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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

| September 11, 2018

Justin Acri to Manage KABZ, Little Rock. Fifteen-year station staffer Justin Acri is named general manager of Signal Media’s sports talk KABZ-FM, Little Rock “103.7 The Buzz.”  Acri has been serving as program director for the station and co-hosts the 10:00 am to 1:00 pm program, “The Zone.”  Acri joined the station in 2003 as a part-time morning host while working at crosstown KATV-TV as sports director.  He joined KABZ full time in 2006.   Signal Media president and CEO Steve Jonsson states, “Justin has worked for ‘The Buzz’ in various capacities for 15 years.  His passions for sports, broadcasting, and ‘The Buzz’ make him a perfect fit for his new position.  Justin has been a major influence on ‘The Buzz’ since its inception as a sports and entertainment station in 2004, and this is the next logical step in the evolution of this great Arkansas radio station.”  At the same time, the station announces Derrell Young is promoted to operations director from his executive producer position.  Morning show producer RJ Hawk adds social media director duties.  Finally, Lindy Lanford returns to the station on a consulting basis assisting with marketing and events.

FOX Sports Radio Drops Steve Gorman Sports and JT The Brick.  Two sports talk shows are no longer part of the national lineup on FOX Sports Radio – the long-running JT The Brick program and “Steve Gorman Sports!”  Gorman and co-host Jeffrey Gorman posted a farewell message online in addition to saying goodbye on the air.  JT The Brick, a.k.a. John Tournour, issued a farewell message via Twitter.  He’d been with the network since 2001.  FOX Sports Radio has made no official announcement and, as of today, still lists the two programs as being part of the lineup on its website.  The network appears to be filling the daypart – from 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm ET – with substitute hosts until permanent shows are announced.

Norden Named SVP of Sales at iHeartMedia Charleston. Radio sales pro Pete Norden moves from iHeartMedia’s Tampa station group to the company’s Charleston, South Carolina cluster that includes news/talk WSCC “News Radio 94.3” to serve as senior vice president of sales.  iHeartMedia area president Alene Grevey comments, “Pete is an exceptionally strong broadcaster and leader and we are truly thrilled to have him be a part of team iHeartMedia Charleston. His experience will blossom in our culture and his commitment to excellence will matriculate throughout the sales organization.”

New Sports Talker to Launch in Waco. According to a report in the Waco Tribune-Herald, Edwards Media LLC is preparing to debut a new sports talk station in the market on October 1.  The station will likely emanate from sister hip hop KWBT’s HD2 channel and be heard via FM translator K231CG at 94.1.  It will air local programming and shows from CBS Sports Radio Network.  Market radio pro Rich Richardson is serving as general manager for KWBT and “CBS Sports Radio Central Texas” and will host the morning drive “Go Big or Go Home” show from 6:00 am to 9:00 am.  Lark Smith will host the local “Order in the Court” program from 9:00 am to 11:00 am. CBS’ Jim Rome show and the “Tiki and Tierney” program with Tiki Barber and Brandon Tierney will air in afternoons.

Herskovitz: Wild Political Year Could Lead to Hot Sales. Radio sales pro Al Herskovitz writes today about the midterm political season that’s heating up. He reminds account executives of the rules for spot rate for many political ads and outlines who does not qualify for that rate.  For stations hoping to get some ad money from local and state candidates, Herskovitz offers some strategy for getting an order from their campaigns.  Read it here.

TALKERS News Notes. In observance of the anniversary of 9/11, iHeartMedia‘s iHeartRadio has teamed up with 9/11 Day of Service and the Tunnel to Towers Foundation to create a special radio show that pays tribute to those affected and left behind.  The 30-minute radio show special is hosted by Tunnel to Towers Foundation founder Frank Siller and Jay Winuk and David Paine, co-founders of 9/11 Day of Service foundation.  They share their personal, heart wrenching, intimate stories on 9/11, explaining their motivation behind founding the two organizations that bring comfort and help millions of people across the United States.  You can hear the program here…..This one comes from the National Enquirer, so take it for what it’s worth.  The tabloid publication says Howard Stern is leaving his radio program at SiriusXM when his contract expires at the end of 2020.  The story quotes a source saying, “Howard is the golden goose that holds the company together.  Without him, it could crumble!”…..WINS, New York morning drive anchor Lee Harris is marking 25 years with the Entercom all-news station this week…..Dr. Ronald Hoffman‘s podcast version of his radio show “Intelligent Medicine” just surpassed the 6 million download mark.  Media Management Group EVP of business development Alan Eisenson comments, “We continue to be amazed at how fast our podcast audience is growing and we love all of the positive feedback we get from the audience.”…..ABC-TV’s talk program “The View” is being made available as a podcast via ABC Radio.  The company says it is re-purposing the television program’s audio into a daily download available at 4:00 pm ET each day.  ABC Radio VP/GM Steve Jones says the show hosted by Joy Behar, Whoopi Goldberg, Meghan McCain, Sunny Hostin, and Abby Huntsman is a “welcome addition” to ABC’s podcast offerings.  “There is an amazing season ahead and we think podcast listeners will enjoy the incredible guest lineup and conversations to come.”…..Attending this year’s “Hold Their Feet to the Fire” radio row presented by Federation for American Immigration Reform was a chance for WNRI, Providence talk show host John DePetro a chance to explore Washington, DC.  DePetro (pictured at right at the White House) was able to visit the West Wing and attend a press conference with President Trump, House Speaker Paul Ryan, and Chief of Staff John Kelly.

NYT Op-Ed Author Speculation, Bob Woodward Book, Positive U.S. Economic News, Hurricane Florence Approaches Carolinas, Serena Williams U.S. Open Meltdown, NFL’s Week 1, and MLB Playoff Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/10).  Speculation about who the author(s) of the anonymous anti-Trump op-ed piece published in The New York Times is; the new Bob Woodward book, Fear: Trump in the White House; the positive U.S. economic data; the Southeast prepares for Hurricane Florence; the flap over Serena Williams’ meltdown at the U.S. Open; the first week of the 2018 NFL season; and the Major League Baseball playoffs push 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. A “best of” televised version of “Big Boy’s Neighborhood HITS” is airing on Fuse Music on Saturday (9/15) at 11:00 am ET.  The celebrity guests will include: Janet Jackson, Fergie, Kim Kardashian, and John Legend.  This televised version of the Premiere Networks nationally syndicated radio show, “Big Boy’s Neighborhood,” Big Boy welcomes “the biggest names in music and entertainment, shares his take on the latest news in music and pop culture, and keeps listeners laughing with hilarious bits, including the infamous phonetaps with ‘Luther Luffeigh.’”…..Alpha Media announces that Jim Lowe is named the market manager for its Mankato, Minnesota station group.  Lowe launched his career in sales in the Fargo market 30 years ago.  He’s served in management positions in community broadcast organizations in the Owatonna and Minneapolis markets…..Radio ratings giant Nielsen Audio says it has completed its research and the radio format of the summer of 2018 is – classic hits! Nielsen has been tracking the performances of stations by format in the PPM-rated markets for several years using a comparison of 6+ weekly AQH share.  A format’s total for the months of January through May is compared to the total for June, July and August and the format with the greatest improvement is the format of the summer.  The winning format the past two summers had been classic rock.  As you can see in the chart below, classic hits was up 4% as a format.  News/Talk and adult contemporary lost the most ground – 7% each.

Monday, December 5, 2016

| December 5, 2016

WISN, Milwaukee to Re-Align Programming in New Year; Dan O’Donnell Adds Daily Show.  Milwaukee news/talker WISN is adding a new local, daily talk show featuring current news anchor, reporter and fill-in host Dan O’Donnell.  The iHeartMedia station is also shuffling the lineup around a bit, effective January 3.  Inodonnelldan January, morning host Jay Weber’s show will be trimmed to 6:00 am to 9:00 am, O’Donnell’s show will air from 9:00 am to 11:00 am, and Premiere’s Rush Limbaugh will air live from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm.  Vicki McKenna, currently heard from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon, will be heard from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm, followed by wisn-logolongtime afternoon drive personality Mark Belling from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.  Evenings will still feature Premiere’s Sean Hannity followed by Westwood One’s Mark Levin.  WISN program director Jerry Bott comments, “WISN is blessed with a lineup of extremely strong, popular local talk show hosts.  Adding someone with Dan’s level of talent is an excellent opportunity to make that lineup even better.”  O’Donnell joined WISN in 2013 and is currently a drive-time news anchor, reporter, and a substitute host for all of WISN’s local talk shows.  Dan also serves as a Wisconsin correspondent for FOX News Radio, HLN’s “The Nancy Grace Show,” ABC News Radio, Wall Street Journal Radio Network and CBS Radio News.  In addition, O’Donnell is known for his extensive coverage of the 2007 Steven Avery murder trial in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, and subsequent “Rebutting A Murderer” podcast following the 2015 Netflix special “Making a Murderer.”  Previously O’Donnell served as a news anchor for Journal Broadcasting for almost 12 years.

WEEI, Boston Fills Roles with Rich Keefe.  Boston writer and personality Jerry Thornton left Entercom’s WEEI, Boston and WEEI.com to return to Barstool Sports as a senior columnist.  Now, Entercom announces that Rich Keefe is joining the company effective Tuesday (12/6) to serve as the third voice on the afternoon drive “Dalekeeferich & Holley” show with Dale Arnold and Michael Holley and as a columnist for WEEI.com, penning his weeinetwork16popular “Keefer Madness” blog.  WEEI notes that Keefe is “a nine-year sports radio veteran in Boston and has worked in an array of capacities for CBS RADIO’s WBZ-FM, ‘The Sports Hub.’  He also hosts the pre- and post-game shows on Patriots.com and has substituted on play-by-play broadcasts for the Boston Celtics Radio Network.”  In addition to his new role on the “Dale & Holley” program, Keefe will co-host with Mike Mutnansky, weekdays from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm.   WEEI program director Joe Zarbano says, “We are proud to add a rising talent like Rich Keefe to our team.  Rich brings an entertaining, opinionated and fresh outlook on the Boston sports landscape, and I have no doubt he will be a great addition to the ‘Dale & Holley’ show.”

CBS Radio News Pros Take Buyouts and Exit.  According to a story in the New York Post, a number of longtime CBS Radio News staffers are agreeing to take buyouts and exit the news organization as it trims its cbsradionews-logopayroll.  Last month, CBS Radio News vice president Harvey Nagler announced he would be retiring from the company in early January after a 50-year career in the business and the last 18 years spent with CBS.  Nagler’s retirement appears to be just that, but the Post is reporting that among those who took the early buyout are: executive producer Charlie Kaye; Washington correspondent Barry Bagnato; afternoon anchor Harley Carnes; and “CBS World News” anchor Bill Whitney.  A source tells the Post that the new deal with Westwood One (for ad sales and affiliate sales) requires some cost-cutting on CBS Radio News’ part.

Trump Transition/Cabinet Nominations, Election Recount Effort, ‘SNL’ Trump Skits, Dakota Pipeline Project, Italian Referendum/Renzi Quits, College Football Playoffs, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The activities of the Trump Administration during the transition period and President-Elect Donald Trump’s cabinet nominations; the election recounts taking place in several states; Saturday Night Live’s skits poking fun at Donald Trump’s Twitter habit; the protests against the Dakota Access pipeline and the Army Corps of Engineers’ denial of the permit for its current planned route; Italy votes “no” on a referendum to shrink its legislature and Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s promise to resign; the college football weekend games and the subsequent playoff seeding; and the weekend’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.

Odds & Sods.  It’s a name change for Radiate Media as the deal to be acquired by Global Traffic Network closes.  Global’s American operation is now United States Traffic Network.  In addition to the American business, Global also serves clients in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and Brazil.  United States Traffic Network begins providing traffic services for CBS RADIO beginning in April…..In the case of Nielsen Audio vs. Bubba the Love Sponge, the two sides have done an about-face and are telling the court that they believe – after new evidence from the discovery phase – a settlement can now be reached.  The sides are asking for a U.S. Magistrate Judge to preside over a settlement hearing.  Nielsen is suing Bubba for damages it claims to have suffered as the result of Bubba’s PPM ratings tampering.

Monday, November 14, 2016

| November 14, 2016

Harvey Nagler to Retire from CBS Radio News Post.  The news radio legend announced to his staff today (11/14) that, after 50 years in radio and 18 years at CBS Radio News, he will be retiring from his vice president role naglerharveywith the company as of January 6.  Harvey Nagler, who was honored with the Talkers Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015, said in a memo to his staff, “I feel very confident that I am leaving our network in the most capable of hands.  I am pleased that we have renewed our relationship with Westwood, thus securing our future.  I am not stopping work completely, but going to slow down by doing some consulting work.” He noted the more than 50 Edward R. Murrow Awards the news organization has been awarded over the past 10 years for covering some of the biggest stories in recent American and world history, stating, “You and I have truly been a witness to – and have reported – the first drafts of history…As the industry continues to evolve I am proud that we have been able to change with it while maintaining the finest traditions of CBS News and the highest standards of journalism.”

Trump Appointments Begin; Talk Radio Figures Poised for Role in New Administration.  A piece by Brian Stelter and the CNNMoney media team, published yesterday, outlines the nascent formation of the administration of the Donald Trump presidency.  The first cabinet post has been awarded to RNC Chairmanbannonstephenk Reince Priebus, who will serve as White House Chief of Staff.  But joining Priebus in the White House is Breitbart’s Stephen K. Bannon, who will serve as White House Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor.  Until taking leave of his Breitbart duties to work with the Trump campaign, Bannon – among other executive duties at the news and opinion organization – was hosting the morning news/talk program “Breitbart News Daily” on ingrahamlauraSiriusXM.  It’s being reported by Jonathan Swan in The Hill that nationally syndicated talk personality Laura Ingraham is being considered for Press Secretary.  Swan writes, “Trump appreciated Ingraham’s loyalty through the campaign… Ingraham helped Trump with debate preparation.  She also campaigned on his behalf and offered occasional strategic advice.”  Of course, Trump’s Vice President-elect is a former longtime talk radio host from Indianapolis.  Mike Pence’s experience in the news/talk radio biz precedes his career in politics.  TALKERS magazine editor and publisher Michael Harrison states, “The election of Donald Trump marks an unmistakable bellwether for the accumulating influence of news/talk radio since Ronald Reagan began his commentaries.  Not only have former radio hosts Mike Pence and Stephen K. Bannonharrisonmichael16 been thrust into positions of enormous power, but the even higher-profiled Laura Ingraham is now in the conversation for Press Secretary.  And let us not forget about the looming potential of Sean Hannity down the road.  He risked it all on the dark horse and won.  I do not say this from a partisan perspective.  Let us not forget that Al Franken would never have been elected to the United States Senate as a prominent progressive had it not been for the magic of radio facilitating his transition from outspoken comedian to serious political player.  As for Trump himself, he employed disruptive, radio-style techniques in vanquishing his Republican rivals during the primaries and then took it all the way, thus becoming the first effective ‘shock politician.’  In today’s amplified media environment, the ability to articulate complex populist concepts via the combination of traditional talk media and the internet can fuel the rise of unexpected influencers and leaders.  It is both refreshingly invigorating and dreadfully dangerous.  We must remain alert.  Welcome to the new digital era!”

Westwood One Realigns Operations; Seymour Named SVP.  Stating that its goal is to create “quicker response times to client requests, an enhanced ability to focus on advertiser needs and accountability, the ability toseymourtim better support its partner and producer clients’ business goals, and a renewed focus on its affiliate sales process by providing actionable information to its station partners,” Westwood One is integrating the business operations and research teams.  As part of the restructure, the company is promoting Tim Seymour to SVP, operations.   He’ll report to COO Charles Steinhauer and oversee the consolidated business operations and research teams under VP Jennifer Baez, the traffic under SVP Jim Maurer and senior director Julie Kim, the affiliate services under VP Fiona Brennan, and the newly created partner relations under director Becky Bennett.

Odds & Sods.  KIRO, Seattle “710 ESPN” is working with the local Kent School District to present a free town hallkiro forum on “Concussions in Youth Sports” on Tuesday, November 15 at the Kentwood High School Performing Arts Center.  “710 ESPN Seattle” host and former Seahawks linebacker Dave Wyman will appear on the panel with world-renowned UW Medicine clinical professor Dr. Stan Herring, and Kent School District athletic director Dave Lutes on the panel.  Danny O’Neil, co-host of the station’s “Danny, Dave & Moore” show will serve as moderator.  KIRO program director Mike Salk says, “Safety in youth sports is a huge conversation right now.  We are excited to roll up our sleeves and engage with those on the front lines of this issue.”…..At the corporate level at Sinclair Broadcast Group, 32-year employee David Amy rises from EVP/COO to vice chairman.  Sinclair owns one radio cluster, having acquired the Seattle stations of the former Fisher Communications.  Those signals are hot AC KPLZ “Star wrko15101.5,” all-news KOMO-AM/FM, and news/talk KVI…..Entercom’s news/talk WRKO, Boston hosted its third annual radiothon raising money for the Disabled American Veterans.  Friday’s nine-hour effort brought in more than $71,000.  WRKO program director Michael Czarnecki says, “The WRKO audience proves once again how passionate they are about helping our veterans.  I am so proud of our listeners, the DAV staff, and the WRKO team.”  Personalities taking part included: Kim Carrigan and Doug “VB” Goudie from “The Boston.com Morning Show,” Barry Armstrong from “The Financial Exchange” show, and Jeff Kuhner from “The Kuhner Report” show.

Trump Transition, Clinton-Democrats Post-Mortem, Immigration Policy, ISIS Atrocities in Mosul, Marijuana Legalization Movement, Clinton Pardon Chatter, and NFL Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The work of the Donald Trump transition team and the appointing of Reince Priebus to Chief of Staff and Stephen K. Bannon to Chief Strategist; analysis of the failure of Hillary Clinton and the Democrats in the House and Senate in the ’16 campaign; speculation about the future of America’s immigration policy; the battle for Mosul and Islamic State’s abuse of civilians; the success of the marijuana legalization movement in the wake of the elections; talk about President Obama or Trump pardoning Hillary Clinton and avoiding any future investigations into the emails matter; and the weekend’s NFL action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend.

kirkwoodjimUtah Talk Host Jim Kirkwood Dies at 74.  Just days shy of his 75th birthday, longtime Salt Lake City talk radio personality Jim Kirkwood passed away on November 6.  According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Kirkwood worked in radio for more than 40 years.  At the time of his death, Kirkwood was hosting the 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm show on United Broadcasting Company’s KTKK “K-TALK.”

Monday, September 19, 2016

| September 19, 2016

J.T. the Brick Hosting Local Show on ‘95.7 The GAME’ in San Francisco.  Nationally syndicated sports talk star J.T. The Brick begins hosting a 10:00 am to 12:00 noon local show on Entercom’s KGMZ, San Francisco “95.7 The GAME” today.  J.T. The Brick, a.k.a. John Tournour, is syndicated by FOX Sports Radio live fromjtthebrick 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm ET with co-host Tomm Looney.  Speaking about his station’s new show, KGMZ kgmzprogram director Don Kollins says, “I am excited to welcome J.T. back to the local market and to the ‘95.7 The GAME’ family.  He’s an accomplished radio and television personality with high energy, strong Bay Area ties and stronger opinions.  I think he brings appointment listening back to the 10:00 am-12:00 noon time slot.”  J.T.’s ties to the Bay Area include six years as host of the Oakland Raiders pre- and post-game radio shows in San Francisco, host of “Behind the Shield” and the “Raiders Report” for Silver and Black Productions on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area as well as numerous guest appearances on FOX, CNBC and MSNBC network television programs.  He will continue his syndicated radio show.

Jon Marks to Exit ‘97.5 The Fanatic’ in Philly.  According to Philly’s Crossing Broad, morning drive personality Jon Marks – who currently co-hosts sports talk WPEN-FM’s “Mornings with Anthony Gargano” – is exiting the station when his contract expires in October.  There’s some speculation in Philadelphia about the future marksjonof WPEN-FM after Beasley assumes ownership from Greater Media.  We know for sure based on Beasley’s recent presentation to lenders that it intends to realize $6.2 million in synergies from the combination of the two companies, but there are no specific plans announced for the sports talk outlet.  Philly.com’s Rob Tornoe reports that Beasley interim CEO Caroline Beasley told the Philadelphia Inquirer’s John Takiff that the company has no plans to change the formats or talent of the Philly stations.  While WPEN-FM scored a 1.5 share (persons 6+) in the August PPM survey against competitor WIP-FM’s 3.8 share, it’s unknown how revenue at WPEN-FM stacks up against expenses.

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Salem’s KRLA, Los Angeles Hosts Town Hall Forum in Pasadena on 2016 Election.  An all-star panel of talk radio talent appeared at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium last night (9/18) as Salem Media Group’s KRLA, Los Angeles “AM 870 The Answer” presented the latest in its TOWNHALL 2016 series titled, “Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump – Who Will Best Lead Our Country over the Next Four Years?”  In the photo above are (from l-r): moderator Hugh Hewitt, KRLA’s Brian Whitman, KRLA’s Elisha Krauss, SRN’s Larry Elder, SRN’s Mike Gallagher, Westwood One’s Mark Levin, SRN’s Michael Medved, SRN’s Dennis Prager, and KRLA’s Ben Shapiro.

Harvey Nagler and Radio Journos Honored by RTDNF.  Pictured here accepting the Barney Oldfield Awardnaglerrtdna16 from the Radio Television Digital News Foundation is CBS RADIO News vice president Harvey Nagler (left).  Nagler is pictured with the RTDNF chair Amy Tardif (right).  The award is named for the founder of the Radio Television Digital News Foundation and presented to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the success of the Foundation.  Nagler is departing the board after serving two terms as a director at-large.  He was a recipient of the Association’s John F. Hogan Award in 2014.  Also honored this year was KSL-AM/FM, Salt Lake City news director Sheryl Worsley, who received the Bob Priddy Award, named for the Association’s longtime board member and two-time chairman.  Worsley serves as RTDNA’s region 3 director and chairs the Association’s digital committee.

Odds & Sods.  Nationally syndicated talk show host Chad Benson is now airing on Cox Media Group’s KRMG-AM/FM, Tulsa.  The Radio America-syndicated program is airing in the early morning, leading into KRMG’sbensonchad “Morning News with Dan Potter.”  Potter comments, “The next generation of talk radio is here right now, and his name is Chad Benson.  KRMG is enthusiastic about adding the Chad Benson show to a weekday daypart, leading into our NAB Marconi Award winning local programming.”…..A new podcast titled, “The Tackling Life Podcast” with NFL great Ray Lewis and emotional management expert Dr. Christian Conte is launching.  It’s being exclusively repped by AdLarge Media.  The podcast will help “listeners set goals, overcome obstacles, and achieve happier, more successful lives.”…..Greater Media senior vice raphaelheidipresident Heidi Raphael is named among the class of 2016 Women of Influence in Western New York by Buffalo Business First, a leading business publication.  She’s being honored at luncheon on Thursday (9/22) at the Millennium Hotel in Buffalo.  The recipient selection process was based on professional success and community involvement.  Raphael is an avid philanthropist in her hometown of Buffalo.  She’s involved on a number of boards, including the Board of Trustees of Medaille College and serves as president of the board of directors of the Buffalo Broadcasters Association and vice president of the Buffalo History Museum board of managers…..The NAB Education Foundation and the Broadcast Education Association are announcing the winners of the Freedom of Speech Public Service Announcement Contest for college communications students.  The winners are being awarded a $2,500 scholarship for their submissions of 30-second spots that creatively address, “What Freedom of Speech means to me.”  Felicia Tonga of Andrews University won in the television category for “Protect Our Future,” and Melvin Johnson III of American Broadcasting School won in the radio category for “More Than Words.”  Stations are encouraged to run the spots during Free Speech Week, October 17-23…..Houston-based radio pro Doug Harris, founder of the digital broadcast platform Radio Brave, is putting a call out for the next star podcaster.  Not only that, he’s putting his money where his mouth is and offering a $5,000 cash prize plus a one-year development, distribution and promotion contract with Radio Brave.  Harris says, “Radio Brave’s purpose is to bring new content, from new people, to new audiences.  wachsroot16We began with weekly, one-hour shows, but since our studios and crew are perfectly suited to produce and distribute shorter formats, we’re making podcasts, podcasting, and podcasters our focus.”  Radio Brave’s Master ‘Caster Talent Search will begin accepting entries on October 3 Slam@RadioBrave.com.  Official rules are posted at the bottom of the home page at RadioBrave.com…..Fans near and far (from Houston, Dallas and Washington DC) came out for late talk show host Jerry Doyle’s tribute that happened at No Regrets Bar in Las Vegas on Saturday night (9/17).  Radio people in attendance included Wayne Allyn Root, Heidi Harris, Alan Stock, Talk Media Network’s Josh Leng, KDWN GM Tom Humm, and KDWN PD John Shaffer.  GCN-syndicated talk host Dr. Daliah Wachs (pictured above with Root) helped organize the event and tells TALKERS, “We miss our beloved Jerry so much and hope he is at peace, though we made a helluvalotta noise!”

The Presidential Race, Saturday’s Manhattan Bombing/Minnesota Stabbings, Putin Party Wins Russian Elections, Syrian Civil War/U.S.-Russia Tensions, Sunday’s Emmy Awards, NFL Action and MLB Playoffs Push Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend.  The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton; the Saturday night bombing in NYC, the bombs found at a New Jersey train station, and the ISIS-inspired stabbings in Minnesota; Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party wins a majority in parliamentary elections; the unsteady Syrian cease-fire, the U.S.’ bombing of Syrian troops, and the tensions between the U.S. and Russia; Sunday evening’s politically charged Emmy Awards ceremony; Sunday’s NFL action and the playoff push in Major League Baseball were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

| November 3, 2015

beasleymediagroupBeasley Seeing Red Over Second Straight Month of Delisting for WBRN, Tampa.  The Tampa talk/rock hybrid that features Bubba the Love Sponge in morning drive was delisted from the September PPM survey by Nielsen Audio after independent contractor Bubba (a.k.a. Todd Clem) admitted to tampering with the PPM panel.  WBRN “Bubba 98.7” owner Beasley Media Group absorbed that blow even though Nielsen Audionielsen logo admitted that the panelist in question did not affect the ratings because he was found out in time for the September report.  Now, however, Beasley is upset with Nielsen’s decision to delist WBRN from the October PPM survey as well.  BMG president Bruce Beasley states, “Since the initial incident was reported to Beasley Media, we have had a constructive dialog with Nielsen as we were beasleybrucealso victimized by Mr. Clem’s actions.  We instituted remedial actions against Mr. Clem which had been reviewed in advance by Nielsen.  As Nielsen itself acknowledged, we cooperated fully with Nielsen to ensure the accuracy of their past and forthcoming ratings.  Therefore, we were blind-sided and disappointed to learn today (11/2) that Nielsen Audio will exclude WBRN-FM from the October 2015 ratings. Nielsen has not shared with us, its longstanding client, any specific evidence of ratings distortion which could have had any impact on the October 2015 Ratings Report, thus suggesting that this action is related solely to the ongoing litigation between Nielsen and Mr. Clem.  The fallout from this dispute may inflict collateral damage on Beasley, which, indisputably, has done nothing wrong.”  The litigation Beasley refers to is Nielsen’s $1 million dollar suit against Bubba for “damages” suffered by Nielsen as a result of Bubba’s ratings tampering actions.  With the release of the Tampa October 2015 PPM data, TALKERS and RadioInfo managing editor Mike Kinosian’s “Takeaways” from the Tampa market are available here.

womentalkart15The State of Women on Talk Radio: Part 2.  Today (11/3), TALKERS magazine continues its multi-part story looking at the status of women on talk radio in 2015.  Written by special features correspondent Jeff McKay, it addresses one of the most-asked questions TALKERS editors hear: Why aren’t there more women on talk radio?  Today we explore the question: Is it blatant bias?  Karen Hunter, an author/journalist, Hunter College professor and SiriusXM Urban View talk personality, says culture is a large part of it.  “The men who are in charge of hiring primarily see women as only tackling topics that are women-oriented — domestic issues, relationships, child-rearing, shopping, cooking, etc.hunter, karen  When the reality is that many women are heads of households and are making the tough decisions daily that men make.  They are bosses and managers and leaders whose view of the world is as important as a man’s.”  WCRS, Greenwood, South Carolina owner and air personality Anne Eller adds more to the culture response.  Historically, “from station owners, to station managers to talk show hosts to disc jockeys, men were out eller, annefront and women were in support roles…I do believe all this is changing, but I believe our culture has been the reason.”  Eller says where she is in the South, the woman as the boss is a challenging role.  “In the South particularly, women that are leaders are not given the support they need by other women and in my role as a talk show host, quite often, I hear other women say, ‘Who does she think she is?’   It is a fine line between being ‘boss bitch’ and a female person.”  In this installment, we also hear from Greater Media Boston market manager Phil Zachary and Weiss Agency EVP Heather Cohen.  Read the entire piece here.

kdka95thKDKA-AM, Pittsburgh Celebrates 95 Years Today.  Today marks the 95th anniversary of the KDKA-AM, Pittsburgh broadcast of the 1920 presidential election results between Democrat James Cox and Republican Warren Harding.  The CBS RADIO-owned news/talk station is celebrating with a live broadcast from the Senator John Heinz History Center through 8:00 pm this evening.  Westinghouse Electric Company, KDKA’s original founder and owner, will sponsor the event.   The “KDKA Afternoon News,” hosted by Robert Mangino and Shelley Duffy will broadcast live from the Heinz History Center from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  Current KDKA staff, talent and past personalities will attend the celebration.  KDKA host Mike Pintek, who came to KDKA in 1982, will serve as master of ceremonies during which Westinghouse SVP of communications Cassie Hagen will showcase the Westinghouse contribution to the radio industry.  Most radio people are aware that Westinghouse launched the world’s “first broadcast” delivering the 1920 election results.  Plans were finalized with the Pittsburgh Post to acquire election returns by telephone.  The election night broadcast began at 6:00 pm from a shack on the roof of the K Building of the Westinghouse Electric Company “East Pittsburgh Works” in Turtle Creek, Pennsylvania.

hillsdaleDCstudio15Champagne Toasts, Dinner and Big Names Turned Out Last Night (11/2) for the Dedication of the Hillsdale College Boyle Radio Studio in DC.  Talk radio is alive and well and ready for future generations — thanks, in large part, to Hillsdale College.  The Michigan-based liberal arts school is rooted in educating young people about the United States Constitution and the principles that give it meaning.  And it’s betting on talk radio to be a driving force for free speech for generations to come.  The independent college charted a course last night with the dedication of its new state-of-the-art Boyle Radio Studio, just a stone’s throw from the US Capitol on Massachusetts Avenue.  The full-service facility is now officially part of the school’s extension in Washington, DC – The Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship.  The Monday night celebration included some big names turning out to show their support.  Among them, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and US Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR), who were also guests on Salem Radio Networks host Hugh Hewitt’s show.  Hewitt inaugurated the Boyle Radio Studio with a live broadcast of his three-hour nationally syndicated program.  With a lit up Capitol viewed from the school’s balcony, guests enjoyed a front row seat to Hewitt’s live broadcast, as well as dinner and tours of the facility.  The evening activities capped off a full day of events that included two key presentations – “America’s Crisis of Constitutionalism” by Matthew Spalding, associate VP and dean of educational programs, the Kirby Center; and “The Future of Political Journalism” by John J. Miller, director, Dow Journalism Program.  These were followed by a tour of the nearby Newseum in the nation’s capital.  Speaker Ryan was very upbeat as he breezed through the crowd and shook hands before and after his radio interview with Hewitt.  Ryan told the crowd he’s a huge fan of Hillsdale College and the Kirby Center stating, “They’re doing a fantastic job of teaching young Americans about our constitution and our founding principles.”  Also in attendance was Bold Gold Media Group’s dynamic president/chief executive officer Vince Benedetto, a man described by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison as “one of the most promising up-and-coming young radio group owners in the nation – the kind of individual who gives this industry hope for the future.”  An active supporter of Hillsdale College and its passion for promoting talk radio and the Constitution, Benedetto, whose foundation funded Hillsdale’s brand new on-campus low-power radio station, WRFH 101.7 FM, and is contributing toward the DC extension, sees talk radio as the modern day town hall.  He tells TALKERS, “I think the way to get more younglundinbenedettoHaeglin15cap people tuned into radio is to have more young people in radio.  And so that’s what this is all about.  It’s to create a ‘bench’ that we don’t have right now.”  The full-service studio in Washington, DC won’t only be a place for students to learn their skills, it will also serve as a venue for out-of-town radio hosts to broadcast their shows free of charge when they’re in Washington.  Details to come on how broadcasters can utilize this service to the industry.  TALKERS has also entered into an agreement with Hillsdale’s Kirby Center as a DC location to produce and present occasional forums for on-air personalities and political figures to discuss the hottest issues of public policy.  Harrison says, “We are thrilled to be able to look forward to re-instituting our series of Washington, DC-based forums that were so successful back in the 1990s with so distinguished a partner as Hillsdale College in 2016.”  Hewitt, a huge fan of the school’s mission and a longtime friend with the school’s passionate president Larry Arnn plans to spend a lot of time there as well, telling TALKERS, “Whenever I’m in town, this is where I’m going to be broadcasting from.  I’m very grateful to be a partner with Hillsdale College.”

DGitalMedia logoDGital Media Partners with Stand Up NY Labs to form Comedy Voices Audio Network.  The goal of this joint venture between Spencer Brown and David Landau-led DGital Media and Upper West Side comedy club Stand Up NY is to “produce, market and distribute original comedy programming.”  Stand Up NY Labs is already producing comedy podcasts with A-list comics and this deal means DGital “will now have full production facilities in New York and will be involved in the production, distribution, marketing, events and sales of the existing audio platform as well as developing new content and events with the Stand Up NY comedy club.”  Coming aboard DGital as vice president of the Comedy Voices division is John McDermott, who’s served as VP Comedy & Entertainment for SiriusXM.  DGital chief content officer Chris Corcoran states, “We intend to build the leading digital audio platform in comedy with Stand Up NY Labs, which was conceived literally on top of legendary comedy club Stand Up NY.”

mid-westfamilybroadcasting logoMid-West Family Broadcasting Buys Four in South Bend Market.  Through its affiliate WSJM, Inc., Mid-West Family Broadcasting is purchasing four radio stations and a translator in the South Bend, Indiana market from Gray Television Group for $5.5 million.  The four stations – adult contemporary WNSN-FM, news/talk WSBT-AM, classic hits WZOC-FM, country WHFB-FM and translator W241AD (96.1 FM) – are currently pending acquisition by Gray from Schurz Communications.

Odds & Sods.   Nationally syndicated radio star and founder of TheBlaze media platform Glenn Beck is askingbeckglenn the Republican National Committee to consider TheBlaze TV as host of the ninth scheduled GOP presidential debate on February 26, 2016 in Houston.  Beck says his network is “prepared to produce a new kind of debate, in both substance and distribution.”  Beck would host the debate and – instead of journalists asking questions of the candidates – he “would invite the greatest new conservative thinkers westbrianand media voices in the country to question the candidates.”…..There’s a change in corporate structure at Nielsen Holdings.  The company is eliminating the chief operating officer effective January 1, 2016 and current COO Brian West is resigning his post, effective December 31…..Salem Media Group acquires the financial website DividendYieldHunter.com.  The company issalemmediagroup logo adding that to its current portfolio of publications targeting investors under the Eagle Financial Publications banner.  Eagle currently publishes products and services written by investment experts Mark Skousen, Doug Fabian, Nicholas Vardy, serial logoBryan Perry and Chris Versace.  Eagle also has three other financial websites: EagleDailyInvestor.com, DividendInvestor.com and ETFU.com…..Internet audio service Pandora strikes a deal with American Public Media to serve as the exclusive streaming partner for the podcast “Serial.”  The relationship means not only will Pandora stream season two of “Serial,” but it will also stream APM’s “This American Life” and offer season one of “Serial” on demand.  The launch date for season two remains a secret.

lundgrenfredLundgren: A Laptop and a Mic Don’t Make You a Broadcaster.  KCAA, Loma Linda founder and owner Fred Lundgren says he’s not against digital technology — or even podcasting — but he bristles at the notion that uploading or streaming to the internet is equivalent to (or better than!) broadcasting via AM/FM radio.  Read Fred Lundgren’s opinion piece here.

stigallWS15WPHT, Philadelphia’s Chris Stigall and Co-Workers Enjoy Royals Series Win.  Even though he wakes up mostly Phillies fans each weekday morning on CBS RADIO’s WPHT, Chris Stigall is true to his hometown Kansas City Royals.  He tells TALKERS magazine that he and his WPHT co-workers enjoyed watching the clinching game five at Citi Field on Sunday night.  He says the Mets fans were gracious and they had a blast.  Pictured here (from l-r) are: Stigall, WPHT PD Jared Hart, program executive producer Michael Cerio and WPHT news anchor and Stigall sidekick Paige Powers (also a KC native).

Obama Deficit/New Budget Deal, Russian Airliner Crash, 2016 Presidential Race, European Migrant Troubles/U.S. Immigration Policy, U.S.-Russia Military Tensions, Syria-ISIS Violence, Fred Thompson Dies, NFL Action, and Royals Win World Series Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/2).  The new, two-year budget deal and the Obama Administration’s raising the debt ceiling; the controversial crash of a Russian airliner in the Sinai Desert; the activities of the candidates for president in 2016 and the aftermath of last week’s GOP primary debate on CNBC; ongoing migrant issues in Europe and debate over immigration policy in the U.S.; military tensions between the U.S. and Russia; the Syrian civil conflict and ISIS activity; actor, politician and radio host Fred Thompson dies; the weekend’s NFL action and the Kansas City Royals’ victory over the New York Mets to win the 2015 World Series were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.

Friday, March 6, 2015

| March 6, 2015

beasley logo longBeasley Reports 2014 Q4 Pro Forma Net Revenue Dips 4.3%.  Getting an accurate picture of the fourth quarter – not to mention the total of 2014 – is a bit dicey because of the asset exchange between Beasley and CBS RADIO.  But as Beasley chairman and CEO George Beasley says in the press release, “On a reported basis, fourth quarter net revenue from continuing operations rose 23.5% and SOI [station operating income] increased 14.6%, while operating income of $1.8 million was impacted by $1.7beasleygeorge million of transaction and termination expenses related to the Asset Exchange and otherwise would have compared favorably with the $2.8 million in the comparable year ago period.  However, given the required accounting treatment for discontinued operations, the results include only one month of operations from the stations we received in the asset exchange, while excluding the results of the stations we gave up in the transaction.  As a result, we believe a pro forma presentation, which assumes the asset exchange occurred on January 1, 2013, better reflects the operating results.  On a pro forma basis, fourth quarter net revenue decreased 4.3% to $28.9 million while SOI declined 8.0% to $9.2 million.  Importantly, while the fourth quarter pro forma presentation allows for a comparison of the same stations during both periods, it does not reflect our recently initiated and planned format and personnel changes in Tampa as well as expense reductions in Tampa and Charlotte, the benefits of which we expect will be reflected in our results as we move through 2015 and into 2016.”

kkfn logo20 Years of KKFN Sports Talk in Denver Being Recognized.  This Monday (3/9), Lincoln Financial Media will celebrate 20 years of sports talk in Denver on KKFN.  The format is now heard on KKFN-FM “104.3 The Fan,” but debuted in 1994 on KKFN-AM.  The special broadcast will feature several former personalities and athletes who have been part of the two-decade history.  The station’s original lineup included: the Fabulous Sports Babe (Nanci Donnellan), Woody Paige & Todd Mansfield, Doug Moe & Tom Green and Jeff Reckard.  On Monday the station will welcome back former Fan personalities Woody Paige, Tom Green, Dan Issel, Charles Johnson, Irv Brown and Joe Williams.  They will be joined by Rockies radio announcer Jerry Schemmel.  The station’s current lineup is: “The Fan Morning Show with Mike Evans, Nate Lundy and Vic Lombardi” (5:30 am to 9:00 am), Dan Patrick (9:00 am to 12:00  noon), Sandy Clough and Scott Hastings (12:00 noon to 3:00 pm), “The Drive”­ with Alfred “Big Al” Williams and Darren “D-Mac” McKee (3:00 pm to 9:00 pm) and “The Fan Late Night” with Ryan Edwards and Shawn Drotar (9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight).  “The Fan” will also hold an anniversary party on Thursday, March 26, at the Sports Column in downtown Denver.  Listeners will get the chance to celebrate with members of “The Fan” on-air staff and celebrities.

iheartmedia logo smalliHeartMedia Names Charlie Wilkinson Dallas Market President.   Moving to Texas from his most recent position with the company as regional president overseeing Charlotte and Raleigh, Charlie Wilkinson becomes market president of iHeartMedia’s six Dallas properties.  EVP of operations – Texas majors Kelly Kibler comments, “Charlie has exceeded expectations and consistently raises the bar.  He has proven his ability to create and lead winning teams.  I’m confident he will continue to deliver consistent integrated revenue growth for the Dallas cluster.”  Former market president, Deidre Richter, will join iHeartMedia’s national sales team and will report to Jeff Howard, president of national sales.  Richter will lead the South Central Connections Team.

Odds & Sods.  At the Cromwell Group’s Nashville sports talk duo “94.9 The Game 2” — WQZQ-AM and W235BW – morning drive co-host Joe Dubin leaves the station and partner Greg Pogue to return to television sports as sports anchor on WSMV-TV, Nashville, effective March 30…..This weekend begins Westwood One Sports’ presentation of a slate of exclusive women’s college basketball broadcasts this month.  It gets underway Sunday with the Pac-12 Women’s Championship game andwestwood one sports culminating with the Women’s Final Four and National Championship in Tampa on April 7.  On Tuesday, March 10, WW1 broadcasts the Big East Women’s Championship, live from Allstate Arena in Chicago.  CBS Sports Radio talk-show host Amy Lawrence has the play-by-play, along with former University of Connecticut All-American Swin Cash as the analyst…..Salem Media Group New York brings Chief of Robotic Surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital, Dr. David Samadi, to the staff serving as chief medical correspondent for news/talk WNYM “AM 970 The Answer” and Christian talk WMCA “AM 570 The Mission.”  Additionally, Dr. Samadi will host the new program “World Health News with Dr. Samadi,” airing Sundays from 10:00 am to 11:00 am.

curtiskubyroast15Curtis & Kuby Roast Takes Place Monday in NYC.  Gotham Comedy Club will be the site of the Curtis & Kuby Roast on Monday, March 9 at 7:00 pm.  The duo – heard daily in middays on Cumulus Media’s WABC – will be in attendance as Roast Master Rich Vos (featured on Comedy Central, HBO, and Showtime) hosts a night of no-holds-barred comedy in honor of talk radio odd couple Curtis Sliwa and Ron Kuby.  Comedians Kurt Metzger, Bonnie McFarlane, Geno Bisconte, Aaron Berg, and The Stone Brothers will all come out to roast the duo. Limited tickets are still available at www.wabcradio.com. The event is produced by Jeffrey Gurian in conjunction with Gotham Comedy Club and 77 WABC.

TALKERS Weekly Affiliate Roundup.  The sports programming from Yahoo! Sports Radio is now being heard on Word Broadcasting’s WVHI, Evansville, Indiana…..The Genesis Communications Network-syndicated “Freedom Feens” show is now being heard on affiliate stations WRMN, Elgin, Illinois (Chicago market) and on WPNN, Pensacola, Florida.

Netanyahu Speech/Iran Nukes Top Talkers TenTM for Week of March 2-6.  The speech before Congress by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the issue of a pact to allow Iran’s nuclear program to expand were tied for the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week.  At #2 was the Supreme Court’s hearing a challenge to the Affordable Care Act. Coming in at #3 was the probe of Hillary Clinton’s use of private email for State Department business, followed by the Homeland Security Department funding battle and President Obama’s amnesty order at #4.  The Talkers TenTM is a weekly chart of the top stories and people discussed on news/talk radio this 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.