Tag: "Jay Barker"
Talk Radio Legend Michael Jackson Passes at 87. Talk radio host Michael Jackson, who achieved legendary status during his career in Los Angeles, died on Sunday (1/16) at his home in L.A. at the age of 87. Jackson, who retired from radio in 2007, had been suffering from Parkinson’s Disease for the past 10 years. He is best remembered for his iconic work at KABC, Los Angeles that lasted from 1966 to 1998. TALKERS founder Michael Harrison (who served as a talk show host on rocker KMET in Los Angeles between 1975 and 1986) issued the following statement: “Michael Jackson was one of the all-time greats – a founding father – of talk radio. During his 32-year run at KABC, his very presence gave the station prestige and national stature as one of – if not THE – first very rare commercial outlets fully committed to the spoken-word format. Michael Jackson and KABC were synonymous with the phrase ‘talk radio.’ It should also be pointed out that his heyday in the format began prior to the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine in 1987 which, in my opinion, marked the beginning of the modern era of talk radio. That made him the member of an exclusive club of radio performers whose historical relevance and influence on things to come in the broadcasting industry are incalculable.” Jackson’s longtime producer Lyle Gregory remembers Jackson in a piece you can read here.
Monday Memo: Podcasting ‘Will Continue to Explode.’ In a marketing piece to the advertising community, iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman sees “no signs of growth abating.” In this week’s column, consultant Holland Cooke outlines opportunities at the station level. Read it here.
Pending Business: Early Warning. According to the “sales calendar,” January is over, and the first quarter is headed toward spring. Radio sales pro Steve Lapa says it’s time for an early review of your sales game plan. “Like any other performance skill, practice, evaluation and repetition makes for improvement. The skills required for success in today’s sales environment may be different from the last few years.” Read about Lapa’s six questions you can ask yourself here.
Chicago Sports Personality Les Grobstein Dead at 69. Windy City sports media personality and WSCR “The Score” overnight talk host Les Grobstein was found dead at his home in suburban Elk Grove Village on Sunday, according to a report from Chicago media writer Robert Feder. He reports that WSCR operations director Mitch Rosen said Grobstein had been away from his show since last Wednesday due to illness. During his career, Grobstein was sports director at WLS-AM, Chicago for 10 years. He served at sports talk WMVP from 1991 to 1997. He began his overnight stint with WSCR in 2009.
Pioneering Talk Host Susan Bray Dies at 79. A number of news outlets are reporting that former talk host Susan Bray (pictured here on C-SPAN) died in her native Australia last week at age 79. The Des Moines Register has a nice story written by her longtime friend Julie Gammack, who would replace her on WHO-AM. During her career, Bray worked at such outlets as WHO-AM, Des Moines and WWDB-FM, Philadelphia. She earned the nickname the “Saucy Aussie” because of her ribald sense of humor. After a long talk radio career in the U.S., Bray, who had married American Ed DeLong, returned to her hometown of Mudgee, Australia where she and DeLong ran a bed and breakfast.
Maine Station Fires Sportscasters After Body Shaming Incident. The owner of Houlton, Maine radio station WHOU-FM has fired two sportscasters who were caught on a hot mic body-shaming female basketball players during a game between two high school teams. Jim Carter and Steve Shaw were calling the game while watching it on a livestream and made comments about the weight of some of the teenage girls. Carter is a former coach from another school and Shaw had been the athletic director at one of the schools playing in the contest that night. Carter told the Portland Press-Herald that he has apologized to the superintendent of one of the schools, adding, “I don’t even know what to say. Hopefully everybody can get through this and be OK.” Northern Maine Media owner Fred Grant posted a notice of the pair’s dismissal on the station website saying, in part, “Our mission has been to highlight the best of our communities, our schools, the programs we love, and most importantly – our students. Last night, two broadcasters made comments that were not only inappropriate, they were also blatantly wrong. Those broadcasters were terminated… We’ve heard from many of you, and many have shared clips of the event in question. While it’s wrong that it happened, I’m going to ask each of you to help us shift the focus back on the excellence we see every day in our students. If you’ve shared the video post, I’m hoping you will take it down, not to downplay the incident, but to better help all of our students move on to the important work and events in their lives.”
MIW Names Three to Board of Directors. Three new members are joining the board of directors for Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio. Haley Jones of MRC Data, Melissa Mitchell of Bonneville International, and Brittney Jackson of Urban One/Radio One are joining the board of the organization that “consists of top-level female radio professionals who use their experience, influence, and resources to help other women in radio develop management and leadership skills.” Jackson currently serves as the general and digital sales manager for Urban One/Radio One in Richmond where she is responsible for recruiting and developing new talent, leading multi-platform sales efforts, and increasing annual revenue. Jones serves as head of independents for MRC Data where she oversees independent labels, small radio groups, and managers with music intelligence for today. Mitchell is Bonneville International’s director of finance, corporate controller and is based in their Denver market. MIW board president Ruth Presslaff says, “We are extremely fortunate to have not one, but three powerhouses join our board. Their success speaks for itself; it’s their willingness to pay it forward for the good of women and our industry that makes each so special and appreciated. I’d be remiss in not thanking the three members leaving our board as their terms end: Kay Olin, principal of Olin & Associates, and past MIW spokeswoman, whose constant leadership, dedication, and long term participation profoundly impacted MIW and me personally; Valerie Blackburn, principal at VKB Consulting, whose financial expertise led MIW through the arduous process of establishing a formal 501(c)(3) status; and Beth Neuhoff, president & CEO Neuhoff Media who provided invigorating energy and challenging ideas that MIW will push ever forward.”
Cowboys Great Chad Hennings Takes Part in SRN News Series. Pictured here is Salem Radio Network VP of news Tom Tradup (left) with three-time Dallas Cowboys Superbowl champion Chad Hennings. Hennings is in the SRN studios working with Tradup on a special, week-long series on SRN News aimed at getting men involved in Christian ministries. The five-part series titled, “Get Off the Bench,” begins airing today (1/17)
Tuscaloosa Sports Talker Jay Barker Arrested on Assault Charges. Former University of Alabama star quarterback Jay Barker was arrested in Nashville and charged with aggravated assault after allegedly trying to ram the car his estranged wife was riding in. Barker hosts the midday show on Townsquare Media’s sports talk WTUG-HD2/W256CG, Tuscaloosa “Tide 100.9” and is married to country artist Sara Evans. She filed for divorce from Barker in August.
COVID-19, Midterm Elections/Trump & the GOP, Texas Synagogue Assault, Djokovic Booted from Australia, NFL Playoffs, Winter Weather, and Martin Luther King, Jr Day Among Top News/Talk Stories Over the Weekend. The high rate of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and the Supreme Court’s rejection of the Joe Biden vaccine mandate; the battle for control of Congress in November midterm elections and Donald Trump’s influence in the GOP; the Texas synagogue hostage incident; Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic is kicked out of Australia ahead of the Australian Open after violating the country’s COVID protocols; the NFL’s Wild Card weekend; intense winter weather hitting the Eastern U.S.; and the Martin Luther King, Jr weekend and holiday were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio over the weekend, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Jay Barker to Host New Regional Sports Talk Show. At the end of February, Cumulus Media shuttered “The Opening Drive” morning show on its sports talker WJOX-FM, Birmingham that featured former Alabama quarterback Jay Barker, Al Del Greco and Tony Kurre. Now, via a deal with Audio Visual Excellence, Barker is producing a sports talk show that will air across some 10 signals, including Townsquare Media’s WTID-FM, Marion/W265CG, Tuscaloosa “TIDE 102.9/100.9.” “The Jay Barker Show with Lars Anderson” airs from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm, and joining Barker and The Athletic writer Anderson is Barker’s former WJOX producer Kerry Adams. Barker tells AL.com, “This is something Lars and I started talking about probably a year-and-a-half ago or more. We talked about doing a show together. I had wanted to move to middays for a while as my kids were getting older; that would fit my schedule better. And I started talking to Lars and Kerry about it and we were able to make it happen. Once we left JOX, we started putting it together, how we would do a show together.” In addition to hosting the daily program, Barker will also appear on the “Tide Tailgate Show” prior to Alabama football games this fall.
Jamie Allman’s Complaint Against Emmis Ordered into Mediation. St. Louis talk radio host Jamie Allman’s complaint against Emmis Communications is being ordered to alternative dispute resolution – read, mediation. Federal judge Jean C. Hamilton wants the mediation sessions concluded by November 1 of this year. As you may recall, Allman was fired by Emmis (still owner of KFTK-FM, St. Louis) and Entercom (LMAing the station in advance of acquiring it in a sale from Emmis) after his crude social media comment about Parkland, Florida student David Hogg gained traction. He was let go from his commentary gig at Sinclair’s KDNL-TV, St. Louis before KFTK-FM fired him. Allman is claiming his dismissal violated the terms of his contract. Emmis/Entercom say that Allman’s action caused sponsors to cancel ad contracts and put the station in a bad light.
LSU Athletics Partners with Skyview Networks for Broadcasts. This new, multi-year deal between LSU Sports Properties (operated by Outfront Media Sports Inc.) and Skyview Networks allows the school to use Skyview’s distribution service, AdView inventory management, and Live Read capture for its radio play-by-play broadcasts. Skyview says this deal pairs the AdView system with its distribution to provide detailed tracking and reporting of all radio inventory, including on-air advertiser mentions, to generate instant affidavits for faster client billing. Skyview VP of business development Matt Stys says, “We believe the Tigers will realize ease and efficiency in contract management and tighter turnaround on revenue collection with AdView’s tracking and output capabilities. We look forward to partnering with the university and continuing our discussions on broadcast solutions.” LSU Tigers radio voice Chris Blair comments, “We are excited to partner with Skyview Networks. It’s one of the top distribution companies and, most importantly, they understand what we do in the sports broadcasting space. Their Adview system will provide our team with many more opportunities to make the LSU Sports Radio Network even better.” AdView also offers additional modules for clients that would like to manage all forms of their advertising media in one consolidated system. This includes radio, TV, web, print, signage, and more to give organizations complete reporting of all avenues of sales revenue.
TALKERS News Notes. Nationally syndicated talk radio host Wayne Allyn Root tells TALKERS magazine he’s honored to welcome cable news/talk legend Bill O’Reilly to his eponymous USA Radio and Newsmax TV program. O’Reilly is appearing on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at the top of the show…..In the Burlington, Vermont/Plattsburgh, New York market sports talk outlet WCPV is switching affiliations from ESPN to FOX Sports Radio, effective September 4. Owner Vox AM/FM is also re-branding the station, using the “101.3 The Game” handle. The local afternoon show “The Huddle” with Rich Haskell, Arnie Spanier and Brady Farkas will air from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm and will be joined on the program schedule by Colin Cowherd, Clay Travis, and Dan Patrick…..After recent reports about the changes coming to ABC TV’s “The View” this fall, it is being confirmed that former “FOX & Friends Weekend” host Abby Huntsman (daughter of U.S. Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman) will join the cast of Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Sunny Hostin, and Meghan McCain when season 22 launches on September 4.
Tuesday’s Primary Races, Trump vs Google, Passing of John McCain, Trump-Russia Investigation, U.S.-Mexico Trade Talks, Michael Cohen Guilty Plea, Texas Cop Convicted in Teen Death, Catholic Church Abuse Scandal, NFL Pre-season, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/28). Tuesday’s primary races in Florida and Arizona; President Trump claims Google searches are biased, promises investigation; the death of Arizona Senator John McCain, his funeral wishes, and the fate of his senate seat; the Robert Mueller-led investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russia agents; the trade talks between the U.S. and Mexico; former Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s guilty plea to campaign law violations; Texas cop Roy Oliver convicted of murder in shooting of unarmed black teen Jordan Edwards; the controversy surrounding the latest Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal; the NFL’s pre-season; and Major League Baseball action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. On-air pro Ashley Nickels exits her midday jock and APD/MD role with Cumulus Media’s hot AC WRQX, Washington “MIX 107.3” after four years with the station…..Tomorrow night (8/30), Cumulus Media alternative WKQX is hosting the neXt2rock local challenge event at the Cubby Bear in Chicago. Five of Chicago’s top local bands will compete to determine who will be the Chicago neXt2rock winner and have a shot at going to the finals in Los Angeles on October 4. The winner of the finals will be awarded a record deal on John Varvatos Records under the Big Machine Label Group umbrella and will receive exposure, commensurate with a major label release, on Cumulus stations nationwide. The five bands are: Friday Pilots Club, MIDWAVE, Like Language, The Giving Moon, and TAKE THE REINS. WKQX program director Troy Hanson is one of the judges and WKQX personality James VanOsdol is emceeing…..Alternative WRFF, Philadelphia “Radio 104.5” is presenting its free, “Endless Summer Show Presented by AllState” on Saturday, October 6 at XFINITY Live. The event will feature live performances from: Bleachers, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, The Wonder Years, Two Feet, and The Unlikely Candidates. The New Music Discovery Stage will also feature performances from alternative-rock artists: Mo Lowda & The Humble, Castlecomer, and Cold Fronts, with more to be announced.
iHeartMedia Moves News/Talk Programming to New Signal in Boston. The lineup of predominantly Premiere Networks-syndicated news/talk shows moves from WKOX to WXKS-AM in Boston. WXKS-AM had been leased to Bloomberg for its news radio format, but that deal is not renewed and iHeartMedia elects to shift the conservative talk format from WKOX’s 1430 AM to WXKS-AM’s 1200. The station continues to be simulcast on WJMN-HD2. iHeartMedia SVP of programming for Boston Dylan Sprague comments, “We are proud to have the best talent in talk radio on ‘TALK 1200.’ With a more powerful signal, we can now reach a wider audience.”
Michael Holley Exits WEEI, Boston. Thirteen-year WEEI, Boston personality Michael Holley leaves Entercom’s sports talker for a larger role on cable’s NBC Sports Boston. His emotional farewell announcement on yesterday’s program probably shocked fans. The “Dale & Holley Show with Rich Keefe” has been a consistently high-performing show for the station and Holley was offered a multi-year contract extension, but he elected to focus on an expanded role on TV. For now, the afternoon drive show on the station will be co-hosted by Dale Arnold and Rich Keefe while Entercom seeks a replacement for him.
Cumulus’ WJOX-FM, Birmingham Replaces AM Drive Show with Midday ‘JOX Roundtable’ Program. “The Opening Drive” show starring Jay Barker, Al DelGreco and Tony Kurre has been canceled by Cumulus Media’s WJOX-FM, Birmingham and is being replaced by the midday “JOX Roundtable” program that features Jim Dunaway (center), Lance Taylor (right) and Ryan Brown (left). The shift takes effect on Monday (3/5). Cumulus Media Birmingham VP and market manager David Walls says, “We are extremely excited and pleased to be able to put our most successful show in the mornings and introduce this fantastic program to more JOX listeners. These guys know how to win and with their work ethic and talent, we are expecting great things.” Program director Ryan Haney adds, “The listener response to the ‘JOX Roundtable’ has been exceptional over the years. We look forward to continuing to build upon the momentum and passion shared by both the show and its loyal fan base.”
PPM Analysis: Sports Talk. TALKERS managing editor Mike Kinosian presents a look at the performances of stations based on data from Nielsen Audio’s January 2018 PPM survey, today focusing on sports talk radio. It’s not surprising that 77% of stations in the panel saw their 6+ shares increase following the Holiday 2017 PPM survey that is so dominated by Christmas music listening. Comparing January 2017 to January 2018, 61% of stations enjoyed an increase in their 6+ shares. Just one sports talk station in PPM markets was ranked #1 (6+) during the January survey and that honor went to Entercom’s WIP, Philadelphia – flagship of the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles. New England Patriots flagship WBZ-FM, Boston “The Sports Hub” ranked #2 in its market as did Minnesota Vikings flagship KFXN, Minneapolis “K-FAN.” See the entire report here.
iHeartMedia Misses More Interest Payments. Because it is expecting to enter into some form bankruptcy protection very soon, iHeartMedia has elected not to make interest payments totaling $138 million. That total is from outstanding 11.25% Priority Guarantee Notes due 2021 — $59.1 million due – and outstanding 9.0% Priority Guarantee Notes due 2021 — $78.8 million due. This kicks in a 30-day grace period before default, but as the company’s filing with the SEC indicates, it is in continuing negotiations with debt holders over a comprehensive debt restructuring to reduce its more than $20 billion in debt. This is the second non-payment of interest for the company. It’s February 1 non-payment on $106 million goes into default after tomorrow (3/2).
TALKERS News Notes. A new conservative television talk show will hit the airwaves on PBS – at least for an eight-week trial run. The program, called “In Principle” and starring columnist Michael Gerson and commentator Amy Holmes, debuts on April 13. As reported by AP, the program “will take its cue from William F. Buckley’s ‘Firing Line,’ which aired from 1966 to 1999.” It goes on to say that each show will feature interviews with two guests for in-depth discussions about such issues as race, gun control, and more. Gerson is quoted saying, “I think the Trump era has been a very difficult time for traditional conservative discourse. I think a lot of institutions and places have been co-opted in this era. I view conservatism not only as a belief but a state of mind, a respect for tradition but also a respect for facts.”…..Beasley Broadcast Group chief financial officer Marie Tedesco is presenting at next week’s Deutsche Bank Media, Telecom & Business Services Conference in Palm Beach, Florida. In addition to the presentation, Tedesco will meet with institutional investors at the conference…..iHeartMedia and entertainment industry publication Variety are teaming up to produce a new podcast titled, “PLAYBACK,” a film-focused program hosted by Variety awards editor Kris Tapley. The weekly podcast will be available on the iHeartRadio platform and feature exclusive, in-depth interviews with the talents behind many of today’s hottest movies.
Hope Hicks Resigns, Trump’s Televised WH Meeting, NRA vs Delta, Trump-Russia Investigation, Parkland Shooting Investigation, FISA Abuse Matter, Oprah Presidential Bid, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/28). White House communications director Hope Hicks’ announcement she’s resigning from her position; President Trump’s televised White House meeting during which he proposes new gun restrictions; the NRA’s battle with Delta over the termination of their business relationship and threats by Georgia politicians to punish the airline; Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible connections between Trump campaign operatives and Russian agents; the ongoing investigation into the police response to the Parkland, Florida school shooting; President Trump’s attacks on Attorney General Jeff Sessions for asking the Inspector General’s office to look into allegations of FISA abuse; Oprah Winfrey’s statement she’s waiting for a sign from God whether to run for president; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
BFoA to Honor Urban One’s Cathy Hughes. At the Broadcasters Foundation of America annual breakfast at the NAB Show in Las Vegas on April 11, the organization will honor Urban One founder and chairperson Cathy Hughes as recipient of the 2018 Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award. The Lowry Mays Excellence in Broadcasting Award is bestowed annually upon an individual in broadcasting whose work exemplifies innovation, community service, advocacy, and entrepreneurship. It salutes its namesake Lowry Mays and is underwritten by The Mays Family Foundation. Hughes’ unprecedented career has spawned a multi-media conglomerate across radio, television, and digital media. In 1980 she founded Radio One (now Urban One), which became the largest African-American owned and operated broadcast company in the nation.
Michael Harrison Discusses Podcasting. TALKERS founder Michael Harrison appears as a guest on this week’s installment of the popular podcast, “Viral Podcasting,” hosted by media/financial consultant Kerry Lutz. Harrison and Lutz discuss the rise of podcasting and its relationship to terrestrial radio. Harrison says that podcasting (originally a term that originally related to the Apple iPod) is just a word that in a broader sense means “programming on demand.” He explains how the internet and digital age are undoing the culture of “mass media” that grew out of 20th century technology. He suggests that to be successful at podcasting “you can’t just mail it in as you could when consumers had fewer choices in terms of media products and platforms.” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. Three air personalities are returning to Westwood One’s 24/7 Formats division. The company announces that rock personality Marconi – who’s served with WKQX, Chicago; KUFO, Portland; and KNDD, Seattle – returns to the Rock 2.0 format. Well-known Los Angeles jock Jay Coffey returns to host middays on the classic hits service. Tony Scott, who has worked at KLOS, KRTH, and KSWD in Los Angeles, is returning to host the evening show on the classic rock service. Westwood One also announces that Lynn Briggs is taking on the afternoon daypart on its adult contemporary service. Westwood One president of programming Kirk Stirland says, “Hundreds of our affiliates, along with their listeners coast-to-coast, are hearing their old friends on radio once again, on a multitude of formats here at Westwood One. Marconi, Jay, Tony and Lynn are deeply experienced radio pros and I am very pleased to welcome them to the 24-Hour Format where they will bring great value to our customers.”