  Meltser has served as the morning show news anchor on KILT and Brien Straw will take over that position according to the Houston Chronicle.  Brad Davies previously worked at crosstown sports talker KBME-FM.  Premiere NetworksJim Rome was one of the first major market affiliates for the program when it leaped from its Southern California base to national syndication in 1997 and has been a mainstay of KILT for those 14 years.  But program director Gavin Spittle says it’s simply a matter of ratings and Rome’s program is the only one that doesn’t beat its three sports talk radio competitors in the market.  “This is a performance-based business, and we have exhausted our options.  We like Jim and thank him for all he has done for the station.  He has been a huge fan of Sports Radio 610, and we have been huge fans of Jim Rome.  Unfortunately, for whatever reason, the ratings in Houston have slid to the point where a change is necessary.”

Former Marketing Director Sues CBS Radio Philadelphia for Sexual Harassment and Discrimination.  As reported in the Philadelphia Daily News, former KYW, Philadelphia marketing director Shelley Kanther is suing the company alleging suffering “severe and pervasive” sexual harassment and discrimination and being fired after speaking up about it.  Kanther’s attorney, Samuel First, writes in the suit that work environment at CBS Philadelphia was “toxic” with male co-workers telling Kanther “to wear skirts more often, swat at her butt and considered offering her money to make out with another worker.”  The suit singles out SVP and market manager Marc Rayfield as the “worst offender” and alleges he fired Kanther when she complained.  The suit also says VP and general sales manager David Yadgaroff failed to take action when asked to do so.  CBS Radio is not commenting on the suit.

KQV, Pittsburgh to Air Robert Dickey Retrospective Today.  Calvary senior partner and KQV, Pittsburgh president and general manager Robert Dickey passed away last week at age 84.  KQV anchor PJ Maloney has produced a 50-minute retrospective of the man who dedicated his professional life to radio.  The station says, “This special will include tributes from broadcasters, staff, friends and public officials…people who have known and worked with Bob Dickey during his 60-plus years in broadcasting.”  The special airs this morning (12/30) at 10:10 am on KQV and is being repeated at 11:10 to allow staff to attend this morning’s funeral mass.

Bart Ritner, Pioneering North Carolina Radio Talker, Dies at 76.  According to reports, the 39-year veteran of WPTF, Raleigh died on Wednesday (12/28) after a long battle with abdominal cancer.  He was a regional pioneer of the call-in style of talk radio famous for impartiality and tremendous interviewing skills.  According to the Greensboro News and Record, his interviews covered the gamut including President Lyndon Johnson, arsenic killer Velma Barfield and North Carolina Ku Klux Klan leaders.  His reputation for even-handedness led to him serving as a mediator who helped resolve a dangerous standoff at Raleigh’s maximum-security Central prison.