WGN, Chicago Names Bob Sirott Morning Drive Host. The legendary Chicago media personality Bob Sirott will take over for Steve Cochran on Nexstar’s news/talk WGN-AM, effective January 6. At the same time, Mary Sandberg Boyle is promoted to general manager. She’s been acting GM since September 20 in addition to her director of news and operations position. WGN notes that Sirott started as a morning radio show personality in 1971. “His acclaimed broadcasting career has spanned nearly five decades and has included stints at WMAQ, WBBM-FM, WLS, WGN and various television stations. In 2015, Sirott was recognized for his achievements in the media industry and inducted into the Silver Circle by the Chicago/Midwest chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.” This move is the latest in a series that finalizes the station’s programming going into 2020. Sirott’s 5:00 am to 9:00 am show is followed by John Williams (9:00 to 12:00 noon), the “Wintrust Business Lunch with Ji Suk Yi” (12:00 noon to 1:00 pm), Anna Davlantes (1:00 pm to 3:00 pm), Roe Conn (3:00 pm to 7:00 pm), Justin Kaufmann (7:00 pm to 11:00 pm), Nick Digilio (11:00 pm to 4:00 am), and a WGN Radio simulcast of WGN-TV “Early Morning News” from 4:00 am to 5:00 am.
Dan Proft Named Night Host on Salem Radio Network. Chicago-based talk host Dan Proft is the new host of the 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight show on the Salem Radio Network. Proft, who has been co-hosting the WIND, Chicago “AM 560 The Answer” morning show with Amy Jacobson since 2015, fills the 9:00 pm to 12:00 midnight slot that opend up when Joe Walsh entered the 2020 presidential race. Prior to joining WIND in 2015, Proft co-hosted a talk show on crosstown WLS-AM with Bruce Wolf from 2010 through 2014. SRN SVP of spoken word Phil Boyce says, “Dan Proft is incredibly intelligent, insightful, and full of knowledge. We are delighted to have a host of his quality available to take over the night slot on the lineup. I think stations will love having his wit and humor every night.” Proft, who has a JD from Loyola University, Chicago Law School, will continue his morning drive duties on WIND.
NOW POSTED: New Installment of “The Michael Harrison Wrap: An Overview of the National Conversation.” 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, iHeartMedia’s WONK-FM, Washington, DC (12/20). The new episode titled, “Peace on Earth, Goodwill Toward Persons!” looks back at this past week of December 16-20, 2019 and features guests (in order of appearance): Kevin Casey, executive editor, TALKERS; John Caracciolo, president/CEO, JVC Broadcasting; Joe Madison, talk show host, SiriusXM Satellite Radio; Casey Hendrickson; talk show host, WRTC, South Bend, IN; Trevor Smith, president, Aloha Media Productions, Byron Bay, Australia; and Victoria Jones, executive director, DC Radio Company. This acclaimed news/talk radio show airs each week on WONK-FM, Washington, DC on Friday evenings between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm. It also airs throughout the weekend on WRKO, Boston; KSCO, Santa Cruz, CA; WVOX, Westchester, NY; KBDT, Dallas; KQSP, Minneapolis; KBKW, Aberdeen, WA; the Virginia Talk Radio Network, and Pioneer Valley Radio in Springfield, MA as well as appearing on the iHeartRadio App. To listen to this week’s episode (and the program’s complete archives), please click here. To view the latest TALKERS magazine topic research, please click here.
KMJ, Fresno Unveils New Afternoon Team ‘Philip & Skip.’ Fresno news/talk KMJ-AM/FM brings Frances “Skip” Echeverria (right) aboard to co-host the afternoon drive show with Philip Teresi (left). Echeverria was most recently morning drive personality at One Putt Broadcasting’s crosstown rock outlet KFRR. Teresi moved into the afternoon drive slot at the Cumulus Media station after talk host Chris Daniel resigned from the show in early September after a 10-year stint. “Skip” says, “You’d be hard pressed to find someone in this valley that doesn’t know the legend that is KMJ. When I started radio in 2001, I didn’t anticipate this opportunity. But having been born and raised in Fresno, a graduate from Fresno State, and having chosen to raise my own family and base my mental health practice locally, I have a vested interest in the continued success of my community. I absolutely love this valley and its people. I’m honored and excited to join the KMJ team and am looking forward to conversations about topics that are important to us.” Teresi adds, “I’m elated to be a part of the next step at KMJ. Skip makes a brilliant, powerful addition to the station. Bringing Skip to KMJ benefits the audience, the sponsors, and the station as a whole.”
Will Sterrett Joins KMBZ’s ‘Kansas City’s Morning News’ as Co-Anchor. On-air pro Will Sterrett makes the move to morning drive co-host on “Kansas City’s Morning News” alongside Ellen Schenk. He takes over for E.J. Becker, who dials back his responsibilities with the Entercom news/talk stations. The “Kansas City’s Morning News” program airs on both KMBZ-FM and KMBZ-AM. Both stations air separate programming outside of AM drive. Sterrett had been a contributor to the afternoon drive “Dana & Parks” show on KMBZ-FM. He says via Twitter, “I have big shoes to fill as outgoing anchor E.J. Becker will stay on with the show as a special contributor. My final day with ‘Dana & Parks’ is Friday and I can’t thank Dana and Scott enough for their votes of confidence earlier this year and their support as this new opportunity took shape. Many thanks, too, to [PD] Alan Furst for the opportunity and for putting up with all the back and forth that comes with it.”
Hobnobbing for Charity. Pictured above are Weiss Agency EVP Heather Cohen (right) and RC Communications Marketing owner Renee Cassis (left) with Red Apple Media chief John Catsimatidis (center) at the NYC Police Athletic League Luncheon. The monthly luncheon – chaired by Catsimatidis – raises money for the PAL Kids charity. Catsimatidis hosts the weekly “Cats Roundtable” talk show (heard on 14 affiliate stations) and his media company is in the process of purchasing WABC, New York from Cumulus Media.
TALKERS News Notes. Former Arizona Congressman and radio talk show host J.D. Hayworth (left) chats over a meal in Phoenix with Salem Radio Network v.p./news & talk programming Tom Tradup (right) about SRN’s strategy for covering the upcoming impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate. Tradup says Hayworth offered perspective from his six terms in Washington on what is likely to unfold in the historic Senate trial scheduled to begin in January…..WPG, Atlantic City morning drive host Harry Hurley scored a coup as he interviewed New Jersey Congressman Jeff Van Drew on his radio show today. Van Drew made headlines recently after promising to switch parties from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party. Hurley says, “Van Drew becomes only the 24th congressman in American history to switch political parties and my initial research indicates he’s the first to switch from the majority party to the minority…..iHeartRadio and Tenderfoot TV announce the third installment of the “Monster” podcast series, “Monster: DC Sniper,” premieres on January 2, 2020. “Monster: DC Sniper” takes listeners back in time to the tragic killing spree of the D.C. Sniper, “one of the most tangled, intricate true-story killing sprees to ever take place.” The podcast also fast forwards to the present as the Supreme Court considers whether or not to amend the sentence of one of the two men convicted for the crime…..SiriusXM is giving sports fans a “comprehensive and in-depth look back at the Defining Moments of the Decade in their favorite sports” via a series of specials that examine the memorable moments and trends in professional and college sports from the last 10 years. SiriusXM will present these specials across 11 of its dedicated 24/7 sports channels. SiriusXM SVP of sports programming Steve Cohen says, “Over the past 10 years, SiriusXM has aired so many of these great moments live, and we’ve covered all of these important stories and trends across our channels more extensively than anyone else in radio. We’re proud to be the place where all fans can not only hear all about their favorite sport but can call in and talk about it as well.”…..Last Friday (12/13), Sinclair Radio’s Seattle stations all-news KOMO-AM/FM, news/talk KVI, and hot AC KPLZ “Star 101.5” – along with Sinclair TV outlets KOMO-TV and KUNS-TV – held their annual Toy Drive benefitting the Salvation Army. The campaign resulted in the collection of $125,000 – including a $50,000 matching donation from the Wold Family Foundation – and more than 7,000 toys. Sinclair Radio Seattle station manager Gary Greenberg says, “The toy drive has been a nine-year tradition for our stations. Our team builds an amazing campaign every year and our listeners continue to come out to support the Salvation Army in a big way. It’s what local radio is all about.”
The Articles of Impeachment Against Donald Trump Top News/Talk Story for Week of December 16-20. The U.S. House’s vote to levy articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump was the most-talked-about story on news/talk radio this week, landing atop the Talkers TenTM. At #2 this week was the 2020 presidential race and last night’s Democratic debate. Coming in at #3 was the Australian heat wave-drought-bushfires and the related topic of climate change, followed by the Obamacare mandate ruled unconstitutional and health care reform 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 entire chart here.
Triton Digital to Issue Podcast Reports. There will be another firm rating the performances of podcasts in the New Year as Triton Digital announces it is launching Podcast Reports in the U.S., powered by its Podcast Metrics measurement service. Triton says, “The reports will provide a ranking of the top networks and top podcasts in the U.S., as measured by Podcast Metrics. Reported entities will be ranked by Average Weekly Downloads, in accordance with the latest IAB Podcast Technical Measurement Guidelines.” Podcast publishers signed up for the new service so far include: NPR, Entercom’s RADIO.COM, Stitcher, and Cumulus Media. Triton Digital president of market development John Rosso adds, “We are pleased to leverage our 10-plus years of digital audio measurement expertise to provide reliable and informative data around podcast consumption in the U.S. Our Podcast Reports will provide buyers with the trusted, third-party podcast measurement they need to make informed decisions around podcast advertising. Furthermore, our reports will provide podcast networks with the reputable consumption data they need to grow their podcast strategies, gain a better understanding of their listening audiences, and increase their advertising revenue.” The first U.S. Podcast Report will debut in March 2020. Triton currently publishes Podcast Reports in Australia and Latin America and has announced that the Netherlands will follow in early 2020.
Two News Positions Open at FOX News Radio and FOX News. There are two news posts that FOX News is seeking to fill. The first is Overnight Freelance Anchor for FOX News Radio in Washington, DC or New York City. FOX says, “As a radio news anchor you will work under tight deadlines and deliver top notch newscasts. You have a passion for breaking news and the flexibility to work on a days’ notice.” See more about that position and apply here. The second position is a Freelance Writer for FOX News Headlines 24/7. The company says, “We are looking for a freelance writer to join the FOX News Headlines 24/7 team. As a writer, you will be a crucial member of our broadcast team. You will write news for our national news network, conceptualizing, writing, compiling enterprise stories, fact checking, and building show content newscasts for FOX News Headlines 24/7. You may be the right candidate if you have the right attitude and understand the level of commitment required to be successful in this role. Your passion for national and international news is bar none! See more and apply for this position here.
WBT-AM/FM, Charlotte Seeks News Anchor. Charlotte news/talk WBT-AM/FM has an immediate opening for a full-time news anchor. The Entercom station says, “You’re an engaging, experienced on-air personality. You’re a great storyteller. You know how to get to the heart of a story and make it relatable to the listener. You’re never satisfied with knowing just the “Who?, What?, Where?, and When?” of a story; you always seek to know “Why?” If this sounds like you, News Talk 1110 & 99.3 WBT/Entercom Charlotte would like to hear from you. We are seeking a full-time news anchor for our programming team. Responsibilities will include, but are not limited to: Writing and on-air delivery of news reports based on programming clock; editing and preparation of news audio; filing of two to three recorded reports per day to be aired outside the live daypart of the shift; on-air interaction with the talk show host and personnel; and coverage and reporting of breaking news events in real-time. Interested candidates should visit the Entercom site here. EOE.
Cool Job Opportunity. An experienced guest booker/researcher is needed to find/book four to five top-tier guests per week to do telephone/Skype interviews for a top-ranked podcast. This is a work-from-home job with a great potential for advancement. This person will also research other interesting content for the podcast “Something You Should Know,” primarily a self-help, news-you-can-use program. This is an excellent opportunity for someone with experience producing/booking talk radio programs. Resumes should be sent to: email@example.com.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. In St. Louis, Marty Linck is named brand content manager for Hubbard Radio’s adult hits WARH “106.5 The Arch” and rock KSHE. Linck previously served in the market as OM for Entercom’s hot AC KYKY, AC KEZK and CHR KNOU. He’s most recently been brand director for the JACK-FM format. Hubbard St. Louis VP and market manager John Kijowski says, “Marty is a dedicated leader whose professionalism and experience has achieved outstanding results. He also brings many years of success in managing high-performance radio brands that focus on live and local talent. We are excited to add him to our team.”…..On-air pro Alex Waters is joining Max Media’s CHR WVHT, Norfolk “Hot 100” as afternoon drive personality, effective January 6. He’s been serving as the evening jock at Bahakel Communications’ CHR WDOD-FM, Chattanooga “Hits 96.”
KMJ-AM/FM, Fresno Talk Host Chris Daniel ‘Semi-Retires’ from Station. The afternoon drive host had been on extended leave from the Cumulus Media station but now announces that he’s leaving the station at which he’s worked for the past 10 years. Chris Daniel states in a letter to listeners: “Hi, everybody. It’s been a while. I thought it would be best for me to let you know what’s going on. Sorry to leave everybody guessing, but it was the best way to go. Now, it’s time to let my friends and colleagues off the hook with the many questions they have had to field. Thanks to them for doing it and to you for caring enough to ask. First of all, I am ok. Truly. Stop worrying. I was simply looking hard at some things I have been contemplating for a while now and I wanted to be certain that I was doing the right thing. So, I took this extended leave I’ve been on to make sure. Now, I am. For the past couple of years, I had been considering leaving my position at KMJ, for various reasons, none of which have to do with the people I work with and/or for, or the wonderful people who take the time to listen to the show. Now, I have decided to do so. I have resigned my position at KMJ and am moving on to some other things that I’d like to do. I am not going to another station. I guess you could say that I have semi-retired.” KMPH-TV, Fresno reports that Philip Teresi will take over as PM drive host.
Dan Sileo Off the Air at KGME-AM, Phoenix. There’s been no official statement from iHeartMedia, and TALKERS has reached out to sports talk host Dan Sileo for comment, but a week after starting his position as afternoon drive host on sports talk KGME-AM, Phoenix “Fox Sports 910,” Dan Sileo is off the radio. His information has been scrubbed from the station’s website and the program schedule lists FOX Sports Radio’s “The Odd Couple with Chris Broussard & Rob Parker” in the 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm daypart. It appears that the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes put pressure on the station to oust Sileo. The Athletic was first to report that the club – which just inked a deal to air its games on KGME – was unhappy with Sileo’s history of making “sexist and racist” social media comments. The club’s statement was: “When we became aware that Fox Sports 910 had hired Dan Sileo, we immediately reached out to the station’s management to express our deep concern regarding Mr. Sileo’s abhorrent comments. Our promotion of inclusivity is deeply rooted into the fabric of who we are as an organization and we have no tolerance for racism, sexism, anti-Semitism or any other discriminatory behavior.”
Neil Larrimore Leaves News/Talk WPRO, Providence. After two years in the program director role at Cumulus Media’s news/talk WPRO-AM/WEAN-FM in Providence, Neil Larrimore exits the station. Prior to joining WPRO, Larrimore served with iHeartMedia, serving as program director for the company’s talk outlets in Phoenix and Tucson. He’s also programmed KMBZ-AM and FM in Kansas City during his career. There’s no official word from Cumulus on its strategy to fill the program director role.
WRAW, Reading Flips to News/Talk. Gone from the Reading, Pennsylvania AM station is the Spanish music “Rumba 1340” format and in is news/talk. iHeartMedia flips the station to talk as “Newsradio 1340 WRAW.” The program lineup includes a number of Premiere Networks programs, including Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, and Buck Sexton, as well as a simulcast of the WHP, Harrisburg morning program, “The RJ Harris Breakfast Show.” iHeartMedia regional SVP of programming Jeff Hurley comments, “We’re thrilled to bring this all-star lineup of talk radio programs to Reading with the launch of ‘Newsradio 1340 WRAW.’ We’re confident that ‘Newsradio 1340 WRAW’ will become a favorite source for compelling news, talk, and entertainment.” RJ Harris adds, “WRAW is where I got my start in radio at 16 years old, so I’m excited to contribute to the re-launch of an all-new talk station with some of the biggest names in the format.”
‘ESPN 630’ Washington to Air Kornheiser Podcast. DC sports talk outlet WSBN-AM “ESPN 630” is adding the “The Tony Kornheiser Show” podcast to its on-air schedule in the 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm slot. Kornheiser co-hosts “Pardon the Interruption” on ESPN with Michael Wilbon. He’s a former Washington Post sports columnist and former DC market sports talk radio host. Cumulus Media programmer Bill Hess says, “Tony is a legend on sports radio in DC and we’re thrilled to be his new home. With Tony at noon, followed by ESPN’s ‘The Stephen A. Smith Show’ at 1:00pm, ‘ESPN 630’ has the best one-two midday punch in town!” The podcast is an exclusive partnership between Cadence13 and Tony Kornheiser.
TALKERS News Notes. A news podcast titled, “Modern Ruhles,” – hosted by MSNBC anchor and NBC News correspondent Stephanie Ruhle – debuts today as an iHeartRadio Original podcast. A press release states that the show addresses some of today’s most pressing issues and features “conversations between Ruhle and influential guests, who help dissect the sensitive and often complex social topics that impact the state of the world today.” Some of the first guests include actress and writer Amber Tamblyn, actor and comedian Terry Crews, musician Amir “Questlove” Thompson and more…..Seven Bucks Productions, Andrew Jenks, and Cadence13 announce the launch of season three of the podcast, “What Really Happened?” The program, written and hosted by award-winning documentarian Andrew Jenks, kicks off the season with a special two-part episode exploring the life and death of accused child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein…..FOX News Radio personality Todd Starnes’ new book, Culture Jihad: How to Stop the Left from Killing a Nation (2019, Post Hill Press) is published today (9/10). The presser for the book says, “America is on the verge of another Civil War. Socialism is on the rise. Free Speech is under assault. People of Faith are facing persecution. Gun owners are in the crosshairs. Our public schools have been turned into indoctrination centers. A leftist mob made up of socialist politicians, academic elites, raging feminists, and effete Pajama Boys has partnered with Antifa, illegal aliens, and other radical groups to finish what President Obama started—a fundamental transformation of our nation. Can America be saved? Political columnist, commentator, author, and radio host Todd Starnes addresses this issue and more in Culture Jihad. He believes that if good-hearted patriots rise up together, we can stop the jihad. It is possible to keep America great.”
Katz Unveils Programmatic Sales Division. The new division, called Audiology by Katz, and operating under Katz Digital, “was built with the mission to help advertisers and agencies utilize the power of audio to connect with consumers. The service offers access to a scalable, premium and brand-safe digital audio marketplace with programmatic inventory across 120-plus connected devices and smart speakers.” Katz says the new sales division will be led by David Krulewich, who also serves as SVP/programmatic sales for Katz Digital. Katz Media Group CEO Mark Gray adds, “The addition of Audiology is part of Katz’s ever-expanding position in the digital marketplace. This new digital audio programmatic sales division enables us to continue to invest even more time and resources into evangelizing audio on behalf of our partners in the rapidly expanding programmatic space.”
Bahamas Refugees, NOAA-Alabama Controversy, 2020 Presidential Race, CNN-Russia Spy Report, Gun Control Legislation, and Antonio Brown Antics Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (9/10). The U.S. position on Bahamian refugees in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian; the controversy over allegations NOAA staffers were threatened not to contradict President Trump’s statement Hurricane Dorian would hit Alabama; the Democrats and Republicans hoping to challenge President Trump in 2020; the CNN report that the U.S. had to extract a Russian spy from Moscow due to the Trump Administration’s mishandling of classified intelligence; current gun legislation that would expand background checks to nearly all gun buyers; and wide receiver Antonio Brown signs with the Patriots after orchestrating a messy exit from Oakland were some of the top news/talk stories yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS magazine.
Broadcasters Foundation of America Raises $250k at Golf Tourney. The Broadcasters Foundation of America raised more than $250,000 yesterday (9/9) to help broadcasters in need during its 2019 Celebrity Golf Tournament at the Quaker Ridge Golf Club in Scarsdale, New York. More than 175 broadcasters and celebrities took part in the event that has, since its inception, raised more than $5 million for financially afflicted broadcasters and their families. Celebrity golfers in attendance were: John Anderson, ESPN; Bruce Beck, NBC TV Sports; Dick Brennan, CBS News; Scott Brunner, New York Giants; Scott Burrell, University of Southern Connecticut; Bobby Carpenter, NHL Stanley Cup Champ; Chad Cascadden, New York Jets; Rick Cerone, MLB great; Ron Claiborne, ABC News; Jon Crispin, UCLA-Big Ten Network; Maurice DuBois, CBS News; Mike Eruzione, 1980 Olympic Gold Medal Team & Captain; Rachel Grant, actress-model; Harold Green, Atlanta Falcons; Brian Leonard, NFL great; Ann Liguori, WFAN, New York; Otis Livingston, CBS Sports; Rob Marciano, ABC News; Donny Marshall, FOX Sports; Sean McDonough, ESPN; Bill Neil, New York Giants; Karl Nelson, New York Giants; CJ Papa, SNY Sports; Sterling Sharpe; Lee Saltz, New England Patriots; Jeremy Schaap, ESPN; Taylor Twellman, ESPN; Tim Welsh, Providence Friars; Bob Wischusen, ESPN; Chris Wragge, CBS News; Larry Roth, MSG Network; plus, Sarah Stone and Liz Caron, LPGA Pros.
Music Radio News and Career Moves. In Louisville, Kobi Kearney exits iHeartMedia’s CHR WNRW-FM “Radio Now 98.9” where he was program director and afternoon drive personality. Kearney announced his exit via Facebook saying: “I guess it’s ironic that I’m celebrating 20 years in radio this month and all of a sudden I am no longer on the radio. Thanks to everyone in Louisville and Southern Indiana who has showed me love and support for last four years. I am a believer in the old saying everything happens for a reason, so hopefully the universe has something dope in store for me.”…..WWKA, Orlando “K92.3” afternoon drive personality AJ Maguire exited the station last Friday (9/6) after seven years with the Cox Media Group station. He’s expected to announce a new gig in the near future…..Cumulus Media’s alternative WKQX, Chicago announces the lineup for its annual Christmas shows, “The Nights We Stole Christmas.” The series of five shows is being held at Chicago’s Byline Bank Aragon Ballroom December 11-15, 2019. The lineup by date includes: 12/11 – Cage The Elephant, Angles & Airwaves, The Federal Empire; 12/12 – The 1975, Bob Moses, Allan Rayman; 12/13 – Twenty One Pilots, IDKHBTFM; 12/14 – Mumford & Sons, Local Natives; and 12/15 – 311, Highly Suspect, The Glorious Sons.
Entercom’s Furst Choice to Program KC Talk Combo. Self-described “freelance programming advisor/consultant” Alan Furst is tapped to program Entercom Kansas City siblings KMBZ-AM “Talk 980” and KMBZ-FM “News/Talk 98.1.” Entercom Kansas City vice president and market manager Dave Alpert remarks, “We are very pleased to welcome Alan. He brings with him a wealth of experience, possesses a passion for the on-air product, and a passion for winning.” Furst – who begins his new duties next Monday (2/15) – comments that he is “very excited to join one of the truly great news talk brands, KMBZ.” He went on to thank Alpert and Entercom president of programming Pat Paxton “for the opportunity to be part of the outstanding staff at Entercom Kansas City. I look forward to helping both stations continue to grow.” Prior to opening his programming consultancy in October 2014, Furst spent nearly two years as program director of Radio One Houston’s KROI. His varied resume includes hands-on operations manager and PD experience at San Antonio country and CHR duo KAJA “KJ-97” and KXXM “Mix 96”; WLW, Cincinnati; and WIBC, Indianapolis. In addition, he was senior vice president of content for DMX Music; Cumulus Media’s country format director; group program director for the Australian Radio Network; senior vice president of programming for Clear Channel, AMFM, and Capstar Broadcasting; national program director for NewCity Communications; and a programming consultant for Shane Media Services. Among persons 6+ in Nielsen Audio’s “Holiday” 2015 PPM report, both KMBZ-FM (3.3, #14) and KMBZ-AM (2.6, #18) were down one-half share from December 2015.
Howard Tuuri Named VP/GM for Genesis Communications. Radio executive Howard Tuuri joins Genesis Communications to serve as vice president and general manager for the company’s four Florida stations – news/talk WWBA, Tampa; sports talk WHBO, Tampa; Spanish WMGG, Tampa; and sports talk WHOO, Orlando – as well as its two Internet publications. Tuuri, who will report to Genesis president and CEO Bruce Maduri, previously served with Cox Media Group as a VP/GM for its Tampa operations. Maduri states, “Howard’s background and quality of experience are a tremendous fit for our organization. He has been a valuable member of our Leadership Team, and this appointment confirms our commitment to grow and realize the vision of a truly integrated media content company.”
The Presidential Race, Low Oil Prices/Financial Markets Activity, Battle Against Islamic State/Syrian Civil War, North Korean Missile Launch, Zika Virus, and Super Bowl 50 Among Top News/Talk Stories Yesterday (2/8). Today’s New Hampshire primary and the activities of the candidates for president; low oil prices and the effects on the world’s financial markets; the battle against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and the effects of the ongoing Syrian civil conflict; North Korea’s weekend launch of a satellite missile; concerns over a potential pandemic of the Zika virus; and Sunday’s Super Bowl 50 and controversy over the Doritos commercial were some of the most-talked-about stories on news/talk radio yesterday, according to ongoing research from TALKERS.
RAB/Borrell: Radio Digital Revenue to Rise 14%. According to a study by Borrell Associates on behalf of the Radio Advertising Bureau, the radio industry’s digital ad revenue rose 11.4% in 2015 to more than $550 million. The study also predicts radio’s digital revenue will improve by 16% this year. This fourth annual report is titled, “Benchmarking: Local Radio Stations’ Online Revenues,” and concludes the average market cluster made $951,756 in digital sales last year, with the average station making $231,210. Borrell Associates CEO Gordon Borrell summarizes, “All signs point to the radio industry mobilizing even more in the interactive space. Eighty-two percent believe there is strong potential – the highest we’ve ever seen; 62% believe that their sales teams’ ability to sell digital products is solid – up from 52% a year ago; and 37% believe their digital strategy is headed in the right direction – up from 27%.” The full study is available to RAB members, but here are some of the juicier takeaways: One-third of stations surveyed believe their sales reps are talking to the wrong buyers when trying to sell digital products. Three years ago, two-thirds believed that was the case; Only 16% believe that radio sales suffer because reps are forced to sell digital advertising. That’s down significantly since 2014, when more than half felt that way; Conversely, 24% believe that digital sales suffer because reps focus on radio advertising. Three years ago, twice as many felt that way; And the average radio cluster received 0.26% of all locally spent Internet advertising. There were some, however, achieving 15 times that – up to nearly 4%. RAB president and CEO Erica Farber states, “Digital continues to be radio’s fastest growing sector. Stations that are laser focused on increasing revenue beyond their core broadcast business are experiencing the benefits. The results from this study provide us with insights of where efforts are paying off and what additional training is needed for radio to continue with this trajectory. The RAB is here to help with that knowledge and training.”
Service King and Motel 6 Win Westwood One Super Bowl Sound Awards. This was the third annual Westwood One Super Bowl Sound Awards designed to recognize excellence in audio creativity and celebrate brand advertisers and radio creative. Westwood One asked listeners to vote on their favorite audio commercials airing in the Westwood One Super Bowl 50 broadcast. In addition, Westwood One commissioned a Nielsen study of 3,030 consumers who rated all 45 commercials on a series of key attributes. Listeners voted for Service King’s “Mission 2 Hire” ad as their favorite Super Bowl commercial. The ad promotes Service King’s Mission 2 Hire program, which is dedicated to hiring 500 veterans at Service King locations around the country. Hear the ad here: http://thesoundawards.com/service-king/. Motel 6 was rated the most likeable ad in the Westwood One-commissioned Nielsen study. The brand’s “Designer Dogs” ad features long-time Motel 6 narrator Tom Bodett, who promotes Motel 6’s great rooms and low rates while poking fun at trendy dog breeds with silly names. The Motel 6 ad also received top consumer ratings for relevance, engagement, and memorability. Here is a link to hear the ad: http://thesoundawards.com/motel-6-3/.