NAB and FCC Challenge Third Circuit Court’s Action on Ownership Changes in the Supreme Court. In a brief filed with the Supreme Court of the United States, National Association of Broadcasters, the Federal Communications Commission (and fellow petitioners Bonneville International Corporation, Connoisseur Media LLC, Fox Corporation, News Corporation, News Media Alliance, Nexstar Inc., The Scranton Times L.P., and Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc.) are asking the Supreme Court to reverse the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that vacated the FCC’s ownership rules changes. As industry watchers are aware, after adopting a Reconsideration Order, the FCC repealed the Newspaper/Broadcast Cross-Ownership Rule, the Radio/Television Cross-Ownership Rule, and the TV Joint Sales Agreement Attribution Rule. It also established a modest presumptive waiver of the Local Radio Ownership Rule for parties seeking approval of a limited number of transactions involving radio stations in markets that contain multiple “embedded” markets. In the brief, NAB and the FCC argue that Section 202(h) of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 directs the FCC to review its media ownership rules every four years and to “repeal” or “modify” any rule that is no longer “necessary in the public interest as the result of competition.” They note that no party challenged the FCC’s statutorily mandated competition analysis, nor did the Third Circuit question it on the merits. Yet, they argue, the Third Circuit concluded that the Commission inadequately considered the effect of those changes on minority and female ownership – even though Section 202(h) says nothing about that issue. On that ground alone, the Third Circuit vacated all the Commission’s rule changes (as well as other agency actions in these consolidated cases) and ordered the agency to collect additional statistics on ownership diversity. The same divided Third Circuit panel has repeatedly elevated its policy concerns over the statutory text and purported to retain jurisdiction over the FCC’s Section 202(h) orders, effectively blocking review by any other court for more than 15 years. The petitioners are asking the Supreme Court to rule on “whether under Section 202(h) the Commission must produce and consider statistical evidence or conduct an in-depth theoretical analysis regarding effects on minority and female ownership before repealing or modifying media ownership rules that it determines are no longer ‘necessary in the public interest as the result of competition.’” Oral arguments for this case have not been scheduled yet.
Michigan Station Owner Jamie McKibbin Dies in Boating Accident. The owner of McKibbin Media Group – Jamie McKibbin – died in a boating accident on Clendening Lake in Harrison County, Ohio on Sunday (11/15). McKibbin and James ‘Bud’ Miller were on a hunting trip when the accident happened. McKibbin and his wife Katina own the company that includes news/talk WKHM-AM/W268CA, sports talk WKHM-HD2/W270CJ “FOX Sports 101.9,” country WIBM-AM/W240DG and CHR WKHM-FM in the Jackson, Michigan market and adult contemporary WCSR-FM in the Hillsdale, Michigan market. On the WKHM-AM website the company posted his obituary that says, “Jamie achieved his lifelong dream of owning radio stations with the purchase of the Jackson stations in December 2019, followed by the addition of his hometown stations in Hillsdale in February 2020. He was also involved with the Michigan Association of Broadcasters and had recently joined its board of directors.” McKibbin is also survived by his 14-year-old son Walker.
TALKERS News Notes. News comes from NAB that the 2021 Audio Engineering Society fall convention will co-locate with NAB Show on October 11–13, 2021 in Las Vegas. NAB says, the co-location brings together the premiere convention for pro audio professionals with the world’s largest convention encompassing media, entertainment, and technology. The AES Show will take place at the Westgate Hotel, adjacent to the Las Vegas Convention Center where NAB Show will be held. The AES fall convention was previously co-located with NAB Show New York at the Javits Convention Center annually in October from 2017–2019. The two events were held virtually in 2020. NAB EVP of conventions and business operations Chris Brown says, “We are excited to be building the most significant, in-person media and entertainment event of 2021 and are ready to bring the industry together once again at NAB Show in October. Together with AES, we will provide unparalleled access to critical information, inspiration and solutions for audio engineers and content creators.”…..iHeartMedia and podcast network and production studio Cloud10 Media are partnering for a two-year production and distribution deal that will “leverage Cloud10’s diverse slate of curated celebrity-hosted audio programs and iHeartMedia’s national cross-platform network in order to reach a wider audience of consumers across the country.” As part of the deal, all existing and upcoming Cloud10 Media podcasts including “Busy Philipps is Doing Her Best,” “Daddy Issues with Joe Buck and Oliver Hudson,” “Work in Progress with Sophia Bush,” and more will be distributed by the iHeartPodcast Network and will be promoted across iHeartMedia’s multiplatform network…..FOX Sports Radio reports record audience gains across multiple digital platforms for October 2020. FSR says it experienced its best streaming month of all time in October, with total listening hours increasing +28% year-to-year. Additionally, the FOX Sports Radio Podcast Network’s audience grew +123% year-to-year in October, marking FSR’s second-best month ever in terms of podcast listens. FOXSportsRadio.com also experienced its second-best month in history with October page views growing +46% year-to-year, and the network’s YouTube channel saw its views increase by +41% year-to-year in October…..SiriusXM announces a new long-term agreement with the NBCUniversal News Group under which the simulcasts of MSNBC and CNBC will continue to air on SiriusXM, as will the TODAY Show Radio channel. TODAY Show Radio is a 24/7 channel dedicated to TODAY and is home to exclusive radio programs hosted by some of the morning show’s stars. Under the new agreement, SiriusXM also becomes the exclusive advertising representative and end-to-end ad tech platform for a broad slate of NBC News, MSNBC and CNBC podcasts. In addition to live airings of TODAY, the channel features exclusive weekly programs including “The Hoda Show” hosted by Hoda Kotb (Mondays from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm ET) and “Off The Rails” (Tuesdays from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm ET) with co-hosts Al Roker, Dylan Dreyer, and Sheinelle Jones…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that Chicago Public Media is naming Sasha-Ann Simons host of the 11:00 am to 1:00 pm “Reset” talk program on WBEZ-FM. Simons is currently a host and correspondent at American University’s WAMU-FM, Washington, DC. She takes over for Jenn White who left WBEZ to take on the hosting duties for the WAMU-FM-based “1A” program syndicated by NPR. Since her departure, Justin Kaufmann has been serving as interim host. Simon begins her duties on December 14.
WPG-AM, Atlantic City Morning Host Harry Hurley Makes ‘Insider 100 Power’ List. Calling it “a coveted, tough list to make,” WPG-AM, Atlantic City morning drive host Harry Hurley tells TALKERS magazine he is honored to make Insider NJ’s “Insider 100 Power” list. He adds, “It’s a real professional honor to be included and I’m so appreciative with what they wrote about me.”
Trump’s Continued Challenge of Election/Fires HS Official, Biden Transition, COVID-19 Stats & Projections/Vaccines, Holiday Get-Together Controversy, Georgia Recount/Runoff Elections, and Big Tech Senate Hearing Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/17). The continuing rhetoric from President Trump about the election results and his firing of Homeland Security official Chris Krebs for vouching for the integrity of the vote; the transition of the Joe Biden administration; the fast-rising number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and abroad, projections for future cases, and the progress on vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna; the contentious issue of mandates against large gatherings for Thanksgiving and Christmas; the presidential election recount taking place in Georgia and that state’s January runoff elections for its U.S. Senate seats; and testimony from Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee 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. Air personality Kasper joins Alpha Media Canton as evening host for its hot AC WHBC “Mix 94.1.” Cluster content director Gabriel Carrillo says, “It’s not often you get the opportunity to bring in a talent with whom the audience is intimately familiar. When [OM] Bo Matthews and I had the chance to sign-on Kasper to the team it was a no-brainer. Finding someone with an instant connection to the market is very rare to find. We sound LOCAL and on the pulse of what is going on in our community. His experience in both Cleveland and Youngstown give our station a true Northeast Ohio feel.”…..Condolences to the family and friends of longtime classic rock WONE-FM, Akron air personality T.K. O’Grady, who passed away at the age of 66 from natural causes. WEWS-TV, Cleveland reports that O’Grady worked in radio for 40 years and joined Akron’s Rubber City Radio in 1998. WONE-FM posted on its website that there will no service or calling hours due to COVID-19, adding, “May his memory be eternal.”
NOW POSTED: This Weekend’s Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” The latest installment of the vibrant, one-hour weekend special, “The Michael Harrison Wrap,” that looks back each week at the hottest topics discussed in American talk media per the research of TALKERS magazine, is now posted on the website of its flagship station, WONK-FM in Washington, DC. This new episode titled “Postpone, Opt Out, and Cancel!” looks back at this past week of July 27-31, 2020. The program features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; Larry Elder, talk show host, Salem Radio Network / executive producer, “Uncle Tom”; Herman Cain (deceased) / talk show host, Newsmax TV; Shadoe Stevens, host / producer, “Mental Radio”; Steve Trevelise, talk show host, “New Jersey 101.5” / WIP, Philadelphia; Richard Neer, talk show host, WFAN, New York; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company. This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on its flagship, WONK-FM, Washington, DC, Friday evenings at 6:00 pm ET. It also airs throughout the weekend on WRKO, Boston; WTIC, Hartford; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; KDFD (“Freedom 93.7”), Denver; KFNX, Phoenix; WVLY, Wheeling, WV; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; WGDJ, Albany, NY; WJFN-FM, Richmond, VA; WZFG, Fargo; KTGO, Tioga, ND; KWAM, Memphis; K-NEWS, San Luis Obispo; WCHM, Clarkesville, GA; WPHM, Port Huron, MI; KSYL, Alexandria, LA; KTOE, Mankato, MN; WCED (“Connect FM”), DuBois, PA; the Virginia Talk Radio Network; Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA; Podcast Radio, UK and many more. To listen to this week ’s episode, please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here. “The Michael Harrison Wrap” is now available in syndication via Talk Media Network to stations across America on a market exclusive basis. For affiliation information, please click here or call 616-884-8616.
Remembering Herman Cain. TALKERS magazine managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a piece on Herman Cain – the radio talk host and business executive who died yesterday (7/30) at the age of 74 — that was originally run in Inside Radio in 2008 when Kinosian served there as special features editor. It ran three years before Cain would begin his campaign for president for the 2012 election and in addition to revealing facts about his personal history, it provides insight into his political philosophy at the time. Read it here.
Legal Battle Between Jackson, Tennessee News/Talk Stations Resolved. According to a story in the Jackson Sun, a legal dispute between Grace Broadcasting and Wireless Group over a non-compete issue has been settled, with one company buying the other’s news/talk station. Wireless Group – owner of news/talk WNWS-FM – was suing Grace Broadcasting – owner of news/talk WTJS-FM – after former WNWS host Dan Reaves left and began working for WTJS. Wireless Group claimed Reaves was in violation of his contract while Reaves argued the deal was never a legal contract. The Sun reports that as the coronavirus pandemic took its toll on the Jackson, Tennessee advertising market, the two sides became more amenable to a settlement that culminated with Grace acquiring WNWS for an undisclosed sum. The future of WNWS’ programming is reportedly uncertain at this time.
SiriusXM Q2 Revenue Down; Business Has Been ‘Resilient.’ Reporting its financial data for the second quarter of 2020, SiriusXM says revenue was $1.9 billion, down 5% compared to the same period a year ago. Net income was reported to be $243 million in Q2 of 2020, down 7.9% from Q2 2019 net income of $263 million. Adjusted EBITDA in the second quarter remained roughly unchanged at $615 million. SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer says, “Sirius XM’s business during this challenging period has been resilient, and with improving results and visibility into the remainder of the year, I’m pleased to resume offering subscriber and financial guidance. Despite the incredible economic stresses brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, our self-pay net subscriber additions grew by nearly 200,000 over the first quarter of the year, and we reported improved churn of just 1.6% per month with rising ARPU. Although advertising revenue fell 34% in the quarter, substantial expense savings in SAC and other areas provided a complete offset, and we generated over half a billion dollars of free cash flow. We are investing in our business, our people, and external opportunities to position ourselves for future growth.”
Jim Meyer on Howard Stern’s Future. During yesterday’s earnings call, SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer addressed the negotiations underway with Howard Stern and he said, in part, “Howard is performing at the top of his game right now. And he has been for pretty consistently some time. I couldn’t be happier with the status of Howard’s show. In particular, given the transition he’s made from doing everything at our studio at 1221 in New York to now doing it remotely and doing it flawlessly. I’ve been clear. I want Howard Stern to work at SiriusXM for as long as Howard Stern wants to work. And I’ve engaged with Howard’s team… I know what Howard wants and we’re trying to figure out a way to make all those things work together.” Thanks to Seeking Alpha for the transcript. Subscribers can read the whole earnings call transcript here.
TALKERS News Notes. WDBJ-TV, Lynchburg, Virginia reports that news/talk WLNI-AM, Lynchburg morning drive talk host Larry Dowdy is retiring from his role with the station after a 47-year career in radio. Dowdy is not retiring completely; he plans to do some commercial voiceover work and some podcasting. WLNI PD Kenny Shelton says of Dowdy, “When I started working with him, I just realized what a great talent he is, what a great person he is. The way he goes about doing this job is a great lesson to anybody in the business as far as show prep that he does and just his knowledge of things.”…..Beginning with tonight’s Oakland A’s game against the Mariners in Seattle, Oakland fans will be able to hear their team play on iHeartMedia’s business news KNEW-AM, Oakland. Back in February, the team announced that it had no local radio deal and the way to hear games would be via streaming. Yesterday (7/30), the team announced the deal to air the remainder of this season on KNEW…..Chicago media writer Robert Feder reports that WGN-AM morning drive traffic reporter Mary VanDeVelde is moving to the afternoon drive daypart, working from 12:00 noon to 7:00 pm on air. Traffic reports in the mornings and late mornings are being provided by Nexstar’s WGN-TV…..The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation’s releases the latest episode of the AWM Gracie Interview Series titled, “Medicine and The Media – Leadership in Historic Times,” with American Medical Association president Susan R. Bailey, M.D.. The session is moderated by Entercom media personality Kelly Ford. AWMF executive director Becky Brooks says, “Dr. Bailey shared meaningful insight into the important partnership between media and the medical community. This is a critical time for media to understand its role and for all of us to know our roles as individuals. We look forward to hosting more virtual gatherings to share the wisdom of experienced leaders.” Listen here.
The Presidential Race, Politics, and the Federal Agents Debate Top News/Talk Stories for Week of July 27-31. The November presidential election, politics, and the debate over the Trump administration’s dispatching of federal troops to cities where Black Lives Matter protests are taking place tied for the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the rising cases of COVID-19 in numerous states and projections for future cases. Coming in at #3 was health care, medications for treating COVID-19 and the race to create a vaccine, followed by the debate over opening schools this fall 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. See this week’s complete chart here.
Salem Seeks Chief Engineer for NYC. This chief engineer position is in Salem Media Group’s New York City operations for news/talk WNYM “AM 570 The Answer” and Christian teaching WMCA (plus translator W272DX). See the list of position duties and qualifications necessary to be considered – and how to apply – here.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. The new morning show at Entercom’s Los Angeles CHR KAMP-FM “97.1 AMP” is “The Morning Mess,” featuring Joey Boy, Aneesh Ratan, Jeana Shepard, and Karla Hernandez. The company says, “The show, currently on sister station “Live 101.5” (KALV-FM) in Phoenix, will feature curated local content for Los Angeles listeners, including lifestyle, news, daily traffic and weather updates, as well as city-specific COVID updates. Listeners in L.A. will also hear popular segments like “Nachoo’s Revenge,” featuring Joey Boy’s alter ego prank calling unsuspecting listeners. Entercom regional president Jeff Federman says, “Joey Boy and ‘The Morning Mess’ are a true reflection of Southern California. They are diverse, dynamic, socially responsible and completely transparent.”…..Radio pro Frank Ski returns to Howard University’s urban contemporary WHUR-FM, Washington, DC for afternoon drive hosting “The Frank Ski Show with Nina Brown,” beginning Monday (8/3). This comes after Ski’s exit from Entercom’s WVEE, Atlanta “V103” late last month. WHUR program director Al Payne says, “Frank Ski has dominated ratings and has an incredible legacy of community enrichment wherever he is on the air. He is a media icon and adding his name to WHUR once again completes our DMV Dream Team.”.….Salem Media Group announces that radio pro Amanda Carroll joins the Nashville-based Salem Music Network to produce a five-hour show for daily syndication, effective Monday (8/3). The company says, “Throughout her career, she has worked at major market Christian radio stations, including 89.3 KSBJ-FM in Houston, 91.9 WGTS in Washington, D.C. and K-LOVE national network. Most recently, Carroll worked at Sacramento’s adult contemporary station, KYMX-FM Mix 96.1.”
WGFX Lineup Modifications Debut Next Monday. Among the changes going into effect (8/14) at Cumulus Media Nashville sports talk WGFX “104.5 The Zone” is former Tennessee Titans safety and “Zone” host Blaine Bishop moving to 6:00 am – 10:00 am, co-hosting with Mark Howard and Kevin Ingram; Bishop had hosted the station’s “3HL” show since its debut in January 2010. Bishop emphasizes that next Monday is “not just another day – it’s a new opportunity and a new beginning. I’ve worked closely with Mark over the last 10 years with my involvement with the Titans and am looking forward to working with him and the ‘Wake Up Zone’ team. I can’t wait to break down the games with our fans every morning.” Former Titans tight end Frank Wycheck moves from “Wake Up Zone” co-host to analysis throughout the day. Wycheck joined the “Wake Up Zone” shortly after his retirement from the NFL in 2004 and he notes, “I am thrilled to continue playing a role on the ‘Wake Up Zone’ and look forward to providing analysis throughout the day.” Becoming Nashville radio’s first full-time female sports anchor, Dawn Davenport, who has covered sports in Nashville since 2008, will co-host the 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm “3HL” show with Brent Dougherty and Mickey Ryan. Davenport comments, “I am fortunate to jump back into sports in Nashville with such an amazing station full of talented and kind people. I’ve come to know and like Brent and Mickey over the last few years and cannot wait to join a team that works so hard every day to create an entertaining show for our great city.” Program director Brad Willis reasons, “Much like the sports teams we cover, we are always looking to put the best lineup on the field. These moves reflect our continued dedication to our position as Nashville’s top sports station, providing our listeners with the most in-depth coverage of their favorite teams. Blaine and Frank are cornerstone pieces of the Titans franchise during their time in Nashville. Their intimate knowledge of the Titans and the Nashville sports landscape is unparalleled. Dawn Davenport has immersed herself in the Nashville sports community. As someone who has covered every team in this town, and as a former SEC athlete, we are excited to have her join Brent and Mickey.”
Westwood One “Summer of Love” Retrospective Revisits Counterculture Revolution. Airing next weekend (8/18 – 8/20), Westwood One News’ half-hour “Summer of Love” special looks back at the counterculture revolution that defined the summer of 1967 from a 50-year perspective. Hosted by Westwood One News correspondents Jim Roope (Los Angeles) and Steve Kastenbaum (New York), the program features iconic pop and rock music from that summer, along with use of Westwood One News archives, including interviews with pop culture figures of the time such as Abbie Hoffman, professor Timothy Leary, rock manager Bill Graham, and singer Scott McKenzie. Regarding the latter, Westwood One producer George Achaves, who produced the 1987 “Summer of Love” 20th anniversary special, recalls that he had read a Washington Post interview with McKenzie’s mother. “She happened to live in an apartment building a block away from our office at the time. I looked her up in the phone book, called her out of the blue, and she put me in touch with her son, who was living in Lake Tahoe. Before she hung up, she said to me, ‘If you speak with him, please tell him to call his mother once in a while.’ McKenzie gave me great stories about the Monterey Pop Festival and his hit song ‘San Francisco: Wear Some Flowers in Your Hair.’”
CBS Sports Radio Tweaks Weekend Programming. The one-word reason for the adjustments is “football” and as CBS Sports Radio director of programming Eric Spitz confirms, “Our listeners love football season so we’re excited to bring them another dedicated weekend schedule around one of their all-time favorite sports. This year’s lineup includes both CBS Sports Radio and CBSSports.com hosts and analysts, experts on the game and true fans themselves.” In three weeks (Saturday, 9/2), CBS Sports Radio anchor Rich Ackerman begins hosting “Eye on College Football,” which extends from 12:00 noon to 8:00 pm. On a rotating basis, CBSSports.com senior fantasy football writers Adam Aizer, Jamey Eisenberg, and Dave Richard oversee “Eye on Fantasy Football” (10:00 pm -12:00 midnight). Co-hosted by Nick Kostos, Heath Cummings, Jamey Eisenberg, Pete Prisco and Dave Richard, a simulcast of CBSSports.com‘s “Fantasy Football Today” will air Sundays 11:00 am -12:00 noon. The following Sunday (9/10), CBS Sports Radio’s Damon “DA” Amendolara hosts “Sunday Morning Football” (9:00 am -11:00am), and for the first time, this program will be simulcast on watchDA.com. Rich Ackerman returns for “Eye on Football” from 12:00 noon to 8:00 pm.
PPM Data – Part Four. July 2017 ratings information has been released for Austin, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Providence, Norfolk, Greensboro, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Memphis, and Hartford. Nielsen Audio’s July 2017 survey period covered June 22 – July 19. View all the 6+ numbers from subscribing stations here.
Nielsen Audio To Revise Austin and Fargo Data. Audience estimates for Entercom Austin urban AC KKMJ-HD3 were inadvertently omitted from that market’s July 2017 PPM report which Nielsen Audio released yesterday (Thursday, 8/10); see above. A revised Austin report will be made available next Wednesday (8/16) in which audience estimates will be reported for KKMJ-FM HD3. Audience estimates for other Austin stations will not be affected. Some select Nielsen services will report KKMJ-FM HD3 as KKMJ-F3. KKMJ-FM HD3’s status as a subscribing HD-Multicast station eligible for reporting apparently had not been entered into one of the ratings company’s internal systems. Likewise, a revision to the company’s just issued spring 2017 Fargo-Moorhead book will be released next Wednesday (8/16) as well. In this case, Brooke Ingstad (Radio Wahpeton Breckenridge) classic hits-oldies KEGK “106.9 The Eagle” was incorrectly reported as a “non-metro” station. The updated report for that market will indicate KEGK as home to the metro. While audience estimates for all stations listed will remain the same, KEGK will be included with “metro” stations, as well as the “in the book” and “all stations” sections.
“Score” Seeking Chicago’s Next Fantasy Football Expert. The search begins next Thursday (8/17) through a series of live auditions where listeners of CBS Radio Chicago sports talk WSCR “670 The Score” will have the opportunity to showcase their writing and broadcasting talents on-site at various local venues. Program and operations director Mitch Rosen comments, “This is an amazing opportunity for a diehard fan to participate in the action on-air and online. With fantasy football continuing to grab our listeners’ attention, I look forward to finding the right candidate who can provide an exceptional perspective in a highly visible role with the station.” The “expert” will contribute to the station’s on-air and online fantasy football content by offering tips and strategies for anyone managing their own fantasy football team throughout the 2017 NFL regular season. The winner will appear every Sunday between 8:00 am and 9:00 pm on the Joe Ostrowski show and write a weekly column for CBSChicago.com.
WBUR Opens Dorchester Bureau. A partnership that began this week in The Hub’s largest and mostpopulous neighborhood finds Boston University-owned WBUR “Boston’s NPR News Station” opening a bureau inside the newsroom of The Dorchester Reporter. WBUR’s bureau includes a fully-functioning radio studio, allowing WBUR reporters and Dorchester Reporter journalists to broadcast live. On its own, Boston suburb Dorchester would qualify as Massachusetts’ fifth-largest city.
U.S.-North Korea Tensions Story Tops the Talkers TenTM This Week. Intensifying rhetoric between President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jon Un was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio during the week of August 7 – August 11, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 was the ongoing investigation in the president’s relationship with Russia. Coming in at #3 are the continuing feuds between West Wing advisors – focusing on the current tensions between Stephen K. Bannon and H.R. McMaster. #4 were stories mounting up about claims of sexism and sexual harassment aimed at women by the prevailing culture in Silicon Valley focusing on the recent Google memo. 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.
Gaines Grabs Afternoons at Atlanta’s “Kicks 101.5.” It will be easy for Scott Gaines to remember the “Kicks” handle in his new job: The Southeastern Oklahoma State University grad is transferring from afternoon drive duty at Cumulus Media Memphis country outlet WGKX “Kix 106” to co-owned/similarly-formatted WKHX “Kicks 101.5,” Atlanta. In addition to doing afternoons (3:00 pm – 7:00 pm) at WKHX, Gaines will be the station’s assistant program director. Cumulus Media Atlanta vice president/market manager Sean Shannon states, “It is exciting to see a person of Scott’s caliber join ‘Kicks 101.5.’ Our listeners, clients, partners, and staff all win with this move.” Program Director Scott Lindy remarks, “The high level of Scott’s talent, experience, and dedication to the craft of creating great radio is a perfect fit for ‘Kicks 101.5.’ Our listeners are in for a treat – we’re gaining a very strong internal player.” Gaines notes, “I have only met Sean Shannon once and can already see why his leadership has created a winning team. I’ve been a huge fan of Scott Lindy’s and am honored to join his team.” Gaines – who begins his new assignment in just over three weeks (9/5) – previously was assistant program director/music director/afternoon drive talent at iHeartMedia Detroit’s WDTW (when it was “106.7 The Fox”), and afternoon personality for Cumulus Media Nashville country outlet WSM-FM “95.5 Nash Icon.”
Radio Show to Feature Lovato Performance. The headliner in the annual “Music and Mimosas” event for next month’s NAB and RAB Radio Show is Demi Lovato. RAB president and chief executive officer Erica Farber comments, “We are thrilled to welcome Demi Lovato and the extraordinary talent represented by some of the industry’s most influential record labels to ‘Music & Mimosas.’ This must-attend session provides attendees with exclusive ‘listens’ to music from a variety of genres and serves as the perfect bookend to the radio industry’s hottest event.” The Radio Show will be held September 5 – 8 in Austin at the JW Marriott, with Lovato’s performance scheduled for (Friday) September 8. The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) produce “Music & Mimosas.”
Cumulus Media Flint Designates Dymond VP/MM. Most recently market manager for Community Broadcasters’ five-station Watertown, New York cluster, Nancy Dymond is appointed vice president and market manager for Cumulus Media Flint, Michigan, which consists of five stations as well. Regional vice president/market manager of Cumulus Media Saginaw-Flint-Ann Arbor Chris Monk remarks, “It is great to have Nancy back in Flint. This is a market she knows and it is an area she loves. Nancy is the perfect person to lead our Flint team.” Dymond comments, “I couldn’t be more excited to be home and work with such a great community and stations.” Dymond was Cumulus Media Flint’s market manager from 2000 – 2004. Prior to that, she was general manager for Max Media of Pennsylvania’s Susquehanna Valley stations and general manager of Connoisseur Media-owned stations in Erie, Pennsylvania. The five Cumulus Media Flint properties are urban AC WDZZ “Z-92.7”; country WFBE “95.1 Nash FM”; sports talk WTRX “Xtra 1330”; news/talk WWCK-AM “SuperTalk 1570”; and CHR WWCK-FM “CK 105.5.”
WMYX Teams Kay and Hess in Morning Drive. The 5:00 am – 9:00 am on-air partnership of Elizabeth Kay and Tony “Radar” Hess (“Elizabeth & Radar”) starts next Monday (8/14) on Entercom Milwaukee hot AC WMYX “99.1 The Mix.” Entercom Milwaukee vice president of operations Brian Kelly comments, “I am excited for the new morning show and I am confident that ‘Elizabeth & Radar’ will bring the energy our listeners crave in the morning. ‘Radar’ has been part of waking up Milwaukee for the past 17 years and is extremely embedded in the community. I can’t think of a better match to join Elizabeth Kay.” Regarding Hess, Kay notes, “I am beyond excited for the opportunity to work with him again. Our paths crossed early on in my career, and I have always had great respect for him as a radio host, and who he is as a person. ‘Mix’ listeners will have a show they’ll be able to relate to and enjoy for many years to come.” Hess adds, “I am so very grateful for the opportunity at ‘The Mix.’ I stay in radio, and stay local – this only happens in dreams.” From January 2000 to March 2017, Hess was at cross-town iHeartMedia-owned WMIL “106.1 Milwaukee’s Best Country,” where he was morning drive co-host; Kay has been part of “Mix” AM drive shows since 2009.
Seacrest Signs Overall Pact with ABC Studios. A multi-year overall deal is in-place between iHeartMedia CHR KIIS “102.7 Kiss-FM” morning talent Ryan Seacrest’s Ryan Seacrest Productionsand ABC Studios. RSP’s scripted division will develop scripted projects exclusively for ABC Studios at all television networks and platforms, including broadcast, basic and premium cable, and on-demand services. Nina Wass is president of RSP’s scripted programming and Seacrest remarks that, “Under Nina’s leadership, our scripted team has achieved great success. Her creativity, hard work, and key talent relationships have helped us achieve an impressive slate in a short period of time. We have worked with ABC Studios in the past, and we hope our partnership will serve to further our collective success. It is an honor for us to now call ABC Studios home for our scripted division.” The arrangement comes following Seacrest joining Kelly Ripa as co-host and fellow executive producer on Disney/ABC’s “Live with Kelly & Ryan.” ABC/Fremantle recently announced that Seacrest will rejoin “American Idol” for its first season on the network. Seacrest hosts and executive produces ABC’s annual “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest.” Ryan Seacrest Productions’ scripted division previously had an overall deal at CBS TV Studios. Ryan Seacrest photo by Sara Jaye Weiss/REX/Shutterstock (8827927a) – KIIS-FM Wango Tango Concert, May 22, 2017.
More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Nighttime talent Ashley Z leaves Cumulus Media Atlanta CHR WWWQ “Q-100” ….. To a morning show lineup which already includes Tracy Dixon and Guy David, Bonneville Denver country outlet KYGO adds Aaron “Goose” Seller, who for the past ten years, has done morning drive on Cumulus Media Colorado Springs adult contemporary KKPK “92.9 Peak FM.” KYGO program director John E. Kage states that with the addition of Seller, “We now have all the pieces of what will be a great morning show for the Denver audience for years to come.” ….. Adult contemporary WXLY “Y-102.5,” Charleston, South Carolina program director and morning drive talent Brian Cleary tacks on PD responsibilities at iHeartMedia country cluster-mate WEZL “103.5 Charleston’s #1 for New Country.” He succeeds Tyler Reese, who exited earlier this month. Cleary has spent nine of his 15 years with iHeartMedia in Charleston; he programmed WEZL for three years (2012 – 2015) prior to Reese’s arrival ….. After approximately 17 months as midday host of WGNA “107.7 Today’s Country,” Marissa Lanchak leaves the Townsquare Media Albany, New York station. Lanchak previously worked at cross-town Pamal CHR WFLY “Fly 92.3” ….. One week from Monday (8/21), Hannah Damas inherits the 11:00 am – 3:00 pm shift at Midwest Communications Green Bay-Appleton-Oshkosh (Wisconsin) country outlet WNCY “Y-100.” Damas succeeds Randy “Shotgun” Shannon, who now co-hosts morning drive with Charli McKenzie (“Shotgun & Charli”) ….. A flurry of activity within New South Radio Jackson, Mississippi finds the midday host of country WUSJ “US-96” – Nikki Brown – elevated to program director, succeeding Nate West, who remains in-place as morning drive co-host. Scott Steele, West’s on-air wakeup teammate at “US-96,” adds programming duties at classic country sibling WHJT “93.5 The Legend.” Over at CHR WYOY “Y-101,” music director/midday personality Charlie Buchwald replaces the exiting Carson Case as program director. Meanwhile, adult contemporary WJKK “Mix 98.7” morning co-host Brian Staufffer takes on added “director of digital” responsibilities for the entire cluster.
Emmis Extends Walsh. A contract extension given to Patrick Walsh will keep the Emmis Communications president and chief operating officer in-place through July 2019. As far as particulars of the pact that officially began the first day of this month are concerned, Walsh will earn $625,000 a year with annual increases of up to 2.5%; Emmis can allocate up to 10% of the base in its common stock. He will be entitled to annual incentive pay, with the target for each year 100% of the base salary. In addition, Walsh will be eligible for a performance bonus at the end of the contract with a fair market value of $300,000; $500,000; or $700,000 based on stock price. Other perks are included as well for Walsh, who joined Emmis from iBiquity Digital in 2006 as chief financial officer; he was promoted to chief operating officer and chief financial officer two years later (2008). Emmis owns three radio properties in New York City; four in St. Louis; four (and Network Indiana) in its Indianapolis hub; and seven stations in Austin. The sale of Emmis Los Angeles’ KPWR “Power 106” to Meruelo Media became final just last week. The rhythmic CHR had been programmed by Meruelo Media since July 1 under a Local Marketing Agreement.
NYMRAD Names Morgan Treasurer; Hopeck Boosted to Secretary. In a pair of executive committee moves, the New York Market Radio Association (NYMRAD) appoints Emmis New York’s Charlie Morgan treasurer, and promotes iHeartMedia New York president Scott Hopeck to secretary. NYMRAD chairman/CBS Radio New York senior vice president and market manager Marc Rayfield notes, “I am very excited about working with Charlie in this seamless transition of the executive committee. Charlie has brought energy in his contributions to board meetings. Under his leadership, we will continue to develop initiatives that will advance radio in the vibrant New York marketplace.” Morgan comments, “Working with [executive director) Deborah Beagan and my talented New York radio peers in this period of time where radio has more to offer advertisers than ever before is invigorating. It is a privilege to play a role in advancing radio’s profile and value proposition.” Prior to joining Emmis New York in January 2016 as senior vice president and market manager, Morgan performed the same duties for eight years at the company’s Indianapolis stations and spent more than 21 years before that as vice president and market manager for Susquehanna’s Indianapolis cluster. He succeeds Univision New York vice president and general manager Ramon Pineda, who becomes senior vice president and regional general manager for that company’s stations in Atlanta, Philadelphia, Puerto Rico, Cleveland, and Raleigh.
“ESPY Day” Raises $5.2 Million. This marked ESPN’s fourth annual such “ESPY Day” that solicits funds for the V Foundation cancer charity. ESPN president John Skipper notes that he is “grateful to Bristol-Myers Squibb, whose charitable contribution to the V Foundation, including support of the Sports Humanitarian Awards, helped push this year’s fundraising efforts to be one of our best ever.” The 2017 total of $5.2 million is a 32% increase from last year’s event. Half the money ($2.6 million) will go to the Stuart Scott Memorial Cancer Research Fund. The event included ESPN Radio’s ESPY Day Auction, the 17th annual ESPY Celebrity Golf Outing, and the third annual Sports Humanitarian Awards. Elsewhere at ESPN, senior writer Seth Wickersham receives a contract extension, while Buzzfeed News senior writer Joel Anderson and ESPN The Magazine/“ESPN Insider” college football contributor Phil Steele are added to its reporting and analyst staff. The three will appear on ESPN Radio, as well as ESPN’s linear television and digital platforms. ESPN vice president/editorial director, domestic digital content Chad Millman comments, “Seth has long been one of our most talented journalists whose stories on the inner-workings of the NFL have elevated our coverage and delighted fans. Re-signing him as well as adding Joel and Phil increases what’s possible for our editorial team and elevates our ability to serve fans.”
Osgood to be Honored with NATAS Lifetime Achievement Emmy. The host of Westwood One’s long-running “The Osgood File” (which airs on 386 radio outlets throughout the United States) – Charles Osgood – will be honored by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences with the 2017 “News & Documentary Emmy Award for Lifetime Achievement.” The honor is given to a journalist or filmmaker who has “made a lasting and distinguished contribution to broadcast journalism or documentary film.” After a 22-year run as anchor of CBS-TV’s “Sunday Morning,” Osgood retired from that role in September 2016. His special recognition will take place in New York City in approximately two months (10/5). Charles Osgood Photo: Craig Blankenhorn/CBS©2009 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.
WYDE Shuffles Its Weekday Lineup. Modifications on Crawford Broadcasting Birmingham news/talk WYDE “Superstation 101.1” start in morning drive (6:00 am – 10:00 am), where Michael Hart and Jessica Borklund team up for “AM with Michael & Jessica,” produced by Mickey Bell, who hosts “The Dixie Gospel Caravan” on sister gospel property WXJC-FM. Scott Beason segues from 9:00 am – 11:00 am to 10:00 am to 12:00 noon, while “Yellowhammer Radio” moves from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm to 12:00 noon – 3:00 pm. Airing from 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm is Andrew McLain and Jim Moore-hosted “The Line with Andrew & Jim.” WYDE operations director Josi McCurdy remarks, “We are excited to introduce our new lineup to the Birmingham listening audience. In keeping with our tradition of bringing the best in conservative talk radio, we are always looking for ways to build on our team of amazing talent. The new show host combinations have a powerful dynamic, which we feel will prove to be both informative and entertaining. As always, we will continue our focus on being local, relevant and current.” None of Crawford Broadcasting’s five Birmingham stations appeared in Nielsen Audio’s spring 2017 book for that Alabama market.
WRNN-FM and Coastal Carolina University Athletics in Partnership. The agreement reached between Alpha Media Socastee-Myrtle Beach, South Carolina’s WRNN-FM “Hot Talk 99.5” and Coastal Carolina University is through the 2019 – 2020 season. It will include the school’s football, men’s and women’s basketball, and baseball contests, with some games bumped to sister sports talk WRNN-AM “ESPN Myrtle Beach.” Alpha Media Myrtle Beach general manager Josh Gertzog comments, “We are thrilled to be part of the growth happening at Coastal Carolina University. Being the radio partner of one of only three NCAA Division I [Football Bowl Subdivision] FBS programs in South Carolina is an honor. With a wonderful athletic pedigree, including a baseball national championship, it is great to be able to broadcast [CCU] Chanticleer games and to partner in other ways. Our motto is ‘Live and Local,’ and there is no more local university to the Myrtle Beach-Grand Strand than CCU.” Coastal Carolina University director of corporate sales and sponsorships Rhett Graham adds, “We are excited about this new partnership and the opportunity for Chanticleer student-athletes to be featured across the strong signal and market-leading listenership of WRNN.” Sister Alpha Media Myrtle Beach outlets (CHR) WMYB “Energy 92.1,” alternative WKZQ “96.1 New Rock,” and classic rock WYAV “Wave 104” will promote Chanticleer games as well.
Recent Station Sales. The previously announced $2 million transaction of Radio One news/talk WCHB, Detroit to Crawford Broadcasting is now complete. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s June 2017 PPM sweep, WCHB finishes at #23 (.3). Meanwhile in Reno (Nevada), Times-Shamrock Communications has agreed to sell three stations to Lazer Broadcasting and one to John Burkavage’s Bighorn Media. Lazer will acquire CHR KWNZ “All Hit Radio”; FM news/talk KNEZ; and KZTI “Z-105.3 Rock Hard,” while Bighorn will purchase KRZQ “The Real Alternative.” Lazer president Alfredo Plascencia states, “We are delighted to be acquiring these fine stations from our friends at Times-Shamrock as an addition to our existing cluster to better to serve the Reno market.” Previously the general manager of Times-Shamrock Reno, Burkavage remarks, “Station ownership is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream for me and I am excited by the opportunity.”
Young and Younger. KGO, San Francisco Gen X midday talk host Ethan Bearman (l) recently invited Westwood One syndicated Millennial music radio host Zach Sang of “Zach Sang and the Gang” (r) into his studio for some inter-generational on-air chat. Heavy Hundred member Bearman tells TALKERS, “Zach is deeply connected to what Millennials are thinking about culturally. There has been so much talk about Justin Bieber cancelling his tour because of his newfound religion and I needed to get to a source who knows Bieber. Best of all, Zach is one of the nicest guys around and is simply magical behind the mic!” The two up and coming broadcasters met at a TALKERS convention in New York, stayed in touch and work together when they can for the benefit of their audiences.
TALKERS News Notes. After a 36-year run, anchor/reporter Barbara Boylan exited CBS Radio Pittsburgh news/talk KDKA-AM last Friday (8/4). Boylan joined KDKA-AM in July 1981 from crosstown WKTQ (now WJAS) as a reporter-producer-talk show host ….. Very sad to note the passing of Darren “Dutch” Daulton, who died yesterday (Sunday, 8/6) after a battle with a recurrence of brain cancer. The former Philadelphia Phillies and Florida Marlins catcher hosted “Talkin’ Baseball” on Beasley Media Group Philadelphia sports talk WPEN “97.5 The Fanatic” from 2010 – 2013. After surviving the first round of brain cancer, he established the Darren Daulton Foundation, which provides financial assistance to brain cancer patients. According to Phillies chairman emeritus Bill Giles, “Darren was a true leader of men. The Phillies would not have gone to the 1993 World Series without his leadership. In addition to being an outstanding clubhouse leader, he was also a fighter. I really enjoyed watching him for 14 years in uniform. Darren was a super human being. His teammates loved him and I loved him like he was one of my own.” Glioblastoma has also claimed the lives of other notable baseball players, including Gary Carter, Tug McGraw, and Johnny Oates. Daulton was just 55 ….. Hole-by-hole coverage of the PGA Championship, co-produced with Westwood One, will be broadcast later this week (8/10 – 8/13) from 12:00 noon – 7:00 pm (ET) each day on SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio. The broadcast team from Charlotte’s Quail Hollow Club will include: Fred Albers, Doug Bell, Mark Carnevale, John Maginnes, Dennis Paulson, Bob Rosinski, Charlie Rymer, and Taylor Zarzour ….. As detailed in The Chicago Tribune and RobertFeder.com, former Chicago talk radio host Ted Lauterbach, 70, died July 31 after battling chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and congestive heart failure. Lauterbach’s on-air “Windy City” credits include WIND (1982 – 1983); WCFL (1984); WLS-AM (1989 – 1990); and co-hosting WMAQ’s “Sports Huddle” with Steve Olken and Tom Greene in 1994. In addition, he was general manager and program director of Tele-Communications, a cable system.
Univision Q2 Radio Revenues Down 8.6%. Compared to $73.1 million for a similar period in 2016, second quarter revenue for Univision Communications’ radio division declined 8.6% to $66.8 million. National, network, and local advertising dips led to radio’s advertising revenue falling by 9.2% to $64 million from $70.5 million in 2016. Univision Communications president and chief executive officer Randy Falco notes that for the company as a whole, total revenue in the quarter was nearly $765 million and core revenue was up 5%. “Net income increased $31 million and we continue to deliver as evidenced by our reduction of net debt by approximately $200 million over the first half of the year.”
Westwood One Hall of Famers. Last night (8/6) in Canton (Ohio), Kurt Warner (left) and Jason Taylor (right) were enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Warner is one of Westwood One’s “Monday Night Football” analysts and Taylor was just named the new “Sunday Night Football” analyst. The NFL season kicks off in just over four weeks (Thursday, September 7).
Washington-Based Executive Producer and Radio Engineer Sought by Courtside Entertainment. Two positions are currently open at Norm Pattiz’s Courtside Entertainment. The first is an executive producer position based in Washington, DC. This position is with “one of the nation’s most popular conservative talk radio programs” and requires a “driven, intelligent, and organized person to oversee the day-to-day production of the show.” For application information and to see more about this position, click here. The second opening is for a radio engineer. That person “shall install, configure, and maintain radio broadcasting equipment as needed.” The candidate must have “relevant technical knowledge with good people skills and have excellent written and verbal communication skills.” For application information and to see more about this position, click here.
KEGL Announces “The Freakers’ Ball.” The annual concert sponsored by iHeartMedia Dallas rocker KEGL “The Eagle” will take place October 15 at Verizon Theater in Grand Prairie (Texas). Senior vice president of programming for iHeartMedia Dallas Patrick Davis notes, “Freakers’ Ball has become one of fall’s best rock lineups around the country. We couldn’t have asked for a better lineup around Halloween than to include Marilyn Manson, In This Moment and more [including Beartooth, and Greta Van Fleet].” Program director Don Davis comments, “Our Eagle ‘Rockaholics’ have come to expect a great themed show for our annual Freakers’ Ball. Who better to headline our annual event than Marilyn Manson?” A special ‘Rockaholic’ pre-sale will take place this Thursday (8/10) from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm. Listeners can also win tickets for a “Win It Before You Can Buy It” promotion today (Monday, 8/7) through Friday (8/11).
Entercom Miami Schedules Riptide Music Festival. More than 20 alternative, pop, rock, and adult contemporary acts will perform (Saturday) December 2 and (Sunday) December 3 at Entercom Miami’s Riptide Music Festival at Fort Lauderdale Beach Park. Marketing director and Riptide executive producer Von Freeman states, “It was an incredible success last year with over 25,000 festival-goers. There is just nothing better than seeing people hanging out in December on the sands of Fort Lauderdale [as they] sing every word to every song. The festival embraces the brands of our four top notch radio stations that reach over two million listeners per week and we will be giving away trips all over the United States and the world.” Riptide is produced by the staffs of alternative WSFS “104.3 The Shark”; classic hits-oldies WMXJ “102.7 The Beach”; adult contemporary WLYF “101.5 Lite FM”; and sports WAXY “790 The Ticket.”
More Music Radio News and Career Moves. Having already launched this summer’s “World of Dance” starring Jennifer Lopez – and with Carson Daly-hosted “The Voice” a mainstay on its roster – NBC-TV is reportedly developing a music reality series for 2018. The new program will be one of at least two more music reality genre series scheduled for next year, along with “American Idol” (moving from Fox to ABC and with KIIS “Kiss-FM,” Los Angeles morning talent Ryan Seacrest remaining in-place as host) and Fox developing an adaptation of the singing competition format “The Final Four” ….. Jury selection begins today (8/7) in the trial between former KYGO, Denver air talent David Mueller (air name “Jackson”) and singer Taylor Swift in Denver. Mueller filed suit against Swift in U.S. District Court two years ago (September 2015), seeking lost wages for allegedly getting fired from the then Entercom-owned country station (now a Bonneville property) after the singer claimed that he lifted her skirt and grabbed her during a meet-and-greet before her June 2013 concert. Swift filed a countersuit claiming sexual assault against Mueller; she is expected to testify. The case is expected to last two weeks, with opening statements beginning as soon as tomorrow (Tuesday, 8/8). Swift is seeking damages of $1, “serving as an example to other women who may resist publicly reliving similar outrageous and humiliating acts,” while Mueller – also expected to testify – is seeking $3 million in lost wages ….. Changes at Entercom San Diego adult contemporary KXSN “Sunny 98.1” find midday talent Dawne Davis and evening personality Nick Upton leaving their on-air shifts to focus on production and digital, respectively. Program director Brooks O’Brian segues from morning drive to take over for Davis in middays, while Dorothy Tran replaces Upton at night. Until a successor to O’Brian is found in morning drive, part-timer Dave Mason will cover that daypart ….. Morning show co-host Melissa Moran will depart Hall Communications country WPCV, Lakeland (Florida) this Wednesday (8/9) in order to focus on her voiceover business, which she started three years ago. Operations manager and program director Mike James comments, “Melissa is a phenomenal radio and voice talent. It is no surprise that her audio book and voiceover career has become so successful. We will miss her greatly and wish her the absolute best.” Moran joined WPCV in 2008.