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Thursday, September 15, 2016

| September 15, 2016

Glenn Beck and Saudi Student Settle Suit Over Boston Marathon Bombing Accusation. TALKERS readers who’ve been following this story are aware that Glenn Beck and his media firm TheBlaze were being sued by a Saudi Arabian student – Abdulrahman Alharbi – whom Beck continued to allege was the “money man” behind the terror attack at the 2013 Boston Marathon even after the feds had investigated and cleared him.  Alharbi was also injured in the bombing.  Now comes news that the sides have settled and as is usually the case inbeckglenn settlements such as this, neither party is admitting any fault and the terms of the settlement are not being disclosed.  In August, U.S. District Court Judge Patti Saris had ordered TheBlaze to reveal its sources that Beck, et al, had theblaze-logocited as the basis for its actions.  Beck and TheBlaze refused to do so.  In a joint statement after the settlement, the sides said, in part, “Defendants have agreed to settlement of the pending action in furtherance of fundamental principles of journalistic integrity by preserving the confidentiality of their sources consistent with their rights and privileges under the First Amendment. The Plaintiff has pursued this action for the reasons set forth in his Complaint and believes those interests have been served by this resolution.”  It’s unclear how much Alharbi stood to gain if he prevailed in a trial because Judge Saris had previously ruled that Alharbi would not be allowed to sue for punitive damages or the charge of unjust enrichment against the defendants.

Oregon Judge Recommends TRN Suit Against Cumulus Be Dismissed; TRN Attorney Plans Objection.  As reported by Law 360, U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark D. Clarke is recommending that the antitrust suit filed by Talk Radio Network Enterprises against Cumulus Media, Compass Media Networks, Lew trn-logo2Dickey, Charles Steinhauer, and WYD Media Management be dismissed because the same claims were settled in a federal court in New York in 2014.  Clarke wrote, “Dismissal with prejudice pursuant to a settlement agreement constitutes a final judgment on the merits and precludes parties fromcumulus-logo reasserting the same claims in a subsequent action.  Such dismissal prevents reassertion of the same claim between the same parties.  The 2014 judgment is therefore final and subject to claim preclusion.”  However, TRNE attorney Joseph Alioto tells Law 360, “We made it very clear in the complaint that the conduct resumed after the settlement, and that’s the important preposition, after.  The allegations in the complaint are required, at this stage of the game, to be accepted as true and all inferences are to be drawn in favor of the non-moving party, which is the plaintiff.  Our allegations are that after the settlement, [Cumulus Media] recommenced the same conduct, which causes a new claim to arise.”  TRNE alleges that Cumulus subsidiary Westwood One and the other plaintiffs conspired to create for themselves an unfair advantage in the nationally syndicated ad bundling market.  TRNE says Westwood One was able to use its dominance in the marketplace to avoid the transparency needed for the complainants to be certain of how much they are owed.  The other claims in the suit include: breach of implied covenant and fiduciary duty, unjust enrichment, conversion, and others and Clarke recommended they also be dismissed because the claims as pleaded are “vague.”  However, he leaves the door open to those non-antitrust claims be repleaded.

reynoldsbrucie16Joey Reynolds Returns to the Airwaves.  For 15 years radio legend Joey Reynolds held court in the wee small hours of the morning on WOR, New York and the WOR Radio Network.  Now, Reynolds is back on the air on Cumulus Media’s WABC, New York on Sunday evenings at 9:00.  Reynolds (right) launches the new show this Sunday with his first guest, none other than WABC icon Cousin Brucie (left), who’s currently hosting shows on SiriusXM – including the “Cousin Brucie’s Saturday Night Party.” Reynolds’ pal Art Vuolo informs us that the new Reynolds program will soon also be heard on Cumulus Media’s KABC, Los Angeles and in syndication through the efforts of William G. Nye and Mike Cave.

KFTK-FM, St. Louis Adds Two New Signals to News/Talk Brand.  St. Louis news/talk KFTK-FM is adding two signals to its brand.  Emmis Communications announces the programming is now also being heard onkftk-logo WQQX-AM (licensed to East St. Louis, Illinois) and translator K254CR, St. Louis at 98.7 FM.  Program director Jeff Allen says, “‘FM NewsTalk 97.1’ is often the #1 talk station in St. Louis and for years we have been getting requests to expand the reach of our traditional radio signal.  This move does that.  You will now be able to hear our programming from the far west edge of the metro, well into Illinois, down past south St. Louis and a strong signal downtown.  Just choose the dial position that comes in best on the radio where you are.”

cbshoustonPettiette Upped to VP/Director of Sales for CBS RADIO Houston.  Sales pro Michael Pettiette moves up from his regional director of digital sales for the CBS RADIO Houston station group to vice president and director of sales.  He’s been with CBS for the past five years.  He started his radio career with iHeartMedia as an account executive.  Pettiette will now oversee multi-platform sales and revenue for the cluster that includes hot AC KHMX, sports talk KIKK, country KILT-FM, sports talk KILT-AM, CHR KKHH, and Spanish KLOL-FM.

klwbtvduo‘103.7 The Game’ in Lafayette Adds TV Simulcast for AM Show.  The morning drive “SportsChat with Dave Schultz” on Delta Media’s KLWB, Lafayette “103.7 The Game” is now airing in a TV simulcast with the company’s KXKW-TV 32.1 “The American Sports Network.”  General manager Chuck Wood states, “We are working diligently to put our products where our viewers and listeners are.  This additional delivery system will make our ‘Live and Local’ programming available to more local eyes and ears.  Additional programming will be coming to American Sports Network 32.1 very soon.”  Dave Schultz adds, “I’m looking forward to showing Acadiana how much fun I have in the morning bringing them ‘SportsChat.’ Hoping this opens the door to more listeners and in-studio guests joining in the fun.”

Odds & Sods.  A new deal between Westwood One and Emmy and Peabody Award-winning comedian and actor Paul Mecurio has been struck to have WW1 provide exclusive ad sales representation for his “2 Chairs and a Microphone” podcast that’s available via audioBoom…..KMG Networks’ Anchor Dashboard – a customizable real-time dashboard that delivers essential information directly to news anchors in the studio – is now being implemented at more than 35 of Salem Media Group’s locally hosted news/talk and Christian teaching talk stations, including: WNYM and WMCA, New York, KRLA and KKLA, Los Angeles, and WIND and WYLL, Chicago…..AdLarge Media signs a deal for exclusive ad sales representation of New Mommy Media, a network of dynamic audio podcasts “designed to grow with the listener and her child, from the first trimester to the terrible twos and beyond.”  New Mommy Media was created by Sunny Gault boasts 60,000 downloads a month across a variety of targeted content choices…..What do you do when you’re interviewing a Trump and you run out of time?matthewsken  You employ the Art of the Deal!  WHP, Harrisburg afternoon drive host Ken Matthews tells TALKERS magazine he was interviewing Donald Trump Jr. and, after eight minutes, found himself up against the break.  Trump Jr. told Matthews he was too busy to sit on hold for three minutes, could he negotiate a change in the format?  “So we negotiated the break times live on the air with him and my producer!  A very funny Trump moment.”

The Presidential Race/Candidates’ Health, IRS Commissioner Impeachment Issue, National Anthem Protests, U.S.-Philippines Relations, Bayer-Monsanto Merger, Venezuela Crisis Worsens, U.S. Refugee Policy, and MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/14).  The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, especially the brouhaha over the health of both candidates; the Republicans’ move to impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen for his role in the agency’s treatment of conservative organizations; the ongoing national discussion over Colin Kaepernick and other athletes’ decisions not to stand during the playing of the National Anthem; Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s adversarial attitude toward the U.S. and his recent decision to buy weapons from Russia and China instead of the U.S.; the acquisition of St. Louis-based Monsanto by Germany’s Bayer; the worsening economic conditions in Venezuela; the U.S.’ decision to allow up to 110,000 more refugees into the country; and the Major League Baseball playoff push were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.

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Rome Visits KNBR, San Francisco.  Nationally syndicated  sports talk personality Jim Rome (left) is seen here with KNBR, San Francisco afternoon drive sports talker Tom Tolbert (right) on the latter’s program on Monday (9/12).  Rome was visiting the city and appeared on Tolbert’s program live from Cumulus Media’s Levi’s Lounge at KNBR.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

| August 25, 2016

Glenn Beck Producer Refuses to Name Sources in Boston Marathon Bombing Case. According to Politico’s Josh Gerstein, Glenn Beck producer Joe Weasel is refusing a judge’s orders to reveal the two sources the program relied on when it continued to insist that Saudi student Abdulrahman Alharbi was the “money man” in the Boston Marathon bombing.  Alharbi was questioned by police during the investigation and cleared bybeckglenn authorities.  He was also injured in the bombing.  Still, Beck insisted Alharbi was involved even after theblaze logoauthorities cleared him and Alharbi is now suing Beck for defamation.  Beck attorney Michael Grygiel says the sources – reportedly Department of Homeland Security officials – are not being identified for journalistic reasons, and because the sources don’t want to be named.  Beck stated on his radio show that the sources could be harmed or killed and he noted the shooting death of DNC staffer Seth Rich whom some speculate could have implicated DNC officials in the DNC email scandal.   Complicating the matter is that it’s not clear if Weasel, who worked for TheBlaze at the time of the bombing, still works for Beck.  As for Beck himself, he had no contact with the sources, so it’s unclear who might be held in contempt if U.S. District Court Judge Patti Saris chooses that route.  Read the Politico piece here.

WIP, Philadelphia Cuts Ties with PM Drive Personality Josh Innes.  Naturally, CBS RADIO is not offering a reason for letting sports talk personality Josh Innes go four months before his contract expires in December, but the speculation in the Philly media seems focused on his recent ratings slide.  And the cherry on theinnesjosh sundae may have been his criticism of archrival Mike Missanelli at crosstown WPEN-FM over that show’s use of a phony African American regular caller who turned out to be a station insider.  In criticizing Missanelli over the matter, Innes posted a photo of an old actor in blackface and took some missanellimikeheat for it.  Back in July, Philly.com’s Rob Tornoe chronicled Innes’ ratings slide.  Noting that after building a strong Men 25-54 lead over Missanelli in the Nielsen PPM ratings, Tornoe reports that Missanelli had rebounded to beat Innes in eight consecutive PPM monthlies – in the June PPMs by some 3.0 AQH share points.  Innes had dealt with some challenges, to be sure.  Originally partnered with Tony Bruno in the PM drive slot, Bruno abruptly exited the business last summer.  Former Eagles star Hollis Thomas and Philly radio pro Spike Eskin became Innes’ on-air partners.  Then, in January after programmer Andy Bloom was downsized, Eskin left the show to handle programming duties.  For now, WIP is saying that fill-in hosts will appear in the afternoon slot until a permanent show is named.

The Presidential Race/Clinton Family Foundation Questions, Deadly Italy Earthquake, American University Kabul Attack, EpiPen Price Hike Scandal, Iran vs U.S. Destroyer, Leslie Jones Web Attack, MLB Action Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (8/24).  The activities of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and the controversy over Clinton Family Foundation donors getting access to Clinton while she was Secretary of State; the earthquake that hit central Italy takes the lives of hundreds; the deadly attack on the campus of American University in Kabul; the controversy over the price hike of the EpiPen by manufacturer Mylan; three Iranian patrol boats harass a U.S. Destroyer; the malicious hacking of actress Leslie Jones’ website; 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.

NBA’s Golden State Warriors Jump to Entercom’s KGME for Flagship Role.  The NBA franchise thanked Cumulus’ KNBR for the relationship it’s enjoyed over the years while announcing it is moving across town to kgmzEntercom’s KGME “95.7 The Game” for its radio play-by-play and special programming partnership.  According to a story in the San Francisco Chronicle, the reason appears to be so the NBA franchise is treated like the featured pro sports franchise.  It notes that 12 of the team’s 24 playoff games last season were moved to sister KGO to accommodate San Francisco Giants games.  KNBR also is home to the NFL’s 49ers.  Warriors president and COO Rick Welts states, “We’re excited about our new partnership with ‘95.7 The Game’ and the opportunity to provide our fans with increased coverage of the Warriors in a centralized location.  Under the terms of this partnership, virtually every Warriors game – including the playoffs – will be broadcast on 95.7.  Additionally, our fans will benefit from increased programming overall throughout the year, including extended pre- and post-game shows, more in-season programming, a dedicated off-season presence and numerous call-in shows featuring front office staff, players and broadcasters.”

Cumulus Media to Use Twitter’s ‘Moments’ to Curate Station Happenings.  The company says it is “among the first radio media companies to use Twitter’s ‘Moments’ and to curate the very best stories from moments around its 452 radio stations and Westwood One’s syndicated programs.”  As you may already know, cumulus logo“Moments” are collections of Tweets that share the stories happening on Twitter, curated by Twitter and select partners.  Companies granted access to make Moments can use the creative format to tell stories using related, real-time content. Moments unfold across multiple Tweets and involve various points of view, and can be Tweeted or shared via link.  Suzanne Grimes, EVP, corporate marketing for Cumulus and president of Westwood One, says, “We are beyond thrilled to be part of this innovative feature from Twitter. It’s the perfect marketing tool for the network and our stations, who pour their hearts and souls into their shows and their events.  It allows them to connect with and extend real-time relationships with our listeners, our communities, and our advertising partners.”

doylejerryJerry Doyle Tribute Scheduled for September 17 in Las Vegas.  Las Vegas-based, nationally syndicated radio talk show host Dr. Daliah Wachs announces the date and place for the tribute to late talk personality Jerry Doyle is set for No Regrets Bar in Las Vegas on September 17 from 6:30 pm to 11:00 pm.  She says, “Friends and fans want to give him the send-off of a lifetime — music, laugh, love and memories of our beloved entertainer, friend, and brother.”

Odds & Sods.  At this year’s Radio Show in Nashville, FCC Commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Ajit Pai will be speaking.  Commissioner Pai addresses attendees on Thursday at “Keeping Up with the Changing Radio Regulatory Landscape,” and immediately following, will be the session “A Conversation with FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn.”…..Alpha Media’s rock WMFX, Columbia, South Carolina “Fox 102.3” is airing Carolina Panthers play-by-play broadcasts this season.  The station will air full coverage of all games, plus pre-game and post-game shows, “Panther’s Talk” each Monday night at 7:00 pm and daily Panther updates…..Entercom partners with Clip Interactive to use the latter’s interactive radio platform for its 129 stations.  Using Clip-built mobile apps, Entercom stations can deliver interactive broadcast and stream content feeds to listeners.  The Clip platform enables interactivity with all audio content delivered by Entercom stations via broadcast and stream…..SiriusXM is premiering the new album from comedy legend George Carlin.  It’s titled, I Kinda Like It When a Lotta People Die, and is the first original recording since Carlin’s passing in 2008.  It’s airing on the Comedy Greats and Carlin’s Corner channels on September 1 – two weeks before the album is made available for purchase.  Carlin recorded I Kinda Like It When A Lotta People Die at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on September 9 and 10, 2001.  Following the attacks on 9/11, Carlin removed and reworked much of the original act for his 2001 special, “Complaints & Grievances.”  Now, listeners can hear this material as it was originally conceived, raw and uncensored.