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Thursday, November 16, 2017

| November 16, 2017

Entercom Shareholder Vote Approves CBS RADIO Merger.  This was a simple matter of “housekeeping” since Entercom company founder Joseph Field is a majority shareholder and was, of course, going to approve the deal.  The vote took place at the Hotel Sofitel in Philadelphia yesterday (11/15) and Entercom president and CEO David Field still expects the deal to close tomorrow (11/17).  When it does close, the new Entercom will be the second largest operator in the radio business with 235 stations in 48 of the top 50 radio markets.

David Field Touts Company Benefit Plan.  In a filing with the SEC and as a memo to staffers, Entercom president and CEO David Field delivers an upbeat message to all staff that expresses his satisfaction with the new management team ready to lead the new company.  He also extolls Entercom’s benefits plan.  “I am pleased to share some additional good news with you regarding our benefits program.  As a company that aims to attract the best and most talented people and provide a great place to work, we made it a priority to build out a highly competitive and generous benefits plan.  We worked hard to take much of the best of both the Entercom and the CBS Radio programs.  In addition to continuing many of our current, unique benefits, we are adding several new benefits to our program and enhancing some others.  In particular, I am pleased to announce that we will be doubling the company match to 50% of your eligible contributions up to 5% of your salary.  And we will continue to offer our employee stock purchase program with a 15% discount on our stock, plus our student loan payment assistance program and our personal volunteer time benefit.”

‘Our American Stories’ Offers Thanksgiving Special for Talk Stations. This one-hour special program is being offered contract free to stations to air around the Thanksgiving holiday.  Lee Habeeb, host and executive producer of the syndicated “Our American Stories” program, is presenting “The Real Story of Thanksgiving: Yesterday and Today.”  He calls it “an entertaining look at the origins of Thanksgiving and how the holiday has changed in America over the last century.”  Interested stations can inquire by emailing affiliates@oanetwork.org or visiting OurAmericanNetwork.org.  “Our American Stories” is heard on more than 80 affiliate stations across the country.

Cool Morning Host Opportunity. Quad Cities news/talk WOC-AM, Davenport is searching for their next morning show star.  A background in full-service radio is a plus, the gift of topicality an absolute must.  Politically, the station leans right but they need someone who can be local — and interesting beyond politics.  Successful candidate will be comfortable with endorsement ads, as well as communicating with their audience via digital media.  Does this sound like you? Please send your resume, audio samples and any other relevant materials to: program director Dan Kennedy at: dankennedy@iheartmedia.com.

Barstool Sports Gets SiriusXM Channel. The Barstool Sports relationship with ESPN may not have worked out, but the controversial sports and comedy digital media platform is getting its own channel on SiriusXM, beginning in January.  SiriusXM says the new 24/7 channel “will showcase the site’s funny, irreverent and unfiltered approach to covering sports, men’s lifestyle, popular culture and more.”  A year ago, Barstool teamed with SiriusXM to create a show hosted by Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy, Kevin “KFC” Clancy, and additional Barstool personalities.  The new daily lineup on the Barstool Radio on SiriusXM channel will feature Barstool Radio, a rotation of existing Barstool podcasts and new, original shows. Additional details on that programming will be announced at a later date.  Portnoy states, “We’re excited to build on our relationship with SiriusXM.  They’ve been big believers in our brand and our voice.  The results already speak for themselves this past year and the sky is the limit with this channel.”

Roy Moore Allegations, Trumps Asia Tour, GOP Tax Reform/ObamaCare Mandate, North Korea Nuclear Program, Uranium One Deal, NFL-Jerry Jones Tension, and NBA Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (11/15).  The allegations of sexual impropriety against Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore; President Trump’s recent tour of Asia and meetings with Shinzo Abe, Xi Jinping, and Rodrigo Duterte; the Republican tax reform plan and the inclusion of rescinding the ObamaCare individual mandate; North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and rhetoric between President Trump and Kim Jong Un; the Uranium One deal and suggestions then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton influenced the deal; tensions between Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and the NFL; and NBA action were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

Hillsdale College and TALKERS Teaming Up to Present Sizzling Talk Radio Debate in DC. TALKERS magazine and Hillsdale College are joining forces for the second year in a row to present a dynamic talk radio debate titled, “Media and Journalism in the Age of Trump.” Moderated by TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison, the diverse panel of participants will include (in alphabetical order): Scot Bertram, general manager Hillsdale College Radio, WRFH, Hillsdale, MI; John Fredericks, host, John Fredericks Radio NetworkDom Giordano, host, WPHT, Philadelphia; Hugh Hewitt, host, Salem Radio Network; Joe Madison, morning host, SiriusXM “Urban View” channel; Janet Parshall, host Moody Radio Network; and Bill Press, host, TYT Radio Network. The event will take place on Tuesday, December 5 at Hillsdale’s Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship, 227 Massachusetts Avenue, NE, Washington, DC. It will start at 12:00 noon and run for about 90 minutes followed by a “meet and greet,” one-hour lunch reception. The event will be open to members of the media and press at no charge but seating will be limited and pre-registration is required. To register, please click here. For more information, please call Barbara Kurland at 413-565-5413. Announcing the event, Michael Harrison states, “What a wonderful lineup! This debate will include many of the key perspectives represented on American news/talk radio about the enormously controversial issues generated since the election of 2016. TALKERS is delighted to be back in Washington, DC creating political talk happenings of this nature. This is the second of what will hopefully be a long series of forums that we are planning to present in conjunction with the enlightened educators at Hillsdale College.” Hillsdale College, based in Hillsdale, Michigan and established in 1844, is widely recognized as one of the finest, private liberal arts colleges in America.

Science Guru and Rising YouTube Star, Isaac Arthur, Guests this Week on Harrison Podcast. He is a high school drop-out from Ohio with a trademark speech impediment and a true geek’s love of science fact and fiction who, after earning his GED diploma, went on to graduate with a B.S. in Physics from Kent State University at the age of 20. He attended graduate school but preferred self-teaching and dropped out to serve in the army in Germany and Iraq. Upon returning home, he became involved in local politics and was appointed a member of the Ashtabula County, Ohio Board of Elections. (He tells Michael Harrison, “We take our elections very seriously here in Ohio.”) But there is a whole other talk media side to Isaac Arthur that caught the attention of Harrison and makes him an ideal guest for the award-winning PodcastOne series “Up Close and Far out with Michael Harrison,” as well as being a person of significant interest to the commercial media industry. It began as a hobby and has now grown into something remarkable. He is the producer and host of a rapidly growing YouTube channel titled, “Science and Futurism with Isaac Arthur.” He writes, produces and narrates stunning video podcasts that run between ½ hour and an hour that curate, explore and explain the provocative leading edge of popular science. In three years, his channel has attracted more than 161,000 devoted subscribers and more than 12 million visits. Harrison, a passionate layman enthusiast of science and astrophysics says, “Isaac Arthur is a quintessential example of the pioneers who are out there laboring on the outskirts of the mainstream commercial radio/TV industries on the exciting frontier of talk media – where audio intersects with video, graphics, education and entertainment. Everyone in the radio business with an eye on podcasting and cross-platform brand expansion can learn from him. Having a personal love for the subject matter he covers, I am his fan!” To listen to the podcast in its entirety, please click here or click on the “Up Close and Far Out” player box located in the right-hand column on every page of Talkers.com.

Music Radio News and Career Moves. Dallas hip hop outlet KBFB “97.9 The Beat” drops the nationally syndicated Rickey Smiley show and goes local with Veda Loca, a.k.a. Veda Emery.  Also, part of the new “Veda Loca in the Morning” program is co-host J-Kruz, a.k.a. John Koutsakis; and producer, mixer and on-air personality DJ Kayotic.  Loca has been serving as the Radio One station’s afternoon drive personality and J-Kruz has been the evening personality…..At the Hearst radio operations in Baltimore, Chris Chmielewski is named assistant program director for rock WIYY “98 Rock.”  Chmielewski joined Hearst in 2015 as a promotions assistant.  He has taken on more responsibilities with WIYY and sister news/talk WBAL since then.  WIYY program director Rick Strauss comments, “Chris has become a key contributor at Hearst Radio in his various promotions, production and programming roles for ‘98 Rock,’ WBAL and our Ravens broadcasts and network.  He has our full confidence as he assumes even greater responsibilities and an expanded leadership role at ‘98 Rock.’”…..Rich Broadcasting appoints programming pro Josh Tielor to program director for its Idaho Falls stations hot AC KGTM “Star 98” and classic rock simulcast KPKY/KZKY “The Rock 94.9 and 104.5.”  Tielor also is hosting the afternoon drive show at “Star 98.”…..Alpha Media’s urban contemporary WMBX, West Palm Beach “X102.3” names MoShay LaRen midday personality and music director.  LaRen was most recently midday host and APD at Radio One’s urban contemporary WRNB, Philadelphia…..Envision Networks enters into a representation deal with Skid Trax to distribute “The Ashley & Brad Show” for cash or barter.  The Los Angeles-base show targets the 25 to 54 audience with current topics and humor.  Radio stations’ music playlists remain intact while programmers insert the Ashley & Brad voice tracks.  Co-host Brad Arbell states, “I am so excited to work with Envision Networks who can bring their storied pedigree with our fun-for-all-ages show to new markets.”…..Syracuse radio personality “Big Mike” Fiss is retiring from Galaxy Communications’ classic hits WZUN “Sunny 102” after 16 years with the station and 40 years in the radio business.

Cumulus/Westwood One Partner with American Music Awards. Festivities surrounding this Sunday’s “2017 American Music Awards” are being provided for radio stations by Westwood One and Cumulus Media who are official promotional partners of this year’s awards.  Westwood One Backstage at the AMAs will feature three days of branded programming, artist interviews, and exclusive backstage live performances at radio row.  Westwood One’s Zach Sang show and the Adam Bomb show will broadcast remotely and curate audio, video, and social media content to share with listeners nationwide.  In addition to the backstage festivities, Westwood One, through its partnership with the American Music Awards and dick clark productions, is offering its stations a special, five-hour red carpet broadcast companion show airing Sunday, November 19.  The evening also includes a one-hour “Red Carpet Special” hosted by Jayde Donovan, a three-hour broadcast companion, and a one-hour “Awards Wrap-Up.”

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

| October 24, 2017

FCC Votes to Eliminate Main Studio Rule on Party Line.  The Democrats on the Federal Communications Commission are not happy about it but broadcasters are cheering the Commission’s 3-2 vote today (10/24) that eliminated the broadcast main studio rule.  The Order retains the requirement that stations maintain a local or toll-free telephone number to ensure consumers have ready access to their local stations.  The 80-year-old rule was designed to “facilitate input from community members and the station’s participation in community activities.”  But, Republicans argued that the rule was outdated and an unnecessary burden.  They argue that the repeal of the rule should “produce substantial cost-saving benefits for broadcasters that can be directed toward such things as programming, equipment upgrades, newsgathering, and other services that benefit consumers.  It will also make it easier for broadcasters to prevent stations in small towns from going dark and to launch new stations in rural areas.”

MacGunnigle Named APD at WPRO-AM, Providence.  At the Providence Cumulus Media cluster, staffer Doug MacGunnigle is promoted to assistant program director for “NewsTalk 99.7 FM and AM 630” (WPRO-AM/WEAN-FM) and sister business talk station WPRV.  Previously, MacGunnigle had been serving as producer and digital content director.  MacGunnigle has produced talk shows at WPRO for Steve Kass, Ron St. Pierre, Arlene Violet, and Dan Yorke.  MacGunnigle started his career at WPRO in 2002.  After stints at other media outlets in the area, he returned to WPRO in May 2015 and has served as producer of the Matt Allen show.  WPRO and WPRV program director Neil Larrimore says, “Doug has been an integral part of WPRO-AM and WPRV-AM for many years and has served as a backbone through a particularly tough period of change over the last 24 months.  It’s the perfect time to start him on the next step of his career.  I’m proud to name him as assistant program director.”

Industry Luminaries to Induct National Radio Hall of Famers.  When this year’s inductees are enshrined in the National Radio Hall of Fame on November 2, they’ll be presented by leaders in the industry.  The 29th Annual National Radio Hall of Fame Induction ceremony takes place at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago (it will also be broadcast commercial free via TuneIn).  This year, Entercom president and CEO David Field will induct his father, Entercom founder Joseph Field; on-air legend Scott Shannon will induct Premiere Networks superstar Sean Hannity; iHeartCountry chief Rod Phillips will induct Premiere’s country morning star Bobby Bones; Cumulus Media VP of classic rock Scott Jameson will induct KQRS, Minneapolis morning icon Tom Barnard; Chicago media star Bob Sirott will induct pioneering disc jockey John Records Landecker; iHeartMedia West president Greg Ashlock will induct KFI, Los Angeles morning personality Bill Handel; and St. Louis talk host Ryan Wrecker will accept induction for the late Bob Sievers.  National Radio Hall of Fame chairman Kraig T. Kitchin says, “We’re pleased to have such talented and accomplished presenters joining us on this special night and happy that those who can’t attend won’t miss a beat thanks to TuneIn.”

TALKERS News Notes. The new ESPN2 television show “Barstool Van Talk” – from Barstool Sports – has been canceled after its first airing, but not because of the show itself.  The TV program was based on the podcast “Pardon My Take” starring Barstool Sports’ Dan “Big Cat” Katz and PFT Commenter.  But the connection to Barstool Sports – known for misogynistic humor – was too much for ESPN president John Skipper, who stated in a press release, “Effective immediately, I am cancelling ‘Barstool Van Talk.’  While we had approval on the content of the show, I erred in assuming we could distance our efforts from the Barstool site and its content.”…..Pictured at right is Salem Radio Network v.p./News & Talk Programming Tom Tradup (center) on the set of the film, God’s Not Dead 3 in Little Rock, Arkansas.  He’s standing with actor and producer David A.R. White (left) and John Corbett (right) best known as co-star of My Big Fat Greek Wedding…..A live radio broadcast of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Black Cat,” – a tale of murder and supernatural revenge – is being produced for Husson University’s WHSN-FM, Bangor, Maine.  It will be performed live from the Gracie Theatre on Thursday, October 26 at 7:30 pm.  The program is billed as “Tales of Mystery and Imagination” and features a cast of Husson University students and local residents and it’s free and open to the public…..At left is famed director Rob Reiner (left) sitting with ABC News chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl (right) and ABC News political director Rick Klein (center) recording their “Powerhouse Politics” podcast.  The program was video-streamed live as Reiner joined the program to talk about his latest film, the historically themed LBJ…..iHeartMedia announces the addition of “The Fatherly Podcast” to the iHeartRadio digital platform.  The program is hosted by veteran journalist, children’s book author, and father of two, Joshua David Stein and is a weekly show about raising children and the lives of men who take on that responsibility.  Each episode is built around a wide-ranging interview with a notable father.  Guests include Emmy Award-winner Sterling K. Brown, documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, and NFL Hall of Famer Michael Strahan.

Trump Tax Plan, North Korea Nuclear Threats, Sessions Announces MS-13 Efforts, Niger Ambush Investigation, Uranium One Probe, Sexual Harassment/O’Reilly-Weinstein Cases, California Wildfires, Xi Jinping Cements Power, World Series, and NFL Ratings, Protests, and Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (10/23).  The Trump Administration’s plan for tax reform; North Korea’s stockpiling of weapons and talk of nuclear war; Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ announcement that the DOJ is using more legal weapons to prosecute MS-13 gang members; the investigation into what when wrong at the Niger ambush of U.S. forces; allegations that the Obama Administration’s deal with Russian firm Uranium One benefitted the Clinton Foundation; sexual harassment in the workplace and the high-profile Harvey Weinstein and Bill O’Reilly cases; the destruction from Northern California’s wildfires and the struggle to contain them; “Xi Jinping Thought” is enshrined into China’s communist constitution, ensuring he’ll rule as long as he’s healthy; the Dodgers-Astros World Series; and National Football League ratings, anthem protests and 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.  Programming pro Bobby Novosad is promoted to program director for Cumulus Media’s country KXKC-FM, Lafayette, Louisiana “NASH FM 99.1.”  Novosad continues his duties as brand manager and morning host at sister CHR KSMB.  Cumulus Media Lafayette vice president and market manager Scott Chiasson says, “I am very excited to promote Bobby to program director of KXKC ‘NASH FM 99.1.’  Bobby has been a generational staple in the Lafayette metro area and is a fantastic radio guy.  His deep experience and understanding of the way a winning station should sound is already having an impact.  This is great for Bobby, Cumulus, our loyal listeners and the community we serve.”…..Thirty-one year radio pro Darrel Eason is appointed to the program director position at Salem Media Group’s urban Gospel KXFN/K236CS, St. Louis “Praise 95.1.”  Eason is also hosting “The Morning Praise” from 6:00 am to 10:00 am.  Eason was previously the programmer at iHeartMedia’s crosstown KATZ-AM “Hallelujah 1600.”…..Former WGNA, Albany personality Marissa Lanchak announces via Facebook that she’s the new night jock at Beasley Media’s country WKLB, Boston.  She wrote, “It’s taken a lot of bumps in the last couple of years to get to this spot.  But I’m proud to say that I’ve accepted the night show position at Country 102.5 Boston’s Hottest Country!”…..Beasley Media Group’s adult hits WBEN-FM, Philadelphia announces Twister Sister lead singer Dee Snider will be the guest host of “95.7 BEN FM’s Halloween Hair Ball” on Saturday, October 28.  Snider will play the top 50 greatest hair band hits of the 80s as chosen by the 95.7 BEN FM listeners – all commercial free!  Station program director Chuck Damico comments, “We came up with the idea of letting listeners choose their favorite scary, hairy hits of the 80s and running them back countdown style for people’s Halloween parties.  There’s only one perfect host that makes sense for that – Dee Snider!  He’s an 80s rocker, a radio pro and Philly loves him!  We’re thrilled to have Dee party with ‘95.7 BEN FM’ for the Halloween weekend.”

Luke Bryan Chats with Shawn and Elaina. It was a big day for country stars in person at Cumulus Media’s NASH Campus in Nashville as Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, and Chris Lane all stopped by to chat on the “NASH Nights Live” program.  Pictured above is Bryan (left) with show co-stars Elaina Smith (center) and Shawn Parr (right).

CBS’ ‘We Can Survive’ Concert Rocks Hollywood Bowl.  Pictured above is pop star Kesha performing onstage at the Hollywood Bowl at CBS RADIO’s We Can Survive 2017 benefit concert on Saturday (10/21).  Other performers included: Alessia Cara, Harry Styles, Khalid, Lorde, Macklemore, P!nk, Sam Hunt, and Sam Smith, plus a surprise performance by Niall Horan. The show was hosted in support of breast cancer awareness and benefits the Young Survival Coalition, the premier organization dedicated to the critical issues unique to young women who are diagnosed with breast cancer.  Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for CBS RADIO.